I’ve been in this industry for over twenty years, and the advancements in cybersecurity over the last few years are unmatched. As an industry, we went from believing in a best-in-breed, siloed approach and now we understand our customers need a connected security architecture that can protect, detect, and correct. While we’ve made impressive advancements, I’ve found that the user experience still needs improvement and some user interfaces are still stuck in the past, hard to work with, and difficult to manage.
McAfee’s new Endpoint Security 10.5, which you hear me talk about often, offers the best and most advanced data and device protection available. Plus, it includes Endpoint Threat Defense and Response products as a complimentary suite, providing businesses with end-to-end security intelligence, management, and protection.
What more could an enterprise security manager want? Simply, a better experience.
Whoever they may be, the consumers of our products aren’t necessarily focused on just having the best technology. They’re interested in better use cases, an ease of productivity and workflows, and intuitive interactions with applications and resources. Yes, they want better outcomes, but they also want to enjoy the journey between purchase and result.
There are two means to delivering superior customer experience: technology delivery and support and project and relationship management. Let’s look at them in order.
Technology Delivery and Support
Business buyers expect technology to simply work out of the box (even if it’s a virtual box). This expectation is a byproduct of the consumerization of the enterprise. Through consumer products, such as smartphones and mobile apps, our business customers have a growing belief that products shouldn’t just work as described, but should exceed expectations.
Security products and services aren’t so simple. It takes skilled technicians to deploy, integrate, and configure security products to an optimal state. McAfee partners are instrumental in taking the complexity out of our products and ensuring customers get the maximum benefit by applying their technical skills. Without this expert guidance and support, customers have a diminished experience and are more likely to change providers – on the vendor and reseller levels.
And this is where the new dimension of experience comes in; what’s needed is market-leading project and relationship management.
Many resellers know already that they can’t afford the one-time sale, where they deliver a product and leave a customer to their own devices. Success, particularly in business models that rely on recurring revenue, depends on persistent engagement with customers to ensure they have a great experience with the products they buy and, ultimately, the provider of those products. In other words, this is the means for a superior experience with you, the partner.
The new customer engagement dynamic means you must understand the customer’s need and expectations, deliver the product, provide the supporting service, and remain connected to ensure they get the maximum benefit from their purchase. It’s a tall order, given that many partner organizations struggle with resources.
Meeting these new experience expectations requires creativity. I’ve talked with scores of partners that are forming collaborative relationships with peer organizations to share resources. They’ve learned that creating partnerships for professional services is easier and more effective than developing this expertise on their own. One organization provides products. Another organization provides the professional services. And a third organization provides the project and relationship dynamic.
Making it Easy for You
If none of this sounds easy, it’s because it’s not. As Steve Jobs once said, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Part of our jobs in this experience-based market is masking the complexity of security technology with our expertise and collaborative resources. As a community, we have all the resources needed to achieve this objective. Whether we do this as individual businesses or through collective efforts, we need to hone our thinking to include customer experience as our product.
Together is power, especially in delivering superior experiences.