Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, LeanTaaS Blog, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Shelly Palmer

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Mobile IoT, Agile Computing, Wearables, @CloudExpo

@ThingsExpo: Blog Post

Welcome to the Age of Consumer By @CPrimault | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

(Part 1 of 2) "No Opinion Matters More"

Your customers can process information faster every day, which makes them inherently more demanding. In fact, as B2B tech guru Ken Rutsgy says, probably, “Your customers know more about your solution than your sales guys.”

The B2B Software as a Service (SaaS) customer has evolved over the last five years. No longer are they questioning whether SaaS is safe. Customer expectations are raised well beyond that discussion. “Ten years ago you might have accepted a SaaS product that’s hard to use just to save money. Now they want their apps to look like Amazon, Google and LinkedIn,” said Joel York, founder of Chaotic Flow for SaaS business strategy.

Traditionally, only big enterprises had the internal resources to research and purchase business software. Now almost all B2B companies can afford one or more cloud-based tools, which makes the demand side of the SaaS industry extremely fragmented and competitive.

“Everything in B2B SaaS space is about having new customers and the relationship, or winning them, or keeping them happy,” said Steli Efti, co-founder of a SaaS sales training company and CRM Close.io. “All in all, the market is broadening because of pricing, access to technology, tech savviness of end users.”

He added that “Any business can afford buying even very specific and complex software.”

According to Forbes, in 2013, there were 28 million small businesses in the U.S.--defined as having fewer than 500 employees -- along with another 22 million self-employed. More than half of this total are home-based businesses. That’s a huge target customer base looking for flexible tools to optimize business from anywhere.

SMB Actionable Market Insights’ April 2014 survey to guide “Vendor Strategies to Bring Game-Changing Technology Trends to SMBs” found that the SMB purchase cycle is changing, in which small businesses are increasingly likely to begin their SaaS research by Googling, and then they use online networks to “vet and evaluate solutions before they contact a vendor.”

That’s a lot of people you are trying to reach without ever being able to make a personal connection with them, but these are the same people who have increasing expectations of personalized customer service once they test or sign up for a software.

The SaaS industry has seen a huge shift which only serves to benefit the consumer. The SaaS offering has grown exponentially, from about 200 main actors--including big names like SAP, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle--to more than 20,000. This broader range of selection ignites more competition which drives down prices.

However, this greater supply and access to quality for a reasonable price only makes it more difficult for companies to select a business software. More and more that decision all comes down to the perception or reality of customer service.

Customer service is the number one deciding factor

The consumer is driving the future of the SaaS business and, really, pretty much every sort of business. Last year, Zendesk, the leaders in help desk software, commissioned a survey of customer service. Here are some of the most interesting findings:

- 62 percent of B2B and 42 percent of B2C customers purchased more after a good customer service experience

- 66 percent of B2B and 52 percent of B2C customers stopped buying after a bad customer service interaction

- 88 percent have been influenced by an online customer service review when making a buying decision

- 69 percent attributed a good customer service experience with a fast resolution

- 95 percent share bad experiences with others, while only 87 percent will share good ones

There’s no doubt that customer service is what determines the difference between your future customer and your competition’s future customer.

“With the advent of social media and online forums, the voice of the customer has grown louder than ever. As a result, companies must engage more proactively and openly with customers,” said Zendesk's SVP of product Adrian McDermott, which is why they “recently acquired Singapore-based Zopim to bring world-class live chat into Zendesk at a time when proactive engagement and chat is an increasingly important channel.”

Three-quarters of all negative reviews on GetApp are regarding poor customer service. This is why customer support software is increasingly essential to automate as much of the support process as possible, but that’s just a start.

Reviews empower users, improve service providers

The research process for software buying “seems to now be more focused on the opinions of peers, colleagues, people in the same professional circles as you, whether you know them or not,” said Paul Griffiths, lead front-end engineer at GetApp. “I don’t think people now will read a review by some journalist or blogger and say ‘That’s the app for me.’ They want more voices, more opinions, and they want to read the good and the bad. That’s why TripAdvisor works.” That’s also why GetApp chose to allow user reviews via LinkedIn login, which puts the industry and job role of the reviewer into context.

Besides helping the end user make an informed purchase, harsh and plentiful user reviews guarantee better service.

“They say that sunlight is a great disinfectant. A world in which GetApp and GlassDoor and the Funded are great disinfectants is a world filled with pervasive reviews, a better world because there are better products and services for us to buy,” said Mark Organ, founder of the Eloqua marketing automation app acquired by Oracle in 2012 and current founder of the Influitive brand ambassador solution.

“What buyers want has not changed: authenticity, transparency, we want to know we are buying the right things. High quality,” said Organ. “What has been changing is the technology and the ability to achieve this level of honesty, transparency. Reviews are a great way to have quite impartial evidence of the quality and suitability of products.”

He continued that “Twenty years ago, it would not have been possible to have reviews done by ordinary people to this level of quality.” Instead, we relied on restaurant and technology reviewers. “Now it’s so easy for people to write reviews and consume reviews.”

TripAdvisor has revolutionized how we choose hotels. “In technology--AppExchange, GetApp, iTunes--crowd-sourced reviews are in fact superior to professional reviews,” Organ said. “As a buyer, I can select a subset of groups who have the same needs as me.”

But just because the conversation exists, does not mean that you are curating that conversation.

“Your customers can find each other, and your prospects will find your customers, and they will have a candid conversation about you, whether you permit that or not. You can be a participant in that conversation or even a gracious host, but you do not get to control that conversation,” said Peter Coffee, vice president of strategic research at Salesforce.

This also means that you can no longer delete negative reviews and social media posts, but instead should publicly address any issues and then try to invigorate your brand advocates to join that conversation.

“If you have the SaaS product, the certification and the community in your category, you win

elevating their champions with training and certification that are beyond the product,” Organ said. He continued that, at Eloqua, referrals closed so much faster at a higher order size, so much faster than other leads.

Check back next week for the second part of this series, “On-Board Must Be First in Age of the Consumer,” as we talk about how the first minutes with a customer are the most important, how to make the most of them, and the tools you can use to ease it along.

More Stories By Christophe Primault

Christophe Primault is the co-founder of GetApp, the #1 Cloud based Apps Marketplace. His aim is to provide tips and advice on how businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, can benefit from cloud-based apps and improve their bottom line. In my spare time he enjoys mountaineering, water sports and long distance triathlons. He's a proud IronMan finisher. You can follow him on Twitter @GetApp

@ThingsExpo Stories
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...