Emerging Organizations – Let’s Start with YOU !

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So, the emergent organizations movement is not about the company, the entity, or the person who writes your paycheck.  But there is a key element here that involves creating a TEAM (sorry, no I). IAI spent the weekend investigating partnerships in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Frankly, there are entrepreneurs eagerly seeking to partner with American entrepreneurs. And, all you hear in these conversations is “Sir”, “thanks”, “next call”, “let’s move forward”. The naysayers, second-guessers, the can’t do people are not on the line. Some actually celebrate the U.S., still, and know that we are a nation of loving parents, creators, innovators and often hold the line by ourselves. but proudly and stoutly.

During this holiday season, when you see a person struggling, give. When you see a fellow entrepreneur asking for your advice, offer it freely. When you see an opportunity to partner, find out what your potential partner needs.

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Picture Credit: Pinterest – Solar Storm

When you think you have an idea, share it. If you think it is stupid, get over it. If you respect someone among your friends or co-workers, then offer the idea. Find the right time, don’t be shy but know your audience and pick your right time. On occasion, your friend may be facing a deadline or even a crisis – not a good time to pitch your idea. That’s a time to offer to help him or her get through it. Believe me, I just went through it.A brilliant inventor I know had his laptop stolen and he can’t afford a new one. So I am sending him mine, fully loaded with app software but not the engineering tools he uses, I will learn where to find them but he simply needs a toolket. The rest is magic from his incredible brain and his passionate, creative soul. That spirit I will support in every regard.

Mentors change your life as they impart experience. There is a fascinating Chain Reaction Innovations program at Argonne National Labs located here:

A key component of the Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) program is business mentorship. In addition to the world-class scientific and technical support CRI will provide innovators, participants will also get assistance developing business strategies, conducting market research, and finding long-term financing and potential commercial partners.

If you interact with a sales or service rep and they are helpful or nice, then ask to speak with their supervisor or boss and give that person credit. If you walk down the street and pick up trash, then do it without seeking recognition. Change EVERYTHING you do in a shift away from selfishness. And the rewards you reap will be meaningful. Just for you, and your family. and your circle of friends. AND a few others…

 

Relieving Pain Points: Case Study of the Human-Powered Matrix Smartwatch

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Dealing with data, IT bottlenecks and lack of time for optimization are among the challenges which cause the biggest headaches for marketers, but the reality in the customer-driven economy is that many products and services are rolled out without being fully thought through – this realization generates company “pain points”. ExoConsultancy Marketing Pain Points report assigns a “migraine rating” to 17 different pain points in the IT world. “Digital technology and changing consumer behavior have created a near infinite number of opportunities for marketers to reach and engage customers, while also creating a whole host of new problems for marketing teams to wrestle with. ”

The 10 pain points with the highest migraine ratings are:

  • IT and web development teams are a major bottleneck.’ 54%
  • There is no time to test and optimize campaigns.’ 47%
  • ‘I’ve wanted a single customer view, but failed to give the time, budget or IT resources to build one.’ 42%
  • ‘I can’t keep track of customers across different channels and on different devices.’ 41%
  • ‘I don’t have enough budget / my budget is decreasing.’ 41%
  • ‘I’m struggling with multiple data sources.’ 40%
  • ‘I have trouble defining attribution and assessing the touchpoints required to convert a customer.’ 40%
  • ‘I struggle to prove the ROI of marketing activities.’ 39%
  • ‘I’m in a battle to keep up with marketing technology.’ 33%
  • ‘Finding marketers with the right skills is a nightmare.’ 30%

But let’s look at one techno case study (PWC, for one has a long list here):

The Matrix PowerWatch (at $170 retail) is powered by thermoelectric energy, or the conversion of heat into power. FoxTech explains that, “the idea is to eliminate what Akram Boukai, the co-founder and CEO of Matrix Industries (Menlo Park, CA), called a “pain point” in the wearables industry: the fact that if you own an Apple Watch or a Fitbit or something like it, you need to charge it by taking it off.  As soon as you take it off, there’s a barrier to put it back on.” Boukai runs the Laboratory of Innovative Green Energy Research at the University of Michigan and has already raised $350K on Indiegogo with this pitch: “powered by your body heat, it measures calories burned, activity level, and sleep using our advanced thermoelectric technology.”

