Supply Chain

Looking for ECM Inspiration? Enterprise World Elite Award Winners are the place to start!

Another Enterprise World has come and gone. For me, the biggest pleasure is always found in the chance to meet and connect with the actual people that make up our customer base. Yes, announcing massive product launches is a thrill, and hearing industry experts provide perspective on a rapidly changing landscape always provides its share of “aha!” moments, but it would all be kind of hollow if the real reason we do this wasn’t there to experience it with us and offer their feedback. That relationship with our customers is special. And, like an extended family reunion, Enterprise World is where we all get together and catch up on how everyone is progressing. There’s nothing better than hearing from an organization that’s utilized some combination of our product, our services, and/or our guidance to create a solution that has truly changed their operation for the better. Sometimes the impact is stunning, and the place to witness those shining stars is at Enterprise World’s annual Elite Awards celebration. And the Winners are… This year there were a number of winners who have implemented a wide variety of OpenText ECM solutions to amplify transformation within their enterprise. Congratulations to one and all! In the spirit of learning from the best, here are a few organizations that have definitely gone above and beyond in the ECM world: Alcatel-Lucent Global telecom giant Alcatel-Lucent is leading the charge in creating an ultra-connected, networked world; so it only stands to reason that their internal document management systems would set a benchmark for compliance, security, and accessibility. A combination of OpenText products achieved that, integrating seamlessly with their existing SAP environment. Almac Clinical Services Operating in the global pharma sector brings its own special kind of regulatory complexity. By implementing a single source of truth built around OpenText Content Server and Regulated Documents, Almac took control of their documentation with a solution that has been praised by external auditors and is powering international expansion. BNSF Railway OpenText Content Suite provides BNSF Railway with a solid enterprise content management platform that easily integrates with its other systems. Content Suite is used to manage and preserve historical legacy records, while also facilitating a robust records management platform to support search, retention and disposition requirements for enhanced corporate accountability.  Currently, over five million records, both digital and physical, are managed by Content Suite, supporting 1,000+ users across the enterprise. BNSF continues to build and develop further integrations to the platform to leverage and manage its critical business content. Continental Resources Using integrated solutions from OpenText, SAP, and other systems, Continental Resources is realizing end-to-end business value for substantial organizational efficiencies and cost savings. The automated processes improve business performance and have resulted in significant and measurable time savings. Business content is captured, managed, stored, preserved and delivered to the right user, at the right time, streamlining systems and processes throughout the company. DDR Owning and managing 130 million square feet of retail floor space requires a highly streamlined process for handling the huge volume of leasing activity documents. DDR went all in, implementing a diverse array of OpenText products to create a custom document management system that’s fast, organized, and fully integrated with Salesforce®. New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) NZTA embarked on its digital transformation journey by building a solid foundation for its ‘InfoHub’ Enterprise Content Management as a Service solution from OpenText. The cloud-based solution offers users anytime, anywhere access to information assets, enhancing the ability to share and collaborate, internally and externally with partners and alliances. InfoHub has transformed the way NZTA harnesses its knowledge. The benefits include improved quality of service and performance and process efficiencies. SBB (Swiss Federated Railways) As operators of the most heavily used rail network in the world, SBB know a thing or two about efficiency, timeliness, and accuracy. That’s why they integrated OpenText solutions into their SAP®-based vendor management infrastructure to drive remarkable gains in digitalization, centralization, and productivity. And there’s a lot more where that came from These are just some of the highlights from an incredible year of customer participation in our new Elite Program. Taking part in it is a singular opportunity for customers and partners to share their story and be recognized as industry leaders. Truth is, though, all of our customers have an intriguing story that makes them champions in their own right. Their dedication to furthering their enterprises with progressive thinking and innovative solutions never ceases to amaze. I invite you to spend some time perusing our larger library of Customer Success Stories, as well. It’s an excellent resource of best practices, winning combinations, and digital reinvention that has something for everyone, regardless of their role or industry. It’s worth a look. You just never know when inspiration will strike.

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What’s the Status of My Order? – How Mobile Apps Increase Supply Chain Transparency

I was recently asked to present at the ECR conference in Germany, one of the largest retail/CPG related events focused on B2B and supply chain. Now you may be asking what value I could add to a retail event given my main focus has always been the manufacturing sector, well the subject of the presentation was something close to my heart, mobile B2B, something that I have blogged about on many occasions and most recently via a blog relating to the Apple Watch. I was asked to present a short case study on a web-based application that OpenText built specifically for one of our largest CPG customers. This app would effectively allow this company’s customers to know the exact status of an order on its journey through the order lifecycle. The app was a one-off project, not built on any existing OpenText products, to meet the needs of this customer. I started my presentation on the broader subject of enterprise mobility, so let me just cover some of the more important points. Digital disruption is transforming the enterprise. Business models are moving from buy now to subscription based, moving from software to cloud and services, from one-time transactions to lifetime value and one of the biggest advances is making information available, anytime, anyplace or anywhere. I wanted to try and highlight that one of the main drivers behind enterprise mobility was the consumer and their ability to take their mobile devices into a work environment and connect to enterprise resources such as email, hence the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) effect. The popularity of Apple based devices has been a major contributor to the BYOD effect, interesting really when you consider that Apple hasn’t really positioned their products into the enterprise market, the consumer and their employees have. Gartner’s technology predictions for this year highlighted ‘Computing Everywhere’ as the number one tech trend and there are a number of key drivers for mobile adoption, as can be seen from the CompTIA sourced chart below. In fact, CSC’s CIO study for 2015 showed that the number one IT investment at the moment relates to mobile app development and giving employees access to enterprise resources anytime, anyplace or anywhere. One key statistic from the study showed that 39% of respondents said mobile apps were considered a strategic asset to drive the business forward. So with all this interest in mobilizing enterprise resources, why can’t we use mobile technologies to help answer one of the most common questions from customers, namely “What is the status of my order?” Our Trading Grid environment, the world’s largest cloud based B2B integration platform, processes over 16 billion transactions per year, so given the huge transaction volumes being processed by our B2B network you can understand why companies might want to ‘mine’ this information to provide improved transaction visibility and in this particular case get better insights into order based transactions that may be flowing across our network. Providing clearer insights to transaction status can help to drive more informed decision making as well as improve customer satisfaction levels. This particular project, mentioned earlier in the blog, was to help this CPG company improve order tracking capabilities across their operations in one European country. They process tens of thousands of orders per month from their customers. Their customers (mainly retail stores) expected 24/7 visibility of their order status. however, access to order information was restricted to office hours only. They also wanted to avoid out of stock situations as this drives down customer satisfaction levels. They had two key requirements for their mobile app. Firstly, it had to be simple to deploy and use. Secondly, the mobile app would have to be secure and a role-based approach to viewing order information was deployed so the information presented was dependent on a user’s role in the business. For the adoption of the app to be successful, it had to include a number of key operational criteria, this included being device independent, web browser independent and OS independent, so HTML5 was used to define the user interface. The app had to offer a number of order related features, namely highlighting orders with issues, orders that had been placed, orders in progress, orders that had been shipped and orders that had been invoiced. Push notifications are also offered to manage any issues by exception. The app had a number of key benefits: Customers can check order status regardless of time or location Orders can be checked from the shelf-edge, avoiding the risk of going out of stock Improved visibility has allowed the replenishment process to start earlier Response time for customers is shortened – if an order is delayed/cancelled it’s immediately visible The app is easy to use and allows the user to filter orders by different criteria From a business benefits point of view, the app offered the following: Improved customer satisfaction Full visibility of orders and their status Reduced problem calls to customer service Improved productivity Avoid out of stock situations Protect brand reputation Clearly, this company had good reason to deploy an HTML5 based version for their order tracking app but other companies are deploying IOS and Android mobile apps. When I drafted my Apple Watch blog earlier this year, one of the suggested use cases was around order tracking.  I will stress again that the B2B use cases I discussed for the Apple Watch were purely conceptual in nature but based on the type of ‘transaction based’ visibility requests I had observed from numerous customer meetings that I have attended over the years. This mobile project was a great success for this particular company and it has significantly helped to increase customer satisfaction levels. If you would like to see my full presentation from ECR, then you can access via the SlideShare link below.

