Sunday, 18 March 2018

HR in Digital Age

Human Resources is all about the recruitment, development, and retention of talent.

Across all industries, HR is one of the departments that are most affected by digitization – via big data analytics, social networks or mobile solutions.

Today, HR is empowered with digital technologies to tackle sourcing, recruiting, onboarding, analyze workforce data, spot performance, and skills gaps and enable the workforce to outperform.

Mobility solutions are enabling employers to access and engage with candidates when and where they prefer. Companies can now provide access to processes, infrastructure, and systems that allow employees the same level of productivity as if they were in the office, who are traveling, working remotely, or during off hours.

Workforce analytics is used to screen the right candidates, determine the areas of training in which company must invest and identify employees who are likely to churn.

Unlike digital immigrants, today’s workforce is not after the gold watch and lifelong position. They will not stay in the organization if HR processes are hectic, stringent and not social. It is crucial to enable your workforce to keep pace with the change as well.

·      Today, millennials are making more than 40% of the workforce.

·      Their expectations are changing. Long term for them is less than 3 years.
·      Job hopping and career shifts are new normal
·      Providing them with learning and innovation opportunities is the key to retention

Here are some tips for digitizing HR to become the front leader of the organization

·      Foster a culture that inspires innovation leading digital change which creates the ultimate employee satisfaction
·      Digitize & automate HR administrative tasks which do not have any employee touch points
·      Create an experience for employees as if you are treating consumers, make them feel special
·      Incorporate Mobile and social capabilities in the HR functions

Digital promises to re-position HR as the driver of employee engagement and align the workforce who would be self-motivated to achieve the company mission.

The digital age has changed a lot of aspects of our professional as well as personal lives. The future is now… and it is all about people, so HR digitization is extremely important !! 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Check this 10 tips for successful Mobile apps in this Digital age

Today, the number of mobile users globally exceeds the number of desktop users, and apps are far more popular than websites.

With the advent of smartphones and internet, people are spending maximum time on mobile apps to explore events nearby, gather news and get everyday alerts.

Hence having a mobile app is nowadays necessary for any kind of business. There is no dearth of tools to aid in the design and development of a mobile app but there are few key steps that businesses need to keep in mind before building the first app.

Consumers have little patience for bad mobile experiences. Over 30% of downloaded apps are uninstalled within the first 2 or 3 weeks of use.

Mobile app development should be based on the idea that user experience is everything and not how many features it has. UX is particularly important in mobile applications, you have so much less screen real estate and slower connectivity, so great design and execution make incredible differences in terms of user experience.

Here are 10 tips to make your app successful:

·      Research your app’s idea, & audience - Start by searching the app stores, not just Apple but also Google Play, and look for competing products. Don't waste money on app development and mobile resources that will not be appreciated by users. Reach out to customers via social media and similar platforms, to truly listen to what your customers want
·      Focus on the user experience – unless you have laser sharp focus on user experience, providing 100+ senseless features will not make it successful. Responsive design is an efficient way to optimize user experience.
·      Keep it very simple for use – do you see any user manual with iPhone? Same goes here, keep your app extremely simple to use. A common mistake is thinking your app has to be packed with features and have every bell & whistle you can think of. However, the reality is half of them won’t even be used. Simplicity deliver the great user experience
·      Use agile for frequent releases – by collecting frequent feedbacks, keep your app updated with agile deployments to make users happy
·      Market your app - Once you have the right app, get the word out about it. Both Google & Apple stores have millions of apps today, it can be challenging to get noticed.
·      Test the app thoroughly before and even after release - Test, test, and test with the target users until you get it right. Once launched, continue to use analytics, customer feedback, and A/B testing to optimize and improve the application.
·      Have an extra ordinary customer support – after sales support is where word of mouth publicity comes in. any problems reported by users have to be handled efficiently and effectively to make them happy so they become your marketers.
·      Keep Innovating - No app is ever complete. Listen to your users and find out what they’re asking for. Keep a running wish list of features you can build when you have time. As they say Rome wasn't built in a day, your app won't be, either.
·      Build analytics – incorporate analytics which gives you detail picture of your users, their behavior, usage
·      Choose right business model – free, freemium, charged or pay-per-use as per your business needs

Most mobile apps fail to engage the users in this highly competitive digital age. The bottom line is have a sharp focus on the customer. Sure, technical skill matters—but you can only succeed if you use that skill to meet the customer's needs. 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Digital disruption in Telecom sector

Digital disruption has turned the telecom industry upside down. New digital technologies are entering the market forcing telecom operators to adapt to new business models.

We went from analog to digital few decades back and then GPRS, Edge & came 3G, which brought data and web services to us. With 4G and smartphones now customers have the power of the supercomputer at their fingertips.

