Posted tagged ‘TSIA’

10th Annual TSIA Global Technology Survey is Now Open! Free Research Report for Participating

March 3, 2015

I’m pleased to announced that my 10th annual TSIA Technology Survey is now open! This survey covers 24 categories of tools and services used by customer support, professional services, education services, managed services and field service. The survey is open to everyone (not just TSIA members), and if you complete the survey, you will receive a copy of the resulting research report, “The 2015 TSIA Heatmap,” which discusses adoption levels of each category and top technology trends related to service organizations.

The survey addresses adoption, satisfaction, and planned spending for commonly used technologies including CRM, knowledge management, enterprise search, web collaboration, online communities, social media monitoring, analytic platforms, learning management, etc.  The survey asks which line of service you work for, then only prompts you with categories that apply. For example, if you work in Field Service, you will be asked about scheduling and dispatch tools, and if you work in Professional Services, you will be asked about professional services automation. So you won’t have to answer all 24 categories!

Along with the traditional service technology, the survey also addresses some emerging hot technology areas critical to TSIA’s B4B, customer success and expand selling messages:

  • Consumption Monitoring/Analytics: These tools are used to measure and monitor customer consumption of technology, gauging how quickly customers are adoption new tools, common process flows, top used features, number of users and length of session time, etc. Consumption Monitoring is a key piece of a Customer Success strategy.
  • Recurring Revenue Management: These tools are used by service professional to manage the sales and renewals processes for maintenance and service contracts. Functionality includes automating renewals, renewal dashboards, and analytics to predict likelihood of renewal and manage profitable contract/maintenance programs.
  • Upsell/Cross-Sell: Also known as offer management software, these tools prompt call center, tech support, field service, or renewal sales reps with contextual offers to extend to customers, using analytics to identify offers they are most likely to accept. Tracking extend and accept rates, the software continues to learn which offer to prompt for which situation and customer profile.

I make great use of the data collected, with mulitple reports published of the survey findings for the Spring Technology Services World Conference in Santa Clara. First is the 2015 Technology Heatmap, which looks at high level adoption and spending trends across service disciplines. This report will be sent to everyone who completes the survey. In addition, I will publish detailed spending report by service discipline, a separate report on EMEA, as well as the “top installed” report, listing the top used tools or service providers in each category. If you are a TSIA partner, ask your customers to take the survey!

The survey is open until March 31st. It should take less than 10 minutes to complete the survey. Your responses are kept confidential, and are only reported in aggregate. Here is the link to the survey:  http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1994057/2015-Global-Technology-Survey

Thanks in advance for your support, and after you take the survey, pass along the link to your friends in service organizations! The more responses, the better. And as always, thanks for reading!

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Interview with Mark Middlekamp, TSIA VP Research for Expand Selling: Take Our Survey!

January 30, 2015

TSIA’s research team continues to grow. I was the original research hire back in 2006, and as we have added new focus areas we have hired some very bright people to manage the research stream for those areas. I wanted to introduce our newest research team member to you, Mark Middlekamp, VP Research, Expand Selling. Mark has launched a new survey to gather information on expand selling practices and metrics, and I had a call with him to learn more about the survey and his research plans for 2015. Here’s a sneak peek at the conversation:

John Ragsdale: Mark, welcome to my Eye on Service blog! Thanks for taking the time to chat about expand selling and your new survey.

Mark Middlekamp: My pleasure. Thanks for having me!

John: TSIA has been documenting in our Service 50 and Cloud 20 studies for several years now that product revenues are falling, and service profitability is under pressure, especially for Cloud providers. It’s clear to me that our industry is searching for ways to reinvigorate profitable revenue growth, and I stress “profitable.” There is also the big trend of launching customer success organizations to encourage customers to adopt and consume products, with an emphasis on demonstrating value so you have an opportunity to sell more. Let’s start on the people side. What do you see happening within tech companies related to their efforts to expand revenues within their existing customer base? My experience is that most B2B firms are good at landing the initial sale, but struggle with the revenue expansion piece over the longer haul.

