Except, in a few months, problems start to crop up. You added a bunch of users to the system who are using new data sources. You upgrade the underlying infrastructure to compensate, but performance is still a problem. Or you update your single sign-on software over the weekend, but now users are having problems accessing the analytics system. You call your software provider’s support desk, promising that your organization has done nothing that could be causing any of the issues.
In today’s world, software is no longer immune from surrounding systems and technologies. Almost every software product is reliant on what is in the stack, above and below, even to the side. So, when problems start to happen, you can point fingers at your software provider, or you can get them on your team.
I recently chatted with Adam Ciperski, Senior Director of Qlik’s Customer Success Management team. His focus is helping Qilk’s customers navigate the management of their analytics solutions. I asked him what was the key to ensuring customers avoided these kinds of problems, and his answer was immediate. Keeping us, their software provider, part of their long-term, extended team.
Adam told me that clients who maintained a collaborative relationship with Qlik, and Qlik’s extended community, tended to be those organizations who not only were the happiest with the product, but were also the ones who were getting more value out of their investment. Often, it was those clients who were finding new and innovative ways to derive even greater insights from their data, thereby getting a greater return on their investment then they originally anticipated.
Adam explained that Qlik is one of those software products that, because it is so integrated into our client’s systems environment – directly to their data, security systems, etc. – it can also be affected by them. As such, those clients who keep Qlik part of their extended team, tend to benefit by being able to anticipate how a change or issue with another system or server could inadvertently impact Qlik. As such, they tend to avoid those unnecessary issues that have taken some organizations weeks to sort out. Time and resource wasted that could have been spent more productively.
In one such situation, Adam told me about a Fortune 500 customer with an extensive IT department that was confident in their ability to handle all systems, including Qlik, without help. But, out of the blue, they started having some quirky issues pop up. After spending two months involving a half dozen people across two geographies, they finally brought Qlik experts in. After some time and detective work, Qlik identified that the problem was caused by a change made a few months back to a file server that was feeding data to Qlik which they assumed would have no impact on Qlik. So, now, this same customer has regular check-ins with Qlik – reviewing usage, performance and future plans – and since doing so, has seen their issues go down, adoption go up and end users delighted!
So, the next time your software provider says they’d like to stay in touch every few months, don’t turn them down. Request it if they don’t offer. Demand it. Remember, your software provider knows their system better than anyone else, and likely has seen how it works in a variety of situations. You’ll be far happier if you do.