Tag Archives: Deliver

Upcoming Webinar: How To Deliver High Performance Capital Markets CRM Customer Experiences

WEBINAR 300x225 Upcoming Webinar: How To Deliver High Performance Capital Markets CRM Customer Experiences

As the Capital Markets industry continues to grow and as product companies continue to fight for “Top of Mind Awareness” via your channels, it is imperative to differentiate by providing personalized, proactive, and predictive customer experiences. On September 21, PowerObjects, an HCL Technologies Company, Forrester, and Discovery Data will host a webinar to teach you how to create customer loyalty in Capital Markets by leveraging CRM to deliver the right messages, to the right constituents, at the right time regardless of channel, business unit, customer, or employee!

Webinar Details:
September 21, 1-2pm CST
Register here!

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how Microsoft Dynamics 365 will streamline the way in which you manage complex hierarchies, associations, teams, and relationships
  • Preview how an integrated Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn “Voice of the Customer” record will empower your touch points
  • Learn how Discovery Data can empower your CRM and LinkedIn data by providing accurate performance and data points for interacting with your firm, branch, and contact segmentation

speakers final Upcoming Webinar: How To Deliver High Performance Capital Markets CRM Customer Experiences

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

An Inside-Out Approach to ERP can Deliver a Modern Customer Experience

websitelogo An Inside Out Approach to ERP can Deliver a Modern Customer Experience

Posted by Anand Misra, Principal Product Marketing Manager

For businesses today still running siloed, departmental solutions of yesterday, there are daily challenges meeting the needs of the modern consumer. The answer for many is to turn their ERP system inside out.

Consumers today have virtually unlimited options for researching and purchasing products, with online sales and new digital channels providing not only transparency into pricing but the actual shopping experience for millions of shoppers around the world. That ubiquity of information has raised expectations and most businesses are having a hard time delivering on.

A chief culprit for the challenge in delivering an omnichannel customer experience is the ERP system itself. Traditionally, ERP software was built to serve the needs of employees, not today’s consumers, let alone the partners and vendors that are a critical part of any modern enterprise. Today’s customers expect accurate inventory information, cross-channel order history and flawless order execution. These are inherently difficult for the legacy ERP systems from the ‘90s that too many businesses are still running on today. Those systems were designed around departmental processes, rather than around the customer and many of the newer versions of those older systems struggle to cast of the legacy of their origins. When the internet emerged with new platforms to transform the way companies deliver product support and information to customers, most companies just began bolting on ecommerce and content management systems that were disconnected from the system of record. To this day, customer data is still spread across CRM, ecommerce, marketing and multiple systems of record, making it near impossible to reward the most profitable customers, predict demand or ensure repeat business.

The answer for many is to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to integrate these separate systems to support their omnichannel ambitions. The results are mixed, with integrations breaking with software upgrades, a lack of real-time visibility as data transfers are done in batches and companies still left with software designed to support employees rather than customers.

These companies fail to realize the depth to which the need to redesign their core infrastructure. Every aspect of this infrastructure needs to be evaluated to design around a customer-centric model from the beginning. They need to turn the ERP system inside out with the explicit goal of improving the customer experience.

Companies that orient around their customers and directly connect demand to a digitally-enabled supple chain will be the long-term winners. Amazon, the prime example, has built its infrastructure to take advantage of global product and price transparency, even dynamically pricing versus competitors.

Today, a company no longer needs to physically own a product to sell it on its website. If a retailer knows a vendor has inventory, it can take the order without ever possessing the product. And beyond supply chain efficiencies, there was incredible efficiency from operating at scale. As the businesses grow, the incremental costs associated with demand could be handled with far fewer employees and far lower inventory costs.

Newer companies that built (or rebuilt) from the ground up with ecommerce and a digital supply chain reap significant advantages:

  • Visibility into supplier and manufacturer inventory.
  • Responsive, consistently excellent customer service.
  • The ability to track and evaluate customer buying histories, behaviors and preferences.
  • Customer profiling and product recommendations for better targeting.
  • Customer self-service through low-cost online portals.

