My name is Michael Ruck and I’m one of the co-founders of Yellowbus Solutions Ltd. My role at Yellowbus has changed during the life span of the company from being very hands on to now having much more of a focus “on” the business and together with my co-directors, help plot a strong and steady path for the company as a whole ensuring we make the most of current technology and usher in new “best in class” solutions.
When we started the company over 15 years ago monitoring hardware, software, routers and devices was always top of our "how to look after clients well" list and originally the choices for trying to automate these tasks were slim.
Technology has changed dramatically over the years and so has clients’ needs and now the market place is flooded with remote management tools, some cheap and cheerful whilst several are all singing and dancing promoting real business benefits for everyone involved.
All offer varying degrees of automation and whilst I'm a firm believer in automation, in fact I truly believe that automation to a certain level can radically change your business, I also believe that favouring automation above interaction isn't a good thing.
Whilst clients may reap the benefits of your remote management solution, there is a huge amount to be said for simply picking up the phone at least once a month to discuss what’s been done and why and generally touching base with them.
Granted you don't need to and shouldn't be baffling your clients with technical jargon but you should try and ensure they understand the value of your service and that does require human interaction. It doesn't matter that you use your remote management solution to help you work on their behalf, you put the automation in place making it work to your standards based on your experience and your technical expertise and I do feel that this is sometimes the key point which is missed in any discussion.
Having a monthly discussion gives you the opportunity to find out how things are for your client which will in turn help you gauge what is important to them. This can be fed in to a road map which you can both agree on and work towards generating more of a partnership and less of a client/supplier relationship.
So whilst I'm an automation advocate (and I’d love to hear your automation success stories via LinkedIn), I'd also recommend that its worth reviewing your own processes at least twice a year to ensure that you aren't distancing yourself from your client which isn't good for either of you!