After iPhone, smartphones are penetrating deeper in many countries. Carriers now have to focus on customer churn more than on acquiring new ones. Today telecom operators are leveraging big data technologies to analyze call pattern data to better understand their customers’ habits and predict their requirements and thus offer better services at right time and price.

Operators are using analytics to identify customers at risk of default in bill payments and optimize their outreach for higher collection.

Today with so many disrupters, telecom companies have to think of survival. SMS or text message & MMS were some of the core services just a few years back, and then came WhatsApp, which changed all the communication paradigms. Further Skype, Viber, WeChat have entered the market to pressure the prices down for text and voice.

With the digital age, telecom companies have to:

·         Add new services to capture consumer’s attention
·         Accelerate time to market these new services with technology advancements
·         Map end-to-end customer journeys  from acquisition, engagement, retention
·         Use Big Data Analytics to focused market segmentation and hyper-personalization
·         Automate customer care and digital self-service options
·         Revamp website and give customers access to personalized information, offers and buying options

Leaders like Vodafone, Verizon, AT&T have leveraged all the digital technologies to reach out to their customers in a most efficient way.

Digital payments via mobile wallets have become a boon for telecom, as mobile payments are generating tons of Big Data on shopping behavior & preferences, enabling more sales opportunities via targeted marketing

Many technology players such as Apple, Samsung, and Google are collaborating with telecom players to make consumer’s life easy.

A good customer experience is now essential with help of digital. We live in a time when convenience, personalization, and speed are the bare minimum people expect and telecom companies have to take aggressive measures to exceed these expectations.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Digital Transformation of Healthcare

The digital transformation storm is sweeping various businesses like retail, banking, insurance, media, and travel and has entered into our personal lives.

Another industry that has joined the above list by being hit by the storm is the healthcare.  
The advancements in digital technologies like cloud computing, mobile communications, advanced analytics and the internet of things have positively helped healthcare.

Healthcare companies are among the most heavily regulated, facing unique compliance challenges. They were always struggling to figure out how to integrate, aggregate, harmonize and analyze all of the data they have captured, to discover actionable business insights.  Further, accelerated time to market and adding value to patient’s lives are the key drivers for digital adoption.

Digitization of healthcare has gone beyond the drug development. It is no longer providing the drugs alone but services as well.

The healthcare industry had witnessed an impact on the entire product life cycle starting from the early drug development to delivery and finally patient care. Drug discovery is immensely helped by machine learning. Researchers will have access to much more detailed analysis on real-world data, which will assist in better understanding the effects of a drug.

Internet of Things is used to digitally transform manufacturing and supply chain. Temperature sensing tags are used to monitor cold chain conditions and thus ensure and maintain product quality in transit.

Electronic Health Records of any patient who is under the care of multiple doctors helps them to use these valuable data points to deliver appropriate treatment and make decisions about patient’s care.

Wearables have improved the patient care substantially. There are many wearable devices that provide real-time monitoring of disease symptoms along with reminders for prescribed treatment. Ingestible medicines like Proteus pill sends patient data in a secure transmission to the physician, which helps in more accurate diagnostics and personalized treatment.

Fitness wearables such as Fitbit and Apple Watch have increased the ability of patients to take responsibility for their own health.

Portals like “PatientsLikeMe” are helping people with chronic health conditions get together and share their experiences living with the disease. Where newly diagnosed patients can improve their outcomes by connecting with and learning from others. Also, researchers learn more about what is working and what is not, so that they can develop new and better treatments.

Patient engagement has become easy with mobile apps for recovering patients to help manage stress, find information, learn about caregiving and chat with a doctor.

In clinical trials, digital is helping by standardizing data exchange and replacing several data repositories with a centralized information hub. Patient finder technology combines clinical knowledge with big data to allow drug manufacturers to identify potential patients that may have a disease that is hard to diagnose.

With Telemedicine, Patients no longer have to schedule their routine follow-up visits but they can a video call to get the prescription update or check-up they need.

With digital, consumers are now in the driving seat. They have better access to quality doctors and quicker wellness. Digital is helping healthcare and humanity.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

How Millennials are driving the Digital Age?

Digital Transformation has brought several changes in our lives, changes in technology, processes, workflow, communication, and even overall services and products. But more changes will come in near future due to millennials getting active in workforce environment.

Millennials are those who are born after 1985 and grown up with the internet. They are the first to grow up surrounded by digital technologies like broadband internet, home computers, video games, social media, and smartphones. They don’t know what is a floppy drive or audio tape or beeper.

