BT has been a close partner of Cisco for over 30 years — which is incredible when you consider how much the industry has changed during this time.
In the last three decades, BT has successfully transformed itself from a traditional communications service provider into a far more agile multi-national company with a clear-eyed focus on one, all-encompassing mission: to ensure that its customers always enjoy the best experience possible when using its wide range of communications services.
In today’s digital and fast-moving world, this mission has become even more critical, and more challenging, than before. Service providers such as BT now have to respond more quickly than ever to the demands of their enterprise and consumer customers.
It’s all about the journey
BT has certainly been keen to embrace this pace of change and stay ahead of competition. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges, accelerating timelines and setting new project delivery expectations. According to a recent IDC Vendor Spotlight report, “the accelerated pace of change means clients will need far more in the form of services, support, training, reassurance, portals, certifications, and frameworks as they plunge into new technology and new ways of working”
As a longstanding and trusted partner of Cisco, BT has been able to observe at close hand how we have changed our own approach to supporting customers and partners.
Cisco’s mantra is that it’s all about understanding the journey of the customer — where they are trying to get to with a particular use case, and where they are on that journey. This message now underpins our entire philosophy to customer support and forms the basis of the Cisco Customer Experience (CX) approach.
The Cisco CX proposition fully resonated with BT, as it chimed with its own beliefs about how the customer experience should evolve. Persuaded by the successes we have achieved through this approach with our customers, BT has now become one of our first global partners to adopt the Lifecycle Advantage model — the leading customer experience management program for partners that leverages insights and automation to drive retention and growth.
Bridging the gap
In a nutshell, the Lifecycle Advantage program builds a bridge between Cisco and its partners. It enables us to jointly orchestrate customers through important milestones, across the entire lifecycle. Together, we engage customers with the right message at the right time — whether that’s assisting adoption, simplifying renewals, or upselling to higher-value solutions.
BT is now in the position of being able to address its customers’ needs at every stage of the journey, ensuring they gain more value, and faster, from every product and service they use. In practical terms, this means that BT is using data and telemetry to keep track of the customer experience throughout the entire lifecycle and is deploying a global team of lifecycle sales managers who are industry certified.
So why has BT adopted this approach? One important driver is that in the past, BT has seen customers adopt a solution, including those from Cisco, but only use a fraction of its potential. BT and Cisco now offer a new set of services that are designed to give customers more value from an early stage.
You only have to look at some of BT’s recent projects with Cisco during the current pandemic to see what a difference the Cisco CX Customer Lifecycle model can make. For example, BT committed to supporting the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) during the health crisis, which included installing phone lines and high-speed connectivity at the new NHS Nightingale field hospitals.
By working as strategic partners, BT and Cisco were quickly able to mobilize a new hospital and healthcare workforce that was able to meet some extremely challenging timelines, also at a time when social-distancing measures were in place.
In summary, building relationships with customers is more important than ever. We believe this pioneering project with BT is a real differentiator that will help our customers achieve value much faster from the solutions they acquire from BT. In our view, it’s a blueprint for customer success at every level of the value chain.