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September 30, 2016

Dreamforce 2016: There's a lot to Tweet about!

It's time once again for Salesforce's annual spectacular event Dreamforce with this year's event scheduled to start at SFO from Tuesday, Oct 4th. Salesforce has been in the news lately though not due to Dreamforce. The news is about Salesforce being one of the potential suitors for Twitter if that company is up for sale. With Disney and Google as probable competitors of Salesforce in this race, it makes for interesting news indeed. As a practicing consultant, I'd be interested to learn what the use cases would be for Salesforce to incorporate Twitter into their products and offerings, as Salesforce products already have good collaborative capability out of the box.

 

Coming back to the topic of Dreamforce, we need to get prepared for the deluge of information from Salesforce that will be available throughout the course of the event. Here are some areas that I would to like gather information on so that I can help my clients make better decisions about Salesforce products (whether they are existing users or are thinking about trying Salesforce products):

 

1.       Salesforce Lightning vs. Salesforce Classic:

Lightning is different user experience with a new user interface (UI) that moves away from the previous version, Salesforce Classic, which was characterized by tabs at the top the UI. As I mentioned in my blog post on Lightning in July (URL: http://www.infosysblogs.com/management-consulting/2016/07/frontiers_of_salesforce_-_part_3.html), from an implementation perspective there are some limitations that call for a careful assessment of which option is more suitable for the unique needs of my clients. I'd like to see what changes are on the horizon for Lightning and how that can shape future decisions on this topic.

 

2.       Einstein for Artificial Intelligence (AI):

Salesforce recently announced the availability of Salesforce Einstein - meant to help enterprises to deliver customer experiences based on predictive analysis i.e. AI for CRM. This appears to involve all the major cloud offerings of Salesforce (Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, etc.) and I am eager to see the demos during Dreamforce to understand where this is with respect to practical implementation in my client's projects i.e. the likely use cases for immediate application of this offering.

 

3.       Wave Analytics:

This has been around since 2014. However, I've seen more interest amongst my clients in recent times than before, which is not surprising as Wave Analytics itself has been gaining traction slowly. Salesforce has been working on areas like making it more declarative (more clicks less coding) and improving the ability to use multiple external data sources. Given the popular and successful capabilities of the Sales Cloud and Service Cloud offerings, a stronger Wave Analytics offering will certainly be good news for Salesforce fans.

 

Are you planning to participate in Dreamforce too (either in person at SFO or over media channels)? Are there Dreamforce sessions or topics that interest you? I welcome your comments. My next blog post will be immediately after Dreamforce and will be a summary of the event (similar to my last year's post: http://www.infosysblogs.com/management-consulting/2015/09/my_aha_moment_at_dreamforce_20.html). 

July 20, 2016

Frontiers of Salesforce - Part 3: Lightning Experience

This is the final blog post in the trilogy on my experiences with some of the newest offerings of the Salesforce product suite.

 

In this post, I will focus on Lightning Experience. This is a new user experience with a new user interface (UI) that moves away from the previous version, Salesforce Classic, which was characterized by tabs at the top the UI. This capability has been introduced with a lot of fanfare and seems to be the general direction in which Salesforce.com is headed with its product suite. Of course, from a developer's point of view, the definition is more complicated and that eventually has an impact on the direction your organization may take with respect to this capability.

 

In an implementation for a client, we had to address a question - To build on Lightning Experience or Salesforce Classic? My observations from that experience:

·         Once Lightning is enabled for your Org / Instance, as a user you can switch between Classic and Lightning UIs from the drop down under your name at the top right corner of the screen. You will observe that the screen tabs in Classic that are at the top of the screen are displayed on the left corner of the screen in Lightning pretty much as it appears on the Salesforce1 app screen on mobile devices like iPads. When you click on a tab, say Opportunities, the data is displayed as a list (reminded me of an Excel worksheet, which isn't a bad thing given our love for spreadsheets!). And when you click on a record there, the data is displayed with a flow that is distinctly different from prior experiences. Obviously a lot of plusses here.

