Collision of Titans

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Collision of Titans

As the hype would have you believe, the world is moving to the cloud. Well, it is happening, just not as fast as many say (or hope). For one thing, migrating software to the cloud is not as simple as some make it out to be. It takes planning, testing and executing. Not all software can be jammed in the cloud.

The move to the cloud is about being agile and competitive. Good things. However, it doesn't happen in silos.

Gartner writes, "Organizations are undergoing major transformations - to shift to digital business, become more customer-centric, and keep pace with regulatory changes. Any transformation impacts business processes, often requiring dramatic changes to how people work. Yet over 70% of transformation initiatives fail. Process management practitioners can change that and directly contribute to the success of their organization's initiative by applying the latest process thinking, techniques and technologies to innovate and drive change."

You see, you don't get competitive and productive by moving the software from a server in the back room to AWS. It doesn't work that way. Certainly, moving your email to Office365 or Hosted Exchange or Google for Work means less headache and your IT department gets a break. But the productivity comes from time saved.

Email and shared calendar are one thing; but what about an EMR system or HRIS system or a practice management system? In telecom, service providers are looking for a softswitch based on features and integration into existing billing systems. Everything touches everything, right?

Packaged software is long gone. Businesses making decisions about the cloud have to consider a number of options: private, public, hybrid, PAAS, IAAS. Most likely a combination of these will be adopted in most environments. This leads to other issues - like Integration.

Integration is the Bane of software deployment. It is one thing to have all of the latest applications, but quite another for these apps to share information. Quite another for these apps to improve workflow.

Many service providers build out CRM, billing and provisioning systems themselves. They want it customized. They don't want to pay a million for it. The shrink wrapped versions need too much customization. That customization is integration, work flow, user experience. Those 3 factors are what make the business agile and competitive.

After SAAS in the string of services comes BPaaS - business process as a service. This is a service oriented delivery of not just an application but a system or work flow. For example, there are a couple of companies that offer provisioning systems to overlay on your Broadsoft softswitch to allow for a single data entry point to flow through to billing and CRM. That is a business process as a service.

For years, you have seen the ads for UPS as Big Brown, the logistics experts. It is BPaaS. UPS and its army of experts are not just doing the shipping, but the logistics, the transportation and the efficiency studies for companies like COSTCO, Ford, Frito-Lay.

As Adweek explains, "UPS went public at $50 per share--the biggest IPO Wall Street had ever seen. Its corporate pockets suddenly bulging with $5.47 billion, the company went shopping, snapping up a slew of finance, brokerage and international trading firms. Eventually 40 companies melted into UPS, a consolidation that transformed the corporation from a package-delivery brand into a behemoth of logistics (a fancy term for moving both goods and information through a supply chain)."

BPaaS doesn't have to be that extensive (or outsourced). Broadsoft is trying to deliver on more than just a hosted softswitch with BroadCloud. IDEA2 is deploying more than a SugarCRM replica with its Sasquatch.

The next step isn't to just jam your software in a cloud computing environment and call it done. The move to cloud should be the opportunity to improve on the business, getting efficient, re-imagine, digitize and innovate the customer experience and the employee experience. What do you think about that?

The clash of titans we are seeing is the one side (A) replace what we have with a cheaper version in a cloud clashing with (B) most software deployments fail to delivery desired outcomes. Disruption in every industry is happening while companies deal with talent (human resources) acquisition/retention, technology (deployment, skills, training), sales, price/revenue compression, Wall Street demands, and much more.

You are doing yourself a disservice if you simply take your current software and jam it into a container in a data center. This is the time to examine your processes, work flow, systems to see what can be done differently, better, efficiently while matching business goals with user experience (customers and employees). Tall order. A Collision of Titans.

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