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The Backstage Pass to OpenText Suite 16 & OpenText Cloud 16

We just shared some huge news with our attendees here at Enterprise World in Las Vegas: we’ve presented an exclusive future roadmap unveiling OpenText Suite 16 and OpenText Cloud 16—the next generation of our EIM offerings that will become available March 2016. We shared a lot of details about Suite 16 and Cloud 16 in our press release (you can read it here), but we couldn’t fit in all the thinking that went into this release. Strategic principles of OpenText Suite 16 & Cloud 16 From what we’ve experienced and from what our customers tell us they want and need, we came up with a dream list of innovations for an enterprise to make the most of digital disruption. We focused on that list of strategic principles across our entire Suite 16 and Cloud 16 offerings. Below is what was going through our heads: 1. Deepen functionality across all suites. This is a major release, full of new features and innovations. Keeping in mind our customers’ suggestions, we significantly deepened functionality throughout the offerings. Practically every product line is raising the bar in terms of customer value proposition and competitive differentiation. Check out the press release for some of the highlights, and watch for more details as we launch the new suites and cloud offerings in March. 2. Help customers transition to the cloud. Right off the top, we wanted to be sure to offer all of our suites in the cloud, available as a subscription or as managed cloud services. That was a must-do, but then we took it further and added integration with other cloud products such as Salesforce® and Office 365®. We also added new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, such as OpenText Core, PowerDocs, and Archive Center, to enable as much flexibility and savings as possible—customers want what they need, and no one wants to pay for more than they need. 3. Focus on user experience and remove barriers to user adoption. Enterprise productivity begins by removing the barriers to adoption—the easier it is to use, the more they use it—so we invested heavily in improving the user experience across all the suites (in the browser as well as on mobile devices). We put a big focus on HTML5-based responsive experience, and customers who got to preview the new UI of products such as Content Suite or Media Management this week are raving about it. The improved user experience is one of the most noticeable innovations in Suite 16 and Cloud 16. In fact, this alone makes upgrading worthwhile. 4. Integrate with more enterprise applications and across the suites (with an extra focus on analytics). We’ve added integration with more enterprise apps, like Salesforce and SuccessFactors®, in addition to SAP®, Oracle®, and Microsoft®. And there is major integration between the suites. For example, OpenText Process Suite fully integrates with OpenText Content Suite, Archive Center, Media Management, Capture Center, CCM—speaking of CCM, that integrates with OpenText WEM, DAM, CS, Notifications…it goes on and on across all the suites, enabling us to solve customer problems no other vendor can solve. We also put an extra focus on analytics, which is itself a new suite, and it’s embedded into all the other suites, which brings out even more value from existing deployments. 5. Deliver information flows as a way to solve complex problems. All the products in the world are not going to solve real business problem if they’re not integrated in a way that follows the logical flow of information through the business processes and applications. That’s why we focus on the core information flow from information-centric flows, such as capture-to-disposition, create-to-consume, and incident-to resolution, all the way to business flows such as procure-to-pay. For more efficient information flows, we’ve added automation to the Procure-to-Pay business process and delivery of P2P and a new entity-modeling layer in the Process Suite platform, and we’ve extended process-centric collaboration and information sharing. 6. Provide more value from existing deployments. When you can get more value out of existing deployments, you reduce the total cost of ownership. New capabilities, pervasive use of analytics, new UI, focus on cost of ownership, cloud delivery, and subscription-based pricing bring more flexibility and value to the enterprise. Each of these strategic principles makes upgrading to Suite 16 and Cloud 16 worthwhile. This is a milestone release that existing customers will love and want to upgrade to. Read more about OpenText Suite 16 and OpenText Cloud 16 here, and let me know what you think about it.

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How the OpenText Cloud Develops Greener Supply Chains [Infographic]

A few weeks ago I posted a couple of blogs which discussed the supply chain related green benefits of using our OpenText Cloud.  I placed a particular emphasis on OpenText Trading Grid, our B2B network and how it was helping thousands of companies around the world to save paper through the automation of their B2B transactions. We have recently completed an Infographic which highlights some of these green related savings and this is shown below. You can also get further insights via my accompanying blog as well as learn more about OpenText Compliance solutions and OpenText Cloud. The calculations in our Infographic below were made using the Paper Savings Calculator from the Environmental Paper Network. This Infographic was compiled by my colleague Janet De Guzman and you can read her latest compliance related blog here.  

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CIO Review Selects OpenText in top 20 Most Promising Supply Chain Providers

OpenText was recently honored by CIOReview in the October issue, where the 20 most promising supply chain technology solution providers were announced. The inclusion of OpenText demonstrates the significant, positive impact that customers are experiencing with B2B integration solutions. To decide on the top 20 providers, CIOReview analyzed literally hundreds of supply chain solution providers and then shortlisted those companies at the forefront of tackling the challenges in the supply chain arena. A distinguished panel comprising of CEOs, CIOs and analysts, including CIOReview’s editorial board, selected the final list of Supply Chain Tech Solution Providers 2015. Their selection was based on the vendor’s capability to offer cutting edge technologies and solutions that add value to the supply chain landscape. The OpenText Trading Grid integration platform and OpenText B2B Managed Services provide a powerful combination of technology, people and processes to transform B2B integration programs in companies around the world. CIOReview interviewed Marco de Vries, Senior Director of Product Marketing, and expert in B2B integration. Marco offers insights in the interview on how B2B integration positively impacts an organization’s agility, profitability and growth. The article also discusses how Alstom Power is using OpenText B2B Managed Services and Active Orders to improve supply chain integration. The full Alstom case study can be viewed here. You can read the full CIOReview article here.  

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Did You Know OpenText and SAP Now Run Together to Simplify Trading Partner Connectivity?

