How to achieve strength through ‘tweakness’

Right now, within a mile of where you’re sitting, a consultant is selling someone a ‘digital transformation’ project. In many ways it’s an easy sell. Digital’s good – no one wants to be analogue. And change is always positive. Right…?

Unfortunately, like most snake-oil selling, it’s not so simple. For one thing, consultants tend not to mention how ruinously expensive these projects tend to be. Nor how disruptive they are to business operations.

The thing is, the benefits are real. And you don’t have to transform your business, just evolve it with small (UC-powered) tweaks…

The comedy series Silicon Valley there’s a scene in which a succession of developers make their pitches to investors.

“We’re making the world a better place through canonical data models to communicate between end points.”

 “We’re making the world a better place through Paxos algorithms for consensus protocols.”

 “We’re making the world a better place through scalable fault-tolerant distributable databases, with ACID transactions.”

You get the idea.

It’s a perfect illustration of the self-important, blown-up nonsense that characterises the worst of the tech world.

And so we come to ‘digital transformation’ – the phrase du-jour of consultants everywhere.

Search the term and you will get ‘about 366,000,000 results’. Yes, it’s so popular that even Google can’t be bothered to give an exact answer.

Perhaps this is because Google, like the rest of us, doesn’t really know what digital transformation is.

The many definitions don’t help. Here’s one from Bill Schmarzo, the CTO of Dell EMC.

“Digital Transformation is application of digital capabilities to processes, products, and assets to improve efficiency, enhance customer value, manage risk, and uncover new monetization opportunities.”

Any clearer? Thought not.

It probably doesn’t matter. Consultants know that, if you keep saying something often enough, people will start believing it. And then they will start buying.

The mega-consultants are expert at this. Take McKinsey. It recently issued a dire warning that European businesses are operating at only 12 percent of their digital potential.

Again, what does this even mean?

Here at Formation, we believe you don’t have to hire expensive consultants to raze your business to the ground and rebuild it ‘digitally’.

There’s nothing special about digital innovation per se. The only reason to update your existing operations is to make them work better for customers and/or employees.

If digital tools can do this, great. If not, move on.

And forget about ambitious, overwhelming ‘transformation’ programmes. Focus instead on incremental improvements.

This is where UC (unified communications) can really help. Again and again, we have seen the difference small steps can make to a business. Especially in the mid-market.

Take inbound calling. It’s now possible to put intelligence inside your systems so that when a prospect calls the office, her call will be recognised and routed to the correct advisor (rather than the first available).

When the agent answers, he will have all the information about the caller on the screen: a list of all previous interactions, the products they use, the last person they spoke to etc etc.

Result? Non-qualified agents don’t waste time answering calls they cannot handle well. Qualified advisors feel more in control of their conversations. Customers get the answers they want more quickly.

These small tweaks can make a huge difference.

We could even say it’s ‘transformational’, but we are trying to avoid that word.

If you want to find out more about how we can not transform your business (but still make it loads better) join one of our ‘Migrate Your Voice Estate To The Cloud’ webinars.