I interviewed Bennet Bayer who discussed Collaboration, the Currency of Business.







It’s great to speak to you today, Bennet. And I’m looking forward to hearing your views on the topic of Collaboration, the Currency of Business.


Well, thank you, Dustin. I think the rationale for running a successful business today includes knowing how supplies and customers lead the personalized engagement in today's connected, digital environment. Now for me, success in technology business, my fields, and specifically in  product marketing is built... How do we build bridges across the various constituents in the ever-involving need to become close to the digitally connected vendor or customer.


Now to facilitate these relationships that foster communication with the minimum of complexity across multiple market segments and product lines is the goal of collaboration, which therefore, I believe, becomes the currency of business. Now collaboration as business currency needs to go beyond the traditional unified communications and instant messaging technologies. As a start, I look at business social solutions, which mixes technologies that the CIO and CMO can bolt on quickly.


Some examples would include IBM Connections, Jive , Moxie. These are examples of core business social platforms. Or another way to think of it is linked-in groups with communications the share points integrated into it, plus other elements to map and monitor the interactions between members and their efficiencies. By doing this, mission critical applications such as CRM and ERP become revenue positive. Collaboration focuses everybody on building trusted relationships with the customers and vendors. And each member of the organization and vendor can interact with the distribution channels with a timely response relevance, which is often a differentiator in business.


How does this work? How are the impacts and relationships?


I think of the collaboration solution as a series of concentric circles starting with each product or service team, the “what” that the business does. This is replicated across each product and service managed. Another way to do this is to go by how the company is making money, into what channels and verticals.


Now this group connects with the engineers and the developers of the OEM team and then to the supplies. The solution then extends to include front line sales and the customer service teams and eventually to the customers themselves. Now once you find once these teams have integrated, the last component is to extend solution and find interaction in between. And you want to map this out into what they call the customer journey.


How is this valuable?


Again, I think of each product and it's chain as a series of connected linked in groups. Communication can be focused between two individuals with one distribution partner or all of them. The market communication is greatly enhanced, even to include social media. Customer care is more personalized and distributed and includes the ability to interact with the vendor and the CRM solution and the ERP solution. And extending it into social to give a higher level of transparency.


And this is where the power of business intelligence, dashboards, and visualization can really be leveraged and quantified. The methodology is overlaid with communications, especially unified communication, mobile, insta-messaging, and social. CRM and ERP become, actually, self-funding. Social media and customer inputs become measured across each channel and each touch point. And the customer experiences are monitored by mapping the customer journey. The customer journey is each and every point in which someone interacts with the end user.


Now collaboration, I believe, makes this customer journey mapping come to life and become measureable. The compelling reason is to change the nature of customer relationships and the connected digital customer is 40% more likely to change their allegiance and shift their spend. And there's another 25% developing that mindset. Those are four statistics that come to mind.


What tools would you use?


Well the benefits of this collaboration goes beyond getting everyone on the same page. Using collaborative tools around customer and vendor experience and managing campaigns and the communications enable five different things.


First, to be able to see where and when the customer and vendor experiences satisfaction or the pain points. What are the moments of truth and barriers to forward movement?

And then we have the visualization to develop metrics. We can have dashboards. And on the effectiveness and value of the member interactions,visualization also shows how the customer is using the products or services across each department and each business silo and even each vendor and sub-supplier.


This highlights what is most important to your customers and what contributes to or detracts from what they value and drives their loyalty, which benefits everybody. And the marketing measurement of these actions, which is always difficult to quantify but now you're able to and you are more likely to be able to structure offer and redemptions which are affecting the members at each level. And finally, there's a demonstration of the operational process and methodologies in a given area, impacting the entire organization.


Now using tools to do brainstorming is also beneficial. This is also known as sticky note collaboration. Virtually, you save the organization time and money and automation is required. The traditional way to map the customer journey is linking sticky notes around the wall. Fortunately, there are some automation tools that have come on the market -- SuiteCX, Journia [ph]and Jenro[ph] come to mind and they are very helpful, especially SuiteCX.


Tools bring quantified measurement of the information consolidation. It gives you a single place for performance and operational, rational, even emotional data,and the attachment of data and content to collaboration. And then you have the visualization again, which you collect, the collaborative and social interaction about behaviors and processes assessed by multiple users, enabling management to the path from discovery and the purchase through fulfillment, along with filters and various needs.


And then finally, there's a dynamic versus the static. You're enabling a continuous adaptation to drive your strategy, your planning, and your tactics. It's a live, living, configurable dashboard to track trends and progress.


What is gamification and what do you see that helping?


Well, embedding communications and the customer journey mapping tools into your organization collaboration solution provides renewable benefits and a part of continuous improvement. And that continuous improvement culture within a business and the channels are directed by the customer needs. And at, your vendor relationships are directed by the end users.

Tangible benefits include documentations of each interaction point, a holistic view of the company, the employee, partner, and customer experience. Getting to see what works or not with data drives specifics along with the gaps and opportunities between each.


And the overall purpose of this is to see what is working and what's not. Now this is driven by the data and used to measure each collaboration, the extent to which each person contributes or obstructs what's going on. That's gamification. And finding these gaps is one key to business management in the digital age. And this is the point and the purpose of gamification, which we take from online gaming. Each player gets a score. And rather than scoring points, as in online gaming or online marketing, gamification for collaboration tracks each member's contribution, what is the value of that contribution, the frequency of it, or lack thereof. And ideally, this becomes part of human resources and a tool for them to reward and incent for success.


Now to the customer, this could be applied as discounts and recognition and adds to the vendor. Perhaps the vendor in the supply chain gets involved in supplying or providing a solution for care. That should go into the financial benefits and relationship between the vendor and OEM.


The tangible benefits include engagement of key stakeholders throughout the organization and certainly a [inaudible 00:10:19] we saw a great success with this. It provides the means of breaking down silos and a rationalization for the company, the employee. And it's focusing everybody on the customer's needs. In short, it's innovation. Innovation that can be measured, executed and recognized,not to mention the emotional buy-in for everyone through visual storytelling.


I think the digital connected customer and worker are constantly multi-tasking. And by mapping this journey to the customer from supplier through the product teams, through  the front line and customer care. And then you overlay this into CRM and ERP and the communications with measurement to collaboration, you can understand and create relevant currency for the business in the connected age.


Thank you.


About Bennet Bayer






Bennet Bayer


Former Global CMO of Huawei


LinkedIn Profile