Rethinking Customer Support – “Consumption Economics” and the New Normal

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It is becoming increasingly difficult to find innovative ideas in the services industry. Technology has led to new capabilities and efficiencies but generally supports traditional delivery models. Whether we are in the services business or product engineering, we are always looking for a way to leap the competition by bringing something new to our customers that truly differentiates our products and services. Every so often, we experience a paradigm shift that forces us to totally rethink our entire approach. I believe we are in the midst of such a shift right now.

I recently read a pre-release, abridged version of the book Consumption Economics: The New Rules of Tech. The book is authored by J.B. Wood, Todd Hewlin, and Thomas Lah. It builds upon some of the thinking in J.B. Wood’s earlier book Complexity Avalanche. In Complexity Avalanche, Wood challenged the industry to think about the impact of product complexity on customers and the opportunity that it creates for the services part of the business. In essence, developing value-added services that enable customers to more fully consume product features and extract real value for their business can create that “stickiness” for which we’re all striving.

In Consumption Economics, Wood and his co-authors take this one step further. They explore how the growing use of cloud and transactional business models create a new normal in high-tech. While I have only read an excerpt from the book, I am anxious to get my copy at TSIA’s upcoming Technology Services World (TSW) conference.  The book supports the theory that we are in the midst of a huge paradigm shift in many ways and credits the global economy, cloud computing and the iPhone as the primary drivers. No surprise then that EMC’s Cloud and Big Data strategies are resonating with customers that are already operating in or moving toward this new normal.

EMC’s journey is not over. In fact, the very model in which we are now operating makes change a constant. We continually talk to our customers every chance we get, through many different vehicles and forums. We continue to invest heavily in our global field organization and data analytics capabilities so that we can remain close to our customers and better understand their experience.

Big data analytics are central to running the business. We mine tremendous amounts of data – from millions of service requests and other data points – and analyze it carefully so that it can be funneled back into our service and support model as well as into our product development. I’m proud to say we have been on the front end of this as evidenced by the TSIA STAR Awards we have received for our innovation in this area.

If you are interested in taking a closer look at the book and big data topics, I’ve included some helpful links to get you started. For me, Consumption Economics validates the strategic work we have been doing to evolve our service model to help our customers achieve maximum value from our product and service offerings.

Helpful links:

Consumption Economics Abstract –

Blog Post by Alan Walsh: Using Big Data Analytics to Manage Business Risk

Blog posts by Frank Coleman: Using Big Data for Performance Metrics – Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game and B.A.D. Data Is Not Always Bad…If You Have a Data Scientist

Greenplum Big Data site as possible reference:

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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