I am proud to have been part of an innovative company in the 90’s. SkyTel was probably one of the first companies to provide their customers with real multi-channel customer engagement including email, text messaging, fax, IVR and of course voice. And the agents had access to all this information on their desktop via a screen pop.
Yes that is an AS/400 in the background including myself, my management team and the IBM team. And yes we built it ourselves because there were no solutions on the market.
Is building it yourself the right thing to do in today’s world? Probably not. But there are many company cultures still out there that would rather build it themselves because of many reasons including:
- Personal satisfaction?
- Job security?
Having been there done it I cannot understand why IT in this day and age would NOT leverage millions of dollars in investment of an enterprise software company instead of trying to build it themselves. I say use somebody else’s money with experience across thousands of businesses and stay focused on helping run the business. Even if your business has existing silo channels and all the parts and pieces and you might be able to do it with freeware open source integration code, why put yourself in this position of extreme pressure from the business. They are looking and seeing what is available on the market and are going to expect you to provide those same capabilities. Why try and keep up with this ever changing dynamic, expensive and risky business? It can only be for the reasons listed above which are all personal and not business relevant.
But I have to admit I was one of those folks and I enjoyed the personal satisfaction that came with the success we had at SkyTel. But times have changed and things are much more complicated today than they were 20 years ago.
Take it from me that you can still have and enjoy those feelings by being a good steward to the business and making sure your Customer Experience vendor has vision, resources, delivers and meets the requirements of the business. And if you select the right solution you will be able to manage and configure it without having to pay for professional services every time something changes in the business. You can still be in control and use the software as a tool to support the business whether in the cloud or on-premise.
It does not matter if someone else wrote the code. They can do it cheaper and you can still be a hero!