By Peter J. Korsten
From high profile security breaches to technology failing in major product launches, CIOs are being pulled into the world of customer experience and engagement. CIOs formerly were “masters of the back office” making sure computers that didn’t crash, networks were fast and supply chains that didn’t lose products. That’s all changed as much of that day-to-day IT functionality has been automated and mastered. In fact, 66 percent of CIOs think their IT departments have mastered the basics of tech according to a new IBM report.
With customers gaining a virtual seat at the board room table over 60 percent of CIOs intend to focus more heavily on improving the customer experience and getting closer to customers. The study reveals that there is no distinction between business strategy and the customer experience. Continue Reading »
By Rob van den Dam
The way we communicate has changed dramatically. Traditional telco providers are increasingly challenged by open Internet platforms that meet diverse, rapidly changing user wants and needs. Specialized communications apps like Skype are increasingly siphoning conventional messaging and voice calls away from telcos.
A new IBM study of 22,000 consumers in 35 countries out today shows just how disruptive these new kids on the block are to telcos. Fifty three percent of respondents use specific apps like WhatsApp daily to communicate with others. At the same time, almost a third have or will cut traditional voice calling. Nearly the same number have or will reduce their usage of direct SMS text messaging. Continue Reading »
By Ocea Garriock
Banks have become particularly good at analyzing the data for trends, patterns and insights to help boost efficiency, ensure compliance and increase revenue.
But not all of this data lives conveniently in a structured database or data warehouse. Sometimes it comes from real-time data feeds and social media. These growing sources of structured and unstructured data are potential treasure chests. But big data without analysis is just a lot of data.
Most South African / African companies are still just experimenting with big data technologies, looking to understand how big data should slot into their world views. The same is true of organisations in the rest of the world. Continue Reading »
By Paul Papas
The swipe of a finger is all that it takes – to lose a customer to a competitor – forever.
In today’s digitally-driven economy, the reality is that consumers hold unprecedented levels of power to make or a break a business. Social technologies have amplified the voice of the customer to broadcast every positive or negative experience to everyone, everywhere.
As such, it is critical for businesses today to focus on engaging customers with exceptional experiences each and every time they interact. And businesses must do this seamlessly and consistently across all digital and physical touch points.
While many know that customer experience has become a powerful differentiator for organizations, the majority of businesses are only at the brink of shifting their strategies in order to keep up. The majority of CEOs (63 percent) polled in IBM’s recent C-suite Study said that their organizations still do not have an integrated physical and mobile strategy for customer engagement. Continue Reading »
By Cheryl Burgess
I couldn’t think of a better way to welcome the New Year than to participate in IBM’s upcoming Connect Conference, held from Jan. 26-30 in Orlando, Florida. At the conference, I will be co-presenting a panel with IBM’s Ethan McCarty (@ethanmcc). The session, titled “The Social Employee: Branding From the Inside, Out,” will focus on the importance of building a culture of engaged brand ambassadors who can represent their company in the digital bazaar.
Of course, whether we’re talking about brands or our own bodies, in order to function well externally, we must first work to take care of ourselves Continue Reading »
Richard Silberman in
By Richard Silberman, Writer/Researcher, IBM Communications
The way Michelle Zhou sees it, Big Data gets a bad rap.
All too often, it’s portrayed as a means for huge companies to use personal data strictly for profit; the realm of ravenous marketing where individuals feel a complete loss of control over their personal information.
Zhou, senior manager for the User Systems and Experience Research (USER) group at IBM Research – Almaden in California, approaches Big Data from the polar opposite perspective. She sees a fundamental power shift underway, where individuals wield control of their own data and can use it to not only empower themselves, but to change the world.
“Big Data is not just about business and marketing,” Zhou said. “It’s increasingly about individuals using it strategically for their own benefit, to improve their lives.” Continue Reading »
By Ethan McCarty
A brand’s true currency is its reputation, which derives from all the experiences people have with it. Maintaining that reputation requires a delicate balance, especially when we’re all connected through social media.
The key to success for today’s brands is to embrace authenticity. This means exploring ways to engage individuals instead of demographics. It’s proving relevance and value through utility instead of making over-simplified claims. And it means allowing employees and advocates to have a share in the corporate voice. Ours is a world that increasingly favors transparency over a neatly packaged message.
Throughout its history, IBM has maintained that its brand is best experienced through the IBMer. After all, what could we possibly say about ourselves that could be more interesting than our researchers finding new ways to treat cancer or developing computer chips that have neurons and synapses? Continue Reading »
It’s like the Beatles arriving in America all over again. A culture shift is upon us.
The winds are changing, the boomers are aging, and the reigns of start-ups, small businesses and enterprises are slowly but surely being turned over to the Millennials. Much like when John, Paul, George and Ringo touched down in New York in 1964, there was some resistance at first, but in the end the new guard managed to convince skeptics and change minds. In one case music and culture was changing. In the case of the Millennial leader, business and technology are shifting.
By Cheryl Burgess
The words we use in the business world speak to our collective dreams and aspirations. Every few years or so, new buzzwords come in to replace the old ones, pointing our way like the North Star to our future. The language we use reflects how we see ourselves at our very best, and we use these terms to project these best versions of ourselves to our communities.
I like to think it’s a sign of the times that words like “social employee,” “engagement,” “brand ambassadorship,” and “authenticity” are so fashionable. There may be a lot of uncertainty in the business world as we as a group learn what social business truly means in the real world, but there’s a lot of optimism as well, and these words reflect that. Continue Reading »
By Steve O’Donnell
Sustainability is all about the capacity to endure.
To achieve sustainability, we need to be smarter about our impact on the world, and more efficient in everything we do, from how we consume resources to how we do business. Consumer groups demanding more responsible business operations have long been pushing for sustainability to preserve natural resources and lower the carbon footprint of business nationally.
But there’s another aspect to creating a sustainable business, one that has to do with the way we market to, and interact with our customers – pursuing new approaches and better engaging customers through a social, collaborative approach. Not surprisingly, small businesses are catching on. Continue Reading »