July 28, 2014

Mobile Apps Show Us The Way, And The Money!

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 11:12 AM

Need a Lyft? Mobile-based ride sharing program expands [Source:]

I hear anecdotes, now and then, of enterprises that spend an inordinate amount of time and manpower developing apps rather than keeping their websites as technologically up-to-date as possible. Then I hear a snippet in the news about Uber and I know exactly why they're spending so much time on apps.

Uber, you see, is a wonderfully helpful app that does away with the pain and grief of trying to find a taxi in a congested city. Those of us who live in such places know that it used to be dreadful during rush hour to find an open car. But now, because of an app like Uber, you're connected to available cabs in your vicinity. Better still is that their drivers can bid on your trip - a bright spot among my daily frustrations of living in the urban jungle.

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July 7, 2014

Why 'Digital' Emotions Can Be Powerful

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 4:56 AM

Exclusive: Cannot control emotions of users, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg tells NDTV [Source:]

If the onset of the age of Big Data has taught us anything, it is that in the ultra-competitive global marketplace, your enterprise must be able to harness the power of Big Data and ultimately transform it into insight.

The quest to excel in the field of analytics and corporate IT involves the parsing of raw data in such ways that sometimes, just sometimes, consumers feel that their privacy has been compromised. It's an ongoing debate that gets more interesting and intense by the day. And yet, the fruits of Big Data and analytics give us better products and services that are aimed and customized more closely to our individual needs. Our expectations become heightened because enterprises keep raising the bar when it comes to the quality of their interactions with us and the way in which they offer us their wares.

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June 19, 2014

Making Innovations Personal

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 4:17 AM

CES 2014: Drones Take Flight in Las Vegas [Source:]

It had to happen. Seeing as we live in a world in which billions of inhabitants are obsessed with taking "selfies" on their mobile telephones, eventually we'd be seeing the "dronie" come along as well.

Credit the easily accessible technology that makes taking a "dronie" (a digital photograph of oneself taken from an unmanned aerial drone) a reality. Drones were once the sole purview of defense ministries, weather agencies, and large corporations. But now there are a number of companies that manufacture aerial drones that are simple for anyone to use in conjunction with a smart phone.

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May 5, 2014

Are You Procuring Innovative Management?

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 12:13 PM

Banking and Media - Cross Industry Innovation - Telstra Enterprise [Source:]

I can't say that I'm the biggest fan of fast food. But I am a fan of the business processes and operational excellence that some fast food chains employ in order to get a meal in front of a customer in just a matter of minutes. I've also been impressed by the innovative culture of fast food restaurants. At first glance this statement sounds a bit odd - I mean, how innovative do you have to be to fry up a hamburger?

Well, consider this story: In the mid 1970s, McDonald's got word that one of its franchisees had placed a poached egg, a slice of cheese, and some Canadian bacon in the middle of a toasted an English muffin. He called the sandwich the "Egg McMuffin" and it was (excuse the pun) selling like hotcakes. The restaurant manager had wanted something to sell during the late morning, when people were coming in to buy coffee but it was still too early to be ordering hamburgers and fries. The executives at corporate headquarters were impressed by this new sandwich and gave it their mark of approval. Soon, every McDonald's around the world was selling this new sandwich and it helped the chain expand into the lucrative breakfast timeslot.

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April 17, 2014

Innovation Happens Outside Your Comfort Zone

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:53 AM

Verizon Labs; Where Innovation Happens [Source:]

Sometimes we need an event to jar ourselves out of our comfort zones. For me, the sad and tragic saga of a passenger airliner that was apparently lost over a remote stretch of ocean was just that sort of event. For more than a month now, much of the world has been perplexed by how something so large and technologically advanced could seemingly vanish into thin air. Up until very recently, search and rescue officials hadn't the slightest clue as to what happened to the large jet with hundreds of passengers onboard - most of them owning and operating mobile communications devices.

The reason this event served as a kind of wake-up call to me was that it showed the limits of the Information Age. As digital consumers, we carry smart phones that can ping a retailer and let it know where in a grocery store we are, and whether we are browsing, say, laundry detergent or tomatoes. Based on that instant geographical information, the store can then text us with a coupon for a certain kind of tomato or announce a two-for-one special on our favorite detergent.

