Expert Advice on How to Enhance CX With Software-Defined Networks

November 12, 2020
Bloomberg_Expert_Advice

As optimizing customer experience has become a common strategic goal to drive business growth and differentiation, the demand for digital applications that support frictionless commerce and enable real-time, secure access to data has put a strain on legacy networks.

What network technology solutions would you recommend for a business aspiring to transform their customer experience?

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Nicholas Webb

Futurist and author of The Digital Innovation Playbook: Creating a Transformative Customer Experience

“Friction is the problem, and the remedy for friction is high-speed connectivity. If you have not created the proper connectivity to eliminate customer friction, you lose the customer experience game, plain and simple.

Friction triage strategies—reducing the time it takes to access the point of sale, eliminating lines, increasing the speed at which customers can gain access to decision-making information—are all fueled by digital connectivity. It’s about creating the best blended experience, where the customer experiences your brand physically and digitally simultaneously.

The best customer experience teams today are co-managed by the company’s chief marketing officer and chief information officer. This makes perfect sense when you consider that more and more of what the customer experiences is a digital experience.

If you believe that the digital experience is important—and it is — then it’s all about the pipe. How big is the pipe in terms of bandwidth? How good is the flow of data? And how intelligent is the system as a whole? That’s going to be an incredibly important, fueling source of enterprise and customers.”

54

%

Percentage of organizations that have recently completed a digital transformation initiative where improving customer experience was the promary driver of these efforts.

Source: IDC

“For CIOs looking to elevate their customer experience, I’d recommend a software-defined wide area network, or SD-WAN. When you give your distributed locations the same treatment, agility and control that you have at corporate headquarters, they are able to support more mission-critical applications that are pertinent to the customer experience and prioritize real-time point-of-contact interactions and data. And with the speed of adoption of new applications and digital touchpoints, that is the only way to stay agile.

SD-WAN allows a distributed enterprise’s remote offices, stores and other locations to communicate with each other and interact with a common data center or databases, or cloud-based services. SD-WAN not only takes up less on-premise space by reducing physical hardware, but it’s also application-aware, which gives the CIO the ability to make decisions based on application usage and priorities.

CIOs also have a lot of control over the migration to SD-WAN. Some CIOs want to rip-and-replace and have an overlay come in and just break away from the chains of the old networks. Others, especially at larger companies, need to create a hybrid environment so that they can create a passive migration away from the old network. Comcast Business works with CIOs to determine the best way to make the move from old to new, and to do it in the most secure way possible.

And the agility of software-defined networking makes it appealing to companies managing rapid growth or acquisitions. Add to that the bandwidth, affordable costs, scalable software pricing models and the flexibility of managed services, and you can really get yourself ready for ever-increasing customer expectations.”

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Jeff Lewis

Vice President ActiveCore Products and Solutions
Comcast Business

88%

of IT execs who've implemented SD-WAN are confident it can enable future digital transformation.

Source: IDG

How SD-WAN Can Deliver for Your Business

SD-WAN’s control layer lets your enterprise do more. Like connect branch offices and remote sites, centralize management, decrease provisioning times, and better manage traffic. And with its ability to unify service delivery enterprise-wide, paired with the option to add broadband to existing MPLS links, SD-WAN helps you maintain performance while you keep an eye on costs.

Read Now

Real World SD-WAN: Gaining Agility, Enhancing CX & EX, and Cutting Costs

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Anna Manntica

Chief Information OfficerBerkshire Hathaway HomeServicesVerani Realty

“For our multi-location real estate agency, it was a no-brainer to go the SD-WAN route. We’re growing, and SD-WAN has made that process so much easier. We moved one of our largest offices to a new location recently, and the whole thing was plug-and-play. We literally just plugged everything in and they were up and running that day. They didn’t have to sit and wait for a tech to come out, and that was amazing to me. It helped our agents to know that they could do business and not miss a beat in the move. And it was a benefit to their clients as well, since they could meet with their agents in the office right away at this new location and have full service.

We have a relatively small IT staff—we’re managing offices around New Hampshire and Massachusetts and supporting more than 620 agents and staff. We need to be able to get information quickly, exchange files and contracts, process transactions and see everything at a glance. Our SD-WAN provides a single pane of glass, which allows us to monitor performance at each location remotely, troubleshoot problems a lot faster than before, and minimize downtime.

Everything that our agents do is cloud- or web-based—the MLS [Multiple Listing Service], the e-mail, writing contracts, capturing, storing and exchanging bandwidth-heavy property photos and videos, all of it. So they need a reliable and fast internet connection to get things done and deliver the best possible customer service to their clients.

You want to find a solution that’s backed by a major company like Comcast Business—a strong provider means that they can grow, innovate, and add more services to do more things with the product. Additionally, you need the network expertise to understand and migrate legacy networks. Overall, the business customer service at Comcast Business is phenomenal.”

Learn more about Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty

Read Now

IDG Report: SD-WAN Implementations Are Beating Expectations

As optimizing customer experience has become a common strategic goal to drive business growth and differentiation, the demand for digital applications that support frictionless commerce and enable real-time, secure access to data has put a strain on legacy networks.

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