Embracing the Edicts of Openness, Mobility and Engagement for a Successful Digital Enterprise Evolution

Fari Ebrahimi, SVP & CIO, Avaya
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Fari Ebrahimi, SVP & CIO, Avaya

As with the voyages of the Starship Enterprise, there is no final destination when it comes to digital transformation. It’s an ongoing mission where the journey continues to evolve-hence the phrase “digital enterprise evolution.” As consumers and employees-Millennials in particular expect tasks to be completed with a tap on their mobile devices, the digital evolution (aka digital transformation) drives enterprises to meet the demand accordingly, providing mobile customer service interactions, providing context, and drawing in digitally-savvy employees.

"Through a Digital Enterprise Evolution, companies can quickly build mobile apps and create engaging experiences for customers and employees alike"

While the term “digital transformation” yields thousands of search results, one thing is certain: according to the Altimeter Group, companies that undergo a digital transformation reap serious benefits: Customer engagement is lifted by 75 percent, customer satisfaction improves by 63 percent, and digital traffic increases by 53 percent . The digital strategy and the digital transformation are led by mobile; 63 percent of consumer-to-business transactions in the U.S. happen via mobile phones. Since 53 percent of those are smartphones, it makes sense to focus on mobility and openness to engage customers and employees alike.

Opening Up 
Openness is the linchpin of the app economy. Custom mobile applications are increasingly the norm as banks, grocery stores, and the coffee shop down the street all make special offers or punch loyalty cards via mobile devices. In response to this evolving trend, software companies are offering software development kits to enable customers to create interoperable applications with the integration that allows data to be shared between systems. These are not proprietary systems but ones that can be integrated with those from other vendors to create an ecosystem that provides the best value to the business and to customers.

Mobile Consumers = Mobile Workers 
Mobility enables people to use technology anywhere to communicate effectively. This can be employees using BYOD as well as customers using self-service apps on their mobile devices. Ideally, it’s all intertwined with engagement; however, much of what’s considered mobility is still very manual, requiring too many steps for access. The good news is that many of these steps can be eliminated for a better experience that streamlines engagement for employees and for customers. For example, a single link that launches a video conference from a smartphone or tablet dramatically simplifies the way employees can engage with colleagues. Also, a single link that enables a customer to connect with a live agent directly from a mobile app and the agent knows exactly who the customer is and where he or she needs assistance. Mobility pulls in user context, like devices, connectivity, and location, and integrates that information with corporate policies and personalized preferences to deliver the third prong: engagement. Enterprises should establish a “mobile first” strategy to drive effortless engagement to the next level faster.

Engage to Win 
Engagement is the culmination of openness and mobility. Team engagement occurs when technology enables colleagues and partners to drive progress, make decisions and collaborate at any time, from any location, equipped with the information needed without getting in the way of the task at hand. Customer engagement is seamless, low-effort, effective customer service, which translates to better retention and loyalty with increased profitability. No matter how you look at it, team and customer engagement is a major competitive advantage. Engaged workers lead to engaged customers, and engaged customers are loyal customers.

Bringing It All Together 
Openness, mobility, and engagement come together to resemble the world when a bank branch manager knew your name or the butcher knew your usual order and had three pounds of ground chuck ready for you, and nearly all major business transactions were conducted face to face. Through streamlined, back office integration, we can provide end-to-end connected experiences for customers and bring back the personalization that was replaced by technology to cut costs and improve efficiency.

Engagement is the next evolution of business communications, and it’s driven by a technology architecture based on an open, mobile engagement platform. An open mobile engagement platform is a critical component to execute digital strategy. It’s an open platform that coordinates services, allowing disparate business applications and workflows to communicate. The result is seamless delivery of communications with context awareness to any device, web page and/or application that addresses a plethora of use cases, from customer-facing to employee-facing. The engagement platform ensures scalability, real-time deployment, quality, and reliability.

Through a Digital Enterprise Evolution, companies can quickly build mobile apps and create engaging experiences for customers and employees alike. It offers the flexibility for the end user to ultimately shape their own experiences, and it allows companies to engage customers and employees on their own terms.

Some companies were “born” digital, like Amazon and Hulu, and are already providing great customer experiences via mobile. For businesses that are not “digital natives,” they’re not necessarily at a disadvantage but need to build a strategy that includes openness, mobility and engagement with a flexible architecture that will allow their digital journey to evolve as business needs change and new consumer and technology trends emerge. An open, mobile engagement platform can help ensure that the digital journey is smooth sailing for any company.

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