IT Europa attended last week’s BMC Connect conference in London and heard some useful customer and partner insights from those doing business with the big data services vendor.
We have already reported on how BMC is going about engaging with the developer community in how to deliver the AI services that partners and customers want.
A couple of customer presentations provided further insight into how partners can take advantage of new technology opportunities.
First, Steve Rempel, SVP and international CIO for the Wallgreens Boots Alliance, told hundreds of delegates how the international pharmacy looked to get more out of the channel.
The Alliance operates across 16 countries. Rempel said Wallgreens Boots was moving to change the Boots.com site, roll-out a new SAP business software system, and replace and improve its warehousing/logistics technology.
On technology in general, Rempel said: “Look at RFID [radio frequency identification] all those years ago, everything was going to have a chip in it. It never took off the way everyone said it would.
“You can get skewed and caught up in technology, one size does not fit all. We don’t want to get caught up in AI, it has to be tailored and targeted.”
He said: “At Boots you could come across a printer in a pharmacy that had been down for days, which is not good, and a year ago, on the previous Black Friday, we discovered there was an abandoned call rate of people hanging up on the call helpdesk of 20%.”
Using improved systems, said Rempel, there was less chance of protracted printer downtime, and that the abandoned call rate for the Black Friday just ended was now only 0.4%.
On the improved call rates, he said: “We never opened a new call centre, or hired more agents, we instead brought in more data and integrated our systems with those of our partners to improve our helplines.
“We knew what to do, but didn’t previously know how to do it. We didn’t need a lot of consultancy. We realised we needed to measure and plan things better to improve matters.”
These and other improvements were preceded by a relaunched partnership management system at Boots. The company used to have a global technology contract with BMC and a number of other vendors. “We decided we didn’t want a global contract, and wanted contracts specific to particular business units instead.
“We invited 15 partners to Nottingham [Boots’ East Midlands headquarters] to explain what we wanted - with candour - we had to share more with them than we were doing before to make sure it worked,” said Rempel.
“You’re trying to find the difference between what you need and what you want - I may want water in a crystal goblet, but I only really need tap water.
“I tell my team not to do technology for the sake of it, and measure it before deploying it.”
Another partner use case study to follow from BMC Connect...