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Capturing the Full Potential of the Enterprise

Nimesh Shah
Monday, June 6, 2011
Nimesh Shah
The challenges faced by businesses today are not all that different than the challenges of 50 years ago — pressures to increase revenue, reduce cost, improve productivity, and innovate to address evolving customer needs remain constant through generations. How companies address those challenges and the pace with which they must respond, however, has dramatically changed.

Competitive advantage can be fleeting as information and ideas move through the market literally at the speed of light. Social networking has enabled and empowered consumers and provided a global forum for instantaneous feedback. The term “new and improved” has lost its impact when the market expects constant improvement and innovation. For businesses, the game is the same, but the environment in which we play is not.

Companies that can harness and leverage the energy of the new market realities will be rewarded. Doing so requires they successfully navigate three important hurdles: they must have well defined, flexible and responsive business processes, they must wisely incorporate new technology to accelerate those processes and leverage the power of their employees, and they must raise the collective IQ of the company. This is not an all inclusive recipe for success, but it does represent the best practices of the companies we have seen successfully meet today’s challenges.

Across industry verticals we have seen the efficiency of business process emerge as a key competitive differentiator. Well defined, well executed, and nimble processes allow for accelerated revenue recognition, improved customer experience, and reduced cost. In these companies, the processes are architected and aligned to support key business objectives. There is also a focus on continuous evaluation and redesign to ensure that alignment is maintained. If the process does not meet the business objectives it is reworked or entirely rebuilt. Clinging to processes that are cumbersome or based on systems limitations detracts from potential success and distracts the work force.

Forward thinking companies are now focused on how they can leverage technology to further enable and accelerate their business processes. The effective use and integration of unified communications and collaboration technologies, for example, with nimble, purposeful business processes is opening new avenues to business success. In one example, we saw a client reduce decision cycle time by having the ability to quickly locate subject matter experts, organize a web conference, and reach a decision — from a single application integrated within the unified communications infrastructure. Having availability and contact information easily accessible and an ability to reach participants regardless of location was critical to meeting the reduced timeline.

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