Third-Party Maintenance for SAP Helps T-Mobile Enhance Customer Experience and Reliability
“Remaining connected to family, friends, and customers is incredibly important, especially in these times”
states Erik LaValle, senior director of product and technology at T-Mobile. “Our customers need to know that they can rely on us 100% of the time.”
The host of the largest 5G network in the U.S., T-Mobile helps more than 98 million subscribers stay digitally connected. From phone calls back home to wish mom a happy birthday, video chats between separated loved ones, or group texts shared by friends, the speed and reliability of T-Mobile’s network and wireless services help create some of life’s most simple, yet precious, moments.
Being part of something so pivotal in the everyday experiences of so many is an enormous responsibility. For LaValle, however, the opportunity to impact lives in such a small yet formidable way was one of the most important factors in his decision to join T-Mobile.
The senior director of supply chain technology is a career expert at enabling crave-worthy customer experiences. He sustains the T-Mobile brand promise — to deliver what you want, when you want it, where you want it — through meticulous oversight of the complex processes that bring products to life.
It’s a task that demands carefully planned business continuity across the countless interfaces and stakeholders that make up the company’s supply chain: Uptime and service reliability are paramount for every business and individual that depend on T-Mobile.
Third-Party Maintenance for SAP Facilitates Risk Mitigation
LaValle’s risk mitigation strategy relies, in part, on his partnership with a third-party software support provider for management of the company’s extensive SAP ecosystem. He notes, “The significant customizations that we have in our environment were a driver that motivated us to consider other options besides just core SAP support, because there were components that SAP struggled to support.
“The ability to respond to any kind of interruption is a huge priority for T-Mobile. Our independent, third-party support partner has helped us ensure that we have a clear path to recovery from any kind of service interruption. We’ve had a few glitches with internal components that have certainly gotten the heart pounding, but our partner’s staff draws on a breadth of experience supporting similar organizations, and this has been a great mitigation of risk for us.”
Since the beginning of the partnership, T-Mobile has benefitted from having an ongoing relationship with the same third-party support engineers and technical resources that truly understand the intricacies and demands of the environment. This continuity has helped reassure LaValle that they are the right people to take responsibility for the highly customized SAP environment that touches nearly every aspect of the company’s supply chain.
“Given the complexity of our business, when we bring in an external partner, they have to be able to work like an internal member of our T-Mobile family. Supporting our ecosystem with a balance of internal teams and the third-party support experts helps ensure business continuity across the entire supply chain.”
Third-party maintenance for SAP also helps LaValle balance the workload of managing T-Mobile’s expansive portfolio of supply chain processes. It’s a significant undertaking in and of itself that has only been compounded with the structural changes required by the acquisition of Sprint and the personal and professional stresses of a global pandemic and its impact.
“As a leader, I really try to balance what I ask of my team in terms of delivery, especially recognizing all that they’re personally going through at this moment,” explains LaValle. Leaning on third-party support to maintain the company’s mission-critical SAP environment makes the commitment to his employees and the customers T-Mobile serves that much easier.