The term “thermoelectric effect” (explains Wiki) encompasses three separately identified effects: derived from the independent discoveries of French physicist Jean Charles Athanase Peltier and Baltic German physicist Thomas Johann Seebeck. Joule heating, the heat that is generated whenever a current is passed through a resistive material, is related, though it is not generally termed as thermoelectric effect. The Peltier–Seebeck and Thomson effects are thermodynamically reversible, whereas Joule heating is not.

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Picture Credit: Matrix Industries

The  watch is really just part of a new DevOps field called Enterprise Mobility Management (more from IAI later). Software Development Times (free subscription here) reports that app development is an issue for these devices, even though Arrow Electronics Solution Products is a partner of Matrix Industries. “New devices (such as wearables) and architectures (such as the Internet of Things) are creating opportunities for businesses and innovation points for developers. But they are also creating new and severe headaches. According to a recently released report, 65% of developers and 69% of designers feel wearables and connected devices are already a problem, or will be one in the next year.” The report, “Wearables and Connected Devices: The Next Frontier in Cross-Platform Mobile Development,” was released by enterprise mobility solution provider Kony which offers a free e-Book for enterprise mobility strategy advice here.

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Picture Credit: Software Development Times (www.sdtimes.com)

Dynamics Shaping the Future in the “Age of the Consumer” -Forrester

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Picture Credit: NASA/ GSFC (artist rendering of solar winds on Mars)

Forrester highlights the dynamics shaping the future (in 2017) of the consumer experience and the changes are coming quickly and overwhelmingly like a the solar wind shown above. Navigating the change is going to require a blend of business reassessment, idea leadership, a focus on the customer experience and intelligent application of technology to transform business. The customer-led, digital-centric market is being driven by widespread adoption of “Millennial-like” behaviors (hooray!). CRM expert Kate Leggett cites Forrester Research that 21% of US consumers are “Progressive Pioneers” that lead the demand for innovation. Cliff Condon declares that Forrester’s  Empowered Customer Segmentation shows that “more than a third all US online adults want new and engaging digital experiences. They will switch companies to find these experiences.” So this signals a tsunami…

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Picture Credit: French Senate (senat.fr)

Forrester cites these examples:

  • Banks try to innovate before digital banks become formidable competitors;
  • Big-branded retailers confront the digital threat with store closings and amped-up omnichannel and mobile efforts;
  • Manufacturers get serious about their digital business;
  • Relationship-driven investment firms try to adapt to the encroachment of tech titans; and
  • Utility companies launch customer experience (CX) initiatives to influence consumption habits and change their operations

IAI believes that the reinvigorated focus of businesses on the consumer is bring driven forcefully by technology firms looking to dramatically re-engineer customer engagement processes. Branding is being deeply embedded in technology data acquisition tools to customize routines but these approaches should all require customer “consent” and “opt-outs” and not collection of privacy-intrusion data. Facilitators offering end user “dashboards” should engage clients like fiduciaries and can embrace anonymized meta data collection approaches to earn client trust, creating a shared trusted advisory network (STAN). IAI believe that the concept of “propagation velocity” can be applied to STAN deployments.

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Picture Credit: CORDIS European Union (cordis.europa.eu)

Forrester points out some striking trends underway:

Widespread Restructuring: One third of businesses are restructuring by devolving operational controls to brands and divisions to move closer to the customer experience, at considerable risk;

Customer-driven Matrix Structure: Replacing traditional silo-based functional relationships, these new matrices will “leverage shared functions to protect margin”;

CEO Turnover in Half of Firms: Forrester research shows a clear correlation between the quality of customer experiences and revenue growth and affirms that emotion is a core driver of customer loyalty and spending.

“Whole Brained” CMOS Needed: They must embrace both a right brain understanding of the customer experience and left brain embrace of technology and analytics. Marketing Measurement assessments by Forrester show low adoption of analytics by CMOs (Forrester Wave evaluation) ;

CIOs “Grab the Brass Ring”: B2C and B2B firms will need CIOs to lay out technology adoption strategy paths in an environment where tech budgets are forecast to grow at just 1.4%- a tall order: and

Trust is the core element: CX professionals must build client trust into every process when designing experiences that delight customers and contribute to P&L performance.

To learn more, download Forrester’s predictions guide. This guide is the front-end to 16 unique predictions that executives can use to budget, prioritize, and plan customer-obsessed strategies.

 

 

Tech Trends for 2017 from Gartner – Distributed Computing, VR and AI

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Picture Credit: Gartner Group

Top Strategic Predictions for 2017 and Beyond

Surviving the Storm-Winds of Digital Disruption – Gartner Group

Digital Business Innovation creates disruptive effects that have wide-ranging impact on people and technology. However, the secondary effects will often prove to be more disruptive than the original disruption. Digital Strategists in end user organizations must recognize, prioritize, and respond at the speed of digital change.

