Blog, News & Events

Here’s a selection of the latest news, views and insights from industry leaders and experts from across the globe.

News & Events

ASM exhibits at Computacenter Group Kick Off

Earlier in the year, way back before social distancing was even a thought in our minds, ASM exhibited at Computacenter’s global kick off in Manchester.

Over the years the event has become a real focus for Computacenter as it allows one point a year where every salesperson at the company can get together. The reasons for this are clear. Firstly to celebrate the success of the previous year, whilst also to discuss and plan for the year ahead. It gives a unique opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the strategy of the business and ensure the support is there to achieve those goals.

Just as importantly, the event is also a great time to meet up with vendor partners and account managers to build on relationships. That’s where ASM comes in. As the appointed Preferred Partner for Non-Focus products for Computacenter Group we work hard to support software, services and hardware requirements that are not available through broadline distribution.

The global kick off is an invitation only event for Computacenter’s partners who add the most value and have become an integral part of their business so here at ASM we were extremely proud to receive our invitation.

Over the course of the two-day event we had an extremely busy, central stand with over 700 visitors from the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and the USA. This kind of event offers our account management team invaluable time with contacts from these countries while continuing to build upon our relationships within Benelux and the US.

Simon Keilty, Business Development Manager for Computacenter, said

“the event is best opportunity to meet different people from around the business and understand their challenges for the coming year and seeing how we can best support them”.

For this event we shared the experience with some of our key strategic partners and were able to showcase disruptive and innovative technology direct to the wider sales team.

We really appreciate the chance to be involved in an event such as the Group Kick Off and we’re looking forward to next year’s event already.

News & Events

ASM Connect 2020

Connecting our customers to innovative and disruptive technologies.

Held at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, ASM Connect 2020 was a one-day exhibition, to showcase just a few of our strategic partners and the innovative and disruptive technologies we can provide.

Our visitors were given an exclusive tour of the football ground which was a key moment for many of the football fans in attendance. For us, the event provided a fantastic opportunity to communicate our key brand messages and display ASM Technologies’ and strategic partners throughout the ground and the event.

At ASM we deliver an infinite number of suppliers, many of whom would be seen as weirdware or niche. An event such as ASM Connect 2020 brings these suppliers straight to the customer so they can learn about innovative technology first-hand. For this event we hosted Opswat, LogMeIn, Jamf, Nitro, Subsidium, Forum Systems, Endace and Blancco. We had some great feedback from the event with one supplier telling us it was the most useful networking event they had ever been to.

The event was thoroughly enjoyed by all and we are already looking at where we can host ASM Connect 2021.

Blog

One Week in San Francisco

There I was, packing my bags for my forthcoming business trip, singing an abundance of songs about San Franciscodreaming of taking in the fantastic Californian views. 

How wrong could I be. Let’s get this bit over and done with, the travel was hard work, but I mustnt complain – I was in San Francisco!  I was keen to take it all in but arriving at night left nothing but an air of of trepidation  mainlaround my alarm going off the next morning. 

As someone who has been working in IT for… well let’s say lots of years, it was wonderful to be in the heart of innovation and see some incredible businesses. Even the adverts in the airport were of tech companies; it was like being in a microcosm of IT and I loved it.  

As I had never visited the city before it seemed only logical to see some of the sights while I had this great opportunity. So I spent the early morning walking around finding the offices of everyone we needed to visit. I’d walked so far and wide learning the streets and buildings my boss renamed me sat nav for the remainder of the trip. 

I’d arranged a busy week visiting our key business partners alongside the Opswat Partner Summit.  

Our partners, Elastic, were so welcoming and I really felt that our business partners appreciated the time we took to visit and utilise the time we had. We often meet the UK and European teams to learn about their software and how it makes data useable for our customers in real time, so it was fantastic to learn more about the US markets and meet their teams. 

PDF specialists Nitro had the most amazing offices I have ever seen, with a beautiful view over the bay and bridge. We were totally blown away to be welcomed by the CEO/Founder and the Head of Global Channel. It’s great to use the opportunities with our partners to throw around ideas, talk about our successes and see what more we can do to support our customers.  

At the Opswat Partner Summit the CEO and Senior Vice President welcomed partners from all over the globe. As the UK approved partner for Opswat it’s great to spend a few days gaining a deeper insight into the product, the values and the company’s future. Hearing successes from partners in other countries enables us to expand our knowledge which we can then pass on to our customers. Othe Saturday we had the most wonderful boat trip into the bay to watch a display by the Blue Arrows while sharing the day with the wider Opswat team and their families. I really did feel part of the team and it goes a long way to continuing our strong business relationship. 

Overall it was very exciting to experience part of a technology driven state with so many business leaders and innovation that it just screams from the buildings and billboards. It was a pleasure to visit San Francisco and be welcomed by our business partners and I look forward to visiting again. 

Adele Hope-Urwin

Software Channel Manager – ahope-urwin@asmtech.com

Blog

DPW2019 Hackathon

Who lets a salesman into a procurement conference? Imposter I hear them cry!

