Telstra's international business, comprising markets outside of Australia, owns one of the most technologically advanced IP backbone networks in the world, and is a premier provider of network services and managed services across Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Everything Telstra does is inspired by the customer – from delivering innovative new service offerings to continually raising the bar on productivity. This 'customer comes first' policy is what sets the organisation apart; yet, until recently, it was proving increasingly difficult to remain one step ahead so that they could always deliver what the customer wanted.
The reason? Like many large organisations, Telstra had grown into well-functioning but distinctly independent regional silos. For its increasingly global customer base – that is, organisations that had presences across multiple regions – this was becoming a pain point.
Telstra rose to the challenge by seeking out a solution that had one key goal in mind: connection. It would deliver end-to-end connection of every part of the business, in every part of the world, to the customer – in it's own words, it would deliver "a brilliant connected future for everyone".
They found the solution in Salesforce Platform. "If we were going to differentiate ourselves, we really needed to create a unified experience for all," says sundi Balu, CIO, Telstra Global Enterprise & Services.
Given that Telstra already had an emphasis on delivering flexible cloud services to its customers, choosing Salesforce made sense. Salesforce Platform offered the APIs, mobile tools, and more to make it possible to sell from anywhere with the Sales Cloud – and Telstra would be able to use these capabilities as a key differentiator in the marketplace.
Equally important, Telstra would have the ability to really innovate and change the landscape for communications globally.
A key benefit of using the Sales Cloud has been the speed in which implementation – and thus results – have been achieved. The platform has proven quick and easy to set up, and sales teams have been able to use it virtually from the get-go.
Plus, with the range of APIs available on the platform, Telstra has been able to customise the platform to meet its specific needs – virtually at the touch of a button. "We can jump into the Salesforce ecosystem, identify capabilities the business needs, and deliver them instantaneously. We have shrunk our development cycles from months to weeks for some applications," said Balu.
Using a quoting API on Sales Cloud, Telstra has significantly reduced its workload – as customers can now obtain quotes, or upgrade or expand their networks online. It's quicker and easier for the customers; and more cost-effective for Telstra.
Telstra sees this 'opening up' of their operations to their customers as a real positive. "We can now operate as a virtual part of a customer's organisation, by giving them access to all this information – an instant overview of their services, billing information and the performance of their systems – in the one screen," explained Martijn Blanken, Chief Customer Officer, Telstra Group.
It all sounds complex, but as Blanken said, "Being a cloud-based application, Salesforce is all about making the complex simpler."
Since Salesforce Platform was implemented at Telstra, one of the most transparent results has been the improvement to the book-to-bill ratio.