Posted tagged ‘Changepoint’

Announcing Finalists for TSIA TechBest in Adoption: Changepoint, LivePerson and Verint Systems

October 8, 2014


Each Spring I launch the TSIA Member Technology Survey, which tracks adoption, satisfaction, and planned spending across 24 categories of tools and services common within service operations. The survey reveals which solutions are most popular with TSIA members, and it is interesting to find out which vendors see growing adoption. One thing is certain: When the percent of members using a particular solution sharply rises, it indicates that provider has the right messaging, the right tools, and the right price for technology service organizations. Proven success within the TSIA membership means the solution meets the business needs of users, is delivering value, and doesn’t require extensive implementation or customization to be effective.

Comparing the results from 2013 and 2014, the three TSIA partners that saw the largest increase in member adoption are Changepoint, LivePerson and Verint Systems. These three firms represent the finalists in the 2014 TechBEST Best in Adoption Award and will be interviewed in the TechBEST Showcase that opens Technology Services World today in the EXPO Theater. The partner with the highest year-over-year gain in adoption will be named the winner during the opening EXPO on Monday, October 20th.


  • Changepoint. Changepoint is the leading global provider of Professional Services Automation (PSA) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions. The world-class product portfolio offers an unparalleled breadth of PSA and PPM capabilities, meeting diverse market requirements in both functionality and spectrum of delivery methodologies. From the largest and most complex enterprises to small and mid-sized organizations, Changepoint offers robust solutions that are available on-premise, hosted or in a pure SaaS model based on the specific needs of its customers that are located around the world and across industries.


  • LivePerson. LivePerson is the leading provider of live digital engagement solutions for business of all sizes. Through predictive intelligent targeting, LivePerson’s multi-channel platform, LiveEngage,  helps brands understand their site visitors’ intent and value, enabling them to meaningfully connect through the most appropriate type of engagement—including chat, voice, video, and content —and do so across all channels and devices. Through LiveEngage, businesses experience increased sales, improved service levels, while maximizing online marketing efforts. LiveEngage effortlessly manages all online customer interactions, and is simple enough for small business clients while still powerful enough to meet the requirements of our enterprise clients. In addition, LiveEngage is able to learn from every interaction, creating a feedback loop that enriches intelligence and optimizes future engagements, further enhancing business results.


  • Verint Systems. Verint® is a global leader in Actionable Intelligence® solutions and services. Its customer engagement optimization software and services help organizations optimize their workforces, improve enterprise processes, and enrich customer interactions to make them more engaging, contextual, and personalized while providing employees with information for delivering service more effectively. The Verint solution portfolio brings together proven workforce optimization and customer analytics solutions with advanced customer service capabilities from KANA®, A Verint Company. It includes workforce management, voice recording, voice biometrics, quality monitoring, speech analytics, text analytics, enterprise feedback management, engagement analytics, performance management, desktop and process analytics, elearning and coaching, along with knowledge management and other multichannel customer service solutions. From interactions in contact centers, branch offices, and marketing and customer care to the underlying back-office processes for service delivery, Verint solutions provide visibility into performance, operations, and customer intelligence across the enterprise.

To learn more about these partners, please attend the TechBest Showcase which opens TSW at 12:45PM on Monday, October 20th. Hope to see you there! And as always, thanks for reading!


Changepoint Acquires Daptiv, Adding Cloud PPM and PSA to OnPremise and Hosted Portfolio

August 21, 2014

Today Changepoint announced their acquisition of Daptiv, adding pure cloud solutions for professional services automation (PSA) and project portfolio management (PPM) to the Changepoint portfolio of OnPremise and hosted products. Changepoint, a long time TSIA partner and advisory board member, has been the top installed PSA platform for the last two years, according to my annual Global Technology Survey, and this acquisition will give them even more reach into PS, IT and development organizations wanting a SaaS solution.

PSA has three main modules: resource management, project management, and project accounting, and is used by professional services teams to automate the staffing of projects to maximize utilization rates, as well as providing dashboards so managers can track project status, costs and margins, identifying problems early enough to step in and correct the problem before the customer or project is impacted. PPM offers similar capabilities for IT and development project teams, matching skills and experience to projects, tracking project milestones and deliverables, as well as total costs for internal projects.

