I had the opportunity to attend Mesh 13 last week and walked away truly inspired by the people and ideas that I was exposed to. I believe I have topics to write about for the next couple of months. For today’s post I want to focus on the keynote conversation entitled Publish, Search, Fulfill & Converse: The Future of Work and the Enterprise. The speaker was JP Rangaswami, Chief Scientist of Salesforce.com.
JP Rangaswami was so motivating to listen to that I have now added him to my list of influencers. He writes a personal blog called ‘Confused of Calcutta.’ I recommend reading his ‘About this Blog’ page: http://confusedofcalcutta.com/about/, where he describes his professional ideals. Much of what he writes about was discussed at Mesh.
The conversation, in relation to how we do work, dwelled on how the enterprise is changing to a customer focused organization ( something I also discussed in my blog post Business organization by customer focused layers). JP Rangaswami stated that in the last decade, with the advent of social apps for businesses, the cost of communicating with our customers has dramatically gone down and this change has disrupted how we engage with our customers. We are more able to listen to them. As well, our customers are able to engage with each other as a group. As a result, enterprises need to make sure they offer a flexible platform for their customers, as well as for their employees and business partners.
Hence the need for business to focus on Apps in these four areas, whether this is a focus on App purchase or App development.
- Publish Provide regular subscription based services that inform and provide value to customers.
- Search Providing a mechanism for customers to do adhoc searching as a method of discovery.
- Converse Providing a social platform for customers to engage with you and with each other.
- Fulfillment Providing an easy way for customer purchase and delivery.
In building this, you are providing an open platform for your customers and business partners to do business with you, something that Salesforce.com does very well, and is why JP Rangaswami is a great fit for the organization. Another point that was raised in the discussion was that building an open API to your platform is a great way to invite added value and stickiness to your service. With the thousands of enterprise APPs now built on top of Salesforce.com, they are an excellent example of this in action.
For me, technology is a powerful tool, and as with all tools what is important is the purpose and application behind it. As such, the proliferation of Apps is a powerful way to make work easier for your ever changing, dispersed workforce. Coupled with their implementation, you need to make sure that you have a strong business model that is customer centric, as this will steer your needs and use for your Apps.