1. Artificial Intelligence & Advanced Machine Learning: This includes technologies such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing, as well as more advanced systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously. The one who has data and information is the King. With Gartner’s research arming the public with data and information, it is time to make some informed and astute investment decisions heading into 2017.

2. Intelligent Apps: Intelligent apps include technologies like virtual personal assistants (VPAs), which have the potential to transform the workplace by making everyday tasks easier and its users more effective. Additionally, every existing software category from security tooling to enterprise applications such as marketing or ERP will be infused with AI-enabled capabilities. By 2018, Gartner expects most of the world’s largest 200 companies to exploit intelligent apps.

3. Intelligent Things: New intelligent things currently belong in the three categories: robots, drones and autonomous vehicles. Companies working on these include:

  • Amazon.
  • Ambarella Inc (NASDAQ: AMBA).
  • Google.
  • GoPro Inc (NASDAQ: GPRO).
  • InvenSense Inc (NYSE: INVN).
  • IXYS Corporation (NASDAQ: IXYS).
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT).
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC).
  • Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
  • And others …

4. Virtual & Augmented Reality:  VR&AR as they are called in short are set to transform the way individuals interact with each other and with software systems by immersing the user. VR helps to create a virtual world that users can interact with, with users finding it difficult to differentiate what is real and what is virtual. This is achieved by wearing Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB)’s Oculus Rift or similar devices. AR is blending VR and real life as developers create images within applications that blend in with contents in the real world.

5. Digital Twins: Digital Twins is a dynamic software model of a physical thing or system. It can be used to analyze and simulate real world conditions, respond to changes, improve operations and add value using data on how the components of a thing operate and respond to the environment and data provided by sensors. It can be used as a proxy for skilled individuals and traditional monitoring devices.

6. Blockchain: Blockchain is a distributed ledger in which value exchange transactions in bitcoin, etc. are sequentially grouped into blocks. It holds promise in industries like music distribution, identity verification and title registry. Blockchain adds trust to untrusted environments and reduce business frictions by giving transparent access to information in the chain.

7. Conversational Systems: Conversational systems that allow computers to hear and adopt to a person’s desired outcome use text, voice, sight, sound, tactile, etc. to communicate across the digital device mesh such as sensors, appliances, IoT systems, etc.

8. Mesh App and Service Architecture, or MASA: Mesh is a new way of organizing, planning and communicating with peers for any kind of group activity, big or small, with the mesh providing for combining the functionality of several apps into one concise app. The MASA is a multi-channel solution architecture that leverages cloud and server-less computing, containers and microservices as well as APIs and events to deliver modular, flexible and dynamic solutions.

9. Digital Technology Platforms: Digital Technology Platforms is a term for multimedia platforms that performs various business functions.  To stay competitive, companies are required to identify how industry platforms will evolve and plan ways to evolve their platforms to meet the challenges of digital business. Usually businesses have a mixed of five digital technology platforms, including: Information Systems, customer experience, analytics & intelligence, the IoT and business ecosystems.

10. Adaptive Security Architecture: Given the challenges the IoT (Internet of Things) environment offers to security, security teams need to work with application, solution and enterprise architects early in the design of applications or IoT solutions.

Anti-innovation: Lessons from the Lone Ranger

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Picture Credit: Collider.com

Hat Tip to Forbes as IAI started writing this blog and realized that the coin can be flipped. But, really, anti-innovation is retrograde !

As companies experience success, their emphasis tends to shift to protecting and maintaining the status quo versus considering new opportunities and products. Unfortunately, clinging to what has worked in the past puts the brakes on innovation. It also puts you out of touch with your customers’ changing needs — a dangerous circumstance in today’s highly volatile markets. If you’re trying to innovate but not having success, see if any of these apply to your organization.

1. Stuck thinking. This occurs when individuals and teams get so locked into old ideas, attitudes, and assumptions that they don’t take the time to update them. If you haven’t asked yourself within the last three to six months, “What has changed about our customers, our markets, and our industry?” you’ve just taken your first step toward anti-innovation.

2. We’ve always done it that way. When the organizational focus shifts to protecting the status quo, people stop looking for new processes or solutions. When problems arise, people tend to default to the solution that looks most like what has worked in the past rather than exploring new ideas or different ways of doing things.

