New CompuCom Analytics Tool Aims to Personalize Workplace IT

CompuCom introduced a comprehensive analytics tool aimed at personalizing an employee's IT experience and saving an employer money.

The Dallas-based solution provider, No. 23 on the CRN Solution Provider 500 list, said its Persona Service Management (PSM) tool will use data based on technology monitoring and functional job requirements to track more than 150 attributes for each employee.

That, in turn, will lower customers' IT costs by an average of 10 percent to 20 percent within 12 months.

[Related: Sources: Microsoft May Revoke CompuCom's Status As A Top Partner]

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"We've had that data available to us for many, many years," Sam Gross, CompuCom's chief technology officer, told CRN. "We just haven't been innovative enough to use that to customize the end-user experience."

The PSM tool should help do that by providing CIOs with detailed information about the devices, applications and subscriptions employees have, Gross said. CompuCom's PSM uses proprietary technology to aggregate and organize data compiled from existing desktop, dispatch and mobile device management tools, he said.

The tool constantly collects information about application performance -- such as sufficient memory or spikes in application errors -- and prioritizes trends based on the employee impact. The PSM can also prioritize employees in revenue-generating roles to ensure their devices remain issue-free at all times.

The data will allow CompuCom to adjust the way IT services are delivered based on the characteristics of individual workers.

For instance, if a device is not working, Gross said Baby Boomers often want in-person IT support, members of Generation X are comfortable with an online remedy, while Millennials would prefer to immediately exchange their nonworking device for a working one.

The need for PSM has been driven by the transition from a single platform for all employees to a plethora of devices and operating environments for their workforce, thanks in part of BYOD initiatives, Gross said.

"We no longer operate in a homogenous IT environment," Gross said. "It's not one size fits all, but one size fits none."

CompuCom's PSM is differentiated from competitors' persona-like offerings, Gross said, since it neither containerizes employees based on their operating environments nor places them in a static category since employee preferences are dynamic and change as they find new ways to be productive.

"Personas evolve every day, every week," Gross said. "We're using a shotgun where we really need to be using a rifle shot."

And when it comes time for a system refresh, CompuCom's metrics can ensure that the poorest-performing devices -- rather than simply the oldest -- get refreshed first.

Gross expects PSM to gain the most traction with midsize organizations since they have the same needs as larger organizations but fewer resources, meaning they can't handle the same level of inefficiency. Very large enterprise companies can also employ other tools to generate savings, he said.

CompuCom has seen outstanding results from testing its PSM with more than 12 businesses, Gross said.

PSM is primarily a volume play for CompuCom, Gross said, aimed at customers trying to fight price compression and of their goods and services by lowering their own expenses.

"This is not about us increasing our margin," Gross said.

PSM is delivered as an ongoing subscription on a per-user basis since the personas are constantly changing with the introduction of new technology, thereby ensuring CompuCom recurring revenue, Gross said.