What started as a challenge for B2C companies is now manifesting in the B2B world. B2B customers that have seen the ease of use, visibility and real-time information provided in the B2C world, couple with a new generation of employees that knows no other way, are forcing B2B companies to reimagine their own processes.

Delivering the best customer experiences requires wholesale changes: in organizational structure, in culture and in IT systems. It requires a more modern infrastructure built around the customer. A modern infrastructure is an investment that will pay off in the years and decades to come. But finally, the ultimate goal is within reach: give customers a personalized, relevant and consistent experience across every channel.

For more on the power of building ERP around the customer, download the white paper Customer Commerce: Turning Your ERP Inside Out.

Learn how NetSuite helps create ubiquitous customer experience, helps differentiate your brand and exceed customer expectations: www.suitecommerce.com

Posted on Wed, August 16, 2017
by NetSuite filed under

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Deliver Service Unleashed: Giving Your Customers Your All

unleashed 768x304 Deliver Service Unleashed: Giving Your Customers Your All

In Seth Godin’s recent TEDxYouth talk, “Stop Stealing Dreams,” he asked his audience to raise their right hand as high as they could. After a room full of people reached for the sky, he added, “Now, raise your hand a little higher!” Without exception, every hand in the room was raised higher. They had all held back a little, just in case a bit more might be later requested. But what if no one held back, or to take the analogy a step further, what if we delivered service to those we serve – colleagues, customers, clients, family members – that is completely unleashed from the start?

For example, we needed a large bear-proof crate that would hold a garbage can at our river home in the North Georgia mountains. Black bears are not particularly dangerous unless protecting a cub; they are just always hungry. In the spring and summer, they roam the river bank at night behind our house in search of garbage cans with an inviting aroma. Even though we chained the large can to the wall, they still crushed it from the top to forage for any tasty contents, leaving our backyard littered with garbage.

We called Bill Lorraine. Bill is a master carpenter who had added a sunroom onto the river side of our house. When a neighbor came over to inspect the finished national park style crate he commented, “Now, this is one serious crate. Why? Because even an elephant couldn’t have his way with it. But, why Bill for a small project like this?”

Our answer was: “Bill’s really, really good…he is a carpenter unleashed.”

Have a pep talk with your leashed attitude

“When people ask me ‘how do you make it in show business?’” says famed actor and comedian Steve Martin, “What I always tell them – and nobody ever takes note of it [because] it’s not the answer they wanted to hear. What they want to hear is, ‘here’s how you get an agent, here’s how you write a script, here’s how you do this…’ But I always say: ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.’ If somebody’s thinking, ‘How can I be really good?’ people are going to come to you. It’s much easier doing it that way than going to cocktail parties.”

Service unleashed is all about being really, really good. It means customers experiencing you raising your hand as high as you can – right out of the blocks. The pursuit of excellence says to your colleagues and customers, “You are so important to me that you get my absolute best.” “Being really, really good” includes service with an attitude – an unmistakable disposition of passion and confidence.

Deliver service unleashed by paying attention to the details that, improperly maintained and managed, can spell mediocrity. It means staying on top of the subtle signals colleagues or customers experience that might disappoint. It involves thinking beyond your customer’s needs to their unspoken aspirations. And, it encompasses ensuring customers witness internal service – colleague to colleague – that matches the same standard of distinction.

Take respect to the top for your customer

Two things I remember about my very first suit. It was a powder blue suit—perfect for Easter Sunday church dress-up. And it was a “big boy” event. I was seven years old. Joseph Neel’s Men’s Wear in Macon, Georgia, was a two-hour drive from my rural hometown and we visited only every August to buy school clothes. But this purchase required a special spring journey.

The “big boy” event started with the salesperson person pulling up a chair in front of me at my eye level. He shook my hand and introduced himself by his first name, not “Mr.” Without a single glance at my dad, he asked me about my favorite color. Then he asked for my second favorite color. He asked me about my hobbies and wanted to know my best friend’s name. We were pals in a matter of minutes.

I walked out of the store very tall because I had a suit in my favorite color, a white dress shirt, a pair of shoes, and a tie in my second favorite color. Did I mention that I was seven?

