Communications-enabled business processes (CEBP) streamline existing processes within an enterprise. In part one of this Q&A, Davide Petramala, executive vice president of business development and sales at Esna Technologies Inc., goes over the basics of communications-enabled business processes. In part two, Petramala explains how enterprises can determine whether they should adopt CEBP, who is responsible for implementing CEBP and how to determine cost savings.
What are the advantages of adopting CEBP?
It's the best of both worlds: You're going to increase efficiency while at the same time lowering costs of a transaction.
executive vice president of business development and sales, Esna Technologies Inc.
Davide Petramala: The biggest advantages are cost savings in the way employees interact with internal and external resources by implementing some live collaboration. [For example, when] an order comes in, it's got a process where it has to go through some checks and balances, and it may get halted in one spot because someone doesn't know what to do with it. By having live video or voice interaction in that process, I can click on a button to see all the stakeholders [of the order], bring them into a conference call and solve the problem. I'm going to drive massive efficiency in the way I process orders. I'm going to lower my costs, increase my turnaround time and ultimately drive massive customer satisfaction by the way I respond. You're going to have a massive competitive advantage in the way you respond and process information to your organization. It's the best of both worlds: You're going to increase efficiency while at the same time lowering costs of a transaction.
Can enterprises determine return on investment (ROI) when enabling CEBP?
Petramala: The nice thing about CEBP, especially with most new technologies, is it's very much around what I call consumption technology, where you can do a per-user, per-year model. Organizations can say, 'I'm going to pilot this and I'm going to evaluate what it costs me today to process an order.' Then they can implement some technology in there and measure statistically, 'Am I processing the order quickly?' I can measure customer satisfaction ratios in terms of how I actually processed that order. You can get some real numbers on efficiencies and cost savings. Because of the per-user, per-year [model], it's so low-cost to implement this technology and test it prior to doing mass adoption.
Where are the best places enterprises can implement CEBP?
Petramala: Some of the areas [where CEBP will] have a huge impact are around customer service and marketing. Anywhere you're trying to build a connection with the consumer is a perfect area to look at early adoption of CEBP. Most people don't know this, but the iPad has a WebEx already in the device itself for customer service to call in, log in to the device and do work on it. Anything that's related to customer-facing initiatives, like marketing and customer service, that's the area where you can have the biggest, quickest return when it comes to increased customer satisfaction.
Who is responsible for implanting CEBP within an enterprise?
Petramala: The owner of that technology is the line-of-business owner. The CIO might have the vision, but the owner of that technology is typically the VP of sales, VP of marketing or VP of customer service. They're the biggest stakeholders in that initiative.
Can you explain the process of how to implement CEBP and how it integrates with the current staple of products or technologies?
Learn more about implementing CEBP in the enterprise
Getting ROI with CEBP
Measuring the effectiveness of implementing CEBP
Complexity plagues CEBP technology
Petramala: The reality of it is, [enterprises] don't take a technology and see where it fits. They take a problem, a use case, and find a technology that can solve it. If I'm using Salesforce.com for my customer service and that's the process I follow when I interact with customers, when I'm looking at a CEBP solution, I shouldn't look at something that doesn't integrate with Salesforce.com. It's going to have very little impact on my existing business process. I shouldn't have to change my whole business process to enable CEBP. It should add value to what I'm doing today.
If you look at today's organizations, no major organization is investing in desktop applications. They're all looking at SaaS [Software as a Serivce] or what I call cloud mobile-based platforms. So if you're looking at CEBP technology, you want to make sure it can adapt and integrate into cloud and mobile environments, because you're going to have even less impact. You're going to be building for how your organization was structured yesterday versus where it's going tomorrow.
It's one of two things: It's looking at the environment you have, which is typically Web- or cloud-based applications, [and] environments people are using, which is not just a traditional Windows desktop. It could be virtual environments, mobile environments, [or] browser implementation of the way you interact with customers. Then you need to find a technology [that] can integrate and support those environments or those applications you're using.