Sunday, April 26, 2015

On Writing

Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.

- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

GoodData Guest Blog: How Data Can Make You Smarter

Can data really make you smarter? The true answer to this question is, “It depends.” Here’s what I mean.
If by “smarter," we mean that someone has learned something, then the answer is, “Maybe.” The science of learning has become more and more clear about how people learn, and it has very little to do with the existence or use of data. 
However, if by “smarter,” we mean that by using data to make better decisions, which leads to higher performance, then the answer is, “Yes.” At least, in this case, data did make us appear smarter. After all, if a manager uses data to make a decision that improves sales or leads to a major cost savings or speeds up a process, then that manager is seen as smarter. 
At the very least, the act of using data to make an informed decision is a smart thing to do. But does this use of data make the manager smarter or was the manager smart to begin with? Whether data can make managers smarter is probably not the right question to ask. What matters is that a manager (or anyone for that matter) uses data to make informed decisions that improves performance in his or her organization.
Unfortunately, not enough organizations use data to make informed decisions, and they are suffering for it. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Guest Post: On-Going On-Boarding is the New Normal in Customer Success

When it comes to customer success, on-boarding new customers is an obvious place to start. After all, the first 90 days of a new account is a critical time to ensure customers get set up properly, learn the product, and start realizing value. There are many ways to do this, and most enterprise software companies have an on-boarding process to help customers get up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Everything is great until eight months later when you find out your customer has hired new people for the team and they need training. In other words, what do we do for on-going on-boarding to help customers continuously be successful?

I am not just talking about support. Support is important and is designed to help customers in a sustainable way. However, in a nimble economy and with employee turnover rates ranging from five and 30 percent per year for most industries, it’s important to think about on-boarding existing customers every eighteen months.

And if most cloud software companies are not profitable and do not achieve break even until years two, three, or four, keeping customers successful into those years, even when the entire team could be new, is critical.

So the question is: How can we deliver on-going on-boarding to customers so they can continue to achieve success, even when teams are being replaced every two years?

One way to do this is through customer training programs.