Wednesday, June 19, 2019

AI Case Study, Gaining Traction in Auto Sales

One can't go anywhere today without hearing about AI, but I would say that half of it is around projecting how AI will be affecting our future and the other half is about data focused approaches. While there is nothing wrong about these discussions and articles, most of us are more interested in the results of AI which represents a family of approaches and algorithms in action to apply to business and everyday problems. Even though there are three major approaches to AI with data-driven, algorithm-driven, and process-driven (click here to read more), this case study is all about the algorithms in action in the highly competitive field of vehicle sales.

The Challenge:

Most dealerships rely on a variety of different internal tools, outdated systems and virtually no predictive technologies to mine their customer profiles leading to limited insights and frustrating sales initiatives. There are both algorithm and data issues implied in this challenge, but the predictive nature of this case study stood out.

This Solution:

There was a two-pronged approach employed to uncover hot prospects and close deals that were not intuitively obvious. First, a dashboard was installed to suggest specific talk tracks to personalize the potential buyer's situation when a prospect was being engaged. This is a sensitive approach that made the prospect feel cared for when discussions happened by design in an outbound manner or in response to incoming calls. For outbound prospecting customers were sorted according to their Behavior Prediction Score (BPS) which armed sales folks with the right marketing approach at the right time to elicit action. Dealer employees were aided and more prepared for calls or visits building confidence in the sales process.

The Result:

The obvious result is a better relationship with clients, but on the whole, sales were up for several dealerships. The typical numbers are a 15% increase in retention sales, a 3% increase in service-to-sold related sales and a 3% increase in new customers, varying on brand and dealer size. The hidden benefits were around cost savings during these efforts to deliver these impressive increases. The ROI was 15 times better and the costs of campaigns were 20% of previous efforts. 

Net; Net:

While there was a dynamic interaction of algorithms and data, the prediction characteristics were the secret sauce here. As organizations compete on algorithms and AI in the future we will see more algorithm driven success. Data is important, but it will be the co-pilot of success.

This Case Study was implemented using automotive Mastermind 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Is Automation the Tip of the AI Spear?

AI has a lot of opportunities to flourish, but what will be the major thrust to put AI into action?  Will it be the study of data to find interesting and essential patterns for organizations to act on?  WIll it be to assist organizations to make better decisions? Will it be the demand to make processes smart enough to adapt to customer expectation? My assertion is that automation will be the thrust that many will get behind. It's the one thrust that executives can get behind because they can get benefits early thus obviating risk. Let's look at the two sides of this assertion.

Automation Will Be the Key Driver of AI:

If you look at the traditional use of technology, it has always been about automating manual tasks or making resources more productive. Why would it be any different now? Organizations are always looking for cost advantages. Right now the economies are clicking despite all of the rumors of wars (trade or otherwise). This means that AI can contribute to many channels of benefit without any significant impact on the bottom line. In fact, more attention can be given to things like better customer experiences and more effective decisions. Just watch what happens when the economy cools off.  Automation will take a strong march across the organization. The MBAs and CPAs will unite to drive costs into a corner. Executive management might give a nod to other efforts with a wink, but you can count on automation under all scenarios.

Automation is Just One of Many Drivers for AI:

Sure automation is a no brainer for investment, but narrowly focused executives will be blind-sided by the customer excellence movement. This time the movement will also be active during any economic down coming our way. The notion that business can dictate a clunky experience and expect a positive response is sorely wrong. There will be those organizations that will stand in the breach of balancing customer wants and goals with organizational goals. These organizations will also value adding AI to customer journeys that even span beyond their four walls. The key touchpoints and moments of truth will need AI to stay adaptable in real time. These savvy organizations will be looking for patterns of success, even in down economic times.