Changepoint’s PSA offering, available in OnPremise or Hosted options, is ideal for large organizations needing sophisticated capabilities. I’ve praised them in the past for their innovative approach to analytics, imbedding IBM Cognos into a release last year to deliver real-time management dashboards. However, with IT departments being downsized, more companies want at least one pure SaaS provider on the short list when evaluating PSA vendors, and Daptiv gives Changepoint a competitive edge, since they now can compete in deals for any deployment model.

Daptiv has been receiving good reviews for their technology, including a strong position in the Leader quadrant in the 2014 Cloud PPM Magic Quadrant from Gartner. Gartner even notes that Daptiv has been moving upmarket, with their average deal size now more than 200 seats, meaning they are competing with traditional players for large enterprise deals. Interesting, Daptiv has also imbedded IBM Cognos into their application for sophisticated analytics and dashboards, which provides a nice consistency across the Daptiv and Changepoint product lines.

Congratulations to the Changepoint and Daptiv teams on the deal! And as always, thanks to you for reading!



2014 TechFUTURES: What will Service operations look like in 2019?

May 5, 2014

Today I have the pleasure of opening Technology Services World with our TechFUTURES event, kicking off at 11am. TechFUTURES takes us forward in time five years, to the year 2019, for a look at the state of the industry with special focus on the impact of services technology. TSIA TechFUTURES focuses on three topics identified as primary change agents within the industry. The three topics are:

  • Analytics. “Big data” is not only a buzz phrase, it provides a solution to the explosion of enterprise data: harnessing the power of analytics to glean critical information from multiple, real-time streams of content. As an example, professional services organizations have historically run their operations using spreadsheets, only to find out at the end of the project that major milestones were missed, the project ran over budget, and customers are not satisfied with the outcome and are pushing back on payment. Today, we are beginning to see real-time dashboards that can pinpoint projects in trouble immediately, giving supervisors the opportunity to resolve problems and put the project back on course. With increased sophistication coming to analytics every year, what will big data look like in 2019? How will proactive dashboards evolve over the next five years?
  • Collaboration. There are many drivers behind the growing budgets for enterprise collaboration tools by technology suppliers. Younger demographics entering the workforce prefer to share ideas and collaborate on problems. Mobile devices provide mechanisms to ask questions of peers from any location, on any device. The rise of expertise management is making it easier to identify the expert on any subject—or any line of code. The growing number of remote workers means collaboration can’t happen over cubicle walls—enterprise collaboration tools are required. Looking ahead to 2019, with collaboration becoming the default communication mechanism for employees, how will this change the way we work? Looking beyond just employees, what is the role of partners and customers in collaboration?
  • Service Channels. The way we interact with customers has seen dramatic changes over the last decade. The shift from call centers to contact centers was forced by customers rapidly adopting emerging channels. First was email, offering a way for customers to thoughtfully describe problems without a phone call. Next was self-service, then chat, and today, rising adoption of social media channels means technology firms are interacting with customers via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and more. Looking ahead to 2019, what will be the dominate interaction channels for customers? With the Internet of Things allowing every device in your home and office to be online and interconnected, how can we further streamline and automate technology support to leverage the new always-connected customer?

TSIA has identified three technology partners to paint a vision of the future state of services, focusing on the topics defined above. The presentations will take us forward to 2019, and focus on “a day in the life” of Bob, a highly social, collaborative, connected, and data-savvy customer, as well as June, a high-tech support executive, responsible for consolidated service operations. How will the combined forces of analytics, collaboration, and evolving service channels impact June’s people, processes, and technology, and what new challenges can we expect from our future customer, Bob?

