IT’s customers are more demanding and knowledgeable, and there is less tolerance for poor IT service now than ever before. A philosophical change in IT Service Management (ITSM) is required to keep up with the changing business landscape.
Traditional ITSM emphasizes development and supply of IT services through best practices, which is technology focused. This focus needs to evolve. In its solution set, Enhance Business Value through Customer-Centric IT Service Management, Info-Tech recognizes the need for a customer-focused business model and recommends the adoption of ITSM 2.0, which views every decision and action through the lens of the customer experience – in other words, the delivery of customer service excellence.
Customer service excellence is a level of exceptional service that manages to be both unnoticeable and remarkable at the same time. It’s not just how you act when interacting with customers that matters; a happy customer can also be a silent customer. In addition to giving customers fulfilling and rewarding interactions, IT must take actions to prevent a problem from ever being realized by users.
IT departments can achieve customer service excellence by undertaking two very different but equally important initiatives.
One is Enhanced Customer Engagement, which is the act of giving your customer fulfilling and rewarding interactions that exceed their expectations. By making interactions easy, comfortable, consistent, and personalized, end-user satisfaction will be higher. A great example is initiating roaming help desk where, on off-peak days, first-level support go to the customer’s desk and help them face-to-face instead of handling the ticket virtually. While doing this, you can engage other users around the office. Chances are they have other issues they would like to talk to you about. Your customer will love this.
The other initiative is Behind the Scenes Excellence, processes used to prevent a problem from ever becoming a problem. In other words, IT discovers a potential issue and fixes it before it’s ever noticed by the users – their services just work. For example, a customer is happiest with their telecommunications provider when their phone and internet are always working. To make this happen, there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes that the user is unaware of.
Achieving customer service excellence will improve business-IT relationships, increase end-user satisfaction, and show the business that IT cares.Posted in Advisory, Hot Topics, News & Analysis, Research, What's New in Research | Tagged Business Value, customer service, engagement, Event Management, Experience, help-desk, Hire, Incident Management, it-service-management, itil, ITSM, proactive, Problem Management, reactive, satisfaction, service desk, Service Orientation, Technology open house, training | Leave a comment
May 21, 2013
Social data is the biggest source of customer information in history. Without analytics to pull key insights, your organization can’t possibly make the right decisions.
As social media grows in popularity with consumers, interest in social analytics has skyrocketed. Paradoxically, many companies are failing to create a social analytics program, and fewer still are properly incorporating social analytics into their existing customer intelligence portfolio.
The volume of social data being generated is mind boggling. Social media has led to an explosion in the amount of information that customers are choosing to share about themselves online. This presents organizations with a goldmine of opportunities for customer and competitive insights, but you need a formal analytics program that can be compared with other sources of customer information to make the right decisions.
Social analytics is a powerful complement – but not a complete replacement – for other sources of customer data. Failing to incorporate social data into your customer intelligence portfolio is failing to make holistic decisions. However, don’t lose sight of other sources of customer insight.
Info-Tech’s new solution set, Gain Real Insights with a Social Analytics Program, will help you determine the social analytics use cases that are most appropriate for your organization, the metrics you should be tracking, and how to execute a social analytics program that works with your existing sources of customer insights to ensure your organization is making the most informed customer decisions possibly.Posted in Analyst's Angle, Applications, What's New in Research | Tagged analytics, CICOE, customer data, customer insight, customer intelligence, metrics, social | Leave a comment
May 21, 2013
A wise man once said that people who build their houses on a foundation of rock are able to withstand the storms of life. On the other hand, people who build their houses on foundations of sand will be swept away in the storms.
In the IT world of today, data is being bashed by the raging moves to the cloud, mobile computing, and trust issues. Not to mention the tsunami of big data and analytics that is on its way if it hasn’t already hit you. Knowing where your data is, where it came from, and how it is protected are the cornerstones of your data architecture.
Policies and procedures that govern who has access to data, from where access is allowed, how data is sourced and entered, how it is cleansed, how it is used, and when data needs to be archived, are building blocks that make up the foundation. Master data is the mortar that holds the foundation together. If your master data isn’t managed properly with the right mix of stewardship, ownership, and governance: it will disintegrate and the foundation will at risk of collapsing.
As cloudy skies form overhead, the foundation provides the necessary footings (constraints) and walls (boundaries) on which the applications that use corporate data are implemented; providing a solid structure that can withstand the storms of today and tomorrow’s IT disruptors and opportunities.
