I was walking to a sales meeting yesterday afternoon in Manchester City Centre in sunny weather (raining today) and started to rethink our approach when introducing UnifiedVU. I used to speak about what we do and how we do it, but rarely spoke about why someone should consider UnifiedVU for their business.
Why you should trial UnifiedVU
Whilst I believe we have an unique proposition, that uniqueness is not well understood by prospects. Secondly most technology vendors are trying to sell their products and services as unique, and its difficult to understand what value and uniqueness if any, one party brings over another, unless the prospect knows exactly what they are looking for.
From a prospect’s point of view, it does not matter whether the vendor is unique or not, what matters is how the products and services help them to grow or fix a problem they have.
Whilst I spoke about our 10 year mission to create one window into your business software world, my enthusiasm is not felt equally by prospects. So its paramount we refine our messages continuously to first raise curiosity and then be good enough to create ‘a want to know more’.
Its time to come up with a new rationale.
- UnifiedVU is here to help our customers grow their revenues and take control of their costs
Unfortunately this is no way unique. Everyone thinks they are in the business to help their customers grow or in the business to help their customers become profitable through reduction of costs.
Let’s clarify our rationale and explain how we are going to help our customers generate revenues and control costs.
- We want to help increase productivity of our customers’ workforces.
- We want to empower employees of our customers and help them become proactive rather than reactive
- We want to help our customers make the right decision first time.
You might say that’s not unique either, but let me elaborate further by showing how we achieve this.
If you visited our home page, we highlight how a significant amount of time is wasted by searching for data and information across your business systems. Even if you have fully automated functionality across your business software, that alone isn’t sufficient to stop time wastage in switching between software applications, and then having to use another tool, in most cases a spreadsheet or a sheet of paper to capture and analyse that data, before being able to act on that data.
Thanks to low cost of product development, the business software market is flooded with new software products which either compete with or complement existing software products. As organisations use more and more software products, we are using less and less of each products’ full functionality. Unless you are a power user of a particular software product, most likely, you will only consume between 5 to 10% of a software product’s full functionality and its capability.
So how does UnifiedVU increase workforce productivity?
UnifiedVU helps workforces to become highly productive by first bringing what matters to you (all those 5 to 10%s) onto one screen. Then using inter-app communications technology, we allow adjacent apps to listen and respond to each other based on your actions.
A simple use case is the Single Customer View proposition. When you select a customer in one App, the adjacent apps listen to that selection and display related customer data from all your business software systems, thus helping you to understand the single truth about your customer.
If you are part of a smaller company, you can gain visibility to many part of the business from sales to marketing to finance to customer support within earshot.
As organisations become bigger, the more specific and narrow your job responsibilities become. You loose visibility into other departments, e.g. if you are in sales, you may not have any visibility into accounts receivables or customer support. You are no longer a shout away from your colleagues. Your colleagues might be in another floor of the building, a separate building, another city or another time zone. Whilst you can pick up the phone or email, this will incur time delays.
It’s our belief that just because your company is growing, it does not mean that you should loose the visibility into other departments. Instead of taking a silo’d approach, you as a valuable member of the organisation should be empowered to execute your job responsibilities taking data external to your department into consideration.
Let’s take a look at the role of an Accounts Receivable Clerk. One of your key job responsibilities is to chase overdue invoices. After repeated email requests for payment, the next step might be to pick up the phone and call the customer. Before you do that, it might be worth trying to identify what might be causing the customer to pay late. Could it be down to delivery issues? Is it time to reach out to the operations staff? But what if we could simplify this, without relying on other colleagues for information?
Login to UnifiedVU, select the troubled invoice from the Debtor Analysis App. Immediately you will be shown outstanding support tickets. Instead of chasing a customer who would not pay whilst there are outstanding issues previously not know to you, now you can focus on chasing your own colleagues to close those tickets as quickly as possible. This will stop the company going into cashflow difficulties, especially when larger transactions are concerned.
Let’s take a look at the role of an Account Manager, who is struggling to close the next sales deal. As you select the customer from the Contacts App, the Accounts Receivable App displays the overdue invoices, and Help Desk App will display the outstanding tickets. If you want to close that deal in this quarter and earn your commission, you know that you need to get your colleagues to close those tickets as quickly as possible.
By empowering your staff with access to relevant information, your business can begin to improve cashflow and close those deals faster by removing potential revenue blockers.
Making right decisions first time
Most organisations have access to sales and other systems. Yet, we download data into spreadsheets to make decisions. And the minute we download, the data is no longer up to date. We then start circulating those spreadsheets. Various updates not just confuse every user, there is a higher chance of making the wrong decisions based on outdated information.
Let’s look at a typical scenario at a larger company. Your next Board meeting is 3 days away, and your focus suddenly shift from executing your day to day job responsibilities to preparing reports, which first need data. And once you created those reports, you print them out for distribution and discussion at the Board meeting. This is a highly inefficient way of using time of the Board. What if you use the time to simply discuss an analysis and come to a swift agreement without having to first digest the data, which is no longer up to date anyway?
Above is a concept we have in mind. Once setup, the UnifiedVU Work Space will display data that matters to you in real-time. You no longer need to spend 3 days preparing the data. The real-time data is available 24/7 to all Board Members of all business units. Your Board meetings suddenly become highly productive as conversations focus on analysis and what steps you could take next to move the company in the direction agreed in your overall corporate strategy.
In summary, UnifiedVU is not just about saving time from switching apps, it’s much much more. As we say internally, the potential of the UnifiedVU platform is only limited by your imagination. We hope I have managed to give you an insight into what is possible, and how it could help your organisation. Welcome to higher productivity, empowered employees and making decisions right first time.