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:
- An inside look at Salesforce’s return to the office and ‘success from anywhere’ strategy - Derek on Salesforce's in-depth return to work plan. What does a flexible work future look like? Derek: "80% of the company's office collaboration space is used on Wednesday and Thursday, suggesting that employees tend to favour working from home at the beginning and the end of the week. Equally, employees are clearly using the office for in-person collaboration - where 64% of collaboration spaces are being utilized, whilst only 24% of desk space is. So, as suspected, people are going into the office to share ideas, meet customers and do their brainstorming, but are using their time at home to be productive and get other work done."
- Loyalty becomes a shoo-in as schuh sizes up Salesforce for CRM - How does an upstart player like schuh make their mark? Loyalty management, for starters. Stuart's got the story.
- SAP RISE in review - CEO Christian Klein responds to the "one handshake" issue, and SAP user groups air out their top questions - SAP's January RISE announcement left a wake of questions. It also provoked an important debate on the role of SIs in ERP project success. I brought the questions back to the user groups - and SAP's CEO. Also see: Stuart's SAP earnings analysis, which includes a first take on SAP's new financial services play: SAP makes a dedicated move on the financial services sector on the back of strong preliminary Q1 numbers.
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:
- Qualtrics Work Different - three customers experiences of the criticality of Experience Management
- Qualtrics Work Different - how HBO Max subscribes to tapping into consumer experiences for growth
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- ServiceNow integrates Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to help customers with multi-cloud management - Derek
- Getting back to the heart of who NetSuite is for - Oracle NetSuite EVP Evan Goldberg wants to re-invent the biz apps user experience - Stuart
- FinancialForce looks to the GL to get a grip on customer engagement in the service economy - Phil
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
My top seven
- Microsoft is acquiring Nuance Communications for $19.7B - Why? As Ron Miller reports, think "industry specific cloud strategy," or, if you can digest the buzzphrase, "industry clouds" (Pepto-Bismol helps). In this case, the industry in question is: healthcare.
- FBI Accesses Computers Around Country to Delete Microsoft Exchange Hacks - A bit unprecedented, though a court order was obtained.
- DevOps for the business: enter 'value stream management' (VSM) for enterprise software woes - Joe McKendrick, a braver man than I, wades into
the tech vernacular bog pitour techni-cooler future with value streams. Explaining VSMs would cost me too much in word count, so I'll just quote this survey via McKendrick: "In addition, 94% of respondents agreed they need to link their software development and delivery closer to business objectives." Yep, that's a big clue.
- The five core IT shifts of scaled agile organizations - If you manage to avoid VSMs, you might get hit by "BizDevOps" instead. Hey, at least the underlying goals are worthwhile.
- 6 Tips for Managing Operational Risk in a Downturn - Forced to pick one, I'll go with "establish transparency in the supply chain... Sending suppliers many streams of audit forms is not effective."
- How to not manage your customers' journeys - Thomas Wieberneit wants you to stop fussing over customer journeys you can't control anyhow. What's the alternative, you ask? Let customers plan their own, and then, as Wieberneit puts it: "Let customers plan their own, and then, as Wieberneit puts it: "provide [customers] with the platform and the channel-independent menu of interconnected contact points that help them to do it."
- 7 lessons to ensure successful machine learning projects - "Make sure technical experts and domain experts work side by side."
Relief, at last:
Pentagon Confirms 'Pyramid-Shaped' UFO Video Footage Is Authentic https://t.co/EihJWnyh8i
-> take off the tin foil hats, we are mainstream now baby pic.twitter.com/Umg6GlLzEJ
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 16, 2021
Tin foil hats aren't comfy to wear either... Speaking of wearing things, or not:
Canadian Lawmaker Caught Naked During Video Conference https://t.co/PhVg80Qtos
-> we may have to tweak this transparency-in-government thing a tad....
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 15, 2021
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:
ParkMobile Breach Exposes License Plate Data, Mobile Numbers of 21M Users – https://t.co/k72eZiAffm
"It’s also curious @ParkMobile hasn’t asked or forced users to change their passwords as a precautionary measure."
-> it's not curious, it's irresponsible. nice job ParkMobile
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 16, 2021
Yes, I'm a ParkMobile user, and I'm feeling salty about it. Then we have:
Clubhouse Data Leak - 1.3M SQL Database Leaked Online https://t.co/QuZUkhdrvE
I like Clubhouse's vigorous explanation - it's not a leak or a hack. It's just data that was easily pulled in bulk/scraped from the API. No problem then :)
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 16, 2021
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.