Enterprise hits and misses - Retailers get omni-savvy, SaaS gets XaaSy, and Microsoft gets Nuance

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed April 19, 2021
Summary:
This week - are retailers finally getting an omni-handle on consumers? Microsoft gets Nuance(d), while SaaS gives way to XaaS. Return-to-work raises trust issues, I get salty about BizDevOps, and customers don't want your journey-mapping. Plus: your weekly whiffs.

success-failure-road-for-businessman

Lead story - Anyone who thinks they know exactly how consumers will behave in the next six months should have to turn in their 'retail guru' card not be taken seriously.

We know this much: retailers better have the flex to adapt: to whatever channel (fickle) consumers want that week/day/hour/minute.

Start with Stuart's Bedding in for the omni long haul - how Bed, Bath & Beyond furnished a retail future for itself despite COVID. 18 months ago, Bed Bath & Beyond was on omni-hassle. Not anymore. Take their BOPIS surge, a six-fold increase since launching in April 2020 (4 million buy online/pick-up in stores customers served). Stuart quotes the CEO:

We've had very similar strong customer adoption and satisfaction with our new same day delivery services. In Q4, over 220,000 same day delivery orders were placed, with 78% of orders coming directly from our websites and 22% through a combination of shipped and Instacart marketplaces, which have access to over 80% of American households.

Yep, that's the omni-flex in action, along with the revenge of the (savvy) store. Next up: Stuart's Levi scales omni-channel outside of US and is confident on Vaccine Economy prospects. Levi's has exactly had a picnic this year - few have - but the omni re-invention should pay off, as consumers glommed to Levi's mobile apps and loyalty program. Levi's CEO sounds the ambitions of many retailers in 2021:

We are reaching a younger consumer who is engaging with us more times per month and longer per visit. We're using the app as a seamless connector for the online to off-line experience and are piloting new convenience-oriented, in-store features like contactless returns and self-checkout.

I wouldn't call it silver lining, but it's clearly the way forward.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

  • After a quarter-century of SaaS, the next 25 years belong to XaaS - Phil draws an important historical line in the sand. Grasping the difference between SaaS and XaaS - and executing on it - could be the dividing line. Sidenote: Phil has promised us a rant on faux XaaS, or "SoXaaS" in his vernacular. That should be a treat.
  • Bridging the gap between the needs of employees and leaders in the future hybrid workplace - Derek on a report that shows workers have moved on. But have their employers? Derek: "Interestingly, the research suggests that there is fear amongst employees that leaders won't adapt to the changes over the past year and roll-back on what has been introduced. Some 86% of UK employees expressed satisfaction with new technologies deployed during the pandemic to help them do their jobs more safely, efficiently or from an alternative location - but 38% believe their organization will roll back the changes and go back to the ‘old way' of doing things."

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

Qualtrics Work Different - "Experience Management" isn't exactly my favorite buzzphrase. But as Stuart's coverage indicates, Qualtrics is delivering on the use cases. Stuart quotes Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith: "2020 went down in history as the year the world came to a complete stop; 2021 will be known as the year that we re-wrote the playbook." Something to aspire for, at least:

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon's grab bag - Neil bears down on practical AI issues again in Is fairness in AI a practical possibility? A new angle on designing ethical systems. Kurt examined one vendor that hasn't lost its stride in GTC 2021 - NVIDIA didn't miss a beat during pandemic chaos.

Brian explores an underrated talent tactic in In with the old - how tapping into alumni could tip the balance in a ramped-up War for Talent. Finally, Stuart parses the latest quotage from Josh Bersin in Memo to HR in the Vaccine Economy - be innovative, build trust and bear in mind we're all knackered!

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven

Overworked businessman

Whiffs

Relief, at last:

Tin foil hats aren't comfy to wear either... Speaking of wearing things, or not:

Usually the article-title-of-the-week is an over-the-top affair, but I was partial to the subtlety of Bezos says Amazon workers aren’t treated like robots, unveils robotic plan to keep them working.

Finally, a pair of abysmally-handled PR episodes, both involving data breaches/privacy flareups. First:

Yes, I'm a ParkMobile user, and I'm feeling salty about it. Then we have:

Strikes me it's more like a (very) "open house" than a "club house"... 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. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.