Thursday, July 18, 2019

A Deep Dive Interview with Stephanie Thum, Chief Advisor, Federal Customer Experience, Qualtrics

Earlier this year SAP acquired Qualtrics and added it to their solution suite in the SAP Customer Experience business unit.  I reached out to the ever brilliant Stephanie Thum at Qualtrics to learn more about Qualtrics, and the value it can bring to both SAP customers and others.  Enjoy!

Kevin: First up, Stephanie, tell us a bit about your background.

Stephanie: I am a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP). I've been with Qualtrics for about a year, but I've been working in customer experience for more than 13 years. I started in customer experience as a customer satisfaction executive at Ernst and Young. That was years ago. I eventually became one of the US federal government's first agency-level customer experience leaders. That was during the [Barack] Obama administration.  At that time the president had a multi agency task force on customer experience and I served as an advisor to that task force. I'm also a founding member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), which is the premier professional association for customer experience professionals around the world. I spent time working as part of the headquarters team as well for CXPA just before I came to Qualtrics last year.

Kevin: How do you define customer experience?

Stephanie: Customer experience is a business discipline. One of the things that I love about CX is how it's evolved over the last several years. CX is not just a fleeting moment of empathy with a customer.  It's not just a piece of software or a metric on a piece of paper or a journey map. It's all of those things put together. It's a way of doing things in your business that makes things better for your customers, more efficient for your business, and more profitable. And it's something that should touch every corner of your organization as well and not just process improvements or website improvements but all aspects of your business. You need great leadership and technology to get there but, ultimately, it's about the sum total of a customer's experiences with your organization that leads them to either want to do business with you or not.

Kevin: Earlier this year SAP announced the acquisition of Qualtrics. SAP spent $8 billion USD to buy Qualtrics. That's a huge acquisition. Why do you think SAP did that?

Stephanie: We're living in the experience economy now. Never before has it been easier for customers to get access to information that helps them choose the kinds of experiences that they want to have as a customer. And the same goes for employees. For businesses to compete, they need to know what it's going to take to create the experiences that those customers and employees are looking for. To do that, you need the operational data that SAP is known to bring to the table, and the experience data that Qualtrics has.  It's about combining these two types of data to offer a better experience. It's an unstoppable combination. So that's where I think we're coming from and that's where I think we're going.

Kevin: You used the term "experience economy." For somebody not focused on this space, what does that mean to them? And where will they see that demonstrated?

Stephanie: The experience economy is all around us, and there's much being written about it now. The landscape has changed over the past ten years. We know now that 80 percent of customers are going to choose to switch brands due to a poor experience. We know that two million employees a month are turning over due to poor experiences. That power is really in the customers' and the employees' hands. So experience is really the new battleground. As a business today you must know how you are going to create good experiences so that you can attract and then retain customers? That race is on, whether we like it or not. So you really have to embrace the practices and principles of CX as a business discipline, and implement the right CX technology that's out there. Like I mentioned earlier, SAP and Qualtrics combined can make that happen.

Kevin: Customers want great experiences. From airlines to coffee shops to mobile apps to websites to just about everything.  The focus is now on what and who provides the best experience. Is that how you see it as well?

Stephanie: That's absolutely how I see it. And understanding what that actually means to your customer is where the X and O data comes in, because that could mean different things to different customers. For some, it's ease of use. For others, it might be access to FAQs, videos or great people. So, really drawing in the power of that X and O data together is where we're coming from and where we're going.

Kevin: How have you seen the customer experience space evolve over your career?

Stephanie: Things have changed so much. And I was talking to a colleague about this the other day. When I had started in CX, you couldn't get five people in a room to talk about CX and what it meant. And now when we take a look at how the profession, technologies, principles and practices have grown, there are hundreds and thousands of people focused on this area. If we think back to the thousands of people that were at Sapphire CXLive just this past May for SAP, and the way that it's grown, a lot more people understand and are engaged in it now. And not only do they understand what it is, but they also understand how to embrace the opportunities that come with it. That's absolutely fantastic and I love seeing that evolution.