Mark: Your observations are correct, John, in that our industry is struggling with how to sell more products and services, and to do so profitably over time, beyond the initial sale. I think many people would be surprised to know that most Cloud providers, who are growing very rapidly, are in fact not profitable. We refer to this emerging area as Expand Selling, and believe it will be at the center of our industry thinking just as we are seeing now with customer success as you just mentioned. As for the people side, we see significant changes occurring in both sales and services related to how their roles are defined, the interactions between functions, and how they work together. The primary driver to all of this is that the cost of sales and marketing in this emerging new world is simply too high.

John: I’m guessing that sales processes are critical in creating new expand selling capabilities within the service organization. There are certainly a lot of competing process methodologies for sales, such as Miller Heiman and TAS, but these seem to focus on the initial product sale. What methodologies are out there for expand selling, or are these methodologies still being defined?

Mark: You are correct to point out that the processes for the initial sale are quite different than the processes for expand selling. We see expansion revenues from existing customers being generated in smaller increments and over a longer period of time. The frequency of suppliers selling large, upfront and highly profitable products with support services is diminishing. New methodologies and processes are needed. To your question, these methodologies are emerging, and TSIA is deeply invested in identifying emerging trends and best practices in this area. I was brought onboard in September to accelerate our efforts here.

John: Let’s touch on the technology infrastructure required for expand selling. I’m familiar with offer management, i.e., tools that can recommend upsell/cross-sell offers to extend to customers as part of a service interaction. But you recently asked me about lead management software, which isn’t something I’ve covered previously as part of service technology. What are some new areas of technology service executives need to better understand as they launch expand selling initiatives?

Mark: We see the technology piece as being multi-faceted. One of the key transformation areas we see is in the area of customer analytics. Specifically, how can tech companies use customer data, with their permission and support of course, to better understand how customers are using what they have purchased, and how they can better optimize how they use it to achieve better business performance. As you can see, there is a customer success element to this, which can lead to Expand Selling opportunities. Lead gen is tied to this, since how customers consume what they have purchased can identify new leads.

John: You just launched a new survey to gather information about expand selling practices within the tech space. Can you tell us who you are targeting with the survey, and what sort of questions you are asking?

Mark: It is called the “Expand Selling Practices and Metrics Survey” and is designed to baseline where the tech industry is on this important topic, and begin to identify best practices and high water marks. It is actually open to TSIA members across all of our disciplines, as well as non-members. It cuts across all technology company types from pure-play Cloud providers to pure Hardware and Software providers, including those who also offer Cloud services. As for roles, we are looking for those in sales, services, customer success, account management, marketing, and even product management. The best way to participate is to contact me directly. Here is a link to send me an email. (mark.middlekamp@tsia.com)

John: Glad to hear that the survey is open to everyone, and all respondents will receive a summary of the results. Mark, thanks for taking the time to speak with me today!

Mark: Nice to be here! I appreciate you featuring my survey in your blog.

Top Attended Sessions from TSW Day 2

October 22, 2014

TSIA’s Technology Services World Conference kicked off on Monday with a series of keynotes and one round of breakouts. Yesterday was the first full day of the conference, and I wanted to give you a peek at the top attended sessions. With over 1,300 attendees, we had a lot of standing room only sessions (I’m happy to say they had to bring more chairs into my KM session on Monday). Clearly when you get 200 or more people attending a session, you know it is a topic that really resonates with service professionals.

Here’s a look at the five sessions from yesterday with the highest attendance:

