3 Big 2019 Trends and 4 Strategic Tips for Managing the Transforming Cost of Technology

Amalgam Insights estimates that the total technology spend formally and centrally managed by enterprises with over $1 billion in revenue from telecom, network, mobility, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service will double from June of 2019 by the end of 2021 driven by the massive growth of cloud computing and the need to manage a variety of “shadow IT” costs that grow to the size that formal management is required.. By “formally and centrally managed,” Amalgam Insights assumes full visibility of inventory, contracts, billing, and service orders across all vendors with active usage and supplier optimization efforts.

In 2019, Amalgam Insights notes several key trends in the world of technology expense management that IT organizations should be aware of.

First, every IT expense management solution is increasingly focused on cloud-based expenses, either in terms of Software as a Service or Infrastructure as a Service. Established Software Asset Management (SAM) companies are working on their SaaS expense capabilities including Aspera, Flexera, ServiceNow, and Snow Software and a variety of standalone vendors including Alpin, Binadox, Cleanshelf, Intello, Torii, and Zylo are emerging. Amalgam Insights is planning a SmartList for November 2019 to focus on key vendors to manage SaaS across the SaaS expense, SAM, and Technology Expense markets.

On the IaaS side, every major global Technology Expense Management solution has launched IaaS management capabilities, also known as FinOps or Cloud FinOps, including Asignet, Calero, Cass Information Systems, Cimpl, Dimension Data, MDSL, Sakon, and Tangoe. In addition, this market has been an area of rapid acquisition over the past couple of years including Microsoft’s acquisition of Cloudyn, Apptio’s acquisition of Cloudability (which calls this practice “FinOps”), and VMware’s acquisition of CloudHealth Technologies. And there are still standalone players such as Cloudcheckr in this space as well. This crowded market seeking to manage the next $100 billion of public cloud spend represents an interesting set of choices for IT departments in choosing how to aggregate and manage IT spend.

(As an aside, Amalgam Insights finds the use of the term “FinOps” by Apptio and Cloudability to be an interesting way to coordinate multiple departments and provide guidance on how to manage cloud expenses. At the same time, FinOps seems to be recreating the wheel to some extent in rebuilding a set of practices and cross-departmental teams that already have been managing telecom expenses for a number of years. Amalgam Insights is quite interested in seeing how this duplication of effort within IT departments will sort itself either by the establishment of separate Cloud FinOps departments, integration of Cloud FinOps and “Telecom FinOps” a.k.a. Telecom Expense Management, or the integration of both cloud and telecom into a larger IT expense or finance role. This is an interesting transitional period for IT expense as more spend moves to subscription, usage, feature, user, department, and project-based spend and chargeback models. )

A third key trend is the move to Europe. European IT is being targeted as an area that has traditionally been informally managed or managed in geographic silos that prevent strong global management and alignment with strategic enterprise efforts. To solve this problem, there has been a variety of acquisitions and office launches across Europe as the likes of Calero, MDSL, Tangoe, Flexera, Snow Software, Cloudcheckr, ServiceNow, VMware, and others. Amalgam Insights notes that European IT management challenges have been poorly supported in the past by global vendors that have not adequately accounted for the differences in managing data, connectivity, and compliance in each European country and the relative lack of geographic footprint to support services. In light of this, Amalgam Insights has been tracking European IT management successes and provides guidance on this topic for end user, investor, and vendor advisory clients.

To prepare for this evolution in technology expense management, Amalgam Insights provides the following guidance for Chief Information Officers, Chief Procurement Officers, Chief Accounting Officers, and related IT procurement, finance, and expense managers to prepare for the second half of 2019 and beyond based on prior guidance and research.

$100K and 30% are key benchmarks for specialized IT spend categories. Once an IT spend management category exceeds $100,000 per month, organizations start having the potential to save at least one employee’s worth of payroll through optimization by pursuing the 30% savings that typically exist in a previously unmanaged environment that has not been formally managed or audited over the last five years. At this point, your company should start looking for a dedicated solution for expense management, whether it be manual support from an in-house employee with telecom experience, a software platform to support management, or managed services to support contract, invoice, inventory, and usage management. These rules of thumb are especially true in SaaS and IaaS management, which are currently rife with poor governance, duplicate spending, and unmonitored usage patterns associated with decentralized cloud computing purchases.

