Accelerate Your Digital Momentum At Forrester’s Digital Transformation Mumbai 2017

Ashutosh Sharma

Forrester’s annual flagship India event Digital Transformation Mumbai 2017 is almost here. This exclusive event has grown over the years to become one of the most anticipated events for India’s senior business leaders.

At last year’s event, we presented the right operating model for organizations to support their digital transformations: the customer-obsessed operating model. Our audience let us know the model resonated because it is easy to understand and business leaders could relate it to their day-to-day activities. More importantly, it challenged their thinking about what digital transformation in the age of the customer should be: It’s not about reducing costs or improving operational efficiency, but about driving customer obsession.

In 2017, we plan to take that thinking further. We will talk about the role of digital operational excellence (DOX) in delivering great customer experiences (CX). We have researched quite a few companies that are hiring senior leaders to head their digital projects or CX initiatives who grasp the value of great CX in winning, serving, and retaining customers. However, our research shows that the activities that go on below the line of visibility are not well understood in terms of their importance to delivering great CX. This area is where DOX lives.

This event will present Forrester’s thought leadership on how enterprises need to focus on both digital CX and DOX as they embark upon their digital transformations. In addition, we will highlight the most common blind spots firms encounter and outline the “how-to” of digital transformation with great industry examples.

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CX Sydney Forum 2017: Guest Q&A With Australia Post’s Christine Corbett

Michael Barnes

Successful business leaders drive their organizations to create experiences that continually meet or exceed customer expectations. At our CX Forum in Sydney on May 9, Forrester thought leaders and a world-class roster of industry innovators will come together to explore the current and emerging best practices for the design and delivery of exceptional customer experiences in digital channels.

I recently caught up with one of our keynote speakers — Christine Corbett, chief customer officer at Australia Post — to discuss the importance of creating and nurturing a CX-driven culture. Here’s what she had to say:

How has the age of the customer affected the postal service? How have your customers’ needs evolved?

While the rise of the digital economy has created challenges for our traditional letters business, it has opened up exciting new opportunities for Australia Post in parcels. With the rapid growth in online shopping, our customers are looking for greater access, convenience, and choice in the way they transact with us. They are looking for omnichannel experiences: digital for simple transactions, with the option of face-to-face when they need more assistance. More than 50% of our customer interactions are now digital.

Our customers are also looking for more personalised experiences, particularly with parcel deliveries where they can elect to have their parcel left in a safe location of their choosing if they know they’re not going to be home.

What has Australia Post done to improve its customer experience?

We have four key customer focus areas that we have aligned our teams around: creating seamless experiences across channels; listening to customers and taking action; knowing our customers; and empowering our people.

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Power Your Digital Ecosystems With Business Platforms

Dan Bieler

Platforms” are fast becoming all the rage in the B2B context. Several traditional businesses like GE or Siemens are claiming to either offer or become a platform operation. A big driver for platforms in the B2B context has been the success of consumer-focused platform businesses like Amazon, Uber, or Airbnb.

Although the reality of B2B platforms looks more mundane than the hype, platforms in the B2B context offer real benefits to ecosystem participants. In the B2B context, the emergence of business platforms, like SupplyOn or GE’s Predix, primarily delivers new opportunities for enhanced customer engagement and operational efficiencies and agility.

Business platforms empower ecosystem participants to successfully cater to emerging multistakeholder environments through real-time, near cost-free, and omnidirectional information exchange. Business platforms empower ecosystems by facilitating the information exchange between products, partners, customers, and vendors. Business platforms support:

  • The infrastructure that connect ecosystem participants. Business platforms help organizations transform from local and linear ways of doing business toward virtual and exponential operations.
  • A single source of truth for ecosystem participants. Business platforms become a single source of truth for ecosystems by providing all ecosystem participants with access to the same data.
  • Business model and process transformation across industries. Platforms support agile reconfiguration of business models and processes through information exchange inside and between ecosystems.
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The Disruptive Force of Disruption

Victor Milligan

Digital disruption is a fairly well understood dynamic: new entrant uses technology in new ways to upend existing business models and disrupt markets. In other words, digital disruption is a distinct force with a distinct life span that is mostly external to traditional markets and businesses.

