BSC Business Support Center with support from the Center for International Private Enterprises (CIPE) implements the “Shaping the Digital Economy Agenda in Armenia" project. On August 1, in the frames of the project the 4th public-private dialogue (PPD) meeting was conducted.
During the meeting titled “5 Reasons for Businesses to Go Digital”, public and private sector speakers presented their experience on the way to digitalization, success stories, encouraging the attendees to do digital transformation.
About 70 representatives of the public and private sector took part in the discussion.
The speakers of the meeting were:
– Luiza Ayvazyan, Head of CIPE Armenia branch,
– Samvel Gevorgyan, Founding Director of BSC,
– Anna Gevorgyan, Operational Manager of BSC,
– Arshak Kerobyan, Head of Digitalization Department of Ministry of HTI,
– Tigran Manukyan, Director of MerSoft company,
– Norayr Hovhannisyan, Commercial Director of TIME Armenia,
– Tigran Galstyan, Director of NORKSYS,
– Artur Karapetyan, Director of Text’nPayMe, Digitalization Expert.
After the speeches, Samvel Gevorgyan summarized all 5 reasons mentioned by the speakers for businesses to go digital.
Below are the reasons mentioned by speakers:
1. Increasing business competitiveness
2. Improving customer relations
3. Optimizing business processes
4. Making data-driven managerial decisions
5. Increasing employee engagement, teambuilding
Below is the summary of the speeches:
1. Arshak Kerobyan – the Head of the Digitalization Department of the RA Ministry of HTI.
Arshak Kerobyan noted that being a representative of the SME sector for many years and facing the problems of the sector, he witnessed the evolution of both the state and the private sector representatives. Referring to the private sector, Arshak Kerobyan mentioned several sectorial examples where digitalization has changed the entire logic of business. In the first example, the clothing store, having to face the epidemic conditions, started offering online sales services, and as a result, the risky situation of the epidemic created new opportunities for the store. The next example referred to the accounting company, where Arshak Kerobyan worked as a deputy director for 10 years. His experience here has shown that small- and medium-sized organizations should not avoid digitalization, because in that case the organization will not grow and gain significant progress. The third example refers to taxi services, where the implementation of digital tools was the most obvious reason for their success. Arshak Kerobyan mentioned that it is very important to understand the customer’s behavior for business promotion. This is where digitalization tools and automation systems come to the rescue. According to the speaker, it is very important that small-sized organizations do not avoid implementing digital tools and CRM systems, because it is for these businesses that each customer should be valued, their behavior and needs should be studied.
Speaking about the role of the state, Arshak Kerobyan mentioned that, firstly, the state should not interfere with the private sector with its regulations and laws. Now the HTI Ministry and the newly established Information Systems Agency of Armenia are working together on certain regulations related to cyber security and the data classification. Regarding cyber security, it is planned to introduce such regulations, through which any cyber-attack will be addressed by a unified solution. Regarding the data policy, Arshak Kerobyan presented the approach of the state, according to which any data stored in state repositories will be public, except for state secrets. All other data will be open and classified so that the private sector can use it. At the same time, the state has chosen the following guideline that any person owns his data and only he has the right to give his data to private sector organizations, to see who and how they use it. The state has also adopted a policy that if the private sector or a citizen has given any data to the state entity, they should no longer be forced to give the same data to another state entity.
2. Tigran Manukyan – the Director of MerSoft organization offering CRM solutions to SMEs.
Tigran Manukyan presented that his company is 15 years old and noted that any organization offering digital solutions learns a lot from private organizations during its work. Next, Tigran Manukyan pointed out 5 problems and obstacles encountered on the way to business digitalization: the required financial investment, changes in the team, data security, tools for cooperating with the state platforms, implementation of new tools. Tigran Manukyan presented a tool that allows businesses to monitor the calls made by their employees and customers. An example of 256 Hub and MerSoft CRM was shown to demonstrate the integration of the phone call and CRM system. As a result of the call, the employee took the client’s data, filled it in the system and immediately after the call this call’s information became available to the organization’s director. Tigran Manukyan noted that with the help of this tool, business processes become as transparent and controllable as possible for the management of the organization and new investors. The system allows saving customer data, history, sending reminders or offering online payment options. The data can also help to make certain analyses, evaluate the effectiveness of the advertising campaign, and see the dynamic analysis of calls or visits. Summarizing his speech, Tigran Manukyan mentioned that any business that was not initially created for a limited period, for example 1 year, needs to be digitalized. The first step in this process is to understand what tools and what systems are needed and implement them.
