To get its foot in the door with SMB prospects, Emergys needed agility and could not justify investing large amounts of time and money in developing POCs for prospects using only on-premise software.
Demos and POCs are now more easily offered through cloud-based environments. Emergys also offers on-premise and Hybrid Cloud solutions.
EnablesEmergys to get its foot in the door with new customers, fueling growth
Empowersthe company to develop repeatable solutions and its own intellectual property
Savestime on POCs that demonstrate value to help close deals faster
Business Challenge Story
Looking for a new direction
Founded in 2003, the Mexican branch of digital transformation services provider Emergys began its life focusing on delivering IBM software solutions to the manufacturing and distribution sectors. Selling solutions in this way was hard work, and because each deployment was tailored to fit a particular client’s needs, most of the offerings were neither repeatable nor scalable.
Emergys had ambitious aspirations to expand into new industries and grow its client base. To achieve its dreams, the company realized that it needed to overhaul its business model.
Mr. Martin Banda, Managing Director of Emergys-Mexico, explains: “Our view is that, even if a new customer might only want a low-cost service at first, it’s still worth getting our foot in the door—because each new client account could lead to big business in the future, fueling our growth.
“In the past, every software sale required a lot of effort. Rather than just tell potential customers how great our solutions are, we want to really show them, so we would invest in bespoke POCs when selling software—even though this required a significant outlay of time and costs, without any guaranteed return.
“Using an on-premise model, even for a small POC we had to figure out which server would run the software, how much space it would need, and where to run the database. And after the sale, it was time-consuming to provide the delivery and post-implementation support, as we often needed to send technicians to a customer site to complete the work.
“To fuel our growth, we needed to be able to take advantage of new client opportunities in a more cost-effective manner. We realized that our traditional model just couldn’t scale to support our expansion successfully.”
When cloud computing hit the market, Emergys recognized a tremendous opportunity to significantly cut down on the cost and effort associated with traditional on-premise software. In addition, customer preferences were moving away from purchasing products outright towards a ‘pay as you go’ model, and the company wanted to stay ahead of this trend.
Embracing cloud technology
Emergys decided to transform its approach to focus on the opportunities presented by cloud, as part of a scalable business plan to help it achieve its growth ambitions.
“Cloud technology dramatically reduces the time and cost involved in software solutions deployments by eliminating the need to acquire and set up new infrastructure,” continues Mr. Banda. “We felt that IBM was the right partner to support us on our journey into the cloud, because IBM offerings include a range of cloud platforms to suit the needs of different clients, and because IBM offers phenomenal support in terms of business development and marketing too. Many organizations have a limited understanding of public, hybrid and private cloud, and we can educate them and use the various IBM® Cloud offerings to come up with a proposal that precisely meets their business needs.
“Our most important asset is our people. We are continuously investing on training and education, for our team members to become specialists on the new technologies being demanded by our clients. This is a big differentiator for us”.
Emergys has transformed several key aspects of its business to better fit with the cloud model.
“Our approach to sales is radically different than before,” adds Mr. Banda. “For example, before we needed to have detailed conversations with the IT team about how a new solution would fit within their existing environment. Now, we focus on understanding and serving business users.”
Emergys has also established a new innovation team that focuses on generating disruptive and repeatable solutions based on IBM technology that address the needs of clients spanning a broad range of industries. Emergys has adopted the Design Thinking methodology for the innovation processes. That doesn’t just open doors for Emergys to win more business and grow its client list, it also enables the company to generate its own intellectual property.
In harmony with its business transformation, Emergys decided to adapt its marketing to better suit the new ways in which clients look for solutions and partners and make purchasing decisions.
Mr. Bruno Parra, Marketing Manager at Emergys-Mexico, adds: “Over the last few years, we have revolutionized our marketing efforts to focus more closely on digital marketing and social media, helping us reach prospective clients in entirely new ways.”
In addition, Emergys has begun offering IBM Global Financing to its clients to help even more companies take advantage of leading-edge IBM solutions.
Mr. Banda elaborates that: “IBM Global Financing has helped us to close many deals, particularly for customers who want to lease rather than buy products, or who want to buy but don’t have budget for a certain calendar year. IBM Global Financing is particularly helpful for smaller organizations who want to concentrate their investments on driving innovation.”
The new approach has proved a hit with clients, as Mr. Banda describes in the case of one leading manufacturer.
