Partner Sales Acceleration Blog | Allbound

Configuration, Customization and Software that Works

Written by Matt Hensler | October 12, 2015

There is a simple way to be successful when adapting the latest SaaS technologies for your business: Implement the product as it was built, and for the intent it was meant to be used. When you focus on configuration over customization, you’ll achieve the speed to deployment, faster ROI and scalability you want from the cloud. You’ll also better serve the users of the system as a result.

            "When you focus on configuration over customization, you better serve your users" - @matthensler

In Allbound’s series of posts leading up to our upcoming webinar on the importance of UI and UX in your channel technologies, you may be wondering what relevance system configuration has within the topic. Turns out that it has a lot.

Being at the tail end of Generation X, I’m part of a group of individuals who has uniquely experienced a lot of “lasts":

  • Last to know the rotary phone
  • Last to know how to change a typewriter ribbon
  • Last to have manually turned the channel on the TV set
  • And, often times, its seems like the last to care about the real tenants of branding

In a world that's dominated by hyper-innovation, iEverything, social media and content marketing, ‘branding’ seems to be falling further and further down the priority list. This is a problem because brand for many businesses has been reduced to a color palette rather than being viewed as the sum total of the experiences that customers, users or partners have with the company.

            "Brand has been reduced to a color palette rather than the experiences people have with a company" - @matthensler

As a long-time marketer, I can appreciate why organizations like to see their brand colors waving proudly, but that is not the reason your brand exists. My current role overseeing how our customers successfully apply and use Allbound to grow their business through channel partners has reminded me that branding has always been about utility.

Utility Trumps Aesthetics Every Time

A system’s user interface should be tightly linked to the utility it provides your stakeholders. Those users need to derive value from its functionality, and be able to use it to accomplish a set of tasks each time they log in.

            "A system’s user interface should be tightly linked to the utility it provides your stakeholders." - @matthensler

Recognize anything? Some of the biggest brands in the world know that style, comfort, and durability (aka usefulness) is key to earning loyalty, and make sure their products are put together the best way to achieve those results.

A surprising number of companies still wrongly believe that creating continuity around brand experience means that every in-person or online touch point looks and feels the same. Overemphasizing your company's preference for color and typeface detracts from your users ability to be successful in the system. And, while brand alignment is a fair consideration, getting all of your technology systems to look, feel and function exactly the same is a timely and costly endeavor. That goes against reasons you were seeking a cloud solution in the first place.

Instead, it’s important to trust and listen to the architects and implementation specialists of the system you bought. Every platform is built from customer use cases, research and hands-on user experience. After all, SaaS companies like Allbound only exist because people find the application useful.

            "Every platform is built from customer use cases, research and hands on user experience." - @matthensler

When you follow a clear and timely software implementation path, you'll undoubtedly reach the goals you had in mind when making the purchase. You’ll also be better serving your stakeholders by resourcing them to be effective and successful along with your brand, rather than in spite of it. Your reward will be active and engaged users, and a loyal community of repeat buyers.

So, if you want to see your latest software investment be successful, your biggest priority needs to be on proper implementation so it is configured usefully. Because beauty is always fleeting.