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Digital Transformation of Businesses
A selection of documents, articles, papers, videos and other content for those interested in the transformation that is required when going 100% digital in an organization. I also try to highlight the impacts, both positives and negatives of that transformation. Like it? Please click "Recommend".
Curated by Farid Mheir
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Helpouts Google’s solution that Turns Hangouts Into A Commerce Platform via @TechCrunch

Helpouts Google’s solution that Turns Hangouts Into A Commerce Platform via @TechCrunch | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

The product, which has reportedly been named “Helpouts” and is currently being tested internally in Mountain View, will take shape as a marketplace that enables individuals and small and large businesses to buy and sell services via live video. With the capacity to connect merchants and consumers on both an immediate and scheduled basis, according to our tipster, the platform will allow sellers to create their own profiles and take advantage of reputation management, scheduling and payment features, while offering robust search and discovery tools for consumers.

Farid Mheir's insight:

Not sure exactly how this works or if I understand the concept well, time will tell. But it sounds like a new approach towards curated commerce, that is to leverage social network of people that will hand-walk you through a shopping process. I can see this being useful in a number of different situations:

  • I plan a large purchase - say an electronics product or a car - and I am not an expert in the field. I pay to have someone expert in the field walk me through different options form websites from the comfort of my room even though the may be miles away in a different and we shop on a remote located website
  • I am on a diet and would like someone to help me design a meal menu and halp me choose the right kind of products from grocery stores. Here the expertise is not so much with the products that I am about to buy but rather with the objective that I have which requires a specific selection of products
  • I am looking for some kind of service - accountant, legal, medical, etc. - and would like someone to help me choose the best vendor. I get hand holded while we cruise a selected set of websites. Ultimately I may not buy online the service but the selection process wwas all done accompanied online.

Of course this help will come at at price: either I pay for the service or the seller give a sales commission.

Interesting times ahead.

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@IKEA 2014 catalog can view and place furniture in a room via augmented reality- will it drive more sales?

@IKEA 2014 catalog can view and place furniture in a room via augmented reality- will it drive more sales? | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

The free app allows users to virtually place and viewIKEA furniture in their homes via augmented reality.

The feature lets consumers explore a room in 360 or 180 degrees using the device sensors. Consumers will be able to view a room both vertically and horizontally.

Farid Mheir's insight:

Took a long time to find a useful application for augmented reality but this may be it. With Ikea's large customer base and a very useful feature (will this table look good in my living room? what will the room look like if I place a big chair in the middle?), this may be the killer app to draw users to use this feature.


From Ikea's viewpoint, if they capture customer data (which I don't know if they will), they would gain tremendous insight into customer behaviour and buying decisions, as well as bridge the paper catalog world with the digital one. Will it convert into more sales?

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The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Business Transformation via @altimeter

The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Business Transformation via @altimeter | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Farid Mheir's insight:

Very powerful insight for any company considering the use of social technologies in its digital business transformation. In particular, the presentation of a maturity model provides clear guidance for businesses in order to derive a plan that increases maturity without boiling the ocean all at once! ;-)

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America's productivity paradox- brace yourself for huge improvements in 2016-2025 timeframe via @cnn @forrester

America's productivity paradox- brace yourself for huge improvements in 2016-2025 timeframe via @cnn @forrester | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Innovation booms take a while to absorb and for productivity to catch up.
Farid Mheir's insight:

I love when someone looks back to look forward. This is one of them. Basically says that improvements only happen once the technology is stable. We are entering that era now where the benefits of the mobile revolution, high speed mobile web access, and cloud computing will bring true benefits to

  • reduce cost of IT operations in corporations or improve time-to-market, or both
  • connect with your employees, partners, clients, suppliers on the road, making the need for an office less relevant than ever, other than to meet face to face
  • transform knowledge access and sharing, providing instant access to sales numbers on the road
  • connecting to cars, trucks, and other machinery to improve production and reduce cost of operation of these machines (with preventive maintenance for example)
  • and many more I am sure


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The Pros and Cons of a Surveillance Society- justice for all, yet privacy for none? via @nytimes

The Pros and Cons of a Surveillance Society- justice for all, yet privacy for none? via @nytimes | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
As we prepare to enter a world of wearable, camera-equipped computers, do we want to live under a system that might ensure justice for all, yet privacy for none?
Farid Mheir's insight:

Very interesting viewpoint that brings me back to the concept of lifelogging and the book Total Recall. In the context of enterprises, the question of justice versus privacy appears less difficult to resolve, as companies already monitor the digital activities of employees, read their emails and limit the websites they have access to. Adding an extra layer of surveillance, to provide digital memories when accidents happen or to recollect exactly what was said during a meeting or a contract negotiation does not strike me as far fetched. Of course, it also brings with it the potential for abuse...

