Putting the Customer First
ICT has been using Siebel software both internally and externally since late 2000. It also has a range of other Oracle products installed, including Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, Oracle Database, Oracle Enterprise Manager, and Oracle Grid Control. In addition to leveraging data analysis and business intelligence for its clients, ICT uses Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition for its own internal operations. For example, the company has created warehouses that contain its operational data and has extended the access and analytics capability of its own production data to its individual operating units. These units can use the data to evaluate performance and set up scorecards and dashboards to increase performance and operational efficiency.
Creating Client Stickiness
Today’s outsourced customer management companies offer much more than telephone support. They’re full-service contact centers that help organizations maintain and build relationships with their customers and prospects across all types of channels—telephone, Web, e-mail, direct mail, and more. In fact, some organizations such as ICT Group are taking the transformation a step further and turning themselves into operations centers, offering even more back-end services and hosting capabilities so that they supply basic operational capabilities on an outsourced basis.
ICT has a large base of Fortune 500 clients who are typically looking for best-of-breed technology solutions. That’s one of the reasons that it originally invested in technology from Siebel and Oracle years ago and has broadened that investment over time. Today, it’s an important qualification that ICT can present to its prospects and clients.
“Many times our clients come to us for our call center services, but the fact that we offer a best-of-breed technology platform [from Oracle, including its Siebel applications], and can demonstrate dozens and dozens of successful implementations in vertical industries is a real value add for our company,” says ICT’s Goyke. “There are plenty of people in our market offering homegrown technology solutions that are probably fine solutions in their own context. But for us to be able to offer Oracle and Siebel [technologies and applications] and have more of a name-brand solution is really a great differentiator for us.”
In fact, one of the key challenges that a company such as ICT has is differentiating its services in a highly competitive global customer management and business process outsourcing services industry, where cost-saving and efficiency-improvement objectives are key. For ICT, that’s where the value of an integrated and extensible architecture based on Oracle technology and applications really shines. It’s able to create value-add solutions that keep its customers coming back for more.
“By using Oracle and Siebel, we’re able to create unique, but industry-standard, solutions that really create a kind of stickiness with our clients,” says Goyke. “Any time we can bring in technology solutions that provide extra value and create a bond with our clients, it’s a real benefit to our business.”
Relying on proven enterprise software such as that available from Oracle is another important aspect of the decision for some of ICT’s customers, especially ones in highly regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals.
“In many cases, pharmaceutical companies would not engage with us if we presented an internally developed system to them, because they work in a regulated environment that requires them to use IT products and processes that are very highly validated,” says Goyke. “So having a commercial product that goes through rigorous testing from a well-known, established company such as Oracle is very important to them.”
ICT has also taken advantage of its Oracle technology to create a template-based solution for clients who are driven by budget concerns and need the most economical solution in the shortest possible time. For those types of scenarios, ICT has developed a prepackaged CRM solution with prebuilt Siebel templates (see sidebar, “Prebuilt Siebel Templates for Faster Time to Market”).
“It’s all about the client for us,” says Goyke.