SalesTech Star

Championing Digital Transformation Into Organisations

By Rukmini Glanard, EVP Global Sales, Service and Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

Over the past few years, digital transformation has gained momentum amongst businesses from all over the world. As a question of company survival, digital transformation has risen to the top of boards’ priority lists. Organisations are aware that, when done right, digital transformation drastically improves operational efficiency and agility, giving them a competitive advantage and offering boundless growth potential.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise has embraced digital transformation, positioning the company among the leaders in the telecommunications industry. As a well-established company with more than 100 years of experience and a history of innovation, we wanted to transition as quickly as possible to Industry 4.0 and have learnt a lot along the road about how to do it correctly. By exchanging these insights, we feel we can advise other organisations who are beginning their transformational journeys.

Creating a Digital Factory

Therefore, we ask, where might such an organisation start? To beneficially impact wide eyed organisations, it is imperative we are equipped with the knowledge to help make the necessary changes.

A “Digital Factory,” an all-encompassing transformation unit with teams allocated from every department, was first established by ALE. Our key objective was to identify the processes that need to change and the tools, structures, and frameworks needed. Additionally, our Digital Factory implemented agile working practices based on the “Try-Fail-Improve” paradigm as part of its responsibility for the “how” of the transition. As a result, we were able to pick up new information fast. Not everything will work out precisely the first time, but using this technique, ALE could swiftly put lessons learned into practice and locate the best solutions in less time.

When confronted with a global component scarcity, it became clear that the supply chain needed to be as digital as possible. We noticed a shift in procurement emphasis from cost to continuity, and accurate forecasting became critical for surviving the prolonged component shortage. We utilised IoT and AI to gather and comprehend data that helped us make supply chain choices. A network of integrated planning systems with advanced analytics, smart procurement, and efficient storage might be built using data collected at various locations throughout the supply chain. Data will be essential in keeping control of the situation. At the same time, it remains difficult, and we’ll need to regularly examine our process to ensure it is operating at its peak efficiency.

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Tools for start your Digital Journey

The basic tools for digital transformation are widely accessible, but using them is another matter. The principles consist of agility, continuous improvement, and best practices in data transformation. ALE used these solutions to transform our order management, supply chain, buying, and industrial operations. We’ve used the data we’ve gathered along the way to improve every aspect of our business operations, boost client satisfaction, and boost sales. After each subsequent quarter, we’ve also noticed significant improvements in delivery accuracy, lower stock levels, and more secure shipments for high-volume transactions.

Effectively executing a digital transformation journey necessitates a targeted plan that starts with identifying the crucial transitional pillars and grows from there. On reflection, ALE’s approach to our digital transformation can be condensed into five pillars. Let’s examine each and discuss why we think it’s crucial.

1. Corporate Culture

To begin, one of the most critical lessons for ALE was that “business culture” is unquestionably the most important pillar of digital transformation. To say simply, digital transformation cannot be imposed, it can only be successful if it occurs in a business culture shift. The transition is not only digital, but genuine. Creating a mentality shift throughout the organisation is essential when changing and upgrading technology.

Many digital transformations fail due to a lack of acceptance, resulting from the human component not being completely considered. It is impossible to stress enough the importance of engaging your employees by assisting them in understanding the reasons for change and the processes themselves.

2. Hybrid Landscape

Many organisations’ long-term goal is to migrate all their data processing to the cloud. However, making this change all at once can be dangerous. Short-term disruptions to operations can be severe enough to influence an organisation’s operations significantly and negatively impact customer experience.

To mitigate this significant risk, ALE embarked on the creation of a hybrid landscape. On top of our on-premise communication infrastructure, we added a layer of cloud services. This hybrid environment allowed us to switch from one model to another without incurring substantial losses or failing processes. This gradual, as opposed to abrupt, transition to the cloud-assisted ALE to reduce expenses and profit from the flexibility of the cloud.

3. Blueprints

Blueprint success is established through harnessing a digital transformation approach, identifying what works (and what doesn’t), and then replicating this learning experience across departments. Blueprints are critical for assuring success in each new step of the digital transformation.

ALE began by focusing on a certain department and reforming its operations until the conclusion was successful. A similar method, as per the blueprint, was then taken and used in other departments.

4. Data Management

Large firms place a premium on how data is handled and used. A good data management strategy can be the difference between data that is easily available, simply collected, stored used and wasted. This is critical for organisations to get right, as an efficient data collection service creates ease and removes error or disruptions for the workforce.

To allow automation, ALE chose to install a proper database. Thanks to the analysis and merger of our databases and continual automation, we effectively expanded our recurring business through greater service contract renewal rates, more up-sales, and higher sales conversion. This action was supported by our team’s superior knowledge of our installed technology base. This meant we were able to see more accurate predictions as a result of better-organised data.

5. Test & Improve

When organisations undergo a digital transformation journey, it is vital they properly define and implement an effective strategy and tests. If this step is not properly implemented then businesses risk making the same mistakes over and over again. Our Digital Factory was at the heart of our work at ALE in helping to ensure each iteration of our transformation was built on the lessons learned from the prior one.

To ensure the success of the test and improve strategy, collaboration between transformed and pre-transformation departments is required at all stages. This includes ensuring that skilled professionals have the freedom to transfer their abilities across teams.

Additionally, fast learning implementation is crucial. If lessons are not learned or adopted quickly, a business is wasting valuable possibilities to improve. Decision-making must be equally quick and nimble, and results must be thoroughly checked to ensure that the lessons are appropriately identified.

No Shortcuts in a Transformational Journey

Digital transformation is a process that takes time and hard work. Organisations must carefully plan and execute each of these steps to build a solid foundation for digital change. Each pillar protects its respective sector, impacting and aiding the company’s growth and establishing them as an industry innovator.

As digitalisation provides tremendous expansion capabilities, it can sometimes be tempting to minimise costs in order to remain competitive. It is important to note, the process of digital transformation requires patience and diligence. At ALE we believe that thorough strategic planning is essential. Success depends on identifying the pivotal pillars of your transformation and making sure that everyone in your organisation is aware of your objectives, your implementation strategy, and the roles they will all need to play.

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