Millennials are very different from their parents and grandparents. While my wife and I prefer to go jewelry shop and buy something for us, my daughter will order anything and everything on Amazon. So much cross-selling is happening to them that they take the decision in a split of the second.

Millennials employ a variety of devices and are omnichannel to conduct research prior to a purchase and expect a seamless experience across every channel. 

On-demand is a way of life for them. They use mobile apps for transferring money, checking balances and getting loan approvals, or calling an Uber, watching movies they like.

Further, they believe in using all the mobile payments like apple pay, google wallet or Samsung pay more than cash. This way ATM machines will vanish from the streets as the telephone booth had gone. 

P2P payments like Paytm are made more popular by millennials leading to less use of cheques or cards.

They prefer to have the digital relationship with the service provider – whether it is a bank or telephone or insurance. They don’t want to visit physical branches anymore and want to get all their problems solved immediately – digitally.

They value their time more than anything and instead of driving around to buy products they want to buy, they prefer online shopping.

They are faster at adopting the innovative technologies like IoT, Augmented/Virtual reality, wearables or Artificial Intelligence enabled digital assistants.

This has led to more and more businesses becoming digital to service them.

As we enter a time where millennials begin to dominate the global workforce, it is important to acknowledge and understand what they are bringing to the table and how times have changed and evolved for all generations.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Facial recognition in Digital Age

Do you remember Hollywood movies Terminator: Rise of Machines or Ex Machina where facial recognition technologies are used in several ways?

Today with digital technological advances, face recognition has become very important for businesses, to know who the customer is and send hyper-personalized offers to generate more revenues.

Facebook has used facial recognition technology since 2011, to speed up the process of tagging friends or people in photos. When a user uploads an image to Facebook, the site's algorithms recognize the faces of friends and asks users if they would like to tag them.

Security agencies were also early adopters of face recognition to identify suspicious behavior & threats to any big event or crowded areas like airports. Now some of the airports have installed facial recognition for smooth passenger movements through immigration hall, security, and arrivals.

Now even iPhone x has the face recognition to unlock it.

Face recognition is done by applying deep learning algorithms on the faces to detect faces and identify a person.

Businesses from every industry are using face recognition to increase revenue & improve customer experience. They can measure how many people are there, how do they feel in your stores/premises, are you reaching the right people and are they interested?

Banks are using it for KYC and verification of customers.

In the Retail industry, AliPay from Alibaba has introduced facial recognition software for online payments service “smile to pay”. With this new technology, you would simply scan your face with your smartphone camera to place your order.

Smartphones and smart watches have already enabled new payment experiences in bricks and mortar shops. Online shoppers are expecting the same easy experience for their payments in online stores. Credit card giant, Mastercard has launched a similar facial recognition payment method called “Selfie Pay.”

Tesco plans to install screens in petrol stations that will scan customers’ faces to determine their gender and age so it can run tailored ads.

Finding Rover is an app that lets owners post pictures of lost pets in hopes of reuniting them with their owners. Using facial recognition software, the app matches photos and alerts owners when their pets are found.

Helping Faceless is an app created to help find missing and kidnapped children and reunite them with their families. Users can input the date and location the person went missing to narrow search results.

Wal-Mart has tested facial recognition software FaceFirst as a way to prevent theft. The technology scans the face of anyone who enters a store and identifies any suspicious people and potential shoplifters, instantly alerting store security on their phones.

Facial recognition potential is enormous even though today it is not fully realized. There are countless ways to use facial recognition and integrate it into almost anything that the customer totally forgets they are using another piece of technology

Sunday, 4 February 2018

What Chatbots are doing in the Digital Age

Our lives have changed for good due to the digital tsunami – it started with internet in 1995, then in 2004 social media stormed the world with Facebook, then came iPhone in 2007 and the whole world changed. Every mobile company started making smartphones for easy user interaction.

Today’s game changer is Chatbot !!

A bot is nothing more than a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a user through a conversational interface with help of natural language processing (NLP).

You don’t have to scroll through thousands of products on the website, just order to a bot and it will take care of delivering it.

There are 2 types of bots making inroads - Informational bots & Response bots.

Information bots are like subscribing to a breaking news or weather alerts based on your reading habits while response bots are responding to a user requested problems.

These bots should know everything about the customer they are talking to resolve the issues.

Many companies are considering voice interface to ease out the interaction and save the efforts of typing texts. Users converse with chatbots just like they do with family and friends.

Instead of asking your customers to visit the website & ask to find what they want or call the customer service, it is much quicker and easier to get direct answers via chatbot.

With digital assistants like Apple Siri, Google Home, Amazon Alexa voice has become an integral part of the interaction.

