Michael Maoz

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Michael Maoz
VP Distinguished Analyst
13 years at Gartner
26 years IT industry

Michael Maoz is a research vice president and distinguished analyst in Gartner Research. His research focuses on CRM and customer-centric Web strategies. Mr. Maoz is the research leader for both the customer service and support strategies area and customer-centric Web… Read Full Bio

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Touching the Cloud / SaaS Third Rail: complex customer service.

by Michael Maoz  |  November 25, 2013  |  Comments Off

The beauty of the new-age publishing process is that every word, thought and recommendation that we write for our clients on Gartner.com can be anonomously rated. Generally you hope for better than three stars – four or five are ideal, as it implies that you got their attention and they thought it was better than average. One Star is about as rare as hens’ teeth – it means you either offended someone, up-ended their holiest beliefs, or got them in trouble. And that is what I found when I looked at my newest research on the limits of Cloud Computing for complex customer service environments. Someone dropped in a “One Star.” (If you are clients, you can find the document here and judge for yourself:    http://gtnr.it/IbU2rb [The Top Three Impacts of Cloud Computing for CRM Customer Service and Support]). We all learn the most from when someone finds a piece of research challenging – understanding the root issue yields great insights into what is a client’s reality. So…. Cloud for the Complex Customer Engagement Center in businesss-to-consumer…. what did I write?

For those of you who can’t access the research, here is the net of what I am saying: I have looked around the globe for a large, virtual multinational / global contact center supporting customers in a business-to-consumer setup such as global banking, telecommunications, hotel, airline, utilities, or BPO for consumer support, and come up empty-handed. I have asked businesses, I have asked outsourcers, consultancies, software vendors and fellow analysts. Everyone comes up with a reason why they believe it will eventually happen, and then point to global business-to-business, or local business to consumer outside of the complex, or works-in-progress. It is Eco’s The Island of the Day Before.

The other point I’ve made is that the hidden costs of SaaS for complex service and support are under-estimated: consistent mobile support, telephony integration, real-time integration with legacy systems, disaster recovery, customization, data cleansing, data privacy (outside of the US), consistency with social media channels (facebook, twitter, forums, communities…), training, analytics: these are routinely pushed aside as inconsequential.

Here is the challenge: it would be terrific to be found out incorrect – failing fast and often and keeping a sense of humility is what allows for change and progress. If I’ve gotten it wrong: let us know!!!

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