  • Changepoint: Analytics 3.0 (Data + Analytics) = Business Opportunities. Analytics 3.0 is the heart of the next phase of global transformation—it’s where big data and analytics join forces with strategic operational and decision processes to create new accelerated opportunities and revenue streams for businesses, giving rise to the Data-Driven Economy. In this TechFUTURES presentation, Changepoint futurist Larry Kading takes you on a journey about how all organizations—not just the large online pioneers—can compete in the Data-Driven Economy. However, while new business opportunities and revenue streams abound as a result of this global transformation, they only exist for organizations that understand how to get there. Larry will share the secrets of how June can exploit the opportunity with game-changing, analytics-based products and services. Control the data or it may control you.
  • Jive Software: Collaboration. The human brain is as powerful as 300 supercomputers, but excels at a certain kind of intelligence: creativity, innovation, and intuition. It is limited by its isolation and access to information, and because of its limitations, we have all adapted our behavior to machines much better at crunching numbers. Today, we are starting to carry devices more powerful than the original supercomputers with us all of the time that are always connected: the laptop, the tablet, the smartphone, smart watches, Fitbits, and wearable HUDs. In the next five years, the time may come when all of us will complement our own intelligence with hundreds of tiny, connected supercomputers that are able to instantaneously perform staggering analytics, expanding our concept of collaboration by presenting us with the right information, conversation, or access to expertise in the moment that we need it. In this TechFUTURES presentation, Chris Morace, Jive’s chief strategy officer and New York Times best-selling author, explores how much better it will be to work together in 2019. Find out what work will be like when we are empowered by powerful technology, and not tethered to it.
  • Service Channels., Inc. is a leading provider of cloud-based services and software that enable technology support for a connected world. In this TechFUTURES presentation, Amy Millard will discuss how the Internet of Things will continue to create new opportunities and challenges. We live in a world where our devices monitor, track, and connect the physical world, and this will only increase in the years to come. As device interconnectivity begins to touch every phase of our lives in both the business and consumer worlds, the stakes rise higher and higher for a seamless customer experience. Amy will share how tech support teams can rise to meet these challenges.

Please join us for this fun event to get your TSIA experience off to a great start. And as always, thanks for reading!

Where to find John at TSW Best Practices

April 30, 2014

Our big spring event, Technology Services World Best Practices, kicks off next week at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The conference begins for me on Sunday with partner advisory board and internal meetings, then we officially open the doors on Monday. I’ve been getting emails asking what I’ll be doing at the conference and where to find me, so wanted to give everyone a look at what I’ll be up to at TSW. Here’s a link to the full conference schedule.

  • Monday 11am-12:30pm. TechFUTURES: The Future of Service Technology. This is the opening event at the conference, and I’m really looking forward to it. I will take the audience 5 years in the future for a look at the impacts of Extreme Efficiency and Extreme Automation, focusing on 3 areas: Analytics, Collaboration, and Service Channels. We will have 3 presenters, from Changepoint, Jive Software and, each painting their view of 2019. Then the audience votes for who gives the most provocative view of the future. Don’t miss this fun event!
  • Monday 12:45-1:45pm. TechBEST Showcase. My annual global technology survey covers 24 categories of tools and services, with dozens of vendors/providers in each category. One of the things I survey about is satisfaction, and in general, the numbers aren’t that great. However, there are some bright spots with companies receiving extremely high scores. The 3 TSIA partners with the highest satisfaction scores are finalists for the 2014 TechBEST Best in Satisfaction Award. In this showcase, I will unveil the finalists and interview them about how they are able to have such satisfied customers.
  • Monday 3-4pm, Power Hour: The 2014 TSIA Technology Heatmap. In this session, I will reveal the results of my 2014 Global Technology Survey, including adoption, satisfaction and planned spending across 24 categories of tools and services, including analytics, CRM, online communities, web collaboration, PSA, and more. I will also touch on the top technology and social trends I’m seeing.
  • Monday 4:15-5:15, Pacesetter Practices: Social Media for Support. In this session I will talk about the results of my recent Social Media in Support survey, then turn things over to two experts on social support: Doug Pluta, Project Manager, Cisco; and Tim Lopez, Social Media Manager, Symantec. We will talk about the importance of social media both for customer interactions, but also monitoring social conversations as part of a larger voice of the customer strategy.
  • Tuesday 9:45-10:45am. Workout Panel: Key Criteria for Selecting a PSA Solution. Professional Services Automation (PSA) is now one of my top inquiry areas, with PS teams shopping for automation around resource management, project management, and project accounting. I will be moderating a panel of experts on the topic: Al Gray – Vice President, Bentley Systems; Keith Drab – Solutions Architect, Changepoint; and Jeff Gebhart – Senior Solutions Consultant, Planview. A prize will be given for the best audience question, so be sure to attend and participate!
  • Wednesday 11am-12:30pm, Service Revolutions. This is our annual “American Idol” contest for cool technology, with presentations from startups, established tech firms, and some TSIA members, on innovative technologies for streamlining and automating service delivery. I will be doing my best Paul Abdul on the panel of experts, providing pithy comments after each presentation. Live audience voting determines the winners.

