BPMCAMP Sessions: Bob Golladay, IBM, and BP3
- August 27, 2015
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To open day 2 of BPMCAMP, we had the pleasure of welcoming Bob Golladay, the IBM Smarter Process Leader for Europe. We wanted to bring Bob to our event for two reasons: first, because Bob has been instrumental in forging a partnership with our European team and could speak to how IBM is addressing his market; and second, so that Bob could experience first-hand the kind of deep customer relationships BP3 has developed on both sides of the pond, with 57 customers attending under one roof.
“The Relationship we have is Unique…”
Our partnership with IBM in Europe, and with Bob specifically, is something we’re really grateful for. A big part of the reason we felt we could succeed in Europe was Bob’s leadership, his partnership model, and the great working relationship our European team has fostered with the IBM team in London and around Europe. Another critical element was the depth of talent and dedication in our BP3 UK team. Layered on top of that was trust we felt we could place in Bob Golladay personally. Trust is critical to foster a great partnership.
In Europe, BP3 and IBM are working together to bring BP3’s intellectual property assets to a European customer base to speed time to market and reduce risk ( Brazos UI, Brazos Portal, Neches Analysis, and our BP Labs offerings ). These assets have made a big difference in advancing the ball for European customers. We’re also bringing the BP3 brand of BPM success to Europe and the UK. For better or worse, success with a BPM program is something you have to experience first to know what it is you’re looking for, and BP3 can bring that experience to our customers. Once you know what success looks and feels like it is a lot easier to achieve it again and again.
In fact, our experience working with Bob’s team in Europe was so successful that we took a critical eye to our US-based business and decided that we could do even more to help IBM in the US as well. We are already seeing great benefits in our US business from this renewed effort. You can see below the IBM firepower that showed up for our customer appreciation event at BPMCAMP.
At BPMCAMP we were also joined by another great BP3 partner, North Highland, who also shares our focus on customer outcomes and success, and with whom we’ve worked well together. I think it is safe to say that BP3 is just a great company to partner with, and a tough company to compete with. We really work hard to make our partners and customers succeed.
Back to Highlights from Bob’s Keynote
We invited Bob to speak, and we didn’t proof his slides, or even see them, before the event. He did not disappoint with his talk. Let me share some of my notes with you here.
Bob is responsible for 31 countries, with at least as many cultures and languages. When he arrived 4 years ago, 50% of those countries were either in recession or depression. It was truly a startup opportunity to get the Smarter Process business off of the ground. There are three key insights he shared with us:
1. The world is changing, and customer centricity is the new process imperative for growth
This is no surprise to our audience at BPMCAMP, and Lance and I hit this topic pretty hard the day before. It is almost as if Bob read our minds (he wasn’t at that session as he was having internal meetings with IBM that day).
2. Organizations need to turn data into insights into action, and integrate front office engagements with back office operations
This is a slam dunk for ODM+BPM: ODM for insights, and BPM for the actions that you layer on to those ODM-driven insights. There’s also an interesting layer of cognitive computing when it comes to analyzing incoming events.
3. Only IBM and its partners have the solutions and expertise to make this happen for our customers
This is a really telling point. There’s a certain level of scale that requires a software engineering effort that very few companies can bring to the table. And that requires a domain and consultative expertise only a partner can bring to the table. Unlike virtually every other player in the BPM space, IBM has built a strong ecosystem around its platforms – with both generalists and pure plays.
Bob shared some great anecdotes: AIB investing in customer experience and the processes to support it from the ground up; BP3 and Knowis working together with IBM on bringing process and Financial regulatory risk solutions to market; Running train systems and the impact of maintenance on schedules; Using Blueworks Live to map a television channel’s processes, and then using those to run the business.
Customer Centricity and Scale
The main themes were customer centricity and scale. Customer centricity because of the empowerment of social media and the competition for revenue. Today, you can’t be customer-focused at scale without technology – there’s just too much information and too many customer interactions. Anyone can pick up a phone and tweet about the negative experience, or write a review. The scale is just too big without meaningful automation. You can’t human curate twitter’s “firehose”. So automation and and technology are requirements to play.
The basic thought model is: sensing activity (e.g. Twitter feed), real-time building your content, and deciding what to do (with the aid of ODM), and then acting quickly and consistently (with the aid of BPM). For example, detecting a combination of Twitter mentions and support tickets that you have a product defect in your latest product, and then turning that into a customer service action to get those issues addressed – kicking off a process.
At the same time, that automation is best served by a combination of BPM and ODM – process and decision management. Bob pointed to some trends in Europe that we see in the US as well – ODM adoption increasing, but in particular within BPM customers. Better understanding of process is leading to better understanding of the decisions along the way, and the way in which decision management can make a difference.
The Interrog… Interview
After his presentation, we sat down to have a discussion – some of which is captured above, in terms of the partnering approach and the relationship – Bob, Lance, and myself. We discussed how the trends are shifting from cost-reduction and risk-mitigation to increasingly focus on revenue and customer experience drivers.
Bob kicked things off:
“The relationship we have is unique. I’m very happy these guys came to Europe. They’re a trusted set of hands when it comes to clients. We built our entire business model on project-based deals – the only way my business grows is if I find new clients, or if a client is successful with the software and buys again.”
We talked about that Twitter example, and how interesting it would be to detect when you’re having an off-boarding rather than an on-boarding experience with a customer.
Bob reassured the audience that process discovery and collaboration is real, and has real value, it isn’t just a plug for Blueworks Live. When we looked into the audience to ask how many of them were operating in both the US and Europe – a very high percentage were. When we discussed the focus of BPM and ODM in Europe, Bob felt 25% of customer projects were focused on CX in Europe at the moment, an increase over previous years that focused solely on cost-cutting or compliance.
In one case, a bank focused on cost, “accidentally” improved their processes so much that they increased customer experience scores at the same time. Bob emphasized that you can’t just say “buy ODM and BPM and… go!” It takes a value proposition, solution sell, building trust with IBM and partners, etc. We were reminded again that there’s no reason for these companies, in that room, to get Uber-ed. Just look for disaffected customers and make them happy – because industries with unhappy customers are likely to get disrupted by massive startup investments.
If you could convince customers to improve their processes as much as they invest in their products and their services, there’s just a vast opportunity in front of them to both defend markets and expand them.
[UPDATE: interested in BPMCAMP 2016? The sign-up for information is here! ]