Key Stakeholders: CIO, CFO, Controllers, Comptrollers, Accounting Directors and Managers, IT Finance Directors and Managers, IT Expense Management Directors and Managers, Telecom Expense Management Directors and Managers, Enterprise Mobility Management Directors and Managers, Digital Transformation Managers, Internet of Things Directors and Managers
On May 21st and 22nd, Amalgam Insights attended and presented at Tangoe LIVE 2018, the global user conference for Tangoe. Tangoe is the largest technology expense management vendor with over $38 billion in technology spend under management.
Tangoe is in an interesting liminal position as it has achieved market dominance in its core area of telecom expense management where Amalgam estimates that Tangoe manages as much technology spend as its five largest competitors combined (Cass, Calero, Cimpl, MDSL, and Sakon). However, at the same time, Tangoe is being asked by its 1200+ clients how to better manage a wide variety of spend categories, including Software-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, IoT, managed print, contingent labor, and outsourced contact centers. Because Tangoe is in this middle space, Amalgam finds Tangoe to be an interesting vendor. In addition, Tangoe’s average client is a 10,000 employee company with roughly $2 billion in revenue, placing Tangoe’s focus squarely on the large, global enterprise.
In this context, Amalgam analyzed both Tangoe’s themes and presentations in this context. First, Tangoe LIVE started with a theme of “Work Smarter” with the goal of helping clients to better understand changes in telecom, mobility, cloud, IoT, and other key IT areas.
Tangoe Themes and Keynotes
CEO Bob Irwin kicked off the keynotes by describing Tangoe’s customer base as 1/3rd fixed telephony, 1/3rd mobile-focused, and 1/3rd combined fixed and mobile telecom. This starting point shows Tangoe’s potential in growing simply by focusing on existing clients. In theory, Tangoe could double its revenue and spend under management without adding another client based purely on this point alone. This fact alone makes Tangoe difficult to measure, as much of its potential growth is based on execution rather than the market penetration that most of Tangoe’s competitors are trying to achieve. Irwin also brought up three key disruptive trends of Globalization, Uberization (real-time and localized shared services), and Digital Transformation. On the last point, Irwin noted that 65% of Tangoe customers were currently going through some level of Digital Transformation.
Next, Chief Product Officer Ivan Latanision took the stage. Latanision is relatively new to Tangoe with prior experience with clinical development, quality management, e-commerce, and financial services which should prove useful in supporting Tangoe’s product portfolio and the challenges of enterprise governance. In his keynote, Latanision introduced the roadmap to move Tangoe clients to one of three platforms: Rivermine, Asentinel, or the new Atlas platform being developed by Tangoe. This initial migration will be based on whether the client is looking for deeply configurable workflows, process automation, or net-new deployments with a focus on broad IT management, respectively. Based on the rough timeline provided, Amalgam expects that this three-platform strategy will be used for the next 18-24 months. Then, starting sometime in 2020, Amalgam expects that Tangoe will converge customers to the new Atlas platform.
SVP of Product Mark Ledbetter followed up with a series of demos to show the new Tangoe Atlas platform. These demos were run by product managers Amy Ramsden, Cynthia Flynn, and Chris Molnar and demonstrated how Atlas would work from a user interface, asset and service template, and cloud perspective. Amalgam’s initial perspective was that this platform represented a significant upgrade over Tangoe’s CMP platform and was on par with similar efforts that Amalgam has seen from a front-end perspective.
Product Management guru Michele Wheeler also came out to thank the initial customers who have been testing out Atlas in a production environment. Amalgam believes this is an important step forward for Tangoe in that it shows that Atlas is a workable environment and has a legitimate future as a platform going forward. The roadmap for Tangoe customers has been somewhat of a mystery in the past only because there was a wide variety of platforms to integrate and aggregate from the M&A activity that Tangoe had previously participated in. Chief of Operations, Tom Flynn completed the operational presentation by providing updates on Tangoe’s service delivery and upgrades. Flynn had previously acted as Tangoe’s Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, which makes this shift in responsibility interesting as Flynn now gets to focus on service delivery and process management rather than the governance, risk management, and compliance issues where Flynn previously was guiding Tangoe.
