US Government: Huawei Should Be Your Digital Business Partner, Not Your Enemy

Charlie Dai

Huawei Technologies started out nearly 30 years ago as a small private company with 14 employees and 140,000 yuan in capital. By 2015, its total revenue exceeded $60 billion. Huawei is already a global company, but its globalization journey has been a difficult one since the very beginning. Despite its continuous business growth in other regions, Huawei has faced critical censorship in the US since Day One — and last week the US government put Huawei under the microscope yet again.

National security is important, but using “national security” as an excuse for allowing unfair competition will only harm customers. It’s time for the governments of both countries to trust each other more. I’ve recently published a report focusing on Huawei’s continuous progress toward becoming a key enabler of digital transformation in the telco and enterprise spaces. Some of the key takeaways:

  • Huawei has holistic strategies for digital transformation. Huawei’s broad vision of digital strategy — which focuses on cloud enablement and readiness, partner enablement, and open source co-creation — has helped the firm sustain strong business growth in the telco and enterprise markets. For example, its partnerships with T-Systems on the Open Telekom Cloud in Germany and with Telefónica on public cloud in the Americas have helped carriers in local markets give cloud users on-demand, all-online, self-service experiences.
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Digital Transformation Europe Forum 2016: Q&A With Fergus Boyd, VP, Digital And IT, Yotel

Laura Koetzle

This week, Forrester’s European Digital Transformation Europe Forum 2016 kicks off in London at the Lancaster on June 8-9. Myself and Forum co-host Benjamin Ensor are very excited about the program that we have been able to put together across the two days. Our list of industry speakers is impressive, and includes Blake Cahill, Global Head of Digital and Social Marketing, at Philips, Toby Wright, Chief Technology Officer, at Telegraph Media Group, Nina Jones, Global Owner Experience Director, at Jaguar Landrover, and Dr. Horst J. Kayser, Chief Strategy Officer, at Siemens AG.

On day one, we will also be hearing from Fergus Boyd, Vice President, Digital and IT at Yotel. Fergus is responsible for this start-up affordable luxury hotel brand’s digital strategy and services (web, mobile, social), IT innovation, and all back-end and guest-facing technology. He is a serial digital entrepreneur and technology transformation agent and led award-winning IT, eCommerce, and innovation initiatives at Virgin Atlantic and British Airways (BA).  

In the run-up to the Forum, we asked Fergus to answer a number of questions on how Yotel uses digital to differentiate itself in the hospitality and accommodation market. His answers are a must-read for other tech management and digital business leaders facing similar challenges. I look forward to hearing Fergus’ presentation, “From Raw Fish To Moving Beds,” this Wednesday. Come and join us by registering today!

Q. How does Yotel use digital (web, mobile, social) to differentiate itself as a startup hotel brand?

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{Salesforce + Demandware}: DX Reactions and Predictions

Mark Grannan

Salesforce made its largest acquisition ever yesterday, acquiring Demandware for $2.8B.

 

Reaction:

At first glance these two software vendors compliment each other well because there is so little redundancy -- Demandware filling a commerce gap in the Salesforce portfolio. However, it’s more complicated than that. From the DX platform angle, Salesforce is acquiring a competitor.

 

On paper, calling these two competitors is an apples and oranges comparison:

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Digital Transformation Mumbai 2016 - Guest Q&A with Paul Cobban, DBS Bank

Ashutosh Sharma

In my earlier blog post, I talked about why you should attend this year's Digital Transformation Mumbai 2016 Forum. With the event just around the corner, I'm very much looking forward to the various sessions that we have in store that will help India's most senior business leaders understand Forrester's research on the customer-obsessed operating model, which will provide a blueprint for organizations on their digital transformation journey.

As I prepared for my role as Forum Chair, I spoke to Paul Cobban, Chief Operating Officer, Technology and Operations at DBS Bank, about his views on the need to be customer-obsessed and what DBS is doing to digitally transform themselves.

