Zero Distance: Getting Closer to the Customer
With Cloud technology becoming more and more central and critical to the day-to-day operations of business, the need for clear guidance and understanding, both in technical terminology and customer service strategy is becoming greater than ever. Decision-makers are no longer allowed the time to review and digest new developments and trends over days and weeks, or to turn to focus groups for answers. Change happens now, and if a company is not fully on-board, a customer might just leave for the more up-to-date competitor across the street.
This is the reason for a new solution centre called ZeroDistance – a collaboration between CIO.com magazine and technology experts T-Systems. Making reference to the Gartner Group’s principle of disruptive technologies, ZeroDistance highlights the reality of today’s marketplace, that “while established retailers file for bankruptcy, newcomers [have] generated billions of dollars in revenue.” The reality behind such a statement is that agility, innovation and real-time connection to the marketplace are essential. In other words, there must be zero distance between you and your customer.
Nested within the CIO.com family of web pages, ZeroDistance offers white papers, infographics and expert commentary on how any organization can completely eliminate the gap between themselves and their clients through careful and strategic use of cloud technologies. Information is divided into three key silos: Cloud/Big Data, Collaboration and Mobility, each of which offers insights into concepts such as “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) and collaboration tools in the Workplace, as well as larger concepts such as how big data can hep retailers take advantage of mobile technologies that customers hold in their hands.
One of its most intriguing showcases is the “Total Airport Management” concept, presented as a large infographic, which highlights the need for companies to react quickly to be able to offer their customers superior service. The infographic demonstrates how multiple stakeholders can be connected by the IT system to share important information such as flight delays, quickly and unambiguously. This is obviously a common concern in the airport management business, and the infographic demonstrates just how possible it is to become more successful by improving the communications and decision-making processes, and by establishing ‘zero distance’ between customers and employees.
The Learning Center provides case studies and interviews with organizations that have already embraced both a zero-distance customer philosophy and a close relationship with IT, such as the German bank ING-DiBa. According to Marketing Head Birgit Spors, the ING-DiBa business model is so simple it can fit “on a beer coaster.” The bank maintains a highly symbiotic relationship between marketing and IT, which allows for a greater degree of automation and technical excellence that is completely customer-focused.
The ZeroDistance website demonstrates very clearly the major sea-change that has happened in the business world, where the IT department now becomes a key strategic enabler, rather than just the mechanics who lurk in the back rooms; and how real-time acceptance of change and continuous improvement are at the heart of any company’s future.
Sponsored by T-Systems and the Zero Distance community
By Steve Prentice
Steve Prentice is a project manager, writer, speaker and expert on productivity in the workplace, specifically the juncture where people and technology intersect. He is a senior writer for CloudTweaks.