Our exclusive cover story this month, features global retail giant Carrefour, which is transforming its operations on a massive scale…

Carrefour City Levallois Crise Sanitaire COVID 19 © Nicolas Gouhier

Welcome to a very special edition of Interface Magazine!

There are few enterprises with a heritage and scale enjoyed by Carrefour. The 63-year-old global grocery and retail giant is undergoing enormous change across its numerous territories and grocery formats, and not before time. Sitting, as it does, at a pivotal moment in its history, Carrefour is facing, and meeting, the challenges of size and legacy as it leverages tech and data to transform into a company ready for the challenges ahead. We caught up with Carrefour’s leadership team across its numerous territories and divisions to find out how it’s transforming its operations on a global scale…

Read the latest issue here!

Carrefour has embraced a widespread ongoing transformation, as the retail landscape experiences monumental shifts in behaviour. And the person Carrefour looked to, to deliver this incredible programme of change, was the then rather youthful 45-year-old Alexandre Bompard who joined the Group as Chairman and CEO in July 2017. Bompard has a proven track record in delivering change having been at the helm of French retail chain Fnac-Darty. Bompard’s “Carrefour 2022” transformation plan “embodies the goal of bringing eating well – healthy, fresh, organic, local food – to within everyone’s reach”, said Bompard upon its launch. “To become the world leader in the food transition for everyone”.

Elsewhere in this issue, we speak to Cesar Augusto Dos Santos, Director of IT and CIO of giant Brazilian Communication Service Provider Claro, regarding its digital transformation at scale, as the company enters an exciting new phase of its evolution. Plus, we have some fascinating and insightful content covering digital transformation, business goals versus business purpose and a guide to new working practices that could change your company overnight!

Enjoy the issue!

Andrew Woods (Editor)

Featuring… Swisscom, State of New Jersey and Cementos Pacasmayo, plus much, much more…

Welcome to another packed issue of Interface Magazine!

Following the success of an exciting B2C portal, we revisit the dynamic partnership between Swisscom and Accenture to find out more about the follow-up: a brand new B2B offering…

Read the latest issue here!

In June 2020, Interface Magazine published an in-depth feature on telco giant Swisscom’s new omni-channel platform – created in conjunction with Accenture – which transformed Swisscom’s B2C offering. Accenture delivered the framework for this digital omni-channel platform (DOCP) and, over time, Swisscom was able to run it independently. In the story, we mentioned that the company was also planning a B2B transformation. At the time, the plan was in its infancy.

Now – again, hand-in-hand with Accenture – Swisscom has launched this exciting new element of its business. We spoke with three people directly involved with this next step – Stephan Schneider, MD of Accenture; Anne-Thérèse Morel, Head of Capability Management at Swisscom Business Customers; and Matthias Piller, Solution Train Engineer at Swisscom – to gain a broader insight on what has changed since our last catch-up.

Elsewhere, we sit down with Luis Miguel Soto Valenzuela, CIO of Cementos Pacasmayo, to discuss the company’s digital and customer experience transformation, and its dedication to improving Peru. And we catch up with Poonam Soans, Chief Data Officer of the State of New Jersey, who explores how she is overseeing a data-driven revolution to better serve its citizens.

Enjoy the issue!

Andrew Woods

Editor In Chief

Tim Hardcastle, CEO and Co-Founder of INSTANDA, on what will be top of mind for insurers in 2021 and why technology will be critical

“Insurance is the industry of risk. But the depth and breadth of COVID-19 – its impact on society and the economy – was not in insurers’ near-term planning models this year. Insurers and their customers enter 2021 in a world transformed. Physical and mental barriers have deteriorated. Walls separating businesses from customers have collapsed, with the discovery that digital can strengthen customer relationships.

By Tim Hardcastle, CEO and Co-Founder of INSTANDA

“As we enter this new world, insurance must reboot and reenergise. Reboot their business development plans, by investing in sophisticated digital tools and partnering with organisations that accelerate innovation. Reenergise their propositions and offerings, so their products continue to excite and stimulate customers.

“In practice, this means focusing on two areas: personalisation at scale and differentiation through digital engagement. Think Netflix and Disney plus, but in insurance. 

“There is a more urgent pressure behind this need: cost. To avert another drop in earnings, insurers need to accelerate their digitalisation plans so they can take full advantage of reducing costs to industry leading levels of less than $1 per policy.  

“What surprises could 2021 have in store? A potentially unavoidable one is the rapid acceleration of contextual or immersed insurance. Where customers buy insurance through another retail or business interaction – say, a new TV in Tesco – and insurance is embedded and sold through that. This not-so-surprise will bring new businesses challenges that only digital platforms can help solve.

“Another area which is exciting in the year ahead is the industry’s appetite to develop wider service-based offerings, such as pet and cyber insurance which provide extensive service wrappers. A pet wrapper, for example, may include advice on pet health and best practise to keep your pet healthy, with the aim to reduce bills and the insurance claim. This reflects the recognition of serving customers with a wider proposition than simply the claim pay-out.

“Our own business has adapted to respond to the challenge’s insurers faced this year. We’ve accelerated our plans to add more capability to the platform, such as launching our integration marketplace and digital billing and claims. We’ve done so in anticipation of a greater need from insurers to be braver in their approach to meet customer demand.

“Finally, I think the industry can expect a rebounding next year. There has been a downgrade in analysts’ predictions of 2020 results for several major players, as revenues slipped and claims increased. But we are also seeing rate increases in other segments so we anticipate 2021 earnings will rebound.  

“2020 has brought a year of surprises to an industry that has dealt with some of the worst kinds of surprises, for centuries. A lesson it has taught – as surprises often do – is the necessity of adaptability; to be able to respond to customer demand and regulation, quickly.

