Cloud computing comes into focus when you think about what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. O2 has integrated CloudSense’s Order Management stack into O2 Business’ Salesforce.com (News - Alert) platform in an effort to increase efficiency and boost its customer relationship capabilities.
The sales and service cloud-based platform has been deployed within O2’s (News - Alert) Joined-up Business operations – ad vision that aims to help companies connect their IT, staff, and customers through communications products. The Joined-up Business strategy – along with the evolving and changing needs of its customers – is the method for O2 Business to drive change from within to further improve its customer experience while driving out costs within its core operating model.
"Given the business challenge we have around managing this increasing portfolio of products [through O2 Joined-Up Business], whilst trying to drive down costs, cloud allows us to implement without large upfront CAPEX costs and gives us a quick time to market," said Ricky Mortimer, e-enablement program manager at O2 Business.
CloudSense is a cloud integrator that offers advisory, delivery, and long-term partnership consulting. The Order Management solution is the only system of its kind to manage the entire sales process – from product design and order capture right through to delivery – all hosted on one cloud platform. It includes applications such as CS ClickApprove, CS Configurator, and CS Orchestrator, which enable O2 to manage its products, quote customers, carry out electronic approval for contracts, and enable end-to-end fulfillment in the cloud.
"We were using Salesforce at the time for lead-to-opportunity management - so pure sales pipeline stuff. We looked at how we could take that lead-to-opportunity and extend it all the way through to lead-to-cash," said Mortimer. "The target was to do that in a way that would leverage the Force.com environment and run everything natively inside that platform.”
By running applications natively inside the Force.com platform, O2 was able to use Salesforce's other cloud services, such as Chatter, mobile, and native security features.
Moving from lead-to-opportunity to lead-to-cash would enable O2 to develop a fully cloud-based CRM platform. Its strategy is to get a full CRM system in place, 100 percent in the cloud, and integrated into O2’s systems via its service oriented architecture.
Prior to this deployment, O2 had been using a combination of manual processes and Microsoft (News - Alert) Office products, but over the past 12 months, has managed to get 800 users on the new sales and service platform. It also plans to increase this to 3,500 users over the next 18 months.
"We have been using it for the best part of a year now and we haven't had an outage yet, which isn't what you expect from new platforms and new technology,” said Mortimer. “Typically what you would be looking at is hundreds of minutes of downtime and how you would reduce that."
Looking to the future, O2 Business plans to launch more capabilities and add more process automation as the business continues to grow and diversify its product and service offering. Mortimer explains, “This is perhaps the biggest benefit of the CloudSense solution – it enables us to add more capabilities as and when we want to. This means that we can ensure our order processes keep pace as we evolve as a business. For us this is essential as it means we will be able to keep finding operational efficiencies well into the future as we grow. With CloudSense, we know we can keep our focus on the business, knowing that the right technology platform is in place to support any changes we make.”
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo