The business intelligence market is saturated with data management and analytics vendors, and the reality is that vendors cannot compete on capabilities alone. Whether out of the box or through professional services, organizations can generally get the features they require from many different solution providers. Time to value, ease of use, maintenance requirements, and level of service now trump general product capabilities. Obviously, interoperability, scalability, and the ability to effectively integrate data and develop apps are important. At the same time, the main way to ensure customer satisfaction is to provide strong customer support and to focus on quality customer engagements. Relationships matter, and the relationships organizations have with their solution providers are important and need to move beyond traditional sales and support models to focus on an understanding of the business and technological challenges that companies face. This way, technology can be used to support needs without becoming a “one fit” model that only benefits a subset of users.

Last week I attended Information Builders Summit and their relationship with their customers brings this point home. I have attended the summit for the past several years and each year come away more impressed at the level of service provided and the relationships with customers that exist. Overall customer satisfaction levels are high and the company’s commitment to their customers creates a unique corporate culture and also gives customers the sense they are a partner with Information Builders when building analytical successes. Aside from several partnerships developed with customers, each customer is nurtured and their analytics insights taken into account when building out a solution.

From data acquisition to self-service access, Information Builders provides a full stack offering. Aside from making developer tools easier, Information Builders looks at how their product offerings can make life easier for business users and give them information access to support daily business decisions. For instance, with InfoSearch users can search using voice to bring up relevant information. This level of access to data helps get analytical insight to more people who need it without recreating the wheel. By building out more capabilities that take business users in mind, Information Builders continues to focus on expanding their product capabilities with business value and reaching all potential business users.

For companies wanting to scale their BI environments, high ratings of customer satisfaction are important. Data volumes are increasing at a steady pace, companies are starting to leverage IoT as part of their broader analytics environments, self-service supports broader access to analytics, and companies need to be able to support scalability challenges. Part of successful scalability requires a platform approach to BI expansion. Without high levels of customer satisfaction, customers may start looking elsewhere when expanding their data and analytics infrastructure. A disjointed approach can create silos or lead organizations to look for solutions in other places. In some cases, organizations should take advantage of multiple solutions to create a full-spectrum solution. However, when leveraging a platform vendor that offers the full breadth of BI capabilities, it becomes easier to scale within a single platform. Overall, customer satisfaction and the relationships developed between customer and solution provider can affect time to value and help drive analytics success.