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March 28, 2014

Swimming Upriver: Reverse Innovation

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:50 AM

Vijay Govindarajan on Reverse Innovation - Nordic Business Forum 2013 [Source:]

Professor Vijay Govindarajan, who along with General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt coined the term "Reverse Innovation" - a.k.a. blowback or trickle-up innovation - says that it has the power to transform every industry, from energy and healthcare to transportation and consumer goods. Yet, outside the quoted-to-death example of GE's wonder ECG machine, real world examples of successful reverse innovation are few and far between. So, is this a case of third world hype or a story of missed opportunity?

Perhaps a bit of both.

Like any other commodity, reverse-innovated products need to find an equilibrium between demand and supply side factors to successfully transition from developing to developed world markets. This means they need to encounter a need that local players in developed markets have not fulfilled because they are either unwilling or incapable of doing so. Also, emerging market firms must keep up a steady stream of innovations and develop an instinct for identifying good "reverse" bets - those with a greater likelihood of acceptance among industrialized world consumers.

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March 10, 2014

Understanding Digital Customers

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:39 AM

Digital Experiences in Retail [Source:]

One of the most popular action movies of the late 1980s was Robocop. I was thinking about it recently because they've recently released a remake of what has become a sci-fi classic. The half-robot, half-man would interrupt crimes in progress and tell the thief, without a whiff of emotion: "Dead or alive, you're coming with me. Thank you for your cooperation." Part of the fun of the movie was to see Robocop face criminals so resolutely.

Sometimes I recall Robocop when I encounter a salesman at a favorite department store. I wonder to myself if he is indeed half robot and doesn't display the slightest effort to try to get to know my fashion preferences. Therein lies the challenge of today's enterprises what are armed with better tools and more sophisticated technology than ever before. Despite those tools, do they risk distancing themselves for the consumer rather than creating closer connections to them?

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February 20, 2014

Micro-Disruptions anyone?

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 8:46 AM

Big Bang Disruption Why tech giants must innovate or die [Source:]

We've read a lot about the merits of market disruption, and for good reason: Either disrupt the market or risk being disrupted out of business.

But how often do we think about what I like to call micro-disruption? Essentially I'm talking about how we face technological snafus that make us quite aware that we're in dire need of more innovation. That's because innovation is a never-ending process. We might be content to have a service or product on our hands that apparently needs no improvements. Not major improvements, at least.

Widespread products like the television and telephone worked pretty much the same way for decades. Only in recent years have we seen smart TVs and mobile telephones thoroughly redefine and reshape those respective markets. In both cases, individuals began, one by one, to call for improvements in those media to meet the needs of their changing lifestyles. And the market eventually caught up to their expectations and desires.

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January 13, 2014

Pervasive Computing Counts Us In, Not Out

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 12:01 PM

New Bio-metric Pulse RFID Chip New World Order Tracking Technology ! [Source:]

Until recently, there was an understanding in the computer world that chips would follow a fairly agreed upon path when it came to increased power and decreased size. By stacking chips on top of one another, however, we suddenly have a marvelous market disruption. Developments are going a lot more quickly. That's because a stack of 150 or so chips with enhanced connectivity and speed would be able to fit into a space of a mere two or three chips.

There are many in traditional industrial roles who are biting their fingernails in fits of anxiety. Might a stack of super-chips have the processing power and speed to replace them?

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January 6, 2014

Welcome To 2014, The Year of Social Media Dominance

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 11:39 AM

Social Media for the Enterprise - A Business Case [Source:]

A little known but fascinating part of British history is that during the 18th century, the king forbade colonists in North America from congregating in groups of more than 50 people (excepting, of course, religious gatherings). The king's concern was that when a large number of people got together to air their grievances, revolutionary uprisings could take shape quite rapidly.

What this lesson shows is that we've long known about the social potency of a huge crowd. Enter social media, which allows online "gatherings" of hundreds of millions of people within minutes. As a global community, we're still coming to terms with just how powerful this new tool can be. That's why it's extremely important for organizations of all stripes to make certain they have the right systems and controls in place to make social media work for them - not against them.

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January 1, 2014

Rise of the Hackathon

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 9:14 AM

Wesleyan Senior Week Hackathon 2013 [Source:]

If only life were as fun and exciting as being a contestant on a television game show!

Imagine that every time you had to make an important decision, a studio audience would be cheering you on. When you answer a question correctly, you would win a fabulous prize. And the show's host would help guide you through life's many challenges.