·         From an implementation point of view, the picture gets a bit complicated. As the Lightning platform is still evolving when compared with the Classic platform that is as stable as it gets, there are considerations that the Technical Architect on your team is likely to present to you that will call for a good deal of planning (like which objects can be built on Classic vs. Lightning, what will be rendered when a user sees the screen in Lightning, which objects are supported or not in Lightning, impact on interfaces and so on).

·         In addition to the technical nuances of this decision, you also need to factor in additional UI designer capability into your development team as we are talking about an experience that is unlike the Salesforce Classic's typical navigational flow.

 

Eventually we chose to stick with Salesforce Classic to build our solution with the expectation that when the Lightning Experience stabilizes in future, we would revisit the solution to assess a need to move to Lightning completely.  

 

Is you Org setup for the Lightning Experience? How is your UI experience? I welcome your comments on this thread.

 

With that, my trilogy on the frontiers of Salesforce comes to an end. Regardless of how my experience was with each of the capabilities, one thing that I am sure of is that it is exciting to be experiencing the cutting edge offerings from Salesforce.com as the domain of CRM moves from strength to strength and we evolve from one technology platform to the next better one.

Frontiers of Salesforce - Part 2: SalesforceIQ

This is the next blog post in the trilogy on my experiences with some of the newest offerings of the Salesforce product suite.

 

In this post, I will focus on SalesforceIQ. This is a product from Salesforce.com that enables small and medium businesses (SMB) to interact closely within their teams and with their customers via their email inbox (Gmail / Outlook) as well as an app for laptops and mobile devices. It offers limited capability when compared with the full blown Sales Cloud app and focuses on accounts, contacts, opportunities and reports. With an attractive list price of $25 per user for starter edition, this appeals not only to SMBs but also to large organizations that wish to onboard small teams in business units that are not already on the main Sales Cloud or Force.com Orgs that may exist in the company.

 

I recently had the opportunity to evaluate this product and determine its suitability for the needs of my client. Here are my observations from that experience:

·         Unlike the Developer edition of Salesforce where we can have a trial period as long as we choose, this app is available as a 14 days trial. As our assessment period was over two weeks, we had to use a couple of trial versions to complete our work - not a deal breaker but certainly not as convenient as the Developer edition of Salesforce.

·         While the setup via Gmail was fairly simple, the Outlook based setup was a bit more complicated as it involved the security protocol of the exchange server.

·         Once in, the thing that caught my attention was the way in which the emails that I exchanged with the fictional contacts and team members I created were seamlessly moving between the contact screen in the app as well as my Gmail inbox.

·         Given that this is a relatively simple app, the setup capabilities for the Administrator are limited - I guess the idea is for you move up the value chain to Force.com or App Cloud or Sales Cloud if your business has more complex requirements and the business case can justify the increased spend.

·         We had a requirement to enable a parent-child relationship between accounts and tie the same to products. This was achieved albeit with a creative workaround.

·         We had a need to automatically merge account records but that was left on the table as no immediate solution was visible.

·         The reports that we generated were fairly simplistic. It would be interesting to see how this app can perform if complex reporting needs are to be enabled.

 

On the whole, I feel that this app is a nice way for SMBs to sample Salesforce if they wish to explore of the capabilities of the platform and are apprehensive about the higher price points of the other Salesforce offerings. On the other hand, for my large clients, I would advise them to consider Force.com as a starting point as you get access a tremendously larger bucket of capabilities that should justify the additional cost associated.

 

If you are a user of SalesforceIQ or have some experience with it, I welcome your comments / opinion on its effectiveness vis-à-vis your business metrics and outcomes.

 

In the final blog in this series, I will discuss my experience with Lightning Experience.

Frontiers of Salesforce - Part 1: Salesforce1 Offline Edit

With the imminent release of the movie Star Trek Beyond, I admire our fascination with the adventures and experiences of exploring frontiers beyond known boundaries whether they may be in outer space or the deep sea. In the same spirit of exploration, as a Salesforce consultant I have recently had the opportunity to explore some of their newest offerings and wish to share with you my observations about the same.

