TSIA Webinar: Yes! Unlocking Customer Insights Can Deliver Real ROI



For companies on a digital transformation journey, data has become the new currency.

It is vital that organizations are able to rapidly unlock their stored information and release organizational intelligence in order to improve decision-making and drive the business forward.

Bringing all of your customer, operational, and financial data together can provide meaningful, impactful insights for every team, whether it be sales, service delivery, finance, or customer service. But after starting down the path, recent industry research found that almost 70% of digital transformation initiatives fail to achieve their intended results.

In this session, you will hear a panel of experts share their experiences of digital transformation, strategies for success, and advice for others. You will learn:

  • The importance of seamless business processes on a common technology platform.
  • The role of data to enable better decision making.
  • The potential offered by more advanced analytical tools, such as trends, predictions, and recommended next-best actions.
  • The ROI and other business benefits that can be gained through unlocking customer insights.

Vanessa Lucero: Hello everyone and welcome to today’s webinar. Yes! Unlocking customer insights can deliver real ROI brought to you by Technology and Services Industry Association and sponsored by Certinia.

My name is Vanessa Lucero and I’ll be your moderator for today.

Before we get started I’d like to go over a few housekeeping items. Today’s webinar will be recorded. A link to the recording of today’s presentation will be sent to you within 24 hours via email. Audio will be delivered via streaming.

All attendees will be in listen-only mode and your webinar controls, including volume, are found in the toolbar at the bottom of the webinar player.

Lastly, we encourage your comments and questions. If you think of a question for the presenters at any point, please submit through the ask a question box on the top left corner of the webinar player and we will open it up for a verbal Q&A portion at the end of today’s session.

I would now like to introduce our presenters today:
John Ragsdale, distinguished Vice President of Technology Research for TSIA.

Arun Changamveetil, Senior Director of Enterprise Architecture for Salesforce.

Ferny Bengali, Digital Transformation and Strategy Executive for Cordoba Solutions Group

And Suzanne Lesser, Learning & Development Consultant for CLD Partners.

As with all of our TSIA webinars, we have a lot of exciting content to cover in the next 45 minutes so let’s jump right in and get started.

John over to you.

John Ragsdale: Well, thank you Vanessa. Hello everyone and welcome to our webinar today.

We’re going to be having an interactive panel discussion among these three experts who joined us today and we’re going to be talking about digital transformation, some of the roadblocks that companies are hitting along the way and the importance of keeping the customer in the center of that transformation.

It involves a lot of people and process and definitely technology and sometimes we say that we’re all building all of our processes around the customer but that’s not necessarily the case.

So what is digital transformation? I’ve got a pretty generic kind of Wikipedia definition here but we’re going to be hearing from our panelists and a little more detail of what it means to them.

But, in general, it’s typically looking at different ways that technology can automate and improve processes, performance for companies, and it’s incorporating elements such as cloud computing, the internet of things, AI, big data.

So, we teased in the abstract for today this quote from Boston Consulting Group that 70%
of digital transformations fall short of their objectives.

I actually just had an interview with BCG last week about robotic process automation and, certainly, there is huge potential but we’re not always realizing that potential and we’re gonna be talking today about some of the common problems for that.

One more quote I wanted to share, and this is from MIT Sloan Initiative, when digital transformation is done right it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly and when it’s done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar.

I can tell you one of the problems I see is that people are focusing on the digital part and not on the transformation part. I’m seeing companies spending time and money automating processes that probably have been in place for a decade or more and they’re not really
taking that opportunity to transform the way they do business as part of that journey.

I’d like to bring our speakers, our panelists, into the conversation now and I’m hoping each of you will take a moment and introduce yourself.

Tell us a little bit about what you do. Arun, first up. Welcome to the webinar.

Arun Changamveetil: Thank you, John, appreciate it. And hello everybody. Good morning,
good afternoon and good evening to you all, based on wherever you are.

I’m Arun Changamveetil. I lead the enterprise architecture team here at Salesforce.

My team and my organization’s charter is to help our customers realize the digital
vision. We are on the customer team and we work with our most strategic customers globally to align with their digital vision, digital outcome and talk about how do we bring it to life and how do we look at it through the lens of a journey capability, roadmap, business value, are they possible, all that stuff.

So, happy to be here. Thank you, John.

John Ragsdale: Well, Arun, thanks for joining us. This is your first time on a TSIA webinar. We’re very happy to have you.

Our next panelist. Ferny, joined us back in December for a webinar we did on three
trends in service delivery. So, Ferny, welcome back, would you introduce yourself
to the audience?

Ferny Bengali: Thanks, John. My name is Ferny Bengali. I am a managing partner at Cordova Solutions Group and I’ve been working in the digital transformation space for about 20 years. I’ve strategically helped companies get to what their vision should be and then
help operationalized that vision.

John Ragsdale: Thanks, Ferny. And our final panelist is Suzanne. Suzanne, you were with us pretty recently back in March talking about the growth opportunities for professional services. So, welcome back and could you quickly introduce yourself to the audience?

Suzanne Lesser: Thanks, John. It’s nice to be here again. My name is Suzanne Lesser and I lead up Learning and Development for CLD Partners.

We are an implementation partner for Certinia. In my role here in Learning and Development, I work with a professional services team. But prior to that I spent about 15 years working with professional services as a consultant myself.