Unfortunately our lives don't come equipped with the trappings of a lavishly produced game show. But our lives sure would be neat if they did. One result, I think, is that we would all be encouraged to be a lot more innovative. Nothing motivates a person quite like an assortment of cash prizes and the rousing cheers of a studio audience.

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December 12, 2013

Why It's Either Rise or Demise For Them

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 8:39 AM

iOS 7 vs Android Jelly Bean vs Windows Phone 8 vs BB10 [Source:]

Today, the Android computing platform boasts a 72 percent share of the 1.5 billion smartphones in use on Planet Earth. That's up from 55 percent one year ago. Apple's iOS comes in at an 18 percent share, holding steady from about the same share last year. It helps that Android accounts for 80 percent of the new smartphones hitting the market this quarter. So it's likely that its share of the market will only increase for the foreseeable future. The most interesting aspect of this? Blackberry, which used to command a majority of global market share up until a few years ago. It's once-sizeable lead of some 40 percent market share in 2008 eroded to just 4 percent this year.

True, Apple's iOS remains popular in the United States. But Android is the undisputed smartphone champ when you look at the global market as a whole. In the rapidly growing smartphone markets of China and India, for instance, Android is the platform of choice. Those two markets, along with other large, emerging economies, are where much of the smartphone-and-tablet story will play out in the coming decade.

The quickly evolving market for mobile platforms should serve as a lesson to all of us in the technology sector. You're only as good as your most recent product or service. That particular product or service might be an update to a long-running brand or it might be an entirely new offering. Either way, it pays to keep your enterprise focused on new entrants and how they approach a market in which you hold a comfortable lead. Blackberry continues to be the mobile platform of choice for some large corporations. What we've seen, however, is that consumers have no qualms about using one platform for work and an entirely different one in their personal lives. I would have never predicted that millions of smartphone consumers would pay for the privilege of carrying around two devices. Who welcomes that inconvenience? Apparently lots of people.

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November 5, 2013

InfyTalk: How IT Creates An Enterprise Road Warrior

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:39 AM

A Lesson from Star Trek [Source:]

Last week I was thrilled to learn that the Voyager spacecraft had traveled farther than any man-made object in history. After an 11 billion-mile, 36-year journey, it had passed out of our solar system and into interstellar space. Star Trek fans would say that Voyager is boldly going where no one has gone before.

The spacecraft's transmissions, which now take 17 hours to reach Earth, have given scientists valuable insights on our solar system. What's most amazing to many of us in the digital age is that the computer onboard Voyager was the finest of its kind when the probe left Earth in 1977, yet it's less powerful and makes fewer calculations than your average smartphone.

Voyager's latest feat got me to thinking about another kind of traveler. He or she is what I like to call the "enterprise road warrior." Like a spacecraft whose mission it is to provide scientific data, the road warrior is a corporate satellite of sorts. He provides valuable insights and data on the global markets to the organizations with which he partners. And he does so by using mobility to his advantage.

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October 4, 2013

Why Your Employees Can Be Your Best Customers

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 9:23 AM

Consumerization of the Enterprise [Source:]

The customer is always right.

For decades we've heard retail establishments proudly proclaim their commitment to placing customers first and making them the cornerstone of their business models. Today many large enterprises are waking up to the realization that their employees might be their most loyal customers. If that's the case, they should be listening to what the various members of their workforce have to say.

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September 23, 2013

Social Media Goes Mobile

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:51 AM


Like the Loch Ness Monster and UFOs, social media stands as one of the world's greatest unsolved mysteries. Why is it that a large swathe of the world's population owns a smart phone and frequently uses social media, but accessing social media via smart phones isn't the preferred method?

Sorry to throw a wrench in an otherwise neat and tidy explanation of how the digital world works, but consumers still prefer to sit in front of their desktops and laptops to engage in social media. Nobody questions the trend that smartphones and tablets are quickly displacing laptops and desktops as dominant computing platforms. Why social media remains tied mostly to the older platforms is anyone's guess.

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September 11, 2013

Investing, Now vs. Then

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:05 AM

Winning the $30 trillion decathlon: Throwing accurately [Source:]

An American venture capitalist with two decades worth of experience investing in India recently wrote that for the "start-up ecosystem" to flourish in South Asia, you need six key ingredients:

• Entrepreneurs
• Risk capital
• Inexpensive technology & communication infrastructure
• A talent pool
• Large markets and 
• Purposeful government policy

Fair enough, I thought. The list is not unlike what made up the culture of Silicon Valley in the mid- to late-1990s. One element - a talent pool - is especially strong in India because of the young engineers returning home from top-notch universities in America and Western Europe. Plus, they've gotten first-hand exposure to companies such as Google, Facebook, Oracle, and HP both in the West and in India.

