Motorola Shows Dramatic Savings in IT Costs with HP's
Portfolio Management Tools
Transcript of a BrieﬁngsDirect podcast with Motorola's Judy Murrah on cost
optimization using PPM from HP. Recorded at HP's software conference in Washington, DC.
Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Download the transcript. Sponsor:
Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special BrieﬁngsDirect podcast series, coming to you
from the HP Software Universe 2010 Conference in Washington D.C. We're here
the week of June 14, 2010, to explore some major enterprise software and
solutions trends and innovations making news across HP’s ecosystem of
customers, partners, and developers.
I'm Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions and I'll be your host
throughout this series of HP sponsored Software Universe Live discussions.
We're looking at a case study today for the Excellence Award, winning a number of awards for
Motorola in the area of productivity, cost optimization, and their IT efforts. We're going to be
discussing that with Judy Murrah, Senior Director of IT for Motorola. Welcome to
Judy Murrah: Thank you, Dana. Great to be here.
Gardner: As I said, you've won an Award of Excellence here at the HP Conference. You have
also won a ‘CIO Magazine’ award recently. Tell us a little bit about your role and, why cost
optimization has gotten you these accolades?
Murrah: It certainly was a team effort. My role at Motorola IT is in what we call CIO
Operations. I'm responsible for our project management ofﬁce (PMO) portfolio,
quality, communications, and other activities that support our IT operations.
Cost optimization is on everybody’s mind these days, especially with the
economy the way it is, and with many business initiatives out there.
For us, at Motorola, it really was driven by the pace of change that our business
needs to take at this point. You don’t really think too much about change and
cost optimization being related, but we have had, over time, a very complex IT environment
grow. We have thousands of systems in a company that has grown organically and through
mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.
In order to really be part of the business imperatives to move forward in next generation business
processes, it was too complex to make change. So, we focused on reducing those systems and
doing it in a way that was directly aligned to business change and the directions they would like
to go into.
Gardner: Tell us what these types of activities engender in terms of requirements that the
business side has? A lot of people are trying to align their IT efforts with more of what the
business is looking for. Of course, that’s also a changing game at this point. Many businesses are
dynamic in nature. How does the cost optimization ﬁt in, when you're also trying to align IT with
Murrah: That’s the place where we started and where we saw the magic unfold. We sat with our
business partners, top leadership on both sides -- our CIO and the business presidents and
executive teams -- and talked through every business function.
We looked at it on a scale of business competitiveness and how important that particular
business function is to the business. Then, on the other axis,
if you picture the famous 2×2 matrix, we looked at the
complexity and cost of that business function.
Just to give you an example, if we talk about engineering as a business function, to Motorola,
which is a technology company, that’s a critical competitive differentiator, very important, high
on the scale of competitiveness. If we look at the complexity and cost of running that today, in
Motorola, we have a lot of systems and it’s a high-cost area.
We did that for every business function we have. We laid it out and then talked through where we
would like those functions to move in the future. By mapping it out visually, it helped us to know
that some areas were just costing more money than the value they brought to the business. When
you see that, you put data on a piece of paper, and you have a visual, it is a very good way to
align business and IT around a common goal.
Gardner: Do you have any numbers; perhaps numbers of projects or applications that give us
the size of the scale and scope of what you're managing?
Murrah: We have somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,800 systems in the company. We
manage about 1,000 projects per year that ﬂow out of these decisions. We have about 1,500
employees in the IT organization and are very heavily outsourced in some of the functions. So,
we have another few thousand folks who we consider a part of the team, and that’s who have all
made this happen.
Gardner: We've been hearing a lot here at Software Universe about automation and simplicity,
when it comes to the management tasks. Many organizations are dealing with huge scales, as you
are. How do you view moving towards the visibility and then into automation and then into some
Murrah: You're talking about the IT tools and the management of all this process. The only way
we could have managed this is our implementation of one tool and one
process, that’s used across the whole Motorola IT environment -- HP’s
Project and Portfolio Management Center (PPM). It gives us one place
where we contain our "source of truth" for our investment dollars, for the
priorities of the business request coming through, and for the things that
we've decided to work on.
