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Posts tagged ‘AI’

Salesforce Now Has Over 19% Of The CRM Market

 

  • Salesforce dominated the worldwide CRM market with a 19.5% market share in 2018, over double its nearest rival, SAP, at 8.3% share.
  • Worldwide spending on customer experience and relationship management (CRM) software grew 15.6% to reach $48.2B in 2018.
  • 72.9% of CRM spending was on software as a service (SaaS) in 2018, which is expected to grow to 75% of total CRM software spending in 2019.
  • Worldwide enterprise application software revenue totaled more than $193.6B in 2018, a 12.5% increase from 2017 revenue of $172.1B. CRM made up nearly 25% of the entire enterprise software revenue market.

CRM remains the largest and fastest growing enterprise software category today according to the latest market sizing, and market share research Gartner published this weekGartner defines CRM as providing the functionality to companies across the four segments of customer service and support, digital commerce, marketing, and sales. All four subsegments of the CRM market grew by more than 13.7%, with marketing emerging as the fastest growing segment, increasing by 18.8% and representing more than 25% of the entire CRM market. Customer service and support retain its No. 1 position, contributing 35.7% of CRM market revenue, attaining $17.1B in revenues in 2018.

Key insights include the following:

  • With 19.5% market share, Salesforce has over 2X the CRM sales SAP has and over 3X of Oracle. Salesforce continues to dominate CRM globally, increasing its market share from 18.3% in 2017 to 19.5% in 2018. Adobe is the only other vendor to grow its market share in 2018. Microsoft and SAP successfully held onto to market share while Oracle lost share.

  • Adobe and Salesforce grew faster than the overall market, increasing CRM revenues 21.7% and 23.2% respectively. Adobe’s CRM sales jumped from $2B in 2017 to $2.4B in 2018. Salesforce CRM revenues increased from $7.6B in 2017 to $9.4B in 2018, growing the fastest of all competitors in this market. SAP grew 15.5% between 2017 and 2018, just below the overall market growth of 15.6%. Microsoft (15%) and Oracle (7.1%) grew slower than the market. The following graphic compares growth rates between 2017 and 2018.

  • Adobe dominates the marketing subsegment of CRM with 19% market share in 2018. Salesforce has 11.7% of the marketing subsegment, followed by IBM (5.7%), SAP (4%), Oracle (3.6%) and HubSpot (3.4%). Gartner estimates the marketing subsegment was a $12.2B market in 2018, increasing from $10.3B in 2017, achieving 18.8% growth in just a year.
  • Eastern and Western Europe were the fastest growing regions at 19.7% and 17.5% respectively. North America and Western Europe were the largest two regions with North America growing at 15.2% to reach $28.1B in revenue.

Sources:

Gartner Says Worldwide Customer Experience and Relationship Management Software Market Grew 15.6% in 2018

Market Share: Customer Experience and Relationship Management, Worldwide, 2018 (client access required)

Customer Experiences Define Success In A Digital-First World

Customer Experiences Define Success In A Digital-First World

  • 91% of enterprises have adopted or have plans to adopt a digital-first strategy. Of these enterprises, 48% already have a digital-first approach in place.
  • Creating better customer experiences (67%), improving process efficiency through automation (53%), and driving new revenue (48%) are the top three digital business strategies enterprises are investing in today.
  • 35% of enterprises have experienced revenue growth due to digital business initiatives over the past 12 months.
  • 5G, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning are the top technologies being researched by enterprises who are defining digital business strategies.
  • Enterprises are planning to spend $15.3M on digital initiatives over the next 12 months. 59% will be allocated to technology, and 41% will be dedicated to people and skills.

These and many other fascinating insights are from the second annual IDG Digital Business study, The State of Digital Business Transformation 2019. You can download a summary of the slides here (7 pp., PDF, opt-in). The survey’s methodology is based on 702 interviews across nine industries with technology, financial services, and business services (consulting, legal and real estate) comprising 43% of all respondents. IDG relied on CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, and Network World visitors as their primary respondent base. For additional details regarding the methodology, please see page 2 of the study.

The study’s primary goal was to gain a better understanding of where organizations are in their approaches to becoming digital-first businesses. The study captures the strategies and technologies businesses are adopting to ensure digitally-driven growth with customer experience improvements being proven as a growth catalyst. Key insights from the survey include the following:

  • 52% of enterprises define digital business as meeting customer experience expectations, jumping to 65% for financial services enterprises. Customer expectations rule all other categories of how an enterprise defines a digital business. 49% define digital business as enabling worker productivity with mobile apps, data access, and AI-assisted automation. The following graphic compares how enterprises define their digital business. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

Customer Experiences Define Success In A Digital-First World

  • Mobile devices and apps are enterprises’ platform of choice for launching digital-first strategies in 2019. Mobile apps and the platforms supporting them provide the needed scale, speed-to-market, and performance gains through application-level improvements that all businesses need to gain initial adoption and growth with their digital-first strategies. IDG found that private cloud and business process management are the second- and third-most used technologies to drive digital-first initiatives. Enterprises also have a considerable lead when it comes to mobile app availability: 74% have mobile apps today compared to 51% of SMBs.

  • Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are the leading three initiatives enterprises have in pilot today as part of their digital-first initiatives. 21% of all organizations surveyed are in one or more IoT pilots, and 20% of organizations are piloting AI and machine learning projects today. Nearly a third of all organizations (29%) have multi-cloud configurations in production today, and 25% have software-defined Wide Area Networks (WANs).

