Systems are aging, many have exceeded their life expectancy and they are no longer in support. The technology experts that support these systems are approaching retirement. In addition, we must change our approach, to support a new type of customer.
Parasyn have been working with Schneider Electric and Aveva for over 2 decades. During that time, we have worked closely with sales, channel partner managers, support, and product developers. The goal of partnering is to uplift the outcome for both parties, to create synergy. When there is balance, like any relationship, it will flourish, and the goals are realised. This occurs when both parties independently seek benefit for the other party. This minor initial success encourages growth and further builds upon good will.
We have learned, that as we have worked closely at all stages of the customer journey, intimacy and trust underpin the most successful customer experiences. This only works as well as the supply chain works together in sharing information, sharing ideas and strategies, and cooperating to provide the right people to solve each of the challenges that presents itself. No matter how good the tools are, without people who understand them and a commitment to succeed, no one wins. Likewise, no matter how committed we are to succeed, with the wrong tools selected, no one wins either.
Where do you see Parasyn offering the most value to Schneider Electric?
In recent years we are seeing asset owners continue to maintain assets they believe they cannot afford to upgrade or replace. While they minimise capital expenditure, software systems do not always get adequate funding to be maintained and updated nearly as often as they should be. Most recently with the increase in security breaches and the increasing threat of more, it is forcing enterprises to rethink their spending posture when it comes to OT software systems.
Our team of consultants share with these types of customers independent advice including examples of both maintaining and upgrading systems. This narrative includes highlighting value (seen and unseen) that can be left on the table if they are more active in servicing their systems. Like a car, eventually it will stop running if you don’t maintain it.
What sorts of challenges do you solve?
All sorts. There are new business challenges evolving all the time. Here are some user scenarios:
- Renewing software support when it has lapsed.
- Reconfiguring software licensing so the customer can maximise their spend and uplift the investment value.
- Overcome a lack of confidence their systems are suitable for future initiatives. Too often poor engineering tarnishes the vendors reputation.
- Managing upgrades, performing quality checks, resolving and testing hotfixes, and providing confidence in updated systems.
- Providing strategic roadmaps so investment in software technologies is linked to a tangible short and medium term return.
- A shortfall in technical resources who understand design and infrastructure management.
What do you see is coming next, where is the opportunity?
With the introduction of OT subscription-based licensing and the new generation of leaders taking the reins, we anticipate that buyers will be more inclined to churn their software systems when faced with a modernisation/obsolescence decision with less consideration for the impacts of such a decision. In addition, with time in jobs shortening (higher attrition) less support for legacy systems, and less commitment to long lifecycles, these factors will contribute to poorly configured systems being replaced for all the wrong reasons. Brand is at risk.
We have seen before at the cusp of replacement, targeted advice with a roadmap to success persuades a realignment in customer thinking. This leads to investment dollars being diverted to uplift instead of replacement. This avoids another decade of issues that follow in the footsteps of standing up greenfield systems. History is destined to repeat itself if left unchecked, and perhaps at an accelerated pace. For us, the opportunity is to reset methodologies and adopt better practices, not promote or start from scratch when it is not warranted. Ultimately this is what customers need and perhaps want. Usually, they just don’t have a plan (or program) to buy into.
Replacing like for like is a hard investment to swallow when there are no tangible benefits to hang your hat on. Operational improvement must be tied to measurable success. Finding what that is, is the key to unlocking progress.