“Customers in the ANZ region are dynamic by nature. I find this market to function like a great microcosm. Customers are willing, adaptable and pioneering with new and innovative strategies. However, they do have a tendency to want to do things on their own - kind of roll up their sleeves and get on with it. This affects their purchasing behaviour,” says Robert Brower, VP, global customer support and services at Commvault, the data and information management solutions vendor.
According to him, these characteristics dictate that customers in the region tend to cut corners on the training part of their investments when buying solutions.
“When customers negotiate on the solution, they usually ask for the training element to be reduced or removed entirely. This is convenient at the time of the transaction. In the long term though, it can be inconvenient. When elements of the stack are not well-understood, they might not be operated or maintained well. This can put the entire transaction into question,” says Brower.
A customer who is thus disappointed will rarely go back to the partner or vendor associated with the solution, even though the problem is not entirely theirs. In order to address this gap, Commvault is launching a prototype program, where consultative services specific to training can be provided to customers in New Zealand, come October this year.
“This program will look to address the training needs of our customers in a more comprehensive manner. As part of this, Melbourne-based ITTC will be moving into the New Zealand market and setting up base. They will then be providing consultative services to existing and potential customers on how to better address their training needs,” states Brower.
ITTC will not sell or service solutions, neither will it provide the training directly. It will be evangelising on the benefits of training, and advice customers on their specific training needs. When needs are identified, training will continue to be provided by Commvault directly, or through contracted providers, as per the demand.
“There are so many advantages from the program. By providing these services, ITTC will be able to de-risk the investment for the customer and help them achieve better ROI. With improved customer satisfaction, our partners will also be able to resell better to them as well,” states Brower.
Commvault hopes to increase the training portion of its revenues through the program as well. Globally, the company makes around 51% of its revenues from software and 49% from services, including training. Brower agrees that maintenance represents the largest portion of the services quotient.
If the program proves successful in this market, Commvault will look to replicate it by April 2014 in North America and Eastern Europe, and eventually the rest of the world.
“In terms of customer trends, we have seen an increasing interest in data archiving and retrieval for the objective of customer acquisitions and retentions. It is no longer just about reducing cost, and it is not just a backup any more. Our solutions can help customers store, retrieve and cull from data better. These training initiatives will help our existing and potential customers gain more from every investment they make with us,” concludes Brower.