I still have a few slots left for 1:1 meetings on Tuesday, so see Susie at the registration desk to book a time to discuss your service technology challenges, or to find out the best Mexican place close to the conference center. Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

Sneak Preview: Case Study Sessions at TSW Santa Clara

April 11, 2014

Sorry I’ve been absent from my blog for a while. My annual technology survey closed on 3/31, and I had 2 weeks to write 10 reports based on the data in order to have them edited and published in time our upcoming Technology Services World Conference in Santa Clara. All the reports are done, and now I’m ready to start working on slides for TSW. Many of the top attended sessions at our conferences come from the case study track, in which TSIA partners and their customers present real-world examples of technologies and services in action. Our conference theme is “Extreme Efficiency,” and the case study sessions will all include a focus on how innovative technology and service providers are driving increased efficiency for service operations.  Here’s a look at the sessions planned so far:

  • Delivering Support thru Technology Skill Groups. Technical Support organizations tend to be characterized by teams with product focus, serial escalation of more difficult problems, and complex workflows. NetApp has embarked on a path to bring the appropriate level of technical assistance as close to the customer as possible while continuing to improve support efficiencies. In this session, PWC and NetApp will share an approach to achieving these goals while servicing a highly demanding, global, extremely heterogeneous customer population. Leaders and practitioners that would like to explore new ways of providing high levels of service in complex technical environments will be interested in this presentation. Speakers: Matt Stone – Director, Customer Success Services, NetApp; and David Yoffie – Customer Impact Consulting Practice, PwC.
  • From C-Suite to Practitioner: Patheon Leverages PSA to Maintain Competitive Edge. In a global climate of outsourcing, services businesses are no longer exclusive to technology organizations. With greater emphasis on speed to market and extension of technical capabilities, one such industry moving more and more towards outsourcing is the pharmaceutical industry. However, there is one characteristic shared by all services organizations – the need to continually improve core KPI’s (revenue and margin) in increasingly competitive environments. Hear how Patheon, a global leader of contract drug development and manufacturing services leverages Changepoint to give it a competitive edge to improve efficiencies in delivery of services and profitability. Temoor Saeed, manager, Global PDS, Business Processes, discusses how Patheon, by strengthening its core operations, has deployed a strategy to drive efficiency improvements throughout its facilities, materials and supporting operations, giving it a broader solution for project delivery within its pharmaceutical development services division. Speakers: Temoor Saeed – Manager, Global PDS, Business Processes, Patheon; and Matt Weick – Director, North American Sales, Changepoint Corporation.
  • Next-Generation B2B Online Community. If you think online communities are just discussion forums, think again. Companies like AppDynamics are stretching the boundaries of a B2B community, encompassing documentation, learning, ideation, app exchange and other elements to create a one-stop shop for sharing and learning. In this session, Steve Levine, Senior Product Manager at AppDynamics, will share the business rationale for creating such a hub and what it took to bring all the right pieces together. Joe Cothrel, Chief Community Officer at Lithium, will set the stage with some observations about B2B trends across Lithium’s global customer base.
  • Power to the People! During an epic 15 year journey, Rackspace® has transformed from an obscure San Antonio start-up into the global leader in hybrid cloud, the founder of OpenStack®, and a constant on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. The home of fanatical support, Rackspace® now operates on four continents and is helping the world through the cloud revolution. Learn how they empowered customers to guide them on this journey by combining trusted disciplines and a fiery culture, with a unique set of tools. Then get a sneak peek into the future as they share their plans for empowering front line employees to drive the next wave of innovation. Speakers: Julian Lopez – Head of Customer Loyalty, Rackspace Hosting, Inc.; and Clayton Sherwood – Business Development Director, Clarabridge.

We are still finalizing abstracts and speakers for a few additional case study sessions, so stay tuned for more updates! Hope to see you in Santa Clara. And as always, thanks for reading!

