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Aston University partners with Trustmarque for Cisco solution

28 May 2024 Time to read:  minutes

Trustmarque is increasing its Customer Experience maturity by outlining a more proactive best practice-based approach by introducing customer success managers much earlier in the lifecycle as part of sales discussions and in support of the customers’ decision process.

Aston University partners with Trustmarque for Cisco solution

Providing a compelling example of this fresh approach to customer success is our work alongside Aston University.

The university asked Trustmarque to upgrade its LAN & WLAN infrastructure to the latest Cisco digital network architecture that combines high-performance technology with the latest Cisco software capabilities and automation.

Within the tender procurement decision process, Trustmarque stood out in our approach to customer success and the importance of usage and adoption of the technology. The value that the CSM brings and the differentiation in their ways of working aligned seamlessly with the client’s requirements.

The Cisco solution and opportunity to move to a more proactive support model with Cisco Success tracks and Trustmarque customer success team as a blended approach will give the university the ability to know where it is in its adoption cycle and demonstrate value to the user base faster and react quicker to the digital needs of the university.

By implementing an adoption plan for all the features and use case capabilities, Aston University can accelerate its time to value. It has experienced this already with its recently completed new campus building (JCH).

By using the Cisco end-to-end selling approach to mapped requirements, stakeholders and align the university’s desired outcomes quicker, it really helped the team ensure they made the right decisions against a very challenging timeframe and supported the university opening a new campus facility.

Strategic Engagement in the Customer Lifecycle

Partners, sellers, and Cisco recognise that customers increasingly internalise their decision-making. They often decide to seek new requirements far later in the decision-making process, with what seems like a predefined wish list of technologies.

However, this list lacks the necessary context to help partners understand what they want to achieve, how they arrived at it, how it aligns with the customer’s strategic priorities and goals, and most importantly how they intend to measure the success of their intended investment.

Therefore, it is important for Trustmarque as part of it CX Strategy for us to take the time to understand how the customer reached the point they’re at in the lifecycle when we became involved. We can do this by ensuring we have the necessary level of insight, as well as challenging any misunderstandings to ensure we set off on the right track.

To do this, we use the DLSE application to establish and validate a joint plan with the customer and Cisco. It also creates a more central digital experience and a single source to manage the stakeholder responsibility matrix and project details, helping us to move through the lifecycle seamlessly. The lifecycle teaming sales incentives gives us a competitive advantage to support customers and close the gap between sales and customer success teams.

By engaging with customers earlier in the sales lifecycle, we can identify more opportunities to offer high-value services. Customers can then consider their requirements from a different perspective and integrate adoption services, success metrics, and XLA into the sales cycle as additional benefits.

Trustmarque incorporates the stakeholder responsibility matrix into the customer success plan alongside the pre-sale high level-design/scope of work which ascertains the customer’s desired goal, aligns them with their strategic priorities, outlines the necessary actions, and establishes success waypoints to support higher adoption of the IT use cases within the proposed technology.

This approach also enables early identification of any anticipated barriers that may require CSM team support throughout the implementation, use, and adoption stages.

Proactive Approach to Accelerating CX Maturity

Trustmarque’s customer success managers are assisting our sales account managers in rapidly adopting the Cisco Digital lifecycle selling enablement as part of their end-to-end sales methodology.

We intend to demonstrate a customer-centric discovery approach that goes beyond technology requirements and incorporates the people and processes needed to achieve success.

Engaging with the Cisco account management and using the Cisco DLSE application, we now work with the customer to complete the stakeholder responsibility matrix for all aspects of their requirements.

This helps us explore what the ideal outcome would look like and how we can assist in achieving full value realisation over the course of the lifecycle. We do this with confidence by ensuring that we have the right solution, services wrap, and success KPIs from the outset.

Trevor Bayliss, the Digital Services Technical Director at Aston University, says:

“Following Aston University’s decision to update its LAN & WLAN infrastructure to the most advanced Cisco digital network architecture, incorporating high-performance technology with the newest Cisco software capabilities and automation.

Following a rigorous procurement process, the University selected Trustmarque to be its partner of choice, with key elements of the partnership being the customer success approach and the emphasis on the usage and adoption of the technology.

Trustmarque’s way of working and the value that the Customer Success Management offers were truly aligned with the needs of the university. The Cisco technology solution, along with the move to a more proactive support model through Cisco Success Tracks and the Trustmarque customer success team, will allow Aston University to monitor our adoption cycle and promptly address the digital requirements of the university.

We believe that implementing an adoption plan for all the features and use cases can help us achieve a Software-defined network much more rapidly. This approach has already been witnessed with the implementation in the University’s new landmark building – John Cadbury House.

We were able to open this new facility for the university within a challenging timeframe by using Cisco’s end-to-end approach. This approach helped us to quickly map out the requirements, stakeholders, and align our desired outcomes, which in turn ensured that we made the correct decisions.”



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