Modern companies are sitting on a mountain of data, but in the siloed world of business software, climbing to the top of that mountain and seeing the big picture is harder than it should be. Year after year, companies waste countless opportunities because the right people don't have the right information at the right time.
While most companies have ways to extract siloed information when it's absolutely necessary-for example, when a crisis arises-old-school, analog information sharing can't keep up with the fast pace of digital markets. Eliminating these information shortfalls can provide the competitive advantage companies need to grow, year over year. Choosing the right integrated software solution is a crucial component to building a business environment that empowers employees with the best, most current information.
Integrating data from disparate silos is the future of business software, because getting a full, contextual view of customers is the future of customer engagement. There's a problem, though-most stand-alone business tools capture individual impressions of a customer, but fail to consolidate them in a meaningful way, especially when different departments are involved. Increasingly, businesses are turning to deeply integrated software suites, such as Google's G Suite, Microsoft's Azure, or Zoho One. These suites stitch together signals from a range of different communication and information channels to give a fuller view of the customer and their relationship to the company.
So what does a contextual, 360-degree view of a customer allow you to accomplish? Take support for example. Issues are usually handled on a first-come, first-serve basis-but it doesn't have to be this way, nor should it. With a suite, the moment a ticket is issued, support staff can view a customer's entire story, from their order history and account details, to their previous support requests and social media interactions with your company. Is this one of your biggest clients, a new customer, or an important influencer? When this kind of picture is available, a company can quickly ascertain the nature of a request and prioritize it accordingly.
If you get an angry call from the CEO of one of your biggest clients, you're going to want all the help you can get in fixing the problem. Suites open up avenues unavailable to most companies in this situation. Within seconds, anyone handling that call can see the customer's support ticket number, the issue they're currently having, who they've talked to in the past, their current account information, their order history, their social media interactions with you, and much more. With this arsenal of information at your fingertips, a major crisis turns into a momentary speed bump.
But the value of a suite doesn't end at the ticket level. Integrating systems connects you with various departments and people within your organization. People who are closer to the information-people with better context-now have a say in the decision-making process, and when ideas can come from anywhere, companies make better business decisions.
This is never more evident than when faced with something like a security breach. In times like these, every minute spent not responding only makes the problem worse. A team made up of members from different departments must be assembled quickly, so they can start reacting to the situation as it unfolds. IT specialists, high-level decision makers, marketers, PMs, and customer support staff all need to be on the same page, with access to the same information, to successfully weather the storm-and that's where a suite comes in. Integrated communication software gets everyone together quickly, and keeps them in the loop. A tech specialist shouldn't have to wait for an administrator to grant access to your email campaign software before they start reviewing the emails going out to customers. Your head of security should be able to monitor social media and reply to concerns as they come in. With everyone in one shared ecosystem, your organization can react quickly and effectively to unexpected events.
When a suite is implemented, businesses run better. Decisions happen faster. Time is spent on the important stuff and corporate talent is utilized for important issues, not menial tasks. Rather than manually fetching data and chasing down colleagues, everything is already in place, so you can get right to solving the problem.
Without a contextual, 360-degree view of your data, important information falls through the cracks and your business-and customers-suffer. While software providers like Oracle are just beginning to build comprehensive business suites, and Salesforce and Microsoft's Azure are closer to providing a coherent experience, full-cycle business suites like Zoho One are poised to become the new norm in the business world. Companies that adopt a comprehensive software suite now will be in the best position to stake their claim in the ever-evolving field of competitive sales. Is your business ready?
Brief about ZOHO
Zoho is the operating system for business-a single online platform capable of running an entire business. With apps in nearly every major business category, including sales, marketing, customer support, accounting and back office operations, and an array of productivity and collaboration tools, Zoho is the world's most prolific software company. More than 35 million users around the world, across hundreds of thousands of companies, rely on Zoho every day to run their businesses, including Zoho itself.