In the quest to accelerate growth and become ever more efficient, businesses and communications service providers of all sizes are plowing ahead with three related (but distinct) sets of initiatives that together get lumped into the most overused (and perhaps misunderstood) buzzwords: Digital Transformation – it’s so over-used, you’d think marketing agencies had a quota which requires them to use this word formation an inordinate number of times.
These initiatives can broadly be categorized as follows:
- Data Digitalization. The first and requisite step is having machine-readable, structured data that can be referenced across the organization in a homogeneous way. A “single source of truth”, if you will, for each set of business-critical data. Relational databases are the foundation of this movement (while excel worksheets, word documents and power point presentations are useful for individuals, they are not ubiquitously accessible or readily referenceable by the broader organization).
- Process Automation. With structured data comes the ability to streamline processes, eliminate data entry duplication and have a step-function acceleration of impacted processes. Adding a workflow engine and machine-to-machine API feeds has the potential to eliminate “swivel chair” process and drastically reduce “fat finger” errors that lead to rework and delays. It also can take a process from months or weeks to days or minutes (depending on the degree of human intervention still required to complete the intervening steps).
- Transaction Enablement. While most consumer brands have enabled some degree of eCommerce, many B2B providers still struggle selling products and services electronically. Often times the web portal is a veneer for an unwieldy mess of email-driven manual processes. Ultimately, businesses aspire to frictionless transactions underpinned by process automation.
While a select few businesses have mastered all three categories, many struggle implementing one or more of these initiatives. A big challenge is the data itself. Years, sometime decades, of manual processes are a fertile breeding ground for data inaccuracies, dated records, duplication and inconsistencies across systems. Without clean data you can trust, it is difficult to automate, let alone enable customer self-service.
At Axcent we know that getting you and your teams ready for automation starts with data integrity. We specialize in billing and inventory reconciliation and our fully managed teams are ready to step-in to help clean-up inaccurate and incomplete inventory data, setting a solid foundation for your company’s digital transformation (there, we said it!).