August 15, 2013

The Engaged Economy = Connected Customers

We’ve been hearing a lot about the engaged economy lately, and what that means from the perspective of the “business”.  But what does the engaged economy mean for customers? Or, to put it differently, how can we leverage the engaged economy to better serve our customers? This is a question that I am constantly asking as a chief customer officer and which I will be addressing in this series of blogs on “The Engaged Economy from the Customer Perspective.”

Customers require a high-level of collaboration with their partners, and with the only business-constant being change, they need to find ways to work more efficiently. Now more than ever with the “Consumerization of IT” and the “trifecta” of mobile, social and cloud computing, customers desire a trusted partner to help them navigate this time of rapid change and digital disruption and help them achieve their business objectives.

But to be an ideal partner, one who is highly-engaged, we need to get to know our customers. This can be especially challenging today as cloud applications are, in many cases, changing the buyer of software from the IT department to non-IT professionals.  This fundamental shift in who the customer is changes everything about how the customer is marketed to, sold to and supported. The vendors who will stay a step ahead of the industry and competitors, are the ones who recognize that the very technologies labeled as “disruptive” from the customer perspective can be leveraged to help them quickly learn exactly who their customers are and what they need to be successful in today’s digital age.

We have found the benefit of these technologies to far outweigh the risks. By embracing these emerging technologies and seeing mobile, social and the cloud not as a triple threat but a triple benefit, the engaged economy can be a place where organizations have the opportunity to connect, communicate and collaborate with customers in ways that they never have before.

I look forward to sharing how Enterasys is using these tools to engage with customers next week.  Follow me on Twitter @ValaAfshar

About The Contributor:
Vala AfsharChief Marketing Officer

Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) is the Chief Marketing Officer for Extreme Networks, responsible for global marketing. An award-winning inventor of social technologies and customer services operations, Afshar is a two-time Stevie Award winner stemming from his previous leadership of the company's Support organization, and is considered a pioneer in cloud computing, social collaboration, business intelligence and customer relationship management. Afshar is a recognized social media advocate, having been the keynote of several industry events including Salesforce’s Dreamforce, as well as Gartner and IDC conferences. His thought-leadership has been sought after by leading publications, and he regularly contributes bylines to Huffington Post, Inc., and InformationWeek, among others. To his credit, Vala was recently named by Leadtail as "the most retweeted B2B marketer." He is also the co-host of the weekly "CXO Talk" interview series, where he interviews C-level thought leaders from companies such as Accenture, SAP and Intel.

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