Posts Tagged ‘ibm smarter commerce global summit madrid’
Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: IBM Product Manager Mark Frigon On Smarter Web Analytics & Privacy
Effective Web metrics are critical to the success of businesses looking to succeed in e-commerce and digital marketing these days, and IBM has a number of experts who spend a lot of their time in this area.
One of those here in Madrid at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Mark Frigon, is a senior product manager for Web analytics in IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management organization.
Mark sat down with me to discuss the changing nature of Web analytics, and how dramatically it has evolved as a discipline over the past few years, including the increased focus by marketers on “attribution,” the ability to directly correlate a Web marketing action and the desired result.
Mark also spoke at the event about the importance for digital marketers around the globe to be more privacy-aware, a topic we also discussed in our time together, calling out in particular the “Do-Not-Track” industry self-regulatory effort that intends to put privacy controls in the hands of consumers.
If you spend any time thinking about Internet privacy or Web analytics, or both, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss.
Scott Laningham and I spoke to a number of IBM execs, partners, and subject matter experts at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit this week, one of whom has been a key driver for IBM’s events catering to business executives.
Maria Winans is a vice president with IBM Software’s Industry Solutions group, and spent countless hours leading a team that prepared for the Madrid Summit, among others.
Maria and her team are laser-focused on helping take IBM software solutions to market by industry, centering their energy on a number of key verticals, including the retail and banking industries, among others.
Maria discussed a number of important issues in our conversation, including the trend towards communicating more with the “line-of-business” customer set, and the requisite changes that that is driving in IBM’s go-to-market efforts.
IBM vice president of worldwide sales, IBM Industry Solutions group, Steve Cowley, has worn a number of leadership hats at IBM, but most recently, he’s been busy helping make over the IBM Smarter Commerce play and help his global team take the Smarter Commerce solutions to market.
In his role, Steve is responsible for acquiring, growing and selling a portfolio of industry specific solutions to meet client’s needs in todays’ rapidly changing marketplace. If you push him, he’ll also explain that he has a passion for Formula One racing
Previously, Steve was General Manager for IBM Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, based in Dubai, where he was responsible for driving sales and helping clients to maximize their IT investments across the region.
Responsible for all of IBM’s business with some one hundred countries from the Czech Republic to Russia, all Africa and the Middle East, the CEEMEA region was at the heart of IBM’s Growth Markets strategy.
Scott and I queried Steve about a number of topics, including the evolution of the Smarter Commerce opportunity, what’s going on IBM’s growth markets, and the need for increased focus on enterprise mobile computing.
IBM vice president Mike Rhodin hit the stage this morning at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, with presenter emcee Jon Briggs introducing Mike as “the man who eats analytics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.’
Rhodin’s talk was entitled “Transform Your Business Around the Customer,” again with the central theme of the Summit that if more businesses wanted to keep theirs, they would increasingly have to pivot their business around customer needs.
Rhodin indicated that he wanted to take a step backward from yesterday’s more outcome-driven discussion, and instead talk about “some of the foundational ideas that led us to Smarter Commerce.”
He explained that four years ago, IBM started a conversation about having a “smarter planet,” one increasingly instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent, and that since that time, “analytics emerged as a centerpiece across our entire portfolio.”
Rhodin joked that the financial crisis’ onslaught wasn’t the best time to launch a new marketing campaign, but then explained smarter planet wasn’t that, that it was a signal call heralding a new age of computing. That it was, in fact, the beginning of a movement that was going to happen “no matter what else happened in the world.”
The change this movement would bring was startling. We saw the social media embraced in both the social, political, and, increasingly business realms, and we saw that the physical world was about to become digitized…to some degree, because of the crisis.
Scott Laningham and I sat down with Mike Rhodin in the Smarter Commerce Global Summit Solutions Center just after his keynote in Madrid here this morning to discuss the evolution of the Smarter Commerce initiative, and the opportunity it, and other emerging technologies such as IBM’s Watson, provide companies looking to become more analytics and data-driven.
Ergo, the world, and organizations, needed to better understand systemic risk in advance of its rearing its ugly head. Hence, the need to instrument the world around us.
“Information was flowing around the planet at a breakneck speed,” Rhodin articulated, “and so there was another form of input to make business decisions that became apparent.”
“We also instrumented the virtual world,” he went on, “whereby understanding the sentiment of your employees, your partners, and other constituents was critical.”
Yet all this new data was overwhelming many. “It was growing at such a speed that people couldn’t read or process it with traditional means, and so that’s where analytics started to play a key role, and served as a foundation for Smarter Commerce.”
