Inside View: Working With Panoptics
Discover the truth behind what makes Panoptics different and why our customer relationships are unlike any other IT provider.
All of the team at Panoptics likes to believe we deliver a service that is both unique and unrivalled within the IT industry. It’s a bold claim, we appreciate this, but we strongly feel that is warranted with the attention to detail in our service delivery and the dedication of the whole team to build upon the original vision for the business – a focus on simplifying complexity & a defining principle to deliver IT services and solutions with a difference.
So what better way to illustrate our “difference” than by providing a real life picture of what it’s really like to work with Panoptics.
The history of our customers
Panoptics has developed a broad & impressive client roster across diverse industry sectors, including many SMB’s through to internationally recognisable brands. Our reputation for delivering IT solutions that truly make a difference remains a great asset and a key reason why our name is recommended from business to business.
As an example, our client ‘Your Venture Group’ came from a trusted relationship & recommendation from another company. The business simply needed a well trusted partner that had the capabilities to facilitate rapid growth from their starting position of 10 users to hundreds of users within 3 years, whilst enabling the cost of the service to adapt to their changing situation & number of users.
Further proof of Panoptics standing can be seen in the relationships established with other key clients, such as ‘The Brewery’. In this instance, the engagement is the result of a long-term relationship with Technical Director Andy Lang and their need for strong Network management skills alongside Infrastructure management capabilities. Something Panoptics delivers with ease.
An in-depth understanding of every client is key to our service delivery and remains a steadfast Panoptics principle that we maintain to ensure we deliver the difference that businesses require in today’s competitive landscape. ‘Clarion Events’ is one such example of a business that we help across a multitude of service requirements, because we understand and can adapt to their business when they need us to. The relationship is a result of all 3 director’s involvement with the company for many years, including prior to Panoptics. As a result, we have a unique understanding of not only the dynamic nature of their business but also how to be effective in change within the end user community, which is of great benefit.
What makes these relationships so effective & productive?
Panoptics approach every client relationship in the same way – open, consultative and empowered. By trying to really understand the customers’ needs and opening up the way services and solutions are designed we enable the customer to influence how the services are consumed which allows the solution to grow with the relationship and the customer’s needs.
Your Venture Group (YVG), The Brewery and Clarion Events all illustrate the benefits of this approach. Each of these clients allow us to provide advice and guidance at all levels within the business. This has facilitated, in varying degrees, the ability for us to help develop routes to market and products they sell in their own market space.
How Panoptics cultivates the relationship
The key to any successful relationship is not to be fearful of delivering a bit of bad news or to strive to find the ‘gotcha’s in any solution or service. If these principles are followed, by Panoptics, as the service provider, and the customer themselves, we are then able to tweak the designs to specifically fit the requirements of the customer in each case ensuring everyone’s objectives are aligned and that we are all pulling in the same direction.
A good example of this is YVG. YVG were born from an organisation called Saints Group which is a long standing recruitment and personnel provider. In their next phase of growth they were looking to create multiple identities that provided very specific approaches to specialised vertical markets. In order to achieve this each company needed to have its own identity and personality as well as share common infrastructure. The user base expands and contracts rapidly and so the commercial modelling also needed to reflect this to ensure that YVG were getting the best value for money and that data was secure.
With Panoptics methodology and approach, YVG’s requirements were achievable, as are any other clients specific needs. As a result we are considered a genuinely trusted partner and therefore maintain a much longer relationship with our customer – as they continue to get value.
The Panoptics Approach
Our approach begins with a complete capture and replay of the customers requirements to ensure there is an absolute understanding. This we believe is paramount to any successful engagement, whether it be with a new or existing customer. We then derive Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Performance Indicators (PIs) to continually track and monitor the health of the service. Whilst this process may not be unique, where we differ from the norm is that we have a mechanism enabling the relationship to mature by allowing the promotion/relegation or creation/deletion of these metrics throughout the life of the agreement. What we all believe we know at the start of the relationship will change as the pressures on the customers market change and as we work closely together other ideas and influence keep the service relevant. Panoptics openly encourage this through Continuous Service Improvement and Service Level Management and keep this at the very heart of the service. Lots of organisations (Customer and Supplier) run out of energy with this and simply sign the agreement and don’t come back to the KPIS/PIs until the renewal is due or when the service is failing, which in our opinion is the wrong approach and will only lead to a stale level of service which only matches the requirements at the beginning of the engagement.
New and existing customers
Although the relationship may be slightly different in terms of maturity between new and existing customers, the Panoptics approach is identical.
As such, our approach means that the customer has to be open & transparent to us, detailing problems they have whilst being honest upfront by identifying the aspects of a service that they will and won’t accept. We see this relationship very much like a marriage – the more honest you are about yourself and what you want, and the more effort you put into building the relationship, the more you (as a customer) will get out of it.
When it comes to existing customers, we ensure that everyone is always energised enough to care about the customers we have. This is fundamental to our approach. If we discover a client who won’t accept our style or service then we don’t get into a relationship – it’s that simple, as we understand that any negative relationship or undue antagonism will wear both parties down and detract from the ultimate objectives. In this way we treat all existing and new customers alike, which means that we are selective of the customers we engage with to ensure we deliver an exemplary service to those businesses we have engaged with.
Why do customers continue to work with Panoptics?
We genuinely believe that the candour and willingness to flex to our customers requirements makes all the difference. Many IT suppliers try to tell their customers what they can and can’t have to protect the delivery arm of their business, but to do this is incredibly short sighted. This approach will quickly lead to becoming irrelevant to their business as they will have a requirement you simply can’t handle in time – as an effect the IT service provider will lose touch with the market, which is changing at an accelerating pace, and most importantly it will create antagonism in both internal and external relationships, which is why Panoptics has distanced itself from this methodology of service delivery, to ensure the customer always receives exactly what is relevant and required.
It is our belief that a great IT supplier should be able to cope with virtually anything required by the customer or at least be able to articulate why a service or solution won’t work for the customer but provide an alternative. Our role is to enable a business to grow, so the days of telling customers what they can and can’t do with technology are long gone, now the value is derived from how to use what they have and help them understand the implications of decisions and desire to adopt new services/products to sell to their customers.
The Panoptics approach has resulted in a multitude of beneficial outcomes for both our customers and our business, as it cultivates an intrinsic bond which ensures that our efforts to help our customers improve and grow directly reflects on Panoptics as well.
More specifically, the Panoptics business enjoys continued strong growth in terms of revenue, profit and customer roster but crucially the development of our employees, products and services evolve to allow us to offer yet greater benefits to our customers. As a result our customers consistently get the help they need and are able to take advantage of new opportunities in their markets as they can rely on us to do what we say, when we say we will do it and then turn to us for expert advice on what to do next with their IT to achieve their business objectives.
How can Panoptics develop to further improve its customer relationships? This question may not be instantly answerable by most IT service providers, but Panoptics isn’t your normal provider and has a clear ideology to nurture our relationships and provide greater benefits to our customers. To achieve this, Panoptics further scale the POD approach to service delivery which enables Panoptics employees to really be part of the customer’s culture that they support and become more like the customer than us. Where feasible this may result in the PODs becoming a joint venture between us and our customers so our destinies are truly entwined removing any remaining barriers related to normal customer / supplier relationships and working together on deriving more revenues from joint initiatives based on IT.