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School of Business | Department of Information and Service Economy | Information Systems Science | 2012
Thesis number: 13387
The transition to and the customer-facing processes in the maintenance phase - case replenishment software vendors
Author: Ruuskanen, Mikko
Title: The transition to and the customer-facing processes in the maintenance phase - case replenishment software vendors
Year: 2012  Language: eng
Department: Department of Information and Service Economy
Academic subject: Information Systems Science
Index terms: tietojärjestelmät; information systems; operaatiotutkimus; operational research; prosessit; processes; ohjelmistot; software
Pages: 105
Key terms: software transition; software project closure; replenishment software; maintenance processes; support processes

Objectives of the study:

The purpose of the study was to investigate, how replenishment software vendors should perform the transition from an implementation project to the maintenance phase. Another aim was to determine, what customer-facing processes the vendors need in the maintenance phase.

Academic background and methodology:

Software transition has not been widely researched. Prior to this study, the existing transition process models have not been applied in practice. In addition, earlier it has been recognized that managing customer interactions in the maintenance phase is crucial for enterprise software systems vendors, but it has not yet been studied, what processes the vendors should have in place to manage the interactions effectively.

A single-case study was selected as the research method. The case company is a Finnish small replenishment software vendor. The qualitative research data was gathered by interviewing eleven case company representatives.

Findings and conclusions:

In terms of the transition, the main finding is that replenishment software vendors need to use different transition staging for different projects, depending on whether a pilot is included in the implementation project or not. The study introduces transition stages for both cases, and specific activities for each transition stage. The most important transition activities consist of closing the implementation project based on the functionalities implemented for the customer, and transferring knowledge to the maintenance and support staff.

In terms of the customer-facing processes, it was discovered that replenishment software vendors need the following processes in the maintenance phase: user support, business process support, technical monitoring and configuration, change management and account management. The study also presents roles and responsibilities for each of the required customer-facing processes. A key conclusion is that replenishment software vendors need both business process and technical expertise to provide high quality customer service in the maintenance phase.
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