[EBOOK] 6 TIPS TO GUARANTEE YOUR INTRANET SUCCESS

As with any digital system, user experience must be at the heart of your intranet implementation project. You must take account of the tools that your staff use on a day-to-day basis and the information that they need to find but also the format best-suited to them.

But in practical terms, how do you guarantee your intranet success? Are there examples of good practice that means that each staff member feels that the tool they use on a day-to-day basis was designed especially for them?

Jointly develop the tool with your staff

Involving your staff from the design stage will enable you to get them involved and focus on real needs.

Follow the stages of the Design Thinking methodology: empathise (understand customs and context), define (determine possible areas for innovation), ideate (create scenarios for possible solutions), prototype (develop prototype of service or product) and test (test with users).

 

Download the ebook "6 tips to guarantee your intranet success"

Encourage innovation

Forums, corporate social networks, corporate crowdfunding tools and even online brainstorming platforms: more and more companies are adopting turnkey solutions to give their staff the chance to speak and provide them with effective tools.

In the vast majority of cases, they choose SaaS platforms independent from each other. Consequently, the continuity of the experience can quickly be sacrificed.

To limit this deterioration of the experience, the “digital hub” approach then appears as a simple and effective means to aggregate and unify the use of these numerous tools.

 

Offer seamless navigation

For this intranet site to genuinely become an everyday work tool, your staff must have access to it under any conditions, without any difference in experience between the different devices used.

This obviously requires “responsive web design”, but that’s not all: the identification and authentication phases must be smooth, without any complex forms, such as applications integrating the Facebook Connect or Amazon Single Sign On functions.

 

To discover our other top tips , download our ebook.

Download the ebook "6 tips to guarantee your intranet success"

Digital transformation – The latest trends from the IBM Think Summit Paris 2019

IBM Think Summit events are the largest IBM global conferences in cities across the world focusing on the innovative technologies at the service of enterprises.

I had an opportunity to attend this annual event in Paris on the 8th of October and learn about the success stories of major companies such as BNP Paribas, L’Oréal, EDF, Vinci Group, Boursorama, PSA, Thales and others who are on a challenging journey of digital transformation.

Reinventing customer experience is at the core of multiple innovative solutions that are being implemented by enterprises today. Customers are expecting not only to have more personalised experiences, but also a more human-centric approach.

For 77% of managers, improving customer satisfaction is crucial; this the main reason why they want to invest in AI (Artificial Intelligence). Over the next three years, there will be 7.5 billion* digital assistants in charge of direct interaction with customers. And there has already been a massive rise in AI implementation via mobile services and apps in industries such as insurance, banking and retailing, as well as in the hospitality business and e-concierge sector.

Mueller inc

 

What is the secret behind successful digital transformation? It’s all about reinventing enterprises from the inside; by using design thinking, switching to agile methods and implementing new ways of working.

Business case examples given during the IBM Think Summit by speakers from L’Oréal, BNP Paribas, EDF and Vinci Group confirm the strategies that researchers have been talking about for the past couple of years. McKinsey recently published a market trends survey that confirmed that the following factors can have a significant contribution to the success of digital transformation : “Having the right, digital-savvy leaders in place, building capabilities for the workforce of the future, empowering people to work in new ways, giving day-to-day tools a digital upgrade, communicating frequently via traditional and digital methods.”

Successful organizations

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/five-moves-to-make-during-a-digital-transformation

 

The insights I gained from the IBM Think Summit Paris 2019 really confirmed the rising demand in consulting, assistance and support for large, medium-sized and small enterprises that are in the process of transforming into lean and agile organisations.

 

*L’entreprise aprenante. Bâtir un monde augmenté. Référentiel de la maturité digitale 2019-2020. Copyright © 2019 EBG-Elenbi – IBM.

[INFOGRAPHIC] 6 tips to make your CMS project a sure-fire success

Are your content management tools insufficiently in synch with the new positioning of your organisation and in need of a good makeover? Have you been tasked with the very important mission of managing this deployment project for a new web solution?

 

To succeed, you’re going to need a CMS (Content Management System). If poorly prepared, this type of project can quickly become a testing obstacle course, rather than a quiet walk in the park.

