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WAX

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I attended Wax, the UK version of Spark and very interesting it was too. I had to leave early to catch a plane so had to miss the end of the session but in the morning we discussed drivers, as we did in spark) and got a different set. My group came up with the following (as best I can remember):

 

Identity

Trust and Reputation

Business models

Culture

Customer lifecycle

Agility / flexibility

 

+ some more. Hopefully Matt will post the pictures soon and then I can finish off. The second session was a bit less structured, it was about getting a strategic direction from the drivers. We struggled for a bit on this but in the end came up with the idea of taking each driver and writing down what the state is now and what the desired state is. Alas I had to go before the end but on the plane thought a lot about the discussions and came to the conclusion that the customer lifecycle was the interesting area, the other areas being either conceptual stuff above it or implementation stuff below.

 

I have been thinking a lot about the whole area of customer lifecycle and think that this is key. For the last 5 years organizations have been doing supply chain (depth) integration but now they are looking at customer chain integration (breadth). That is enterprises realize that at the moment they manage the high touch part of the customer experience really closely with sales and marketing but the real opportunity is now interacting with the customer both upstream and downstream of the sale through the whole of the lifecycle that the customer is going through. So for example a car company sells the car and then waits 3 years and has to reengage with the customer and resell whilst they can be involved in the day to day existence of the car (onstar servicing is an example of this), recommending repair work, assisting with second hand car sales etc. Of course no company can have that amount  information but if it is community generated the this becomes a real possibility.

The advantage to the car manufacturer is loyalty, the customer benefit is validated local assistance.

So to give an example; I have a Range Rover that went wrong. The dealer went through the manufacturer's diagnostics and manuals and decided that the computer had failed and a replacement was needed, a $1,500 part! I went on the web and found a range rover wiki where they suggested that the problem might be a switch, a $60 part. I told the dealer (who had never heard of that problem) and they changed the switch, rectifying the problem and saving me $1,440. This is a case where the community had directly saved me money.

I think that the interesting general business case for Web2.0 techniques in the enterprise are around this area of customer lifecycle assistance using community based support.

 

Anyway Wax was again interesting insofar it made be go back and think again about what the future is going to look like. It was great to meet Phil and Richard from Spark again and also meet some new really smart people.

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