Category Archives: Engineering and Product Development
Amid the excitement and athleticism of the Olympics, we have uncovered another interesting display of global competition. And although it may not be as entertaining, the ramifications are more far-reaching. Specifically, the Global Innovation Index evaluates each country’s level of innovation over the past year, as judged by each country’s knowledge, technology and creative outputs. It was reported by the CEO of Eli Lily in a Forbes post about America’s declining ranking last month. Read more and comment…
We recently polled R&D teams about how they use and share innovation across offices and departments, and the challenges they face in doing so. Because R&D is a primary creator and consumer of knowledge, these organizations should be a model for how to utilize and share it. However, as we’ve seen in the demand for our intelligent indexing technology, and as revealed in the study, we found that R&D teams are more apt to duplicate work, lose knowledge and operate in siloed, “tribal” environments where information isn’t shared and experts can’t be found. This creates a huge opportunity for those who get it right—to out-innovate and out-perform their competition. Read more and comment…
Many organizations have invested significantly to create a “network effect,” where teams dispersed internationally are encouraged to use technologies to share, explore and innovate faster. As we’ve seen, additional tools don’t necessarily lead to additional collaboration and knowledge sharing. Often, the tools themselves become new silos of information, from which it is difficult if not impossible to extract relevant information.
Particularly in R&D departments comprised of highly educated, highly skilled specialists working in small groups, knowledge access and sharing can be a significant hurdle, and one that impacts innovation. Working in a very large engineering organization, with multiple departments working on multiple aspects of product design and engineering, chances are most engineers have an idea of what the five or six people around them have developed and what they know. Read more and comment…
Let us know if this has ever happened to you – “I just wasted how much time?” or “What do you mean this already exists?”
Let’s face it. The more data available to your company, the less you know what you think you know.
Sound strange? Just think about it…and perhaps consider your own experience. Let’s say you are an engineer or product developer for a mid-sized company. Say the company has been around for 30 years, creates complex products requiring QA testing and perhaps regulatory compliance. At the same time, the company has grown to 10,000 people with 3,000 engineers split among seven different offices in three countries. Read more and comment…
We’ve all heard the expression “necessity is the mother of invention.” In today’s day and age of digital engagement and the rapid pace of change in which we all live, this statement couldn’t be more true. Today’s consumers do not want to wait. There is a need for immediate satisfaction which means proprietors need to not only react to requests faster – they must have all of the necessary information to answers any number of requests at their fingertips, in an instant.
This information immediacy issue is playing out every day in many industries in multiple formats – whether it’s a customer on the phone with his or her mobile phone provider trying to straighten out a bill, a product engineer working to determine the next phase of a development cycle and needing to tap into a side project for research data, or a sales force leader determining an appropriate engagement strategy for his or her organization. The problem is, as common as these scenarios are, the access to all of the information necessary to make insightful decisions is not as prevalent as one may think.
This is why Coveo and its customers are paving the way – truly leading the charge as innovators – bringing together vast amounts of data on our unified indexing platform across enterprise systems and social channels and making it available with contextual relevance to each and every user—we term this one-to-one, end-to-end. With a single, unified view of information across channels (think an information mash-up like you’d get on Yahoo! Finance), customer service teams discover information relationships within diverse data sources to better know and serve their customers and enable better decision making – all aimed at building a truly customer-centric organization.
As an example, one of Coveo’s customers has taken the need to be innovative to a whole new level. Priding itself on its customer service capabilities, the SaaS provider of talent management solutions with more than 5,000 customers has been recognized with several awards for its industry-leading customer service and support. In fact, it is the only company in its category that was recognized by the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) for Excellence in Service Operations.
The customer boasts an impressive 94 percent customer satisfaction rating from independent studies – in part because of its innovative abilities to bring together information and analyze it in a cohesive manner, thereby better serving its customers. Within three months of its implementation of Coveo, the customer had improved its first-call resolution by 32 percent and cut case resolution time by nearly 13 percent.
As we continue to innovate alongside our customers, we are pleased to also be recognized by the TSIA for its innovation as a finalist for the 2012 Recognized Innovator Awards. Regarding our Insight Solution for Customer Service, judges have noted that:
• “Innovation is clearly seen in this excellent application. Solid business impact can clearly be seen.”
• “Excellent cases and the insight console is unique approach to providing contextual data to agents.”
