Technical Project Manager for SaaS and Customer Success Manager
I provide expertise in online and on-mobile SaaS Product Development, Project Management, Digital Marketing and Customer Success Management, to design, develop and deliver software products and services, increase adoption, ensure satisfaction and boost retention.
Increases Adoption, Ensures Satisfaction, Boosts Retention
- Understands customer problems through a broad knowledge of business verticals, and is able to develop and pitch appropriate technology strategies and solutions
- Participates in technology design and development and Project Manages the creation of products and services that customers need
- Develops trusted/strategic advisor relationship with customers beyond reactive mode, to add value to their implementations while enabling upsell opportunities
- Works with customers to establish critical goals and KPIs and aids them through on-boarding, training and day-to-day operations in achieving their goals
- Serves as customer advocate to ensure their needs are being met across the organization
Please contact me to discuss how I can contribute towards achieving your project's success.
Oliver Harte, MA, AIT, PMP
Ottawa SaaS Project Leader | Ottawa Customer Success Manager
Ottawa SaaS Project Management and Customer Success Management :
a collection of articles, observations, commentary and resources.
I'm Oliver Harte, SaaS Project Leader, Business Solutions Architect and Customer Success Manager based in . This website is a collection of articles, observations, commentary and resources about business, cloud computing and technology in general. ››
Customer Service vs. quick profit :
The expression "Customer Service" is one that invariably elicits anxiety for most people - which is the clue telling us that something is terribly wrong.
Who wins... and who should?
We get anxious because we don't really have any confidence that merchants or suppliers will provide service once the sale is completed - that they will actually live up to the "Customer Service" promise they made to us as a condition of sale, or, that their "Customer Service" practices will not be so dehumanizing that we would actually prefer to avoid them, and just take the hit of the non-conforming product or service we purchased.
Recently, I was fortunate to be put through the "Customer Service" wringer of a merchant I commonly use - fortunate in that the experience was such that it crystallized like never before the tensions that exist within the "Customer Service" paradigm.
These tensions are quite simple to describe. "Customer Service" costs money in the short term, and business, with their eye on the numbers for this financial quarter, don't want to spend that money. Oh, sure, they know anecdotally that great "Customer Service" may pay-off in the long term, through customer retention and brand loyalty and brand championing by customers, but that's too far down the road and the metrics are difficult to track in any case, so, as a consequence their "Customer Service" paradigm becomes corrupted by their need to generate short-term profit.
It's a slippery slope...
My experience demonstrates this phenomenon beautifully. I arrived at one of a chain of grocery stores I frequent, with the intention of returning an item still under warranty - a small electrical appliance.
This grocery chain, , owned by a Canadian conglomerate that goes back generations, has, like many others, been hard-hit by the Wal-Mart factor - a ubiquitous purveyor of consumer durables that has entered the grocery business and now undercuts them in virtually every way, is better managed, has deeper pockets, and apparently is winning-over an increasing number of their customers.
Loblaws, like many others in their space, has responded by going head-to-head with Wal-Mart - trying to beat Wal-Mart at its own game, by also selling consumer durables.
Which explains why I arrived at a grocery store with a broken small electrical appliance to return. Imagine my horror though, when faced with a long, long lineup in front of a single "Customer Service" rep.
Harley Finkelstein's Agile Business Development :
What is it, and how can it be applied to maximize returns?
The conventional culture of business development - of deal making - expects a mercenary approach whereby every deal must be squeezed hard enough to extract the very last drop of juice, and conversations about reciprocity and the value of business relationships tend to elicit skepticism and the implication that one has gone soft and is shirking.
Yet, interestingly, almost everyone in business grasps the value of a good relationship with partners - that repeat business lowers the cost of sale considerably, and that such relationships necessarily are based on reciprocity and collaboration.
