Delivering the best of IBM
Chip Schneider, partner in IBM Global Business Services (GBS), worked alongside T-Mobile to bring about what he calls a “cognitive process transformation” with data analytics, artificial intelligence and cognitive cloud.
IBM was chosen by T-Mobile as their strategic partner to deliver the programs and projects to propel T-Mobile forward with back-office functions like financing in supply chain.
“That’s a broad statement but it’s a pretty broad goal,” says Schneider. “T-Mobile have been really challenging us to bring the best of IBM to them, and especially for our guidance in supply chain transformation.”
IBM has been a partner with Sprint for a number of years so when T-Mobile and Sprint merged last year, it was an opportunity for IBM to showcase their expertise.
“We operate as an open book with our clients and especially key clients like T-Mobile,” says Schneider. “We share perspectives from our knowledge and experience in the telco and media industries worldwide.”
Schneider is enthused when discussing the working relationship between IBM and T-Mobile, saying there is “always an air of excitement” and “they’re so willing to listen”.
“T-Mobile asked us to make the work we do for them ‘palatable and meaningful’,” says Schneider. “That means bringing industry leadership, functional leadership in finance, supply chain customer management, and the technical aspects of hybrid cloud, cognitive and machine learning, data intelligent workflows, and blockchain. We had to make sure it's not just us talking to them, but us working together with them.”
Of course, the benefits of a close, collaborative relationship like this work for both parties, especially when digital transformation is accelerated by a pandemic.
“That changed everything,” adds Glenn Finch, Global Leader Big Data & Analytics at IBM. “2020 was a matter of survival for most companies with a focus on business continuity and cost reduction. So you saw this radical growth in back office transformation, in front office transformation, and then this this unprecedented growth in data. We are a hybrid cloud and AI company. That's exactly what the market wants right now.”
Finch explains how companies were faced with a critical cloud decision and turned to IBM as a trusted, reliable partner.
“When clients were having to bet their careers, they bet on us,” says Finch. “Our AI and hybrid cloud resonates so perfectly in a market like this.
“When we go into a process and we drive a bunch of AI into it, we're shrinking cycle time by 80 to 90%, we’re cutting costs by 50 to 60%, and NPS scores are going up by 10 to 20 points. Sometimes clients think that can’t be right as it sounds too good to be true.”
Schneider emphasises the importance T-Mobile placed on not only transforming the technology but also empowering individuals.
“T-Mobile are hyper focused on ensuring that not only their customers feel the human connection, but also employees,” says Schneider. “And so our job is to take the data – internal and external – and present it back to them and say, ‘Hey, here's what I found’. It's really like building a colleague for them to help drive their strategic decisions on their supply chain.”
Giving efficiency the full throttle at NASCAR
The NASCAR organization has long been synonymous with speed, agility and innovation. And so by extension, partnerships at NASCAR hold a similar reputation. One such partner for the organization has been CDW – a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to businesses, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. CDW provides a broad array of products and services ranging from hardware and software to integrated IT solutions such as security cloud hybrid infrastructure and digital experience. Customer need is the driving force at CDW, and the company helps clients by delivering integrated services solutions that maximize their technology investment. So how does CDW help their customers achieve their business goals? Troy Okerberg, Field Sales Manager - North Florida at CDW adds “We strive to provide our customers with full stack expertise, helping them design, orchestrate and manage technologies that drive their business outcomes.”
NASCAR acquired International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in 2019, merging its operations into one, new company moving forward. The merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans. CDW has been instrumental in bringing the two technology environments together to enable collaboration and efficiency as one organization. Starting with a comprehensive analysis of all of NASCAR’s vendors, CDW created a uniform data platform for the data center environment across the NASCAR-ISC organization. The IT partner has also successfully merged the two native infrastructure systems together, while analyzing, consulting and providing an opportunity to merge Microsoft software licenses as well.
2020 turned into a tactical year for both organizations with the onset of the pandemic and CDW has had to react quickly to the changing scenario. Most of the initial change included building efficiencies around logistics, like equipment needing to be delivered into the hands of end users who switched to a virtual working environment almost overnight. CDW’s distribution team worked tirelessly to ensure that all customers could still access the products that they were purchasing and needed for their organizations throughout the COVID timeframe. Okerberg adds that today, CDW continues to optimize their offering by hyper-localizing resources as well as providing need-based support based on the size and complexity of their accounts. Although CDW still operates remotely, the company commits to adapting to the changing needs of their clients, NASCAR in particular. Apart from the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the organization, another task that CDW had been handed was to identify gaps and duplicates in vendor agreements that the two former single-entity organizations had in place and align them based on services offered. CDW further helps identify and provide the best solution from a consolidation standpoint of both hardware and software clients so that the new merged organization is equipped with the best of what the industry has to offer.