The New Year is always a time for change. In our personal lives, many of us resolve to do more good things, or less bad ones, and generally to improve our contribution to the world around us. Judging by the preponderance of Fitbit and other wearable exercise trackers in my house and the Vitalyst office, it seems getting in better shape is the number one priority this year.
January is also the start of a new financial year for many organizations. With that often comes new operating models, new strategies, and, of course, new budgets and targets. New projects are planned, new responsibilities are assigned… and here we go, it’s January 6 already. I hope you begin the year with enthusiasm and a positive outlook on the possibilities ahead.
2016 promises to be an exciting year for Vitalyst. We learned a great deal in 2015, not least of which was from the market research study we conducted in the late fall. As I mentioned in my last blog, that feedback was invaluable. I’m also pleased to add that it endorsed our overall direction and underlined the value of many of the changes we had introduced. So there will not be any dramatic switches of strategy for Vitalyst in 2016. But we will be looking to evolve and strengthen the company further in six specific areas.
Our commitment to exceptional customer service
Our clients told us that they view Vitalyst as a highly capable service provider, one that excels at identifying and resolving user problems, as well as one that strengthens users’ proficiency and confidence (see Net Promoter Score image, right). As we continue to expand our range of services, we will ensure that we have the staff—trained and available—to meet our high performance standards and maintain our position. We’ve set ourselves a high bar and intend to continue meeting it.
Enumerating our value proposition
We are often asked to explain the return on investment in our software coaching and training services. In response, we can readily demonstrate how we enable users to become more proficient with their software. We also explain how this proficiency leads to greater productivity. It is intuitive for our clients that a proficient software user can produce more output in a given time (or take less time for a given level of output) than an incompetent one. However, the feedback tells us that it would be very helpful if we could provide a more direct measure of return on investment (ROI). This would enable more prospects to engage with us and make client retention easier. So we plan to continue building out the Vitalyst Productivity Multiplier ModelTM (VPMMTM) and the Vitalyst V20 Productivity IndexTM—which links our services to notional improvements in productivity—using academic research and other sources as appropriate, to establish a meaningful ROI measure that can be used across a broad range of industries.
Stronger self-help tools, security and seamless integration
It is evident that the IT user base is becoming increasingly comfortable with self-help solutions. We have moved to accommodate this trend with the introduction of our Help Me kNow Hub. We intend to add to the Hub’s capabilities and we will introduce our own digital self-service app.
Like all organizations, we are subject to increasingly sophisticated cyber security threats. We will continue to strengthen our defenses. We will also make the changes necessary to improve integration with our clients’ IT service management environments.
More frequent face-to-face engagement
We began our transition from an entirely ”inside” sales and account management organization to an ”outside” regional operating model in 2015. Our clients appreciated the change and want to see more of it (and us). So we will continue to build out the regional structure with our sales and account management teams operating in each region of the US. Our most recent additions include a sales manager in the Southeast (based in Atlanta), a sales manager for the federal sector (based in the DC area) and an account manager for the South Central (based in Houston).
Industry expertise and market exposure
Our position at the center of major technology projects affords us unique insights into the successes, failures and lessons learned from many organizations. We will look to consolidate this learning into thought leadership that can benefit all clients. We will also ensure that we gain market exposure for this through industry publications, white papers, events and advertisements. We are currently promoting our white papers on cio.com and CIO Review.
Enhanced migration services
Many of our current customers initially engaged with us to support them through a software migration. Some of them (and many of our prospects) are planning further migrations involving products such as Windows 10, Office 2016 and Office 365. Software coaching and training during such migrations are two of our core services. Based upon client requests, we added the migration assurance capability in 2015. This includes ongoing analysis of migration-related issues and provision of advice and recommendations to improve project success. It’s clear from the feedback that clients would like us to enhance our migration services further by taking overall responsibility for the management of the migration project. So in 2016, we will expand the scope of our Migration Assurance Program to a full project management service, including project planning, end-user communications and technical task management.
So there are our resolutions (and not a Fitbit in sight). I look forward to living up to them and delivering new levels of value to all of our stakeholders as we do so. Happy New Year!