Hi there, it’s me, your customer. The one you spend millions of dollars trying to connect with during the waking hours? Ya, that one. Well, guess what? I am connected. But perhaps the term “connected” is misleading. I prefer to view myself as “empowered.” And if you want to connect with me, you first need to understand what this empowerment is, and I won’t lie, it borders on superpowers!
If millions of years of human evolution have taught us anything, it is that people have always preferred the use of voice to interact. However, for decades it was agreed that the technology “wasn’t quite there yet” to be used with machines. In the interim, nose-to-the-phone model of personal computing became the defacto standard, and no one really questioned it. Things have really begun to change in the past few years as Apple Siri, Amazon Echo, and Google Talk gained momentum and their QoE is a welcome relief.
In the relatively short time that human beings have been on this planet, we have seen a lot of things fall to the wayward and into extinction. In some cases, it was animals like the Dodo bird, the Caspian tiger, or the Baiji dolphin; in others, it was our creations that became outdated like dial-up internet, 8-track cassettes, or what’s even more relevant today, the Single-Channel experience.
Most people are familiar with the term hybrid; although it is usually in relation to cars. Fortunately for the sake of my point, it will do just fine. Now, by definition, a hybrid is the result of something new being made by combining two different elements, and in the case of hybrid cars, it is an electric and gasoline-powered engine. This provides the user with the fuel efficiency of an electric motor with the power and convenience of a gasoline one. However, it isn’t only cars that are enjoying the benefits of combining two different elements to create something new and better, for the world of IT has constantly been melding together concepts, principles, and methodologies in order to have the best of both worlds. Today, we are going to dive into one of those combinations known aptly as the Hybrid Cloud.
Have you ever had one of those unforgettable travel experiences that you just couldn’t help but talk about upon your return? Glad I’m not the only one; however, today I would like to share a particular experience with you, one that may not be what you’d expect. I say that because my excitement wasn’t caused by the country we travelled to, the city we explored, or the attractions we visited. Rather, it was the hotel my family and I stayed at that left such a lasting impression and quickly became an attraction in and of itself. Perhaps I should explain.
You know it’s vital, I know it’s vital, so let’s move on and dive right into our recipe for success. True quality comes from quality minded people, and as such, we’ve subscribed to a different angle towards QA, one that differs from the traditional practices.
Let’s play a game. How many brands do you think I experience in a typical day? Shall we find out?
It’s 6:55 AM and I’m awoken by the sounds of Lovely Day, by Bill Withers. A smile inevitably crosses my face as the tempo rises, that is, until I hear my girlfriend yell, “OK Google, STOP!” She obviously is not a morning person. Still half asleep, I wander into the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee and pour myself a bowl of cereal. As the aroma of the coffee diffuses throughout the house, it peaks the interest of my other half, who joins me for a cup. She mentions that the hardware store is having a sale on the bathroom tiles we liked and maybe “we” should pick some up after work. I tell her I’d be happy to as long as she promises to be ready by 7 PM for the show tonight. She agrees; I'm skeptical.
Daniel Park is Head of Digital Experience for a large enterprise. Among his many ongoing projects, he has recently been tasked to launch a “mission-critical” venture that has the promise to change the way the organization interacts with their customers. However, before Daniel can begin, he needs to choose which vendor to partner with.
Brandy, a Generation-Z consumer, comes across an Instagram “like” by her friend for a featured dress. She likes the garment and is interested in purchasing it in a different colour. She decides to go online and compare prices, and while browsing, she is prompted to download the retailers’ app, which would result in a 10% discount off her first purchase. However, after comparing prices, downloading the app, and moving the dress into her “shopping cart,” she abandons her purchase thinking the dress isn’t the one for her.
I love technology; so much so, that I have made a career out of it. I see its potential, and I see it as the answer to many questions and problems that we as a society face. Technology is not meant to complicate our life; rather simplify it, streamline it, and enable us to do more. And it is these experiences with technology that are at the forefront of the consumer's mind, not the complicated mechanisms behind it. It was Steve Matyas, CEO, Staples Canada, who once said “the customer doesn’t care what happens in the background,” and he couldn’t have been more right. Experiences define a brand; not products, services, or the technology that powers them.