Net; Net:

While I believe that a balanced approach is the better approach, cost-saving automation will always go ahead of everything else initially. The key is to make sure automation does not dominate to the point of stealing the future of good customer relationships sowing the seeds of the ultimate destruction of some organizations. Convenience and customer excellence will win the war over time. Let's not inflict pain to our customers, but let's combine smart journeys with the power of process automation.  Let's keep organizational and customer goals in balance folks and remember that smarts are necessary everywhere!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Top 5 Helpful Improvements for Sales Engagement Software

While most front line sales professionals would say that they are getting much less out of Sales Engagement Software than they put in terms of time and effort. See my previous post on the problems that sales professionals have with Sales Engagement Sofware by clicking here  The good news is that there are some efforts that can improve the experience for front line Sales Folks. Here are my "Top 5" improvements that I have researched to date. These ideas will require some skin in the game from executive management, but the investments will pay off large.

Key Personnel Information:

Every prospect or customer that salespeople have to deal will have specific needs, likes, dislikes, and attitudes. Why not share this information if known. Some organizations build a contact database with key pertinent information and places to write comments like "This contact is totally cost focused" or "This person is a strategic operation focused person" or "This person hates to be smoozed". The corporate knowledge about your prospects or customers needs to be captured and shared. Sales professionals need to be armed with contact information even if it is unstructured information and they appreciate insightful tips.

Market Segmentation Information:

Every organization that exists lives within a context. How does the target organization compete within its market?  What are the management philosophies, culture, and corporate charter? Who are the likely competitors that might be circling to sell to competitive products and services? What's the history with this account over the last ten years? What are their planning and budget cycle seasons? Is this a learning institution and who do they feed trained people to? Information about the targets competition would also add value to sales efforts.

Product/Service Utilization Information:

For existing customers that you want to sell more to has used your organization's products or services. How often do they reorder? Is there a way to view the inventory to suggest that they might be getting low. What are the consumption and spin down rates of inventory? What are the organizations planning horizon for readiness? What are the real satisfaction scores (not just answers on rigged surveys)? What products are a real hit and where are the hotspots around lagging results with your products or services?

Integrated Sales Playbooks:

Your organization has some proven methods or playbooks that are representative of best practice for selling. If playbooks are even available, are they available through the sales engagement system? If not, can they be linked to in a convenient way? Are there patterns to these plays and how they might apply to the prospect or client? Are there success stories documented in the playbooks to encourage the sales staff, particularly when their managers are pegged for time and they are unavailable to coach in a timely manner.

Next Best Action Suggestions: 

Having smart software (AI / algorithms) to assist sales folks is a great help particularly if there are large amounts of data/information or the data is changing in near real-time from multiple sources. Can a sales professional decision assistant be built to take in the data and information to suggest some alternative next steps? These can be large scoped or spot advisors taking into account recent prospect/customer activity or emerging product/service offerings/features. These kind of decision advisors are starting to emerge out of the digital assistant movement.

Net; Net: 

Powering salespeople with Sales Enablement Software takes much more than buying software and demanding that sales just fill in data for management control. Sales folks want something back and assists to help them close new deals or expand existing footprints in customer organizations. I'm sure there are more ideas that would make sales professionals feel like they are getting something back from sales engagement software.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Sales Enablement Software Doesn't Help Sales Much

I hear it from all the sales representatives I know. They hate their organization's sales enablement (aka sales engagement) software. All they do is put lots of data into the software and they only get micromanagement from their sales managers in return. It's a real burden. Why should companies keep investing in building data stores instead of real customer relationships?  Why are sales and upper management so detached from reality? What's wrong with this picture?  There are at least three things really wrong here.

The Illusion of Control:

The Sales Department is one of the most expensive organizations in an organization and it drives bean counters and top management crazy. "This needs to be controlled," they say. By making the sales professional more responsible, they will get better and management will have a better handle on the real situation in the field. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your sales folks are more interested in the relationship with the customer and how their own organization is going to help them close sales. Sales folks will reluctantly fill in your data, but you will not have more control because they put in just enough to appease management. Sales enablement software doesn't help sell, but it can help train green sales folks.