 

As anybody involved with Salesforce technology knows, they release a constant stream of modules / products that involves catching up on a regular basis regardless of whether you are a practicing consultant or business user or a CIO. I've chosen three such topics for this blog trilogy.

 

While on the theme of movies, here's my tip of the hat to Netflix.  They have revolutionized TV binge watching by releasing entire seasons of popular series like House of Cards, so I wondered why not try the same for blogs. So, I am releasing all three blogs in this series simultaneously for your reading pleasure - Enjoy!

 

In this post, I will focus on the first topic, Salesforce1 Offline Edit. With the current version of the Salesforce1 mobile app, you can view and edit data in the app on your iOS or Android device while you are disconnected from any Wi-Fi connection. This is a capability that has been on many a wish list (including some of my clients) and it is finally here in a practically meaningful manner.

 

As the edit capability is still in Beta mode, I set out to test the waters for one of my clients by logging into the Salesforce1 app on my iPad and here are my observations:

·         If you already have an earlier version of the Salesforce1 app on your device, I suggest you reinstall it - it appears it did not automatically get updated from the App store and so the version on my iPad did not support the latest offline capability - so I had to reinstall to get the latest version.

·         If you are a field sales rep and intend to use the app in offline mode later in the day, I suggest you access the customer and other relevant data on your iPad that day while you are still online and then click on the 'Cache Now' button in the Settings section of the app - this will ensure that the relevant records will be available for you to view and edit when you do go offline later that day

·         If the Salesforce Org / Instance was setup such that little or no Salesforce1 focused configuration was done, then you will essentially be viewing the objects and data that is meant to be displayed out-of-the-box which means some features enabled for your specific business needs may not be active. You need to talk to your Salesforce Administrator about the same.

·         Once you do go offline, view data and make the edits that are permitted in the current version of the app, you will see an indicator on your screen that an update is pending. This is a cool feature as it lets you know that the system has noted your change and will apply the same when you get online again.

·         Thereafter, when you get back online again, the app automatically syncs up and your data is now up to date when viewed from any device.

On the whole, my experience was satisfying and I think this is a step in the right direction. If you are a field sales rep or a Salesforce Admin who has tried this capability, I welcome your thoughts / opinion about the same.

 

In the next blog in this series, I will discuss my experience with SalesforceIQ.

February 10, 2016

Online or Store? Do I have to choose?


The last couple of years have seen an ongoing tug of war between the online and brick-and-mortar shopping channels. Pure play online retailers have tried to increase traffic and conversions on their websites. Similarly, Brick-and-mortar retailers have tried to persuade consumers to purchase products from their stores.

The net result has been gains and losses on both sides. Showrooming started out as a prevalent trend and was a cause of concern for small and medium sized shopkeepers. Brick-and-mortar retailers fought the Showrooming trend and seem to have succeeded for now in countering it with Webrooming, and persuading the majority of consumers to return to the stores to make purchases. A 2014 A.T. Kearney Omni-channel Consumer Preferences Study has concluded that around 67% of shoppers prefer to purchase products in stores.

So what is the ideal prescription for a typical Retailer looking to draw customers and increase sales? Store purchases appear to be winning for now, so is it a winning retail strategy to drive traffic into stores? The curious thing about the apparent victory of in-store shopping is that it has been achieved not by marginalizing the online shopping channels but instead by embracing them as a core component of a shopper's journey, and providing shoppers in the store with ways and means to access online information such as product reviews and price comparisons, leading to the rise of the connected store.

So does the consumer prefer stores or online as their shopping channel? The answer from the majority of respondents to the A.T. Kearney survey seems to be, "Do I have to choose?" - an average of around 47% of shoppers prefer to use the store in the Discovery phase of their shopping journey, 80% for Trial, 67% for Purchase, 55% for Pickup and 73% for Returns. When A.T. Kearney asked shoppers to choose from 30 possible shopping journeys utilizing various combinations of channels, they discovered that 55% of consumers prefer a shopping journey that utilizes both the online and store shopping channels at different stages of the journey.

