It’s been another information-packed day at Efecte’s virtual event ‘Digitalize and Automate’, and it’s time to highlight the second day’s sessions along with some of the key things we learned. After looking at the ‘why’ of digitalization and automation on Day 1, we have today explored the ‘how’ – with the help of some exceptional speakers.
To us, the most exceptional speakers are always our customers and partners, because they are at the pulse of the market and their feedback is gold for us.
At Digitalize and Automate 2022, we had the immense pleasure to welcome our customers Patria and Ponsse, as well as our partners Solutia and Advatech from the Czech Republic and Poland.
Janne Mäenpää from Patria
How to predict customer demand and define service capacity
Patria is an international provider of defense, security, and aviation life cycle support services, pilot training, and technology solutions. Janne talked about the Patria IT department’s view on the customer experience and how to do the perceptions based on data gathered from IT processes. Patria has an internal service portal and all group functions such as comms, finance, and legal use it to provide their services to the users.
Janne showed how a Control Chart is created to understand and control a process, or any variation. With it, the limits of normal variation are calculated. He can easily predict how many tickets would be reported for the next day, ad based on that have enough capacity to close all opened tickets. On the other hand, Janne explained how we can’t prepare for the unnormal or anomalies. There were some anomalies or peaks in the data showing those days when the number of tickets was abnormal, outside normal variance. These anomalies outside normal variation always have a root cause, normal variation does not.
The question is that what does this mean? What does the customer want? What is the customer experience? The expectation from the customers’ point of view is that the Service Provider will deliver as promised. And the only question relevant to the customer is “When will I get what I ordered?”. The service Lead Time is the most important customer experience metric. To be able to meet your Lead Time, you must measure and understand demand, and measure your capacity to meet the demand. Demand - Flow of Work = change in backlog length, so you also need to measure the length of the backlog (=WIP=Work In Process). Measure also Lead Times for each individual ticket. Lead Time is the result of WIP and the Flow. Of all these four, you can only control Flow. Everything else is given.
The longer backlog or WIP or queue, the longer the Lead Time will be. When looking at the ticket lifecycle from opening the ticket until the ticket is solved, the only thing that can be controlled is the flow of work. Your service capacity results in service Lead Times through the Flow of Work and WIP.
Efecte has been working on Bringing Control Chart capability to Efecte standard reporting, and a test version is published.
There was a question from the audience about how to get started. Janne proposed listeners to start by reading “This is Lean” by Niklas Modig and remarked that it is cultural change, which is required. And that the change should be started with small steps. In Patria, they started by looking at the data every morning - updating the excels, printing the sheets, and putting them on the wall - for everyone to see.
Miika Soininen from Ponsse
Focus on digital transformation
Miika Soininen from Ponsse was the first customer of Efecte to take the stage. Miika told us about Ponsse’s digital journey and value creation in digital forestry. Ponsse Plc is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of cut-to-length forest machines. Ponsse started to work on this because they saw technological change both digital and overall. The transformation towards digital services was considered really important. Customers wanted to have real-time information about their services, and the company started to use data to support their decision-making. Over 1000 companies use Ponsse’s digital services today.
As Miika explained that their customers needed data to support the factory running efficiently, in resource planning, and transportation planning and they utilize data to increase efficiency. The challenge has been to understand the different customer needs and to figure out how Ponsse could provide individual customer experience and value fast enough.
They started the work with their customers, listening and discussing, visiting customer sites to understand their work, and then started to develop based on their customer’s needs.
The question around which everything revolved was if you believe in standardization, how to be individual?
Miika told us that they have been clear about where they want to be and how they have followed their vision to understand customer needs and empower their own teams with bigger autonomy. They have been building different services, collecting production information, delivering them through the cloud, and providing API services to those who want to use data in their own systems.
There’s also been a cultural development. Ponsse has changed its organization by building of product team towards single solutions always as a responsibility of one team. The company put effort to build releases, starting from customer journeys and also providing holistic views for customer journeys. As a result, they are now able to release in two weeks.
Miika explained that Efecte plays a key role in building their digital services. With Efecte, they have built a modular architecture, relying heavily on access management to enable the right components to the right people, enabling them to see only what they are meant to see. Ponsse has built a lot of automation - they can now provide services for customers and Ponsse employees and for example, dealers will see only their services. Ponsse has centralized incident handling, support, and feedback. There is also a lot of automation in incident management and efficient feedback management enabling Ponsse to support their customers better.
