Is Internet of Things (IoT) for your business? How to use it?

western european IoT market explosion - IDCA new buzzword has exploded in the last 2 years: IoT. Behind this acronym, everybody recognises know the very wide family of connected devices, from portable ones like watches, sensors of any kind included in many industry products, to vehicle/shipping tracking systems. The object of all these devices is to deliver continuous data to their owner to facilitate gathering of information via GSM on a certain topic like body health status, fields hydrometry, or GPS localisation. With the massive decrease of cost of these small sensors, their usage has recently increased massively and opportunities to use them are developed every day.

Among them, there are for sure few business applications that could be of use for any company in the world. But once identifying the right idea, how to put it in place? And what are the pitfalls? Continue reading

Why is employee engagement is foundational to customer engagement?

Digital Business Transformation

Employee Engagement Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is foundational to customer engagement. It is highly unlikely that an employee who hates their job or who is disengaged from what they do will create a great customer experience.

Employee engagement, by any number of studies and research reports, leads to higher levels of business results. Most notable is Gallup’s work in this area evidenced by Gallup’s own Q12 engagement survey. Gallup scientists spent decades writing and testing hundreds of questions, because their wording and order mean everything when it comes to accurately measuring engagement. Their research yielded Gallup’s Q12 survey: the 12 questions that measure the most important elements of employee engagement. Gallup has studied survey results from more than 25 million employees around the world.

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Why is marketing integration critical to the digital experience at the contact center?

Digital Business Transformation

We know we have silos. We know they are not useful. As leaders, we must insist the customer service (the contact center) and marketing align their functions.

As call center agents are on the front lines and make their living speaking to customers and prospects, they know first-hand which words and phrases resonate. Efficiency of interactions is critical for agents, and as such they are keenly aware of what works and what does not when trying to explain products and services over the phone. It is an art form, and experienced agents are masters at their crafts. We all know this.

So how do you integrate this talent within the corporate marketing functions? Start small, but think big. 

Begin with a complicated message and then help marketing simplify. Reps are uniquely qualified to breakdown complex concepts and deliver it in such a way that it is easily digestible. They know…

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Taxis vs UberPOP: When Dinosaurs try to fight against Darwin

Recently, relationship between taxi drivers and UberPOP users has clearly deteriorated in France: Some UpberPOP drivers have been assaulted in different cities where they operate, like in Strasbourg or in Paris. Even an UberPOP customer has been subject of violent attack by taxi drivers in Lyon. And this is not only a French issue since we could already notice similar reports in the area of Amsterdam or in The Hague some weeks ago.

To justify such behaviour, Taxi drivers claims that they are facing an unfair situation where Uber is stealing their business with much less constraints than them to operate it. Seeing their business decreasing very quickly, they feel high pressure and react to it in such (very bad) manner.

Since Uber, like AirBnB or Amazon, are to me very good examples of the new digital era, I was asking myself if Taxi were right in their complain and if they are handling the issue the right way. I’d like to share my views on it since this may be applied to any business facing Today a digital transformation. Continue reading

Yes, we can use customer (big) data!

digital_customerOne of the main challenge of a successful digital transformation is customer centricity: understanding what the customer wants at every second and be ready to deliver him the best service accordingly. To achieve this, companies need to know better their customer, implying for them to gather more information about him, or at least in a more effective way.

That is where the famous “Big Data” idiom pops up immediately, bringing with it at the same time the challenges of volume handling and data quality on one hand, and the privacy aspect on the other hand. Recent news about China hackers having stolen indentifying information of 4 million US federal workers makes the topic very actual by the way. As a consequence, a company using obviously customers data could be very quickly seen as “big brother” and would suffer of a negative image.

On the other hand, we see the value of Big data while improving daily life of smartcities inhabitants like in Songdo or savings lives by using social media info to react more accurately during natural catastrophies. So, why not profiting from them as individual in our daily consumer life as well?

We then reach a dilemma: should we use customer data to offer him better service, or shouldn’t we? Is it by the way profitable? Continue reading

Digital transformation: just a trend or a reality?

IT has been subject of many trends in the past 15 years.

Some were effective and had a deep effect on the way companies are using it. Usage of email as first communication factor has been a very good example even if Today some, like Atos, are thinking of replacing it by social media platforms.

ballet_etourneauxSome others were more like fashions pushing many CEOs and CIOs to adopt from day to day the strategies that strong gurus were predicting to be unavoidable. It has been funny for instance to notice how outsourcing was “the way to go” 15 years ago, then being neglected (see particularly 2006 conference of Prof Strassmann: “Is Outsourcing Profitable?“) and now coming back again.
Were companies having deeply outsourced their IT more successful than the ones having kept their know-how in-house? Difficult to say. There are success stories on both sides.

All in all, we may understand that, after the Y2K issue that required strong attention of business to their IT, new subjects popped up on a very regular basis driving budget choices, sometimes with expected ROI that were slightly theoretical.

And now, for about 2 years, a new topic has risen up: Digital Transformation !

But what do we actually mean by this? And how CFOs and CEOs can be sure that the expensive changes such approach requires are a necessity for their company growth?

Continue reading