Thomas Lah

Thomas Lah is executive director of TSIA. Since 1996, he has used his incisive analysis, strategic thinking, and creative solutions to help some of the world’s largest technology companies improve the efficiency of their daily operations. He has authored several books, including, Bridging the Services Chasm (2009), Consumption Economics (2011), B4B (2013), and Technology-as-a-Service Playbook: How to Grow a Profitable Subscription Business (2016).

Thomas frequently writes about these topics:
Customer Outcomes | B4B | Outcome Engineering | Customer Success | Customer Adoption
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Recent Posts

What Makes TSIA Strategic Services Different from Consulting?

Posted by Thomas Lah on 10/18/17 5:00 AM

Often, TSIA members will ask us what the difference is between a traditional consulting engagement and TSIA Strategic Services. While we are always excited to share the many benefits of TSIA Strategic Services, the best way to fully understand the difference is to ask someone who’s experienced both and offer their unbiased perspective. I had the pleasure of speaking with Byron McDuffee, VP of Global Strategy for CDK Global, who recently wrapped up an advisory engagement with us. Here is what he had to say about his experiences and how they compared to traditional consulting.

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Topics: consulting, customer outcomes, TSIA Strategic Services, outcomes

LAER Explained: A New Customer Engagement Model for a New Business Era

Posted by Thomas Lah on 10/17/17 9:14 AM

The act of selling technology has undergone a radical change. Purchases are no longer the large up-front investments they once were, but are instead made up of lower cost subscriptions and value-add services. As a result, the features and function of the technology are now less important when compared to the business outcome achieved by using the technology. In this new era of technology-as-a-service (XaaS), the ability to successfully deliver customer outcomes, keep customers on your platform, and get them to spend more money over time will be what determines your company’s profitability and success. 

In order to thrive in this changing marketplace, TSIA believes that today’s technology providers need to shift their focus from selling more assets to growing customers successfully. To aid in this transition, TSIA has developed the supplier view of a customer engagement model called LAER (pronounced “layer”). While we have discussed this in blogs, TSW conferences, and the new Technology-as-a-Service Playbook, here are the basics of LAER explained and its impact to the customer-supplier relationship.

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Topics: XaaS (x-as-a-service), customer-supplier relationship, customer adoption, customer outcomes, expand selling, LAER, customer engagement, Technology-as-a-Service Playbook

Profitable Subscription Business Models

Posted by Thomas Lah on 10/11/17 5:00 AM

In the first installment of my three-part series of articles about how the new subscription-based economy is affecting traditional technology companies, I talked about how product and service revenues are beginning to shrink across the industry. In this second installment, I'll be sharing what it means to embrace as-a-service offers in a tech business model and how that can lead to future profitability. 

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Topics: XaaS (x-as-a-service), cloud, SaaS (software-as-a-service), cloud computing, technology-as-a-service, subscriptions, Technology and the Subscription Economy

The Terror Facing Tech

Posted by Thomas Lah on 5/23/17 5:00 AM

I recently contributed the first of a three-part series of articles to Business View Magazine about how the new subscription-based economy is affecting traditional technology companies. In my first article, "The Terror Facing Tech," I discuss how both the product revenues and even service revenues for many well-established traditional technology suppliers are beginning to shrink. In response, they’re making the pivot toward the new as-a-service business models, yet are struggling to achieve profitability. So, what can they do to bridge this gap? Here is an excerpt of the article, which you can read in full online on Business View Magazine's site.

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Topics: XaaS (x-as-a-service), cloud, cloud computing, Technology and the Subscription Economy

3 Technology and Services Industry Trends for Profitable Growth [SlideShare]

Posted by Thomas Lah on 5/18/17 5:00 AM

For over a decade, TSIA has closely tracked the product and service revenue as well as the profit trends of 50 of the largest technology solutions providers in the world through our Technology & Services 50 index. This valuable information, which we aggregate from publicly reported data from a diverse list of hardware, software, and pure service companies, allows us to get an accurate view of the performance and overall state of the industry. This quarter, we’ve observed some key trends that are clearly pointing to an increasing reliance on both service revenues and profits to sustain the health and growth of most technology product companies. This SlideShare highlights 3 of these trends that can help you stay on the right path to profitable growth.