Respectful service – experiences filled with admiration – starts and ends with a clear and present devotion for customers. It is affirmation laced with authenticity. It is confident deference without a hint of servitude. And it is born out of enormous pride in one’s role and workmanship manifested as a kind of invitation to the experience.

It is as if the server says, “Come witness and experience my excellent work, crafted just for you.” It is like a “random act of kindness,” only when you deliver service that is respectful, it is not random; it is perpetual.

And always deliver service that is first class

My business partner and I were working with a client in Nicaragua. One evening we elected to skip the hotel grill and try the hotel’s upscale restaurant – Factory Steak and Lobster. We were in for a special treat. So I ordered my usual Jack Daniels whiskey on the rocks. In every restaurant in America, this request would yield a highball glass brought to the table already filled with ice plus the special adult beverage ready to drink. Because of that practice, I have sometimes gotten cheap bourbon poorly disguised as Jack, as well as a drink the bartender apparently measured with a thimble instead of a jigger.

But at the Real Metrocentro InterContinental in Managua, I was not served Jack Daniels. It was presented to me! The waiter brought a tray containing a full bottle of Jack, an empty chilled glass, a container of ice, and a tall shot glass. The glass was then filled with ice – one cube at a time, and placed before me. The bottle was presented much like a wine steward might present a chosen bottle of wine. Then, assuming approval, the Tennessee whiskey was poured into the shot glass. Finally, lovingly poured into the ice-filled highball glass! A simple shot of whiskey was treated like pricey Dom Perignon champagne. That’s how you deliver service that resonates.

Then make it magical!

What if you found a way to make the mundane magical? What if every service moment was treated as an extraordinary event for a cherished customer? The check-in hotel clerk would come from behind the desk to give you your room key. The taxi driver would take your luggage all the way into the hotel lobby. The service tech would explain your auto repair kneeling eye level with you as you sat comfortably.

Customers are not interested in being treated as royalty served by a slave. But, they do notice when the service they receive clearly indicates they are treasured. If your customers gave your service a letter grade, what grade would you get? What steps can you take to make an A+ on your next customer report card? Deliver service that is the best you have, and their best will come back to you.

For more on customer engagement, see 5 Steps to Your Customer’s Heart with Emotionally Aware Computing.

“Service Unleashed” is the copyrighted name of a suite of new customer service training programs designed by Chip Bell and co-owned and delivered by Forrest Performance Group (fpg.com).


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Walmart could soon use drones to deliver purchases

Walmart may use drones like in-store messenger pigeons.

The retail giant was granted a patent this week for a system in which drones would shuttle products between different departments inside its stores. The idea is to free customers from having to walk across its super-sized emporiums to find what they want and from having to wait while employees return from far-away storerooms.

Ultimately, Walmart believes that drones “can greatly improve the customer experience without overburdening the human associates of the facility.” Waiting, the filing said, “can contribute to reduced customer satisfaction.”

The drones would mostly avoid buzzing above customers’ heads by being routed over shelves instead of store aisles, according to the patent filing. But the filing did leave the door open to humans and flying delivery assistants crossing paths.

Although flying drones over people’s heads may not be a safety risk, steering clear of customers may “nevertheless provide an increased feeling of security for those below,” the filing said.

Of course, Walmart’s new patent is no guarantee that it will use drones. Companies file patents all the time, and not every one of them is put into use.

Fortune contacted Walmart for more information and will update this story if it responds.

As part of the drone delivery system, each store would have a computer system that would function as automated air traffic control for dispatching drones and deciding their flight paths. Sensors on the drones would help them avoid obstacles.

Several drone landing zones would be created in stores, some of which would be in plain sight of customers while others may be hidden from view.

Drones may uses nets or hooks to grab and carry items, depending on the product’s shape and weight. If needed, employees would attach items to drones after getting specific instructions through text messages or through an app.

walmart drone patent Walmart could soon use drones to deliver purchases

Above: Walmart drone delivery patent

Image Credit: Fortune

Walmart’s proposed drone delivery system is different from other high-profile drone delivery projects by the likes of Amazon, Google parent company Alphabet, and UPS. Those initiatives involve drones delivering goods to people’s homes, but drone experts generally say that such delivery systems are years away because of factors like federal regulations, limited drone battery life, and the high cost of larger drones that are capable of traveling long distances.

