How Do you Show the Value of a Service?

Several weeks ago I got back from the MSP World (which stands for Managed Services Providers) event in Las Vegas. Great event by the way, several important insights.

One question I keep asking myself since then was a question we tried to find an answer for when I did services.

“You know, there are so many propositions on the market, — a voice from the crowd made his point. One MSP offers a proposition for 10$ and another one for 100$. So how do you show the value of the service?”

It’s a damn good question.

If we are talking about the product, it’s easier. But when you read the same words over an over again (security, email protection, hosting) how do you make a choice?

I guess generally there are two types of service or things a service does, to be precise.

1. Avoid bad things. If you do not buy this service, something bad can happen. Examples — security (physical & online), pharmacy.

The answer here is pretty simple. I wrote the piece above like one year ago and I did not seem to find a good answer until very recently when I heard about a security consulting firm, who do penetration testing. Do you know about penetration testing? Imagine a bag guy who walks in with a nice smile into your company and starts asking for different things like ‘Can I use your laptop to print my resume?’, ‘Can I see Mr X? Oh, by the way, where is his office?’ etc. They evaluate how much it would cost to the CIO if they’d be really bad guys who take advantage of this information to steal data and send this estimation to the owner. Don’t wanna this to happen to you? Hire us.

2. Get good things. Almost any type of application we’re using. Shazam — to know songs playing on the radio, Google Maps to find a way to get to places we wanna be etc.

Good things are great — it’s hard to argue. But what we’re dealing with is much more ridiculous. There are TOO MANY good things in the world right now.

I’m a pragmatic. Probably the worst pragmatic you’ve ever seen. So I decided to carry out an experiment.

I used Trello for teamwork some time ago but last week I went on to check if there is a better solution. Guess what? I opened like 5 sites that look absolutely the same. And I need to make a decision. Ouch.

Asana. Thank you. God, they did not make me read all the stuff. I do not have an idea of what their software is but I’d guess they have high conversion rates cause they eliminate the stage when my brain was thinking ‘Do I really need this app? Does it suit me?’

Teamwork.com. ‘A better way to run my business’. Agree. Multiplatform? Err… Being in a software development business I know how much effort it takes to be multiplatform. But to me as a user it is something that I expect.

Disney, LV, Forbes, Ebay? Probably they are not for me. We have a very small team of 5 persons.

Teamworklive. Horrible. Not ever gonna read this. Looks like a web site from 90s

TWProject. Not bad. At once, I can see the interface, which is good. I see these little hints like HTML, Scrum, Kanban which kind of give me the idea that this software will suit a team of developers. The site is nice and it has been built in the right way, it has product description, feedback, screens etc. Still I can’t help but wonder why I feel that this software is too heavy for us. May be this is because they have this little ribbon in the upper left corner. Oracle, Deloitte? My guess was right. Great job, this one is not for me but nether it has been built for me.

BamBam. Looks different. Different look and feel and not exactly what I am looking for. But as I start to scroll down, I seem to like this software more and more.

What are they doing? They would do a great job if they could show me straight away how this software works. I am about to start a project and I am really excited with implementing this project, I’m not going to try ALL these tools. All I want to see is HOW I can communicate with my team via your tool. Please, my heart is bleeding when I see this thing. I need to make a decision fast.

Do not think I was going to make fun of them. I am not associated with any of these companies and I highly respect what they are doing. It’s just about a look from outside. When there are so many great things, I wanted to find something that’d be great for me, cause I know there is a solution.

Still, I did not buy anything that day. I learned something, probably that was even better.