Enterprise hits and misses - autonomous vehicles get a green light, customer success gets a warning, and tech-for-good gets a gut check
- This week - autonomous vehicles speed past a premature(?) milestone. Customer success, however, gets stopped at the traffic light. Tech-for-good idealism faces reality, and FinOps gets the buzzword bingo treatment. Your whiffs include cheap shots - and Web 3.0 candy canes.
Lead story - There are seven different ways to define customer success. Only one counts
At diginomica, we aren't ready to toss out the "customer success" buzzword
and self-congratulatory connotations. But, as Phil asserts, it needs reclaiming:
We often find ourselves at cross-purposes in conversations with vendors. We've come to realize that their understanding of the concept is different from what we have in mind. Despite all their assertions of customer centricity, the metrics by which many vendors measure customer success remain staunchly vendor-centric.
Phil defines each (flawed) metric, including the important, but still vendor-centric, user adoption stats:
[Adoption success] is in the vendor's interest, because when the customer comes round to renew their subscription, that renewal is much more likely if any issues have already been ironed out and the customer is making full use of the offering.
But Phil - spoiler alert! - which definition of customer success is the right one? If you guessed "Outcome success," you get Phil's door prize. Phil cites a couple of rare examples of this, via Coupa and Zuora. But why are the examples so rare? Phil:
It requires an advanced degree of engagement with customers and insight about what matters to them. Most vendors are not even formally gathering data about their customers' business goals when deploying their offerings, let alone measuring their contribution towards achieving those goals.
Phil believes we'll get there, as more companies truly adopt XaaS models. Yes, perhaps, in time. But it won't happen until we view tired metrics (like NPS) with a more critical eye.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Real world AI use cases - Gary filed notable stories on "real world AI" projects. Start with Scottish whisky leader Edrington upskills staff with AI-powered learning hub: "We asked ourselves: How do we bring learning alive for people?" Then check: Deutsche Post DHL turns to machine learning to help find the skills of the future.
- Retail transformations - a work in progress - Stuart updates on two retail transformations that aren't transformed just yet. Kroger's Vaccine Economy ambitious: A seamless customer experience - how Kroger's CIO ensures the retailer's omni-channel ambitions are more than just a shopping list. And, Gap's continued exploration of the omni-channel gap: Gap fails to deliver a retail bounce back despite a digital-first shift.
- International Women's Day coverage - Madeline shared lessons from an IWD exclusive in IWD 2022 – in conversation with Dame Stephanie ‘Steve’ Shirley, a women-in-tech pioneer. She also spoke with Salesforce's new Chief Equality Officer: IWD 2022 - how Salesforce's Chief Equality Officer Lori Castillo Martinez is continuing the push for female representation in tech.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- What Oracle does next? Fixes the global healthcare system, says Ellison - Stuart reviews Oracle's Q3 numbers, and finds Ellison feeling like... Ellison: "With Oracle’s $28.3 billion bid for medtech provider Cerner still trundling through the necessary regulatory hoops, this focus on healthcare comes as no surprise."
- Another strong quarter for MongoDB as Atlas continues to soar - Derek finds MongoDB in an upbeat mood. This one jumped out: "MongoDB Atlas (the company’s cloud database) revenue was up 85% year-over-year; and represented 58% of total Q4 revenue."
- From ‘killer meetings app’ to unified collaboration - how Zoom is thinking about strategy in the Vaccine Economy - Derek on Zoom's attempt to push beyond the best meeting app on the market: "Much of Zoom’s current focus is up-selling its current high-spend install base - where its recent results pointed to how those customers contributing more than $100,000 in the previous 12 months revenue went up approximately 66% year over year."
