Most companies have a storied history of legacy and evolution with their on-premise ERP investments, marked by decades of trusted data, operational visibility, and connected processes. But as technology options grow, many CIOs struggle to keep up with demands of today’s hyperconnected customer within the constraints of their legacy ERP systems. Sometimes, there are decades of operational data to manage, while the business demands a modern system of engagement. The CIO even knows the significant investment in these new systems is validated with increased adoption and improved customer experience.
Unfortunately, these companies have been running on legacy ERP for decades. Their entire business is processed through this ERP. All their financial results are dependent on this ERP. Although the history is what makes it less dynamic, it is still the heart of their digital transformation, which is bringing considerable risk to future growth especially in an era of increasing demand for frictionless customer experiences.
Finding business resilience in an era of massive disruption
Take, for example, companies that rely on the SAP to run their business in the back-end and a cloud-based Salesforce solution as a system of engagement. Without a doubt, this CRM technology is easy to use and eliminates much of the friction typical in user interfaces. However, the value of those user experiences cannot be fully revealed without access to the complex back-end systems that are the core of the enterprise. SAP has dominated the market for decades streamlining complex business processes for the enterprise. However, bringing the relevant data from these complex systems, that are deeply integrated within the enterprise, to those responsible for delivering the perfect customer experience is not easy. Instead, decision makers are forced to use a rear-view mirror to generate insights and guide actions.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I drive a car just looking in my rear-view mirror, three things happen: my speed is slower, wrong turns are made, and disruptive accidents keep me from moving forward. The same is the case when running a business. When CRM intelligence is not augmented by data the moment it’s captured, employees cannot navigate appropriate actions in the context of the customer situation, which may be anything from pricing negotiations to inquiries about delivery status.
Every employee – regardless of role, responsibility, and seniority, must have predictive, proactive insight that can help address customer needs and deliver on brand promises. When they leverage information in real time, issues are resolved faster, questions are answered completely, and recommendations for complementary offerings are more accurate. For the business, this advantage is more than just generating another sale, but also gaining a competitive edge as a first mover in the industry. It becomes part of the perception with which your brand is associated. Is it innovative or slow?
At the root of this level of market resilience is what I call owning the “heart” of the business. By integrating operational data (O data) in the back end with customer experience data (X data) in the front end, companies can form a digital core of intelligence and allow that data to enable interactions that can match B2C-like expectations for speed and accuracy. Before long, traditionally hidden ERP data emerges to the surface in real time through deployed applications such as Salesforce – and it can be done while avoiding the need for middleware such as a cloud platform integration service (but I’ll save that for another blog.)
For our customers, the outcomes of this strategy are stunning. They not only access readily available data in real time, but also bridge the gap between their business objectives and the digital transformation needed to build, sustain, and refine a competitive advantage. And more importantly, they gain the freedom to virtualize use-case scenarios to experiment and deliver frictionless circumstances and desired outcomes that their company needs, their employees demand, and their consumers want.
In my next blog, we will explore the secrets to “owning the heart” of your business, and how this strategic approach is helping enosiX customers uncover a new world of opportunities to succeed.