Editor’s note: I recently sat down with Daisy Anand, leader of the Bamboo Services team, to talk about the work her team is doing. In the first of a three-part series, here’s what she had to say…
How did Bamboo Services come about?
The genesis of Bamboo Services primarily involved two distinct areas of demand from Bamboo customers. First, driven their becoming increasingly more aware of the potential for Bamboo components to go beyond standalone Web Parts and act as building blocks for more comprehensive collaborative solutions, our customers began to express the need for a deeper understanding of the functionality and configuration of Bamboo components. The second area of demand we observed centered on customers who were investing in PM Central as their preferred solution for project management in SharePoint. PM Central is a turnkey application, but given that project management processes are complex, requiring that unique processes be mapped to the capabilities of the application, our customers were expressing a need for specialized training and configuration services. Customized offerings around each of these customer asks led to the development of the formal Services offerings that are now available to our customers.
What’s included in the range of services offered in a Bamboo Services engagement?
The range of Bamboo Services available is designed to offer our customers a complete set of service options to take them from start to finish for a deployment, inclusive of both Bamboo applications and components. The categories that these services offerings fall under are:
- Installation Support, an assisted install process where an expert Bamboo technical consultant will join you to conduct an assisted install of Bamboo components or applications in your SharePoint environment.
- Training Offerings:
- Application Administrative Training, or Component Training, which is targeted at administrators or power users who are responsible for deployment. This training provides a deep dive into the capabilities of the tool(s), configuration best practices, and how to maintain the application or components.
- Workflow Designer Training is targeted at workflow designers, and the training provides a deep dive into the capabilities of Workflow Conductor, and the basics of creating and maintaining workflows.
- End User Training for PM Central allows our customers to get their Project Managers and Team Members started off on the right foot with End User Training to teach the basics and help users avoid rookie mistakes.
- Design & Configuration services for PM Central, in which a Bamboo PM Central consultant will lead the customer through the configuration and customization of the application. Referencing the customers’ existing project management process, the consultant will map it to PM Central’s capabilities and create two distinct custom project site templates.
What type of organization can benefit the most from Bamboo Services?
Internal resources and timelines for deployment are the most frequent drivers of demand for Services, and these cut across all types of organizations. Organizations that do not have dedicated SharePoint Administrators and need a quick turnaround for deployment and production will frequently take advantage of the full spectrum of Services, whereas organizations with more defined processes for software implementation may choose to take the train-the-trainer approach and request customized or in-depth application training, and then use us for expert guidance during distinct phases of their deployment.
Who is the ideal Bamboo Services customer?
This is a tough one to answer as we always enjoy working with our customers, particularly as we tend to get to know them well in the process, and get a very close view of how Bamboo’s components or applications are being used to make their processes easier to manage. Having said that, an ideal customer would have a stable SharePoint environment and clear goals as to how Bamboo will be enhancing or solving their needs for collaboration or solutions on SharePoint.
What’s the duration of a typical Bamboo Services engagement?
It varies to match the product or solution being rolled out our customers. A Product Management Central implementation engagement will span the length of the customer’s rollout, with the average being from 4-8 weeks, whereas a component rollout may be limited to the distinct touch points involved in Training and Installation.
What’s the breakdown of the Services delivered over the course of a typical engagement?
It varies widely depending on the service. For example, each of the training services has a fixed duration, typically ranging from 2-4 hours, whereas a Design and Configuration engagement may span the entire duration of the customer’s deployment.
Is customization of the standard Bamboo Services offering available to suit a customer’s specific needs?
Our training services are offered with a fixed curriculum which can then be customized to suit a customer’s unique requirements, both for content and delivery mechanism, i.e., online vs. onsite. By their very nature, Design and Configuration services are customized to a customer’s specific needs.
Can you provide some examples of custom-tailored Services that Bamboo Services has delivered?
We recently designed a very successful two-day training/workshop combination for one our customers where we customized the combination of components and exercise examples to match their specific business requirements. Both the content and the length of the class were modified to match the customers’ needs. We are currently working on creating a train-the-trainer offering for another customer that will be customized to their training organizations’ processes for rolling out software.
What options are available for the delivery of Bamboo Services? Online? On-site?
All of our services are typically delivered online or with remote access. At present, though we are able to accommodate requests for on-site service in special cases where customers are unable to avail themselves of the online method, the online mode is our preferred method of delivery as it is not only highly effective and efficient, but it also eliminates additional travel costs and related expenses.
Who’s involved with the delivery of Bamboo Services?
Installations are delivered via Technical Consultants who are well versed in various server configurations. Training and Configuration services for PM Central and Components are led Bamboo’s Angela Dillon, MCSE, MCTS, MCT. I lead the Workflow Conductor services, with backup support from the entire Product Management team. In fact, this arrangement encapsulates the unique value preposition for our customers, in that our services consultants have the support of our engineering and product teams, both of whom are eager to help translate customer requirements to product functionality and keep the feedback loop alive with an ongoing flow of ideas and suggestions.
Current Bamboo Services offerings include engagements around PM Central and Workflow Conductor. Given the size of Bamboo’s product portfolio, are there any other Bamboo Services offerings in the works?
We have created a complete set of Bamboo Courses that covers the most frequently used components which will be offered online. These courses have been designed for SharePoint Administrators and Power Users to fully leverage the full library of Bamboo Components, and build collaborative solution frameworks on SharePoint. Please stay tuned for an announcement and schedule of classes that will be posted under the Training link on our website.
What’s the core value proposition for a prospective Bamboo Services customer?
In addition to the availability of members of the engineering and product teams to Services consultants as discussed above, customers can maximize the return of their investment in Bamboo as they are ensured that they are capitalizing on the full range of functionality, best practices, and ongoing maintenance for their Bamboo products.
How would a prospective customer arrange for a Bamboo Services engagement?
Get the complete story behind the Bamboo Services offerings:
- Bamboo Services: An Overview of Installation, Configuration, and Training Offerings
- Bamboo Services Spotlight: PM Central Installation, Configuration, and Training Services
- Bamboo Services Spotlight: Workflow Conductor Installation & Designer Training