In the omni-channel age, a customer no longer visits a specific shopping channel of a Retailer such as the web or a store, because this is no longer how he or she views the brand. The customer sees the brand as a whole, and consequently his or her shopping experience with the retailer spans the entire brand experience which includes multiple shopping channels for the most part.

If the goal is to increase overall sales as opposed to the sales in just a single channel, Retailers must adopt the Omni-channel view of a customer's shopping journey instead of the traditional and myopic channel-specific view, whether they are looking at Marketing, Merchandising, Sales, Logistics or Customer Service. Trying to sell on just a single channel won't cut it anymore - retailers must market and sell across channels. Retailers offering only a single shopping channel must consider going omni-channel, and those with multiple channels must provide a unified and seamless shopping journey spanning across channels.

For the time being, consumers are headed in an Omni-channel direction. While some consumers may continue to favor specific channels in certain categories like apparel and furniture (for store shopping) or books and music (for online shopping), retailers in general must embrace and attempt to enhance the Omni-channel shopping experience for customers, in order to grow and sustain sales in the long run.

Continue reading "Online or Store? Do I have to choose?" »

January 18, 2016

SFDC Program Success Factors: Minimum Viable Experience

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said "Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle." While this was in the context of the civil rights movement, as a Salesforce strategy consultant, I can see its relevance in every SFDC program vis-à-vis the concept of minimum viable experience (MVE). 

I'll attempt to provide a simple definition of MVE. Your customers and channel partners transact business with your organization via manual and automated processes. MVE is the minimum acceptable experience during this interaction below which your customers and channel partners will be dissatisfied and may take their business elsewhere.

I have observed that with the proliferation of mobile devices and cloud platform, the customer experience is more complex and intertwined than ever before. For your SFDC program to be successfully adopted by users and to deliver value to your sales, service and marketing efforts, the active management of MVE can be a powerful success factor. This is especially so if done from the outset of the SFDC program even before the first declarative configuration steps are executed. 

Now the question - what does MVE have to do with Dr. King's quote? Well, when your business and IT teams make MVE an integral part of the SFDC program planning process, then customer experience management is no longer left to the "inevitable" - rather it will be a continuous but well managed "struggle" resulting  in significant benefits for all the SFDC related investments in your organization.

I would like to hear your comments on MVE - has your organization used this concept consciously? Has your SFDC program derived any tangible benefits from timely management of MVE?

September 25, 2015

My aha moment at Dreamforce 2015!

I was one of the lucky 170,000 + persons that had a chance to be a part of Dreamforce 2015 during September 15 - 18 at San Francisco. An amazing event with 1600 sessions and tremendous opportunities to interact and network with your peers, clients, analysts, competitors and of course, buddies.

 

Upon return, I reflected on the various events / announcements and decided to jot down the buzz words that really stood out from the mind-numbing amount of information thrown at us:

  • The evolution of last year's Lightning Platform into Exchange (50+ components pre-built in the cloud) and Experience (new user interface)
  • Salesforce IQ for Sales Cloud and small business in which the CRM system is connected with email and calendar. With the help of algorithms, predictive analytics drives customer communications
  • Trailhead (online learning) and the free starter kits: This is a significant leap in the training area. While the Developer Edition was already freely available, Trailhead takes it to another level in terms of personal, hands on and most significantly, free training for everyone. This truly is democratization of technology learning
  • Vertical apps (financial service cloud and health cloud)
  • IOT Cloud powered by Thunder Platform (with Microsoft as a launch partner)

 

Apart from the serious stuff, there was entertainment too. Some of it standard stuff like the Foo Fighters rock concert and some unusual like:

  • Stevie Wonder trying to get the audience to croon about Salesforce being "the sunshine of my life"
  • Parker Harris, Co-Founder of Salesforce, turning up to a key note address dressed as "Lightning Man" (or as Marc Benioff put it 'a NASCAR driver in baby blue suit with Thor's hammer')
  • Japanese rock star Yoshiki making a surprise appearance on a stage behind the audience (quite literally!)