In that tool, we have every one of our people resources named, as well as what they're working
on, and we look at their utilization and movement to the most critical areas. We also manage our
project execution to the timelines, schedules, and budgets that we commit to our business
What’s very important then is that all of this underlying data and management process that we
use can be presented back to the business in very good dashboards and reporting, so that we all
stay on top of where we are and can be proactive on change, if it’s needed.
Gardner: So, the system of record is what’s working for you. We've had this in business, in
other areas, around ﬁnance and ledger and so forth, for years. It’s just amazing to me sometimes
that we are moving to this in IT, maybe 20 or 30 years behind where business was. Is that how it
Justifying the investment in IT
Murrah: It’s exactly right. I always talk about how IT is sometimes like the cobbler’s children,
as the old saying goes. It’s very difﬁcult to justify the investment in IT tools at some points in
time, unless you have ones like this, that are showing payback to the business and you use them
in a way that everyone is now depending on it. It does become the enterprise resource planning
(ERP) system of the IT organization.
Gardner: Do you have any metrics of success? Do you have some sense of any cost savings,
either qualitative, quantitative, what did you get from going through this?
Murrah: Well, in the last two years we have reduced our cost structure by about 40 percent.
That is a big number to do while the business is operating. We have also, on our large projects
that we run through the system, shown about a 150 percent payback or return on investment
(ROI) for those. That means that the value of the investment for us was placed in the right places.
We've been able to reduce IT support costs by about 25 percent. Previous to this more
consolidated system, we were operating in such silos that there were many people doing the
same things. So by consolidating, we eliminated about 25 percent of the wasted work.
Gardner: That’s quite impressive. Now, I know that HP PPM is accessed on-premises and/or as
a service. Did you experiment across sourcing options?
Murrah: We did. About a year ago we moved from a hosted environment, internal to Motorola,
to the HP software-as-a-service (SaaS) environment. It works like a charm. No issues with
performance. We have had great responsiveness from HP. It does help reduce our support cost,
somewhere around 40-50 percent.
Gardner: Was there any indication that the SaaS model helped in terms of adoption,
participation, from the user perspective, did they seem to beneﬁt?
Murrah: Moving from hosted to SaaS didn’t affect usability, adoption, or anything. That really
was almost seamless. We were using the same application before and after.
Gardner: Same application, lower cost?
Murrah: That’s right.
Gardner: Can you offer us perhaps some look into the future of what you're planning and
managing your ERP for IT, as you termed it. Are there some next steps that will perhaps win you
the next award?
Murrah: Yeah, we'll keep our eye on that for the future. I think a couple of areas that we need to
work at going forward are more on our application support area. That's bringing the tool to
manage resources and activities and support operations, tying it a little more tightly into our
ﬁnancial management, and getting a little more granular on the skills and our ability to move our
resources around from place to place.
Gardner: Great. Well, we have been talking about managing complexity and projects. Motorola
has won an HP Award of Excellence for their efforts there. We've been talking to Judy Murrah.
She's the Senior Director of IT for Motorola. Thanks so much.
Murrah: Thank you, Dana.
Gardner: And thanks to our audience for joining this special BrieﬁngsDirect podcast, coming to
you from the HP Software Universe 2010 Conference in Washington D.C. Look for other
podcasts from this HP event on the hp.com website, as well as via the BrieﬁngsDirect Network.
I'm Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host for this series of Software
Universe Live discussions. Thanks again for listening, and come back next time.
Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Download the transcript. Sponsor:
Transcript of a BrieﬁngsDirect podcast with Motorola's Judy Murrah on cost optimization using
PPM from HP. Recorded at HP's software conference in Washington, DC. Copyright Interarbor
Solutions, LLC, 2005-2010. All rights reserved.
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