Tag Archives: Oracle

customer.service

ASU Center becomes a resource to teach service

Customer service was once viewed as the cost of doing business.

“Across almost every industry, leaders are focusing on service as a way to compete in today’s competitive marketplace,” says Mary Jo Bitner, academic director for the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

But times have changed. Companies that are in search of new revenue streams are finding that in addition to providing great customer service, offering value-added services to their product lines are helping their bottom lines. And the help them make the most of the opportunities, many are seeking help from the ASU Center, which focuses on research and executive education in managing and marketing services.

“Customer demand and the competitive challenges posed by the commoditization of many products has pushed many goods-based companies to take another look at services as a source of revenue and profit,” says Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Services Leadership, who has spent the past 20 years tracking the growing importance of services as a product. “Many are following market leaders to become goods-and-services companies.”

For example, Boeing has broadened its offerings by adding the lucrative market of services to its aircraft manufacturing. The Hewlett Packard and Compaq merger created a new company whose major product is services. IBM’s impressive financials over the past decade — in shining contrast to its competitors — were largely the result of its service businesses.

“In 2001, we were launching our first fee-based service business,” says Steve Church, president of Avnet Integrated and chief corporate business development and planning officer. “We wanted to offer more services and solutions. We knew a lot, but there was a lot we didn’t know.”

Church says Avnet’s membership in the center — which concentrates on expanding service innovation by combining the latest scientific insights from the academic world with the best of business strategy in the real world — allowed the company to “build a culture of service excellence that focuses on the customer and gives each a great customer experience.”

The Center, which was created in 1985, remains the only one of its kind in the United States, devoted to research and education in the services field.  Its research findings form the foundation of the Center’s executive education program, attended by managers and executives of leading firms.  Member companies include AT&T, Charles Schwab and Co., Ford Motor Company, IBM, Mayo Clinic and others, who sponsor research, fund scholarships, host MBA student teams and participate in executive education.

Many member companies sponsor research that is published in academic journals, and shared at the Center’s executive education forums. Bitner, for example, has been studying the effects of self-service technologies (SST), working with Ford and a major pharmaceutical benefits management company.

“The Center is really a tremendous resource for any company that has a strategy to to improve customer serve or add services to augment its products,” Church says. “We learned that by getting our employees engaged in customer service, we built customer loyalty, it helped us compete, and it enhanced our financial performance.”

data.center

IO Attracts Top Tech Talent

IO, the leading provider of next-generation modular data center technology and services, today announced Alan McIntosh, former chief information officer at Groupon has been appointed senior vice president of global technology delivery and Apple marketing veteran Anne Wolf has been appointed senior vice president of global marketing and communications. Additionally, Bob Butler has been promoted to chief security officer (CSO) in charge of global information security and privacy.

These executive appointments follow a blockbuster quarter for IO with the Goldman Sachs adoption of IO Data Center 2.0 technology, the award of the Underwriter’s Laboratories first ever certification for a modular data center product, and a $90 million funding round. IO’s solutions enable organizations to shift from real estate-based data center infrastructure to efficient, sustainable, and software-optimized IO.Anywhere modules. These highly experienced additions to the management team will better enable IO to manage the rapid growth at IO due to the accelerating adoption of Data Center 2.0 by global enterprises, governments and service providers.

McIntosh will help drive this growth and apply his deep knowledge in cloud infrastructure to IO’s global technology delivery strategy and implementation. He has a proven track record in designing and operating web scale global Internet infrastructure at Groupon, CBS Interactive, CNET Networks and Oracle. McIntosh brings both the operations and technical experience that is essential for successfully managing the day-to-day operations at a company that is moving as quickly as IO.

Wolf brings more than two decades of Fortune 500 technology industry experience that includes a ten-year product and solution marketing tenure with Apple. She most recently held the position of Chief Marketing Officer for 41st Parameter, a leading fraud detection solution provider for the world’s top financial institutions and e-commerce companies. At IO, Wolf will drive the global brand, strategic product marketing, corporate communications and Data Center 2.0 market education.

Formerly Vice President of Government Strategies at IO, Butler has been promoted to Chief Security Officer at IO, where he will oversee internal information security, privacy and cyber security readiness for our products and among our global customer base. Butler has over 32 years of multinational experience spanning Defense, Intelligence, National Security and Information Technology positions. Prior to IO, Butler served two years as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy, where he was responsible to the Secretary of Defense and senior Defense leaders for recommending and implementing policy strategies to improve the Defense Department’s cyber position.

“At IO you are the average of your team,” says George D. Slessman, CEO of IO. “As we approach the tipping point for Data Center 2.0 globally, IO is succeeding by attracting, developing and nurturing world class talent like Alan, Anne and Bob. “