Announcing Finalists for TSIA TechBest in Adoption: Citrix, Compuware, Coveo

October 21, 2013

Each Spring I launch the TSIA Member Technology Survey, which tracks adoption, satisfaction, and planned spending across 24 categories of tools and services common within service operations. The survey reveals which solutions are most popular with TSIA members, and it is interesting to find out which vendors see growing adoption. One thing is certain: When the percent of members using a particular solution sharply rises, it indicates that provider has the right messaging, the right tools, and the right price for technology service organizations. Proven success within the TSIA membership means the solution meets the business needs of users, is delivering value, and doesn’t require extensive implementation or customization to be effective.

Comparing the results from 2012 and 2013, the three TSIA partners that saw the largest increase in member adoption are Citrix, Compuware, and Coveo. These three firms represent the finalists in the 2013 TechBEST Best in Adoption Award and will be interviewed in the TechBEST Showcase that opens Technology Services World today in the EXPO Theater. The partner with the highest year-over-year gain in adoption will be named the winner during the closing Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, October 23.

  • Citrix is transforming how people, businesses, and IT work and collaborate in the cloud era. The Citrix GoTo cloud services portfolio powers mobile workstyles allowing companies to work with anyone from any-where. With GoToAssist, companies are able to deliver amazing support experiences and maintain maximum uptime of people, their devices, and apps. GoToAssist seamlessly integrates web collaboration with technical support and remote monitoring tools to remove support complexities, drive efficiencies, and reduce costs. Using all three capabilities together makes it simple for support professionals to identify, ticket, and quickly resolve issues. Citrix also offers other services purpose-built for collaboration and remote access that include GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, GoToWebinar, GoToMyPC, Podio, and ShareFile. Learn more at
  • Compuware Changepoint allows organizations to maximize professional services profitability and maintain a focus on effective product decisions and delivery. Changepoint’s PSA solution includes powerful business analytics and mobility, providing total operational visibility and control over the services portfolio. Services organizations can manage every aspect of their business with Changepoint, from customer acquisition, to services delivery, through to project financial control. Changepoint customers achieve strong margins, manage projects and resources with greater efficiency, deliver a competitive product and services mix, and maintain top-line revenues and bottom-line profitability. Examples of Changepoint customers include Altum, Circle Software, Innovaost, Kana, Patheon, Priocept, Sage, Steria, and Ziggo. Learn more at
  • Coveo makes companies more relevant and responsive to their customers by providing technology that delivers, in real time, the most relevant, context-aware information for every employee and every customer. Coveo’s revolutionary Search & Relevance technology takes knowledge management to a new, more relevant level by securely connecting with and harnessing an organization’s big, fragmented data from any combination of cloud, social, and on-premise systems. For example, with Coveo for Salesforce, case-relevant knowledge from anywhere (social, on-premise and cloud-based systems) is presented directly into the agent’s context, related to the case at hand: solutions to similar cases, knowledge articles, relevant communications, even experts who can help. Technology companies including Deltek, EXFO, Tokyo Electron America, and SunGard use Coveo to inject more relevant knowledge into customer service interactions, personalize online experiences, and radically boost knowledge management initiatives. Learn more at

I’ll be intereviewing the finalists today at 11:30 in the Expo. Hope to see you there! And as always, thanks for reading!

Compuware Changepoint 2012 Release: Usability, Embedded Analytics, Doc Management, Mobility

March 27, 2013

I attend a lot of vendor briefings, usually an annual update or to hear what’s new in the latest release. Last week I had an opportunity to catch up with Lori Ellsworth, SVP & General Manager for Compuware Changepoint, a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution which is one of the top installed PSA products by TSIA members, and one of my top recommended solutions for large enterprises. Lori gave me an overview of the Changepoint 2012 release, and there was so much to love I decided it was definitely blog worthy.

In my 2012 Member Technology Survey, 54% of PS members had budget for new or additional PSA technology in 2012-2013, and the early results from my 2013 survey (open until 3/31) show similar results. Companies are getting serious about moving off spreadsheets and enforcing processes for PS that bridge the gap between CRM and ERP. According to our benchmark data, companies that have adopted a PSA solution have improved metrics in many areas, including hot metrics like utilization rates and rate realization.