John Ragsdale: Fantastic. Well I want to dive right in with our questions and I opened with a pretty generic example of what digital transformation means. But I know it means a lot of things to a lot of people and different things to different companies.

Arun, could we start with you? What does digital transformation mean to you? And are there some experiences you could share with us?

Arun Changamveetil: Thank you, John. So I was thinking about this for the weekend while I was taking a walk with my family. We got a trail behind my house, so we got the dog, the kids, you know, it’s a journey, right? So I want to bring a parallel correlation here. Digital transformation is a journey. It’s not a destination. Most people think that it’s a destination.
And then, you know, set false expectations.

So let’s just break this thing down further. Right? Let’s unpack it. So there there there’s three mindsets in this journey.

One is optimize. Second one is evolve, and third one is transcend. So let’s take the optimize, right? So optimize is all about, “How do you
optimize their existing business?” Right, urgent, tactical imperatives like cost reduction is a big part of it. So that’s the most tactical lens of looking at it.

The second one is in the middle, which is the evolve part, which is all about “How do you put the customer in the center of business?” Right. So it’s all very customer-centric.

Then the third one is transcend, which is all about “How do you create value in new ways?”

Covid has impacted every single one of us in interesting ways. We’re all in the middle of figuring out what is that new value creation? What is that new digital model? Right. For example, working with a large furniture, a manufacturer in the United States and
Covid has really destroyed their business model. They were relying heavily on distributors and now the whole industrial office culture is disrupted.

So what is a new way for them? How do they engage with their customers? Right. How
do they sell to their customers? So it’s all about finding new ways.

I talked about runaway, I talked about evolved and I talked about transcend. Right? So those are the two ones in there already are really optimizing. In evolve, you’re talking about putting the customer in the middle of everything and transcend your finding new ways, new business.

So with that in mind, there are five customer-centric, digital transformation disciplines that one should keep in mind when we are understanding this journey.
One is around how you make decisions, right?
The second one is how do you engage customers?
Third one is how you work.
The fourth one is how do you embrace technology?
And fifth, is how do you serve society.

So these are important disciplines. For example, how do you make decisions? It’s about, you know, anticipating, having the sense, responding quickly.

How do you engage customers? Is around customer-centricity around your business processes and how and experience.

How do you work is around the whole notion of future work where, everything is remote, this whole remoteness of it. How do you align your teams in this remote world? How do you do manufacturing?

For example, we talked about companies like Volkswagen and Ford moving 100,000 employees or more. So how do you work with this new manner?

Right. And then the fourth one is around “how do you embrace technology,” right? Everything is digital first. But also there is a notion of ethical design. Right? So how does that fit in here? And then the last one is “how do you serve society?” I mean we live in an important era where we are experiencing important generational, societal changes and our own environmental, or social and our own government. So business is a platform for change.
So how do you bring that? A few years back, normally, CIO and CEO have talked about all these things. Now, every CEO is talking about this. Right? So these are some of the important and interesting disciplines around digital transformation.

Bottom line is that it is a journey and you’ve got to have a mindset and you’ve got to have these disciplines while embarking on this journey.

John Ragsdale: Well that was a much better definition than mine, so I’m gonna steal yours for the next time somebody asks me.
Suzanne, can we go to you, do you have any quick thoughts on adding to Arun’s insight about digital transformation?

Suzanne Lesser: So as I mentioned during my introduction, I’m learning and development. So my perspective is a little different from Arun. When I think about digital transformation, it’s about the change management and the training that needs to happen. Even with change management, when I talk about that, it’s not necessarily the process which are really covered, right? That’s what’s going to happen organically. But the organizational change.

I find that clients start these big transformation projects and they put communications and end-user training at the bottom of their chipping list. At CLD, we make sure that when our clients are making these transformations to a single platform, we put training up front. We put communication plans starting from day one. So we want to make sure that everyone is communicating as soon as the project starts.

Because, normally, what happens, if you don’t, people start to talk on day one of your project and it becomes this great big game of telephone. Someone hears what’s happening on the project and they share it with a colleague. But suddenly it’s distorted and the information spreads and its the wrong information. The more distorted it becomes, the more you have this group of people who aren’t involved in a project who already hate the technology and they hate this transformation, right?

And so we work with our clients to make sure that they are looking at change management in terms of the communication right? We want to make sure that everyone understands what’s coming and why it’s coming. We want to make sure that there’s management support and awareness. That managers are sending out regular communications to their team. That the project team provides a forum to ask end-users, for end-users to ask questions, and even to demo the new system as soon as they can. This gets your entire organization on the same page and they understand the benefits of the technology before they really even started to use it.

Then once they go live, we want to make sure that everyone who’s gonna be touching the system or is even affected by the system gets end-user training, right? This makes sure that everyone knows how to use it and how it’s going to make their job easier and how it will free up their time so they can focus on the customers, right?

So from my perspective when we talk about digital transformation, that’s what I mean, right? How are you communicating out with your clients? How are you making sure that everyone is going to get trained when you go live?

John Ragsdale: I couldn’t agree more. And I’ve done a lot of workshops on that exact topic and it’s so critical that every employee and every customer, knows what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, what the benefit is to the employee, what the benefit is to the customer. And if you don’t set that map up you’re kind of doomed from the beginning.

So before the next question, Ferny what are your thoughts on what digital transformation means?