Sodexo conquers asset management challenges with IBM SaaS solution

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The decision to move to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model is often driven by a number of different goals, including reducing fixed costs, meeting client demand for data localization, putting a scalable solution in place, developing a licensing structure that matches usage patterns and gaining the ability to deploy new functionalities rapidly.

Business leaders at Sodexo, a French food services and facilities management company headquartered in Paris, had those goals in mind. With 75 million customers and 425,000 employees daily across 80 countries on five continents, the volume of services required to maintain Sodexo’s operations is massive.

To put this into context, within one building, the company’s services can range from the basement to the front desk/reception area to groundskeeping to employee child care to the cafeteria. The services go all the way up through the floors of the building, including cleaning and maintenance services.

Asset management Sodexo


Range of asset and facilities management services provided by Sodexo

Simpler, more cost-efficient asset management

With 24,000 buildings to manage and an incredible disparity in client facilities — offices, hospitals, research centers, schools, factories, and so on — it had become a cumbersome task to manage everything. There were more than 1.2 million assets, 7,000 technical users, and 100,000 self-service portals for clients to request services. These services require an extensive asset management solution to improve visibility into operations to help manage costs and resources.

With its current infrastructure solution hosted in North America, Sodexo could not meet increasing client needs for data localization requirements, in particular from clients in the European Union (EU) facing new standards presented in the European Legal Data Framework.

The solution the company was using at the time was incurring large fixed costs with limited flexibility or agility. Managing growth required scalability. Sodexo wanted to move to a “concurrent licensing” usage pattern as its current “named user” license was proving to be an ineffective use of resources.

Ultimately, the company wanted to maintain the integrity of the core solution while solving for regional data localization, optimizing the licensing structure and cutting costs.

When Sodexo’s leaders identified these critical pain points, they determined that they could be addressed by moving to a SaaS environment.

Choosing IBM Maximo SaaS

With these challenges in mind, Sodexo worked with IBM to migrate 1.2 million assets to the cloud. Using the IBM Maximo SaaS Flex asset management solution, two production instances were implemented on IBM Cloud, one in the United States and one in the EU, with the opportunity for additional production instances anywhere in the world. Having instances in multiple IBM Cloud locations across the globe addressed clients’ data localization issues.

The organization was also able to take advantage of its low concurrency usage pattern (around 10 percent) with the SaaS Concurrent User licensing model, enabling the company to optimize its licensing structure based on its global workforce.

Reaping the benefits of SaaS

While SaaS migration will not be complete until early June, Sodexo has already begun reaping the benefits. As a result of using a SaaS environment for asset management, the facilities management company gained a level of agility and flexibility that was previously impossible to achieve. Sodexo has benefited from faster upgrades, rapid deployment of new functionalities, scalability and simplified governance.

“The [icing] on the cake,” according to Vincent Ribet, vice president of facilities management applications for Sodexo, was that “this shift to SaaS led to a 20 percent reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO)” and increased cost predictability across the company’s buildings.

Download the SaaS Buyer’s Guide to unlock the benefits of SaaS for asset and facilities management.

This article was originally published on the IBM Internet of Things blog.

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