My last blog was about the key rules to apply for better employee engagement. I had the opportunity to attend the first Open Innovation Contest by the CA Village in Grenoble, between Start Ups and big companies. And guess what? All selected start-ups presented products to better engage employees. This confirms that this is a key concern today for companies.
Let me share the different solutions that have been selected by the sponsors: HP, Mazard and Mutualia and analyze how they are aligned with my key rules of engagement detailed in Digital Me Up How to keep people engaged.
Open communication and no more silo
Who has never complained about the number of newsletters received per week and finally kept unread? Or discovered by chance that the person on the other side of the partition wall knows all about your current topic of concern and will be able to solve your problem in few minutes?
Steeple developed and launched in 2017 an interesting Solution as a Service that fixes these miscommunication issues.
They replace company bulletin boards with touch screens and easy to feed information. Community managers can load content per pre-defined cloud containers and in one minute distribute information across the company. It shows on screens or on employees’ mobile phones.
No way to miss the company core strategy, the last weekly sales numbers or the basket-ball event organized next week.
And it is easy to publish classified ads and ask for advice on your topic of concern.
The solution is very well packaged, easy to use and easy to maintain which is critical when you deploy such new tools.
Team learning goes with team playing
Kaperli is another dynamic structure specialized in serious games. The start-up has a full offering based around creativity, innovation and digital culture.
The founders acknowledge through their own education and training experience, that the best way to learn is to learn in team and learn by doing.
The company has developed a box called Sesame that take teams through selected situations. Through these situations, people can learn about new topics, make assumptions and solve problems together.
We are far from classic webinars and passive training programs.
In addition, they can co-create a specific solution with you if the off-the-shelf offering does not cover all your needs. Collective intelligence is truly valued by the Kaperli solution.
Sales people like competition
The last start up, Motivate.me is a newly born one. Their target is to drive motivation within sales teams.
Indeed, sales people are massively impacted by the digital transformation; e-commerce is able to drive transactional sales effectively and data-driven marketing can target customers per real opportunity. Expectations from sales team are increasing.
The idea of Motivate.me is to promote sales teams to super-heroes. The solution connects each of the sales people to the CRM system, giving them funnel visibility in real time and sharing best practices among teams.
But sales rep like challenges and companies can organize contest between teams and promote winners. It brings adrenaline and fun to the sales organizations.
It is an interesting idea that will need to be monitored carefully; it brings automatic feedback to teams but can also increase stress to people and put them under constant pressure.
As a conclusion
Indeed, the three start ups have products and solutions that contribute to successful rules of engagement:
have a leader sharing his vision and a company with values aligned to employees
trust employees and give them autonomy to deliver
listen to people and give regular feedback
deliver training to keep up with technology change or need for new skills
associate employees into change through collective intelligence
The three solutions might not be enough to solve employee engagement; as said in the previous post the human factor is critical. HR and managers are here to set the right framework, to trust and listen to employees. However, these technologies are real good assets to consider facilitating communication and team collaboration.
Who said the luxury market could live without taking the digital transition? Who? Phoebe Philo. Céline’s previous creative director has been quoted a few years ago as having said “I’d rather walk down the street naked than join Facebook”. She might think the future will tell. And time proved her wrong! Céline has digitally integrated itself in many ways: an e-commerce platform, social media strategy, a website improving the overall online customer experience, as well as content strategy, among other things (digitization not being limited only to an online shopping platform). The various methods paved the way for the brand to achieved a fully digitized marketing strategy.
Céline was one of the last luxury companies to make the digital transition; a necessary step due to the onset of new luxury sociology. Aside from some remarkable exceptions, luxury brands remain sluggish in establishing an online presence.
Are they fearful of losing their untouchable status? Are they hoping to preserve their exclusiveness? After having lost many opportunities, brands seek to conquer the proverbial “goose that lays golden eggs,” A.K.A., “Millennials.”
For decades, the two realms of luxury goods and digital technology have progressed without ever overlapping each other. Nonetheless, the digital revolution has been ongoing. Now all market sectors, including luxury goods, are influenced by new technologies which in turn enable new products and services. In 10 years, the internet transformed the marketing and commercial landscape to such an extent that the relationship between a company and its prospects/clients has drastically changed. The digital revolution merged accessibility with transparency and conveyed an ideal of the mass market. Digital technology is about “anywhere, any time, on any device”.
”Luxury is a necessity that begins where necessity ends” said Coco Chanel.
The luxury market in essence evokes symbolism, creates inspiration and stimulates desire. Iconic, timeless pieces, rarity, preserving exclusivity and an air of mystery—this is how the luxury market could be defined. Luxury goods and e-commerce have continued to expand the market. Indeed, according to Deloitte, the sales of luxury goods in 2017 grossed US$212 billion. In 2017, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 2.3 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 4.88 trillion US dollars in 2021. With 8,5% of luxury sales done online, market growth is on the horizon. 2022 is anticipated to a 6% growth for the luxury market and 18% for the e-commerce market: the latter metric is the newest challenge facing the industry.
