A New Approach to SaaS Customer Onboarding

How many times have you subscribed to a new SaaS app thinking it will transform your business, only to find that implementing it is costly and time consuming? We have consistently encountered this problem within our own organisation, and this becomes a barrier to leveraging the full potential of the application. Common problems we have experienced include:

  • Difficult to find the required training support online,
  • Density of information makes it a complex task to locate exact requirement,
  • No self-service, only support tickets,
  • Limited or expensive in-app training,
  • Varying degrees of effectiveness in training delivery,
  • And in some cases support was non-existent.

Our experiences made it a priority to address these issues during the development of Canopy Professional. The idea for Canopy was born out of our own business needs in supporting both vSphere and Azure infrastructure at CT4; therefore, we wanted to ensure that any solution we developed would be easy for our support staff to optimise. Our objective in designing the Canopy setup process is to enable achievable results within the first 20 minutes of using the product. Once the customer has the details needed for set up, they should be able to see their cloud infrastructure and start performing basic tasks all within 20 minutes of using the application.

Unique User Interface

One of our main goals in building the user interface of Canopy was to keep it as simple and as intuitive as possible. We have implemented a consistent look-and-feel between cloud providers whilst maintaining the same terminology specifically to reduce ambiguity. The Material Design inspired, card-based layout approach focuses the user’s attention on the current task. This powerful simplicity enables us to facilitate rapid adoption and deployment into the customer’s environment.

Leveraging the Power of Learning Styles

We have designed Canopy Tools so that it can be utilised by a broad range of users within the IT and cloud computing space – from administrative and technical users to senior management. To achieve this diversification in the user base, we are actively supporting individual learning styles to ensure training optimisation. To enable any user to get up and running as easily as possible we have integrated Canopy training into the product using common learning styles – kinaesthetic, visual and auditory. All the options will be available to the user as they consume the app enabling them to switch between different training mediums as required.

Kinaesthetic training is the hands-on ‘learning through experience’ approach, which is often helpful for integrating new skills. To help facilitate this, we have integrated walk-throughs into Canopy. The walk-throughs are a combination of user-initiated and automatically launched learning programmes. For example, when a new user first logs into Canopy a walk through will appear guiding them through the main steps of the onboarding process. The user can then choose to launch further walk-throughs to learn about other core features or how a configuration screen works.

If a user has a visual preference to read about Canopy and “skip ahead”, they can do so by accessing the support documents and FAQs. These support documents will be a combination of how-to articles with screenshots, and short knowledge base articles giving the overall process. These will allow the user to solve their own problems or move ahead at their own pace. Furthermore, the Canopy community forum is available where users can ask questions and discuss topics with other users and Canopy staff. This collaborative approach is at the heart of the Canopy philosophy to ensure everyone benefits from the sharing of ideas and experiences.

For those who prefer a more visual approach to learning or want to demonstrate features of the app to colleagues, YouTube videos of common tasks are in development.

Future Canopy Training

For our Enterprise clients we are developing accredited industry certification to demonstrate competence in using Canopy within the enterprise business space. To achieve this we are currently in the process of building a Learning Management System that will seamlessly integrate with the Canopy platform and support staff to deliver a range of professional qualifications for Cloud Technology specialists. Canopy Tools is currently in development and in internal testing. It will be available to the general public around mid-2018.

For more information on Canopy, to request a demonstration or trial, or simply be notified when it’s available please contact us at Canopy Support.

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