  • 57% of enterprises (companies with over 1K employees) say improving new product and service offerings by digitally enabling operations is the single greatest source of revenue growth. Digitally enabling or streamlining new product and development processes and the systems supporting them also improve the ability to innovate and size new opportunities (49%). It makes sense that once the new product development process is more digitally enabled, an organization will be able to more efficiently launch new capabilities (47% in enterprises) and improve sales capacity including upsell and cross-sell (41% overall).

  • Creating better customer experiences (67%), improving process efficiency through automation (53%), and driving new revenue (48%) are the top three digital business strategies enterprises are investing in today. Business Management, including General Managers with P&L responsibility, are placing a high priority on creating a better customer experience, far above all else. They’re the revenue drivers of businesses adopting a digital-first strategy today as well, over 10% higher than IT Management and 12% higher than IT executives.

  • In the most successful digital-first businesses, the CIO the most visible, vocal, and successful in leading change management initiatives. Six of the nine core dimensions of a successful digital enablement strategy are dominated by CIOs. Technology Needs Assessment (48%), IT Skills Assessment (48%) and Change Management (33%) are the three areas CIOs are making the greatest contribution to digital-first strategies on the part of their businesses. It’s important to note that CIOs are far and away, the champion and leader of data management strategies as well.

  • Enterprises are placing a high priority on data security and protection as part of the digital-first initiatives, with 27% having cybersecurity systems in place. It’s encouraging to see business and IT leaders making data and system security their highest priority, getting results quickly in this area. Technology needs assessment, and IT skills assessment (both 24%) are also areas where enterprises are making strong progress. As the CIO owns these areas and is also the person most likely to be owning change management, it’s understandable how advanced digital-first businesses are on these two dimensions. The following graphic compares the progress enterprises are making in becoming a digitally-driven business.

How To Get Your Data Scientist Career Started

The most common request from this blogs’ readers is how to further their careers in analytics, cloud computing, data science, and machine learning. I’ve invited Alyssa Columbus, a Data Scientist at Pacific Life, to share her insights and lessons learned on breaking into the field of data science and launching a career there. The following guest post is authored by her.

Earning a job in data science, especially your first job in data science, isn’t easy, especially given the surplus of analytics job-seekers to analytics jobs.

Many people are looking to break into data science, from undergraduates to career changers, have asked me how I’ve attained my current data science position at Pacific Life. I’ve referred them to many different resources, including discussions I’ve had on the Dataquest.io blog and the Scatter Podcast. In the interest of providing job seekers with a comprehensive view of what I’ve learned that works, I’ve put together the five most valuable lessons learned. I’ve written this article to make your data science job hunt easier and as efficient as possible.

  • Continuously build your statistical literacy and programming skills. Currently, there are 24,697 open Data Scientist positions on LinkedIn in the United States alone. Using data mining techniques to analyze all open positions in the U.S., the following list of the top 10 data science skills was created today. As of April 14, the top 3 most common skills requested in LinkedIn data scientist job postings are Python, R, and SQL, closely followed by Jupyter Notebooks, Unix Shell/Awk, AWS, and Tensorflow. The following graphic provides a prioritized list of the most in-demand data science skills mentioned in LinkedIn job postings today. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier viewing.

Hands-on training is the best way to develop and continually improve statistical and programming skills, especially with the languages and technologies LinkedIn’s job postings prioritize.  Getting your hands dirty with a dataset is often much better than reading through abstract concepts and not applying what you’ve learned to real problems. Your applied experience is just as important as your academic experience, and taking statistics, and computer science classes help to translate theoretical concepts into practical results. The toughest thing to learn (and also to teach) about statistical analysis is the intuition for what the big questions to ask of your dataset are. Statistical literacy, or “how” to find the answers to your questions, come with education and practice. Strengthening your intellectual curiosity or insight into asking the right questions comes through experience.

  • Continually be creating your own, unique portfolio of analytics and machine learning projects. Having a good portfolio is essential to be hired as a data scientist, especially if you don’t come from a quantitative background or have experience in data science before. Think of your portfolio as proof to potential employers that you are capable of excelling in the role of a data scientist with both the passion and skills to do the job. When building your data science portfolio, select and complete projects that qualify you for the data science jobs, you’re the most interested in. Use your portfolio to promote your strengths and innate abilities by sharing projects you’ve completed on your own. Some skills I’d recommend you highlight in your portfolio include:
    • Your programming language of choice (e.g., Python, R, Julia, etc.).
    • The ability to interact with databases (e.g., your ability to use SQL).
    • Visualization of data (static or interactive).
    • Storytelling with data. This is a critical skill. In essence, can someone with no background in whatever area your project is in look at your project and gain some new understandings from it?
    • Deployment of an application or API. This can be done with small sample projects (e.g., a REST API for an ML model you trained or a nice Tableau or R Shiny dashboard).

Julia Silge and Amber Thomas both have excellent examples of portfolios that you can be inspired by. Julia’s portfolio is shown below.

  • Get (or git!) yourself a website. If you want to stand out, along with a portfolio, create and continually build a strong online presence in the form of a website.  Be sure to create and continually add to your GitHub and Kaggle profiles to showcase your passion and proficiency in data science. Making your website with GitHub Pages creates a profile for you at the same time, and best of all it’s free to do. A strong online presence will not only help you in applying for jobs, but organizations may also reach out to you with freelance projects, interviews, and other opportunities.
  • Be confident in your skills and apply for any job you’re interested in, starting with opportunities available in your network.  If you don’t meet all of a job’s requirements, apply anyway. You don’t have to know every skill (e.g., programming languages) on a job description, especially if there are more than ten listed. If you’re a great fit for the main requirements of the job’s description, you need to apply. A good general rule is that if you have at least half of the skills requested on a job posting, go for it. When you’re hunting for jobs, it may be tempting to look for work on company websites or tech-specific job boards. I’ve found, as have many others, that these are among the least helpful ways to find work. Instead, contact recruiters specializing in data science and build up your network to break into the field. I recommend looking for a data science job via the following sources, with the most time devoted to recruiters and your network:
    • Recruiters
    • Friends, family, and colleagues
    • Career fairs and recruiting events
    • General job boards
    • Company websites
    • Tech job boards.

