Cisco Customer Experience helps a partner serve clients better to innovate and drive outcomes.
Industry: Information technology and services
Company size: 1000 employees
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
As a leader in serving customers across a variety of commercial and public sector markets, Axians is dedicated to helping customers achieve complex and mission-critical digital transformation.
Part of the VINCI Energies group of companies, Axians focuses on gaining a full understanding of each customer's strategic business needs and working with them to help define and realize their outcomes.
"We are searching for ambitious customers who see opportunities in a digital business perspective, not those who are simply updating their network because they have to," said Stefan Collet, Manager Innovation at Axians Netherlands.
"We are hunting for the true ambition of the customer and seeking better ways to identify and realize the tangible results they can create. We believe in improving people's lives by making our customers better and helping them realize their desired outcomes like quicker learning for teenagers, faster recovery of patients, like easier ways to shop or travel—you name it."
As customer needs continually change because of rapidly changing market opportunities, Axians Netherlands is continually evolving its practice as well.
"Customers aren't looking for tech specialists as much like they used to do a few years ago," said Collet. "They are focusing on a partner that knows how to create more space for innovation and creates solutions that help them realize their ambitions."
To achieve this close synergy between technology and outcomes, Axians has worked closely with Cisco to implement a customer experience practice based on a lifecycle selling approach. Cisco CX utilizes this lifecycle model to make sure customers achieve the true value of their technology investment, faster.
"Cisco CX combines our 35 years of technology expertise with telemetry to connect Cisco, partners, and customers with AI/ML-driven insights and customer use cases. Working closely with our partners, we put this real-time knowledge and power into the hands of the customer directly," said Alistair Wildman, SVP and General Manager, Customer Experience EMEAR.
Axians is a longtime Cisco partner, and together the two companies are constantly focused on aligning technology innovation to business growth.
Developing a deep understanding of each customer's business is a central tenet of the CX approach. Axians has found that its approach is a strong complement to Cisco's CX methodology. To support its program, Axians established a set of distinct CX roles aligned to Cisco's strategy, such as an Ambition Manager or CX Success Manager, who is responsible for the customer experience, understanding their expectations, and accelerating the customer through the lifecycle, building and driving their deployment plan.
The partner's responsable d'affaires (RA) professionals also contribute, and are responsible for sales and revenue or operations, as well as full lifecycle support, and driving results and customer loyalty.
"Everything starts with knowing what a customer's goals are—not only the architecture of the network, but where they want to grow and how they see their business models and workforce evolving," explains Edwin Kanis, Director Marketing and Innovation.
"For example, I was recently speaking with the CEO of a large insurance company. The firm was implementing AI, which will deliver major benefits but could also impact how they apply their resources in the coming years. Changing all your processes means something to customers. If we understand their imperatives, we can better support them—and create opportunities for real innovation."
Cisco's strong market leadership further complements Axians' approach, enabling the organization to deliver industry-leading solutions to customers, and build strategic plans for the future.
"On an operations level, we are leveraging the position that Cisco has in Gartner's Magic Quadrant," said Collet. "We see Cisco as a visionary with the power to execute. As we evolve into a software-defined world, it's much more important for customers to understand the innovation path your vendor will have in the future and align it with their own vision."
One of the most innovative applications of the collaboration with Cisco CX is Axians' usage of Cisco Success Tracks. Success Tracks provides a suite of service solutions with a use case guided digital journey through the CX Cloud. It is designed to help customers more quickly adopt new technologies, simplify IT operations and time to production, and gain new IT skills.
Axians is leading the way for the adoption of PX Cloud. PX Cloud, the partner's digital interface for Success Tracks, connects partners to Cisco and customers to access business and technology insights. Partners can gain a deeper knowledge of their customer's lifecycle, identify risks, and uncover opportunities to extend their service offerings—all in one seamless, digital interface experience.
"We are excited to be first in adopting Success Tracks and PX Cloud for the EMEAR market," said Collet. "We have offered Success Tracks to an education customer and implemented the solution, leveraging the Cisco Accelerators, one-on-one coaching sessions to speed technology adoption and best practices, as well as creating our own Accelerator tracks and segment-specific content."
“With its data-driven strategy, Axians gains additional insight into its customer environments, the challenges they are facing, and new opportunities to innovate and address their changing needs with PX Cloud. ”Stefan Collet Manager Innovation, Axians The Netherlands
Axians is also taking steps to help enable its ambition managers and its customers to take full advantage of the wealth of information that resides in their environment and apply it toward better outcomes.
"We are applying the data we have in ServiceNow, HubSpot, SAP HANA, and Dynamics CRM to our own customer success platform," said Collet. "We are also leveraging the data that comes out of Cisco DNA Center, taking advantage of the cloud connectors that we had in place for our education customer, as well as leveraging the data that resides in PX Cloud."
"With its data-driven strategy, Axians gains additional insight into its customer environments, the challenges they are facing, and new opportunities to innovate and address their changing needs with PX Cloud," said Collet.
As Axians continues to extend its CX approach to more customers in The Netherlands, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, and beyond, the organization is confident that it will continue to forge deeper, lasting customer relationships well into the future.