In my last post, I talked about how sales enablement tools needed to be accessible to reps in order to deliver high user adoption. This means the applications must meet the reps when, when and how they work. I’d now like to discuss the second of the triple As: availability.
The legacy of our telecommunications infrastructure (more so than the computing world) has imprinted us with very high expectations – we expect phones to ALWAYS work. And because we are accessing more and more applications and data from phones, we expect these systems to work as well and as effectively as regular telephones.
This expectation is met through High Availability Software which, by definition, works very well. Almost perfectly, almost all of the time. Measured as a percentage one will hear 3-9s, (99.9% availability), 4-9s (99.99% availability) or 5-9s (99.999% availability), and these figures represent the percentage of time the application is availability. Today, all of these levels of performance are attainable if one is using: a) state of the art development environments, b) world-class cloud computing environments, and c) one is willing to spend for the right amount of redundancy.
More importantly, High Availability Computing has become table stakes for the sales enablement environment. What we believe is more important is: Information Availability.
It is one thing for a software application to be accessible, on-line and available; it something completely different to have the proper information available where and when needed and in the appropriate context to make it useful. This is much, much more difficult to achieve.
Traditional, legacy “system of record” application environments have focused on “grand-unification databases” with the goal being one source of truth. These environments get bogged down in very expensive, consultant-led, multi-year professional services engagements that attempt to make everything available from within one gigantic database. And, invariably, by the time they are deployed the requirements have expanded and changed, and the database architecture is incomplete or is obsolete. And what’s worse, relevant data is inaccessible and unavailable to the people who actually can and do use the data – the reps. This is as bad as the information not existing in the first place.
Cloud computing and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environments make it possible, simple and inexpensive to connect multiple systems through standard, robust connectors, very quickly exposing relevant, siloed information. In turn, these data elements can be used to “trigger” events, notifications and activities that are relevant to a specific person in real-time; more importantly, they can be exposed and delivered “in context” to better enable people to do their jobs. They enable reps to sell and service more, better, faster.
Today’s question: How available and connected (integrated) are your applications; how available is your data?
Next up: Adaptability.