Alyssa Columbus is a Data Scientist at Pacific Life and member of the Spring 2018 class of NASA Datanauts. Previously, she was a computational statistics and machine learning researcher at the UC Irvine Department of Epidemiology and has built robust predictive models and applications for a diverse set of industries spanning retail to biologics. Alyssa holds a degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics from the University of California, Irvine and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She is a strong proponent of reproducible methods, open source technologies, and diversity in analytics and is the founder of R-Ladies Irvine. You can reach her at her website: alyssacolumbus.com.

Seven Things You Need To Know About IIoT In Manufacturing

  • Global spending on IIoT Platforms for Manufacturing is predicted to grow from $1.67B in 2018 to $12.44B in 2024, attaining a 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in seven years.
  • IIoT platforms are beginning to replace MES and related applications, including production maintenance, quality, and inventory management, which are a mix of Information Technology (IT) and Operations Technology (OT) technologies.
  • Connected IoT technologies are enabling a new era of smart, connected products that often expand on the long-proven platforms of everyday products. Capgemini estimates that the size of the connected products market will be $519B to $685B by 2020.

These and many other fascinating insights are from IoT Analytics’ study, IIoT Platforms For Manufacturing 2019 – 2024 (155 pp., PDF, client access reqd). IoT Analytics is a leading provider of market insights for the Internet of Things (IoT), M2M, and Industry 4.0. They specialize in providing insights on IoT markets and companies, focused market reports on specific IoT segments and Go-to-Market services for emerging IoT companies. The study’s methodology includes interviews with twenty of the leading IoT platform providers, executive-level IoT experts, and IIoT end users. For additional details on the methodology, please see pages 136 and 137 of the report. IoT Analytics defines the Industrial loT (lloT) as heavy industries including manufacturing, energy, oil and gas, and agriculture in which industrial assets are connected to the internet.

The seven things you need to know about IIoT in manufacturing include the following:

  • IoT Analytics’ technology architecture of the Internet of Things reflects the proliferation of new products, software and services, and the practical needs manufacturers have for proven integration to make the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) work. IoT technology architectures are in their nascent phase, showing signs of potential in solving many of manufacturing’s most challenging problems. IoT Analytics’ technology architecture shown below is designed to scale in response to the diverse development across the industry landscape with a modular, standardized approach.

  • IIoT platforms are beginning to replace MES and related applications, including production maintenance, quality, and inventory management, which are a mix of Information Technology (IT) and Operations Technology (OT) technologies. IoT Analytics is seeing IIoT platforms begin to replace existing industrial software systems that had been created to bridge the IT and OT gaps in manufacturing environments. Their research teams are finding that IIoT Platforms are an adjacent technology to these typical industrial software solutions but are now starting to replace some of them in smart connected factory settings. The following graphic explains how IoT Analytics sees the IIoT influence across the broader industrial landscape:

  • Global spending on IIoT Platforms for Manufacturing is predicted to grow from $1.67B in 2018 to $12.44B in 2024, attaining a 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in seven years. IoT Analytics is finding that manufacturing is the largest IoT platform industry segment and will continue to be one of the primary growth catalysts of the market through 2024. For purposes of their analysis, IoT Analytics defines manufacturing as standardized production environments including factories, workshops, in addition to custom production worksites such as mines, offshore oil gas, and construction sites. The lloT platforms for manufacturing segment have experienced growth in the traditionally large manufacturing-base countries such as Japan and China. IoT Analytics relies on econometric modeling to create their forecasts.

  • In 2018, the industrial loT platforms market for manufacturing had an approximate 60%/40% split for within factories/outside factories respectively. IoT Analytics predicts this split is expected to remain mostly unchanged for 2019 and by 2024 within factories will achieve slight gains by a few percentage points. The within factories type (of lloT Platforms for Manufacturing) is estimated to grow from a $1B market in 2018 to a $1.5B market by 2019 driven by an ever-increasing amount of automation (e.g., robots on the factory floor) being introduced to factory settings for increased efficiencies, while the outside factories type is forecast to grow from $665M in 2018 to become a $960M market by 2019.

  • Discrete manufacturing is predicted to be the largest percentage of Industrial IoT platform spending for 2019, growing at a CAGR of 46% from 2018. Discrete manufacturing will outpace batch and process manufacturing, becoming 53% of all IIoT platform spending this year. IoT Analytics sees discrete manufacturers pursuing make-to-stock, make-to-order, and assemble-to-order production strategies that require sophisticated planning, scheduling, and tracking capabilities to improve operations and profitability. The greater the production complexity in discrete manufacturing, the more valuable data becomes. Discrete manufacturing is one of the most data-prolific industries there are, making it an ideal catalyst for IIoT platform’s continual growth.

  • Manufacturers are most relying on IIoT platforms for general process optimization (43.1%), general dashboards & visualization (41.1%) and condition monitoring (32.7%). Batch, discrete, and process manufacturers are prioritizing other use cases such as predictive maintenance, asset tracking, and energy management as all three areas make direct contributions to improving shop floor productivity. Discrete manufacturers are always looking to free up extra time in production schedules so that they can offer short-notice production runs to their customers. Combining IIoT platform use cases to uncover process and workflow inefficiencies so more short-notice production runs can be sold is driving Proof of Concepts (PoC) today in North American manufacturing.

