If you’re interested in learning how IBM’s Application Management Services (AMS) solutions can help your business, take a look at these success stories:
Getting full benefit from retail applications
Gaining a foothold in a competitive global retail market takes more than strategic vision. It also takes a willingness to invest in leading-edge solutions that can position you at the forefront of the industry.
This was the reasoning behind an investment made by an international retailer. To support its plans for global growth, the company made a significant investment in new software – including the purchase of several PeopleSoft modules, and Retek’s leading retail Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. However, after attempting to implement its applications using in-house resources, the company realized its internal IT group lacked the resources required to optimize the applications for their fullest benefit.
Eager to accelerate its return on investment, the retailer solicited competitive bids from major technology companies. It was looking for a partner with major retail expertise, worldwide coverage, and the ability to resolve a wide range of application challenges through an integrated approach. The only solution that measured up was presented by IBM’s Application Management Services (AMS).
In addition to providing the retailer with access to its PeopleSoft experts, IBM’s AMS team engaged its U.S.-based Retek practice group. As a result, the retailer had access to expertise for each application it was trying to implement – all through one company. Ultimately, the company entered a seven-year Strategic Outsourcing contract with IBM, giving IBM’s AMS experts the mandate to roll out its PeopleSoft packages and Retek solution.
Recognizing the need for local expertise, IBM also committed to establishing a dedicated IBM services centre for retail, now located in Montreal. In addition to assisting this retailer with its Retek implementation and offering supplementary retail consulting solutions, the IBM services centre for retail also provides national coverage for Retek service opportunities that may arise at other major Canadian retailers.
Staying ahead of the technology curve
Organizations eager to develop, maintain, and manage a diverse application portfolio often face costly challenges. If you add in the mandate to ensure that the portfolio operates with benchmark efficiency, while ensuring the highest quality of service, the complexity can seem insurmountable.
This was precisely the mandate established by a provincial ministry rolling out an online health services solution. In its attempts to manage the technology curve and apply new learnings to its online initiatives, the ministry’s IT contractor costs were rising exponentially. However, attempts to gain control over these costs to prevent budget over-runs were compromising system performance.
Recognizing the need for professional help, the ministry engaged IBM’s Application Management Services (AMS) specialists to provide limited facilities and application management, and e-business development and support. To assist, IBM presented the ministry with its e-business AMS offering, which gave the organization access to IBM’s team of skilled e-business experts. Keeping a careful eye on long-term business objectives, these professionals worked with the ministry to ensure optimal integration of new applications into the existing application environment.
Extremely pleased with the AMS team’s performance, the ministry expanded the scope of its relationship with IBM, handing over responsibility for its application development, management, and maintenance. Today, over 100 people support and maintain the ministry’s applications, providing ongoing facilities management and extensive disaster recovery services. As a result of this partnership, the ministry has already saved several million dollars while building one of the most advanced and innovative health care systems in the world.
Building a credible online presence
Given the competitive nature of the retail industry, the key to success for many retailers is to maintain a relentless focus on core competencies. So when one large national retailer decided to develop an online presence, it began looking for a partner who could understand its business challenges and lend credibility to its decision to go online.
After assessing its alternatives, this retailer chose IBM’s Application Management Services (AMS) solution. Working with the AMS team, the retailer began to build a world-class Web site, with an aggressive launch date of 12 weeks from the beginning of the project. IBM’s AMS team rose to the challenge, helping the retailer assess various technological options and select the systems best suited to its business goals. Following the site’s launch, the company continues to rely on AMS professionals for ongoing application maintenance – which involves everything from content management to monitoring the day-to-day health of the system. Using e-AMS, the retailer enjoys access to leading-edge e-business skills, relying on IBM’s IT capability in a rapidly evolving technological environment.
These efforts have already paid off. Currently, IBM’s e-AMS team works as an extension of the retailer’s IT department, providing suggestions and support for new initiatives. Today, the site is rated #1 in its class in Canada, and fourth in North America. As an added benefit, approximately 80% of the retailer’s online customers are dealing with the company for the first time – with no previous bricks and mortar experience.
Achieving integration without business disruption
For many organizations, complex application portfolios combined with a proliferation of legacy systems can ultimately lead to both increased maintenance costs and reduced system performance. However, upgrading those applications can lead to system downtime – a result that a regional energy company was not willing to accept.
With over 150 disparate applications, including custom-built legacy applications that were not fully integrated, this company was experiencing system interruptions. Eager to improve the uptime and availability of its applications, the company decided to outsource its entire technology environment, including mainframe managed operations, desktop workstation support, application maintenance of legacy systems, and help desk/technical support systems. As an added requirement, it wanted to keep the majority of its operations local.
To locate an appropriate partner, the company commissioned a third-party evaluation. Its requirements? A supplier who could facilitate the transition to a new application environment, meet service level commitments, improve the predictability of its application expenditures, and retrain any employees displaced by the move. The recommendation was IBM’s Application Management Services (AMS) team.
Working with the company’s IT department, IBM’s AMS team rationalized the company’s 150 applications using a proven five-tier methodology to assess the company’s business, application, technical, and security architectures. Despite the complexity of the application environment, IBM’s AMS experts stabilized the company’s systems, reduced downtime, and dramatically increased system reliability – all within the first year of the contract.