Sue Reynolds

Sue Reynolds
Sue is Regional Northern Europe Marketing Director for OpenText.

How Your Mindset Is Holding You Back…..(And What To Do About It)

Innovation Tour Stockholm

In this blog we welcome guest blogger Fredrik Härén who will be speaking at the Innovation Tour Stockholm in March. Fredrik is an author and keynote speaker on business creativity, change and global business. In our business lives, we’re used to regularly upgrading our IT systems. But when was the last time you upgraded your mindset? I’m guessing your answer is ‘rarely’ or ‘never’. You’re not alone. I spend a lot of time travelling the world delivering keynotes to all sorts of different audiences, and our mindset – as well as our language – is holding most of us back. We’ve grown accustomed to new, disruptive technology, creating new markets and giving us new services and options in ways we’ve never considered or imagined. And that disruption has happened because someone chose to look at a solution or outcome differently. They changed their mindset. I’m not suggesting we all need to become serial entrepreneurs, but our static, fixed mindset and the language we use to refer to the world around us is limiting our potential with new technology and tools. Take the internet for example. Years ago, everyone referred to ‘web pages’ because that’s how we thought of its structure. (Remember WAP?). Today, we just see it as content, which the likes of Netflix, and a host of other companies are monetizing. Likewise, the rise and fall of early mobile phone companies had as much to do with their mindset as it did with their market share. Eriksson and Nokia looked at the mobile phone and thought, ‘how much computing power can we put in a phone’? It was the wrong question. Apple said, ‘how much of a phone can we put into a mini computer?’. The same thing is going on today. Drones would never have gained traction so rapidly if we had referred to them as ‘micro helicopters’ because that kind of language and vocabulary automatically limits the way we think of their potential. By calling them drones (with no pre-existing frame of reference), we haven’t put them into a pigeon-hole. My point in telling you this is to make you aware that you’re doing it. Just having simple awareness of the way we are thinking, the language we are using and the frame of reference we are imposing, can change things. It can help us look at the problems and desired outcomes around us with fresh eyes. There’s so much more I’d like to tell you that I can’t cover in a single blog, but it is something I’ll be covering in greater depth at the upcoming OpenText Innovation Tour in Stockholm on 29 March. If you’re interested in learning how to take the blinders off and apply new ways of thinking to your own work and personal life, I’d love to see you there. You can register here. Fredrik Härén has delivered more than 2,000 presentations in over 60 countries on six continents. He was voted Speaker of The Year in Sweden and selected as one of the “Sweden’s Top Ten Best Speakers Ever”. Fredrik is a Certified Speaking Professional (one of 700 globally) as well as GSP Global (one of only 30 globally). He is the author of nine books, including “The Idea Book”, which was included in “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time”. His latest book, “One World. One Company” discusses what it means to be a truly global organisation. 

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Drawing Conclusions – A Visual Picture of Our Increasingly Digitized World

Innovation Tour

In this blog we welcome guest blogger Jasmin Deniz Karatas who will be attending Innovation Tour London in March. Jasmin is a Consultant, Digital Interactive for Accenture. As human beings we all interact with the world slightly differently. Some of us understand and digest information best when we hear it. Others remember things better by sight, with pictures and graphics. And some of us are “hands-on” learners who prefer to touch, move, build, or draw what we learn, and perhaps even involve some type of physical activity alongside it. Most of us have an intuitive preference for one of these styles over another, depending on how we’re wired. Regardless of your ‘style’ of absorbing new information, one thing we all have in common is that digitized data now surrounds all of us, and digitized environments are helping to make us smarter and harness our human potential. It’s something my Accenture Interactive colleagues will be outlining at the OpenText Innovation Tour London on 21 March using highlights from the latest Fjords Trends 2017 report, Mixed Reality and Humanizing Artificial Intelligence, which examines the most significant emergent digital trends expected to disrupt organizations and society in the year ahead. For my part, I’ll be painting you a visual picture of what’s being discussed on stage, in parallel with the presentation, as well as the topics and issues raised from audience members in the form of questions. As a Consultant within Accenture’s Digital Interactive, I specialise in a human-centred design approach with a focus on gamification and design thinking. I take what I hear and paint it on a canvas. People often tell me it makes them ‘hear with their eyes’. From my perspective, it’s an exciting thing to do. I tend to go into my own world and visually represent whatever it is that I’m hearing. Once I’ve started, I continue to add to the canvas long after the presentation has ended. Many people often sit in on a session, watch what I do, and then come back a few hours later to see how it’s progressed. In the same way that all of you will be looking at your information strategies more closely over the coming year, I’ll be painting you a visual canvas of the critical new technologies, design considerations and disruptive trends that will shape both your thinking and interaction.Depending on your individual style of engaging with new information, it might help you to better digest what’s being said, or visualise what it would mean for your own organization. My hope is that it will make you think about what this means for your own actionable insights in a rapidly evolving digitized world. I look forward to seeing you at the event. You can register to attend the Innovation Tour London here.

