The company implemented Cold Fusion Reactor software to graphically present statistical metrics from its online training platform, which delivers 10,000 classes a day and tracks 25,000 record-keeping tasks primarily for fire departments and law enforcement agencies. Salespeople can make a big impact with prospects by showing the information live from their smartphones, tablets or laptops. And, in the office, the dashboards are projected using a SMART Board interactive whiteboard. Handy said the real-time metrics offer employees visibility into company performance and create enthusiasm (and accountability) for achieving bonuses tied to sales goals.
After 14 years in business, Handy said he's learned that it's critical to make smart financial investments at the right time — before you need them. That's why he relies on solutions providers — perhaps a dozen — for advice. He's looking for subject matter expertise, honesty ("tell me how it is") and service (delivery and follow-up). "Tell me what I need, what's new, what works and what's coming," he said. "So, I don't have to be an expert."
With the help of technology adviser Voice Smart Networks, Target Solutions recently upgraded its phone system to UC with mobile integration to support sales and management executives on the road. One of its goals this year is to upgrade its storage area network.
Ron Guidry, Director of Operations in IT, Bally Technologies
As with Target Solutions, technology is the product and business enabler for Bally Technologies, a Las Vegas-based company that designs, manufactures, operates and distributes advanced gaming devices, systems and technology solutions worldwide.
As director of operations in IT, Ron Guidry oversees wireless and wireline contracts. He has four peers handling systems engineering, network engineering, desktop engineering and UC, respectively. Guidry also is charge with leading the cost savings initiatives for the entire IT department.
On that front, Guidry is making good progress, having lobbied successfully for the company to make investments in automated systems for mobile device management and telecom expense management to help keep costs in line. The MDM platform has been in play for about a year and the TEM platform cut over in January. This foundation is enabling the company to look at other initiatives, such as a BYOD policy, and bringing its global offices under the corporate network contracts and into the TEM tool.
Guidry said the asset and inventory controls are critical to controlling costs, being able to reallocate savings to other IT initiatives and freeing up resources previously tasked with invoice processing. While this is desirable in any company, Bally also provides circuits to casinos that participate in its Wide Area Progressive Games, which provide jackpots across multiple casinos. A dedicated circuit ensures uptime, but also incurs unnecessary costs if not canceled when the game contract is done, Guidry explained.
Bally also is taking advantage of mobile technologies to enable its sales people to demo games and applications on their mobile devices.
Hear more about "What Business Customers Want" in the Keynote Roundtable at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, Feb. 27-March 1, in Las Vegas.