What do product management services for ISVs (cloud-based/SaaS) cover?

DivyaAgarwal Member | Enthusiast ✭

Hello members! My company (CSS Corp) has been known as a support services provider but we want to expand our identity to include product management services as well. In that regard, I wanted to know your views on what are the various services offered by services companies typically to ISVs, especially to cloud-based products/SaaS product vendors.

For example, as part of platform product management offerings, do they offer Network Operations, Cloud Operations, and what else do they offer depending on the type of platform and end product?

Any inputs will be highly appreciated




Best Answers

  • Scott Siekmeier
    Scott Siekmeier Member | Enthusiast ✭
    Answer ✓

    Hi Divya! Great topic and something I'm sure a lot of organizations have addressed or are considering. @Laura Fay is responsible for TSIA's XaaS Product Management research and has discussed product management service portfolios strategy in the recent research report: The Product Management Value Stream. For a more holistic idea of the direction of XaaS Product Management and services, please check out The State of XaaS Product Management: 2020.

    Also want to include @Carlos Alves and @Pierre Raynal for their input.

  • steve tennant
    steve tennant Member | Scholar ✭✭
    edited December 2020 Answer ✓

    Hi Divya - I agree with @Scott Siekmeier's suggested documents.

    As a function, Product Management is more core to the business, and as a result, less likely to be outsourced. However, there are opportunities to augment client staff in ISVs in several areas:

    • Discovering customer needs through interviews and deeper analysis
    • Developing new solution prototypes
    • Helping companies migrate from perpetual license to subscription business models
    • Defining and prototyping customer experiences
    • Assisting to create the product instrumentation or data analytics needed to enable SaaS offers
    • Defining converged product & service offers and subscriptions (most product managers are less familiar with services)
    • Defining tiered service portfolios using a Good, Better, Best model and including best practices
    • Assisting with product launches, especially through internal sales, services, success and partner enablement
    • Ongoing monitoring and adjustments to offers post-launch
    • Running customer advisory boards, focus groups or other forums to provide actionable customer feedback
    • Helping to manage product and service backlogs, use cases and detailed requirements
    • Elements of operating SaaS operations/DevOps environments

    I used to run product management for an ISV years ago, and have been consulting there and in adjacent areas, like services and customer experience, since. Happy to discuss further. Hope that helps!

  • steve tennant
    steve tennant Member | Scholar ✭✭
    edited December 2020 Answer ✓

    @Divya Agarwal No dominant providers come to mind for me, like I said, from a demand perspective, few companies want to outsource this, and from a talent perspective, strong product managers and developers want to participate in the upside through stock options or by creating their own companies.

    Some of the large consulting firms, like Bain, McKinsey, Accenture, Deloitte, etc. have product management, product development or innovation management practices. Innosight, Strategyn, Stage-Gate, and the 280 Group are boutiques in this area. IDEO, Cooper, and Frog Design come from the Design world and are boutiques who assist companies with innovation and new products and services. It's a very fragmented market.

    Who I run into more often are firms providing education services to train product managers rather than provide the service directly. Pragmatic Institute, Proficientz, Gartner as well as many Universities offer undergrad, graduate and executive education programs that teach skills related to product management. These can usually be found in business, engineering or design programs, and in some cases, converged cross-discipline programs.

    This industry is still at an early stage. The field was almost unheard of 25 years ago, and unfortunately is still unheard of in many more mature companies.

    Does that answer your question?