Creating the Ultimate Customer Portal: Function

Posted by John Ragsdale on 2/4/16 6:30 AM

In this three-part blog series, I’m answering some of the most common questions I receive about how organizations can go about creating the ultimate customer portal. In my previous post, I outlined the reasons why companies need a customer portal and discussed the first of three critical elements to consider when creating the ultimate customer portal: design. This post will focus on another key element, function, as well as introduce the types of features you’ll want to consider including when building your own.

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Topics: customer portal, Creating the Ultimate Customer Portal

TSIA's 2016 Service Capability Heatmap

Posted by Thomas Lah on 2/2/16 7:30 AM

Tech companies are currently experiencing an incredible disruption to their tried-and-true business models. While traditional products will always remain an important revenue source, now is the time for technology providers to develop more subscription-based cloud offers in order to meet changing customer expectations and keep pace with industry trends. To make the transition from a product-based business model to one that includes technology-as-a-service (XaaS) offers go as smoothly as possible, leaders need to know which service capabilities to invest in before making the change. To provide some guidance on this journey, TSIA has created the 2016 Service Capability Heatmap.

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Topics: x-as-a-service (XaaS), cloud, service capabilities

Welcome New TSIA Members! January Edition

Posted by Technology Services Industry Association on 1/29/16 6:30 AM

At TSIA, we are dedicated to helping services organizations both large and small grow and advance in the technology industry. We’d like to take the opportunity to welcome our newest members, as well as acknowledge companies already a part of the TSIA community who have recently expanded their membership to include additional service disciplines TSIA has to offer. Here’s a little bit about each company, in their own words.

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Topics: New TSIA Members

[Case Study] How Salesforce Monetizes Adoption Services

Posted by Julia Stegman on 1/28/16 6:30 AM

While it will always be important for technology companies to create great technology, they must also take a more proactive role in ensuring their customers are successfully using the technology. As a result, many technology companies have begun offering adoption services. Though traditional services focus on making technology available to customers, adoption services deliver a more compelling value proposition–they ensure customers derive value from the technology in an accelerated manner. 

While some of the more basic tiers of adoption services can be included with the purchase of the technology subscription, the more labor-intensive and/or higher value adoption services should be offered for a fee. But how do you decide where to draw the line between free and fee adoption services? (Tweet this!) In this post, I will deconstruct Salesforce's approach with adoption services to help you understand what a successful monetization strategy looks like.

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Topics: adoption services, service revenue generation

Achieve Subscription Success Through Customer Journey Mapping

Posted by Dhaval Moogimane, Steven Michalkow, and Peter Armaly on 1/26/16 7:30 AM

The subscription economy continues to push its way into our everyday lives. It’s highly likely that nearly everyone reading this post has a subscription to Netflix, Spotify, or ZipCar, or even Dollar Shave Club.

In technology, the subscription shift isn’t just happening on the consumer side—many enterprise technology providers are also making the transition. The SaaS segment of enterprise software will grow at an aggressive 18 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next three years, and will represent approximately 31 percent of the total software economy by 2018[i].

In this post, we will outline why delivering a remarkable end-to-end customer experience is key to subscription success, two golden rules of customer engagement, common barriers to success, and the power of customer journey mapping in achieving it.

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Topics: customer success, customer experience journey mapping, software-as-a-service (SaaS), customer engagement

Using Education Services to Drive Adoption

Posted by Maria Manning-Chapman on 1/21/16 6:30 AM

As technology solutions providers, you want to make sure your customers are effectively using and adopting your company's products and/or services. When customers are able to achieve their desired business outcomes with a solution, they’re likely to spend more with your company, so it’s in your best interest to make sure customers are realizing a solution’s full potential and achieving their ROI. The best way to ensure this is to provide adoption services that give your customers the training, support, and resources they need in order to realize the full value of a solution. 

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Topics: adoption services, education services, adoption

[SlideShare] New Networking Events at TSW!

Posted by Technology Services Industry Association on 1/19/16 6:30 AM

Get ready for three days of networking and idea sharing at TSW San Diego 2016! To celebrate our first conference in our new home of San Diego, we’ve added some very special social and networking events featuring the best of what America’s finest city has to offer. Take a look at this SlideShare for a complete list of the great networking opportunities we have planned, and join your peers in technology services to learn about Tech as a Service: Winning in the Cloud. (Tweet this!)

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Topics: slideshare, Technology Services World Conference

3 Levels of Customer Adoption Explained

Posted by Nicole Dornsife on 1/14/16 6:30 AM

As technology suppliers, once we’ve landed the customer, our next goal is to get them up and running on our platform and successfully using our solution. With today’s changing business models, they may not be buying an asset up front, but instead might only be paying a little through a subscription, or a “freemium” model where they haven’t paid anything at all yet and are still in the “try before you buy” phase of their purchasing journey. Still, our goal remains the same: we need to get them to adopt and to actually use the technology. Why? We want to get them to expand their spending with us and ultimately get them to renew their contracts.

At TSIA, we refer to this process as the LAER Model: Land, Adopt, Expand, Renew. So, how do we get those customers to that first critical milestone of adoption that unlocks expansion and renewal? To illustrate that, we need to first talk about three types of customers we all recognize, originally introduced by Thomas Lah, TSIA's executive director, in his keynote presentation, "The Who, What, Why and How of Driving Adoption and Outcomes". 

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Topics: adoption, customer outcomes, LAER

Who Should Sell Managed Services?

Posted by George Humphrey on 1/12/16 7:30 AM

Selling managed services is unlike selling anything else in the technology industry. It’s a journey that the salesperson needs to take with their customer, which are typically much longer than the traditional product sales motion, and require specialized skills. Based on recent TSIA research, we were able to get a closer look at the types of roles engaged in managed services sales motions within the industry’s top companies. While the majority of companies we surveyed allow their general sales team to sell managed services, recent trends are showing that some are building a dedicated sales team within their organization, which has yielded some interesting results.

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Topics: managed services sales

Improve Your Onboarding Practices for Customer Success

Posted by Peter Armaly on 1/7/16 6:30 AM

In a previous life as the leader of a Customer Success organization, when speaking with the team I referred to the customer onboarding process as “our one perfect moment.” The logic was that it’s the single period of time when the customer is completely dependent upon the vendor before they’re able to take the next step forward. After all, during the sales process, they still have a choice whether to walk away or continue down the path to signing a deal. During the onboarding period, they are highly motivated to get started and are awaiting clear instructions from you, the vendor, as to what to do next. How you handle this transition will have a great impact on their decision to continue with your solution.

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Topics: customer success, onboarding

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