The Illusion of  More Data:

There is a falsehood around collecting as much data as possible so that the big picture folks can make better decisions and direct sales. While some subtle data hints and senior experience can help in certain situations, most sales managers use the data against the sales representatives. You're most successful sales representatives do not need to be over-managed with data. Collecting data that would help the sales professionals would be better than collecting data for data's sake. Sales folks put in a lot of data and virtually get nothing back. When will the data be used to help the salesperson close?  It's pretty much a one-way street right now.

The Illusion of Understanding Customers:

Managers, equipped with masses of data, think they understand the customer. They like to insert themselves into getting results when the data collected rarely tells the relationship story. Managers would rather listen to the data entered rather than trusting their seasoned sales folks. I hear my sales buddies tell me that they keep telling management what the customer wants and make resonable requests for deaf ears to ignore or reject. When the account is lost, the sale person is rotated elsewhere, at best, and the mangers then come up with the very ideas the sales person was trying to communicate.

Net; Net:

Let's leverage the data in sales enablement software to give the front line sales folks an advantage instead of feeding the insecurities of management. The worm has to turn with the advent of smarter sales enablement software that builds trust with sale folks and management. Le'ts stop the illusions, sub-optimizing, and micromanagement and turn the sales data into a useful sales tool for the people that are on our sides and represent our customers to create customer excellence.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

PegaWorld 2019, Day 2: Pega Demonstrates Empathetic AI Solutions

This is big news! Organizations have been viewed, rightly so, as cold-hearted and only after their own goals. Now organizations can dial in empathy as needed with the addition of Empathetic AI. There was an actual demonstration by Dr. Rob Walker from the stage of variable warmth of customer service actions and offers considering the past history of individual clients. This is groundbreaking, but won't be released until 4Q 2019. If I ran a company that wanted to balance customer and organizational goals in a dynamic fashion, I'd be standing in line to get a chance to see if my organization could benefit from Empathetic AI. While organizations will have to learn how to tune the empathy switches over time, just having this feature should be a boon to organizations trying to balance great customer journeys with hardcore processes.

While there were presentations on leveraging innovation to become really digital and more digital heroes, Empathetic AI stole the show. Click here for Day 1 highlights of  Pegaworld Day 1. Lost in the shuffle was some proof points that organizations need to look themselves in the mirror when it comes to the reality of their customer service. Pega commissioned a survey of companies and clients to find out that 89% of executives think the customer is great while only 50% of their customer think so. This is a huge gap that can be closed by Empathetic AI embedded in a customer-focused solution like Pega has done. Get in line for a solution focused and embedded dial a heart. 


To watch this highly recommended session, click here

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Pegaworld 2019: To Infinity and Beyond with Digital Super Heroes

PegaWorld, here in Vegas, has great numbers again with over 5000 attendees from over 700 brands. So what's new this year? Actually quite a bit. The biggest announcement was around Pega Infinity. Alan Treflor excitedly described their new name for and the functionality of their digital platform. The strong claim was that Infinity could equally apply intelligence to the Customer Engagement and Digital Automation sides of any business. The secret to winning on both sides of the equation, that typically are at odds with each other, was to balance goals and suggest next best actions leveraging tunable and reusable micro journeys. These micro journeys can be used to overlay and differentiate both organizational and individual customers goals leveraging omnichannel capabilities.

Alan then went on to explain that Infinity was going to add empathy and highly contribute to true design thinking. I'm not quite sure I was able to grok how that was going to happen, but I think there are more announcements coming on the second day around how the customer is feeling at moments of truth or touchpoints.

As always Pega is always demonstrating it's potential through case studies on stage and at breakout sessions. Pega is now calling the outstanding organizations Digital Super Heroes. This is an effective way of getting clients to share a little of their digital success on stage. Don Schuerman announced the DX Heros and introduced Nicole Verburg of VodafoneZiggo who explained how they were using better customer experiences and intelligence to cross-sell products.

