Digital Transformation in Times of Crisis

Many business lessons have come from the global COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps most important is that the customer doesn't wait for any business to catch up. This stark realization hit many organizations hard, and some will not recover from the disruption caused by COVID19. Businesses must accelerate their digital transformation efforts and ensure it is really a priority within their organizations.

The good news is that companies seem to get it—finally! Gone are the days of just talking about digital transformation. Leaders are serious. According to Gartner, 69 percent of boards of directors accelerated their digital business initiatives in the wake of COVID-19. Almost half anticipate changing their organizations' business models as a result of the pandemic.

What's become clear is that the companies best positioned for our COVID19 era made the right investments in technology. This has made all the difference, as it's allowed them to adapt quickly to our contactless world. Televerde is one such company.

Televerde is an inside sales and demand generation company that supports companies like SAP, Adobe-Marketo, GE, and Interstate Batteries. They do it with a highly innovative business model: 70 percent of its workforce is incarcerated inside three U.S. facilities

Given just the model, the company has to transform and modernize continuously to ensure security parameters are met. Elevating the overall customer experience is the other critical selling point, as the integration of the most cutting-edge technology improves processes, productivity, and performance.

Televerde's full transformation got underway in January 2019. It required a new way of thinking, which at its core, is what digital transformation is really all about. In his book, The Digital Transformation Playbook, David Rogers argues that digital transformation is not about updating your technology, but rather it&'s about upgrading your strategic thinking. This is exactly how Televerde approached it. The company set out to redefine the customer journey as customers want to experience it today.

And it did just that, integrating digital technology into every area of the business. When all is said and done, the company will have transformed 75 technologies throughout organization, fundamentally changing how it operates and delivers value to customers.

DX Advantages

The outcomes have been massive. Televerde IT has saved more than $4 million in the past two years, proving that operational efficiencies deliver cost savings. The company is also experiencing new revenue streams and up to a 40 percent increase in campaign performance over old solutions. What's more, the Televerde team can enhance offerings easily, building new technologies and seamlessly integrating them quickly.

This is why #DX is so important. It's the upfront financial investment that deters a lot of business leaders from pursuing it fully, but one that starts to pay off immediately. And it is because of how far into the transformation Televerde was that it was able to pivot and adapt quickly during COVID.

The top three outcomes Televerde experienced following #DX (and your company will too) were as follows:

  • Improved security: Modern IT technologies enable companies to maintain security, ensuring that every digital interaction on behalf of clients, employees, and the business is protected.
  • Increased productivity: Cloud-based applications increase business efficiency and scalability, as employees can collaborate and communicate effortlessly, meeting customer demands more quickly than ever before. Televerde made the decision to move its corporate workforce full remote at the start of COVID. The company was able to do this in 48 hours without ever experiencing a decline in productivity or additional costs. This is the result of modern technology that allows for mobility, reliability, and a positive user experience.
  • Greater agility and elasticity: Building your business on the right foundation of tools, technologies, and services enables you to foster an agile organization that is responsive to competition, new technologies, and market growth.

Remember, digital transformation is all about the customer journey. It's understanding how your company can work better, faster, and smarter to scale up and then investing in the right technology to make it a reality. Done right, says George Westerman, principal research scientist with the MIT Loan Initiative on the Digital Economy, and it's like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when it's done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar.

Mike Kirby is chief information officer of Televerde, an integrated sales and marketing technology organization based in Phoenix. Seven of Televerde's 10 engagement centers are staffed by incarcerated women, representing 70 percent of the company's 600-person global workforce.