Tag Archives: Experience

Omnichannel Digital Experience Is Required In The Digital Age

When members of Lowe’s Innovation Labs first began talking with the home improvement retailer’s senior executives about how disruptive technologies would affect the future, the presentations were well received but nothing stuck.

“We’d give a really great presentation and everyone would say, ‘Great job,’ but nothing would really happen,” says Amanda Manna, head of narratives and partnerships for the lab.

The team realized that it needed to ditch the PowerPoints and try something radical. The team’s leader, Kyle Nel, is a behavioral scientist by training. He knows people are wired to receive new information best through stories. Sharing far-future concepts through narrative, he surmised, could unlock hidden potential to drive meaningful change.

So Nel hired science fiction writers to pen the future in comic book format, with characters and a narrative arc revealed pane by pane.

The first storyline, written several years before Oculus Rift became a household name, told the tale of a couple envisioning their kitchen renovation using virtual reality headsets. The comic might have been fun and fanciful, but its intent was deadly serious. It was a vision of a future in which Lowe’s might solve one of its long-standing struggles: the approximately US$ 70 billion left on the table when people are unable to start a home improvement project because they can’t envision what it will look like.

When the lab presented leaders with the first comic, “it was like a light bulb went on,” says Manna. “Not only did they immediately understand the value of the concept, they were convinced that if we didn’t build it, someone else would.”

Today, Lowe’s customers in select stores can use the HoloRoom How To virtual reality tool to learn basic DIY skills in an interactive and immersive environment.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature3 Image2 Omnichannel Digital Experience Is Required In The Digital AgeOther comics followed and were greeted with similar enthusiasm—and investment, where possible. One tells the story of robots that help customers navigate stores. That comic spawned the LoweBot, which roamed the aisles of several Lowe’s stores during a pilot program in California and is being evaluated to determine next steps.

And the comic about tools that can be 3D-printed in space? Last year, Lowe’s partnered with Made in Space, which specializes in making 3D printers that can operate in zero gravity, to install the first commercial 3D printer in the International Space Station, where it was used to make tools and parts for astronauts.

The comics are the result of sending writers out on an open-ended assignment, armed with trends, market research, and other input, to envision what home improvement planning might look like in the future or what the experience of shopping will be in 10 years. The writers come back with several potential story ideas in a given area and work collaboratively with lab team members to refine it over time.

The process of working with writers and business partners to develop the comics helps the future strategy team at Lowe’s, working under chief development officer Richard D. Maltsbarger, to inhabit that future. They can imagine how it might play out, what obstacles might surface, and what steps the company would need to take to bring that future to life.

Once the final vision hits the page, the lab team can clearly envision how to work backward to enable the innovation. Importantly, the narrative is shared not only within the company but also out in the world. It serves as a kind of “bat signal” to potential technology partners with capabilities that might be required to make it happen, says Manna. “It’s all part of our strategy for staking a claim in the future.”

Companies like Lowe’s are realizing that standard ways of planning for the future won’t get them where they need to go. The problem with traditional strategic planning is that the approach, which dates back to the 1950s and has remained largely unchanged since then, is based on the company’s existing mission, resources, core competencies, and competitors.

Yet the future rarely looks like the past. What’s more, digital technology is now driving change at exponential rates. Companies must be able to analyze and assess the potential impacts of the many variables at play, determine the possible futures they want to pursue, and develop the agility to pivot as conditions change along the way.

This is why planning must become completely oriented toward—and sourced from—the future, rather than from the past or the present. “Every winning strategy is based on a compelling insight, but most strategic planning originates in today’s marketplace, which means the resulting plans are constrained to incremental innovation,” says Bob Johansen, distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future. “Most corporate strategists and CEOs are just inching their way to the future.” (Read more from Bob Johansen in the Thinkers story, “Fear Factor.”)

Inching forward won’t cut it anymore. Half of the S&P 500 organizations will be replaced over the next decade, according to research company Innosight. The reason? They can’t see the portfolio of possible futures, they can’t act on them, or both. Indeed, when SAP conducts future planning workshops with clients, we find that they usually struggle to look beyond current models and assumptions and lack clear ideas about how to work toward radically different futures.

Companies that want to increase their chances of long-term survival are incorporating three steps: envisioning, planning for, and executing on possible futures. And doing so all while the actual future is unfolding in expected and unexpected ways.

Those that pull it off are rewarded. A 2017 benchmarking report from the Strategic Foresight Research Network (SFRN) revealed that vigilant companies (those with the most mature processes for identifying, interpreting, and responding to factors that induce change) achieved 200% greater market capitalization growth and 33% higher profitability than the average, while the least mature companies experienced negative market-cap growth and had 44% lower profitability.

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Looking Outside the Margins

“Most organizations lack sufficient capacity to detect, interpret, and act on the critically important but weak and ambiguous signals of fresh threats or new opportunities that emerge on the periphery of their usual business environment,” write George S. Day and Paul J. H. Schoemaker in their book Peripheral Vision.

But that’s exactly where effective future planning begins: examining what is happening outside the margins of day-to-day business as usual in order to peer into the future.

Business leaders who take this approach understand that despite the uncertainties of the future there are drivers of change that can be identified and studied and actions that can be taken to better prepare for—and influence—how events unfold.

That starts with developing foresight, typically a decade out. Ten years, most future planners agree, is the sweet spot. “It is far enough out that it gives you a bit more latitude to come up with a broader way to the future, allowing for disruption and innovation,” says Brian David Johnson, former chief futurist for Intel and current futurist in residence at Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination. “But you can still see the light from it.”

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature3 Image4 Omnichannel Digital Experience Is Required In The Digital AgeThe process involves gathering information about the factors and forces—technological, business, sociological, and industry or ecosystem trends—that are effecting change to envision a range of potential impacts.

Seeing New Worlds

Intel, for example, looks beyond its own industry boundaries to envision possible future developments in adjacent businesses in the larger ecosystem it operates in. In 2008, the Intel Labs team, led by anthropologist Genevieve Bell, determined that the introduction of flexible glass displays would open up a whole new category of foldable consumer electronic devices.

To take advantage of that advance, Intel would need to be able to make silicon small enough to fit into some imagined device of the future. By the time glass manufacturer Corning unveiled its ultra-slim, flexible glass surface for mobile devices, laptops, televisions, and other displays of the future in 2012, Intel had already created design prototypes and kicked its development into higher gear. “Because we had done the future casting, we were already imagining how people might use flexible glass to create consumer devices,” says Johnson.