Where should you start? Where should your efforts be focused? In what order?

 

Don’t panic! Our teams are used to this kind of challenge and are here to help you on this quest by sharing their 6 top tips.

Download our CMS infographic

The age of SEO is over: now is the time of VEO

Always on the lookout for new information, consumers are increasingly using their smartphones and other smart devices such as smart speakers. They give brands access to a history of searches that includes all products consulted. Algorithms then take over to generate recommendations and influence purchasing decisions. Here is a look back at the past to understand the transition underway between the age of SEO and that of VEO (Voice Engine Optimisation). 

 

Do you remember the modest beginnings of the World Wide Web? 

At the beginning of the 90s, Internet users browsed from one website to another looking for information (or entertainment), but without really knowing where to begin. Two students from Stanford rapidly understood that users needed to be assisted. They therefore designed a starting point for the journey through this rapidly growing information network. In 1994, they published a list of hyperlinks to other websites, grouped together by theme, which they named ‘Yahoo!’.  

This approach revolutionised Internet use and was rapidly adopted, leading to the creation of a myriad of ‘directories’, or web portals, which dominated the Web. These portals became all-powerful, being able to determine which websites would be the most visible on their pages. In this way, they developed a predominant influence over the popularity of websites and began to generate revenue from their rankings, by selling the best positions, advertising space and part of the traffic. This was the beginning of Internet advertising. 

 

The advent of SEO and SEA 

This domination lasted until 1998, when two other former Stanford students introduced the idea of indexing pages that could be consulted: Google. The premise was simple: the importance of a website is evaluated accurately if it is objectively measured by an algorithm. 

Many marketing specialists rapidly understood that the introduction of this PageRank algorithm required a new approach. They therefore began looking for ways to influence and get round the algorithm calculations in order to be more relevant than their competitors. An entirely new branch of web marketing soon emerged: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), followed by Search Engine Advertising (SEA), when search engines began selling advertising space based on keywords.  

 

Smart assistants make their voices heard 

In 2019, we have entered the age of big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The blistering pace of progress of technologies such as voice recognition and language processing has given rise to ‘smart assistants’. Improving with each passing day, these assistants are deployed by devices that are in constant contact with their users. By collecting huge amounts of data, these technologies are able to predict the needs of users, evaluate them and, perhaps more disconcertingly, influence them. 

As these devices have become precious allies in the constant quest for information, smart assistants now control a significant part of product searches. Ultimately, consumers’ purchasing decisions are increasingly dictated by algorithms. 

 

VEO and the new battle of the titans 

 In a way, all of this reminds me of the situation in 1994, when portals such as Yahoo! were the main points of entry to the Internet. 25 years later, they are virtual assistants, with the major difference being that the algorithms are no longer linked to a computer screen. 

Once again, marketing specialists are realising they must respond to changing consumer behaviour. Their aim is to ensure that their products stand out from the crowd and are noticed by smart assistants. They now need to market to digital platforms. 

I am therefore convinced that a new branch of digital marketing, called Voice Engine Optimisation, or VEO, will become an essential part of most marketing plans. Elsewhere, it is estimated that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be done by voice. Not to forget that the stakes at play in the area of smart assistants and search result optimisation are still just as high. 

On computers, appearing on the first page of results can sometimes be enough. Even though the highest ranking few get the greatest number of clicks, there are still some gains to be won by those at the bottom of the page. On mobiles, the chances are considerably reduced and the lion’s share is taken by the top 3. With voice searches, the next stage of this evolution is clear: the top position will be more crucial than ever. 

At the same time, there is also fierce competition between the platforms themselves. Just as Apple Macintosh and Microsoft competed for the PC market, and Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) have done battle in the field of mobile technology, technology giants are now attempting to dominate households with their smart assistants. From Apple with Siri, to Microsoft with Cortana, Amazon with Alexa and Google Assistance, the question is: who will be the winner? 

Watch this space… 

[Checklist] Omnichannel: 7 tips for an effective IT organisation

Companies with a website and mobile app are increasingly looking to homogenise the two channels in order to offer their users service and experience continuity, while optimising development costs.

