Tag Archives | sogeti

Objects Of Desire

We are spoiled, ‘consumerized’ users of technology nowadays. We expect compelling, aesthetic user experiences as a default and we want to use our own, favourite devices. If that expectation is not met, we disconnect; in our role as consumers, but just as much as enterprise workers. Create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks and contexts and hide what’s underneath. Apply Design Thinking, Gamification and Responsive Design so that the apps morph into the overall experience of clients and enterprise users. Turn your mobile app store into a candy store and enable any device.

On top of most corporate digital agendas today is digital convergence. Engaging and inspiring user experiences across all channels give products and services unprecedented reach.

Most of us have adopted smartphones, some nearly literally, and rely on a multitude of apps for both business and pleasure. For all practical purposes, the smartphone has become a remote control of life enabling us to manage everything from relationships to financial transactions. The combination of superbly designed phones and visually stunning apps reaches to the level of being a fashion statement, a statement of character and identity.

They have become objects of desire.

User experience and user interface design can be summed up into one word: beauty. Unless the apps or response sites are gorgeously designed, risks are that users will find alternatives. Functionality alone is simply not enough anymore. This means that IT now has to deal with engagement requirements being business critical.

Beside design aspects, the reason why mobile is at the core of digital development is because its catalyst characteristics from the fact that it teaches us the true value of ubiquitous access to information and it enchants us with new and unexpected context driven value. (A great example of an app that enchants the user with context driven value using location, the phone’s camera and open data is FlightRadar24).

In many sectors, mobile has become the new normal (most usage are driven from mobile devices), for example in the banking and travel sectors. The design trend in these sectors is clear: new generation solutions are designed for mobile first and with a strong design ambition.

Engagement can also be accelerated using different types of relevant gamification. For example, use top lists of opted-in users based on activity, create levels of achievements, and award the highest achieving with perks and offers (FourSquare is an example of a gamification-driven community for location check-in, you may also want to check out Badgeville for their multi-channel ‘behavior platform’ that aims to engage both customers and employees).

Most successful innovative and stunningly designed solutions were the result of agile design driven development. We have found the following best practices critical:

  • Define and maintain scope and requirements using sketches and mockups
  • Use personas and scenario maps to identify relevant contextual value
  • Design style sheets and mood boards used across all digital channels
  • Collect feedback from users in target groups using prototypes

To ensure that your solutions become natural members among these objects of desire, we recommend embracing four cornerstones: inspire the user, enchant with context driven value, enable personalization and include some level of innovation.

Regardless of what solution you take on next, if it’s a mobile app, a responsive web site, a Google Glass app, or a Leap Motion controlled innovation, following these best practices maximizes the chances of being taken to your user’s heart, as an object of desire.

Continue Reading · 0 · Categories: Design, Mobile, Sogeti

An Innovation Lab for Ideas that Matter

The past few days I’ve been trying out the new innovative Leap Motion controller. It’s a device that enables the you to manipulate the computer’s user interface with both hands, in 3D and without touch. There is a companion Leap Motion app store in which I recognize much of the creative experimentation that happened in Apple’s App Store in 2008 and onwards. I am now bringing this controller to several of our customers, to experiment and explore new solutions that may drive value to their respective customers.

The key point of this post is not the Leap Motion controller. It could have been any new type of solution architecture including wearable technology, NFC based payments or connected micro objects. The key point is asking the question: “How do you identify potential innovation and how do you reduce the time from when you identified a potentially business relevant innovation to delivering it into the hands of your customers?”
In other words,

How do you gain true value from ideas that matter?

The answer for your company could be to setup your own Innovation Lab. As we are engaged in setting up, facilitating and supporting Innovation Labs of several of our customers, I would like to share the top seven points relevant in succeeding with accelerating innovation through the use of an Innovation Lab.

  1. Charter and steering group – Make sure you clearly define the lab’s charter, goals and purpose, and get senior level executive support and make the Innovation Lab accountable in front of a relevant steering group with key business owners represented.
  2. Process – Describe and communicate a basic innovation management process starting with inception and then all the way to setting up new pilot projects or the scope change in existing projects.
  3. Representatives – Name the Innovation Lab Core Team, and aim for a handful of members with the responsibility to drive workshops, consolidate background information, invite speakers and industry movers and shakers, and interact with all of the company’s organization.
  4. Workshop agenda – Keep a static basic structure for innovation workshops including a statement about its purpose, new market and sector trends, external speakers and contributors, demonstrations, prioritization and next steps. An Innovation workshop is the most efficient with 6-10 participants in a 4-6 hour workshop.
  5. Workshop frequency – Plan innovation workshops to occur at least bi-monthly. That way keep the Innovation Lab Core Team active, on the hunt and in touch with trends.
  6. Internal visibility – The most meaningful innovative ideas often come from places least expected. Make sure everyone in your company know where to turn with great ideas. Create a place on the intranet where everyone can submit ideas, vote, and discuss. Interact with your customers on your web site in the same way! Highlight the Innovation Lab Core Team here and make the team accountable for taking action on new ideas.
  7. External visibility – Connect with your marketing and PR department, and make sure that you showcase at least one new innovation or idea every quarter. It doesn’t need to be a production level, globally deployed solution. It may be enough to demonstrate a prototype, publish a short Youtube-video on the topic, put the prototype in the hands of key customers… the list of things you can do drive branding and marketing value from your Innovation Lab is endless, just go external.

