I’m excited for college football to kick off. My love of college football began when I attended my first Texas Tech game at Jones AT&T stadium as a freshman. Over the years my love of the game has endured. This season will culminate with the first-ever College Football Championship Game where a simple four-team bracket system will be used. This replaces the messy and subjective Bowl Championship Series which paired the top two teams in a national championship game based on opaque voting and complex computer-generated rankings. The BCS was criticized because it lacked a “holistic process”, relegated some successful teams to lesser bowl games and many fans felt the computer-generated rankings led to what I call a “data trap” that favored teams from better-known conferences. In other words, it was disorganized, messy and not easily explainable.
The same concept holds true for service providers dealing with messy enterprise proposal process for telecom services. In an effort to reduce complexity, many communications service providers initiate IT simplification strategies. I recently met with one service provider whose strategy was to centralize all of the data from each acquired company’s systems into a consolidated CRM infrastructure. This was a major development effort and took YEARS to complete. In the end, the project failed to meet expectations due to a poor customer experience and lack of business agility. Like many companies, this service provider failed in large part because it initially viewed IT simplification as a data problem, and attempted to centralize product and customer information as an answer. They fell into “the data trap”. To illustrate how this is a complicated “process” problem, not just a “data” problem, ask yourself how you would create a multi-site, multi-service ICT solution proposal for a multi-national company.
Take the following quiz. If you answer “YES” to any of these questions, you may be in the “data trap”.
- Are my clients concerned with a lack of quality, creativity, and visibility of the proposal and contracting process for an ICT solution?
- Are my clients complaining about a lack of consistency when interacting with my company face to face, through self-service, or the call center?
- Is the solution proposal process supported by paper documents and spreadsheets that “fill the gaps” when the existing CRM and order management systems can’t meet business requirements?
From my experience, I recommend managing a holistic digitization of enterprise solution proposals that includes both process and data. Here are three concrete steps that you can take:
- Identify the paper documents, spreadsheets, and disparate IT systems that are driving your enterprise proposal process today.
- Introduce a telecom order management system that can use or replace the paper documents, spreadsheets and integrate to the existing IT systems to drive efficiency and visibility.
- Establish omni-channel interactions with a single case that is consistently used regardless of whether you interact with a client via face to face, through self-service, or the call center.
A holistic process improves the quality of the proposal, enables greater solution creativity, and improves the speed of delivery which drives an exceptional customer experience. This blog is part of a series that explores the top 5 ways to win more enterprise business.