Note: To support questions from enterprise buyers and private investors that are looking at Telecom Expense Management and the greater Communications Lifecycle Management world, Blue Hill is starting a monthly review of the key announcements made in this space for companies in this space including, but not limited to: Anatole, Asentinel, Avotus, Calero, Cass Information Systems (NASDAQ: CASS), Cimpl (formerly Etelesolv), Comview, EZwim, GSGTelco, IBM Global Services (NYSE: IBM), MDSL, mindWireless, MOBI, Mobichord, Mobile Solutions Services, MobilSense, MTS (NASDAQ: MTSL), NetPlus, Network Control, Tangoe (NASDAQ: TNGO), Telesoft, Valicom, VCom, Visage, Vodafone Global Enterprise (NASDAQ: VOD)
Communications Lifecycle Management news items that have gotten Blue Hill’s attention in October 2016 include announcements from Calero, Cass Information Systems, Tangoe, and vCom.
On October 27, Calero announced recent updates to its PINNACLE cloud-based CLM platform. Platform updates include InSight Analytics, aimed at providing increased visibility into tracking and managing IT services and costs; asset, service, usage, and expense management enhancements; and custom web services integration, including with ServiceNow. Calero also highlighted expanded support for a range of IT assets including mobile voice and hardware, cloud subscriptions, and software licenses.
Blue Hill notes that support for cloud and software licenses, as well as analytics, are capabilities that enterprises are increasingly seeking from a CLM provider. Calero’s continuing focus on analytics, asset management, and custom integrations reflect a perceptiveness to market demand toward incorporating greater IT assets and services under the management of a CLM provider.
Cass Information Systems
On October 21, Cass Information Systems announced that Joseph Rupp had been appointed to its board of directors. Rupp joins Cass from leadership positions at Olin Corporation, Quanex Building Products Corp., and Dot Foods Inc., and will continue serving on the Board at Olin.
Blue Hill believes that this appointment shows that Cass is continuing to focus on its core business of transportation and energy services, which is a good fit for Rupp’s background. Blue Hill notes that Cass’ telecom and expense management business will likely continue to remain a secondary market for Cass going forward.
On October 3, Tangoe announced that Mike Sheridan has joined the company as Chief Revenue Officer, and Eric Wansong has joined the company as Senior Vice President of Global Operations. Sheridan and Wansong are succeeding Michael Pray and Scott Snyder, respectively, both of whom are pursuing other opportunities. Both Sheridan and Wansong will report directly to Tangoe CEO, James Foy.
Blue Hill believes these executive changes represent a much-needed culture change at Tangoe after volatility in the company’s stock price, threats of delisting from NASDAQ, customer satisfaction concerns, and delays in launching its Matrix offering. Sheridan comes from an executive sales background, Wansong from a customer support and sales background at the executive level. Wansong held executive positions at VMware, which competes with Tangoe to some extent in Mobile Device Management (MDM). Hopefully, Sheridan and Wansong can bring these sales and customer support backgrounds to supporting a new and improved Tangoe with a higher degree of customer support and a clearer sales strategy for its Matrix product.
On October 13, vCom announced the launch of vManager 7.0, with updates to its cloud-based platform including new modules aimed at improving pricing, sourcing, and tracking of IT products and services. vManager 7.0 also includes a new Quote Manager tool to deliver greater visibility into IT costs. Quote Manager provides a comparison shopping experience for IT services that allows enterprises to compare costs, approve orders, and make on demand purchases for wireline, mobile, collaboration, and cloud technologies in real time.
Blue Hill believes Quote Manager is a strong differentiator for vCom in providing greater visibility into the IT purchasing process, and potentially reducing time spent sourcing IT assets. Whereas companies have traditionally taken a piecemeal and multi-faceted approach to making technology purchases, Quote Manager seeks to provide IT departments with a means of comparison shopping and thus a way to potentially reduce IT costs by bundling products and services.
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