By Bill Swanson, CEO Decisions
Revenue is down and so is profit. You listened to your customers, assessed the competitors, enlisted the brightest of your team, and sifted through the brains of the best external experts. You’re feeling good about your decision to signed-off on that five hundred thousand dollar Sales Improvement Program; you locked the door and made your way to the parking lot. It’s 6:30pm and you’re excited about a long holiday weekend with the family; a time to relax and renew. As you flip the steaks, cook the potatoes, and plan the weekend, the flames under the steaks bring to mind your hot new Sales plan. You begin to ponder… ponder if your market will alter their behavior and increase sales as promised by your team. Can we drive down the expense line using a new position in market strength? Will our up and down channels be convinced and ensure our new products will be supported by them? Will improving Field Sales capabilities and efficiencies do their share to increase revenues? Can marketing successfully define the improvement, and will the company become more profitable; or did I miss something…? The answer to these questions becomes personal. It’s my credibility with the Board, the Bank, and the sales force. Within the smoke of cooking beef lays two questions; questions that should have been asked at the beginning of the decision process: Was the decision making process fully correlated to the sales objective, and will the projects and programs produce recognizable value to the customer?
As a follow-up to Greg Sikes’ blogpost entitled, “Deep Analytics Become More Relevant In Daily Life”, on March 21, I’d like to suggest that the pervasive nature of today’s powerful new forms of analytics can be found everywhere in our day-to-day lives, ranging from fantasy sports teams to smartphone apps which can track our every move.
And, this ready access to data and statistics which is becoming an integral part of our personal lives is setting new standards for what we expect in our professional lives as well.
In the same way that the ‘consumerization of IT’ has transformed the way technology and business applications are being consumed in the corporate world, THINKstrategies believes a similar pattern is emerging in the BI, big data and data integration arena.
By Greg Sikes
If you have watched TV in the last two years, or walked through an airport, you have likely seen an IBM Smarter Planet advertisement. At the core of this message is the idea that the world is becoming more Instrumented, Interconnected, and Intelligent. Just take a look around your house, or at the communication device you regularly clutch in your hands, and you will see evidence of the first two points. I looked up the word “intelligent” in the dictionary sitting on my desk; included in the definition was the text “the ability to learn or understand”.How does a device get the label “smart”? Aside from good marketing intended to increase sales, smart products hold the promise of optimizing performance based on behavior patterns. An example might be an energy consumption monitor that helps meter appliance usage such that it occurs during the lowest cost cycle within a given time frame.
There is so much in the news about cyber-security. Much of the focus is on cyber war as a new and inevitable weapon, Stuxnet and the vulnerability of our national infrastructure. Some of the news is about use of computers to steal US technology and trade secrets, with culprits—if traceable—often located in China or Russia. It is definitely scary stuff, we all fear the prospect of several weeks without power, or endless gas lines should the oil pipeline infrastructure take a hit.
However, companies face a much more mundane and growing risk: personal information in their possession is being stolen by cyberattacks much more frequently than before. This is a form of cybercrime, not a new method of waging war, and the goal is generally identity theft, often an attempt to obtain credit (and debit) card numbers. All companies are vulnerable, but in the absence of required corporate standards, except in certain sectors (e.g., financial services/banking), some companies have done little to protect their personnel and customers from such hacker attacks. Moreover, these crimes are very difficult to prosecute; most originate from users in other countries. In the realm of data breaches and identity theft, we are truly One World.
A “lead” means many things to many people. To some it’s a list of contacts based upon a specific
location, industry, age group or other demographic. While to others it’s the contact that has
completed an online form or responded to an advertisement. Yet to many sales people it’s
a person who has demonstrated need, budget, authority and a specific timeframe to buy a
specific product or service.
Join us at the 2009 TCOSC Technology Industry Awards dinner for the best companies, the brightest people, and the most fun!
The Technology Industry Awards is celebrating its 15th year of recognizing individuals and companies that have made significant, superior contributions to Southern California’s technology industry. This event brings together top executives from all aspects of Southern California’s technology industries to provide an outstanding opportunity for networking. Everyone involved in the technology industry should plan to attend and celebrate the best Southern California has to offer.
Learn more about this fun event:
April 30, 2009
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Millennium Biltmore Hotel
Downtown Los Angeles
We’ve sold out for the past nine years, so get your tickets today!
The first in what we hope is a series of digital media-related events for the Technology Council, this program focused on trends and opportunities in digital content distribution.
Turn-out was stronger than expected for this new topic area, with some attendees driving from Southern Orange County to get a taste of Hollywood’s business expertise.
After a networking happy hour mixer and dinner, we had an all-star panel that represented several different facets of the Los Angeles media and technology commmunity. Panelists included:
With all that expertise it was a challenge for me as moderator to keep the discussion to only an hour. The attendees were interested to hear the panelists’ perspectives, and to share their own, on the many challenges facing the film, TV, and music industries in the digital age.