Enterprise buyers at Global 2000 companies should review their current strategy for IT spend categories with the goal of supporting all cloud, software, hardware, network, and mobility spend from a usage and subscription-based perspective. IT is moving to a subscription and usage-based paradigm that started by enterprise telecom and then evolved through the enterprise adoption of cloud computing. Firms currently considering new or replacement IT expense vendors, due diligence in understanding prospective vendors’ roadmap and experience for new technology categories is vital for futureproofing this investment. This is especially true in an “As-a-Service” world where all aspects of IT are increasingly being sourced and billed in a telecom-like function which shifts these vendor relationships from traditional asset-based approaches to subscription and relationship-based approaches. Look for depth in the following functional areas: inventory, invoice line-items, service orders, disputes, optimization, governance, and security.

Customer satisfaction, geographic expertise, vertical expertise, and depth of managed and professional services are key differentiators. Amalgam recommends that companies looking at TEM solutions focus not only on the technical aspects of invoice and inventory management, but on the alignment between the vendor’s expertise and the potential buyer’s geographic footprint and business model. This alignment is often more important than the extremely granular Request for Proposals that Amalgam has seen in this industry. In 2019, there have been a number of specific trends in this regard, such as the telecom expense management market’s push towards aggregating European spend among market leaders, focus on providing additional managed services such as security and managed mobility, and vertical-specific cost management focuses that also include specific asset management and IT management strategies. Customer retention and satisfaction are also key metrics. For mature solutions, it is not uncommon to see annual customer retention metrics above 95% and to see an year-over-year increase in wallet share as new cloud and app spend is brought into a solution.

Rather than ask hundreds of questions where there is little to no differentiation, such as how invoices are processed and whether a specific type of inventory can be stored within the solution, focus on how the vendor supports the usage and management of value-added technology. The goal of IT is not to restrict the use of helpful technologies, but to increase the use of productivity-driving and outcome-improving technologies and then to providing that optimal level of utilization in a cost-effective manner. Spend management vendors that can help identify technology associated with revenue growth or customer satisfaction provide a competitive edge in understanding the cost-basis of strategic IT. By taking these steps, companies can start to better understand how to manage IT spend more practically.

(Note: This piece is an excerpt from Amalgam Insights’ upcoming SmartList for Technology Expense Management Market Leaders scheduled to publish in August 2019. If you would like more information about this topic, if you are considering a net-new or replacement purchase for IT expense management, or are interested in the upcoming report, please feel free to contact us at info@Amalgaminsights.com)

Amalgam Insights: 2019 Shaping Up as “Turbulent” Year for Technology Budgets, With Cost Controls Taking Center Stage

Technology Expense Management, analyst firm says, can help companies adopt a “more careful approach…and a cost-efficient working environment.”

A new report from industry analysts Amalgam Insights warns that this year will represent what it calls a “change for companies that have managed digital transformation & technology investment in bull markets” of the previous several years. But it says several sectors within the technology expense management (TEM) environment remain posted for significant growth, with the telecommunications industry leading the way, with a projected 15-20 percent spending increase.

Amalgam Insights chief analyst Hyoun Park authored the new report, saying the enterprise mobile sector spend will be a key driver. He says spending in this area should increase by as much as 15 percent in 2019, driven by what he calls “the incessant demand for mobile data from apps, video, music, and other persistent and constantly updating workloads.”

He also predicts that Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google Cloud Platform will continue to rake in more revenue, with an estimated run rate of $30 billion this year; he projects that amount could easily hit $50 billion in 2020.

