Reportage: Your digital journey – Swedwise Ismotec Customer Day
Is it hard to navigate digital overload? What’s the difference between digitalisation and digitisation? These were some of the questions discussed when Swedwise with our partners Ismotec held the customer day ”Digitalisation Your Way” at Löfbergs Hockey Arena in Karlstad. The event assembled some of the best developers in the industry to share best practices, case studies and ideas about how organisations can add more value to their existing processes and create more opportunities during their digital journeys.
Digital Engagement and the New Customer
The day kicked-off with a networking lunch and introduction from the local Hockey team’s Färjestad’s CEO Stefan Larsson. Digitalisation is transforming sports and the relationship between their team and the fans. Färjestad’s challenge is to create a consistent experience that delivers relevant content, products, and services across multiple touch-points. New digital platforms have enabled them to introduce new measurement abilities – meaning that they can spot and act on opportunities sooner – in real time in some cases. However, only 25% of organisations have similarly leveraged their customer journeys.1 So why is it difficult for companies map out and optimise the customer journey?
It’s All About the Journey
Disruptive digital technologies have created new distribution and consumption channels, including a complex landscape that gives customers instant access to data from websites, apps, mobile, sensors (IoT), and social networks. This was the basis for the case study presented by Patrick Södersten, Head of Strategy Göta Energi. For five years, the company has seen the number of customers continuously increase month after month. Since 2012, more than twice as many households have received electricity from Göta Energi. Göta believes that this can be attributed in part to mapping customer experiences and using that customer data to deliver what their customers expect.
Exceeding Customer Expectations
To gain this coveted 360-degree view of the customer, Göta Energi anticipate the buying behaviour of each consumer to offer personalised information and products or services at the most opportune moments to buy. To deliver this contextual experience, Göta Energi use tools that combine buying behaviour, situational, and demographic data. One instance of this is invoicing. Göta Energi turned to Swedwise to help them improve personalised marketing messaging in their customer correspondence using OpenText Extream and Customer Communications Enterprise (formerly StreamServe), as well as implementing a dashboard in which customers could interact with the data linked to their individual accounts. In order distribute communications, Göta Energi also leveraged Swedwise’s expertise in xWare’s xTrade to enable business and consumer communication with their partners over various networks, different technologies, ERP systems and other applications. By being able to take advantage of sales opportunities – both online (creating relevant and timely marketing messaging in customer communications) and on off-line channels (e.g. in-store cross-promotions and channel marketing initiatives) and sometimes in real-time, Göta Energi have achieved an end-to-end digital sales processes. This Customer Experience Management (discussed later in this post) places the customer at the heart of the sales ecosystem and by doing so, creates far more opportunities to improve loyalty, reduce customer churn and most importantly, create brand advocates out of their existing customers.
Digitalisation or Digitisation?
But what does it really mean to digitalise a sales or another business process? Is it different from automating or just improving it? Digitalisation or Digitisation? Word play, or world-view? Pontus Österholm, Head of Integration at Swedwise, addressed this in his presentation; “Integration is Digitalisation”. You could argue that digitalisation is just extending automation. Gartner uses “digitalisation” to describe the goal of creating and delivering new value to customers, not just improving what is already being done or offered. 2 For example, the transfer of patient records at hospital from paper to digital simply achieves faster and easier access to patient data. Digitalisation however takes this one step further by creating the prerequisites in which machines can do most of the data collection and incident reporting; leaving humans to do things only humans do and do well, like observe and empathise.
Creating added digital value requires a complete re-thinking about the work itself and how IT systems and integration teams are organised. Merely inserting digital technologies into existing processes is insufficient to realise the full value of digitalisation.
Integration is Digitalisation
Digitalisation is placing new demands on Systems Integration Developers. It requires data sources that are open, and yet within many organisations, data exists on an intranet or another types of closed networks due to security, reliability and scalability concerns. Where do we go from here? Pontus Österholm suggests organisations should begin travelling towards the adoption of Application Networks and ’Infrastructure as Code’ across their enterprises. This means the transformation to Bimodal Type 1 and 2 platforms, which enable experimentation and flexibility. But this will require a new organisational approach. IT teams should start to see themselves as ”driving projects” rather than being responsible for ”keeping the lights on”.
By transforming the IT department into a Center of Enablement (C4E), enterprises organise business from a technology perspective: Rather than being documentation-oriented, a Centre for Enablement is asset-oriented and consists of reusable assets, core processes, more defined organisational roles, and agile practices. A C4E is integrated with the wider landscape of other teams, departments and processes. For example sales teams could adopt Salesforce as a core platform, and would require a specific set of assets or capabilities to connect this to other systems or processes. Central IT may not even be involved in delivering these assets – and that these assets should have built-in governance and security from the start. This vision of the composable enterprise means IT is no longer a back-office function. According to Ross Mason’s book ‘First, Break IT.’ C4E is a pathway to successfully transform IT to support the ever-growing technology needs of every enterprise. In conclusion, this means system developers perhaps need to stop viewing themselves as IT consultants but Digital Consultants – helping to drive organisations to digital maturity.
Customer Experience Management
After a coffee break and a chance to digest all this digital brain food, Göran Asplund, Senior Consultant Swedwise presented his presentation on Customer Experience Mangement. If you are unfamiliar with the term, Gartner defines Customer Experience Management (CEM) as the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and finally advocacy: the most valuable form of advertising there is.3 Done right, CEM can help boost revenue, improve customer loyalty (and create advocates) and lower costs by reducing customer churn.
Historically, companies have used structured data such as demographic, transactional and log data – to build customer profiles. Today, you must include emerging types of data – social media, video, RFID, sensor, geo-location, etc. – tied together for example with cross-channel coordination – to interact with customers in the right place, and at the right time. To achieve this, Göran suggests OpenText Experience Suite, and more specifically the OpenText Extream platform extended with OpenText InfoFusion and Content suite. Used together, these solutions combine both structured and unstructured data to deliver optimised, continuous and connected customer experiences that help increase engagement, drive revenue and maximise Customer Lifetime Value. The collected data transforms in to actionable insights through the design and delivery of ultra-personalised, consistent, compliant, communications platform so you can engage anywhere, integrate anywhere and deploy anywhere for more connected customer journeys.
Infor M3 users in focus
For Infor M3 users, the possibility to leverage these customer experience and communications tools is also possible (Infor recently signed a new OEM agreement with OpenText). Continuing with a look at M3 developements, two more presentations saw Ismotec’s CEO Mattias Bucht demonstrate how organisations can insure themselves against downtime and data loss, and discussed concepts such as RTO, RPO and how to meet business accessibility requirements. Customer System Air was also invited present their M3 set up and the challenges it has also faced.
With the day drawing to a close, it was time for a drink and mingle in the bar followed by a great dinner where we were joined by Maciej Szwoch Goal-Coach for Färjestad BK. Digital not only effects the relationship between the customer journey and the club but also the match itself. Using a new system which had previously only been used in the NHL for a year, three special tracking cameras capture everything that happens on the ice during a match. Färjestad BK then analyse the data which is produced to spot opportunities where the players can improve their game. We then had the chance to see if such data collection worked by being invited to watch a hockey match from a VIP position in the arena. The result? A win for Färjestad BK.
Your Digital Journey Guide
To sum it up, if I had three things to take away from the day it would be this:
- Creating digital advantage in an organisation starts with enterprise data management.
- Regardless of industry or market, customer communications and experiences drive the underlying profitability of any organisation.
- By using IT departments to lead change as Centers for Enablement rather than fulfilment, the process of digitalisation can be accelerated and better realised.