Key Stakeholders: Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Finance and Accounts Payable Directors and Managers, Human Resources Officers, Procurement Directors, Telecom Directors and Managers, Mobility Directors and Managers, IT Architects, Vice President/Director/Manager of IT Operations, DevOps Managers, System Architects, Product Managers, IT Sourcing Directors and Managers, IT Procurement Directors and Managers
Why It Matters: Technology is a vital component of the business, but technology inventories and analytics are often updated too infrequently, inaccurately, and incompletely for the information to be relevant to real-time business decisions. MetaPort’s capability to map network elements and provide automated updates provides enterprises with greater visibility to the network, which will have downstream effects on the importance of network data for making business decisions.
Top Takeaway: With the acquisition of MetaPort, Calero-MDSL can provide its global customers with advantages in pursuing network transformation and consolidation, aligning network elements to business decisions, and accelerating IT’s ability to be a better partner to businesses.
On April 20, 2021, Technology Expense Management market leader Calero-MDSL, owned by Riverside Partners and Oak Hill Capital Partners, announced the acquisition of MetaPort, a telecom network mapping company. Andres Aguirre, founder and CEO of MetaPort will be joining Calero-MDSL through this acquisition. With this acquisition, Calero-MDSL customers will be better positioned to map their network environments, remove redundant or obsolete circuits, and prepare for network transformation projects.
Calero-MDSL is the current market leader in Technology Expense Management based on technology spend under management, with responsibility for over $14 billion in enterprise technology spend across telecom, network, mobility, software, cloud services, and other technology categories. Calero-MDSL also has a market data management product to support financial data subscriptions where Calero-MDSL is considered the market leader as well.
MetaPort was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida. MetaPort was founded with the assumption that IT departments could provide greater guidance to businesses if IT infrastructure data could be more transparent and accessible. With this focus, MetaPort has developed a tool that allows enterprises to quickly visualize a full inventory of their current network environment, view and track changes for network details as they are changed through automated updates, search this network information to find all relevant details, explore this data through drill-down and category-specific divisions of networks, and align all network data with its costs. This capability was already valuable to IT departments when MetaPort originally launched, but became even more valuable in the time of the COVID pandemic when the vast majority of technology workers were banished to their homes. As companies deal with the combination of new network investments made over the past year combined with employees’ incipient return to offices, the synchronization and coordination of network elements becomes even more critical to the delivery of technology and maintaining the backbone of connectivity necessary to support businesses in the digital era.
Network visibility is also a vital capability for the technology expense management world. One of the greatest tenets of technology expense management is that any effort to manage and cut costs is only as good as the data and metadata categorization and terminology used to define each piece of technology being managed. The network has long been both vitally important to understand and notoriously difficult to manage on an ongoing basis because of the relative ease of ordering network circuits to support branch offices, pet projects, or quickly emerging business needs associated with new products or services.
In this context, Calero-MDSL’s interest in MetaPort is clear. The ability to quickly gain a full enterprise inventory of network circuits is quite valuable for setting up cost-effective and performance-enhanced software-defined network environments, providing an enterprise environment that allows every employee and project to be sufficiently trunked with data, and to support an analytical view of the business based on the existing data backbone that defines organizational access to collaboration and information.
From an analytics perspective, the MetaPort acquisition is also important because the basis of good business intelligence, analytics, and machine learning is high-quality data that is well documented and updated in real-time. This level of data quality has often been missing in the technology expense management world, where inventories are often only updated when a change is provided on the invoice or when an audit of invoices and service orders is conducted.
Amalgam Insights hopes that this acquisition is part of a new trend in technology expense management that increasingly combines cost management with IT performance and business metrics. The long-term vision of technology expense management is one where technology as a fundamental core driver of business can be tracked from a financial perspective, not only to determine which costs can be reduced but also to understand which technology investments may need to be increased in order to improve business outputs and outcomes. Technology is not just a cost center in the digital era, but often a force multiplier and profit center when used correctly. As companies start to realize that a real-time, comprehensive, and business-mapped technology inventory is a strategic advantage, they will start to use this capability to forecast revenue, operational outputs, and future demand for increased or altered technology augmentation of business efforts.
Recommendations for the Technology Expense Management Community
Based on this acquisition, Amalgam Insights provides the following suggestions.
First, from a strategic perspective, Amalgam Insights urges all Technology Expense Management professionals to figure out how often their inventories are being updated and how complete these updates are in terms of updating cost centers, geographies, use cases, and other business-relevant information. It is not good enough to simply update this information once a year or upon request. Think of your inventories the same way that accountants look at their financial books as something to be monitored and verified on a monthly basis, if not more often. To do this means getting some help from technology built to discover and verify networks, device fleets, and access to cloud and software services. Find out how to accelerate inventory updates for the areas where you are responsible for expense management.
Second, Calero-MDSL customers should work with their Calero-MDSL account teams to get access to MetaPort as soon as possible. Getting automated updates to network hardware and services inventories is a key component to supporting a more connected business. This visibility is especially important for companies that are invested in the Internet of Things, edge computing, or distributed workers that use and share significant amounts of data. This is an area where customers should push Calero-MDSL both to make the capability available and to integrate with Calero-MDSL’s analytics, cost management, and inventory capabilities. Over time, this capability can also be mapped with network performance solutions and business performance maps to determine areas that may need more or less technology support over time.
Third, consider how to use technology inventories, tracked changes, and utilization to provide guidance to business environments. For instance, how does bandwidth support differ for sales-oriented locations compared to research-oriented locations? Are contact center locations ready to support a video-centric, data-centric, or augmented reality approach for high-touch service environments? Have specific areas required more frequent changes or updates because their performance is more variable or because they are having trouble forecasting their demand? Technology is part of the business and needs to be treated as such. Taking this approach is both an opportunity to make technology expense data more respected in the business and to be more involved in the strategic efforts of the business.
Overall, Amalgam Insights is bullish on this acquisition as it represents an opportunity for a major Technology Expense Management vendor to push the market forward in improving the quality, frequency, and variety of data being collected for network inventories. This change can potentially feed a variety of efforts to bring technology discussions and business imperatives closer together. As Calero-MDSL continues to integrate MetaPort into the core technology expense platform and starts to create products around MetaPort’s capabilities, Amalgam Insights expects that new opportunities will come up for technology expense that are more relevant to the CIO, CTO, and enterprise architect roles that are responsible for the strategic acquisition and deployment of technology.