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Eating Software

November 2, 2011

I successfully schlepped to the Technology Services World conference in Vegas unburdened by the weight of a laptop. Yep, my iPad got the job done for email, note taking and all things social. This year was my third TSW, and overall it was the weakest in terms of the sessions I attended, but others may have had a fantastic experience depending on the sessions they chose. I may blog a bit more on my sessions experience later, but for now, I’ll focus on the keynote, “Consumption Economics.”

The folks at the TSIA (Technology Services Industry Association) are solid. I’ve always been impressed by the expertise of Thomas Lau, mostly from his papers on the Quickarrow (now Netsuite OpenAir) site, and CEO J.B. Wood is a legit thought leader who always gives credit to the many services professionals he consults as the inspiration for his forward thinking. My first impressions of him were from his keynote at the 2009 conference when he introduced the concept of the “consumption gap” from his book, “Complexity Avalanche.” That really grabbed the attention of our Services team, and validated the work we do helping our customers work smarter with their Kronos products.

2011 TSIA Keynote – Consumption Economics
My key takeaway: The “consumption business model” is an approach to help technology vendors shrink the “consumption gap” of product features for its customers, thereby increasing the value of the technology over time. In the high-growth cloud delivery model, that means higher revenues (or maybe even survival) derived from pay as you go consumption of products, features, data, etc., but in the world of traditional licensed and on-premise software, closing the consumption gap means improving the customer experience by increasing their use of higher value features, products, etc., thereby strengthening their loyalty. That, in turn, should help drive product upgrades and the consideration/purchase of additional strategic products and services.

One of the beautiful, fluffy things about delivering software via the cloud is that you can monitor customer usage in real-time, and act, almost instantly, to improve their experience and help move them along the journey of increasing value consumption, higher loyalty and retention. In our world, it’s a little trickier. We do offer “optimization services” to help customers identify ways to get more value from their Kronos investment, and KnowledgePass, our 24/7 education portal enables customers to learn and stay current on basic and advanced features in our Workforce Central suite. Come to think of it, KnowledgePass is a cloud services offering that can guide and accelerate the journey of increasing value consumption of our products. Hmmm… I’ll have to work on that…

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