At the recent Technology Services World (TSW) conference in San Diego California, I had the opportunity to meet with services experts and explore the trends in the industry. The TSW conference is a semi-annual event sponsored by the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) that showcases technology services with three goals for conference attendees: learn about current market trends, network with peers, and discover new technology services best practices. TSW provides attendees the opportunity to brainstorm with colleagues to improve their technology services, find ways to better serve their customers, and keep up in a rapidly evolving industry. This year the theme of the conference was X-as-a-Service (XaaS).
One of the highlights of the conference for me was the opportunity to meet with my peers from Avaya, CDW, Microsoft and others on the managed services advisory board. I also participated in an executive roundtable with JB Wood, President and CEO, and Thomas Lah, Executive Director of TSIA. We discussed various challenges in the industry for providers and customers, different services models, and major trends including the move to the cloud and a need for increased flexibility.
The technology services industry is changing rapidly driven by the evolving needs and requirements of our customers who are leading the move towards the cloud. Customers are increasingly looking for consumption-based models for procuring their technology solutions. Private clouds have become more popular as cloud technology evolves and the security of public clouds comes more into question. Cloud offerings must be flexible, light and nimble enough to accommodate these varying needs.
Polycom is of course delivering solutions in a way that combines the flexibility customers need with the high quality standards expected of Polycom. And we’re meeting those needs on a worldwide basis with our growing portfolio of cloud offerings that truly set us apart. With solutions like Polycom® RealPresence Clariti™, Polycom RealAccess™, Polycom® RealPresence Cloud, Polycom® RealPresence Media Suite™, we’re driving customer success across the board.
Another hot topic of conversation at the conference was the growing focus on customer success. Leaders in the technology industry are shifting their approach and are working more closely with their customers on driving business outcomes. That change means customers are expecting their vendors to be more involved throughout the Plan, Implement, Monitor and Optimize (PIMO) journey.
When our team at Polycom works with a customer, we’re striving to come up with the right solution to help drive the desired business outcomes. It’s not about point products. As vendors, we first need to understand what our customers are trying to achieve. Then we can recommend the holistic solution – inclusive of products, software, services, applications and workflows – that will make them successful. The individual components don’t stand alone. What creates value for the customer is the aggregation of the entire solution and the resulting experience that accomplishes the business outcomes. And it’s that holistic solution that we help our customers create.
When you buy a car, you don’t typically care what alternator it has, or what battery or carburetor. You care about the experience – how fast does it accelerate. You want to know it will get you to work every day or to the kid’s ballgame. That’s the outcome you need to achieve. In that respect, technology solutions are like cars. The overall solution is much more than the collection of the individual parts.
As a technology provider, our interest always needs to be on understanding and helping to drive the customer’s business outcomes. To do that, we need to take a consultative approach, not a product-focused approach. At the conference when I spoke with my peers from CDW, Microsoft, Dimension Data, EMC, that was a common theme. Our job really requires us to focus on customer success and by doing that, we’re building increasingly strong relationships with our customers.
My experience at TSW has helped me and my team better understand the evolving needs of our customers and the new industry trends. We have always been dedicated to serving those needs and are working diligently to plan for and provide the latest and greatest services in the industry.