About Micro Strategies
For 35 years, Micro Strategies has been transforming the business world through innovative and advanced technical solutions. Micro Strategies has distinguished itself as one of the most innovative technology solution providers and a strategic business partner for premier technology vendors. As an industry leader, Micro Strategies is at the forefront of architecting and implementing quality technology solutions with a commitment to responsive, client-first service and customer satisfaction.
As an industry leader, Micro Strategies is at the forefront of architecting and implementing quality technology solutions with a commitment to responsive, client-first service and customer satisfaction. Because of this commitment to it’s clients, a partnership with MMI made good business sense. Leveraging MMI’s services and technology, Micro Strategies was able to deliver added value to their downline while shaping a strategic opportunity at a leading financial publisher.
MMI’s ONEview asset and contract management and renewal automation technology helped Micro Strategies be more responsive to their existing customers asset and contract management needs while also helping them to secure new business opportunities. MMI’s IBM data “SCRUB” program provided the tools necessary to streamline contract management and renewal processes and increase internal productivity and efficiency.
Exposed IT assets. They’re a common problem, according to Nicole Kopich, Client Solutions Manager at Micro Strategies, a leading technology solution provider and reseller.
While most companies know they have IT hardware and software that aren’t covered by warranties and maintenance contracts, they’re not aware of the scope of the problem. According to Kopich, as much as 25% to 30% of all IT inventory is left exposed at major companies.
Using maintenance contracts to strengthen client relationships
But that problem has created a strategic opportunity for Micro Strategies, which was seeking to grow its maintenance business and open the door to future IT sales with a premier client, a leading financial publisher.
Micro Strategies had been working with MMI to automate its contract renewal processes. The company had implemented MMI’s ONEview portal, which provides users with access to enterprise asset data online. Previously, Micro Strategies had been using calendar entries and spreadsheets to track renewals. While the company hadn’t missed many renewal opportunities, Kopich knew that manual IT asset management processes were taking her team too much time and were prone to error.
Automating IT asset management processes
Spreadsheets are only as good as the data that is in it. If you enter a renewal date incorrectly and it’s off by a month, you won’t know if a contract has lapsed. In addition, there are no notifications. You have to track everything manually.
Although the company had an accounting system with maintenance renewal tracking functionality, Micro Strategies knew they needed more. They also wanted to offer their customers a SaaS solution they could access and use themselves to track and manage their own IT assets.
We were getting bigger and taking on larger customers. We needed an IT asset management solution that would scale with the business. We also wanted to position ourselves as a strategic business partner to our clients by providing them with a value-added offering above and beyond our services.
While working together, MMI staff alerted Kopich and her team to a software amnesty program IBM was offering. IBM had been renewing its customers’ hardware contracts but not the software linked to it. To capture these renewals, IBM was offering its clients and business partners a time-limited opportunity to renew all of their software licenses without having to pay the after-license fee IBM charges after coverage expires.
Using software renewals to shape a strategic opportunity
Micro Strategies knew that the amnesty program would help one of its major customers, a leading financial publisher, bring its software current – opening the door to an expanded relationship. And Kopich knew just who to call.
In addition to its ONEview Asset and Contract Management Software, MMI offered an IBM equipment and contract-related data cleansing service specific for IBM business partners. With this program, and with the end-customers permission in hand, MMI would cleanse and segment the IBM Business Partners customer data to reveal potential opportunity within the account, including opportunities to cover exposed equipment and / or expired licenses.
Leveraging ONEview to optimize business decisions
After resellers request and secure their clients’ current and historical IBM contract data, MMI then uses that information to develop a detailed opportunity report for the Partner. Resellers, like Micro Strategies, can use that information to make strategic recommendations to their clients. The report helps Resellers shape – and win — major maintenance contract opportunities, while also offering the ONEview portal to their clients as an additional service with the deal.
Using a SaaS portal like ONEview provides actionable intelligence, allowing business decision makers to allocate their IT budgets more effectively, increase IT asset performance and productivity, and streamline complex processes. It also enables staff to track assets across offices, geographies, and manufacturers, schedule routine maintenance, maximize use of their warranties, and streamline adds, moves, and deletes.
