Researching APM Providers Part 1: Look for Proven Results

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This series will cover three things you should look for in your APM provider. Check in next week for part 2 of the series!

When you are searching for a contractor to remodel your deck, the first thing you would do is conduct research. You’d go through online reviews, check out local associations to make sure they are properly licensed and speak to former customers. After all, you’re talking about a big investment of money and time–thousands of dollars and at least a year.

Now, imagine that you weren’t looking to make a thousand dollar investment, but a million dollar one. Also, this is not a one year exercise, but an ongoing commitment that could easily last decades. That is the exact situation you face as a prospective APM solution buyer. This makes it critical that you research properly. Unfortunately, in this industry there is so much hype around various buzzwords (digital transformation, Industry 4.0, IIoT). Sometimes people can get distracted by the hype, and select companies that overpromise and can’t deliver.

This blog series will cover the three things you should focus on when selecting an APM provider. These rules will help guide you when the next vendor presentation happens and you are facing an onslaught of hype and buzzwords. If you follow these three rules you’ll be able to select a vendor that can meet your needs, no matter your industry and regardless of the specific issue you would like resolved. The first thing to focus on is selecting a vendor that has a body of proven results.

See the benefits you can achieve with a proven, reliable APM solution

See the business results (25% reduction in unscheduled downtime, 20% increase in asset availability, 30% increase in asset utilization) you can achieve with a proven APM solution 

Proven Results

It’s critical that you immediately establish whether your chosen vendor can actually do everything they’re claiming to do. When you’re trying to answer this question, the best resource is not the vendor’s marketing materials. Third-party validators such as analysts and the media are much more helpful for their unbiased opinions.

An even better source is customer success stories. As an example, if you are a chemical manufacturer you might look at Ascend Performance Material, which saved over $2 million through avoided plant shutdowns using mobile operator rounds. Or, if you’re a utility you might look at National Grid UK, which consolidated data collection and dramatically improved operational visibility across the entire grid. These are great examples of companies that are gaining real business value from APM, which you can learn from.

This is because the best source of information is almost always people like you. Let’s continue our contractor example. If you were looking to remodel your deck, you would speak to people who have had their deck remodeled. In the same manner for APM, look for similar customers, and identify the actual results they’ve achieved.

Our industry has so much hype and speculation around IIoT, digital transformation, Industry 4.0 etc, that it’s important to focus on the actual results – not the announcements of intent to sign a deal, future potential features or additional marketing jargon. Select a vendor that provides real business results that affect the bottom line and you won’t go wrong.

Selecting the right vendor

Selecting an APM vendor is a complex process, and not one you should enter lightly. While every case is unique, you should always look to select a vendor who has achieved proven results. To see the examples of our customers who have experienced excellent results using the Asset Performance capabilities of our Industrial Software Platform, visit our website.

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