Enterprise hits and misses – McDonald’s and Dunkin’ vs Starbucks, blockchain vs the skeptics


This week: McDonald’s goes for the digital trojan horse against Starbucks, while Dunkin’ brews their own. Plus: blockchain earns credibility from real-world advancements. Your whiffs include live music on planes – and I get a Halloween whiff called on myself.

Cheerful Chubby Man

Lead story – The Starbucks effect – Dunkin’ Donuts goes digital and McDonald’s tries to brew good coffee – analysis by Stuart Lauchlan

Stuart’s retail reach goes far beyond Amazon versus Walmart – here we get updates on two brands that are tired of conceding digital – and foot traffic – to Starbucks. Start with McDonald’s parks digital tanks on Starbucks lawn as coffee becomes CRM differentiator: think coffee as a digital wedge, as those of us who are hopelessly addicted to it crave it are most likely to chase the cheese down the fast food maze start adopting McDonald’s digital apps and converting from “casuals” to loyal customers.

Should Starbucks worry about the McCafé push? Stuart:

When Starbucks starts selling burgers, we’ll know this a serious clash coming up,

Stuart gives McDonald’s the “heading in the right direction” nod, and we move on to Dunkin’ Donuts, which knows a thing or two about serving up inferior coffee brewing hot bevvies – and dishing out doughnuts (Dunkin’ Donuts – doing digital, but mostly donuts). Turns out mobile ordering is paying off. I like this Dunkin’ CEO quotage on digital pressure:

I was recently asked by an investor if digital is becoming so ubiquitous that it will no longer be a competitive advantage. While everyone has access to new technologies, it’s the companies like Dunkin’ that use it to forge an even closer relationship with their guests, the way we’re doing it with our Perks loyalty program that will have the competitive advantage.

But Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t trying to build an Uber-like platform. They’re a donut shop with a digital twist. Stuart thinks this “sticking to your knitting” is better than chase digital for its own sake. Before I get pushback about the “inferior coffee” dig – this might be the time to concede I have friends who prefer Dunkin’s coffee to Starbucks…

Happy children eating appleDiginomica picks – my top two stories on diginomica this week

  • You can’t improve personalization if you don’t measure it – Barb scores the understatement of the week: “personalization remains a challenge,” then deftly explains the reasons why, including the problem of measuring your flagpole attempts. Bonus: examples of good and bad personalization, such as the dreaded “Hi Barb.” Speaking of which: Hi Barb.
  • 21st century winning strategies for software channel partnersBrian’s latest will scare motivate ERP vendors and their channel partners to see how they stack up. It might not be pretty: “No channel partner or integrator can successfully fight change. They can’t improve their market success by doubling down with more old and irrelevant solutions.” The tables may turn on vendors as well. Brian pushes channel partners to make sure their vendors have everything from reusable algorithms to a “powerful PaaS.” Can we get a “Don’t believe the hype” reference right about now?

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

  • Splunk and the pursuit of the business use case – I expect to see more tech vendors pitching a business/CEO case in 2018; Martin weights in on Splunk’s ambitions. “It is a fair bet that next year’s Splunk conference will see a large rush of new business applications based on the use of machine log analysis.” Also see: Splunk gets chatty (Martin’s Splunk gets talking to Alexa, via Insight Engines).
  • Jones Packaging repackages its SAP ERP support with Rimini Street – Den’s got a fresh use case that shows why customers need support options. The customer view: “SAP is a fantastic data repository and data source and of course, in today’s world, it is all about the data. So yes, we love what SAP does for us, it’s just the way in which it is done has changed.”
  • Dreamforce 2017 – a black swan puzzle to be decoded – Fancy another Dreamforce review? Denis Pombriant has you covered: “Salesforce will have to come up with some messaging to counter Oracle’s autonomous database announcements and this will be tricky, me thinks.” Sidenote: watch for our wall-to-wall diginomica Dreamforce coverage next week.

A couple more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon’s grab bag – Den returns to his American home-away-from-home AKA San Diego for a surprisingly uncurmudgeonly piece on San Diego’s IoT pursuits in Bright Lights. Smart City. San Diego’s pioneering IoT platform. (Yes, he actually uses the word “amazing,” albeit in an aspirational sense – keep it up San Diego!). Meantime, Cath continues her series on “returnships” – one of the most compelling HR concepts I’ve seen in years – at the risk of damning with faint praise. (Career 2.0 – dialing up returnships at O2).

Denis raises the crypto-warning in Cryptocurrency or cryptocon?  Zinger line: “Cryptocurrency seems at best a solution without a credible problem to solve.” Interesting notion that blockchain could be the redeeming tech to emerge given its security use cases. Derek raises a big data use case I didn’t expect, raising the flag on your friendly neighborhood bottom-feeding scam artists casinos in Online gambling operators urged by gov to use data to reduce harm to players.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer Lead story – Blockchain inches towards industrial use cases, but challenges remain – by several smart peeps

myPOV: Blockchain hype has returned, but at least in a more practical bent. Over at The New Stack, TJ Currie updates on Beyond Bitcoin: Oracle, IBM Prepare Blockchains for Industrial Use. Currie underestimates the regulatory and standards work ahead (vendors can’t solve for this on their own, without some cooperation from government), but she presents notable stats on blockchain adoption:

Practical challenges are brought out by Charles Brett of The Enterprise Times in RAND’s blockchain challenges and opportunities. RAND Europe addressed the blockchain standards issue via a scoping study. Brett pulls out a laundry list of challenges and opportunities, with challenges including governance and perceived security issues (ironic given blockchain is also heralded as a better security option – welcome to the blockchain).

Pushing adoption forward is the news that there is now an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) technical committee on blockchain and electronic distributed ledger technologies. Don’t know about you, but I’m all set with blockchain-changes-everything utopianism. Nice to see some practical takes.

Other standouts

  • The Four Cringe-Worthy Mistakes Too Many Startups Make with Data – I’ll bet you want to know what those four mistakes are. Courtesy First Round, we have: starting with metrics instead of a goal, rampant personalization (we covered that above), chasing the latest tool set, and the counter-intuitive winner: “hiring a data scientist” (everyone on the team should be analytics-oriented).

Honorable mention


Overworked businessmanLet’s see – so this woman’s ID has been pilfered fifteen times since the Equifax breach – even worse, now she has a credit line with Old Navy. I don’t think I got to this one last month, but file this under algorithmic farts burps: Amazon reviewing website after algorithm suggests bomb-making ingredients.

Oh, and for you road warriors out there, here’s one to look forward to:

And one of the highlights of Constellation’s (terrific) Connected Enterprise event was winning a round of buzzword bingo on this Ray Wang classic:

In honor of Halloween, Chris Paine got me pretty good. Yeah, I’m calling a whiff on myself:

I avoided piling onto Robert Scoble last week – not a fan of the social mob, and harassment is a tech culture problem that needs more than a scapegoat, or two or three. But Scoble entered the ill-conceived apology hall of fame by attempting to redefine the legal definition of sexual harassment (and workplace power). C’mon man. That does not move us forward.

On a lighter note, I admire this initiative, though giving your log in to someone from China was perhaps not the smartest way to do this:

Oh, and I like this dude: Unemployed Ayrshire man secures job with roadside sign. See you next time.

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses – in a good or bad way – let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does.

Image credit - Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Loser and Winner © ispstock - all from Fotolia.com.

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