Tag Archives: Transformation

At TIBCO NOW in October: Customers’ Digital Transformation Perspectives and Use Cases

tn blog At TIBCO NOW in October: Customers’ Digital Transformation Perspectives and Use Cases

At TIBCO NOW in San Diego, October 25 and 26, TIBCO customers and industry experts will deliver industry perspectives and use cases in breakout sessions with Q&A. A partial listing is shown below.

Come to TIBCO NOW to learn about tools, practices, and strategies that can support your company’s successful digital transformation. Learn more and register.

Wednesday, October 25

Industry Perspectives: Manufacturing
Ahmer Srivastava, director of analytics, Western Digital

Industry Perspectives: Travel
Mike Schuman, senior manager of operations and enablement, United Airlines

Innovation Panel
Christine Watts, chief enterprise architect, University of Chicago Medicine.

Thursday, October 26

How EagleView Created Real Value with TIBCO Cloud Integration
Bruce Harris, director of business applications, EagleView

Connecting SaaS applications goes beyond just integration. It changes processes and has material impact on your business. When done right, these impacts can be transformational. EagleView, a provider of aerial imagery, data analytics, and geographic information system solutions, will share how TIBCO Cloud Integration both changed the way things were done and set the basis for transformational change.

Delivering High-quality Master Data in Real-time for Trusted Insights
Erik McConathy, Tractor Supply Corporation; Barry Wooffitt, TIBCO

Your organization has access to an increasing volume and variety of data, which is fast becoming one of your most important assets for fueling decisions and driving innovation. But you really can’t depend on it ― and more importantly, the insights and business decisions based on it ― unless you’re governing master data, synchronizing it in real time, and managing quality. Learn how Tractor Supply is using TIBCO Spotfire and TIBCO MDM to improve product data quality and pave the way for additional investments and find out what lies ahead for TIBCO MDM.

Design Reports that Make Data “Over-the-Counter” & Easy to Use
Jenny Grant Rankin, Ph.D, author/lecturer, University of Cambridge

Most people misunderstand most data. Fortunately, misunderstandings can be easily avoided when data reports adhere to research-based reporting standards. The speaker will share a checklist of best practices synthesized from over 300 research studies that can make data easy to use without expert assistance. You’ll receive these standards, other free resources, and an understanding of how to design reports so users can understand data easily, quickly, and accurately using TIBCO Jaspersoft.

Real-time Monitoring for IoT Use Cases
Christine Watts, chief enterprise architect, University of Chicago Medicine; Michael O’Connell, chief analytics officer, TIBCO

Remote real-time monitoring of equipment, combined with modern analytic techniques, drives significant value in industries such as Energy, Logistics, and Manufacturing. We will show how to use TIBCO Spotfire, R, TIBCO Statistica, TIBCO StreamBase, and TIBCO Live Datamart to address use cases such as improving operating room efficiency, reducing re-admissions, and preventing cardiac arrest. The presentation includes a customer IoT case study.

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The TIBCO Blog

How We Have Seen Digital Transformation Impact Three Clients

Digital transformation refers to the introduction of technology into your business processes to help your team work smarter, not harder. We’ve seen companies evolve into paperless offices with better organization of documents, centralized security and the automation of certain processes to reduce costs and improve productivity. We’ve also see how better communication technology, for instance Microsoft’s Skype software, which provides video and voice calls as well as instant messaging, can help a company move faster and maintain accuracy.

Digital technology can help facilitate employee workforce mobility programs, providing a big boost to employee productivity and morale while improving an organization’s culture.

Here are just a few of the ways we have seen our clients benefit from digital transformation:

1) An insurance agency that used to manage their client information on separate spreadsheets. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Microsoft Dynamics CRM) has:

  • provided a consolidated system of all client information across every Broker relationship.
  • significantly reduced the administrative time needed for tracking and updating policy renewal details.
  • resulted in implementation of commission tracking functionality that saves 20 hours a month on what used to be a very tedious manual process.

2) A web design agency wanted to efficiently manage project tasks and budget for individual customer projects. We designed a project management process in Microsoft Dynamics 365 that has:

  • provided Project Templates for each type of project, for quick and consistent setup of new projects.
  • streamlined task management through workflow rules based on project milestones.
  • simplified time entry allowing for real time analysis of project budget vs. project costs.

3) A technology company needed to automate their sales processes based on their newly designed sales methodology. We created a sales workflow in Microsoft Dynamics 365 that:

  • aligns defined opportunity sales stages to the order and completion of relevant sales activities.
  • drives adoption of new sales methodology by providing clear definition of the sales process.
  • reduces sales pipeline subjectivity for better visibility and accuracy of the sales forecast.

Could your business benefit from digital transformation? We think it could, and we’d like to show you how. Download the free whitepaper at www.crmsoftwareblog.com/digital for more examples.

Contact our digital transformation experts at Crowe Horwath at 877-600-2253 or [email protected].

By Ryan Plourde, Crowe Horwath, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Gold Partner, www.crowecrm.com

Follow on Twitter: @CroweCRM

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The Digital Transformation Mindset that Matters Across Geographies

When it comes to buying things—even big-ticket items—the way we make decisions makes no sense. One person makes an impulsive offer on a house because of the way the light comes in through the kitchen windows. Another gleefully drives a high-end sports car off the lot even though it will probably never approach the limits it was designed to push.

We can (and usually do) rationalize these decisions after the fact by talking about needing more closet space or wanting to out-accelerate an 18-wheeler as we merge onto the highway, but years of study have arrived at a clear conclusion:

When it comes to the customer experience, human beings are fundamentally irrational.

In the brick-and-mortar past, companies could leverage that irrationality in time-tested ways. They relied heavily on physical context, such as an inviting retail space, to make products and services as psychologically appealing as possible. They used well-trained salespeople and employees to maximize positive interactions and rescue negative ones. They carefully sequenced customer experiences, such as having a captain’s dinner on the final night of a cruise, to play on our hard-wired craving to end experiences on a high note.

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Today, though, customer interactions are increasingly moving online. Fortune reports that on 2016’s Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that is so crucial to holiday retail results, 108.5 million Americans shopped online, while only 99.1 million visited brick-and-mortar stores. The 9.4% gap between the two was a dramatic change from just one year prior, when on- and offline Black Friday shopping were more or less equal.

When people browse in a store for a few minutes, an astute salesperson can read the telltale signs that they’re losing interest and heading for the exit. The salesperson can then intervene, answering questions and closing the sale.

Replicating that in a digital environment isn’t as easy, however. Despite all the investments companies have made to counteract e-shopping cart abandonment, they lack the data that would let them anticipate when a shopper is on the verge of opting out of a transaction, and the actions they take to lure someone back afterwards can easily come across as less helpful than intrusive.

