Expert service management solutions may not just be software: CSDP
IMAGINE one day you driveup to a new car dealership with cash in your pocket, ready to buy. After a few hours discussing your needs with the salesperson, and even taking out a few models for test drives, he or she says, “You know, you don’t really need a car – keep your money,” and hands you a bus pass with a smile.
Crazy right? But welcome to the world of software executive Jerry Edinger, CEO of CSDP Corporation, purveyor of service management software fully capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds… [sorry, the automotive references became a habit for a moment].
But so keen are CSDP to make sure their solutions are right for their customers, they are happy not to sell any of their offerings to prospective clients; and their business model has changed as a result.
“Ten years ago, CSDP was a conventional license sales model, but we’ve transformed into a services business,” Edinger told Tech Wire Asia in a telephone interview.
“Software is one segment of our business, and only one. Our first tack in the business is consulting. We’ve seen a lot of companies who think they need software, but in reality, they don’t. In reality, they need to transform their business process first – or put one in place!”
According to Edinger, a growing percentage of CSDP’s billed revenue comes from consulting:helping companies in the service management sector (or companies with a service management department) with their internal systems and business processes.
But how have CSDP scaled up the provision of their unique consulting skills in the service management area up to the enterprise-level requirements of some of their clients?
“You’ve got to pick the right people. You’ve got to hire correctly. We have close to 50 software developers who’ve done nothing but work in the service management space, so they’re experts in both software development and field service management. They understand both aspects of the business.”
CSDP’s offering is specifically designed to bring real power and automation to the service department or service management specialist company. Their range of modular products means companies of all sizes, from massive enterprises right down to small, family-run concerns can reap the bottom-line benefits.
You can see the full offering here, but modules include, among others, call center, dispatch, time management, billing, forward and reverse logistics and include a fully mobile app for on-site technicians. Everything is cloud-based – CSDP was one of the first cloud providers in the services management space.
But cloud doesn’t mean one-size-fits-all for all customers and users:
“We’re one of the rare few who doesn’t force version upgrades. We’re true SOA (service-oriented architecture) compliant. So you can snap in a service or snap out a service.”
The snapping in and out of services includes third-party integrations, too. Edinger knows CSDP’s software may need to be fully interoperable with other systems: Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics to name but a few stalwarts of the enterprise. The software snaps into other systems and therefore can provide what the team at CSDP offers in spades – the specialist requirements and functionality of a service management function.
Of course, the suppliers, resellers and customizers of Salesforce, SAP et al will do their utmost to prove their behemoths possess the functionality to run a service management operation, without Edinger’s company’s help.
But while those large ERP systems (or very costly customizations of the same) may like to portray themselves as all things to all men, the specifics of service management mean a higher level of granularity is required. And that is where CSDP comes in.
“Companies try to run service delivery off a CRM or ERP. Since I came here in 2007, I’ve said that CRM and ERP are the most oversold technologies in our lifetimes. [Salesforce and SAP have] got a lot of money and can out-market us every day – they’ve got deep pockets.”
CSDP’s modular approach means every installation is highly bespoke to the individual organization. And of course, the company’s insistence on getting into the very bones of the business means that only the right solution will ever be sold.
“We’re about optimizing P & L. About long-term partnerships,” says Edinger.
And if that partnership involves consultancy, help and advice, and not necessarily any software, then Jerry Edinger, for one, will be more than happy with that.
Now, where does that bus leave from?