Lithys 2015: Centrify - Support Savings MVP

Lithys 2015: Centrify - Support Savings MVP

Company: Centrify Centrify logo.png

Entry submitted by: Raman Kumar, Sr. Director of Technical Support and Customer Success, and Anton Chiang (ac), Manager, Community and Support Programs

Community: Centrify Community (

Lithy category: Support Savings MVP


Centrify provides unified identity management across cloud, mobile and data center environments. Centrify solutions deliver single sign-on (SSO) for users, privilege management and auditing for security and compliance, and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT. Centrify is used by more than 5,000 customers worldwide, including half the Fortune 50.


Centrify provides unified identity management for end users and privileged users. With flagship products addressing needs for identity management across cloud, mobile and data centers the Support team interacts with IT admins every day with several skills sets spanning across *NIX, Windows, Active Directory, SAML to name a few. To Support this vas diversity of skills, the Centrify Support team believes that the Community (peers) of Centrify admins across the globe play an important role in collaborating with the experts at Centrify and on Customer premises.


As we grow our customer base, we are now taking a Community first approach to boot strap our Support team by virtually extending it to our MVP’s at thousands of customers’ locations. This has helped us two fold: first, we have happy customers who are constantly willing to share their knowledge and experience with other industry veterans in our space, and ensure that they share their best practices. Second, we are now able to reduce our costs to add engineers across every region, time zone and yet meet SLA’s and responsiveness by leveraging our Community on Lithium.


This has opened the doors for all our products to receive timely support. Our free product is only support by our Community, and this free peer support model is giving our champions (who have deployed in labs or very small environments) the support they need.


Our community categorized by different product lines: Centrify Server Suite (our on-premise product), Centrify Identity Service & Centrify Privilege Service (our cloud based product) and Centrify Express (our free product). All community members have read access to all categories and write access to our free Centrify Express forums. This enables Centrify to provide a positive user experience for our free product users, potentially leading to paid upgrade when their organizations expand.


For our paid customers, they have the option to ask their technical questions in the premium product forums. These questions are automatically escalated as support cases to our CRM if the community does not answer them within 24 hours. This ensures that our paid customers receive timely responses while Centrify reduces paid support contact volume.


Our organizational changes


At Centrify, we value support as a team that adds value to our customers and not a cost center. That being said, just like every successful and customer centric organization, we keep a close eye on our costs every year. The savings in Headcount to support our customers are re-purposed to make the Community and Centrify Support Portal more interactive and resourceful. With new products, new customers we are always innovating and ensuring that every type of customers who come to us for a help can easily find their answers. In the future, we will be enhancing the UI further to provide a single pane of glass for all existing customers to address their technical and product needs. The success of Community for our customers has also enabled the use of Community internally. It is a powerful tool that Support Engineers across the two Tiers and all locations worldwide use to collaborate, and ensure that the knowledge created is available for new engineers and cross functional on-boarding of engineers.


Our business results


Centrify Community started as a platform for our Express users to ask their questions and in the last 18 months we have opened this for every customer of our solution (paid or free).


In spite of growing our customers base and revenues by 2x, our team has been able to successfully support 5000+ customers and continuously achieve a 92%+ customers satisfaction*. Without enabling peer-to-peer community help, we would not be able to sustain such rapid growth while maintaining a high score for customer satisfaction.  Support Management at Centrify is always looking at metrics to drive more self-service, engineer efficiency and content creation (Knowledge articles).


*Customer Satisfaction is derived from 5 survey metrics that we collect from our customers. Every time a case that is opened with Technical Support team at Centrify, the customer will have an opportunity to provide their feedback on the products, people, and features / functionality of Centrify Solutions. Customer are asked to rate us on the 5 parameters (1) Case Owner Satisfaction (2) Overall Product Satisfaction (3) Product Quality (4)Features and Functionality and (5) Overall Support Satisfaction.


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We’ve seen steady community growth in the past 3 years. Q1 2015 we saw a year over year increase of user sessions by 31 %, and 13% increase in topic replies


More than 30k visits per month in indirect contact deflection. 40+ technical topics are answered and turned into searchable community knowledge for future use.


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Super-user Spotlight:

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Rich Multimedia Content:

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Wealth of technical information and resource in the community:

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In-depth Community Generated how-to articles:

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1 Comment
Lithium Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: 2015 Lithy Submission