OpenText recently announced an expansion of their partnership with SAP whereby SAP’s customers will now be able to connect to their external trading partner community through OpenText’s Trading Grid® platform, a core component of OpenText’s cloud. SAP has been a key partner of OpenText for many years and this expanded partnership will transform the B2B integration capabilities that SAP can offer to their global customers. Many companies already leverage SAP’s Ariba network to manage ‘indirect’ materials related spend across their business operations. Allowing SAP’s customers to integrate with their external trading partner communities via OpenText B2B Managed Services will allow companies to improve how they manage ‘direct’ materials related spend as well. So running together, SAP and OpenText’s cloud based business networks are complementary to each other. More information on the new partnership is available here. OpenText, through their acquisition of GXS, has been able to offer companies a way to seamlessly integrate their B2B and ERP environments together. OpenText already has some of SAP’s largest customers connected to the Trading Grid infrastructure, and this announcement is a logical next step in bringing our business networks closer together. I have written many blog posts over the past six years to highlight the importance of why companies should be thinking of integrating their ERP and B2B systems together, so I thought it would be useful to recap some of the key discussion points from my earlier blogs in this slightly extended post. Rolling out a new ERP project is typically the number one priority for today’s CIOs. SAP for example provides the backbone infrastructure that drives many internal business processes, whether in the area of HR, expense management, indirect materials spend, managing production processes or transport/warehouse operations. If SAP systems do not receive timely and accurate information from external trading partners then there is a possibility that internal business systems could grind to a halt, which from a production operation point of view can be quite damaging to the overall business operation. In an earlier research study we found that over a third of information that typically enters an ERP environment comes from outside the business. So having a highly available, global B2B platform that provides seamless connectivity to an outside trading partner community is becoming a high priority for today’s CIOs. So when is the best time to think about integrating to ERP? We have found, through many ERP/B2B integration projects that we have successfully completed with OpenText’s B2B Managed Services , that companies should think about B2B integration whenever they are undertaking a major ERP initiative. We have found there are four main ERP initiatives that can help drive new B2B integration projects: implementing new ERP platforms, for example switching from Oracle to SAP, consolidating numerous ERP instances onto a single platform, upgrading legacy ERP instances which could involve moving to a cloud based ERP environment and finally extending an existing ERP platform with new capabilities. If we take the example of a new SAP project, as I said this will be the number one project on the ‘to-do’ list of a CIO. The CIO will be under pressure from various stakeholders across the business to meet a specific go live date and this could mean that the CIO will have to pull in as many IT resources as possible to ensure the SAP go live date is met. But what happens to other IT projects such as deploying a new B2B environment or onboarding new trading partners in a remote location if there are no internal B2B resources available? Well put bluntly these other projects could potentially grind to a halt. So how can the CIO meet a go live date without compromising other initiatives such as managing a B2B network? The easiest way is to utilize external B2B resources to manage the B2B project whilst the CIO focuses on his main or core activity of meeting their SAP go live date. So where do these additional B2B resources come from?, well put simply this is where OpenText B2B Managed Services comes in. In fact we are often referred to as an extension to a CIO’s IT team. For over twenty years, OpenText has been working on many SAP related B2B integration projects, both single instance and multiple instance, to support global business operations. Multi-National companies in industries such as high tech, automotive, consumer goods, manufacturing and financial services utilize OpenText B2B Managed Services to maximize their SAP investment. OpenText B2B Managed Services, shown by the above diagram, helps companies improve the management of their SAP/B2B integration projects in a number of different ways: Global Systems Management – Ensuring that external trading partner connectivity is highly available, this is critical to the smooth running of an integrated SAP/B2B environment. If external connectivity is lost for any reason, this will interrupt the flow of information entering an SAP environment and any downstream business systems. OpenText Managed Services environment runs across a highly available infrastructure with multiple data centres located in North America and Europe. Data is replicated between data centers on a regular basis and in the event of a catastrophic failure in one data centre, the infrastructure will fail across to the other data center thus maintaining availability of a B2B environment. Visibility, Alerting and Analytics – OpenText provides business process visibility and exception-based monitoring for a business and its customers. Visibility is delivered through a simple web based interface that provides tools such as related document queries, role based views and proactive monitoring/alerting capabilities. For example, upon completion of the translation process, OpenText Managed Services will automatically generate a STATUS IDOC (Status = 5 or 6) back to the client’s SAP environment to indicate whether the IDOC translation failed or succeeded. Recently introduced analytics capabilities help to improve visibility and reporting capabilities still further SAP Connectivity – B2B integration platforms must be connected to the numerous different instances of SAP running at local manufacturing plants, retail stores, shared service centers and headquarters locations. OpenText supports a broad range of communications protocols to connect with SAP including ALE, AS2, PI and FTP. You can use a combination of communication technologies to meet all your trading partner requirements. The most popular option for exchanging IDOCs is the native SAP Application Link Enabling (ALE) technology. Data & Process Intelligence – Ideally, SAP systems can only operate efficiently and offer maximum ROI when they are fed with clean and accurate information. OpenText uses a robust business rules engine based on over 150 of the most common supply chain-related SAP business rules. OpenText ensures that all externally sourced information is clean and accurate before entering SAP, this eliminates the need for investigating data mismatches, reprocessing inaccurate data, or calling trading partners to resolve data quality issues. This pre-processing of externally sourced information before it enters an SAP system effectively places an ‘ERP firewall’ around SAP applications. The aim of the firewall is to protect an SAP system from poor quality data sent in by customers, suppliers, distributors, logistics providers or financial institutions. Mapping & Translation – Document mapping is one of the most complex tasks to undertake during an SAP to B2B integration project. Mapping experts must understand the relationships between data structures used by external trading partners and the information needed in SAP. For example, a mapping expert may need to extract shipping information from an advanced shipping notice to populate the appropriate SHPMNT01 IDOC document. With the possibility of having to create hundreds of maps, ensuring that maps can be created on schedule is one of the most important aspects of an integration project. Creating these maps internally is not a very efficient use of expensive IT resources. Delegating the mapping process to a third party vendor would be beneficial for any company undertaking such an integration project. OpenTextenables a company to integrate B2B messaging across multiple instances of SAP and with trading partners around the world. Partner Onboarding – Most SAP projects are not purely technical in nature, functionality upgrades are usually the justification for investment. With new modules or expanded user-communities comes the need to connect to a broader range of supply chain partners. With larger companies having globalized their operations, the on-boarding and integration of trading partners across different time zones can be difficult to manage. In many cases, companies simply do not have the resources to manage the on-boarding of trading partners in different geographical regions. OpenText Managed Services provides a comprehensive on-boarding service to both recruit and enable your trading partners including web forms and Microsoft Excel based adapters. Program Management – SAP projects require an immense amount of co-ordination across the extended enterprise. B2B integration managers must ensure that maps are created correctly, trading partners are connected properly and data validation rules are reflected within the B2B system as well. If companies are looking to introduce further SAP functionality, for example implementing a transport management system, then the project management challenge becomes even more complex. OpenText B2B Managed Services allows a company to leverage highly-experienced project managers to manage the implementation process. OpenText will provide a dedicated program manager who will undertake a number of roles to ensure that SAP to B2B integration projects go as smoothly as possible. Their role will include looking after the day to day communication with a community of trading partners and ensuring that trading partners can support new transaction types, data quality rules or KPIs to measure performance. Finally, they also offer support for testing and looking after the overall release and deployment of the newly integrated platform with the customer. Providing Global Support – Many companies have globalized their operations and have manufacturing plants and trading partners around the world. As a result, all users of an SAP/B2B integration platform must have access to a global support infrastructure so that if any problems arise they can be resolved as quickly as possible. OpenText B2B Managed Services provides 24/7, multi-lingual, support coverage. This helps users across an extended enterprise receive the help they need, in any language or any time zone around the world. With many companies establishing manufacturing operations in low cost countries such as China, India, Eastern Europe and Latin America, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to support trading partners within these particular regions of the world. Implementing an outsourced approach to managing the integration between SAP and a B2B platform will help to ensure that your business realises even greater levels of return on your investment. Cloud, mobile and SAP HANA may provide a good incentive to upgrade and consolidate SAP instances but integrating seamlessly to a trading partner community should also be high on a CIO’s agenda. Therefore I think it is fairly safe to say that without B2B integration to outside trading partners, an ERP environment could be considered ‘incomplete’, OpenText B2B Managed Services helps to ‘complete ERP’.

