Delivering the best of IBM
Chip Schneider, partner in IBM Global Business Services (GBS), worked alongside T-Mobile to bring about what he calls a “cognitive process transformation” with data analytics, artificial intelligence and cognitive cloud.
IBM was chosen by T-Mobile as their strategic partner to deliver the programs and projects to propel T-Mobile forward with back-office functions like financing in supply chain.
“That’s a broad statement but it’s a pretty broad goal,” says Schneider. “T-Mobile have been really challenging us to bring the best of IBM to them, and especially for our guidance in supply chain transformation.”
IBM has been a partner with Sprint for a number of years so when T-Mobile and Sprint merged last year, it was an opportunity for IBM to showcase their expertise.
“We operate as an open book with our clients and especially key clients like T-Mobile,” says Schneider. “We share perspectives from our knowledge and experience in the telco and media industries worldwide.”
Schneider is enthused when discussing the working relationship between IBM and T-Mobile, saying there is “always an air of excitement” and “they’re so willing to listen”.
“T-Mobile asked us to make the work we do for them ‘palatable and meaningful’,” says Schneider. “That means bringing industry leadership, functional leadership in finance, supply chain customer management, and the technical aspects of hybrid cloud, cognitive and machine learning, data intelligent workflows, and blockchain. We had to make sure it's not just us talking to them, but us working together with them.”
Of course, the benefits of a close, collaborative relationship like this work for both parties, especially when digital transformation is accelerated by a pandemic.
“That changed everything,” adds Glenn Finch, Global Leader Big Data & Analytics at IBM. “2020 was a matter of survival for most companies with a focus on business continuity and cost reduction. So you saw this radical growth in back office transformation, in front office transformation, and then this this unprecedented growth in data. We are a hybrid cloud and AI company. That's exactly what the market wants right now.”
Finch explains how companies were faced with a critical cloud decision and turned to IBM as a trusted, reliable partner.
“When clients were having to bet their careers, they bet on us,” says Finch. “Our AI and hybrid cloud resonates so perfectly in a market like this.
“When we go into a process and we drive a bunch of AI into it, we're shrinking cycle time by 80 to 90%, we’re cutting costs by 50 to 60%, and NPS scores are going up by 10 to 20 points. Sometimes clients think that can’t be right as it sounds too good to be true.”
Schneider emphasises the importance T-Mobile placed on not only transforming the technology but also empowering individuals.
“T-Mobile are hyper focused on ensuring that not only their customers feel the human connection, but also employees,” says Schneider. “And so our job is to take the data – internal and external – and present it back to them and say, ‘Hey, here's what I found’. It's really like building a colleague for them to help drive their strategic decisions on their supply chain.”
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”