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April 11, 2011

Swiss Re gets IT cost insight with Apptio

Planning, forecasting and budgeting given helping hand with SaaS platform

By Steve Evans

Reinsuring giant Swiss Re has implemented a Technology Business Management (TBM) platform from Apptio that it hopes will improve its IT cost management.

The SaaS-based Apptio system will be rolled out across Swiss Re’s global IT operations and will provide greater insight in to the exact costing of IT services to the business, helping with planning, budgeting, forecasting, and controlling, the company said.

René Turra, managing director for IT Service Delivery at Swiss Re, said: "[The service enables] us to continuously balance the cost, quality and value of our complete portfolio of IT services based on matching supply with demand from our business customers."
"Apptio impressed us with its flexible modular platform that enables IT – as well as our business customers – to get started quickly by allowing us to easily automate our existing processes, map technology to IT services, and easily integrate financial and operational data. It will help us to drive even greater cost transparency and value from the IT services we deliver to our internal business customers," he added.

Speaking to CBR, Sunny Gupta, founder and CEO of Apptio, said that companies often do not have enough insight in to the real cost of IT. "IT is a series of products and services and we measure the value of that. How can you run a business without understanding the cost structure?"

Swiss Re, like many of Apptio’s customers, made the switch from using an Excel-based system to keep track of the cost of its IT infrastructure. Alternatively, some companies will be using an in-built system for the same job, Gupta said.

Although Apptio’s TBM platform seems similar to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, Gupta told CBR that TBM is more flexible and geared specifically toward IT.

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Other Apptio clients include Starbucks, which used it to measure its desktop and laptop environment, such as the cost of running different models, different warranties and the cost of replacing batteries. Cisco, Microsoft, JP Morgan and BNP Paribas are also Apptio clients.

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