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Nucleus Research, a research and advisory services company, Microsoft Azure, networking and hosting services, and SAP, a SaaS company were selected as best in class companies serving large enterprises. The selections were based on surveys of users, the quality of their artifacts, and awards from associations.

1. Nucleus Research — Research and Advisory Services

Highest Level of Service

  • Nucleus Research meets the needs of one-off clients who want to dive into the research the company has done. They offer an immediate three-day pass which provides individual access to all of its research and unlimited downloads. The price for this is $90.
  • They also offer an annual membership with the same permissions for $900 a year.
  • Their premium service provides full corporate access for vendors and users of technology, as well as full access to analysts. This is where the personalized service resides.

Business Strategy Accommodations

  • Nucleus Research is a “best in class” company because they customize their offerings for each client, so they do not promote a “best” but a “Best for Your Company”.
  • Their focus for each engagement is an ROI for the client, and they promote the fact that each company’s ROI is different.
  • They publish a “Value Matrix” which at first glance seems to echo Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. See the image below.
Nucleus Research Value Matrix
  • The company is very clear, however, that “there is no “bad” quadrant in the Value Matrix, just as there is no “best” technology solution for all companies. The Value Matrix is designed to highlight the market position of a solution relative to others rather than specify a best solution in the market.”
  • Unlike other research and advisory companies, they do not work just from a technology-agnostic point of view to assist users in selecting the best solution. They also work with vendors to help them define their ROI from their client’s perspective.
  • They identify and help vendors write case studies. Both of these revenue streams gives them the opportunity to act as an honest broker and identify trends and share pain points between the two types of clients.
  • Their third revenue stream is targeted to investors to help them make solid decisions.

Communications for Enterprise Clients.

  • Nucleus Research has an active Twitter Account with an average of 1-2 postings per day. It is their only social media account.
  • Nucleus Research appears to use its website as its primary means of communication with their clients. Their site is clean, well-designed, and easy to navigate. They feature each of their staff on their own bio page which provides insight for their clients into the analyst’s specialty.
  • One of the company’s more unique ways of reaching enterprise clients is their sponsorship of an annual award program for companies whose technology deployments provide the greatest ROI. The awards are announced through press releases.
  • They also provide case studies and snapshot results for each of their award winners. See the image below.
Snap Shot Results

2. Microsoft Azure — Hosting and Networking Services

Highest Level of Service

  • Microsoft offers a free Azure account for 12 months. They offer a large list of free services for the first 12 months, including virtual machines, file storage, SQL DB, 15 GB outbound bandwidth, and a number of AI services.
  • There are four levels of service plans. They include Basic, available on request, Developer at $29 per month, Standard at $100 per month, and Professional Direct at $1000 per month.
  • Their most expensive support plan, Professional Direct, besides all the regularly expected items in a technical SLA includes a business-critical dependence scope with a three-level response commitment based on severity, architecture, API and operations support, training, and proactive guidance. A full listing of every feature of every plan can be seen here.

Business Strategy Accommodations

  • Microsoft’s ethos and experience influenced its “long-term, ground-up approach to marketing that informs customers, trains partners, and provides sales with the insights they need — and do so quickly. It’s a traditional, well-oiled global demand generation machine refined for the modern era and it works.”
  • A case study by ON24 provides an in-depth examination of how Microsoft developed and implemented their marketing and training strategy. The full case study can be found here.
  • They also provide a webinar program that made measurable conversions by tracking “webinar attendees from first-touch to paying customers, with a 7.2 percent conversion rate.”

Communications for Enterprise Clients

  • Microsoft provides its Azure clients with a plethora of information to support their use. New clients can start with Enterprise Cloud Strategy, a 156-page comprehensive book for clients to implement a cloud strategy. It includes a soup to nuts explanation of what the cloud is, how to use it, and goes as deep as architectural blueprints for digital marketing, mobile, and SaaS development and disaster recovery plans.
  • Microsoft provides webinars for its clients to back up their training manuals.

3. SAP — SaaS

Highest Level of Service

  • SAP has a number of different service types for its ERP products. They are categorized by the priority of the issue.
  • Low and medium priority issues can be resolved by scheduling a 30-minute live chat with an expert, either internal to SAP or external among their users.
  • Medium and high priority issues can be dealt with using their expert chat function, where complex issues end in a support ticket being created.
  • High and critical issues can be reported by creating an incident using the SAP ONE Support Launchpad. This usually results in working closely with an SAP Support Engineer.

SAP also provides a support portal for its clients. The functions can be seen in the image below.SAP Support Portal

Business Strategy Accommodations

  • In February 2020, SAP realigned its organization in keeping with its new business strategy. The purpose was to “unify SAP’s communication channels and product strategy, and improve integration scenarios across its product portfolio.”
  • SAP established six product areas: “SAP Customer Experience, S/4HANA, SuccessFactors, Intelligent Spend (which includes SAP Ariba, Fieldglass, and Concur), HANA and Analytics, and Qualtrics. The SAP Cloud Platform will serve as the underlying technology platform for all these areas.”
  • In support of the product areas, SAP’s sales, service, and customer success organizations were organized into a single unit.

Communications for Enterprise Clients

  • SAP’s Chief Marketing Officer outlined the three changes SAP has taken to improve its client communications.
  • They began by building a new brand story that was more relevant to their customers.
  • The company changed its approach to story-telling, using a well-known actor to infuse some humor into their ads.
  • SAP has been talking about enabling its customers to become experience companies.
  • A specific example is a campaign for which SAP won the Content Marketing Institute’s “Project of Year” award for 2019.
  • The award was given for a multifaceted campaign called “Searching for Salaì” to promote its new product, SAP Leonardo, designed “to help organizations navigate the new technological renaissance and drive business innovations.”
  • The premise was that Andrea Salaì, is a long-time appreciate of da Vinci who has time-traveled to modern times to guide the world through its technological renaissance.
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