With this as a backdrop, the Compuware Changepoint 2012 release has a lot of differentiating features, including:

  • UI overhaul. The new version of Changepoint has more of a web 2.0 look and feel, including support for a wide range of browsers. The app looks better, the user controls are updated and intuitive, and they also make great use of browser space to minimize scrolling.
  • Mobility. Making use of technologies like HTML5, Changepoint now offers mobile device support for a wide array of devices, including features for time and expense tracking on smartphones, and real-time management dashboards available on tablet devices.
  • Offline capabilities. We like to pretend that staying connected 24/7 is easy, but the truth is that life is filled with pockets with no cell reception (like my neighborhood), and places where connectivity isn’t allowed (hospitals, airplanes). Compuware Changepoint has been brave (if you’ve ever helped develop an offline synching application you’ll know what I mean–it ain’t easy) and introduced offline capabilities on the laptop using an Excel based expense template, with a typical use case that a PS consultant can enter their expenses offline while flying home from a project, and the expense report can be uploaded as soon as they reconnect.
  • Embedded analytics. Last year I published a report about how service organizations were leveraging big data, and what I found is that few service organizations have a standalone BI tool, or the expertise to use it. The companies getting the most value from analytics have adopted platforms with “best of breed” analytics embedded in the platform. This is the route Compuware has taken, embedding IBM Business Analytics (Cognos) into the  Changepoint 2012 release. The release includes a library of real-time dashboards, and that library will continue to grow with each new release. With business user-targeted controls, PS groups can now start doing real analytics–no data scientist involved.

  • Document generation. Another OEM partner included in the Changepoint 2012 release is Intelledox, providing smart forms and automated generation of business documents and reports. Using a wizard-like interface which prompts you for needed data, Intelledox shortcuts the creation of statements of work, complex project bids, etc., increasing accuracy and saving hours of time per report. The rumors I’ve heard from the field is that existing customers can’t wait to get their hands on this integration.
  • eLearning. Compuware Changepoint has developed a library of training courses–all designed to be consumed in 5 minutes or less–to help new users get up to speed quickly. As an example, there are 40 lessons alone for working with the project worksheet. Contextual help is also available, linked to every part of the application, including an option to personalize the online help and eLearning  to contain company specific information.

I thought I would share Lori’s responses to some of my questions:

John Ragsdale: When I look at a PSA platform with as much sophistication as Compuware Changepoint offers, I’m surprised that so many companies–including many large ones–have yet to adopt PSA. But with high planned spending, luckily this is changing. Among your customers and prospects, what do you see as the catalyst that forces them to finally move to a PSA platform?

Lori Ellsworth:  While the timing may be different for every organization, we see a couple of catalysts for investment pretty consistently:

  • Revenue  growth – either it is already underway or is planned near term,  with an expectation of sustaining that growth rate.  Organizations need to drive growth while maintaining or growing margins, which they cannot do while “flying blind”
  • Greater dependence on services for adoption and delivery of an organizations product
  • Changing services portfolio – need to optimize core services and build higher value add services
  • Global expansion
  • Planned resource growth
  • Managing mergers and acquisitions

John: The Changepoint 2012 release is hitting on some very hot trends. One of those is mobility. What are requirements or use cases for mobility you frequently hear from PS customers?

Lori: We see the two most prevalent groups pushing to work in a mobile environment are executives and services consultants.  For the executive who carries their device everywhere, we are delivering real time visibility into key business metrics and dashboards on the tablet.  For consultants or anyone “on the road”, the advantages of tablet and smartphone access is about time and expense management , and participating in business process – making it easy for them to do both so that they can focus more of their time on billable projects.

John: Another trend you are leveraging in this release is embracing big data, and you can’t do better than an OEM of IBM Cognos–one of the most popular BI products available. Could you talk about how real-time dashboards can help PS management become more proactive?

Lori: It is essential that services leaders are able to have “real-time” visibility into the health of their business, because as you suggest, they need to be proactive. Whether they are looking at dashboards for utilization, rate realization, margins, performance by line of business etc. anywhere access to data allows them to operate their services business better by identifying issues and trends while there is still time to have an impact!

John: I’ve been wanting to see a demo of the Intelledox integration since I read all the buzz about it on Facebook when it was first announced. I have to think with budget cuts being a common theme for 2013, this is a “must have” integration. What sort of time savings are your early adopters seeing?