In a digital environment, companies need to figure out how to use Big Data analysis and digital design to compensate for the absence of persuasive human communication and physical sights, sounds, and sensations. What’s more, a 2014 Gartner survey found that 89% of marketers expected customer experience to be their primary differentiator by 2016, and we’re already well into 2017.

As transactions continue to shift toward the digital and omnichannel, companies need to figure out new ways to gently push customers along the customer journey—and to do so without frustrating, offending, or otherwise alienating them.

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The quest to understand online customers better in order to influence them more effectively is built on a decades-old foundation: behavioral psychology, the study of the connections between what people believe and what they actually do. All of marketing and advertising is based on changing people’s thoughts in order to influence their actions. However, it wasn’t until 2001 that a now-famous article in the Harvard Business Review formally introduced the idea of applying behavioral psychology to customer service in particular.

The article’s authors, Richard B. Chase and Sriram Dasu, respectively a professor and assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, describe how companies could apply fundamental tenets of behavioral psychology research to “optimize those extraordinarily important moments when the company touches its customers—for better and for worse.” Their five main points were simple but have proven effective across multiple industries:

  1. Finish strong. People evaluate experiences after the fact based on their high points and their endings, so the way a transaction ends is more important than how it begins.
  2. Front-load the negatives. To ensure a strong positive finish, get bad experiences out of the way early.
  3. Spread out the positives. Break up the pleasurable experiences into segments so they seem to last longer.
  4. Provide choices. People don’t like to be shoved toward an outcome; they prefer to feel in control. Giving them options within the boundaries of your ability to deliver builds their commitment.
  5. Be consistent. People like routine and predictability.

For example, McKinsey cites a major health insurance company that experimented with this framework in 2009 as part of its health management program. A test group of patients received regular coaching phone calls from nurses to help them meet health goals.

The front-loaded negative was inherent: the patients knew they had health problems that needed ongoing intervention, such as weight control or consistent use of medication. Nurses called each patient on a frequent, regular schedule to check their progress (consistency and spread-out positives), suggested next steps to keep them on track (choices), and cheered on their improvements (a strong finish).

McKinsey reports the patients in the test group were more satisfied with the health management program by seven percentage points, more satisfied with the insurance company by eight percentage points, and more likely to say the program motivated them to change their behavior by five percentage points.

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The nurses who worked with the test group also reported increased job satisfaction. And these improvements all appeared in the first two weeks of the pilot program, without significantly affecting the company’s costs or tweaking key metrics, like the number and length of the calls.

Indeed, an ongoing body of research shows that positive reinforcements and indirect suggestions influence our decisions better and more subtly than blatant demands. This concept hit popular culture in 2008 with the bestselling book Nudge.

Written by University of Chicago economics professor Richard H. Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein, Nudge first explains this principle, then explores it as a way to help people make decisions in their best interests, such as encouraging people to eat healthier by displaying fruits and vegetables at eye level or combatting credit card debt by placing a prominent notice on every credit card statement informing cardholders how much more they’ll spend over a year if they make only the minimum payment.

Whether they’re altruistic or commercial, nudges work because our decision-making is irrational in a predictable way. The question is how to apply that awareness to the digital economy.

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In its early days, digital marketing assumed that online shopping would be purely rational, a tool that customers would use to help them zero in on the best product at the best price. The assumption was logical, but customer behavior remained irrational.

Our society is overloaded with information and short on time, says Brad Berens, Senior Fellow at the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California, Annenberg, so it’s no surprise that the speed of the digital economy exacerbates our desire to make a fast decision rather than a perfect one, as well as increasing our tendency to make choices based on impulse rather than logic.

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Buyers want what they want, but they don’t necessarily understand or care why they want it. They just want to get it and move on, with minimal friction, to the next thing. “Most of our decisions aren’t very important, and we only have so much time to interrogate and analyze them,” Berens points out.

But limited time and mental capacity for decision-making is only half the issue. The other half is that while our brains are both logical and emotional, the emotional side—also known as the limbic system or, more casually, the primitive lizard brain—is far older and more developed. It’s strong enough to override logic and drive our decisions, leaving rational thought to, well, rationalize our choices after the fact.

This is as true in the B2B realm as it is for consumers. The business purchasing process, governed as it is by requests for proposals, structured procurement processes, and permission gating, is designed to ensure that the people with spending authority make the most sensible deals possible. However, research shows that even in this supposedly rational process, the relationship with the seller is still more influential than product quality in driving customer commitment and loyalty.

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Baba Shiv, a professor of marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, studies how the emotional brain shapes decisions and experiences. In a popular TED Talk, he says that people in the process of making decisions fall into one of two mindsets: Type 1, which is stressed and wants to feel comforted and safe, and Type 2, which is bored or eager and wants to explore and take action.

People can move between these two mindsets, he says, but in both cases, the emotional brain is in control. Influencing it means first delivering a message that soothes or motivates, depending on the mindset the person happens to be in at the moment and only then presenting the logical argument to help rationalize the action.

In the digital economy, working with those tendencies means designing digital experiences with the full awareness that people will not evaluate them objectively, says Ravi Dhar, director of the Center for Customer Insights at the Yale School of Management. Since any experience’s greatest subjective impact in retrospect depends on what happens at the beginning, the end, and the peaks in between, companies need to design digital experiences to optimize those moments—to rationally design experiences for limited rationality.

This often involves making multiple small changes in the way options are presented well before the final nudge into making a purchase. A paper that Dhar co-authored for McKinsey offers the example of a media company that puts most of its content behind a paywall but offers free access to a limited number of articles a month as an incentive to drive subscriptions.

Many nonsubscribers reached their limit of free articles in the morning, but they were least likely to respond to a subscription offer generated by the paywall at that hour, because they were reading just before rushing out the door for the day. When the company delayed offers until later in the day, when readers were less distracted, successful subscription conversions increased.

Pre-selecting default options for necessary choices is another way companies can design digital experiences to follow customers’ preference for the path of least resistance. “We know from a decade of research that…defaults are a de facto nudge,” Dhar says.

For example, many online retailers set a default shipping option because customers have to choose a way to receive their packages and are more likely to passively allow the default option than actively choose another one. Similarly, he says, customers are more likely to enroll in a program when the default choice is set to accept it rather than to opt out.

Another intriguing possibility lies in the way customers react differently to on-screen information based on how that information is presented. Even minor tweaks can have a disproportionate impact on the choices people make, as explained in depth by University of California, Los Angeles, behavioral economist Shlomo Benartzi in his 2015 book, The Smarter Screen.

