Why SimpleRisk Doesn’t Require Professional Services to Onboard New Customers
Over the past few years, we have met with countless GRC prospects around the globe and during the early stages of the vendor selection process, we’re often asked about the cost of our professional service fees to onboard and train customers on the SimpleRisk GRC platform. Our response, which is often met with skepticism, is that professional services aren’t required with SimpleRisk due to the highly intuitive nature of the platform and its built-in simplicity.
We’ve learned that many organizations new to SimpleRisk find this response challenging to digest, primarily because most GRC offerings have fairly complicated workflows and configuration options that require professional services to enable a successful deployment. With this as a backdrop, it’s pretty easy to understand why some organizations investigating GRC offerings would conclude that something must be “wrong” with the lone vendor that follows this counter-intuitive approach.
The SimpleRisk Dilemma
From day one, simplicity has been a cornerstone of the SimpleRisk platform, and we continually highlight this as a key differentiator and significant benefit. In fact, the first six letters of our company name were very intentionally chosen for this reason. While we do our best to educate new prospects on how our GRC platform is both comprehensive, yet simple, there’s often a reluctance, or possibly a bit of fear, to forego professional services. This is undoubtedly because most GRC vendors build these fees into their pricing model and for those individuals that have limited familiarity with SimpleRisk, there is an assumption that professional services are a universal requirement in this product category.
It’s not uncommon for some organizations to “insist” that we include training and implementation fees upfront in order be considered as a serious contender to earn their business. While we’re happy to accommodate these requests, to date, post-sale professional services have never been necessary with SimpleRisk. To be fair, we completely understand why most GRC vendors offer professional services, as it’s essential for them to help ensure their customers are successful deploying their product. In addition, professional services are also a key component of an overall pricing strategy.
How Does SimpleRisk Successfully Onboard Customers?
Although SimpleRisk does not include professional service fees as a default option, that doesn’t mean we don’t provide a positive and highly effective onboarding experience for customers.
With SimpleRisk, the onboarding process begins during the early stages of the buyer’s journey. We typically have several points of interaction with prospects where we’re able to build a foundation for long-term trusted relationships, prior to them becoming a paying customer. One major advantage of being a self-funded and profitable company without any outside investors is that we have no need (or desire) to pressure prospective customers, which allows us to adapt to the pace of each customer’s journey. A key benefit of our high-touch, low key approach is that it gives prospects ample opportunity to gain experience with the SimpleRisk platform, work directly with customer support and meet with key stakeholders along the way. When they are ready to become a SimpleRisk customer, they’re already familiar with our GRC platform, processes and personnel, which helps make this transition frictionless.
Following are a few of the common touchpoints where we intersect with prospects during their journey to becoming a SimpleRisk customer. Prospects often follow one or more of the paths below where they’re able to:
- Download and deploy SimpleRisk Core, our free and open source product;
- Schedule a live demo to learn about SimpleRisk’s fully-featured, commercial version;
- Register for a free, 30-day hosted trial to perform a Proof of Value;
- Interact with our highly responsive and knowledgeable Customer Support Team;
- Schedule a Q&A session to discuss a plan for a SimpleRisk rollout.
What Happens When Prospects Become a SimpleRisk Customer?
Once a prospect converts to a SimpleRisk customer, an on-boarding session is scheduled to review specific use cases, configurations, workflows and overall strategy to ensure they have a successful start with our platform. From there, all of our hosted and on-premise plans include access to our knowledgeable and highly responsive support team, including email and scheduled phone support, plus interactive web-based sessions as necessary.
In addition to supplying a wide variety of documentation, we also provide a tutorial library that contains a number of short videos and transcripts explaining how to use specific features and functions in SimpleRisk. And, we recently added a context sensitive help feature that explains the purpose of certain fields within pages in the SimpleRisk system and how they can be leveraged.
In 2019, we also introduced our unique quarterly “Ask the Expert” calls that are available to any customer that purchases one of our SimpleRisk On-Prem Basic, Plus, or Premium packages or our Hosted Small, Medium, or Large Enterprise subscription plans. This free consulting service provides customers with an opportunity to meet one-on-one with SimpleRisk CEO, creator and subject matter expert, Josh Sokol, where interactive strategy sessions are conducted that have proven to be invaluable.
Time and again, SimpleRisk has repeatedly demonstrated that to be effective, a GRC platform need not be complex, costly, nor an administrative burden and can be successfully adopted by organizations of any size or industry without having to pay extra fees for professional services. From its inception, Josh Sokol had an overriding goal to create a platform that was simple and intuitive enough for both technical and business stakeholders to use, with little or no instruction.
Over the years, as the commercial version of SimpleRisk has evolved into a fully-featured GRC platform, our biggest challenge was to continue to extend its enterprise functionality while retaining the underlying simplicity. Based on customer feedback, we are confident that this mission has been accomplished and the spirit of these ongoing efforts is captured in our tagline, “From Zero to GRC in Minutes!