Turbotodd

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Archive for the ‘customer service’ Category

Singapore Sling

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Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore will play host to a new, first-of-its-kind IT event in Singapore this October 9-11, where smart businesses from around the globe that have been busy implementing new business and IT strategies will come together to network with IBM clients, industry experts, and IBM thought leaders and learn how they’re converting opportunity into outcomes.

It was a big day today in Singapore, where the country celebrated its independence, and where government leaders encouraged Singaporeans to make even more Singaporeans, in order to counter the country’s declining birthrate, which is among the lowest in the world at 7.72 births per 1,000 people.

I’m sure a few Singapore Slings may have been consumed, and I would have been right there with them, as the Raffles Hotel is definitely on my list of places to frequent for when I visit.

And that will be sooner rather than later, as IBM is going to be hosting a new, first-of-its-kind event at the Resorts World Sentosa this October 9th-11th.

This new IBM event will share with attendees the breadth of IBM’s integrated software and systems solutions capabilities, and demonstrate IBM’s strategic perspective on becoming a smarter busienss that excels in turning opportunity into outcomes in this new era of computing.

At the event, IBM will focus discussions on a variety of key “hot topics,” including those focused on speeding innovation with mobile computing, defending against cyber-threats with security intelligence, rethinking IT with cloud computing, and a host of others.

If you’re game, but need some compelling reasons to convince your boss to send you to Singapore, here’s a starter list:

  1. Networking. You’ll have the opportunity in Singapore to network with peers, industry experts, and IBM thought leaders from around the globe, including IBM customers already collaborating to better align business and technology investments.
  2. Learning. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from experts in our Solution Center, as well as through a personalized agenda of keynote session, “Hot Topic” sessions, and Exchange sessions built around your business interests.
  3. Delivering New Value. At IBM Interconnect, you’ll become one of the first to learn how to manage the velocity of change from real world examples of business delivering new value to the people they serve.
  4. Unleashing Innovation. You’ll also have the opportunity to begin to understand the new economics of IT, and how to use technology as the catalyst for unleashing innovation in your organization.
  5. Uncovering New Markets. And finally, in an environment where most every organization is looking for new customers in new markets, you’ll have the opportunity to start to develop a clear plan of how you can reinvent relationships with yoru customers and workforce and, in turn, start to uncover those new markets.

Changing With The Changing Times

Rapid change has become the new normal, as entire industries are now transforming to deliver compelling new value to their customers. In this era of interconnected industries, businesses and consumers, a new kind of leadership is required to turn opportunity into business outcomes.

Smarter businesses are capitalizing on information as an indispensable resource and using technology as the catalyst for unleashing innovation. They are expanding the digital world of the back-office into the front-office and the corresponding business infrastructures that are at the heart of business leadership and operations; the key interconnection points among consumers, business partners and employees.

Take advantage of this opportunity to develop a personalized agenda around your business needs, collaborate with business decision-making peers, and meet face-to-face with technical decision-makers and industry experts.

You can start by first going here to register, then heading on over to the Session Preview Tool to start scanning the sessions to make sure you get the most out of your visit.

If you’ve never visited Singapore, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s like visiting a future that has already arrived, and in the meantime, you’ll have the opportunity to attend an IBM event that’s intended to help you create a future looming just over the horizon.

New IBM Software Transforms the Digital Experience

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The IBM Intranet Experience Suite pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere.

IBM today announced new software that helps CMOs and CIOs transform the digital experience for employees, customers and fans across a broad range of mobile devices.

The IBM Intranet Experience Suite pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere.

By 2017, the CMO will have greater control of the IT budget than the CIO, according to Gartner. Marketing budgets will grow 7-8 percent over the next 12 months, which is 2-3 times that of IT budgets.

With the growing number of mobile devices, social networks and social media tools on the rise, CMOs struggle to reach their audiences. At the same time, CIOs are struggling to provide access to company data on every type of device for a geographically distributed workforce.