A few of the conclusions Benartzi reached: items at the center of a laptop screen draw more attention than those at the edges. Those on the upper left of a screen split into quadrants attract more attention than those on the lower left. And intriguingly, demographics are important variables.

Benartzi cites research showing that people over 40 prefer more visually complicated, text-heavy screens than younger people, who are drawn to saturated colors and large images. Women like screens that use a lot of different colors, including pastels, while men prefer primary colors on a grey or white background. People in Malaysia like lots of color; people in Germany don’t.

This suggests companies need to design their online experiences very differently for middle-aged women than they do for teenage boys. And, as Benartzi writes, “it’s easy to imagine a future in which each Internet user has his or her own ‘aesthetic algorithm,’ customizing the appearance of every site they see.”

Applying behavioral psychology to the digital experience in more sophisticated ways will require additional formal research into recommendation algorithms, predictions, and other applications of customer data science, says Jim Guszcza, PhD, chief U.S. data scientist for Deloitte Consulting.

In fact, given customers’ tendency to make the fastest decisions, Guszcza believes that in some cases, companies may want to consider making choice environments more difficult to navigate— a process he calls “disfluencing”—in high-stakes situations, like making an important medical decision or an irreversible big-ticket purchase. Choosing a harder-to-read font and a layout that requires more time to navigate forces customers to work harder to process the information, sending a subtle signal that it deserves their close attention.

That said, a company can’t apply behavioral psychology to deliver a digital experience if customers don’t engage with its site or mobile app in the first place. Addressing this often means making the process as convenient as possible, itself a behavioral nudge.

A digital solution that’s easy to use and search, offers a variety of choices pre-screened for relevance, and provides a friction-free transaction process is the equivalent of putting a product at eye level—and that applies far beyond retail. Consider the Global Entry program, which streamlines border crossings into the U.S. for pre-approved international travelers. Members can skip long passport control lines in favor of scanning their passports and answering a few questions at a touchscreen kiosk. To date, 1.8 million people have decided this convenience far outweighs the slow pace of approvals.

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The basics of influencing irrational customers are essentially the same whether they’re taking place in a store or on a screen. A business still needs to know who its customers are, understand their needs and motivations, and give them a reason to buy.

And despite the accelerating shift to digital commerce, we still live in a physical world. “There’s no divide between old-style analog retail and new-style digital retail,” Berens says. “Increasingly, the two are overlapping. One of the things we’ve seen for years is that people go into a store with their phones, shop for a better price, and buy online. Or vice versa: they shop online and then go to a store to negotiate for a better deal.”

Still, digital increases the number of touchpoints from which the business can gather, cluster, and filter more types of data to make great suggestions that delight and surprise customers. That’s why the hottest word in marketing today is omnichannel. Bringing behavioral psychology to bear on the right person in the right place in the right way at the right time requires companies to design customer experiences that bridge multiple channels, on- and offline.

Amazon, for example, is known for its friction-free online purchasing. The company’s pilot store in Seattle has no lines or checkout counters, extending the brand experience into the physical world in a way that aligns with what customers already expect of it, Dhar says.

Omnichannel helps counter some people’s tendency to believe their purchasing decision isn’t truly well informed unless they can see, touch, hear, and in some cases taste and smell a product. Until we have ubiquitous access to virtual reality systems with full haptic feedback, the best way to address these concerns is by providing personalized, timely, relevant information and feedback in the moment through whatever channel is appropriate. That could be an automated call center that answers frequently asked questions, a video that shows a product from every angle, or a demonstration wizard built into the product. Any of these channels could also suggest the customer visit the nearest store to receive help from a human.

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The omnichannel approach gives businesses plenty of opportunities to apply subtle nudges across physical and digital channels. For example, a supermarket chain could use store-club card data to push personalized offers to customers’ smartphones while they shop. “If the data tells them that your goal is to feed a family while balancing nutrition and cost, they could send you an e-coupon offering a discount on a brand of breakfast cereal that tastes like what you usually buy but contains half the sugar,” Guszcza says.

Similarly, a car insurance company could provide periodic feedback to policyholders through an app or even the digital screens in their cars, he suggests. “Getting a warning that you’re more aggressive than 90% of comparable drivers and three tips to avoid risk and lower your rates would not only incentivize the driver to be more careful for financial reasons but reduce claims and make the road safer for everyone.”

Digital channels can also show shoppers what similar people or organizations are buying, let them solicit feedback from colleagues or friends, and read reviews from other people who have made the same purchases. This leverages one of the most familiar forms of behavioral psychology—reinforcement from peers—and reassures buyers with Shiv’s Type 1 mindset that they’re making a choice that meets their needs or encourages those with the Type 2 mindset to move forward with the purchase. The rational mind only has to ask at the end of the process “Am I getting the best deal?” And as Guszcza points out, “If you can create solutions that use behavioral design and digital technology to turn my personal data into insight to reach my goals, you’ve increased the value of your engagement with me so much that I might even be willing to pay you more.”

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Many transactions take place through corporate procurement systems that allow a company to leverage not just its own purchasing patterns but all the data in a marketplace specifically designed to facilitate enterprise purchasing. Machine learning can leverage this vast database of information to provide the necessary nudge to optimize purchasing patterns, when to buy, how best to negotiate, and more. To some extent, this is an attempt to eliminate psychology and make choices more rational.

B2B spending is tied into financial systems and processes, logistics systems, transportation systems, and other operational requirements in a way no consumer spending can be. A B2B decision is less about making a purchase that satisfies a desire than it is about making a purchase that keeps the company functioning.

That said, the decision still isn’t entirely rational, Berens says. When organizations have to choose among vendors offering relatively similar products and services, they generally opt for the vendor whose salespeople they like the best.

This means B2B companies have to make sure they meet or exceed parity with competitors on product quality, pricing, and time to delivery to satisfy all the rational requirements of the decision process. Only then can they bring behavioral psychology to bear by delivering consistently superior customer service, starting as soon as the customer hits their app or website and spreading out positive interactions all the way through post-purchase support. Finishing strong with a satisfied customer reinforces the relationship with a business customer just as much as it does with a consumer.

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The best nudges make the customer relationship easy and enjoyable by providing experiences that are effortless and fun to choose, on- or offline, Dhar says. What sets the digital nudge apart in accommodating irrational customers is its ability to turn data about them and their journey into more effective, personalized persuasion even in the absence of the human touch.

Yet the subtle art of influencing customers isn’t just about making a sale, and it certainly shouldn’t be about persuading people to act against their own best interests, as Nudge co-author Thaler reminds audiences by exhorting them to “nudge for good.”