So, if you haven’t already, put together a team of innovation heroes and provide some structure and thought into your innovation process. The results will show quickly.

Continue Reading · 0 · Categories: Innovation, Sogeti

Get yourself a Mobile App Factory

When Apple in May announced that 50 billion apps had been downloaded from its app store since it was launched in July 2008, many news stories focused on how difficult that made it for developers to get their app noticed and consequently to make a buck.

Enterprises face a different, more onerous set of problems ranging from reducing time from innovation to global delivery, to ensuring that the apps their employees are using are not going to prove a threat to the security of their corporate data and networks.

The mixed news for organizations is that the sheer volume of apps available to employees is set to accelerate. The same day Apple announced its landmark, Google revealed that 48 billion apps had been downloaded from its Play store to date, with 2.5 billion Android apps installed in the previous month alone. Apple reached the 40 billion mark as recently as January, with total downloads having doubled in 2012. While that growth promises to raise employee interactivity and productivity, it will also make it more difficult to test and manage applications and services across a growing range of devices, as well as to provide a seamless end-user experience.

Enterprises need a controlled, structured approach to mobile testing if they are going to head off critical aspects such as usability, performance and the potentially serious threats from viruses, malware and other security issues.

Yet our annual World Quality Report 2012-2013 shows that for most organizations quality assurance and mobile testing are carried out only occasionally and without a clear methodology: just 31% of respondents to this global survey said they currently tested their mobile applications. The good news: the majority of organizations expect testing budgets to rise between now and 2015; outsourcing of testing resources, in particular, is set to grow.

The primary testing challenges facing enterprises are manifold, ranging from platform fragmentation, user experience, device characteristics and performance, through to security, system integration and managing app distribution. Mobile testing, across a wide range of platforms and operating systems, will also need to be carried out on devices hosted in public and private cloud infrastructures.

More sophisticated testing methods and tools—including automation—will help. But as devices and applications proliferate, many enterprises will struggle to provide the necessary in-house resources for app development and ongoing management and testing. There is no doubt that innovative app development will be key to successful enterprise mobility strategies if companies are going to provide flexible, always-connected services to their employees and customers in future. But so too will be the ability to deliver ongoing testing and management of those apps in order to maintain a robust and secure environment.

To find out more about our Mobile App Factory and how we can help with all stages of your application lifecycle, don’t hesitate to contact me…

Continue Reading · 0 · Categories: Apps, Sogeti

Being real on app stores

I just read some articles about hotel managers and restaurant owners faking TripAdvisor reviews for their own facilities. I use TripAdvisor a lot and agree on the fact how bad it makes the hotel/restaurant look when it’s caught.
It’s just not real.

App store reviews are the same.
I want everyone to know that our policy is to never write reviews on or rate apps that we have been part of scoping, designing, developing or testing. What our customers are doing is out of our control, but we can control our own employees and also let customers know what is ethical on this matter. We must trust the work we have done and let the real users rate and review, and then take necessary actions when/if comments are negative.

Please do let me know if you come across a fake app store review you believe anyone from our team has posted, and we’ll have the post removed if this is the case. It’s important for us to being real also on app stores.

Continue Reading · 0 · Categories: Apps, Sogeti

Digital banking provides context and addresses challenges

I’m currently in a workshop in the Sogeti France HQ, Paris, on the topic of the future of digital banking. One of the benefits of working in a larger consultancy group is the value we can bring to our customers when sharing experiences and insights from projects delivered in countries like the US, the Netherlands, France, Sweden and Ireland. Colleagues in consulting and technology services are sharing market trends and best practices. It’s clear that digital banking is much more than the bank going online or social, or internet banking going mobile.

Some of my personal reflections are that for the user, digital banking is about getting relevant real-time contextual functionality and information to spending and saving in several dimensions including time, geography, user, and so on. You may associate this to Personal Financial Management (PFM) in your phone and it’s an obvious online banking feature and it’s one of the “usual suspects” in any digital banking workshop, but it’s reactive in nature (and few banks even do that on any relevant level).

Mobile solutions are teaching us about real-time context, which sometimes even pushes insights to the user without the user having to manually request it. Real-time context means giving the user immediate insight and understanding on type of spend, consolidated spend at this particular merchant or location, ability to move money to friends and family (or just people), “gamificated” status versus budgeted spend and save, and so on.

Fundamental features of digital banking are:

  • process agnostic and insight based money movements
  • truly mobile payments and savings
  • intensified connections between the user and the user’s money
  • highly customized cross selling based on historical data, contextual information including location, time and so on
  • contextual, social and conversational customer service
  • … and any feature that gives the user an increasing level of real-time insights and control

Successful digital banking addresses challenges in a wide array of aspects including a rapidly changing banking and financial services ecosystem, regulations, open data, security, business/IT alignment, time-to-market, widening innovation scope, quality assurance, quickly evolving technology solutions, legacy system transformation and integration, the Internet of Things, customer service, and of course client platform and form factor evolution.

From today’s workshop we return back to our local customers with a clear list of actions, updated visions, methodologies, awareness of technology solutions, and new professional connections, geared up to continue adding transformational drive and offerings. So, if you are in the banking industry, please contact me and I’ll be happy to come and visit you, to listen to your specific objectives and provide the full spectrum of today’s findings!

Continue Reading · 0 · Categories: Banking, Sogeti