Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Moments of Truth

I was introduced to a new term called 'Moment of Truth' in BPM context. According to IBM, the Customer Service Processes - The business processes that directly interacts with the customer - are typically associated with Moments of Truth. It further defines that the moment of truth is a point during the process where the user is in a position to form an instant opinion about the service or process. These moments of truth are becoming extremely important as they play vital role in building customer loyalty, expanding market share, and remaking entire market places. It also enables the companies to closely watch the interaction points with the customer, generate insights from them, challenge them and innovate to make those interactions cheaper, simpler and better. Hence, Business processes which have moments of truth are becoming valuable assets to the company.

Now, there is another perspective. Yesterday I was introduced to another newstory by one of my colleagues, saying Twitter has launched a Search Engine. Now, using this Twitter search engine, one can do a search on vast amount of Tweet posts. Tweets are no more personal messages. As mentioned in this story, Tweet messages are increasingly becoming a platform to share customers' experiences with a product/services from a company. Some of my close friends are using Twitter in India and I have personally watched those Tweet posts. Handful of those messages will be 'feedback' messages. For example, they may post feedback about a restaurant or Telecom service provider. Now, there is a tremendous opportunity. It is an opportunity for both the consumers and the companies. Consumers can get tremendous insights as to what other people are talking about the products/services they are interested in. Companies can generate insights about new product/service ideas, gaps and feedback. I wouldn't be surprised if Twitter or any of its partners come up with a tailor-made analytics solution on top of its search. In a way, Twitter serves as the feedback point for Moments of Truth.

Now, with the combination of above two concepts - Moments of Truth in BPM and Twitter - You get a closed-loop system that would enable the companies to not only just collect the feedback but also to continuously improve the business process based on the customer's inputs. In fact, it can happen in near real-time. Am certain the concept & technology has got great potential to be deployed in the enterprises who are serious about their customer service, as it would play a significant role in increasing the customer's perceived value on a company's offerings and enable the companies to control, manage, and innovate on those customer-interactive processes.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oracle-Sun Deal : Threat to SAP NetWeaver?

This perspective from CIO site is interesting. It claims the biggest loser in Oracle-Sun deal is SAP.

I would say - yes and No. Yes, its a threat to SAP. But SAP has got Options to mitigate.

Considering the significant investment SAP is making in Java based NetWeaver suite to promote its eSOA offerings, nobody would have predicted that the future of Java would fall right into the hands of SAP's very own archrival - Oracle.

The CIO article finds that Oracle will have a huge competitive advantage over SAP having the control on shaping the future of Java platform. And consequently, using the Java platform to shape its Oracle Fusion and Business Applications suite in a competitive architecture.

Now, What would SAP do?.

There are two options - First, SAP may mitigate the risk by innovating a java-hybrid technology or a new standard or Intellectual Property in building the eSOA / Netweaver stack.
Second, SAP may mitigate the risk by not investing in Java. Startling?
Yes, Its true. I was doing little bit of research to find out what SAP could possibily do...And following is the observation..

Here is a prediction from another SAP analyst who confirms SAP is going to increase the investments in ABAP language compared to Java. The strategic positioning of the two different languages ABAB and Java would be something like this - ABAP would be used for building Core Business Suite Web Services while Java would be pushed to the 'Edge' where it's primarily leveraged for Mashups/Composite Apps/Front-ending apps. And SAP's new investments in ABAP language confirms the same.

So, ABAP is here to stay for a while...But would that give a competitive advantage to SAP when compared with Oracle?. - We'll have to wait and see.

There are game changing acquisitions happening in the industry.

And I believe there are quite a few consolditions still pending...As I observe in the industry, every other software vendor is becoming increasingly conscious of their strengths and weaknesses, and they are all out to pursue complimentary acquisitions.

Unlike in the past, these upcoming acquisitions are game changers and they are bound to create transformational impact on the Technology industry.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Business leads IT!

This is an impressive story!. The story was featured in Indian daily - Economic Times, 2nd April, Bangalore Edition.

A group of companies in Garment exports industry in India have decided to setup an IT firm. The key objective behind this IT firm is to produce software for their business operations, so that they could save over Rs.1000 crores every year. About 10,000 business units are expected to benefit from this new venture.

This is a perfect example for Co-Opetition. The member companies may be competing in their respective market segments, since they are in the same industry. However, they have come together to solve a common problem. The proposed ERP-class solution will help them track export consignments in a real-time manner through IT solutions as well as mobile phones.

By investing in developing a new ERP software for their own needs, they can dramatically reduce/eliminate their individual investments in IT. Moreover, they also plan to go for a hosted solution where the individual exporter can pay around Rs. 4000 per month [approximately. 100$] apart from one-time license fee.

Currently, this group of companies spend close to Rs.200 crore [around $50 million] on IT every year & they are planning to develop the product with a seed money of around Rs.8 crore [around $2 million].

In addition to the bottomline savings, the association also aims to rise the topline by selling the IT solution to other similar industrial clusters in India. The association is talking to Microsoft and SAP to co-develop the software.

Some of my observations from this story:-
- New business models are emerging in ways and means we aren't familiar.
If a company needs to be competitive, it should not be just asking the question - Are we ready to adopt?. Instead, It should ask - Can We shape such trends?
- Business houses no longer shun themselves away from IT & Cutting edge Technologies. Instead, they are about to Lead others.
- Business Solutions at Compelling Price Tags is the way to go.

If a federated association can drive such inspiring initiatives that can improve bottomline & topline, is there anything Enterprise-IT can learn from those practices?