Guszcza, who talks about influencing people to make the choices they would make if only they had unlimited rationality, says companies that leverage behavioral psychology in their digital experiences should do so with an eye to creating positive impact for the customer, the company, and, where appropriate, the society.

In keeping with that ethos, any customer experience designed along behavioral lines has to include the option of letting the customer make a different choice, such as presenting a confirmation screen at the end of the purchase process with the cold, hard numbers and letting them opt out of the transaction altogether.

“A nudge is directing people in a certain direction,” Dhar says. “But for an ethical vendor, the only right direction to nudge is the right direction as judged by the customers themselves.” D!

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


About the Authors:

Volker Hildebrand is Global Vice President for SAP Hybris solutions.

Sam Yen is Chief Design Officer and Managing Director at SAP.

Fawn Fitter is a freelance writer specializing in business and technology.

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Digitalist Magazine

Digital Transformation: Visualize Your Journey, Not Your Rival’s

Digital Transformation Digital Transformation: Visualize Your Journey, Not Your Rival’s

This is the second post in this series – read post one here.

Marcel Proust wasn’t ruminating about digital transformation when he said, “We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” But this statement could well align with what businesses face in their DX evolution. Putting a new vision to work — and ultimately altering the fabric of your business — is a process that will be different for every organization.

That means you really can’t just copy what your competitors are doing and try to do it better — because by the time you’ve emulated them, they’ve moved onto the next digital iteration of their business. Instead, you need to model your journey based on your own DNA — factoring in people (the entire ecosystem, including your people, customers, partners, etc.), your products and services (existing and planned), current and future vision, and the list goes on.

With DX, however, your outcomes will never exactly mirror even your best-laid plans — instead, you’ll find yourself consistently unleashing new initiatives, shifting channels and partners, and realigning your business (perhaps more frequently than ever) to put the right people in the right places at the right time.

Discovering the Unknown

Take Jaguar Land Rover, the largest automotive manufacturer in the UK and a truly globally renowned brand name. They kicked off an initiative to exploit the unknown, by connecting all their databases to find problems that they didn’t knew existed.

Through this process, which included transformational capabilities such as mathematical optimization and machine learning, they found hundreds of data correlations previously hidden to their business. For example, one correlation helped identify a faulty accumulator in a set of 96 machines making cylinder blocks. As a group their performance was in the normal range, but closer analysis of energy consumption vs. productivity suggested there were outliers of “unusual transactions” – and the team discovered that an accumulator was working inefficiently, drawing excess energy.

In this regard, Jaguar Land Rover set off on an approach that was truly unique to their organization, because they didn’t know what they would find once they started looking. That’s what we mean when we say “visualize your digital business” – likely, the company’s competitors would, given a similar set of circumstances and strategies, uncover very different unknowns, and thus head down a different path of discovery and, ultimately, transformation.

So while it’s valuable to study what others in your industry are doing (and even cross-industry, with so much convergence happening today – witness Amazon acquiring Whole Foods), it’s valuable to remain mindful that the specific DNA within your business may not be applicable to emulating someone else’s success. Taking a trip down the path to the unknown, as Jaguar Land Rover is doing, will likely create your own successes that indeed, others will want to emulate.

For more on the Jaguar Land Rover “Exploiting the Unknown” discoveries, check out this article in The Manufacturer.

Next post, we’ll cover unleashing the knowledge hidden within your most critical assets – your people.

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FICO

Why Digital Transformation May Require Getting Phygital

When it comes to buying things—even big-ticket items—the way we make decisions makes no sense. One person makes an impulsive offer on a house because of the way the light comes in through the kitchen windows. Another gleefully drives a high-end sports car off the lot even though it will probably never approach the limits it was designed to push.

We can (and usually do) rationalize these decisions after the fact by talking about needing more closet space or wanting to out-accelerate an 18-wheeler as we merge onto the highway, but years of study have arrived at a clear conclusion:

When it comes to the customer experience, human beings are fundamentally irrational.

In the brick-and-mortar past, companies could leverage that irrationality in time-tested ways. They relied heavily on physical context, such as an inviting retail space, to make products and services as psychologically appealing as possible. They used well-trained salespeople and employees to maximize positive interactions and rescue negative ones. They carefully sequenced customer experiences, such as having a captain’s dinner on the final night of a cruise, to play on our hard-wired craving to end experiences on a high note.

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Today, though, customer interactions are increasingly moving online. Fortune reports that on 2016’s Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that is so crucial to holiday retail results, 108.5 million Americans shopped online, while only 99.1 million visited brick-and-mortar stores. The 9.4% gap between the two was a dramatic change from just one year prior, when on- and offline Black Friday shopping were more or less equal.

When people browse in a store for a few minutes, an astute salesperson can read the telltale signs that they’re losing interest and heading for the exit. The salesperson can then intervene, answering questions and closing the sale.

Replicating that in a digital environment isn’t as easy, however. Despite all the investments companies have made to counteract e-shopping cart abandonment, they lack the data that would let them anticipate when a shopper is on the verge of opting out of a transaction, and the actions they take to lure someone back afterwards can easily come across as less helpful than intrusive.

In a digital environment, companies need to figure out how to use Big Data analysis and digital design to compensate for the absence of persuasive human communication and physical sights, sounds, and sensations. What’s more, a 2014 Gartner survey found that 89% of marketers expected customer experience to be their primary differentiator by 2016, and we’re already well into 2017.

As transactions continue to shift toward the digital and omnichannel, companies need to figure out new ways to gently push customers along the customer journey—and to do so without frustrating, offending, or otherwise alienating them.

sap Q217 digital double feature1 images6 1024x572 Why Digital Transformation May Require Getting Phygital

The quest to understand online customers better in order to influence them more effectively is built on a decades-old foundation: behavioral psychology, the study of the connections between what people believe and what they actually do. All of marketing and advertising is based on changing people’s thoughts in order to influence their actions. However, it wasn’t until 2001 that a now-famous article in the Harvard Business Review formally introduced the idea of applying behavioral psychology to customer service in particular.

The article’s authors, Richard B. Chase and Sriram Dasu, respectively a professor and assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, describe how companies could apply fundamental tenets of behavioral psychology research to “optimize those extraordinarily important moments when the company touches its customers—for better and for worse.” Their five main points were simple but have proven effective across multiple industries:

  1. Finish strong. People evaluate experiences after the fact based on their high points and their endings, so the way a transaction ends is more important than how it begins.
  2. Front-load the negatives. To ensure a strong positive finish, get bad experiences out of the way early.
  3. Spread out the positives. Break up the pleasurable experiences into segments so they seem to last longer.
  4. Provide choices. People don’t like to be shoved toward an outcome; they prefer to feel in control. Giving them options within the boundaries of your ability to deliver builds their commitment.
  5. Be consistent. People like routine and predictability.

