The HotLine Magazine Archives
For The Profession of Cloud/SaaS Product Support
Before a SaaS/Cloud vendor establishes a Customer Success Management group, it’s vitally important to set the foundation for winning by clearly defining how the performance of that team is to be measured in both of its purposes.  The first purpose of the CSM group is the real benefit experienced by the customers.  The second is the value brought to the…

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Awareness of the fundamental changes driven by the shift to SaaS to the profession and practice of Customer Support, both to external Support and internal IT Help Desks, is growing. The Help Desk Institute has asked me to write a two-part series on the subject for their SupportWorld magazine, drawing on the continuing research of The SaaS & Support Project (tm). The first article, on “SaaS, Cloud Computing and The Redefinition of Customer Support,” will focus on the changes to Support when a company transitions its business application products from the traditional model to SaaS. The second, on “Moving to The Cloud: Transitioning Your Support Technology Suite” will also talk to both external and internal Support professionals, and will cover the process of transitioning a case-management system or other element of a standard support technology suite from an on-premised product to a SaaS solution. Additional input for both these articles is welcome, from managers, individual professionals and support technology manufacturers.

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The essential key to long-term success for a SaaS company is simply stated: No Churn.  Get the right customers and keep them.  But all too often, Software-as-a-Service companies fall into the bad habits of their traditional-model predecessors by focusing only on acquiring new licensee customers.  The resulting unconscious assumption that all customer relationships will automatically persist and/or be profitable…

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As the Software As A Service business model continues its rapid advance, the inherent changes for both vendor and customer are both substantial and significant. But once again, Customer Support is in danger of getting shoved to a back burner. I'm sure you've heard the usual statements of “strategies:” “SaaS doesn't need Support, it's included in the subscription.” “We're going to do it all via web self-service.” “The social networking community will take care of it for us.” And, of course, “just keep costs down.” If you'd like to be part of a smarter approach, you're invited to take part in a new benchmarking and research project that's aimed squarely at taking the best of what we've learned from the past and using it to create the future. The result will be best-practices data and better business + operational models for both SaaS and Customer Support.

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