Because future planning relies so heavily on the quality of the input it receives, bringing in experts can elevate the practice. They can come from inside an organization, but the most influential insight may come from the outside and span a wide range of disciplines, says Steve Brown, a futurist, consultant, and CEO of BaldFuturist.com who worked for Intel Labs from 2007 to 2016.

Companies may look to sociologists or behaviorists who have insight into the needs and wants of people and how that influences their actions. Some organizations bring in an applied futurist, skilled at scanning many different forces and factors likely to coalesce in important ways (see Do You Need a Futurist?).

Do You Need a Futurist?

Most organizations need an outsider to help envision their future. Futurists are good at looking beyond the big picture to the biggest picture.

Business leaders who want to be better prepared for an uncertain and disruptive future will build future planning as a strategic capability into their organizations and create an organizational culture that embraces the approach. But working with credible futurists, at least in the beginning, can jump-start the process.

“The present can be so noisy and business leaders are so close to it that it’s helpful to provide a fresh outside-in point of view,” says veteran futurist Bob Johansen.

To put it simply, futurists like Johansen are good at connecting dots—lots of them. They look beyond the boundaries of a single company or even an industry, incorporating into their work social science, technical research, cultural movements, economic data, trends, and the input of other experts.

They can also factor in the cultural history of the specific company with whom they’re working, says Brian David Johnson, futurist in residence at Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination. “These large corporations have processes and procedures in place—typically for good reasons,” Johnson explains. “But all of those reasons have everything to do with the past and nothing to do with the future. Looking at that is important so you can understand the inertia that you need to overcome.”

One thing the best futurists will say they can’t do: predict the future. That’s not the point. “The future punishes certainty,” Johansen says, “but it rewards clarity.” The methods futurists employ are designed to trigger discussions and considerations of possibilities corporate leaders might not otherwise consider.

You don’t even necessarily have to buy into all the foresight that results, says Johansen. Many leaders don’t. “Every forecast is debatable,” Johansen says. “Foresight is a way to provoke insight, even if you don’t believe it. The value is in letting yourself be provoked.”

External expert input serves several purposes. It brings everyone up to a common level of knowledge. It can stimulate and shift the thinking of participants by introducing them to new information or ideas. And it can challenge the status quo by illustrating how people and organizations in different sectors are harnessing emerging trends.

The goal is not to come up with one definitive future but multiple possibilities—positive and negative—along with a list of the likely obstacles or accelerants that could surface on the road ahead. The result: increased clarity—rather than certainty—in the face of the unknown that enables business decision makers to execute and refine business plans and strategy over time.

Plotting the Steps Along the Way

Coming up with potential trends is an important first step in futuring, but even more critical is figuring out what steps need to be taken along the way: eight years from now, four years from now, two years from now, and now. Considerations include technologies to develop, infrastructure to deploy, talent to hire, partnerships to forge, and acquisitions to make. Without this vital step, says Brown, everybody goes back to their day jobs and the new thinking generated by future planning is wasted. To work, the future steps must be tangible, concrete, and actionable.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature3 Image5 Omnichannel Digital Experience Is Required In The Digital AgeOrganizations must build a roadmap for the desired future state that anticipates both developments and detours, complete with signals that will let them know if they’re headed in the right direction. Brown works with corporate leaders to set indicator flags to look out for on the way to the anticipated future. “If we see these flagged events occurring in the ecosystem, they help to confirm the strength of our hypothesis that a particular imagined future is likely to occur,” he explains.

For example, one of Brown’s clients envisioned two potential futures: one in which gestural interfaces took hold and another in which voice control dominated. The team set a flag to look out for early examples of the interfaces that emerged in areas such as home appliances and automobiles. “Once you saw not just Amazon Echo but also Google Home and other copycat speakers, it would increase your confidence that you were moving more towards a voice-first era rather than a gesture-first era,” Brown says. “It doesn’t mean that gesture won’t happen, but it’s less likely to be the predominant modality for communication.”

How to Keep Experiments from Being Stifled

Once organizations have a vision for the future, making it a reality requires testing ideas in the marketplace and then scaling them across the enterprise. “There’s a huge change piece involved,”
says Frank Diana, futurist and global consultant with Tata Consultancy Services, “and that’s the place where most
businesses will fall down.”

Many large firms have forgotten what it’s like to experiment in several new markets on a small scale to determine what will stick and what won’t, says René Rohrbeck, professor of strategy at the Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences. Companies must be able to fail quickly, bring the lessons learned back in, adapt, and try again.

SAP Q417 DigitalDoubles Feature3 Image6 Omnichannel Digital Experience Is Required In The Digital AgeLowe’s increases its chances of success by creating master narratives across a number of different areas at once, such as robotics, mixed-reality tools, on-demand manufacturing, sustainability, and startup acceleration. The lab maps components of each by expected timelines: short, medium, and long term. “From there, we’ll try to build as many of them as quickly as we can,” says Manna. “And we’re always looking for that next suite of things that we should be working on.” Along the way certain innovations, like the HoloRoom How-To, become developed enough to integrate into the larger business as part of the core strategy.

One way Lowe’s accelerates the process of deciding what is ready to scale is by being open about its nascent plans with the world. “In the past, Lowe’s would never talk about projects that weren’t at scale,” says Manna. Now the company is sharing its future plans with the media and, as a result, attracting partners that can jump-start their realization.

Seeing a Lowe’s comic about employee exoskeletons, for example, led Virginia Tech engineering professor Alan Asbeck to the retailer. He helped develop a prototype for a three-month pilot with stock employees at a Christiansburg, Virginia, store.

The high-tech suit makes it easier to move heavy objects. Employees trying out the suits are also fitted with an EEG headset that the lab incorporates into all its pilots to gauge unstated, subconscious reactions. That direct feedback on the user experience helps the company refine its innovations over time.

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Make the Future Part of the Culture

Regardless of whether all the elements of its master narratives come to pass, Lowe’s has already accomplished something important: It has embedded future thinking into the culture of the company.

Companies like Lowe’s constantly scan the environment for meaningful economic, technology, and cultural changes that could impact its future assessments and plans. “They can regularly draw on future planning to answer challenges,” says Rohrbeck. “This intensive, ongoing, agile strategizing is only possible because they’ve done their homework up front and they keep it updated.”

