Kenny Stewart – Director of Professional Services
Dear Valued Business Partner,
Over the past 12 months, we have further strengthened our relationship with our partners which has been critical to our success in Professional Services. Our team is set up to deliver Consulting, Support and Technical Training solutions to our customers for each of our Business Units; NetIQ, Novell and SUSE. This delivery will not be achieved without the help from our trusted services partners in EMEA.
We all know that customers are not looking for us to simply sell them a product. Instead, we need to fully understand their business needs, priorities and challenges. We then present our solutions to the customer which can address these and provide a fast return on investment. This was highlighted in April at our global Sales Summit in Orlando. We invited two of our enterprise customers to share their experiences with us on what they expect from a vendor and its partners. What came out loud and clear was two main messages:
- Listen to our needs and provide us solutions which will address these
- Stay in touch and keep in regular contact to develop a trusted relationship between us
While this is not a newsflash for any of us, it is a great reminder of what is important when doing business with our customers
There are three main parts to Professional Services which we can provide to our customers and to you, our partners. These are
- Premium Support
- Technical Training
Our premium support offering is tried and tested for many years and provides a highly focussed, proactive support service from highly skilled engineers based in the local country of the customer and/or our partner. When your customers IT environment is truly business critical, we can provide direct access to 3rd level support expertise who have an intimate understanding of the customers environment and will provide extremely fast response times.
The engineer will also go to the customer site to provide health-checks on the environment and give advice on the preventative measures the customer should be taking.
This service also provides a Service Account Manager (SAM) who will develop a close working relationship to their customers and provide regular reports and analysis on Service Request history. The SAM will also manage all aspects of the service including escalation management, scheduling of engineer onsite visits and regular meetings with the customer.
Here is a summary of the three types of Premium Support we can provide:
||1. DSE (DedicatedSupport Engineer)
||2. PSE (PrimarySupport Engineer)
||3. ASE (AssignedSupport Engineer)
|Number of Customers per Engineer
|Customer Site Visits
||Four days per year
|Hours of Access
||24 x 7 (Priority Maintenance)
12 x 5 (Standard Maintenance)
|24 x 7 (Priority Maintenance)
12 x 5 (Standard Maintenance)
|8 x 5
We provide this type of support service to our Partners who then use us as their 3rd level support team for their customers. We can offer special pricing on these options above for Partners who purchase this directly for their (and their customers) needs. Partners can also re-sell these services directly to their customers and qualify for deal registration in the normal way.
We offer the technical support required to main.tain a lower cost infrastructure with higher reliability. With expertise tailored to fit our customer and partner needs, we are always there to ensure you succeed in maximising the IT investment.
Partners who resell our Premium Support Services are also entitled to a rebate via the Deal Registration process.
As a software company, we do not intend on creating a large consulting organisation. In EMEA we have a team of highly experienced consultants who have deep knowledge and skills in all our products and solutions. This team is backed up and complimented by our trusted services partners in EMEA who we use to partner with us on most of our project engagements.
The focus for our consulting team is simple. We clearly understand the needs of our customer and deliver projects on time and within the specified budget. This is achieved by blending resources from our internal team along with resources from our services partners. For each project we scope, we identify who are the right people (internal and/or external) to have on the project to succeed. We have seen that by providing the customer with a successful project implementation leads to other opportunities in terms of products and services.
Our consulting engagements are tailored to meet the needs of our customers unique requirements and can be delivered on a “time & materials” basis or by “fixed cost”.
We also provide our consulting services directly to partners. This is where a partner of ours has identified and won customer engagement and they will prime the project. In these types of situations, we can provide our consulting expertise to our partner to assist with the architecture, planning and provide best practices for the partner to follow. Our consultants can then provide a “project sign-off” for the partner at the end of the project to provide an approval of the delivery.
Partners can also re-sell our Consulting services directly to their customers.
We provide all levels of technical training to our customers and partners from foundational administration training through to technical advanced training. Training requirements vary from customer to customer so we have provided a number of ways in which training can be consumed.
Training partners can schedule, sell and deliver courses specifically released to the training channel (usually admin, certification etc) on their own and are authorized and approved to do so by the Training Partner program and the Certified Novell Instructor program.
We offer our customers and partners a free TSA (Technical Skills Assessment) where we provide an online technical questionnaire for our customer/partner to complete. The results of this show where the training deficiencies, if any, are and allows us to recommend the right type of training based on the TSA results.
- In Person Training. One of our listed training courses is delivered in person by Training Services in a specified location which can be at a customer site or a training centre in EMEA. The delivery of the training will be done by appointing a certified instructor from one of our EMEA training partners or from our internal instructor team based in US.
- Online Training. One of our listed training courses is delivered live and online by one of our appointed certified instructors from one of our EMEA training partners or from our internal instructor team based in US. This will be delivered in the EMEA timezone.
- On-demand Training. One of our listed training courses is accessed via the On-demand portal which the student controls. This is a virtual training which provides the flexibility to fit into peoples busy schedules. The student can progress the course in bite sized chucks which fit into their schedule with no time pressure to complete the training.
- Custom Training. This is where a customer wants specific training to meet the needs of their business and IT environment. A training package can be put together which takes the relevant sections from various training courses to put together a specific training course for the customer. This is delivered in person by Training Services in a specified location which can be at a customer site or a training centre in EMEA. The delivery of the training will be done by appointing a certified instructor from one of our EMEA training partners or from our internal instructor team based in US.
I hope that this provides a clear understanding of our Professional Services capabilities in EMEA and how we continue to work with our partners to succeed.
We are already into our new financial year and our focus in Professional Services this year is very clear:
- Continue to work closely with our trusted partners as one team
- Understand customer needs. Be their partner
- Apply our experts and best practices to ensure full value to the customer
- Be agile to meet the changing demands and needs of the customer
- Exceed customer satisfaction metrics = customer loyalty
My commitment to you is that Professional Services will continue to be a committed and customer focussed partner for you, helping you keep your customers satisfied and meeting your own business needs.
If you're interested in learning more about any aspect of Professional Services or you would like to be considered as a Certified Services Partner, please contact your Partner Executive who will guide you to the right person or contact me directly.
I look forward to your continued success.
Director of Professional Services