The HotLine Magazine Archives
For The Profession of Cloud/SaaS Product Support
By Robert Butche

It’s increasingly apparent that Mikael Blaisdell is onto something of immense importance. His view of customer centricity in 21st century support functions is visionary thinking. The message is clear — a new paradigm is unfolding before us. And a new paradigm is what is required to support the changing role of technology in our lives and businesses.

Technology is no longer a gee whiz game for tekkies. The world has changed and will continue to do so — making Mikael’s conceptualization of what’s to come all the more relevant and actionable. Both hardware and software are undergoing a major sea change in concept, portability and use. Devices that once remained stationary are now portable and in the hands of millions of users. Software that not long ago was locked into a local island — bereft of direct engineering accountability, and supported only by inadequate and ineffective voice communications, is fast becoming a service, not a product.

SaaS redefines the relationship between customer and vendor, but one idea remains sacrosanct, resolute and invariant: The Customer, not the product or service he purchased, is the source of profitability. As Mikael has taught us, support activities in the future are customer centric — and in the doing, support becomes part of the product — and the essential ingredient to an ongoing customer oriented relationship.

I concur with Mikael’s assertion that the support operations that will survive in the new world ahead will be those that accept the challenge to become power players. By controlling the after-sale customer relationship, the customer centric support contact center becomes the key player in garnering customer loyalty through satisfaction. In the doing, Support moves from its origins as an orphan, cost of doing business function, into a central player in meeting corporate goals and profitability.

Mikael got it right. The time is now. The customer is the source of profitability and our new mission is meeting corporate goals by assuring customer satisfaction.

(Robert Butche is the Publisher of Newsroom Magazine.)

December 12, 2007