So if the model we've put together in the past few posts is the key to the SaaS lifecycle, how does a Center of Excellence tie into all this? Good question. Let's take a look at it.
The CoE I work in, which seems typical for the industry, essentially divides the work into three categories: Programs, Customers and Solutions. The detail plays out in the following table:
BTW, don't thank me for this work breakdown. It's the brainchild of Oracle's John Cafolla. My particular role, which falls mostly into the "Solutions" category, is currently focused on building tools and technologies that improve the transition of our SaaS customers from "Start" to "First Valuable Use" - yup, another application of the "better, faster, cheaper" mantra.
Keep in mind that it's an evolving approach...note that "Escalation Support" (which we're previously defined as a negative-value activity in SaaS) is still such a substantial part of our workload as to hold a spot in the table.
It's also important to keep in mind that our particular CoE also deals with a huge base of customers coming to SaaS from legacy applications. Due to the sheer volume, moving those customers forward is just as significant as helping customers who are new to us.
Finally, it's also worth noticing that the Solutions work focuses on the "Onboarding" stage of the SaaS Lifecycle...for the moment. As our own journey as a SaaS provider moves forward, we'll eventually shift into an emphasis on tools and technologies to improve customer experiences in the "Nurturing" stage. But that's a topic for another day.
So you asked how a Center of Excellence fits into the customer success - oriented SaaS lifecycle model? Well, here ya go.