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Service Contracts: Customization vs. Roadmap

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Per Deanna's earlier status update (she REALLY wants to enhance Service Contracts for our customers), I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread on Service Contracts.

ServiceMax's service entitlement solution provides a wide reaching set of functional capabilities to manage warranties, service contracts, SLA's, and billing for our clients' services based business, across an even wider set of market segments.  That said, there is always an opportunity to help make our solution better to meet our customers' business requirements.

In steps the force.com platform, and all it's extensibility and flexibility to meet almost any use case through customization.  Certainly, our clients can extend our solution to meet their immediate needs and through this approach deliver a good amount of value to the business.  Because of timing constraints or extreme use cases, this is sometimes the best approach. Conversely, if your company can meet 65-75% of your current needs via out-of-the-box functional capabilities, then it may be prudent to wait for an upcoming release vs. adding customizations that you may have to live until such time you can migrate over to the out-of-the-box functionality.

In an effort to help with your decision making in the area of Service Contract functionality, I have outlined the main themes for upcoming our service entitlement solution set on our long term roadmap.  What areas give you the most "bang for your buck"?  An open forum on what is and what is not important to your business when it comes to service entitlement tracking, management, and execution...

  • Master Service Contracts
    • Master to Child Hierarchy Structure
  • Line Level Enhancements (Services for one or more Products for one or more Locations)
    • Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
    • Pricing & Quoting
      • Contract Length
    • Pro-Forma Invoicing
      • Frequency Billing
  • Billing Model Enhancements
    • Metered Usage – Counters
    • Consumption Rules for Case, Work Order, Part Order
    • Tiered Services – Tiered Volume Discounts
    • Pay-As-You-Go – Pre-Negotiated Pricing
  • Vendor Management
    • Related Sub Contracts for Coverage & Entitlement
    • Vendor Service Claim Management & Billing
  • Covered Product Enhancement
    • Assembly > Sub –Assembly > Key FRU Entitlements
      • Top Level covered 100% but Key FRU only 50% or for additional yrs
  • Profitability Reporting & Dashboards
    • Contracted Pricing & Billing
    • Contracted “Cost of Service”
    • Activity Based Costing at Detail Level
      • Case>Case Lines | Work Order>Work Details | Part Order>Part Details
  • Renewal Management Enhancements
    • Contract Proration
  • Addendum Management
    • Contract “Redlining”
    • Change Notification
    • Change Management Auditing
  • Terms & Conditions Management
    • Ts & Cs Templates
    • Attribute Driven T & C Configuration

amit.jain

deanna.savon

Message 1 of 13
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Re: Service Contracts: Customization vs. Roadmap

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Ken,

What about supporting the sales motion related to contracts and contract renewals.  While not opportunity management, it does take on some elements of classic sales workflow.  Often times contract renewals are managed from a low touch auto-renewal process or call center.  In these cases, getting sales motion updates or links to renewal campaigns could give the field engineer important context for his customer conversations.

Message 12 of 13
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Employee
Employee

Re: Service Contracts: Customization vs. Roadmap

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What about contract approvals from customer and supplier side?

Are we reconsidering the data model of service plans -> service contracts to make it less data-heavy? amit.jainken.remington@servicemax.com

Message 2 of 13

Re: Service Contracts: Customization vs. Roadmap

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Hey, that's two questions, not two answers   Still getting used to our new community...

To answer your questions, see inline below (swapped order):

Are we reconsidering the data model of service plans -> service contracts to make it less data-heavy?

  • ken.remington@servicemax.com‌ Yes, we are considering various aspects of all setup and configuration elements within our ServiceMax administration UX.  I think we all agree that we need to move to a more table based approach, especially where setup, configuration and maintenance are data heavy.  When we originally designed the solution we were targeted more at the SMB/MM segment which is typically (not always) less complex, and where creating, setting up and configuring had a limited set of items to be maintained.  Since then, our solution has evolved to handle the complexities of the new services economy and we are serving both SMB/MM and Enterprise segments. The setup, configuration and maintenance have to evolve to manage this complexity.  chris.wadaamit.jain

What about contract approvals from customer and supplier side?

