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How EDA used big data analytics to drive SaaS revenue

Thor Olavsrud | Sept. 24, 2013
Faced with the challenge of converting subscribers to a new platform while implementing a price increase, Equipment Data Associates turned to Scout Analytics to provide the data analytics it needed to better understand and serve its customers.

Companies Are Switching to Cloud and a Recurring Revenue Model
"More and more companies are switching to a recurring revenue model," Shanahan says. "Customers don't want to buy products to own anymore. They just want to pay for what they actually consume. What this means is that usage is really the key to revenue and profitability. If you can drive usage up, you can drive revenue and profitability up."

But driving usage is easier said than done. In a recurring revenue model, Shanahan says, you have to take a proactive approach. Rather than waiting for your customer to approach you with problems or questions, you need to approach them. But you can't afford to scale your customer service linearly with an approach like this.

"The thing is, most companies just don't have enough arms and legs to monitor every customer, figure out what they need to do and contact them," Shanahan says. "You have to automate."

In this way, Scout allows companies to target their customer service efforts on customers that need help. The idea is to provide better customer service to more customers more efficiently.

Scout Playbooks' Playbook Performance Tracker allows users to track the resolution and effectiveness of each play, allowing continuous process improvement.

"Companies have to develop strategies for cost effectively retaining and growing revenue from existing customers," Shanahan says. "By combining predictive analytics with customer engagement orchestration, Scout Playbooks allows companies to provide a more personalized and improved customer experience at higher scale with lower costs."

Scout Playbooks consists of a number of features, including the following:

  • Playbook Editor. This visual editor allows users to define triggers, automations, workflow and resolution criteria.
  • Playbook Orchestration. This feature improves the quality of customer processes by matching customer engagement to individual customer needs to improve resource allocations and efforts.
  • Playbook Performance Tracker. The Performance Tracker tracks the resolution of each play within each playbook to identify which are effective and which ones are not, enabling continuous process improvement.
  • Playbook Management. This console allows for quick deployment or suspension of automated processes, enabling rapid responses to customer needs.
  • Automation Library. The library includes off-the-shelf automations to third-party systems like Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP and Marketo, speeding many deployments by eliminating the need for custom integrations.

For EDA, Scout has been a success, Maguire says. The company was able to convert 1,200 subscription customers to a new platform within four months, all while increasing pricing with a value-pricing model.

"We were able to roll out a six-percent increase to our pricing," Maguire says. "And Scout helped us accelerate our conversion. We were kind of in the dark prior to Scout in regard to understanding what our customers were doing. Now we've enhanced our retention approach. It's also added scale to my team. We're growing. We can't continue to hire a body for every 50 new customers. We had to figure out a way to scale our service delivery."

"It's obviously going to become part of how we do business," he adds. "It gives us a much more proactive approach to the customer renewal subscription lifecycle."

 

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