Rather than imposing the militaristic, binary paradigm popularized apparently forever, where success necessarily is defined on the basis of winners and losers, Harley Finkelstein, the Chief Platform Officer for e-commerce software company , instead proposes that a better outcome is winners... and, well, more winners.
I started following more closely after scooped up from some of the toughest venture capitalist firms out there.
Bessemer's Top 10 Laws of Cloud Computing and SaaS Revisited :
Can they be applied to early-stage SaaS start-ups too?
Venture capital firm, , who have invested in multiple cloud computing firms globally, published a whitepaper in late 2010 entitled Bessemer's Top 10 Laws of Cloud Computing and SaaS
It attempted to codify what they termed as their evolving Cloud Computing best practices for SaaS companies, and it's abstract was quite straightforward: "Running an on-demand company means abandoning many of the long-held tenets of software best practices and adhering to new principles."
In reading the ten laws, its becomes apparent that Bessemer has conflated two different categories of rules - those that inform how a product/service is designed, built and deployed, and those that inform the enterprise's higher-level business practices.
Doing so would ordinarily be problematic for analytic clarity... except in this case the oversight reflects and thereby provides proof of a certain reality - that eBusiness operates under its own set of rules, which only partially intersect those that govern conventional business.
While this may now be accepted uncritically as axiomatic - particularly by those working in the eBusiness space - it is only because of Marshall McLuhan's epiphany a half-century ago about media - that the medium is the message - or more plainly, that the platform itself affects content and people's perception of it.
Is it ready to replace conventional Home Phone Services?
With the ubiquity of the internet, and increasingly reliable high-speed, low cost access, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to free myself from the expensive and often frustrating relationship with the monopolistic telecommunications carriers for home phone services.
The opportunity has been enabled particularly through the advent of VoIP - Voice over Internet Protocol technology - sometimes referred to as an "internet phone", and initially popularized by , and most recently by .
Many people have elected to simply discontinue home phone service altogether, deciding instead to use their mobile device as their primary telephone. Indeed, it can be said that wireless phone services have evolved virtually in parallel with internet services, so that now, they too are ubiquitous, reliable and affordable.
So much so in fact, that many developing nations have simply stopped rolling-out land-line infrastructure projects, deciding instead to largely base their telecommunications systems on wireless. It seems almost certain that today's teenagers in the developed world will never have a land line in their own homes, that for them, the home phone will be as quaint as a wrist-watch, and just bas redundant.
My own circumstances dictated that I try VoIP, rather than rely entirely on wireless, largely because comparable wireless services would cost at least twice as much as those offered through a land-line.
In the annals of terms misused and cliche, Web 2.0 must surely still rank near the top. For years we heard it breathlessly spoken of by various media, PR and marcom flacks 'n hacks, usually without reference to its meaning or purpose. This, it become clear, was because they never quite grasped what it is they were actually referring to.
- what was all the fuss about?
The term became iconic. For them it meant the new, shiny internet of the future, here! ... now! ... and to be fair, however shallow their analysis invariably was, they were not entirely wrong.
It also became a bit of a caricature, made fun of because of the earnestness of its early proponents, juxtaposed with the scale of their spectacular failures or successes. Indeed, there was an entire genre of websites dedicated to poking fun at the caricature of Web 2.0 , their products and the language it precipitated.
Tim O'Reilly and colleagues popularized the term as a catchy phrase to help market a they were promoting in 2004. is complex and abstract, while is much more practical, and, true to character, my musings here on Web 2.0 and its impact on business are greatly informed by his.
Regardless, Web 2.0, as any Internet Project Manager, or anyone focused on Digital Marketing will tell you, was about considerably more than an abstract, "next generation" internet, popularized by social networking sites, web apps that did things we never realized we needed done, and web sites of a certain style that had a bright, colorful and (mostly) uncluttered appearance that was itself a metaphor for Web 2.0.
In fact, for business, the process of buying and selling, and for human networking, Web 2.0 was the single greatest agent of change of its time.
More About Me ››