Find out more about our new customer portal
Last year in November, we launched our customer portal "my proALPHA" for all our customers. How was it created and how can our customers benefit from it?
We talked to Nicolai Obry, Senior IT Consultant Cloud & Systems Technology at proALPHA and project manager of "my proALPHA". In the following interview, he outlines the most important milestones of our new customer portal.
- What's the idea behind the new customer portal "my proALPHA"?
Nicolai Obry: First and foremost, we wanted to replace our outdated ticket management system. We wanted the new solution to be available 24/7 and have a web-based and modern graphical user interface. While we were looking for such a solution, it quickly became clear that we not only needed a ticket system but rather an entire customer portal. With this in mind, we opted for ServiceNow, which is adjusted to our requirements by our partner agineo using the agile method.
The project "my proALPHA – New Customer Portal" officially launched in November 2020. We started into the pilot phase with 25 to 30 customers already in Mai 2021 and by the end of August, about 400 customers were using the portal. In November 2021, the system had been tried and tested enough by our customers and the internal team that we were able to make it generally available to all customers.
- What do we want to achieve with "my proALPHA"? What are the goals?
Nicolai Obry: Our goal was to implement a modern portal as single point of contact that is available everywhere at any time thanks to the cloud. Our customers have a wide range of options here, be it reporting an error or downtime or contributing to the design of future proALPHA versions. In a next step, we also want to provide information regarding the status of orders or invoices, for example
- Many pilot customers contributed to the development process. How has the input of these customers affected the development of the portal?
Nicolai Obry: We've attached great importance to the constructive and critical feedback of the pilot customers from the very beginning. To obtain this feedback, we used different means, like a survey that we sent to all pilot customers that inquired about their experience with the portal. For all topics that were to be mapped with the portal we established project teams that then included the customer feedback in the development of the portal as far as reasonable.
- What is the status quo of the "my proALPHA" portal?
Nicolai Obry: Since the end of last year, we've actively been working together with all customers to improve the contents and functions of the portal. Of course, the development is far from complete. We've collected further ideas from different proALPHA departments about how to make even better use of the portal as single point of contact for our customers.
We intend to collect these requirements and implement corresponding functions in quarterly releases. We'll then hold two to three webinars at the end of each release to inform the customers and our colleagues of the new features and how to make full use of them.
- What are the plans with regard to the functional expansion? What can we expect?
Nicolai Obry: In a first big step, especially for the first two releases, we want to further optimize the ticketing process. On the one hand, this means the way customers can contact us in case of issues. On the other hand, we want to optimize the backend so that the cycle times are reduced and our service agents can provide our customers even faster with our high-quality solutions.
In addition to optimizing the ticketing process, we want the portal to become the main communication channel for certain topics, such as account and contract management. So that we don't have to permanently monitor the e-mail inbox anymore, for example. Furthermore, we want to cover order management, including open items, invoices, work orders and credits.
We're also working on the integration of our "Remote System Services". For instance, this includes basic monitoring of the ERP installation on the server or a small "Health Check" if a service is not working as it should be.
We also plan to release the proALPHA Knowledge Base in the first quarter, which contains the compiled proALPHA knowledge about topics relating to the installation and how-to guides Ideally, the Knowledge Base articles help customers to solve their problems themselves, sparing them the need to open a ticket.
In a nutshell: We're not only working on the constant optimization of our complete ERP software but also on the further development of our "my proALPHA" customer portal.