As we strive to stay innovative in the solutions we offer to our customers and the community at large, we’re also exhibiting at the Technology Services World (TSW) Best Practices conference in Santa Clara, CA, this week. This event is packed with bleeding-edge organizations that are focused on providing innovative solutions to the necessities of life. It is an opportunity for us to share information with our peers and best practices to help our customers continue to bring innovative solutions to the forefront of their businesses.
If you ask any executive within an engineering and development organization what their biggest asset is, you’d most likely get the same answer – knowledge.
Knowledge contained within systems and within people is what keeps them competitive, innovative and unique. When accessed and shared across teams, geographies, departmental silos, and even after someone has left the organization, its influence may be even farther reaching. While most organizations continue to struggle to transform disparate knowledge into a deeper level of insight, one Coveo customer is doing just that – and it’s helping them to innovate more quickly, bring new products and services to market faster, and ultimately better serve their customers.
Institut National D’Optique (INO) is a technological design and development firm specializing in optics and photonic solutions. INO is home to the largest concentration of skills in its field and serves a global client base. The company’s solutions are used in a wide range of applications, from process control to inspection, medical screening, remote sensing, quality control, and much more.
Eighty percent of INO’s workforce is highly educated and highly skilled scientists, technicians and engineers, making knowledge the main currency. From 2010 – 2011, INO was awarded 12 new patents, for a total of 134 patents held on a variety of technological innovations.
With more than 25 years of research and information contained within systems and people, INO approached Coveo to help them transform all of this information into actionable knowledge and insight. The company was also looking to improve the efficiency of its scientists and researchers so that more time could be spent developing innovative solutions to meet customer and marketplace needs and requirements.
INO Process and Compliance Manager Pierre Bergeron championed the company’s implementation of Coveo’s Insight Solutions for R&D and Engineering. As Pierre told us, “In order to accelerate our ability to innovate, we needed to provide a better way to access and share our extensive scientific and technical knowledge across the business, so that we can increase the productivity of our researchers and speed innovation, which in turn would ultimately help serve our customers better.” Prior to Coveo, INO employees were only getting a fraction of the view of knowledge that was available to them across people and systems.
Today, by indexing nearly all corporate knowledge, INO employees now have consolidated views of contextually relevant knowledge across departments and people – in near real time. The company also reports a 99% adoption rate and an overall 5% increase in productivity across all employees. Given the highly skilled senior workforce that INO employs, the company’s CFO reports that this increase in productivity has resulted in pretty impressive cost savings as well. Coveo has become very pervasive across INO – employees ask each other if they’ve “Coveo’d it” when looking for knowledge.
INO has also integrated Coveo into the company’s new hire training process. New hires are immediately trained for 30 minutes on Coveo to help them get up to speed faster, understand subject matter experts and who knows what within the organization, and quickly ramp up on customer projects and requirements. With Coveo, new hires come up to speed more quickly and are able to start contributing to the success of client projects right away. This has helped improve customer service, innovation levels, and more.
INO’s work with Coveo and the results they’ve achieved have won them recognition – both internally and externally. Pierre’s team was awarded INO’s INOvation Award – given to internal teams who display innovative uses of technology to drive the business forward. INO and Coveo were also recipients of the 2011 OCTAS Award for Best Business Solution. More details about INO’s success with Insight Solutions can be found here.
We love to hear how our customers are generating value with Coveo – and how the industry overall is benefitting from Insight Solutions – to give them a better handle on the ever growing amounts of knowledge and information across channels and systems. How have you unlocked knowledge across your R&D or engineering teams? How would this help drive your business?
If there’s one company that could serve as a showcase for how better Insight into vast amounts of data can drive improvements throughout an organization, it’s CA Technologies. Coveo has been working with CA Technologies for several years to help them make sense of the massive amounts of information about its expanding and today, quickly changing products and services portfolio, customers (including those from newly acquired companies), projects, people, and more–contained in more than 70 different systems as well as across social channels. Through Coveo’s Insight Consoles, all 13,000 of CA Technologies’ employees have a consolidated, correlated view of information across systems – at their fingertips, in real-time.
A good example of CA Technologies’ use of insight solutions was chronicled recently on Forbes.com. The article, written by columnist Dan Woods and posted on Forbes’s “Data Driven” blog, focuses on “How CA Technologies Uses Data to Drive Product Development.”
The article talks about how CA Technologies represents a new breed of companies that no longer run their product development operations on instinct. Instead, they use data to track various aspects of product development to facilitate the production of the best possible software solution.
CTO Don Ferguson discusses the pressures of leading a large, global R&D team and having to justify the R&D spend to the C-suite. He describes how better insight into vast amounts of information has enabled CA Technologies to benefit from customer feedback in the early phases of each development cycle, allowing the organization to work in a more agile manner.
This approach is centered on what you’ve heard us talk about before – the concept of a customer-centric strategy – placing customers in the center of the business. Companies need to involve customers in every aspect of their decision making, starting with product development. If they don’t gather feedback early in the development process, every time they enter a new cycle they’re putting all of their work at risk. No company can afford to put out a product that doesn’t meet customer needs after 12 months of testing.
The Forbes piece also touches on the use of social media to facilitate that customer interaction. It discusses the ways CA Technologies keeps a close eye on how customers use its self-service website and online communities to learn about products, solve problems on their own, request assistance and volunteer new ideas for features. By consolidating and correlating this data with other information, CA Technologies can inject that insight into its product development processes, detect where any issues may be occurring in the products, and understand which content is helping customers the most.
In this day and age, companies that don’t utilize information across digital channels put themselves at a severe disadvantage. They don’t know what the outside world is saying about them and they’re not putting the feedback into context with other information locked in their own enterprise systems. CA Technologies is one company that does it right. Leo Annab, Business Technology Officer at CA Technologies recently sat down with Coveo to discuss this in more detail.
Using Insight Solutions, CA Technologies engages the customer at all interaction points. CA Technologies incorporates customer information and feedback into its processes, making it a more agile business and driving improved business performance.
CA Technologies has proven itself to be a global leader in its field. Companies in every industry can learn from its use of technology to drive customer centricity and leverage data to its advantage.
Is your organization suffering from Enterprise Insight Deficit Disorder? There’s a good chance it is, and there’s an even better chance that lack of insight is hurting your company’s performance.
Enterprise Insight Deficit is caused primarily by hoards of information distributed among multiple IT and organizational silos and in social media, making actionable Insight challenging to attain. It’s a significant obstacle across the customer and product lifecycle—from R&D to customer service. Lack of insight negatively impacts customer service, engineering and sales teams from better serving customers, selling to their customers, and quickly innovating products and services.
In customer service, you might have noticed certain issues coming to light. Are customer service costs growing? Is customer satisfaction declining? Is customer self-service not deflecting as many issues from the call center as it should? Do your customers feel that your company doesn’t really “know” them and all their interactions with you and prior product/service purchases?
Your product development or engineering group might be struggling with different issues. Are products not making it to market fast enough? Is customer input being excluded from product development because it takes too long to access the information or isn’t shared among teams? Are engineers not leveraging the collective knowledge of your organization well?
And what about your sales and marketing teams? Are sales professionals lacking information about customers in order to better understand and upsell these accounts? Are sales cycles longer than they should be due to the amount of time it takes to discover and correlate account information? Is marketing spending money on tactics that don’t produce results?
These are symptoms of Enterprise Insight Deficit Disorder, and they can inflict significant damage on an organization. To bring much greater Insight to your organization the best approach is to begin with the area that suffers most from Insight Deficit, make this your proving ground, and expand from there. Once you have determined which area most needs help, you can focus your efforts there.
CA Technologies provides a showcase example on how better Insight has generated significant value in its customer service operations. CA Technologies consolidates customer information from 74 systems and sources including customer communities, providing much greater insight into its customers, issues resolutions, and more. With this level of insight, CA Technologies has increased overall satisfaction by 40 basis points, decreased time to resolution by 15%, and more. You can watch the full CA Technologies success story here.
Another Coveo customer, IBM Netezza, increased Insight across its operations by creating a single-screen view of all customer support and engineering repositories. Within 30 days of implementation, the company reduced the time needed to identify known customer issues by 67% and reduced duplicate bug submissions to the development team by 50 %. Forrester analyst Kate Leggett fully documented IBM Netezza’s success in a case study.
If you’re interested in finding out how customer service, engineering/product development and sales & marketing departments can overcome these obstacles, you may want to view an eBook we recently published on making 2012 the year of insight for your organization. Please take a look, and share how you’re dealing with these issues. We welcome the discussion.