Other predictions from the new Amalgam Insights report:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) will be a $75 billion market by next year;
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) market will continue to be in flux, due to its complexity, with companies challenged to monetize the two billion non-cellular Internet of Things devices to be created for industrial, commercial, and enterprise; and
  • Most importantly, the technology expense market will double to more than two billion dollars over the coming year.

“Over half of enterprises do not have basic technology spend practices in place,” Park says. “The most frequent mistake these companies make is assuming that they’ve assigned a person to processing telecom invoices, so those people know how to manage and optimize telecom bills and contracts, which is usually not true.”

The full Amalgam Insights report is available for download at: https://amalgaminsights.com/product/analyst-insight-7-key-technology-expense-management-predictions-for-2019

Tangoe Acquires MOBI – Part III: Enterprise Considerations

Note: if you missed Part II of this blog series, catch up and read Part II: Why?

This is part of a four-blog series exploring Tangoe’s acquisition of MOBI.
Part I: Context for the Acquisition
Part II: Why?
Part III: Enterprise Considerations
Part IV: Market Considerations and Conclusion

 

Industries: Enterprise Mobility Management, Technology Expense Management

Key Stakeholders: CIO, CFO, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Mobility Officer, Mobility Directors and Managers, Procurement Directors and Managers, Accounting Directors and Managers

Why It Matters: Tangoe is the largest technology expense management vendor. By purchasing MOBI, Tangoe gains Managed Mobility expertise, a customer base with high customer satisfaction, and expertise in Robotic Process Automation to support enterprise mobility.

Top Takeaway: Tangoe continues to aggressively acquire market leaders both to increase market share and add Best-in-Breed capabilities, personnel, and technology to its technology management portfolio.

Tangoe Acquires MOBI

On December 5th, 2018, Tangoe announced the acquisition of MOBI, a leading managed mobility services organization based in Indianapolis, Indiana in the United States. With this acquisition, Tangoe increases its IT spend under management to over $40 billion, increasing its lead over other spend management vendors with multiple billions of dollars of enterprise technology under management including Flexera, Snow Software, Microsoft Azure Cost Management, CloudHealth by VMware, Calero, MDSL, Cass Information Systems, and Sakon.

Key Questions for customers to keep in mind that have not been answered as of publication:

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Tangoe Acquires MOBI – Part I: Context for the Acquisition

Industries: Enterprise Mobility Management, Technology Expense Management

Key Stakeholders: CIO, CFO, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Mobility Officer, Mobility Directors and Managers, Procurement Directors and Managers, Accounting Directors and Managers

Why It Matters: Tangoe is the largest technology expense management vendor. By purchasing MOBI, Tangoe gains Managed Mobility expertise, a customer base with high customer satisfaction, and expertise in Robotic Process Automation to support enterprise mobility.

Top Takeaway: Tangoe continues to aggressively acquire market leaders both to increase market share and add Best-in-Breed capabilities, personnel, and technology to its technology management portfolio.

Note: This is part of a four-blog series exploring Tangoe’s acquisition of MOBI.
Part I: Context for the Acquisition
Part II: Why?
Part III: Enterprise Considerations
Part IV: Market Considerations and Conclusion

On December 5th, 2018, Tangoe announced the acquisition of MOBI, a leading managed mobility services organization based in Indianapolis, Indiana in the United States. With this acquisition, Tangoe increases its IT spend under management to over $40 billion, increasing its lead over other spend management vendors with multiple billions of dollars of enterprise technology under management including Flexera, Snow Software, Microsoft Azure Cost Management, CloudHealth by VMware, Calero, MDSL, Cass Information Systems, and Sakon.

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Tangoe Acquires MOBI to Strategically Expand Enterprise Mobility Capabilities

On December 5th, 2018, Tangoe announced the acquisition of MOBI, a leading managed mobility services organization based in Indianapolis, Indiana in the United States. With this acquisition, Tangoe increases its IT spend under management to over $40 billion, increasing its lead over other spend management vendors with multiple billions of dollars of enterprise technology under management including Flexera, Snow Software, Microsoft Azure Cost Management, CloudHealth by VMware, Calero, MDSL, Cass Information Systems, and Sakon.

