How Treasure Data Transforms Support Engineering Roles to Be More Business-Central
Can support engineers do more than just support existing products and services? What does the growing importance of data management and IoT technology mean for support engineering? And are you—or perhaps someone you know—what I’m looking for to support a rapidly expanding business on the forefronts of B2B customer support, IoT, and data management?
Big Data Management and the IoT: A Natural Fit, and a Support Engineering Opportunity
When Arm, a company with more than 7,000 employees worldwide, acquired Treasure Data, a startup founded in 2011, it was clear that there was a natural fit between the power of the Treasure Data enterprise Customer Data Platform (CDP) and Arm’s dominance in designs for many of the devices that make up the Internet of Things.
As senior manager of Treasure Data’s support engineers, it was also clear to me that these engineers—who had long been on the forefront of understanding how to realize the aspirations of companies hoping to use their data in new ways—could play a critical role in creating synergies with Treasure Data’s combined expertise. They’d developed serious skills in how to use data in many different customer environments, and were often on the front lines, experiencing how to unite legacy technology and our state-of-the-art data platform in so many ways.
Treasure Data’s willingness to reexamine how we provide global support to some of the largest, most successful data-using businesses in the world—is driven in part by Treasure Data founder Hiro Yoshikawa’s belief that “we’ve really only just uncovered the tip of the data management and insights iceberg.”
Unlocking Customer Data and Leveraging the IoT
Major focus, says Yoshikawa, remains in unlocking customer data, in the CDP market, working closely with existing partners, and building new relationships. But Treasure Data is also extending its engineering expertise to the management and business implications of the more than a trillion connected devices that the company expects worldwide by 2035.
“Although focus on the CDP market will intensify, we see a new and exciting opportunity go beyond CDP towards Device Data Platforms (DDPs). That is what makes [Treasure Data] so exciting, and it brings us very firmly into the world of IoT data,” says Yoshikawa.
The blending of IoT technology and data management offers businesses worldwide a powerful combination that addresses the problems many companies face.
“There are many companies that have accumulated a tremendous amount of data but have not been able to integrate it due to it being siloed or have not been able to fully make use of it due to a lack of data utilization know-how. That’s truly a waste. Our Treasure Data CDP can address that,” says Yoshikawa.
A Bigger, More Critical Role for Support Engineers as Product Consultants, Evangelists
But it’s not just the data landscape that’s changing; so are the customers. And this opens the door to a larger role for support engineers, who are in a great position to see unmet customer needs and identify potential new products and features.
The profile of our customers has changed. At first, many customers used Treasure Data services so that engineers could analyze access logs. But in recent years, marketers have been using our CDP to better understand their customers, improve the buying journey, and provide personalization at scale. I need support engineers who can show them the power of our product features, and how to use them.
Our CDP customers currently number more than 370. About half are in Japan, with the other half spanning the globe. Treasure Data’s support organization has offices in the United States, Japan, and Uganda, and we often take advantage of the time difference, teaming up to provide round-the-clock support to each customer.
We’re Hiring and Training a Global Support Engineering Force
That’s not all I’m looking for, though. The most important requirement is that the support engineers we hire love technology, keep up with the latest trends in ICT, and have a desire to deepen their knowledge.
Treasure Data users come from a wide range of industries, including e-commerce, gaming, IoT, and manufacturing. This means our support engineers don’t just work with customers in one industry. I’m looking for people who will find joy in seeing customer businesses grow as they use our excellent products around the world.
This is not the stereotypical, passive support work you’ll find in many companies. To provide global support, our support engineers need to become familiar with our customers’ businesses, and coordinate with the internal sales team. Another important mission is to escalate product defects and improvement requests to the development team right away. It is vital that sales reps, support engineers, and development engineers stay on the same page.
At Treasure Data, we believe the whole company is responsible for providing excellent customer support, and our support engineers have the full force of that commitment to help them do their work, which is highly valued and rewarded here.
Providing support for a cloud services company takes a special set of skills. You can’t just answer support requests according to a manual. The support engineers must have engineering skills and understand the core technologies and functions of the services. They don’t sit down and develop programs, but they have to be comfortable with programming languages.
Each Support Engineer Has an Extra Mission—for Professional Growth
Ideally, you’ll see a reflection of yourself when I tell you I’m really more interested in combining excellent products and service than in developing new ones. I find it a waste that some customers are not taking full advantage of the rich features Treasure Data CDP offers. I want our support organization to help customers take advantage of the full range of features we offer. This leads to the success of our customers’ businesses, which in turn leads to ours.
Issuing support tickets and working to solve problems through communication with customers is the routine work of a support engineer, but that alone is not enough to stay motivated or to achieve the support organizations goals.
For that reason, I’ve made it my job to ensure that each support engineer has an extra mission and is able to continually take up new challenges that lead to our professional growth. That extra mission could be a number of things—such as product localization, KPI dashboard creation, documentation, plugin development, or conducting seminars.
If this sounds like an exciting opportunity that’s right for you—or someone you know—we’d love to hear from you. Treasure Data is aggressively recruiting engineers, especially in support. If interested, you’re invited to apply.
Editor’s Note: This blog uses some material from an English translation of an article published in Japan in 2018, which is at https://techplay.jp/column/410.