MyPOV: The last few months of diginomica's retail coverage have been strewn with the economic body blows of Corona-times. But this week, Stuart assessed retailers that made smart moves:
For some retailers in some sectors, earlier omni-channel focus paid off and there was a consumer shift to digital channels; for others, the loss of the store network was akin to severing an arm.
Yes, those smart moves involve a fluid/creative use of online and store. But as Stuart notes, it's now about what EY dubs the anxious consumer. On EY's survey:
Globally, 52% of respondents say that they will change the way they shop over the coming year and it's health concerns that are driving this view.
For 70%, hygiene and sanitation in shops is now a top priority. So what's a retailer to do? In the feature piece, Stuart looks at how BestBuy, Vince and Lands End have responded. Stuart concludes:
The in-store element of the omni-channel retail experience will be an evolving phenomenon in the coming months. Standing in line for entry will be a norm, not just when there's a new iPhone on sale; contactless payment methods will dominate as cash becomes something else to try not to touch... Retailers will, more than ever before, have to keep on top of tracking consumer behavior patterns (and anxieties).
No, not exactly retail utopia, but it's not lockdown paralysis either. For more use cases, check COVID's digital DIY boom - how Home Depot and Lowe's omni-channel retail prep rode out the pandemic crisis.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Looking for the 'Future of Work'? It’s already here...but will it last? - Janine
- Pandemic disruption and economic crisis are reshuffling IT priorities - what types of tech benefit from increased investment? - Kurt
- Brands are all-in on digital commerce - but are they getting commerce experiences right? - Barb
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. We're at the height of the virtual events silly season, folks!
- Cisco Live 2020 - Webex strikes back at Zoom's rebel incursion - Hold up, Webex is still a thing? Yes, says Phil: "Cisco plans to hold on to its [Webex] customers by emphasizing its superior security, as Webex CMO Aruna Ravichandran explained yesterday."
- Demandbase acquires Engagio - has the full ABM platform arrived? - Acquisitions bore me more often than not, but this one intrigues - because of how the pieces fit. Barb is on the case.
- Oracle's Safra Catz - COVID-19 hit deal decision-making in Q4, but the wins were delayed, not lost - two big takeways from Stuart's Oracle earnings roundup. One is: the wins were delayed. Two is: cloud workloads are getting a long-term, Corona-driven boost.
SAP's first-ever virtual Sapphire Now, aka Sapphire Now Reimagined, began with high expectations but soon became a problematic event, marred by technical issues and overscripted keynotes. That said, the diginomica team found stories worth covering, with more to follow at this week's ASUGForward user conference.
- Sapphire Now 2020 - CEO Klein's inaccessible keynote focuses on resilience, profitability and sustainability - Den assesses a
service unavailable - WTF?mixed bag of a keynote. Den on the Porsche customer example: "I would have been more impressed to hear from the government bodies for which SAP and Deutsche Telekom are providing Track and Trace apps." The issue of hyperscalers loomed large; also see Den's interview: Rob Enslin, president sales Google discusses the SAP relationship.
- Sapphire Now 2020 - how do we make sense of the SAP S/4HANA, ByDesign, and Business One mix? Ask Rainer Zinow - I managed to parse a chunk of the SAP cloud product confusion, with insights from Zinow on why SAP ByD is thriving with more platform plays to come. I continue the SAP partner angle in Sapphire Now 2020 - how Sodales Solutions' health and safety app is helping companies re-open, and retool their transformation efforts.
Salesforce Live, EMEA's first virtual Salesforce conference, is in the books. Derek and Stuart were on the beat, scooping up use cases like these:
- Salesforce Live - how the Co-op copes with higher customer support demand during COVID-19 - Stuart on a big UK brand that faced bigtime Corona-pressure, and how they responded.
- Salesforce Live - Bugaboo gives e-commerce growth the push it needs with Salesforce Commerce Cloud - Derek on how a high-end push chair company is going digital for the long haul.
- Salesforce Live - how AXA PPP Healthcare stabilized the business during COVID-19 - How has one of the largest insurance organizations in the world responded to the lockdown? Stuart: "AXA went from having around a fifth of its workforce (21%) able to work from home in February and scaled that up within 3 weeks to over 90%."
A few more vendor picks, without the quips:
- Asana adds Microsoft Teams integration to help 'cat-chasers' herd work - Phil
- Google Solving Together – Generali and the pursuit of digital data democratisation - Martin
- Workday ramps time to value with Launch expansion - Den
Best of the rest
Lead story - Is AI a services margin booster, or an innovation engine?
MyPOV: A couple constrasting views on AI helped us keep use cases in focus and the
automation infatuation hype in check. In 10 Ways Enterprises Are Getting Results From AI Strategies, Louis Columbus shakes out recent survey data in search of established AI use cases. He finds some good ones. One that jumped out:
McKinsey finds that AI is improving demand forecasting by reducing forecasting errors by 50% and reducing lost sales by 65% with better product availability.
Columbus takes us through industries and company sizes:
AI sees the most significant adoption by marketers working in $500M to $1B companies, with conversational AI for customer service as the most dominant.
Lest we get too enthused on "AI for Good," over at UpperEdge, Greg Hall writes on how big services players are using "AI" to create operational efficiencies, without passing that margin savings along to customers (IT Service Providers Like TCS and Infosys Think "AI" Means Added Income). Hall writes:
Providers are well-positioned to leverage their AI tools to increase their margins over time... Given that there is little-to-no transparency into these increased margins and the efficiencies of the support, it is almost impossible for the client to take advantage of them.
Ergo: "innovation" doesn't necessarily translate to customer benefit, nor is it automatically generated because we call it "AI." But hey, an informed debate is always welcome in these parts...
- Zoom will give end-to-end encryption option to all users - someday Zoom will realize that just getting it right the first time beats the
PR cowpiekicking-and-screaming-to-the-right-outcome approach.
- One in four enterprises will be all-cloud companies within a year - this piece my Joe McKendrick sparked a Twitter confab on how these numbers will look once we get to September, and the problems of vendor-funded research.
- Communicating the Need for Headcount Reduction as Part of Your Digital Transformation - refreshing to get some transformation realism, instead of pretending that head count reduction isn't part of the digital agenda for some projects.
- How to revive the US economy after COVID-19 - McKinsey looks to the past for a Corona-playbook.
- What Will Cybersecurity's 'New Normal' Look Like? - One step for IT: secure the homefront, because peeps aren't coming back to the water cooler en masse.
- Surviving to win in this “Have-to-Have” Economy (Part I) - Phil Fersht of HfS almost blew another gasket, for our reading pleasure. And yeah, quit pining for that V-shaped/pie-in-the-sky recovery. Fesht has something else in mind for you...
Missing on-the-ground events? Then how about this terrific tribute that came my way via HR analyst Thomas Otter:
My spouse is "attending" a virtual conference for the next few days. To help simulate the real thing, I'll set out a picked-over tray of mini-muffins, soggy cut fruit, and some weak coffee, and then whisk them away just as he approaches the table.
— Erin Conwell (@erconwell) June 19, 2020
On a more dystopian note,
WTAF WFH surveillance startups keeping sprouting up:
hopefully we can monitor employee meal plans soon also for nutritional compliance.... https://t.co/VkWo1uT9cC
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) June 19, 2020
If you're getting too many reality sandwiches these days and not enough belly laughs, this video of a cockatoo with absolutely no interest in going to the vet might be the best thing I've ever seen on YouTube. 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.