Trending September 2023 # Seagate Automates The Sales Process And Improves Sales Productivity # Suggested October 2023 # Top 13 Popular |

Trending September 2023 # Seagate Automates The Sales Process And Improves Sales Productivity # Suggested October 2023 # Top 13 Popular

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Every manufacturer is challenged with accurately forecasting demand and adjusting prices to anticipate and respond to market fluctuations. With nearly two-thirds of the 86,000 employees at Seagate in manufacturing, the company counts on information from internal sales staff, OEM partners, and distribution partners to closely manage prices and correctly forecast demand to ensure that products are profitable and manufacturing resources are used efficiently.

The sales force, OEM, and distribution partners access timely and accurate information on product availability and pricing through client/server applications that are available from Seagate’s intranet and secured extranet for their sales partners. Seagate relies on Marimba®’s Castanet™ to deliver and manage these applications, which are critical to realizing both profitability and productivity.

Serving Up Sales Applications

Seagate delivers 15 client/server applications to its own internal sales force and to external OEM and distributor partners to support its forecasting, quoting, and order management activities. There are up to 1,000 users in the extended audience for these applications including sales, management, sales support, OEM customers, and distribution partners. Internal intranet users are delivered applications for sales planning, sales forecasting, information on distributor programs and promotions, and more. External partners use the secured extranet to obtain applications that access credit information, check on shipments, get current pricing, and help them conduct business with Seagate. OEM sales account for 70–80% of Seagate’s revenue, which makes it critical for the company to closely interact with these partners and manage the relationships.

The IT group at Seagate delivers applications to both the Seagate sales force, who is primarily using laptops occasionally connected to the company’s intranet, and OEM and distribution partners, where Seagate has no control over the workstations used. According to Joe Peichel, Sales and Marketing IT Systems Architect, this means the company has to take a platform-agnostic approach to developing the applications. “The lack of control over the user’s platform is one of the reasons we chose Java, and subsequently why we chose Castanet. This approach allows us to include a broader user community than electing to do something for specific platforms, like using Win32-specific tools.”

The Seagate applications provide database connectivity from the client and access the corporate data centers. By implementing this access through specific and direct database connections to the central warehouses, Seagate is able to provide the requested information without allowing general access to Seagate’s corporate network. Moreover, Castanet supports SSL for security-enhanced delivery of information that satisfies both the users’ need for timely and accurate data and the company’s requirements for network security.

Delivering with Efficiency and Elegance

Client-side system resources are also a consideration. Seagate’s sales force is equipped with laptops generously configured with disk and memory, but these resources are heavily utilized. And in the case of OEM partners, the configuration of client machines is not able to be mandated by Seagate’s application requirements. Castanet ensures that disk space is optimized and download time is further reduced by the ability to identify and appropriately share files duplicated among the applications. For Seagate this means that a single set of Java class libraries are correctly shared on the clients, thereby reducing both the footprint required and downloading delays.

Maintaining Market Leadership

By developing a wide selection of applications for keeping its sales staff and partners up-to-date on stock, inventory, pricing, and sales volumes Seagate has significantly improved its sales process. Easy-to-use interfaces and direct connectivity to critical information has replaced days of phone tag. Access to competitive pricing and the tools to develop accurate forecasts is leveraging the effectiveness of sales efforts, improving OEM and partner relations, and helping Seagate maintain leadership in the volatile storage media market. And by using Castanet to deliver and maintain its Java applications, Seagate is able to focus on developing even better tools to support these critical activities and effectively respond to marketplace demands.

Reprinted with permission from The Aventail Corporation

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