Talsom at C2 : Meetings at the juncture of humans and technology to promote innovation

Digital and human transformations define our era. Every organization is affected – yours as much as ours. These deep, sudden transformations are continuously redefining the keys to success and criteria for survival in the business world. For eight years, Talsom has been evolving to equip you with the very best tools for a successful digital transformation. By completing our own daily transformation, we have acquired valuable skills and insights regarding the collision and synergies between humans and technologies. With this in hand, we are able to harness our talent to ensure your success.

What will the reality be tomorrow and what should it be today?To answer this question, we are joining C2 Montréal as a partner on May 23, 24 and 25, 2018, where we will be present with our entire team.

What is C2 Montréal?

C2 Montréal is an event where the worlds of commerce and creativity collide to explore substantial, upcoming trends, opportunities, disruptions and mutations. Every year, more than 6,500 creators and decision-makers come together to shape, live and reinvent the future of business. As every member of our team will attend, the sum of our parts will help drive innovation within our organization and ultimately within yours.

PEOPLE + TECHNOLOGY - INSPIRE, DRIVE, RECOGNIZE = INNOVATION

 

Our Initiatives

In addition to allowing each of our employees to grow their knowledge and develop new ideas through the different activities proposed by C2 Montréal, we will also launch several initiatives to gather today’s visionaries and to promote the revolutions of tomorrow.

For this year’s event, our talents have identified three “Transformative Collisions” that Talsom will discuss at its booth, which is located at the Arsenal art gallery in Montréal:

#1 Collision between Digital Code and Social Code. On May 23, with our partner TECHNOPOLYS, the movement to promote Quebec’s technology industry, we will discuss the training, recruitment and recognition of female talent in the field of information technology.

#2 Collision between New Technologies and Traditional Industries. On May 24, with our partner ADRENALYS, we invite you to learn how a traditional industry such as agriculture can reinvent itself and prosper with the help of digital technologies.

#3 Collision between Failure and Transformation. On May 25, our partners at CEFRIOwill immerse us in a conversation at their Change Lab to identify the perfect conditions for failure with digital transformation, in order to reveal the keys to success for our Quebec-based SMEs.

For several months, Talsom has also been fascinated about another collision: that among the business sector, technology and non-governmental organizations that work to develop international assistance to create a positive impact in communities that need it the most. In May, Talsom will officially announce its collaboration with the KANPE Foundation and the Humanos Institute for their pilot project for international development in Haiti. Through this collaboration, we will work and develop sustainable solutions in Haiti and to resolve the situation identified by Dr. Niels Billou, who is a Design Thinking Expert at Talsom and Founder of the Humanos Institute:

Charitable doors x skilled volunteers = sustainable international development

 

On their return from an exploratory mission on the ground, Dr. Niels Billou, Olivier Laquinte (President of Talsom) and Isabelle Thibault (Executive Director of KANPE) will lead discussions on this subject in the company of distinguished guests such as the co-founders of KANPE and of Impak Finance. During C2 Montréal and in the context of this project, Talsom will also support the “Design Thinking for Humanity” organized by the Humanos Institute and given by Dr. Niels Billou.

If you are able to attend C2 Montréal this year, do not hesitate to visit our booth to experience transformative collisions with us. Write to us and join us for a breakfast or a drink served by the KINOVA robotic arm during our daily 5 à 7 cocktail parties. And for those who wish to participate remotely, we will post the full discussions and content concerning these collisions in real time via live YouTube links. You will also be able to view these discussions again at any time after the event.

If you wish to learn more about our activities during C2 Montréal, our collisions, and our guests, stay tuned!

Feel free to visit the sites of the Humanos Institute and KANPE to learn more about the actions

A new service offer based on Design Thinking

Last week, Talsom unveiled its new “Technology Strategy and Innovation” service offer at Salon Connexion. This new offer based on the Design Thinking approach, is part of the support that Talsom offers companies in all of their digital transformation from strategy to implementation, through business architecture, project leadership and change management. 

A digital transformation powered by Design Thinking (DT / DT)

In an era where digital transformation has become a concrete reality for every business, Talsom wants to support each of its customers in defining their identity and their digital target. Indeed, organizations that fail to identify these two variables will find it difficult to survive in the environment, that is becoming more and more competitive. Supported by our team of experts in Design Thinking, each company will be able to make these key digital decisions that will serve as a guide for all of its initiatives and activities.

We can not measure what we do not define

We embed an innovation-driven culture at the heart of organizations and co-create organizational designs, processes, channels, services, and digital products. Through the approved approach of Design Thinking, we want to make digital transformation a lever of differentiation, competitiveness and growth for each company. The cornerstone of innovation, Design Thinking is more than just an approach, it is a state of mind based on empathy. With a deep understanding of users, their needs, and the ecosystem in which they operate, the iterative approach of Design Thinking creates a collaborative climate from which viable and desired solutions to the marketplace emerge.

We can not improve what we do not measure

Today 56% of CEOs confirm that improvements made through the introduction of digital have already increased their profits [1]. Design Thinking supports companies in aligning their strategic vision with the successful execution of their technology projects.

