Lead story - Future of work in flux - hashing the four day workweek and the future of Zoom
MyPOV: The future of work remains hot burner, as employers reckon with remote-work-as-a-lifestyle, and valiantly attempt to plot office futures.
Cath shares lessons from a couple four-day-week adopters in The Future of Work - is four the magic number for the Vaccine Economy's working week?. But the four day workweek is hardly a new concept. Why the traction now?
Cath writes that it's about employee well-being as a rising workplace value. And: with remote work ingrained, employers are more likely to give the four-day-week a whirl. But, as she points out, this approach will falter without outcome-focused KPIs. Otherwise we'll turn this into a Mechanical Turk-style volume work grinder. Even with an extra day off, that's a bad end game.
Industry expectations matter: if the rest of your supply chain works in five day rhythms, that can get tricky - though off days could be staggered. Management culture is the real impediment though. Cath quotes Awin's Kelly Perry:
I don’t think this approach would be very successful if there was a micro-management culture and the senior management team was the sole decision-maker. It’s about giving people the power to make their own decisions and pave their own way to success.
Speaking of ingrained, Zoom has pulled that off, but not in a perfect way for the company's future. Kurt makes a case for Zoom as a specialized collaboration platform in Don't write off Zoom - it’s not a one-trick pony as remote work is here to stay!:
In contrast, Zoom’s intention to acquire Five9 indicates that it sees little point in attacking a fortified hill where Microsoft, Google and Salesforce (Slack) dominate the market for productivity and collaboration services. Instead, Zoom finds more opportunities in vertically expanding into omnichannel customer support for organizations still struggling to serve users and employees in an online-first world.
Yes, Zoom Apps is a good way to push from video meetups to Zoom-as-work-platform, but I'm also wary of Zoom's long-term ability to take on the dominant players above. But: Zoom took me by surprise with the Five9 purchase, video training moves, and determination to specialize for industry.
Combine that with Zoom's obviously superior UX abilities - something
(Skypey) Microsoft and (Buzzy) Google can't get out of their own way with, and Zoom's future looks pretty interesting. If office work as we knew it isn't coming back, Zoom is as good a bet as any. Update: however, if the management allure of the office does return, as I worry it will, then Zoom will find itself in a tougher situation, with video collaboration not being nearly enough - especially with such big fish in its pond. We'll pick that story up in this week's edition.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- As 'normalization' kicks in and shoppers head back to the store, can online pureplays like Wayfair furnish a Vaccine Economy future? - After looking at the storefront revival last week, what's Stuart's next move? Assess the future of pure-play e-commerce. Derek adds another omni-success success story with Foot Locker has a beat in its step as omni-channel mix proves successful.
- Want better decision-making? You need role-based analytics - but providers are coming up short - Neil ends his two-parter on better decision-making with a must-read client anecdote. Teaser: "When I presented the solution to him, he responded, 'Neil, you don't get it, do you?'" We can all benefit from such candor, and measuring ROI in the client's terms, not ours.
- Fire Equipment rounds out its all-digital operations with electronic payment - In this standout use case, Phil explores how his frictionless enterprise principles stack up with a customer that is resolutely physical. As always, the imperative for transformation brings digital lessons.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- Marc's on mute, but Salesforce's first $6 billion quarter tells its own tale - With Dreamforce on deck, Salesforce has some dreamy numbers to deliver, glitches or not. Stuart's on the case.
- Box reports strong Q2 and raises guidance as critical shareholder meeting looms - Derek examines a crucial good news earnings report from Box. But will it stave off the activist investor push from Starboard Value?
- Why BPI, and why now? SAP Signavio's CEO on how process intelligence changes the enterprise - and how it reveals the true agenda of RISE with SAP - I had some pesky roadmap questions. Signavio CEO Dr. Gero Decker had answers. Here's my analysis of how Signavio changes RISE with SAP.
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- Workday Q2 sees pent-up demand breaking through in Financials - Stuart with the earnings report, Phil with a use case review: Healthcare adapting to rapid change - Workday customers speak about their pandemic experiences.
