Enterprise hits and misses – collaboration ferments digital, United breaks PR


In this edition: fresh customer stories fuse collaboration and digital change. Plus: Customer engagement faces off against United’s continued disservice. Bi-modal IT gets a different kind of spanking, and H-1 Visa changes force a skills rethink. And yeah – whiffs-a-plenty.

Cheerful Chubby Man

diginomica hit: Collaboration ferments digital transformation at Rémy Cointreau – fresh use cases by Phil Wainewright

quotage: “Previously, a process change would have been carefully mapped out before being implemented. Now, individual teams are encouraged to try out new ways of using the tools and their learnings are shared with others around the company.” – Phil, from Collaboration ferments digital transformation at Rémy Cointreau

myPOV: Even those of us who advocate cloud business have “wow” moments, as in this quotage from Phil on Rémy Cointreau: “Being in the cloud means the company can move faster, for example opening a local office in a new country in just two days whereas the same process used to take six months.” But it takes way more than cloud tooling to get to that point of agility.

That’s where culture change and collaboration tools come in. For Rémy Cointreau, this means Box for collaboration, driven by the pursuit of agile processes. Though Phil’s other use case this week, How Coop Danmark keeps its digital transformation on track, isn’t focused on collaboration, the same principles come through.

As Phil writes, Coop Denmark has had its digital ups and downs, but overall the digital push has led to rethinking how a store might operate. No, it’s not about abandoning storefronts. It’s about automating the mundane and bringing a better service to customers: “We have a vision of getting rid of the checkout till and just going round with an iPad and just serving people.”

Happy children eating applediginomica four – my top four stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here’s my top choices from our vendor coverage:

Jon’s grab bag –  When  I first read Stuart’s digibyte – Verizon takes the Oath over Yahoo! minus Mayer, my first thought on Marissa Mayer leaving was that Stuart might finally be able to move on from the Herculean task Sisyphusisan sentence unsavory thankless time suck of documenting Mayer’s misadventures. My second thought on this mediocrity melt merger will have to wait until  the whiffs section. Stuart also continues his appropriately acerbic US/EU data privacy coverage in The EU/US data privacy divide – a series of subtexts for the Trump administration.

Even though the Oracle-buys-Accenture flotsam was dead on arrival, we can still make time for the hardscrabble musings of a former Anderson Consulting employee, that’s right –  our own Brian Sommer folks (Oracle and Accenture – the consultant’s view). Finally, let’s score one for the humans with Denis Pombriant’s Robots versus jobs – it’s the polymath skillset stupid. That is, for the humans that pursue their polymath dexterity rather than punching the clock: “In a  polymath world, the individual moves from skill to skill with sufficient ease that it is possible for them to hold and develop new careers as opportunities come and go.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer Customer engagement and the commonwealth of self interest: Part one by Paul Greenberg

quotage: “if your business scales, you will reach the point that you can’t tailor an individual offer to a single customer without significant cost. Yet, you are likely going to have to, because even though you have significant number of customers — thousands, millions — each doesn’t care that you are constrained, nor do they care about each of the other customers you have. They care about the interactions they have with you.”

myPOV: Paul Greenberg aka CRM Godfather aka king of the epic, slow cook blog post, opens the book-is-comin’ kimono with this foundational piece on the “commonwealth of self-interest.” Rather than explain the concept, I’ll point you to the above quote, which gets across the implications of this new era. This matters because he’s been stumping/waiting for it for ten years. But the circumstances have arrived, argues Greenberg, and companies best take notice.

It’s not often I see philosophical concepts of happiness tied into an enterprise playbook, but it’s worth a ponder. Greenberg links it this way: companies that support social and environmental issues have a more positive image to consumers (93 percent), are more likely to be trusted by consumers (90 percent) and engender more customer loyalty (88 percent).

The problem I see – which you’ve heard me bang on about before – is that this “customer is queen/king” stuff really depends on the industry context. When you consider the costly blunders of, say, the walking PR nightmare called United Airlines – are they really beholden to any of us? United Airlines feels more like an empire-of-fuck-you than a commonwealth-of-we-care. Yahoo, on the other hand had its asking price knocked by security breaches and PR cowpies. Next time I see Greenberg, that’s the chat I’ll look to have. I can guarantee you he’s ready for me.

Other standouts:

  • AI in HR: Artificial intelligence to bring out the best in people – Interesting to dive into the HR side of AI via David Essex. Some good points about retaining human oversight, and realistic AI goals (e.g. improving decision making by __ percent).  Though AI can discriminate via flawed algorithms, Essex reports on how Expedia has been able to boost female hires by 2 percent while shortening time-to-hire and increasing applicant levels and screening accuracy. Some of the decision making goals states are pie-in-the-sky, but it’s info to gnaw on. Also see: The Trade-Off Every AI Company Will Face.
  • Are you a manager? Pay inequality is your fault – Jeepers, Maggie Fox took the gloves off! Granted there is a hyperbolic aspect but she’s got a point: “Can we please stop waiting for some magical day when government or business will somehow come up with the tens of billions of dollars required to do this at scale?”

Honorable mention


Overworked businessmanDen Howlett sent me some whiffy treats again… We could all learn a thing or two about evisceration by reading the work of restaurant critic Jay Rayner. He didn’t like a French “gastro palace” very much, and, well, it was on:

My lips purse, like a cat’s arse that’s brushed against nettles.

That is skewer de sublime. Den also passed along news of a Darwin award winner who shot himself in the buttocks while at a restaurant. No word if he got fries with that.

Then we have the social media whipping post/cat scratching stand known as United Airlines. I won’t add to the spank tunnel, except for this:

The real whiff will be on us if we think anything at United will change. United’s already broken guitars and turned leggings into a civil rights issue. They do what they do. But, venting on them does feel cathartic, not unlike giving McDonald’s a one star rating on Trip Advisor. Oh, and here’s my in-depth analysis of the Yahoo-AOL merger:

Over to you, Clive.

Which #ensw pieces of merit did I miss? Let us know in the comments.

Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. ‘myPOV’ is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.


Image credit - Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from Fotolia.com.

Disclosure - SAP, Oracle, Workday and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.