It’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen in the future, but companies can help to shape it, says Manna of Lowe’s. “It’s really about painting a picture of a preferred future state that we can try to achieve while being flexible and capable of change as we learn things along the way.” D!


About the Authors

Dan Wellers is Global Lead, Digital Futures, at SAP.

Kai Goerlich is Chief Futurist at SAP’s Innovation Center Network.

Stephanie Overby is a Boston-based business and technology journalist.


Read more thought provoking articles in the latest issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly.

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What Exactly is Customer Experience Management?

gettyimages 534827625 e1510935521779 What Exactly is Customer Experience Management?

Everyone knows that a business cannot succeed without its customers and in order to keep them happy, you have to take the time to get to know them, who they are and what they want out of the services you provide. Many businesses use CRM software to help foster stronger relationships with its following by using it to track customer information. Knowing their purchase history, social media activity and the amount of times they have communicated with your company, helps you marketing toward them more intuitively. However, it isn’t the only software made to help strengthen a business/customer relationship. Let’s talk about another acronym, CEM.

What Is It?

Customer experience management is the collection of processes used by a company to oversee and organize all interactions between a customer and an organization through the customer lifecycle. The customer lifecycle means the progression between a customer considering, purchasing and ultimately maintaining loyalty to a product or brand. This software basically helps businesses focus on the needs of its customers through keeping a close eye on all interactions from beginning to end.

What’s unique about this software is that it makes a business view itself from the perspective of the customer. Because of that, decisions made by businesses can be made with the customer’s thoughts and emotions in mind, acting as a heavy influence. Customer experience management’s goal is to optimize interactions from a customer’s prospective and create customer loyalty. As mentioned at the beginning of this post, your customers are the most vital part of a business and their thoughts and opinions matter.

Difference Between CRM and CEM

In certain ways, both CRM and CEM may seem like they are the same type of software. They focus on the satisfaction of the customer and are both tools that are made to capture customer data. While they do bear resemblance to one another, the end goal for both software’s are completely different. Since we already know that customer experience management software tracks and oversees all interactions between a customer and organization throughout a customer lifecycle, let’s explain CRM.

Customer relationship management refers to strategies used by companies to manage and analyze customer information and communication. Information such as contact information, social media communication and purchase history to create sales opportunities can all be maintained in the system. Knowing this information allows a business to market and provide top notch customer service to its clientele.

The difference? CRM is a great tool for gathering data on your customers, getting to know them in terms of data and numbers. CEM allows you to see your customers are people who act as the most important part of your brand.

Is It For You?

If you are interested in knowing more about your customer base, customer experience management may be a good fit for you as it is designed to collect and analyze customer feedback and data. There are many benefits to paying close attention to what your customers believe and listening to them may benefit a business in the long run.

In the world of software, there are a ton of acronyms that float around in daily conversation. It is easy to get overwhelmed with this constant source of information. While it is easy to feel swamped with details about them all, they are important to know, especially if you are a business owner looking to closely incorporate customers into your business decisions.

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Reshaping the Retail Customer Experience

digital retail Reshaping the Retail Customer Experience

Technology is changing the way people shop and retailers are realizing that consumers are no longer captive to retailers. They are in charge. Consumers can now buy anything, anywhere.

To survive, retailers must now compete on the service level. In fact, 78% of millennials prefer spending money on experiences rather than products. A great example are Apple stores. They’ve done a terrific job at providing customers with an experience. Customers can try new products, ask questions of knowledgeable sales associates, and learn new ways to use the products. Look at any mall in America and those stores are consistently packed.

But how do they do it? They make it easy for consumers to engage when and how they want—say, from their mobile devices while they are at home or on the move. They create fluid, omnichannel experiences by connecting all touch points of the customer including desktop, mobile, and in-store. They have equipped their sales associates with technology, tools, and information to enable terrific customer experiences. In-store associates have product answers and they can check shoppers out from anywhere in the store.

Technology runs their stores. The lines between physical and digital blur—for example, brick- and-mortar stores become fulfillment and return centers for online orders. And, consumers have the same experience online as they do in the store. It’s all one seamless coherent experience.

But many large retailers are saddled with legacy systems and large real estate footprints where the digital portion of their organization is totally separate from everything else. Implementation of trailblazing technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of things, and big data requires a total shift not only in retail strategy but also in the general structure of organizations. Such core re-workings are exactly what digital transformation calls for — it is a new way of thinking and turning your business into a full-fledged, digital retailer.

By embracing change, providing customers with what they want when they want, by helping improve inventory and creating experiences that customers remember and want to interact with, that’s how retailers will survive.

To see all the ways TIBCO is helping major retailers digitally transform, visit our new Retail page.

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Creating an HR System Weaved into the User Experience

websitelogo Creating an HR System Weaved into the User Experience

Posted by Trevor Vollet, Product Marketing, New Products Introduction

Disconnected, departmental applications have always created barriers for front line employees, but there is perhaps none more frustrating than the HR system.

While a sales rep may occasionally need to get into the transactional system to check on a customer’s outstanding balance or a senior executive may be drilling into sales figures, that’s not where they spend most of their time. And, with few exceptions, no one spends most of their time in the HR system. The end result has been HR systems that are rarely accessed and when they are its wholly disconnected from the user’s workflow. Need to get approval for a purchase order but the approver is on PTO and you need to know their manager? Better log out, move over to the Employee Org. Chart, find the person’s name, title and email, then back into the PO system. Need to request time off? Better check the deliverables schedule in the project system. What’s needed is a system that lets people perform their employee-related tasks without going out of context or disrupting their train of thought.

With SuitePeople, NetSuite has built a system on the NetSuite platform from the ground up, that works the way work is actually done and creates HR functions and processes that are “weaved into their everyday user experiences.”

Available now with the 17.2 release, SuitePeople includes a number of features designed for people, not the HR department. It features:

Employee Center that minimizes the steps it takes for an employee to conduct an action, with an intuitive and user friendly interface and behaves the way other applications in the suite operate, making work quicker and easier.

Employee Directory that minimizes the time and effort it takes to find key information about employees. Often, employees need to contact co-workers outside of their usual context, or other employees with whom they would not normally interact. Connecting with the right person can be very difficult, especially in large or extremely geographically-distributed organizations. The Employee Directory provides a quick and easy way for employees to find the needed information to contact the right person at the right time.