A recent Gartner report said that businesses could start using drones to deliver goods within their own facilities, something akin to what Walmart is proposing. Additionally, a business that operates in a large office park could use drones to distribute packages like pneumatic tube systems used years ago for inter-office mail, Gartner analyst Gerald Van Hoy told Fortune in February.

This story originally appeared on Fortune.com. Copyright 2017

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How To Deliver Projects On Time On Budget Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Does your company want to deliver projects on time and on budget?

Do you use Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

AbleBridge’s Project Management tool for Dynamics CRM can help.

You’ve made extensive use of your Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution in your marketing campaigns. Your sales team has also used it extensively in identifying prospects, cultivating leads and closing deals. Now, follow through and let AbleBridge Project Management for Dynamics CRM manage your project through to fulfillment.

AbleBridge Project Management is a powerful, effective tool for managing projects even after the sales process has been completed. Unlike standalone project management solutions, AbleBridge Project Management was conceived, designed and built to integrate with your Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution.

It only makes sense: you have collected a great deal of customer information during marketing and sales. All of that valuable information is crucial when it comes time to deliver the project. Why waste the time and possibly the accuracy of entering all the information again into a separate system?

Let your software do the heavy lifting.

  • Because it integrates with your Dynamics CRM, the AbleBridge Project Management tool is intuitive and familiar, hence, easy to use.
  • With templates based on your best practices but customizable for specific projects, you can streamline project setup.
  • You can easily define parameters for the project, mark milestones and provide real time visibility to all project members, even those in the field, through mobile and tablet support.
  • Because of the strategically designed workflows, you can ensure that each step is laid out clearly and consistently and that team members are accountable for fulfilling their individual roles.
  • Dashboards allow you to track timelines, budgets, expenses and resources.
  • You can compare actual vs. projected time and expense.
  • You’ll know at any given time what the status of your project is and what needs to be accomplished next.
  • Strong reporting capabilities allow insight into time and budget status, percentage of completion, and project task accountability.

Also, because AbleBridge Project Management tool is integrated with your Dynamics CRM, it can be integrated with your ERP system allowing you to produce and manage invoices and maintain a handle on the financial aspects of your projects.

AbleBridge Project Management tool for Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a powerful way to manage projects from beginning to end.

If you are interested in a better way to manage your projects in Dynamics CRM, learn more about the Project Management for Dynamics CRM from AbleBridge. Contact us at 877-600-2253 or [email protected]

By AbleBridge, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gold Partner, now a Crowe Horwath company.

Follow us on Twitter: @CroweCRM

625X77forCRMBlog 5 625x77 How To Deliver Projects On Time On Budget Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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Teradata’s Customer Journey Analytic Solution Creates Behavioral Insights to Deliver a Distinct Customer Experience

Data Science meets marketing as companies connect interactions to ensure a personalized and relevant customer journey

Teradata (NYSE: TDC), a leading analytics solutions company, today announced the Teradata Customer Journey Analytic Solution, a complete set of capabilities for discerning the behavioral paths of each individual customer, determining the next best interaction and delivering a consistent, personalized brand experience through every channel and touch point. The solution uses Teradata’s proven consulting services, as well as technologies that enable real-time customer data integration, advanced behavioral analytics and multi-channel marketing automation. It enables CMOs who want to truly understand each individual customer experience to move beyond old school one-to-one marketing tactics that rely on purchases and traditional customer profiling. The insights resulting from Teradata’s Customer Journey Analytic Solution enable marketers to optimize objectives such as response and conversion rates, service delivery, churn, and customer satisfaction – leading directly to high-impact business outcomes such as increased revenue and customer retention.

Customers today require every interaction with a brand to be consistent, but also personalized and relevant. This is despite the ever-expanding range of channels that make building a complete picture of each individual customer extremely challenging. Delivering a better customer experience requires the integration of data from all customer touch-points, whether online or offline, and often in real time. In practice, most companies struggle to blend the technologies and siloed data to understand, anticipate and engage each individual customer holistically.