For example, McKinsey cites a major health insurance company that experimented with this framework in 2009 as part of its health management program. A test group of patients received regular coaching phone calls from nurses to help them meet health goals.

The front-loaded negative was inherent: the patients knew they had health problems that needed ongoing intervention, such as weight control or consistent use of medication. Nurses called each patient on a frequent, regular schedule to check their progress (consistency and spread-out positives), suggested next steps to keep them on track (choices), and cheered on their improvements (a strong finish).

McKinsey reports the patients in the test group were more satisfied with the health management program by seven percentage points, more satisfied with the insurance company by eight percentage points, and more likely to say the program motivated them to change their behavior by five percentage points.

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The nurses who worked with the test group also reported increased job satisfaction. And these improvements all appeared in the first two weeks of the pilot program, without significantly affecting the company’s costs or tweaking key metrics, like the number and length of the calls.

Indeed, an ongoing body of research shows that positive reinforcements and indirect suggestions influence our decisions better and more subtly than blatant demands. This concept hit popular culture in 2008 with the bestselling book Nudge.

Written by University of Chicago economics professor Richard H. Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein, Nudge first explains this principle, then explores it as a way to help people make decisions in their best interests, such as encouraging people to eat healthier by displaying fruits and vegetables at eye level or combatting credit card debt by placing a prominent notice on every credit card statement informing cardholders how much more they’ll spend over a year if they make only the minimum payment.

Whether they’re altruistic or commercial, nudges work because our decision-making is irrational in a predictable way. The question is how to apply that awareness to the digital economy.

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In its early days, digital marketing assumed that online shopping would be purely rational, a tool that customers would use to help them zero in on the best product at the best price. The assumption was logical, but customer behavior remained irrational.

Our society is overloaded with information and short on time, says Brad Berens, Senior Fellow at the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California, Annenberg, so it’s no surprise that the speed of the digital economy exacerbates our desire to make a fast decision rather than a perfect one, as well as increasing our tendency to make choices based on impulse rather than logic.

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Buyers want what they want, but they don’t necessarily understand or care why they want it. They just want to get it and move on, with minimal friction, to the next thing. “Most of our decisions aren’t very important, and we only have so much time to interrogate and analyze them,” Berens points out.

But limited time and mental capacity for decision-making is only half the issue. The other half is that while our brains are both logical and emotional, the emotional side—also known as the limbic system or, more casually, the primitive lizard brain—is far older and more developed. It’s strong enough to override logic and drive our decisions, leaving rational thought to, well, rationalize our choices after the fact.

This is as true in the B2B realm as it is for consumers. The business purchasing process, governed as it is by requests for proposals, structured procurement processes, and permission gating, is designed to ensure that the people with spending authority make the most sensible deals possible. However, research shows that even in this supposedly rational process, the relationship with the seller is still more influential than product quality in driving customer commitment and loyalty.

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Baba Shiv, a professor of marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, studies how the emotional brain shapes decisions and experiences. In a popular TED Talk, he says that people in the process of making decisions fall into one of two mindsets: Type 1, which is stressed and wants to feel comforted and safe, and Type 2, which is bored or eager and wants to explore and take action.

People can move between these two mindsets, he says, but in both cases, the emotional brain is in control. Influencing it means first delivering a message that soothes or motivates, depending on the mindset the person happens to be in at the moment and only then presenting the logical argument to help rationalize the action.

In the digital economy, working with those tendencies means designing digital experiences with the full awareness that people will not evaluate them objectively, says Ravi Dhar, director of the Center for Customer Insights at the Yale School of Management. Since any experience’s greatest subjective impact in retrospect depends on what happens at the beginning, the end, and the peaks in between, companies need to design digital experiences to optimize those moments—to rationally design experiences for limited rationality.

This often involves making multiple small changes in the way options are presented well before the final nudge into making a purchase. A paper that Dhar co-authored for McKinsey offers the example of a media company that puts most of its content behind a paywall but offers free access to a limited number of articles a month as an incentive to drive subscriptions.

Many nonsubscribers reached their limit of free articles in the morning, but they were least likely to respond to a subscription offer generated by the paywall at that hour, because they were reading just before rushing out the door for the day. When the company delayed offers until later in the day, when readers were less distracted, successful subscription conversions increased.

Pre-selecting default options for necessary choices is another way companies can design digital experiences to follow customers’ preference for the path of least resistance. “We know from a decade of research that…defaults are a de facto nudge,” Dhar says.

For example, many online retailers set a default shipping option because customers have to choose a way to receive their packages and are more likely to passively allow the default option than actively choose another one. Similarly, he says, customers are more likely to enroll in a program when the default choice is set to accept it rather than to opt out.

Another intriguing possibility lies in the way customers react differently to on-screen information based on how that information is presented. Even minor tweaks can have a disproportionate impact on the choices people make, as explained in depth by University of California, Los Angeles, behavioral economist Shlomo Benartzi in his 2015 book, The Smarter Screen.

A few of the conclusions Benartzi reached: items at the center of a laptop screen draw more attention than those at the edges. Those on the upper left of a screen split into quadrants attract more attention than those on the lower left. And intriguingly, demographics are important variables.

Benartzi cites research showing that people over 40 prefer more visually complicated, text-heavy screens than younger people, who are drawn to saturated colors and large images. Women like screens that use a lot of different colors, including pastels, while men prefer primary colors on a grey or white background. People in Malaysia like lots of color; people in Germany don’t.

This suggests companies need to design their online experiences very differently for middle-aged women than they do for teenage boys. And, as Benartzi writes, “it’s easy to imagine a future in which each Internet user has his or her own ‘aesthetic algorithm,’ customizing the appearance of every site they see.”

Applying behavioral psychology to the digital experience in more sophisticated ways will require additional formal research into recommendation algorithms, predictions, and other applications of customer data science, says Jim Guszcza, PhD, chief U.S. data scientist for Deloitte Consulting.

In fact, given customers’ tendency to make the fastest decisions, Guszcza believes that in some cases, companies may want to consider making choice environments more difficult to navigate— a process he calls “disfluencing”—in high-stakes situations, like making an important medical decision or an irreversible big-ticket purchase. Choosing a harder-to-read font and a layout that requires more time to navigate forces customers to work harder to process the information, sending a subtle signal that it deserves their close attention.

That said, a company can’t apply behavioral psychology to deliver a digital experience if customers don’t engage with its site or mobile app in the first place. Addressing this often means making the process as convenient as possible, itself a behavioral nudge.