To download the details of the new offer, visit our PAGE.

IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, BPaaS: Do you speak cloud?

Everyone is familiar with the Cloud. But did you know that there are four broad categories of available services, namely IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and BPaaS?

Infrastructure as a Service (or “IaaS”) is the lowest level of service that is found in the Cloud. The service provider hosts a virtual infrastructure, which is composed of a storage space, servers and network elements (e.g. firewalls, load balancers). Customers can thus configure the infrastructure (e.g. memory, storage space, CPU) and use it as they see fit, according to the pricing models that are in effect, which can consist of either a fixed-price model or a price determined according to the volume used. The most known IaaS providers available include Amazon EC2, Windows Azure, Rackspace and Google Compute Engine.

Platform as a Service (or “PaaS”) adds an additional layer to IaaS by proposing, in additing to the physical layer, an operating system, an operating environment, a database and software servers that customers can manage and configure as they wish (for instance, as regards security, user accounts and software parameters). The most well known PaaS providers include AWS Elastic Beanstalk (Amazon), Windows Azure, Heroku, Force.com, Google App Engine and Apache Stratos.

Software as a Service (or “SaaS”) is added above PaaS and offers access to an application. This type of model is frequently referred to as “on-demand software”. Customers no longer have to worry about installing, hosting or maintaining the application, as it is the service provider who takes care of this. The pricing is frequently determined according to a fixed-price model or according to the volume of the service that is used, calculated through various metrics (e.g. number of users, level of service). Most types of application now exist under this form: ERPs (e.g. JD Edwards, SAP HANA); CRMs (e.g. Salesforce); middleware (e.g. Talend); and office tools such as Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365. Some providers even offer integrated solutions that include both an ERP and a CRM, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Lastly, Business Process as a Service (or “BPaaS”) extends beyond SaaS and the scope of a sole application by handling business processes that are frequently cross-functional, such as payroll management. BPaaS thus allows for the coordination of the automatic (services) or partly manual activities of a process, which are spread out across several applications that are hosted in the Cloud or on the organization’s infrastructure. Customers can thus map their processes (BPO) as well as the activities that compose them on the different applications. The pricing is calculated according to the use of the service. Providers of BPaaS include IBM, Wipro, Ovum and Cognizant.

These different types of services stand in contrast to on-premises software, which refers to software that is hosted on the internal infrastructure of the organization, a solution that many organizations presently use. Businesses that choose on-premises solutions are thus responsible for hosting and ensuring the maintenance of their servers and of their network, in addition to resolving technical bugs that arise with each version upgrade. To do so often requires significant involvement from the IT team that is thus precluded from engaging in other activities that would add value to the business.

According to Gartner, businesses will over the next five years make over one billion dollars of direct and indirect investment to transition to cloud computing. Roughly 43% of this investment will be spent on BPaaS, with 37% being directed to SaaS, 10% to PaaS and 17% to IaaS.

According to a study conducted by NOVIPRO and Léger on IT trends within small and mid-size enterprises, 54% of IT managers in Canada agree that the future is in Cloud computing, and 52% of these respondents, 52% envision adopting Cloud computing in the next two years.

And what do you plan to do as part of this movement?

The Customer Journey: Identify Technological Opportunities

If like many other people, you believe that the Customer Journey is limited only to marketing, the B2C sector and to optimizing the customer experience, you may not be seeing the full picture.

It is true that the Customer Journey is often used for marketing purposes, to better understand the customer experience in store or online. But what we often forget is that the Customer Journey also applies to technology. As is the case with marketing, the Customer Journey allows businesses to identify what is missing with the customer experience and to determine how technology may help to bridge these gaps.

Today, the digital transformation of the customer experience has become a relevant means for businesses to adapt and personalize their offering. Customers are becoming increasingly demanding, which means that businesses must improve their digital practices and place the customer experience at the heart of their concerns. By better pinpointing customers and the actions they take during their experience, the Customer Journey allows for needs to be born and to be met with the optimization and effectiveness gained through technology. The goal is to better understand the customer experience and to identify where and how to act.

Digital transformation constitutes a decision-making centre for businesses that concerns three main themes:

Internal business needs: what functional needs of the business must be met to improve its performance and/or the customer experience?

Monitoring technology: what are the important technological trends that will have an impact on my business and that I should identify how to benefit from?

The Customer Journey: what relation does the customer have with my business? Across the various points of contact with my business, how can this relation be influenced?

When a business is in the mindset of undergoing digital transformation, it evaluates its current state to progress to a future target state through the use of technologies. To arrive at this destination, the Customer Journey constitutes one of the key steps of digital transformation. By mapping out the present state of points of contact with clients and their satisfaction, businesses can identify the future needs and to observe in parallel the market’s latest technological trends to stand out.

The Customer Journey follows the following three guiding principles:

  1. Always consider the customers point of view

It is by viewing the customer’s experience through his or her own eyes – throughout his or her journey – that you will be able to begin understanding how to significantly improve the experience.

  1. Eliminate silos

Businesses often have their stakeholders function in an isolated manner and make decisions with respect to only one department at a time. In this respect, the customer’s point of view and the exercise of documenting it together allows for the elimination of silos to improve the global experience.