“Managing every customer as an individual, based on their interactions with your company, requires not only the integration of different types of data but understanding it through the application of complex multi-genre analytics. Even the best-known companies feel this is a ‘boil the ocean’ project – making sense of billions of events for millions of customers, in real time. This challenging situation is where Teradata alone thrives,” said Dan Harrington, EVP, Consulting and Support Services, Teradata Corporation. “Our Customer Journey Analytic Solution is the embodiment of Teradata’s proven experience in the field with some of the world’s largest and most innovative customer-centric companies. It gives marketers a comprehensive view of their customers, based on each person’s individual interactions, so that they can provide the right help at the right time.”

Gartner Research says that by 2018, organizations that have fully invested in all types of online personalization will outsell companies that have not by 30 percent. According to the research firm, key areas of differentiation between vendors include the channels on which the solutions focus, the manner in which seemingly anonymous interactions are stitched together, the tools in place to provide visualization of journeys, and the outputs to other systems.

“With Teradata we were able to accurately combine detailed customer interactions and tie them back to a unique customer identifier in Teradata,” said Alick Rocca, Head of Management Information/Business Intelligence, JD Williams. “Teradata Aster Analytics helped us see the bigger picture within this connected data. For example, we found customers would use a mobile device to browse, then come back and purchase through another channel later. Insights like this helped generate better marketing attribution models to make smarter decisions about how we advertise, generating return on our marketing investment.”

The typical experience for companies using Teradata’s Customer Journey Analytic Solution is:

Teradata customer journey Teradata’s Customer Journey Analytic Solution Creates Behavioral Insights to Deliver a Distinct Customer Experience

¹“Market Guide for Customer Journey Analytics” published June 9, 2016 by analysts Jason Daigler, Brian Manusama, Gareth Herschel, Jim Davies and Shubhangi Vashisth

The Teradata Customer Journey Analytic Solution accomplishes this using the following capabilities:

Intelligently Integrating Data in Real Time

  • Provides a complete view of each individual customer by integrating their data regardless of where the data is generated or stored
  • Captures digital and offline interactions, from the Web, mobile or payment systems, in real time
  • Combines distributed data, from the cloud, the data lake and the data warehouse
  • Accepts new data, channels and campaigns quickly and easily

Multi-genre Analytics

  • Enables a wide range of advanced predictive, descriptive and prescriptive analytic techniques, with machine learning for real-time decisioning
  • Allows marketers to utilize these advanced analytic solutions, regardless of where their data lives
  • Stitches together customer events using pathing analytics to give marketers a unique behavioral view of each customer – augmenting the traditional customer profile with personalized, individual messages that help customers achieve their goals

Interaction Management

  • Delivers multi-channel campaign management capability with real time-decisioning and automation that scales for both volume and communication type
  • Provides sophisticated and flexible customer segmentation, customer journey planning and decisioning capabilities
  • Supports open source technology that allows for the incorporation of data from any source to drive decisions, and integration with any inbound or outbound channel (including digital)
  • Empowers marketing leaders to also drive key improvements on processes and tools to ensure maximum productivity of the marketing efforts

Each of these capabilities enhances a company’s capacity to flex and scale as the business grows. The Teradata Customer Journey Analytic Solution scales to support increasing volumes of data, more analytic models and progression in the myriad of ways a growing customer base will engage with the brand via new channels.

Teradata’s Customer Journey Analytic Solution is available immediately.

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Drones Deliver Tex-Mex. What's Next?

Bloomberg News published a mouth-watering story this week about a drone experiment called Project Wing involving the delivery of… braised pork burritos?

Yep, on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, few dozen students (by invite only) took a number from a red ticket dispenser to pay an extra $ 5.99 delivery fee to “experience the dawn of unmanned Tex-Mex food delivery.”

drone Drones Deliver Tex Mex. What's Next?According to the Bloomberg story, Project Wing (the brainchild of Google parent company Alphabet) selected food as a test product because it is fragile and must be delivered quickly, important facets to consider when it comes to building a business case for widespread adoption of drones.

