Sunday, January 23, 2011

Disunified Messaging and Holistic Strategies

So, in December, my home phone carrier announced that it was bestowing upon me something called Unified Messaging.  I got lots of bulletin broadcast messages in advance of the conversion brimming with excitement and teasing me with all of the great things I will experience once I enter the Unified Messaging promised land.  I could access messages from home!  From the web!  From an iPhone or an Android!  It kind of sounded like a bit of Dr. Seuss.

So, much like this shopping trip, I naively (and gamely) waited for the conversion.  I was out of town for a lot of the messages that hinted at the special welcome packet I'd get in the mail.  I was curious.  I thought things would CHANGE.

So, after I arrived back into Chicago, I started to set up Unified Messaging on the home line.  New password, ok.  New outgoing message, also ok.  Download app onto new iPhone, ok too.  Amir accessing Unified Messaging on Blackberry... oh, not ok.  Me accessing Unified Messaging on the web via Safari...  oh dear, not ok.  Neither Blackberry nor Safari are supported.

The Blackberry thing "is what it is" so that's kind of a fact of life (though rather a bummer).  We've become inured to that disappointment but we don't necessarily accept it.  But what I think is funny is that I have an iPhone app for Unified Messaging but I can't access it via Safari.  Until recently, my home carrier was also the only iPhone wireless carrier so it's not like this three letter carrier doesn't like Apple.

I find this confusing.  And I was going to keep this to myself...  until I saw this lovely post by Brian Solis the other day about holistic business strategy.  As usual, it was well written and thought provoking and he's not shy about his point.  This is a good representative nugget:

"To put it simply, it is time to for organizations large and small to adopt a holistic business strategy that empowers more employees to think about the whole of the business; to more fully understand the ins and outs of the product/service offering; and ultimately focus on serving their markets instead of serving the stock market."

My personal example is not a big deal but I do think it speaks to some of the inconsistencies that we see with larger organizations today.  I've been there and I've seen those decisions as they are being made.  We jerryrig current products or those in development to be profitable or not too expensive upfront to serve the shareholder instead of  "the market" itself.  The result?  Watered down products that are "fine" or "acceptable" but don't really do the job originally intended.  I've got another personal example in mind that I just may share with you in future, actually.

Brian Solis is right.  All of this is due to misplaced loyalty.  Yes, I understand that we serve at the pleasure of the shareholder and the board.  And, we're to do as we're directed by our CEOs, CMOs, COOs, etc.  That being said, without people willing to buy our products or services, it's kind of irrelevant how angry our shareholders or boards might be if we don't serve them first, let alone how much we annoy our CEOs, CMOs, COOs, etc.  In essence, it's misplaced loyalty because we're not rewarded for serving the market which is another way of saying ownership of customer satisfaction.

So, three letter home phone carrier, why didn't your employees want to own my customer satisfaction and develop a version of Unified Messaging for Safari?  Are your product managers not rewarded for serving the market holistically?

Parissa Behnia
Idea Chef

P.S. Product manager/developer friends, I do understand that there are differences in developing iPhone apps versus developing for Safari.  But, I can't believe that developing for Safari would be insanely cost prohibitive.

No comments:

Post a Comment