Next on stage was the ever-entertaining Karim Akgonul who introduced Moshe Pridan from Sirius XM who went on to explain how they were leveraging omnichannel and customer service to increase revenue. I still don't understand, as a former customer, how Sirius only knows my car and my billing address and not my household and how many cars I have for potential package deals. Anyways Karim went on to further explain Pegas new low code with guardrails approach for citizen developers and summarized the technical pieces that were being advanced or improved.

Lost in the shuffle was a small announcement of the recent "In Chat" acquisition which adds significant Digital Messaging (DM) capabilities. What was obvious was Pegas support for "Girls in Tech" with a fundraising effort of over 400K. The first day was a big hit for me with some compelling breakout sessions with more DX heroes. I am expecting big things on day 2.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Gaining Advantage by Combining Journeys and Processes

Processes have been a key contributor to operational excellence for decades and continue to progress with the addition of more automation, but the real secret to business success is to employ customer journey practices. This yields a balanced set of outcomes between the customer and organizational outcomes. Let's look at the advantages of aiming for customer excellence as a means of organizational progress in the digital age and beyond.  If you want to register for one of the first 300 copies of a new book on customer excellence click here.

The Progress of Processes for Operational Excellence: 

The use of processes for operational excellence is well known, documented and continues to progress with the addition of additional automation leveraging technologies like RPA, Process Mining, and AI. This allows organizations to visualize results and continually optimize for cost savings or efficiency purposes. The complaint of this approach has been that these processes are not friendly and are quite often too complex. To that end, organizations have been trying to make processes friendlier and less onerous. All of this is good but will be limited over time as your competition heats up with even more enticing approaches that appeal to customers.

The Progress of Customer Journeys for Satisfaction and Loyalty:

The use of customer journeys has been emerging for the past several years because of new models in industries that have tried to put the customer first. The assumption here is that a great customer journey that takes penalization into account and puts the pressure on the business and business systems will deliver better loyalty and new customers. This desire for customer excellence first will make the customer outcomes as important or more important than the business goals at critical points in the journey. In fact, the journey disciplines are even reaching to employee and partner journeys in the most enlightened organizations.

The Power of Combining Both:

While most organizations are not willing to change their business models to be completely customer driven, the gap between ugly system processes and personalized a pleasing customer journey is starting to narrow. Many organizations are starting to measure existing journeys and model target journeys figure out a way to bridge a great journey with existing processes. Adding chatbots and digital assistants in one approach for customer ease, but if your organizational silos still have to be managed by your customers, there is little gain. Taking your journey customer beyond the walls of your specific organization is the real way to come up with appealing journeys.               

Net; Net: 

There are real-world examples of combining process and journeys. There the pragmatic front ending efforts like you see with "Rocket Mortgage" and Amazon. There are examples of a complete rethinking of the journeys as exhibited by Uber and Lyft.  We even see big banks rethinking their experiences for attracting new customers. When many companies are able to personalize experiences while still keeping operational excellence goals intact, we know we have arrived. When new and innovative journeys that span multiple organizations become the norm, we will finally relax.

If you want to register for one of the first 300 copies of a new book on customer excellence click here.

Co-authored by Jim Sinur, Gero Decker & Mark McGregor

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Is AI Data Driven, Algorithm Driven, or Process Driven?

There are those that think that data is the oil of AI and the focus should be clean data, data science and deep understanding of what the data means. There are those that say data is meaningless without context that can be with other data, models/algorithms or processes. Let’s explore the arguments in a concise fashion to discover the advantage of each view.

The Case for Data Driven:

Data is the starting point as it is a very useful asset. True or not, it is assumed that data carries knowledge and that tapping that knowledge will give advantage to those that study data well. It just makes sense for AI to start with data and leverage an advantage can be had by learning from it. This is especially true in the age of big and fast data. It seems especially true when sensing signals and patterns that are occurring in emergent situations. Businesses have had a long history with business intelligence and a great deal of the effort surrounds data. Why would it be any different with AI?