This latest experiment from Project Wing was a success as burritos were delivered safe, fresh and hot. Thankfully, Alphabet’s investment in drone technology doesn’t end with fast food delivery. Here’s more from the Bloomberg story:

The company has invested significantly in drones and predicts that eventually they will serve many important purposes — possibly delivering medicine and batteries to cut-off areas after a natural disaster or helping firefighters improve communication and visibility near a wildfire.

Alphabet is not alone. According to a study by the Teal Group Corp, the spending on drones will nearly double by 2024 to about $ 11.4 billion (compared to about $ 6.4 billion in 2014). Not surprisingly, large enterprises are moving quickly to evaluate how they can use such technologies. In a recent Forbes story, “How Drones Deliver the Goods Across the Enterprise”, areas where drones impact the enterprise is “broadly revolved around the areas of quality, inspections, maintenance, manufacturing, delivery of goods, and warehouse management.”

In the below video, it’s easy to see how drones, combined with smart glasses, can be used for inside work environments, such as assistants for distributing objects in logistics centers, or for helping to better manage warehouse inventory. What’s next? Would love to hear your thoughts.


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SCN : All Content – SAP Business Trends

How Harley-Davidson and Other Companies Deliver Individualized Products

As robotic technologies continue to advance, along with related technologies such as speech and image recognition, memory and analytics, and virtual and augmented reality, better, faster, and cheaper robots will emerge. These machines – sophisticated, discerning, and increasingly autonomous – are certain to have an impact on business and society. But will they bring job displacement and danger or create new categories of employment and protect humankind?

We talked to SAP’s Kai Goerlich, along with Doug Stephen of the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and Brett Kennedy from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, about the advances we can expect in robotics, robots’ limitations, and their likely impact on the world.

SAP Robotics QA images2400x16002 1 1024x683 How Harley Davidson and Other Companies Deliver Individualized Products

qa q How Harley Davidson and Other Companies Deliver Individualized ProductsWhat are the biggest drivers of the robot future?

Kai Goerlich: Several trends will come together to drive the robotics market in the next 15 to 20 years. The number of connected things and sensors will grow to the billions and the data universe will likewise explode. We think the speed of analytics will increase, with queries answered in milliseconds. Image and voice recognition – already quite good – will surpass human capabilities. And the virtual and augmented reality businesses will take off. These technologies are all building blocks for a new form of robotics that will vastly expand today’s capabilities in a diversity of forms and applications.

Brett Kennedy: When I was getting out of school, there weren’t that many people working in robotics. Now kids in grade school are exposed to a lot of things that I had to learn on the job, so they come into the workplace with a lot more knowledge and fewer preconceptions about what robots can or can’t do based on their experiences in different industries. That results in a much better-trained workforce in robotics, which I think is the most important thing.

In addition, many of the parts that we need for more sophisticated robots are coming out of other fields. We could never create enough critical mass to develop these technologies specifically for robotics. But we’re getting them from other places. Improvements in battery technology, which enable a robot to function without being plugged in, are being driven by industries such as mobile electronics and automotive, for example. Our RoboSimian has a battery drive originally designed for an electric motorcycle.

qa q How Harley Davidson and Other Companies Deliver Individualized ProductsDo you anticipate a limit to the tasks robots will be able to master as these core technologies evolve?

Goerlich: Robots will take over more and more complex functions, but I think the ultimate result will be that new forms of human-machine interactions will emerge. Robots have advantages in crunching numbers, lifting heavy objects, working in dangerous environments, moving with precision, and performing repetitive tasks. However, humans still have advantages in areas such as abstraction, curiosity, creativity, dexterity, fast and multidimensional feedback, self-motivation, goal setting, and empathy. We’re also comparatively lightweight and efficient.

Doug Stephen: We’re moving toward a human-machine collaboration approach, which I think will become the norm for more complex tasks for a very long time. Even when we get to the point of creating more-complex and general-purpose robots, they won’t be autonomous. They’ll have a great deal of interaction with some sort of human teammate or operator.

qa q How Harley Davidson and Other Companies Deliver Individualized ProductsHow about the Mars Rover? It’s relatively autonomous already.

Kennedy: The Mars Rover is autonomous to a certain degree. It is capable of supervised autonomy because there’s no way to control it at that distance with a joystick. But it’s really just executing the intent of the operator here on the ground.