Download our checklist "Omnichannel - 7 tips for an effective IT organisation"

However, this functional homogenisation presents new challenges for IT departments. Very often, this involves significant changes in termes of organisation, tools and working methods, for several teams.

As “captains” of this transformation, IT departments need to ask themselves the right questions, be methodical and seek support if they are to guide the ship home. Here are some tips for success from web and mobile solutions project managers.

Download our checklist "Omnichannel - 7 tips for an effective IT organisation"

You will discover how to:

  • Work in feature teams
  • Apply standards and new methodologies
  • Adapt workspaces and rituals
  • Facilitate deployments

The agile digital agency: transformation in practice

“The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time” – is what Jeff Sutherland, one of the leading authorities on Scrum, promises in his book of the same name. What a promise for agencies, which are used to continually working at the limit! This is why pioneers in the agency sector have already been focusing on Scrum and Kanban for a few years and, in the meantime, agile transformation has become a fact of everyday life within agencies. 

In the first part of our series we explained why traditional project management has reached its limits within many digital agencies. But what exactly changes with the introduction of agile methods? Do sprints, daily meetings in front of a shared whiteboard and a lot of brightly coloured notes really make an agency agile? 

 

The 12 basic principles of agile working 

Irrespective of which agile project management method is chosen, agility is always based on similar values and principles. The Agile Manifesto can serve as a guide and standard: Even though this operational framework for agile teams was originally defined for software developers, the 12 principles can be easily applied in other activities (in the following, we have replaced some terminology from the software sector with more general terms). 

1.Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable products & services. 

2.Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage. 

3.Deliver functioning products & services frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. 

4.Business people from various sectors must work together daily throughout the project. 

5.Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and the support they need, and trust them to get the job done. 

6.The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a team is face-to-face conversation. 

7.Functioning services/products are the primary measure of progress. 

8.Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, the team and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. 

9.Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. 

10.Simplicity – the art of maximising the amount of work not done – is essential. 

11.The best workflows, requirements and ideas emerge from self-organising teams. 

12.At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly. 

 

The 12 principles are based on 4 agile values    

1.Individuals and interactions over processes and tools 

2.Working software over comprehensive documentation 

3.Customer collaboration over contract negotiation 

4.Responding to change over following a plan 


Scrum, Kanban & Co: Agile project management has many facets 

The keyword “agile” automatically leads many people to think of Scrum. However, agencies do not need to use Scrum to work in an agile way. Scrum is a process model, which defines specific roles, rules and procedures. Agility is a code of conduct and a corporate culture, which is completely independent of Scrum. Or, in other words: Scrum does not work without agility. But agility works well without Scrum.

Many agile digital agencies use Scrum for project management, but others prefer Kanban or adopt selected innovation tools, such as Design Thinking or Design Sprints, for creative processes. Stable, self-organising teams, which communicate harmoniously, independently identify problems and find appropriate solutions, lie at the heart of agile agencies. 

Which project management methods and which agile tools are used is secondary and differs from agency to agency. Generally speaking, the majority of agility pioneers offer the following advice – don’t become absorbed in sets of rules, but rather start courageously and adapt processes to your own agency if necessary. 

 

True agility is more than just a method  

Just because the Project Manager suddenly becomes a Scrum Master or Product Owner and the largest deliverable is packaged in short sprints, this does not mean that all the problems and weaknesses of traditional project management are resolved overnight. 

There needs to be a change in thinking within the company and by each individual employee. If there is not an agile mindset, agile processes will fail. The “switch” to self-organisation and individual responsibility, for example, is not equally easy for all employees. Even for management, relinquishing responsibility and losing control is often a difficult process. 

Seeing failures as learning opportunities and dealing transparently with weaknesses is also a typical barrier to agile transformation. There are other pitfalls to agile tenders and pricing models, above all when there is an “agility gap” between the client and the agency. From experience, formulating (and signing) tenders, which are not based on fixed specifications but on estimates, is initially difficult for both sides. 

We know from our own experience that agile transformation of a digital agency is a process that requires expertise and, therefore, time. Even we have not yet quite achieved our aim, but improvements are already clearly discernible.

In the next blog article, we will share various details of our vision of agility and the agile transformation of Osudio with you. 