  • IIoT platform early adopters prioritize security as the most important feature, ahead of scalability and usability. Identity and Access Management, multifactor-factor authentication, consistency of security patch updates, and the ability to scale and protect every threat surface across an IIoT network are high priorities for IIoT platform adopters today. Scale and usability are the second and third priorities. The following graphic compares IIoT platform manufacturers’ most important needs:

For more information on the insights presented here, check out IoT Analytics’ report: IIoT Platforms For Manufacturing 2019 – 2024.

Microsoft Leads The AI Patent Race Going Into 2019

  • There have been over 154,000 AI patents filed worldwide since 2010 with the majority being in health fields (29.5%), Industry-specific solutions (25.3%) and AI-based digital security (15.7%).
  • AI-based marketing patents are the fasting growing global category, reaching a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 29.3% between 2010 and 2018.
  • The second- and third-fastest growing global AI patent categories between 2010 and 2018 are AI-based digital security (23.4% CAGR) and AI-based mobility (23% CAGR).
  • 79,936 patents were filed in the United States between 2010 and 2018, with the majority being in the health field (32.6%) followed by Industry-specific solutions (20.5%) and AI-based digital security (18%).
  • Machine learning dominates the AI patent landscape today, leading all categories of AI patents including deep learning and neural networks.

These and many other insights are from an excellent presentation recently given by Kai Gramke, Managing Director of EconSight titled Artificial Intelligence As A Key Technology and Driver of Technological Progress. EconSight clients include the Swiss Federal Council, German Federal Chancellery, leading European think tanks, research institutes and half of the German DAX-30 companies.  The presentation and information shared in this post were generated using the PatentSight analytics platform. PatentSight is a LexisNexis company and you can learn more about them here.  The following are the key takeaways from Kai’s recent research and presentation using PatentSight:

  • EconSight finds that Microsoft leads the AI patent race going into 2019 with 697 world class patents that the firm classifies as having a significant competitive impact as of November 2018. Out of the top 30 companies and research institutions as defined by EconSight in their recent analysis, Microsoft has created 20% of all patents in the global group of patent-producing companies and institutions. The following graphic provides a comparison of the top 3o in the group. Please click on the graphic to expand it for easier reading.

  • Machine learning dominates the AI patent landscape today, leading all categories of AI patents including deep learning and neural networks.  Machine learning is based on the foundational concepts of Bayesian analysis, data mining, and predictive analytics. Machine learning algorithms and the applications they rely on are designed to find patterns in large-scale data sets, while also being able to solve complex, constraint-based problems by learning from the data.  Enterprise software companies including Microsoft, SAP, and others are actively developing AI technologies that integrate into their existing platforms, streamlining adoption across their many customers. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • There have been 225,833 AI-based patents filed globally since 2000, with 30.7% being Industry specific (Industry 4.0 on the graphic below) followed by health-related patents (28.1%) 13.8% of all AI-based patents are for digital security and 11.9% for energy. It’s interesting to note that the fastest growing patents between 2000 and 2018 are for applying AI to marketing (22% CAGR) and AI-based digital security (18.8% CAGR). Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

Using Machine Learning To Find Employees Who Can Scale With Your Business

  • Eightfold’s analysis of hiring data has found the half-life of technical, marketable skills is 5 to 7 years, making the ability to unlearn and learn new concepts essential for career survival.
  • Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) don’t capture applicants’ drive and intensity to unlearn and learn or their innate capabilities for growth.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are proving adept at discovering candidates’ innate capabilities to unlearn, learn and reinvent themselves throughout their careers.

Hiring managers in search of qualified job candidates who can scale with and contribute to their growing businesses are facing a crisis today. They’re not finding the right or in many cases, any candidates at all using resumes alone, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or online job recruitment sites designed for employers’ convenience first and candidates last. These outmoded approaches to recruiting aren’t designed to find those candidates with the strongest capabilities. Add to this dynamic the fact that machine learning is making resumes obsolete by enabling employers to find candidates with precisely the right balance of capabilities needed and its unbiased data-driven approach selecting candidates works. Resumes, job recruitment sites and ATS platforms force hiring managers to bet on the probability they make a great hire instead of being completely certain they are by basing their decisions on solid data.

Playing The Probability Hiring Game Versus Making Data-Driven Decisions

Many hiring managers and HR recruiters are playing the probability hiring game. It’s betting that the new hire chosen using imprecise methods will work out. And like any bet, it gets expensive quickly when a wrong choice is made. There’s a 30% chance the new hire will make it through one year, and if they don’t, it will cost at least 1.5 times their salary to replace them. When the median salary for a cloud computing professional is $146,350, and it takes the best case 46 days to find them, the cost and time loss of losing just one recruited cloud computing professional can derail a project for months. It will cost at least $219,000 or more to replace just that one engineer. The average size of an engineering team is ten people so only three will remain in 12 months. These are the high costs of playing the probability hiring game, fueled by unconscious and conscious biases and systems that game recruiters into believing they are making progress when they’re automating mediocre or worse decisions. Hiring managers will have better luck betting in Las Vegas or playing Powerball than hiring the best possible candidate if they rely on systems that only deliver a marginal probability of success at best.

Betting on solid data and personalization at scale, on the other hand, delivers real results. Real data slices through the probabilities and is the best equalizer there is at eradicating conscious and unconscious biases from hiring decisions. Hiring managers, HR recruiters, directors and Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) vow they are strong believers in diversity. Many are abandoning the probability hiring game for AI- and machine learning-based approaches to talent management that strip away any extraneous data that could lead to bias-driven hiring decisions. Now candidates get evaluated on their capabilities and innate strengths and how strong a match they are to ideal candidates for specific roles.

