The Riverside Company
New York, New York
BMC Service Desk Express
IT Service Management
Asset Warranty Notification
“Just by pushing out that agent, I have real tangible access to data that is meaningful not just to me but to others in my office that have to track assets, such as my CEO and accounting team.”
~Eric Feldman, CIO
Slay the Beast: How The Riverside Company Got Control of Their IT Service Management
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm based in New York City, focused on investing in and acquiring growing businesses valued at up to $250 million. Their reach is worldwide across four continents and more than 200 employees and consultants.
With the company spread out globally, there were a number of different challenges in managing and maintaining a smooth technology operation. Eric Feldman, Director of IT at The Riverside Company, and his team were using an on-premise IT Service Management (ITSM) product called BMC Service Desk Express (SDE). From a functionality perspective the SDE solution was complex and inflexible. Any changes, reports or even workflow required the work of an expensive third-party expert. On top of being a productivity and cost drain, this created a disconnect since the consultant was not part of the organization’s objectives. The technology that was supposed to be an enabler was instead becoming a drain on their resources.
The team also had to resort to managing contracts and vendors through an assortment of Excel spreadsheets and SharePoint sites because the SDE asset tracking solution was too complicated and time consuming. To prevent a contract from potentially falling through the cracks, they knew they needed to transition to a solution that would streamline the contract management process, and provide a more a centralized model enabling the team to quickly locate global assets and to report on them.
Overall, the IT team felt frustrated knowing there had to be a better way. The announcement that BMC would be sunsetting the SDE offering spurred the team to action. Feldman felt the timing was right for his team to make a fresh start and look into alternative solutions.
The Riverside Company was ready to move to a cloud ITSM solution that had:
- The ability to easily customize in-house without the need for third party consultants
- Straightforward implementation and ease of use for the IT team and their internal customers
- Product flexibility with the opportunity to request changes and customize features
- A strong user community to learn from and collaborate with
- ITIL-ready functionality
- Ability to extend beyond IT
Through peer networking, traditional Google searches, and recommendations from support communities and former colleagues, Feldman narrowed down the search to ServiceNow and ZenDesk. “We were enamoured with ServiceNow, but the cost was prohibitive,” says Feldman. Ultimately Feldman learned about Samanage through ZenDesk, a Samanage referral partner. “What we saw with Samanage was almost identical to what ServiceNow was offering but was much easier to use and customize. And, we definitely wanted something like that; we didn’t want to deal with another big monster. ”
“When I went to the Samanage site, I pulled in my Manager of IT Operations and said ‘This is exactly what we are looking for.’”
Feldman and his team were able to utilize the invaluable resource of the Samanage Community immediately, and received valuable insight into the solution direct from other users.
The Riverside team wanted to touch and feel the product immediately without having to go through 2-3 marketing presentations. Feldman was able to go through a full 14-days trial of Samanage. As Feldman described it,“This wasn’t a smaller scaled back version. Samanage exposed the entire product to us.”
After some discovery calls, Feldman found the Samanage team to be very approachable, focusing on Riverside’s needs and how Samanage could meet them. “I didn’t feel like I was being oversold anything. I felt the Samanage sales team listened to my needs and put them first,” Feldman said. Throughout the decision process Feldman worked with a single point of contact at Samanage and found that if there was a capability Riverside was looking for, his Samanage Customer Success representative would review with the product team to determine if it could fit in the road map. Feldman made a request for a particular feature and within a couple of weeks he was notified that the functionality would be added.
“We saw that there was a need for this feature and it could affect the greater good. They went ahead and moved forward with implementing it in a very timely and professional manner [which is not typical with software vendors].”
Feldman found the Samanage team to be very forthcoming and upfront both during the sales process and after Riverside became a client. He could see the agility in the platform and welcomed having a Samanage representative willing to listen and push things forward on his behalf.
The value of Samanage was quickly felt throughout The Riverside Company. In just a matter of weeks, asset management was fully deployed and 90% of the contracts were added into Samanage. Centralizing this information has allowed for easier reporting and has enabled the team to make informed decisions with the data being so easily accessible. “It [asset warranty notification] has been very important from a fiscal perspective, because you want to avoid contracts auto-renewing.” said Feldman. Samanage provides automated warranty management for the four major hardware manufacturers: HP, Lenovo, Dell and Apple. Riverside’s CFO appreciated that Samanage provided detailed, accurate warranty information for its ability to accurately budget for hardware replacement and management. They are now able to see all warranty information automatically and quickly produce reports for each budgeting cycle in preparation for the next fiscal year.
Samanage’s agent based asset management solution ensures the accuracy and level of granularity they needed. Within 4-5 days Feldman was able to push the agent out to all of their computers globally, “Just by pushing out that agent, I have real tangible access to data that is meaningful not just to me but to others in my office that have to track assets, such as my CEO and accounting team.”
Feldman also believes that Samanage will have a large impact outside of the IT department. They plan to use Samanage for other functional areas across the organization, including to manage request from investors.
“I really see Samanage as the single source to house and manage all requests across the firm, be it marketing, human resources and obviously IT. That will be a very powerful impact for us, giving us the ability to provide better customer service to all Riverside team members regardless of where they are in the world,” says Feldman.