Service Excellence

The Human Factor of Managed Services Drives Hardware ROI

Chris Gaudlip By Chris Gaudlip CTO, Dell Technologies Managed Services December 18, 2018

When you go out for a special occasion, you want an elevated experience that delights, that satisfies your hunger for something remarkable. You know that feeling, that excitement of the senses when you’re with a group of friends or family at a restaurant where the food, the presentation, the service, the ambiance all come together in perfect harmony to create a superior experience that lingers long after the car ride home.

That’s the sensation we want to deliver to Dell EMC Managed Services customers. Every time.

What about the other end of the spectrum, where your anticipation of say, a pleasant—or at least uneventful—flight home after a productive work week is fraught with derailments (e.g., delays, lost luggage, no Wi-Fi), leaving you with unmet expectations and undue stress!

Good and bad customer service interactions can affect brand loyalty and purchasing decisions, especially in our world of instant digital gratification. No matter how fantastic the product may be, customers will not often return to the scene of a bad service experience.

Food for Thought: Service is What We Make It

So, what are the pillars of an excellent customer experience, whether it be epicurean, episodic travel or epic IT managed services? According to the National Restaurant Association, the keys to opening a restaurant that offers great customer service is hiring people who love to serve and then training them to:

  • Be prompt — taking care of customers’ needs in a timely manner
  • Be friendly — striving to offer welcoming service and genuine interest
  • Be available — staying visible to put customers at ease, should they need something
  • Be exceptional — going above and beyond to set yourself apart from competition

Recently, I had to make a tight airline connection and a flight attendant came by my seat with connecting gate information written on a napkin. I smiled at the “human” gesture and carried the napkin in my backpack. It saved me the time of stopping at the terminal departure boards or waiting for my app to update.

On another flight, I was surprised to receive a handwritten note thanking me for my patronage.

I keep both of these notes to remind me of what I can do to emphasize the “service” in managed services. Sometimes, it is the humanity of our actions that make the difference, that matter most. They do not need a separate invoice or a change management ticket or other process-oriented machinations. Being able to truly understand customers’ expectations can be the difference between bearing fruit and eating humble pie.

For an excellent Dell EMC Infrastructure Managed Services experience, I would add the pillars of consistency, passion and creativity for what we do. And make them scalable.

Consistency means being able to generate repeatable success. It is consistent quality that builds a relationship of trust that makes us believe we will continue to be delighted and valued.

In most cases, infrastructure managed services are mission-critical for our customers and their customers. When we power our delivery of technologies and services with passion and creativity, we are in effect sharing our individual and collective human potential.

Steak and Sizzle: The Human Potential that Differentiates Us

If our award-winning technologies are the steak, our managed services are the sizzle.

Years ago, I worked on some of the first voice recognition deployments of hardware in datacenters. It was the wave of the future. Think: HAL 9000, the fictional AI (Artificial Intelligence) computer in 2001 A Space Odyssey (minus the villainous behavior!). My team was always pondering if and how we could massively scale our technological innovation.

Scroll forward and today the world is populated with smart phones, smart homes, and here at Dell, smart infrastructure. Dell has cornered the market in so many solution categories.

Our AI-enabled technologies are unparalleled. We’ve worked diligently to automate and orchestrate processes for our standard services while mitigating conceivable human error across converged environments and backup and storage tasks, right?

Machines can out-process us many millions of times over. We cannot match the exponential speed of our electronic counterparts. Competitors might be satisfied to offer these wonderments as stand-alones. We are compelled toward something greater.

If you have attended any of my presentations, you know I discuss and champion what I call “the IMS Experience.” Dell EMC Managed Services is the link between the human factor and the electronic one. We are the bridge, the coupler, the interlock between humans and machines.

We are poised to go above and beyond the spectacular algorithms and ML (machine learning) capabilities running infrastructure: think of it as applying the napkin approach of human potential. We talk to our customers about time to value, ROI and peace of mind. We offer award-winning products, support and patented services to help transform their businesses. And we know the customer experience will always be important, even—especially—with the progress of robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) combining into that “Dell Technologies Experience.”

It quickly delineates what differentiates us from our competitors. Now, the question becomes can we enhance, expand and scale our human potential amid the push for automation, orchestration, AI and ML to continually improve managed services?

Absolutely.

Pound for Pound: It’s All in How You Scale

Dell EMC IMS is tasked with ensuring that our managed services match our award-winning technology. We leverage AI, ML and other deep learning formats to help customers modernize, breakthrough and compete across dynamic industries, such as science and healthcare.

I say, don’t ask what your hardware can do for you, ask what your hardware can do with the human potential built in! Machines were designed to accelerate the work of humans. And yet, it takes human ingenuity to ensure the repeated success of our brilliant machine counterparts.

When Alan Turing set out to break the Enigma code machine, he did not use smarter humans. He employed thoughtful humans to create a machine to analyze a machine.

This is exactly what our Support and Deploy Services do every day, what my colleagues within Managed Services do every day. Sure, our web pages delineate every aspect of the logistics, the scope, the terms of exactly what we will provide—detailed menus. But it is through what we call “engineered solutions” that our hardware, software, support and services are architected to work together.

Partnering connected technologies and minds accelerate predictive resolutions, new insights and better successes. It is the human factor found in Services that enables our customers to get the most out of their hardware investments. When we capitalize on human agency, we amplify the velocity, the veracity and the possibilities of what our machine counterparts can do.

Summary

Humans create best practices and build lasting relationships, not machines. Our teams of skilled associates add the sagacity, the wisdom, to smart infrastructure. We assess and discern where hardware cannot. Then, we scale it to the speed of machines and apply consistency. It is here, in this sweet spot that we build trust and an excellent customer experience that lingers.

Bon Appetit!

Chris Gaudlip

About Chris Gaudlip


CTO, Dell Technologies Managed Services

As chief technology officer (CTO) for Dell Technologies Managed Services, Chris Gaudlip provides visionary leadership for Dell Technologies Managed Services customers.

Chris brings 25 years of experience at Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and Perot Systems to his role at Dell Technologies. His accomplishments include pioneering Dell EMC Proven Certifications, filing multiple pending and approved patents for his innovations, and designing solutions for Fortune 500 customers. He was recognized for his achievements by being selected as an Dell EMC Distinguished Engineer – Lead Technologist in 2011.

In his current role, Chris is actively involved in Dell Technologies sales efforts, technical validations, and directing the future endeavors of Managed Services. He is the customer liaison and advisory consultant for the Managed Services offerings. Dell Technologies' customers look to him as a trusted advisor.

When not traveling or reading up on the latest technologies, he can be found at his favorite hunting and fishing spots.

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2 thoughts on “The Human Factor of Managed Services Drives Hardware ROI

  1. Really love this blog Chris! Love how sometimes it’s the little things…like a note on a napkin…that really makes a huge and lasting difference in a customer’s experience.

    • Thank you Wes.

      You are exactly correct and we sometimes forget the little things are what matters in this competitive world and digitization. These items enable human potential just as much as our electronic world.

      Have a great day!

      Chris