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Don’t let What Happens in Vegas Stay in Vegas!

At least, not what you learn at OpenText Enterprise World 2015, taking place November 8-13 in Las Vegas, NV. If you are already planning to attend this annual customer event, or are still undecided, ask yourself why you plan to go; what do you hope to take back to your organization? Is it the latest insights on product roadmaps and corporate directions from your technology vendor? To decide whether the solution provider is the right vendor if you’re not already an existing customer? To learn from peers, meet the experts, and share ideas? There are a myriad of reasons. But ultimately, your attendance has to deliver value—something you can take back to your organization that will make a difference in how you work, the value you contribute to your enterprise information management (EIM) efforts, or the overall effectiveness of your technology investment. All are good reasons to attend. However, many would-be attendees struggle to ‘make the case’ for participation in terms of a real ROI. Perhaps the goals aren’t lofty enough. What if you could learn how to dramatically change the course of your company? What if you could learn something new that has a material impact on your organization’s growth, its profitability, its compliance with regulations, and your overall business agility? Most would agree that translates to a strong ROI for a week in Vegas. Challenge yourself to experience something new, and take a new look at what EIM can do for you and your business. Set a stretch goal. How do you do this? By following the Information Exchange (IX) track at Enterprise World. IX is about the secure exchange of information between your organization and its extended trading partner ecosystem. This suite of offerings enables you to automate key processes such as procure to pay, order to cash, secure notifications, funds transfers, payments, logistics, and more. All organizations, regardless of your industry, accomplish their mission “beyond the four walls” of their enterprise—with customers, suppliers, providers, agencies, etc. However, most investments in productivity, automation, security, standardization, etc. are focused within the four walls. Information exchange—B2B and other forms of messaging—are too often relegated to IT… as just a cost of doing business. “We’ve got that covered”… “We have an EDI guy”. Here is the massive stone you can turn at Enterprise World. Look outside the four walls to find savings, drive efficiencies, comply with industry mandates, and leverage supply chain data to optimize processes. Elevating B2B to the C-level vs. an IT project alone. The digital transformation is omnipresent. To leverage new opportunities and face new challenges, you need a comprehensive digital strategy. Follow the IX Track at Enterprise World to learn how to survive—and thrive—in the new digital supply chain. B2B integration and secure messaging is a critical foundation for success in the digital age. Drive down operational cost, mitigate and manage corporate compliance risk, speed time to market and time to value, and focus on your core competencies. OpenText IX will show you how to integrate the processes, systems, and business partners necessary to attain these benefits. Come learn from industry leaders and OpenText experts how information exchange can change the course of your business. Don’t let the best practices stay in Vegas. Take them back with you to your organization. Set a course for growth, profitability, and agility. (Source: SCM World, “Chief Supply Chain Officer Report,” September 2014)

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Join us for a Free Information Session on how an Automated Supply Chain can help ECM be better

As an ECM practitioner, how much thought do you give to the complex back-office infrastructure that supports your organization’s supply chain? You should; success as a digital enterprise will only come from being fully digital outside and inside. In other words, a fully customer-centric process that draws on information from across the enterprise is great, but it will quickly stall if fulfilment involves chaotic piles of inventory management reports and frantic phone calls. In fact, it’s a recipe for disaster. Go ahead and Google how much money and time it takes to win back a disgruntled customer, especially one who’s now using your carefully crafted social media tools to broadcast their dissatisfaction. Organizations in manufacturing, distribution, and retail face unique challenges when it comes to the supply chain and connecting with suppliers and/or buyers to exchange information related to transactions. Just keeping track of who you do business with, the right person to contact, and if they comply with your standards is a lot work–and that is long before you begin to process invoices and store information in your ECM system! That’s why we’re hosting a unique, free, half-day information session the day before Enterprise World kicks off for the front-office crowd to learn and experience how digital supply chain systems work and what they can add to overall business strategy, agility, and productivity. Please note: This is not a technical session! If you’re involved in anything from marketing to accounts payable to IT architecture, you’ll find the information here valuable. Join us on Tuesday, November 10 for this special educational session on digitizing and automating the supply chain. The session will include an overview of the benefits of automation, and a discussion of how outsourcing B2B integration to an expert can reduce costs and shorten implementation times. We’ll share a couple examples of how OpenText customers have transformed their B2B integration program through OpenText B2B Managed Services. The session will be led by Jeff Keefer, Global Director, B2B Managed Services at OpenText. Jeff is an expert at supply chain automation and is a trusted advisor in working with OpenText customers to enable supply chain automation through B2B integration and managed services. Yes, it may not be your job, but no one’s ever suffered from knowing too much about potential benefits, pitfalls, and solutions. And here’s your chance to hit Vegas a day early and gain insight into a whole, new area that really does affect your team’s performance. Plus, you’ll now be able to start peppering development meetings with knowledgeable references to terms like EDI and inventory turns! Looking forward to seeing you there.