Kevin: There's obviously a lot of things that Qualtrics does in the customer experience domain apart from surveys. Can you give us a view into the Qualtrics technology platform?

Stephanie: Yes, Qualtrics is way more than surveys. It's an experience management platform that hundreds of the world's biggest companies, 99 out of the  top 100 business schools, more than 60 federal government agencies, hundreds of state and local governments use to make their websites better, make processes better, figure out ways to better understand their organization's risks, deliver products and services that people love, develop employee cultures and build great brands. An added value proposition is also the security that Qualtrics brings into the mix, particularly with our federal government clients. Qualtrics obviously has the capability of doing a lot of surveys, but gone are the days of just doing a survey and calling it a day. You have to consider the security implications of the data that you collect because if you're collecting that data, you're responsible for protecting it as well. So Qualtrics brings that security value proposition as well. And even our non-government clients are really interested in this because if you're collecting that data, it's your responsibility to keep it safe no matter what industry you're in.

Kevin: Once data is collected, somebody must respond to it.  Right?  There's a need to connect the data analysis to action.  How's that done?

Stephanie: Here is two examples. They're both in the federal government space – the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). Both of these use Qualtrics to manage website feedback over a dozen domains or more. More than any other business imperative these two agencies have, they want to be sure that visitors find what they need quickly. So there are two questions on the bottom of every page of their websites, "Was this information helpful, and what can we do to improve?"  Teams at NLM and HHS receive feedback in real-time and can fix problems quickly. For example, they can make changes to the website or to a broken link or whatever they need to do to help ensure that users and customers get the information they need. That's an actionable way of collecting data and actually putting it out into the world in a way that makes sense for users.

Kevin: In the SAP CX organization there are five different solution pillars: SAP Customer Data Cloud, Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud and Service Cloud. Would you see a purpose for Qualtrics in all five of those?

Stephanie: Absolutely.  We recently announced the first set of combined solutions with SAP C/4HANA.  They are integrations of Qualtric with SAP Sales, Service and Marketing Clouds. These are solutions that have been combined to make it easier for businesses to listen to customer feedback, combine that X and O data, create actionable insights and really deliver those personalized customer experiences. They're all great solutions, but the one that really sticks out for me is the SAP Qualtrics CX for Sales. This one is designed to help companies assess the strength of their client relationships and improve productivity for their sales executives. So, we are trying to smooth out the processes and the experiences of a sales executive, and also make it easier for customers so that it makes the buying process smoother. It's a great mix of making an employee's experience better and a customer's experience easier during the buying process. That really stands out for me.

Kevin: Let me ask you to put on your futurist hat. If you look forward five years, how do you expect customer experience to evolve?

Stephanie: I think the discussion surrounding CX as a business discipline is going to grow more complex in the future. For example, I believe we're going to start hearing more about the ethical side of CX. Customers often look to online reviews for insight. But when reviewers have been compensated to write a review that is an ethical problem. What if customers have been tempted to write a review based on the possibility of a future discount? Or what if it's just plain fake? That is going to become a more important conversation within the CX discipline. The same thing with score begging. Has anybody ever begged you for a five-star rating on a survey? What are the ethical implications of score begging? If I don't feel like I want to give them five stars, do I still give them five stars? Do I give them something less knowing that they might feel like they deserved a better rating? So it just brings about a question of what is ethically right in terms of putting out information that customers may use to decide whether or not they want to do business and the experiences they may anticipate. You've got to think about these things when you're creating or honestly evaluating the experiences. I think that's definitely going to play a much more significant role in the future.

Watch the full interview!

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Kevin Benedict
SVP Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Online TV Channel RegalixTV
Website Regalix Inc.
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Deep Dive Interview with FireEye CMO Vasu Jakkal

The following is a condensed and edited version of my face to face interview with Vasu Jakkal, CMO at FireEye.  I love digging deep into the thinking of business leaders, and their words are a constant source of wisdom and insight.  Enjoy the interview!

Kevin: Welcome to Deep Dive!

