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

Mikael Blaisdell has only begun to reveal the possibilities for the future of Customer Support. His vision of support emigrating from a cost center to a profit center is forward looking and timely. But Blaisdell goes beyond theory by providing a new modus-operandi, one that replaces the out-dated call center model and moves it from on-site to on-campus.

For those of us reared in traditional Silicon-Valley thinking, where product support is often an unwanted afterthought, Mikael’s twenty-first century vision looks beyond out-sourcing and overseas labor to focus on what’s real and what’s now. His on-campus concept is based on two essential ingredients: Efficient technology, and the utilization of people who grew up with computers, enthusiastic young people who are inherently savvy about both technology and American expectations.

Who better to up-sell the client, or cement an ongoing relationship that is beneficial to both customer and provider? The pool of potential talent is immense, Mikael tells us, but that’s only the beginning. For Blaisdell’s On-Campusing Initiative reaches into the potential host university or college with well defined notions of making student participation more than a simple part-time job. His point is clear and practical: product support has academic implications. It offers participating colleges new course potential, and a place where laboratory experience and customer support easily blend into a new, and profitable reality.

I don’t know anyone who knows the support business better than Mikael, nor do I know anyone else in the field with his extensive international experience, and hands-on involvement in establishing new support venues.

If you’re from the academic community, or an old hand in Silicon Valley, Mikael Blaisdell’s profit-centered, on-campus support ideas point the way to the future of productive, mission critical, support activities.

Robert W. Butche
Historian, The Ohio State University
Peer Reviewer: Teacher’s College, Columbia University

April 23, 2007