Building the Platform to Power Experience as a Service

Today marks my one-year anniversary with Genesys.

On this day one year ago, one of the news headlines was that Amazon planned to open a brick-and-mortar liquor store in San Francisco. Just one year later, as we enter our fifth month of the global COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in physical locations for businesses around the world being shut down, businesses and consumers are rushing to digital for their everyday lives.  COVID-19 has ushered in what calls “the third digital gold rush” stating “the power of digital isn’t only our saving grace during COVID, it’s the foundation of a pandemic-proof business going forward.”

More than ever, CIOs need to empower their CEOs and business stakeholders with an IT strategy that’s modern and flexible enough to handle the demands of a digital world — and cost-effectively as the world grapples with the economic fallout from the COVID crisis.

I’d like to share the five-step approach I’m implementing with our IT strategy at Genesys.

The first step is to build a strong business and IT partnership using an empathetic approach. Empathy is a core tenet of the Genesys Experience as a ServiceSM vision. We believe that empathy — the ability to stand in another person’s shoes and understand their point of view — is fundamental to business success because empathy builds trust — and trust builds loyalty.  We’re leveraging our partnership across business functions to not only drive a robust IT support model but, at the same time, enable and accelerate our digital transformation by building, integrating and provisioning solutions for the future.

Second, understand our current enterprise landscape and defining/designing an enterprise architecture for the future. A defined architecture provides clarity around current IT asset investments, gap areas, duplication, inefficiencies and investments needed to get us to a robust future architecture. This holistic view makes it much easier to manage our future asset investments versus the chaos of micromanaging a myriad of ad hoc systems and applications.

Third, take a portfolio approach to managing IT. We’re looking at IT investments as a portfolio of work that can be prioritized and managed. Although IT isn’t a line of business at Genesys, we are starting to manage IT as a business with a governance model, a budget, and a roadmap with set deliverables and metrics (or KPIs).

Fourth, industrialize services, infrastructure and security. This simply means ensuring your services and infrastructure are robust enough to not only manage current needs but also to scale up and support unexpected business changes and future growth trajectories. One example has been our ability to easily migrate and scale our infrastructure and collaboration needs as our workforce became remote in March with COVID-19.

One of the ways we industrialize our services is by using our own technology and gaining customer feedback.

Telus recently transitioned to the Genesys Cloud™ platform as the contact center application for providing Genesys internal IT support. Our flexible cloud solution performed beautifully when stress-tested during COVID. Between March 1 -16, the IT support team had a huge spike in requests and was able to resolve more than 2,300 phone calls and emails with a 73% quick resolution rate — all while customer support agents had transitioned from call centers to work-from-home. The customer feedback has been very positive. “Now that we’re in this crisis, it allows our team members to access the tool anywhere and still deliver service to Genesys employees from the comfort of our home,” said our Telus customer.

Finally, build an IT organization with the skills for the future that can drive innovation. Of course, this means building a team with the technical skills and aptitude to stay ahead of the tsunami of new technologies that continue to come our way. It also means building a team with the collaboration skills and business acumen required to build partnerships with our stakeholders across the business — from Sales to Finance to Marketing to HR — and work together to solve their business needs.

Looking back on this first year, I’ve learned that it’s important to implement changes at a pace that the organization and the company culture can absorb. As CIO, the architecture and solutions we provide are the lifeline of businesses today. Moving more quickly than the culture can adapt creates unnecessary angst for the team.

And looking ahead, now that we have these five foundational elements in place, my second year is about bringing our Experience as a Service vision to life for our employees and our customers. We want our customers to have a seamless technology experience in how they perform their day-to-day jobs and we want to be easy to do business with for our customers.