Recently, I tried to purchase additional services from a local utility provider - the same company that had recently run a series of TV spots announcing their new initiative to satisfy customers, no matter what. The bizarre experience that followed taught me several lessons about the need to move beyond traditional customer relationship management (CRM) systems to build the extended intelligent enterprise (XIE) with two critical pieces at its core:

Lesson 1: Make it your goal reduce the latency factor of information in your organization to zero. When I called to purchase the additional services, the customer service representative (CSR) wouldn't speak to me because my name wasn't the exact one listed on the account. Even though I provided the requisite information to enable the CSR to resolve the matter, she could not update the company's systems in real time; therefore, she had no ability to act on the new information.

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