How Much Customization Does Your Client Really Need?
“Companies have a hard time letting go of what they consider to be proprietary. However, very few applications are so unique that they require in-house ownership. In other words: to drive a nail into a two-by-two, everybody uses a hammer.” – Zohar Gilad, Precise
As an MSP, you are routinely grilled by clients (both current and prospective) on a variety of products and solutions. What are the main features? How will it help my business? How much will it cost? Once the basics have been covered, it’s possible the conversation could venture into the realm of customization – and if it does, that’s where you might need some help.
As the above quote illustrates, some companies have a difficult time grasping the fact that they produce, market and sell just like the rest of us. But they don’t always see things that way, and because of this, customization is big priority. They want the ability to tailor any application to their specific vision – and it’s likely one of the major reasons why they are hesitant on moving to the cloud.
Just to be clear, certain cloud technologies in certain industries will absolutely need to have a high degree of customization (cloud ERP solutions, for example). But when it comes to cloud-based file sharing for the average business, how much customization do they really need?
Not as much as they might think. At the core, they need the ability to securely share files between employees and business partners, but good luck telling that to a client. So to help you address the questions of customization, here are a few quick tips:
- New solutions to old problems: Before moving to the cloud, companies solve their file sharing problems in very specific ways. In many cases, they have become so attached to these processes that they cannot imagine life without them. As an MSP, be sure to highlight the new (and better) ways to solve these problems with a cloud-based solution. Yes, they might have to change a few internal processes, but if you do a good job of convincing them that it’s in their best interest (and training them accordingly), you’ll end up saving them a great deal of time, effort and money. More on this in a minute.
- Customization is now built-in: The truth is, many cloud-based file sharing solutions offer an incredible amount of functionality right out of the box. A better way to position cloud-based file sharing for clients is that it offers a wide range of options, so they can take advantage of certain features that matter most with regard to their day-to-day operations. In other words, the customization is now baked into the software.
- Focus on the opportunity cost: The obvious benefit of the cloud is that it provides savings – both in time and money – to companies regardless of their size. So if a client insists on having a certain level of customization, be sure to remind them how much they paying to get it; how their time and capital could be better used to solve other business problems.
Have tips on dealing with the customization demands of clients? Be sure to share them in the comments section below.