Lori: Our expectation is that this solution is all about saving time – we have a wealth of information captured in the Changepoint solution for every part of the business.  Our Intelledox partnership allows them to leverage this information to build real time critical business documents, and get them quickly out to the customer.  Think about a Statement of Work for a services organization, which must contain standard legal info, terms and conditions and customer specific pricing and detail, all in a professionally presented document.  With the Changepoint/Intelledox solution, dynamically choose the template and text need, insert customer specific data from Changepoint and publish the document in multiple formats.  The alternative is to do this manually – very labour intensive and error prone.  This is one very specific example and there are many others, but the savings from this can be enough to justify the investment!

I’d like to thank Lori Ellsworth, and the rest of the Compuware Changepoint team, for the briefing and demo, as well as for entertaining my questions. And as always, thanks to you for reading!

Leveraging PSA for Education Services: Resource Management

November 15, 2010

Earlier this year we launched our new Education Services discipline, and the TSIA Education Services Advisory Board is now live, with more than a dozen education executives from companies including BMC, Red Hat, HP, Kronos, SAP, and others. A big shout out to my research team member driving education, Maria Manning Chapman, who is doing a fantastic job building out the discipline. My contribution to our education members will be covering the core technology used by education services, and in anticipation we added a category for learning management systems (LMS) to the 2010 Member Technology Survey so I already have some information about what tools companies are using and how satisfied they are with them. In 2011, I will be working on a market overview of learning management technology, which covers a wide array of tools including content development and management, knowledge management, video and screen capture tools, remote delivery/distance learning, etc. Look for this report around mid-2011.

The first inquiry I received from an education member was not about LMS, however, but more on core resource management. What do large companies use to manage education resources? Are there specialty tools, are do they rely on an existing resource management tool?

To answer this question, keep in mind that education services are part of professional services in many companies, with administrator and/or end user customer training part of the total package of services typically sold in a deal. Today’s professional services automation (PSA) suites are sophisticated enough to manage complex scheduling scenarios, making staffing recommendations and warning about resource shortages using analysis tools that factor in consultant skills, training, certifications, location, salary costs, etc.

To get some real-world examples, I contacted Compuware, whose Changepoint PSA suite was named a Recognized Innovator last month in Las Vegas. Today I had a chat with Kirstin Roberts, Lori Ellsworth and Rick Morreau from Compuware, who confirmed that their PSA customers frequently use Changepoint to manage resources for education, making sure the right resource is allocated for any training class, and alerting in advance of training classes scheduled with no clear instructor resource available. It sounds like lots of things are making education resource management more complex these days. As an example, remote/distance learning means that a single resource can teach a class for the East Coast in the morning and for the West Coast in the afternoon, all from their office with no travel required.  With this level of flexibility, resources can be scheduled for multiple projects in a day.

Education customers use more of PSA than just resource management. The integration to billing systems and ERP means attendees can be entitled, tracked and billed correctly. The Compuware team offered several examples of how education services are using Changepoint today.

  • One company uses Changepoint, integrated with their online registration system, to track class sizes, manage training resources, and even generate invoices for all the people registered for a course.
  • Another company tracks each training class as a separate SKU within Changepoint, which are sold as packages to customers along with other consultant services. Delivery of all services, including training, are managed by the product manager as part of their deployment methodology.
  • Another customer integrated Changepoint with their LMS to handle training “credits” and track cost.

I clearly have a lot to come up to speed on for our new education services members, so if you have any cool examples of how companies are leveraging innovative technology for the process of education customers, let me know! And as always, thanks for reading!

TSW: Top Attended Sessions Illustrate Industry Trends

October 20, 2010

We are back for the last day of Technology Services World at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Our always amazing conference coordinator, Christi Holzer, sent me the attendee numbers for all of yesterday’s sessions, and as always, looking at the top attended sessions is a great indicator of industry trends and challenges.  Here are the 7 top attended sessions from yesterday, all with over 100 attendees–some close to 200 with standing room only.