Chatbots, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, can learn our habits, understands our tastes and preferences and can be much more pleasant than a sequence of scroll, taps, and clicks to get to where the customer wants to go to complete an action.

Imagine how easy it is by chatbot to order pizza, book a ticket, complain about a defect of the product you just purchased than calling a customer service, waiting for IVR choices and spend more time just listening to music or customer rep.

Some of the technological advances in chatbots are:

·      They can be multilingual very easily than humans
·       Can be available 24/7 without any extra money to be paid
·      Anyone can interact regardless of device or channel or browser
·      Faster adaption by users
·      Ability to access data instantly than humans

The travel industry has plenty of areas where chatbots can help to take the burden off the staff, and also enhance the experience for customers. Everything from booking hotel rooms and flights to renting a car or providing assistance during a trip could be successfully handled by a chatbot.

Chatbots in healthcare are helping patients with common treatments by asking simple question and answers about symptoms.

Customer service is the most common area where chatbots are used today.

As NLP is constantly undergoing breakthroughs, chatbots will be able to interact with humans more seamlessly.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

How Digital is helping businesses with geofencing?

You are walking in the mall doing the window-shopping, you pass in front of an electronics store, and suddenly you get a discounted offer to buy a TV you dreamed for….you are amazed. You go in see the TV and buy it at a very discounted price.

How does this happen? The digital technology behind this is called geofencing.

Geofencing is a use of global positioning system (GPS), WiFi, Bluetooth beacons to create virtual boundaries around a location.

It is a location-based service where your location is tracked by the app or WiFi on your mobile. Geofences can be used to target customers in physical locations, allowing you to trigger the right message, the right campaign, at the right time and place.

Geofences can be put into big stores, airports, major events/concerts, tourist places.

Today with digital transformation at its peak and wide adoption of smartphones, geofencing is common for businesses  via several ways:

·      Location-based marketing can deliver in-store promotions to specific customers based on customer analytics they have carried out such as restaurants sending text messages of daily specials to customers who are walking by, Attract new customers by sending them exciting offers they can not refuse
·      In Smart homes - security alerts when someone enters the area
·      Employee tracking – in hazardous areas like mining it can be used to track if workers are in the safe zone or getting into danger zone
·      At big gatherings like concerts geofencing can be used to engage audience by sending them guidance or information about the event
·      Exit surveys for the customers leaving your store and asking for feedback
·      Build solid profiles of customers based on their entry /exits, where they spend more time and use that further for marketing right offers

How does geofencing differ from beacons

Beacons need to have customer’s Bluetooth on for targeting whereas geofencing uses location data from the smartphone. Beacons work well indoors within a small distance of 10-15 feet while geofencing can cover 100 meters.

By sending your customers a time-specific, location-specific push notification with a special offer, geofencing allows you to increase overall sales.

There will be multiple further developments in geofencing, which will help businesses to use the digital technologies to their advantage.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

How is your marketing gearing up and making use of Digital?

For many businesses, digital has simply been the domain of marketing: web marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing, etc. It was lightly wrapped around existing products and services.

As digital is more about customer experience, Marketing is the closest department to handle this. They have to use Machines, Humans, and things to interact with customers in real time.

As we have seen, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Spotify, Uber, etc. have grown their businesses almost entirely through digital marketing. 

Digital technologies have introduced new kinds of marketing tools that take the guesswork out of marketing. With analytics, marketers have a much more accurate picture of their customers.

The main goal is to use data to reduce the expenditure on marketing, increase the customer retention by using the digital channels.

With these omni-channels marketing, businesses can guide the customers through various stages of their journey such as increasing the awareness of the products, build their desire to buy via sending personalized messages so they finally take a decision to buy the product.

Earlier methods of marketing spend attribution, which decides what worked well, instead of just clicks, are now augmented with artificial intelligence to give information that is more accurate.

The marketing department is the closest to the customer in the digital age. Businesses have changed the sales-driven approach to consumer-driven approach of the purchasing process.

This customer-first approach has brought the brands closer.  Further, today’s consumer uses their smartphones for everything. Analysis of this mobile data can help organizations understand the affinity of different groups to brands, changes in digital and physical footfall after campaigns, and so on.

Today marketers use several digital techniques such as SEO, SEM, Web Analytics to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Global brands have changed their marketing strategies over the years now.

For a business to succeed in today’s Digital world, it is really important to have a strong digital footprint on the internet. With today’s sophisticated digital lifestyle, consumers are probably on Facebook, checking out Twitter, browsing their email inboxes and searching for products and services on a search engine

Burberry was earlier just telecasting the live shows of their fashion catwalks, which now are online on social media, which means they are going to masses.

How is your marketing is gearing up and making use of Digital?


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