But what if it is more than that? What if it is the canary in the coal mine representing the first signals of a shift in our economy and society? Consider the following:

  • 7% of jobs will exit the economy due to automation even if one considers the jobs created specifically by automation. Without the creation of different products or markets (think of the app economy), automation can cause a major shock to developed economies.
  • We are already seeing early indications of how high-performing, highly liquid platforms (think Facebook) can extend services and experiences into different industries (e.g. banking and peer-to-peer lending) to blur or pummel traditional industry lines and norms.
  • The next step in Uber is self-driving cars which are moving from a cool idea to a reality – and will cause duress or change in automotive, transportation, and insurance markets (let alone public safety norms).
  • Artificial intelligence offers up the opportunity to change the health of populations, changing life expectancy, the very nature of diagnostic, surgical, and hospital care, and the economics of health insurance.
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Bosch Connected World 2017 – Lessons From IoT Practitioners

Dan Bieler

With Paul Miller

In March 2017, Bosch hosted its annual internet-of-things (IoT) conference, Bosch Connected World (BCW), in Berlin. Since last year, the event has doubled in size, attracting 2,500 attendees from businesses and vendors. This jump reflects the growing interest in IoT. The number of attendees, however, also highlights the relative immaturity of IoT compared with bigger technology themes. Despite being smaller than events such as GE’s Minds + Machines or Mobile World Congress, BCW has established itself as a premier IoT event, as it has a very distinct “IoT practitioner” feel to it. We took away some key observations for IoT practitioners from the event:

  • To succeed in IoT, you must build and participate in open ecosystems. No vendor or end user can plan, build, and run end-to-end IoT operations that address the entire customer life cycle. This message comes through loud and clear at all the IoT events that we attend, be it IBM’s Genius of Things or GE’s Minds + Machines, and it was repeated by all the BCW speakers. The notion of coopetition was tangible, with Bosch emphasizing its partnerships with IBM, Software AG, Amazon, GE, SAP, and many more. Also noticeable was that all ecosystem participants are grappling with what it means for the shape of their business and their relationship with the customer.
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Forrester's CX Sydney Forum 2017: Deliver Exceptional Digital Customer Experiences . . . Or Else!

Michael Barnes

We’ve been busy finalizing the agenda and speakers for the forthcoming CX Forum in Sydney on May 9. That’s only eight weeks away!

Our focus this year is on exploring the current and emerging best practices for the design and delivery of exceptional customer experiences in digital channels. To put it more simply, we’re going way beyond the why and what to dig deeper into how.

CX and digital marketing professionals need to accelerate the pace of change, so for 2017 we’re deep-diving into four key themes:

  • The future of digital CX. How can you blend new technologies like bots, artificial intelligence, and digital assistants into your existing digital CX strategies? How do these new tools change customer behavior and expectations? And how will the practice of CX be altered as a result?
  • CX design and delivery. What are the best practices for creating innovative, distinctive customer journeys that cross functions like sales, marketing, and customer service? How can you truly embrace CX as a team sport?
  • Technology stack and strategy. How can CX and IT collaborate to tackle new thinking about CX technology strategy and management? How can these groups work together to drive the digital transformation of their entire organizations?
  • Creating and nurturing a CX-driven culture. How can you deliver sustainable, remarkable experiences? What does it really mean to instill a customer-obsessed culture and what are the hallmarks of a CX-driven organization?
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Make Omnichannel A Cornerstone Of Your Digital Transformation – The Telco Angle

Dan Bieler

Source: Forrester, "Make Omnichannel A Cornerstone Of Your Telecom Digital Transformation"

Poor customer experiences remain the Achilles’ heel of telcos’ digital transformation efforts. We live in the age of the customer, and today’s telco customer has expectations that far exceed the traditional standard of telco customer service. A random search on Trustpilot for customer satisfaction with telcos in various countries shows widespread dissatisfaction.

