According to ITIL4©: “The purpose of the strategy management practice is to formulate the goals of the organization and adopt the courses of action and allocation of resources necessary for carrying out those goals. Strategy establishes the organization’s direction, focuses effort, defines, or clarifies the organization’s priorities, and provides consistency or guidance in response to the environment.”
Translating the purpose of this management practice into the Account Service Management offered for our ProSupport Plus-flavored customers, we as “Service Account Manager (SAM)” have defined a practice, called SAM Strategy.
In short, the SAM strategy is a strategic view of the customer to enhance collaboration upon customer goals for the upcoming period. The SAM Strategy is embedded within the overall Sales Account Plan.
And how the SAMs are managing customer goals, is what makes us a key value for our customers.
I base my customer’s strategies not only on what I know about the customer, I also reflect how I can take the best from Prosupport Plus to reach their objectives. It is an ongoing task through-out the year, which we communicate and are working shoulder to shoulder with customer stakeholders, to make it a living document and a true successful story.
For example, you may start with a list of requirements for your digitalization of your IT-infrastructure and set priorities. By working-off those requirements according their due-date for completion, Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental factors affect the business, may influence the strategy for your digitalization during the execution. Think about the impact of the global chip shortage. So, overtime, the strategy objectives might shift, and other requirements need to be prioritized. So, by changing the strategy we remain agile to those factors and can refocus on the set goals.
So, how does this look like?
To answer this question, let me walk you through the mind process, that I use, while building up customer’s strategy.
Besides a summary, the strategy will focus upon four elements:
- Customer Objectives
- IT Implications
- Defined Solution
- SWOT analysis
For the customer objectives, I chose a Top3 approach. What are the first three objectives of the customer towards the maintenance of Dell Technologies?
Once those requirements are defined, my next step is to define the IT Implications of those objectives.
- Which (critical) IT environments and / or ecosystems are related to these objectives.
- Is it the end-device fleet or are we talking about the computer and data sites (read: locations) of the customer dependent?
By identifying the IT implications, I draft a solution containing following three elements:
- SAM proposed solutions/strategy to meet and/or achieve customer objective(s)
- Response to customer challenges
- Key actions
Although in theory, a SWOT-analysis is about internal organizational and external environmental factors, divided in positive and negative flavors, my SAM strategy is focusing upon the strengths and risks within the customer relationship on support services. What is currently seen as good by the customer and what has room for improvement?
A good indication is always the results of the customer surveys and the regular discussions, I have with the customer.
With a strategy defined and updated regularly, a foundation has been put in place to remain focused upon the requirements of my customers and ensuring the interactions are supporting the achieve the goals defined.
So next time you are surveyed, do think about the how we the SAM´s or TAM´s are advising to support your IT objectives.