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The intersection of business technology and customer strategy

Divina Paredes | April 3, 2014
What are the critical connections that need to be made in this junction? ICT leaders share their insights at a CIO roundtable held in association with Ruckus Wireless.

"If they're ringing from home, we know who they are, we know what sort of car they've got, we know a whole lot of stuff about them and that transaction goes through without any people [intervention].

So our call centre handles more work with the same number of people because of the technology that we're using."

Duane Makin, manager business solutions at Vector, provides another example: "Vectors mobile app enables the reporting or notification of outages across our electricity, gas and communications networks. Customers can then subscribe to location based updates on service restoration timing and progress."

Machine-to-machine and connected devices are one of the fastest growing areas,says Andrew Crabb, head of enterprise solutions and services at Vodafone. "You can start with things like smart metering and cars," he says. "I would say 50 per cent of the car manufacturers now are either actively connected or working very hard towards it. So they know where you are."

But having access to location based data poses a question to enterprises: "How do you actually make use of that information in a way which enables you to offer something different [to] yourcompetitors?"

The panelists noted the 'go' and 'no go' zones for data mining on location-basedinformation.

"We can monitor a lot of activity on our website," notes Casey. "And the question is whether you would generate an action as a result of a type of search. But we just won't go there. We're not going to do that; I think there's just a boundary that you shouldn't cross. You define that in your own business."

"The key is that boundary moves pretty much every day," says Kevin Angland, CIO at IAG New Zealand. Technology" is moving so quickly that what is spooky today, customers [will] expect in thefuture."

Simon Putnam, general manager and IT manager at Sony DADC New Zealand, raises concerns about use of the data being collected:

"As CIOs, we are quite happy to collect that data and put it together in a table or present it to somebody, but we really need psychologists and good marketing people [to interpret them], otherwise that data can actually backfire."

Data by itself is not worth a lot, says Roger Jones, GM business technology,Auckland Transport. "How would we use it, what would that mean for us as a business, what business processes would need to change and what impact would they have on the customer and the customer service? Is it worth doing, is it worth investing in?"

"It [location based services] is a double-edged sword," says Edwin Ng, CIO of Atlantis Healthcare. "It's disruptive but can be really useful. When we are treating patients with Alzheimer's, it's really useful when they have location-based devices. Should they wander from the house and disappear, you know exactly where they are. We just have to be careful how it's used."


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