Xylem Exec on working with Trace3 and why more efficient driving is key

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CJ Fairfield

You need to be a part of everything from the original business case, through to implementation and making sure we get a return on our investment. This is what Trace3 does well. They’re co-writing the feasibility study, says Jack Sauerhart, vice president of global program operations and managed services for Xylem, why we need this, what it will solve, and what it will replace or improve.

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with the possibility of next recessionMost organizations in the IT industry are looking for ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Jack Sauerhart and Xylem are no different.

Swearhart is the vice president of global program operations and managed services at Washington, D.C.-based Xylem, a global provider of sustainable water technologies that improve the way water is used, managed, conserved, and reused. The company, which is a client of the solutions provider in Irvine, California tracking 3It also provides services for other utilities such as gas and electricity.

“There is a huge drive towards efficiency,” he said. “If you don’t have a solution and a single pane of glass where you can view all of this – whether it’s automation or monitoring or security – it’s very difficult.”

Swearhart was the 2022 winner of the Trace3 Outlier Award, which honors individuals who provide outstanding innovation and leadership in the IT industry. The award winner is selected by a panel of judges and announced at the event Trace3’s annual Evolve conference and party.

Xylem has been a Trace3 customer for about 10 years, but Swearhart never thought he’d be such a prize winner. He was proud to win it for his team.

“My team started very small,” he told CRN. “The team that I work with, they’re all really committed to the mission and really committed to what our products do. I wanted to win it for my family and I wanted to win it for the organization.”

CRN recently spoke to Swearhart about what he loves about Trace3, what he wants to see more from both solution providers and vendors, and how he wants them to help his company through tough economic times.

What do you like about Trace3 services?

Our big push is that you will come to help build the product feasibility study. Don’t come and shop me any tool or any part because we are not an IT store, we are a service provider. You have to be a part of everything from the original feasibility study, through implementation and making sure we get a return on our investment. This is what Trace3 does well. They’re involved in writing the feasibility study, why do we need this, what’s going to be solved, what’s going to replace or improve… So that’s the big part. I think Trace3 has the best engineers. From day one when we started working with them, Trace3 and their commitment to sourcing the best engineers they can hire makes a difference.

Where did most of your IT spending go in 2022?

If you’re looking at our biggest spend, it’s undoubtedly cloud and security. This will be the case in 2023 as well. When you think about the biggest challenge because we’re in multiple clouds all over the world, and then having such a large private cloud here in the US and Canada, how do you develop a single pane of glass from the security side that gives you visibility into every public and every private cloud that you’ve deployed. When we think about what we want to focus on in the next couple of years, that’s about it. We need more visibility in the private cloud part, not just the public cloud.

What do you want more from your solution provider?

I want them to be at the forefront of finding and introducing groundbreaking new technology, understanding my work, and explaining how it can add value. When we provide service, we don’t always have time to research what’s going on, spot trends and maybe suggest new products. What I want most from Trace3 is to continue to monitor what is happening in the market and then bring these things to me with a business case study on how to improve my operations. They should know my business inside and out.

Did you double down on cyber insurance?

Yeah. Now it is out of control. If we look at cyber security insurance five years ago, it was very reasonable. Now, in the same things that we talked about being great that were multiple clouds that were all over the world, there are all these new products opening up. … So I think electronic insurance and whatever’s going on out there, is going to explode. It’s a little worrying as a service provider because it’s not necessarily a cost that we calculated.

What do you want more from your sellers?

We are huge AWS customers. The value in sticking with AWS is the more you participate, the more credits you will have. …but I don’t want it to be just that part. I want it to be about smart spending and making sure our solutions are as efficient as possible. the support. Also a great piece is being able to, on occasion, supplement resources. A lot of these skill sets evolve very quickly. With AWS and everyone else, I expect them to help us operate as efficiently as possible and then be able to jump in with some extra skill on their part if needed if we fail.

When it comes to your IT operations, what are your pain points?

It should be about security. We are spread all over the world and everything in this industry is changing rapidly. Security changes faster than any part of anything else. So the truth is, it is relentless. You have to continue to stay on top of everything.

How do you prepare for an economic downturn?

We’re lucky enough, if you think about what we offer even in a recession – water, gas and electricity – you’ll need it. But having said that, there was a lot of focus on being as efficient as possible. Although our customer base is expanding, saying we will add heads is not so easy. There’s a huge drive towards efficiency and we’ve talked about the multi-cloud piece, if you don’t have a solution and one single pane of glass where you can view all of this — whether it’s automation or monitoring or security — it’s very difficult. Any spend is going to have a huge business case as I talked about. That’s what we’ll continue to push — to be more efficient with what we have. We can’t just go out and add all the people we need so we have to figure out how to make things more efficient. The answer is not just squeeze more people. The answer is to press More Tools.

    Learn more about CJ Fairfield

CJ Fairfield

CJ Fairfield is Associate Editor for CRN covering Solution Providers, MSPs and Distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked for daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. They can be reached at cfairfield@thechannelcompany.com.

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