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July 26, 2013

"Three Ds" Explain Mobility's Mysterious Ad Lag

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 9:51 AM

Apps Parents Trust and Kids Love [Source:Jennifer Jolly]

People my age became acquainted with computing by using clunky desktops and laptops, but today's younger generations are introduced directly to mobile and tablet computers.

Apple ingeniously removed the telephone function from its iPhone to create the iTouch, a mobile computer ideal for children. They can use it to play educational games and take photos of their siblings and school friends. The younger generation is why mobile computing is growing exponentially. Apple isn't the only company on top of this trend. Google's Larry Page maintains that today's generation of kids will be introduced to computing through mobile devices.

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July 9, 2013

Cheerleading outsourced

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:11 AM

Although it seems like eons ago, one of the most dependable ways for a company to ensure its reputation was to hire a public relations firm. The PR agents would wine and dine members of the press while selling them on the positive accomplishments of their clients. In time, these relationships would translate into favorable mentions in the pages of magazines and newspapers. Should a crisis develop, PR "flacks" would call in favors with reporters in order to lessen the blow.

Then came the time when managing a company's reputation was no longer about just developing a long-term, press-friendly strategy. In a matter of minutes, disgruntled customers could take to social media outlets to complain about a company and its products. The company, at the center of the storm, often did not have the in-house resources or a technologically competent PR firm to launch a swift and effective counter-offensive in cyberspace.

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June 19, 2013

Accepting the New Digital Consumer

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 8:03 AM

Nutella Commercial [Source : TOKENFATK1D]

A significant part of the information revolution that's unfolded rapidly over the past several years is around metadata that can be sliced, diced and interpreted in such ways that organizations gain insights about their customers. We learn about behaviors as a group of course, but companies are going deeper to get a glimpse of an individual's tastes and preferences. This development gives enormous influence to consumers. So much so that companies need to accept the fact that consumers now have most of the power in a digital marketplace.

Not convinced? Well, individuals can disrupt or even shut down a business ultimately if they leverage their brand communities and social media outlets in certain ways. That's the stark change that's come about in the digital world. Imagine for a moment if the owner of a company said today that you could buy the product his company made in whatever color you wanted so long as it's black. I reckon that he would go out of business very quickly. Yet it's hard for some companies to grasp this fact. Yesterday's all-powerful organizations can no longer dictate to consumers what they want or need. A corporation has two choices: It can draw a line in the sand and challenge this convention. Or it can accept the new reality of the digital age and engage with its consumers to influence the conversation.

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February 11, 2013

Help! SoLoMo is changing my Customer Value Chain.What can I do?

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 4:54 AM

First it went Digital, then Mobile, and now consumer behavior is trending towards the confluence of Social, Local and Mobile. The allure of SoLoMo lies in its ability to drive action: according to research, a high proportion of consumers searching for "nearby" products or services on their smartphones, follow through; one report says that 90% of such consumers acted within 24 hours; 70% called the service provider in question; and 66% visited the stores.

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January 14, 2013

Gauging the Digital Journeys of Consumers

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 9:59 AM

Enterprises and their consumers exist in a sort of symbiotic relationship. And this arrangement is particularly relevant for digital consumers. 

They wait for products to come to market with the utmost anticipation, camping outside stores the night before the debut of a new digital product not unlike teenagers trying to score tickets to the concert of their favorite band. Digital consumers are opinionated, too. They devour such products and services and have no qualms about telling the manufacturers whether or not they've met their expectations. It's for that same reason that enterprises benefit from this unique relationship. Digital consumers are enthusiastic about their products and an important aspect of the corporate research & development agenda is predicated on the journeys of those consumers.

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December 31, 2012

The App-side of BYOD

Posted by Puneet Gupta (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:05 AM

Employees love it. Companies can leverage it. And IT administrators have learnt to live with it. So "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) will come to be. But that's just the beginning. Going forward, consumer mobile usage patterns will probably suggest even greater possibilities for leveraging enterprise mobility. One of these is a corporate app store.

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