Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Interview with SupportSoft's Bogdan Odulinski

Bogdan Odulinski, Director of Product Management, Enterprise Services Group, SupportSoft will be speaking at this year's CONNECTIONS Conference.

What is your company’s/division newest initiative?

We have recently announced Performance Manager which represents the first of many Value-Added Services (VAS) we will be adding to our portfolio. Performance Manager joins our latest Download Manager offering which uniquely automates the installation and upgrade of VAS. Based on repeated analysis of our customers’ call log data, we will continue to deliver pre-packaged products that address security, home networking, and other online-based and automation-focused content services that will both add value to our Dynamic Agent platform as well as deliver tangible cost reductions and revenue enablement opportunities to our customers.

What is your company’s biggest challenge?

Historically, our greatest challenge has been communicating our traditional support-focused message into one that includes revenue enablement. An important trend we have seen is the revenue enablement of traditional call center-based service and support; many providers have already begun to allow their customer service reps to offer Value Added Service in context to the support call when it is appropriate. For example, support organizations that have been our staple typically are not measured on revenue, therefore making it difficult to engage in conversations regarding the opportunity for those organizations to leverage our platform to drive post-sale and point-of-need revenue up-sells. This challenge has been made even more difficult because of the silos that exist within most service provider frameworks. These silos drastically limit a service and support organization’s ability to provide end-to-end service and support to their customers. Similarly, product managers at our customers often see service and support as a necessary ‘readiness’ hurdle they must overcome to launch product, rather than as the sales channel which it effectively is.

What do you perceive as your company’s greatest strength?

Our Dynamic Agent platform takes a holistic and automation-enabled approach to service delivery of any kind; ensuring the best customer experience in the context of sales or support, whether the preferred communications channel is voice, chat, email, or remote control. This, combined with our global service organization which enables our customers to integrate and implement our platform in unique and differentiating ways, has repeatedly won us business against some of the biggest names in the marketplace. Two key pieces that differentiate us include:

1. In order to achieve differentiation, service providers have to ‘know’ their customers. Our platform enables this knowledge.

2. In order to deploy differentiated services to as many customers as possible, providers need another vehicle besides web portals. Dynamic Agent utilizes skinning, targeting, and personalization capabilities to provide this differentiation and ensure maximum penetration of message.

What are your company’s long term goals?

When we talk about a holistic and automation-enabled approach to differentiating service, we envision our platform becoming even more robust with key service enablement components such as community portals, self-ticketing (SRM), and CRM, among others. We are very excited at the potential of providing an end-to-end service delivery platform that includes these elements to our existing and future customers in the near future.

What is your company’s most successful product/service?

By far, our Dynamic Agent, Chat, and Remote Control products represent the strongest offerings in our portfolio. Customers using these in an integrated manner, in combination with our support automation content as well as our Value Added Services such as Performance Manager, are experiencing the greatest success.

Bogdan Odulinski is speaking on the Driving the Next Dollar and Subscription: The Role of VAS panel on Wednesday, June 3rd at 11:15 AM.

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