In 2010, DARPA launched its four-year Autonomous Robotic Manipulator Challenge to create machines capable of carrying out complex tasks with only high-level human involvement. Some robots completed the challenge, but they were incredibly slow. We may get to a point where robots can do these sorts of things on their own. But they’re just not as good as people at this point. I don’t think we’re all going to be coming home to robot butlers anytime soon.

Stephen: It’s extremely difficult to program robots to behave as humans do. When we trip over something, we can recover quickly, but a robot will topple over and damage itself. The problem is that our understanding of our human abilities is limited. We have to figure out how to formally define the processes that human beings or any legged animals use to maintain balance or to walk and then tell a robot how to do it.

You have to be really explicit in the instructions that you give to these machines. Amazon has been working on these problems for a while with its “picking challenge”: How do you teach a robot to pick and pack boxes the way a human does? Right now, it’s a challenge for robots to identify what each item is.

qa q How Harley Davidson and Other Companies Deliver Individualized ProductsSo if I’m not coming home to a robot butler in 20 years, what am I coming home to?

Goerlich: We naturally tend to imagine humanoid robots, but I think the emphasis will be on human-controlled robots, not necessarily humanshaped units. Independent robots will make sense in some niches, but they are more complex and expensive. The symbiosis of human and machine is more logical. It will be the most efficient way forward. Robotic suits, exoskeletons, and robotic limbs with all kinds of human support functions will be the norm. The future will be more Iron Man than Terminator.

qa q How Harley Davidson and Other Companies Deliver Individualized ProductsWhat will be the impact on the job market as robots become more advanced?

SAP Robotics QA images2400x16004 1 1024x683 How Harley Davidson and Other Companies Deliver Individualized ProductsGoerlich: The default fear is of a labor-light economy where robots do most of the work and humans take what’s left over. But that’s lastcentury thinking. Robots won’t simply replace workers on the assembly line. In fact, we may not have centralized factories anymore; 3D printing and the maker movement could change all that. And it is probably not the Terminator scenario either, where humanoid robots take over the world and threaten humankind. The indicators instead point to human-machine coevolution.

There’s no denying that advances in robotics and artificial intelligence will displace some jobs performed by humans today. But for every repetitive job that is lost to automation, it’s possible that a more interesting, creative job will take its place. This will require humans to focus on the skills that robots can’t replicate – and, of course, rethink how we do things and how the economy works.

qa q How Harley Davidson and Other Companies Deliver Individualized ProductsWhat can businesses do today to embrace the projected benefits of advanced robotics?

Kennedy: Experiment. The very best things that we’ve been able to produce have come from people having the tools an d then figuring out how they can be used. I don’t think we understand the future well enough to be able to predict exactly how robots are going to be used, but I think we can say that they certainly will be used. Stephanie Overby is an independent writer and editor focused on the intersection of business and technology.

Stephanie Overby  is an independent writer and editor focused on the intersection of business and technology

To learn more about how humans and robots will co-evolve, read the in-depth report Bring Your Robot to Work.

Download the PDF

Future of Business 728x180 How Harley Davidson and Other Companies Deliver Individualized Products


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Digitalist Magazine

Deliver Projects On-Time & On-Budget with Microsoft Dynamics

Natively integrated within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Project Service brings people, processes and technology together empowering teams to complete projects on time and on budget.

Here are 7 examples that demonstrate how organisations accelerate professional services maturity and reap the financial benefits of an integrated project service solution:

1. Propose Profitable Projects

  • Work out sales estimates from the ground up with project quote lines.
  • Ensure each project quote is feasible and profitable with visibility of resource costs and revenue estimates.
  • Improve collaboration between sales and project teams.pn40b 300x98 Deliver Projects On Time & On Budget with Microsoft Dynamics

2. Quickly Create New Project Schedules

  • Instantly create project records in Microsoft Dynamics using repeatable Project Templates that detail the required roles and estimated work schedules.
  • Communicate the project tasks that need to be performed, which resources are needed, and the time-frame for completion.

