Do Vendors Play a Role in Educating Customers?

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“Technology is evolving at such a rapid pace, that it can be challenging to stay up-to-date.” I’m guessing this statement will not instigate much of a rebuttal. I find myself on a constant quest for knowledge through reading and talking directly to customers and several subject matter experts. In my discussions, it seems many are in the same boat. Finding the right experts to follow and targeting the information sources most valuable are important, since most of us are stretched pretty thin.

I am fortunate enough to work for an organization that is the source of progressive yet reliable information – not only about customer support, but other relevant topics. I have found an incredible thirst for knowledge and excellence at EMC and this has fostered an environment of both learning and teaching. My colleagues throughout the company have been invaluable to me and I would like to think the reverse is the case. There is a good deal of sharing about our specific areas of expertise and access to resources inside and outside of the company.

This got me thinking. What role do vendors play in educating the industry and in some cases, instigating new directions? I’m sure the answer varies widely among vendors, but as I look around, I see EMC playing a very vital role in educating customers. Some of the places this happens are at conferences, both industry- and EMC-sponsored. EMC is often invited to speak at industry conferences, such as TSIA’s upcoming Technology Services World (TSW) conference, where speakers share best practices and experiential knowledge.

There are also a number of company-sponsored events that provide opportunities for EMC to share information and give customers an opportunity to network with industry peers. In addition to large-scale events such as EMC World, customers have access to more targeted meetings. For example, EMC Forum events are being held this year in more than 20 cities around the world. These are free events providing information on relevant topics such as cloud computing and big data, along with the opportunity to network.

Online, there are also tremendous opportunities for such interaction through EMC Support Forums where you will find customers and EMC technical staff sharing ideas and knowledge. This sharing also occurs through a continuous stream of white papers and articles published on both and the support portal.

It would be great to share ideas here. What information resources do you find valuable?

About the Author: Mary Cay Kosten

Mary Cay leads a team of 1400 professionals that provide operational support to the Dell Technologies Services organization. Her team is responsible for driving operational excellence and implementing innovations across Dell Technologies Services. This includes areas such as eServices & Knowledge Management, Program and Change Management, Business Services, Remote Support Contact Center Operations, Command Center, Process Engineering and Data Sciences, Data Enablement and Analytics, and the Global Centers of Excellence. Kosten has over 30 years of experience in service and supplier management, with a proven track record in building outstanding service delivery organizations. Prior to joining Dell EMC, she was Vice President of global customer services delivery for Oracle/Sun Microsystems, responsible for delivering all elements of Sun Microsystems’ support services. Under her leadership, Sun achieved the prestigious J.D. Power Certified Technology Service and Support (CTSS) Award for "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience," the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) Award for Excellence in Service Operations, and Sun was inducted into the STAR Awards Hall of Fame. Kosten is a 2008 recipient of the Denver Business Journal's Outstanding Women in Business (High Tech and Telecommunications) Award and a 2006 recipient of the Silicon Valley YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) Award. She also is on the Advisory Board for TSIA’s Field Services discipline. She holds an MS degree in systems management from the University of Southern California and a BS in marketing from the University of West Florida.
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