We are in the midst of so many externalities that companies have little control over. Be it pandemic, chip shortage, Ukraine war or 40-year high inflation, all these forces have pushed companies to rethink their technology spending and driving them to improve their bottom line. This means that their technology refresh cycles would become longer and they want to reap the maximum benefits from their investments. They expect their technology vendors to be proactive and provide prescriptive guidance along their technology lifecycle. They are looking for an outcome driven approach from their vendors rather than a mere tactical operational support.
So how can technology vendors deliver along these lines to their customer base ? As many vendors move away from a traditional break-fix, reactive support towards a lifecycle approach of delivering professional services, automation becomes an inherent need to deliver customer value. Telemetry based proactive and predictive insights augments the customer success, renewal and sales teams by giving them the timely insights needed to service their customers. Insights around the customer lifecycle stage or upcoming renewals and having outcome based conversations greatly improves the customer adoption that could potentially result in successful renewals.
As shown in the model above, augmenting the lifecycle service with automation capabilities allows the vendors to create additional customer value through multivendor differentiation, enhancing client experience, scale customer success practice, etc. Below are few target capabilities that can be built through service automation leveraging API’s:
Empower customer success teams through automated insights: Vendors can consume readily available insights from their customer install base through the APIs and embed them directly into their customer success portal. These insights can be an input to their customer health dashboard or can help to understand the lifecycle stage of their customer infrastructure. Driving customer usage and adoption are the key benefits to this capability.
Create multivendor differentiation and enhance client experience: Vendors who service multivendor products for their customers can develop a unified portal for their clients to enrich their experience and create stickiness. This can be achieved by combining API’s from different OEM vendors and building customer centric use cases that provides a one shop stop for all the client infrastructure needs.
Ensure timely renewals through commerce automation: If your customers have successfully adopted the product, renewals is less of an issue. However equipping your renewal managers by supplying timely renewal reminders with automated quotes becomes a critical step. This falls into the realm of commerce automation that leverages OEM API’s so that the vendors can build renewal workflows on the top
In this article, we understood how technology vendors can deliver additional value for their customers through enabling automation capabilities. Service automation is an natural augmentation for vendors who are already delivering through lifecycle delivery model. Finally, we discussed three automation capabilities that the vendors can consider as part of their automation strategy.