What is the value of a new feature? Why real partnerships with your B2B customers matters.
Generic release plans are all very well, but how do you know that the evolution path of your B2B solutions really matches the needs of your customers and delivers value to them and to your own business? Avoid the trap of one-size-fits-all and build close relationships, so you can match your offer to your market.
Does your B2B roadmap deliver value?
Your business communications systems are essential for the delivery of revenue-generating B2B services, such as mobile PBX, IP Centrex and the like. With a fast-moving market and new competitors providing solutions, staying ahead and staying relevant is important. As such, many operators spend considerable time evaluating roadmaps. All too often though, a feature can become a “me too” option, required, not because people actually want it, but because someone else makes some noise about it.
There is a risk that such cases divert attention from what really matters: am I delivering value? Does this enhancement bring something new and genuinely useful to my customers? Can I monetise it in some way? Of course, it’s easy to ask these questions – but much harder to answer them.
At Gintel, this is a huge topic. We have our own roadmap, by which we ensure continuous evolution for our platforms and solutions. Enhancements may be architectural, to adapt to new environments; they can include new user-focused functionality; as well as system interfaces and more. But, a question that is fundamental is the value that it delivers.
To ensure that all new visible enhancements and extensions deliver, we work hand-in-hand with our customers to create a roadmap that makes sense for them. This doesn’t supersede our own vision and development path, but it just as important. There’s simply no point adding a new function or feature if it doesn’t offer value to your customers in some way. This might be because it can be monetised, but it might also be because it helps create stickiness.
Relationships matter – it’s how you discover value opportunities
To determine the value takes time and a close relationship with your customers. And, while capturing value should always be the goal, it’s surprising how much this can be overlooked in the rush to consider all potential threats. Many of these can be misleading – after all, if customers don’t use something that you deliver, then it’s simply not relevant for them.
That’s why our customers have always invested in very close relationships with their B2B customers. It’s one thing to understand the market in general – we all know that, for example, mobile PBX and UC continue to grow – but it’s quite another to understand what people want and need in your local markets.
This is in complete contrast to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that is perhaps more common in the industry. It means there’s recognition of the difference between the needs of, not just businesses in one country, but also for how users interact with systems in different countries – the practice and behaviours of people in, for example, Serbia and those in Norway have much in common, but there are subtle differences that matter – and which make the difference between value and just another feature release.
As a result, account managers in our operator customers spend time with all their customers, exploring their businesses and their needs. They are not concerned with features as such, but rather tend to be focused on ways to increase business efficiency. It is the job of the product teams to translate these desires into specific capabilities – and it unlocks a mine of valuable insights that help drive our solutions and the deliveries and updates we provide – and ensures that they deliver value.
The Gintel approach – enabling local and micro differentiation
We realise these differences in two ways. First, the classical approach with regular updates and feature enhancements through standard software releases. Second, through customisation at a granular level of the real-time service logic. This means that, while our operator customer can offer specific packages, they can also provide specific service handling templates for specific customers.
This provides the flexibility to ensure that our customers can continue to build relationships with their B2B customers that continually deliver value. As a service provider, of course you need to follow the market, but you also need to build the market, through the close relationships that you develop. It is this connection to your customers that is the real difference between you and a distant, cloud provider.
So, if you want to build value, you need a partner that can help you. Why not talk with our team and find out how we can help you personalise your offers, tailor your B2B solutions and create genuine differentiation – and lasting value.