Don’t let your data and information be swept away. Architect today for change tomorrow and be sheltered from the storm.
To learn more about data architecture, see Info-Tech’s solution set, Develop a Five Year Data Architecture Plan.Posted in Analyst's Angle, Applications, What's New in Research | Tagged analytics, architecture, big data, cloud, data, it disruptor, mobile, secure, trust | Leave a comment
May 17, 2013
Cloud-based ERP is rapidly becoming an area of key interest for IT leaders and other decision makers. The challenge is that the term “cloud ERP” is a better marketing term than IT strategy term. There are really four different types of ERP:
- On-Premise where a particular enterprise owns and maintains the ERP instance and the associated databases and servers.
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options where all users share a single instance.
- Proprietary cloud models where a particular ERP vendor maintains an instance of the ERP system in its own data center. This model is similar to traditional managed services arrangements but the vendor may offer subscription licensing terms instead of up-front-plus-maintenance terms.
- White label cloud options are particularly challenging. In this scenario, an ERP provider – typically a VAR or reseller – offers to host the ERP system in a third-party hosting center.
Each of these models varies widely in terms of benefits, costs, and risks. In many cases, on-premise software may offer a wide range of potential benefits but have high up-front licensing costs. Conversely, a SaaS solution may offer attractive up-front licensing but present inappropriate risks. These assumptions are not, however, universal. The cost of SaaS can be shockingly high over the entire lifespan of a solution. Similarly, on-premise solutions aren’t necessarily low risk if the IT department lacks the sophistication and maturity to effectively manage it.
The solution to the cloud ERP dilemma is to use Risk-Adjusted Cost Benefit (RACB) to assess different ERP options. Every deployment scenario has a different RACB. Consider the existing solution and compare it to different hosted and on-premise options. RACB provides a way of comparing apples with oranges.
For more information, see Info-Tech’s solution set, Determine if Cloud ERP Lies in the Future.Posted in Applications, News & Analysis, What's New in Research | Tagged Cloud ERP, enterprise resource planning, ERP, Hosted ERP, NetSuite, Oracle Fusion Applications, SaaS ERP, SAP Business ByDesign | Leave a comment
May 15, 2013
Informatica, one of the leading data integration vendors just announced a product directly aimed at their high speed data processing competitors: Ultra Messaging SMX (Shared Memory Acceleration). They claim to have broken the 100 millisecond latency barrier on multi-core commodity hardware regardless of invocation in Java, C, or C#. See their press release here: http://bit.ly/13ZZ1kG
Ultra Messaging SMX has the potential to change the game for how messaging software can be used. Messaging software has traditionally been used for communication between multiple application processes or inter-process communication (IPC) via shared memory. SMX will allow developers to leverage the benefits of messaging on inter-thread communications (ITC) within a single application process rather than having to develop their own shared memory ITC solution.
Informatica has targeted the Ultra Messaging product at the low-latency, high volume electronic trading applications in financial markets. However, use cases will emerge in other applications and markets as more things are connected (the Internet of Things), mobile devices generating real-time data are integrated into systems of interaction, and the results of data analytics are required in real-time.
Informatica is not the only vendor tackling the high volume, low latency data processing problem. With data volumes growing exponentially and organizations looking for insights inside that data as soon as possible, several of their competitors are also bringing solutions to market.
- Actian’s acquisition of Pervasive puts their high performance VectorWise database together with Pervasive’s DataRush technology to significantly reduce data analysis time and effort.
- IBM has released a high volume, low latency, and extremely scaleable messaging appliance in their MessageSight appliance, which can handle one million connected devices, and 13 million messages per second.
Mobile Devices, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and all the big data being generated in today’s IT environment are driving the need to break current performance barriers. Organizations are moving from wanting to know what happened in their business to predicting what is going to happen, and new technology is emerging that will help them understand what is happening right now. Real-time business analytics have emerged to help organizations dynamically adapt to changing conditions in economic, social, political, and physical environments as the changes are occurring, allowing organizations to adapt to new opportunities.
Vendors will continue to push the performance limits with new products and solutions – with these three vendors’ announcements happening within the last two months alone. I am confident we will continue to see more performance improvements across the data processing vendor landscapes as Big Data continues to push innovation.Posted in News & Analysis | Tagged #integration, Actian, big data, DataRush, ibm, Informatica, Messaging, MessagSight, VectorWise | Leave a comment
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