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New e-commerce strategies threaten UPS, FedEx- Amazon is their biggest threat via @reuters

New e-commerce strategies threaten UPS, FedEx- Amazon is their biggest threat via @reuters | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

In the first quarter of 2013, Amazon's shipping costs were 4.7 percent of revenue, down from 5.1 percent a year earlier.

"For a company the size of Amazon, that's a pretty big deal," said R.J. Hottovy, an equity analyst at Morningstar.

Farid Mheir's insight:

Shipping costs of 4.7% of revenue for Amazon is probably the biggest reason why Amazon will start selling groceries online: put trucks on the road.

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Life After Kickstarter: Pebble Boasts More Than 190,000 Pre-Orders via @mashable

Life After Kickstarter: Pebble Boasts More Than 190,000 Pre-Orders via @mashable | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Pebble has completed the Kickstarter phase of its project and is moving on to the more than 190,000 device pre-orders.
Farid Mheir's insight:
Interesting to look at what happens after companies are successful on crowd financing platforms such as kickstarter. It really is the first time we can observe what happens when startups of one or two employees enjoy popular success without any kind of venture capital. It also opens a new window into the power that direct access to customers can bring.
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Auto industry digital transformation from newspaper and TV to online and social

Auto industry digital transformation from newspaper and TV to online and social | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

A significant shift to Internet marketing is transforming the automobile industry, and CF Search Marketing is helping dealerships across the country navigate the transition from television and newspaper advertising to search engine optimization and marketing, social media, inbound marketing and pay-per-click models of measurement.

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"It's not the whole puzzle," he said of digital marketing for the auto industry. "We know (dealers) have X amount of dollars and we help strategize with them. The old-school dealers who don't embrace this, who don't understand that the next generation of car buyers are getting most of their information through their cell phones, won't be able to compete."

As a result of this transformation, many medium-sized and large dealerships now have Internet sales teams, and landing at the top of local search pages such as Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Maps has become a priority.

Farid Mheir's insight:

Great example of the needs for small businesses to embrace the digital medium or die. The large automakers have made the shift years ago but car dealerships are small businesses and they have yet to make the move. Looks like the time is now and that they need help tomake the transition, changing processes and I assume people as well...

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Google Maps for Business- tracking people and machinery opens new opportunities via @google

Google Maps for Business- tracking people and machinery opens new opportunities via @google | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

With the Google Maps API, you can build powerful applications that track assets, alert based on geofences, and geolocate devices, all delivered through the familiar Google Maps interface. Find out how DHL streamlines their package delivery process using the Google Maps API.

Farid Mheir's insight:

If it is good enough for DHL to track its parcels and deliveries, or for Swiss railways to show the positions of their train in realtime, then why would it not be good enough for

  • tracking pharma sales reps in their daily rounds to medical offices?
  • showing where your cable repair guy (or plumber or electrician) is (and predict when he will arrive at your home)
  • locating rental equiment in the field (ok this assumes large rentals such as cranes as it probably needs some kind of cell phone with gps)?


In fact, any business that needs to track, inventory or display assets on a map must absolutely look into the google maps API and other solutions.

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16 "Real-life" Use Cases demonstrate how Big Data and Advanced Analytics are being leveraged today via @McKinsey

This presentation provides an overview of 16 examples and use cases that lay out the different ways companies have approached the issue and found value: everything from pricing flexibility to customer preference management to credit risk analysis to fraud protection and discount targeting.

Farid Mheir's insight:

Must read presentation that shows examples of big data analytics that enterprises have deployed in fields of telecom, banking, supermarkets, etc. Quite amazing.

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Developing a fine-grained look at how digital consumers behave - not all users are created equal via @McKinsey

Developing a fine-grained look at how digital consumers behave - not all users are created equal via @McKinsey | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

we identified four kinds of European mobile-phone users and their usage patterns. Our analysis illuminated that market’s underlying value-creation potential. We called consumers who largely use voice, even with their smartphones, traditionalists in our study. Data practicals use very little voice but lots of data. Data entertainers also use little voice but are heavy users of video, music, and games. Mobile omnivores are superusers of both voice and data services (Exhibit 1). While the omnivores and entertainers collectively represent just 23 percent of the population, they consume more than 85 percent of all data traffic—and pay roughly the same monthly service fees that the other two groups do.