The Case for Algorithm Driven:

Understanding the advantage that algorithms have over static data in the wild is important. In fact, organizations can gain the upper hand by having an algorithm that optimizes their business. In fact, finding the right formula, statistical model or projection that is appropriate for the situation is the real art of business. These algorithms are guarded by organizations and are often considered the secret sauce for success. While they are dependent on clean data, the rules implied in the math or the logic are the real differentiators for many industries. Where would the insurance industry be without actuaries and their prized algorithms? AI will be no different.

The Case for Process Driven:

The importance of sequence and president is crucial in doing the right steps or tasks in the proper order to obtain results. It makes no difference, if the process is static and repeatable or dynamic and emergent. Knowing the next best action is the key to getting the best business results. Bringing to bear the right data and algorithms at the right time is what process is all about. With the precision of process, business outcomes are sure to be on point and appropriate adjustments can be made with a transparent feedback cycle that employs various forms of monitoring.

Net; Net:

The real story here is that you need all three for long term success. You may start with one and add the other. AI is truly starting with data this time as machine learning ramps up to its power curve.  As AI progresses, it will have to cooperate with both algorithms and processes. Data based AI is working well today and it will likely lead to rule based AI again as the sophistication and scope of the problems expand.  A triangle needs all three sides.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Combining Digital Technologies for Success

We have enough experience in leveraging digital technologies to be able to add value with a great chance for success. While nobody can guarantee results, there is enough evidence in organizations that have emerged to say what digital technologies deliver and what combinations are particularly potent. This post will take identify these potent combinations, but I would suggest understanding the ingredients first by clicking here for a helpful blog post on the most common successful digital technologies employed today. Teaming technologies together is a secret that many have been using to their advantage.

Putting Powerful Pairs to Work:

There are some common pairings that have led to some interesting case studies and tangible or intangible benefits for several organizations. I expect these combinations to deliver for the organizations that pursue them.

    •CJM & BPM Delivers a balance of customer satisfaction & efficiency
    •BPM AI Delivers processes that enable smart resources and actions
    •BPM & RPA Delivers automation of boring or time-consuming tasks
    •BPM & PM Delivers reality-based incremental improvements
    •IoT & AI Delivers IoT management and recognition of actionable patterns from big and fast data

Teaming Up Teriffic Triplets:

There are some common triples of digital technologies that have proven to work well together and have delivered business outcomes consistently. Again, I expect these combinations to accelerate their collaboration.
    •BPM / PM / RPA Delivers targeted automation
    •BPM / IoT / AI Delivers intelligent actions at the edge
    •Arch / Low Code RPA Delivers incremental transformation of legacy
    •Workflow / Content / Collaboration Delivers team outcomes on cases
    •Unified Communication AI / BPM Delivers Improved Customer Sat

Net: Net:

While these combinations have proven to deliver, there will be more combinations that will emerge for a strong delivery. Eventually, these powerful combinations will aggregate to even larger digital platforms that may specialize. Examples of specialty platforms include Automation, Sales Engagement, Data Science, Digital Twin Transformation, Infrastructure Management and more

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

So How Goes that AI Spring?

While AI hasn’t reached its full potential or its eventual impact yet, AI is making good progress in many directions simultaneously. Let’s examine some of the progress to date. While I’m sure that AI is adding value, I’m also sure there is more progress that is not visible yet as it is in the labs or being pioneered in several scientific avenues. Let’s look at the value add of AI to date.

Copyright Jim Sinur

Turning Data into Knowledge: 

AI is contributing to digesting large amounts of fast or slow data to create information or knowledge to assist the contextual situation, and resources accomplishing work. Work resources are only as useful as the knowledge they are provided to make decisions and take action. AI is playing a substantial role in assisting and can accelerate learning to suggest where to direct current and future actions.