- Zuora gets stickier as Q2 results show growth on all fronts - Phil
- Confluent CEO on why data in motion is now central to enterprise success - Derek
Jon's grab bag - Derek isn't too impressed with NHS these days: When will the NHS learn from its mistakes on data sharing? Stuart confirms his turn-of-phrase dexterity with the all time classic "cookie-monstering" - Cookie monstering as a cover for data regime change - the UK picks a dangerous fight over GDPR. Stuart isnt' bullish on this one:
I have a very bad feeling about all this. Yes, I get irritated at the number of pop-ups etc, but very few of these are really due to GDPR. At diginomica, we’ve done our absolute best to ensure that we are compliant without being intrusive and I’d hazard a claim that yes, it can be done.
True that. Gosh knows we aren't perfect around these parts, but anyone who equates GDPR compliance with mind-numbing pop-ups hasn't taken a trip to Forbes.com or ZDNet lately. They treat pop-ups as an Olympic competition in annoyance, not compliance.
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- Hacker claims responsibility for T-Mobile attack, bashes the carrier’s security - It's not 100% certain that the hacker interviewed here is the T-Mobile hacker, but this Verge report cites the Wall Street Journal's interview, and efforts to validate identity. Assuming it's all true, it's just what we expected: a shockingly-lax approach to sensitive data security, this from a pathetic firm that had multiple chances to lock themselves down - before this latest embarrassment. If T-Mobile spent one percent of the time on security they've spent slobbering all over 5G, none of this would have happened.
- Costco Shoppers See Toilet Paper, Water Disappear From Store Shelves As Shortages Strike Again - If sensational data breaches are the summer tech headline, then the undercard is supply chain/logistics woes. Hits/misses regular Clive Boulton has been tracking this closely. He sent along this Costco story. But part of the Costco story can be attributed to the (woeful) return of COVID panic buying. Clive's Wall Street Journal (paywall) link hits closer to the mark, I think: Air Cargo Boom in Supply Chain Crunch Has Car Tires Flying First Class. When car tires fly first class, we are officially in supply chain weirdness territory. And our shiny predictive models can't anticipate things like this.
- AI as a Hype Tool - Skynet Today has a useful rundown of how we've overhyped AI, while underplaying viable use cases.
- The Future of Artificial Intelligence - Interview with Predrag Jakovljevic - This time, Jakovljevic is in the interview chair: "The use of AI for medical diagnosing has certainly been one of the most interesting challenges of today. It is still questionable whether these AI systems can replace the knowledge, reasoning, and experience of human experts."
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): 4 characteristics of successful teams - One more AI selection, this one with a project bent.
- What I Learned at Smith Tool about Enterprise IT - Frank Scavo continues his time-tested enterprise reflections. That bit on industry know-how > generic applications experience hits home now more than ever.
So I was poking fun at Google's UX ineptitude earlier, calling them "Buzzy." That was partially inspired by this detailed takedown: A decade and a half of instability: The history of Google messaging apps. Did Google actually get worse at UX? If Google Talk was the high point, then...
It's all downhill from here, with Microsoft getting in on the breachy action. Fortunately it seems few were impacted:
Microsoft Azure cloud vulnerability is the ‘worst you can imagine’ https://t.co/xMc4hTqtyP
-> Microsoft piling up a pretty sloppy security record of late....
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) August 28, 2021
I'm not gonna lie - this one hurt a little bit:
"Burningman opens next week virtually. This seems like a story for you."
I'm seething with jealousy towards a colleague who received this PR pitch. I didn't warrant receiving this pitch?
This is a career setback. I really need to up my game, and fast.
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) August 24, 2021
Finally, this one isn't a whiff, more like an anti-whiff, from the get-busy-livin' file:
My mother raised me from birth on folky stuff and The Beatles. At age 8, I scored the double LP gatefold sleeve of Rolling Stones "Hot Rocks," and played that legendary 3rd side, that goes from Jack Flash -> Gimme Shelter. Everything in my life changed. Charlie Watts - RIP https://t.co/A7A1Wyy9fr
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) August 25, 2021
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.