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IBM - Sales Turnaround of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service

Company: IBM, Armonk, NY
Company Description: IBM is a values-based enterprise of individuals who create & apply technology to make the world work better. Today, more than 377,000 IBM employees around the world invent and integrate hardware, software and services to help forward-thinking enterprises, institutions and people succeed on a smarter planet.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Achievement Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Sales Turnaround of the Year

Nomination Title: Achieving Excellence in Distributed Software Product Introduction

Tell the story about how your organization has improved its sales performance since the beginning of July 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

We are Software Product Introduction team in IBM Software Delivery Services organization. We move IBM software from development through the supply chain processes of fulfilment and manufacturing. We populate the relevant IBM systems with reliable data and make the SW solutions available for sale.

We were searching for a viable web-based solution for distributed software parts creation. For many years, our multiple Lotus Notes databases had ruled. The databases were manually populated, which led toward human error. In this old system, the technology was out-dated; the capacity and scalability had limitations with their current designs. We needed a better system to support IBM Software business growth.

It's been said that necessity is the mother of invention—so, we asked ourselves, is there a single web-based platform solution that would have better functionality than these databases and tools? We investigated and concluded that the system of Software Delivery - Product Introduction (SDPI) could be used to enable our distributed software (DSW) products.

What could SDPI provide?

We did not just simply move our current processes from the old system to the new one. We capitalized on the web system’s functionality and reinvented our DSW product introduction processes and simplified them as much as possible.

Now, the new solution that we put in place can do the following:

-Capture product structure and manufacturing data once and feed all downstream repositories, thus eliminating duplicate data entry and data flow between Notes databases. This results in much faster speed to deliver our DSW products
-Act as a state-of-the-art, web-based solution that is business rule driven for high reliability and lower future IT costs
-Support IBM software business growth and acquisitions

SDPI deployment for Distributed Software SaaS products

In April 2016, we set up a global project team with representatives from multiple areas. They employed Agile methodologies, and the requirements were deployed by phases and sprints.

We decided to deploy for software as a service (SaaS) products in the first phase to support high growth of the IBM Cloud and SaaS business. After months of designing, coding, testing, and tweaking, we were finally ready to move to production on March 6, 2017. On May 30, 2017, our first SDPI offering was completely launched; the new product offering was announced and made available for ordering for our IBM customers and business partners.

The Big Wins

We now have gained very positive feedback from the users and our brand teams:

Speed of execution - Utilizing the new system, we've gained 90% efficiency with the actual part number creation activity required to set up new products. We've moved from completion time being measured in two to three days to completion time being measured in one hour.

Data quality - Automation in the SDPI tool results in increased enablement data accuracy, by eliminating up to 12 manual entry points for naming alone.

Simplification - Refining existing roles and expanding knowledge of our users has removed the need for multiple hand-offs in our new system. All employees become capable to roll out products from start to finish.

Ultimate integration – It paves the road to further consolidate our various software product introduction processes and tools.

Client satisfaction - The new system supports IBM’s Cloud and SaaS business growth. Our ability to enable SaaS offerings grew by 50% in 2017 compared to 2016. Through this business win, we deliver products to market with greater speed than ever before. We're building a positive impact on client satisfaction by reducing product enablement turnaround times by 90%, resulting in IBM becoming more competitive in the market place.