Perficient Digital Transformation Blog


Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Starbucks serves up wise words on digital transformation

Starbucks LogoStarbucks did not invent the coffeehouse. It only appears that way.

The 44-year-old retailer and cultural touchstone that turned ordering a latte into a social statement grew fastest between 1987 and 2007, when it averaged two new stores daily. Then the Great Recession hit, people started cutting cappuccinos from their budgets as a first line of fiscal defense, and the Starbucks mermaid logo seemed destined to sink down to where other mermaids live.

But a funny thing happened: it didn’t. In fact, during fiscal 2015, Starbucks expanded by 7 percent in the United States, and global revenue surged 17 percent to $19.2 billion.

So, what happened?

According to a recent article in ZDNet, the green mermaid kept swimming due to its commitment to digital transformation.

“By anticipating and beginning to invest many years ahead of the mobile technology curve, Starbucks today is defining … mobile and retail experiences of the future,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call.

ZDNet reviewed Starbucks’ recent transformation efforts and compiled a brief list of key takeaways every company should consider in their own digital transformations. Among them: Read the rest of this post »

Importance of Marketing in Business Growth & Cultural Migration

Argyle_Ex_ForumI’m at the Argyle Executive CMO Forum in Atlanta. They focus on best practices in B2B marketing and have some great topics and content. This session focused on strategic marketing and cultural change. Jones Lang LaSalle speakers had some great success thinking strategically:


Ray Bouley, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications was interviewed about changes at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

Mike Sivewright, marketing director and president of the Atlanta region, participated.

Question: What were you looking for at JLL for your change?

Answer: We had just brought in a $650M acquisition. The Atlanta office lacked a local identity and cultural. Historically, JLL hasn’t done a lot of advertising or external branding. The marketing department was a production shop with almost no PR, communication, etc. JLL needed to create a vision to unite everyone to move forward. Finally, we needed to create a local culture and communicate it.

Note: Coming to a large global organization meant running a company within a company. It was progress over perfection. Ray was used to trying for perfection.

Question: What did you do to set yourselves up for success?

Answer: First, I had to get to know key leadership. Then we needed to figure out the global goals.  Then take the things we needed to accomplish over a three-year cycle. You had to figure out the core objectives when it comes to localization of the brand. I didn’t know how to identify the culture because of my limited time at JLL. But in a short period of time, we realized there was a lack of articulation about the brand.

Mike: We spent a lot of time figure out what we wanted, to be the preeminent business realty firm in the southeast

Ray: The brand existed. That was a given. We just didn’t define and articulate it internally. We weren’t in a good place at that point. We took some time to talk to a lot of people and defined the goals.   This was great because it helped drive the marketing strategy.  We were doing all of this before we went to the external market. Read the rest of this post »

Don’t Underestimate Employees and Culture in Your Transformation

shutterstock_174539255_350I’ve come to the conclusion that digital transformation is like peeling an onion. There are so many layers and pieces. You have to get a lot of pieces right including:

  1. Customer Insight
  2. Strategy: no transformation can work if your fundamental business strategy is a failure
  3. Design processes
  4. Enabling technologies (admittedly huge)
  5. Measurement
  6. Operations
  7. Culture

I want to focus on the culture component. Many times I’ve been at a client and talking about what we could do to truly make a difference in a great customer experience, more productive employees, well positioned partners, etc. More than once, I’ve received the following as an answer:

We can’t do that. Our leadership/employees/culture won’t allow it.

In other words, if you want to do anything that includes the word, “transformation,” then you absolutely must focus on the culture. You must focus on creating institutions and structures that allow for change to happen. Think of common activities that will happen in a a typical digital transformation roadmap. Read the rest of this post »

Customer Experience and Banking: The Need for Digital

shutterstock_307813265_300I attended a great session at Dreamforce where GE Money and Webster Bank talked about their digital transformations. It’s a good view into how our digital world and ever-increasing expectations impact every industry.

Banks must adapt or die in a digital world – Financial Times August 2015

The whole banking model is changing beneath our feet. Banks must take the valued knowledge of a customer 30-40 years ago in a branch model and translate it to digital.

What’s interesting is that for a long time, when I heard banking and digital, the focus was on transactions. While I wouldn’t mind seeing my bank balance, paying bills, and transferring money; that left a lot to be desired.  What these guys got was that expectations are rising and businesses need to keep up.  It’s worth visiting.

Posted in News

3 Types of Silos to Ensure Customer Experience Success

DT_Stallsmith_CrossPost_Quote_350David Stallsmith, director, Perficient XD, recently wrote about organizational silos and how overemphasis on formal and informal structures can be detrimental to business.

In his Are Your Silos Showing? post at our Spark blog, David points out how the digital age has brought upon new expectations from customers and how organizations must adapt in order to deliver the best possible customer service:

At one time, it didn’t matter much if a company’s departments varied in how they did business with customers. Rarely would a customer interact with a company through multiple channels and departments. But the digital revolution has given us greater operational transparency, elevating customers’ expectations where consistency and seamlessness are concerned.

David then delivers three types of silos (departmental, data, and channel), and the means to master them, to help ensure customer experience success. Read the rest of this post »

Creating a happy RFP


Leo Tolstoy‘s book Anna Karenina, begins: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

I believe that is also true with RFPs.

