Take a big-picture view and you won’t miss the relevance of the Choluteca Bridge metaphor to organisations’ response to COVID-19. Initial efforts by enterprises to address the tech demands of remote-working environment has resulted in the unexpected growth of in-depth digital adoption of working from home by organisations across industries. Moving people to safe places of work – en masse and in very short timescales – they’ve largely worked digital miracles. But the rest of their worlds are changing around them, too, and every element needs an equally determined digital focus at speed.
Crucial pivots of employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX)
Coined when COVID-19 erupted, the new normal may already seem to have become a hackneyed phrase and, arguably, we’re not even there yet. McKinsey sees that point. Coming up with a more apt analogy, the first of a five-part series ‘How six companies are using technology and data to transform themselves’ shows how digital acceleration is shaping what the consulting firm sees as the next normal.
Opening the first volume, Kate Smaje, senior partner at McKinsey & Company, says, “Business leaders are saying they’ve accomplished in 10 days what used to take them 10 months. That kind of speed is unleashing a wave of innovation unlike anything we’ve ever seen. The crisis has forced every company into a massive experiment in how to be more nimble, flexible and fast.”
Naturally, Tata Communications shares that viewpoint. As detailed in our previous blog, our Secure Connected Digital Experience (SCDx) proposition is helping enterprises build agile, future-ready businesses. Designed with early COVID-19 lessons in mind, the focus of SCDx has been on enhancing the employee experience (EX) and the customer experience (CX). Where else, indeed? Those are the crucial pivots around which enterprise success revolves.
In this blog we’ll examine how SCDx helps enterprises to transform into digital way of working, enabling them to deal with the threats and create opportunities that the new normal presents.
SCDx PSTN-enabled healthcare story
We’ll start with healthcare, an industry that had to adapt at the speed of thought to treat critical COVID-19 patients, while continuing to deal with other acute and chronic conditions.
“Benefiting only a tiny fraction of the population, especially in countries like India, eHealth has done little for small-town clinics or senior citizens living alone.”
A quick solution was needed, and Tata Communications has built an SCDx healthcare solution on the PSTN. Promising least fuss to connect from a home or remote set-up, no laptop, internet, or smartphone is needed. Just a handset. Playing the part of a virtual doctor’s assistant, it enables doctors and patients to instantly connect and, for example, manage appointments. People just dial a number and our solution does the rest.
This connected community solution is attracting huge volumes, growing by the day. Strong analytical tools map language preferences and medical specialisations, for example, making the interaction more effective and boosting CX. Constantly adding new features, the same model is in the process of being extended to provide stress and mental health support.
SCDx multisector solution stories
Meanwhile, key process outsourcing, consulting, and financial services segments needed to ensure data was not only accessible but also secure, with cast-iron access authorisation. With various connectivity modes to cater for, the demand was met by an SCDx solution combining vUTM (virtualised unified threat management) and managed VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) technologies. Designed for leading companies employing thousands, the solution creates a secure office-like environment at home and elsewhere, assuring professional-level EX amenities to help maintain the highest CX standards without compromising security.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, our people were required to support their clients from remote workstations,” says Service Delivery Manager at Tata Consultancy Services, Rajeswari Balaraman. “Tata Communications did a splendid job, enabling secure connections to our customers’ networks through two-factor authentication.”
“Another industry badly shaken by the pandemic is manufacturing. Struggling with social distancing, businesses were wary of reopening factories in case an infected worker triggered another shutdown.”
Now, a Tata Communications SCDx contact-tracing solution means they can make back-to-the-factory working environments safer. IoT-based, it runs analytics that identify an infected worker’s contact list. Only those few need to undergo tests, rather than shutting down the entire factory. Helping the business regrow, it also boosts EX.
As a final example, we’re engaging with retail, one of the sectors worst affected by the pandemic. Household names like Marks & Spencer in the UK are laying off thousands as customers simply fail to turn up. However, in India an innovative SCDx solution is powering remote motorcar sales. At main dealerships, ultra-HD cameras allow customers to virtually walk around and sit inside a vehicle while the salesperson demonstrates and talks through its features. The lifelike real-time CX has an incredible wow factor to it. The customer can do the deal online, with digital signatures and secure funds transfers, and 24 hours later take delivery at home. A part-exchange can be arranged in the same transaction. Similar SCDx solutions are in operation in white goods.
Thriving in this new world
Today, more than ever, change is constant. Soon, temporary changes driven by COVID-19 will become permanent, and as such innovation and agility will take the centre stage in business’ growth. We’d bet that the hybrid model of home/office-working will emerge with two or three days or more spent at home every week as a matter of routine (with some roles having a permanent setup at home or at office). Apps and infrastructure delivered in a matter of days to enable remote operation will need enhancing and integrating. Smarter companies are taking this opportunity to become more sustainable and, in so doing, diminish the negative environmental effects – for example – of commuting.
“Elsewhere, transformation will accelerate in upstream areas like raw materials and supply chains, and downstream disciplines like ecommerce and logistics.”
Data analytics and AI will not only supercharge customer service, but also support better and faster decision-making across the value chain.
“The fundamental reality is that the accelerating speed of digital means we are increasingly living in a winner-takes-all world,” concludes Kate Smaje, confirming our thoughts. “But simply going faster isn’t the answer. Rather, winning companies are investing in the tech, data, processes and people to enable speed through better decisions and faster course corrections based on what they learn.”
While this blog has focused on EX and CX, the Tata Communications’ SCDx proposition and the suite of solutions is being developed and fine-tuned to address many of the areas foreshadowed above, ranging from micromanagement apps to enterprise-wide business model change.