CDW’s John Manna, senior manager of ServiceNow solutions, and Greg Wheeler, practice manager of SPM solutions, present at Knowledge 2022.

May 13 2022

Knowledge 2022: CDW Builds Databases and Process Efficiencies with ServiceNow

Digital workflows helped the company better market its services portfolio and manage its acquisitions, leading to improved ROI internally and for customers.

Growth doesn’t come without challenges. CDW experienced this firsthand when it expanded its service offerings and underwent the process of integrating several new acquisitions. The company needed to capture new data efficiently and at scale as it grew its team and its portfolio, CDW presenters John Manna and Greg Wheeler explained Thursday at Knowledge 2022.

Speaking to a standing room-only audience in New York at a session titled “Shifting from Tactical to Strategic with ServiceNow at CDW,” Manna, senior manager of ServiceNow solutions, and Wheeler, practice manager of SPM solutions, first outlined the organization’s needs. They then spoke about the ways the unified ServiceNow platform allowed the company to evaluate ROI both for itself and for its customers.

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Analyzing and Tracking the Services Provided to Customers

As CDW expanded its services portfolio through acquisitions and other means, the company quickly realized it needed a way to capture new processes and data.

Leaders had to figure out the sales cycle, the pipeline and how to initiate the engagement process, Wheeler said. On top of that, different engagements took different skill sets.

“We were working half in ServiceNow and half in spreadsheets. There were some people who were probably still working off a napkin on their desk,” Manna said. “We were getting work done, but we weren’t able to scale.”

Using the application development platform, CDW built a customer relationship management system into ServiceNow to manage data more easily. This helped the company better understand its customers’ needs and potential opportunities.

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The CDW team also built a skills database so the organization could assign the best employees to any given project.

With the data available in the ServiceNow platform, CDW could also better predict and evaluate the services it was providing to customers. This in turn helped the company evaluate its own ROI and share information with customers about the ROI of their investments.

Company Acquisitions Spurred Growth and Automation

As the company rapidly expanded (it acquired four or five organizations in the past year, Wheeler said), the IT and HR departments needed a way to train everyone on the same platform. The organizations CDW acquired used different programs and had different software licenses, sparking a need for consolidation.

“It was a platform conversation, but it was also a process conversation,” Wheeler said. If processes were found to be consistent, reliable and repeatable, the organization looked to optimize and automate them companywide. “With all of the new organizations coming in, we started to look at best in breed of those processes” just as they would for customers, he explained.

This enabled CDW to identify needs on its team and put its people in the best positions based on departmental growth and employee interest. By consolidating processes, the company also reduced its technical depth and could put more resources into optimizing each process.

Now, the company optimizes processes for customers in the same way to drive more ROI.

“ROI could be dollars, it could be time that equates to dollars or that equates to more strategic initiatives where we can create some resources,” Manna says. “We’re constantly looking at driving more ROI for our customers and, at the same time, in-house.”

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Photo by Rebecca Torchia

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