I hope to see you at the St Regis Mumbai in less than 2 weeks – register here! In the meantime, here's a sneak peek of what to expect from Paul's session at the Forum.

Q: How has the age of the customer impacted the financial services industry? How have you seen consumer needs evolve?

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It's About Time That Salesforce Fixed Its Gaping Commerce Hole

Kate Leggett

Salesforce announced today their intent to acquire Demandware for $2.8 billion – its largest acquisition to date. This move adds commerce to its CRM portfolio. It's an acquisition long due, with the question of why it took Salesforce so long to fill their gaping hole in CRM functionality – commerce functionality that its formidable CRM competitors such as Oracle and SAP already have - and that Microsoft sorely lacks.

Demandware offers an enterprise cloud commerce suite (digital commerce, order management, point-of-sale, store operations), and together, in conjunction with other Salesforce clouds – marketing, sales, service, communities, analytics and IoT – allows companies to support the end-to-end customer journey which include scenarios like asking a product question during an online purchasing process, or purchase a purchase a product or service during an online customer service interaction.

The positives of this acquisitions are:

  • It's a software category with a bright future. The market for B2C commerce suite technology is mature, yet it is growing, and set to exceed more than $2.1 billion in the US alone by 2019. This acquisition allows Salesforce to tap into a growing market, and coupled with their IoT cloud, allows them to also explore personal, high touch retail experiences.
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It’s Risky Doing Digital Half-way

John Wargo

I attended a software-related conference recently; I’m not going to say which one as this is about something I observed at the conference, not about the conference itself. Being a software conference, the conference organizers did a lot of the expected digital stuff: registration, reminder emails and conference check-in. Up to the end of the registration process, everything I did with respect to the conference was handled electronically. The first time I went analog was after I picked up my geek badge (conference credentials) from the printer and went over to a human who handed me my badge holder, backpack and requisite stack of sponsor advertisements.

I dutifully loaded the conference app and proceeded to manage my interaction with the event (session schedule, location of special events and so on) through the app. When attending conference keynotes and sessions of interest, I carried my smartphone and tablet, nothing more, and that’s when it got interesting.

One of the things the conference gave me during registration was a pen. I’m a digital guy; I didn’t have any reason to use a pen, so I dropped it on the desk in my hotel room and carried on. As I approached any conference session, the gatekeeper outside the session would try to hand me an evaluation form. Yes, a paper evaluation form. This is what started me thinking about what happens when you only do digital half-way.

Being digital is like jumping out of an airplane: Once you’re out that door, there’s no getting back in the plane.

In this case, the conference had an app, so I expected to do session evaluations in the app. At each session, I politely informed the gatekeeper that I didn’t have a pen, so I couldn’t do the evaluation. They got to know me and eventually started letting me know they’d have a pen for me the next time, but never seemed to come up with one.

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Customer-Obsessed Businesses Driving Infrastructure Transformation

Robert Stroud

Customers today are hyper-connected and their connectivity is rewriting the rules of business. Access to mobility, social networks, wearable devices, connected cars and hotels managed by robots are rapidly changing the behaviors of how customers engage and purchase. Think how you watch a film, shop or order a taxi.

The disruptive power in the hands of newly tech-savvy customers is forcing every business to evolve into a digital business or perish.

Infrastructure is at the center of the Digital Transformation

The digital transformation requires that organizations evolve their underlying technology infrastructure investments to fuel a business technology (BT) agenda, with technology designed to win, serve, and retain customers. Infrastructure – whether it is managed internally or hidden behind some cloud service – is a big part of the digital in digital business. I&O leaders can no longer simply focus on the same old approach to infrastructure. Internal business operations, or systems of record will remain important, but the emphasis must shift more to systems powering the newer digital customer experience

We are all aware that software is at the center of transitioning every successful business today. This software focus fueled a rapid expansion of cloud services and many argue that there is no longer a necessity to own hardware. This has turned the infrastructure world upside down. Hardware speeds and feeds no longer dominate infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals' criteria. In some use cases, qualities like the fastest packet-processing chip or largest disk capacity are critical, but they matter less to many of the systems of engagement in the BT agenda. As you design your BT services, be aware of which solution is right for optimizing the customer experience.