 

But, my one big aha moment was during the session featuring Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. While showcasing Office 365 and other Microsoft products, at one point he seamlessly transitioned from a Microsoft screen to a Salesforce screen and referred to both as the best in class products! That was a powerful indicator of how closely Salesforce and Microsoft are partnering and collaborating given that Microsoft's own Dynamics is still a player in the same CRM market!

 

Were you there at SFO too? Or did you follow the live streams remotely? If so, I would like hear your comments and opinions on what appealed to you as being significant or interesting at Dreamforce 2015.  

September 8, 2015

3 Significant Use Cases for Salesforce Communities

In my CRM/PRM consulting assignments, a question that I am usually asked by the clients is "What are the typical uses cases for deploying Salesforce Communities apps?" While there are several use cases that can be listed, I have seen three "umbrella" use cases that regularly appear:

1. As a community forum for interactions among employees, partners and customers:
The app is set up as a forum for your customers, partners and employees to collaborate / chat / share information, documents, and pictures - help foster greater engagement with your company and its brand. The focus is on seamless exchange of knowledge, ideas, and clarifications (questions/answers). Can be monitored and facilitated by a formal community manager appointed by your organization to drive the right message across the various communication channels available to employees, partners and customers.

2. As a front end web portal to automate select business processes which are supported on the back-end by solutions on the Force.com platform:
The app is a web portal to engage your customers / partners for specific business processes that are enabled partially on the app and partially in the backend (on a platform like Force.com). With self-service a primary driver, the user interface can have a custom look and feel that is unique to your brand. Also, it enables you to expose only a subset of the Salesforce objects that are relevant to the respective business process being automated.

3. As an alternative to applications on the Force.com platform i.e. to automate key business processes directly in Salesforce Communities:
The app is a comprehensive automation solution for entire business processes. For example, it is possible to enable partner relationship management processes like partner onboarding, lead distribution / management, market development funds and so on. Depending on the complexity and uniqueness of the processes being automated, there are AppExchange products (Salesforce Labs, as well as third party apps) that can be integrated to enhance and enrich the overall solution.

Have you considered any of these ways of using Salesforce Communities for your organization? How successful was the app in delivering business value as envisioned by you? I look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Continue reading "3 Significant Use Cases for Salesforce Communities" »

June 5, 2015

The Politics of Change

With another presidential campaign season upon us, I'm reminded of a quote I read about 10 years ago, by a film producer:

If you really want to change the world, don't go into politics. Make movies.

As a public relations consultant with some experience shaping public opinion, I had my doubts about this notion. While film can certainly introduce ideas, its influence is limited by the one-way flow of communication. To inspire audiences to action, you must do more than simply present to them. You must listen, and listen well.

Continue reading "The Politics of Change" »

April 20, 2015

Can Analytics add substance to marketing reports? - Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

In the previous blog, we have discussed about the common examples to show how use of advanced analytics help create marketing reports and provide better forecast and trends to customers. In this part, we will discuss in detail about the three key areas which we have identified as primary areas of innovation by use of analytics tools.

1. Industry trends and financials: An effective report must capture the industry trends and growth potentials. Analyst reports and predictions from Gartner, Forrester, IDC, and Reuters should be used to derive trend charts, analytics charts, visuals and dashboards. These can give a subject oriented dimensional model to the predictions, and can reflect a 360 degree-view of portfolio, performance and risk in business opportunities.

Continue reading "Can Analytics add substance to marketing reports? - Part 2" »

April 14, 2015

Can Analytics add substance to marketing reports? - Part 1

We are in an age where social media captures humongous data about the probable customer base for any product or service. Look at Facebook for example. You post a photo and mention where it is taken, say "at Burj Khalifa, Dubai", the Facebook page for that place will immediately increase the count of visitors for that place (e.g. the "Burj Khalifa" place will show "200209 people have been here" instead of previous "200208 people have been here").