  1. Create Customers for Life with Customer Life Cycle Management. The pressure is on for technology companies as investors are expecting high growth year over year. And while a company can achieve some of this growth through customer acquisition, many companies overlook the fact that the secret to high growth is by maximizing customer lifetime value and increasing customer retention. So how do you grow recurring revenue and keep customers longer? Customer life cycle management is the strategy that will help your customers get more value from your products and solutions resulting in more profitable client relationships. Hear best practices from Cisco and Cisco WebEx on how, with a disciplined approach to customer life cycle management, you can drive greater revenue growth and keep customers for life. Tom Lay – Director of Service Sales, Cisco Software Annuities, Cisco Systems; Tony Brucha – Director, WebEx Customer Success, Cisco Systems; Eric Jeffries – Vice President of Customer Success, ServiceSource, Inc.
  2. Driving Profitability through Customer Analytics. By gathering feedback at each step of the customer journey, organizations can create a thorough understanding of the client experience and optimally manage it. Learn how to create a holistic customer feedback program and about how a top 25 accounting and business consulting firm uses customer insight to drive its customer relationships, internal innovation, go-to-market strategy, and business development. Rike Harrison – Chief Marketing Officer, Wipfli; Koren Stucki – Marketing Director, Customer Analytics, Verint Systems.
  3. Transform Your Company to Humanize the New Customer Journey. Customers have been spoiled. Thanks to companies such as Amazon and Apple, they now expect every organization to deliver products and services swiftly, with a seamless digital user experience. Many traditional organizations can’t meet the expectation of the new social contract, where the customer expectation is “you should always be there for me when I need you and you should understand the context of my problem–don’t contact me when I don’t want to be reached.” How will your organization adapt to this demand for intuitive interfaces, around-the-clock availability, real-time fulfillment, personalized treatment, global consistency, and zero errors—the world to which customers have become increasingly accustomed? We will define what this new customer looks like and expects across every step along their digital journey–from awareness, consideration, purchase, and service, to advocacy. Dean Shaw – Chat Program Manager, SAS Institute Inc.; Alon Waks – VP, Product Marketing, LivePerson.
  4. Performance Support: Driving Your Customers’ Consumption and Success…and Your Revenue. Helping your customers achieve sustained consumption and adoption of your software is a key revenue enabler for you. However, the path to adoption is changing. Customers can no longer afford to rely on classroom training and binders of printed content. They look for agile, on-the-job solutions to go from novice to master and reduce help-desk calls. Customers need solutions integrated with their work to deliver “just enough, just-in-time, just right, just for me” support. Embedded Performance Support is an innovative approach to enabling user performance by providing on-demand access to integrated information, guidance, and learning. In this session, you’ll learn how ANCILE software can make it drop-dead simple for your customers to use and consume your software–and for you to introduce revenue opportunities. The results? Customer success and customer retention. Malcolm Poulin – Senior Director, Product Strategy, ANCILE Solutions
  5. Challenging the Tiered Paradigm: Case Study in Moving an Organization from Handoff to Swarming. Tiered support is a keystone of standard support operations. It works predictably, but it’s inherently flawed. Service requests are owned and passed from one person to another like products on a conveyor belt. Once the conveyor gets to a person who can solve the issue, it gets solved. But until then, it has to follow its course and time on the belt, which slows down resolution. Customers lose patience being passed from person to person, and inherently, communication is inefficient, people lose context and we make the customer repeat steps and information. And, along the path, everyone can be doing “our job” but the customer doesn’t get what they need. Imagine a support organization without boundaries – where owners drive solutions by taking accountability for the customer experience and bringing resources to collaborate – to swarm on the issue. Then move that model to real-time with live first-engagement models like chat. The customer has continuity, accountability and accesses the best resource for the problem as quickly as possible. Tear down the tiers. In this session, we’ll discuss one company’s journey through that organizational change and discuss the challenges and approaches to the transformation. Linda Hartig – VP of Global Support Services (GSS), Avaya; Dan Pratt – Director, Strategy and Business Transformation, Avaya.

Congratulations to these members and partners for creating such dynamic content that really spoke to the needs of the audience. Thanks for reading!

 

Getting Ready for TSW: Partner Advisory Board, Knowledge Managment, and Customer Success

October 20, 2014

Today kicks off our Technology Services World Conference in Las Vegas at the fabulous Aria. Though the conference offically starts today, I was here yesterday for the Partner Advisory Board meeting. We had a very productive meeting, with a lot of sharing on both sides. I presented the findings of my recent knowledge management survey, and our newest research executive, Judi Platz, gave the partners an advance look at the Customer Success data she is releasing at the conference. Great discussions on industry trends related to knolwedge sharing and corporate culture, the cloud economy and impact on service operations, and defining and measuring customer success.

