Domain Customer Solutions

Customer Solutions is the operational heart of VSHN, here we create value directly for and with our customers. This is where we operate and support all Managed Services around the clock and onboard customers or migrate existing customers to new solutions.

Accountable

Customer Solutions Workgroup

Delegator

Business Operations (Management)

Purpose

Why does Customer Solutions exist?

We have an existing base of services that we run for our customers and a portfolio of new and future products that we envision scaling our business with. Without a constant rethinking of the solutions, a transition for existing customer or onboarding of new customers to the new, more scalable products is unlikely and we risk a stall in development and growth.

We need to operate and support our customers' existing solutions, onboard customers to new solutions and transition or migrate old services to new solutions based on our product portfolio.

Key Responsibilities

Plan, build and evolve
  • Customer’s (business) requirements and expectations (continuously) understood.

  • Solutions to requirements designed or evolved according to VSHN’s (product) strategy.

  • Solutions built or changed as designed and sold, and are usable by the customer.

    • The VSHN Products or building blocks are set up.

    • Missing pieces are built, set up and documented.

    • Customer gets needed support to migrate and use the Solution.

  • Collaboration expectations are understood and met.

Run
  • Customers have support, according to chosen Support Plan

  • Solutions incl. used Products / building blocks are maintained and reliably running, meeting the SLO as defined in the SLA.

Key Deliverables

Currently, the Managed Solution based on VSHN products and standardized building blocks is our key product. It can contain VSHN or other 3rd party products to meet the customer’s requirements.

Definition of Done

New Solutions built and customers onboarded
  • Solution is set up in a pre-agreed way (sold design) and transitioned to operations ("Running the Solution").

  • Solution is documented.

  • Solution setup is successfully tested by customer.

  • Recurring billing is correctly set up.

  • Automated Maintenance and Monitoring is set up.

  • Recovery strategy clarified and set up.

Solutions are running reliably
  • Incidents are noticed, handled and resolved - 24x7 if applicable.

  • Problems addressed to a point where it prevents repeating Incidents.

  • Recurring Software Updates done.

  • Security - integrity, availability, confidentiality - is accounted for.

  • VSHN defined Product Changes and Upgrades done.

Customers get needed support
  • Incoming information requests are answered and confirmed.

  • Valid and relevant (to the service we provide) Problems addressed.

  • Incidents are handled and resolved - 24x7 if applicable.

  • Changes are assessed, planned and executed.

Continuously assess and evolve existing Solutions
  • Track what we have in existing Solutions and what we (plan to) do according to Product Strategy.

  • Actions planned when and where we see an opportunity. Legacy service decommissioned and replaced by new one.

Off-boarding of customers and solutions

Service decommissioned, documentation cleaned-up. Billing stopped.

Customer’s expectations clear
  • We have found and documented a common basis for expectations of all involved parties.

Stakeholders

  • Our ideal customers as defined in Customer Segments:

    • A company which makes their revenue through their own online application, either self-developed or developed for them.

    • A company which needs multiple instances of a software for their business at scale.

  • Existing customers not fully matching our ideal customer definition anymore.

  • VSHN (represented by the Management as the Delegator)

External Constraints

  • Profitability per solution and customer has to be ensured.

  • Financial impact is considered when prioritizing and planning work.

  • Timeline decisions for onboarding customers consider the financial impact.

  • Work law - not working too much, being on-call, etc.

  • High level business strategy

  • Product Strategy

    • How much Solution and Customization are we allowed to build?

Delegator Responsibilities

  • Economic overview (show us the numbers, our impact).

  • Budget constraints.

  • Purpose of our domain.

  • Company Strategy and Objectives that are relevant for us.

  • Approve new positions for hiring, finial hiring decision.

Dependencies

From Product Management
  • Clarity on Strategy, Product Portfolio and Lifecycle. Objectives to upgrade / migrate products and make changes.

  • Definitions for our Products, including SLA (Product availability, Support, etc.) What is included? features, free setup, limitations, requirements, etc.

  • Definition of "Solution", including "How much solution can we build around our Products"?

From Product Development

Usable Products according to Product definition.

From Sales
  • Requirements Engineering Tasks we’ve to work on.

  • Customer Order for new services or changes, including

    • Budget (costs offered)

    • Agreement on Service Levels

    • Confirmed Solution Design

    • (Iterative) Delivery Timeline

From Central Services (Antares)
  • Corp IT: Tooling that helps us

  • Finance: Actually send out our invoices and bring in money

  • People Operations: Payout the salaries of our people, Administrative HR tasks

  • Recruiting: Find people we need, suggest candidates, hire them for us.

Key Resources

  • Tooling (Software)

  • 3rd party vendor support (contracts)

  • Cloud provider resources (for us and what we resell to our customers)

  • In addition to resources: People with the needed Mindsets, Skills and Capabilities

Mindset, Skills and Capabilities

  • Understand customer challenges, Requirements Engineering, Entrepreneurial thinking

    • business side

    • technical side

  • Solution Design, Solution focused thinking

  • Procedural problem solving

  • DevOps Mindset

  • Agile Mindset

  • Understanding of how Software Developers work

  • "Day"-2 operations experience for our Products (including technology used)

  • High level understanding of (future) technologies used in our niche of the IT industry

  • Understand the technology used in detail

  • Understanding of how Software Developers work

  • Wanting to be close to the customer, be open to talk to customers, extrovert

  • Excellent communication skills

Monitoring and Evaluation

Review (usually Peer Review) every 2 months with the Management and the Customer Solutions Work Group.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Key Responsibilities are met.

  • Customer happiness.

  • Employee happiness.

  • Financial situation, mainly profitability.


This domain is tracked and reviewed as VIP-3