Last week, our CEO Jeremy wrote about how we at Sibling Technologies have been hearing from clients and agencies, asking us to step in and save projects mid-stream. Jeremy also noted that as the Adobe Experience Manager market matures, the premium pricing that was once the norm for AEM services has led to fatigue and driven platform customers to more economic solutions. Jeremy's right, and it got me to thinking about how the value equation has evolved over time, and how we're seeing that impact the dialogue we're having with our customers.
The value equation has evolved over time, and how we're seeing that impact the dialogue we're having with our customers. Traditionally, most people view the value equation as this:
But what falls into the service bucket? Well, here's how I define it, and how we're seeing clients and agencies shift their thinking:
1) Service = Timeliness: Setting realistic goals and development plans that align with the life cycle of both products and the availability of people is critical in any managed service, and that holds true with AEM implementations. Whether we're involved from the outset of a project or brought in mid-flight, our staff of senior developers and leadership are hyper-focused on both making sure realistic timelines are defined, and critically honest about where our customers are on their own maturity journey. We focus on delivering on time, every time.
2) Service = Risk mitigation through partnership: Consumers of a Managed Service want partners that not only help them mitigate risks by identifying the unknown unknowns, but want partners that are willing to take on some of the risk themselves. On all of our engagements, our teams enforce best practices in the pursuit of removing risk from the conversation, and our team is brutally honest about gaps and opportunities.
3) Service = Adaptability: This used to be thought of as flexibility, but in today's changing technology landscape, I feel that a true partner doesn't bend their practices to the point of breaking (and potentially breaking the brand or the platform), but adapts their best practices to meet their customer where they are. Again, we've observed through numerous engagements that keeping our partners focused on iterative outcomes and calling them out when they take shortcuts builds the best value long term.
4) Service = Innovation: Sibling Technologies recognizes that our clients want partners that will both be on top of changes coming in both the platform and other products that are on the market. You're in good company, since we are passionate early adopters (in AEM and a handful of other technologies as well).
5) Service = Quality: This may seem odd or funny, but I believe that all of these aspects of what we define as a "service" are part and parcel of the quality our partners expect and get when they work with Sibling Technologies.
The main takeaway from all of this? When you are looking to reduce costs with your AEM implementation, don't undermine the value you can receive from your platform by solely focusing on cost. Find the middle ground where you realize the value of your investment without undermining it.
Nathan Kling is the Director of Client Services for Sibling Technologies, a group of highly specialized Senior AEM Consultants that lead federal and commercial projects for Adobe.