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CXOTALK with Cincinnati Bell: Citizen developers in the new services economy

How is the new services economy changing business? At FinancialForce Community Live in Las Vegas, Michael Krigsman (industry analyst and host of CXOTALK) sat down with our customers to discuss everything from the changing world of finance to IT innovation and customer experience.

In the latest installment of CXOTALK, we hear from Tyler Gau, Salesforce Administrator and Citizen Developer at Cincinnati Bell, provider of integrated communications solutions.

First things first: what exactly is a “citizen developer”? According to Tyler, he is well versed in the needs of the business but is not a developer in the traditional “IT” sense of the word. Though an employee on the business side of Cincinnati Bell, Tyler also does development work on certain technologies used internally—including FinancialForce. He works alongside IT to procure solutions that make the most sense for business units within the organization, speeding up the process of development and implementation.

In their interview, Michael and Tyler discuss Cincinnati Bell’s use and vision for FinancialForce as well as user expectations in the new services economy. Some key takeaways:

  1. Sales, management, and services should all see the same data. Cincinnati Bell’s main goal is to seamlessly go from project quote to execution using a single workflow. Salesforce and FinancialForce make that possible. They “help streamline things so that we do our work quickly, that we have our data all living in the same environment,” said Tyler. “Upper management, sales and project teams have better visibility into planning their resources out.”
  2. Mobility is essential in the new services economy. For Tyler and Cincinnati Bell, mobility is no longer an added benefit to working—it’s a necessity. Having all their data in the cloud empowers teams to work faster and more flexibly from any device and location. Tyler notes that “the idea that we can go and sell anywhere, we can go and work on projects and update projects anywhere means there’s a huge part of selling faster in that new services economy.”
  3. IT should enable and empower users. “Our implementation of FinancialForce, has really enabled users to ask for more and rethink the way that they are conducting their business processes,” said Tyler. Technologies designed for the new services economy should help automate and streamline processes.
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