How to Expand Your Business Creating ‘As a Service’ Experiences

In order to create experiences from “as a service” offerings, integrators can look to big names such as Disney and Apple, and learn what it takes to foster brand loyalty, chief among which is focusing on friendly, easy-to-maintain solutions.

Daniel Newman Leave a Comment
How to Expand Your Business Creating ‘As a Service’ Experiences

I  sometimes think people tire of hearing from me about the importance of evolving their business model. In the age of confirmation bias, we will continue to seek out opinions until we hear the one we want, and right now we want to hear that the way we’ve been doing things will continue to work long into the future.

I’ve been married a long time, so you can count on two things. First, I am OK with being wrong; and second, you can be sure that I will dig my heels in and continue to be right (wrong) for as long as I need to be until I get my point across.

The way people want to consume technology is drastically different than even five or 10 years ago. When we are looking for new solutions for collaboration, productivity, content sharing or even running our business we are cloud first, mobile first and perhaps more importantly experience first.

If you don’t understand what I mean when I say experience first, what I am talking about is the fact that people spend money on the technology and tools that make the experience better. If you want to meet, what sounds good, looks good and is easy to use. If you want to present, what works seamlessly, looks good in the room and requires the least amount of maintenance.

It is the combination of those factors that make something more than just a product, but a tool for companies trying to train, educate, sell or service their employees and customers.

The world’s great companies like Disney, Nike and Apple are all masters of the experience. This is why people stay more loyal to brands like these than any other. For years we haven’t focused on the experience. This is in part because we made money selling products and services, but also, the products and services weren’t experience friendly. They were lots of products cobbled together to make a system work but rarely would the user describe the experience as good.

[Big corporations] are completely used to paying for services like CRM, ERP, Cloud, Storage and more on a monthly basis.

However, times have changed. Over the past few years we have seen solutions like Zoom and Cisco Spark enter the market. Products like the Cisco Spark Board or the Microsoft Surface Hub that offer end to end integration and room collaboration to be connected to the desktop and mobile collaboration.

However, these solutions require a fundamental change in how we think about selling. For instance, Cisco’s Spark Board does all that a room needs, from collaboration to presentation but the way it works is the user pays a flat monthly fee of around $200 per end point for all of the services. It’s completely
turnkey.

When I shared something about this online, there were a number of integration folks who shouted about the insanity that $200 a month is “It’s too expensive.” To that I say they were wrong and if you want further opinion on this refer to my paragraph above about marriage.

So here is the thing, for a big corporation that has hundreds of meeting spaces where a single device can provide all of the video collaboration and presentation tech with no clunky integration, $200 is nothing. Even if they have 100 or 1,000 of these, I would still suggest this isn’t a lot as they are completely used to paying for services like CRM, ERP, Cloud, Storage and more on a monthly basis.

Given that there is no ongoing maintenance, complicated staff requirements or really even usability issues, these recurring prices are extremely reasonable. And the beauty of it … integrators can sell these types of products and earn RMR.

Now, the example I give above is one of many, but the concept of resisting change to sell complex integration solutions that have been “the way” is a mistake that integrators need to reconsider. People want things that run in the cloud, that are mobile friendly and that just work. This is a different business model than we are used to because it means that the “integration” is less important.

However, helping customers find what they want and delivering it to them is what will earn you the continued opportunity to grow and partner with your customers. This is why the subscription type as a service delivery model is the way forward. If you can do it well, it will benefit your business as much as the customer and if you avoid it you may find yourself missing the target for your clients.

So I don’t mind if you don’t want to hear about the need to change one more time. In fact, it is the continued resistance to making positive change that inspires me to keep talking about it. You know I’ll keep digging in.