Worldwide IT spending is tipped to hit a staggering $4.1 trillion in 2021, an increase of over eight per cent on the previous year, where the bulk of investment went into digitalisation and transformation.
Enterprise software and IT services will be the winners, as businesses focus on becoming increasingly automated, as a way of unlocking growth, scalability, and moving employees up the value chain by freeing them from repetitive, manual processes. As noted by Gartner, it comes down to businesses putting the focus on “providing a more comfortable, innovative and productive environment for their workforce.”
Office workers spend, on average, 552 hours per year on administrative tasks that a specialised automation platform like Emersion can liberate them from. Doing so, Emersion claims, can provide the enterprise a ROI of as high as 200 per cent, through the additional productivity of employees, and the added capacity to engage customers.
However, automation cannot simply be implemented into an organisation – it needs to be undertaken as a strategic opportunity for CIOs and other IT decision makers to realise the business-building opportunities that automation provides.
How enterprises are thinking about automation
There are four considerations that are particularly important to CIOs looking to deploy automation:
- Understanding what businesses processes should be automated – where will the business derive the greatest value from automation?
- Finding the right platform for automation – what solutions will work seamlessly with the rest of the environment?
- Understanding the regulatory and security implications of automation – particularly when it comes to handling and managing customer data.
- Optimising the business processes before automating them – automation is most effective when the environment is prepared for it.
To deploy automation effectively, it’s usually a good idea to start small and scale, locking in the process and ensuring that automation is delivering the expected value before investing further. For many companies, the best first step into automation will be to look at billing. Increasingly, business is done through ongoing engagement and reoccurring payments. Automating this process can save the business significant time, reduce the risk of human error, and enable the workforce to concentrate on deeper levels of customer engagement.
Emersion has an automation solution that integrates seamlessly with ConnectWise Manage, Salesforce, Xero and Office 365 to provide services-orientated businesses with the opportunity to automate subscription and recurring billing first, before adopting further automation such as service management, order management, and reporting.
Automation by sector: how services-based companies benefit
How automation is effectively implemented varies from sector to sector. In the telecommunications and MSP space, for example, the first step is all about streamlining the billing process.
Emersion’s automation platform unlocks a zero-touch online sales approach, allowing businesses that have large customer bases – such as telcos – to deliver sign-up portals and automated provisioning of NBN services allowing customers to get themselves up and running instantly.
From there, online customer portals allow the customer to view and manage their own account details, while automated billing ensures that invoices are generated and delivered on-time to improve cash flow and ensure that every service sold is accounted for.
Should the customer need to contact the service provider, an automation-supported service desk allows tickets to be set up, resolved, and escalated as needed to suppliers, streamlining the entire service provisioning process.
Emersion in action
Datacom is one of the region’s largest service providers. They turned to Emersion to deliver improved productivity for the new service activation that Emersion’s telco solutions automate, and in doing so turned a process that previously took a half hour of an employee’s time to something that could be completed within a minute.
Where previously the Datacom team needed to prepare phone numbers for the new service, and then wait for that service to be completed before completing the number porting process, Emersion now handles this process in a “hands-off” manner for the employees, who only need to flick a switch to get the process started.
“We now do this a week before the number is due to be activated. If it goes through, we set the number to activate. If it does not get activated, we just click cancel. That’s it,” Michael Martinez – Telecommunications Provisioning Specialist – Datacom Systems WA, said.
This streamlined process has improved Datacom’s provisioning productivity by an estimated 66%, according to Me Martinez.
To learn more about how to automate business processes, scale the customer base and boost your employee’s productivity, click here.
Helping services companies deliver advanced value
This kind of automation addresses the biggest concerns that services-driven companies are currently trying to address. According to IT Glue, 51 per cent of service providers are reporting monthly revenue declines because of the last 18 months of disruption.
Leveraging automation to handle run-rate tasks like provisioning and billing allows a services company to deepen their value to their customer. Rather than spend time on run-rate management, the service provider can focus their energy on providing value-adding solutions to their customers, allowing the MSP to take greater ownership of the relationship with the customer.
For services companies to capitalise on the opportunities in the current market, productivity and efficiency is going to be key, as their customers are increasingly looking for high-value engagement and services. Automating the business processes around on-boarding, billing, and customer management will not only result in a happier workforce, who no longer need to manage mundane tasks manually, but it will also drive healthier businesses, which can refocus their energies on delivering value to their customers.
Take advantage of Emersion’s EOFY sale today. Not only will you improve profit margins and reduce your workload, but you’ll also be eligible for up to $2000 off your setup fees. But hurry – offer ends 30th June 2021.