EMC2: Delivering Customer Centricity

EMC2: Delivering Customer Centricity (2011) Harvard Business School Case (Thomas Steenburgh and Jill Avery)

This case discusses the concept of customer centricity, aligning the resources of your organization to effectively respond to the ever-changing needs of the customer, while building mutually profitable relationships, in the context of EMC, the world’s leading information infrastructure company. EMC has built a corporate culture which puts customers squarely in the center of their business mission and has created structures and processes to enable customer centricity to infuse the organization. However, the firm has grown organically and through acquisitions and is now managing a diverse product line and a diverse customer base which includes large firms and small firms, as well as individual consumers. Moving to a VAR sales model has also distanced EMC from its customers. Customer centricity, as historically practiced by EMC, is becoming more difficult to execute and may not be feasible or cost effective, given the large variance in customer lifetime value across the customer portfolio. The case introduces students to fundamental Web 2.0 concepts and allows them to grapple with whether EMC can use “high-tech” customer service to replace or supplement “high-touch” customer service.

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