Vasu: Thank you for having me on the program!  I’m Vasu Jakkal, CMO of FireEye.  I'm an engineer turned marketer. I was born in India where I studied and grew up with an amazing family.  I came to the United States for my education and earned two degrees, engineering and marketing.  I moved into marketing because I really, really believe that marketing has the power to change the world, and to drive compassion, kindness, magic and great storytelling!

I have three kids.  Two human and one fur.

I love sci-fi.  I love Star Trek.  I wanted to be on the Starship Enterprise. Perhaps in my next life.

Kevin: You have spent a great deal of your career in marketing.  What part of your job do you like most?

Vasu: I love all things marketing! I wish I could pick one thing! Marketing is one of the most misunderstood functions today.  Some people think of marketing as communication.  Some people think of marketing as lead generation.  Some people think of marketing as brand.  I believe that what makes marketing special is the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  Marketing is a business function.  It is driving strategies.  It is about understanding your company’s North star.  It is about understanding who you want to be.  It is knowing what your company’s DNA is.  It is knowing what inspires us to do what we do.  It’s first understanding what all those things are for your company, and then understanding that same thing for your customers.  I believe that is what marketing is all about.

When you understand your North star, when you understand your three to five-year strategy, then you work toward that to add value for the people who you care about - your employees, your partners and customers.  That’s how magic happens.

Marketing is about inventing something, which is truly worth inventing.  It's about telling a story that is worth telling.  It takes all of these functions including: great business strategies, great communications, great demand generation and great product marketing.  All of these tied together cohesively.  It’s hard to pick just one thing.

Kevin: How have you seen marketing evolve as a result of digital transformation?

Vasu: I don't think human behavior has really changed that much over the years.  We still wake up with our own hopes and dreams. Some of us want to open coffee shops.  Some of us want to work with animals.  Some of us want to change the world.  Those are our hopes and dreams. I don't think that has changed much. Having said that, pretty much everything else around us has changed.  For example - how we consume information. If you look at how we make decisions today it's very different than in the past.  When I look at the world through the eyes of my 13-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son’s eyes, it's different.  The beauty of it now is we can use the power of data to understand what is working and what is not. In the past marketing was more art, but today it is about art, science and emotion all bundled up and measured by data.

Let’s talk about marketing technology (MarTech).  I think there is close to 8,000 companies in MarTech. There are more companies in MarTech than Cyber Security!  That is insane!  You can measure pretty much anything you want to measure. However, you must be careful, because it's that art and science thing.  Not everything that is meaningful is measured, and not everything that is measured is meaningful.  You can segment your market in many different ways, using demographics, psychographic analysis, customer lifecycle, etc.  You can understand what share of wallet you have.  You can understand customer emotions. Everything that can be
automated today is getting automated.  Us humans then add our value and our innovation on top of automation.  It's a fascinating world. It’s about serving the right content, at the right time at the right watering hole.  For me marketing is about winning hearts first, then winning minds, and the dollars will follow.

Marketers have to be there for their customers.  We must be useful.  I think that's the power of digital.  It allows us to have these great channels that we can amplify through and then serve really meaningful content.

Kevin:  …And today the content is personalized. Doesn’t that require a lot more content than in the past?

Vasu: Yes, you are right! If we look at our world it's a super noisy place.  We are constantly bombarded with information from all angles. Ours attention spans are declining, plus all of this information is coming through and we don't know what to believe. The more we personalize, the more it is relevant to our customers.

What is the one thing we don't have enough of today? It's time.  We want to spend time with our family.  We want to spend time on our hobbies.  We want to spend time on new adventures.  What personalization really does is allow us to save time by seeing what we are interested in.  Today we can create the best experience for you through technology.  Using technology and strategies like account-based marketing we can personalize content and provide authentic stories about things you are interested in – without wasting your time.

Kevin: Let's talk about FireEye.  What are the key messages you want to drive home in 2019?

