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A Guide to Packaged Services

Publication date: 7/2007

Executive Summary

Lately, technology companies have been rolling out new packaged services at a rapid rate. Though vendors are still experimenting with implementation approaches, the basic elements are fairly standard a fixed scope (usually focused on a single task), a fixed price, and a standardized methodology.

Of course, many traditional technology services for instance, maintenance, warranties, and training have always been sold in relatively standardized configurations. The more interesting trend, however, is that the packaged service model is now being used as a framework for portfolios of extended post-sale services. There is a growing industry consensus that customers are willing to spend money across the whole life cycle of product ownership, often in areas where they need strategic business expertise rather than traditional break-fix technical help. Packaged services look like a good way to grow services revenue rapidly.

So far, most packaged services offerings have been relatively small, at least compared to the big integration and deployment contracts that have traditionally dominated the industry s professional services business. This seems to be a sensible approach: For the customer, buying a standardized best practices solution short-cuts the protracted cycle of proposals, bidding, and contract negotiations that can bog down customized deals, and also reduces the risk of failure. And for the vendor, the ability to deliver the same service over and over again tends to create efficiencies that can translate into exceptionally high margins. Smiles everywhere.

What does it take to create successful packaged services? We ve been looking at this issue for several years, and recently we asked ASP members and friends to share some of the lessons they ve learned about this new services model. This report provides an overview of important strategies and tactics for developing a portfolio of packaged services offerings.
  • Identifying a compelling need
  • Developing a services design template
  • Designing a structured delivery process
  • Sidebars: Examples and best practices

Copies of the survey are free to ASP members in the members-only area.

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Copies of the survey are free to ASP members in the members-only area.

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