Customer service is critical to Spirent Communications, which supplies sophisticated diagnostic tools and services for telecom network service and equipment providers. The firm points to its ability to function as a unified company to serve the unique regional requirements of customers, even though Spirent's 1,700 employees are dispersed in 30 countries in America, Europe and Asia.
Read how the focused communication company depends on a tightly integrated mix of enterprise applications built mainly with JD Edwards enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, Oracle Database, and Siebel customer relations management (CRM) applications. Spirent used to struggle to integrate the platforms into a cohesive whole. However, now that all are available from Oracle, the firm spends less time on integration and more on achieving cost benefits from centralized marketing, financial, and human resource services. Another benefit is that Spirent can also focus on eliminating IT duplication.
Spirent finance director Eric Hutchinson reports that integration has allowed his company to support fewer systems, so the firm can invest more dollars in taking care of customers and in product development.
Stay close to your customers. It's a best practice that all successful companies strive to achieve. It's also something that's often easier said than done, especially if your company has thousands of global customers.
That's certainly the case for Spirent Communications, a Rockville, Maryland-based supplier of diagnostic tools and services for telecom network equipment and service providers and a five-year-old subsidiary of U.K.-based Spirent plc. Spirent's US$400 million in revenues comes largely from its ability to anticipate the communications industry's adoption of new networking technologies—such as IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Wideband Code-Division Multiple Access (WCDMA), and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)—and then provide the right testing tools when customers need them. "As our customers develop next-generation products, they're using our equipment to test that they work," says Eric Hutchinson, Spirent's director of finance.
An additional challenge is making Spirent's 1,900 employees in 30 countries throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas appear as a single, unified company. To do this, Spirent relies on a tightly integrated combination of applications built primarily with JD Edwards enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, Siebel customer relationship management (CRM) applications, and Oracle Database. Tying these platforms together into a cohesive whole used to be an integration nightmare. But now that they're all available from Oracle, Spirent can spend more time eliminating IT duplication and reaping the cost benefits of centralized financial, marketing, and human resources (HR) services.