Org Browser, an interactive way for employees and human resources to browse the organization. More than an org chart, which are traditionally updated manually and can very quickly become out of date, the Org Browser updates automatically whenever related information is changed. Employees, jobs, and positions are connected graphically through formal reporting relationships. Users can easily navigate the organization to understand how individuals or teams fit within its structure. This helps users to find the right person to reach out to, especially in mid to large organizations where people don’t all know each other, and it is hard to find the right person to help solve a problem.

Payroll, a complete, full-service solution for managing U.S. payroll. It is tightly integrated with NetSuite accounting features so employees’ time entry, attendance, and commission data translates directly to their payroll with no manual data re-entry. It handles compliance issues, with all federal, state, and local jurisdictions supported and includes a “No Penalties Guarantee” that promises that deposits and filings will be accurate and on time.

Time-Off Management that automates tracking employee time off with easy-to-customize time-off plans, removing what has traditionally been a manual burden for the HR department. The user-friendly, self-service process gives employees, managers and HR the power and flexibility to easily request, approve, track, and report on time off activities through a centralized system, without the need for manual entry. The Time-Off Management integration with NetSuite Payroll and Services Resource Planning (SRP) also accurately tracks and reports employee time-off activities for the organization. It automatically accrues time off based on rules for eligibility, entitlement, accrual frequency and carryover. Rules can also be configured to update with an employee’s tenure.

Job Management to help organize and streamline Jobs within the organization. It includes functionality to manage jobs within the org with tie-ins with Job Requisitions, Job Classifications and Levels, competencies and job requirements etc.

Job Requisition to help organize and streamline jobs within the organization. It manages jobs within the org with tie-ins with Job Requisitions, Job Classifications and Levels, competencies and job requirements.

Workforce Analysis which lets HR personnel easily visualize the headcount, growth and turnover trends of the organization, segmented by departments, locations, employee class, and subsidiaries. HR can also apply filters to view specific groups of employees. When business leaders ask for headcount trends, the tool can automatically aggregate the information most relevant to headcount changes (hires, turnovers, trends). HR can now spend more time in understanding the headcount trends, and performing analysis by drilling down to specific employee segments.

Compensation Tracking that allows organizations to track compensation details from the Employee Offer Letter such as earnings (wage/salary), pay frequency, overtime rate, start and hire date. Variable compensation such as bonuses, Restricted Stock Units awarded, Stock options, are also tracked.

Learn more about the other new features in 17.2.

Posted on Mon, November 20, 2017
by NetSuite filed under

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How Technology Enhances The Customer Experience

Mention the word fintech to veteran financial services executives and watch the hairs on the backs of their necks stand up.

Fintech is a broad term that applies to new digital financial technologies, from cryptocurrencies to mobile wallets, as well as the startups attempting to use those new technologies to blast centuries-old financial institutions out of the water.

Recognizing the existential threat, leaders of 233-year-old U.S. financial giant Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) became convinced that continuous IT-enabled innovation was essential. To do that right, the IT team reorganized around specific capabilities—190 so far. Each capability has an owner who serves as a kind of CEO of that service and who is free to make any changes deemed necessary for success.

Like any radical change, BNY Mellon’s effort has seen its share of growing pains. For example, some take to the ownership roles better than others. And employees have required significant coaching throughout.

Several years in, however, a fundamental shift has taken place at the bank established by U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton. “Change is no longer some big project,” says Jeanne Ross, principal research scientist at MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research, who has studied BNY Mellon’s efforts. “Change is what you do every morning when you get out of bed.”

Just about every industry is facing its own version of fintech these days, forcing organizations to disrupt their established ways of doing business or face disruption by an upstart unburdened by legacy processes and technology. It’s the age of digital transformation, which business consultancy Capgemini calls “the ultimate challenge in change management because it affects not only industry structures and strategic positioning, but also all levels of an organization (every task, activity, process) as well as the extended supply chain.” Dramatic increases in connectivity and improvements in technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and advanced analytics let companies optimize their processes continuously, but usually not without making enormous changes first.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image2 How Technology Enhances The Customer ExperienceTo make the most of frequent and successive waves of technology innovation, organizations must build adaptability into their structures, their functions, and their individual employees. That calls for new approaches designed to make transformation real and continuous. “The ability to develop a culture of change where people rely less on habits and more on imagining what’s possible every day is going to be part and parcel of being a great company,” says Ross.

Unfortunately, the traditional command-and-control architecture of most businesses was not built for continuous adaptation. “The speed with which we need to take a good idea and get it in place is so much faster than before, which is why we are having this moment of truth,” Ross says. “Traditional approaches that rely on a lot of hierarchy to make changes are too slow.”

For years, most change efforts have been top-down, episodic, all-encompassing “big bang” attempts to alter systems, processes, and cultures. Executives announced a restructuring or an acquisition or the implementation of new technology and brought in external change management consultants to try to get people to adapt to new ways of working. It rarely succeeded.

Despite significant investment in the change management discipline and a library of books on the subject, just a quarter of change management initiatives succeed long term, according to a 2013 survey by consultancy Willis Towers Watson.

Digital transformation isn’t going much better. Worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies will grow to US$ 1.2 trillion in 2017, up 17.8% over 2016, according to IDC. But fewer than 2 in 10 respondents to a recent survey by the SAP Center for Business Insight and Oxford Economics have seen substantial or transformational value from their technology investments so far. And just 12% say that digitalization has affected their organizational structure in a meaningful way.

Furthermore, even though 84% of the C-level executives surveyed ranked digital transformation as “critically important” to the survival of their businesses, just 3% have completed transformation efforts that span the entire organization.

For digital transformation to deliver value, an entire organization needs to buy into new ways not just of working, but also of thinking. “It’s not about bringing consultants in. It’s about really designing systems that enable an organization to adapt innately,” says Pravir Malik, founder of organizational change development firm Deep Order Technologies and author of Connecting Inner Power with Global Change: The Fractal Ladder and The Fractal Organization: Creating Enterprises of Tomorrow.

Companies are experimenting with new approaches that encourage and support the flexibility required to embrace continuous transformation. Some are rethinking how they operate. Others are investing in helping employees become more adaptable. Still others are clarifying their mission in a way that makes room for individuals to drive change themselves.

