The SOMA Global Partner Journey describes at a high level the path a Partner (agency) embarks on from beginning to end as together we deliver a cloud-native, agile Public Software as a Service platform (PSaaS)™.
The objective is to provide a guiding framework that increases the satisfaction of SOMA Global agencies, partners, and affiliates as we embark on our partnership. This path is both a living and visual journey of your experience with SOMA Global; it demonstrates how your team will move through each phase of interaction in addition to how we will optimize your experience with us and ensure collective partnership success.
The Preparation phase is a pre-sales process that builds upon our Growth Team’s discovery. This phase is characterized by more focused requirements gathering, followed by a structured question and answer process, and finishes with qualified input into a Growth Service Order that leads to a developed Scope of Services.
After this phase, both parties will be clear on scope, costs, and a high-level timeline for the subsequent phases.
The Readiness phase is a process that builds on the Preparatory phase and starts the agency on its journey to a partnership with SOMA. With the Contract now signed, all agency information ports over from our CRM to our defined Project Management tool.
This phase starts with a kick-off meeting that presents the SOMA approach, outlines the partner teams, and concludes with a high-level Discovery session. After this phase, we will be clear on the high-level schedule and the project implementation plan.
The Platform Build phase is a simple process part of platform configuration. This phase starts with simple requirements gathering activity, followed by a design of the configuration that meets the stated requirements, and finishes in the build of any supporting assets for configuration. After this phase, we should be clear on why and how we will fulfill the configuration.
For example, a Platform Specialist might have a short requirement gathering session with an agency to define how they respond to calls for service within their jurisdiction. Then, based on those requirements, a design recommendation is made for area types and areas. Lastly, the Platform Specialist arranges for the export of areas from their legacy system to support the configuration of areas in the platform.
Platform Specialists own and execute the Platform Build phase exclusively. Project Owners are notified of the schedule within 2 weeks of Discovery. The Platform Build phase should ideally be completed within 90 days of contract signing, pending resource scheduling.
The Solutions Build phase is an involved process as part of a platform implementation. This phase is run in parallel alongside the Platform Build phase.
This phase is iterative, executed in 30/60/90 day cycles, grouped by reasonable, prioritized features, modules, and/or applications. This phase starts with requirements gathering activity, followed by a shared design that meets the stated requirements, and finishes in the build of the features, modules, and/or applications. By publishing a design as an activity, planning for configuration, enablement and delivery can be conducted simultaneously.
For example, a Product Manager would gather requirements for a new application like Jail Intake that captures the workflow and major features/epics of the application. An application design document is produced that will describe the user experience, architecture, and configurability of the application, and, in this case, how to add different Intake forms/schemas to the Intake application might be a possible configuration. This design is presented to and validated with the agency. The engineering team then builds and delivers that design in 2-week iterations, continually presenting to and validating progress with the agency.
The above example is related to a new product feature or application, but the Solution Build phase applies to:
Solution Build phases are typically planned in quarters for the life of the partner journey, with detailed plans on only the next 90 days. Depending on the scope of the documented requirements, this phase may be conducted by Platform Specialists, Contractors, and/or the SOMA Product/Engineering team.
Lastly, these iterative phases are planned to meet milestones of Soft-Launch (low-hanging fruit), Go-Live (must-haves), and Post-Go-Live updates (nice to haves).
Depending on the features, modules, and/or applications, any Solutions Build phase could be owned and managed by Platform Specialist, Contractors, and/or the Product/Engineering Team.
The Delivery Phase is when the SOMA Platform is shipped to the Agency for its intended operational use. SOMA does this by starting the phase with User Training and or a Train-the-Trainer period. All SOMA Training is based on the SOMA Training Manual. Go Live is prepared for and staged with SOMA providing on-site and remote support if required at cut-over. Soft Launch will enable users to develop functional application knowledge.
This phase ends with Go Live.
The Optimize phase is the end phase of the Partner Journey. This phase consists of ongoing support for technical questions/issues, release updates, and client advocacy. The SOMA support organization is responsible for all Q&A handling, both internally and externally, while maintaining a world-class standard of quality.
SOMA Support is designed to capture, process, and resolve all internal and external customer issues, feature requests, bug reports, task requests, and general questions. This is the final phase of the process and will both support our internal and external customer base and provide continuous process improvement.
Once SOMA Support takes ownership the Partner Journey has concluded. However, the Optimize phase runs endlessly throughout the Partnership journey as SOMA works to successfully oversee and innovate our Platform and our services for each partner.