Risk taking conference founder Matthias Gutzmann linkedin.com/in/matthiasgutzmann opened Digital Procurement World 2019 with the inspiring story of how he gave up his job to pursue his idea of starting a new type of conference, and thanked his Mum and Dad for letting him move back into their house. Any adult willing to move back in with parents to follow their dreams deserves success in my eyes.

When I was hustled into a side room after the opening talks, it wasn’t to be asked if I was at the wrong conference, it was because I had applied for and been selected to take part in the IBM sponsored Hackathon event. Another risky idea from Matthias, this time encouraged by IBMs Bob Booth linkedin.com/in/bobebooth. So not only am I a salesman at procurement event, I am a salesman at a hackathon at a procurement event, in Amsterdam, without a bike. At this point I said goodbye to my comfort zone.

Group Dynamics v Great Ideas

What do you get if you cross a salesman, a procurement analyst, and a data scientist, with a company founder, 2 IBM mentors and a PhD student of AI and Cognitive Science? started no joke ever.

Over the years I’ve clocked up plenty of hours working with great procurement people in the technology sector, so I rocked up armed with a few reasonably bright ideas. Other than a few experienced “hackathoners”, most of us didn’t know what to expect. Students and professionals alike had heard about the abundance of free food and felt that was a reasonable pay off for helping IBM invent some new patents to file.

The room was buzzing with dreams of the €3000 prize pot which was surely to be issued on a big pretend cheque, causing the winner many issues with carry-on baggage restrictions.

Proceedings kicked off with the inevitable introductions process, and I was soon clammy palmed when I realised we were doing the whole personality trait self-analysis thing. I thought so hard about what personality characteristics I would like to have that I forgot all my bright ideas. I thought I had played it safe and stuck my post it note near Bobs on the quadrant, but it turns out he (and now I) were both rather extreme.

Despite my scepticism (very possibly fear) of the personality trait exercise, it sent me off on a path of self-discovery which framed my 2-day experience. The bright ideas about digital procurement innovation ebbed and flowed, but the group dynamic remained constantly delightful. Early on, I gingerly proposed we adopt a leaderless approach, not wanting to appear too assertive. Nobody objected, so clearly they enjoyed this. Although I have to wonder, if by suggesting this method, I had therefore become the leader.

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

Our Team were challenged to create new value and measurements in procurement. We all know that procurement only care about savings, right? I think this was why they let a few outsiders in, to think differently. The challenge called for bold and brave, but it had to be feasible and ready to demo by the next morning. I believe our team’s solution was the only one of all the entries that was truly new and innovative. The atmosphere was positive as we set to work and ploughed on past dusk, powered by pizza with some sleeping in situ and some coding through the night. Another team were having a tough time and abandoned their idea near the end of the first day only to start again from scratch. After the morning rehearsals, we felt our team were sitting pretty.

Our Solution

Our team decided to measure the positive and negative experiences internal stakeholders and suppliers have when dealing with procurement. The industry currently relies on measurements from the structured data in ERP, SRM and CRM systems. SLA attainment, adherence to process, and savings amount for example dehumanise the people behind it all.

A lot of the real value, and human endeavour, in the procurement process is not captured because it resides in emails, phone calls, meetings and video conferences (unstructured data).

The traditional measurements don’t capture the behaviour of the people involved that lead to the outcomes. By using Sentiment Analytics and Natural Language Programming we can capture this data, and correlate it with the structured data, to discover which behaviours, sentiments and language relate to the positive outcomes.

We can then use all the clever AI, Machine Learning, Cognitive stuff to identify the good the people do and try and get them to do more of it, whilst also gaining insights that could teach the future robots what to do. I’m probably not making it sound very simple, because it’s not. Keep going, the judges said.

How did it all end?

The final vote was taken by the conference audience via the event app. Maybe championing “the value of people” at a digital conference, offended the bots that counted the votes so unfortunately our team didn’t win.

The team that was having trouble the day before, who ended up designing another solution in half the time, ended up coming second. An excellent advert for agile working and the principles of failing fast but coming back stronger.

The whole experience has been great for me – pushing myself well out of my comfort zone into a world I didn’t think a salesman was even allowed into. I’ve always held a long-term goal of starting or being part of an actual think-tank and this positive experience has re-energised me. Well done to the winners who were cool throughout, coded through the night and communicated their concept with excellence. Although when I stepped on the plane for home, I did have a little laugh thinking of them trying to get that cheque home.

Stephen Dale

Account Director – Systems Integrators – sdale@asmtech.com

News & Events

Atos Charity Golf Event 2019

On 5th September, ASM and LogMeIn took part in the Atos Charity Golf Event held at Trump Turnberry.

Now in its 19th year, the event has generated much needed funds for various charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital and Children’s Hospice Across Scotland. This year’s event was held to raise money for The Prince’s Trust and The Paul Lawrie Foundation and raised c£160k.

 “A fantastic course, played with great company for a good cause”

said Graham Aspinall, Managing Director, ASM Technologies.