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Security system vendor looks to increase employee efficiency

Beth Stackpole | Oct. 8, 2015
ADT might be known for high-tech security systems, but its customer onboarding process was decidedly far more low tech.

"A lot of the companies were surprised by the depth of what we were looking for, but security is our business and we take it very seriously," she says.

When McLean joined ADT two years ago, she reorganized the IT group, pivoting from a technology-orientation to aligning along the business value chain—a move that would prove essential to the Hermes roll out. "Because IT was aligned with business partners along the value stream, IT really understood the end-to-end process and could design a soup-to-nuts solution for the sales team," McLean explains. Without such an orientation, the request would have been limited to electronic signatures, a point solution based on point technology, she explains.

The solution, built on a service-oriented architecture, integrates three primary pillars: Salesforce.com for lead generation to order initiation; IBM/Sterling CPQ as an electronic product catalog delivering configured price quote capabilities for guided sales and field order creation; and Service Power, a tool for managing appointments and scheduling installation. In addition to those main systems, Hermes also integrates with Master Mind, a security industry monitoring and billing platform, Vertex for taxation, and Equifax for credit checks, among other components.

The SOA architecture and open APIs have been key to Hermes' ability to seamlessly cover the entire lead-to-order sales workflow. "We have built a behind the scenes messaging infrastructure for the core components to interface to the back-end system. The beauty of this system is that it's sewed together in a seamless workflow so the sales rep thinks they are in Salesforce the whole time,” McLean says.

Hermes has been fully implemented in ADT's small business group and it's nearly 90% completed in the residential side of the business with a total of 5,000 people using the system. Sales reps are reporting faster close rates on sales from 24 hours to just under one minute, eliminating extraneous resources and overhead while also increasing the accuracy of the initial order since customers can review and accept the contract right on the spot. There is also a smaller window between order acceptance and service installations and faster close rates on the collection of deposits since that now happens at the time of service install. In total, ADT is anticipating Hermes will deliver a $36 million cash savings over the next five years.

Given that Hermes is a complete change from the existing sales process, getting employee buy-in and addressing the cultural issues was a far bigger hurdle than any technology challenge, McLean says. Training was a big part of ensuring smooth adoption. The IT team did the first set of training, and the team established a practice area in SalesForce where reps where able to practice without fear of making mistakes. ADT's IT group also partnered with a training organization to create five training videos, and sales reps get certified on the system before they used it in the field.

 

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