Delivering the Connected Enterprise at Enterprise Connect

What is the connected enterprise? Well – it’s gone way past connecting tin cans together with a string! It’s certainly about making sure your employees are accessible and “hooked in”, but it’s also gone beyond people having smart phones with email access. Being a connected enterprise means transforming business with communications and collaboration.

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This week at Enterprise Connect I had another opportunity to meet with (or should I say “present to”) a group of customers about Customer Experience Management (CEM) – which drives the Connected Enterprise, and at the same time is enabled by it. The desire to provide excellent customer experiences drives the need for improved “connectivity”, through well-integrated people, processes and information. In turn, that well-connected enterprise enables strong CEM.

In my last blog I shared with you what I learned from talking with the attendees at our Evolutions Dallas event. Well, I did a quick study here too, and the results were similar … in my audience – representing a wide range of businesses and industries from many different places:

  • About 20% have a designated resource (or in 1 case, several) responsible for the Customer Experience their companies are delivering.
  • About 50% have actually experienced what it is like to do business with their own companies.

Although both of these numbers are admittedly a bit higher than what I found in my audience at Evolutions , it still always surprises me that these numbers aren’t MUCH higher! I will ask you what I asked them, “how can you create an optimal customer experience if you don’t know what it is like to do business with your own company?” Find out what it’s like and EVOLVE! Overall, companies and organizations need to plan for how to evolve and integrate their communications, information, and processes to be able to dynamically adapt in real time to proactively manage customer experience expectations. The opportunity and rewards are huge for organizations who realize that today, the Customer Experience IS their brand and that this drives the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

So how do we get there? In his keynote at Enterprise Connect, Kevin Kennedy said: Businesses everywhere are hungry for new ways to extend and deepen relationships between their mobile, device-fluent employees and their equally mobile, equally fluent customers and suppliers. Creating value requires solutions that are flexible for the future, secure, easy to use, reliable and affordable, delivering measurable benefits to the enterprise.

This is just one facet of being “connected”, of course, but it couldn’t have been more clearly illustrated than it was just in the meeting rooms and hallways as I was walking from my breakout session to the expo hall! The sheer magnitude of people checking email, texting, talking and doing who knows what on mobile devices of all kinds was impressive. Even during the breakout sessions some of these intelligent and dedicated employees couldn’t resist the temptation to remain “connected” (you know who you are!). There was a constant stream of communications from, to and between the Enterprise Connect “event” and the attendees, and back out to their customers.

The bottom line is, while you’re enabling your employees to remain connected and productive, regardless of their environment or situation, be sure that you’re also staying connected to your customers! This week we learned a lot about some very cool technology that enables a connected enterprise (if you didn’t get a chance to make it to the Avaya Innovation Lounge, be sure to come by next year!). Whether it’s mobility, enabling customers with more options through self-service or added communications channels, driving better decisions with big data, simplifying with cloud solutions, adding a wow-factor with video, or enhancing collaboration to facilitate more informed, faster business decisions, pay attention to how your communications processes are translating into positive experiences for your customers.

Listen closely, and make sure every connection counts!