Project Where’s My Stuff?

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Matt Fisher, Chief Storyteller, Certero

From “Project Where’s My Stuff” to “Project Optimize My Stuff”

Perhaps it’s a reflection of having been in the industry too long (15 years and counting!), or perhaps it’s a symptom of trying to align with business buyers (aka budget holders), but sometimes I find myself forgetting where different folks are with their IT Asset Management and Software Asset Management journeys.

In the excitement of wanting to tell the world about how ITAM and SAM can play a pivotal role in recognizing your digital transformation goals, I sometimes overlook the benefits of some of the foundational elements of ITAM and SAM.

I was reminded of this when meeting a customer in London, UK, last week. A global firm with a not inconsiderable workforce, spread across many international offices (the firm has grown largely by acquisition). After a pretty comprehensive and rigorous tools selection process (not to mention less-than-stunning experiences with other tools), the firm chose Certero to help them understand the true picture of their ever-growing IT estate and technology consumption.

There’s an official name for the project (and it’s pretty cool, but I won’t say it lest I give away the company’s identity), but my contact at the firm has his own nickname for the first phase of the project. Simply put, it’s “Project Where’s My Stuff?”

As a SAM solutions and services provider, we are often more focused on helping customers optimize their largest SaaS investments, or getting on top of millions of dollars’ worth of Oracle software, or proving to vendor X why our client doesn’t owe them Y in an audit defense project, we sometimes get distracted from what’s really important to some customers: simply knowing what they’ve got.

Of course, the reality of discovering and inventorying every asset across the network is anything but simple. But as my contact in London enthused, it is only once you have that IT asset visibility (and confidence in it) that you can start to do all the things that really add value to the organization.

For this customer, what sold them on Certero was the Proof of Concept process. Suspecting that their current tools weren’t giving them the whole picture, they challenged Certero with finding the black holes on the network. And it turns out that’s exactly what the technology (starting with an agent-less IT discovery process) did.

Starting late on a Friday afternoon, the customer was hoping to come into work on Monday to see the first results coming in from Certero. They didn’t need to wait that long. In fact, well before going home time on Friday night, Certero had already started discovering previously uninventoried machines.

By his own admission, the customer had to resist the temptation to dive straight into the detail (such is the ease with which custom dashboards can be built) and instead focus first on the bigger picture of asset discovery, before looking at opportunities to optimize and save costs (Certero can track everything from how much ink is left in a printer or how many pages have been printed in the last 30 days to which PCs are running outdated software or are out of warranty).

And it wasn’t just our customer champion that was invested in “Project Where’s My Stuff”.

To my delight, senior executives in the firm were just as keen to see the results of the PoC. Clearly, not only had our champion done a great job of selling the project, but the senior managers fully understood that to meet their overall business goals, they first needed an IT infrastructure that was fit for purpose.

Seeing the results from the Certero PoC was more than enough to get the project funded and for the full roll out of the technology (not that it was ‘rolled out’ as such, as the customer opted for the far easier SaaS delivery option!) to get the green light.

I’m going to be watching “Project Where’s My Stuff” closely over the coming weeks and months, and can’t wait for it to move into the next phase: “Project Optimize My Stuff”.

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