Vasu:  I'm going to use a word that may surprise you. It is the word - calling.  FireEye is special because of its calling – cyber security.  Cyber security is something all society needs.  We are very mission driven.  It's about relentlessly protecting our customers, our world, and our societies.  I think that’s something important and worth fighting for. Today, cyber-attacks are a bigger threat than physical threats.

Here is an example of why it’s important.  When you go to another country you travel with a passport. The border agents can look at the passport and compare it to your physical being.  You are made of atoms and energy.  They can compare and identify you.  But what about in the digital world.  You can connect from anywhere, even a remote village in India.  How do I know it’s you?  Anything that can be connected to the internet can be hacked.  It’s simply a question of whether you are worthy of being hacked.

We catch evil.  It's as simple as that.

We have a trinity. We have our services people, and these are honestly the most brilliant people I've ever met in the world.  They are people who are out on the front lines.  They are in the trenches. They are the first called when there's a breach.

We have one of the largest intelligence organizations outside any government.  Our intelligence teams find bad and threatening actors, which are often state sponsored, and who are looking to cause damage.  We use pattern recognition and follow them around places, like the darknet, and figure out what they are doing.

We have a technology platform that completes the trinity. We have all of this great intelligence that comes in from our frontline service experts and intelligence analysts into our platform.  Our platform has decades of data about threats, bad actors, threat sponsors, and we have it all mapped into what we call context.  It is coupled with orchestration and automation.

As a cyber security analyst you can view everything you need in one place to understand what's happening.  We also have technologies like network security, email security and endpoint security.

To sum it up, our mission is to protect our customers by being the best line of cyber-defense and offering a platform which is a seamless extension of our customers’ high security operations.

Kevin: How have you seen the marketing profession impacted by digital transformation throughout your career?  And how is it different today than it was ten years ago?

Vasu:  Great question!  Let’s start with I don't like the concept of marketing funnels.  I don’t like the idea of people in a funnel.  I prefer the notion of a buyer’s journey.  I believe that no one wants to be pulled into a funnel to pop out the other side.  People want to be carried on a beautiful journey.

When I consider the buyer’s journeys of the past, it seems we used to live in a very linear world.  We used marketing brochures or flyers that promoted an event. At the event the buyer would meet the sales representative and engage.  It doesn't work like that anymore.  Today you have something like 70% or more of the buyer’s journey is digital.  Today people don't even want to talk to each other.  Now days customers and prospects have already done their own research when they connect with us.  They have already talked to their peers and networks.

Digital transformation has permeated marketing so much that I think people are surprised.  I don't think that marketing [successful marketing] can be done without the power of digital today.

Digital transformation in marketing means storytelling must also transform. We are bombarded by so much information today, that everything sounds the same.  Let’s use the Cyber security industry as an example.  Every company in this space promotes themselves as doing the exact same thing.  That means to be distinct you must be authentic to your essence.  A brand is not a thing.  It is not even a promise anymore.  A brand is the totality of who you are as a company.  It’s a relationship that you have with your employees, your customers and your partners.  It’s your narrative, your story of why it matters.  This must all come out in your story.

I'm a big fan of Apple. I think they did it right by starting with the why.  Why do we exist?  And then articulating that narrative to the people who they cared about.  That is why storytelling is so important, because with all the noise out there, I want to know if I can relate to you and your purpose?

Kevin: The content used in storytelling has also evolved. How have you seen the content consumption behaviors of your prospects and customers change?

Vasu: The trend is moving toward snackable content.  Where you know you have limited time, but you're curious and want a quick answer.  I think it was Google that said every seven seconds you are deciding where you should spend your time.  That's why I feel like we have to be great storytellers, because that's what captures our audience.  That's what captures their very short attention span.

I love the concept of simplicity.  We start with simple snackable content, but then once we capture their attention we can take a deeper dive into more details.

Kevin: If you were giving advice to a young marketer coming out of a university, what skills would you tell them to start building now in order to be prepared to lead in 10 years?

