The customer relationship management market really started around 1984 when Salemaker and Telemagic burst onto the scene allowing a PC to manage customer contacts. Prior to that time, most businesses used paper cards.
Much of the innovation in the space came from Rockwell and IBM allowing for CTI – a screen pop between a Rockwell ACD and IBM mainframe when a call came in.
Brock Control became one of the leading UNIX solutions for CRM in the late eighties and early nineties.
The interesting thing was at the time we called all these solutions call center software.
There was no real customer relationship beyond the phone – except perhaps direct mail. There was retail but this often didn’t integrate with the contact center or the software it used.
In the Nineties, Tom Siebel launched Siebel Systems – the company later advertised on the Super Bowl and he wrote books like Cyber Rules and Taking Care of E-Business, which helped companies learn about the new ways of selling and doing business.
We credit Tom for taking contact center software, mainstreaming it and turning into a CXO budget item worth hundreds of billions of dollars over the decades.
Tom is at it again.
He has a company called C3.AI which focuses on IoT and machine learning.
He has recently written a book, Digital Transformation which focuses on these two disciplines as well as vectors-elastic cloud computing and big data.
“The scale and velocity of the change we are experiencing today is unlike anything we have seen before in the Information Age. It is more disruptive than the smart phone and more impactful than the internet,” said C3.ai CEO Tom Siebel. “Businesses-and governments-that do not overhaul their core to digitally transform will not survive, while those that grasp the true meaning, urgency, and promise of digital transformation can unlock a multi-trillion-dollar digital futur.”
In Digital Transformation, Siebel explains how leaders can and must:
- Deploy elastic cloud computing with multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud approaches to avoid vendor lock-in and achieve maximum flexibility;
- Convert big data into near real-time inferences using all of their organization’s data, not just data samples;
- Harness the power of IoT to make every device a computer that can monitor, interpret, and react to conditions and observations in real time; and
- Apply the latest in AI including natural language processing, supervised learning, and deep learning to solve previously unsolvable problems from detecting fraud, to optimizing manufacturing processes, to accurately predicting equipment failures.
Digital Transformation shows organizations how to deploy a new technology stack, and offers the quintessential blueprint for achieving one of the most fundamental business imperatives of today.
History may be repeating. Digital transformation is broader than CRM meaning it isn’t a single category we can track. Tom has a great reputation and CXOs everywhere should be paying full attention.
We expect more interest and spending in DX as a result of this new book and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.
Where do organizations go to learn more? The world’s only Future of Work Expo (collocated with the ITEXPO Digital Transformation #TechSuperShow) of course. Feb 12-14, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.