How to make Macro 4 products work harder for you with the technical account management programme
Sep 07, 2021
What is the TAM programme?
Sam: The TAM programme provides customers with free ongoing technical advice. We tell customers about the work taking place across the development teams, introduce the new features and functionality in the product set and explain how our products can be used in different business areas. The programme also provides a single point of contact for customers, beyond the traditional support and finance teams.
How do you help Macro 4 customers?
Phil: We help our customers to get the most out of their investment in Macro 4’s technology. We use our experience of working with our other customers, who operate in a wide range of sectors, to provide advice about the suitability of our products and solutions and link Macro 4’s technology to their business requirements.
What kind of contact can customers expect?
Sam: As part of the programme, we hold regular review meetings where we discuss our customers’ business and IT strategies and use their responses to talk through our roadmaps. We explain the latest product features prior to release and feed our customers’ business requirements back into the Macro 4 development programme. We are a single point of contact for our customers which provides valuable continuity. We also act as a conduit between the customer and our support team, ensuring any support incidents raised are successfully resolved.
What kind of current issues are you helping customers to address?
Phil: There’s always plenty going on! We spend a lot of time helping customers understand how their existing Macro 4 solutions can assist them on their digital transformation journey. During a recent legacy application decommissioning project, we helped a customer migrate a number of applications from their data centers into Columbus which they hosted in their private cloud. This allowed them to reduce the number of hosted applications, thereby reducing costs.
We’ve also demonstrated during a recent webinar how eInvoicing and process orchestration can help customers to get more from their Macro 4 software and improve business processes.
Sam: Our work on the TAM programme covers a really wide range of activity. At the moment, we’re advising customers about migrating their Columbus solutions to the private and public cloud. We’re also discussing the options available for using cloud object storage for enterprise content management to utilise a hybrid cloud approach.
We’re providing guidance on how to improve system and solution resilience and advising customers about how they can use their Columbus technology for further content management within their wider business, which is something our other customers have done. We’re also helping our customers with upgrades – discussing Macro 4’s product compatibility with new operating systems and identifying the requirements needed for our software upgrades.
Plus we regularly provide customers with guidance and training options, in addition to carrying out product and solution health checks to help customers understand what changes they could make to get the most from their existing Macro 4 solutions.
What kind of organizations do you work with?
Phil: We work with customers from SMEs to multi-nationals across a really broad range of sectors: everything from finance, banking and insurance, utilities, wholesale, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, healthcare and logistics to local and central government, travel, communications, automotive, education, service companies, oil, printing and publishing and retail. This allows us to bring ideas from similar departments across different industries.
Sam: In terms of departments and job roles we work with enterprise and solution architects, programme and project managers, support personnel, service delivery managers, service owners (IT and business) and developers in HR, finance, IT, customer services, sales and marketing – plus the C-suite – so all kinds of people.
What experience do you bring to the role?
Phil: I started as a mainframe programmer in 1996 working with Assembler and COBOL, and spent 11 years at a major retailer before joining Macro 4 in 2007 just in time for its 40th anniversary. I spent about five years working as a developer on mainframe products before moving into Java development where I created front-end interfaces for a wide range of products. I then joined the Macro 4 Commercial Team working as part of the technical account management programme in 2016.
Sam: I trained as a developer before moving into operational roles across a range of finance, corporate banking, travel, and logistics organisations. I joined the IBM i support team at Macro 4 in 1999 working on automation and systems management solutions, then supporting Columbus products, including our enterprise content management software. I moved to the Commercial Team as a Client Services Consultant on the TAM programme in 2012.
Together we bring a special perspective from working on the frontline. We directly support products and understand technically how to get the best out of them, plus we have a good business understanding from working closely with customers. We speak to our customers pretty much daily and regularly pass on best practice and share ideas based on our work with a wide range of companies in many different sectors.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Phil: The job is really varied and it’s great working with our customers across different departments. Before the pandemic, it was good to meet customers face to face, attend events and build personal relationships – hopefully this will be back on the agenda again soon.
Sam: We really enjoy working with our customers, assisting them with their projects and seeing the transformation from project inception to delivery, seeing the results and how our software has helped achieve this.
Our technical account management programme provides customers with free ongoing technical advice, helping them gain maximum value from the use of our software products. To find out more contact UKTAM@macro4.com.