I've worked for almost 20 years in the custom software support industry, always with a focus on providing the best possible experience to clients who find themselves navigating the rough waters of using customized software. This role has taken on a few different forms over the years - from the humble beginnings of fielding up to 300 calls per day on a help desk, through to today, where I look after software for various clients from all over the globe. Something that my time in this industry has taught me, is that software support isn’t a one-solution business, it’s a spectrum. And our Enterprise Solutions team here at Open Box traverses this spectrum daily with one objective - keeping the users of the software happy. Every client has different needs, so the kind of support they are looking for is always dictated by them and comes in many shapes and sizes.
Software support isn’t a one-solution business, it’s a spectrum
This might mean having someone they can trust and turn to when small bits of work are required. We have had fantastic results and responses from multiple clients for these types of short-term projects - things that can be covered in a few hours with minimal disruption to their routine while adding huge value to them in the form of new processes, reports, data clean-ups, and personalized workflows.
Another common way we might help is with something more long-term. In this scenario, typically we have one or more Open Boxers working full-time on the support work for a client. We really like this option for several reasons - we become quite familiar with the clients, their system, and their needs, and this allows us to deliver the best support possible and be more proactive in our delivery. It also means that we can help with recurring or monthly requests where automating processes in MRI is not possible or too expensive.
Our efforts combined with their internal team's work, produced an impressive list of development items
Sometimes, neither of the above is applicable. But as I mentioned before, it’s a spectrum, and it’s at the client’s discretion. Recently, for example, we had the pleasure of working with Equity Residential, augmenting their existing in-house support team for a while. Project and support work was given to us in an itemized list where we discussed time estimates to gauge if it was a better fit for their internal teams to do, or if it would be more efficient to delegate the work to us. Our efforts combined with their internal team's work and testing managed to produce an impressive list of development items over the last few months, and it's something we are very happy with and proud of.
But don’t just take my word for it - we asked Sami Roush, Business Systems Manager from Equity Residential how she felt about our collaboration. Here's what she had to say:
This partnership contributed to a significant increase in our delivery rate
“It has been a real pleasure working with both Gareth and Rukeya at Open Box as they have always been friendly, professional, and capable. I was confident in their ability to complete the work on time or advise on feasible alternatives when necessary. Once everyone got settled in, I really started seeing the benefits of their experience and methodology. This partnership contributed to a significant increase in our delivery rate!”
So, in closing, while the above scenarios are the most common ones we encounter, it’s important that our clients, both current and future, understand that we are here to fill a support need. Big, small, or anywhere in between, we've learned over many years how to navigate the spectrum of support needs of our clients, to offer excellent value for their money, and to seamlessly adjust any of the above when required.