(Editions of this series: On Demand Line of Business (1) What are end users seeking from their Line of Business cloud solution? – 2 – On Demand Line of Business (3) – Customer concerns that cloud overall appeal of on-demand)
What do customers already love about cloud solutions?
End users already appreciate and enjoy the multitude of advantages that cloud solutions have to offer. The co-innovation team has been working to better understand every aspect of user experiences, reactions and requirements. We found unanimous agreement regarding the top benefits end users already see in cloud solutions.
So, what are the favorite features of a Line of Business (L0B) On-Demand solution?
1. Dedicated End-Customer interfacing components
End users concur that end-customer interfacing components, and the overall user experience are far superior with LOB on-demand systems. This is where the rubber hits the road, and the benefits become crystal clear. The overall appearance of the User Interface (UI) is better, and the user experience (UX) is vastly enhanced. We would even argue the later is far more important, then: Factors that feed into the overall ‘user experience’ are:
· The appeal of the product,
· Speed of use and information transfer, and
· Customization: whether the system is tailored to deliver the processes the end user needs to access
· Process integrity: does the experience have and end-to-end completeness or just cover part of the process
Users believe that cloud solutions provide at least the first 2 marked benefits when it comes to customer interfacing components. On the later 2 some of the exiting solutions on the market place fall short, especially as this perception needs to be consistent across devices like for example computer/laptop, mobile, PDA, tablet.
Customers find value in being able to purchase solutions for their line of business on an as-needed basis as opposed to investing in larger chunks.
3. Innovation speed
End users benefit from getting their systems updated on a more frequent basis (quarterly vs. annual updates). Having access to the latest and greatest solutions, content and information is an undeniable advantage.
4. User experiences
The enhancement in user experiences that a cloud based solution can deliver is incredible. User experiences are superior for many reasons:
· They are designed for the end user, as opposed to purely being designed with a process in mind.
· They are designed to support collaborative processes
· They are designed for intuitive devices.
· The design is in keeping with current leaps in device advancements. It’s hard to build ugly software on an tablet device!
· Every LOB on-demand system comes standard with mobility built in.
Bottom line, our end users are mobile workers, and want their technology to be portable, available on all the devices they carry, and accessible from anywhere at any time. Mobility is a key component of our thought process from day one. Every product is designed to work with the device offerings that create value to an end user. This stands in stark contrast to some of our competitors, where screen images are often years old. Expectations are on modern, current, contemporary.
An example of a customer interfacing solution for mobile devices is the following Travel Expense Management Application:
Creating expense reports, and tracking countless expenses is time consuming and annoying. The road warrior customers seek quick and accurate reimbursement for their significant travel expenses, but are often too time strapped to deal with organizing the multitude of scattered expenses incurred.
They want a system that is quick, accurate and can streamline this annoying yet important process. Today most systems involved remembering every expense incurred, saving all receipts, and sitting in front of a computer to compile expense reports.
A modern Travel Expense Management application is created for a mobile device, so that reports can be created on the fly. It integrates all relevant sources of data (calendar, credit card data) to create reports. Where needed, receipts can be submitted instantly by taking a photo your smart device and emailing it in on the spot.
The end user can conduct all transactions using a mobile device while they are on the road. However, all the data you send in is connected to the larger system. The work is done behind the scene and at no added inconvenience to the user. The user is secure in the knowledge that they are plugged in, and that their information will reach the larger system of records.
The process begins at the point of travel, and ends when reimbursement has been received. Only then the true end-to-end process is complete, when the money reaches your bank account.
This application needs to provide a very elegant solution to the annoyance of creating an expense report.
· Solution is end to end,
· Expenses are clocked and recorded in real time or near real time,
· User interface is tailored to individual needs while providing process integrity,
· It is designed for devices that a user would be carrying around in any case. No need for any additional paraphernalia,
· Provides complete connectivity between a mobile device and the larger system of records,
· Is easy to use and takes place seamlessly behind the scene.
Applications such as this take into account features that end users already love about cloud, on demand, mobility – and incorporate features and solutions that they have requested for us to provide. Innovating with the needs of the end user in mind, results in the creation of products and solutions that delivers real business value end to end, with an enhanced user experience.