A Data-Driven Approach To Finding Employees Who Can Scale

Personalization at scale is more than just a recruiting strategy; it’s a talent management strategy intended to flex across the longevity of every employees’ tenure. Attaining personalization at scale is essential if any growing business is going to succeed in attracting, acquiring and growing talent that can support their growth goals and strategies. Eightfold’s approach makes it possible to scale personalized responses to specific candidates in a company’s candidate community while defining the ideal candidate for each open position. Personalization at scale has succeeded in helping companies find the right person to the right role at the right time and, for the first time, personalize every phase of recruitment, retention and talent management at scale.

Eightfold is pioneering the use of a self-updating corporate candidate database. Profiles in the system are now continually updated using external data gathering, without applicants reapplying or submitting updated profiles. The taxonomies supported in the corporate candidate database make it possible for hiring managers to define the optimal set of capabilities, innate skills, and strengths they need to fill open positions.

Lessons Learned at PARC
Russell Williams, former Vice President of Human Resources at PARC, says the best strategy he has found is to define the ideal attributes of high performers and look to match those profiles with potential candidates. “We’re finding that there are many more attributes that define a successful employee in our most in-demand positions including data scientist that are evident from just reviewing a resume and with AI, I want to do it at scale,” Russell said. Ashutosh Garg, Eightfold founder, added: “that’s one of the greatest paradoxes that HR departments face, which is the need to know the contextual intelligence of a given candidate far beyond what a resume and existing recruiting systems can provide.”  One of the most valuable lessons learned from PARC is that it’s possible to find the find candidates who excel at unlearning, learning, defining and diligently pursuing their learning roadmaps that lead to reinventing their skills, strengths, and marketability.

Conclusion

Machine learning algorithms capable of completing millions of pattern matching comparisons per second provides valuable new insights, enabling companies to find those who excel at reinventing themselves. The most valuable employees who can scale any business see themselves as learning entrepreneurs and have an inner drive to master new knowledge and skills. And that select group of candidates is the catalyst most often responsible for making the greatest contributions to a company’s growth.

Which CRM Applications Matter Most In 2018

 

According to recent research by Gartner,

  • Marketing analytics continues to be hot for marketing leaders, who now see it as a key business requirement and a source of competitive differentiation
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive technologies are of high interest across all four CRM functional areas, and mobile remains in the top 10 in marketing, sales and customer service.
  • It’s in customer service where AI is receiving the highest investments in real use cases rather than proofs of concept (POCs) and experimentation.
  • Sales and customer service are the functional areas where machine learning and deep neural network (DNN) technology is advancing rapidly.

These and many other fascinating insights are from Gartner’s What’s Hot in CRM Applications in 2018 by Ed Thompson, Adam Sarner, Tad Travis, Guneet Bharaj, Sandy Shen and Olive Huang, published on August 14, 2018. Gartner clients can access the study here  (10 pp., PDF, client access reqd.).

Gartner continually tracks and analyzes the areas their clients have the most interest in and relies on that data to complete their yearly analysis of CRM’s hottest areas. Inquiry topics initiated by clients are an excellent leading indicator of relative interest and potential demand for specific technology solutions. Gartner organizes CRM technologies into the four category areas of Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, and Digital Commerce.

The following graphic from the report illustrates the top CRM applications priorities in Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, and Digital Commerce.

Key insights from the study include the following:

  • Marketing analytics continues to be hot for marketing leaders, who now see it as a key business requirement and a source of competitive differentiation. In my opinion and based on discussions with CMOs, interest in marketing analytics is soaring as they are all looking to quantify their team’s contribution to lead generation, pipeline growth, and revenue. I see analytics- and data-driven clarity as the new normal. I believe that knowing how to quantify marketing contributions and performance requires CMOs and their teams to stay on top of the latest marketing, mobile marketing, and predictive customer analytics apps and technologies constantly. The metrics marketers choose today define who they will be tomorrow and in the future.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive technologies are of high interest across all four CRM functional areas, and mobile remains in the top 10 in marketing, sales and customer service. It’s been my experience that AI and machine learning are revolutionizing selling by guiding sales cycles, optimizing pricing and enabling CPQ to define and deliver smart, connected products. I’m also seeing CMOs and their teams gain value from Salesforce Einstein and comparable intelligent agents that exemplify the future of AI-enabled selling. CMOs are saying that Einstein can scale across every phase of customer relationships. Based on my previous consulting in CPQ and pricing, it’s good to see decades-old core technologies underlying Price Optimization and Management are getting a much-needed refresh with state-of-the-art AI and machine learning algorithms, which is one of the factors driving their popularity today. Using Salesforce Einstein and comparable AI-powered apps I see sales teams get real-time guidance on the most profitable products to sell, the optimal price to charge, and which deal terms have the highest probability of closing deals. And across manufacturers on a global scale sales teams are now taking a strategic view of Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) as encompassing integration to ERP, CRM, PLM, CAD and price optimization systems. I’ve seen global manufacturers take a strategic view of integration and grow far faster than competitors. In my opinion, CPQ is one of the core technologies forward-thinking manufacturers are relying on to launch their next generation of smart, connected products.
  • It’s in customer service where AI is receiving the highest investments in real use cases rather than proofs of concept (POCs) and experimentation. It’s fascinating to visit with CMOs and see the pilots and full production implementations of AI being used to streamline customer service. One CMO remarked how effective AI is at providing greater contextual intelligence and suggested recommendations to customers based on their previous buying and services histories. It’s interesting to watch how CMOs are attempting to integrate AI and its associated technologies including ChatBots to their contribution to Net Promoter Scores (NPS). Every senior management team running a marketing organization today has strong opinions on NPS. They all agree that greater insights gained from predictive analytics and AI will help to clarify the true value of NPS as it relates to Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and other key metrics of customer profitability.
  • Sales and customer service are the functional areas where machine learning and deep neural network (DNN) technology is advancing rapidly.  It’s my observation that machine learning’s potential to revolutionize sales is still nascent with many high-growth use cases completely unexplored. In speaking with the Vice President of Sales for a medical products manufacturer recently, she said her biggest challenge is hiring sales representatives who will have longer than a 19-month tenure with the company, which is their average today.  Imagine, she said, knowing the ideal attributes and strengths of their top performers and using machine learning and AI to find the best possible new sales hires. She and I discussed the spectrum of companies taking on this challenge, with Eightfold being one of the leaders in applying AI and machine learning to talent management challenges.