Vasu: One of my favorite people in the universe told me this, “To be a marketer it takes a lot of courage.”  Why? Because you have to try different things, and marketing is being redefined every single day.  What marketing used to be is no longer what marketing is today.   Marketing is becoming more about personalization.  It is more strategic and plays a bigger role in the company.  Marketing, however, will always be about storytelling.  The heart of great marketing is storytelling, so be a great storyteller.

Watch the full interview here:

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Kevin Benedict
SVP Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Online TV Channel RegalixTV
Website Regalix Inc.
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Using the World's Largest B2B Network to Make Commerce Easier

Global commerce can be incredibly complex and expensive for global buyers and sellers. In this episode, Etosha Thurman, Head of Global Business Network at SAP Ariba, shares the challenges and complexity of global buyers and sellers experience trying to transact business. She then explains the value of collaborating on SAP Ariba to improve efficiencies, processes and to spend more intelligently. Finally, she talks about the ability for buyers to discover sellers that offer products they need on SAP Ariba’s Discovery platform.

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Kevin Benedict
SVP Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Online TV Channel RegalixTV
Website Regalix Inc.
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Combining Experience and Operational Data for Full Situational Awareness

Throughout history military leaders have suffered through the “fog of war.” The desperation of not knowing information critical to success. Information as basic as:

1.    Where am I?

2.    Where are all my people?

3.    What are all my people doing?

4.    Where are my opponents?

5.    What are my opponents doing?

6.    Where are my friends?

7.    What are my friends doing?

8.    Where are my supplies?

9.    What capabilities will I have available, at different times and places?

10. What are the geographic and environmental conditions at each critical location?

The answers to these ten questions were/are critical for implementing the right strategies and tactics to win. Likewise, the absence of answers to these questions are equally impactful. Leaders spend enormous amounts of time and energy defending against all the possibilities represented by a lack of data. Think about a scenario of being lost in a dark forest at night with an unknown dangerous predator. Which direction would you face? How would you defend yourself? It is difficult in the best of times, but the absence of data can make it excruciating!

Leaders of the past could often be excused for making wrong decisions due to their lack of available data, but there are far less excuses today. Today in business the fog of war can largely be cleared with the combination of experience data and operational data.

Experience data is data collected on a customers’ experience interacting with your company, people, brand, product, services, websites, mobile apps, brick and mortar locations, business processes, etc. Experience data collected from thousands of customers and millions of interaction points provide leaders with a clear understanding of where they are succeeding and where they are failing customers, partners and even internal employees. Successes can be scaled, and failures reduced with experience data.

Operational data is data on the business much of which can be automatically produced, collected, analyzed and executed on automatically via ERPs and other systems and platforms. How many orders did we receive and for what products? Do we have all the right materials to manufacture the required products? Where are the materials located? When will they be delivered? Are the manufacturing plants operating efficiently? What equipment needs replaced and repaired. Where are my fleets of vehicles and service personnel? Data can be collected via sensor networks, automated data collection, GPS responders and through many other systems all of which produce data that leaders need in order to run an efficient and profitable business.

The combination of both experience (X) data and operational (O) data in near real-time from around the globe can provide insights and guidance for leaders never before available. Reducing the unknowns, frees leaders to focus on the knowns. This simple statement masks a revolution in leadership.

W. Edwards Deming, the father of quality improvement, once said, “The biggest problems are where people don’t realize they have one in the first place.” These “blind spots” – the unknown status of a customer experience, project, business process, schedule, delivery or available materials, for example – must be relegated to the past.

Today, we have the ability to remove conjecture and work with precise data. However, many companies have yet to evolve from legacy business models that were based on the “unknown and imprecise,” and continue following “estimate-based” models where unknowns are built into their plans. Others have yet to implement a comprehensive process for collecting and utilizing X and O data across their operations. As a result, these organizations have yet to update their strategies and tactics to support new business models and processes that take advantage of real-time X and O data-based precision. Ignoring today’s X and O data-based revolution" is hard to justify today.

This year, SAP CX has made X and O data their mantra.  Combining X and O data provides a complete situational awareness of your business.

Deming also said, “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” Today, taking advantage of the “known” is a must if surviving is in your plan.