78% of sales that were influenced by the internet along with new fully digital retailers—Baume, Net-a-porter, HudaBeauty—have given a boost to this timeless sector. The desire is now for brands to preserve their ability to inspire and trigger the “impulse buy” reflex by enhancing psychological attractiveness.
The Emotion Appeal of Luxury
Why do people buy luxury products? Studies have shown that our decisions are driven by the emotions associated with our judgment. Purchase behavior is the outcome of how a consumer perceives the emotional benefit delivered by a brand through its products while buying them. Luxury brands understand this challenge and use myriad ways of manipulating this psychological appeal in order to drive people to buy their products through this emotional phenomenon. According to a study conducted by Bain, by 2025, Millennials will represent 45% of the global luxury goods market. Millennials want a new shopping experience: one more personal and tailor-maid. To reach this new clientele, brand are implementing new strategies.
How to become more attractive?
Luxury brands had to think twice about their strategies in response to their new target, the Millennials. They knew that they had to generate key emotions in order to hit the target. What is better than storytelling? Storytelling allows them to enter a world, to take part in a brand’s creations and to escape their life. Storytelling speaks to young people and all of the strategies implemented regarding the branding, such as inbound marketing, have shown really high return on investment. More strategies were developed since—for example—new jobs like “online promoters”emerged thanks to social media visibility. Companies changed their schemes in order to implement digital marketing: traditional 4p was scrapped and made room for 4E: Evangelism, Experience, Everywhere, Exchange. All these strategies required more investment from companies, and now, investments in digital marketing are superior in those in traditional marketing.
“Consumer-centric,”“consumer insight”— I am sure that you have heard these words before. Even today, experience is paramount and companies are trying earnestly to put the client at the heart of their strategies. To implement the online/offline or “drive to store” concept they use a huge asset: data. Turning data into consumer insights is one of the keys to taking advantage of this digital transformation. Data enables the creation of a consistent relationship between the client and the brand. At any time and on any device (or even in store) the brand can access a client’s preferences and past purchases in order to better assist the client.
Between digital and luxury brands it is only the beginning of a long story. This relationship will improve in the future due to the ever-increasing demand from millennials.
If we ask a group of people what WhatsApp, Instagram or Snapchat is. They will answer the same “Applications.”
As we know, an Application is a computer software program created to be launched on mobile phones, computers, and other devices. These applications can perform particular tasks of any kind, be it entertainment, socialization, among others.
Nowadays, applications are more present in our lives than ever. Apps such as Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram can be found in millions of smartphones around the world, and people spend hours a day using the services they provide. Nevertheless, there is something in common in all these apps, and it’s that they are “centralized.”
What does it mean centralized?
Centralized applications rely on a central organization or company, which decide everything about these platforms without asking or considering their users. For example, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter are apps that are hosted in a central server making the data more susceptible to attacks and also could be used as they wish.
The opposite happens with the dApps. However, what are they?
The word “dApp” stands for Decentralized Application. It’s a software created through smart contracts in the blockchain and does not depend on a central entity, but relies on the community of users that use it. It can be a mobile app or a web application that cooperates with a smart contract to carry out its function. This is the definition that people give it today, but in fact, dApp means ‘no servers’ and P2P existed way before blockchain appeared.
If you don’t know what a smart contract is I will explain it briefly: Let’s say that it’s a computer program that executes itself when the conditions that were programmed in its code are fulfilled. If you want to know more about it, you can check on one of my colleague’s articles that speak about smart contracts & the ethereum blockchain.
Bitcoin is considered as the first blockchain dApp. It was very innovative when ten years ago they create a digital currency that could transfer value without intermediaries using a system of open source, p2p network, and cryptography store records.
After developers start seeing that blockchain technology could be useful not just to exchange value but for digital data too, in 2014, with the instruments and with the writing language of Ethereum Solidity, they begin to pave the way for the dApps that we know today.
Nowadays many projects allow creating dApps in their ecosystem. The most famous is Ethereum, and there are many others like EOS, NEO, Qtum, Tron, among other projects.
I truly believe Decentralized Applications will be everywhere soon. Let’s take advantage of knowledge from previous experiences. What happened with the world wide web years ago? At the begin of the ’90s no one would have bet on it, nowadays the whole world revolves around it. It’s quite simple to have an idea of what blockchain will be as we move forward and when we become aware of the powerful technology hidden behind.” Mathieu Lecoq, dApp Developer.
The architecture of an App & dApp
In the structure of the apps, both centralized and decentralized, there is what we name the visual part recognized as “Frontend” and the server part known as “Backend.”
To explain it easily, the frontend is the visual section of the app, that is “what you see”. For example, when we start a mobile app or a web app, we can tell that what we are seeing is the part of the user. This part is called the “Frontend” and correspond to the visual interface of an app.
Alternatively, the section of the server is the one that “is not seen” is called “Backend” — every data, storage space, and so on. In short words, all that cannot be saved in the mobile app or on the website.
