How Much Product Functionality Are You Really Using?
Most software products in the ITIL stack – monitoring, ticketing, etc. — all perform their basic functionality equally well when compared to other products in their class. However, best of class products have a lot more functionality and features that is typically forgotten in the craziness and urgency of operational deployments. In most cases, close to 60 percent of the product features are paid for but unused.
One might argue that these features are not important or needed in the enterprise. Interestingly, most of these unused features are precisely the reason for selecting the product in the first place and served as differentiators for selecting one product over the other. Using these advanced features would in most cases give must better ROI to the customer as is normally identified during the selection process. Yet a bulk of these differentiating features go unused
Some of the key reasons for not being able to derive greater benefits from software:
- Using these new features requires a change in Operational Processes – and this change is usually not been factored in during the deployment.
- the selection team is different from the end users of the deployed products, and they have not been exposed to the key differentiating features in the product
- The desire to implement the software quickly and reduce implementation risk
- Lack of skills to use the advanced features in the product
A very simple and effective way to address these issues is by training and re-training. In most cases, the customer purchases training at the beginning of the engagement, but they fail to do advanced training after the product is deployed and running for a while. Enterprises should make it a point to set aside budget and time for reviewing the product deployment a few months after implementation, and ask the software vendors to demonstrate how their advanced feature set can help reduce expenses and deliver faster ROI. This second stage of training would need to focus on how the product can interact better with existing OSS tools and improve processes.
The deployment of any best of class product requires a two stage deployment – initially with the features which are the most common (and interestingly not the reason for selecting the product in the first place). The second stage (and most often overlooked) is much later after the initial deployment, and is when the best of class features are actually put to use.
Vikas Aggarwal is CEO of Zyrion Inc., a leading provider of Cloud and Network Monitoring software for large enterprises and Managed Service Providers. You can read more about Zyrion’s cloud monitoring solution here.