3. Playing not to lose. As leaders spend more time protecting current assets rather than defining and executing edge-centric strategy, the organizational mindset changes from “play to win” to “play not to lose.” This subtle shift in attitude has a profound impact on how decisions get made and how people behave at all levels of the organization.

4. Customer disconnect. Who has time to talk to customers anymore? We’re running as fast as we can just to get the product out the door! Besides, we know what our customers need and we know the best way to give it to them, right? You won’t hear this attitude spoken out loud. But if you look closely, you can see it driving behavior on a daily basis. If you’re not talking with customers, it also means you’re not listening. And if you’re not listening, it’s just a matter of time before you’re no longer relevant to their world.

5. The lone ranger approach. In many companies, one team or small department gets tasked with innovation. That’s like asking a single NASA engineer to develop a new rocket ship to take us to Mars. Innovation requires a combination of skills and talents from all areas of the organization. It does not flourish in isolated silos or hidden corners of the organization.

6. Failure not an option. Most organizations don’t tolerate failure very well to begin with. And once the mindset shifts to protecting the golden goose, failure becomes anathema to the organization. But failure goes hand-in-hand with innovation. If you’re not failing to some degree, you’re not trying or pushing hard enough.

7. Follow the leader mentality. Too often, attempts to innovate occur as a response to a new entry into the market or an existing competitor’s innovation. However, true innovation leads the way rather than attempting to catch up. Don’t ignore what your competitors do in the marketplace. But don’t let it drive your innovation efforts either. Figure out where your customers will need you to be in six months to a year and get there first.

8. Weak hires. Companies looking to protect their success often make a subtle shift in hiring. Rather than new ideas and new energy, people get hired for their ability to “come in and hit the ground running.” Which is another way of saying they won’t rock the boat. As the overall talent level begins to decline, so do new ideas, new thinking, and successful innovation.

9. Lack of know-how. Employees need to have the appropriate skills and abilities to discover, evaluate, and execute on the best ideas. If you don’t invest the time and money to constantly develop those skills, don’t expect people to innovate on a consistent basis.

10. Unrealistic expectations. As success begins to slip away, management often begins looking for that one “killer” product or idea that will save the company or at least prolong the life of the cash cow. This tendency to put all the resources into one make-or-break innovation effort usually ends in disaster and disappointment.

Remember, innovation should always link directly to your strategy. And it works when it becomes a way of life rather than a one-time event. Stop clinging to past successes, update your thinking constantly, and you will find it much easier to innovate and thrive in today’s hyper-paced world.

 

Verizon’s Tornado Sweeps Up All Outdoor IoT Data with LQD WiFi Buy

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Picture Credit: Internet of Things- Wikipedia

Wiki explains: The Internet of things (stylised Internet of Things or IoT) is the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices“), buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.[1][2][3] In 2013 the Global Standards Initiative on Internet of Things (IoT-GSI) defined the IoT as “the infrastructure of the information society.”[3] The IoT allows objects to be sensed and/or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure,[4] creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.[5][6][7][8][9][10] When IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems, which also encompasses technologies such as smart grids, smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities.

IoT Today made it really clear early this year: “From agriculture to industry, IoT is already innately changing the way our world works and it is anticipated that by 2020 there will be 75 billion connected devices, a staggering amount of Internet-enabled technology. “ Modern Sensor-to-Server (S2S) communication networks call for high-speed solutions that support massive amounts of data collection, control and transport. Consumer and  industrial organizations are experiencing high demand for voice, video, data and sensor (VVDS) information in wireless outdoor networks. For semiconductor firms alone, IoT will be a $50B market by 2020, according to the Quartz Group, citing Gartner Group data.

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Picture Credit: Gartner Group forecast

Verizon acquired another component to its IoT business by purchasing LQD WiFi, as reported in TechCrunch, “a developer of outdoor interactive displays that provide WiFi connectivity along with news, emergency alerts and community information. They also act as sensors collecting crowd, weather and other data. LQD WiFi, based out of New York, had raised only $1.73 million in funding from unknown investors. Founder and CEO Randy Ramusack is a Microsoft veteran, having worked as the CTO of Microsoft Switzerland and the CIO of Microsoft UK, among other roles and places. LQD’s main service is called Palo, a kiosk-style structure that serves both as a WiFi station as well as a place for people to interact with information on the Palo itself. In this regard, it competes against the likes of Link NYC, which was borne out of Google’s Sidewalk Labs and its Intersection project.”

