Compuware’s Product Portfolio Management Approach Trumps CRM

There are a lot of problems with the traditional philosophy of CRM, i.e., marketing, sales and service organized around the customer.  One critical problem: where’s development in this picture? In a Web 2.0 world with customers demanding more influence and transparency regarding products, not emphasizing and enabling the customer:development relationship could be fatal.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot after spending time with Compuware last week to better understand their Changepoint solution,  which in effect enables companies to organize around the product–not the customer–yet still actively involve customers at every step. Compuware’s Product Portfolio Management (PPM) view of professional services (PS) and professional services automation (PSA) fills the void left by CRM, and for B2B companies in particular, seems a much more effective approach. Instead of marketing/sales/service, the Changepoint macro process is New Product Development > Release Planning > Project Execution > Product Support.

I was already familiar with Compuware’s PSA expertise; their PSA solution is highly adopted by TSIA members with strong satisfaction scores. But I didn’t know they offered a full suite of tools for development and technical support, including detailed bug and enhancement tracking, development project management, support incident management, customer self-service, and customer input on products a la idea storming. And, the product offers richly customizable dashboards to view everything.

Changepoint Development Project Dashboard

So much of TSIA’s view of the industry involves service and development working more closely together.  Making the product easier to support. Adding features to enable remote monitoring and maintenance. Prioritizing bugs and enhancements in order of customer impact and cost to support. Adding maintenance tools or industry versions to cut implementation project time.  On and on.  None of these problem will be solved by CRM, but incorporating an PPM view of customer management could.

For companies who don’t have their support incident or PSA software integrated to their development tools, you should really look at an end-to-end demo from Compuware to understand the value of viewing customer engagements and interactions in context of product development. It was certainly eye opening for me.

I’m doing a webcast with Compuware on March 4th at 10am PT, here is a link to register.  Please join us for a look at linking practices to business results and learn more about the Changepoint solution. Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any questions.

Explore posts in the same categories: Convergence, Professional Services, Technology

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