So you want to be SaaSy?


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One of the great things about my job (other than working for RightNow of course ) is being able to network and dialog with customers from our diverse marketplace. They say that variety is the spice of life and perhaps that is why I enjoy learning about the myriad of experiences, opportunities, and challenges out there. Many are similar to my own, but others are completely unique and sometimes even rather obscure from my perspective.

Allow me to illustrate this. If you are an employee of a company in our market, you could be the Director of Tech Support working for a rapidly growing online gaming firm that is being pressured under the weight of responding to your ever growing consumer audience. Perhaps you are the SVP of Customer Care for a global consumer electronics firm that is struggling with your Siebel deployment and realizing that after 10 years you won’t be getting what you wanted. Potentially you are a CIO who needs to make an extraordinary impact in the first 100 days and don’t have time for fleets of consultants and system integrators. You could even be the Vice President of Student Services for a major university with a requirement to improve student engagement and interaction with a limited budget. It is not outside the realm of possibility that you are a Colonel in a United States Military Command that needs a solution to manage casualty inquiries.

Lots of unique needs and lots of individual stories. As I’ve helped shape the solution to meet those needs, I’ve come to realize that there is also a great deal of consistency that we can target to focus on how our service is chosen and consumed, and ultimately help each customer maximize their success. As you think about jumping into the RightNow CX Cloud, it may help to focus your investigation in three areas:

1.   How do you provide customer (read: consumer, student, or warfighter) value? What services do you need to consume and deliver as an organization to truly innovate for your customer? How does RightNow CX fit into that picture today and in the future? I would refer you to the 8 Steps Methodology as a way to tackle this question. Work the value and engagement question first – it has nothing to do with Cloud Computing.

2.   How do you provide value to your company and internal customers? How efficiently can you deploy the service and how long will it take before you begin to enjoy the ROI? Remember that total cost of ownership (TCO) is important, but arguably more important is the return on investment (ROI). This question adds the efficiency dimension and provides the hard economic data for your decision.

3.   How will you manage risk within this solution? What proof points do you require, and what oversight do you need? Don’t overlook this important dimension. Things like operational risk, security risk, and compliance risk all fall into this category. Get your questions answered, but don’t forget that the answer in the Cloud world has a “service” dimension. But Cloud doesn’t mean you need to settle for more risk than if you did it yourself.

Interesting. The more things change, the more they stay the same. These are the same questions I’ve been asking for 20 years leading technology organizations. Fortunately, with cloud computing, the answers just keep getting better.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Laef Olson
Laef leads RightNow's strategy and vision for the company's technology operations including RightNow's hosting and data center management, internal systems design and development, and corporate security.


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