“This began what we’re classifying as the next generation of computing,” Rhodin went on to explain. “We went through the age of ‘tabulating’ — we’re now entering the age of “information-based” computing.”
In this age, business outcomes are increasingly insight-driven, solutions are more intelligent, and technology is designed to be more and more cognitive.
“It’s not about understanding what happens, but rather, what you do about it, what actions you take,” Rhodin concluded.
With this explosion of data from a hyper-connected society of empowered consumers, we “must extract insight from our most important assets – employees and customers – through smarter analytics,” and the challenge, then, is to address the need for “volume, velocity, and veracity” to help find the right data amidst all those needles amidst all those haystacks.
And it’s a big series of haystacks and needles. The data generated between the dawn of civilization and 2003 is now created every two days! Rhodin explained.
He went on: “These next gen systems are creating opportunities in IT we haven’t seen in 50 years. But now, with all this information and analytics, and the march of globalization, we can start to automate areas of business we could never automate before. We can start to automate and make more intelligent the front-office areas of our business. Chief Financial Officers, CMOs, head of sales, HR…we can turn HR from a reactive to proactive process.”
“We’ve identified a new pattern of automation across industries, one whereby we can instrument, interconnect, and analyze more and more data about the world, and in the process unlock more and more valuable insight,” he explained. “We are infusing intelligent into the fabric of organizational processes. This shift is as profound as the last evolution was to transaction processing and back office automation.”
The shift being, of course, a continual transition whereby today’s analytics evolves into tomorrow’s cognitive computing capability, where Watson-style technologies utilizing natural language processing and hypothesis-generating and adaptation and learning systems virtually reinvent the IT future.
“We can remake parts of industries that have been untouched by IT in the past,” Rhodin concluded.
Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: Dr. Kareem Yusuf On Smarter Commerce and Cities Acquisitions
When Scott Laningham and I sat down with Dr. Kareem Yusuf yesterday, we didn’t realize what we were bargaining for. As IBM’s executive responsible for both strategy and mergers and acquisitions for the Industry Solutions Division, Kareem’s responsibilities range from the formulation and prioritization of strategic plays to the execution of M&A in support of the business strategy
Also central to Kareem’s responsibilities have been the Smarter Commerce and Smarter Cities initiatives, along with the acquisitions that have been executed to support them.
Prior to this role, Kareem was focused on Decision Support Systems for Civil Engineering construction as he completed his Ph.D from the University of Leeds, and also spent some time providing Level 3 support for IBM’s WebSphere MQ technology, specializing in Java-based messaging.
Our discussion was far-ranging, with Kareem providing a beautifully-worded explanation of IBM Software’s Smarter Commerce acquisition strategy, along with some words about the new Smarter Cities technology buyer (the Mayor, the Police Chief, etc.) and also an update on what IBM has been focusing on most recently around the Smarter Cities initiatives.
All this and more coming to a stadium near you and soon!
Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: A Q&A With Mobile Startup Deja Mi CEO Justin Miller
The great thing about IBM events — other than the food and the building locations out in the middle of nowhere — are the exceptional people you meet.
Scott Laningham and I have been milling about, keeping an eye out for “smarter” folks (smarter than us, anyway) to chat with here in Madrid, and we found one in the form of one of our partners right here on the ground: Raleigh, NC-based Deja Mi, whose co-founder and CEO, Justin Miller, is here helping promote his mobile photo geolocation service as another way of conducting “Smarter Commerce.”
If you haven’t seen or heard of Deja Mi yet, believe me, you will. As Justin expressed it, they’re a mashup of one part Foursquare and one part Instagram — yeah, that little smartphone picture company Facebook just picked up for a cool billion dollars (You remember that line from “The Social Network,” where Napster co-founder Sean Parker tells Mark Zuckerberg that it’s a billion dollars, not a million, that’s cool!?)
Anyhow, Deja Mi takes the smartphone photography app one step further.
Let me set the scene: You’re in a location, your smartphone knows where you are, Deja Mi knows where you are, and suddenly, a shared experience in the real world becomes a shared experience through a photostream.
As I indicated to Justin in our interview and as the light bulbs went off (I’m slow that way, so sometimes it takes me awhile), Deja Mi is word of mouth being replaced by “picture of mouth.”
Or was that “word of eye?”
In any case, download it at the Apple App store or Google’s Play store to a mobile near you soon.
You don’t want to be the last one on this particular mobile phone bandwagon!
Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: Craig Hayman On Remembering Great Customer Experiences
At this afternoon’s opening general session at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit here in Madrid, the laughter was immediate, yet amazingly technologically relevant, as UK broadcast presenter Jon Briggs helped ring the conference opening bell….or was that cash register?
