I have this recurring dream that I wouldn’t quite call a nightmare…but I’ll let you decide.
The dream is that I’ve died (happily) of old age, but, somehow, I’m in the room watching my attorney read my will to my family. He opens a file, sorts through some paperwork, shifts down his glasses, and soberly says “I regret to inform you all, but despite working hard his whole life, Mr. Loria has no assets. I further regret to inform you that you must now pay debts he incurred by not canceling several streaming television services he hadn’t used in over 40 years but had clicked a box and forgot to cancel it.”
Saving by Streaming? Sure, You Are
Truth is, this is not a dream of mine. I did, however, recently have the thought when moving forced me to re-login to all my Apple TV apps. I took the time to pull out my credit card statements and examine each line item. It wasn’t pretty. I was paying for apps twice, paying for commercial-free without the proper login, and, basically, any other stupid mistake one could make, I had. When it was organized, the savings were extraordinary. I don’t recall the total amount, but certainly enough to take my wife out to dinner once a month or so.
I’m not a big TV watcher and that’s not because I don’t love it, I just run short on time. I remember when streaming services first came out, I thought “well this will be great…I won’t have a $150 cable bill for TV I’m not watching!” But then I realized I hadn’t seen the last season of Sopranos, so I got HBO. Then Mad Men came along, so I added AMC. And, if I wanted to hear Mickey Redmond call the Wings game, I would need Fox Sports Detroit. Then Ozark came out, then Silicon Valley, Game of Thrones…you get the point. My whole purpose of saving money backfired on me. Big time! Suddenly, I was spending more on all the apps than I had been on cable. So, yes, an argument could be made that I got to hand select the shows I cared about. But, my intention had been to save money and that didn’t happen.
ITAM Industry Parallels
You don’t have to go far to see parallels to my streaming experience in our industry. Often when we engage with a new client or renew a contract, a large part of the discussion focuses on the cost of the services, including, for example, the per-item cost of moving, tracking, data wiping, and re-loading. Our client obviously wants the best value and spends a significant amount of time and energy negotiating those terms. And we get it too, making sure we always have competitive pricing for our services.
But, more importantly for the client, this is when we dive into strategies to find hidden costs within the ITAM lifecycle.
For Real Savings, Look at the Whole Picture
Most commonly, what we find is that by re-thinking the life cycle and leveraging real-time data, we find much more efficient use of existing assets and the surrounding logistical services. For example, we’ve created client programs in which we receive all retired assets at our depots and, before sending them to disposal or resale, we consider them “in stock.” We then can build programs to deploy both in- and out-of-warranty assets for long or short periods of time. For example, we could deploy laptop inventory for a three-month training project before disposing them for resale. Another straightforward example: we help clients ensure the accuracy of orders by leveraging tracking software and processes, leading to measurable savings at the receipt of the asset. We can see if the client is being shorted of any assets, but—more importantly—we can make sure they’re not accidentally over provisioning. The examples go on and on (just ask our staff!).
When it comes to ITAM services, savings opportunities are often not where you expect to find them. A valued (and valuable) partner should have the skills and experience to analyze the entire lifecycle and adapt their services to best fit the long-term needs of the client. This in turn creates immediate savings and flexibility that will yield greater results than if you only focused on negotiating service fees. While those negotiations are necessary, they’re only a starting point in an overall conversation that creates more impact.
Now if anyone has any advice on what to do about my little problem with streaming TV services, I am all ears. In the meantime, I’ll stay focused on creating methodical ITAM solutions that drive client savings…so maybe someday we can all leave a few bucks to our heirs!