Problem Recognition:

AI can sense various signals at the edge, or not, and recognize patterns. These patterns can represent emerging issues or problems. These patterns can be associated with well understood and prepared scenarios ahead of time so that AI can recognize the presence of threats or opportunities. Also, AI can find new and emerging scenarios and bring them to the attention of the right resources for decisions and possible actions.  

Taking Actions:

Once appropriate actions are selected, AI can help with appropriate responses by human, software or physical bots. By leveraging natural language, humans can kick off actions that are either pre-packaged and sequenced or parallel and emergent.  Sophisticated AI Agents or Bots will bid on tasks that are necessary to complete organizational outcomes within governance constraints.

Net; Net:

Because AI is showing progress, it will not likely fall into another AI Winter (see  Keep in mind that it is still early, and AI has a long way to go before it can reason, solve complex problems alone or learn enough to plan by itself. To end, AI is likely to partner up with other non-AI algorithms to take these areas of need down the road. AI will partner with data science platforms, automation platforms, and customer-centric platforms to help with next best actions. Spring will eventually lead to a full bloom summer and the fruits of a full AI harvest.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Digital Twins Can Reinvigorate Enterprise Architecture Efforts

We are hearing the tales of severely ill or dying enterprise architectural efforts in even the best of organizations. It really shouldn’t be a surprise as architectural efforts are long, slow and change before they are complete. Even if an organization manages to complete one, things are changing so fast the value of even a rare complete architecture is dubious at best. Leveraging digital twins can be a game changer for architecture. A digital twin is a digital replica of physical assets, processes, people, places, systems and devices that can be used for management purposes.

Links the Real World to Logical Architecture:

Architecture is important, but it tends to isolate and not connected to reality often times. Basing the current architecture on digital twins allows for a reality-based current state and helps make a case for making changes incrementally or in more significant portions. Target architectures could also be modeled from a base of current digital twin behaviors.

Keeps Up with the Speed of Change:

Digital twins are changing in real time, so having a current architecture linked to now gives an advantage especially when linked to some machine learning, simulation and other forms of predictive assists. Since the measurement of the digital twin can be amped up to real time, the link to reality can be instantaneous if desired.

Monitors Business Assets in Context:
Digital twins interacting in an animated fashion gives an accurate picture of what's going on in various levels of neighborhoods of interacting contexts to give a more exact sense of behavior and interaction results. This can allow for better and faster managerial intervention to indicators and tolerance factors.

Finds Emerging Patterns of Interest:
The behavior of an asset by looking at its state and isolated behavior can point to opportunities to adjust. Interactions with other assets, resources or contexts can point to patterns that may look like a new scenario that was not planned for and project where that scenario may lead. The emerging scenarios can point management to opportunities or threats.

Points to Down-Stream Impacts:
Combining digital twin behavior with algorithms like simulation can project down-stream impacts and intercept situations before they occur. Responses can be planned and put into place and new tolerances can be established.

Net; Net:

Old school enterprise architectures have limited value today, except for defining things like target business outcomes, target business competencies and target skills. Super-charging architecture with digital twins are the answer for the modern digital organization.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Causing Your Customers Unnecessary Pain?

Many organizations are causing their customer's significant pain when interacting with their businesses. At best they are costing customers unnecessary time and inconvenience when getting to the customers desired results. At worst, the customers are so turned off that they are searching for other options. This is because organizations are primarily interested in their own goals and outcomes and do not really understand the journeys customers want to take. To that end, we have created a customer pain index for a better understanding and we are completing a book for organizations to have a great customer excellence program. If you want to register for one of the first 300 copies of this new book click here.

The customer pain index above is adapted from the pain chart you are likely to see in a Doctor’s office, medical facility or a hospital. On the horizontal axis, the level of pain is measured from no pain to high levels of pain. On the vertical access, the level of loyalty is measured from loyal to “heading out the door”. This is a chart where you don’t want to be at the upper right portion of the chart, but many organizations are hovering there because they are not feeling any pain themselves. They believe that customers forget and won’t leave them. They say to themselves” After all, aren’t we the best? We design surveys to show that very fact.”