A digital solution that’s easy to use and search, offers a variety of choices pre-screened for relevance, and provides a friction-free transaction process is the equivalent of putting a product at eye level—and that applies far beyond retail. Consider the Global Entry program, which streamlines border crossings into the U.S. for pre-approved international travelers. Members can skip long passport control lines in favor of scanning their passports and answering a few questions at a touchscreen kiosk. To date, 1.8 million people have decided this convenience far outweighs the slow pace of approvals.

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The basics of influencing irrational customers are essentially the same whether they’re taking place in a store or on a screen. A business still needs to know who its customers are, understand their needs and motivations, and give them a reason to buy.

And despite the accelerating shift to digital commerce, we still live in a physical world. “There’s no divide between old-style analog retail and new-style digital retail,” Berens says. “Increasingly, the two are overlapping. One of the things we’ve seen for years is that people go into a store with their phones, shop for a better price, and buy online. Or vice versa: they shop online and then go to a store to negotiate for a better deal.”

Still, digital increases the number of touchpoints from which the business can gather, cluster, and filter more types of data to make great suggestions that delight and surprise customers. That’s why the hottest word in marketing today is omnichannel. Bringing behavioral psychology to bear on the right person in the right place in the right way at the right time requires companies to design customer experiences that bridge multiple channels, on- and offline.

Amazon, for example, is known for its friction-free online purchasing. The company’s pilot store in Seattle has no lines or checkout counters, extending the brand experience into the physical world in a way that aligns with what customers already expect of it, Dhar says.

Omnichannel helps counter some people’s tendency to believe their purchasing decision isn’t truly well informed unless they can see, touch, hear, and in some cases taste and smell a product. Until we have ubiquitous access to virtual reality systems with full haptic feedback, the best way to address these concerns is by providing personalized, timely, relevant information and feedback in the moment through whatever channel is appropriate. That could be an automated call center that answers frequently asked questions, a video that shows a product from every angle, or a demonstration wizard built into the product. Any of these channels could also suggest the customer visit the nearest store to receive help from a human.

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The omnichannel approach gives businesses plenty of opportunities to apply subtle nudges across physical and digital channels. For example, a supermarket chain could use store-club card data to push personalized offers to customers’ smartphones while they shop. “If the data tells them that your goal is to feed a family while balancing nutrition and cost, they could send you an e-coupon offering a discount on a brand of breakfast cereal that tastes like what you usually buy but contains half the sugar,” Guszcza says.

Similarly, a car insurance company could provide periodic feedback to policyholders through an app or even the digital screens in their cars, he suggests. “Getting a warning that you’re more aggressive than 90% of comparable drivers and three tips to avoid risk and lower your rates would not only incentivize the driver to be more careful for financial reasons but reduce claims and make the road safer for everyone.”

Digital channels can also show shoppers what similar people or organizations are buying, let them solicit feedback from colleagues or friends, and read reviews from other people who have made the same purchases. This leverages one of the most familiar forms of behavioral psychology—reinforcement from peers—and reassures buyers with Shiv’s Type 1 mindset that they’re making a choice that meets their needs or encourages those with the Type 2 mindset to move forward with the purchase. The rational mind only has to ask at the end of the process “Am I getting the best deal?” And as Guszcza points out, “If you can create solutions that use behavioral design and digital technology to turn my personal data into insight to reach my goals, you’ve increased the value of your engagement with me so much that I might even be willing to pay you more.”

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Many transactions take place through corporate procurement systems that allow a company to leverage not just its own purchasing patterns but all the data in a marketplace specifically designed to facilitate enterprise purchasing. Machine learning can leverage this vast database of information to provide the necessary nudge to optimize purchasing patterns, when to buy, how best to negotiate, and more. To some extent, this is an attempt to eliminate psychology and make choices more rational.

B2B spending is tied into financial systems and processes, logistics systems, transportation systems, and other operational requirements in a way no consumer spending can be. A B2B decision is less about making a purchase that satisfies a desire than it is about making a purchase that keeps the company functioning.

That said, the decision still isn’t entirely rational, Berens says. When organizations have to choose among vendors offering relatively similar products and services, they generally opt for the vendor whose salespeople they like the best.

This means B2B companies have to make sure they meet or exceed parity with competitors on product quality, pricing, and time to delivery to satisfy all the rational requirements of the decision process. Only then can they bring behavioral psychology to bear by delivering consistently superior customer service, starting as soon as the customer hits their app or website and spreading out positive interactions all the way through post-purchase support. Finishing strong with a satisfied customer reinforces the relationship with a business customer just as much as it does with a consumer.

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The best nudges make the customer relationship easy and enjoyable by providing experiences that are effortless and fun to choose, on- or offline, Dhar says. What sets the digital nudge apart in accommodating irrational customers is its ability to turn data about them and their journey into more effective, personalized persuasion even in the absence of the human touch.

Yet the subtle art of influencing customers isn’t just about making a sale, and it certainly shouldn’t be about persuading people to act against their own best interests, as Nudge co-author Thaler reminds audiences by exhorting them to “nudge for good.”

Guszcza, who talks about influencing people to make the choices they would make if only they had unlimited rationality, says companies that leverage behavioral psychology in their digital experiences should do so with an eye to creating positive impact for the customer, the company, and, where appropriate, the society.

In keeping with that ethos, any customer experience designed along behavioral lines has to include the option of letting the customer make a different choice, such as presenting a confirmation screen at the end of the purchase process with the cold, hard numbers and letting them opt out of the transaction altogether.

“A nudge is directing people in a certain direction,” Dhar says. “But for an ethical vendor, the only right direction to nudge is the right direction as judged by the customers themselves.” D!

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


About the Authors:

Volker Hildebrand is Global Vice President for SAP Hybris solutions.

Sam Yen is Chief Design Officer and Managing Director at SAP.

Fawn Fitter is a freelance writer specializing in business and technology.

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Three Keys to Advancing your Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation Three Keys to Advancing your Digital Transformation

With today’s proliferation of data, digital transformation (DX) has become more than a hot topic: It’s an imperative for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The collision of data, analytics and technology has businesses, analysts and consumers excited — and scared — about what could happen next.

On one hand, everyone from banks to bagel shops and travel sites to tractor manufacturers have found new ways to connect the dots in their businesses while forging stronger, more dynamic customer engagement. Artificial intelligence (AI) has come of age in technologies such as smart sensors, robotic arms, and devices that can turn lights and heat on and off, adjust for changes in conditions and preferences, and even automatically reorder food and supplies for us.

However, today’s Chief Analytics Officer (and Chief Data Officer and Chief Digital Officer, for example) faces both the promise and precariousness of digitizing business. While significant opportunities abound to drive revenues and customer connectivity, any leader will freely confess there are myriad technological, business and human obstacles to transforming even one element of business, introducing a new unique product or even meeting regulatory requirements.

