Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lost and Back and Lost Again....

And Welcome back.


The New, New Thing & The Old, Old Problem.

Werner, Amazon CIO, said an interesting thing at the last Telco2 in London: "we only look for old problems, and innovate to solve them". Getting your latest newest thing to integrate with the slightly older newer thing, isn't going to deliver you any meaningful innovation. JP has an interesting point to make on one of his recent post on Confused of Calcutta: "The customer is the scarce resource". JP goes into an examination of peoples response to companies that create "artificial barriers" that create "artificial scarcity". Citing a study that indicates that those pirating games do so largely because the "free route" has less "friction to adoption" (i.e. less passwords, less pin numbers, less reconfirms, less etc. etc.), means that it is just easier to go free (if still, illegal). In a way these ties in with something Norman Lewis of Telco2 was saying; his kids made an estimate as to how much the artist themselves would make from any particular delivery channel, and chose the route that compensated them the most. I think both points are related: People Like Fair.

What stinks of "not fair"? Ummm, banning Google Voice from Apple for one. Me not being able to get my LastFm on my iphone (both of which I pay for by the way). If you ask a kid, they can mostly tell you what the definition of Not Fair is, and here's another thing: in psychological experiments children will reject an unfair deal even if it means getting nothing at the end of the day. The child would rather not have anything, than have an unfair deal. And this kind of Fair Deal imperative seems to be in all cultures, it is embedded in our human design.

So when I start thinking about Innovation, and Products, and Services, "what's fair" is not a bad place to start. What's fair will have an audience. What's fair gets a market. So perhaps the "Old Problem" is "How do we create and deliver a business model that is more fair than the solutions we see around us?".

And Speaking of Fair: VoiceSage

The people at Telco2 are lining up more sessions to progress the ideas of the two sided business model for Telcos. They are also releasing a report on Beyond Voice and Messaging which goes into some detail as to how CEBP (Communications Enabled Business Processes) can deliver significant business value. I am delighted to say that one of VoiceSage's customers is the focus of one of the 8 detailed case studies on the use of CEBP and the customer in question has gone from strength to strength as they continue to use the VoiceSage service and business approach to enable process after process.

There are many other companies now starting to say that Unified Communications is really just a bunch of CEBP's tied together. I've spoken directly to a senior analyst at a top firm about this, and we are of one opinion on that particular "marketing approach".

Real thought leaders are asked to speak at places like eComm uh hum .... and we use these forums not to speak about what we do, but what can be done. I am particularly thrilled that we will be on just before The Umair (Umair Haque) of the most consistently thought provoking, passionate, and genuinely "Disruptive" thinkers out there.

The Good, The Bad, and Just Being Able to Breath

I found this piece on an IBM Forum and thought it worth sharing. It basically says that many CFO's, in even the largest companies, need to have a look at what is tying up cash. Incorrect billing information, incorrect buying policy, or poor compliance with already agreed "blanket purchasing deals" result in millions going uncollected. In the IBM example it was $250m, for one company. GULP.  Not giving credit where credit is not due; not allowing your late payments to age and turn into bad debt; not being rigorous about removing all points of payment friction, will cost you a fortune.


(Disclosure: I am an the Advisory Board to eComm).

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