Success stories: a look from a different angle

My name is Dmitry Matua — the founder of the community, Be#inSuccessCommunity, about monetizing the customer service business through loyalty metrics. I have worked in the field of cloud solutions for business for more than 3 years. Worked my way up from technical support to Head of customer success 1cloud. In this post I will share what I eventually understood about success stories. After three years of working on them, I have formed a philosophy and I want to share it. A success story is more than just a marketing tool and a different perspective can be interesting.

All about the same buzzing wires

Success stories for many are just a marketing and advertising tool. Most of the success stories are named the same: “Such and such a company moved to the cloud in 1 month without service downtime” or “Such and such a company reduced its costs by a third by placing infrastructure in the cloud.”

Inside, they tend to look the same too. Mainly due to PR and media standards, NDA for technical and business information. A lot of interesting facts simply cannot be covered in the same source.
What to do if there is an interesting case with many details that you want to share?
The answer is simple: don't put all your eggs in one basket. You can split the success story into several different materials and publish them in different sources with crosslinks. For example, important technical details of a success story can be put in the text that will be posted on your own blog, and the business and marketing component can be covered in PR materials. So our success story will be able to preserve colors, details and not lose the corporate identity and approach.

The individuality and uniqueness of what you do is what distinguishes you from other companies, so if the technical details of the case being implemented are important to you, if they contain all the salt of what you are doing and some media does not allow an article from -for them - change the media despite its weight or look for other ways to share these important things.

In a word: there is no point in buzzing about the same thing as everyone else, blindly following the established standards of work and the implementation of success stories is also a road to nowhere. Of course, it takes time to learn how to work with this. 1cloud had many success stories before we developed our own approach.
Now we can touch on another important point related to success stories - time, the time of their life, use and reuse.
Big seen from a distance
It is believed that a success story is short-term content, and after six months such cases are already losing their relevance, because a lot of things could have changed during this time. It is in the difference in what we started with and what is happening now that the main highlight of success stories lies. The euphoria from the completed case has passed, the period of adaptation is over, only the most important thing remains - real work in new conditions.

Here is a great example from my practice: in 2020, the Komplex-Oil company migrated its infrastructure to the 1cloud cloud. Publications were made with the exact positioning of the case details in each individual information source. The business metrics went into articles for external media, while the technical details were covered in the 1cloud blog.
And here is what has been done in terms of customer service and experience:
  1. A high-quality onboarding of the client in the self-service panel was carried out, the benefits were shown not only at the moment of using our solution, but also in a strategic plan;
  2. A process of interaction with the IT director of the company was built at the level of trust in our expertise and service. Communication was established 24/7 via instant messengers, e-mail, ticket system and telephone, and the necessary technical specialists from were also involved;
  3. The work on infrastructure migration to the cloud has been set up with the technical team of Complex-Oil, full involvement of IT specialists from both sides has been achieved. This concept completely changed the picture of the approach to standard scaling and migration. Our customer has become a full-fledged participant in the process.

As a result, it was possible not only to fully cover all the needs of the client in the new infrastructure, but also to implement a new function in the 1cloud Panel, as well as increase loyalty to the company.
Maksim Lapshev, CIO "Complex-Oil"
“We are satisfied with the capabilities of the cloud platform. Flexible pricing policy, quality, and most importantly, the availability and high reliability of the infrastructure have opened wide horizons for us. Now we can focus on growing the business, being confident in the performance of the services that are important to the company.”
“During the two years of cooperation with 1cloud, our company has grown, infrastructure and business processes have changed, but the momentum of close cooperation and high quality of the service provided at the start has not weakened. Now it is being developed by new employees: technical specialists from our side and account managers from 1cloud's side."
After 2 years, Complex-Oil is still successfully developing its business on the 1cloud cloud.
CTO of Complex-Oil, Igor Abakumov
Therefore, if I now had the opportunity to work on the success story of Complex Oil, it would look something like this: “2 years in the clouds after on-premise: results and numbers.” Inside the material, I would describe how it all began, what were the expectations, what has changed in 2 years and what plans are there for the future.

I hope I was able to give a clear example of how a success story can work over the years and how important it is to think beyond the established standards. I think that's enough for this article. Let's put all the ideas and thoughts together and draw a conclusion.
What is the alternative view of success stories?
The main idea that I wanted to convey is that the success story is a multifaceted thing, it is not only about yesterday's case, which barely happened, it reveals the real results of work in time, when the influence of subjective factors has already passed and only business processes remain.

The format of a success story prolonged in time is an excellent indicator of the ability to keep the quality of work at a high level for a long time, and not just at the start of a project. This is valued much more than just a successfully completed case a couple of years ago.
The second thought to be understood is that individuality is always valued. Individuality is born from a huge amount of work, trial and error. In no case should it be exchanged for some minute benefits. Therefore, existing PR and media standards should not be taken as dogma. You need to be able to work with them, but not bend under them.

Remember, the most important thing is what is important to you. If the technical facts of the case implementation are important to you, divide the success story into several parts. Let PR and marketing factors be published in external media and technical details in a blog. Do not give up your individuality and values under the pressure of standards.

These are the two main ideas I wanted to share with you. I hope the time you spent with me was not wasted and I was able to prompt you to think about success stories from a different angle, and if not, then it’s just not time yet.
In the end, I want to thank my colleagues from 1cloud and separately Ivan Katkov, 1cloud technical writer, for his help in preparing the article. By the way, Ivan is also the head of the 1cloud blog - places where the corporate identity, the manner of presentation of the material are perfectly combined with an alternative vision of the standards of the cloud services industry for business.