How Software as a Service has improved KORE’s Customer Service
Here at KORE, we use the Software as a Service (SaaS or sometimes called “the cloud”) model to deliver our customers the best experience and best-of-breed solutions. Many of the best software companies in the world have adopted a SaaS platform in place of more restrictive, on-premise software models. In fact, if you’re currently running a Customer Relationship Management solution (CRM) inside your organization, there’s a good chance it’s being delivered to you from “the cloud.”
What is SaaS?
SaaS is a software model in which the customer pays to access data and functionality that is hosted in another company's remote servers. This allows users to access the software from any web browser and any device (e.g. desktop, tablet, mobile phone). SaaS eliminates nearly all of the disadvantages of traditional software. With SaaS, you no longer need to own and maintain servers, conduct hands-on upgrades, or install software on each user’s computer.
Salesforce has delivered their software as SaaS right from the beginning, and over the past five years Microsoft and SAP have also transitioned to SaaS. In 2014 KORE also moved to primarily a SaaS model.
So what? Well, it’s a huge benefit to our customers.
Let's take a quick jump back in history. Beginning in 2002, KORE Software spent more than a decade developing on-premise, highly-customized CRM solutions for sports and entertainment organizations. KORE was primarily a professional services company, and customers worked closely with our technical staff to build and support their unique needs, processes, permissions, and custom features. While KORE excelled at this model, it meant significant investments for support and heavy on-boarding costs. Every single customer received a modified version of KORE’s products – the inherent disadvantages made us wonder where to go next.
Fast-forward to our decision to move completely to SaaS in 2014 – we hit a saturation point as we were acquiring new customers at a weekly rate. We were forced to ask, “How do we provide our customers value quicker and more efficiently? How do we scale?”
After assessing the various systems that we’d built for our customers, we realized that only about 5-10% of each system was truly unique to the customer. The other 90-95% of the features, needs, and processes were the same regardless of the team, league, sport, or facility.
Our decision was to aggregate all the best practices we had learned, built and implemented from the largest brands in sports over the previous decade and create standard products which we would deliver to our customers in a SaaS subscription model. Those products include: KORE ProSports Ticketing™ (Fan Engagement), KORE ProSports Sponsorship™, KORE ProSports Suites & Premium™ and KORE ProSports DWA™ (Data Warehouse and Analytics).
This new approach to how we serve our customers has been incredibly fruitful:
- Faster and easier implementation - Rather than costly and complex customizations, the new platform provides a number of configuration options so that KORE can guide customers in setting preferences for how the system should work. This new process is no more technically complex than changing the settings in your smartphone, which means that the implementation process can be quicker and more focused on helping the customer use the software to improve their business operations, rather than on technological heavy lifting.
- More frequent product updates with more robust improvements: Since we now have only one version of each product to upgrade each quarter, our R&D team can develop new features and functionality at a substantially faster rate – approximately once per quarter. When these updates are ready, they’re delivered directly to our customers overnight, with no downtime.
In 2016 alone, KORE reduced our implementation timeline to an average of six weeks. In fact, KORE is now able to deploy its software within hours; the rest of the implementation timeframe is devoted to training, best practice discussions, and business process improvements.
- Quicker and more comprehensive support: Our support turnaround time has been reduced substantially now that our entire team can support every customer, versus having a few experts who were versed in specific customer systems.
In 2016, KORE Software rolled out our Customer Success Division – a group of experienced, best-practice consultants who proactively reach out to customers and ensure system optimization. The team is comprised entirely of former analysts and Customer Relationship Management directors from some of the biggest brands in sports, like the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Yankees, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz and more.
Each customer is assigned a dedicated Customer Success Manager with every KORE ProSports™ subscription. Customers are not additionally charged for the time and attention given to them, which commonly includes on-site visits, reporting and analytics consultation, and staff workshops.