  1. Assist in decision-making and the prioritization of investment

The Customer Journey allows for a certain number of needs to emerge that originate from points of contact and that will allow the business to establish a list of investment priorities.

It allows for the business to see where the use of technology could fill gaps and to guide the business towards the type of technological solution that it should choose to offer the desired customer experience.

 

The Components of a Customer Journey

A Customer Journey is drawn out on a visual map that describes the potential journey of a customer and his or her interactions with the brand through different points of contact. The customer cannot pass through every point of contact – that is why the journey of each customer is unique.

To complete such a visual map, begin by defining the broad phases of the Customer Journey. For example, retail businesses are generally associated with the following phases: Discovery, Learning, Receipt, After-Purchase Sale, and Return (see example below).

The number of phases may vary from one business to the next. Once these are determined, we are ready to complete the visual map according to the following aspects, always keeping in mind the customers point of view:

POINTS OF CONTACT: Observe concretely the points of contact with the customer, then represent them in a visual journey. Certain points will be controlled by the business (e.g. website) whereas others will not (e.g. posts made by third parties on social media).

THOUGHTS: What is the customer thinking, in particular as regards the product or service provided?

To maintain the greatest degree of objectivity with the information collected, it is essential to maintain the customer’s point of view rather than that of the business.

EMOTIONS: How does the customer feel at each stage? Is he or she stressed out by the receipt of his or her package? Is he or she frustrated about having to create a user account to complete a purchase?

Whether the emotions are positive or negative, it is essential to consider all of the customer’s thoughts to obtain the true point of view of the customer. The customer’s emotions will allow you to identify how he or she feels with respect to the technological tools of your business.

EXPERIENCE: The final aspect is to the type of experience the customer desires (amusing, inspiring, educational, etc.) and the desired evolution of this experience throughout the customer’s journey.

Next, you must define the moments of truth. A moment of truth corresponds to a sensitive point in the interaction between the customer and the business, namely a moment when the customer shows a strong reaction towards the business. These points are critical because they are when the customer will form an impression of not only your brand but also of your use of technology.

What Next?
Select and Prioritize Projects

Once the Customer Journey is put together, the next step is to identify the initiatives that will meet the opportunities identified and that will fill the missing gaps. Improving the customer experience is an important factor in the prioritization of these initiatives, especially when the funds you are investing are limited. By taking account of the improvement of the experience, particularly in moments of truth, you will be able to ensure that your investments align with concrete advantages: customer satisfaction, sales and customer retention, but also a reduction of end-to-end service costs and a reinforcement of employee satisfaction.

By following the above steps, you will be able to anticipate future opportunities and thus be able to innovate and distinguish yourself from your competitors!

Four Ways for Businesses to Use AI

Four Ways for Businesses to Use AI

Artificial intelligence presents employers with a technological alternative to their traditional modes of operation. With its emergence, businesses are now able to create programs and equipment that allow for autonomous decision-making through the smart interpretation of large volumes of data. Be it in the fields of health care, retail or financial services, or even within industrial businesses, applications derived from AI presently affect virtually all sectors of the world economy. The mass adoption of this technology is justified by its ability to identify with precision the patterns that exist within data, to make projections and to run simulations.

Here are a few possible ways that businesses can use this technology:

CHATBOTS

These software robots, which can converse with consumers through an automated chat service, offer retail businesses the opportunity to improve and expand their social channels in addition to presenting a specific service in real time.

  • Notable initiatives that incorporate chatbots include Duolingo, Gumbot (offered by Gumtree), Replika (offered by Luka) and Cleverbot.

 

ROBO-ADVISERS

A robo-adviser is typically an automated, online management service that replaces the basic portion of the work completed by a financial consultant for a fraction of the cost. While this technology is still at an early stage of its development, it is expected that businesses will be able to use it to develop financial management strategies that are tailored to the profiles of their clients according to the clients’ historical data.

  • Startups that operate in this niche of the market include Betterment, Personal Capital, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and SigFig.

 

DYNAMIC PRICING

As customers become increasingly segmented, businesses can adjust prices in real time in order to draw greater economic value.

IBM Dynamic Pricing and Perfect Price currently offer cutting-edge solutions.

 

CONSUMER DATA ANALYSIS

With the amplification of the volume of data detected by smart sensors (located in cars, houses, etc.) and generated by the Internet of Things, an opportunity has arisen for the development of tools dedicated to managing the complexity of human risk and to identifying consumer trends. With these initiatives, it is possible to offer consumers more personalized serviced.

  • Earley Information Science is one company that offers such promotional services.

Do you know the sources of funding available to support your digital transformation?

Improve business processes, build customer loyalty, increase growth, or leverage its network of partners?

Digital transformation can help you achieve these goals and create value for your business.

But are you sure you have all the resources to finance your digital transformation project? You may not know where to go for funding or where to start? All these questions are the cornerstone of this ebook, in which we will try to bring you some answers. With this publication, we offer you a global portrait of the types of financing available in Québec for digital transformation projects.