Nicholas Dimotakis –
In this blog, I look at some of the biggest obstacles IT vendors face when dealing with customers and how at Virtual Instruments we have tailored our services to specifically address these.
In today’s IT business we are faced with three major challenges as soon as ink touches paper: time, prioritisation, engagement.
Timescale of delivery
While the discussions between vendor and potential customer around their unique requirements may take months, as soon as the purchase order comes in, the product must be implemented at the client as soon as possible so that they can start using and extracting value from it. It is quite common for an organisation to take a long time to come to a decision but then require the solution to be in place in a few weeks. Often this scenario is ever more extreme in very large enterprises. This brings us to the next point.
Managing our backlog
At Virtual Instruments we continually have new orders coming in and, as a team that aspires to be best-of-breed, we need to ensure that we are providing the right services to the right clients at the right time. It is crucial for us to prioritise the delivery of products and services as efficiently and effectively as possible in order to ensure our customers get their hands on our technology within their environment as soon as possible. This means that when there are delays in a project because of one customer, we can use that time to progress with other customer projects and optimize our schedule to the day. However it is not only a matter of rapidly installing the solution.
Customer engagement and knowledge transfer
Engaging with customers is at the core of the quality of our service. We are not in the business of simply delivering a package to a client; we need to ensure that the customer entrenches themselves in our installed solution as much as possible so they can make the most of their investment with VI.
We appreciate that our customers often want to get moving as quickly as possible; as a result our QuickStart Services package has been tailored to meet this requirement while maintaining a high standard of service. The QuickStart package includes the complete installation of our product set at the customer environment, configuration of application dashboards, alarms and thresholds. We ensure that the client fully understands the product and take the time to transfer our knowledge to the relevant team, making the QuickStart package a convenient way of deploying our solutions in a short amount of time.
The QuickStart package is somewhat different to our Critical Infrastructure Audit. The audit is aimed at customer environments which do not have our platform installed, but where clients would like to benefit from capabilities of the Virtual Instruments solution and the value it brings. It is delivered through a portable assessment kit that contains Virtual Instruments’ complete solution. This is shipped to the customer and installed by the Services team in order to monitor and gather data from the IT environment over a specific timeframe. Based on the gathered information, the Virtual Instruments Services team then produces a detailed analysis in which performance metrics and statistics are pulled out.
From timing to quality of service, there is a great deal to consider in our sector. Indeed, Virtual Instruments products and services, from QuickStart to the critical infrastructure audit, are all about improving efficiency and we carry this ethic throughout our business.