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Max Chan, Vice President of IT of Avnet Technology Solutions in Asia Pacific (APAC)
"In the IT industry, IT services contract renewals can result in high margins for organisations which are able to efficiently track and capture them," said Max Chan, Vice President of IT of Avnet Technology Solutions in Asia Pacific (APAC).
To capture this key growth opportunity, Avnet developed uRenew to provide its APAC business division greater visibility into the IT services contracts across multiple technology manufacturers, he added.
The Avnet uRenew system translates orders from the company's enterprise resource planning (ERP), and load files from manufacturers into its operational data store. It also creates a structural database, which enables the sales team in APAC region to report and follow up on upcoming renewal opportunities. The information is then presented in a dashboard that can be accessed over the web or mobile devices.
The uRenew system also analyses deals to ensure the correct contacts are kept up-to-date, and automatically generates opportunities in Avnet's customer relationship management (CRM) system for upcoming renewals, as part of the streamlining of the end-to-end sales management processes.
The uRenew system won the best project for Growth Category of 2016 CIO Asia awards. The award recognised the project's effective planning, investment and deployment resources to meet Avnet's expansionary objectives.
CIO Asia spoke to Chan to learn more about the project.
Avnet uRenew integrates emerging technologies - such as cloud, data analytics, and mobility - into its backend CRM and ERP systems. Why is it important to incorporate these new technologies?
While our CRM and ERP systems continue to serve as the backbone for the IT landscape for our business, it was clear that to be effective, Avnet uRenew needed to be a digital platform that our frontline business leaders and sales teams would be comfortable using. To accomplish this, we leveraged next-generation technologies such as cloud and analytics to turn our data into relevant information that the business could use to achieve their desired outcomes. For example, in-memory data computing allowed us to handle a wide-range of renewal data from multiple technology manufacturers, while cloud and mobility allowed the team to access the information anywhere and at any time.
What were the skills needed to successfully implement these tools? Did you hire new talents for this project?
The skills required for this project were related to application and user experience (UX) development. UX is a new area that our in-house team started to venture into, and uRenew was one of the first initiatives which we considered using it. This is also the first time we adopted an agile development methodology where we had multiple iterations of releases.
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