Thursday, March 21, 2019

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A New Angel has Joined the Heavenly Choir

This past Monday, my youngest daughter, Beth passed away suddenly and we don't know why (The Cobb County Corner is investigating). I just wanted to post something to share how special she truly was to all of us. Beth embraced life in a big way and loved people with a big heart. She had great people skills and made everybody laugh with her slightly warped sense of humor and openness. She cared for people a lot and would serve them where they were in their situations. Some of my fondest memories were around how she wrapped people in warm love and a sense of humor. She will be greatly missed and let a big hole in the family.

      A Phenomenal Family Member (loved her Auntie Role)

A Fantastic Singer (Wanted to be Like Pink) 

A Real Animal Lover (Had a thing for Dolphins) 

A Special Daughter

We loved to joke around, talk about music, art and share sushi together

A Dedicated Worker

She worked her tail off and cared for everyone around her. She could do anything she set her mind to and got others to work together.

A Terrific Sister:

She was always looking out for her brothers and sisters even though she was the youngest 

A Great Friend and loved to Goof Around

She would always take time to listen to everyone and supported them in their goals

Beth will be greatly missed by all of us, but she is now with her brother in heaven. Now she can have a duet with her big brother for the glory of God. She so missed him when he passed in 2014. To read about Andy, click here 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Organizations Have to Deliver World Class Customer Excellence

Customer Excellence will bring new technologies, new challenges and new opportunities, so organizations will have to get ahead of this trend. To this end I am happy to announce a new customer excellence collaboration with Gero Decker and Mark McGregor which will lead to a new body of work that brings together a new Customer Excellence program, a new framework for change, new customer excellence journeys, new methods, and new combinations for technologies under new ownership approaches. The result is different thinking when it comes to technology and projects. If you want to register to one of the free copies, click here

Technology is no longer just the domain of special teams or something hiding in the basement. The technology lines have blurred, so much so that in many cases technology and product are now the same things. Cars that diagnose themselves and schedule dealer visits, or the banking that you expect to do via your smartphone, lights that know when to turn themselves on and off. These are not just exciting fun technologies. These are technologies that are completely changing our organizations and the relationships with the people and processes inside them. Twenty years ago, when BPM came along, it was still seen as a means to automate processes in the back-office, gradually moving more into the front-office, now it potentially has to branch out to survive. For today, the processes that historically BPM, Workflow or even ERP automated, are more fragmented, more embedded and even less visible than before.

Don't be surprised to see orchestration used even more widely. The process will become the only way to serve the customer in a flexible manner at the scale you need. But, process, in order to act as the orchestrator or conductor, needs to live outside the technologies it is working with. The speed of technological change means that the underlying technologies might be replaced every two years. Think RPA and robots, it is highly unlikely that the robots you use tomorrow will be the ones you bought already. However, the processes they support may still be the same.

There will be new business approaches and new journeys to bust silos while taking an outside-in approach to orchestrating the jungle of automation organizations currently have to manage localized excellence. Organizations will be charged with removing friction from customers and laying it on technology combinations that deliver customer outcomes while delivering automation savings for the bottom line. These changes will be disruptive but absolutely necessary to thrive in the future.

Net; Net

Organizations need to get ahead of and ride the Customer Excellence wave or be struggling to stay afloat. As we look at the market today, no vendor has a complete offering to address the full requirements of Customer Excellence. In future blogs we will look at which pieces different vendors address and discuss where we think the complete Customer Excellence come from, vendors building out from their base or creating best of breed platforms. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Opportunities to Collaborate in 2019

This year is spooling up nicely with my new participation with Forbes as a contributor. The blog themes for 2019 so far have been around digital predictions and automation topics, particularly RPA. I expect to continue down the automation path and include assistance to developers with forms of low code. Don't be surprised if you see an announcement about a new book as the details are being worked as of this writing.

Obviously, you can reach me via my blog or you can email me @, but chatting face to face is so much better. Here are the events that I have on my agenda


Date               City                  Sponsor                   Content

3/16            Phoenix              Conception Arts      Art Show                
4/15-4/17    Santa Barbara   BPM.COM                 bpmNEXT
6/3-6/5        Vegas                 Pega                          Pegaworld 2019

I look forward to interacting with many as we move to intelligent & digitally equipped platforms. For more art like the above see this link

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

How Will AI Help Me?

We hear a lot about how AI is progressing well these days and how it will help companies with all kinds of efforts from assisting pleasant customer experiences to implementing massive automation efforts. Well, it looks like AI will make it this time and there is a low probability that there will be another AI winter coming. So now we all have to deal with living with AI. I have been contemplating working with AI in my life, so I question how will AI help me and how do I work with it? Will AI be like other technology that I have to learn to for life success or will it be more like a person that I have to get along with to thrive in the future? Will AI make our lives better or should we be practicing for those apocalypse scenarios I keep reading about? I think the answer will vary by roles in life that we play and where AI will add value to our lives. I think AI is evolving but in a good way.

