IT leaders who have long been discerning about the technology, systems, and equipment they purchase have a new element to consider in the decision-making process that’s even more critical than speed when selecting a technology provider: shared outcomes.

A recent Accenture report identified “business experience” (BX) as the next evolution for customer expectations. It takes customer experience (CX) several steps further, declaring that customers want a solution provider that doesn’t just deliver a product or service but delivers a comprehensive, results-based experience built around their customers’ needs. At Ciena, we are not just offering customers a good experience—we’re continually driving toward success in their business.

Reinvestment is paramount to a good partnership

From R&D to reconfigured office spaces to expanding network accessibility, companies are expected to reinvest in themselves all the time. But how many of them can rely on their technology providers to reinvest in them, too?

It's not only about the industry-leading solutions a technology provider can invest in for their customers. Technology providers must also strive to improve and invest in the customer’s business overall – because a great experience is about more than what you can offer your customer. It’s also about how well you can empower them to achieve their desired outcomes. Customers should become true partners, and providers must invest in their customers’ business success as part of the partnership.

The focus on CX has had many positives for both customers and providers. Customers have gotten a better buying experience, tailored solutions, and responsive service after the sale, while providers in turn have increased sales and loyalty. However, because the concept of CX has become mainstream, technology providers must avoid what Accenture called a “sea of sameness,” urging businesses to focus on how great customer experiences are delivered.

The next step in the evolution of customer experience is building a customer-obsessed business.

Customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and they’re expecting more from their technology partners. The next step in the evolution of CX is building a customer-obsessed business, and while there are several partner models to consider, prioritizing the customer and delivering holistic experiences are paramount to driving business success for both the customer and the provider.

Understanding your customer’s business is a cornerstone of a successful partnership

Whether you’re engaging for the first time or working with a customer for years, the cornerstone of a good customer partnership is making your customer’s objectives your objectives. Having this level of understanding requires listening to your customer’s goals and then strategically aligning your processes around those objectives. And this isn’t a one-time event. It’s an ongoing commitment to integrating your team and aligning your strategies with your customer’s.

As the market accelerates and customer expectations evolve, technology providers need to remain focused on constantly evolving their CX practices so that go-to-market strategies can keep pace. By engaging and working collaboratively with your customers, you’ll gain a deep understanding of their goals to develop truly customized solutions tailored for their success.

The term “BX” may be relatively new, but the concept of flipping the operating model to focus on the full customer journey isn’t. At least not for Ciena. We’ve learned CX is not as simple as knowing who our customers are and what products fit their profile. We must know their market needs and growth opportunities – both today and for the future – so we can be active participants in their strategy. That’s why we keep our focus on being customer-obsessed, doing everything we can to deliver a customer-centric experience through our partnership success model (PSM).

The term “business experience” may be relatively new, but the concept of flipping the operating model to focus on the full customer journey isn’t. At least not for Ciena.

Going beyond technology to drive results

The PSM at Ciena means partnership doesn’t end at delivering equipment and offering market development funds. We don’t do canned campaigns and one-size-fits-all MDF programs to our customers because that’s not what drives their success. Instead, we assign a dedicated team to serve each customer where they feel they need support most.

The Ciena Partner Network’s award-winning Marketing as a Service (MaaS) program provides a collaborative and customized sales and marketing engagement tailored to meet the unique needs of our customers to help grow their business. This one-of-a-kind program helps our customers accelerate their time to market and maximize the ROI of their technology investments.

Listing of ways MaaS program accelerates
Our customers leverage the MaaS program in a number of different ways, including:

  • New product development and expanded service lines
  • Demand generation campaigns
  • Digital marketing and advertising
  • Contact lists and data mining
  • Strategic events
  • Branding projects
  • Account-based marketing (ABM)
  • Marketing automation tools and reporting
  • Sales enablement technology

A few examples of what can be done with the MaaS programCiena’s partnership model translates to being customer-obsessed

Customer expectations —like technology— are constantly evolving. That’s why we keep our focus on being customer-obsessed, doing everything we can to deliver the optimal customer and business experience through our people, strategies, services and technology.

MaaS is available to participants of the Ciena Partner Network. For a preview on how Ciena is delivering a unique business experience, check out these resources on our Marketing as a Service offering.