3. Optimise Project Resources

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4. Increase Team Collaboration

  • Empower teams to be an integral part of project and client success.
  • Find your next project using the Project Finder mobile app.
  • Collaborate with team members by sharing documents and starting conversations through Office 365 Groups associated with your projects.
  • Instantly check the status of the projects you are managing.

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5. Track Project Time & Expenses

Enter time and expenses for the projects you are working on to make sure that clients are billed correctly, and you receive credit for the work you’ve completed.

6. Flexible Customer Billing

  • Bill on a time and materials basis and use project invoice frequencies to determine how often your clients are billed, and on which dates of the specified time period. Set up invoice frequencies for each billing period you plan to use, such as monthly, weekly or on specific days.
  • Bill project work as a fixed price with billing milestones that spread costs in fixed installments for the value of each contract line.

7. Gain Insight from Project Performance

Inbuilt Microsoft Dynamics dashboards and reports give you an understanding of where you stand on each project.

The Practice Management dashboard presents a combined view of your project costs, gross margin, and role utilization while the Resource Manager dashboard provides real-time reporting of utilization metric individual resources and role types.

inv analytics 300x129 Deliver Projects On Time & On Budget with Microsoft Dynamics

Preact are a UK based Microsoft CRM Gold Partner. 

Check our blog for more information about Dynamics Project Service and other new Dynamics features.

by Preact

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Government: How It is Used to Deliver Exceptional Outcomes

There is increased pressure on government organizations at all levels to provide citizens with easy access to products and services. However, they need to stay mindful of budget and resource constraints. A whitepaper by Microsoft, Deliver Extraordinary Public Service with a Trustworthy Cloud , introduces Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Government as a solution well-equipped for the task, helping organizations deliver superior customer experiences while gaining much-needed efficiencies.

Delivering Value to the People You Serve with CRM Online Government

Today’s citizens expect access to services similar to what they get from retail and other vendors in the public sector: 24/7 access to services, from any device. With the online interface offered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, they get what they need, when they need it, from any device:

  • Information about products and services
  • Locations
  • Applications for benefits, permits, licenses, etc.
  • Online bill or fine payment

With CRM Online Government, Employees are More Productive

To provide these service levels, employees want tools that are easy to use, with the functionality they need. Since 2010, AKA Green Beacon has helped government organizations:

  • Better coordinate internal and external organizations with complete integration
  • Coordinate 311 requests through the entire lifecycle
  • Support grant management
  • Manage incident reports

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Government, people coordinate and collaborate smoothly across teams and agencies. With instant messaging, conferencing, and social collaboration, as well as integration with Office 365, they get the tools they use every day, but with additional functionality to be more efficient.

Leadership Gets the Visibility They Need with CRM Online Government

To do their job, leaders need insight to justify the funds they receive; Microsoft CRM Online Government:

  • Eliminates redundant processes and provides more self-service options, reducing the cost of staffing and improving customer service
  • Through business intelligence, provides deep insight and transparency into operations to prevent, find, and resolve issues
  • With a cloud-based infrastructure, reduces IT costs and maintenance

Secure Cloud Environment with Robust CRM Functionality

Security is a very important consideration with government organizations. Having access to sensitive information of people as well as other agencies requires reliable security in an online solution. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Government was specifically designed to meet public sector requirements for security and compliance:

  • Compliant with FedRAMP Authority to Operate (ATO), HIPAA, CJIS, and more
  • Physical, network, and logical components are isolated from the CRM public online cloud
  • Data is encrypted at REST
  • Each organization instance has a dedicated database
  • All data, applications, and hardware are located in the continental U.S.
  • Only government agencies occupy the tenant community
  • The cloud is supported and operated by screened U.S. citizens
  • 99.9 percent uptime, stated in a financially-backed Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Financially, the cloud also has its advantages. With the option to pay-as-you-go, agencies can access and pay for only the services they need when they need them.

Microsoft Pub Sec White Paper Image Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Government: How It is Used to Deliver Exceptional OutcomesFor organizations in all levels of government, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Government means efficiency, better service, and lower costs. Download the whitepaper, Deliver Extraordinary Public Service with a Trustworthy Cloud, to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Government.

by /AKA Green Beacon

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