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ABB Electrification Americas Saves Thousands of Hours and Delivers Huge ROI With Tanium

ABB Americas’ initial three-year investment in Tanium was $130,000, and its estimated ROI is $1.75 million

Customer Spotlight

Acquiring another company can be a great way to grow. But it can also raise new security challenges.

That was the situation facing ABB Americas, a unit of ABB Ltd., the 130-year-old provider of electrification and automation products and services. In 2012 ABB paid $3.9 billion to acquire Thomas & Betts, a designer and manufacturer of electrical connectors and components, as part of its United States expansion. Since 2010 ABB has spent $14 billion in the United States, its largest growth market, expanding plants and making acquisitions.

When ABB acquired the company, it also gained electric solutions that are used all the way from the grid to point-of-use. The acquisition of what is now called ABB Installation Products also brought ABB new employees, customers, and some 3,000 endpoint devices, mainly Windows 10 PCs. With those endpoints came a raft of new security challenges.

“We had a number of things — including third-party patching, endpoint management and encryption enforcement — that were simply not being done,” says Sam Cook, the end-user and factory excellence leader at ABB Electrification Americas. “That left the business at risk.”

For Cook, those gaps raised risks not only for his new employer’s operations, but also his own performance. “Keeping business operations running is my highest measure for success,” he says. “I also have KPIs [key performance indicators] for patching, endpoints and Windows versions.”

What Cook needed was an endpoint-management platform that could lower ABB Electrification America’s operational and security risks while helping him achieve those KPIs.

[A separate 2021 Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study found Tanium customer implementations provided an ROI of 277% over three years for a composite organization representative of interviewed customers.]

High stakes

Cook had encountered Tanium in a previous job, and he opted to bring Tanium to his new role at ABB. There was a lot riding on the decision, as the stakes were high. If ABB Electrification Americas had its intellectual property stolen, the newly acquired unit could go out of business.

“Our process prior to Tanium was meeting with users and manually patching,” Cook says.

Now, with Tanium installed, Cook and his team are addressing security tasks that were previously being done manually or just going undone. That includes third-party and Windows patching, general endpoint management, and enforcing BitLocker encryption on its devices.

Big gains

Using Tanium, Cook and his colleagues at ABB Electrification Americas have made big gains:

  • 97% of the company’s endpoints are now compliant with a 30-day patching cycle. That’s up sharply from just 13% before using Tanium.
  • 95% of the business unit’s endpoint devices are fully encrypted, up from essentially zero before using Tanium.
  • 100% of Windows endpoints are now up to the current OS version, up from only 30% prior to using Tanium.

Cook’s decision to use Tanium is also helping his company lower costs dramatically. One cost savings from using Tanium is a sharp reduction in the number of servers needed on premises. “Leveraging Tanium allows us to patch endpoints without caching servers,” Cook explains. “That’s allowed us to reduce our server footprint by a large amount.”

Tanium has also helped ABB Electrification Americas lower costs with automated patching. Further productivity gains have come as a result of fewer calls to the help desk. “That saved us thousands of staff-hours,” Cook says. He expects that in the final tally, Tanium could save the company 180,000 hours.

Best of all is the company’s anticipated return on investment (ROI). ABB Electrification Americas’ initial three-year investment in Tanium was $130,000. And its estimated ROI? $1.75 million.

Estimating Tanium software ROI — the elusive metric

Return on Investment (ROI) is the metric that tells CIOs and CTOs whether the money they spent on Solution X was worth it. What, quantifiably, did it do for the business? Nevertheless, in many cases, these executives are forced to accept anecdotal assurances from their teams. They don’t have the data to quantify results. The solution saved us time. Ok, but how much time? What’s the connection between time saved and revenue increases or cost reduction? In virtually every customer case study, regardless of the company or the solution being discussed, there’s a section devoted to benefits. Yet, unlike ABB Electrification Americas, often none of the benefits are quantified. And wouldn’t it be great if you could get an idea of ROI before you spent some of your precious IT budget on a solution?

Well, now, with Tanium, you can. Based on a framework developed by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tanium and based on the commissioned November 2021 Total Economic Impact™ study, the Tanium ROI report assists customers and prospects in ascertaining the potential value of Tanium as it applies to their needs. The report takes various data inputs and combines them with Forrester’s Total Economic Impact (TEI) data model to arrive at a report estimating the ROI of the Tanium XEM platform.

So, with Tanium, you can eliminate ROI guesswork. Find out your technology savings with a Tanium ROI report. Sign up today.

Tanium Staff

Tanium’s village of experts co-writes as Tanium Staff, sharing their lens on security, IT operations, and other relevant topics across the business and cybersphere.

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