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Top Takeaways from TSW 2017

by James Droskoski

Technology Service World (TSW) 2017 in Las Vegas hosted by TSIA was a completely different experience for us than the one we had at the San Diego show 6 months ago. This time around, we were a sponsor at the event with our own booth and, wow, were we overwhelmed with the support and feedback we received.

The conference theme, “The Art and Science of the Customer Journey,” was the perfect backdrop for some phenomenal presentations. We decided to highlight 3 themes that we found particularly interesting.

1. Embedding access to services is a HOT concept

John Ragsdale, TSIA’s VP of Technology and Social Research, presented a fascinating keynote titled Self-Service 2.0: Embedding Service Into Applications that particularly resonated with the WorkRails team. John spoke about building a customer experience strategy and then unveiled TSIA’s “PIMO” concept (Plan, Implement, Monitor, Optimize), which represents the well-known “LAER” concept (Land, Adopt, Expand, Renew) from the CUSTOMER’s perspective, rather than the supplier’s.

He highlighted that there has been a shift in services, with less demand for “break/fix” support and much more procedural “how do I do something?” help being sought. This coupled with their data showing that the majority of services are repeatable and that customers and organizations have an overwhelming desire for self-service solutions was certainly music to our ears.

John went on to mention Amazon’s Mayday on the kindle as a successful example of embedding service into applications. He was probably thinking about WorkRails’ embeddable Service Catalogs, but a plug like that would have been wholly inappropriate…but not for us. 😉

2. Services as a sales tool for existing customers makes all too much sense

Steve Frost, TSIA’s VP of Research for the Expand Selling discipline gave two very interesting presentations entitled, “How Sales, Marketing and Services Can Work Together to Drive Customer Growth” and “Utilizing Services-Generated Data to Uncover New Sales Opportunities.”

In both, he delved into the premise of Expand Selling: Because of the services team’s role as a trusted advisor and because it has 5 to15 times more contact points than sales, utilizing services touch points to generate leads, drive revenue growth, and provide better outcomes with existing customers is a no brainer. If you would like to read about this from a different angle, we recently wrote a blog on the topic.

3. A clear focus on delivering outcomes

Among the best attended sessions at the conference was “Driving to Outcomes in the Age of the Customer: How GE Digital Manages Outcomes Planning and Delivery” and the closing keynote by TSIA’s Executive Director Thomas Lah, entitled “Outcomes at Scale and The Supplier Led Sales Model.”

The concept of delivering outcomes and outcome-based solutions isn’t new, but it is clearly gaining traction. Dave Kocher, the VP of Customer Success at GE Digital, shared how they have been able to tackle this topic. He spoke about how GE is able to deliver outcomes based on stakeholder governance, outcome mapping, success planning, and value delivery.

There is no question that customers have increasingly high expectations in regards to delivery when they purchase something (the Amazon effect). It is important to standardize your offerings and productize your services into outcomes that can easily be bought and delivered. Or, as Workrails’ CEO Jeff Leventhal likes to say, “Customers want to buy outcomes, not effort!”


Bonus Takeaway

TSIA hosts one of the best Trade Shows ever.

The members of the team that we sent to TSW have had long careers and have dozens of conferences under their belts. They all agreed that this was one of the best run events, with top notch attendees and an incredible agenda.  Well-done, TSIA–we look forward to the Spring event!