The Big Data Dilemma

Big Data is at once the promise of the DX and its biggest roadblock. A recent Harvard Business Review article put it succinctly: “Businesses today are constantly generating enormous amounts of data, but that doesn’t always translate to actionable information.”

When 150 data scientists were asked if they had built a machine learning model, roughly one-third raised their hands. How many had deployed and/or used this model to generate value, and evaluated it? Not a single one.

This doesn’t invalidate the role of Big Data in achieving DX. To the contrary: The key to leveraging Big Data is understanding what its role is in solving your business problems, and then building strategies to make that happen — understanding, of course, that there will be missteps and possibly complete meltdowns along the way.

In fact, Big Data is just one component of DX that you need to think about. Your technology infrastructure and investments (including packaged applications, databases, and analytic and BI tools) need to similarly be rationalized and ultimately monetized, to deliver the true value they can bring to DX.

Odds are many components will either be retired or repurposed, and you’ll likely come to the same conclusion as everyone else that your business users are going to be key players in how DX technology solutions get built and used. That means your technology and analytic tools need to allow you the agility and flexibility to prototype and deploy quickly; evolve at the speed of business; and empower people across functions and lines of business to collaborate more than they’ve ever done before.

Beyond mapping out your overarching data, technology and analytic strategies, there are several areas to consider on your DX journey. Over the next three posts, I’ll focus on how to:

  1. Visualize your digital business, not your competitors’
  2. Unleash the knowledge hidden within your most critical assets
  3. Embrace the role and evolution of analytics within your journey

To whet your appetite, check out this short video on the role of AI in making DX-powered decisions.

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FICO

Four Customers’ Digital Transformation Stories

blog Four Customers’ Digital Transformation Stories

AccorHotels makes room for digital transformation
AccorHotels Group is a digital pioneer and world leader in travel and lifestyle, offering unique experiences at more than 4,100 hotels and resorts and more than 2,500 exceptional private residences across 95 countries.

“To support development of new services, and deal with the growth in transaction volumes, IT needed to deal with four issues: simplification of both our technical architecture and the ergonomics of our services; openness of our services to enable easy integration with partners; scalability to cope with load levels that can double from year to year; and modularity, enabling a truly service-oriented architecture,” says Chief Technology and Innovation Officer Eric Wyttynck.

Read the story and watch the video to find out how this 2017 TIBCO Trailblazer Award winner improved scalability, performance, and customer experience with the ease and speed attained from its new integration and analytics platforms.

Rexel supplies an omni-channel customer experience
Rexel is a global leader in the distribution of electrical supplies and services for industrial, commercial, and residential markets. “Rexel’s growth, which is based on acquisition, quickly translated into a key issue for our information systems. We were subjected to a surge of point-to-point connections between highly heterogeneous environments, from IBM AS /400 to Linux platforms. At the same time, to seize new growth opportunities, as well as compete, the group needed to accelerate its multichannel strategy,” says Claudio Borlo, chief information officer for Southern Europe.

Read the story to find out how Rexel transformed itself and solved its problems, achieving open and accessible information, industrialized integration, and improved cost control.

ABN Amro on transforming the mobile banking journey
ABN Amro is one of the Netherlands’ three largest banks. “We needed to make sure that all our products were available through the Internet and enhance our website―and that was just the starting point for digitization. We could not really sell all of our products like savings account, loans, and mortgages on the Internet or through a mobile phone, and that was a very important thing for us to really digitize all those sales and services processes,” says Norbert Siegers, Head of IT Solutions-Distribution, of ABN AMRO.

Listen to the podcast with Mr. Siegers and TIBCO’s Bruno Trimouille discussing ABN Amro’s cultural and digital transformation, the lessons learned, and the benefits the bank has secured.

IT4IPM on leveraging cloud for faster API delivery
IT4IPM provides IT solutions that allow intellectual property and copyright to be perfectly represented and protected. As Solutions Architect Dr. Christof Wieser explains, “Nowadays, you have streaming of music, streaming of videos, YouTube and iTunes, Spotify, whatever you want. They give us tons of data and we need to process it in real time or—even better than real time―and distribute the money we get to the composers. So this is really challenging and really needs high performance software.”

Listen to the podcast with Dr. Wieser and TIBCO’s Kevin Bohan discussing IT4IPM’s move to an API ecosystem; the resulting digital impact on profit; its approach to building cloud-native applications, including microservices; and the cultural change necessary to support its digital business transformation.

Join the TIBCO customer reference program to have your business transformation story shared globally with the technology industry, and trade and business press. Your story in print, web, and video format can boost your status as a thought leader and increase awareness with technology leaders, helping you raise your company visibility and attract and retain top talent. Email customermarketing@tibco.com today!

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How 9 CRM Experts Define Digital Transformation

CRM Blog How 9 CRM Experts Define Digital Transformation

Digital transformation happens when up-to-date technology is applied to your best business practices. The sum is greater than the parts in that you’ll realize the ROI and potential of your technology while making your business processes more efficient and effective. It’s a win-win for you.

Think of all the advancements and changes that have come about in the digital era.  Where might they take your business in the future?

To help you see the possibilities of digital transformation, members of the ERP/CRM/ ERP Cloud Software blogs, have compiled a white paper: What the Heck is Digital Transformation and What Does It Mean for Your Business? The white paper presents ideas to help you think in new directions about how to use your business software to achieve greater results.

Businesses vary, so we asked our team of 29 contributors, experts in the field of digital transformation, to present real-life scenarios in which digital transformation has significantly benefitted their clients. You’ll read accounts of companies that were able to:

Rediscover customer engagement

Connect without boundaries

Optimize operations

Modernize service delivery

Reinvent business models

Support data-driven decisions

Reimagine business systems

Contributors to the white paper work with the processes and systems every day. They know what they are talking about and would like to share their ideas with you.

We’d like to thank the following 9 members of the CRM Software Blog who have helped to make this white paper a truly valuable resource.

Beringer Technology Group

Crowe Horwath

Dynamics Objects

encloud 9 LLC

FieldBoss

Magenium Solutions

Preact CRM

Rocton Software

ScienceSoft USA Corporation

Download the white paper: What the Heck is Digital Transformation and What Does It Mean for Your Business?

By CRM Software Blog writer www.crmsoftwareblog.com

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Tech Sparks Transformation of Action Health

Posted by Ranga Bodla, Head of Industry Marketing, NetSuite

Cloud ERP leads to realignment, culture change for distributor

action%20health Tech Sparks Transformation of Action HealthFor more than 35 years and through two generations of ownership, family owned Action Bag Co. served two separate and very distinct markets: healthcare packaging, which accounted for 80 percent of the business, and retail gift supplies, which generated the remaining 20 percent.