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Embracing Customer Centricity at Enterprise World 2015

AS2 FTP

Organizations today are competing on the basis of a differentiated customer experience. It is not enough to have the best products or services, but you must now differentiate on the experience that your end users have when doing business with you. After all, a product or service is only as valuable as the way in which its use is realized by your customers. But what does it mean to be Customer Centric? It’s not a technology – it is your Goal; it is a Journey for your customer that is tuned to meet their needs on every device, in every location, in every language, in every CONTEXT where you both interact. Every employee should feel empowered to work in harmony and deliver the best experience to the customer. Achieving this vision allows you to maximize the customer lifetime value – the more value the consumer receives, the more opportunities you have to upsell the customer and gain new customers from positive customer advocacy. Enterprise World 2015 gives you an opportunity to hear directly from organizations around the world that are on their own journey to create a better way to work. The Customer Experience Management track this year is focusing on key areas of digital transformation related to better customer engagement, better, business insights and better employee productivity. We have brought in leading Industry Analysts to share their research and trends happening in the Digital Experience driven world we live in today.  We also have some AMAZING companies sharing their own experiences in strategizing and executing projects to adopt a more digital approach to their business processes and customer/ constituent / partner interactions. You have to come hear their stories! Come join us in the journey to a better way to work – add these highlighted sessions to your agenda: Strategy – CEM 210 will discuss how achieving a customer centric vision requires strategy and architecture decisions. Learning – CEM 102 takes a look at how consumer trends are driving business transformation of business processes and user engagement across B2C and B2B organizations. CEM 101 takes a look inside financial services companies that have to engage their customers across B2B2C complexities. Implemention – The next step after an approved strategy is to identify a key project to get started. Tackling the Digital Workplace is the focus of CEM 112 where a global organization found the answer in implementing better content sharing and content management. Adoption – It takes a village…. employee adoption of a digital transformation can result in amazing increased productivity and customer satisfaction. CEM 100 takes a look at overcoming challenges at getting users to adopt new processes and technologies to be successful. Insights – CEM 110 is a Fireside Chat that delves into the importance of insights (from analytics to interactions) to innovate how you work inside and outside the organization Two key Technical sessions are related to Upgrading ( CEM 200) and the Roadmaps ( Expo) for OpenText Media Management, Web Experience Management, Customer Communications Management (StreamServe) and the latest PowerDocs application. Roadmaps are hosted in our Digital Experience Theater in the Expo – see the schedule on the mobile app agenda or at the Theater. We are also excited to showcase how 3-D printing can become a part of your communication strategy. Finally, the session on Tuesday titled “Optimize your supply chain with B2B Managed Services” is great if your organization could benefit from improved supply chain visibility and increased digital integration with suppliers or customers. This special educational session will focus on how to digitize and automate your supply chain and include an overview of the reasons to automate, and a discussion of how outsourcing B2B integration to an expert can reduce costs and shorten implementation times. We’ll share a couple examples of how OpenText customers transformed their B2B integration program through OpenText B2B Managed Services.

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Digital-First Fridays: The Digital Supply Network

Digital makes it possible for the smallest company to participate in the global economy. Disruption is lowering barriers to entry, which results in higher levels of competition. Based on stiffer competition, businesses are shifting from a vertically integrated supply chain model to a highly specialized, outsourced network model. In the digital world, these networks will be made up of low-cost suppliers and virtual manufacturers, and will serve niche industries that span the globe. Many products in the future will be built-to-order. Organizations are already realizing the value of customization: you can design your own Goldfish crackers thanks to Pepperidge Farm, NIKEiD invites you to customize Nike running shoes for optimized performance—even Coke bottle labels can be personalized. While this new environment of hyper-differentiation provides exciting ways of engaging customers, it is also requiring companies to radically overhaul their supply chain processes. As companies specialize and outsource, operations need to scale, shift, and contract depending on business and market requirements. New channels need to be leveraged and new markets serviced. To be able to differentiate, organizations need to have agility and flexibility built into their production lines. This calls for the digitalization of end-to-end processes across the supply network. The benefits of digitalizing processes are many: costs can be reduced, turnaround times improved by several orders of magnitude, errors minimized, and new channels and new routes to the customer can be explored. The Digital Supply Network with Customer at the Hub Increased flexibility and agility are the keys to success. Digital leaders are achieving this by digitizing core business processes and adopting emerging technologies. They are automating processes and delivering 24/7 engagement with self-service capabilities. B2B integration is providing the sophisticated synchronization of data and transactions for the automated exchange of goods, commerce, and information. Analytics are giving the enterprise incredible insights for supply chain optimization and end-to-end supply chain visibility. The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to further enhance the richness of supply chain information, creating networks that are intelligent and instrumented. Managing all of this information across a collaborative platform is the key to optimization and B2B integration in efficient, secure, and compliant ways. To meet the challenges of the evolving supply chain, the digital enterprise will depend on digital technology for increased global collaboration, seamless communication, real-time insights, and execution. The digital workplace will have to accommodate these shifts in the market and the technical expertise required to manage disruptive innovations. Supply networks will have to be optimized to satisfy customers and drive competitive advantage. The transformational Digital Workplace is the topic of the next post in this series. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. To learn more, read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die.

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Data Driven Digest for September 18: Money and Finance

This week marks the 133 anniversary of the opening of the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco. The establishment was created to serve the interest of businesses that struck it rich mining for gold during the California Gold Rush. Nowadays, businesses mine for data hoping to strike it rich by analyzing that data for clues about how to best serve their customers, streamline their operations, or gain a competitive advantage. In honor of those financial pioneers, this week we offer three different visualizations of financial data. Eureka! U.S. Fiscal Responsibility   In 1789, the United States established its first loan to pay salaries of the existing and future presidents and the Congress. As our friend Katy French (@katyifrench) posted in Visual News this week, bean counters in Washington kept great records and even produced stunning visualizations to represent trends. The graphic above represents the Fiscal Chart of Debt and Expenditures by the U.S. Government between 1789 and 1870. Note the spikes in military spending during the War of 1812 and Civil War as well as the first major accumulation of debt in 1861.   Euro Spending How do Europeans spend their paychecks? That was the premise of a recent data plot developed by The Economist (@TheEconomist). Based on data sets from Eurostat entitled Final consumption expenditure of households by consumption purpose, The Economist found life in the Euro zone is quite diverse. Living in Lithuania? Your budget is dominated by food and clothes. Lithuanians also spend more per capita on alcohol and tobacco than the rest of Europe. Meeting in Malta? Forget about eating at home. Nearly 20 percent of Maltese spending goes toward restaurants and hotels. Spaniards spend the least on their transportation. Germans spend more on their furnishings than their E.U. neighbors   World Population Based on Income Our friends over at Pew Research Center (@PewResearch) have come up with an interactive visualization based around the paradigms of income and how it relates to world population. For example, the map above shows the density of people living under what they term as a middle income. By middle income, that means your daily wages are between $10.01 and $20. According to the map, 13 percent of the 7+ billion people in the world are middle income. The map has a second option that reveals the percentage point change in that population between 2000 and 2011. It’s a fascinating study on both financial statistics as well as data maps. The income groups are defined as follows: The poor live on $2 or less daily, low income on $2.01-10, middle-income on $10.01-20, upper-middle income on $20.01-50, and high income on more than $50; figures expressed in 2011 purchasing power parities in 2011 prices.