Source: Gartner by Ed Thompson, Adam Sarner, Tad Travis, Guneet Bharaj,  Sandy Shen and Olive Huang, published on August 14, 2018.

How Blockchain Can Improve Manufacturing In 2019

  • The business value-add of blockchain will grow to slightly more than $176B by 2025, then exceed $3.1T by 2030 according to Gartner.
  • Typical product recalls cost $8M, and many could be averted with improved track-and-traceability enabled by blockchain.
  • Combining blockchain and IoT will revolutionize product safety, track-and-traceability, warranty management, Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO), and lead to new usage-based business models for smart, connected products.
  • By 2023, 30% of manufacturing companies with more than $5B in revenue will have implemented Industry 4.0 pilot projects using blockchain, up from less than 5% today according to Gartner.

Blockchain’s greatest potential to deliver business value is in manufacturing. Increasing visibility across every area of manufacturing starting with suppliers, strategic sourcing, procurement, and supplier quality to shop floor operations including machine-level monitoring and service, blockchain can enable entirely new manufacturing business models. Supply chains are the foundation of every manufacturing business, capable of making use of blockchain’s distributed ledger structure and block-based approach to aggregating value-exchange transactions to improve supply chain efficiency first. By improving supplier order accuracy, product quality, and track-and-traceability, manufacturers will be able to meet delivery dates, improve product quality and sell more.

Capgemini Research Institute’s recent study, Does blockchain hold the key to a new age of supply chain transparency and trust? provide valuable insights into how blockchain can improve supply chains and manufacturing. A copy of the study is available here (PDF, 32 pp., no opt-in). Capgemini surveyed 731 organizations globally regarding their existing and planned blockchain initiatives. Initial interviews yielded 447 organizations who are currently experimenting with or implementing blockchain. Please see pages 25 & 26 of the study for additional details regarding the methodology.

Key takeaways of the study include the following:

  • Typical product recalls cost $8M, and many could be averted with improved track-and-traceability enabled by blockchain. Capgemini found that there was 456 food recalls alone in the U.S. last year, costing nearly $3.5B. Blockchain’s general ledger structure provides a real-time audit trail for all transactions secured against modifications making it ideal for audit and compliance-intensive industries.

  • Gaining greater cost savings (89%), enhancing traceability (81%) and enhancing transparency (79%) are the top three drivers behind manufacturer’s blockchain investments today. Additional drivers include increasing revenues (57%), reducing risks (50%), creating new business opportunities (44%) and being more customer-centric (38%). The following graphic from the study illustrates the manufacturer’s priorities for blockchain. Capgemini finds that improving track-and-traceability is a primary driver across all manufacturers, consistent with the broader trend of manufacturers adopting software applications that improve this function today. That’s also understandable given how additional regulatory compliance requirements are coming in 2019 and those manufacturers competing in highly regulated industries including aerospace & defense, medical devices, and pharma are exploring how blockchain can give them a competitive edge now

  • Digital marketplaces, tracking critical supply chain parameters, tracking components quality, preventing counterfeit products, and tracking asset maintenance are the five areas Capgemini predicts blockchain will see the greatest adoption. Based on interviews with industry experts and startups, Capgemini found 24 blockchain use cases which are compared by level of adoption and complexity in the graphic below. The use cases reflect how managing supplier contracts is already emerging as one of the most popular blockchain use cases for manufacturing organizations today and will accelerate as compliance becomes even more important in 2019.

  • Manufacturers have the most at-scale deployments of blockchain today, leading all industries included in the study. Blockchain adoption is still nascent across all industries included in the study, with 6% of manufacturers having at-scale implementations today. Customer products manufacturers lead in pilots, with 15% actively [purusing blockchain in limited scope today. And retailers trail all industries with 91% having only proofs of concept.

  • Combining IoT and blockchain at the shipping container level in supply chains increases authenticity, transparency, compliance to product and contractual requirements while reducing counterfeiting. In highly regulated industries including Aerospace & Defense (A&D), Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), medical devices, and pharma, combining IoT and blockchain provides real-time data on the shipping container conditions, tamper-proof storage, each shipment’s locational history and if there have been changes in temperature and product condition. Capgemini sees use cases where a change in a shipment’s temperature as measured by a sensor change sends alerts regarding contractual compliance of perishable meats and produce, averting the potential of bad product quality and rejected shipments once they reach their destination.

  • Capgemini found that 13% of manufacturers are Pacesetters and are either implementing blockchain at scale or have pilots in at least one site. Over 60% of Pacesetters believe that blockchain is already transforming the way they collaborate with their partners. Encouraged by these results, Pacesetters are set to increase their blockchain investment by 30% in the next three years. They lead early stage experimenters and all implementers on three core dimensions of organizational readiness. These include end-to-end visibility across functions, detailed and defined supportive processes, and availability of the right talent to succeed.

