Hot Topics from TSW: Top Attended Sessions

Greetings from Fabulous Las Vegas, where 800 of my closest friends are together for our annual Technology Services World Vegas. Yesterday was our first full day of breakout sessions, and I wanted to highlight the top attended sessions since this is an instant read on the top challenges facing our professional services, technical support and field service members. Here are the breakouts from yesterday with the highest attendance:

  • Providing World-Class Support in an SaaS Model, Moderator: Stephen Smith, Executive Director, SSPA; Panel: Krista Anderson, Senior Vice President, Global Support and Customer Success, salesforce.com; Panel: John Blakeman, Vice President of Customer Support, Taleo; Panel: Patrick Saeger, Vice President of Customer Care, SucessFactors

This was the top attended session at the conference yesterday.  If you follow me on Twitter (john_ragsdale), I’ve talked about how Ray Wang, one of the top ERP analysts in the world, says that even big company CIOs are saying from now on, all SaaS apps–even for financials and ERP.  This push is forcing software companies to move beyond onpremise or “hosted” deployments into SaaS, creating a whole new set of support challenges.

  • The Next Generation of Customer Support , Jeff Johnson, Vice President Customer Relations, Bomgar, Joseph Rappa, Director of Strategic Accounts, PlumChoice

This session is from our partner’s Innovative Technology track, and  focused on supporting today’s new customers and devices: Controlling customer support costs, Maximizing security in supporting mobile customers, Optimizing processes and staff in the face of new technologies, and Supporting multiple OS & different devices.

  • Engaging Your People: Your Customers’ (and Your!) Most Important Asset, Craig Bernero, Global Senior Director, EMC; Michael Charest, Director of Premium Technical Support, EMC

When I was managing tech support at JCPenney back in the late 80s and early 90s, talent management was a huge challenge.  It appears the same challenges that frustrated me 2 decades ago are still valid, along with new wrinkles such as generational differences and a growing workforce of remote employees.

  • Women in Services: Profiles of Success, Diane Brundage, Senior Vice President, Membership Development, TSIA; Mary Cay Kosten, Vice President, Global Customer Services, Sun Microsystems; Patricia Rash, Vice President North American Customer Support Center, Xerox; Charlotte Baker, CEO, Digital Hands; Judith Platz, Senior Vice President, Global Customer Solutions, Approva; Carolyn Pineda, Vice President of Services, Intergraph; Susan McKay, Director Strategy and Alliance Development, EMC; Jodi Schilling, Vice President of Americas Consumer Support, Hewlett Packard; Roslyn Jones, Vice President, Global Education Services, Informatica

Diane started this program at our Spring event and it has been wildly successful.  Technology services grew out of a long history of IT and development–largely male environments until recently. I don’t want to step into any stereotypes here, but my impression is that women in our industry sometimes have to work twice as hard to get ahead, and this impressive list of executive women go a long way toward inspiring today’s new female service employees that our industry no longer promotes based on gender…at least I hope that is now the case.

  • Go-Live: Support Helping Services Reduce Time to Value; Stephanie Dumbrill, Senior Director, Implementation Support Programs, CA

With all of our talk about service convergence, the truth is breaking down the silos between pro services (with a bent toward sales) and tech support (with a bent toward development) is going to be a tough haul for many organizations.  Stephanie did a great job of explaining how collaboration between the two groups leads to increased results for customers and stronger revenue.

  • Developing and Executing on a Successful Partner Enablement Framework; Doland White, Director, Global Consulting Partner Programs, Symantec; Heath Ramsey, Director, Partner Consultant Enablement, Symantec

As companies create a global presence and cobble together end-to-end software and hardware solutions, having partners for sales, implementation and software extensions is a fact of life.  Managing these partnerships effectively remains an unreachable nirvana for most companies. This presentation focused on the Symantec Consulting Partner program’s enablement model, with an overview of the program’s inception (from objective determination, target partner base, and design), details on its launch, and lessons learned.

  • Quarterback Ratings and Knowledge Management: Maximize the “Pass Efficiency” of Your KM Users; Jeff Harling, Global Process Manager – KM, Avaya

I hyped this session previously so was glad to see Jeff get a big crowd to discuss his analytic approach to identifying top knowledge contributors, editors, and users of content.  With self-service success numbers continuing to drop, identifying the elements involved in creating the best content will become even more important.  I think it is interesting that so many complex analytics are available in discussion forums to identify the most valuable community contributors, yet we don’t have the equivalent for our employee knowledge workers.  Hopefully more companies will adopt Avaya’s approach.

I will be back later in the week with more top sessions and overarching trends from the conference.  Thanks for reading!

Explore posts in the same categories: Best Practices, knowledge management, Professional Services, Technology

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3 Comments on “Hot Topics from TSW: Top Attended Sessions”

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