April 13 by Patrick Wolf

Accelerate 2016: Digital Disruption Break-out Session

In this break-out session, speakers Neal Ungerleider from Fast Company, Vinay Toomu from Forsys, and Goprikan Rao from Apttus spoke about the impact of Quote-to-Cash suites on the rise of Digital Marketplaces and the immense opportunities available if suppliers, partners and customers are brought together on their own platform. As Vinay Toomu said, “Digital disruption is here to stay” and it is necessary for companies to adapt to this new environment. The first of the Quote-to-Cash sessions on Wednesday, it was a great topic to get into the right gear for the presentations throughout the rest of the day.

Value Chain Out of Sync

The management of the value chain created by producers has become out of sync with customer expectations. More often than not the producers have created soloed work environments in which departments, such as finance and legal, have limited or inefficient collaboration. These individual departments focus on their individual segments of the value chain and, in many cases, have developed deep competencies that fail to transcend borders.

This has created inefficiencies that carry over into decreased value for the customer. It is incumbent on producers to make the process more efficient in order to drive consumer loyalty, improve partner engagement, and create value. To do this companies must create a “new customer driven value paradigm” that is comprised of:

• A common language
• Shared insights
• Outcome driven incentives
• Omni-channel commerce
• Strategic contracting
• New hybrid revenue models

Neal Ungerleider, Gopkiran Rao and Vinay Toomu speaking at Apttus Accelerate 2016

Evolution of Customer Oriented Technologies

Like everything, customer oriented tech has gone through extensive evolution, although not always along the same path. Generally, stage one focused on connecting the process, stage two on connecting channels, and the final stage focused on connecting data.

During stage one, companies reduced inefficiencies through automation. They realized there were too many manual processes, such as writing on paper, and automated these processes to make them faster and more reliable. Then companies began looking out of house. They connected their channels and facilitated “channel visibility”. Lastly they compiled and organized the vast amount of data that were being collected. By organizing all the data into a single data warehouse, companies were able to increase the ease of locating relevant data.

Falling Short

The evolution above had many positive effects for businesses, however there is still much to be improved upon. Largely, companies are still missing the critical business proposition. Processes are still siloed and many back and from offices fail to integrate, continuing massive inefficiency in the spread of information. The connected channels still fail to share the customers objective and remain at conflict. Finally, there is still limited analysis capabilities of the available data. Data without insight is just data. Overall, companies are missing the ability to monetize shared outcomes.

Commerce Responds to Digital Disruption

Digital commerce will help remove barriers to service by increasing adoption and usage, using just-in-time collaboration, and creating value driven outcomes. The new digital commerce paradigm will look like:

    • One Solution: Shared metrics for success
    • Tailored Incentives: Channel rebates
    • Shared Outcomes: Risk-sharing agreements
    • Any Interface: Guided selling

Integration of digital commerce will have immediate direct benefits for companies. There will be there cost cutting side. Complete integration and the dissolving of siloes will drastically increase efficiency, while automation will reduce cycle times and improve processes. On the other hand, there is the strategic side of the equation. Going digital will produce immediate improvements to customer experience, as well as to profit and growth.

At the end of the day, it seems obvious that companies must buy into the digital disruption. Not only to keep up with other companies and reduce cost, but also to increase a company’s potential for growth and value in the eyes of costumers.

Posted by Patrick Wolf on April 13, 2016.

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