InspireIT: closer to the customer

Published on 13/07/2015 in Inspire

InspireIT: closer to the customer

June 9th saw the Aula Magna in Louvain-la-Neuve fill up for ‘InspireIT’, the Proximus event that provides an overview of the hot issues in the IT world. This time, Proximus again opted for a very topical theme: staying close to the customer in a digital world where the relationship with that customer can sometimes be very transitory. Attracting the customer’s attention and holding onto it: that, in the digital world, is a challenge for every company. That is a key role reserved for IT.

The customer’s attention span is often very short. The customer will switch more readily to a competitor, simply because it can be done easily and free of charge. What’s crucial is to grab that one digital business moment and to offer the customer what he needs right then and there. The customer can also afford to be demanding. The importance of the digital component is ever increasing. The customer makes its choice for the most part online. And shares its unvarnished opinions about the product or brand on social media.

“A company that wants to be close to the customer must be aware of the digital business moment,” says Geert Rottier, Director of Corporate Marketing at Proximus. “It’s about here and now. You need to search for that moment and take advantage of it with the products and services that the customer needs right then and there.” There is a significant digital component to this, with a challenge for the IT department. The latter must not only guarantee the continuity of everyday business, but also respond to the new issues: the permanent availability of applications, Big Data, The New Way of Working (Government HNW Policy ‘Het Nieuwe Werken’), the Internet of Things, and so on. “Among other things, a company must consider carefully how it deals with data in the cloud,” says Stefan Bovy, Medium Enterprise Market Director at Proximus, “what the impact will be on privacy and security, among other things, and what effect that has on the interaction with the customer.”

Uninterrupted service provision

A survey conducted by Proximus among customers produced an interesting list of IT priorities: to guarantee business continuity, smarter collaboration, ensure motivated and productive employees, satisfy customers and further innovate and expand the business. “We support those needs by offering the best technology and the best user experience,” says Geert Standaert, Chief Technology Officer at Proximus. “That’s why we continue to invest, among other things in 5G and Fiber to the Business. But of course it’s not just about the technology. Equally important is the cooperation within ecosystems that we make possible through the network.”

The investment in infrastructure constitutes the basic prerequisite for guaranteeing availability and continuity. “But our ambitions don’t just end there,” says Bart Van Den Meersche, Chief Enterprise Market Officer at Proximus. “It’s our services and solutions that make the difference to the customer’s business.” It’s about the products and services that effectively bring a company close to its customers. Proximus ensures that employees are always connected, via whatever device, and that they can work together more efficiently. “Among other things, I am thinking of Workplace-as-a-Service and our solutions for SMEs in the cloud,” says Bart Van Den Meersche. “We offer all possible functionality at a fixed price per user per month. This is how we guarantee business continuity and greater efficiency at transparent and predictable costs.”

Proximus team

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