https://www.excelacom.com/resources/blog/the-secret-to-a-successful-enterprise-integrated-lead-to-cash/

Feb 03, 2015

The Secret to a Successful Enterprise: Integrated Lead-to-Cash

By Ashwin Ramakrishnan

The interconnected world of today embraces opportunities and ideas that promote interaction between peoples and cultures. Candi Chen's interesting read Globalization in Consulting provides great insight on how connectivity and an understanding of cultural implications is crucial to program success.

In empirical terms, interconnection or integration provides a platform for diverse entities to share, learn, collaborate, optimize and disseminate. This simple but powerful concept can be leveraged to develop optimal business processes that contribute to the strategic objectives and bottom-line of an enterprise. The growing proliferation of the "Internet of Things" is a good barometer to understand the importance of integration and its business value.

The Lead-to-Cash (L2C) process is perhaps the most critical yet universally neglected domain in businesses today. Organizations tend to view functional units as independent entities with their own distinct processes and systems. Sales, Service delivery, Customer Care, Finance and Operations are not treated as pieces of the same puzzle.

If there is one common denominator across all these challenges, it is undoubtedly the lack of an integrated L2C framework.

This mindset manifests itself into a disconnected BSS/OSS landscape that is inefficient, expensive to maintain and does not adequately support business needs. This disjointed approach to establishing, operationalizing and executing business functions has numerous ramifications highlighted below:

  1. Elongated sales cycle due to lack of feedback or historic data on customer profiles, install base and monthly spend
  2. Fragmented systems, processes, data and decisions
  3. Potential loss of revenue due to inability to upsell/cross-sell opportunities
  4. Less than ideal customer experience from sales through customer care
  5. Inadequate and inconsistent reporting practices in business operations
  6. Revenue leakage at various points in the L2C lifecycle
  7. Tendency to adopt manual practices due to cost or system limitations
  8. Inability to gain a 360 degree perspective of the business for leadership review and strategic needs

The list goes on. If there is one common denominator across all these challenges, it is undoubtedly the lack of an integrated L2C framework. Integrated L2C frameworks enable information exchange across functions and systems thereby aiding data driven decisions across the spectrum of a customer transaction's lifecycle.

A key deterrent to implementing integrated L2C frameworks is the perception of the costs involved in executing this change.

Integrated environments eliminate human intervention and improve the quality of data created and accessed by business processes. David Khrut's thought provoking article on CEM Planning only strengthens the case for developing and delivering an integrated approach to conducting business – From the first call/door knock through revenue recognition and subsequent customer retention activities. The key benefits of the adopting an integrated L2C framework are listed below:

  1. Streamlined Go-to market practices and faster new product introductions
  2. Reduced sales cycles and time to revenue
  3. Improved order quality with fewer fallouts
  4. Enhanced operational and performance reporting capabilities
  5. Improved analytics to potentially guide future strategic planning
  6. Improved customer satisfaction and retention
  7. Elimination of duplicative systems and processes

A key deterrent to implementing integrated L2C frameworks is the perception of the costs involved in executing this change. Another concern is organizational resistance. Any new process or system revamp is considered a debilitating influence to the business.

Enterprise PMOs need to closely evaluate the existing IT landscape, risks, constraints and business case to establish an efficient and effective BSS/OSS framework.

Organizations are frequently torn between implementing green-field solutions versus taking a more cost effective approach of integrating existing systems. Enterprise PMOs need to closely evaluate the existing IT landscape, risks, constraints and business case to establish an efficient and effective BSS/OSS framework. The analysis of Evolution vs. Revolution is key to executing a "win-win" transformation strategy.

The Excelacom Consulting Methodology (ECM) and Excelacom's Century Suite modules provide the subject matter know-how and tools to successfully realize an integrated L2C framework through an evolutionary approach. Email us at marketing@excelacom.com if you'd like to continue the conversation.

 
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Ashwin-Ramakrishnan

Ashwin
Ramakrishnan

​Ashwin Ramakrishnan was Manager, Cable Practice at Excelacom. Mr. Ramakrishnan’s tenure at Excelacom included business transformation engagements, process engineering assignments, system integration projects and strategic IT implementations at Fortune 50 and Global communications organizations.

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