Different functions like appropriate customer usage analysis, accurate and targeted surveys, envisioning new service offerings, innovative bundling and packaging, customer retention & loyalty enhancements, innovative marketing strategies provide us fodder to accentuate business growth.
I would like to add on my thoughts on this very purpose of business growth from an IT perspective.
In our Telco world we want to do wonderful things for both Business as well as Individual consumers – absolutely why not? but how many STABLE features of your underlying “system” are there to boot for your future visions.
I mean for bettering the financial returns from the offerings, retaining and increasing your Business customer do you have features at your disposal which manages their usage of your system in a way that it really adds value to the customer’s system?
Right latency management, coverage reliability say when your business customers need the robustness of your data services for them to accomplish their own business deals – is your corporate offering delivering well at those crucial moments? The answers will be directly proportional or at least contribute importantly to your customer retention statistics.
So you are retaining your corporate customers well, ok now are you making good money out of it?
Does your billing & subscription management system boast of versatile hierarchal usage management of service offerings which enable to sufficiently customize your offerings?
Do you have powerful tools in place to implement credible charge and discount sharing between the several levels of a corporate hierarchy and thus optimizing the service offering to such customers? At same time while doing the above are you able to monetize your business in the most efficient manner thus maximizing profits?
Look at other aspects of your billing system and see whether they are mature enough to give you high confidence levels on Revenue Assurance. Then your Payment & Collection modules/systems – Do they provide the right punch to your system and there are no wastes or leaks? You want to bring in new customers, increase load but is the system efficiency upto the mark to absorb this increase?
or the extra cost of a system ramp up to meet this increased load is an irritating damper into profit expectations from the new additions to the service catalogue?
My point is along with the other drivers for better business in these times, let IT be also one of the drivers rather than just an afterthought needed to meet the “light bulb blinks” in the business arena.
Along with an outward focus on customers there needs to be a collaborative inward focus too on not just the service offerings but what lies beneath. There needs to be an efficient translation media within the company existing of the right techno-functional folks who will filter the right technical compartments housing the actual business functionalities.
• This will enable you with the armoury of precise information of where you are and know the distance you need to go in terms of adding IT power to accomplish the larger business goals.
• This will also keep a control on the costs involved in the increase of IT arsenal –
• You will know the exact customizations required to existing systems.
• Adoption of the right emerging technologies which are actually required (and not just right sounding and good to have ones) to that specific business growth topography.
• Prevent prohibitive cost of systems overhaul just to meet the new requirements.
• Acquaintance with the IT characteristics of a delivery system will sometimes be instrumental in fuelling business innovation. If you really understand the features offered by the product suites well, you will know the extent of extensions required to make the next great business idea a technical reality.
• Not just in terms of service delivery for satisfaction of service catalogue
So we see there is more than one reason as to why making IT a proactive participant in the search for better business viability and growth is indeed not just a useful but also profitable proposition.