It’s wonderful to see many of our great clients in person at IBM Rational’s annual Innovate conference! I always benefit from hearing their comments, whether it’s frustration or compliments. Client interactions here made me think deeper into how our clients have evolved over time.
I have been thinking about this for a while and had done some research on it. One changing trend I see is that our enterprise clients are becoming more "consumerized", meaning, they demand and expect to be treated like an individual consumer, with ease of access to information, instant response like those among individual consumer interactions, and "personal touch" for an enterprise-wide partnership.
This trend is very meaningful for my team and myself as we focus on client support. We used to look at some of the social media forums as more tailored for consumer market, but we now have clients telling us they hope to be able to find deployment guide through a Google search. We used to focus on our books and manuals but now clients give us kudos about our migration video on YouTube. These feedbacks have significantly encouraged us to go play at a much bigger platform! For this conference, we have all sorts of social amplification efforts going on, and we are putting our product contents into forums, tweets... Our client program managers are interacting with client advocates face to face. Furthermore, we are looking into other ways to interact with our clients, whether it’s through web tickets, live chat, or community forums.
The consumerization character is also an excellent fit for Rational portfolio. The entire value proposition of Rational product family is aiming at providing a common playground for accelerated development, and this common playground has significantly lowered the "entry criteria" for our clients therefore made the entire workflow flexible, personable, and more consumable. For example, Rational Team Concert would enable our clients to conduct multi-site development, accept site-specific or user-specific configuration variation, but yet provide an integrated blue-print of the overall enterprise project. This flexible yet reliable common playground has made it possible for many of our clients to adopt agile, to accelerate their development pace, and formulate the effective cycle of continuous testing and continuous delivery. Sal Vella, our VP of Development & Support, said it the best during Sunday's VoiCE keynote session, "This new world is all about developers!"
Time to jump back to more client dialogs. Continue looking for ideas on how to provide more consumerized service to our valuable clients!