GE rolled out changes to the support structure of its industrial GE Digital software this week, replacing its standalone maintenance and support offering with tiered packages that bundle training content and services with support and upgrades.
Acceleration Plans replace GlobalCare, GE’s standalone maintenance and support offering, and will be required on all new licenses. Customers can choose from three tiered packages, each offering an increased level of support and training content, with higher tiers providing access to technical experts and customer success managers to guide projects, as well as managed services that monitor sensor health, connectivity and data quality.
Customers with GE GlobalCare contracts can remain on those contracts until they expire, Katie Bianchi, chief revenue officer of global support for GE Digital, said via email interview, with pricing honored until the expiration date. Acceleration Plans include products in the Asset Performance Management and Brilliant Manufacturing and Automation categories.
“A different set of services, beyond support and maintenance, are required to help customers accelerate business outcomes,” Bianchi said. “Digital industrial transformation can unlock significant value for customers, and in order for our innovative software and advanced analytics to deliver outcomes, we have to provide the right services that help our customers rapidly see a return on their technology investment.”
The move is reflective of the overall shift in the industry to a more proactive support model, necessitated by changing SaaS and subscription-based licensing models that are pushing vendors to show tangible business value for support and maintenance plans, according to analysts interviewed.
“Reactive support is no longer sufficient to preserve revenue streams. You need to deliver real tangible business value and prove that you have done so,” Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst Duncan Jones said via email. “This type of service is particularly important for an emerging technology like IoT, because you want to help customers find new use cases so you can upsell and cross-sell within their organization.”
Of the new offerings, Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder of Constellation Research, said via email, “The big shift is the move to a customer success manager for enterprises, and tiered types of standardized support.”
GE is offering Standard, Premier and Enterprise plans, with access to support, upgrades and training under all plans, and access to heightened support and additional services under the Premier and Enterprise plans. These include things like “adoption readiness and outcome strategies,” according to Bianchi, which are designed to help customers gain a better understanding of their organizational ability to adopt GE software. In this service, a customer success manager conducts a readiness assessment, builds outcome realization plans and provides governance during their execution. In turn, customers will have access to comprehensive education plans, technical experts, and data monitoring services to ensure data from assets and sensors is feeding correctly into software for increased confidence in decision-making.
Customers have the option of migrating to an Acceleration Plan before the expiration of a GE GlobalCare contract and using the remaining value of that contract toward the new plan.
“As contracts near expiration we will work with customers to migrate into the Acceleration Plan that meets their needs,” Bianchi said.