Revealing exposed software at a leading financial publisher
Micro Strategies and MMI provided a demo of ONEview’s capabilities to the financial publisher, who then agreed to provide its IBM purchase and contract data for analysis. MMI performed its analysis of the customer’s IBM data and was able to uncover 168 software assets (worth $246,000) that weren’t covered by license renewals. “Our client didn’t realize they had exposed assets,” says Kopich. “They were surprised and didn’t understand why the software hadn’t been covered.”
“MMI’s IBM data cleansing program made us look great. Our client saw that we weren’t just a reseller pushing hardware and software and saying ‘Here’s your deal. See you in two years.’ They saw that we cared about their IT inventory as they do,” said Kopich.
Making sound repair vs. buy decisions for IT assets
As a result of this engagement with MMI, Micro Strategies was able to put a strategic deal on the books after being given the opportunity to renew the financial publisher’s hardware, software, and maintenance. The yearly deal encompassed 119 assets with a contract size of $290,000.
Our client uses the ONEview portal regularly. We set up custom fields so that they could name their IT assets the way they wanted to and gain a better control over their equipment. We continue to maintain and update that information for them.”
Kopich works closely with an IT asset manager at the financial publisher to move, repair, and retire equipment. “They can see the age of a machine and when it was installed. If it’s old, they can make an educated repair vs. buy decision. They might decide to purchase a newer machine for a price that would cost less than maintaining the old machine.”
The ONEview portal gives our client visibility into – and control over — their IT budgeting and spend.
Kopich states that the ONEview IT asset management portal gives Micro Strategies an added edge when it is trying to book maintenance business. “We regularly demo ONEview and show our prospects and customers how they can track their contracts and manipulate the data,” she says. “They have seen portals, but nothing with the level of functionality that MMI provides.” Some clients manage their assets themselves, while others delegate key tasks to Kopich and her team.
Streamlining reseller contract renewal processes
Kopich manages a team of six employees who use ONEview for contract renewals. Three import data into the portal and then maintain it, while one staff member reviews the team’s work, ensuring its accuracy and consistency. Both Micro Strategies’ sales staff and client services team use the ONEview portal to review notifications and automate contract renewals.
Gaining an extra edge to close the deal
Micro Strategies continues to use MMI’s IBM Enterprise Asset and Contract Data Analysis and Renewal Review Program to open doors for new maintenance contracts and provide existing customers with a valuable service.
“We show our clients various things: what’s under warranty, what’s under contract but set to expire in 30 to 60 days, machines that are due for maintenance, and everything that is exposed. Customers are generally very impressed,” Kopich says.
ONEview streamlines contact renewals because all of the data is in one spot. We grab the information, quote what we need, and send it to sales managers for review. They can then immediately send it out to their clients. It is a lot easier and faster than finding out something is due for renewal, asking for a quote, and sending it to the client. It eliminates a couple of steps and increases our pricing consistency.
Micro Strategies has used MMI’s IBM Enterprise Asset and Contract Data Analysis and Review Program to close five major new deals and demonstrate value to the 10 to 15 customers it has large maintenance contracts with. “Our clients value the reporting received from this program and ask for it on a regular basis. Many use it to compare their data with our data, so they can identify any errors. They also know that having accurate, current IT asset information is critical to making better decisions and managing their portfolio more effectively.”
Kopich concludes: “We value our relationship with MMI. They are always there to support us when we need technical support, and their expertise with IBM is a huge value-add. Our relationship is only going to get bigger and better.”
ONEview has helped Micro Strategies be more responsive to customer asset and contract management needs while also helping to streamline contract renewal processes and increase internal productivity and efficiency.
Micro Strategies client signed a yearly hardware, software, and maintenance deal worth $290,000 that encompasses 119 IT assets.
Micro Strategies uses MMI’s IBM data cleansing and analytics and reporting services to provide added value to more than 15 of their large enterprise customers.
MMI’s technology and services have assisted Micro Strategies in booking five new major contracts.
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