Disruption – What Your Business Can Learn from Ajax Amsterdam

Everybody in our industry talks about disruption. If you are tired of it, maybe looking at it from the eyes of a football fan may help. For me this Champions League season Ajax Amsterdam is THE force of disruption. What can enterprises of any size, learn from it?

In my view these are the things Ajax is doing great this season and it is relevant for all of us.

  1. They have a game plan & a concept: Having a strategy and execution plan seems to be obvious for you business people and readers. I think some companies and people still act as they do not have a plan. And if you think you have on, you may consider challenging if the plan is the right one. In times where all talk about data driven disruption and the ambition to act like AirBnB, Amazon or Uber, companies need to have a concept (some call in governance) and a platform how to deal with their data as strategic asset, being ready for growth and unexpected change. For example what happens if a new merger happens and you have to merge two product portfolios and two customer groups together?
  2. They have speed: Yes young players, usually have the power to run faster. Not a surprise right. But Ajax, has not only young players on the pitch they know, when they have to bring speed, and when tactics into the play. Speed in business today is a do or die question. For example if you want to realize real-time recommendations or IoT based tracking and customer service. In the business world, new big data technologies allow this speed.
  3. They can adopt fast: A famous Germany head couch (Sepp Herberger) once said “the ball is round so that the game can change direction”. Hope my translation make sense. Also our brains have to be flexible to change direction, much more often than ever expected. Adopting to a new situation like being under pressure after your opponent has score a goal, requires to deal with the new situation. In a the data driven world this means you should have the flexibility to create and adopt new things, even it is not on the roadmap of your software vendor.
  4. Thy have automatisms: The talks about use of articial intelligence in business is more than omnipresent. For an athlete, in my view this is similar to train your body and brain at once. Many do this with Life Kinetic to be able to react fast and automated in complex situation, as I have seen it from Joachim Klopp (the current team coach of Liverpool FC) or Felix Neureuther (a German Ski racer, who just ended his career).

What is your view? Let me know. I will be meeting like minded people shortly in Olso on May 2, in London on May 14-16 and Berlin on May 16. Would be happy to see you there.

6 Facts to Know When Creating Connected Customer Experience

Attending the Omnichannel Customer Experience Summit in Amsterdam was fantastic. I thought I share my lessons with you digital disrupters out there. Simple and short, easy to consume.

1. “Generation mute” likes chat commerce

By 2020, 70% of customer interaction will involve emerging technology to like messaging, chat bots and more. Live chat is dead said Christoph from Sparkcentral. The new gen is not willing to talk on phone calls, they just prefer messaging and voice messages.

2. Extrem complexity in the customer journey

We are #GenCX! This statement stands for generation customer experience, regardless of the age, said another speaker. Meaning customer experience matters the most.

3. Social media attention is ultra fast

4. Change management needs CxO support

… pointed out by Ioana from Mont Blanc. True this is not new, but always worth saying it again and again.

5. Connect the dots of data

Enabling omnichannel customer experience requires to connect the dots said chairman Fabian, which was music to my ears.

6. Your platform has to be able to grow with your need

A picture paints a thousand words. This can be my conclusion of the day. Find out more about how a platform can grow to any data need and download the white paper.

7 Factors to build a data driven business – my learnings from #Unleashdata Amsterdam

This week I enjoyed the honor of being chairman of the Unleash Innovation in BI, Data & Analytics Global Executive Summit in Amsterdam. The biggest value for me was learning from segment leaders across multiple industries how they create a data driven digital business.

Please check if my lessons learned for a data-first-business are helpful for you:

1. Measurable business outcomes are the most important factor to convince any CxO or employee about the value of data or AI.

Results have to be visible faster in today’s enterprises. For example at Scotch & Soda, a new data, BI or AI project needs to show impact within 6 months.

2. Technology is no longer the issue (if you have the right one) said CDO Martin Hairer from Med-El.

3. People are the next frontier for AI says Loren Roosendaal from Nyenrode Business University. Many employees are doing the wrong job and tasks as in context of learning and knowledge explosion but lack of data and smart analytics.

4. Passion is the new currency. I really like this statement as it stands for the importance of customer experience, but also as guidance to hire hungry people.

5. At DSW Health Insurance 250 of 600 employees are IT and data specialists, because they have a #Digitalfirst approach. How is that in your company?

6. You need to understand what data is relevant

Thibault LEMARIE from Scotch & Soda showed by let all attendees put post-it stickers on him with their criteria for a successful event. He proofed that it is hard to capture the relevant data for better decisions making

7. AI & ML: Everybody wants to leverage it, but struggles to find a first small scope to show success. On my table we discussed examples in context of supplier master data. (Let me know if you want go deeper). All agreed that you need to get the data foundation right.

What you can learn from the Nordics on Digital Transformation

Henrik Pahlsson is a friend and Business Partner who lives in Gothenburg. He and his team at Avensia work with large food distributors, food manufacturers and luxury retailers to help them digitize their business. All are joint customers of my company Riversand and them in Norway and Sweden.

I recorded a chat with him as the companies in the Nordics are usually very fast and agile adopting new innovations.

WTF Data Chat 2: MDM programs cost millions and never end. True or false?

WTF? Is this an appropriate word in a headline, you may ask. I think discussing what’s the future (wtf) is more important than anything else 😜. And in Europe this joke is accepted.

I am discussing in this video series with Michael Weiss – who brings tremendous experience working with marquee brands such as Festo, Puma, Sportscheck and many others – what really matters in the digital business era, based on data.

Watch the video and feel free to leave your comments and views. We are looking at business needs, the MVP approach, commitment of stakeholders  and how to learn setting priorities to make your MDM program successful.

 

WTF Data Chat: Does a CEO have to worry about technology?

WTF? Is this appropriate, you may ask. I think discussing what’s the future (wtf) is more important than anything else 😜.

I am discussing in this video series with Michael Weiss what really matters in the digital business era, based on data.

Our chapter 1 addresses the question: should a CxO or CEO worry about technology? Let me know your view after watching the video.

What every company can learn about disruption from this watch maker

I admit, I am always on the hunt for styles. This company has impressed me by changing the game in the high class luxury watch segment. Clearly the issue for men is, that not everybody can afford a Rolex, Tudor, Omega or similar classic Swiss made watches. Christopher Ward started to change this game.

What are they doing different?

1. Hired talent from luxury brands

2. Removed the retail channel

3. Selling purely online

4. Using same materials as the Swiss born luxury competitors

5. No marketing with celebrities

Finally their concept is to simplify the business to reduce costs. This makes it possible to achieve their vision: putting luxury watches in the reach of everybody.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not glorifying Chris Ward. One curiosity is that they won my awareness by a print commercial on a airline magazine, but they claim to be an online player. Could their marketing budget be spend more efficiently in online targeting?

Would you be willing to buy from them, assuming their quality promise is true? Or will you continue stick to brands you know, like Rolex? I think classic, conservative Rolex customers will not take this step, but a new generation of people who are open for change, disruption and new thinking will give it a chance.

If I compare it to my software market I work in for almost two decades… there will always be clients who only will trust the market leader by Gartner to secure their careers. But their will also be brave disrupters, who want to change the game.

Imagine you could have both: the experience of many Rolex makers, in a new consumption model, simple with a better TCO….

PS: my two favorites on Instagram