Unifying the Customer Experience
Quote to Cash
On a wall-length whiteboard in one of the hundreds of conference rooms at MCI headquarters, Laird takes out a blue marker and sketches a picture of how MCIs systems were organized before the transformation. Laird draws several tall boxes, which he says represent different product lines, such as wholesale, Internet, private line, data products, etc. He draws another box, labeled "customer," far off in the left-hand corner. Under the old system, a customer who wanted to order several different products had to be served by several different unitswhich required human interventioninstead of one seamless, automated process. Orders for voice service were entered differently from orders for data service, which were entered differently from orders for international service, and so on. It was on orders across sales channels into which errors were often introduced, says Gartners Pultz, eventually leading to some of the companys billing complaints.
On the other side of the whiteboard, Laird takes his marker and draws a rendering of "after." The first three squares in a horizontal layer across the top make up MCIs new Web portal strategy for customers, employees and partners. The companys vision is that, someday soon, customers will be able to place orders for service and access network information through these portal sites. By the end of this year, Laird says, customers will already be able to use this format to report "trouble tickets"problems with service, such as when a circuit is down or the network is slow. The next horizontal layer encompasses the "quote-to-cash" process, from ordering to accounts receivable. Up until last year, MCI had about 150 various sales and service systems, Gwinn says. In order to give quotes, salespeople would sometimes have to log on to two or three different systems to find out whether certain services were available, and at what cost. MCI hired IBM Business Consulting Services to come in and sketch out a road map for their business and IT transformation. "MCI recognized they had a series of disparate systems, and they embarked on a project that will ultimately allow them to understand what their cost structure was for these applications," says Fran Exley, a partner in IBMs business consulting services organization.
MCI also worked with Deloitte Consulting to develop a brand new financial data systems planone that Deloittes Kenneth Horner claims has given MCI a jump on Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.