Key questions to consider for this acquisition include:

  • Why did Tangoe decide to buy MOBI at this time? For its customer base? Corporate culture? Technology?
  • How does this acquisition affect enterprises seeking toolsets to assist with the orchestration and accounting of digital transformation initiatives?
  • How will work be split and coordinated between Tangoe’s Austin logistics warehouse and MOBI’s Indianapolis-based facilities?
  • What will Tangoe do with MOBI’s Robotic Process Automation initiative of Mobots?
  • Will Tangoe keep MOBI’s staff or will there be a bunch of high-quality mobility and support staff available?
  • What happens to MOBI partners who may compete with Tangoe?
  • Will MOBI customers be moved to the Tangoe Matrix platform immediately?
  • Will Tangoe contribute to the burgeoning Indianapolis tech scene that is currently one of the hottest startup spots in the country?

To learn more about which of these questions can be answered and which of these questions require greater due diligence, please read my full analysis, which is available at: https://amalgaminsights.com/product/amalgam-insights-market-milestone-tangoe-acquires-mobi-to-enhance-mobility-management-capabilities

5 Stages of The Technology Expense Management Market (re: Calero Acquires Veropath)

In my recent Market Milestone, Calero Acquires Veropath to Bolster its Global Role in Technology Expense Management, I made a quick comment about Veropath as an “accretive acquisition target.” But then I realized that I hadn’t explained what that meant from an Amalgam perspective. From Amalgam’s perspective, the Technology Expense Market (aka Telecom Expense Management, although…

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Tangoe Makes Its Case as a Change Agent at Tangoe LIVE 2018

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…

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How does Zylo’s Series A Funding Round Affect the SaaS Optimization Market?

Note: This blog contains excerpts from an Amalgam Insights Market Milestone covering this funding round in greater detail. To get the full story, please download the report.

On January 23, 2018, Zylo, a SaaS (Software as a Service) Optimization platform based in Indianapolis, Indiana, announced a $9.3 million funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from Salesforce Ventures and the Slack Fund. In addition, previous investors High Alpha Capital, GGV, SV Angel, and Hyde Park Venture Partners also participated in this round. Zylo has previously been covered by Amalgam Insights in multiple reports and webinars as a market leader in the SaaS Optimization space and this funding round marks Zylo as an early leader in the battle to manage enterprise SaaS spend.

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GSG Rebrands as Sakon and Launches the Sakon Platform

GSG Sakon Market Milestone

Note: This blog contains excerpts from Amalgam’s Market Milestone document. For the full story, including additional context and recommendations for Global 2000 organizations, purchase the full report.

Key Stakeholders: CIO, CFO, IT Finance, Telecom Managers, Network Managers, Mobility Managers, Software Asset Managers.

Key Announcement

On January 17th, Sakon, formerly known as GSG, announced the launch of the Sakon platform, a Software as a Service suite of six applications to support the following areas: Mobility and Internet of Things Service Management, Network Services, Cloud Applications Management, Expense Management, Sourcing & Transformation Management, and Insights and Intelligence. This platform will be available as an annual subscription to support telecom, network, IoT, and SaaS management needs for enterprise IT organizations.

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Calero Flexes PE Muscle in Acquiring TEM Stalwart Comview

Calero Logo

On December 29th, 2017, Calero Software acquired Comview, an experienced telecom expense management and call accounting software and services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed. From Amalgam’s perspective, this acquisition is important in demonstrating the plans of Calero under its new ownership, Riverside Partners, and in establishing Comview’s role in the Technology Expense Management market. With this acquisition, all Comview personnel other than Founder John Perri are expected to move to Calero. Calero has committed to supporting Comview’s solution for the immediate future. Comview is expected to run as “a Calero company” with independent development and operations in the short term.

Overall, Amalgam is bullish on this acquisition as it combines the strengths of a veteran TEM provider, Comview, with strong customer service and an integrated platform with the scale and breadth of Calero’s capabilities.

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