  • How Smart Companies Use Social Media, Shawn Santos, Director, Programs & Community, TSIA. It is no surprise that social media continues to be one of the hottest topics in service today, and our own social media expert, Shawn Santos, unveiled findings from his latest social service survey, and provided insight into how companies are successfully leveraging these new customer touchpoints and collaboration opportunities.
  • From Good to Great and Beyond, a panel discussion with Thomas Pridham,TSIA; Joanne Weigel, TSIA; William Beach,Cisco Systems; Rachel Berg, PRTM; Nigel Marrion, TSIA Organizational Development Program; John Blakeman, Taleo; Mark Baniewicz, Xerox. Our members are very metrics driven, naturally, but with increased interest and visibility in support excellence, more companies are now interested in moving beyond benchmarking to do formal audits of their support operations. This is great news for the industry–customer service can be a major differentiator for a technology company, and getting a ‘best in class’ designation from an operational audit is a fantastic proof point for customers and prospects.
  • Global Customer Experience: Internationalizing Support; Erik Ryan, Knowledgebase Manager, ESET; Chris Hall, Vice President, Product Marketing, InQuira. I believe that InQuira, a knowledge management, intelligent search and customer experience partner of the TSIA, has had one of the top attended sessions at every conference since I started tracking this information. InQuira has a great ability to focus on meaty topics that address real problems for our members, and this session was no different, based in part on a joint research paper I worked on with InQuira on internationalizing support by offering knowledge content in any number of languages–something our advisory board says is a critical issue for 2010-11.
  • RightNow Technologies & Changepoint: Improving the Client Experience through Strategic Services Delivery; Leslie Williams, Director, Professional Services, RightNow Technologies; Lori Ellsworth, Vice President, Compuware Changepoint, Compuware. This session, which showcased how RightNow, a customer service/CRM vendor, revolutionized their professional service business by implementing Compuware Changepoint professional services automation (PSA) software. Since RightNow is one of the first and best known SaaS vendors, there was also lots of interest in how PS for SaaS vendors may (or may not!) be different from OnPremise vendors.
  • Breaking Down the Barriers Between Customer Support and Product Development; Bertrand Durou, IBM Support Manager – KT Program Manager, IBM; Christoph Goldenstern, Global Vice President, Service Excellence, Kepner-Tregoe. One of the key messages in The Complexity Avalanche is that support and development must work more closely together to create more usable and supportable products, and this session was a great example. KT’s Christoph–who is incredibly passionate about the industry and its future–co-presented with their customer IBM about IBM’s success with Kepner-Tregoe’s diagnostic and support processes, extending into areas beyond support including development.
  • Getting to the Heart of Best-In-Class Customer Service; Rob Gibson, General Manager, Product Support Group, Sears Holdings; Damien Choisel, Vice President, Service Knowledge Management, Servigistics. Knowledge management has always been a key interest area for TSIA members, and this session is a great example of why. Sears, America’s fourth largest retailer, has the largest field service organization in North America with more than 12 million service calls made annually, 3,000 call center agents and 9,000 trucks. This session documented how Sears tackled the challenge of decreasing customer service calls by improving knowledge management processes to gain faster issue resolution and a stronger knowledge base for call center agents. Through Servigistics Service Knowledge, a large percentage of Sears’ service calls are now being resolved over the phone, eliminating a technician visit. As a result, Sears has dramatically improved customer satisfaction levels and is now exceeding their year-to-date cost savings goal.
  • Inside Value-Added Services: Uncovering the Missing Link Between Increased Revenue and Customer Loyalty; Panel discussion with J.B. Wood, President and CEO, TSIA; Phil Nanus, Director, Business Critical Services, Symantec; Panel: Mike Charest, Director, Value-Added Services, Information Intelligence Group, EMC; Panel: Ashish Khanna, Strategic Support Manager, NetApp. This panel discussion from the chairs of the VAS Community of Interest discussed how and why the creation and integration of a value-added services model can lead to higher customer satisfaction and renewal rates while propelling revenue and margin growth. The panel provided “tales from the trenches” of VAS, sharing best practices, successes, and challenges in implementing a VAS business model, including the value of portfolio management in managing customer expectations and driving top-line revenue; the link between value-added services and customer loyalty; service delivery challenges along the evolution path (skills, staffing, and service quality); leveraging automation within value-added service delivery; interlock challenges/opportunities with engineering and consulting services along the path; leveraging the power of the team to generate new service ideas and opportunities.

The conference comes to a close today with our awards ceremony, presenting our TSIA STAR Awards, and I will be presenting the Fall 2010 Recognized Innovator Awards. Stay tuned for winners! And as always, thanks for reading!

Compuware’s Product Portfolio Management Approach Trumps CRM

February 18, 2010

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.