Winner – Sunrise Software
Sunrise Software develops tools that help IT departments manage their service and helpdesk processes. But according to Geoff Rees, the company’s sales director, the real proof of the value of its products is that many customers use them to manage processes in other areas of the business.
“We’ve had customers using our software for external customer services, facilities and property management, project management, even health and safety management,” he explains. “Almost all their deployments started out in the IT department and grew from there. Because once you’ve justified the cost in the IT department, any other use you can get out of it is almost 100% benefit.”
A good example of the cross-functional nature of Sunrise’s tools arose too late to save the customer in question.
Entertainment UK is the former distribution arm of high street retailer Woolworths. When preparing to deploy Sunrise Software’s service desk management tools, the company’s IT department had drafted in representatives of other departments to gather support. According to Rees, Entertainment UK’s finance department recognised that the tool could help overcome one of its biggest problems, namely query management.
As the volume of products it shipped increased, so too had the number of queries from customers questioning deliveries or invoices – to the extent that it was handling thousands of queries a day. Having no formal system to manage these queries was costing the company a lot of money, as retailers would withhold payment until issues were resolved.
“There was a lot of horse-trading going on, with retailers agreeing to pay immediately but less than originally agreed,” says Rees.
But despite recognising that Sunrise Software’s tools could have resolved the issues, Entertainment UK struggled on for two years before finally adopting Sunrise for queries management. “We were halfway through delivering the project when they went bust,” recalls Rees.
Clearly, Sunrise Software’s ability to manage processes of all kinds appealed to Information Age’s readers, with the company picking up the Information Management Innovation Award.
Runner-up – Dell
Dell’s latest Information Lifecycle Management tools allow IT departments to ensure the successful restore of virtual machines based on the VMware platform. Previously, this would have involved rebuilding the virtual machine by recreating and repatching the operating system of the virtual machine from scratch.
That development earned Dell the runner-up spot in the Information Management Innovation Awards category.