Execution, Flexibility, Safety, Ease of Use Key to Digital Success - Lessons from Gitex 2016

Suzanne Bowen : Monetizing IP Communications
Suzanne Bowen
37 yrs in telecom, teaching, blog & grant writing, biz development, marketing, & PR. Favorite moments in life involve time w/ family & friends, networking, IP communications industry verticals & horizontals, running, traveling, foreign languages
| 1. "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition..." Barack Obama ..... 2. "One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain." By Thomas Sowell

Execution, Flexibility, Safety, Ease of Use Key to Digital Success - Lessons from Gitex 2016

The etisalat and Nissan Smart Car collaboration, the robot policeman, and James Baresse's presentation on three needs for digital payment system success are three of the many enlightening experiences at Gitex 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In summary, to see any technology, product, and service to success, the startup or industry giant must keep in mind that people want more convenience and simplicity and control, safety and security, and cost savings and rewards. Even nabbing one of these three must-have pairs can be the alpha to omega win.

Ahsan Saleem, DIDX CIO and Techistan reporter notes, "The telecom giant etisalat and Japan's Nissan Smart Car collaborate to keep the vehicle and its owners connected via a mobile application. The app helps forgetful people to find their cars, worried owners to catch car thieves, and temperature-conscious people to warm or cool the inside of the car in advance, and more. Gitex 2016 was excellent. This is just one example of what we experienced."

The etisalat and Nissan Smart Car app works with GPS, GLONASS and GSM machine to machine technologies. 

ahsan-alimuhammad-gitex2016-smaller.jpg"Gitex crowds were also "wowed" by the robocop that roamed the exhibition area, on behalf of the Dubai Police, who say that one will actually join their force in 2017 with plans for many more by 2020," says Ali Muhammad, DIDX executive sales director. "The robocop saluted us and shook our hands. The robocop's body even has a touch screen for input in reporting crimes and paying traffic violation fines. It can scan faces and send back to headquarters or compare data for the police department to make better informed decisions."

Dubai Police, IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, and Google are in collaboration to embed a virtual assistant system that can even follow voice commands.

Last and not least, James Barrese, former Paypal CTO, with technology experience in military, academics, payments enterprise platforms and infrastructures, gave a presentation with the potential to make every listener quickly understand the necessary components of success in innovation. It cannot just be innovation. It has be an innovation that moves with smart, nimble, arabesque execution.

Speed and agility are two crucial characteristics of successful companies, products and services. Large established enterprises like incumbents with decades' worth of red tape, who don't put their resources into scalable infrastructure lose out. Fast and flexible can become impossible.

New entities on the scene who are not bogged down by such are in the middle of the most graceful plié to disrupt. What can so easily happen is that once success is achieved, companies in transportation, retail, communications, shipping and other verticals and industries tend to become too relaxed.

According to James Baresse, what is also needed is to "hire good data scientists" and those who are "great at machine learning or AI." Internet of things makes it where practically anything will be able to make and receive payments. I.e., create "an electronic door, and someone could pay it and it opens." AKA electronic building bouncer!

Again the recurring theme at Gitex: Companies have to build their technology and platforms with capabilities that are flexible and scalable. They cannot only work on certain devices. They have to have a strong ability of multi-compatibility with all devices. The ongoing evolution of what will host technology and platforms now and in the future is a moot point, whether in a "mobile device," a piece of furniture such as Impressive Prototypes wireless charging end table, a robot as the Dubai robocop, virtual reality or a human body. At one time there were no walkie talkies, word processors, smart watches, and FitBits, and the future promises what lurks in our minds as unbelievable possibilities. Developers and engineers must design and build what is the most capable of reworking flexibly.

Industry support needs to put more trust into networks and the whole process must become more convenient. "Human minds crave simplicity and you have to get to a tipping point in acceptance for change to take route," Mr. Barrese declared.

People don't want to worry about trying to figure out when and where they can use cash, physical credit card, mobile device tap pay, or other digital or analog payment system. Life needs to be simplified because lives are busier and more packed than ever with work and play.

James Barrese referred to some major considerations for making the change to digital payments, for example.
1. It must be simpler and more convenient than what is available now.
2. It must be safer than what is available now.
3. It must save them money. They want to experience a reward for using a digital payment system.

The importance of number three is evident in the success that Springleaf, who purchased OneMain Financial in a $4.49 billion cash deal in November 15, 2015, has had in its less technical but quite effective rewards program. Users login to their personal dashboards and earn reward points for gift cards when they watch budgeting, investing and credit educational videos; share their experience in social media and more.

On the flip side, if not even one of these is available with a digital payment system...safer and more secure, save people money or give them extra rewards, or simpler and more convenient to use...people will refuse to accept and much less...use.

In the end, James Baresse impresses that anyone can come up with an idea, but innovation is not the omnipotent answer. Whether at the ballet barre or the startup bar that has been set by experts like Barrese, execution, according to James, is what it is all about.

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