Continue reading "Can Analytics add substance to marketing reports? - Part 1" »

February 20, 2015

What is Enterprise Gamification?

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Enterprise Gamification - No, it's not the next social game like Angry Bird or Candy Crush or Words with Friends that you would play on your smartphone or tablet.   However, Enterprise Gamification does borrow from these social games their design features and game mechanics (i.e. awarding points, badges, levels of achievement and leader boards) which are used to keep gamers motivated and engaged, as well as reward their behavior, activities and continued play or engagement. Enterprise Gamification is the application of game design principles in the context of the enterprise to improve user engagement.  Now, I know what your are thinking: "these 'game mechanics', as you call them, will only distract my customers, employees and business partners from what I really want them to be doing, like shopping on my online commerce site, or entering data into my customer relationship management application in a timely and accurate manner, or sharing information on my raw material fulfillment orders properly." Actually, you are partially right in that these are exactly the type of business behaviors, activities, metrics and key performance indicators that enterprise gamification is designed to address.   

Continue reading "What is Enterprise Gamification?" »

December 4, 2014

Connected Devices: Changing Insurance Business Landscape

Connected Devices impacts every element of Insurance value chain and enables insurers to be able to re-invent their operating models to deploy effective feedback control processes, increase customer experience, and manage losses. Insurance industry is estimated to derive a value of over $700B in next 5 years across auto, homeowner and life insurance.

Continue reading "Connected Devices: Changing Insurance Business Landscape" »

March 10, 2014

Engage your end-users with a "Persona-based Learning Approach"

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In an earlier blog, I wrote about "engaging your end-users" in the transformational journey from start to finish.  I explained that by doing so you would help to drive ownership and adoption among your end-user groups.  In another earlier blog, I pleaded with you to stop clinging to outdated train-the-trainer and point and click application simulation based learning as these approaches have not kept paced with the speed of change and the ways end-users REALLY learn and want to consume learning content.  In this blog, I am going to share with you a new method of learning I call "Persona-based Learning" that brings end-user engagement and adoption to a whole new level.  Persona-based Learning is about putting the learner (end-user) at the center of the transformational journey through the use of real life business scenarios brought to life through short, engaging, high impact animated videos.

 

Continue reading "Engage your end-users with a "Persona-based Learning Approach"" »

November 22, 2013

Characteristics of companies with successful BI & Analytics initiatives

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Guest Post by

Kishor Gummaraju, VP, Head, Management Consulting Services and BI & Analytics for Retail, CPG, Logistics and Life Sciences, Infosys Limited
Harish Gudi, Partner, Management Consulting Services, Infosys Limited
Santhanakrishnan R, Senior Principal, Management Consulting Services, Infosys Limited

 

Every organization that's in tune with current trends has BI & Analytics programs. What is also true in most places is "everyone within is running with what they call as analytics"!

IT / BI teams are focused on shaping up the enterprise BI & Analytics strategy, identify the right tools to be part of the 'standard stack', and deliver metrics & cubes that business can then pull into their self-serviced (sometimes do-whatever-you-want!) reporting & analysis on ipads.

On the other hand, business teams are adopting solutions that are fast enough to meet their needs & give them ready to consume insights, whatever the technology components are (standard or custom), and whoever the provider (internal BI or external providers), even if they realize the repercussions

There's frustration on both sides. Comments like "we can't deviate from our enterprise BI standards & have island solutions" (BI) and "we have these because we don't get what we need in reasonable time" (business) are not very uncommon even today.

Continue reading "Characteristics of companies with successful BI & Analytics initiatives" »

October 22, 2013

Successful channel partner enablement: Asking the right questions

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According to Jeff Bezos, some companies work to try to charge more and others work to charge less. In today's business world, more companies are choosing to be the second kind. Business consultants are constantly challenged to come up with offerings and solutions that help companies achieve that goal.

