Q&A: Toni Jackson, SAP Fieldglass
Toni Jackson is the Director of SAP Fieldglass, APAC, responsible for launching the brand in the region and subsequently growing the business to encompass a team of over 50 serving some of the largest organisations in Australia and beyond. Ahead of this year’s SIG Regional Roundtable in Sydney (taking place May 12), at which Toni will be speaking on ‘Enabling Effective Services Procurement through Technology’, we thought we’d find out a bit more about her career, her company, and her thoughts on the role of emergent technology in the workplace today…
Outsource: Hi Toni: thanks for taking time out to speak with Outsource ahead of the Sydney Regional Roundtable. Could you please give us a brief introduction to yourself and your organisation?
Toni Jackson: I established SAP Fieldglass in 2010 in Australia for the APAC Region; since then I’ve enthusiastically expanded the business. SAP Fieldglass now calls some of Australia’s largest organisations as customers and collaborates with multiple MSP partners. I’ve assisted with the continued growth of SAP Fieldglass in the region, including the go-to-market strategies with SAP post-acquisition. SAP Fieldglass provides a cloud-based Vendor Management System (VMS) to assist companies in managing their contingent workforce and services procurement programs.
O: You’re going to be talking on ‘Enabling Effective Services Procurement Through Technology’ on May 12. Without giving away too much of your presentation, can you give us a few insights into the topic?
TJ: The topic will be centre on how organisations can achieve better cost savings and compliance with their service procurement vendors by actively managing them through intuitive automation. I don’t want people to think “actively managing” means an increased workload for the customers employees. It’s about using technology to capture the level of detail needed to simplify the management of contracts and push the relevant information to key stakeholders and decision-makers.
O: Do you think services procurement is even possible without technology today?
TJ: It is absolutely possible: we still see lots of companies managing millions in services spend through spreadsheets, even today. Is this solution a scalable, cost/time efficient and compliant solution? Absolutely not. Without the use of a single platform and source of truth to manage increasingly complex data, the customer would need more employees, multiple integrations and would leave themselves open to compliance issues.
O: What are the main potential challenges of relying so heavily on technology for such a crucial aspect of the business?
TJ: In my experience if I could wave a magic wand over each implementation it would be for the customer to spend as much time articulating how the business, its processes and its behaviours are going to change in sync with implementation of technology that will enable the desired outcomes. Some organisations believe that technology is the silver bullet, only to be left very dissatisfied by what they have purchased when they fail to give implementation the attention it deserves.
O: What are the primary skillsets you think are important in today’s procurement space and is this changing as technology becomes more central?
TJ: I believe that supplier engagement skills are very important. Organisations are looking for partners to continually drive improvement not just supply goods or services. The success of our platform is down to the partnerships we have built with our customers, they have a business problem and we work together, even co-invest to build the functionality that will not only solve their business problem but will then be available for all of our customers to use.
O: How does your organisation soothe concerns over cybersecurity?
TJ: Great question. We are a cloud solution, hosted in the US and EMEA, so these concerns are always front of mind for customers especially in Australia and with government clients. We are able to get the right people engaged from SAP Fieldglass to provide the necessary information for that organisation to be comfortable about their data’s security.
O: What’s your idea of the perfect client/vendor relationship?
TJ: To me the perfect relationship is where you are together focused on the road ahead and even when it gets rocky that the strength and depth of the relationship will prevail in the end. Therefore, I can say based on that premise, all of my customer relationships are perfect.
To apply to attend the SIG Regional Roundtable in Sydney, May 12, click here. For more information on this event or any other aspect of SIG’s Regional Roundtable series, write to Stephani McGarry at firstname.lastname@example.org.