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What is Software plus Service?

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IT Industry - YOU HAVE IT WRONG - Software plus Service does not mean what you think it means.

We have been working hard at OTrain to try and find a way of describing what we do, and putting it into simple terms, that don’t require you to be a computer nerd to understand.

Sure there’s a whole bunch of language out there already, but unless you spend 20 minutes a day to keep up with the latest terminology, your probably like the rest of us and still calling “the cloud” the internet.

So today, I coined the phrase, Software plus Service.

You see at OTrain, we provide a piece of software, our learning management system, which we host on the internet. The techs might call it cloud services, or Software as a Service (SaaS). But we just call it software.

But we also offer outstanding customer service. Sure everyone claims to offer that, but at OTrain, we really do. Its a key performance indicator, a core value and a key sequence in our DNA. We have chosen to make this our point of difference. Not good customer service. Not great customer service but out-bloody-standing customer service.

So it makes sense to call what we do, Software plus Service.

When I got home tonight, I thought I’d do the right thing and google the 3 words to see if anyone else is using it. And guess what, people are. Loads of people. Even Microsoft!! Which you might think would make me happy, but it didn’t.

Software plus service is a whole category. There’s even a Wiki page dedicated to it.

But it doesn’t mean what your might think it should. And it certainly doesn’t mean what I meant it to mean, when I selected these three simple words. 

You see, in IT speak, Software plus Service means a piece of software that you host on your local computer, which also connects to more software hosted on the internet.

Hello - just because you have software on the internet, does not make it a service. Its still software. Why try to redefine what service is. No wonder we’re all frustrated by claims of “service” only to have to press 1 to proceed and or “log a ticket” or worse.

Service is service - its not software no matter how you deliver it. 

Service is about being available at the end of the phone, end of the chat window, end of the email - immediately not after 3 hours on hold plus 32 auto prompts. Its about being proactive and identifying challenges before they become challenges.

Its about the person on the end of the conversation taking ownership of your challenge, finding a solution and then following up to make sure the solution met your expectations and your challenge, all your challenges, have been resolved. Even the ones that popped up as a result of the suggested “fix”.  

We built our business as a bunch of frustrated small business owners, who new what we wanted but couldn’t get IT to understand. We don’t have all the buzz words just a simple promise, Intuitively Simple Software - backed up with Outstanding Service (we wanted fanatical, but that was taken by Rackspace).

So today I declare that we are going to retake ownership of the phrase Software plus Service. At OTrain, Software plus Service means a piece of Software, where ever its hosted, backed up with real customer service.

Join us in this fight. Take it up to the IT people and remind them, Software plus Service is about Software - plus - Service. Simple. No need to complicate it. If you are saying your delivering software plus service, don’t forget to spend a little time on the service aspect.

We do.

Check out my other blogs at www.shaneridley.com.au

Follow me on LinkedIn at shane-ridley

Follow me on Twitter at shane_ridley

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Comments

Ryan Myler

Director/ Financial Planner

Optimas Financial Planning

Shane has provided me with invaluable advice, being that I am in start up phase with my business. His knowledge of business in general, along with his strong understanding of the current trend toward social media and it's influence, have provided me with insights on how to grow my company. I would strongly recommend Shane in a business mentoring role due to his depth knowledge and broad experience, along with his superior story telling ability to make the complex simple.


June 25, 2012

Indiana Forrest-Bisley

Business Development Manager Australian Exhibitions & Conferences

Shane exhibited with us at the 2012 Safety in Action trade show - Melbourne. I found him to be extremely professional and furthermore his pre employment training services were a hit at the show. We will see Shane return to the safety show Perth (August 7-9). If you're in need of ANY type of pre employment training
I would strongly reccommend OTrain to anyone within HR."


June 29, 2012