The Current State of Affairs:

Typically organizations buy or build unfriendly silo transaction systems and then accountants and business unit heads try to cut costs by letting the customer do as much of the work as possible. The accountants say “Let’s add a voice recognition system that upsets the customers to save labor costs” and “let’s manage the average call duration to zero.”  This is short term profit drive driven thinking that gets an organization in trouble as services and products have little or no differentiation. The more enlightened organizations add better processes and change the customer experience to make it a bit friendlier. This gets customers to a near neutral situation where they are not motivated to change as the pain is somewhat tolerable.

The End Game; Customer Excellence:

The better of the enlightened organizations start creating, mapping and measuring the customer journey throughout their organization while attaining the customer’s goals within organizational goals and tolerances. This is the beginning of the “customer first” kind of thinking. While this is a good start, the very best organizations that are aimed at customer excellence, look at the customer's journey from end to end, even if there are parts of a journey that do not occur within the confines of said organization. The best of the best study the end to end customer journey and define new and innovative business models that cater to the whole journey that really gets at what the customer wants.

Net; Net:

Many organizations are fooled into thinking cost containment and not profitability based on balanced revenue and cost targets. Customers will care for your organization that has their best interests in mind. This means a broader and longer-term view when it comes to customer excellence. Don’t be that organization that wants to be in the red and orange zones of the customer pain index. Do focus on customer excellence, not just customer experience. If you might, click on this link for one of our books for free.

Co-authored by Jim Sinur, Gero Decker & Mark McGregor

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Top Successful Digital Technologies

Chasing digital technology success armed with knowledge is the best thing that organizations can do for themselves. While the flow of digital opportunities will continue to emerge, organizations will be making decisions on what technologies to tap into and what combinations work the best for the outcomes that organizations desire. Here is a short list of technologies that have proven to deliver and have successful uses out in the real world. Listed below are the top successful digital technologies today rated by the ease of uptake, cost/benefit potential, and maturity. Also, you will find a brief list of typical benefits. This is a summary of my bpmNEXT 2019, mostly a vendor audience,  presentation earlier this month that is linked to here

AI     -  Consumes large amounts of distinct data, info & knowledge
            -  Knowledge augmentation for human resources in-context
            -  Automation that can learn fast to augment software

Arch -  Business context and scenarios defined
            -  Inventory of existing business & technical capabilities
            -  Definition of target business & technical capabilities

BPM -  Assists in the orchestration of necessary resources
            -  Shows work in the context of desired outcomes or goals

            -  Provides agility for automation improvements 

Content/Collab  - Team Contributions for Ideation, innovation &  work
            - Improved work scheduling & delivery
            - Agile & dynamic team contributions around shared content

CJM  - Reduction of the silo effect
            -  Constituent goal and outcome representation
            -  Customer customization in context

IoT   -  Communication between devices & systems
            -  Precise automation close to the source of patterns
            -  Edge computing actions with goals and guardrails

Low Code    -  Increased agility and change response
            -  Fast software delivery thus decreased costs
            -  Tactic for legacy augmentation and transformation

PM   -  Visibility of real outcomes in-context of dynamic models
            -  Finding bottlenecks & unnecessary wait times
            -  Verification of process effectiveness & outcomes

RPA  -  Employee empowerment & satisfaction
            -  Reduced costs & cycle times
            -  High quality & predictability 

UCC  -  Follow me mobile interactions
            -  Integrated communications channel
            -  Saves end user time

Workflow  -  Speeds up internal processes
            -  Reduction in error & redo cycles
            -  Insure resource orchestration at appropriate times

Net; Net:

Knowing successful digital technologies is a start point for organizations. As organizations gain momentum with digital they will be looking for productive pairs of technologies and triplets of successful technologies. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

