Migration versus Transformation

Blog Post created by bfady on Dec 23, 2009

A series of recent customer conversations mixed with the "clean slate" rituals of an approaching new year, nay, new decade, bring me to the topic of this post: Migration versus Transformation.


Most businesses I've talked with about Cisco Unified Contact Center (UCC) are users of legacy technologies.  Having been through the change here at Cisco, the discussions always center around what is different.  Topics range from IT resourcing to how the agents activities change and everything in between.


The answer to those conversation, not surprisingly, is "It depends."  Sure, there will always be some nuances in how things are done in different systems, but my point is much bigger than the tools themselves.  There is a fundamental decision that is made.  The decision to simply migrate versus the choice to transform.


When I say "migrate", I am talking about lift and shift.  Like for like.  This is the comfortable route - you know what you do today and you want to continue it tomorrow.  This is the fast path, relatively speaking.  This is the walk before you run frame of mind.  Get the old stuff unplugged and run the services from the new gear, then we'll really figure out how to make it sing once we're familiar with it.


On the other hand, transformation is, well, not like for like.  It is not doing tomorrow what you do today.  It is not walking, but rather leaping ahead. Transformation done right can generally take longer.  The pay off, well usually far greater too; better customer experiences, new capabilities, greater efficiency and productivity, etc.


Given the pace of technology and innovation, it seems anyone investing in new technologies and architectures would inherently make it a transformational journey.  Why invest time, money, effort into such change only to not unlock and leverage new capabilities and ways of doing things?


Topic for another day I suppose, but it also seems all too common that when migration efforts conclude, transformation programs for the same environment are seldom the next order of business.  "Now the new stuff is in and working, we've got other bigger fish to fry..."


Ironically, most go through technology changes latching on desperately to their processes and ways of old.  All too often the process of gathering business requirements for a new technology project turns into a laundry list of how everything works today.  You are instantly handicapped.  Why is it that everyone can cite 5 examples in less than 60 seconds where old technology causes bad process in their world today, but when asked to re-tool a process based on how new technology works, heels dig in?


Now it's your turn!  I'm interested in hearing how you have executed on the transformational mind set.  How have you mitigated the arguments of time to implement, comfort, and change management risk to get organizations and individuals to lean in, to transform?


Director, Operations
Customer Interaction Network
and the Contact Center Unification Framework