Are you missing opportunities for digital transformation?

digital generations

As you already know if you are reading this, Express is a telephony company. But we are so much more than that. Ever since that time in the 1990s when the World Wide Web started squeezing its data down the lines alongside voice calls, it has been vital the telephone providers understand the wider implications of technology. The evolution from telephony to telecommunications has had profound implications for Express, as it has for many others in this space.

One of the impacts of this change is that our customers have altered the way they view our services. If it all comes down the same line (or occasionally over the airwaves), why shouldn’t we deal with all of it? It has become increasingly obvious to our customers that, in most cases, the telephone systems that we provide, and the excellent service we always aim to deliver, are potentially undermined by the technology that underpins them. This is why Express has diversified in recent years into the direct provision of internet services as well as into IT support. The more of the related services which are under our control, the more our customers can be sure that we will be working hard to make sure everything works as well as it can, all of the time.

For us, the next stage of this approach is to help our customers understand the full power of the technology they have at their command. For example, we’ve recently been negotiating to supply a telephone system to a school. We were very keen to work with them to bring to bear our knowledge of how technology can enhance the learning experience. We found this to be a frustrating experience, however, mainly because of the way organisations make purchasing decisions. As far as the school was concerned, it was buying a telephone system, just that; no more, no less. And that’s how many organisations operate. They make isolated purchases, instead of stepping back and taking a more strategic view of how those resources might be used to secure widespread change. And in the light of my previous post about digital transformation, it really is time for all involved in such purchasing decisions to consider the implications for the future of their business. Telephony does not exist in a vacuum, and in the modern, digital, world that is more apparent than ever.

Take the school case as an example. We had hoped to interest them in utilising our services to deploy interactive technologies throughout the campus to enhance teaching and learning. A key problem we encountered was that the people we were dealing with didn’t have a mandate to look beyond the installation of a telephone system. At Express we believe passionately in ensuring that young people have the skills and resources they need to thrive in the digital economy. But, from an organisational perspective, this illustrates the key issue about digital technologies which many have still to grasp; that digital is about business transformation, not about IT.

Digital is no longer about making sure your staff have a functioning laptop, or even a smartphone they can read their emails on. It is about how your organisation operates; whether is a modern, flexible business where people want to spend their time, either as staff or as customers, and that is in tune with its markets. This includes being ready constantly to check whether its business is likely to be disrupted by the next Amazon or Uber, and that it is actively seeking out innovation in the way it works.

And the other fact about digital is that it is mainly about people. Yes, it is great for automating processes, but it really makes a difference when it impacts on people’s lives and makes their daily existence run more smoothly. And the opposite is true, if your people are using technologies which are slow, illogical, and make their lives more difficult.

Our school colleagues haven’t taken up the option of working with us on introducing the latest technologies across their organisation. We fervently hope that other opportunities will arise to address this agenda as we think that today’s young people need to benefit from the best and the most up-to-date technologies available.

The next time you have a decision to make about purchasing a telephone system, or any piece of tech, really, that might just be the time to step back and consider if this is an opportunity to make the digital transformation your organisation needs. And perhaps that moment needs to be sooner rather than later. Before your Amazon or Uber gets there first. Please get in touch if we can help you with this kind of issue.


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