  • Lack of a clear ROI, immature technology and regulatory challenges are the top three hurdles Pacesetter-class manufacturers face in getting blockchain initiatives accepted and into production. All implementations face these three challenges in addition to having to overcome the lack of complementary IT systems at the partner organizations. The following graphic compares the hurdles all manufacturers face in getting blockchain projects implemented by the level of manufacturers adoption success (Pacesetter, early-stage experimenters, all implementers).

Source: Capgemini Research Institute, Does blockchain hold the key to a new age of supply chain transparency and trust? October, 2018

Google Needs To Make Machine Learning Their Growth Fuel

  • In 2017 Google outspent Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook on R&D spending with the majority being on AI and machine learning.
  • Google needs new AI- and machine learning-driven businesses that have lower Total Acquisition Costs (TAC) to offset the rising acquisition costs of their ad and search businesses.
  • One of the company’s initial forays into AI and machine learning was its $600M acquisition of AI startup DeepMind in January 2014.
  • Google has launched two funds dedicated solely to AI: Gradient Ventures and the Google Assistant Investment Program, both of which are accepting pitches from AI and machine learning startups today.
  • On its Q4’17 earnings call, the company announced that its cloud business is now bringing in $1B per quarter. The number of cloud deals worth $1M+ that Google has sold more than tripled between 2016 and 2017.
  • Google’s M&A strategy is concentrating on strengthening their cloud business to better compete against Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.

These and many other fascinating insights are from CB Insight’s report, Google Strategy Teardown (PDF, 49 pp., opt-in). The report explores how Alphabet, Google’s parent company is relying on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to capture new streams of revenue in enterprise cloud computing and services. Also, the report looks at how Alphabet can combine search, AI, and machine learning to revolutionize logistics, healthcare, and transportation. It’s a thorough teardown of Google’s potential acquisitions, strategic investments, and partnerships needed to maintain search dominance while driving revenue from new markets.

Key takeaways from the report include the following:

  • Google needs new AI- and machine learning-driven businesses that have lower Total Acquisition Costs (TAC) to offset the rising acquisition costs of their ad and search businesses. CB Insights found Google is experiencing rising TAC in their core ad and search businesses. With the strategic shift to mobile, Google will see TAC escalate even further. Their greatest potential for growth is infusing greater contextual intelligence and knowledge across the entire series of companies that comprise Alphabet, shown in the graphic below.

  • Google has launched two funds dedicated solely to AI: Gradient Ventures and the Google Assistant Investment Program, both of which are accepting pitches from AI and machine learning startups today. Gradient Ventures is an ROI fund focused on supporting the most talented founders building AI-powered companies. Former tech founders are leading Gradient Ventures, assisting in turning ideas into companies. Gradient Venture’s portfolio is shown below:

  • In 2017 Google outspent Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook on R&D spending with the majority being on AI and machine learning. Amazon dominates R&D spending across the top five tech companies investments in R&D in 2017 with $22.6B. Facebook leads in percent of total sales invested in R&D with 19.1%.

  • Google AI led the development of Google’s highly popular open source machine software library and framework Tensor Flow and is home to the Google Brain team. Google’s approach to primary research in the fields of AI, machine learning, and deep learning is leading to a prolific amount of research being produced and published. Here’s the search engine for their publication database, which includes many fascinating studies for review. Part of Google Brain’s role is to work with other Alphabet subsidiaries to support and lead their AI and machine learning product initiatives. An example of this CB Insights mentions in the report is how Google Brain collaborated with autonomous driving division Waymo, where it has helped apply deep neural nets to vehicles’ pedestrian detection The team has also been successful in increasing the number of AI and machine learning patents, as CB Insight’s analysis below shows:

  • Mentions of AI and machine learning are soaring on Google quarterly earnings calls, signaling senior management’s prioritizing these areas as growth fuel. CB Insights has an Insights Trends tool that is designed to analyze unstructured text and find linguistics-based associations, models and statistical insights from them. Analyzing Google earnings calls transcripts found AI and machine learning mentions are soaring during the last call.

  • Google’s M&A strategy is concentrating on strengthening their cloud business to better compete against Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. Google acquired Xively in Q1 of this year followed by Cask Data and Velostrata in Q2. Google needs to continue acquiring cloud-based companies who can accelerate more customer wins in the enterprise and mid-tier, two areas Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure have strong momentum today.

10 Ways To Improve Cloud ERP With AI And Machine Learning

Capitalizing on new digital business models and the growth opportunities they provide are forcing companies to re-evaluate ERP’s role. Made inflexible by years of customization, legacy ERP systems aren’t delivering what digital business models need today to scale and grow.

Legacy ERP systems were purpose-built to excel at production consistency first at the expense of flexibility and responsiveness to customers’ changing requirements. By taking a business case-based approach to integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning into their platforms, Cloud ERP providers can fill the gap legacy ERP systems can’t.

Closing Legacy ERP Gaps With Greater Intelligence And Insight

Companies need to be able to respond quickly to unexpected, unfamiliar and unforeseen dilemmas with smart decisions fast for new digital business models to succeed. That’s not possible today with legacy ERP systems. Legacy IT technology stacks and the ERP systems they are built on aren’t designed to deliver the data needed most.

