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Value of Software Maintenance and Support

We pride ourselves on the value we provide our customers for maintenance and support, whether it is on our own software products, or on the Clarify software products we also support. I have written frequently about the level of service we provide, often citing customer examples to back up our claim.

We are often asked by customers who are considering switching to our Clarify Help Desk Program why we are better than Amdocs. Here’s what we highlight – First, Dovetail charges considerably less than Amdocs charges for support. In tough economic times, this is an important factor. We then talk about our customer service and how our customer support staff is top notch and the service they provide is fabulous (OK, I’m bias, but our references back us up). We go on to say how support cases are immediately handled by someone who can help them as opposed to our competition. But I have to admit, in explaining this to customers, we have missed a key element of the value of our support.  Let me explain.

I was reading an article about Rimini Street  recently, and they talked about how they offer support for Siebel, PeopleSoft, and SAP customers for half the price that the software vendors charge. Their CEO, Seth Ravin, went on to say that, ”Customer service at many enterprise software companies is the equivalent of bussing your own tables at McDonald’s.” Rimini Street senior VP of global marketing and alliances Dave Rowe added :

“Like fast food restaurants, software vendors have trained users to solve their own issues rather than providing full service for the huge fees they charge .The reality of software vendor help desks, including multiple layers of people and escalations to get to a senior engineer with experience; training clients to believe it is acceptable to simply say a current issue is “fixed in the next release”, and brushing off client issues with weak responses and excuses like “the manual says it was designed that way,” forces customers to have to resolve their own issues.”

Wow! Well said. I wish I had come up with that, but in the end I am just glad that someone did because it speaks very well to the differences between the support Dovetail provides to its customers and our competition. The competition’s goal in providing customer support is to try to find a way to make their customers solve their own problems, rather than provide the support their customers are paying good money for. We have seen this multiple times, especially via Toolbox for IT where Amdocs customers, frustrated with the lack of support they are getting from Amdocs, utilizes the forum to seek assistance. On the other hand, Dovetail’s goal in providing customer support is to make the customer successful by solving their problem. We have even helped those Amdocs customers who couldn’t get the help they needed from Amdocs, even though they aren’t Dovetail customers (read one of my prior blog posts).

We will continue to provide Value in our Maintenance and Support Programs and do whatever it takes to make our customers successful. Thanks Rimini Street for giving us additional ammunition to highlight our value.

Until Next Time,

Stephen

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