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Waking up to the value in the IT estate: Are you sitting on a gold mine?

Feb 1, 2013 6:58:45 AM Tech Data Europe Data Management, Big Data, Data Analytics, CMDB, Estate Management, IT Infrastructure, ITAM

Big Data Expert Simon Ellis, Director Estate Management Solutions and Services EMEA

Imagine a world where your sales force receives real-time customer opportunities derived from your own data. Where opportunities that not only improve your top and bottom line but also lead to new service and product business, improved renewal rates and deeper insight into customer estates. A world that allows you to grow your business whilst making you even more valuable to your customers. Interested? Thought so.

Managing and governing an IT estate using CMDBs (configuration management databases) and ITAM (asset management) tools and processes provides today’s organisations with a wealth of untapped potential in terms – opportunities for cost optimisation, cross-sell, up-sell and new services. Exploiting this potential gold mine allows the channel to deliver enhanced levels of service excellence and deeper value to internal and external customers, suppliers and partners. The challenge for the majority of players in the IT channel is how to enable and then unleash that potential and cash in on the data gold mine.

Recent years have seen the rise of data analytics and business intelligence (BI) where organisations move their IT spend – and focus – to sweating their investments and gaining business advantage through leveraging their business data. It could be argued that this is not the case with the channel with their various (and traditionally spreadsheet-based) new business, renewal management and customer asset management solutions.

Many of today’s asset management solutions remain siloed – contracts managed in one system, renewals in another, procurement in another, CMDBs, discovery databases.… the list goes on.

This can be understood given how the channel and indeed the end customer have traditionally operated – with separation of interests between procurement, IT and of course the business itself. Moreover, market dynamics within the channel very much drives a focus on transactional net new business.

Therefore it has never been as important to get a single view of yours and your customer’s estate – across contracts, renewals, installed base as they are sold, renewed or managed. I believe end-to-end Estate Management with intelligent mining of data is where the channel needs to evolve to in order to remain competitive and to prosper.

The proliferation of big data shows what is possible when you bring together different data sets to augment each other; add dimensionality and with deep insight, real value can be derived.

When transactional data is brought together with historical trends –new sales with renewals – sales out data with vendor cross-sell and up-sell rules -- new insights and opportunities can be delivered.  Joining up the informational supply chain – vendor, distribution, reseller and end customer –allows ‘real-time’ opportunities to be uncovered.

Estate Management differs from pure ITAM through delivering insight into opportunities for all elements in the channel – the reseller, vendor, distributor and ultimately, the end customer.

Why does the channel need to wake up to this now?

  • Barriers to entry – some key players are doing this now – if you don’t then they will be able to eat your food from your table
  • Differentiation – the data you have allows you to differentiate your service offerings from others in the marketplace, allowing you to evolve from just being another commodity player
  • Deeper value – your customers will see greater value from you – through generating insight, opportunity and value for not just yourself but also for them
  • Smart partnering – channel players joining up to share data and intelligence in order to enter, disrupt new markets is going to become more commonplace. Who are your partners?

In short, new players are coming up behind you and will continue to enter this market – using data to derive new opportunity for themselves and their partners.  The market conditions continue to be tough and being able to identify new opportunities that create value automatically from data that you already have must surely be something we all need to wake up to?

For more information, please visit http://www.ts.avnet.com/uk/value_added_services/partner_services/estate_management/ or email estatemanagement@avnet.com.

Tech Data Europe

Written by Tech Data Europe


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