What they have learned in their digital journey:
Mariusz Maniak, Advatech, Poland
Partnering with the European alternative
Mariusz works as ITSM department manager at Advatech, the first certified Efecte partner in Poland. He talked about the partnership with Efecte, the reasons why Advatech chose to work with Efecte, about the Polish service management market and finally what the first common customer project looked like.
One of the reasons was the easy customization of the solution. Already during onboarding the Advatech engineers tried to build solutions for their customers on the Efecte platform, such as a solution for car fleet management, and were impressed by the ease of use and efficiency of the solution. Other reasons included the modern self-service that can be easily configured, the powerful workflow designer. What also convinced the Advatech team were the flexible cloud options that Efecte offers to its customers. They can choose between a dedicated or a private cloud environment, perfectly matching what their needs and legal requirements. Mariusz also pointed out that they wanted to partner with a European vendor who knows and fulfills all the European regulations and standards, such as GDPR.
Mariusz emphasized that the onboarding went very smoothly and that the team much appreciated the numerous discussions with the sales, marketing, and technical teams of Efecte. Another important step to the market entry in Poland was also done during onboarding: the localization of the solution in Polish language. Lastly, all Advatech engineers were trained for the Efecte solution and received best-in-class results.
“The willingness to help of the whole Efecte team is very impressive”, Mariusz said and gave the example of how quickly the Efecte product team offers assistance and turnarounds for specific user demands. The proactiveness and agility of the teams and the solution perfectly fit out needs and translate the values we also want to offer our customers.
Advatech decided to offer Efecte to the Polish mid-market. Together with Efecte, the team started to run Lead generation campaigns and analyzed the existing customer to see where the solution could offer the best fit. The company also organized webinars and other marketing activities for Lead generation.
The polish ITSM market and competitive landscape
On an enterprise level, all global vendors are represented on the market. In the mid-market, they see a mix of local players or in-house solutions which offers a great opportunity for a new European player such as Efecte with its easy-to-use, flexible and affordable cloud platform. As in many other countries around the world, Poland did also see the need for digitalization drastically increase during the pandemic. Companies did not only start to digitalize their operations, but they also opened for cloud solutions. While two years ago not a single RFP asked or allowed for cloud solutions, Advatech now regularly faces that type of demand, even coming from the public sector.
Another trend that Mariusz sees on the Polish service management market is the transition from pure ITSM to Enterprise Service management, applying best practices from IT to the business areas.
First customer cases
The first customer was a big Polish production company with operations across the globe. Their previous solution did no longer meet their needs. They were looking to implement a self-service that should be easy to use and easy to configure so their employees would be able to report their incidents and requests by themselves. The second target was to switch to a tool that integrates all ITIL best practices, and lastly, they wanted an easy system to improve the experience of their operators. The proximity and support of a European vendor did also play a big role in the selection process. The customer liked Efecte because of the self-service, the workflow designer, the administration backend for operators. They chose to work with Advatech because of their expertise and experience with the Efecte system, but also because they knew Advatech was heavily supported by Efecte. The implementation went smoothly since the customer did exactly know what they wanted and Advatech implemented according to the project scope. The customer started with incident and service request management, as well as user training. Very quickly they understood how flexible and powerful the platform was and decided to also leverage the enterprise service management capabilities, adding infrastructure management and HR onboarding to their services offering. For the future, the customer plans to integrate a CMDB with full asset lifecycle management and a third-party sales tool to speed up their sales process.
In the end, Mariusz offered some advice for companies that are looking for a new ITSM tool. According to him, there are some crucial points they need to evaluate:
David Barák, from Solutia
Why one of the largest Czech IT service providers choose Efecte and Solutia.
As an Efecte certified partner in the Czech Republic, David Barack from Solutia presented a customer case towards the end of Day 2 of Digitalize and Automate.
Their customer VÍTKOVICE IT SOLUTIONS decided to implement the Efecte solution via Solutia because they had outgrown their own helpdesk solution.
The main reasons why the customer preferred Efecte were:
Since VÍTKOVICE IT SOLUTIONS is on a growth path, scalability and safe upgrades of customizations were very important to the customer. With Efecte they feel their needs and challenges are considered, they can grow, and the system no longer limits their ambitions.
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