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In conversation with CIO Applications, Jason Koenigsberg, Managing Director of Asignet, shares his insights on the ITEM space and his company's position in changing the landscape with its potentially game-changing solution.
Could you give us a bit of background on Asignet and your position in the market?
We are a forwardthinking organization. Our objective is to be involved in business process automation. I have personally been with the company for eight years, having launched this company in the United States upon my entry. The company is based out of Argentina, and we currently focus on three big things:
1. Robotic process automation—We have our patents around RPA
2. Using RPA to facilitate hyperautomation, we believe in enacting digital transformation, i.e., the building blocks of IT expense management and mobile expense management.
3. Our application platform as a service (aPaaS)—a low code solution called Wayfast—facilitates rapid application development, requiring coding only at the database level.
Wayfast is Asignet’s internal tool that integrates RPA with client workflows to automate previously manual business processes, outsourcing the task for clients. Several larger companies in the US continue to do this, using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to download inventory and invoicing and manual loading information into their system—in contrast, we use RPA.
We have operationalized this process because it is impossible to do it as a SaaS-only solution. Using a SaaS alone in an enterprise using hundreds of vendors with thousands of different formats, platforms, portals, and channels to get the information out, shoots up the telecom IT costs. Our focus in this space is on the Fortune 1000 market. We follow a unique process around RPA, using low code to build the software and a dedicated operations center based in Uruguay that monitors every robotic transaction.
Asignet integrates and analyzes disparate data using its Wayfast platform and native RPA processes to deliver audit, visibility, Business Intelligence, and savings.
Can you give us an idea of the different Challenges/complexities your clients face in the ITSM space and what you offer as a solution?
There are two levels of complexity when it comes to enterprise ITSM. One is the transformation of the world, i.e., how the world is moving at hyper-speed with respect to tech adoption.
Furthermore, the number of vendors is also vast. A typical enterprise uses hundreds of technology vendors for different processes, and with shadow IT, the number could be in the thousands. Each of those vendors has their own way to invoice and charge the client combined with their unique inventory files, made out of thousands of different formats. Each vendor has a separate portal from which to download an invoice. For instance, if the client needs to get five different files, they have to traverse five different portals. Sometimes the portal changes, forcing the client to spend a huge amount of money on infrastructure and technology to adapt to the transition. Multiply that across a thousand different vendors, and it becomes a frustrating chore that needs to be done manually.
Service Now offers a low code platform to tackle this issue, but they don't have a robot to go to the portal. It is extrinsic to the organization, not integrated within it. Asignet’s solution acts as an automated courier to the external vendor portals that brings information into the client system and combines it into a configuration management database (CMDB), implementing a simplified process around the management chain. Furthermore, organizations handle fixed and mobile on separate platforms. We provide one solution to handle them all. It consists of three different modules to deal with inventory, provisioning, and device usage management. Clients can choose the modules they require, with customizable functionalities for each one. Users can look up vendor summaries and get real-time reporting, all modularized and set up based on user profile. To that end, Asignet has created separate user profiles based on user roles, geographical regions, and permissioning. What all this adds up to for the client is cost savings and a high level of clarity in inventory management.
How has the journey been so far? Could you share any memorable success stories along the way?
We once worked with a mid-sized, Middle-Eastern multi-media company that provided direct broadcast media and internet services to consumers and businesses in the Middle East, North Africa, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. They currently have over 2000 employees across all those countries. At the time, they were struggling with the auditing and validation of large blocks of bandwidth purchased from multiple providers for resale to the end customer. It was a real struggle for them to manually ensure that the billed rates are contractually compliant and in sync with each provider's consumption of services for each type of service. We came in and deployed Wayfast to propose a single global solution. Because of the high level of automation capability native to the Asignet solution, the client was able to easily digest, normalize, analyze and manage not only their enterprise IT issues but the rationalization of its carrier (wholesale) billing for resale, which was a huge concern to this particular client. Annual Labor savings are estimated at $85,000, savings on IT infrastructure was around $104,000, and financial savings from operational efficiencies and other cost efficiencies hit $424,000.
We're rolling out something called 'robot for IT,' which we believe is the future of hyper-automation. Asignet is also expanding to other spend categories and integrating AWS, Google Cloud, MS Teams, Zoom, and other IT consumable spend. We continue to add new categories each month because they're all dependent on something, and we can integrate all that for the future of expense management and hyperautomation for all your IT costs across all categories. We also want to put workflows around how you order services when hiring or onboarding somebody. We believe our growth is around private equity; our goal is to keep investing in the company as 'a company,' not just as an investment or a financial engineering company, but as an honest company that solves real problems and grows organically.