The best time for digital transformation – how to prepare for it?
Courage but not bravery is one of the most important success factors in the approach to digital transformation – highlighted by industry experts during the webinar “How to earn MILLIONS with less than 50 people on board?”, co-hosted by Enxoo, Nexera, and Salesforce. So when is the best time to start?
In a constantly changing business environment, transformation is inevitable. “You have to start here and now. And it is less a question of when, and probably more of how,” says Artur Ostrowski, CCO at Enxoo.
“In the past, it was enough to offer cable to attract customers who were ready to wait for the installation and had a lot of patience in receiving the quality of service. But telecommunications has changed significantly over the last decade. B2C customers are used to that everything can be done from within the application, with one click and immediately, so they don’t see any reason why things should be done differently in the telecommunications industry. And these customer experiences – simple, easy, quick – translate into the requirements that the telecommunications industry must meet. The situation is even more complicated in the B2B area,” emphasized A. Ostrowski.
First, a vision
“From my point of view, observing different customers and transformations in different markets, it is worth having a vision – a long-term goal of where we want to reach. It is also worth having an idea for it from the architectural side, but at a very high level. It is not worth waiting to dismantle this idea into the smallest screws, but it is good to take small steps, start with them, teach the organization not to be afraid of change, observe, and look at how much these steps bring us closer to the vision, to the goal, not to be afraid to change decisions where it is needed, but successively pursue the goal,” said Artur Ostrowski. He added: “In our part of Europe we have a huge tendency to do everything ourselves, instead of focusing on the areas that we do best and entrusting others to partners who know about them and can further accelerate our digital transformation.”
“It would be careless to throw the whole business, unprepared into a new model, without having a certain vision or an idea of how to do it sequentially. It would be courageous to make a decision to implement your vision and have a certain plan for it, and if the situation requires it, make difficult decisions, but also be prepared in the way that Artur talked about. If I see that I need a partner to implement this vision, I bravely make the decision to go there, but with someone who will help me go this path without big problems,” said Paweł Biarda, CCO at Nexera.
Courage and partnership
“In 2017, we did not have any millions, any network, but we knew that we had to prepare for this huge scale and that we also had a great chance to prepare the entire model, operational activity in such a way as to automate as many things as possible and have the smallest possible team on board. We decided to automate everything that we can and outsource areas that need to be done manually, but in such a way that our partners can also carry out automatic processes with us. It was a vision. We started looking for a partner who would help us realize this vision because the BSS / OSS system – the heart of every telecom business – must also be very effective,” said P. Biarda.
“We were looking for a partner who would go with us a little bit into the unknown. A partner who is not afraid of a challenge, and who – maybe if we go into a blind alley – will take us back 3 steps and go the other way. We found such a partner in Enxoo who implemented its solution, based on Salesforce, which today allows us to handle several hundred of thousand orders per month, send them through our entire environment to our partners, receive messages, and communicate automatically with dozens of operators through a super modern Open API solution. We are able to do all this with a small team, just because we have such a well-prepared and effectively prepared solution,” added P. Biarda.
“Nexera had this vision, but very often we talk to customers who admit that they didn’t have that vision from the beginning. This is our great role and the role of Enxoo – as an implementation partner to advise clients using previous experience, and in Salesforce we have a use case for almost every possible scenario,” emphasized Michał Lazarowicz, the moderator from Salesforce, responsible for the CEE ESMB market for several leading industries such as telecommunications, manufacturing and financial services.
Motivations for Transformation
According to the panelists, the motivations for transformation may be very different, from the simplest types of the need to replace the current technology with another due to the loss of existing support for it through to the need of creating operational efficiency and automation of certain processes. There is also a barrier to the scalability of manual work, where at some point automation becomes the only solution.
“If we had not consistently implemented the idea of process automation, automatic communication with operators, I do not know if we would be able to carry out our business at this scale today, because it cannot be done manually,” said P. Biarda. “You can imagine that people would pick up orders by e-mail and enter them into Excel or other similar systems and forward them by e-mail, on a scale of 2-3, maybe 10 orders per month. However at the current scale of business, we have today, and we want to grow, I can’t imagine it. This team would have to be several dozen times larger, but that would make no sense,” he added.
Another type of efficiency is one that allows you to improve the profitability of certain activities, either by removing certain cost components or by accessing data that allows you to make better decisions.
“One of the motivations behind digital transformation is the ability to aggregate data consistently and in an easy way so that you can make better business decisions,” said A. Ostrowski.
The last element is building a new offer, i.e. a new value proposition and positioning in a changing market. “Innovation is necessary today and is part of the telecommunications market today. On the other hand, the ability to innovate quickly, one that allows you to test different ideas and withdraw from ideas and invest in those that will work – is also something for which we need a certain platform that will provide adequate flexibility for this type of innovation,” explained A. Ostrowski.
“At Salesforce, we are able to provide measurable statistics that relate to how this efficiency grows and whether it is efficiency related to the management of typical B2B processes, as is the case with Nexera. Very often, at this level of decision-making, we focus on a problem that we want to solve, and we forget about the whole process of how to solve this problem,” emphasized M. Lazarowicz.
Companies that decide to transform, first of all, strive to improve their efficiency and achieve their strategic goals. The most important factors during transformation are courage and openness to changes, the ability to quickly respond to the changing needs of the market environment, and a flexible approach to creating new solutions to meet rising customer demands.
There are also several quantifiable indicators of business success resulting from the transformation. For example, the improvement of the gross margin, multiplied by the turnover, gives a measurable level of savings. Or shortening the response time to customer inquiries and implementing a new offer or service in a much shorter time.
In the process of transformation, it is worth having a goal and defining the first steps that will allow you to have quick results. This, at the same time, will start to build a culture of change in the organization and show employees that this change is important and not as difficult as it might seem.