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Topics: Technology and Services 50, slideshare, TSIA Research

TSW Keynote Preview: Organizing for Recurring Revenues [SlideShare]

Posted by Thomas Lah on 4/21/17 5:00 AM

Even though markets and the revenue streams are rapidly migrating toward XaaS, the financial and organizational models of many technology companies are still catching up. So where do these organizational models need to change in order to keep up with where the revenue is now going? I explore this topic and more in my upcoming Technology Services World keynote presentation, “Organizing for Recurring Revenues.” Take a look at this SlideShare for a preview of what I’ll be covering.

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Topics: keynote, organizational structure, slideshare, Technology Services World Conference, recurring revenues, organizational convergence

The Importance of Organizational Convergence in a Recurring Revenue World [Infographic]

Posted by Thomas Lah on 4/6/17 5:00 AM

When we talk about “organizational convergence,” we’re referring to the blending of traditional service lines. Encouraging better collaboration between functions within your company can have many benefits, including increased recurring revenues, a more streamlined service offer portfolio, improved resource utilization, and more!

In this infographic, you’ll get a glimpse at three tactics for breaking down silos within your organization and achieving successful organizational convergence.

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Topics: infographic, Technology Services World Conference, services convergence, organizational convergence

How to Be Profitable in the Cloud

Posted by Thomas Lah on 2/14/17 12:00 AM

While it's clear that revenues from cloud-computing offers are rapidly growing, exactly how profitable these offers will be for technology companies remains to be seen. As part of Mediaplanet's Cloud Solutions campaign that unites like-minded industry leaders to highlight the technologies, people, and processes that are helping to empower, as well as seamlessly connect organizations across the globe, I contributed an article on behalf of TSIA exploring what it takes to be profitable in the Cloud. Here's an excerpt of the article I wrote which was published in both the San Francisco Chronicle and online.

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Topics: XaaS (x-as-a-service), cloud, Technology-as-a-Service Playbook, cloud computing

The Year of Convergence

Posted by Thomas Lah on 1/12/17 5:00 AM

Our industry has been debating the pros and cons of converging service organizations for years. And for good reasonthere are so many obvious and truly meaningful benefits that can be realized by breaking down the silos:

  • A more streamlined service offer portfolio
  • Improved resource utilization
  • Elimination of redundancies in skills and capabilities
  • Improved economics achieved through cost optimization

Yet to date, there has been little more than lip service paid to the idea of collapsing and blending service organizations and capabilities. Understandably so, as there are careers and jobs at stake, not to mention just how daunting a task it is to dismantle and reassemble longstanding and highly stable structures and processes.

But in spite of the inherent forces of resistance, we at TSIA believe that 2017 is the year where we will see widespread and meaningful progress made on services convergence. Here's why.

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Topics: organizational change, TSIA Organizational Convergence Series, services convergence, convergence, organizational convergence

Get the Business Outcomes You Want Even Faster with TSIA Strategic Services

Posted by Thomas Lah on 12/6/16 5:00 AM

Today's technology and services organizations rely on TSIA to provide them with the right business frameworks, best practices, and deep industry insight they'll need to overcome top business challenges, achieve specific business objectives, and thrive in a changing market. TSIA is excited to announce a new collection of offers designed to help companies like yours achieve desired business outcomes even faster, called Strategic Services. Through our Speaking engagements, Workshops, and Advisory Sprints, you and your organization can now choose the level of hands-on, customized assistance you'll need to meet your goals. I've asked TSIA's SVP Strategic Services and GM Major Accounts, Tom Pridham, to share with you more about Strategic Services, and how they can help your organization get the insights you need to drive the results you want in a fraction of the time.

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Topics: TSIA Strategic Services, outcomes, service business challenges

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