TSIA’s Technology Services World Conference in Las Vegas continues to gain momentum and grow and, after attending this conference for two years in a row, it is clear why. Not only does the show have attendees with great taste (Verint and FinancialForce.com Named Winners of TSIA’s Fall 2014 TechBEST Awards), it offers great content in the sessions that always leave me with insight into the current state of the professional services market. This year I left the show thinking about what I learned about Managed Services and the changes going on in the market there – reinforcing the notion that the Bucket Brigade model is just not good enough anymore.
Managed Services(MS) is an area that TSIA focused on a couple years ago with George Humphry, Senior Director Research and Advisory, heading up research. It is clear that more and more companies are finding success with Managed Services as the data shows it is providing one of the strongest areas of revenue growth. I then attended a great session by Sanjay Verma from PTC (a current FinancialForce PSA customer) titled “The Re-emergence of Managed Services” and their experience embracing this model in their business. What becomes clear after learning more about PTC is that this is all a part of the larger changes in the market and how a mixture of new technologies (primarily the move to SaaS) has evolved along with the customers who have changing requirements and ways of purchasing products and services.
“Everything that’s growing today has the word ‘services’ in it” and TSIA suggests that future revenue growth will come from services that are proven to improve customer business outcomes. So what does this mean to services organizations? Service organizations must transform the way they do business to take advantage of this growth and do business in the way customers want to consume services.
The old “Bucket Brigade” org approach is no longer enough. Professional Services companies must evolve in a way that breaks down the traditional Sales to Services to Support to Finance hand off. Instead, businesses need to embrace a focus on providing business outcomes with their services and they must tightly integrate sales and service and product in radical new ways. Andreas Weigend, Former Chief Scientist of Amazon is quoted saying, “You start with a model of the customer” and then have the ability to wrap all business functions around the customer.
As an example, I attended the session “Powering Up with Dedicated PS Sales” by Marc Solnet from Riverbed Technology, Inc. where he talked about how he led a transformation that changed the way they sold services by embedding Salespeople dedicated solely to selling services. For companies that successfully make this transition, TSIA’s research found that companies saw revenue increases of 30% with some growing as much as 20X!As I learned more and more about this evolution in the market I couldn’t help but get more and more excited about FinancialForce Professional Services Automation (PSA) and how well our vision has positioned us to help companies make this critical transition. From the beginning, our PSA solution was built on the same platform as Salesforce Sales Cloud (CRM) and this initially made the “bucket brigade” hand-off seamless, but we have already been seeing how our solution and customers are taking this next step and leveraging the benefits to re-think how they function. Services delivery or support can now see projects and opportunities and the same account detail the Sales team has. And Sales can also see project detail (with the ability to fine tune access to the field level of course). With a single, 360 degree view of the customer it is possible to leverage the powerful flexibility of the leading SaaS platform to enable our customers to evolve and immediately take advantage of the changes in the market that will ultimately allow them to experience exponential growth. What do you think about this evolution? Is this consistent with what your company is seeing and experiencing? How are you changing the way you do business to adapt?