Extending and Applying Business Intelligence and Customer Strategies for Green ICT

Extending and Applying Business Intelligence and Customer Strategies for Green ICT

Bhuvan Unhelkar (University of Western Sydney & MethodScience, Australia) and Amit Tiwary (Solution Architect, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-472-1.ch505
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This chapter extends and applies the concepts of Business Intelligence (BI) within business to help improve its environmental performance. When BI is used to improve customer service and optimize business performance, the result can also be used to reduce the carbon footprint of the organization. Various ways to improve customer service as well as cross-selling and up-selling to customers are discussed in the context of the carbon footprint – and with suggestions to improve that footprint. This is a strategic approach to the use of BI in environmental performance – resulting in what is called Environmental Intelligence. The suggestion is to use Business intelligence to improve the overall resources usage (by reducing energy and paper usage) of the organizations without compromising on customer services. For example if the customers are serviced on first contact, the follow on activities involving multiple contacts with customers and marketing paper material could be reduced. This will provide the organizations with better customer satisfaction and also reduce the extra energy usage in developing heavy duty BI infrastructure and paper used for the marketing purpose to woo back the customers.
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There is a phenomenal amount of intelligence that exists in business. This intelligence, which is more than mere analysis of data and information, has been garnered by businesses to achieve enhanced customer experience and related business efficiencies. Such intelligence is gleaned from the organization’s various systems (such as ERP, CRM, HR and SCM), corresponding processes and vast amount of underlying data in multiple formats. These various elements of an organization’s intelligence that are embedded in its systems and data emerge as invaluable decision making tools when they all work together. This systems level collaboration and correlation results in ongoing improvement in customer service and optimization of business activities. The creation of this collaboration and correlation is business intelligence. Business intelligence (BI) is the process of using collective information within the organization to optimize its business performance, enhance its customer service and provide it with overall competitive advantage and sustainability.

Such business intelligence has tremendous potential for application in the modern-day environmentally-conscious business world. In fact, the business environment today mandates a highly intelligent approach that would make optimal use of all resources available to an organization. The environmental issues of a business are not too far removed from the issues of business efficiency and customer service. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that the environmental considerations of business do not embroil the business in expensive and, occasionally expansive, projects emanating out of its greening effort. For example, an organization embarking on environmental consciousness should not add to the already existing complexities of data warehouses and business systems in the organization. Another simpler example would be that a reduction in paper usage by the organization should not result in greater use of server space. An environmentally astute approach would make use of existing intelligence, without overloading it, to enable the organization to achieve its environmental objectives. This chapter is dedicated to the discussion on the use of existing business intelligence towards what the lead author calls “environmental intelligence”. Environmental Intelligence (EI) has been discussed and presented earlier by Unhelkar and Trivedi (2009a, 2009b, 2009c) and has been researched by the lead author. This chapter aspires to think creatively in the use of Business Intelligence (BI) towards EI

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