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Author's profile photo Timo ELLIOTT

Better Together: Sustainable IT for Your Business and Bottom Line

Evernex grew their third-party hardware company into a global powerhouse with 100% aftermarket tech. Here’s their remarkable story.

When we think about digital transformation, there’s a tendency to focus on what’s shiny and new – the latest and faster servers and a host of connected devices. But transformation is more than the equipment, more than the technology.

The foundation of a truly innovative transformation is a mindset. It’s a will to reimagine your business to take the best advantage of what technology can do for the back office and your customers.

In other words, if you had to choose between a brand new server rack or the insight to use older tech to greater effect, choose the second option. You may be surprised in the new and long life that exists in aftermarket equipment.

French IT company Evernex is a compelling case study for extending the life of your hardware through innovative thinking. They began as a small local business, but their own transformation enabled them to grow to over 300 locations in 160 countries. Now they help companies of all sizes to transform — and they do it with 100% pre-owned tech.

In our latest Better Together: Customer Conversations series, we explored Evernex’s amazing story and how it can apply to businesses of any size, anywhere.

  • For the podcast, Thulium CEO Tamara McCleary, sat down with Emmanuel Roland, Chief Digital & Technology Officer, Evernex and Marcell Vollmer, Partner and Director, Boston Consulting Group about, and discussed the critical elements of digital transformation, as well as how transformation can contribute to sustainability and business longevity
  • In the LinkedIn conversation, I talked with Emmanuel about their business model, goals, and practical considerations that informed Evernex’s transformation and it’s key to how they support their customers.

Look to Customer Experience to Set Goals for Digital Transformation

Too many companies undertake digital transformation as an end unto itself, says Emmanuel. “Digital transformation is not an objective. It’s a means to reach a company objective,” he says.

How can businesses find the right objective to guide their process? On the podcast, Marcell says it all starts with the customer. “I think companies really need to think about what their current business model is, and what customers will want them to do in the future. What you want to do is follow this customer perspective. Your customers need to love your product, otherwise, you will be out of business!” he says.

For Evernex, looking at their industry from a customer perspective showed a patchwork, hard-to-navigate path to keep their IT up to date, under warranty, well-maintained and within budget. To meet that demand, Evernex worked to integrate solutions on the SAP platform, all united under an abstraction layer that provides a seamless experience for customers and sales staff.

Achieving Longevity and Sustainability through Transformation

One key to Evernex’s success in the IT field is their focus on refurbished and reused equipment. This innovation was directly related to the pain points Evernex was hearing about from potential customers. After three years, for example, most new equipment is no longer covered by warranty, and customers have to either buy a costly warranty extension or buy new equipment.

“Why should we change the servers on the network or the equipment, just because they’re three years old? They’re fit for purpose. When you make an investment, you should be able to use this investment as long as you need, as long as you want,” Emmanuel says. “So we had this idea to organize a team to be able to buy any type of equipment, but also to maintain and organize a supply chain… and now we’re in a position to really manage the performance of an infrastructure, using only pre-owned equipment.”

In the LinkedIn conversation, Emmanuel shared how SAP technology is helping the company pursue its goals for sustainability and longevity. “Leveraging all the data we collect with SAP technology is part of our cause,” he says. “We generate a huge amount of data, and we are already working on creating innovative services, like real predictive maintenance.”

Change Management Is Essential

To ensure a successful ongoing transformation, there’s one crucial component: “On your digital team, you should have a group dedicated to change management,” Emmanuel says. “Otherwise, the digital will not deliver the promise and will not deliver the value that we expect.”

One part of this change management is making sure people get the best use out of new tools. “Sometimes you hear people say, ‘okay, I bought a solution and tried to redevelop it and make it custom.’ Why would you do that? Use it as it is… bring your people to the solution, and see how you can transform your processes to adapt. It will be more efficient, and this is the best way to get value out of your tools,” he says.

“It’s also very important to build a message [for your people] where you start with the purpose,” he adds. Leading with the value proposition of transformation makes it easier for the organization to buy into the process. “Say, ‘we’ve got a strategy; we want to be the worldwide leader, we need to be able to match new companies, we need to be able to serve our customers better and make your life easier,’” Emmanuel says. This type of conversation puts the emphasis on the rationale for the transformation and the positive results that can come from it.

Be a Part of the Conversation

Evernex’s transformation story is an object lesson in the true meaning of digital transformation. They transformed their business to better serve customers, and are now helping those customers through transformations of their own. And in an age of disposable technology, they’re helping to make a difference in sustainability and longevity.

Looking for more customer success stories for innovation inspiration that also focus on sustainability? Here are two other examples:

  • Royal Greenland A/S – Sustainable fishing throughout the value chain
  • &ever – Sowing sustainability and growth with intelligent technologies

Looking for even more inspiring stories straight from SAP Business Technology Platform customers? You can check out the whole Better Together: Customer Conversations series and more at sap.com/BTP.

Please let me know if there are topics you’d like to hear more about in the future as well as questions you’d like to explore. And, as always, please contact us if you’d like to be a guest on a future episode.

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