Sunday, August 29, 2010

Intelligent Cities Series - Post #2

Regional development in Canada is increasingly based on factors of knowledge, innovation and geographical accessibility.

Innovation led or knowledge based development of cities and regions has become the model with which most cities and regions will try to adopt and adapt to new conditions.

Linking innovation and regional development requires a nexus of co-operation between different industry sectors to enable intelligent city stimulation. This goes beyond traditional technology institutions and reaches into the disciplines of digital media, clean-tech, geo-local (mobile) entertainment, architecture and design rallying around a vision beyond infrastructure but reaching to a vision where collaboration and innovation growth outcomes are realized.

What are Intelligent Cities?

Intelligent cities is a new planning paradigm which corresponds to the type of innovation shaped by innovation networks and leveraging web-based collaboration intelligence ecoystems.

There are numerous movements shaping intelligent cities emerging all over the world. Some are driven by local intitiatives and local experimentations found in the Intelligent Community Forum which select cities recognizing their innovation towards intelligent communities. Last year Sweden was recognized. In addition in 2009, Moncton, New Brunswick California and Bristol Virginia, USA were also recognized.

These cities are characterized as intelligent cities with respect to five selection criteria in innovation and communication technology, knowledge and innovation. Broadband infrastructure whcih evaluates the local capacity for digital communication, Knowledge workforce, which measures the capacity of the population for qualified work in knowledge intensive activities, Innovation, which assesses how far communities have gone in creating an innovation-friendly environment that attracts creative people and creative businesses. Digital democracy which assesses the government and private sector programs to overcome the digital divide. Marketing,this assesses the attractiveness of a community and its competitive offerings with respect to other cities and regions.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Creating a Canadian Intelligent Nation Vision

Recently I joined Bill Hutchison, Chair of i-Canada as a Vice Chair in a voluntary leadership capacity to help a team of change advocacy leaders committed to help change Canada’s future to realize global recognition as a Intelligent Nation in less than ten years. To get there, we have so very much to do together.

Join us in our Linked In leadership advocacy forum organized by John Reid CEO of CATA.

What is inspiring me is the 21st Century need to take a radical turn in ensuring information and communication technologies are converging with the innovation led regional economies, and innovation clusters.

Intelligent cities is part of the foundational vision to create environments that improve our ability to learn, forsee and innovate. The driving forces behind sustaining the rise of intelligent cities, such as the globalization of innovation clusters and networks, open innovation and web-based collaborative environments are strategic to the successful evolution of Canada’s economic future.

The new paradigm of city development and planning is rapidly changing as cities in Europe, USA, and Asia respond to these trends but developing intelligent city strategies. Well known cases are Living Labs in Europe, Singapore iN2015 Strategy, Malaysia Multimedia Super Corridor, Florida’s high tech corridor, and a new series of innovation glucsters and global hubs such as Arabianranta, Zaragoza Milla Digital, Seoul Digital Media City, Sweden’s Intelligent Community Innovations etc.

Can we get Canada to global Intelligent Community recognition status in less than five years?

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) named Stockholm, Sweden the Intelligent Community of the Year for 2009.“This is a community that has methodically and substantially redefined the possibilities of urban living and sets an example of how technology can play a role to enhance economic and social development,” said Louis Zacharilla, ICF Co-founder."

The Scandinavian community, known for its prowess in innovative technologies and its quality of life, during a national fiscal crisis in the early Nineties, decided to pursue an unusual model in telecommunications.The city-owned company Stokab started in 1994 to build a fiber-optic network throughout the municipality as a level playing field for all operators.

Stokab dug up the streets once to install conduit and run fiber, closed them up, and began offering dark fiber capacity to carriers for less than it would cost them to install it themselves. Today, the 1.2 million kilometer (720,000-mile) network has more than 90 operators and 450 enterprises as primary customers and is now in the final year of a three-year project to bring fiber to 100% of public housing, which is expected to add 95,000 households to the network. Stockholm’s Mayor has set a goal of connecting 90% of all households to fiber by 2012.

In 2007, the City of Stockholm published Vision 2030, identifying the key characteristics the city aimed to have by that year. In 2030, according to the plan, Stockholm would be a world-class metropolis offering a rich urban living experience, the center of an internationally competitive innovation region, and a place where citizens enjoyed a broad range of high-quality, cost-effective social services.

Louis Zacharilla, ICF Co-founder, congratulated the new Intelligent Community of the Year, saying, Stockholm has expertly demonstrated how a culture of use has formed within the context of Stockholm’s policy commitments, especially those to the environment, business and care for its citizens.

Stockholm is an ambitious community and on the move. Stockholm serves as a case study for communities where national government has taken a more prominent role during the current economic downturn.

The annual awards are presented by the independent think tank as part of its annual conference, Building the Broadband Economy, produced in association with the Institute for Technology & Enterprise at New York University’s Polytechnic school in New York (USA). The goal of the awards is to increase awareness of the role that broadband and information communications technology (ICT) play in economic and social development at the community level worldwide.

ICF also announced the recipients of the Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year award and the Founders Awards: Issy-les-Moulineaux’s Legendary Mayor named Visionary of the Year; Dave Carter of Manchester Digital Development Agency; Andrew Spano of Westchester County, New York, and Taoyuan County, Taiwan presented with annual Founders Awards.