Given the business realignment between marketing and technology, the CMO and CIO can no longer afford to operate on separate stages. To succeed, they’ll have to forge a shared agenda to deliver business results through innovation and efficiency, working together to streamline their technology needs.

The convergence of social and mobile is prompting organizations to revisit decades-old website to create exceptional web experiences to reach and engage with their audiences.

And despite their growing reliance on technology and their soaring budgets, CMOs readily admit they lack the skills that IT requires. According to the IBM CMO Study, while 79 percent of CMOs expect high levels of complexity in their job over the next five years, only 48 percent feel prepared to deal with it.

Building on these increased demands, IBM is delivering a new Customer Experience Suite giving millions of marketing professionals the power to manage and integrate all types of data on their web sites and then analyze it for deeper insight into customer buying patterns and sentiment.

Also delivered today, the new IBM Intranet Experience Suite pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere.

The Power of Social, Mobile And Analytics

The new IBM Intranet Experience software brings together the power of social networking, analytics and mobile computing to front office operations and externally to clients, allowing companies to create exceptional Web experiences. As a result, organizations can gain faster insight on customer buying patterns and consumer sentiment allowing them to more quickly reach and engage their audiences.

At European industrial automation technology manufacturer Omron, employees are connecting knowledge and technical know-how through the organization’s Intranet, helping to meet the specific needs of their customers.

Omron delivers an exceptional Web experience through a single communication platform that embeds relevant social data into the daily workflow. Omron has sped knowledge sharing across boundaries and between departments, enabling employees to support customers better and faster.

Working with IBM and its partner Portico, Omron created an award-winning business intranet, called Ozone internally, helping to create a single-source communication and collaboration platform for all 1,700 European employees.

The IBM Intranet Experience Suite integrates with external social media, including Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, allowing employees to pick and choose which applications they want in their Intranet view. For example, a sales manager can leverage the Cognos software integration to ensure a clear view into monthly sales reports by region, as well as competitive background on new product updates and forecasts.

“The world is changing and is becoming increasingly connected and social,” said Michel Min, Head of Strategic Communication & eMarketing, Omron Europe B.V. “Because of this, we know our clients are changing as well, which is why it’s increasingly important to ensure our sales teams have the right information at the right time.”

Analytics to Help Marketers Engage Audiences 

From digital marketing and mobile commerce, to websites and social media, marketers are inundated — often paralyzed — by data amassed from consumers via searches, purchase histories, Facebook “likes” and comments on Twitter.

Combine that with data about in-store traffic, conversations with call centers and updates from suppliers, today’s marketers confront a daily deluge of data waiting to be sifted for nuggets of intelligence they can act upon to boost their business.

Because of this, it’s critical for CMOs to not only be aware of and monitor the social conversation, but to truly understand the sentiment and interact one-on-one with that customer. Taking it one step further would be to integrate these conversations directly into the organization’s web site, providing one place to both network and shop.

The new IBM Customer Experience Suite provides CMOs with the power to manage and integrate all types of data on their web sites and then analyze it for deeper insight into customer buying patterns and sentiment.

Web data has evolved today to include social media, videos, and web-based forms, as well as traditional enterprise data such as financial, customer and order data, and transactions. The software suite pulls together IBM’s market-leading enterprise portal, web content management, forms, and enterprise social networking software into a single view.

CIOs Creating Exceptional Intranets To Help Employees Gain Insight from Data Deluge

The new IBM software also helps business leaders extend their corporate intranet to a broad range of mobile devices in an effort to deepen employee collaboration and information sharing.

According to IDC, employees typically see up to a 30 percent increase in productivity using social tools internally to complete their work. With unlimited access to any type of information, consumers expect this same level of information availability in their professional lives, in order to work efficiently and reach business goals quickly.

The new IBM Intranet Experience software brings the power of social and analytics capabilities to CIOs and lines of business employees helping organizations innovate and evolve their internal operations and communications. The solution pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere.

You can learn more about the IBM Intranet Experience Suite here.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: IBM’s Yuchun Lee Doubles Down On Social Marketing

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Remember that team of blackjack-playing cohorts from MIT in the book (and, later, movie) “Bringing Down The House,” who fleeced a number of Vegas casinos before they were invited never to grace their gambling doors again?