Ultimately, gaining the ability to change constantly will help both organizations and employees over the long term. Change becomes less episodic, less massive, and less jarring; there is no end state, no go-live. Instead, the organization is always moving, but at a step-by-step pace that makes it easier for employees to adapt.

However, evolving into this state of constant, fluid change isn’t easy. It only works if you have the right approach and methodologies.

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Changing Mindsets

Indeed, as companies tackle digital transformation, traditional highly structured change management programs can actually do more harm than good, says Tom Weeks, senior consultant with The Arbinger Institute, a consultancy that works with organizations to encourage change from within. “The change program becomes the change rather than the results you’re trying to achieve,” he says.

Such change efforts can create a short-term view. As a result, says Weeks, “they drive short-term change, but they don’t change people’s minds. You can force the issues and try to make change happen for change’s sake. But eventually the effort loses energy.”

“Everyone is surprised by that,” adds Weeks. “But it’s just nature at play. We’re hardwired to resist change. If you’re not shifting fundamental mindsets, it doesn’t matter how much money or how many resources you put behind it.”

In her behavioral research, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has focused on two types of mindsets that she sees in most organizations: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. People with fixed mindsets believe that their basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, are static.

Those with a growth mindset think that talents and capabilities develop over time through effort—a way of thinking that Dweck says creates more individual resilience and adaptability. People in the latter group tend to be better at collaboration, problem solving, and, naturally, continuing change.

The good news, according to Dweck, is that the growth mindset can be a learned behavior. She points to Microsoft as a company attempting to do just that. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has publicly stated that the corporate mission “starts with a belief that everyone can grow and develop; that potential is nurtured, not predetermined; and that anyone can change their mindset.”

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image4 How Technology Enhances The Customer ExperienceMicrosoft’s leaders are emphasizing learning and creativity with programs like hackathons in which the best projects are funded and their originators rewarded. The company is more explicitly rewarding risk-taking and the pursuit of stretch goals. When Microsoft’s foray into artificial intelligence, the chatbot Tay, was hacked, the CEO sent the team an e-mail of encouragement rather than rebuke.

Rather than limiting leadership development programs to those easily identified as having innate management potential, Microsoft says it is moving a broader swath of employees up and across teams, augmenting their skills, and expanding their work experiences. The most valuable employees are not necessarily the smartest people in the room, as in the past, but those who are the most adaptable—and capable of bringing that out in others.

While Dweck’s mindset work focuses on peoples’ ability to learn and grow, at The Arbinger Institute, consultants focus on an individual’s ability to work productively and with others. Arbinger’s methodology differentiates between an inward mindset, which causes people to be self-centered—seeing other people as objects or tools to either help or hurt them—and an outward mindset, which engenders more connection with and understanding of others as human beings.

Those with an outward mindset can work more collaboratively and productively. That’s incredibly important in an environment of change, such as when Raytheon Missile Systems was trying to integrate a series of mergers that were rife with infighting.

The company overcame the battles by working with all 12,000 employees on shifting their mindsets. Employees worked to uncover their part in company problems and devised ways to work collaboratively with others to solve them and hold themselves accountable for results. When tasked by company leaders to cut $ 100 million in expenses in two months or face layoffs, employees worked together to uncover alternatives.

They began to look beyond their own individual roles and needs, and focused instead on the needs of their colleagues and of the organization as a whole, says Weeks. That resulted in some big, organization-wide changes that went far beyond cost savings and helped increase sales dramatically.

Typically, companies like Raytheon come to Arbinger for help changing mindsets after they’ve struggled with failed change for a while. But that’s beginning to change, says Weeks, and that’s the ideal.

One company is offering employees training on the outward mindset approach before the launch of its six-year transformation effort. “If employees don’t have the right mindset, you can push change as much as you want, but eventually there will be a snap back. What’s required is people who want to hold themselves accountable at a higher level.”

Flexibility by Design

Neuroscientists are not surprised by the shift toward employee-centric rather than top-down change. They have proven that a brain’s “plasticity”—its ability to restructure and learn new things—is enduring. An old dog can learn new tricks. But when change is forced upon people, they quickly become overwhelmed, which activates the fight-or-flight response in the primitive emotional center of the brain, the amygdala.

They bottle up that instinctive response and it reemerges as anxiety, depression, and poor health if not managed. And not only are those potentially toxic emotions harmful to the individual, they are contagious in the organization.

The secret is to create conditions in which people direct more of the change themselves. When individuals solve a problem on their own, for example, their brain releases a rush of neurotransmitters that can create good feelings associated with the change.

One way to create this kind of personal change ownership is by taking a design thinking approach. The iterative, human-centric design concept that was first developed in the early 1970s has become a popular approach to developing products and services for customers. But design thinking principles can also bring new systems and processes to an organization.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image5 How Technology Enhances The Customer ExperienceThat was the case when furniture maker Herman Miller began exploring the potential of an office chair connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) three years ago. Instead of designing a new chair, Herman Miller came away with the foundation for an organizational transformation from hard goods maker to service provider. This is the latest fundamental shift in a company that has evolved from traditional Queen Anne-style furniture maker in the 1930s to office designer in the 1970s to ergonomics innovator in the 1980s and 1990s, says Chris Hoyt, design exploration leader at Herman Miller.

Taking a design thinking approach meant interviewing a wide cross section of stakeholders. The interviews revealed that simply putting a sensor into a desk chair did not make business sense, but putting one into the company’s sit-to-stand desk—and creating a series of IoT-enabled services around it—did. The exercise turned out to be an entry point into an entirely new business model.

“Design thinking wasn’t new to Herman Miller, but there was a lot of skepticism about whether integrating technology into its furniture made business sense,” explains Kurt Dykema, co-founder and director of technology at product innovation and business strategy consultancy Twisthink, which worked with Herman Miller. “This process guided them through a transformation where they have to think about selling a digital experience and monetizing that instead of just selling a capital good and then being done with it.”

For example, none of Herman Miller’s back office operations was built to support the IoT subscription models it planned to offer with the desk. But the design thinking approach created consensus around IoT business value and helped to clarify the organizational changes required to capitalize on the new opportunity.

“It forced them through the process of retooling the business to sell and maintain digital experiences,” Dykema says. Herman Miller launched its Live OS furniture line in June, with the smart desk as the first product, and plans for more to follow.

Getting Agile

Like many companies that incorporate a design thinking approach to organizational change, the performance car division of Daimler AG, Mercedes-AMG, married its process with agile development methods.

