Enterprise solutions – designing around the customer

A recent experience with a telecom co. brought back memories from my Credit Card days.

A customer issue is raised and gets escalated to the corporate team. The corporate team looks at the data (across systems) and decides to waive certain charges or settle the “issue”. Customer gets a promise from the manager at the corporate team and believes that all is well. But rarely so – the outsourced collections team calls up the customer – as they are NOT on a real time connected status. Customer records are sent to these teams on a batch basis, without a clearly defined process for update/recall.So what really happens is that this collections team will follow up again and repeat the same story to the customer that they have been doing in the past. The customer in turn would believe that the company has lost it and would raise hell, along with shifting his relationship to another brand.

What is usually the problem is not the intention or the motivations of the service providers, but the technology/process which is implemented. It is rarely done with the customer at the centre- such instances are considered one-off and not coded for. A big mistake for the current Telecom biggies, with lakhs of customers, thousands would fall in these “one-off” processes every month. wake up and ensure the customer commitment is delivered across all teams (inhouse or outsourced) and for all scenarios.

Finding the techie Rancho !

Since 3 Idiots seems to be the most talked about thing these days, heres a post to reach out to those young smart thinking techies out there.

For one of my ventures, I have been looking for someone who is good at Ruby-on-Rails and PHP. Went through the usual route of spreading the word around in the network & speaking to some consultants, checking & putting posts on online forums etc- all to no avail.
Though RoR & PHP are touted as one of the most powerful web technologies, most colleges dont teach that. It seems the curriculum touches the theory aspects & when it comes to actual programming its restricted to the classic C & C++ types- apart from Java.
Add to this that NIIT has just started a PHP course less than a month back & they do not have any courses on RoR.

Given all this, its only the enterprising & self-driven kids, who while in college ask around as to what technology platform is currently hot & take it upon themselves to learn & master those.

Unfortunately, the only smart enterprising techie kid i know is now in a comfortable job . He laughed at my despair & asked me to write – about my pain in finding young techies.

So here I am, sharing my pain . But I am reminded of what I heard from someone last month- that the employability of Indian graduates is very low. Highlighted in a 2005 McKinsey study, a lot has been discussed since then to improve the situation. But on the ground, what are we doing? Who is telling the Engg colleges and training institutes where the bulk of the business orders are, where is the technology moving. And this is the condition, in THE one industry where we have significant presence in the global arena.

Also, apart from the academic focus towards realistic & deployable technologies (see I dont say employable) we need a more evolved marketplace for doing the handshakes. The current Naukri’s & Monsters of the world have become too big and finding the right person through them (for most entry level positions) is very very painful.

I am thinking of going to the local Engg colleges and spending some time interviewing & finding the best minds… who can then quickly learn RoR or whatever new tech area we want to enter into.

So wish us luck, while we search for our Phunsukh Rancho.