IBM’s Yuchun Lee explains to the IBM Smarter Commerce audience in Madrid how the company is doubling down on its investments in enterprise and social marketing management.

Well, IBM executive and Unica co-founder Yuchung Lee was one of those who was asked not to come back. Permanently.

Which is okay by those of us at IBM, as we’re keeping him way too busy to bother with card counting.

Instead, Lee’s mathematical prowess is being applied to help companies improve their marketing capabilities, a key ingredient in the IBM Smarter Commerce soup.

Doubling Down On Enterprise Marketing Management

As Lee explained in his keynote session this afternoon here in Madrid, “this is the first time we’re bringing together Coremetrics and Unica.” He also highlighted the fact that out of the 1,700 participants here at the Summit, over 1,000 are marketeers!

Lee provided a broad overview of the Enterprise Marketing Management portfolio at IBM, explaining that “we’ve shared progress as a group within IBM over the past year,” sharing that also incorporates lessons learned from both the market and IBM customers.

“The pieces of our portfolio are better connected,” Lee explained, but also highlighted the fact that “We now have a more comprehensive suite for relevant and personalized offers across all channels, and social media,” a capability recently introduced in Unica 8.6

The social buildout also incorporates enterprise analytics, tag management, and full mobile and social market capabilities that tie more closely together the marketing automation experience with the social realm.

Acquisitions That Count

Lee also debriefed quickly on two recent acquisitions, DemandTec, which expands IBM’s EMM offerings with pricing, promotion, and product mix optimization, and Tealeaf, which rounds out IBM EMM solutions with customer experience management and analytics.

As Lee explained, “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” and that’s precisely what TeaLeaf provides, the ability to look at snapshots of individual user sessions to help determine where, exactly, it is that you’re driving them crazy with your convoluted web experience!

But where Lee really “hooked” the audience was in his observations about the Generation C customer, who is more connected and in control than ever! Did you know that 4 in 10 smartphone users search for an item in a store? Or that 77 percent of B2B buyers check with their peers before buying?

If you didn’t know that, then this is your reality check and maybe it’s time you get more focused in your own customer centricity.  Marketing, Lee suggested, must “move beyond its silo and focus on business value.”

Which, he expanded, means that it must work more closely with other disciplines and functions, including merchandising, on- and offline sales, customer service, and even with IT.

Marketing must move that customer centricity beyond marketing as well, so that they understand and influence the entire customer experience, as well as “own the operational process to influence social conversations.”

But, Lee indicated, they can’t stop there.  Marketing must also share customer insights with other parts of the business so that all functions can benefit from these insights.

Finally, they must extend that sharing of customer insights with other key stakeholders who can benefit: Partners, agencies, customer communities, and so forth.

Lee also explained that many organizations must adjust their marketing cultures to fully capitalize on the “Generation C” (“C” for “connected”) culture.  They must build organizations that balance analytics and creative talents (easier said than done!), work with IT rather than around IT, and break down marketing siloes — digital and traditional marketing must consolidate and collaborate.

Finally, accept mistakes and learn from them, and be agile enough to iterate and improve upon them. As even Lee can explain, there are only so many opportunities to double down in blackjack, and in business.

The enterprise marketing management opportunity vis-a-vis IBM’s Smarter Commerce strategy is one of those rare opportunities.

No More Business As Usual: The Road To Smarter Commerce

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I mentioned in my last post that I must have been dreaming on the way over to Madrid. Or maybe it was just all these thoughts running through my head before I actually drifted off to some semblance of jet-engine-drone-induced slumber.

The English East India Company was an English and later (from 1707) British joint-stock company formed for pursuing trade with the East Indies but which ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent. The Company was granted a Royal Charter in 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies. Shares of the company were owned by wealthy merchants and aristocrats. The government owned no shares and had only indirect control. The Company operated its own large army with which it controlled major portions of India.

