Digital Transformation – It’s all about the customer

June 2, 2014

Digital transformation may seam like the latest in a long line of marketecture-based high tech concepts but it actually is pretty straight forward.  In a nutshell, digital transformation is about adopting and often combining the digital technologies of Cloud, Mobility, Social Media and Analytics to better serve customers.

More generally, digital transformation, is about extreme customer-centricity and engaging customers digitally at every point throughout the customer life cycle.  And it is key to remaining competitive today.

Big at the Bazaar

A few weeks ago I attended the Bazaarvoice summit here in Austin.  The topic of digital transformation was woven through out the two day event.  My favorite illustration of this was a very cool keynote on the first day demonstrating what a mobile personalized retail experience might like look in the year 2020.

While at the show I grabbed some time with Scott Anderson, SVP of marketing at Bazaarvoice to get his thoughts on digital transformation.  Take a listen:

Some of the ground Scott covers:

  • The customer is in control
  • How does Digital Transformation map to Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud?
  • How would you advise a CEO looking to digitally transform his or her organization?
  • How does digital transformation work in a B2B, vs. B2C, context?

Where Dell plays

Dell Services has been involved with digital transformation for a while.  We consolidated our capabilities and created a dedicated service line to help customers achieve digital transformation. The service line uses a consulting-led approach to help them leverage any/all of these technologies to drive business outcomes and better serve their customers.

As an example, here is one our earlier case studies where we worked with the American Red Cross to help them leverage social media to aid in disaster relief.

Stay tuned in the weeks ahead as I post more about what we are doing in the realm of digital transformation.

Pau for now…

Dell opens its Social Media Command Center

December 8, 2010

This afternoon, Michael Dell himself came to open Dell’s brand new Social Media Listening Command Center.  Customers, press and a bunch of us involved in social media at Dell were invited to attend.

To get a good feel for today’s event check out this quick montage of the goings on, including Michael’s remarks and the cutting of the virtual ribbon (FYI on either side of Michael are Dell’s CMO Karen Quintos and VP of Social media, Manish Mehta).

What’s the big idea

Taking a step back, there are three main reasons for a business to leverage social media (the following is based on a conversation I had with the VAR guy who in turn wrote my ramblings up into something coherent):

  1. Monitor & Respond: You need to protect your brand. By monitoring FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs (through Google Alerts), you can defend your brand, answer questions and stop misinformation about your company before it goes viral across the web.
  2. Educate and Inform: This is where you take the time to tell customers more about your services, expertise or unique selling proposition. Generally speaking, this involves speaking to established customers or speaking to customers who have needs for your services.
  3. Establish Thought Leadership: This is how you pull new people into the sales funnel. Perhaps a local business owner didn’t realize (A) they had a pain point and (B) you have the skills to solve that pain point. Through pro-active communications, you’re able to describe your expertise and create sales opportunities that otherwise may not have materialized.

While Dell participates in all three of the buckets above, the command center is primarliy focused on bucket 1.

Monitoring and Responding

As reported today in Mashable,  “The center will track on average more than 22,000 daily topic posts related to Dell, as well as mentions of Dell on Twitter. The information can be sliced and diced based on topics and subjects of conversation, sentiment, share of voice, geography and trends.”

VP of Social Media Manish Mehta explained the center’s purpose back in October in a comment on a blog post by Altimeter’s Industry Analyst Jeremiah Owyang:

“Our new ‘Ground Control’ is about tracking the largest number [of] possible conversations across the web and making sure we ‘internalize’ that feedback — good and bad…

“Dell’s Ground Control is also about getting that information to the right people wherever they are in the Dell organization, globally and functionally. It’s also about tracking what you might call the ‘long tail’… those smaller matters that might not bubble to the surface today, but are out there… and deserve to be heard. We want to ‘hear’ them too — contrary to the scenarios about ’squeaky wheels getting grease.’”

Don’t touch that dial

I am very excited by the momentum I’ve seen in the social media space at Dell since I joined a little over a year ago.  Things are really picking up.  Stay tuned for more!

Pau for now…

Extra-credit reading

Talking to Social Media Guru Charlene Li

November 18, 2010

The beginning of this week I attended the Web 2.0 summit out in San Francisco.  Dell was a sponsor and it turned out to be a great event with speakers like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Robin Li founder of Baidu, Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley, Eric Schmidt of Google and the list goes on.

While at the conference I ran into Social Media guru, author and founder of the Altimeter group, Charlene Li.  I was able to grab sometime with Charlene and get her thoughts on a few topics.  Here is the result:

Some of the ground Charlene covers:

  • How social media efforts are transitioning from tools and tactics to a strategic and holistic approach.
  • (3:01) Charlene’s thoughts on Monday’s Facebook announcement (Facebook Messages) and what she finds most interesting about the move
  • (4:22)  What Charlene thinks of Dell’s social media efforts, what have we done well and where can we improve.

