Written by: Scott Forbes, EVP of Product Management
Breaking up does not have to be hard to do – that is when you’re referring to changing TEM vendors. In a past blog post, Moving to a New TEM Provider? Consider the Risks and Rewards, we reported that 47% of organizations will change providers over the course of their TEM program (Source: AOTMP). Some of the key reasons for changing vendors include: poor customer service, lack of reporting/analytics, low visibility into TEM processes, disconnected solutions and dated technology.
When considering a change, we often hear that a customer may be concerned that they’ll have to start from scratch with their data if they change vendors. Fortunately, their fears of losing all their historical data are unfounded. Pulling historical data over from your previous TEM vendor is completely possible, and in fact, it’s what best in class organizations are doing today.
What Does Historical Data Tell You?
Your historical data is very useful for giving you a baseline to compare current data against. Today’s analytic capabilities, such as Calero’s InSight Analytics, enables companies to leverage both historical data and current or near real-time data to better understand the trends and comparisons.
Which historical data do I keep, and which do I leave behind?
The most useful data relates back to financial data. Again, this helps with looking at trends over time, and allows direct comparison to year-over-year historicals. Looking to the graph above, you will notice the type of data sets that Calero will typically pull over (going back 12 months).
Having this information allows an organization to start off on the right foot, versus having to re-build information over a go-forward time period. Plus, with the data loaded into a data discovery and visualization solution like Calero InSight Analytics, you can very quickly leverage the historical data with an intuitive and visually stunning analytic sets.
You’ve heard of garbage in, garbage out right? Well that phrase is true when it comes to historical inventory for many organizations that Calero has on-boarded over time. Typically, it’s not recommended to pull over historical inventory data, because inventory with most (non-Calero) TEM vendors is often a billing inventory rather than a true service inventory. As such, it’s not a good representation of the services you are using, rather it is only the services where you are being billed. It can include services that should have been disconnected or it may not include critical services you need to make sure don’t get disconnected. We recommend building a service inventory so you can take advantage of an accurate view of your environment – which is highly valuable to you and your business.
That said, once you complete a service inventory build with a new vendor, you can migrate summary invoice information so you have history and trending information to compare and the ability to understand and manage your inventory at the level where it impacts your business.
What’s the net? Historical financial expense management data is an important part of any TEM transition. When speaking with alternative vendors, be sure to ask about their processes and their ability to serve up the historicals alongside your new data sets. Understanding what’s possible – and what’s not – will save you from headaches down the road.