Howard Joyce: Enablon

Enablon is the world’s leading provider of sustainability, environmental health and safety (EHS), and operational risk management software. More than one thousand global companies and millions of people use Enablon software. Enablon makes organizations safer, more efficient and more sustainable through technology innovation.

The Challenge

Enablon was a global software company that became a global leader in their market segment in just 10 years by utilizing a bootstrapped capital structure. Their global services division was a key driver in delivering the solution, and also a significant source of revenue to the company. After Enablon was acquired by Wolters Kluwer in 2016, the company had capital to invest more in product development, and sales and marketing. 

One of the key strategic goals for the organization was to create a thriving partner network that could extend their solution delivery around the globe. This goal created a significant challenge as it meant transitioning Enablon from being the primary implementation team for their solutions to a team that would enable and support partners to successfully implement and maintain customer installations.  In addition, the services team overall morale was low due to immense pressure, expectations, and fear over the coming transition.

My Role

EVP of Global Solution Delivery

My role involved leading the global services and partner teams in eight different locations across three continents. I was responsible for global partner programs, customer success, customer support and the solutions center of excellence. To be successful, the role required optimizing Enablon’s solution delivery so that external  technology, services and content partners collaborated effectively with our internal technical services to ensure optimal client outcomes. 

Designing and executing the transition from internal services to partner-driven software delivery required a redesign of the existing partner programs, changes to internal solution methodology, establishing new incentives and KPI’s, and the creation of a global customer success team. The initiative was complex and required orchestration across multiple departments to effectively communicate goals and standards throughout.

The Work
  • Redesigned the internal solution delivery organization for a global software company with aim of repositioning the primary focus from a services revenue/margin to partner enablement that drives software sales and partner-led services delivery. Activities included structural reorganization, talent upgrades, compensation and  changes, and process redesign.
  • Redesigned the partner program to change the relationship model, instituted reward incentives for increasing  software license sales, and added training and enablement programs to ensure consistent solution delivery.
  • Launched a “Global Customer Success Team” to create deeper understanding of customer challenges and objectives for communication and collaboration between partners, customer support, sales, the internal services team, and product development.

The Outcome

Enablon was able to increase its professional services revenue by 13 percent while simultaneously increasing services utilization by 72 percent in the first year of reorganizing the delivery of service solutions. Overall, services bookings increased by 82 percent in 2017 over 2016.  The restructured services organization, new role definition and enhanced incentives cut the services team attrition rate in half—25 percent to 12 percent year-over-year. 

Partner-driven software license revenue increased at a 35 percent compound and annual growth rate (CAGR), year-over-year, due to the successful execution of a new partner program and associated incentives. The new solution delivery collaboration model resulted in implementation partners increasing their own deployment service revenue by 52 percent year-over-year.

Enablon presented unique challenges for me. The first was to lead a global services team and a global partner team at the same time—these roles are generally functionally split. Second, undertaking the task of realigning a global delivery process was an opportunity to utilize a best-in-class approach to establish a customer success-focused model.  Ultimately, while it was gratifying to see the improvement in associated key metrics, I was more fulfilled by the joint success and teamwork between the partner ecosystem and our services delivery team.

––Howard Joyce, EVP of Global Solution Delivery