In this stage is where these two differ. A native application will be structured in this way app = Frontend> API> Database. However, in a blockchain dApp, the main difference is that in place of an API that plugs to a database, it has a smart contract that is linked to a blockchain. dApp = Frontend> Smart contract> Blockchain. The most famous dApps are CryptoKitties, Decentraland, Augur, and OpenBazaar.
Advantages & disadvantages of a “dApp”
The main problem for decentralized applications is that they still don’t have a structure that allows them to work without any server at the moment, mainly due to scalability problems. DApps still have to trust on servers for some tasks, but the protocols grow as we learn.
Cryptography has been used for years, but it has never become a standard with protocols when it comes to generic data, that’s the game-changing part. The decentralization will allow to “centralize” the data without any server. The whole organization of our society can be reviewed with blockchain, and that is why history repeats itself. We are in turn towards web 3.0, and we won’t have to wait 30 years to see the changes in our daily lives.” Mathieu Lecoq, dApp Developer.
dApps have a bright future.
In a data-driven world, our experience as internet users is now shaped mainly by the influence of the big five guys of the block that are Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon. DApps can make a real change by giving back to internet users the control over their data.
Many corporations, governments, and not-for-profit organizations are looking for blockchain technology, mostly because this is the best way to remove third parties, brokers, reduce fees, save time and other resources in the process.
Even though dApps are still in its infancy stage, I believe it’s a space to keep an eye on it.
Special thanks to Mathieu Lecoq for the insights. If you want to know more about his project take a look to Birdploy is a crypto assets management platform that allows anyone to understand, play, launch projects and try to bring something new from scratch in the Ethereum Blockchain.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a succession of algorithms, which enable the processing of an infinite amount of data in a very short time and proposes results that are close to human intelligence.
According to Tractica, Al will represent $ 11Bln worldwide by 2024. Another market is also growing at a phenomenal speed: the global market of e-health, which will reach nearly $ 400Bln in 2022 according to Grand View Research.
AI in the health sector opens up very promising opportunities for improving the quality of care for the patient through more personalized and predictive care. Furthermore, it can help and support health professionals in order to take more adequate and quick decisions in their daily work.
Today, health is mainly about curative medicine. AI will make it possible to switch to even more preventive and personalized medicine.
A faster diagnosis
Thanks to AI, it is possible to better detect symptoms and predict the deployment of a disease by using analytical results like medical imaging, which are, for instance, not detectable to the naked eye.
This information makes doctors able to establish earlier, as well as a new diagnostic hypothesis and to formulate more personalized therapeutic proposals. Indeed, diagnosis and therapeutic strategy are more adapted to the patient’s needs, environment and lifestyle.
For instance, in the Parisian hospital La Salpêtrière, a platform of AI has been developed in order to revolutionize the treatment of diseases such as liver or breast cancer. Medical imaging methods combined with deep learning and big data analytics allow better extraction of biomarkers of disease progression.
For cardiologists, a startup called Cardiologs expert in Machine Learning developed an automatic electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation solution that works in real time thanks to AI.
A better patient care
AI also makes possible to monitor the patient’s condition in real time. This may include, for example, monitoring his physiological condition, describing his symptoms, or interacting with his environment.
More and more, the collection of symptoms is no longer only done during the patient’s consultation with his doctor.
Assistance robots for elderly will be further developed in order to enable them to operate in distance and to help them to make accurate gesture.
AI software is now fitted with sensors and is able to react to touch, sound, light, recognizes their names and adapts to the expectations of their interlocutors.
Through home automation technologies, AI can also allow seniors to simplify their daily lives: some objects or cameras can understand what they see in real time, check the health condition of the patient and alert the family of the doctors in case of unusual situations.
AI robots will not replace the care assistant in the future but may be able to take over tasks to relieve patients. For instance, robots could help with lifting, moving, company with the elderly, monitoring their data health…
Intelligent prostheses aim also to repair the human body or even increase physical performances: artificial limbs or organs. Thanks to AI, it is now possible to perform almost all movements. For instance, Exoskeletons will give to paraplegics the ability to get up or climb stairs.
Also, the American start-up BrainRobotics has developed an AI prosthetics Hand that is able to manipulate objects. The prosthesis is equipped with a digital camera and a microcomputer in order to identify the object to take. The prosthesis is, therefore, able to identify different shapes from databases grouping many pictures.
It raises many ethical issues, including the protection of privacy and personal data, but also the consequences of blurring the human-robot border – a border that can be quickly crossed by the user.
The real impact on surgery
Computer-assisted surgery now makes it possible to improve the precision of gestures or to operate remotely. In 5 years, a system will be set up to analyze in real time the evolution of a surgical operation. The computer will memorize surgical procedures and will allow the creation of algorithms.
Thanks to the algorithms, this system can alert the surgeon if his action becomes “risky”, either because it does not correspond to the expected procedures compared to the other cases of surgery memorized by the algorithm before, or because it deviates from the trajectory defined during a simulation on a 3D model.
A first trial has already been conducted on the basis of 120 records of removal of the gall bladder and after 50 interventions, the computer had already understood that this surgery is still taking place in seven steps.
To sum up, here is a chart illustrating the areas of application of AI