3. Norayr Hovhannisyan – the Commercial Director of TIME Armenia company.
Norayr Hovhannisyan presented TIME company’s activities in Armenia and Georgia. The company has 35 stores and 250 employees. Digitization of TIME started 2.5-3 years ago and is still ongoing. Norayr Hovhannisyan mentioned that the biggest problem they have faced during their digital transformation was the resistance of employees to new systems and tools. In this process, they tried to show employees the solutions and advantages offered by the new systems, so that the transition was smooth. Norayr Hovhannisyan mentioned that it is very important for the employee to see that his work will become easier and faster with the implementation of the system, and the next important point is that the system contains some game components, visualization features, charts that will express the results of their work. For business managers, the introduction of systems created an opportunity to facilitate the processes of monitoring and analysis.
4. Tigran Galstyan – the Director of NORKSYS Company offering automation services.
The NORKSYS company has about 25 years of experience in the automation systems implementation. Tigran Galstyan mainly worked with large organizations, and during the speech he presented his experience in the field of digitalization, the obstacles he encountered. As an advice to private sector organizations, Tigran Galstyan mentioned that along with the investments made for automation, it is necessary to evaluate the efficiency of these investments. The next advice was the systematic digitalization of the organization’s processes, which will enable managing financial flows and the involvement of human resources. Tigran Galstyan claims that it is very important for the business to imagine its own processes very well. In the process of automation, it is very important that the consultants, the representatives of the investing organization studies the internal structure and processes of the organization in details, and give recommendation to introduce a new system afterwards. During his speech, Tigran Galstyan gave examples of several systems such as odoo, salesforce, databox, and mentioned the directions and advantages of their use. The company’s cooperation goes through 3 main stages: design of the client-organization management system, software selection, implementation of the investment. This is the way that any private sector organization can make their decisions on the digital transformation.
5. Artur Karapetyan – the Director of Textn’PayMe Company, Digitalization Expert.
Artur Karapetyan told about his experience of digitalization consultations, noted that there is a misconception that digitalization is creating social media pages for the business. Digital marketing and digital sales tools are certainly part of digitalization, but they are not the process of business digitalization globally. Digitalization, automation and especially its strategic block is developed individually for each company. The digital strategy is necessary for the company to better visualize its internal processes, to understand what tools need to be implemented. Referring the question of how to start the digitalization process, Artur Karapetyan noted that it is very important to involve all employees and to listen to their opinions. Another helpful factor can be involving employees in ongoing work, as the Ikea brand does for example when selling its furniture. This will give the employee a sense of importance, and reduce their resistance. Artur Karapetyan advised the representatives of the organization’s management to never stand back from digitalization processes due to the resistance of employees, to try to work with them, to overcome that stage, because otherwise the digitalization process will never be implemented. Artur Karapetyan told about his experience with an organization that, as a result of digitalization consultations, changed its business direction and turned from a small medical clinic into a company providing automation services to medical institutions. At the moment, more than 280 organizations use the services of this company. Summarizing his speech, Artur Karapetyan noted that entrepreneurs should use digitalization and their business experience, think about giving their business a new direction, which can create new opportunities.
At the end of the meeting, a question and answer session was conducted.
The series of public-private dialogues (PPDs) is carried out within the framework of the “Shaping the Digital Economy Agenda in Armenia" project of the Business Support Center (BSC) and the Center for International Private Enterprises (CIPE).
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