Briggs explained the critical importance of voice as commercial presence, highlighting the fact that the mood of a room can be dramatically altered as soon as we open our mouthes.
But we had no problem in listening to Mr. Briggs and his opening comments, whereupon he explained that his was the voice of the U.K. version of “Siri,” the intelligent agent for the iPhone 4S (which, in the U.S., has the voice of a female).
Customers Never Forget
Jokes about role reversal and artificial intelligence dating aside, Mr. Briggs, aka “UK Siri Dude,” also apologized in advance for being from the U.K. And NOT being a Chelsea fan, a head nod to Chelsea’s recent victory in the European Champions League final, and groans all around, of course, from the Germans in the audience (whose Bayern Munich team lost 4-3 to Chelsea last Saturday in penalty kicks).
It was then Craig Hayman’s turn to share his voice, and Craig hit the stage explaining that this was IBM’s first Smarter Commerce event in Europe, and that there were over 1,700 people in attendance, ranging from as far away as South Africa and Australia.
Hayman explained that the world was changing quickly, and that people and companies both were struggling with the amount of technology that has been thrust into their lives and/or operations, and that “the amount of information they [customers] have in their hands now surpasses what you have inside the four walls of your organization.”
Customers also expect their experiences to be seamless, and increasingly, for global brands, they must reach out across markets and multiple countries, but that the value of those truly global brands is instantaneously recognized.
Growth In Growth Markets
Hayman explained that one can see the importance of brand simply by visiting emerging markets — China, India, Brazil — where people will pay more for and perceive more value for brand.
And, in turn, global companies who wish to be global leaders in business are anticipating and delivering new models that facilitate this kind of “smarter commerce,” hence the conference and the discussions going on here in Madrid.
By way of example, Hayman explained we all knew LPs and CDs would eventually go the way of the do-do bird — but did we know they would be replaced by a service like Spotify, which gives us personalized music on the go?
IBM’s Smarter Customers’ Adoption Of Smarter Commerce
Or how about some of IBM’s smarter commerce customers, like SNS Bank, which realized a five percent lift in product sales its first year of intelligent targeted marketing. Or Wehkamp.nl, which used targeted promotions to to increase revenues by 30 percent.
Or countless others who are utilizing IBM smarter commerce technologies to create their own business advantage.
How we got here, to this stage, Hayman explained, was exactly this: We realized at IBM there’s something in common with all these customers around the world, and that when we put those customers at the center and keep an eye on the data that emerges, we’re able to choose the next best action for the customer before even they realize it, and that such capabilities improve growth models and provide cost reduction.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, Hayman suggested. Think of the time when you’ve been treated well, or badly, as a consumer — you remember both those experiences, do you not? But wouldn’t you prefer to be remembered more for the great experiences than the bad?
I’m still here in Madrid…they told me I can’t leave until later in the week, that I’ll be chained to my laptop.
But, they don’t have to chain me, as I’m very excited about the opening day of the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit.
Being stuck here in a hotel on the outskirts of Madrid — and I do mean, the outskirts — there’s been a lot of time to focus and reflect on the conference tidings. I’m especially excited about today’s opening general session, which will transpire in the early afternoon Madrid time (way early for you U.S. East Coasters).
Craig Hayman, the general manager of IBM’s Industry Solutions group, will be providing the set up for the rest of the event in his keynote, “Smarter Commerce Engaging the Empowered Customer.”
As mentioned in my initial post yesterday, in the age of the empowered customer, the customer is the center of all interactions, and is driving many of the decisions companies are taking to accommodate changing consumer requirements.
We’re also going to hear from a couple of IBM customers, including ING CIO Ron van Kemenade, who will explain “Changing the Way Companies Interact With Customers Based on Mobile and Social Media.” A topic near and dear to my heart.
And Ruth Spencer, Boots UK’s Director of Insight, Loyalty, and Multi-Channel, who will discuss “Driving Customer Loyalty Across All Channels,” which will examine Boots’ strategy for segmenting and targeting customers based on deep insights.
I aspire to have a recap of some of this session later on today, but in the meantime, keep your eyes on the Twitter hashtag for the event, #IBMSCGS, as there will be lots of folks Tweeting real-time throughout the day.
In the meantime, if you’re following along with our bouncing ball virtually, you’ll want to go check out this white paper, which explains the opportunity and benefits of Smarter Commerce far better than I could.
I’ll also be leading a Tweetup at 12 PM Madrid time (6 AM EST), where I’ll be discussing the drivers and realities of using social media in social commerce. If you’re in the U.S. and can’t sleep, feel free to join us, again via the hashtag #IBMSCGS.