For Those Who Celebrate Easter

Peace to all. If you don't celebrate Good Friday and Easter, please pass by this one. For those who do, Easter is the celebration of our freedom and peace. Happy Easter !!!!  I created a new painting 3 years ago based on my past visits to Israel to see Golgotha and the Garden Tomb. I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed painting it. I have also included other past years paintings celebrating the wonderful Gospel and our forgiveness based on God's mercy.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Practicing Safe Coboting

Like it or not you will be interacting with either physical or software robots soon. A cobot or co-robot (from collaborative robot) is a robot intended to physically interact with humans in a shared workspace. It’s not just the obvious robots to consider. Additionally, there are software bots that can either assist you with knowledge/data mining or actions that eliminate drone work. While there will be initial interfacing issues and learning curves to get by, there are a number of long term issues to consider when interacting with bots.

Bots Constantly Learn and Change

Software & Hardware that are pretty static and only change on periodic cycles are the norms for us these days. Our ability to absorb change as humans are somewhat limited. Bots (hardware or software) can learn on a continuous basis presenting a challenge to people. This can be a good thing in that contextually sensitive advice or actions can greatly assist our outcomes and experiences. It can also be a challenge in that the bots can adapt quicker than us even though they can’t necessarily think. We will have to absorb differences in bot behavior and even anticipate tactical and strategic interactions with bots. If bots can explain their incremental learnings leveraging explainable AI, some of the challenges can be obviated.

Bots Monitor You Looking for Better Practices

Bots of all kinds will be close to people in a more intimate way, therefore they can collect data and information about human behavior. The upside is that these bots can find emerging better practices and show the way to better outcome delivery. Built-in coaching can be helpful when raising the skill and behavior levels of people in both work and personal contexts. The downside of bot monitoring could be giving bad management information to turn against people. Imaging an obsessive-compulsive boss information of behavior deviation, who in turn, uses as a weapon against workers. If the bosses are monitored too, that would certainly be helpful. 

Bots Can Give You Early Warning

Bots can watch multiple contexts at the same time. This means that people operating in a known context can receive notification of context spillover that may mean a pattern of opportunity or threat from emerging signals, patterns and new scenarios. Bots are much more omnipresent and more aware than people are in general especially when they are learning from emerging and fast data or information. People can benefit from early warning behavior for hardware or software bots. The downside is that there could be too many warnings to deal with while trying to accomplish outcomes ergo become an impediment to progress.

Net; Net:

We can be safe when interacting with hardware or software bots if we are aware, informed, trained and practiced at leveraging the positive aspects of these bots. Awareness of the underbelly of these bots and their ability to stay ethically tuned to the law, expected norms in a culture and sensitive to human needs or not will play a big role in safe interactions with bots.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Thanks for All the Support & Prayers

While sorrow comes, it's the kindness of family, friends, and associates that make the burden lighter.  Our family felt surrounded by love for the memorial and beyond. While we will miss our beloved Bethie, it's the words, hugs and continued support that keeps us all going. God is good, and we thank him and each and every one of you.


There were over 150 guests and the Chapel was well filled. The eulogies were moving in different ways and we barely scratched the surface of who Bethie was and how she impacted the people around her. For a video memorial, contact me through a comment on the blog, please.

Thanks for Plants and Flowers: Carol & Mike Sinur, The Wagner Family (aunts,  uncles & cousins), Moe & Sandy Mustafa, Meggan Eckert, Tom & Robin Muldon, Robin & Jack Amos, Realtor.Com, Cipriano Family & Caitlin Gabres-Bruce.

Thanks for Donations: Phyl & Gary Bolno, Frank Hein, Nancy & Phyllis McKeska & Nicole Speciale.

Special shout out to BJ's Resturant of Peoria for donating the lions share of the food.

Thanks for Memorial Gifts: Tia Mazzerella (Key Chains) & Julie Kuedero (Photo Buttons)

Special shout out to Linda Caylor and Stephen Sinur for the video montage given at the receptions.

RIP Bethie. Enjoy your time with God and Andy and all the others that have gone before you.

More About Bethie, Click Here
More About Andy, Click Here