Unit4 Success4U, Image credit Unit4Unit4 has announced the full launch of Success4U, its outcome-based customer success model for customers. First announced back in August, the service is now comprised of two components. Success4U Essentials, which every customer has access to once they commit to one of the SaaS solutions that Unit4 offers, including Unit4 ERPx, Unit4 FP&A and Unit4 Financials. The second option is Success4U Professional, which is a chargeable option and includes significant additional benefits. The Professional tier also consists of elevated support with specific SLA around response times included.

Once customers can access the Unit4 SaaS solutions, the Success4U begins. It means that the customer success operation starts straight away. At the essentials level, this is a digital engagement. Success4U Professional customers will have a dedicated customer success manager and immediate access to Success4U points. Success4U points can be topped up in batches of 10. These are not used for standard support calls but instead are used for outcome-based initiatives.

Jean de Villiers, Chief Customer Officer, Unit4 (image credit - LinkedIn/Jean de Villiers)
Jean de Villiers, Chief Customer Officer, Unit4

Jean de Villiers, Chief Customer Officer, Unit4. “With Success4U, our customers are able to move away from buying features and functions to focus on tangible business outcomes which speed up time-to-value from their investment in Unit4 ERPx.

“Historically, customers modernizing and expanding their ERP capabilities would have to pay SaaS subscription fees alongside on-premises licenses, meaning it took longer to realize benefits. Now, we can demonstrate clear results in our Success Outcomes, which enable customers to show how they have improved their ERP compared to their previous system. It also allows us to offer insights into comparisons with industry performance levels.”

Find out more about Success4U

Enterprise Times spoke to Jean de Villiers, Chief Customer Officer and Tim Éclair-Heath, Global VP of Success Engineering of Unit4, about the announcement. The Success4U program was first announced last August when it consisted of three tiers. de Villiers confirmed that they sensibly dropped the hybrid tier as customers found it confusing.

Points mean outcomes

What is different from other customer success solutions is that Unit4 has developed and productized outcome-based elements called Success Catalogues. These are available to all customers. Those on the professional tier can use Success Points to have them delivered, while Essentials customers will find additional costs.

Tim Éclair-Heath, Global VP of Success Engineering of Unit4
Tim Éclair-Heath, Global VP of Success Engineering of Unit4

The Professional comes at a price tag of €65K. It includes 14 success points, with the option for customers to purchase more in batches of 10.

Tim Éclair-Heath explained how the points work, saying, “The points deliver the outcomes. There isn’t a relationship for points to days or anything like that because it’s a blended approach across our resource pool. What we say is that we’re going to deliver the outcomes to you. The number of points you require to achieve the outcomes, and there’s an equivalent cash price, which is higher, the points give you preferential pricing. They can get a feel for the cash price, but they’re getting a better deal through points.

“They’re fixed price outcomes. Unit4 takes all of the risk, and the reason that we can do that is because we implement industry standard best practices with best results from the software approaches, and we do them time and time again, so they’re standardised.”

Customer Success +

The new customer success model is aimed to support customers but also increase the benefit of their investment within the Unit4 solutions. The program has a simple goal of ‘Land, Adopt, Expand’. The outcome-based Success Catalogues offer customers bite-size ways to increase the value of Unit4 solutions. It also improves the efficiency of their organisation. Where Essentials is primarily self-service, the Professional tier has a more proactive approach.

I asked de Villiers whether there was, therefore, a risk that Essentials Customers, if they chose not to engage, could be forgotten. He replied, “What we’re doing with our digital experience is we’re looking to combine telemetry data from the system with what we see in the high-touch environments of a similar industry and locale. So tax law is very different in Sweden, compared to the UK, for example. There’s an element of localism, and localization, but professional service organisations, so an architect practice or an engineering firm has a lot of similarities in terms of the way it operates.

“Our intent is, as we capture more and more data about these industry verticals and the way that people are operating on the platforms within them, to be able to go out to our digital customers and say to them, your peers are pursuing the following outcomes, is this something that you are considering? If so, here’s some guidance as to how you might tackle it.

“The service catalogue that underpins Professional is available to customers who are on essentials. Once they understand what outcome they’re driving towards, if they feel it’s a great idea, they’re able to procure those services from us through that catalogue. Instead of using points, they’re paying a fixed cash fee.”

Is Unit4 proactive in this approach, is a shared CSM involved?

de Villiers replied, “Yes, it’s a combo. It’s digital outreach but with a CSM at the end of it. So that when the customer comes back and says, actually, I’m not really focused on that, but I have seen this other trend that I find interesting, can I talk to someone, you create that interaction at that point. The CSM has to be a fairly reactive interaction because it is one to very many, as you can imagine. Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is empower the customers with as much industry trend (information) as possible to, for them to be able to make decisions.”

Success Catalogues

Each entry within the Success Catalogue has an outcome-based service. Unit4 provided some examples:

  • Optimizing project management and improving project billability
  • Improving payment processes, increasing transparency in procurement systems and adding functionality to contract management
  • Enhancing reporting capabilities
  • Standardizing data capture. Éclair-Heath added, “One, the things we’re looking to do is standardise the way that we capture the data from the customer so that we can compare customer to customer and benchmark. So we can give customers a view as to, you think you’re doing well, but actually the rest of your peer group are well ahead of you.”
  • Delivering accurate resource planning and improving insights from employee performance
  • Providing simple and structured planning processes mainly around financial planning and analysis, according to de Villiers
  • Providing more agile invoice management and optimizing digital expense claims

Éclair-Heath then explained the form of the Success Catalogues. “The success catalogue at the moment is a paper-based view of the services and outcomes that we offer. What we are going to do over time is build it into an electronic format that you can browse online, similar to Amazon. It gives the customer visibility of the outcomes and the services that they can procure. They can do the procurement direct from the catalogue in the future. We’re building that solution at the moment. The (digital) solution is due to be ready at the end of August, so likely Q4.”

What about Partners

I asked de Villiers how partners fit into this new program.

“The second way is that there are some partners that are purely system integration, implementation, onboarding type partners, or cloud migration partners. We’re building a flavour of Success4U that wraps around them, that isn’t competing with them, which allows us to provide a high touch customer success manager and an elevated support capability at a different price point to the inclusion of points where essentially the partner is providing those service elements that you would normally see in the success catalogue for a direct Unit4 customer.

“That’s been pretty well received by the partners so far. There’s a lot of eagerness to collaborate on both forms. In fact, a fair amount of the advanced education offerings that we’re putting into the catalogue that are available today are essentially powered by two partners. In the English speaking world by Embridge from the UK and in the non-English speaking world by Arribatech who are spread across Europe.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Monetising customer success is rarely easy. But Unit4 has found a way to do so that delivers value to all parties concerned, customers, partners and Unit4. Importantly, the two tiers are simple, with Professional offering a proactive CSM. The service is scalable and, once the digital Success Catalogues are live, provides an additional source of income for Unit4 and its partners.

Customers have also welcomed the new programs. Mary Kent, Head of IT Programs, Nuclear Restoration Services, commented, “The Unit4 CSM has been invaluable for us over the last number of years,” said “As a growing business, having a direct line ensures the voice of the customer is always a priority. The service brings many benefits in terms of maximizing the investment we have made in Unit4, including having contact with senior management for escalations and generally understanding Unit4’s roadmap and strategy.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here