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Established Chinese cloud providers hope to succeed in Europe's public cloud market

Paul Miller

When we think about the public cloud, the list of credible providers can sometimes seem rather short.

(The Great Wall of China. Source: Paul Miller)

In North America, Europe, and elsewhere, the same few names tend to dominate. But not in China. There, big local brands continue to command impressive market share. And now they're looking to expand into new territories, including Europe.

Huawei hardware and Huawei's distribution of the OpenStack open source cloud platform power T-Systems' Open Telekom Cloud. This was launched, with some fanfare, at CeBIT in Hannover. 

Alibaba Cloud, which leads the Chinese public cloud market, is also coming to Europe this year.

In my latest report, I take a look at what both Alibaba and Huawei bring to Europe's public cloud market, and ask whether they can repeat their domestic success in this market.

TL;DR - it would be unwise to discount either of them.

It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson: Developers Will Build Cognitive Experiences Bit-By-Bit

Rowan Curran

It seems like nearly everyone is ready (or at least willing) to add intelligence to their applications. Despite the enthusiasm, developers building cognitive applications have encountered some real growing pains. The way we're going about things, it's almost begun to feel like the promise of cognitive computing would collapse like the AI hype in the 1980s or the first robotics hype in the 1960s and 70s. Thankfully, instead cognitive breaking down, we're breaking down cognitive.

Intelligent software is being taken down to the the atomic level so that developers can easily embed cognitive capabilities into applications. Instead of being totally overwhelmed by the breadth of cognitive possibilities, developers can instead use cloud-based API services to pick from among a menu of cognitive services. Services for image recognition, facial recognition, dialog, sentiment analysis, recommendations and more are callable via APIs no fuss no muss - pass the right parameters and the APIs will do the rest. The market landscape of these services is beginning to burst and bloom, much faster than expected. Developers can now build up cognitive applications with IBM's Watson Developer Cloud, HP is augmenting intelligence with Haven OnDemand, Microsoft has recently introduced Cognitive Services, and Google has begun to build the foundations with CloudML.

Are you building applications using these platforms to add more intelligence to your application experiences? What do you think about their potential to help realize the promise of cognitive computing? Let us know in the comments, I'm excited to see what the future holds.

Is "Mobile Approval" An Oxymoron?

Duncan Jones

I’ve recently been studying what a customer-obsessed operating model means for Purchasing functions and the software they use. I've concluded that Purchasing needs to transform its approach to visibility and control, due to the tradical impact that Mobility has on procure-to-pay (P2P) processes. I've been warning ePurchasing software companies for years about the potential impact of Mobility, but while a few visionaries have heard and acted on the message, most are lagging behind. That may be OK while their customers – mostly Finance and Procurement professionals – are similarly behind the times, but they may be unable to catch up when the market finally starts to demand fully mobile solutions. And customer-obsessed organizations will demand mobile P2P solutions, because they need to enable employees to quickly and easily buy the goods and services they need, so that those employees can get on with their main job, which is winning and serving customers.

What the laggard vendors miss is that Mobility is not about a user interface that works on iOS and Android; its about making the software so smart that it works well in a mobile context. Many product managers tell me proudly “our software works the same on a mobile as it does on a PC”, but that completely misses the point; mobile apps needs to work completely differently from the way traditional PC-based software works.

Take requisition and invoice approval as an example. One leading P2P vendor claims that over 70% of approvals are either performed in its mobile app or via its email response feature. I would argue that few of these approvals are worth the paper on which they are rubber-stamped. A manager can check many aspects of a transaction on a PC because they can see a lot of information on their screen and can drill down to investigate potential problems. They can’t do that on a phone, because:

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