Then, in 2014, a new generation of leadership joined the company—Sean Cwynar, grandson of founder Marie Gebbie and son of current CEO Nancy Cwynar, who took over as director of sales, and Phil Negri, who was brought in as CFO. The two Notre Dame MBAs quickly deduced two things: the healthcare portion of the business was growing steadily while the retail business was largely flat; and the healthcare market’s shift toward a more cost-conscious model to keep up with the growing needs of an aging population represented an opportunity.

In response to those two realizations, Action Bag Co. took two important steps. It found a strategic buyer for the retail gift supply business in order to concentrate on the more lucrative healthcare packaging business, and changed its name to Action Health to reflect that new focus; and while other companies in the market were recoiling from — and resisting — the shrinking margins hospitals, pharmacies and home health facilities demand, Action Health doubled down on a strategy to embrace that new low-margin reality. Its new mission: deliver savings to the supply chain.

To do that, management knew Action Health would have to deliver the most competitive price the business could reasonably support. That meant doing things more efficiently than any of its competitors, and technology would be a big part of the answer.

The company turned to NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP application, which has helped Action Health transform itself on three levels.

It has enabled the company to get out of the IT maintenance business so it could focus on its core competency and innovate in more forward-looking areas such as real-time access to business data; it has delivered cost reductions that have been passed directly on to the supply chain, as well as scalability that has the business performing at a higher level; and it has helped Action Health attract more and better talent, particularly from the Millennial generation, by not only providing engaging, user-friendly tools, but also making possible a more flexible work environment, with sales staff working remotely 60 percent of the time.

Still, a transformation is only as good as the business benefits it delivers, and Action Health has seen its bottom-line results swell as a result of its new strategic focus:

  • Sales have grown 18 percent in the past 12 months, a significant improvement over the company’s historical average of 2 percent;
  • Across-the-board efficiency gains have fueled a 40-percent gain in revenue per employee; and
  • Having a lean, scalable solution that stresses OpEx over CapEx has resulted in a 200 percent increase in operating income.

It’s clear that Action Health’s strategic decision to focus on its healthcare packaging business and modernize on NetSuite is helping the company make progress on its internal vision: to be No. 1 in every market the company serves.

Reaching such a lofty goal, particularly in a market that values low costs above all else, requires strong focus, maximum efficiency, and a talented workforce.

With a streamlined business, a modern and nimble technology platform, and an atmosphere that keeps employees challenged, Action Health has seamlessly begun to redefine the distribution of health care packaging, and the rest of the market will have no choice but to follow suit.

Take a look at Action Health’s business and hear about its NetSuite implementation in this video and case study.

Posted on Mon, July 3, 2017
by NetSuite filed under

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Data Reform to Drive Digital Transformation

bigstock 151146176 620x360 Data Reform to Drive Digital Transformation

As first appeared in Financial IT: https://financialit.net/blog/gdpr/data-reform-drive-digital-transformation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) narrative may often be framed around security breaches, but this headline-grabbing angle perhaps overlooks the new legislation’s broader role as a catalyst to support the digital transformation agenda at many organizations.

With reforms to the handling of personal data having far reaching consequences and bringing a new legal framework to the UK, the EU and across the globe, the stakes are high. At 4% of annual global turnover, potential fines for non-compliance dwarf the usual regulatory penalties, and in turn present the very real prospect of extinction for businesses that do not get a handle on what is expected.

It’s why visionary organizations are embracing the challenge by looking beyond box-ticking compliance to capitalize on the opportunity to align legislative adherence to their broader digital strategy.

In essence, this heightened governance will demand much more when it comes to the processing of consumer data; greater responsibility, accountability, and robust evidence of privacy controls, and for many this will mean a rethink of their entire ethos towards data protection. Now, with the compliance deadline looming, the need to review existing business processes and remedy any gaps intensifies. Experts predict that even the most digitally mature organizations could still be caught napping if they don’t make fundamental changes to their data infrastructure by May of next year.

Ultimately, those that use this development as an impetus for more innovative and ingrained digitalization will be better placed to foster an organizational culture of continuous improvement to enrich their offering and stay competitive. This will be critical to serve customers whose growing power is cemented by the new legislation. Now, with greater control over their data—including the right to request its deletion if there’s no compelling reason for an organization to carry on processing it—customers have much higher expectations as to how their data should be used. As well as enhanced transparency and protection around personal information, a more value-driven data exchange fuelled by innovation has increasingly become the norm in this relationship—be they business or private individuals, or partners in the broader supply chain.

Furthermore, with the success of the reforms resting on the extent to which consumers buy into the increased sharing of their personal data—albeit in new and controlled ways—the onus is on businesses to drive their buy in. Yet while consumer trust is paramount, it remains elusive, borne out by the most recent ICO survey which found that 75% of adults in the UK don’t trust businesses with their personal data.

Overcoming an inherent suspicion means that all core processes must be underpinned by accountability, accuracy, and transparency, with a demonstrable understanding from the business of the risks that it creates for others and how these can be mitigated.

As a result, savvy organizations are turning to the solutions which help them negotiate this delicate balance between consumer data analysis, data governance, and privacy protection, without the need for compromise. It calls for the kind of astute data management which provides an up-to-date and single view of the customer with accessible reporting dashboards, while meeting the heightened security and privacy demands as their personal financial information is shared more broadly with a range of third parties.

Built-in governance features to control business process content become a critical component for auditors who require a 360-degree review of activity.  With greater visibility and control of operations, business processes can be consolidated and standardized to ensure best practice and absorb the new regulatory framework for GDPR, adhere to new policies, and ensure demonstrable compliance, all while driving a culture of continuous improvements and added value.

Other technologies and solutions aiming to drive greater collaboration internally will also reap dividends, as teams are equipped to define, simplify, share, and change their processes in minutes, not days, leave feedback, and approve changes. The result is that major operational changes around digital transformation can be communicated to the entire organization in a way that minimizes business disruption, reducing inefficiency and risk.

Furthermore, this technology plays a central role in data management and process change education for employees—steering them through the quagmire of user rights around consumer data, personal, and financial information. As we prepare for the seismic shift that GDPR represents, establishing a deep understanding across an organization is vital to facilitate the effective responses to areas of deficiency identified and actions to address them, including evidential, demonstrable progress to the regulator, when requested.

For savvy organizations GDPR can therefore unite the digitalization and compliance agendas, driving initiatives of mutual benefit for both the Chief Digital Officer and Chief Data Officer, the organization and ultimately, the consumer.

Discover more about TIBCO Spotfire‘s data analysis tools and try them for yourself, free.

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