The following paper describes the case study of RR Communications from the view point of Vince Patton the CEO who deals with issues like different IT business units mainly Internet, mobile, landline and cable TV services working independently and neglecting the services of other department thus causing a downfall in the company’s valued services for the customers, CIO’s who are involved with IT-Business alignment are only focused on their individual department and strongly oppose the fact of centralized IT systems, Lack of centralized data i.e. because of the opposition face from department CIO’s , the paper discusses decisions made by Vince Patton to benefit RR communications like centralized IT systems , and decision to implement the shared service for customer calls , reduce the number of suppliers and third party vendors. The paper also discusses certain questions to understand the case in much detail and finally a proposed solution on how to implement the shared services.
Issues of the case study
The issues of RR communications identified in the case study are as described below 1. Lack of centralized IT systems and single leadership, currently there are different departments for each vertical and each a CIO who wish to hold on to their department, this division causes lack of coordination and understanding the other service which has an negative effect 2. Failure in leadership has caused great problems for the company as an enterprise, the division presidents do not want to cooperate with the VP of IT to establish a congregation of the IT departments which has caused internal conflict and an upsurge to unite the database and bring a share system service for customer calls.
3. Their absence of single database has problems with managing data from duplication, storing and protection, and so with each division having their own data of customers to manage and provide service for the customers tend to receive four separate bills which is not helping to retain customers for the services provided. 4. Proliferation of unwanted projects because of the presence divisions who might feel the need of an project which in the enterprise point of view is unwanted, hence the VP’s suggestion of a monthly meeting to discuss the enterprise projects , its need, and scheduling them, budgeting , resource allocation was suggested. 5. Lack of information management makes it difficult to manage the business as a whole, makes it nearly impossible to bring in new technology or space of innovation is stifled because each division doesn’t seem to be in sync leading to increase in cost
1. List the advantages of a single customer service center for RR Communications. Implementing single customer services for RR communications by removal of departmentalized services for each service has the following advantages a. A single system for multiple department of services remove data redundancy like customer calls entry, customer information entry etc. thus expediting the process as for every call since personnel working on them are equally allocated and every person has some knowledge of the other sector information. b. A single system also prevents customers from being transferred from one department to another, and also just one bill can be set up to sent to the customer making it easier for the consumers to understand what
c. Company can implement new products and services and remain competitive in the market d. Common customer data repository which is advantageous for the company to reduce data procurement and maintenance cost e. Reduces complexity of multiple departments running playing by different rules thus making internal operations more effective and efficient f. Customer centric systems results in great customer satisfaction g. Sharing of information amongst many systems provides faster decisions on customer or system issues
2. Devise an implementation strategy that would guarantee the support of the divisional presidents for the shared customer service center. The case study clearly states that the divisional presidents/CIO’s are absolutely not convinced with the idea of integrating business units on the customer service center brining in shared customer services for many reasons stated like; for their own reasons of losing power in their department, their lack of concern on organization benefits whole as an enterprise, their worry on their individual projects not getting the right number of resources or budget. But some of the strategies if put forth rightly could have all the divisional presidents agree on the shared customer service a. Meetings that focus on IT decisions to be made together as an enterprise and allocate budgets and resources accordingly hence not leaving any division project on the loose loop.
b. Bringing in the right infrastructure, metrics, enterprise architecture to help IT standardize their operations which brings the organization to have a consistent brand and successfully sell their services and each department president can receive support. c. Bringing IT folks into business discussions so that they understand the business aspect of the shared services and see what benefits their divisions and resources and pitch in their own ideas. d. Identifying business opportunities that matter to the divisions and ensuring any one department is given preference over the other
e. The idea of creating a centralized database and a single data architecture that is accessible to all divisions improves customer satisfaction, lower costs, maintain integrity of data and also prevent duplicate data. And with these advantages the division president can see what is in store for their departments with respect to customer satisfaction. f. IT governance mechanism that handles all the department projects through monthly meetings where the division president can be given an heads up projects that will be handled and that no project will be scrapped or lack budget and resources and those projects when using shared services can benefit maximum to the enterprise.
3. Is it possible to achieve an enterprise vision with a decentralized IT function? Working in the organization keeping in mind that the work is focused on the business as a whole and not concentrated to any particular department is the way a company needs to grow, but having many divisions and division of labor makes it difficult to envision company’s values, profitability and sustenance. Hence, decentralization of IT into smaller department causes confusion among the department makes information management a huge challenge. And with many departments and leaders for each miscommunication is bound to happen as each division leader is bound to think of his own department much more than work on the vision of the whole company thus causing chaos, disorganization of the project work to progress in the fast lane. And a decentralized IT in a company makes it difficult to track legacy customers or bring in new ones thus a loss in profit for the organization is sure to happen.
4. What business and IT problems can be caused by lack of common information and an enterprise IM strategy? Lack of a centralized information/data repository in any enterprise means lack of clear coordination among the various departments because of lack of communication and in all possibilities each department would not have access to their information if need be which can cause data redundancy. And with multiple silos of data storage and maintenance cost can considerably increase ultimately wasting financial and personnel resources.
5. What governance mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure common customer data and a shared customer service center? What metrics might be useful? To push forwards the implementation of shared services and encourage common customer data certain governance mechanism such as converging IT and Business, Involve IT in business meetings and being apart in making business decisions for the projects, once the shared system is established along with centralized data system each department can be regulated with the new data which enhances performance. With systems in place, certain metrics can be developed to assess the risk involved, cost incurred, and weak areas in the department that requires immediate attention technically.
From the discussion above with issues, and answers discussing solutions, required governance, metrics and proposed plan it is understood that what RR communication requires is a centralized customer service that shares information amongst different divisions, and single data repository. Along with these, division presidents hindrance to these tasks needs to be put to an convincing end and let them know how well they can be involved in getting these systems in place with advantages to their department.
Also uniting different divisions into one is an idea being thought over which will reduce auditing costs of each division, less cost to maintain data individually and makes sure the information transition is smooth and regulated. With this consolidated information, the company’s vision of maintaining its brand can be achieved through cross sales as each division will work with each other leading to faster and effective services rendered to the customers and thus achieving the vision for the enterprise as a whole.
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