One such business problem is how clients can achieve speedy route to success in their partner relationship management (PRM) transformation programs and therefore streamline channel operations and experience for partners.

 

Continue reading "Successful channel partner enablement: Asking the right questions" »

July 26, 2013

No More Train-the-Trainer....PLEASE!!!

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No more train-the-trainer....please!!! What does this mean?  It means that based on industry experience this method of training is outdated, over-used, fails to deliver the necessary user adoption and is a lazy attempt to check the box on change management and training. 

Continue reading "No More Train-the-Trainer....PLEASE!!!" »

April 15, 2013

Analytical Models...Design Right and Monitor Well

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Due to ever-changing business conditions and technological advancements, the predictive power of an analytical model can fade unless there is a mechanism to monitor and calibrate it, thereby keeping it in sync with decision variables. This raises few important and related questions. Can models be calibrated to ensure longevity? Is it feasible to design a self-learning model sensitive to business environment? Are there some model design and management principles which can address future performance needs?

 

 

Continue reading "Analytical Models...Design Right and Monitor Well" »

March 5, 2013

Holding on to the Central Bank Concept

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What are the key objectives of a central bank? What are the instruments that it uses to help achieve its target? Is its responsibility restricted only to to monetary policy? Just how independent is it from the government?

Continue reading "Holding on to the Central Bank Concept" »

February 6, 2013

Cut the CFO some slack!

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At a Forbes conference some years ago, Peter Drucker is said to have remarked, "I have just one thing to tell you today...No one, but no one in your company, knows less about your business than your See Eff Oh!" Whether you agree or not with the statement, it's impossible to be indifferent to it. If anything, it is one of the most provocative (thought provoking?) statements in business, bordering on blasphemy for some.

Continue reading "Cut the CFO some slack!" »

December 12, 2012

Banking. It will never be the same again.

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There is nothing new about one person lending money to another. What is new, however, is that companies that enable this simple human activity to take place on a massive scale are now emerging. They offer consumers and small companies a genuine alternative to going to the banks for savings and loans. It's called peer to peer consumer finance (P2P) and in fact it's a better alternative

Continue reading "Banking. It will never be the same again." »

November 21, 2012

The IMF Weighs in on the Fiscal Multiplier Debate

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In its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has added its own perspective on the current global slowdown.  However, unlike other policy makers and thought leaders who have focused on "things to do," the IMF has come up with "things not to do."

Continue reading "The IMF Weighs in on the Fiscal Multiplier Debate" »

August 7, 2012

Applying HR Analytics for Competitive Advantage

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One of the key indicators of organizational success is employee performance and HR analytics is an ideal tool for identifying and understanding this relationship. A number of leading firms have embraced this approach, gathering and examining employee management data and applying analytical tools and processes to gain competitive advantage.

Continue reading "Applying HR Analytics for Competitive Advantage" »

May 18, 2012

Getting Started with an HCM Implementation: Defining Stakeholder Goals and Vision

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Joint Post by 
Catherine Toriello, Principal, Management Consulting Services, Infosys  
&
Reese Dunbar, Human Capital Management Practice Leader, Management Consulting Services, Infosys

At the start of every project, we schedule time with the executives to understand their pain points, opportunity areas, and goals for the HCM organization.  After talking with the leadership, we then have discussions with the teams representing the in-scope process areas.  

Continue reading "Getting Started with an HCM Implementation: Defining Stakeholder Goals and Vision" »

May 16, 2012

Re-visiting core competency to stay relevant in business

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I recently read an interview with John Sculley, who was successfully enticed from PepsiCo to join Apple almost three decades ago by Steve Jobs - "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?".  Ultimately, they parted ways and rest is history. An interesting statement made by John Sculley in this interview is "... App Store and the Apple Store are as much a part of the "experience marketing" as the products themselves".

Continue reading "Re-visiting core competency to stay relevant in business" »