Stockholm Named Intelligent Community of Year 2009 by ICF

Monday, August 23, 2010

Innovation on Steroids

How do you drive an organization forward to achieve the most rapid innovation possible?

Based on my twenty plus years in both corporate (enterprise) and also supporting very early stage software companies, it strikes me the realities are still the same.

1.) Having a very clearly defined product or service vision of what you are trying to achieve, and an understanding of why the market should purchase this experience from you needs to be very acute and differentiated?

2.) Developing an employee engagement culture that ensures talent is motivated by your vision, mission and can believe the results you are striving to achieve are real and they can align their minds and hearts to focus on realizing the dream or customer promise you are aspiring to fulfil.

3.) Creating a customer experience that is uniquely differentiated to other experiences in the market. Each customer touch point makes a difference along the value memory highway. How you condition an organization to think and behave can be explicitely programmed into your organizational culture DNA, but also must be embedded into your business processes and measurement systems.

All these points add up, but there is nothing more critical than ensuring that you can successfully commercialize your products and services and secure consistent customer footprints, and create a brand that creates a following.

We are now at the same that employee engagement and customer engagement are constant heart beats in developing innovation capacity.However to drive innovation on steroids we need to add to this current formula fix a focus on community experiences.

What needs to be added to the mix?

As more and more trust moves to web based experiences where consumers rely on purchasing guidance or advice from trusted networks, the only growth engine remaining for innovation capacity is really community influence and mining for community intelligence to propel growth more rapidly forward.

When one looks at the success of companies like Zappos (shoe retailer sold to eBay for $850 million after attempts from eBay and others failed), or other companies like eBay or Facebook which are aggregating communities around deep product niches demonstrate new approaches to developing corporate business models.

Pathways for Innovation Execution Excellence

If you are looking to develop a deep digital social media strategy around your product or service offering, we have two new offers at my firm that may interest you:

1.) Digital Social Media Market Differentiation Rapid Scan - we quickly look at your digital social media offerings, scan the market, and give you clear recommendations of ways to differentiate and improve your go to market capabilities.

2.) Pilot Innovation Community Bazaars - we have learned that developing a rapid pilot with an existing community to test your product or service is a very effective way to gain rapid customer insights. There is a community these days for almost everything so stepping back and going directly to an existing community vs creating a new community is a far smarter way to innovate and be more agile.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Analytics Drive Business Profitability

BI Profitability Game Changer for Growth

In today's fast moving business world, customer relationship intelligence is everything. CRM technology has promsed for years to enable one to one relationship support and also to tailor organization's marketing and operational programs to drive micro-segmentation capabilities for target marketing.

This has been a long time coming. But finally there is starting to be stronger evidence backed by quality research that we are seeing some game changing realities.

MIT and the Economist, two organizations that drive rigor before they speak have recently written on the experiences of IBM, Cablecom and Walmart.

IBM claims over $1B new revenue from BI insights

IBM is a pioneer in the use of mathematical models. Their analytics challenge was to learn how to maximize revenue per client by analyzing years of sales data. This insight helped them reconfigure their sales account size, industry and service offerings. Their position is that over $1B US in new revenue was generated as a result of a more optimized sales coverage was the outcome from analyzing huge data sets for business insights.

Wallmart Inventory Intelligence World Class Smarts Continue

In the case of Walmart well known for thier legacy in optimizing supply chain practices. They invested heavily in a Retail Link investory management system where they turn information into profit acceleration outcomes. For example, they can offload inventory management to suppliers by not taking any ownership of the products right until the point of sale by the consumer. This new strategy allows them to decrease inventory risk, conserve cash flow and reduce operating loss.

Cablecom Reduces Customer Churn from BI

Cablecom like many cable providers constantly live with the reality of customer churn. In their case by using advanced data analytics, they learned that they can impact customer defection loss by increasing calls by their customer support services with new offers. These offers were new incentive programs to higher risk customers resulting in reducing their customer defection loss from 20% of subscriber defection to 5%.

These examples reinforce that if business analytics are carefully architected with deep gold mining of tera or petabytes of data there is profitability to be found.


In summary, data analytics has the ability to increase revenue, improve workflow efficiency, increase customer flows and improve customer satisfaction and hopefully achieve increased loyalty outcomes as well.

With the falling costs of high performance and cloud computing, more economical data grunching pathways are now available. the market is growing at about 10% a year, roughtly 2x faster than the rest of the Software industry, so CEO's , COOs, and CFO's and CIO's should be continually inspecting the quality of their CRM and data analytics capabilities.

My real question is how much knowledge do board of directors have on CRM - have you ever seen a Board Director overseeing CRM and BI and asking the tough questions at board meetings on these fronts... ? New ways of thinking are needed.

Is your organization up for the challenge?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Social Media Acquisition Buzz Highlights

Deals (M&A, Finance) – Disney Gets In To Social/Mobile Video Games
Disney acquired social and mobile game developer, Playdom, for $563 mm in upfront consideration and the potential for $200 mm in further earn-out based consideration. Disney management notes that the company continues to be on the acquisition war path.

The largest deals in the week involved the advertising sector, with $15 mm in follow-on financings to eXelate and AdMeld, and $8 mm to BuzzLogic.
Four different social network/media companies received financing in the week, including, Hot Potato (acquired for $10 mm by Facebook), PlacePop ($1.4 mm round), Rapportive ($1 mm seed round), and dating site, Triangulate ($0.75 seed round).
Bookmark and Share