Farid Mheir's insight:

Not all users are the same. This chart makes it clear. When considering digital transformations, not all your audience members will make the jump to digital but those that do will embrace it with a passion. Target them, and analyze your site traffic to make sure their needs are addressed.


This applies equally well to your internal users, employees and partners, in an intranet or an extranet context. Make sure they are well taken care of.

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12 Digital Technologies Retailers Are Investing In via @mashable

12 Digital Technologies Retailers Are Investing In via @mashable | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Speciality retailers are ramping up digital technology investments to combat Amazon's increasing market share.
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35$ solves fire dept modernization problem

Scott Phillips of Code for Tulsa tells about an awesome hack to modernize the Tulsa Fire Department with a $35 raspberry pi.
Farid Mheir's insight:

Amazing 2 minnute video that should make anyone nnot convinced about digital transformation change their mind. A weekend hack by undoubtoubly talented programmers turns into a simple solution to replace a very old obsolete technology. I assume the same story could repeat in many different environments.

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WE LIVE LIKE GODS, and we don’t even know it- must read on supply & demand in a post-scarcity world via @gigaompro

WE LIVE LIKE GODS, and we don’t even know it- must read on supply & demand in a post-scarcity world via @gigaompro | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

Send us back to ancient Greece with an AK-47, a home brewing kit, or a battery-powered vibrator, and startled peasants would worship at our feet.

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The conviction that each generation would live better than the last has evaporated. Emerging from the financial crisis won’t be enough. For most of us, even the boom wasn’t all that great. From 1950 to 1970, the typical American worker doubled his salary in real terms. Since then, even before the 2007 bust, inflation adjusted wages for the median male worker have actually gone down.
...

Only one thing makes entrepreneurs expand capacity and that has nothing to do with government tax policy. A businessman will hire more workers and invest when his inventory is shrinking, specifically, when he is able to sell more than he is able to produce. If stock is sitting on his shelf, he instead fires workers, no matter what his tax rate.

Farid Mheir's insight:

Essential read to put our digital transformation in perspective.


Technology and digital solutions have contributed to most of the supply overflow we have today. Can digital also help solve the demand crisis? It sure creates demand for new kinds of products and services, for which I benefit tremendously, being an artisan in the digital fabrication of things.


But I am not sure it is a good thing to consume more and more. This essay provides amazing context, raises some interesting questions but unfortunately fails to bring many answers.

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Microsoft Has Burned $18 Billion Online since 2005- 7M$ every day for 7 years via @sai

Microsoft Has Burned $18 Billion Online since 2005- 7M$ every day for 7 years via @sai | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Jaw dropping. ;
Farid Mheir's insight:

Not sure where I stand on this. 


Mind blowing that a company - any company - would loose so much money and keep pushing for it, spending even more now.


On the other hand, they were late in the game, and that is the cost to stay in business, to remain relevant, not to fall off the digital cliff. Had they started a bit earlier, who knows, the picture may have been different. And you never know who of their competitors will stumble or when they will. At which time Microsoft may be there to offer an option to the market and make the investment worthwhile...

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Kodak cameras banned in the 1880s over loss of privacy fears- is google glass worse or better? via @time

Kodak cameras banned in the 1880s over loss of privacy fears- is google glass worse or better? via @time | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
We are being too quick to condemn groundbreaking technology that we don't understand and haven't yet experienced
Farid Mheir's insight:

This is nothing new. From the PBS article:


The appearance of Eastman's cameras was so sudden and so pervasive that the reaction in some quarters was fear. A figure called the "camera fiend" began to appear at beach resorts, prowling the premises until he could catch female bathers unawares. One resort felt the trend so heavily that it posted a notice: "PEOPLE ARE FORBIDDEN TO USE THEIR KODAKS ON THE BEACH."

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The State of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing & Merchandising

The State of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing & Merchandising | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Farid Mheir's insight:
The new report just came out.
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10 Fascinating Data Visualization Projects

10 Fascinating Data Visualization Projects | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
People from data scientists to artists are using visuals to relay information. Here are 10 effective examples.
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Digital Transformation: A Road-Map for Billion-Dollar Organizations via @capgemini @mit

Digital Transformation: A Road-Map for Billion-Dollar Organizations via @capgemini @mit | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

Read the main study findings from the digital transformation study conducted by Capgemini Consulting and the MIT Center for Digital Business.