That’s all changing fast. A clear, compelling business model and successful execution of its related strategies are what all successful Cloud ERP implementations share. Cloud ERP platforms and apps provide organizations the flexibility they need to prioritize growth plans over IT constraints. And many have taken an Application Programming Interface (API) approach to integrate with legacy ERP systems to gain the incremental data these systems provide. In today’s era of Cloud ERP, rip-and-replace isn’t as commonplace as reorganizing entire IT architectures for greater speed, scale, and customer transparency using cloud-first platforms.

New business models thrive when an ERP system is constantly learning. That’s one of the greatest gaps between what Cloud ERP platforms’ potential and where their legacy counterparts are today. Cloud platforms provide greater integration options and more flexibility to customize applications and improve usability which is one of the biggest drawbacks of legacy ERP systems. Designed to deliver results by providing AI- and machine learning insights, Cloud ERP platforms, and apps can rejuvenate ERP systems and their contributions to business growth.

The following are the 10 ways to improve Cloud ERP with AI and machine learning, bridging the information gap with legacy ERP systems:

  1. Cloud ERP platforms need to create and strengthen a self-learning knowledge system that orchestrates AI and machine learning from the shop floor to the top floor and across supplier networks. Having a cloud-based infrastructure that integrates core ERP Web Services, apps, and real-time monitoring to deliver a steady stream of data to AI and machine learning algorithms accelerates how quickly the entire system learns. The Cloud ERP platform integration roadmap needs to include APIs and Web Services to connect with the many suppliers and buyer systems outside the walls of a manufacturer while integrating with legacy ERP systems to aggregate and analyze the decades of data they have generated.

  1. Virtual agents have the potential to redefine many areas of manufacturing operations, from pick-by-voice systems to advanced diagnostics. Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Voice, and Microsoft Cortana have the potential to be modified to streamline operations tasks and processes, bringing contextual guidance and direction to complex tasks. An example of one task virtual agents are being used for today is guiding production workers to select from the correct product bin as required by the Bill of Materials. Machinery manufacturers are piloting voice agents that can provide detailed work instructions that streamline configure-to-order and engineer-to-order production. Amazon has successfully partnered with automotive manufacturers and has the most design wins as of today. They could easily replicate this success with machinery manufacturers.

  1. Design in the Internet of Things (IoT) support at the data structure level to realize quick wins as data collection pilots go live and scale. Cloud ERP platforms have the potential to capitalize on the massive data stream IoT devices are generating today by designing in support at the data structure level first. Providing IoT-based data to AI and machine learning apps continually will bridge the intelligence gap many companies face today as they pursue new business models. Capgemini has provided an analysis of IoT use cases shown below, highlighting how production asset maintenance and asset tracking are quick wins waiting to happen. Cloud ERP platforms can accelerate them by designing in IoT support.

  1. AI and machine learning can provide insights into how Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) can be improved that aren’t apparent today. Manufacturers will welcome the opportunity to have greater insights into how they can stabilize then normalize OEE performance across their shop floors. When a Cloud ERP platform serves as an always-learning knowledge system, real-time monitoring data from machinery and production assets provide much-needed insights into areas for improvement and what’s going well on the shop floor.

  1. Designing machine learning algorithms into track-and-traceability to predict which lots from which suppliers are most likely to be of the highest or lowest quality. Machine learning algorithms excel at finding patterns in diverse data sets by continually applying constraint-based algorithms. Suppliers vary widely in their quality and delivery schedule performance levels. Using machine learning, it’s possible to create a track-and-trace application that could indicate which lot from which supplier is the riskiest and those that are of exceptional quality as well.
  2. Cloud ERP providers need to pay attention to how they can help close the configuration gap that exists between PLM, CAD, ERP and CRM systems by using AI and machine learning. The most successful product configuration strategies rely on a single, lifecycle-based view of product configurations. They’re able to alleviate the conflicts between how engineering designs a product with CAD and PLM, how sales & marketing sell it with CRM, and how manufacturing builds it with an ERP system. AI and machine learning can enable configuration lifecycle management and avert lost time and sales, streamlining CPQ and product configuration strategies in the process.
  3. Improving demand forecasting accuracy and enabling better collaboration with suppliers based on insights from machine learning-based predictive models is attainable with higher quality data. By creating a self-learning knowledge system, Cloud ERP providers can vastly improve data latency rates that lead to higher forecast accuracy. Factoring in sales, marketing, and promotional programs further fine-tunes forecast accuracy.
  4. Reducing equipment breakdowns and increasing asset utilization by analyzing machine-level data to determine when a given part needs to be replaced. It’s possible to capture a steady stream of data on each machine’s health level using sensors equipped with an IP address. Cloud ERP providers have a great opportunity to capture machine-level data and use machine learning techniques to find patterns in production performance by using a production floor’s entire data set. This is especially important in process industries where machinery breakdowns lead to lost sales. Oil refineries are using machine learning models comprise more than 1,000 variables related to material input, output and process perimeters including weather conditions to estimate equipment failures.
  5. Implementing self-learning algorithms that use production incident reports to predict production problems on assembly lines needs to happen in Cloud ERP platforms. A local aircraft manufacturer is doing this today by using predictive modeling and machine learning to compare past incident reports. With legacy ERP systems these problems would have gone undetected and turned into production slowdowns or worse, the line having to stop.
  6. Improving product quality by having machine learning algorithms aggregate, analyze and continually learn from supplier inspection, quality control, Return Material Authorization (RMA) and product failure data. Cloud ERP platforms are in a unique position of being able to scale across the entire lifecycle of a product and capture quality data from the supplier to the customer. With legacy ERP systems manufacturers most often rely on an analysis of scrap materials by type or caused followed by RMAs. It’s time to get to the truth about why products fail, and machine learning can deliver the insights to get there.
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