Today I open the conference with the TechBEST Showcase at 12:45, interviewing the finalists for our TechBEST Best in Adoption award. The results are determined by my annual technology survey, and we recognize the three partners who had the largest increase in adoption by TSIA members in 2014 compared to 2013. The finalists are Changepoint, LivePerson, and Verint Systems. For more information, here’s a writeup on the award and finalists.

After the opening keynote speeches, the first round of breakouts are the Power Hour sessions, with each of TSIA’s researchers giving a presentation on what is hot in their service discipline or focus area. My session will be revealing the results of my August Knowledge Management survey, and the results of the survey are being published on the TSIA website today as well.

The survey showed that companies still see enormous potential for productivity improvements from KM, and there is growing adoption of KM processes across service divisions. I also collected a lot of data on new technologies related to KM, including expertise management, unified search, mobility and video, and crowdsourcing content. And, I have data on KM staffing, approach to content maintenance, as well as very interesting data on corporate KM culture.  Stay tuned for a post tomorrow with a few data points from the survey. And for those of you attending the show, send somebody to my presentation today!

For those attending the conference, I still have a few 1:1 meetings available on Tuesday. If you’d like to book a 30 minute meeting with me, please ask at the conference registration desk.

Thanks to everyone for your support, and I look forward to seeing all of you in the EXPO!

2014 TSW Vision Awards at Service Revolutions: Recap

May 13, 2014

Last week at Technology Services World Best Practices, the closing event of the conference was the Vision Awards at Service Revolutions. This “American Idol” style competition gives tech companies 7 minutes to demo their coolest technology. The competition was hosted by our CEO, JB Wood. A panel of judges, consisting of Al Gray, Vice President, Bentley Systems; Tony Brucha, Director, Advanced Services, WebEx Customer Success, Cisco; and yours truly, asked questions and made somewhat relevant comments after each presenter. Audience voting determined the winners.

To be considered for Service Revolutions, technology firms submit applications in 3 categories:

  • Service Practitioners. These are service organizations within tech firms, showing off technology or programs they have developed to improve customer service, streamline operations, or drive service revenue.
  • Commercial. These are established technology firms selling products to service organizations. The products must be in Beta phase or newly released.
  • Startup. These are brand new tech firms within their first 2 years, often pre-VC, showing off products yet to be released. The winner of the startup category wins a check for $10,000!

The finalists who took the stage were:

  • Service Practitioner: Blackbaud. Blackbaud demonstrated their group consulting model for professional services.
  • Service Practitioner: SAP. SAP demonstrated their Learning Hub for customer education.
  • Commercial: Ancile. Ancile demonstrated their in-product dynamic help technology.
  • Commercial: Radialpoint. Radialpoint demonstrated their Google extension which incorporates internal content into employee’s Google searches.
  • Commercial: Transversal. Trasnversal demonstrated Prescience, their voice self-service product.
  • Startup: SimpleQL. SimpleQL demontrated their dynamic analytics tools, “the Festivus of Business Intelligence.”
  • Startup: XOEye Technologies. XOEye demonstrated their camera and video enabled saftey glasses for field service, with a price point in the hundreds–not thousands.

The winners were Blackbaud, Radialpoint and SimpleQL. I thank all the presenters for great demonstrations, and congratulations to the winners!

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 Support.com, 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: TSW EXPO Theatre Sessions

April 16, 2014

Our Spring Technology Services World Conference is just a couple of weeks away at the Santa Clara Convention Center, and I wanted to highlight some sessions from TSIA’s partner network you won’t want to miss. On Tuesday, May 6, we have four special sessions taking place in the theatres inside the EXPO. Grab some lunch, pick a presentation, and get the most out of your EXPO time.  Here’s a look at the agenda:

