Live from the SSPA Best Practices Conference: Day 1
With a total attendee count around 800, the first full day of the SSPA Spring Best Practices Conference got underway Monday at the Santa Clara Convention center with our Executive Director, Steve Smith, giving his views on strategic industry trends. My favorite part was the move from people centric to tools centric to product centric, meaning products are becoming smarter and more easily supported, with intelligent, proactive service becoming the norm. There are some great examples of companies making progress here–Xerox and BEA come to mind–and I agree with Steve that this will continue, not only to drive down costs and delays in support, but also to create a better customer experience.
Next up Mary Cay Kosten, Senior Vice President, Global Customer Services, Sun Microsystems, gave a keynote describing Sun’s journey toward JDPower certification, which they achieved last year and are about to start the process to renew this year. Mary Cay spent time talking about the internal and external marketing plan which I think is something support organizations often need a bit of help with. Clearly achieving certification is a huge accomplishment, and companies should brag about it in any way they can.
I was up next to give a look at adoption and spending trends across the 24 functional areas in my annual Member Technology Survey, which tracks what service and support technology member companies use, how satisfied they are with it, and what their spending plans are for 2008.
I also announced the winners of the Spring 2008 Recognized Innovator Awards. Details on the categories and winners can be found here.
Attendees then had a choice of breakout sessions for the rest of the day. The top attended sessions were:
- The #1 top attended session was in the Benchmarking and Metrics track: A Balanced Scorecard Approach to Support Metrics, presented by Dave Brown, President, Support Center University
- The 2nd highest attendance was in the Support Operations track: Everything Must Change: Evolving from Hierarchical Escalators to Skill-Based Collaborators, presented by Craig Bernero, Global Senior Director, EMC Corporation
- The number 3 slot was in the Innovative Support Technology track: Ask the Experts: Best Practices Panel with Apple, GE Fanuc, Symantec, Mentor Graphics and InQuira. This was a panel discussion among: Jason Hekl, Vice President, Marketing, InQuira; Joe Hines, Manager Applecare Knowledge Management, Apple; M.J. Hawes, Senior Manager Applecare Global Online Support, Apple; Kim Kelley, Support Delivery Systems Program Manager, Mentor Graphics; Scott Duhaime, GlobalCare Product Manager, GE Fanuc; Bradford Smith, Senior Director Support Experience Team, Symantec Corporation; and Brent Hayward,Vice President Services, InQuira
- The 4th highest attended session was in the Embracing Web 2.0track: Customer Service in the Web 2.0 Era, presented by Krista Anderson, Senior Vice President of Support and Customer Success, salesforce.com
- The 5th hightest attended session was in the always popular Knowledge Managementtrack: Beyond Knowledge-Centered Support, presented by Robert Rose, Director of Knowledge Management, Global Enterprise Support Services, Symantec, and Tom Fuhriman, President, KnowledgeTraks
I played tour guide for my Innovation Tours of the Expo, stopping for a brief demo from each of the Recognized Innovators, and spent the rest of the day in 1:1 meetings with members.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for top attended sessions from Day 2.