Extra-Credit reading:

Pau for now…

Chattin ’bout Chatter, The new new thing from

August 30, 2010

A couple of weeks ago a group from paid a visit to Dell.  Among other things, they came to discuss their new product “Chatter” that Dell has recently launched internally and who’s virtues Michael Dell has tweeted.  Among the salesforce crew was Sean Whiteley, VP of product marketing.  I was able to get some time between meetings with Sean and learn more about Chatter.

Some of the topics Sean tackles:

  • How Chatter has done since its launch on June 22.  What type of traction they’ve seen with customers.
  • How Chatter differs from other internal social media platforms (hint: not only can you follow people; records, objects and information within your business applications have feeds as well, e.g. your notified when a presentation changes or a sales deal you’re following moves to a different stage.)
  • How the idea of Chatter came up. What role chairman Marc Benioff and his use of Facebook played.
  • Currently Chatter is tied closely to CRM but it will be tied to other apps going forward.
  • They believe that many more folks will use Chatter than

Extra Credit reading:

Pau for now…

JetBlue’s Social Media Strategy

June 30, 2009

Last week at the Enterprise 2.0 conference I sat in on an interesting session entitled “Does Social Media and Marketing Mater?”  The moderator was Peter Kim of the Dachis Corporation and the panelists were Greg Matthews of Humana,  Ben Foster of Allstate insurance and Morgan Johnston of jetBlue.  Each of the panelist discussed how they were using social media at their firms.

After the panel I grabbed Morgan from JetBlue and did a short video.  I’ve broken the interview in two, the first part talks about JetBlue’s social media strategy and how its working and the second part addresses the tools and channels that they use.

Check it out…

Part 1: How and Why does JetBlue use Social Media?

Some of the topics Morgan tackles:

  • Started the social media engagement back in ’07.
  • The four reasons JetBlue uses Social media: 1) monitoring, 2) engaging, 3) informing and 4) humanizing.
  • Social media can serve as “a canary in a coal mine.”
  • The importance of vetting and confirming information before reacting.
  • FYI if you want to sneak a folding bike on a plane you no longer need to claim its art or bike parts.

Part 2: What tools, technology and channels does Jet Blue use?

Some of the topics Morgan tackles:

  • When engaging with customers and communities its important to remember that you are a guest of that community and dont try to bull your way in.
  • They have a Flickr channel which is populated by crew members and helps to humanize the brand.
  • JetBlue has a YouTube channel where they feature videos generated by JetBlue
  • Twitter is their biggest channel (@JetBlue).  When I did the interview last week they had 730,000 followers, today they are at 780,000.  This is a great way to monitor customer feedback and disseminate information.
  • Morgan is looking forward to seeing how people adapt and evolve existing tools to fit their own needs.

Pau for now…

Teaching Social Media at Georgetown

April 8, 2009

One of the more interesting people I met last week at Web 2.0 was Gaurav Mishra who is visiting the US from India as a Yahoo! Fellow in Residence.  As a Yahoo! Fellow, Gaurav is doing research and teaching at Georgetown University in the field of social media.  I was able to grab some of his time and learn what he’s up to.

To watch in High Quality: after clicking play, click the “HQ” button that will appear on the bottom.

Some of the topics that Gaurav tackles:

  • Looking at social media from an international perspective and examining how businesses, civil society and governments make use of it.
  • The seminar Gaurav teaches is one of the 2 or 3 social media courses that Georgetown offers.
  • What Gaurav was doing in India before he got the fellowship.
  • Social media and activism
  • The analysis and measurement of social media and how to tie it back to business processes, civil society goals or government objectives.

Pau for now…

Talking with Ford’s Head of Social Media

April 2, 2009

I’m currently attending Web 2.0 here in San Francisco.  One of the cooler talks I saw yesterday was given by Scott Monty, the head of Ford Motor’s Social Media efforts.  I was so intrigued that I thought I would grab him for an interview.  He graciously agreed and here’s the result.  Enjoy 🙂

To watch in High Quality: after clicking play, click the “HQ” button that will appear on the bottom.

Some of the topics Scott tackles:

  • Ford’s goal of becoming one of the world’s leading social brands.
  • Setting content free.
  • Innovation is made up of small tweaks on existing platforms that build value over time.
  • How did Ford come to decide they needed a head of social media and how did they pick Scott.
  • The two things coming up that Scott is most excited about: the Fiesta Movement and the evolution of into Ford’s social media hub.

BTW, If you want to follow Scott on Twitter, its @scottmonty.

Pau for now..

