It seems that the term "On Demand" is not being used as much in advertising as it had been, however the concept is certainly still valid. On demand is closely tied to customer service and we have a long way to go before customer service fully meets our expectations. The concept is simple — give customers what they need, when they need it, with whatever kind of device they may be using to connect to the Internet. I have had two instances of on demand shortfalls today.Both had to do with "reminders".
Something I purchased this morning had a special discount if I paid the bill in full before December 18. Their system, however, is unable to track this so it would be up to me to remember to call back before the due date and supply my credit card number. The second instance was an insurance matter. No transactions were available via their web site. I spoke to an agent and we agreed on a certain transaction to be effective January 14. The person said they would enter it into their "system" — hard to imagine a system in the twenty-first century not having web transactions — and everything would happen from there. An hour later, I received a voicemail message saying that the system was unable to handle a date that far "out" and that I should call them back right around the middle of December. So the bottom line was that their system can’t remember something sixty days away and the responsibility was delegated to me, the customer. Fortunately, Quicken can remember things I enter even if they are years away.
The only good news here is for IBM. These examples show how far behind many companies are and how badly they need the latest technologies to integrate their systems and extend them to the web. The bad news is that it all starts with a Net Attitude and there are signs that there are quite a few businesses that haven’t adopted that yet.