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Kevin Benedict
SVP Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Online TV Channel RegalixTV
Website Regalix Inc.
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Operating the World’s Largest B2B Network with James Lee, COO, SAP Ariba and Fieldglass

In this interview I take a deep dive with SAP Ariba's COO, James Lee, and learn what it is like to manage the world’s largest B2B business network. We discuss the analytics, business dashboards and management tools he uses, how he organizes his day, and whether he files every email or lets them accumulate in his Inbox. We drill down into the value proposition of SAP Ariba and Fieldglass, their 2019 focus and the upcoming SAP Ariba and Fieldglass conference coming up June 4-6.

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Kevin Benedict
SVP Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Online TV Channel RegalixTV
Website Regalix Inc.
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A Deep Dive Interview with SAP Ariba's Gretchen Eischen

In this interview recorded at SAP Ariba Live, I have the pleasure of sitting down with and learning from Gretchen Eischen, SAP Ariba’s VP of Corporate Marketing. She gives us a behind the scenes views into what it takes to organize and manage large event’s like SAP Ariba Live, and discusses SAP Ariba’s focus for 2019. We also take a deep dive into what is really meant by the term intelligent spend, and how spend-choices can be used for global good.



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Kevin Benedict
SVP Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Online TV Channel RegalixTV
Website Regalix Inc.
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Customer Experience a Digital Winner's 2019 Playbook

Winners know how the game is played. When rules change, so do their game plans. In this article I have created a customer experience playbook on what it will take to win in 2019.

1. Information dominance is a key goal. Throughout history conquerors gained by capturing territories, bridges, resources and key cities. Today’s conquerors gain with data insights that can be applied to customer experience.

2. Combinatorial data is key to understand customer experience. Data gathered from many different sources then combined and analyzed will provide unique insights into patterns, activities and behaviors invisible to competitors without.

3. Operational blind spots are a minefield for businesses. Blind spots must quickly be replaced with visibility through all kinds of data capture - automated data capture, surveys, digitization, sensors and RPA (robotic process automation).

4. It takes an “Optimized Information Logistics Systems” (OILS) to compete today. Friction in data movement and antiquated processes must be removed to support real-time digital and mobile interactions with customers. Winners combine more sources of data to optimize customer experiences, which requires more data processing and optimization to be effective.

5. In the experience economy - advantages in speed, operational tempos, process automation, analytics and information logistics are massive competitive advantages when utilized for customer experiences.

6. Businesses that can “analyze data, uncover insights, automate decision-making and execute with speed” will soon dominate those that are slower.

7. Future-time operational tempos are required to compete successfully in customer experience. Future-time support predicts future actions, events, needs, preferences and requirements and makes recommendations that can be acted upon in a moment.

8. Advantages lead to more advantages (Ax2). When you have the advantage of being out front with new innovations, products, services, experiences, etc., you can collect and analyze data not yet available and visible to followers. That 2nd advantage in Ax2, is that you can make decisions and take actions that followers cannot yet anticipate or understand.  Advantages lead to new advantages.

9. Accurately understanding reality faster than a competitor can enables organizations to eliminate inefficiencies and operate at a lower cost, and with increased productivity. Visibility enables actions to be taken based on fact rather than guesswork, incorrect assumptions and conjecture, saving time, resources, opportunity costs, bandwidth and money.

10. As digital interactions increase between customers, vendors, suppliers and partners - so too will the demand for more and faster digital processes, expanded digital services, more data visibility and better digital user experiences. It is a digital transformation avalanche. The sooner organizations understand this unstoppable reality the more prepared and competitive they can be.

11. Digital experiences can only be as good as the philosophies, designs, systems and data behind them.

12. Processes are only as good as the people, data, systems and algorithms involved.

13. The more data and data sources that are captured and analyzed, the greater the accuracy of analysis, which equates to greater economic value to the organization.

14. Data has a shelf life, and the economic value of data diminishes quickly over time, so organizations must be agile and nimble enough to capture the value immediately.

15. The economic value of information multiplies when combined with real-time context, right-time delivery, association with specific processes, and the capability to respond instantly.