Remember: There is no such thing as a “Lee Frunch” (or a free lunch…). Link NYC (soon on in London) explains coyly in its FAQ that:

LinkNYC is one of the first free public Wi-Fi services in the country to offer an encrypted network connection between your device and the hotspot, securing all wireless communications between devices and the Link. LinkNYC will generate anonymized and aggregate data to develop insights on system usage and diagnostics to improve your Link experience, and to inform advertising that appears on the 55” displays of the Link kiosks. LinkNYC ads on the kiosks do not target individuals and there is no LinkNYC-generated advertising when browsing the web.

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Picture Credit: Pinterest

Verizon Wireless CTO – More Services Coming Like Flying Cows!

Why are Wireless firms like Flying Cows ?

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Picture Credit: Tumblr- The flying cows in Twister were created using the wire frame models of flying zebras from Jumanji

Update: Verizon purchased LQD WiFi on 14 November, 2016, a developer of outdoor interactive displays that provide WiFi connectivity along with news, emergency alerts and community information. They also act as sensors collecting crowd, weather and other data. This is the fourth acquisition this year made by Verizon to build up its Internet of Things business, which is a complement to Verizon’s other acquisition strategy based around consumer-focused media companies (among those, it’s in the process of buying Yahoo and last year acquired AOL, which owns TechCrunch). Other acquisitions in IoT have included Sensity Systems to add LED light controlling technology; telematics company Fleetmatics for $2.8 billion in August; and Telogis for more connected car technology.

Verizon Wireless just released a study here about their outlook for the Internet of Things (now “legitimate”) and the role their broadband wireless service offering will play in IoT. The wireless industry is likely to consolidate following the conclusion of the ongoing FCC incentive auction of 600 MHz airwaves. And the role of Chief Technology Officer or CTO at wireless firms has been challenging this year with key issues of:

FierceWireless has a fabulous series featuring network CTOs, part of a larger focus on CTOs in technology.

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Picture Credit: Pinterest

Here’s a quick synopsis of Verizon’s CTO but the common thread is that they are Tracking You! Surprised? That will be the central element of “Customer-focused” service delivery under fixed broadband wireless next year. Prepare to feel like a stormchaser dodging flying cows bundled as BIG Apps! CEO Lowell McAdam said fixed 5G services will be profitable enough for Verizon to pursue regardless of an eventual move to mobile 5G. “The use case for me that gets you over the hump on investing in the technology is the one that’s right in front of us right now and that’s a fixed wireless play,” he pledged at the May 2016 J.P. Morgan Conference.

Verizon- Roger Gurnani:

A. Experienced hand: “He was a founding officer of Verizon Wireless and until 2005 served as the carrier’s vice president and CIO, helping to oversee the integration of the domestic wireless operations of Bell Atlantic, Vodafone AirTouch and GTE.”

B. Broad Roles: His tasks includes network and technology planning, development of architecture and roadmaps, continued evolution of digital platforms and oversight and direction for the CIO and CTO teams across Verizon.

C. Run the Factory: Gurnani focuses on IT and digital technologies aimed at increasing customer engagement plus the core function to “run the factory,” as he described it in a Forbes interview here.

D. Densification: Gurnani charted his team’s path to best expand and densify Verizon’s LTE network through carrier aggregation, small cells and other techniques with its public launch of “LTE Advanced technology”.

E. 5G Deployment: Seen as an extension of LTE, Verizon has been outspoken about its intention to be the first U.S. wireless carrier to deploy 5G in 2017. The extenders include “network design concepts” such as C-RAN, low/tight RF design via small cells, self-optimized networks, virtualized core networks and various IoT-centric flavors of LTE as well as NB-IoT will all pave the way for technical evolutions toward 5G. Verizon is also focused on massive MIMO beam forming and unlicensed spectrum to add capacity.

F. Wireless High-Speed Broadband: With LTE, Verizon expects to offer 50% faster peak wireless data speeds to more than 288 million pops in 461 cities. As such, expect A LOT of FIOS advertising over the holidays (even to taunt sociopaths). During the summer, it conducted tests in New Jersey showing fixed wireless speeds of up to 1.8 gigabits per second. Verizon is using a point-to-multipoint solution, with equipment transmitting in the 28 GHz spectrum band – gaining over 100 licenses in the band as part of its purchase of XO Communications.

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Picture Credit: SBC Hubspot

With any wireless carrier (or public network in general), AVOID exposing account numbers and passwords on your wireless phone at all times, advises Digital Guardian with 101 tips here.  ZDNet has a cautionary note about the “Year in Hacks”: