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Product Life-cycle Management (PLM) as a “SERVICE” to sales & service delivery

As product managers we understand the different hats that you need to wear when developing and life-cycling services. Services may need to be differentiated and should be designed to best monetise the opportunity to maximise service revenues and help successfully win new business.

Successful service providers will have a comprehensive, current and relevant portfolio of products and services that they can advise, design, deliver and manage in providing solutions that meet and even exceed client’s needs. With this comes the challenge of product & service life-cycle management which include the following:

  • Ready for sale & ready for service delivery

  • End of sale & end of support or even end of extended support

  • Replacement & upgrade paths

  • Vendor technology & supplier services life-cycle management (Ideally abstracted from Client complication if truly provided as a service)

When developing new offerings the life-cycle along with the journey through Configure Price Quote to Cash should be well defined and agreed early on with the various business stakeholders.

It is critical that product owners must ensure a common view of what success looks like is agreed with all parties. This MUST address the various sales scenarios from first time sale through to additions, upgrades, downgrades and decommissions for existing clients.

The below considerations will influence thinking and packaging for sale:

  • What is being sold and how?

  • What is mandatory, optional, recommended and their dependencies?

  • What is the client engagement model for the different scenarios and options?

  • What are the units and rules of sale, what are the billing mechanisms?

In an earlier blog we address the importance of client solution life-cycle management for service providers. Moreover, we also understand that quality product life-cycle management is fundamental to effective client life-cycle management. Product managers are working with the business, its people, process and systems to ensure fit for purpose products, services and capability.

In developing and sales packaging managed service’s it’s important to be very clear on the construct of what makes up a service, the below image and explanation provide useful insight.

Services that provide high value are constructed from quality high performing “products” which are designed to provide useful “utility” for consumers with an appropriate level of “warranty”, also referred to as the guarantee.

For a deeper look at services, products, utility and warranty, Pierre Bernard of Pink Elephant provides a more detailed explanation.

The digital solution for bridging the gap between product strategy and client solution life-cycle management

ITIL framework describes a “Solution” as any mix of both products, utility, warranty and services, that together meet client’s needs. For most service providers, solutions will be heavily service oriented. Services can be both one time as well as recurring, for instance, a solution may involve a new target architecture with ongoing support as well as one-off project services to deliver and migrate to it.

Quality solutions should continually delight, provide peace of mind, while unburdening, assisting and enabling clients to focus on “business level” operation, growth and innovation.

Fortunately, there are SaaS based applications that enable service providers to define and sales package complex service offerings in a way that simplifies, guides and enables sales teams in efficiently and effectively selling new and life-cycling existing client solutions.

servicePath’s all-encompassing CPQ solution helps accelerate the development of complex managed service offerings which enable sales to better perform and improve client solution life-cycle management. Read more about how servicepath are born and bred from the technology service provider domain and are truly differentiated from other CPQ providers

If you are a service provider and are challenged with maintaining current portfolios, packaging and monetising of cloud services with a desire for a more friction-free operation, can help, get in touch to find out more.

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