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- Asana 'investing to win' after posting 67% revenue growth in FY2022 earnings - Phil
- Acumatica changes CEOs - will supply chain planning become a focal point? - Jon
- Changing of the Guard - Domo and Yext shake up management as founder CEOs depart - Stuart
- Putting Zoho Creator to the business user test - a view inside the projects at Michigan Medicine - Jon
- Insurance firm QBE saves 50,000 hours annually with Pega Robotic Process Automation - Derek
Jon's grab bag - Chris assesses a sluggish approach to crypto in US finally moves on crypto - but it’s a hug, not a punch. He also looks at public sector transformation the right way (in theory) Government digital transformation - put citizens first, not tech. And the wrong way (in practice,
ugh): Why has UK Government digital transformation just created a giant bureaucracy? Finally, Martin's series from a recent CAST event yielded a keeper quote on how the role of enterprise tech is changing - one for all forward-thinking projects to bear in mind:
When you start talking about modernization, the first thing that comes to mind is cost savings. But in general, when we, as a large firm, are looking for modernizing our applications, we’re driven from a different need. We are driven from the need to deliver the capabilities very quickly to the market so that we can capture the market, capture customers with the features we want to deliver. We also are driven by the fact that that competitive edge and advantage is quite important for banks like us. (from Lift and shift is easy to say, but the cloud reality can be different - intelligent learnings from Wells Fargo Bank)
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- U.S. eliminates human controls requirement for fully automated vehicles - Not gonna lie, eliminating steering wheels feels premature vs the tech. But, a milestone nonetheless.
- Hacked US companies to face new reporting requirements - More dangerous threats -> greater accountability. Too many companies are issuing leak news partially, or slugglishly.
- As tech companies suspend sales in Russia, what is the actual business impact? TechCrunch's Ron Miller looks beyond tech-for-good reassurances - to (questionable) impact on the ground.
- As cloud costs spiral upward, enterprises turn to a thing called FinOps - Yep, Joe McKendrick tried to sneak a new buzzword by us (FinOps). But at least he did it realistically: "Nowadays, however, businesses are faced with spiraling cloud costs. There's even a word for the emerging process to deal with it: 'FinOps.'"
- Gone for now, or gone for good? How to play the new talent game and win back workers - instead of debating whether the Great Resignation is a thing, how about just responding to it better? McKinsey with a thorough post on doing just that.
- Ten lessons from the first two years of COVID-19 - McKinsey strikes again, with one of the best posts of this type I have yet to see, derived from the hard knocks of the healthcare industry.
- Forget the Great Resignation, we’re in a Great Big Mess. Time to wake up to our new reality - Speaking of which, this post from Phil Fersht of HfS is a bit on the dramatic side. Worrisome though how often I found myself nodding my head in agreement.
Via diginomica's Alex Lee, we have a doozy of an NFT whiff:
NFT collector accidentally sells their rock for close to $0 instead of over $1 million
March 10, 2022https://t.co/zM2lGKKwaM pic.twitter.com/mIPMFlSK8F
— web3 is going just great (@web3isgreat) March 10, 2022
As I was saying, rock > paper -> scissors... Meanwhile, I took another gratuitous (but well-earned) shot at Windows 11:
One in three work PCs "not capable" of running Windows 11. Here are the upgrades they need | ZDNet https://t.co/wwya21qVp8
-> when relatively new machines can't run a new OS, the question becomes:
What is wrong with this bloatware OS called Windows 11?
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) March 13, 2022
We can always use some techno-optimism these days. Even so, this VentureBeat piece is awfully fluffy:
Why the future of the metaverse can only be decentralized https://t.co/c8pRCZ90ag
"In the Web3 world, we own our assets; we can carry them with us across different platforms without fear of being penalized."
-> great vision but astonished you think this is a realistic outcome
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) March 13, 2022
I remember the same gushy things being opined about "decentralized ride share networks," where peers would form economic networks with peers. Then we got another mega-digital-duopoly, of the Ray Wang variety. Finally, one for the "choose your battles" file:
Woman Tried to Convince DMV to Let Her Keep 'Fart' License Plate | Alt 104.5 | Josh https://t.co/IU0FfzmcJU
-> an odd place to take a stand but so it is :)
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) March 12, 2022
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. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed.