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Oh’s and Woe’s – Identifying Innovations.

Innovation is the root of any business success; all business need to come up with something original and new. Even if the business model addresses traditional lines of ideas; the packaging, the application, the tuning being unique can still be an innovation. Today organizations get caught in the web of ROI, P&L and addressing ongoing PGM routines that innovation has become a negligible and in most cases a rejected case. Lets leave aside the ecosystem for nurturing innovations; these days organizations do not have the capability to differentiate between a successful innovation and a stale drummed up rhetoric. So dismal is the stance that everything that does a workflow with few colors is deemed as an innovation.

As business and organizations evolve, innovation is becoming a key driver of performance. Firms striving to maintain high rates of innovation need a continuous flow of new ideas. Innovation is like field that has to be set right; for the seeds of ideas from key personnel fall and sprout into a worthwhile result. The organization not only need the supportive environment where the birth of an idea happens; it also should be ready with the cradle and life support for the idea to evolve into an innovation.

Woe to the organizations that do not have the capability to differentiate. The breed of intellectuals are a rarity; their ideas and practices if leveraged and nurtured well can help build new channels of business expansions and value. Organizations that cannot innovate or build environments to breed innovation cannot survive in the market. Lets first look at how Innovations can be identified; what can actually be termed as Innovation?

Innovation_Simple_Wordle

 

Identifying Innovation:
Well, that’s what organizations struggle with. When you say organizations, we relate to the people in flesh and blood who hold offices that across the leadership stack. Innovation happens under the radar; unless your organization boasts of having the wherewithal of setting and managing an innovation management COE – center of excellence.

Lets now dive deep on how we can identify an innovation. With the many ways of identifying innovations the following DND approach can be one of the ways you can identify and value an Innovation.

DIFFUSION:
Diffusion is the way in which innovations spread, through market or non-market channels, from their first micro implementation to different consumers, countries, regions, sectors, markets, and firms. Without diffusion, an innovation will have no economic impact. We look at the diffusion in many aspects; we gauge using audience excitement, value generated, market segment addressed, market size, idea investment and ROI, value impact analysis.

NEW:
A product, process, marketing method, or organizational method can already have been implemented by other firms, but if it is new to the firm (or in case of products and processes: significantly improved), then it is an innovation for that firm. An innovation cannot be termed new if for example a product is purchased off shelf and implemented true to its features in a business practice to achieve the features therein and thereby terming it an innovation. NEW to the Organization, NEW to the Market.

DISRUPTIVE:
An innovation that creates ripples and impacts a market and thereby upsetting the existing norm and creating new value chains; change the structure of the market, create new markets, or render existing products obsolete. Disruptive innovation focuses on the impact of innovations as opposed to their novelty.

Effects of Successful Innovation [DND-E]:

* Increase or maintain market share
* Enter new markets
* Increase visibility or exposure for products
* Reduced time to respond to customer needs
* Achieve industry technical standards
* Reduce operating costs, increase margins
* Increase operational efficiency
* Improve communication and interaction among different business activities
* Increase sharing or transferring of knowledge with other organizations
* Increase the ability to adapt to different client demands
* Develop stronger relationships with customers

Copyright © cran.edge/@jesuvaliant @valiantblogs

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Service [TAC] oriented Knowledge Engineering – Framework & Process

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Knowledge Engineering for Services [TAC]

All the data that is being gathered over every possible transactions reside in the databases. These transactional data amassed over time has the potential to yield a lot of intelligence and provide key insight into the major four areas of Business.  [a]-Product Analytics, [b]-Customer Analytics, [c]-Process Analytics.

Technology manufacturers need to evolve their strategy every time and stay competitive, they desperately need to understand the perspectives from a VOC – Voice of Customer.

TAC Centric Knowledge Engineering will make use of a varied a host of ‘technology and product BI companies’ and ‘BI as a service companies’.
There are three types of BI as a service offerings:
1. Generic BI platform capabilities (for example, online analytical processing [OLAP], reporting, analysis, data mining)
2. Application-specific offerings (for example, Web analytics, fraud analysis, risk analysis, benchmark analysis)
3. Combination of both application BI services & product specific analytics with a expert recommendations and consulting  [KE].

Knowledge Engineering will supply the all essential human expertise to build the knowledge analytics architecture based on the business case / SWOT and  conclude recommendations.

From a Services Industry perspective; I recommend pursuits be set over three specific areas. 1. Customer Analytics, 2. Product Analytics, 3.Process Analytics. This can help accelerate service excellence and optimize operations.

Product Analytics: Solutions that allow them to analyze across a series of product performance dimensions ‘end to end’ in the product’s lifecycle. Analytics over Product reliability, third party environments, bug impacts, causes to resolutions, escalations and factors, time to resolve, and maintainability requirements, while all the time focusing on lowering support lifecycle. Product analytics will bend the traditional value chain into a “feedback loop”; evolving into product intelligence.

Customer Analytics: Customer intelligence visibility, customer satisfaction RCA & recommendations, customers and prospects, customers’ likes and dislikes, cases history and trend, as well as future wants and needs, by consolidating customer information currently in multiple silos and mining information.

Process Analytics: Business Process Analytics provides drill-down and slice and dice capabilities from various perspectives for extensive process analysis and reporting. Derivations of general and specialist advisory based on analytics rendered over  historic and real-time data.

Knowledge Engineering Framework:

JesuValiant_KnowledgeEngineering_Framework

JesuValiant_KnowledgeEngineeringFramework

Knowledge Engineering – What it takes?
•    Enumerate, analyze, catalog, and suggest improvements to the core and support processes of the business unit.
•    Ability to assimilate and correlate disconnected and and articulate their collective relevance.
•    The ability to visualize and create high-level models to extend and mature the business architecture.
•    Technical knowledge over technologies covered in the product stack.
•    Importing, cleaning, transforming, validating or modeling data with the purpose of understanding or making conclusions from the data for decision making purposes.
•    Presenting data in charts, graphs, tables, designing and developing relational databases for collecting data.
•    Information management, relational database design and development, business intelligence, data mining or statistics.
•    Utilizes data analysis techniques or best practices and draw inferences and present comprehensive analysis.
•    Critically evaluate information gathered from multiple sources, reconcile conflicts, Decompose high-level information into details, abstract up from low-level information to a general understanding.
•    Prepare reports of findings, illustrating data graphically and translating complex findings into written text.

Do you have a pain point today and are you a technology product manufacturer? Reach out to me @ jesu.valiant@csscorp.com.

Thanks for reading.

Copyrights – Jesu Valiant 2012

*Logos in the Framework diagram belong to the respective owners. Here its to highlight and recommend adoption of these systems and tools to perform Knowledge Engineering.

Strategic Knowledge Engineering

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment

The nature of work has evolved towards service and knowledge related contexts; in this scenario we need intense focus over the processes and frameworks that would define on how we harness and leverage information that is generated over all processes for driving more value. Organizations seeking to extend themselves into this critical area of analytics needs to focus on shaping the process and the people; the vital components. Organizations should be aware of the characteristics of its relative business knowledge and its sources, features and usability. It needs to shape methods that can collate data from extensive source area, link disparate data sources for a collective sense. There needs to be a governing process that evaluates, merges, researches, develops,  the data and comes out with options for business optimization.

Splitting the stages into functional units tied down to specific goals.

1. Knowledge Sourcing
2. Knowledge Abstraction
3. Knowledge Framing
4. Knowledge Warehousing
5. Knowledge Engineering

Knowledge Sourcing can be described as the identifying and acquiring historic and real-time data that are available from varied sources in the annals of any given business process. Data usually is available in the databases, files, logs, documents and they hold information transactions. The data is accumulated over time and the stores swell with size; all the while presenting an opportunity to present intelligent or informative analysis that could drive a stack of benefits. Other than the normal reporting structures built to mark the progress over Production, Quality and all in between; specific insight is never sought. The inference – insight that can be extracted remains an opportunity and for long. This data stacks and repositories are analyzed and identified as channels / sources; this source is the feeder for the analytics and the outcomes, process of source identification and data acquisition needs to be clinical.

Knowledge Abstraction helps in framing the insights and is completely skill dependent; this human skill is at an expert level on the domain of choice [SME  – Subject Matter Expertise] and the process relies heavily on the understanding and knowledge of the people resources. The data set is categorized based on the business case or the problem statement, data and information framework built here are weighed and categorized in order to support the reasoning and outcomes. The frame is built over an objective where the entire pursuit of intelligence is architected. All information here is bridged, connectors, the domino effect and factoring are all part of this abstraction process. Abstraction has two distinct process loops; one

Knowledge Framing ensures that abstracted data is further developed and refined through higher process routines to achieve anchoring over statistical data. The anchoring is vital as this builds the entire exercise over reasoning, analytics and recommendations on numerical realities. There effort here is predominantly built over mining [drilling down] data blocks to identify patterns, strings, values  to build neural relation that will help garner deep insight into all the facets.

Knowledge Warehousing comes in as the vital next step where the structured information and knowledge is stored into prescribed data structures that acts as the foundation for all the processed data. These individual ‘marts’ contain data stacks that are structured  over certain perspectives. Here the data stacks are linked, merged, to evolve and position the data for all analytics and intelligence extracts. This warehousing of the structured knowledge is done using enterprise warehousing applications, there is also a process layer to help drive Data reporting based on rule engines and business case.

Knowledge Engineering Analytics is the function where we have all the analytics process and frameworks deployed to extract intelligence out of the data warehouse. There is a lot of factor building, dependency tracking, correlations exercises that are done over analytics suites that help understanding all the different perspectives from an analytics standpoint. Causes, factors, symptoms, diagnosis, recommendations, solutioning are all the indispensable next steps that add a tremendous value to business and business operations.

Jesu Valiant

Service & Analytics recommendations:
To initiate a SKE – Strategic Knowledge Engineering for any of your data stacks, there is a comprehensive solution stack shaped over a decade of analytics at the CSS Knowledge Engineering & Research Labs.

Email: enterprise.ke@csscorp.com

Valuation – The Worth of an Idea

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Entrepreneurs have a steady stream of thought and they keep generating ideas. There is a lot of work however with these idea machines as they need to develop the capability to sift through these ideas and freeze in over the opportunities. Opportunities are best described as the value generated for which there can be a given financial transaction made; with repeatability and room for enhancing the value. The opportunity should offer a good yield and capable of generating revenue that’s more than the unified expense for the opportunity.

Core Value: If the opportunity is long sustaining and if business can exploit the platform and evolve better profitability, the more comprehensive the solution is. The market need to see ‘value’ in the solution, the value need to be visible when viewed across varied perspectives. When the market scans for a value stack in a solution, the strength of the solution should excite the prospects. The solution stack should be a ‘Fit Gap’ over needs and when evaluated from an internal and an external perspective; internally the solution should address minimal investment, expanding existing capabilities over technology, operations, resources. Externally it needs to address needs of the market at large as a bundle.

Evaluation: The value of the idea and the impending solution can be evaluated by performing
1. Market centric Valuation – taking into consideration the Market Need + Solution Fit + Value Derivations.
2. Technical Feasibility Study of the solution – Performing a Technical feasibility study scrutinizes the need for the technology indulgence of the idea before its maturity and during market adoption, the ease + the scalability + the interops + simplifications, all counts.
3. Commercial Capability study – Evaluating the commercials will be done over two perspectives, the internal returns over expenses, ease of formulation, leveraging of existing business and the markets value for purchase scaling up performances or driving optimizations.
4. Competition Analysis – Positioning and Strategies – Complete landscape analysis over competition + Postioning + Market differentiator services offering be performed to ensure that the best strategy is drafted.

Jesu Valiant

Need to Diversify | Extending Organizational Competencies

November 3, 2010 1 comment

Realigning the focus and diversifying has its distinct advantages in any situation and in any market. Diversification from the core provides an opportunity to create additional value to consumers and brings revenue opportunities without much of an ado. Diversification = Growth Strategy.

Market Realities: Organizations have evolved their practices and processes around native offerings; over years of exposure they accumulate strengths to further drill deep into the niche they offer. The vertical bore brings out more quality of service and matures business value. In such a space there will be  many a competitor in the same eco-system with much deeper strengths and maturity; Consumers are spoiled for choice among this competition. Business are cost leaders, have strong brand names, share customers, share characheristics, operate similar, compete nect to neck, share management techniques etc., The candidature sway can only be attributed to external factors like ads, verifyable case studies, consultant backing, customer referrals etc., and not really on ‘whats on offer’ as everyone offers almost the same with very little between. Prolonged existance and anchoring of organizations over the same service vertical will not be wise in the face of growing competition and the thirst to increase revenues.

Framework: Visual Verbatim to be appended

Diversifying from the Core’: When strategies are draw over diversification, there is always a choice. The choice of choosing to build based on your core competency and extend the diversified idea as an offshoot [or] get into a hyper mode by jumping from the native skin adapting in a different landscape altogether. Service companies can diversify from core and feel accomplished as risks are absolutely negligible, there is a strong possibility to utilize native resources over people and infrastructure. Investments and expertise can be applied across establishing a strong backup and support, vital to any new inception. Grade A corporate rung will have the choices to make when diversifying, anywhere down the ladder there is a strong pressure applied over GTM and Operational strategies which will in turn reflect upon exploiting existing relations rather than gearing to launch an all-out open market campaign. Tapping into existing relations will yield good results if you offer solutions and services extensions from the current anchoring. It makes great sense selling and in the conversions.