One of my responsibilities within the Strategic Advisory Team is to respond to RFPs. I am a contributor and in some cases coordinate the responses. When coordinating, I need to understand the entire RFP and ensure that the individual sections roll up into a comprehensive response that addresses the customer’s questions. I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with a number of responses, which prompted this post.

Companies invest time in creating and evaluating RFPs, vendors invest time in analyzing and responding. All involved parties have a lot riding on a good RFP. To be clear, a good RFP doesn’t mean one that Perficient wins. A good RFP is one where Perficient understand the customer’s requirements and expectations and determine we are a fit. Also a point on my background, I spent my formative career years in a large international company, eventually leading international teams of technologists. I understand structure and process and see the value of a well-crafted RFP and have been involved now on both creating and responding.

Below I have categorized some challenges I have seen: Read the rest of this post »

Posted in Best Practices, News

How Retailers Can Take Charge of Their Digital Transformations


Our Consumer Markets team recently launched a series on how digital transformation principles apply specifically for retailers – especially retailers who feel that their digital transformations are complete, or worse yet, not needed.

In the first of five posts, Jim Hertzfeld, Perficient Practice Director, Consumer Markets, wrote about why now is the time for retailers to become “particularly deliberate about their own digital transformations.”

… in the past several years, the connected consumer has been forcing retailers to not just have a digital option, but to use these options to transform the business itself. Retailers are not alone in this latest wave of customer-centricity. Many of Perficient’s customers are adopting a position of digital transformation …

Read the rest of this post »

The Segment of Me

shutterstock_249068644Not too long ago I was clearly targeted in an email campaign and banner ads as a 40-something, suburban mom with kids that was preparing for “back-to-school.” I was offered some pretty good deals on sneakers, backpacks and organizational products for my home.

Unfortunately, this retailer couldn’t have been more wrong. I am 40-something, single, live in an urban zip code and have 0 children. They placed me smack dab into the wrong demographic profile. I didn’t feel that this retailer “knew” me.

This experience made me wonder how they were analyzing, segmenting and personalizing the information they had on me. The #1 goal of personalization is to identify a person’s attributes from their purchase intent, understand online behavior and specific profile demographics; then customize that experience by presenting only the most relevant content and provide the right calls–to-action. This retailer clearly had some information right, but missed the mark on others.

The challenge is that they likely couldn’t sift through the data and make it actionable intelligence, because quite simply there is a lot of data! As a frequent shopper of this retailer, they knew a lot about me, but they picked up on the wrong data …maybe a previous purchase of gifts for my best friend’s kids or maybe it was the gift bought for a charity event made them segment me differently.

Whatever happened, it made me think more about analytics, big data and the role it plays in personalizing content for me and as  the volumes of customer data increase, so does the critical nature of getting personalization right. On Thursday, Aug 20th, we will begin the discussion on big data, analytics and how it affects personalization in our next digital transformation webinar on analytics and personalization. Join the session by registering here: Leverage Customer Data to Deliver a Personalized Digital Experience.

The Benefits of Service-Oriented Architecture Approach for APIs

shutterstock_279561146_350Perficient’s integration practice is over 15 years old so we have been through the rise of proprietary integration brokers, the hype cycle of SOA, and the hyper growth of APIs and the rising popularity of microservices. These approaches and technologies are related with the common goal of systems interoperability and share a common lineage and evolution of technology and architecture.

SOA has been successful by bringing a focus to standards-based interoperability but often had cost overruns when approached with a heavy top-down methodology. APIs have popularized a more bottom-up approach to interoperability focused on a more lightweight and developer focused governance model and simple semantics. Microservices has introduced an architected way to package and deploy services using containers that scale easily with cloud computing including the popular API interface.

One could at a high level argue that these approaches to interoperability have different goals in that SOA is about reuse, APIs are about integration and microservices are about scale. But, the goals can be complementary across each style, for example it would be great if APIs are reusable with little redundancy and there is often need for SOA services to scale. Read the rest of this post »

Posted in News

Digital Strategy in a Competitive World

Daniel Rabbitt blogged on Competitive Strategy in A Digital Age over on our Oracle Blog.  He makes a lot of great points so it’s worth a read and that’s not just because he mentions my much more famous namesake, Harvard Professor Michael Porter.  Here’s a couple thought provoking quotes

Can leading players (in this case, market-leading companies) expect customer loyalty based on past results?


When a major shift occurred in an industry, such as the decline of a former market leader, often the pundits looked to the five forces for perspective. But in an age when digital transformation impacts every aspect of our economy,

My first thought is that Daniel has it right.  You cannot rely on past results for customer loyalty.  You also will find it difficult to react at the speed of digital without putting in place your own plans to be agile and customer focused in todays marketplace.

Case in point, one client of ours is going through some significant disruption.  When analyzing that disruption and what they should be doing, one quote came to fore, “But our customers love us.  I speak on the phone to them all the time.”  What that misses is the fact that while many existing customers may love them, those that do not are already exiting without leaving a postcard.  New customers may not even find them because they do their research digitally before picking up the phone…… an area where this company has room for improvement.  My point is that without a digital baseline and a go to strategy, major shifts will impact you and they will impact you faster than you expect.