16. Winners will operate an agile business that can align with fast changing customer behaviors and desires - faster than their competitors.

17. Winners will capture and understand the true actions, desires, feelings and attitudes of their customers and prospects better than their competitors.

18. Winners will have leadership teams, organizations, culture and technology platforms that allow them to respond to new data faster than their competitors.

19. Ultimately economic winners in 2019 will be those that can innovate by offering personalized and frictionless business where friction previously existed. They will deliver incredible user experiences; automate decision-making based on capturing the right data, excite customer loyalty and execute better and faster than competitors through the implementation of artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation.

These rules not only help organizations to understand how to compete and win, but they can help enterprises develop their digital transformation doctrine. Why is a doctrine important? In a large survey we conducted a few years back, the participants identified the need for a clear digital transformation strategy as critical to success. Digital transformation strategies grow out of and are shaped by first having a digital transformation doctrine (DTD).

We define doctrine as a documented way of thinking, a common frame of reference across an organization, which provides an authoritative body of statements on how the businesses should approach digital transformation. It provides a common lexicon for use and a framework for developing strategies. The DTD is a necessary first step before digital transformation strategies and tactics can be developed and implemented.

Digital technologies do not just enhance and extend existing processes and models, but they open doors to all kinds of new innovations, opportunities, businesses processes, business models, strategies and even new industries. An organization’s DTD must be capable of leading them successfully through these massive and accelerating changes.

An organization’s DTD should influence all their strategies, how they operate, and the tactics they employ to compete. In our research, we found most companies recognize digital transformation is happening, but few have a guiding doctrine to lead them through this chaotic journey.

Without a DTD, organizations lack a unified understanding of why they are engaged in digital transformation and the role transformation plays in helping them compete successfully.

Executive teams must determine how their organization should think about and respond to digital transformation. The DTD should be front and center in every program, project, campaign, product and service within the company. An example of a DTD follows:

The digital transformation of our marketplace is changing the behaviors of our customers and the nature of our competition. We must anticipate and embrace permanent flux by employing digital technologies and strategies, and by creating an agile business and a digitally-transformed enterprise. We will achieve information dominance by investing appropriately to develop and maintain an optimized information logistics system. We will restructure our organizations for business agility, speed and real-time decision-making. We will develop a culture that encourages collaboration, innovation, speed and creativity. We will embrace the concept that no matter what products and services we offer, our customers’ experience is our true product.

Watch my online TV channel about leaders and for leaders, Deep Dive with Kevin Benedict on Regalix.TV.

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Kevin Benedict
SVP Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Online TV Channel RegalixTV
Website Regalix Inc.
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Customer Success Strategies with VMware's Mason Uyeda, Senior Director of Customer Success

In the words of Mason Uyeda, his job is to “Make users more productive, satisfied and efficient.” Today, customers have higher expectations, they subscribe instead of purchase, and they all want their experiences as simple as their mobile apps. This takes a lot of work, data, analysis, understanding, focus and ambition. In this interview, we take a deep dive into how this all works at VMware.

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Kevin Benedict
SVP Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Online TV Channel RegalixTV
Website Regalix Inc.
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Marketing Insights and the Battle Against Cyber Evil with Vasu Jakkal, CMO, FireEye

Vasu Jakkal, CMO of FireEye, shares her insights from the frontlines of the battle against cyber villains, and also her experiences and strategies marketing the solutions and services developed to protect democracy and the global digital economy.

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Kevin Benedict
SVP Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Online TV Channel RegalixTV
Website Regalix Inc.
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Distributed Ledgers Technologies & the Future with Christian Hasker, CMO, Hedera Hashgraph

In this episode, we take a deep dive into DLT (distributed ledger technologies) with expert Christian Hasker, CMO of Hedera Hashgraph. Christian explains the potential impact that DTLs are and will have on a wide variety of industries, education, entertainment, healthcare and fake news.

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Kevin Benedict
SVP Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Online TV Channel RegalixTV
Website Regalix Inc.
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.