Employee / Contractor Role
As an employee, we are asked to do all kinds of work tasks. Some are fun, some are necessary, and some are just distasteful or boring. In some job roles, the tasks can be plain dangerous. In the case of unsavory tasks, I see AI in software or physical robots stepping in and freeing us to more fun creative and fun work. Even these fun tasks will likely require vast amounts of information, knowledge and even wisdom that AI can help with in the future. I see AI giving us an edge in boosting our ability to consume and leverage knowledge on a grand scale even outside of our native skillsets, culture bases, and language capabilities. This borders on super mental powers for certain kind of work tasks and outcomes. I am optimistic that we will be safer, smarter and more engaged because of AI. While AI will displace, it will also skill assist those that are replaced. I think we will have to learn how to collaborate with AI and optimize the interactions to desired outcomes. Consequently, we may have to learn how to better communicate with AI better and leverage it along the way to feeling comfortable with AI, all while optimizing our collective productivity.

Consumer Role
As consumers, we all want an experience that gets us to our goals in the most pleasant fashion all while being informed transparently. While there may be many hidden complexities in dealing with organizations as a customer, we expect that our goals are being attained optimizing around our time, information needs and efforts. The reality is that organizations were initially built to maximize their outcomes and profits. With the advent of customer journeys, combined with AI, the complexities and company needs can fade in the background while customer needs are being represented within organizational systems, interfaces, and constraints. In fact, AI can help consumers with picking the right organization to work with initially by digesting large amounts of social and legal data, usually represented by textual comments and suggesting best-fit approaches to a specific consumer, prospect or existing customer. This puts the power back in the hands of the consumer before the sale. Once a consumer becomes a customer, AI can help future servicing interactions with emotion detection and emergent responses to the mood of the customer (damage control in some situations, upsell in other cases).  

Self Help Role
Most of us are all trying to become better people and even better citizens. AI can also play a role in helping us in everyday lives. In the case of multi-cultural interactions, AI can help us with language translation and avoid subtle cultural missteps. AI can also help us with interactions with people that are in our network by giving us advice on the proper way to behave or respond in context. If I am talking to my boss or my significant other AI can help me with framing my answers in context. I imagine AI whispering into my earpiece with that perfect suggestion. Also, I could take an inventory or a set of tests for AI to suggest steps for self-improvement. For instance, if I wanted to be a better artist, AI could recommend video training based on looking at my completed art projects. In the same way, AI could suggest some better writing techniques based on ingesting a number of my blogs. AI as a personal trainer of sorts on any number of topics for which I have set some stretch goals makes sense to me. In some cases, AI will assist those that have to overcome physical or mental challenges. You see AI assisted prosthetics emerging today. The potential for self-help is high and emergent.

Net; Net
While there is always the possibility that AI will go wrong, particularly in the hands of evil people, but I believe AI will add value to our lives over time. Will the robots ban together to wipe out humanity? I don't think so, but the reality is that the military will use it for defensive and offensive purposes. Just like any technology, AI can be used for good or bad. I think AI will help us in ways we haven’t imagined yet. How will it help me? In so many ways and some ways, I don't see coming. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

Is AI Making Us All Data Hoarders?

Today the emphasis of AI is nearly all about machine learning and a form of machine learning called deep learning. These are data heavy (Data, Events, Voice & Image) approaches that deliver some very nice benefits, but are we getting hooked on data? We see folks everywhere creating data lakes about to be data oceans that we are going to boil later. Meanwhile, we have to pay homage to expensive Data Czars and Data Scientists because we want to keep more data for the future and somehow AI will make sense of it later. I'm not so sure this is a strategy that will lead us to be competitive with others in the world. A parallel approach suggested below:

Turn It Around:

Instead of just digging around in data for brilliant decisions and actions, why don’t we start with the smart decision makers we are already paying the big bucks for and engage them in pointing out the critical data sources that would be good tributaries for critical decisions? Let’s turn our wonderful machine learning AI and scarce Data Scientists onto these sources first to get some real outcomes to build on for the future. The Data Czars would be glad for some guidance and prioritization as their job is near impossible right now and it is going to get worse as data volume and types are growing exponentially. Even better if we could focus on the data that would create a better customer or employee assistance or experiences.

Experiment in a Focused Fashion:

Now that the data ocean is now a data pool, let's research how this kind of data can be used to outmaneuver others in the industry want to command in the future. Scour the industry groups and even let AI mine text for new and appropriate approaches. This is where our Data Scientist can leverage their skills to find combinations of AI and Algorithms to solve some critical problems for us. This is a decision driven experimentation effort that operated in a somewhat constrained sandbox. If a solution is identified, it is known to solve a critical issue related to important business outcomes.

Adapt While Learning:

Few of us are that brilliant that we get it right the first time always. This means there will be adaptations and corrections going on that will tap new data sources that are related to the problem set an organization is focused on at the moment. If these are done in parallel, the problems can be done in isolation and solved for critical outcomes. There will likely be some integration issues later, but creating an architecture for those integrations will save time on the back end. The fact that these focused and critical outcomes will pay for some of those integration efforts.

Net; Net:

Why should we dig frantically for data hoping to find a gem of data pattern that will help us with making better decisions and taking the next best action, even predictively? Why not in start with known success factors and work back to the data to save for AI and poly-analytics to assist us with brilliant outcomes. In parallel, we can collect additional data especially as we learn from our active experimentation and adaptation. I think a cup of relaxing TEA (The acrostic for the approach above) might be the better approach. Just saying. Don’t be a data hoarder.