“This client was running almost 60 different business applications, resulting in a lack of prompt and accurate information as data moved between different systems,” he explains. “We worked together with the client’s team to re-design and simplify their landscape, reducing the number of applications down from 66 to 30 in under a year, using IBM Cloud integration software solutions such as IBM App Connect.
“As part of the benefits, this allowed our client to improve their claims process for non-conforming items from 50 percent to 95 percent. Also, with IBM BPM we improved the visibility and traceability of business process execution and performance, and also helped on a double-digit reduction on changes to their ERP system, by implementing business rules at the IBM BPM layer.
“Also, by using IBM Integration Bus we helped to achieve a much better integration between the different business applications such as the scanning devices system, and the deliveries processing application, giving the company real-time information on deliveries so that it could report more accurately to its customers. In parallel, we introduced IBM Blueworks Live™ to streamline business process discovery, modeling and documentation, such as for procurement—all of which empowered better, faster decision-making.
“We are also working with the client in another project, to connect an automated warehouse picking system, with their warehouse management system using IBM Integration Bus, driving significant efficiencies in the picking and delivery process cycle time, and this improves their customer service. In 2018, we will help them deploy a new online B2B store built on IBM WebSphere® Portal and IBM WebSphere Commerce. The client is a huge fan of IBM solutions and in looking forward to continue to gain more speed and flexibility afforded by the cloud model.”
As well as moving towards cloud technology offerings for its clients, Emergys has migrated its own internal IT systems to the cloud to support its expansion, including customer relationship management (CRM), human resources (HR), and email applications.
“We have implemented a cloud-based knowledge management tool containing documentation for past projects, training materials, and current project plans, giving users centralized access to all the resources they need,” adds Mr. Banda. “In addition, we have harnessed cloud-based instant messaging and online meeting tools, making communication easier and more efficient.
“These enhanced methods of communication have not only sparked closer collaboration between different users at Emergys Mexico; it has also sparked greater synergy between the different offices globally. For example, we share experiences, support, and opportunities between locations—pooling our knowledge and resources helps our business grow at an international level.”
Reaching expansion goals
By embracing cloud technology, Emergys can take advantage of opportunities with new clients in a time- and cost-effective way, helping the business reach its expansion goals.
Mr. Banda explains that: “The effort of making a sale or providing a small offering is much lower with cloud solutions compared to on-premise deployments. For us, that means that if a prospect only wants a small subscription for a solution such as IBM Blueworks Live, we can now provide that quickly and cost-effectively—getting our foot in the door with new customers in a way that’s viable for our business. We can afford to take more chances as we pursue our growth ambitions.
“Also, with our new repeatable solutions based on IBM technology, we can rapidly develop offerings to serve a much broader range of industries and customers in different geographies. We are reaching beyond our traditional roots in manufacturing and distribution to serve clients in retail, financial services, automotive, professional services, healthcare and education providers.”
As part of the disruptive business transformation solutions being adopted by leading clients, Emergys’ innovation team has started to explore opportunities presented by new technologies such as IBM Watson® cognitive solutions, Internet of Things, and Blockchain.
Mr. Banda concludes: “Embracing cloud technology in partnership with IBM has enabled us to seize new opportunities and scale up successfully, helping us achieve our expansion goals—while also giving our customers the flexible solutions they want.
“IBM continues to provide outstanding support as we evolve and grow our business. For example, IBM runs events to which we invite our customers, helping to educate them about new technologies hitting the market and inspire them to try out new ideas. When we need to prepare a quote for a customer hoping to use an IBM software solution, we always receive a prompt response from the IBM team in terms of sizing and fees. And IBM helps us with our demand generation, alerting us when they find relevant leads to add to our pipeline.
“We have come a long way already in the last few years, and with IBM at our side, we feel confident that we can achieve our dreams.”
Since 1998, Emergys has been helping companies align their business strategies and objectives with the right mix of technology, people, and processes. The digital transformation services provider offers business solutions powered by IBM and SAP software, addressing customer needs around enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chains, manufacturing, business intelligence and analytics, integration, mobility, and Platform as a Service. Emergys is headquartered in the United States with offices in Mexico, Canada and India.
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Take the Next Step
To learn more about IBM Cloud, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/cloud
Additionally, IBM Global Financing provides numerous payment options to help you acquire the technology you need to grow your business. We provide full lifecycle management of IT products and services, from acquisition to disposition. For more information, visit: ibm.com/financing