We take a look at some of the emerging technologies that can help businesses deliver a seamless customer experience, increase productivity, better protect their data and generally raise their digital innovation profile.
eCommerce and the Cloud
With Amazon opening its doors in Australia in 2018, online retailers were understandably nervous about a global player taking market share. Although Amazon Australia doesn’t yet wield total domination, it’s fair to say it’s captured a foothold in the market.
In order to compete with large players such as Amazon, online retailers will have to adopt a fully-integrated approach to commerce, providing shoppers a seamless experience across all channels and touchpoints. This involves optimising inventory management for multiple channels and integrating purchasing information into a single operational plan. Adopting this approach to optimise customer experience will become a necessity for smaller players to remain competitive, as taking on Amazon on things like price and convenience will probably prove extremely difficult.
There are several SaaS solutions that enable retailers to easily implement a seamless CX approach, for example Oracle’s Commerce Cloud offering. These software tools encompass brand loyalty, digital marketing, AI and digital service in a central platform to give online businesses the ability to deliver connected, personalised experiences to customers on multiple channels, as well as the flexibility and speed to innovate.
The underlying technology of cryptocurrency, blockchain, is now being considered by many industries such as banking, manufacturing, entertainment and energy to assist in streamlining business processes and reduce friction between parties involved in the exchange of information. Enterprise blockchain can use a private, validated, shared ledger to guarantee the quality and origin of information, goods or services.
One sector that has seen significant benefits implementing this technology in recent times is the global payments industry. As companies such as Abra, Align Commerce and Bitspark offer end-to-end blockchain powered remittance services enabling customers to make international payments 24 hours a day, with clearing the following day.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is a network of physical objects – vehicles, machines, home appliances and much more – that connect and exchange data over the internet, allowing ‘things’ to ‘talk’ to each other. On a micro level the IoT has gained traction for various domestic uses such as smart home applications and wearables. Smart homes use the IoT to enable the remote monitoring and management of appliances and systems, such as lighting and heating from a smartphone or other networked device.
At a macro level the IoT is impacting multiple industries, here are just a few:
Optimising cost and productivity, improving safety measures, gathering data to improve efficiency. An example of this application is mining corporation Goldcorp drew attention with its ‘connected mine,’ where all employee helmets were fitted with tracking devices to monitor their locations in real-time. Ths improved on-site safety as managers can ensure every worker is accounted for and that they’re not entering prohibited areas of the mine.
Reducing emissions, allowing integration of renewables, improving reliability. American based Duke Energy applied the IoT to create a self-healing grid system that can automatically detect, isolate and reroute power when a problem occurs. This helps reduce the number of outages and can help restore electricity in a matter of minutes without the need for customer fault reports.
Collecting data, giving insight into symptoms, enabling remote care. A partnership between Pfizer and IBM has seen IoT technology used to track the effectiveness of Parkinson’s drugs and make any necessary dosage adjustments in real time while enhancing doctor-patient communication through the development of a ‘Parkinsons’ house,’ equipped with sensors to monitor the patient’s movements.
For businesses looking to invest in the IoT, Oracle offers ready-to-use SaaS solutions for remote asset maintenance and tracking, smart manufacturing, connected logistics, worker safety monitoring and connected customer experience.
Subscription Business Models
These days, customers desire a personalised experience, so businesses are increasingly becoming more customer-centric to meet their needs. According to McKinsey Analytics, offering products and experiences on subscription is a convenient, personalised, and often lower-cost, way for consumers to buy what they want and need.
The modern subscription business model is built on the constant surprise and delight of its users through new products and experiences. It does this by using data to develop an intimate familiarity with subscribers.
One of the most well known subscription providers Netflix is a leader in the technology. The video streaming service can be set up to run for as long as the user likes and, at the same time, its AI function gets to know the viewer’s taste in TV shows and movies. This allows for the more personalised viewing options to be displayed to the consumers and increases overall satisfaction with the service and customer retention.
The Oracle Monetization Cloud makes it easy to monetise subscription and consumption based services through the full product lifestyle by providing the ability to create and budle services for rapid deployment, intuitive customer management interfaces and flexible billing options.
These emerging technology trends are set to pave the way for business innovation going forward.