Geoff Pople COO, Kimble opened the largest Kimble Connect event to date. This was the fifth year of Kimble Connect. It was well attended with just under 200 customers present. Kimble Connect is held in the UK every six months, (there are also events in the US). It brings together customers to present the information on the latest update. They were also able to attend sessions that were curated following feedback from the previous year. These delivered a mix of best practice with practical advice on usage of the Kimble applications.
There were a few thought leadership presentations. Sarah Edwards, Managing Director International at Kimble Applications, delivered a shortened presentation from the one she gave at TSW in the US entitled “How to smash the bottlenecks of services success.” Another was delivered by Duncan Jones, Vice President, Principal Analyst Forrester on business applications in the post ERP era. He delivered an informative talk on the five key qualities buyers should look for in embedded AI within a Digital Operations Platform.
The changing services delivery landscape.
During the opening session Sean Hoban Founder and CEO Kimble explained what trends Kimble is seeing in the market. He focused on one, how services delivered by professional services firms are evolving. Many firms have traditionally just delivered project services. However, with the advent of SaaS firms that historically have just done implementation are now finding the need to go beyond this. Firms now need to offer managed services and may also need to provide support/warranty services. The next iteration is that of customer success. Two aims of customer success to increase adoption and thereby help with renewal.
Change brings challenges
Hoban highlighted four challenges these new services are presenting professional services firms.
Account Profitability: It is important to understand this across all services. Firms calculate project profitability but pre-sales and service profitability is often ignored or poorly calculated.
Global Resource pool: These different services are often delivered by different teams. However, while they are often siloed there is an overlap in skills between the teams. Organisations need the ability to blend teams, breaking down these silos and deliver the right services at the right time to customers. This will also enable them to maximise utilisation and the availability of those people.
Activity visibility: In order to manage an organisation proactively, business leaders need to know what is going on at any time. Being able to see everything in one place is critical. This is not just about project visibility but also includes sales, service and finance operations.
Additional Service Selling: It is no longer just the account executive who is the only channel for new business. The first person to know there is an opportunity may be in support or another customer facing function. The ability for them to highlight these opportunities across the business is important.
What to do about it
Hoban summarised what companies can do to meet those challenges saying:
“Adopt a single systems of engagement for people so they are no longer working in their siloed systems. Most importantly a single view of the customer. With that comes a single view of revenue and costs and bringing that all together. A single resource pool as well, so you can resource across all those different service types. Finally if you can identify those upsell opportunities by making sure that the people who are in front of the customer, touching the customer have got the ability to create that opportunity and enter it into the system then you will get an uptick in revenue.”
While Hoban acknowledged that Kimble does not achieve all of this, it is able to integrate with ITSM solutions, such as ServiceNow and Salesforce Service Cloud and other applications, to deliver a complete solution from within a single platform.
Winter 20 at Kimble Connect
In the final session of the day attendees were also treated to a rapid overview of both the Winter 20 and what lies beyond for Kimble by Mark Smith. Future updates may include a revamped reports pack, improvements to Revenue recognition and deeper integration to service cloud.
The evening concluded with a very busy networking session at which customers shared tips and insights. Kimble delivered yet another successful Connect event.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
For an event that Kimble holds every six months, it is becoming a sizeable event. The purpose of the event appears to be driven from a customer success point of view rather than the usual customer conference. In some ways it will be a shame if the format changes, but with the event growing every year so will the costs associated with it. There is also a lack of other vendors present at the event and no obvious sponsorship. It will be interesting to see if this changes as the event grows.