  • I Know Social Media. What the Heck Is Social Support? In Theatre One at 12:20, we have this presentation by Jive Software: The term Social Media gets tossed about a lot these days. So, what is Social Support? At Jive, it includes Social Media, of course, but it’s much more than just monitoring Facebook and Twitter. True Social Support means meeting your customers where they are, even as their support expectations evolve and change. Doing this well equals meaningful ROI in case deflection and improved customer impressions. We’ll define the key deltas between social media and social support with a framework to understand which will delight your customers. We’ll also discuss effective ways to bridge the two and share results from businesses succeeding at this now. Also learn to imbue your brand’s messaging into your social responses, with emphasis on reaching Millennials. Customer Care is now social. Join us to discuss a strategy to make you successful. Presenter: Tim Albright, Senior Director Community Strategy, Jive Software, Inc.
  • Innovate in Customer Support: At Least Six Hard-to-Fix Needs Satisfied Through One Solution. In Theatre Two at 12:20 we have this presentation from Sykes Enterprises: Great support is what your users expect. Delivering this and successfully handling the multiple, and often opposing, goals of maintaining high quality while minimizing waste, managing costs, increasing access, and remaining flexible, agile and relevant is what your business really needs. Virtual Contact Centers deliver on this by using home-based agents. Imagine if your customer support could: Meet seasonal demands without adding real estate; Barely miss a step when bad weather hits; Handle unexpected volumes within minutes/hours instead of days/weeks; Match agent knowledge/experience to customer needs/interests in their own area; and draw on skills and abilities from virtually the entire population of North America. Your speaker, Nick Sellers, TSIA Partner Advisory Board member, will: Describe how to recruit, train, manage and engage the team safely and securely without seeing employees daily; Show how the operation scales and flexes to meet changing needs; and provide examples of how regulatory compliance, security, and other requirements are satisfied. Join this session for insights into how Virtual Contact Centers are changing the way that customer support is being delivered and business objectives met. Presenter: Nick Sellers, Senior Director, Strategy and Marketing, Sykes Enterprises.
  • Convert Stellar Service into Revenue with Enhanced Digital Engagement. At 1:10 in Theatre One, we have this presentation from LivePerson: Best-in-class companies know the secret to converting high value visitors: You need to engage them at the right moments with the right message with the right medium. Companies like Intuit are re-inventing engagement strategies by moving away from treating website visitors with a “one size fits all” approach. The secret to their success is in identifying, segmenting and targeting those who are high impact, and engage each differently to convert them into lifetime customers. With the help of LivePerson, Intuit drives product adoption by creating a customized path for their most valued customers, maximizing the customer service experience to drive revenue. Learn how to use technology to identify your most important customers and guide them through their service journey, resulting in increased lifetime value and creating brand advocates–while lowering costs along the way. Presenters: Tim Egolf, Customer Care Designer, Intuit Inc., and Alon Waks, Head of Product Marketing, LivePerson.
  • Product Support 2.0: Addressing the Shifting Demands of Customer Support for Products and Services Businesses. At 1:10pm in Theatre Two is this presentation by Cognizant Technology Solutions: Product evolution and customer expectations on the support experience are going through fundamental shifts. As the velocity of business accelerates and products move to an “as a service” model, technical support is increasingly becoming critical to business continuity for end customers. Customers of products and services are demanding a high-quality service experience – available anytime and anywhere. Business leaders expect their customer support organization to become a strategic revenue driver rather than solely be a cost center. Further, businesses want to gain deeper customer insights to determine appropriate cross-sell/up-sell opportunities. The combination of these evolving business demands is what we are calling “Product Support 2.0.” Cognizant has a successful track record of delivering a next generation support experience across software product generations – through desktop, web, mobile, cloud models. Cognizant integrates world-class support operations with business/domain consulting, product/platform engineering, IT delivery, and analytics capabilities. Combined with our best-in-class people practices and “customer first” DNA, we are transforming support operations for our clients globally. In this session, we will share some of our best practices and approaches around “Product Support 2.0” and how you can deliver greater value to your customers. Presenters: Cary Oshima, AVP, Technology Industry Group, Cognizant Technology Solutions; and Mahesh Jadhav, AVP, Business Process Services, Cognizant Technology Solutions.

Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to TSW! And as always, thanks for reading!