For About three years ago, the business system company Jeeves announced that it was abandoning its partner line to instead take care of the sales directly. The announcement aroused unsurprising anger among the company’s former partners.
Since then, the company has continued to develop its direct model. This time, however, it is not the company’s partners who are annoyed – now it is customers who strongly question the company’s actions. The reason is a letter that Jeeves sent out in the autumn, where you can not add customers’ maintenance fee by also adding a fee for support.
The customers Computer Sweden was in contact with certainly annoyed that they already have support agreements. Either with a former Jeeves partner, or that you handle that part internally.
Also read: Jeeves: “We do not dislike partners”
The common denominator is that they are not particularly keen on paying an extra fee to Jeeves without getting anything for it. Not least because they did not actually accept any such change in the agreement with Jeeves. Many of the customers are also smaller, which can be hit hard by the extra costs, which can be around SEK 50,000 a year.
– We believe that you can not do such. Jeeves justifies that it is an industry standard that has a support agreement, but in our basic agreement there is nothing written about changing the agreement in that way, says and by the customers.
Jeeves Sverige-vd Christina Skogster Stange has himself signed the letter that went out to the customers. She defends the company’s direct model entirely, and is quickly convinced that it is the right way to go.
– We are changing the business model in 2015, from a partner model to a direct model. The idea is to take responsibility for the whole chain, and that is the main reason. This is a continuation of making the direct model complete, she says and is also convinced that customers will receive better support if it is performed by the person behind the products.
– If we can handle the support, we also have the best opportunity to take care of the customer’s investments. We are confident that we will connect customers closer to us like this.
That some customers react strongly to the sudden change, she comments as follows:
– We went out with a letter to our customers in November that this would happen in 2018. I respect that not everyone cheers. Not everyone cheered when we switched from partner model to direct model either, but the purpose is to create a clearer connection between customer and product and thus the customers’ influence over product development.
I have respect for the fact that not everyone cheers.
A company that already has on-site support receives a sudden support fee that they have no better idea of - and a fee that also has higher perceptions such as paying money for nothing. Sounds pretty natural to react then?
– They have not asked for it, but they have not asked to create and direct model either. We must do what is best for our customers. We respect that they react, and we get to talk about it on an individual basis with the customers who have it. I’m afraid some are using support they’ve had before, but it’s support that is not completely up to date on Jeeves. If we are to be able to become a comprehensive supplier, we must also take care of the support. I am convinced that this is the right way to go.
The general perception among disappointed customers and partners works is that the venture capital company that owns is to roll up sales further before an impending sale, and therefore throws in a little extra fees?
– It’s not like that. I really want to emphasize that. This is not about that. On the contrary, our owners have appointed a group management team with incredible expertise in running companies that sell business systems. Their goal is to build the best ERP company in Europe. Now we are completing our model, and we have to charge for the support, otherwise we can have no support.
Christina Skogster Stange welcomes dissatisfied customers to get in touch, especially if they think the information has been deficient.
– We have informed companies, we have called the customers and then we sent letters. The question is what would we have done differently? I welcome feedback from customers. As I said, we completely believe in this and that it is the absolute best for our customers, she says.