Agile turns conventional change management on its head. Rather than making big changes all at once, agile uses an incremental approach to creating software that gives users a chance to use and react to new functionality as it is developed and to validate its value (as opposed to the more traditional waterfall approach where users don’t experience a solution until it is finished).

With agile, there is no predetermined end state. Instead, change is constant, but never so rapid that it becomes overwhelming.

At Mercedes-AMG, clickable prototypes were produced and tested with users weekly and their feedback was funneled back into development streams, continuously improving the resulting system. Based on early success at Mercedes-AMG, Daimler’s enterprise IT organization launched a similar program to develop new digital services for the enterprise.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image6 How Technology Enhances The Customer ExperienceAt BNY Mellon, the adoption of agile development methods has enabled the company to introduce an incredible amount of systems change—but two weeks at a time.

The product of years of mergers and acquisitions, BNY Mellon had operated in product silos, each with their own systems and processes. The company wanted to develop a digital platform from which it could orchestrate a more unified and innovative customer experience. The goal was to put one of America’s oldest financial institutions on equal footing with some of the newest and most nimble newcomers in fintech.

Agile was a new way of working for the IT organization, which was accustomed to introducing releases a couple of times a year rather than a couple of times a month. So IT leaders invested significant time and money helping employees adopt new skills and adapt to the changes.

Eventually, agile enabled the bank to introduce new systems to its 52,000 employees in phases for their ongoing input, fine-tuning the systems over time to best meet employees’ needs and better ensure their adoption. It’s led to the creation—and ongoing enhancement—of an open-source, cloud-based platform that serves as a portal for both internal employees and customers. This app store will provide access to all BNY Mellon’s products and services as well as capabilities from select fintech and established financial services partners.

Increasing Autonomy

Though making change constant relies heavily on individual employees, leaders still have an important role to play. They need to provide the alignment with organizational principles that, when combined with individual autonomy, can create the kind of fluid and adaptive organization required for digital transformation, according to Mark Bonchek, CEO of Shift Thinking, a consultancy that works with leaders and organizations to update their thinking for a digital age.

The U.S. military takes this kind of approach on the battlefield, putting in place a doctrine that authoritatively guides soldiers but gives them autonomy and requires judgment in action to respond to rapidly changing conditions.

In business, organizations are adapting this principle by giving employees guidance on how to take action without requiring them to first seek approval. For example, when Suresh Kumar took over as CIO of BNY Mellon, he reorganized IT around end-to-end IT and business services. IT leaders subdivided each service into smaller components, each with its own leader. These hundreds of services leaders maintain their own service strategy document that covers the current state as well as a one- to three-year improvement plan.

Each service leader is measured on user experience. And because the services are highly interdependent, leaders are also judged on the experience of other service leaders who depend on their service.

As a result, BNY Mellon’s top IT leadership no longer directs team members, but coaches them. Early on, only about a third of the service leaders were successful. The IT group ultimately developed a maturity model for the approach to foster leader development.

Leading a service is as much a mindset as it is a job, says Kumar. The goal of the new approaches—agile software development, physical reorganization, increased autonomy and responsibility—is to create a digital foundation of services linking the bank to its customers and external partners and fostering ongoing digital transformation. The shift began in the IT organization, but the plan is to expand it enterprise-wide and to bring partners and customers into the loop as well.

The Power of Language

In the digital transformation era, companies need a new strategic narrative to help drive a mindset of constant change. A strategic narrative describes the shared purpose that all stakeholders are working toward, says Bonchek. That creates a shared purpose that everyone can wrap their minds—and ultimately their behaviors—around.

SAP Q317 DigitalDoubles Feature2 Image7 1024x572 How Technology Enhances The Customer Experience

For example, BNY Mellon’s working narrative is that “we believe each of us has the power to improve lives through investing.” And that applies not only to the investment of capital, but investing in people, in ideas, and in the future. At a high level, the theme helps reorient employees’ thinking and behaviors as they consider new ways the bank might differentiate itself.

The Importance of Being Resilient

If an organization is going to adapt itself to constant change, employees need tools to manage the psychological stress that comes with it.

Luckily, personal adaptability is something that you can teach. That’s just what Wendy Quan, a former in-house change management professional, does. As the founder of The Calm Monkey, she’s working with organizations from Google to the government of Dubai, helping them implement self-sustaining mindfulness meditation programs.

Quan used mindfulness and meditation practices to increase her own resilience during cancer treatment. “It alters your experience of a change,” she explains, “even when things around you aren’t changing the way you want them to.”

In 2011, she began conducting mindfulness training for a handful of executives working on a seven-year business and technology transformation project at Pacific Blue Cross. The leaders found the training so valuable that they made it available to the entire workforce.

Quan used the sessions to help employees experience the change on their own terms rather than feeling victimized. She focused change-specific meditations on becoming aware of one’s own perceptions about change, recognizing emotions and their impact on behaviors, learning how to mindfully choose reactions, and cultivating calm and clarity.

Quan surveyed employees after the training. The percentage of employees who rated their personal resiliency as low at the beginning decreased from 40% to just 2% while those who characterized themselves as highly resilient increased by a factor of 600% to 72%. And 83% said that meditation has moderately to significantly helped them through a significant transition.

“Change management methodologies favor the corporate perspective,” says Quan. “But it’s really important to focus on helping people be more self-aware of how they’re journeying through the change.”

Deep Order Technologies’ Malik also focuses his approach to resiliency training on self-awareness. He built a mobile app that enables employees to register what they’re feeling throughout the day. Recording emotional states gives employees a better understanding of what drives their own behaviors and how to cope with their feelings.

Leaders can then look at the aggregated, anonymized readings to identify patterns across the organization. Those patterns give leaders a good idea of the overall orientation of employees going through a change at a given point in time and whether they are poised to go along with it or resist.

Change the Ways of Changing

There is no simple solution to making change easier. A combination of new approaches at the organizational and individual level will be required to adapt to the constant change demanded by the digital future.

These approaches are all in the early adoption phases in most companies. Ironically, they are, in and of themselves, significant changes that must be absorbed. But the speed of digital change is relentless. “It’s just getting faster and faster,” says Quan. “And what companies are seeing is that stress and the inability to adapt to change cause reduced performance and increased absenteeism and disability rates. Leaders who see these trends know they need to pay attention,” says Quan.