Farid Mheir's insight:

Amazing resource for any consultant looking for insight into the digital transformation. Wide ranging study from MIT with insights and guidance that is very useful.

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Google Glass Finds Its Way to the Operating Room- interesting and mildly creepy ;-)

Google Glass Finds Its Way to the Operating Room- interesting and mildly creepy ;-) | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

Recorded from Grossman's point of view, the surgical footage (now demarcated as "private" on YouTube) was transmitted to a Google hangout. Grossman said that his goal with the procedure was to show how the device and its platform could be used as intuitive, inexpensive tools to aid in surgical maneuvering and mentoring.

Farid Mheir's insight:

unfortunately looks like google glass initial applications all focus on the photo or video sharing. Like a wearable internet-connected videocamera.


Unfortunately there is so much more usage for such a device, but I assume they will be explored over time.


Until then this remains quite powerful.

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Here's What Happened When We Strapped A Bunch Of People Into The Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset via @sai

Here's What Happened When We Strapped A Bunch Of People Into The Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset via @sai | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that is most definitely the future of gaming.

The device straps onto your head and completely immerses you inside a video game. It also has motion sensors so you can look around as if you were really inside the world. 

But it's nearly impossible to explain. The Oculus Rift is one of those things you have to see to believe. Several Business Insider employees gave it a whirl last week, and we took them on a trip through the solar system, on a medieval roller coaster, and put them into a death-by-guillotine simulation.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/oculus-rift-video-demo-2013-7#ixzz2Z1z0wfjF

Farid Mheir's insight:

Along the lines of the google glass project, the apearance of low cost devices like this can have a profound impact in small engineering, design, graphics, architecture, urban planning teams. Anyone in business that has a need for viewing digital world in 3D. 


And judging from the reactions in this video, it works!

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Immersion: a people-centric view of your email life- creepy privacy concerns & competitive intelligence via @mit

Immersion: a people-centric view of your email life- creepy privacy concerns & competitive intelligence via @mit | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it
Farid Mheir's insight:

This is what my inbox of the past 8 years looks like, thanks to the "immersion" service from MIT. It looks at your emails envelopes, not the content of the email, just the information about your emails, then graphs a pretty detailed relationship map of your network, colleagues, friends and relationships. All without looking at your email text. 


I compare it to LinkedIn inMaps such as this one that represents all my network 1200+ relations and their connexions. Color coding helps show groups within my network. Pretty revealing as well.


Imagine this in the context of business. Imagine the competitive intelligence you can get by mining the metadata of your competitor's employees. All you need is the metadata about their email or their LinkedIn relations. Impressive.

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Retailers should Invest in Mobile Shopping Apps even though they account for less than 5% of revenue via @Compete

Retailers should Invest in Mobile Shopping Apps even though they account for less than 5% of revenue via @Compete | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

Here are some suggestions for retailers:

  • Make the application unique. Add unique features to your applications rather than just mirroring what you have on your main site. A good example would be Gilt, one of the most popular retailer applications, because they offer exclusive content and offers for their mobile app users.
  • Make sure the app is easy to use. The reasons why people use mobile apps are convenience and simplicity. List all the information the consumer needs both online and offline.
  • Add push notifications. People installed the app for a reason – adding functionality to casually remind consumers when a sale starts is a great way to boost engagement with the app.
  • Make it social. Shopping is more fun when there is a social element included. Integrating social platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr can be a great way to increase the reach of your app.
  • Link the application to in-store activities and allow more interactions. Starbucks allows consumers to pay using their app and Amazon’s mobile application lets consumers scan a product’s barcode to show the price on Amazon. Some apps even allow you tocompare prices among different retailers.
Farid Mheir's insight:

The insights provided maybe very helpful for retailers as they consider why and how to integrate mobile into their digital strategy. No more are dedicated apps required as responsive web designs now help websites become tablet and phone friendly, thus providing mobile support out of the gate.

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Staples redesigns its stores for the Internet age - smaller with less SKUs

Staples redesigns its stores for the Internet age - smaller with less SKUs | Digital Transformation of Businesses | Scoop.it

Staples is reacting to a significant shift to buying office supplies online. In 2012, Staples sold $10.3 billion online, making it No. 2 in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide. Those web sales represented 42.2% of Staples total 2012 sales of $24.4 billion. Its main competitors also are top online retailers, as Office Depot Inc. ranks No. 7 in the Top 500 and OfficeMax Inc. No. 11.

Farid Mheir's insight:

Major trend: smaller stores, fewer SKUs and the rest online.

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