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Service at the heart of the best technology

December 14, 2015

Mysore Madhusudhan   

Executive Vice President - Collaboration and Connected Solutions, Tata Communications

Imagine having to deal with something like 400x more emails each day than you do already. A scary thought isn’t it? But that is exactly what your average IT manager is facing. With data volumes exploding to the point where more data has been created in the past two years than in the history of the human race, it’s our IT professionals who are at the coal face of this surge.

And it’s not just the boom of information or the multitudes of different devices and applications accessing that data; IT teams across the world are under huge pressure to deliver specific business outcomes against key strategic objectives such as business transformation, innovation and global expansion.

It is understandable then, when looking to your ICT suppliers, you expect nothing but exactingly positive outcomes to your specific needs. And this means a service created by layer upon layer of hardware and software, platform and applications.

Unified Communications is a great example of this – implementing a robust, central platform that supports your growth and global expansion; creating the applications that allow your staff to interact with it wherever they are; providing reliable, available networks to keep your people connected. And designing, implementing and running it in a way that has minimal disruption, with billing that suits your business model and an overall roadmap aligned to what you are trying to achieve.

Faced with rising operational complexity, growing demands on new technology and new business models and customers expecting nothing less than ‘service excellence’, this really does raise a challenge for ICT service providers. The introduction of smart tools and advanced automation are on the rise as a way for them to deal with this issue – but in truth, this is only part of the answer.

Forrester says we are in an era where empowered buyers demand a new level of customer obsession. For many ICT buyers the technology is only one thing; but how that’s delivered, the insight that surrounds the development and implementation of bespoke solutions, the way in which you are billed: these are the things that truly matter. So what should you be looking for to get the best possible service from your supplier?

For someone to really deliver your positive outcomes – and work not just to meet your challenges now but also to identify, often predict and respond to change – you need service specialists that engage across your entire lifecycle. They need to make sure every process, from order management, service delivery, billing and collection, to service assurance – all run smoothly and error-free.

They need to fully understand what you are trying to achieve and how each element of their customer service will work together to help you deliver it. Together with relevant industry experience, they must have excellent listening skills, flexibility and some creativity while also being process oriented, disciplined and focussed. They must work together confidently when subject to a single, transparent and rigorously applied set of standards, structures and processes. They must ensure that all bases are covered for you and create the environment where they openly challenge each other in the quest for continual improvement.

I believe that through effective process and rigorous engineering, combined with the hearts and minds, eyes and ears of a dedicated service team, you can achieve the goal of transforming your business while maintaining operational stability and efficiency.

I’m proud to be part of Tata Communications, where I’ve seen my service team deploy and practice these sorts of processes with heart and soul on a day-to-day basis. New innovations will give us the opportunity to solve more complex problems – handy when we know it’s inevitable that plenty more data is headed our way in the years ahead.

Why not read a previous New World blog on co-opetition and the importance of business partnerships.

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