Those that don’t? “They’ll go away. They’ll be history,” says Ross. “I don’t think this is an issue they can ignore.” D!


About the Authors

Andreas Hauser is Senior Vice President, Strategic Design Services and AppHaus Network, at SAP.

Paul Kurchina is a community builder with the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) who focuses on digital transformation and change.

Stephanie Overby is a Boston-based business and technology journalist.


Read more thought provoking articles in the latest issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly.

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Digitalist Magazine

Study: Music Improves Customer Experience, Even in Serious Settings

Music can enhance the customer experience even in nontraditional retail environments, suggests a study released Thursday by
Mood Media and the
Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers (SACEM). The study was conducted in France.

Customers had a more favorable experience in five business locations — including gas station, optical, banking, sports apparel and pharmacy locations, the study found.

“It’s undeniable that music has an amazing ability to connect on an intimate and personal level,” said Danny Turner, global senior vice president of creative programming at Mood Media.

“Brands that understand the connectivity between brand and in-store experience, facilitated by the incredible power of music to forge an emotional bond, are well on their way to elevating their customer experience,” he told CRM Buyer.


84878 620x346 small Study: Music Improves Customer Experience, Even in Serious Settings

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Businesses should consider overhead music as important as store layout, lighting or other key design elements, said Valentina Candeloro, international marketing director at Mood Media.

Mood Media has begun designing music programs for an increasingly diverse body of retail locations, she told CRM Buyer, including auto dealerships, credit unions, apartment buildings and retirement home communities.

When researchers designed the study, data indicated that 90 percent of French people listened to music every day, but only 70 percent of businesses played music, Candeloro noted.

Some of the non-retail businesses, like pharmacies, opticians and banks, were concerned about the impact music would have, given the more serious nature of transactions or activities taking place in their locations, she said.

“The results of this study revealed and quantified the impact and potential that music offers across a wide array of business types,” said Jean-Felix Choukroun, director of customer relations at SACEM.

Music Markers

Seventy percent of study respondents reported a more positive perception of a business when music was playing overhead, while 65 percent said that music at the location helped differentiate the business from the competition.

Ninety-three percent of employees at those locations preferred music over no music at work.

When customers at more serious locations, like banks and pharmacies, were asked if they wanted music, only 33 percent said they thought music would be appropriate.

However, 76 percent of the customers who experienced music at those types of locales said they thought the music was complementary and compatible with the businesses.

In-Store Atmosphere

Music absolutely can have a positive impact in driving retail traffic and keeping customers engaged at a particular location, said Nikki Baird, managing partner at
RSR Research.

“The gist is, it absolutely helps,” she told CRM Buyer. “It leads to shoppers staying longer and being in a more pleasant mood.”

Research has shown that you need a minimum two-hour loop of in-store music to prevent employees from being driven crazy by repetition and turning the music off, Baird noted.

In-store or in-business music can have a definite positive impact on the net promoter score of a location, which reflects the willingness of customers to recommend that business to others, noted Cindy Zhou, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

For example, the lobby music of W Hotels — Starwood Hotels’ hip hospitality brand — has become popular enough to spawn its own Spotify playlist, she told CRM Buyer, as well as a microsite just for W music fans.
end enn Study: Music Improves Customer Experience, Even in Serious Settings


David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times.

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Interconnect the Traveler’s Journey to Provide a Relevant Customer Experience  

taveling Interconnect the Traveler’s Journey to Provide a Relevant Customer Experience  

Millions of people take to the roads, the skies, and the tracks every day to get from point A to point B. Not only are customers taking advantage of various transportation methods, but they are taking advantage of services before and after, whether it’s booking their tickets or checking into a hotel.

Today’s customers are more technology savvy because of the availability of smartphones, open traffic and transport information/data, real-time planning and info, and new innovative apps created by start ups. Because of the increase in mobile technology, customers now have more choices when it comes to comparing prices, choosing alternative routes, and seeing the current status of transport.

Traditionally, transport operators aren’t as savvy as customers, but if they don’t adapt, they will be taken over by the key trends that are disrupting the current business model:

—User/customer focused. By connecting to passengers with fast applications and real-time data, you can create “in-the-moment” experiences and provide individualized marketing. Operators will then be able to deliver in-context, targeted offers that reflect each customer’s preferences.

—Integrated intelligence. Physical assets will sense demand via APIs and IoT devices and stream data in real time. This data can be modeled to predict and avoid disruptions.

—Commercials. More operators such as railways, buses, and ferries will follow airlines in adopting e-tickets. Pay-as-you-travel will increase, enabled by well-managed APIs.

—Automation and safety. The adoption of IoT will result in more assets being monitored for their health and performance. Transportation companies can consolidate, analyze, visualize, and predict information about incidents, delays, repairs, and maintenance.

The travel industry has the opportunity to use data to develop closer relationships with customers. To do this, you need to know where the customer is in their journey and provide offers based on that context. By personalizing service, you can increase revenue, and attract and retain new customers.

With our predictive analytics, streaming analytics, and API-led integration solutions, you can interconnect the traveler’s journey to provide a relevant customer experience. To find out how, check out our new travel solutions page.

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New Mobile App Promises Full B2B E-Commerce Experience

Insite Software on Tuesday released the InsiteCommerce Mobile App, describing it as the first fully configurable white label mobile app built for leading manufacturers and distributors.

mobile b2b New Mobile App Promises Full B2B E Commerce Experience

The app supports everyone involved in the B2B e-commerce experience, Insite said — from customers to channel partners, to field sales and support teams.

Companies purchasing the app can tailor its functions to specific roles and responsibilities by delivering customer-specific product catalog and data, pricing and product recommendations, and order and reorder capabilities.

“There’s a combination of customizations and configurations driven by a single instance of the InsiteCommerce Admin Console across Web and mobile apps,” said Karie Daudt, VP of marketing and customer experience at Insite.

“We customize the color scheme, icons and certain images in each build of a private labeled application to suit the branding standards of each customer,” she told CRM Buyer.

84817 620x680 New Mobile App Promises Full B2B E Commerce Experience

Private labeling of each application is done internally, and “doesn’t require any code customization or additional implementation effort for our customers,” Daudt said.

The app includes a biometric login capability, customizable alerts, bar code scanning, GPS capabilities, speech-to-text and enhanced security.