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Avoiding Digital Culture Shock: Why Financial Services Must Embed A Digital Culture

Financial Services

In this blog we welcome guest blogger Lindley Gooden, Managing Director of Greenscreen and a former television and radio journalist. Join him as he chairs a financial services live debate on embedding a digital culture at the Innovation Tour in March. As a former journalist for the BBC, ITV and Sky, as well as more than a decade spent working with companies worldwide, I’ve had the privilege of spending more twenty-five years helping people to tell the world, as clearly as possible, what’s on their minds. It’s involved meeting some 40,000 people – many of them consumers, technology vendors, business leaders – not least in the banking and financial services. You hear a lot of honest, practical and blunt points of view along the way. Indeed, listening to all sides of the conversation is rarely dull and always full of insights – particularly now, on the topic of digital transformation in financial services. As consumers, most of us have taken to it like a duck to water. We are not only empowered, but inevitably, impatient. High expectations, and low loyalty challenge every business sector – especially if we think we’re getting sub-standard service. But from an organisational perspective, it’s clear that many are struggling to tear down silos internally, while scrambling to put a convenient, connected and customer-focused front end onto legacy back office systems. Multichannel to omnichannel, to personalised to artificial intelligence (AI), all in less than ten years. So, as, technology vendors continue to demonstrate the benefits of an end-to-end digital process across the whole business, we’re now turning to the teams who turn that insight into practical value. Hearing so many accounts from the top makes it clear that it’s crucial to talk about the culture, sharing information and insights, and collaboration. Investment in technology offers powerful real-time decision-making, but digital transformation now needs to be part of the culture, not just part of the infrastructure. In our personal lives as consumers, we’ve already made the leap. But supporting innovative digitisation efforts at work is a new frontier that is now seen by more nimble operators in financial services as being equally important. Those organisations able to get employee buy-in to their digital vision, boost digital capabilities, and create a truly customer-centric culture have a noticeable competitive advantage. It’s something I’ll be discussing in depth at the upcoming OpenText Innovation Tour London on 21 March. I’ll be chairing a financial services live debate on embedding a digital culture with some of the industry’s foremost experts on the subject. With so much investment in understanding the technology, and gathering data and insights, it’s clear that the real digital training around culture is only just starting to kick in.  Getting this right will set the bar for how well your digital strategy will be executed and ultimately received. Getting it wrong (or failing to recognise the requirement in the first place) could be costly, and result in what Accenture calls “digital culture shock.”  That’s because transforming your business is one thing, but you must take your employees (and the right partners) with you. Obviously a challenge, but there are great examples across the sector that have produced stunning results. So this year, we want to explore real world examples, successes, practical advice, and results during the upcoming debate. If any of these issues sound familiar to you, I’d urge you to attend. It’s going to be an opportunity to hear – and contribute – at the highest level. Creating a workforce that’s digitally fit and focused on the customer’s omni-channel expectations in this brave new digital landscape is an extraordinary opportunity for growth, commercial gain and innovation from within. Join us in London. I look forward to seeing you there.

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Brace Yourself: Change, Pain & Opportunities

financial services live debate

In this blog we welcome guest blogger Laurence Leyden, General Manager for Financial Services in EMEA at SAP. “The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on the list.” If the banking industry had its own memes for the state of the market, this would be one of them. There’s so much change coming. Some of it will be painful. Some of it will create new winners and losers. All of it will result in a seismic shift in business models. Cash is disappearing, revenue models are shifting, mobile is everywhere (including your wallet), brand advocacy has replaced marketing strategy, multi-channel friction is alienating impatient, cynical customers, de-banked consumers are on the rise, crowdfunding has reached 8 billion, and Google now has a banking license. We shouldn’t be surprised. Just about every other industry has been transformed through tech innovation and machine intelligence – from medical science to self-driving cars to the music industry – yet most banks continue to operate with 1960s style production lines. It’s opened a gap that’s getting wider as new competitors step in, and render banks irrelevant, targeting one service at a time.  We’re already seeing the first casualties – branches (viewed by some as a nuisance in the digital age), disruptive, cheaper payment services, and innovative third party funding options. These issues, and more, will be discussed at the Financial Services Live Debate session at the OpenText Innovation Tour London on 21 March. You can register to attend here. Of course, technology does have a huge role to play, and banks have an opportunity to redefine and reinvent themselves, but first you must realise that we are witnessing the end of an era in banking as we know it. No one is really sure of the timescale. The death of banks has been predicted for some time, but typically things take three times longer to disappear than most people think. That means in the next ten to fifteen years, your bank will be vastly different. Do you know what ‘different’ looks like for you and how you’re going to get there? Start with the obvious. No bank can expect to survive the next few years without ridding itself of manual processes and back office inefficiencies. And speaking of inefficiencies, why would you continue to run old style production methods by writing code, when you should be assembling it? And why wouldn’t you have 100 per cent real time online systems that engage with customers, rather than putting a human teller behind a pane of glass telling customers what they can and can’t do? One of the best examples of true innovation I’ve seen is from the insurance industry. Discovery of South Africa recently announced a collaboration with Apple to create its Vitality Active Rewards program, giving consumers a new Apple Watch for joining. If all weekly fitness targets are met over 24 months, then the watch is free. Members also enjoy other rewards when they hit their fitness targets, ranging from a free drink, free domestic flights, to a waiver of monthly fees for gym memberships. Should the member miss some or all of the targets in any month, then depending on the number of targets missed they pay a monthly penalty of the cost of the watch. It’s a clever move. Discovery can also see which members are most active – and presumably lower health risk – as well as gather all sorts of insights into consumer behaviours. My point is that there are opportunities everywhere in data. The sands may be shifting underneath your feet and new market entrants may be using agility against you, but you can fight back. Find areas of value by engraining yourself in the customer value chain of requirements and provide consumers with a simple, cohesive digital experience. Traditional methods simply won’t cut it. The level of disruption, behavioral shifts and changes are unparalleled. The digital age has forced financial institutions to rethink how the entire customer experience works. It’s time to reimagine and rebuild your bank into a modern, tech savvy useful alternative to the stale, status quo experiences that exist today. Just about every other industry has been through this transformation. You may not like it, and may not want it, but if history proves anything, you don’t have much of a choice. I’ll be discussing these issues as a guest panellist at the Financial Services Live Debate session at the OpenText Innovation Tour London on 21 March. You can register here. Laurence Leyden, General Manager for Financial Services in EMEA at SAP. Laurence is responsible for all elements of Banking, Insurance and Capital Markets. A veteran of 15 years at SAP he previously headed the global transformation team, ran the global pre-sales organisation, and lead the EMEA Value Engineering and Core Banking teams. Laurence specialises in understanding real customer needs and how SAP and partners help drive transformation across organisations. Increasingly this involves reviewing business models and aligning to the benefits that true digitisation enables. He is heavily engaged in looking at the changes facing banks and promoting the role of innovation and looking at how SAP views ‘the bank of the future’. He is regularly quoted in the financial press and speaks on behalf of SAP at various industry summits and events as well as with the analyst community.

