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Enterprise 2.0 and the Voice of the Customer

Customer - Product Development Collboration

Enterprise 2.0
The concept of Enterprise 2.0 is quickly emerging. We are seeing exclusive conferences from industry leaders on the idea of Enterprise 2.0 to educate the traditional enterprise in adopting the latest collaboration and social business technologies.

Enterprise 2.0 is defined as extending the traditional enterprise with enhanced collaboration enabled by a new generation of social media tools, so that enterprises collaborate and share information between customers, vendors and employees. This will result in a real-time gratification of results so that all the parties involved benefit and the customers will benefit the most.

However, this concept can be best understood if the use cases of the traditional enterprises have been explained in the context of Enterprise 2.0 so that the level of agility brought by the social enterprise is clearly visible.

Connecting Customer Voice with Product Development - Traditional
Traditionally large manufacturing enterprises have closely guarded the product development process; however, the product development needs to understand the issues the customer faces on the products that are in the market so that the next versions are enhanced. The following diagram explains how the traditional enterprise connects with their customers and how the customer's voice is incorporated into the product design.

  • Customer concerns are gathered in the form of various ‘voice of customer' inputs and warranty claim information and they reach back to the enterprise
  • The information reaches in batch mode inside the enterprise and the information is validated to fit into the structured data model as in the staging database
  • Once the customer complains and the grievances are converted into a structured data format, they are further classified and mapped to various categories of problems
  • The transformed data is further loaded into Quality Data Marts
  • Once the information is available inside Quality Data Marts, various reports and dash boards are created to convey the voice of customer information to the product development teams, and sales and marketing teams
  • Optionally if the customer complaint is about a particular vendor part, then this information will reach the part vendor too

The Issues with Traditional Enterprise Process in Dealing with the Voice of the Customer

  • Batch processes bring latency in getting the voice of customer and the delays are generally costly as most businesses miss their chance in understanding the customer sentiments and reacting late will cost the business heavily.
  • Data is captured as a structured data at the source, which means the real sentiments of the customers are lost in most cases, for example, if the customer needs to fill in a form in a repair center, and if the data validations reject the compliant forms with incomplete data, in most situations we may miss the relevant feelings of the customer
  • Internal enterprise departments like product development teams never get a direct view of customer feedback, rather what is really formatted by the systems is provided in the form of dashboards.

Connecting Customer Voice with Product Development - Enterprise 2.0
While the traditional way of connecting with customers has been working in enterprises for the past several years, as from the above points it is clear that it's not perfect and there are gaps in the way enterprises can interpret customer feedback.

Let's analyze the use case in the Enterprise 2.0 scenario.

  • As explained in the diagram, interacting with the customer through the social media and direct collaboration options of Web 2.0 world takes prominence in getting the voice of customer
  • The traditional enterprise data warehouse that maintains the strategic entities still has a place, however, this is extended with the social media information generated directly by the customer
  • New generation frameworks like Hadoop, which can utilize the high performance parallel processing options to analyze the unstructured information that is part of social media, into an extended data warehouse
  • Internal departments of Enterprise 2.0 like product development teams get the customer feedback in real time and much faster decisions can be taken on the product development front.

The major advantages of this approach in Enterprise 2.0 are:

  • No latency and real-time analysis of customer data result in immediate gratification of results to the product development team
  • Allowing the processing of unstructured data as it is enables more information to be generated from the source systems and no important communication is missed out as in structured data gathering approach
  • Various teams like product development teams, part vendors can communicate with each other directly

Summary
Enterprise 2.0 is all about effectively fitting the newer generation of social media tools into the traditional enterprise processes, which should help the enterprise to better collaborate with its customers and vendors towards improving the business value of enterprises.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).