One of those thoughts reminded me of the guy in the YouTube video who reminded us all what an amazing time we live in. That we can climb into what essentially constitutes a rather large beer can and zoom a few thousand miles away in only a matter of hours. In a journey that, once upon a time, would have taken a Benjamin Franklin or a Thomas Jefferson weeks by sea, and likely would have been filled with seasickness, scurvy, or worse, when all they wanted to do was get there.

That was one of my thoughts: Then I fell asleep somewhere near Dallas and woke up somewhere over lovely Spain.

Be Amazed By This Amazing Opportunity

But I also dreamed of commerce. Of its history, and its evolution, and what an amazing time we live in terms of how we conduct business.

I went and looked up “commerce” on Wikipedia, curious as to what the “crowd” out there had to say. That, too, is another relatively new concept, to be able to “crowdsource” information from people around the globe.

Their definition goes something like this: Commerce is the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any country. Thus, commerce is a system or an environment that affects the business prospects of an economy or a nation-state.

First, there were barter economies, where trading was the principal “facility” in which peoples bartered for goods and services from one another.

Then, currency was introduced as a standardized money, which, facilitated a wider exchange of goods and services — everything from coins to lumps of precious metals to, today, even virtualized currency like “Bitcoin.”

But these days, as the Wikipedia entry observes, commere also includes a complex system of companies that try to maximize their profits by offering products and services to the market (consisting of both individuals and other companies) at the lowest production cost.

The Early Road To Smarter Commerce

So what did some of those early commerce scenarios look like? Imagine, for example, how the domestication of camels allowed Arabian nomads to control long distance trade in spices and silk from the Far East.

Or the “Silk Road,” which was established after the diplomatic travels of the Han Dynasty Chinese envoy Zhang Qian to Central Asia, which allowed Chinese goods to make their way to India, Persia, the Roman Empire — and vice versa.

The English East India Company was an English and, later (from 1707), British joint-stock company formed for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but which ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent. Shares of the company were owned by wealthy merchants and aristocrats. The government owned no shares and had only indirect control. The Company operated its own large army with which it controlled major portions of India.

In more recent times, we saw the introduction of 23 countries agreeing to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, in 1947, which attempted to rationalize trade among nations.

Going All In…For Your Customer

Today’s smart consumers expect to engage with companies when and how they want, through physical, digital, and mobile means, and they want a consistent experience across all channels. Because they are empowered and connected, they can compare notes, quickly, and they can champion a brand or sully a reputation with the click of a mouse or the stroke of their tablet computer.

Today, circa 2012, we find ourselves at another inflection point in the history of commerce, one which begins and ends with the customer. Today’s commerce environment features a customer who is dictating a new set of terms in the dynamic between buyers and sellers, and these are very smart consumers, ones empowered by technology, transparency, and an abundance of information.

Just simply walk through your closest local retailer or your nearest airport, and you’ll see signs of this new and smarter consumer. Via smartphones and other mobile devices, they are connected real-time to an absurd amount of information that empowers them as buyers, and, in turn, requires an accelerated sophistication on the part of sellers, no matter the product or service.

These consumers expect to engage with companies when and how they want, through physical, digital, and mobile means, and they want a consistent experience across all channels.

Because they are empowered and connected, they can compare notes, quickly, and they can champion a brand or sully a reputation with the click of a mouse or the stroke of their tablet computer.

No More Business As Usual

This ultimately means, of course, that there is no longer such a thing as “business as usual.” Empowered and connected consumers are deeply linked — to their friends, colleagues, and the world at large — and they evaluate and compare the quality of their experiences with those of others. And they are the ones who can reward, or penalize, the businesses that do, or do not, give them what they want.

This is new trading crossroads of the 21st Century, and it is those companies who are interested and compelled to act to enable and encourage this new consumer who are in attendance here at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit here in Madrid this week.

To thrive in this new age of the customer, they recognize they must understand the motivations of each individual purchaser. They must predict, and not merely react to, customers’ needs and preferences.

They must understand not only what they buy and where, but also why and how they choose to buy it.

That’s what this new world demands. That we need not only a better system of doing business.

