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Executive Summary

When one of the world’s largest global IT companies got even bigger through a major acquisition, it was time to centralize and automate the full procure-to-pay process for its $100M+ communications services network, while paving the way for its transformation. Turning to Sakon, the client got the results it needed quickly through a rapid implementation marked by its professionalism and consultative nature, and today has more than 700 locations around the world on the platform.

Customer Corporate Overview

This Fortune 50 IT hardware, software, and systems leader powers the productivity and ambitions of individual consumers and the largest corporations alike across the globe

Industry: IT
Headquarters: U.S.
Revenue: $90B+
Employees: 150,000
Number of locations: 1,000+

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“Based on our research data and first-hand conversations with decision makers, a significant number of large enterprises are actively looking to switch TEM providers. Sakon’s proven ability to manage large-scale TEM and MMS initiatives coupled with its strong service-delivery capabilities and customer-satisfaction numbers will make Sakon a top choice for these enterprises.”
– Tim Lybrook, AOTMP


After completing the multi-billion-dollar acquisition of a complementary IT services provider, this Fortune 50 IT firm found itself in the uncomfortable position of trying to manage the communications networks – both wireline and wireless – of two large and successful legacy businesses using an overmatched, incumbent TEM and a handful of homegrown systems.

With circuits in nearly every country in the world and global network inventory costs topping $100 million annually, bringing disparate and inefficient management processes into the fold was not just a “nice to have” – it was mission critical.  So, too, was gaining visibility of that inventory so that it could be rationalized, optimized, and transformed.

The time was right to centralize the management of this sprawling global network and empower the employees who cared for it with a single agile platform.

The company turned to AOTMP and its Efficiency First® Framework for help, and after an exacting evaluation process selected Sakon as its platform and partner.

A Consultative Approach

 Having struggled with an ineffective TEM and the consequences of a global team having to work around it, the company knew what it needed Sakon to do: Provide a central repository for provisioning, inventory, and invoice processing with the power and accuracy to enable global reporting from a single location.

Sakon quickly got to work, but it didn’t race to activate software – it dug into the client’s business instead. This involved running a series of collaborative workshops not only with executives and management teams, but also with the people doing the work, ensuring the Sakon platform mapped to their processes and met their downstream needs.

“A lot of providers mistake the goal of TEM as ‘getting the system up and running.’ While that of course is important, it’s meaningless unless the system is meeting the client’s business objectives,” said John Venditti, Vice President, Implementation, at Sakon. “In order to gain the process efficiencies the client wants, it is essential to understand what the users will need to do in the system and all of the handoffs, gates, and triggers that accompany their procure-to-pay process, so the system can be designed for that end state.”

Rapid Inventory Build

 Armed with this understanding, Sakon began a comprehensive, three phase rollout of its platform marked by its rapid implementation, global reach, functional breadth, high performance, and, perhaps best of all, significant end-user satisfaction.

And it all began with inventory.

Because the prior TEM lacked strong inventory capabilities, the client’s teams had worked around it, using it when they had to, but also pulling data from a host of homegrown systems to manage their network, pay the invoices, and maintain the status quo. But no one really trusted the data. When it came right down to it, no one really knew all the inventory that comprised the network.

This presented two problems for the client. First, without inventory visibility, it had no way to ensure it was paying the right amount for wireline and wireless services at its more than 1,000 locations around the world – no less allocate these costs correctly across the business. Second, and more importantly, it was impossible for the company to upgrade its network effectively, imperiling its transformation from MPLS to SD-WAN.

After reviewing the situation with the client, Sakon started from scratch on an ambitious inventory build out. In just four months, Sakon brought the firm’s U.S. and Canada network communications services inventory – Phase I of the engagement – into scope, accounting for more than $7M in monthly recurring charges.

Streamlining Procure to Pay

In parallel to the Phase I inventory build, Sakon immersed itself in understanding the client’s procurement and invoice payment processes, adapting its platform to integrate seamlessly with the client’s business systems, including AP, and automating its processes as extensively as possible.

As a result, upon completion of Phase I, the client not only gained complete inventory visibility, but also transitioned to centralized provisioning, with all procurement occurring on the platform’s central portal. Not only did this streamline global procurement, it also kept the global inventory constantly refreshed with ongoing MACD activity.

Additionally, Sakon now automates much of the firm’s invoice processing. Today with Sakon all wireline and wireless invoices are processed for payment, approved in the portal, then, via system-generated AP feeds, paid by the client.

Upon completion of Phase I, Sakon immediately rolled out Phase II, bringing the efficiencies of centralized visibility, control and automation to the client’s locations across EMEA and India in just under five months. Phase III, has just recently kicked off.

Over the course of Phases I and II, over 260,000 inventory items have been built out, encompassing more than $120M in annual spend.

“The Sakon platform has brought so many benefits to our network management operations, including dollar savings, but it’s really the efficiency we’ve gained through automation, centralized visibility, and control that stands out,” said the IT firm. “Before Sakon, our network procure-to-pay process involved our teams having to remember the quirks of each individual system and the demands of the two legacy businesses. Now we manage an end-to-end process worth more than $100M annually centrally from one system – and it works really well.”

This assessment was recently underscored by one of the client’s communications carriers, which congratulated the company for its newly achieved stellar AR performance. With Sakon, the client’s AR surpassed 90% for the first time.

Next Up: Network Transformation

Transitioning from a legacy TEM and home-grown systems and practices to a highly automated, centrally managed platform has dramatically improved the procure-to-pay process, but it has also positioned the company to intelligently manage its network transformation process. Prior to Sakon, the company had lacked global inventory visibility. With that visibility now in place and a platform-based procurement process firmly in hand, the company can now take on the key task of migrating from MPLS to SD-WAN, a strategic driver behind its investment in TEM.

“Sakon has given us a new mastery over our global inventory, which is a key enabler of our network transformation initiative,” said the client. “Now we know what comprises each circuit at each location in our current network, and what we are paying to operate it. This provides us the living baseline from which we can map out the savings our network transformation will provide, arming our people to report, in detail and with accuracy, what the return on investment will be while effectively managing the day-to-day details of executing the transition.”

Inventory visibility provided by Sakon is not only providing the crucial roadmap for network transformation, it is the crucible upon which ongoing audits and carrier-rate analysis are conducted. After a recent account audit conducted by a skilled partner, Sakon leveraged its 20:20 view of inventory to identify an additional $1.2 million in savings opportunities, proof positive of the power of a single global platform.