“To prepare for this new year, organisations need to look at their existing infrastructure and business models and ask themselves: am I ready?”

With ever-changing email best practices and privacy regulations, and challenges piling up for businesses worldwide, email programmes can’t be a set-it-and-forget-it component of marketing strategies anymore. On the contrary, they need to demonstrate good returns – both direct, such as click through rate, and indirect, such as the difference in active subscribers.

A solid email programme consists not only of clever subject lines and enticing creative, but also the important parts that customers can’t see, like deep consideration and analysis of the parts of an organisation’s strategy. Every step of the way, aiming for continual optimisation and iteration is key to ensure the business maintains a healthy and highly efficient email strategy. This key objective can be achieved by performing regular audits.

An email audit is an assessment of a current email programme, with the scope to identify potential issues and optimise performance. Email audits can be perceived as a hassle, but actually they can help businesses stay ahead of the curve and gain significant advantages, such as improved compliance, higher customer satisfaction rate, measurable return on investment, and lower cost per email. Furthermore, they can help detect and resolve email delivery problems that can lead to serious losses, like lost revenue and market share.

There are 7 audits that we’d suggest every company needs to perform regularly, to keep their email programme in ship-shape as external variables change and may impact the effectiveness of their strategy.

Acquisition Audit: Signing up new customers or prospects to your newsletters is important to keep the communication going – but equally important is to evaluate if all the new customer experience performs as intended. Brands have broken acquisition sources and processes more than you’d imagine, causing disappointment to potential new subscribers right at the point when they’re ready to give permission. Acquisition audits can help keep customers engaged and satisfied from the very beginning.

Unsubscribe Audit: It is crucial to regularly check and confirm that unsubscribe links and processes are working. Not just for protecting your brand’s reputation, but also for ensuring compliance with EU and global regulations.

Template Audit: A template audit will help you ensure that templates continue to render well across most environments, have functioning links, have branding, messaging and footer language that are still current. With customers being more mobile than ever, businesses should confirm that rendering works well across all popular environments, and on mobile devices in particular.

Data and Integration Audit: Data is a critical asset. It’s essential to keep an eye on the flow of information to and from your ESP to ensure that data is integrated properly and without latency, and that the integrity of your targeting is intact and without errors.

Privacy Audit: Checking that the privacy policy, privacy statements in email and the process and verbiage at the point of acquisition meet the legal and regulatory standards is a necessary part of healthy email programmes. Take it one step further by ensuring that your privacy statements and forms are easy to understand and not in confusing legal jargon.

Deliverability Audit: Whether you’re building a high-growth consumer service or enterprise software, email plays a critical role in engaging and retaining your customers. Customers churn when emails are lost in spam folders or delayed. A deliverability audit will help you significantly improve reach and success of marketing programmes, ensuring that customers receive your communications on time.

Competitive Intelligence Audit: Email marketers want (and need) to benchmark their performance and activity against others. A competitive intelligence audit will help you see innovations happening in the inbox and where your organisation fits, in comparison – so you remain ahead of the competition. Sam Holding, Head of International, SparkPost

In the latest episode of the Digital Insight podcast, author and ex-Amazon Director John Rossman discusses the concept of digital…

In the latest episode of the Digital Insight podcast, author and ex-Amazon Director John Rossman discusses the concept of digital transformation.

Rossman lays out 50 (and a half) ideas that businesses and organisations should be considering as they look to transform their operations, embrace innovation and prepare for the next era of business.

In 2002, Rossman took up the role of Director of Merchant Integration at Amazon, overseeing the launch of the Marketplace business – one of the largest third-party selling networks around and responsible for 58% for all units shipped and sold.

In 2004, Rossman moved to become Director of Enterprise Services, overseeing e-commerce infrastructure for worldwide retailers such as Target and Marks & Spencers.

When Rossman left after nearly four years at Amazon, his consultancy role soon started to show him the ‘Amazon effect’ and the impact this ideology was having on the business world.

It is this that Rossman draws upon as the driving force in his new book, Think Like Amazon.

“Several years after I left Amazon,” said Rossman, “one of my clients at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation came to me and said: ‘John, I’ve seen how you’ve put the little anecdotes and manoeuvres from Amazon into our business – it’s really impactful and I think you should write a book about it.”

“My inspiration for the book was that, really. Passing on those little moves, teaching clients to take authentic things from Amazon, and implementing them into your own business at the appropriate point and appropriate approach to help make change happen.”

“Being digital, and digital transformation, has many different definitions and there’s not really one correct answer,” Rossman continues.

“I believe that being digital is the combination of speed and agility. Speed is about being able to do a repetitive action extremely quickly and efficiency – that’s really operational excellence.

“Agility, meanwhile, is about sensing and then making change happen. That’s the ability of the business to innovate within itself.”

Listen to the full interview here

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Frank Konieczny, Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Air Force, talks about how the role of the CTO is changing…

Frank Konieczny, Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Air Force, talks about how the role of the CTO is changing in a bid to add stability and assurance throughout organizations.

“What you will find in the field, especially in the Air Force is that we have a lot of officers moving around every two years or so because that’s the normal pattern,” said Konieczny in the podcast.

“They are now depending more upon looking at the CTO as the person that understands the mission and what they need to continue with. That’s the way we established it.

“We have CTOs and all the major commands out in the field and a few of the functional commands as well. We have established a foothold, if you will, throughout the organization, because that’s a dependency. A lot of the officers depend upon the CTO to tell them, ‘Is this a good idea or not?'”

Listen to the full, in-depth interview with Frank Konieczny only on The CPOstrategy Podcast!