We all work day in day out to get more products, more services for our customer so that they can make more money which means we also get more money, so end of the month our perks will be more. So  spouse can do bit more shopping, kids can get some more Gadgets and we also have our own relaxation ways.Which is good. It’s a WIN-WIN situation for all. So everyone is happy all rosy Great Day.


After I have moved to EFT, in my first visit to Customer site, I got an insight of what exactly it means “when we say understanding the customer”or “getting into the customer shoes”. I got various examples, but the one I am going to share, I guess most of us would be able to co-relate.


We all are using Cisco IP phones. Many of us must have configured and got it registered. So we all know that for registering an IP phone we need to know its MAC address. You might say, isn't it obvious, so what ? not exactly.


Hmm… I can see you are getting confused J let me make it clear, I will give you two perspective. One before I paid a visit to the customer and the other after my visit to the customer,


“Tester in Lab” perspective.Why? image13.jpgBecause that is what my role have

been for all these years, and that is how I worked day in day out, that is the window  through which I tried to peep to see things.


When I joined in Cisco, I found this MAC address concept for phone bit crappy, since I had experience with Avaya Solution where one need not to bother about phones MAC,address. One  can log in with ones extension from any phone. But with Cisco IP phone one have to ensure the correct phone is connected in the network to get ones extension working. And if any one takes your phone in Lab, you have to search for that particular phone or else get a new phone and change the MAC address in Phone Page in CUCM. For me it was like an unnecessary hassle. I think most of you can correlate to this and agree with me, at the same time there might be some quick solutions that might be popping up in your brain while reading this “ One can use a marker, or one can put a sticker”, its just about managing the things and putting some discipline in lab by setting some norms, inform other before taking phones etc etc.Why  to make such a big hue and cry, Great, we are really good at solving problems, providing quick fixes.


Let us just give our problem solving brains, a pause, and look at the other perspective, which I call “Looking through customer Glasses”


Let us take the same issue, and see how it effect for the customer.images19.jpgIn this case it’s a HCS service provider, who basically provide UC as service to other enterprises. So once the service provider sets up a deal with the enterprise, next step he would do is he would place an order for phones from Cisco. And while the phones will be shipped he would like to proceed with configuration, so that the moment phones have arrived he will just plug in and setup would be ready.


But now one cant do that, because one would need phone MAC address to configure.  Which means they have to wait till the they get the phones or MAC address. And it will have consequences in the below way.



It also increases the chances of making mistakes along with the time to deploy which ultimately increases the cost and dis-satisfaction.


If we look at both the situations, in both the cases issue is same, however the impact what it makes is hugely different. In first case it was just limited to a lab environment where tester would have to go through hassle of searching and plugging in the right phone. And here one might be dealing with some 15-20 phones, where as in the other case the number of phones one might be dealing would be some thousands, and location would be different cities on different places in the same city.


The factor what makes these two situation different is Scale or volume, time and man power required are entirely different. And the intention why customer is doing this because he wants to earn Money. Saving or reducing the cost is an important aspect which we need to understand. And to reduce the cost solution have to be simple and easy to handle with less efforts.


Key Takeaway:


  • Each and every feature or Product in the solution should be evaluated to see, whether it is inline with the Over all solution USP or not.


  • Logistics of deploying or implementing in field is also a very important aspect that should be considered while designing or developing any feature or Product.


  • Any Product or Feature should be Designed, Developed or tested keeping an eye on how it is going to reduce the cost or increase the inflow of money, for the customer along with other factors.


  • While designing new products we try to use our past products implementation experience, but some times it is better to forget that and design in a new way.


Learn and Share, the best way to move ahead.