Talking with Charlene Li about Social Networks

March 18, 2009

On Saturday at SXSW interactive I ran into my old friend and former business school classmate, Charlene Li.  Charlene who used to be an analyst at Forrester, is the co-author of “Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies and has recently set up her own consultancy, the Altimeter Group.

Charlene was at SXSW as a speaker and I caught up with her not long after she finished her session in the main ballroom.  You can check out the slide deck she presented below.  You can also access the Twitter feed and a summary of the presentation from Charlene’s post. [BTW don’t miss the blooper reel at the bottom]

To watch in High Quality: after clicking play, click the “HQ” button that will appear on the bottom.

Some of the topics Charlene covers:

  • Groundswell: How company leaders can leverage social networks rather than fear them
  • Which companies are making the best use of social networks
  • What social tools Charlene uses and her use of twitter (how it got her quoted in the Wallstreet Journal)
  • Not being afraid to show your age on the web
  • What Charlene is most excited about in the coming year with regards to social networks

The Blooper Reel

You may have noticed that there a few cuts in the video above.  This is because they were shutting down the show floor and kept announcing it over the intercom.  Check out the blooper reel below for proof — and these aren’t even all the interruptions.  (Unfortunately I didn’t capture the part when the Elvis impersonator started singing.)

To watch in High Quality: after clicking play, click the “HQ” button that will appear on the bottom.

Pau for now..

Pics from the show floor at SXSW

March 16, 2009

As I previously mentioned, on Saturday I headed down town to the Austin convention center and SXSW.  Although I’ve lived here in Austin for 2 years this is the first time I’ve checked it out.  I drove down after lunch and bought myself a day pass to the show floor.

The entrence to the convention center.
The entrance to the convention center

While the biggest part of SXSW, Music, doesnt start until later this week, the Interactive and Film festivals kicked off on Friday.   Film and Interactive had a combined “Trade Show” which ran from Saturday thru today and that’s where I hung out on Saturday.

Although the show floor was a modest size it was chock-a-block full of tech and cinema offerings (here’s the map and list of booths — my unofficial guess would be it was 80% tech/20% film).  I hung out there for about four hours catching up with old friends and checking out the various offerings.

Artefacts from the event: Rackspace tube socks, Montana film board leather coaster, business cards, BarCamp pass, brochure from "Austin's only tiki shop" etc.

Artifacts from the event: Rackspace tube socks, business cards, BarCamp pass, Montana film board leather coaster, a brochure from "Austin's only tiki shop" etc.

As you would guess, social media apps dominated the tech offerings and a lot things seemed to be some derivative of facebook/twitter/craigslist/linkedin with an innovative (or not so innovative) spin.  Microsoft had a big booth as did Sun who was showing off its JavaFX.

Don’t touch that dial!

Coming up later this week, the video podcasts I did with Charlene Li of the Altimeter Group and Jason Hsiao of Animoto.

There were a fair amount of apps that looked like this.

There were a fair amount of apps that looked like this.

Here are a few of the faces from the show floor.

A picture of Guy Kawasaki taking a picture of the Lunarr booth.

A picture of Guy Kawasaki taking a picture of the Lunarr booth.

The ever helpful Josh Dilworth of Porter Novelli working the press info stand.

The ever helpful Josh Dilworth of Porter Novelli working the press info stand.

Ka'awa was there promoting a tour of singers from Hawaii.
Ka’awa was there promoting a tour of singers from Hawaii.
Porter Novelli adds new meaning to the phrase "booth babe."

Kevin takes the hand-off. PR firm Porter Novelli gives new meaning to the expression "booth babe."

Pau for now…

Time: Facebook Is for Old People

February 17, 2009

I came across a pretty funny article in last week’s Time magazine that explained the reason why all of a sudden my old classmates from high-school, college and business school are coming out of the woodwork and joining Facebook.  The sub-title (which is missing from the online version) best sums up the phenomenon:

It was designed for college kids.  But it took legions of people their parent’s age to fulfill its ultimate destiny.

The article illustrates that the greatest value of Facebook comes not from facilitating connections, but facilitating re-connections.

Facebook is for Old Fogies

Here are the 10 reasons that the author, Lev Grossman, lists to support the above thesis:

  1. Facebook is about finding people you’ve lost track of.
  2. We’re no longer bitter about high school.
  3. We never get drunk at parties and get photographed holding beer bottles in suggestive positions.
  4. Facebook isn’t just a social network; it’s a business network.
  5. We’re lazy.
  6. We’re old enough that pictures from grade school or summer camp look nothing like us.
  7. We have children
  8. We’re too old to remember e-mail addresses.
  9. We don’t understand Twitter.
  10. We’re not cool, and we don’t care.

The article is short and you should read the whole thing.  That is of course unless you are an old fogie whereby #5 will stop you.

Pau for now…

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