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Digital Engagement: A New Business Requirement

Digital engagement isn’t an option anymore, it’s a requirement. Today’s consumers are savvy and fickle, and companies must work to earn their loyalty. They’re demanding more from the brands they love, and their tolerance for anything but a seamless, engaging, and compelling experience is flagging. In a digital world, organizations must digitize their customer journeys, from initial interest through to purchase and follow-on service or support. The best way to do this is to shift to a digital marketing strategy. One that creates consistent and compelling customer experiences at every touchpoint through omni-channel delivery, responsive design, and targeted communications and information. Digital technologies have introduced new customer touchpoints and increased opportunities to engage. Since consumers often use more than one channel to interact with a brand (in some instances they use five or six), delivering uniform and relevant messages across all channels is crucial for return on marketing investments and customer satisfaction. Omni-channel focuses on meeting consumer needs by pulling together programs to provide a cohesive brand experience across channels, platforms, and devices. To borrow from Bruce Lee, digital design should “be like water”. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. The same holds true for digital experiences. The transition from desktop to device to point-of-sale should be fluid. This is achieved through responsive design. Customers don’t see individual devices or channels; they look for a consistent and familiar brand experience that delivers relevant content. Nirvana on the customer journey is realized when a company anticipates the needs and wants of a customer and serves up targeted and tailored content, products, or services, in the moment of need, wherever the customer is. Organizations that can predict customer behavior have a better chance at fulfilling consumer needs. Analytics—or analyzing data collected across various touchpoints of the customer journey (transactions, interactions, social media sites, and devices) helps organizations discover valuable customer insights so that they can offer more personalized and satisfying experiences. The most effective way to target different audiences is to use messages that focus on products and services with the greatest appeal for each segment. Using dynamically generated customer communications, organizations can create and automate their marketing campaigns. When correspondence is part of a digitized process, end results are gains in efficiency and the ability to create superior customer experiences. As one of the foundational suites for Enterprise Information Management (EIM), Customer Experience Management (CEM) aims to create a richer, more interactive online experience across multiple channels without sacrificing requirements for compliance and information governance. CEM brings together all of the technologies required to re-architect back-office systems, consolidate customer data, and create digitized front-end experiences. Digital engagement starts inside the firewall and extends outside the enterprise and all along the supply chain. In the next post in this series, I’ll explore how the supply chain is being disrupted and how enterprises can digitize key processes for greater collaboration, information exchange, and business agility. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. To learn more, read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die.

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3 Questions: Content Marketing Expert Robert Rose on the Power of Analytics

Think your organization can tell the difference between good marketing content and great content? Only 36 percent of B2B marketers surveyed in 2014 by the Content Marketing Institute said they were effective at content marketing. To help increase its effectiveness, marketing experts suggest improving content measurement methods. White papers, brochures and blogs get the message out. Analytics illustrates a richer story. Robert Rose is the Chief Strategy Officer for the Content Marketing Institute and a senior contributing consultant for Digital Clarity Group. Robert’s highly anticipated second book – Experiences: The Seventh Era of Marketing is now available. His first book, Managing Content Marketing, spent two weeks as a top ten marketing book on Amazon.com and is generally considered to be the “owner’s manual” of the Content Marketing process. Robert is also the co-host of the podcast PNR’s This Old Marketing, the Number 1 podcast as reviewed by MarketingPodcasts.com We sat down with Robert to discuss the importance of transforming content into digital and the best ways to optimize value from analyzing that content. OpenText: With the world migrating towards a digital-first approach, talk about the importance of content-driven experiences. How should marketing, and other departments, optimize their operations to gain the most value of their digital assets? Robert Rose: The real trend is that content-driven experiences are the differentiation of the entire business these days. Whether you look at this as a layer of product development, an element of marketing – or the new way that you handle customer service, consumers now expect a better experience at any part of their particular journey. This means that marketing – and the development of content-driven experiences – must stretch across the entire customer journey. So, this inherently means that the business has to evolve “content” as a strategic asset.  It can simply no longer be just a byproduct of what people produce as part of their jobs – but must be cohesively created, managed, published, optimized and measured as a function in the business. And, in order to do that – the organization’s first step is to actually look at each of those tasks as a recognized function in the business. It must have actual organization, real responsibility, budget and measurability. OpenText: The intersection of digital content, cloud delivery and Big Data analysis seems like the next step for so many organizations. What recommendations can you give to decision makers in their quest for a digital content supply chain? Robert Rose: The key is to simplify. A great content-as-supply-chain process should actually reduce the amount of content being produced, but optimize its quality and efficacy. This means, ultimately, that the data it produces becomes higher quality and get be used to derive better meaning, and thus greater insight into how to improve the experiences being created.  The classic mistake that most businesses make is they create content in order to facilitate the sales, marketing and service of products – and then simply can’t keep up with the cadence that the product/service requires. Instead, they need to start with the customer, and the experience they’re trying to deliver – then work backwards to see how content can be created to build that experience. OpenText: There are many organizations that are successful in transforming their content and measuring its effectiveness. What are you top favorites and what made them so successful? Robert Rose: I think my current favorite is what Motorola Solutions has done by integrating technology and marketing into one common department. Eduardo Conrado is the Chief Innovation Officer (and wrote the introduction to my newest book). He recognized as the head of marketing and IT that both were truly focused on the same goal; creating a more compelling customer experience. So, he merged both of them together so that they work together. As he says, this really does create an environment where “technology can help you get closer to the customer.” For more insight, Robert’s strategy whitepaper entitled, The Marketing Transformation: From Managing Campaigns to Orchestrating Experiences can be found at OpenText.

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Introducing OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud

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Digital leaders know their data. They convert their information into actionable business insight. Considering that more data is shared online every second today than was stored in the entire Internet 20 years ago, it’s no wonder that differentiating products and services requires advanced tools. With that need in mind, I’m pleased to announce OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud. Combining the power of our OpenText Big Data Analytics product with the accessibility and convenience of the Cloud gives our customers the ability to leverage advanced analytics capabilities quickly and easily, without investing in infrastructure or specialized technical staff. All About the Data To transform data into insights, organizations require a Big Data Analytics solution that is flexible enough to integrate all types of information, including survey results, tweets, purchasing data, campaign response rates, and external market data. An effective solution helps organizations examine all data in a single view, analyze billions of records in seconds, and apply advanced and predictive techniques—all via an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Applying analytics to information across organizational silos gives businesses the insight they need to improve their performance, optimize their supply chain, and know their customers better. Big Data Analytics gives organizations the agility they need to compete. With benefits like these, my question is “Why haven’t more organizations implemented Big Data Analytics solutions?” The most commonly cited barriers to adoption of Big Data Analytics solutions are difficultly consolidating data sources, a skills gap within the organization, and lack of infrastructure, or difficulty integrating with existing infrastructure.[1] Not every organization has the data scientists, IT experts, and computing resources they need to collect, parse, compare, and extract value from data.   The OpenText Answer The new OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud bypasses all of these barriers, offering implementation and full management in the OpenText Cloud, without requiring the customer to acquire additional IT resources or infrastructure. As our first “Analytics as a Service” (AaaS) offering, OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud brings together the benefits of advanced analytics with the cost-savings and convenience of a managed service, making it even easier to access, blend, explore, and model big data quickly and effectively. The simplicity and flexibility of Big Data Analytics eliminates the need for a data scientist. The power of OpenText Cloud lowers technical and financial barriers to entry. Without lengthy procurement and installation processes, time-to-ROI is realized sooner. Maintenance is simplified and scalability is improved without driving up costs. Using in-memory columnar database technology that delivers 1,000x faster performance than traditional relational databases, OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud reduces the time it takes to prepare and launch campaigns, discover supplier risks, or identify business opportunities from days to just hours or even minutes. It delivers quicker time-to-value because of the proven reliability and expertise of our Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Managed Cloud Services. With OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud business users can uncover cross-sell or upsell opportunities or reduce customer churn, and gain better visibility to detect fraud, analyze risk, and drive operational efficiency. What’s Next? When it comes to analyzing data, many of our customers have made great progress. They have moved from rear-view reflections to near-view observations. But the traditional Business Intelligence (BI) tools that made that move possible have become table stakes. OpenText Big Data Analytics and the advanced and predictive analytics it embodies, represents the future of business and will be the key to continued success in a Digital World as organizations shift from near-view observations to future-view forecasts and analysis to make more informed business decisions. When I look at Analytics as a Service, I see the shape of things to come. I see limitless potential. To find out more about the new OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud, read the Press Release.

