Voices of the Engagement Economy: Cassio Conceicao, EVP and Chief Operating Officer, SGI

Engagement Strategies


Cassio-Conceicao-HeadshotCassio is responsible for sales, marketing, supply chain, customer services, and IT.

In this discussion, Cassio talks about how he measures success in the Engagement Economy, how you can personalize the customer experience and the processes that SGI uses to ensure an engaging experience.

What does the Engagement Economy mean to you?

The concept of Engagement Economy very much resonates with me, especially the notion of “authentic” interactions. I receive many “cold call emails” every day, none of which feel personalized or authentic, so I just ignore them. At SGI, we strive for engagements that are authentic, in the sense that they start with an investment of time and energy. We try to build credibility by what I call “adding value in between business transactions.”

How do you measure success within the Engagement Economy?

We leverage customer advisory councils as part of our customer engagement efforts.  We hold these at various “levels,” from C-level executives to technical users to IT administrators. We convene at major industry events or set up dedicated annual user conferences. Customers are interested in learning from each other, and we get to showcase our impressive list of loyal customers—a strong re-affirmation of our brand. If I were to synthesize the ultimate measure of successful customer engagement, I would say that the most important goal is to drive repeat business and capture customer loyalty. If customers feel the conviction that they made the right choice, if they express loyalty by investing their time with us and giving us repeat business, we know our customer engagement programs are bearing fruit.

How do you personalize the customer experience?

I think social media is an excellent tool for personalizing customer engagement. Customers sign up for and follow social media platforms and topics on their own accord. If a customer follows an SGI or HPC group on social media, we know by default they are interested and want to be a part of that group. We can personalize our engagement with them, track their interests, and make sure our communications are resonating. Social media is also useful for internal communications. For example, we use Jammer as our internal social media platform, and it has proven to be great for cross-functional employee interactions and dialogue.

What processes have you implemented to ensure an engaging experience?

We try to understand customer challenges and have conversations about those challenges in order to help solve our customers’ problems. One of the ways we add value in between transactions is by testing our prospective customers’ applications on the latest high-performance computer technologies that they may be considering for their future infrastructure investments. When we do this, we make sure key stakeholders in our customer’s organization are well aware of the work we’re doing. For example, a large oil and gas customer buys a new supercomputer from us every 3 years. In between those sales cycles, we help them justify internally the return they will obtain from this large investment. We don’t charge for this work. Our reward is the influence we have in helping them define their requirements. In fact, we know our engagement is successful when their documented requirements reflect the conclusions of the work we performed for them.

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