Pre-Requisites: Diversification can be successful if our core services are at the pinnacle of excellence. We would never want to look at getting caught with poor performance results over our core services; the focus then need to shift back to stabilize the platform from where bread is knead. Selling these ‘Value’ services will be done on the current ‘performance’ platform. Diversify for revenues, diversify over current excellence, when diversifying from core.

Success Factors: Product branding, selling – BD, strong process map, strong service delivery routines, open – case studies, clear engagement routines, leadership awareness.

Case Studies:
1. GE – Jack Welch transformed GE from a purely manufacturing company into a more diversified company. As a result of GE’s corporate strategy and complex diversification, in 1996, GE Capital Services earned US$4 billion. In 2005, GE services agreements increased to $87 billion, up 15% from 2004. In particular, financial services revenues increased 12% to $59.3 billion.
2. ITC – ITC’s non-cigarettes businesses continued to grow at a scorching pace, accounting for a bigger share of overall revenues. “The non-cigarette portfolio grew by 37.6% during 2006-07 and accounted during that year for 52.3% of the company’s net turnover,” an ITC release said. ITC was known for its Tobacco products predominantly, the decision to diversify boosted revenue.

Jesu Valiant

Principles for Successful Innovation

Successful business innovations that drive growth are guided by the following  principles:

1. An Explosive Vision to create new products, frameworks, business models or processes that make a difference to the dullness of existing business and create new markets, new excitement, infuse high impact visual verbatim for comprehension across the layers in the annals of the organization and to the market. Born in the minds of creative thought owners who always seek out for breaking the routines and take to their own space in an multi layered and hyper dimensional environment. Creativity and Innovations are not wrought by accumulating reservoirs of certifications, digits on the payslip, its all about getting the foundations right. Being a game changer means having a strong personal belief in creativity and innovation coupled with originality of thought.

2. Culture and organizational rigor that stimulate creativity and learning to execute on the vision. Organizations on identifying the innovation engines should learn not “Flog the Hen” to lay a clutch of golden eggs and breed a farm, create a collection of hyper reproductive hens again laying golden eggs. This is planet earth and everything evolves and takes time; failures abound if we do not empower the thought leader to take lead; organizations should provision an environment for shaping the innovative vision. Participation from the organizations leadership is absolutely essential in realizing any innovation, a pilate hand wash over framing concept support – joint development of roadmap to monetization – resource provisioning will set to stifle innovation, vision & concept.

3. Reward and recognition system to take measured risks and experiment. With the birth and growth of corporate power houses like Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM who thrive on internal innovations rather than adopting a ‘copy – paste’ approach of most 1st level and 2nd level enterprises we witness today. We have people achieving Mach 2 on the way up corporate ladders; with less experience and less expertise, Innovations are stifled and starved by not provisioning appropriate attention and investment, there is a dearth of comprehension skills because there is lack of maturity and understanding. Any organization in the quest for better returns on investment, need to invest; returns on investment means that there is a reaction to an action not any volcano from under the feet. Idea originators and innovators need to be supported and recognized; recognition itself at the organizational level is viewed as a reward; recognition is the key.

4. Focus on clear and present customer needs, the market facts, and the intangible. Any Innovation are so if they are built considering in totality the market needs, operating environment, competition, capability, landscape, technology affiliations, industry standards, business practicalities, organization goals, expertise, etc., among the many. Market needs solutions for the varied complexities that emerge over time; innovation needs to have the strategic depth and width to stay evolving,’close gaping’ all needs, perform savior spinoffs on cost – complexity, quicken results,  create platform for further benefit domino.

5. Growth-oriented and Strategic leadership that is decisive, inclusive, focused, takes risks, and have market expertise. Strategic leaders are always looking ahead and analyzing the present in terms of preparation for what may be ahead for the business. Strategic leaders are adaptable and growth-oriented. Although the strategic style of leadership always keeps the best interests of the business in mind, it’s also appreciative of employees’ unique talents and efforts. Strategic leaders use leadership techniques that empower and motivate rather than bully employees. Another goal of strategic leadership is to create an environment in which employees anticipate the company’s needs in relation to their own job. Employees in a workplace environment led by a strategic leader are encouraged to follow their own initiative.

Jesu Valiant

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