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How IoT Based Analytics Will Drive Future Supply Chain Operations

Over the past couple of years we have seen an exponential growth in interest around the Internet of Things (IoT). My interest in this space started at Cisco’s IoT World Forum in Barcelona in late 2013.  Back then many of the software and solution vendors were just starting to define their IoT strategies due to the various estimates that analysts had put out about the expected value of the IoT market over the next decade. There were two interesting IoT related announcements this week, firstly GE placing all their IT and software solutions into a new division called GE Digital. Slight irony here in that this is the second time GE has done this, the first time was when they established and then spun off their former IT division which later became GXS!  The second announcement came yesterday at Salesforce’s annual conference where they announced their own cloud based IoT platform.  So the IoT cloud market is certainly hotting up. In 2013 I posted my first blog discussing where I believed IoT would impact supply chain operations and from what I could tell back then, based on the number of IoT and Supply Chain articles that had been published, I was early to predict how IoT would transform tomorrow’s supply chains. Many argue that some components of an IoT environment, such as RFID tags, have been around for many years and in fact IoT has now given RFID tags a stronger sense of purpose.  However other technologies such as Big Data Analytics are really only just starting to be applied in the supply chain space. For me, I see three areas where IoT will add value to supply chain operations, I call these the ‘Three Ps’ of supply chain focused IoT, namely Pervasive Visibility, Proactive Replenishment and Predictive  Maintenance. One common aspect to all three of the above scenarios is big data analytics.  Earlier this year OpenText acquired a leading provider of embedded analytics solutions, Actuate.  Over the past few months we have been busy embracing the world of big data analytics and recently announced a cloud based analytics offering. This is quite a game changer in the big data analytics market as companies look to take their first steps into the world of analytics and OpenText Big Data Analytics in the cloud allows companies to scale their analytics platform over time and align with the size of the analytics project being undertaken. In fact yesterday, OpenText was ranked number three in a new report from Dresner Advisory Services, they looked at the Business Intelligence market in the context of IoT. It is worth noting that the chart and vendor analysis conducted by Dresner was carried out before the launch of our cloud based analytics solution, so we would probably have been ranked higher than number three out of seventeen vendors.  When you consider the size of the analytics market and the number of vendors in the space, this is quite an achievement for our solution and it puts us in a good position for companies looking to process the huge volumes of data coming off millions of connected devices in the future. OpenText Big Data Analytics is a core component of OpenText’s cloud strategy and early last year OpenText acquired another key cloud solution provider GXS.  OpenText now operates the world’s largest B2B integration network with over 600,000 companies connected to the network and these companies are processing over 16billion transactions per year.  Now wait a minute, 16billion transactions!, now that is a lot of information flowing across our network that could add a lot of value to companies if they had a way of analysing the transactions in real time. As you would imagine we are busy looking at how our Trading Grid platform could leverage the capabilities of our new cloud based analytics solution. I have spent the past two years keeping a close eye on the IoT market and it is great to think that our cloud based analytics solution provides a stepping stone into the ever growing IoT market.  But what happens when you bring the world of IoT and supply chains together?  I wanted to use the following diagram to explain how OpenText Analytics and Trading Grid could in the near future provide support for the three supply chain scenarios that I mentioned earlier, namely pervasive visibility, proactive replenishment and predictive maintenance. The diagram below illustrates a desktop demonstration of how consumption trends from a connected device can help to initiate a ‘purchase to pay’ process.  When I say purchase to pay I am talking about an order being created, goods being delivered and then payment made to the supplier.  Let me now break this diagram down into a few key steps. The first stage is the connected device itself, now it could be any type of connected device, but for this example I have chosen a WiFi enabled coffee machine. In addition, for the purposes of this demonstration, a connected coffee capsule dispenser, so as you remove a capsule this will be recognized by a proximity sensor placed underneath the capsule. The second stage is to then capture the consumption trends from the coffee machine.  So as each capsule is taken from the dispenser, a signal would be sent to OpenText Analytics which will essentially be used in this case to monitor consumption patterns and overtime trend related information and graphs etc can be displayed. The key step in this process is when OpenText Analytics detects that a certain number of capsules have been used and an order can be placed via Trading Grid for replacement capsules to be delivered from an outside supplier. This in essence is Proactive Replenishment, where analytics data is driving the ordering process. Back in January this year an article on Forbes.com discussed how in the future connected devices would potentially be able to initiate their own procurement process.  Thus taking manual ordering of replacement goods out of the supply chain process.  Now we are some way off achieving this at the moment but the IoT industry is heading in this direction. For now though a trigger from OpenText Analytics would alert a user to create a Purchase Order for ordering replacement coffee capsules. This ordering process would be initiated through one of our SaaS applications on Trading Grid and this application, Active Orders would also monitor the end to end life cycle of the order.  Mobile access to the progress of the order from the supplier to point of delivery would be available via a mobile app. The order for the capsules is received by the supplier, represented below by a robot arm, which selects the replacement capsules from a rotary capsule dispenser and then loads them on transport provided by the 3PL carrier. Now over time sensors on the robot arm would detect any potential failures with its operation.  From a maintenance point of view, the operational information coming from the sensors on the robot arm would be fed into our analytics platform and overtime you would be able to predict when a part of the robot is likely to fail.  In the real world you would then initiate a repair before the robot fails and hence your supply chain operations are not interrupted in anyway.  This is a perfect example, albeit scaled down of how IoT can drive Predictive Maintenance procedures.  In fact predictive maintenance is widely regarded as one of the most important industrial applications for IoT at this moment in time. For the purposes of this example the 3PL carrier is operating a model train!, which will carry the capsules to coffee machine on the other side of the table.  The location of the train would be monitored via an RFID tag attached to the train. The potential for improving end to end supply chain visibility using IoT and connected 3PL providers is huge and Cisco and DHL recently released a white paper discussing this opportunity. The RFID tags in this case are being used for the purposes of this demonstration but in real life a combination of RFID tags and GPS devices would be used to track the shipments. The ability to connect every piece of supply chain equipment, whether fork lift truck, lorry and pallets etc will transform supply chain visibility and will contribute towards the Pervasive Visibility across an end to end supply chain. So there you have it, a very simple example of how IoT could impact future supply chains.  The IoT market is moving incredibly quickly and who knows what new technology will be introduced over the coming years, but one thing is for sure OpenText can now provide two key components of the IoT enabled supply chain, OpenText Big Data Analytics and OpenText Trading Grid.  The world of B2B integration just got exciting.