Thought Leadership Keynotes at Tangoe LIVE
Tangoe also featured two celebrity keynotes focused on the importance of innovation and preparing for the future. Amalgam believes these keynotes were well-suited for the fundamental challenge that much of the audience faced in figuring out how to expand their responsibilities beyond the traditional view of supporting network, telecom, and mobility spend to the larger world of holistic enterprise technology spend. Innovation expert Stephen Shapiro provided the audience with a focus on how to thinking outside of the boundaries that we lock ourselves into by looking at other departments, industries, and categories for new solutions. Business advisor and industry analyst Maribel Lopez followed up on this theme the next day by framing our current challenge of technology as both the Best of Times and the Worst of Time in determining how technology can effectively empower workers. By providing a starting point for achieving the goal of digital mastery, Lopez challenged the audience to take on the challenge of controlling technology and maximizing its value rather than becoming overwhelmed by the variety, scale, and scope of technology.
Amalgam’s Role at Tangoe LIVE
Amalgam Insights also provided two presentations at Tangoe LIVE: “Budgeting and Forecast for Technology Trends” and “The Convergence of Usage Management and IoT,” which was co-presented with Tangoe’s Craig Riegelhaupt.
In the Budgeting and Forecast presentation, Amalgam shared key trends that will affect telecom and mobility budgeting over the rest of 2018 and 2019 including:
• USTelecom’s Petition for Forbearance to the FCC, which would allow large carriers to immediately raise the resale rate of circuits by 15% and potentially allow them to stop reselling circuits to smaller carriers altogether
• Universal Service Fee variances and the potential to avoid these costs by changing carriers or procure circuits more effectively
• The 2 GB limit for rate plans and how this will affect rate plan optimization
• The T-Mobile/Sprint Merger and its potential effects on enterprise telephony
• The wild cards of cloud and IoT as expense categories
• Why IoT Management is the ultimate Millennial Reality Check
Amalgam also teamed up with Tangoe to dig more deeply into the Internet of Things and why IoT will be a key driver for transforming mobility management over the next five years. By providing representative use cases, connectivity options, and key milestone metrics, this presentation provided Tangoe end users with an introductory guide to how their mobility management efforts needed to change to support IoT.
Tangoe’s Center of Excellence and Amalgam Insights’ Role
At Tangoe LIVE, Tangoe also announced the launch of the Tangoe Center of Excellence, which will provide training courses in topics including inventory management, expense management, usage management, soft skills, & billing disputes with a focus on providing guidance from industry experts.
As a part of this launch, Tangoe announced that Amalgam Insights is a part of Tangoe’s COE Advisory Board. In this role, we look forward to helping Tangoe educate its customer base on the key market trends associated with managing digital transformation and creating an effective “manager of managers” capability to effectively support the quickly-expanding world of enterprise technology. These classes will start in the Fall of 2018 and Amalgam is excited to support this effort to teach best practices to enterprise IT organizations.
Tangoe LIVE lived up to its billing as the largest Telecom and Technology Expense Management user show. But even more importantly, Tangoe was able to show its Atlas platform and provide a framework for users that are being pushed to support change, transformation, and new spend categories. Amalgam believes that the greatest challenge over rest of this decade for TEM managers is how they will support the emerging trends of cloud, IoT, outsourcing, and managed services as all of these spend categories require management and optimization. In this show, Tangoe LIVE made its case that Tangoe intends to be a platform solution to support this future of IT management and support its customers across invoice, expense, service order, and usage management.
Although Tangoe’s official theme for this show was “Work Smarter,” Amalgam believes that the true theme for this show based on keynotes, roadmap, sessions, and end user questions was “Prepare for Change” with the tacit assumption of doing this with Tangoe. In facing this question head on and providing clear guidance and advisory, Tangoe made a compelling case for managing the future of IT at Tangoe LIVE.