Retention is the #1 priority, and underdeployment is the leading cause for contraction.
Deployment Engineering helps customer-facing teams (TAMs, CREs, CS) by leveraging engineering talent to accelerate customer success with deeper platform knowledge given their background in software design engineering, thus accelerating seat deploymets, thus reducing contraction, thus increasing renewal rates.
How is this team measured?
Primary measurement is Customer Seats Deployed - % of customers with >$50K ARR with at least 80% of seats deployed.
How will work be allocated to this team?
Deployment Engineering will work closely with other post-sales teams (CREs, customer success, TAMs) to determine the highest impact technical customer priorities for the team to work on.
For instance, when choosing between three options, work will always be prioritized based on the impact level, with effort taken into consideration (e.g. a medium impact low effort technical priority may supersede a high impact but very high effort priority).
Moreover, for any one-off customer solutions, a clear SOW or other such document will be created to set clear expectations with the customer of what is delivered, by whom, and in what timeframe, outlined as a services request by the CSMs/TAMs, signed off by the customer. This process is similar to what would be done with a partner. The sign-off is not necessarily a formal contractual agreement, but at minimum a verbal agreement to ensure expectations are set clearly before work begins.
Who owns long-term maintenance of solutions built by this team?
Most solutions should not require long-term maintenance, as they will be standalone scripts, plugins or other code that is not dependent on Mattermost server versions.
For solutions that require maintenance, we will discuss ownership between Deployment Engineering, TAMs, R&D and a vendor on a case-by-case basis.
How does this role differ from TAMs (Technical Account Managers)?
TAMs are responsible for ongoing relationship management with technical champions, and own pre-defined customer onboarding in standard deployment environments (ie. follow our gold standard deployments).
On the other hand, Deployment Engineering supports non-standard deployments with complex technical problems, as well as work closely with customers on temporary one-off custom solutions & integrations based on requirements outlined by the CSMs/TAMs.
Thus, Deployment Engineering acts as an extension of R&D supporting post-sales and customer success on the most complex, technical problems, with expertise on how to run and deploy Mattermost and the platform as a whole.
Why does this role not report to Customer Success, like TAMs?
TAMs are responsible for ongoing relationship management, and are evaluated against renewal rates.
Deployment Engineering engages with customers on a short-term basis, in a technical capacity. Their evaluation is not based on renewal rates, and hence do not directly report to the revenue organization (Sales & Customer Success).
How does this role differ from Customer Reliability Engineers?
Customer Reliability Engineers provide first-line of support & troubleshooting, and may fix bugs & security issues, while Deployment Engineering is a point of contact for critical deployment escalations only for customers over $50k ARR (e.g. performance degradation).
Why does this role not report to Customer Support, if they work on escalations?
Support Engineers are evaluated against CSAT scores and SLA coverage. Deployment Engineering is evaluated against Customer Seats Deployed.
Will this team be on call or part of SET rotation?
What is out of scope for Deployment Engineering?
The following is out of scope for Deployment Engineering
Regular customer support (tier 1, 2, 3, 4 support) owned by Customer Support as per our standard support terms: https://mattermost.com/support-terms/
Customer account management including expansion, renewals, or license management, owned by CSMs and TAMs.
Predefined onboarding journey including sales hand-off, standard deployments with standard data migrations, testing, training and end-user rollout, owned by TAMs unless specifically escalated to Deployment Engineering.
Identification of key integration opportunities for the Mattermost team to develop, owned by CSMs and TAMs
Development or maintenance of in-product features, integrations or other such product functionality, owned by R&D Engineering
Note: In-product feature development may be completed by Deployment Engineering as an exception, e.g. building a custom solution that we decide to integrate into the product. Such a development requires prior approval from Product Engineering, to ensure they can support the feature once developed for the customer.