Article written by Slawa Baryshev, Agile Coach and Solution Architect 

The agile digital agency: fit for the future

The agile digital agency 

A number of major projects running in parallel, three forthcoming pitches and, shortly before the Go Live of a new website, the client is still requesting changes: an entirely normal day for a digital agency. To adhere to deadlines and budgets and keep clients happy despite all this, efficient project management is an absolute must. The challenge: in the wake of digitisation, conventional agency project management frequently reaches its limits. Caught between the increasingly rapid progress of technology, constantly changing customer expectations and global competitive pressure, digital agencies are really feeling the full force of this development. 

 

Agency project management is changing

No matter how meticulously project managers plan, brief, organise and control – the more complex the project, the greater the probability of requirements changing during its course. This may be because market players are turning value chains upside down, technical innovations are making brand new features possible or user feedback from initial tests differs from what was expected. 

Traditional “Waterfall” project management with its fixed project plan, rigid processes and milestones is not flexible enough to respond to this VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) environment. Specifications, laborious consultation rounds, lengthy validation phases and skills silos in specialist teams do not work well with versatile start-ups, disruptive business models and the dynamism of modern channels, platforms and touchpoints. 

Allowing new insights or unexpected problems to be incorporated into a complex project plan is complicated and delays all subsequent phases. In the worst cases, not only are budgets exceeded and time to market extended, but also products emerge that the market no longer needs in their current form. 

It’s no surprise that many digital projects fail. Stubbornly slaving away on adopted project plans makes little sense when the project goal changes repeatedly along the way. The consequences are unfulfilled client expectations – and frustrated personnel, who have given everything to achieve the predefined milestones. 

 

Why agile?

Wouldn’t it be better not to spend so long on preliminary planning (which, from experience, is out of date in a few weeks anyway), but instead to quickly get started by flexibly aligning the project sequence with market conditions and customer expectations? Many agencies are already successfully testing this agile approach.

Agile project management, with methods such as Scrum, Kanban and Design Thinking, focus on small, manageable sub-steps, maximum transparency and intensive dialogue within teams and with the client. On the basis of a jointly defined vision, teams are given the space to find the best solution for the task at hand – while, at the same time, bearing responsibility for a timely deliverable, functioning interim result. 

At regular short intervals, the client receives an insight into the team’s progress and is able to flexibly shape the priorities for the next sub-steps by means of feedback. 

The major advantages: mistakes, blind alleys and changes of direction do not result in blockages, but guide the project onto the right path, in small steps. This involves: 

  • A fast start to projects 
  • A high degree of flexibility 
  • Maximum transparency 
  • Efficient workflows 
  • A positive error culture 
  • Optimised knowledge transfer 
  • Short time to market 
  • User-oriented results 

Positive side-effects: From experience, agile teams are more motivated and happier, which is why many agile agencies are also one step ahead in the “War for Talent”. Ambitious Generation Z employees expect modern working models with flat hierarchies, recognition and individual responsibility – precisely the conditions required for agile project management. 

In the next blog post in this series we present agile models for digital agencies and demonstrate why the use of agile project management methods alone does not necessarily result in an agile transformation.   

If you would like to know more about this topic, please allow us to advise you 

E-commerce vs points of sale: an inevitable head-to-head?

Despite digital’s undisputable progress in every area of everyday life, including commerce, it’s undeniable that 90% of retail sales revenue in France is still generated at points of sale.

Many people reckon that e-commerce has overtaken traditional sales channels. Is this totally true, and who will emerge as the winner of this clash of the titans? Before going further, we should point out that e-commerce and physical distribution are not mutually exclusive: FNAC, Nike and AXA are perfect examples of brands that have adopted an omnichannel sales strategy. In other words, they offer their clients a unique experience, across all available channels, in a digital or real-world environment.

But it’s not so simple for a brand to be effective on two channels at the same time, and not everyone can afford it!

 

Download our Digital in store White paper

 

Advantages & disadvantages

Customer experience, an incomparable advantage for stores

E-commerce offers multiple competitive advantages but stills lags behind physical points of sale in terms of the customer experience it provides.

Stores offer a range of possibilities that e-commerce can’t compete with: asking questions, touching, trying, and comparing products, experiencing innovations such as augmented reality, video walls and other in-store technology.