Offering customers seamless omnichannel experiences is critical for telcos’ digital transformation efforts. Today, customers expect to use a variety of digital touchpoints. This omnichannel approach affects telcos’ customer engagement activities at every stage of the customer life cycle, yet many telcos are still struggling to meet their customers’ rising expectations for coherent end-to-end customer engagement. This matters because omnichannel:

  • Is central to telcos’ customer experience initiatives. Customers do not care about channels. They want to have great experiences irrespective of how they engage with telcos.
  • Is more of a cultural transformation than a technology project. Omnichannel solutions require a telco to think about the customer journey from the perspective of the customer. This is a radical break with the past.
  • Opens opportunities for telcos to act as third-party service brokers. Omnichannel will empower telcos to act as service brokers for third parties if they can align their big data, content, and knowledge management strategies.
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Do You Have An Opinion On How Digital Is Changing Business?

Nigel Fenwick

Do you have an opinion on how technology is changing your business?

As you likely know, each year we conduct in-depth business leader research to help identify trends across industries. This year we are once again partnering with executive search firm Odgers Berndtson, reaching out to senior business executives around the world for their perspectives on how digital is changing their business.

We're also reaching out to a wider audience through social media to broaden the perspectives gathered in this study. No matter what your perspective, no matter what your role – CEO, CMO, CIO, Business leader – if you're in senior management in a medium or large enterprise, we'd like to hear from you.

To make your opinion count, simply click the link below to begin the confidential online survey.
Please note: while the survey has been designed to complete on any device, including mobile phones, you must finish the survey using the same device from which you begin by clicking this link: http://forr.com/digitalsurvey2017. All responses are confidential.

Here's a selection of blog posts from this stream of research:

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The Top Emerging Technologies For Digital Predators

Nigel Fenwick

If you’ve been following my research, you know I like to divide the business world into three categories of company:

  • Digital Predators successfully use emerging digital technologies to gain market share and/or displace traditional incumbent companies (e.g., Amazon, Lyft, Priceline, Airbnb, Netflix).
  • Digital Transformers evolve a traditional business to take advantage of emerging technologies, creating new sources of value for customers and opening up new competitive strategies (e.g., Burberry, Nestlé, L’Oréal, Unilever, USAA, Ford, Delta).
  • Digital Dinosaurs struggle to leave behind their old business model. These companies are typically slow to change because they must defend large P&Ls, or they have a near monopoly position, or they simply don’t see the opportunity/threat (e.g., many retailers, taxi companies, manufacturing firms, legal firms, recruiters, construction firms).
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What To Expect From Mobile World Congress 2017

Thomas Husson

It's that time of year again! From next Monday (February 27) through March 2, 2017, Mobile World Congress (MWC) will take place in Barcelona. I attended this event (then 3GSM) for the first time in 2005 and it is fascinating to see how the event has morphed from a B2B telecoms technology trade show to one of the largest business conferences around the globe. This year’s MWC theme is “The Next Element” which may seem broad but I quite like this idea that mobile is elemental and has become part of our daily lives. By analogy with the previous industrial revolution, mobile is like electricity: once you have access to it, it is a disruptive enabler of adjacent technologies powering more powerful innovation. Mobile is barely entering its teenage years.

Consumers now use mobile as a sixth sense. If the human senses serve as effortless faculties through which we access information on the world around us, then mobile has become the sixth sense. It brings digital to consumers in their daily lives. It has truly become the face of digital.  That’s the main challenge for marketers: as mobile becomes the primary interface between your brand and your customers, you must leverage mobile to accelerate digital transformation and transform the customer experience you deliver. A lot has to happen behind the scenes for marketers to be able to deliver real-time contextual experiences on mobile. That’s why it makes a lot of sense for marketers to spend time in Hall 8.1 where most marketing, advertising and app vendors will be gathered.

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