The best time to make major improvements to your organization is not when sales are down or the creditors are knocking on the door. Whether adding new telecom services, cloud, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) Technology Expense Management (TEM) or expanding into new geographic regions or vertical markets, a swift, proactive change can be as stimulating as it is challenging.
Successful entrepreneurs watch for positive trends and thoroughly research the latest innovations so they are fully prepared to take advantage of the next big opportunity. They adapt their business model to tackle new challenges and continually watch for better ways to run their operations, expand their customer base and build the overall value of their organization.
The extent of the transition often dictates the amount of planning that will go into making it a success. It may require a significant amount of time to properly vet each strategy, to select potential new services and suppliers, and to appropriately train your staff. Then, you have to carefully craft and implement policies and procedures to ensure it all works smoothly, from new operational, sales and support methods to accounts receivable and other service-related processes.
While tacking all those tasks could be quite taxing on any business, for a busy manager with a long list of other critical responsibilities, it can be close to impossible. How can any one person (or even a small group) transform a business without diminishing the quality of its current service operations? For many firms, the simple answer is to start with a well-developed plan based on proven industry best practices.
Start with Well-Defined Goals
There has to be a good reason for disrupting your organization and putting additional pressure on your employees and clients. No sane business manager messes with success without a good end goal. But the reasons for undertaking large transformational projects today are growing as quickly as the number of new technologies coming to market. From cloud and proactive IT services to the emerging opportunities with the IOT (Internet of Things), some firms simply can’t take full advantage of these advances without altering key processes. In some cases, it can have a significant effect on their business model.
Of course, many of the motives behind a transformation have little or nothing to do with the latest innovations in telecom or IT systems. In fact, business agility is often driven by new opportunities or to ensure the company’s very survival. The management team may seek to improve their efficiencies, increase profitability, expand services portfolios, or simply to solve more of their clients’ long-term operational concerns. While the list of reasons for undertaking an organizational makeover is limitless, some of the more common motives include:
- Market changes: can the firm provide the comprehensive support its key customers need? A vertical specialization or conversion to managed and/or cloud services may be in order.
- Competition: not as cost-effective as your rivals or do they have a more comprehensive portfolio? Aggressive ICT providers win by being proactive and changing to meet the anticipated and real needs of their customers
- Product/Service Commoditization: This is where value-add matters, as firms implement the services and solutions customers that set them apart from big box stores and direct providers.
- New Technology/Tools: moving from a product-centric model to the latest proactive services is more than a mind-shift. It often requires the transformation of the sales, support, and management processes (and personnel).
- Loss of a Key Resource: can the business thrive or even survive if a key employee is no longer there? A firm may adapt its services portfolio or its business model under these circumstances.
- Regulatory Changes: can your company help its customers comply with new laws and industry guidelines? These value-added services are typically great investments since they can help ICT firms land new customers and create additional sales opportunities with existing clients.
Does your company have the resources and the willpower needed to make the leap? Whether adding Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), TEM, cloud or other communications tools, you are already ahead of the curve. It doesn’t make business transformation simple, but with help from peers and the use of valuable resources like those offered by ETMA members, you will be equipped with what you need to succeed.