  • ken.remington@servicemax.com‌ Yes, the renewals, addendum, T&Cs areas have an inherent need for a state engine with review and approval, as does initiating contracts approval and signature (typically done in ERP and then activated in ServiceMax).  This especially true if/when our solution becomes part of a SOX compliancy process.  This is one of the reasons why we have left this to the financial system of record.  Regardless, the need for an integrated review and approval specific to Service Contracts should be a larger consideration/discussion in our enhancement plans.
  • Talk to me a bit more about the supplier side of things... 
    • Are you speaking about warranty and service contract claims management from our customer to their suppliers (OEM or other)? 
    • Are you speaking about sub-contract management, where they may be submitting warranty, service contract claims for payment?
    • Both?
    • Other?

Love the interaction!

Message 3 of 13
Employee
Employee

Re: Service Contracts: Customization vs. Roadmap

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Since this thread is on Service Contract, some other common aspects of the Service Contract where more depth needs to be build are:

  • Contract pricing and
  • Contract, scheduled billing

Please share details, if there is any custom solution is built around Service Contracts;

Also, share details of Service Contract extensions / Integrations use cases.

Message 4 of 13
Employee
Employee

Re: Service Contracts: Customization vs. Roadmap

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  • Are you speaking about warranty and service contract claims management from our customer to their suppliers (OEM or other)?
  • Are you speaking about sub-contract management, where they may be submitting warranty, service contract claims for payment?
  • Both?
  • Other?

Both and other now that you bring it up:

I was thinking customer (theirs) and supplier (them) in the context of the contract management process. 

The premises you bring up would be an interesting extension of our contracts and warranty management processes though.  Thanks.

Message 5 of 13

Re: Service Contracts: Customization vs. Roadmap

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Okay.  If you have some requirements and use cases, then amit.jain‌, and I would be most grateful

Message 6 of 13
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Employee
Employee

Re: Service Contracts: Customization vs. Roadmap

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I REALLY do want to enhance Service Contracts for our customers!! And as always, am willing to help in any way I can - hundreds of requirements captured throughout the years ...!

Message 7 of 13
Employee
Employee

Re: Service Contracts: Customization vs. Roadmap

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Merging Contracts

Extend quoting to allow 'what if' quoting (e.g. if a customer chooses service plan x, the cost is y, if they choose m, the cost is n)

Renewal pricing options (e.g. hold the price, automatically update based on a valid pricebook (including based on validity dates of pricing)

Integration with end of service life on products ...

shyam.hm‌ - we have some design docs we had for Medtronic, and are now in the process of building out design elements for KA (very complex line level pricing) and will keep you in the loop with those.

Message 8 of 13

Re: Service Contracts: Customization vs. Roadmap

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deanna.savon‌, Yes please share Medtronic requirements and Kodak with amit.jain‌, shyam.hm‌, and I (think you may have shared an early version with me).  Like all three of the of the other commented areas; e,g., Quoting, Renewals, and tighter integration to EOL of Cover Products for up-sell/cross-sell opptys, R&D feedback loops, etc.

Message 9 of 13
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Re: Service Contracts: Customization vs. Roadmap

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I love it!  We could use your view on these requirements, especially where we can fortify our solution to be the best in the industry.

shyam.hm‌; I think the most common requirement that I have heard consistently is surrounding both Service Contract pricing and the automated pro-forma billing process.  From clients like Bio-Rad, Kodak‌, Merit‌, Philips‌, Carestream‌. etc.  In both these areas, the clients' contracts go to a line level for both pricing and billing.  With the pricing, it is at the level of a Service Offering for Service_Plans, and Included Services for an actual service contracts‌.  Essentially giving the client the ability to identify which Covered Products at various Locations are entitled to the Included Services on each contract and then pricing these out based on the pricing identified on the Service Plan when defined.  They would then like each of these line items to be rolled up to the overall Service Contract amount for quoting purposes, then tweak the pricing per the negotiations.  Then, the total amount needs to be calculated for a contract length (if based on an annual contract, then less than a year AND more than a year; e.g., 13 04 15months).  This is not as sophisticated as a CPQ configurator/rules engine, but you get the gist.  Of course then, this requires corresponding billing at the line level.  With Billing, they want to be able to pro-rate, and automatically calculate proper billing amounts if contract was canceled and/or mid-term changes occur.

deanna.savon‌, dawn.plaskon‌, please add your thoughts.  Others want to jump on this hot topic?

Message 10 of 13