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Mastering Partner Marketing: The Do’s, Don’ts and The Reasons Why

partner marketing

Some things in life just naturally go together – fish and chips, tea and cake, sausage and mash. But it’s not just foods that combine well. Any good marketer will tell you about the benefits of joint marketing with partners – particularly if you align with a large complementary brand. Whilst the logic of working together may be a no brainer, it’s often the execution where things go awry. Take Financial Services for example. There’s certainly no shortage of opportunities for education, engagement and conversion as digital transformation continues to disrupt markets and business models, but creating a targeted, well executed partner marketing proposition is easier said than done for some companies. That’s why I decided to write this blog and share some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to mastering the partner marketing model. The Don’ts of Partner Marketing Activities Don’t Assume It’s An Equal Relationship – Once you’ve found a symbiotic reason to partner with another organisation, don’t assume your counterpart shares your view of how the relationship is defined. Marketers often assume partner companies will want a 50/50 marketing relationship. The cost of co-branding with certain organisations may involve doing things their way, not yours. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but don’t say yes to things if it pushes you further away from your objectives. Don’t Get Eclipsed – Don’t assume you can rely on the strength of just one brand to push your partnership. The smaller brand needs a very clear value proposition or it risks being eclipsed. Show why your respective offerings are of strength, both collectively and individually in their own right. Don’t Try It Without A Compelling Proposition – I’ve seen companies spend a lot of time and money on joint marketing campaigns for all the wrong reasons. If you’re not solving a common problem or addressing a related business pain, don’t bother. Competing for attention and then fragmenting it, is not a good approach. The Do’s of Partner Marketing Activities Do Have A Clear Understanding of Your Target Audience – And by clear understanding, I mean down to the name, job title, division and specific company where possible. Your partner may have an existing relationship in a target account that you can leverage so do your homework. Pick Your Channels – If you know your target audience, chances are you know their preferred channels. In Financial Services, for example, a consultative-based, informative face-to-face networking event aimed at specific individuals will generate greater interest than a standalone email campaign. Deliver An Integrated Experience – Make sure each element of your partner marketing campaign is integrated to drive traffic to your digital assets. That could be a dedicated, co-branded landing page, online registration, or joint solution. Make sure you connect the dots. A Good Example By way of an example, we recently partnered with SAP on a joint Financial Services marketing campaign, choosing a topic (common business pain) that’s affecting almost every financial services organisation: A digital ready workforce. Next we delivered a live debate for insight and networking (the preferred channel of our targets) – “Re-wiring Financial Services: Embedding A Digital Culture” . The debate comprised peer level, consultative speakers from banks, and digital disruptors, as well as our own respective industry experts. And of course, the event was broadcast for remote live viewing, as well as recorded for later viewing as a webinar – with these digital assets in mind from the outset. Because we focused on our joint target accounts with a compelling proposition, and used the expertise and relationships of both SAP and OpenText, we attracted 222 target prospects to attend and engaged them for 40 minutes. No mean feat for the type of people we targeted. The purpose of this blog post isn’t to try to impress you, but rather to impress upon you the benefits – and potential profitable rewards – of following a few simple, yet often overlooked, rules for successful partner marketing. You can view the webinar and other assets I mentioned here on the campaign microsite.

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