On November 15, MDSL hosted more than 50 clients in London for our second Connections event of 2018. The event brought together attendees from all over the world that leverage MDSL software and services for technology expense and market data management to network with their peers, share best practices, and exchange ideas with the MDSL team for future product innovations.
The event kicked off with a 90-minute client roundtable, led by MDSL Chairman and Founder, Ben Mendoza, and quickly evolved into an interactive exchange focusing on three key themes: application integrations, vendor negotiations and influence, and other expenses that can be managed through the extensible platform.
The group routinely nodded their head in agreement when discussing multiple application integrations that their MDSL Technology Expense Management (TEM) solution could support and the potential value that would be received as a result. Integration with enterprise financial and HR systems are commonplace within the industry, but the ability to leverage APIs available and integrate with IT Service Management (ITSM) tools (i.e. ServiceNow or Remedy), mobile device management tools (i.e. AirWatch or MobileIron), travel management tools (i.e. Concur), and enterprise business intelligence tools (i.e Tableau or Microsoft Power BI) were of particular interest.
Clients thought that engaging different business units to partake in these integrations could prove difficult, but if championed by the right person could bring great benefit to the enterprise. The overarching feeling was that the more available integrations between these systems, the more opportunities exist for MDSL clients to automate repetitive tasks, eliminate human error, and create more visibility across the organization.
Another major theme that arose from the discussions was the power that comes from accurate and reliable data in a centralized location. There were multiple procurement officers in the room that indicated they rely heavily on the data that resides in their MDSL application when entering a renegotiation period with their vendors. This data allows them to generate vendor scorecards that are used as leverage in negotiations while utilizing historical usage statistics to forecast for future capacity.
Clients also lauded the extended negotiation services provided by MDSL subject matter experts to generate even more savings. One client remarked that MDSL was able to carry out a review of their Verizon MPLS contract and achieve nearly $2 million in savings. They are now looking to see where else they can augment their team with MDSL negotiation services for even more savings.
What Else Can TEM Do?
While the previous two topics were worth mentioning, the third topic really commanded the conversation in the roundtable and continued through the remaining presentations and networking sessions. MDSL clients are continually being asked within their organization to do more with less and they see the TEM as a way to facilitate that need. While the benefits from inventory tracking, expense auditing, cost allocation, and business intelligence had been realized in the telecom and mobility world, surely there were other areas of technology spend that could be managed? Cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) costs were some of the main drivers of discussion, but hardware lease costs also played a role in the conversation.
As MDSL employs an extensible architecture to manage inventory and process expenses from all recurring technology billing, ideas were exchanged on how to bring new spend categories into the application beyond these key areas and how doing so would have a positive effect on their businesses.
So what will be hot (or not) in 2019 for clients? Stay tuned and make sure you don't miss these exclusive user events.