 

Investment: more expensive for stores

With stores and e-commerce sites, we’re not looking at the same level of investment. When running a store, you have to pay procurement, rental, and electricity costs, etc. Retailers have to invest a lot in their human resources, too, as they have to pay both for staff and for the training that salespeople need to help customers.

In comparison, an e-commerce site requires minimal investment, particularly as a variety of technologies allows task automation and streamlining of staff numbers (chatbots, artificial intelligence, customer feedback, automated returns, etc.).

 

Quick and easy purchasing: advantage web

The advantage is clear: not queuing to pay, avoiding traffic and even bad weather. One-click purchasing is what e-commerce sites promise.

 

Dispatch times: advantage stores

An e-commerce site can’t compete with a store’s immediacy. To tackle this issue, online stores have to invest more in logistical solutions to speed up delivery, which sometimes takes days or even weeks.

Processing returns is also a very expensive business. 20% of online sales end up as returns. In some sectors like ready-to-wear, this figure can be as high as 30%!

 

Reach and targets: advantage e-commerce

As far as market reach is concerned, it’s not even close. Stores are more limited than sites, which are open 24 hours a day and process sales 365 days a year. E-commerce sites can also meet demand from local and international consumers.

This is one of the major strengths of e-commerce.

 

Personalised processing and trust: advantage stores

Most customers continue to be wary of the lack of human touch offered by e-commerce. Nothing can replace a one-on-one with a qualified salesperson who takes account of a customer’s expectations and offers them advice.

Trust is key when buying. Even with first-rate online customer service, there’s no beating the human touch.

e-commerce vs points de vente duel annoncé 2

 

Consumers prefer a hybrid path to purchase journey

Three main reasons push a consumer to buy online:

·        Prices: usually better online

·        Practicality: no travel required, no time spent waiting to try and buy

·        Choice: with the possibility of consulting the entire catalogue quickly

On the contrary, there are some advantages of heading to a store:

·        The chance to touch, feel and test the product

·        Buying and exchanging it immediately

·        Being able to get advice from a specialist and ask them questions

But along their path to purchase journey, consumers rarely worry about these aspects; the line between e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar points of sale is fading. They use both channels at different times and decide how they’re going to buy. This is known as the hybrid journey and offers the best of both worlds. Brands must work to give their customers or prospective customers the chance to choose.

 

ROPO (Research Online Purchase Offline)

This accounts for 80% of cases in France: the consumer researches online, gathers information, and compares products before heading to the store to buy the one they want. This demonstrates the importance of a brand being effectively visible on the web (SEA, SEO, social networks, etc.).

 

Showrooming

This accounts for 40% of cases in France and consists of going to a store to look at and try the product they want before buying it on the Internet.

 

ROCOPO (Research Online Check Offline Purchase Online)

This is a combination of the first two cases, and is France’s favourite way of buying. The prospective customer starts researching online, then heads to the store to try the product before buying it on the Internet to make the most of the lowest prices and any discounts.

e-commerce vs points de vente duel annoncé 1

 

THE CLIENT IS STILL KING!

In the digital era more than ever, customers have full control over their experience. They and they alone decide when, how, where and what.

A good strategy for a brand is to fully take this aspect into account and give their customers the option of using all the possible channels.

Stores still have great prospects but brands need to develop a seamless approach using complementary physical and digital channels to meet connected consumers’ expectations.

Download our Digital in store White paper

[SUCCESS STORY] SEB GROUP: on the road to digital

Visuel seb eng

How to remain a leader on your international market and create a privileged relationship with consumers and your network of distributors?

To meet these objectives, Seb wanted to build an e-commerce system to serve the user experience, while enhancing product branding.

Discover in our use case how Seb deployed its e-commerce platform, with SQLI and Wax, on more than 60 sites in more than 40 countries around the world.

 

Download our SEB success story

[SUCCESS STORY] A new corporate website for Pierre Fabre

Pierre Fabre, an international pharmaceutical and dermo-cosmetics group,  set up a new modern corporate website in 2019, offering new features that are essential to reflecting a modern group. The aim : enhance communication, employer branding and the user relationship, in France and overseas.

 

Download the Pierre Fabre Success Story