About 18 months ago I was driving through New York City with one of our account execs when he got a call from one of our customers. I remember pulling over outside the new World Trade Center building for us to take the call. They were already well on the way to implementing ActiveControl, our SAP change automation solution, but they had a number of things that they wanted to discuss.
A few days later I was back in the UK on a late night call with the project team. During this call we discussed what they wanted to achieve, the crazy timeline they were working to, and what they needed from us in order to be successful. Their leadership team was looking for ways to increase customer satisfaction through its digital business support systems. They had decided to do this by implementing a continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipeline, enabled by DevOps, to ensure repeatable quality of delivery and a faster time to market.
The number one thing I took from that meeting was the word “partnership”.
We are a software vendor and they are one of our customers – but what they really wanted was to work in partnership and collaborate to deliver something innovative. They saw us as a trusted partner that could help them achieve greater success as a business.
The customer I’m talking about is Ericsson and they wanted to delight their customers. I also wanted to delight mine.
We specialize in DevOps, which is all about teams working in collaboration to deliver successful projects and outcomes. The fact that in this case our teams were working for different organizations shouldn’t really matter. It’s about teams and people coming together, working towards a common goal to deliver success on both sides.
Our teams were mobilized quickly and within a few weeks had delivered an integrated change automation solution that brought SAP, along with all their other applications, into a single CI/CD process.
I couldn’t be prouder of the achievements of my team – they delivered something technically very challenging and ground-breaking for SAP in such a short time period. But I’m equally proud of the way Basis Technologies and Ericsson worked together to deliver it.
Towards the end of the project the customer project manager asked me to join a call. I was expecting to hear about issues or problems but I couldn’t have been more wrong. He’d arranged the call just to thank myself and the team for a successful partnership and a great engagement. Very few customers do this and I was honestly blown away.
As CTO I am responsible for creating valuable, innovative products for our customers and there is nothing that makes me happier than success stories like this where we see first hand evidence of what they are able to achieve.
For me, the best vendor / customer relationship are partnerships. It’s not just about delivering some software. That misses the point completely. It’s about solving problems and creating better ways of working that translate into team and business success.
We continue to have a great partnership and relationship and the resulting case study makes for some very interesting reading. Please follow the link here to learn more about our engagement and some of the impressive outcomes Ericsson has achieved.