Every year, TSIA’s top research executives gather to collaborate and share their recent discoveries about current trends in the technology industry. By sharing data on industry trends, best practices, and measured data, this research summit plays a key role in further assisting TSIA’s members in reaching their goals for customer success. Executive director of TSIA, Thomas Lah, provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what goes on during the 2014 TSIA Research Summit.
Details of the Research Summit
Q: How long has this summit taken place?
A: We’ve been holding this three-day summit annually for the past three years in TSIA’s San Diego office.
Q: Why is this research summit important to our members?
A: It is a unique opportunity to test and validate the critical trends that are impacting the service businesses of our members. During these meetings, our goal is to share key trends across all of our service disciplines and discuss how those trends impact each other. We also use this opportunity to identify research topics that we can leverage across multiple service disciplines.
Q: What’s your favorite part about the collaborative process?
A: Every service discipline has the opportunity to learn from a peer service discipline. For example, professional services organizations know a lot about delivering project-based services, but support, education, and managed services organizations may find themselves engaged in complex customer projects. How can the best practices from PS related to project management be leveraged within these other service lines? This is the exciting part of getting all of the service disciplines together in one room.
What Our Research Leaders Had to Say
TSIA’s research executives also offered their opinions on what can be gained by this summit, by both the research team and TSIA members. Here’s what they took away from the 2014 Research Summit.
“Setting up TSIA’s research agenda for next year means deep discussions about the latest trends in the tech industry. I am sure that the need to shift from being a product manufacturer to becoming a products, services, and software provider will further reach other industries. TSIA will support its members through this difficult transition.” - Tweet This
“The annual research summit is extremely valuable to me for my research planning. Since my technology coverage crosses all of TSIA’s service disciplines, it is a great opportunity for me to hear the hot trends and topics from each focus area. This helps me validate my topics to research for the coming year, as well as prioritize where to focus so I can provide the most actionable research for members. It was especially useful to hear about some areas of interest popping up in multiple disciplines, including analytics and dashboards, customer success, collaboration tools, and mobility.” - Tweet This
Vice President, Research, Technology and Social
“After our leaders introduced Success Science in our book B4B last fall and Extreme Efficiency this spring, the research team is now taking great leaps toward a more streamlined and science-driven approach with benchmarking and all surveys. The upfront work is significant, but the returns for our members will dwarf our costs and efforts.”
Director Research, Data Analytics
“Although we all operate under the same TSIA banner, the research summit is a great way for us to benchmark each other and our respective disciplines. The FS discipline will benefit by adopting the pacesetter practices of the best researchers in the business and understanding how they addressed key issues faced by members of their respective disciplines.” - Tweet This
Vice President Research, Field Services
“The benefits to the research team from our annual summit are undeniable, but I think the group that ultimately benefits the most is our membership. During this summit, we always manage to take huge steps forward in making TSIA more valuable for the members, whether it’s improving research techniques, providing better ways of responding to inquiries, creating more useful frameworks, you name it. In so many ways, it’s time extremely well spent.”
Vice President Research, Professional Services
“Our membership is encountering one of the most dynamic changes they have seen in the history of the services industry. It is clear to me that TSIA is being used more and more as a true partner and trusted advisor. In the support services discipline, we remain focused on the traditional support arena, but are looking forward to assisting the membership in creating and aligning their customer success teams. Our combined research is going to be more important than ever to our members.” - Tweet This
Vice President Research, Customer Success and Support
“The TSIA research summit is a great way to learn how the other service disciplines are being impacted by current market trends. Since I usually focus on research specific to my discipline, I don’t always know how various trends are impacting the other service lines. I always learn something new from my fellow research leaders during this summit, which gives me a different perspective and allows me to apply this knowledge to the education services discipline.”
Senior Director Research, Education Services
“There’s no doubt about it, the world of technology is rapidly evolving toward service-centric consumption models. Getting together at the research summit really puts that into perspective, especially from a managed services point of view.
Thomas jokes, ‘We’ll all be working for managed services some day.’ That’s because managed services is typically the first offering a product company is able to bring to market in the “outcome services” space. It’s the easiest for tech companies to understand and the path of least resistance for most of our members. It’s also because most MS members are now starting to bundle professional services, education services, field services, support services, managed/operate services, and even product (hardware and software) into managed services. In short, software is eating hardware, services is eating software, and managed services is eating it all!” - Tweet This
Senior Director Research, Managed Services
“Participating in the research summit is like being in a think tank for three days. It's a unique opportunity for the research team to galvanize our thought leadership with the objective of helping members quickly improve their business performance and brainstorm new ways of connecting with members, helping them consume our research and insights. I am very excited about the research and new toolsets we will be delivering to members over the coming year.”
Vice President Research, Service Revenue Generation
If you are interested in learning more about how the current trends in the technology industry can impact your business, join us for TSW 2014 Service Transformations, October 20-22, in Las Vegas. We will be discussing the above research topics and more, such as building your services portfolio, hot trends in knowledge management, and how to transform your product-based business into a customer success organization.
About the Author
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), and B4B (2013).