Service is the new platform

  • Customers and employees expect the same sub-second responses as consumers.

  • Companies are judged not only by how good a decision is, but how fast it's made.

  • Provider services can help organizations face the forces of change.

Years ago, when outsourcing IT services to a provider, the raw power, availability, and throughput of a hardware platform were the primary decision factors in choosing a vendor. Today, service is the new platform. The services surrounding a provider’s infrastructure–from implementing, optimizing, and mobilizing applications to integrating vast data sources–are what make the difference.

Playing catch up with customer demands

Today, consumers have significantly altered how they want to engage and interact with businesses. This digital transformation has shaped your customers’ and employees’ expectations; they want the same sub-second responses from the enterprise world. Companies are now being judged not only by how good a decision is, but how fast it can be made. And with a negative comment about your products or services only a quick click away, delaying a meaningful or engaging reply can cause your business to be seen as unresponsive.

Technology is now moving at an unprecedented pace. Given the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, there are thousands of mobile devices to manage. And increasing cybercrime and outdated software leave many enterprise IT departments operating in catch-up mode. They’re expected to turn on a dime but often lack the resources or time to keep pace.

The right provider can help by taking a service-oriented approach. For example, an educational institution intent on speeding the registration experience may rely on a provider to manage the behind-the-scenes systems that drive that process. But a service-oriented provider can also design, engineer, tune, and test your applications to accelerate registration for a generation of students who expect immediate gratification from their interactions with you.

Creating a single view of the customer

While many enterprises have standardized their technology platforms over the last decade, the goals were primarily to control costs and improve cross-company communications. Today a new goal exists: Leveraging data to create a single, integrated, accurate, holistic — and meaningful — view of the customer.

Companies in a variety of industries are working toward this goal. By having a more complete picture of what happens within the walls of a venue, a retailer can identify the drivers behind purchases and non-purchases, or make changes to displays in-store, to engage customers and impact sales. And brick-and-mortar retailers can leverage customer data to compete with online retailers.

The right service provider can provide the integration expertise needed to capture and analyze customer data across touch points, which can help retailers and others re-architect the customer experience.

Changing roles and expectations

As you consider the role a service provider can play in your future, elevate the conversation beyond the speeds of a hardware platform. It’s the services and the experiences beyond that platform that can help your business navigate the digital transformation and the changing customer expectations it brings.

Learn how the right AT&T application service provider can serve your organization’s needs.

The Networking Exchange Blog Team About NEB Team