Most organizations now acquire technology from different vendors and managed service providers – and this makes it difficult to manage their entire software and hardware estate in a compliant and cost-effective way.

Poor management could result in valuable hardware or software investments being underused or even abandoned for the time being while your IT team looks for opportunities to deploy these assets. But who should take charge of ensuring this doesn’t happen? And who is responsible for making smarter investments in new technologies down the line?

Our lifecycle services model helps organizations answer these questions.

Following the roadmap

Our Software-defined Infrastructure Services are designed to support our clients with a technology adoption plan – think of it as a roadmap to success – powered by customer-centric success management.

Being customer-centric means prioritizing our understanding of a client’s needs and desired outcomes. For lifecycle services, we often begin with an NTT DATA consulting engagement or Network Assessment for their multivendor environment.

Then we work closely with the client throughout to address the challenges of underutilized technology and maximize the value they derive from their investments throughout the lifecycle of those investments.

A new model for customer success management

Our approach is based on two models developed by the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA).

The first is the LAER customer engagement model, which is aimed at technology suppliers and service providers. Pronounced “layer”, it stands for “land, adopt, expand and renew”.

LAER focuses on strategic activities that enable you to grow with your customers over time. “Adopt” refers to helping them use the technology they’ve bought to its full advantage, while “expand” refers to encouraging them to buy more products or services from you and renewing their contract.

While the LAER model covers the bases from the supplier’s perspective, the TSIA also has the PIMO model, which takes the customer’s perspective: plan, implement, monitor and optimize. Here, “implement” refers to standing up the solution, including users and processes, and “monitor” is where customer and supplier activities are tracked in detail to see whether the solution is leading to the desired business outcomes. If not, the “optimize” stage kicks in with interventions to correct technical or adoption problems.

The TSIA refers to these as “two sides of the same coin”, with the PIMO model in particular geared to helping customers to drive adoption of the new technology they’ve acquired.

How we manage success in lifecycle services

The PIMO model is useful in addressing the issue of unused or underutilized technology proactively – but who takes charge of the process on the supplier side?

Historically, support services have centered on addressing customers’ technical issues and helping with product maintenance and upgrades.

Lifecycle support advances this concept by supporting them at every stage of their journey – from their initial technology purchase to its implementation, ongoing management and optimization. This is where customer success managers (CSMs) play a strategic role.

I asked Hannah Robinson, Software and Support Services Manager at NTT, to explain the typical duties of a CSM.

At a high level, she says, the CSM relies on the LAER and PIMO models to encourage their client’s adoption of software-driven projects and help them define use cases for the technology. This includes helping the client adopt technology services such as hardware asset tracking and analytics, or NTT DATA’s Digital Wallet, which makes it easier to manage subscription software as part of the lifecycle management of multiple license types, vendors and technologies.

More specifically, a CSM’s responsibilities include:

  • Getting to know a new client and positioning the lifecycle value proposition
  • Developing a technology adoption plan with initiatives (such as enablement of the Digital Wallet) mapped against the client’s business outcomes
  • Aligning the adoption plans of NTT DATA clients with similar setups, to help us optimize our onboarding, delivery and adoption efforts
  • Onboarding the client onto the service or technology platforms required for the implementation of the service or product
  • License management and optimization – including within Enterprise Agreements – as well as renewal support
  • Reviewing analytics to give the client recommendations for improving their use of their technology and for new use cases

Our CSMs meet our clients regularly to provide feedback, resolve concerns and track their return on investment. They also encourage clients to keep committing their time and resources to these projects – a vital ingredient of realizing the full value of their technology.

The measures of success

The CSM establishes specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timebound (SMART) goals or key performance indicators, including:

  • Specific: the adoption and consumption of services and technology, as measured by client feedback, the number of active users and consumption report
  • Measurable: cost efficiencies realized through license management and automation, portal adoption rates and client retention rates
  • Attainable: adoption and consumption assessments by NTT DATA
  • Relevant: goals that contribute to the client’s broader business goals – so, goals that are customer-specific
  • Timebound: managing, for example, Cisco’s True Forward billing process to account for overconsumption during an Enterprise Agreement

As Hannah explains, CSMs don’t just spend time with the client. They also interact regularly with NTT DATA’s client managers, software and support services specialists, technical staff and other stakeholders to foster communication and collaboration both ways.

Take the first step to success

If you’re facing any of the challenges we’ve mentioned above in your organization – your licensed technology is going unused, for example, or you’re overspending on licenses due to a lack of management – there’s no need to try to find a solution on your own.

Get in touch with us and let a CSM like Hannah simplify your operations by introducing you to the lifecycle services on offer at NTT DATA.


Read more about NTT DATA’s Technology Solutions to see how our comprehensive suite of lifecycle services can help your organization.