But, also, a “smarter commerce” environment, one that puts the customer at the center of all operations, and that helps companies better buy, market, sell and service their offerings accordingly.

The Right And Left Hand

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I’m back in the great state of Texas…at least for a few days…and the weather in Austin is simply spectacular.  In fact, I’m writing this blog post from the golf course it’s so nice out….

Not really, but the idea IS compelling.

Another idea that’s very compelling is something that’s been bugging me and making me bat—— crazy!

While I was traveling last week, I got a call DAILY on my voicemail from my air conditioning service vendor, reminding me to schedule my annual maintenance appointment.

Then, when I got home over the weekend and, earlier today, made the requested appointment via their Web site, guess what happens?

You got it.  Not an hour later, I get another unsolicited call from Service Experts (the vendor) asking me to schedule the appointment.

My blood started to boil.  THE LEFT HAND DOESN’T KNOW WHAT THE RIGHT HAND IS DOING, MUCH LESS KNOW THERE EVEN IS A RIGHT HAND!

After politely, but impatiently, explaining to the nice lady that I had already scheduled the appointment via the Web, she explained in return that she hadn’t “checked the Web site.”

Well, you might just want to change those two points of intersection, mightn’t you?

My point being, the customer should have to care less which method of communication they choose to interact with — it’s the organization’s responsibility to bring those points of intersection together, not the customers’!  I’m just supposed to buy your stuff, remember???

Okay.  Now, I’m going to jump off my soapbox and pull out the bullhorn instead: This is precisely the kind of case study scenario you’re going to be hearing about from IBM customers should you decide to attend the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit coming up in Madrid.

In fact, I was just given a sneak peak at some of the customers planning on sharing their experiences in sessions at the event, and they’re a virtual who’s who of pan-European business: ING, Telstra, wehkamp.nl, Danone, Barclay’s Bank…and a host of others.

As part of the summit, we’ll also see the advent of the Marketing Innovation Summit, the most significant European gathering of marketing professionals in one place for four days of learning, networking, and exploring these types of best practices.

Check out the full agenda in this PDF to see a detailed session breakdown, then visit here to learn more and register for the event.

May 22-24, 2012, the Hotel Auditorium Madrid, in Madrid, Spain.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Connecting @ IBM Connect 2012

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It was on this day in 1845 that Texas officially became the 28th state in the United States of America.

Happy Birthday, Texas.

But, Texas is NOT where I’ll be in a short couple of weeks.

No, instead, I’ll be visiting the 27th state admitted to the United States of America.

Any guesses on what the 27th state was?

Click to enlarge. At IBM Connect on January 16-17, 2012, in Orlando, Florida, discuss the why, what, and how of using social, mobile, and cloud technologies to meet common business challenges and to enable people to improve their business performance. IBM Connect registration fee includes access to IBM Connect 2012 keynotes and breakout sessions, dining, a Solutions Center, and two exclusive evening events.

That’s right, Sunny Florida!

Lotusphere, to be more precise.

And IBM Connect @ Lotusphere, to be perfectly precise.

I’ll be making my third return trip to Lotusphere, and I couldn’t be more excited.  Though I’ll be leaving Scott Laningham behind to cover the podcasting front remotely, I’ll be there in full regalia, and attending a number of the IBM Connect sessions.

If you’ve not heard of IBM Connect, think of it as a conference-within-a-conference for those forward-thinking business leaders who want to learn how to turn the opportunity that comes from becoming a social business into measurable business success.

At IBM Connect, C-level executives and business leaders from a wide range of disciplines — product development, R&D, marketing, sales, customer service, HR, corporate communications, and IT — and from a diversity of organizations around the globe will come together to discuss the why, what, and how of using social, mobile, and cloud technologies to meet their business challenges and to enable people to improve their business performance.

I’ve included a snapshot of the sessions from Day 1 of IBM Connect (see above), but in the meantime, you can go here to learn more about the event and to register.

Leading up to and during the event, stay turned to the Turbo blog for full coverage and highlights from both Lotusphere and IBM Connect 2012.

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