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Digital-First Fridays: What is a Digital Enterprise?

In my first post in this blog series, I examined how the speed of digital is disrupting market leaders, and determined that the only way for them to keep pace and stay competitive is to transform into a digital business. But what exactly is a digital business and how does an organization transform itself? In a digital business, all major operating functions are empowered by digital technology. This means that the business engages customers and conducts business through digital channels, uses digital assets and/or capabilities, and sells digital products or services. As in the case of startups, the value proposition is keenly focusing on serving digital consumers and is enabled by digital technology. This fundamentally impacts an organization’s “value chain.” The value chain of a digital business is more cyclical than it is linear. The value chain is based on a series of interactions and transactions. From the creation of products and services to their consumption, employees, consumers, partners, and processes rely on digital technology for easy access to goods (whether it be products, services, or information), constant connectivity, and immediacy of insight. The entire customer journey is digitized. As a result, the business works in ways that are open, flexible, and support ongoing collaboration and innovation. The Linear Value Chain is Replaced by an Ecosystem In their transformation to a digital business, organizations should reconceptualise themselves as part of an extended enterprise ecosystem, from which they (or their customers or partners) can assemble products and services according to their needs. A digital business digitizes all of its information and processes for efficiency in the back office and deeper levels of engagement in the front (customer-facing) office. As part of a larger ecosystem, a digital business is better equipped to innovate, pivot their operations, customize their products and services, and deliver new products that satisfy consumer need. They can scale their manufacturing capacity and shift geographies as needed. Ultimately, a digital business gains new ways of working to improve productivity, reduce costs, and accelerate business growth. The benefits of transformation into a digital business move beyond those belonging to digital marketing, or creating consistent consumer experiences across digital channels. Digitizing information and processes results in improved efficiencies, higher productivity levels, and lower operational costs. According to McKinsey, companies that digitize their operations can reduce their costs by 9 percent.[1] As digital technologies transform business operations, all major components of the business will be impacted. The components of the 2020 digital business are already emerging and include the Digital Workplace, Digital Engagement, the Digital Supply Chain, and Digital Governance and Security. This blog series will examine each of these facets in detail. Organizations that want to digitize their operations need to focus on the value that digital brings, develop a strategy, and prioritize projects for transformation. They will need to iterate and realize that iteration is part of the process—a more important aspect than perfection. Their entire ecosystem must be digital, so the business must reconfigure its organizational structure, its technology infrastructure, hire the right resources, and focus on the information systems and standards that enable true transformation. As we move rapidly toward a Digital World, one thing is clear: information lies at the heart of innovation and disruption. No longer considered just the cost of doing business, information is instrumental in driving innovation and growth. When used the right way, information leads to greater customer satisfaction, accelerates time-to-market, helps to create new opportunities, and enables businesses to remain relevant and competitive. Information is a key strategic component for every organization today and critical to enabling transformation. In my next blog, I’ll examine how “Information is the New Currency” in a Digital World. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. Read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die. [1] “The Digital Enterprise,” McKinsey & Company, November 2013.

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Digital-First Fridays: Operating at the Speed of Digital

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. – Charles Darwin We live in a time of unprecedented change. In every sector, digital technologies are changing the rules of business by enabling new business models. Startups are reshaping entire industries, combining technologies like cloud, social, mobile, and analytics to deliver more targeted customer products and services. These technologies are empowering organizations to bypass the traditional costs associated with barriers to entry and connect directly with consumers to meet their needs. Startups are disintermediating the market leaders. Over the next five years, executives expect digital disruption to displace four out of ten incumbents—or 40 percent of established market leaders.[1] This is a startling prediction. Part of the reason why this will happen is because startups are able to operate and scale at a very fast pace, innovating very quickly—a pace that larger incumbent organizations (with their legacy systems) can’t match. This is the speed of digital and its potential is uncharted. With more people connecting and sharing ideas in a global, digitized marketplace, the pace of innovation will only increase exponentially. The formula is ten times the innovators at one-tenth of the cost and 100 times the power. Digital Disruption is Stronger and Faster[2] In a Digital World, the development of new products will evolve from sprints to hyper-connected dashes. Product features will be crowdsourced and collective. Feedback about consumer experience will be collected to upgrade features, improve delivery, and serve niche markets—in real time—removing the developer “safety net”. Every single disgruntled consumer will tell 1,000 potential customers about a bad customer experience. Brands will be built up and destroyed on social networks. Product ideas will be shared across yottabytes (one trillion terabytes) of data and millions of people, as innovation cycles are faster, compressed, and even approach the spontaneous. Business Models are Advancing Disruptive technologies are fueling a subscription-based economy. As business moves to the Cloud and mobile access becomes pervasive, the requirements for on-demand services are deposing the mainframe in enterprise infrastructure. Digital innovators are focused on creating exceptional experiences for the digital consumer and benefiting from a lifetime of customer value. As product experiences move to new platforms, companies are measuring their value based on recurring metrics over one-time metrics. In a Digital World, organizations will have to embrace digital disruption or they face the risk of losing market share or becoming obsolete. They will have to disrupt or die. To keep pace, organizations will have to reinvent themselves. They’ll have to digitize their information and operations. They’ll have to innovate at the front end to capture the mindshare of digital consumers and modernize their back offices to integrate their operations more efficiently across the supply chain. And they’ll have to restructure their IT departments to support a digital workforce. They’ll have to operate at the speed of digital. All of our customers have embarked on this journey of digital transformation. Here are a few examples of how they are disrupting their business using the Cloud, analytics, process automation, and mobile computing to simplify their volumes of information, digitize their operations, and accelerate opportunities for success: Mitsubishi Motors is outsourcing its B2B e-commerce capabilities to the Cloud and achieves stronger integration with its suppliers in Europe, without making additional investments in headcount or software. Dell Services is setting new standards of excellence within the IT services industry. Using analytics has helped them drive positive change, increase value, and improve engagement with organizations worldwide. First United Bank is using a BPM solution to help it achieve its goal of going paperless. To date, the Company has digitized over 200 processes and converted over 2.5 million documents and images into digital format for considerable business improvements, including overall growth and customer satisfaction. The City of Barcelona has a comprehensive digital strategy that embraces delivering more targeted and mobile services to its constituents, based on the innovative mobile identification system called “mobileID”. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. In my next post in this series, I’ll explore what it means to function as a digital business. Read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die. [1] “Executives Expect Digital Disruption to Displace 4 in 10 Incumbents by Industry within Next Five Years,” Webwire, June 24, 2015, http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=198501 (accessed July 2015). [2] James McQuivey, “Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation,” Forrester Research, Inc., 2013.

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