Among the app’s prebuilt features are product catalog search, order status check, and the ability to add items to a cart and check out.

The app is available for iOS and Android.

Integration, Integration, Integration

The InsiteCommerce Mobile App works with Insite Software’s e-commerce platform, which integrates with leading enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and Web content management systems.

It automatically builds experience based on a business’ existing InsiteCommerce instance.

“Any new customer can extend their reach with a native mobile solution when they roll out an InsiteCommerce system,” Daudt remarked.

Companies with a mobile-first implementation strategy can “focus on implementing a light version of the branded mobile application first, then execute a more complete integration of e-commerce, including integration with their ERP and other core business functions,” she said.

Insite partners with each client to manage and deploy its apps to the iOS and Google Play app stores, Daudt noted.

“This lets our customers maintain their branding standards and achieve app store presence while still complying with Apple’s rigorous approval standards.”

Use Cases

Manufacturers or distributors who want to improve their customer experience and better enable their direct and channel teams to serve the customer would benefit from the InsiteCommerce Mobile App, Daudt said.

“For B2B companies, much of their customer and team experience is in the field, out at a job site, or traveling through a sales territory,” she noted. “They need key data available to them and easy to use in their moment of relevance, across any mobile device.”

Among the possible use cases for the Insite Mobile App, according to Daudt, are the following:

  • Direct sales reps in the field needing to look up end-customer order or delivery details or other information, or place an order on a customer’s behalf;
  • Direct service technicians in the field needing to look up a detailed product tech spec or order a replacement part; and
  • Direct shipping clerks or delivery drivers taking a picture of a shipment at the outbound dock or upon delivery to the customer, and attaching it to the order as proof of delivery.

The InsiteCommerce Mobile App “may be attractive for existing Insite customers,” said Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research.

However, “I don’t see a broader reach than that,” she told CRM Buyer. “Unless I’m a frequent purchaser from a vendor, I’m unlikely to download their app.”
end enn New Mobile App Promises Full B2B E Commerce Experience


Richard%20Adhikari New Mobile App Promises Full B2B E Commerce ExperienceRichard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology.
Email Richard.

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Leading with Customer Experience, Value, Technology, and Credibility

rsz bigstock golden trophy cup on table 155670149 1 Leading with Customer Experience, Value, Technology, and Credibility

When I was an industry analyst, I always felt that the most enlightening and valuable research came from first hand, end user feedback. Who better to hear from than practicing professionals doing real world work? Pleasing customers with enterprise software isn’t for the faint of heart and if you really want unvarnished insights, end users should be the core of your critical feedback loop.

It’s for this reason the team at TIBCO is so excited to see the results of The Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence and Enterprise Planning Market Studies delivered by Dresner Advisory Services, LLC. This research speaks directly to the end user community on a wide variety of categories to unearth a complete view of market realities, plans, and perceptions from users in all roles and across industries.

This month Dresner Advisory Services announced its 2017 Industry Excellence Awards based on high vendor ratings in their most recent research. TIBCO Spotfire achieved awards as a Customer Experience Leader and a Value Leader, while TIBCO Statistica received the Technology Leader and Credibility Leader awards. Both solutions were acknowledged for their overall strength in sales, support, consulting services, and more. Vendors who are awarded Customer Experience and Technology leaders are executing at a high level for sales and service, as well as product and technology. Credibility and Value leaders have customers who reflect a high level of confidence and sense of value for the price paid.

Dresner’s Wisdom of Crowds research started in 2010 and dives deep when appraising vendors performance by tracking 33 different criteria across 7 topic areas that include, Sales Experience, Value for Price Paid, Technology/Product, Technical Support, Consulting Services, Customer Recommendation, and Vendor Integrity.

The Wisdom of Crowds research examines the details of our industry and surfaces positive trends that point to great progress for Business Intelligence and Analytic consumers. When reviewing the the Value dimension of the Dresner report a positive trend emerges: Since 2012, respondents to the survey are scoring the vendors with progressively higher value scores year over year. Keeping up with this competitive landscape puts pressure on solution providers, making it harder to compete and in the case of Spotfire even more satisfying to be among the leaders in this area.

Dresner tracks 12 different criteria to score product quality and usefulness, which includes robustness/sophistication of technology, completeness of functionality, reliability of technology, scalability, integration of components within product, integration with third-party technologies, overall usability, ease of installation, ease of administration, customization and extensibility, online training, forums and documentation, and ease of upgrades and migration to new versions. All saw increases in 2017 except ease of upgrades again. This trend points to increased competition and maturity in the market, making it more difficult to rise to leadership positions in the research.

The vendor credibility model employed by Dresner combines the value for price paid as scored by the user along with a vendor’s integrity score (honesty and truthfulness in all dealings) and recommendation score (customers willingness to recommend the vendor) to create an overall confidence dimension. The value and confidence dimensions position where a vendor is placed in the overall rankings. TIBCO Statistica placement among credibility leaders is an award to be proud of considering the competition and the scoring criteria.

The 2017 Industry Excellence Awards speak highly of TIBCO’s analytic strategy and our Connected Intelligence approach to digital transformation. To differentiate and maintain competitive advantage, smart companies should rely on solutions that lead in Customer Experience, Value, Technology, and Credibility.

Read more about the 2017 Excellence Awards here.

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Xiaomi Opens First Offline Experience Store In Northwestern China

Xiaomi’s first offline experience store in the northwestern region of China opened in Wangfujing Outlets, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.

On the first day of the opening of this new store, it welcomed 12,000 customers and realized sales of CNY596,000.

This is the eighth store under the cooperation between Wangfujing Group and Xiaomi and it is also the first Xiaomi store that opens in Wangfujing Outlets.

With an operating area of 215 square meters, the new store includes a 125-square-meter customer experience zone, a 50-square-meter product sales zone, and a rest area. Products displayed in the store include Xiaomi’s smartphones, laptops, home appliances, and electronic product accessories.

Yang Haiyan, general manager of Hohhot Wangfujing Outlets, said that the arrival of Xiaomi further improves the brand quality of Hohhot Wangfujing Outlets and expands their category operating models. The emerging Internet electronic products will offer better shopping experience to local consumers.

So far, Wangfujing Group has become the largest commercial group partner of Xiaomi. During the first half of 2017, Xiaomi stores opened in Wangfujing achieved accumulated sales of CNY150 million and the sales expect to reach nearly CNY400 million for the entire year.

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