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May 6, 2021
Debbie Herbers, President/COO, Projetech
If you ask any Projetech customer or employee why our Maximo as a Service (MaaS) cloud offering is better than others, I would bet my next paycheck that they’d say it is our strong customer support. It is the top differentiator in every internal analysis we’ve done through the years, and feedback from our current clients backs it up.
Unfortunately, the importance of support is often overlooked and undervalued. We realize that it isn’t easy for customers to comparison shop in this area since it doesn’t typically show up on a fee schedule or price list – especially if it is ‘included’ in an offering. The following list of questions is intended to help evaluate support when comparing Maximo Service Providers. Projetech’s answer to each question is also included.
1. When is support available & what avenues of contact are available (phone, email, etc.)?
Our team is flexible and understands that sometimes needs exist outside of ‘normal’ hours. We provide after-hours coverage and flexibility to schedule around our clients’ sensitive schedules. We can be reached by phone, email or via a web form that goes directly to our support queue.
2. What is REALLY covered by support? Most companies offer a list of things that are (and are NOT) covered as part of their core offering. Be sure to request and compare those lists as they are sometimes in the small print. Probably the most important question to ask is whether upgrades are included or are an additional cost.
Projetech considers support more of a partnership between our companies. We strive to understand the vision of our customers and determine how we (and Maximo) can support that. Want to talk through a current challenge and wonder if Maximo is the appropriate tool? Have a ‘how to’ question or want to know our opinion on a third-party product? Just reach out however you are comfortable. We are not just available if something is ‘broken’. We have a collaborative team of excellent problem solvers that value human interaction and the customer experience. And yes, upgrades are included at no additional cost.
3. Is there an advanced ticketing system available to track issues, response times, automate escalations, etc.? If so, how is this system used when evaluating the support team? While it seems crazy to us, some companies actually have stringent metrics about how quickly they close a case or get off the phone.
While we are all about getting issues solved in an efficient manner and have a system in place to do so, our team is NEVER pressured to close a ticket simply to meet an internal goal. We want to make sure our customers are fully satisfied before we do so. It’s not over until they say it is over 😉. Oh, and by the way, we use Maximo for our ticketing system, so our Application Support Analysts are also everyday users, and they have lots of tips and tricks they are happy to share.
4. What is the Maximo expertise of support staff – do they have Maximo certifications/experience? How long have they been in roles? What is turnover of staff?
Sometimes a ‘help desk’ role at a company is undervalued and not considered an integral part of the team, leading to high turnover. Projetech’s ASA team is represented at all high-level strategic sessions because they speak directly with our customers daily. Their voice is heard and their opinions matter. They are not in a silo from the rest of the organization. We have very little turn-over on our team. Specialized training is an ongoing priority and we highly encourage and support our team members to seek out certifications as part of their professional growth plans.
5. Just as important as Maximo smarts – does staff have solid communication skills and a positive, proactive attitude? Are they friendly, efficient & responsive? Do they value follow-through? Ask to speak to a company’s current clients about their experiences with the team, or even schedule a visit to call or meet them in person (post-Covid).
Projetech’s support team sets the tone for our company culture. It was at their suggestion that we sponsor local families at Thanksgiving and they do all of the collecting, shopping, boxing, and delivering. They lead our involvement with Cincinnati’s Adopt-a-Class. These are just examples of their kindness and ‘people skills’. They are considerate and a pleasure to work and speak with. They are non-intimidating and have lots of patience for new Maximo users that have lots of questions. There is also nothing we like more than to have our clients (or prospective clients) schedule a visit to our HQ in Cincinnati, OH to meet our team in person. If you can’t do that but want to put a face to a name or voice, learn more about our team at https://www.projetech.com/about-us/meet-the-team
6. Does support staff have appropriate tools to do their job? Besides a ticketing system, are they provided tools to easily work with customers remotely, share screens, run diagnostics, etc.? Most importantly - does company invest in forward-thinking measures so that customers don’t invest in solutions that are not compatible with the next release of Maximo?
Projetech invests in the latest support technology & training for our Application Support Analyst team. Additionally, Projetech spends a significant amount of time and money to be uniquely involved with IBM’s development team, so that we can not only solve current issues, but do so with the future in mind so rework isn’t necessary during the next upgrade.
7. Ask for details about customer cancellations over the last few years. Some churn is inevitable due to corporate acquisitions, business closures, etc., but if any are due to lack of support – you may want to dig deeper.
Not to brag, but our churn metrics are impressive. I personally would be happy to share those details and have those honest conversations with any potential customers, and I’d put our support team up against any other on the planet. They are that good.
8. Does support include Maximo training resources for customers?
Projetech invests heavily in making multiple resources available to our customers and the entire Maximo ecosystem. Although training courses are great (we have a private online section of training resources for our direct customers), we understand that sometimes users also want other options to learn, so we created and host the MORE Maximo community. It is completely free and has an idea exchange forum, an extensive Maximo library and a full listing of any Maximo related webinars, user group meetings, etc. Even if you are not a Projetech customer, you are always welcome at https://moremaximo.com/home.
My professional opinion is that the quality of support directly impacts the adoption, use and ROI of any software system. I’ve seen it play out many times through my years at Projetech. Maximo is a big investment, so make sure you consider all the components for success.
Contact our team to get started with a quote for Maximo support services.
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