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Global Vice-President of Avaya Product & Offer Management
Before any innovation initiative starts, there are questions (and usually lots of them). What is innovation and, more importantly, what does it mean for your organization? What fears or misperceptions hold innovation back? How can you innovate your way?
Decades ago, Netflix mailed DVDs to homes and a copy of the Yellow Pages was next to every landline phone. Today, Netflix is a streaming juggernaut producing award-winning content and the Yellow Pages’ website, Yell.com, is one of the world’s largest online directories used by millions of businesses.
How did these well-established brands simultaneously run and reinvent? Their stories prove that innovation without disruption is possible. Here’s what we can learn from their successes…
In the prelude to this blog, it was discussed that innovation doesn’t have to be a breakthrough new technology or a completely new business model. It can be something simple that adds value to the day-to-day lives of your customers or employees.
Yell.com is the perfect example of this. While the Yellow Pages eventually ended its printed product, it took two years for them to finally get there. The company worked incrementally, first by strengthening its market share through strategic acquisitions and then by adding multi-channel marketing as a business service. Today, Yellow Pages provides the same service as its first publication back in 1966 faster and better. Likewise, to this day, you can still have movies delivered to your home as part of your Netflix service.
Great innovation shows that you don’t need to forsake the old in favor of the new. By retaining their core service while laying the groundwork for next-phase evolution, these brands were able to retain their loyal customer base while reaching out to new audiences.
How can your organization take small steps toward innovation while still following its North Star? Perhaps this means augmenting your voice-only customer service with new digital channels that make it easier for your customers to contact you. Maybe it’s adding analytics that allow you to better understand what your customers want so you can give it to them.
Innovation starts with ideation and follows through with implementation, but current investments shouldn’t be abandoned in the name of innovation.
You may not be ready to move on from your rock solid on-premises systems (and that’s okay), but you know how greatly you can benefit from new capabilities delivered via the cloud. Even if you are ready, the systems you have in place are deeply entwined with other frameworks. Even something seemingly simple like adding new digital channels to your voice-only contact center can create a lot of new challenges such as different agency interfaces, split reporting of customer interactions between voice and digital channels, and changing communications mode in “real time” to address customers’ needs (ie: shifting from chat to voice to video).
You need to move at a pace and path that fits your business needs. If your technology isn’t mature enough to deliver what needs to be developed, you’ll need to collaborate with partners who offer enabling technologies to gain access.
Here are a few examples of innovation without disruption using Avaya Experience Platform:
1. Superior Propane—Canada’s leading supplier for propane delivery and tank installs—uses Avaya’s Experience Platform to open the door to cloud and AI without having to rip and replace its existing on-premises systems.
Our partner alliances also helped speed time to value by offering access to dozens of leading tech vendors that could seamlessly integrate with the company’s Avaya solution. Superior Propane began driving innovation internally and externally using proactive automated outbound notifications, real-time reporting, and speech and desktop analytics that helped reduce Average Handle Time (AHT) by 30 seconds per call.
2. Standard Chartered Bank uses Avaya’s Experience Platform for a personalized path to cloud adoption.
Public cloud was not a model that was yet suitable for them when weighed against their business and client requirements. Avaya Enterprise Cloud created the global platform they needed while ensuring optimal security and data privacy. With Avaya, the bank has been able to innovate externally with digital, personalized CX and internally with enhancements to its agent desktop.
At the heart of business is the propensity to keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things. Embracing new ideas, however, shouldn’t mean disruption to your existing business operations. Create your own path to cloud technologies that drive innovation—Avaya can help every step of the way.