Are you digital : looking back at an inspiring event, tx to

12 jaar. Dit is vandaag de gemiddelde levensduur van een bedrijf. Amper 12 maanden geleden was dat nog 15 jaar en 50 jaar geleden leefden bedrijven zelfs gemiddeld 60 jaar! Ja het gaat snel. Steeds sneller. Hoe ga je daar als bedrijf mee om? Het antwoord: jezelf continu transformeren en telkens opnieuw vervellen. Zoals een kameleon. Of anders gezegd: forever young (yup, zet die bekende Alphaville song maar loeihard).

Dàt is wat organisaties vandaag moeten zijn. Dit is maar 1 van de inzichten tijden het ‘Are you digital’ event van Möbius op vrijdag 29 september. Vanaf het begin is het duidelijk: collega Lien en ik zullen ons hier geen moment vervelen.

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About case management: Design your ultimate cola vending machine

Sadly the TV advert has disappeared from our screens once again: the short Coca Cola film in which a cola vending machine comes to life. As soon as the customer inserts some money the puppets inside get to work. Each one with its own job, all perfectly in tune with each other, and all enjoying their work. The end result: the consumer receives the right output. This film hits upon the very heart of focused working. But how should you, as a local authority, go about designing your own perfect cola vending machine…? 


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How to transform in Industry 4.0 ?

During the closing seminar of the Tech Startup Day 2016 Alexander De Croo, our current minister responsible for Belgium’s digital agenda, emphasised that we need to invest to become a forerunner in Europe once more in the fourth industrial revolution, namely industry 4.0. But what is industry 4.0? What were the previous three revolutions and what was Belgium’s role in these? How can present-day companies in Belgium best deal with this transformation?


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A customer centric digital travel journey

A customer centric digital travel journey

Now that the holidays have ended, everyone is back in their usual place again, albeit looking tanned and well rested. But do you remember the days, about ten years ago, when planning a holiday was a huge undertaking and you would make your choice based on very little information? You would get all your inspiration from the travel agent’s two streets over. You would pop in, the agents would greet you in a friendly manner, you would be asked to take a seat at one of the desks, and you would be literally bombarded with questions. Do you want to travel by car or by plane? Do you want a sporty vacation or do you prefer to relax? Nature and mountains or sun and the beach? A hotel or a campsite? And so on… At the end of this lengthy process, you would go home with a stack of brochures to finalize your choice.

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Digital customers and the connected world

Digital transformation is not a technology issue

We live in exciting times! As a lot of things are changing and changing dramatically! We live in a digital context which we as a consumer, company and society can no longer avoid. New technologies such as mobile, social cloud computing, sensors, virtual reality and 3D-printing are being introduced at an ever increasing rate and are unleashing a real revolution in our way of living and working. This digital context puts traditional organisations under pressure, results in new organisational forms (e.g. the Uber-type models such as AirBnB, Netflix, Spotify, Alibaba, etc.) and in this way forms a new society.

In this new society or connected world customers increasingly expect consistent personalised experiences through every service and communication channel. Organisations cannot afford to be left behind and must become mathematical champions that by the use of analytics (or to use a buzz word, big data) build clever algorithms to provide better or completely new customer experiences. This transition is not only vital to remain successful in the digital era, but also necessary to fulfil the expectations of the youngest generation (younger than 17 years of age), the customers of tomorrow. The customers of tomorrow or “network natives” live mainly in a virtual and global world. They are masters in the use of social media, spend a lot of time on their tablet or pc and make maximum use of all the online channels available to them. They are growing up with concepts such as crowdfunding and crowdsharing. In short, they consume differently.

Digital transformation is not a technology issue, but is primarily about reshaping your organisation in line with all your customers who seek both digital and human interaction

Organisations that answer the digital challenges by (purely) purchasing more technology without taking a good look at their organisational model will gradually get left far behind. They run the risk of being disrupted by new organisational forms. Just take the example here of the Uber-type models that use clever algorithms to connect customers, partners, employees and even products. Their organisational model is based on simply dealing in information without dealing in assets.

Uber: the world’s biggest taxi company does not have any cars; Facebook: the world’s most popular media company does not create any content itself; Alibaba: the world’s largest retailer has no stock, and AirBnB has no property. These companies make clever use of technology, but are above all highly connective, communicative and creative in their relationships. They make very sophisticated apps to connect in time and place with their customers. Via online communication, online diaries, social listening, public datasets, APIs, etc., they create added value for any interested party.

And above all the success of these companies is based on their flat organisational structure with short decision lines and high degree of autonomy (or self-control). They cultivate a climate of entrepreneurship and innovation and attach a great deal of value to the person behind every employee. Digital transformation is not a technology issue! Technology is only a means to reformulate and strengthen your organisational model to give your customers what they want. Digital technology enables you to act as a network rather than a hierarchy, to process masses of data continuously, to use organisational resources cheaply and on a global scale, to deal with uncertainties more effectively (by improved forecasting), to respond more quickly and more flexibly, etc.

It is high time to take a look at your organisational model too! How do you put your customers central? How do you connect with your network on a continuous basis? How do you use clever algorithms to improve customer experience end-to-end and/or overhaul it thoroughly? What actions are you taking today that will make you more resilient? How do you stimulate and reward innovation and entrepreneurship?

Becoming a digital company equals becoming a connected company, a customer company. It’s a journey: you need to start as early as possible, and there is no finish line. After all, when it comes to technology, the only constant is change.

Karl-Heinz Streibich, The Digital Enterprise

Data analytics, the future!

3, 2, 1 Start!

In November, together with four other Young Graduates, the new Möbius generation, I was given the opportunity to follow a three-day course on R. We were guided through this deep plunge into a new programming language and software environment by Möbius’s tooling & analytics expert, Jeroen Colin. This course is just one of the many initiatives launched by Möbius in its pursuit of excellence in data analytics.

As I was relatively inexperienced in programming, I was expecting this to be quite an adventure. And I was right. On day one, we went over the basics of programming, which was more familiar to some people (i.e. Mr Gielkens) than others, before getting to grips with R. The next morning, a bit groggy from the information overload and a night spent dreaming about R, I was ready for day two, and eager to immerse myself in R. Precise, thorough explanations from Jeroen were interspersed with exercises. I was beginning to get the hang of this programming business.

On the third and final day of the course, it was high time to put all this theory into practice. Jeroen suggested several projects, giving us space to take our own initiatives. Everyone was in doubt as there were so many educational and fun options to choose from. We wanted to do them all! We deliberated: should we each take on a different project or work together on the same project with all four of us? Under the motto ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ we decided to pick one project and do it as a team. We decided to immerse ourselves in the data published on the city of Ghent’s website on parking in the city.

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Or how a citizen data scientist can use open data

People living here know that mobility is one of the major challenges. For example finding a parking space in the city center is not an easy task. The city of Ghent knows this and has already taken some steps towards improving this. There is the so called ‘guidance system’ that tries to guide drivers towards the nearest parking with billboards advertising the nearest public parkings and their free spaces.

The data that this systems uses is also available as Open Data. There is one catch: only the realtime data is open, not the historical data. In other words, I can ask how much free space there is now, but I cannot see if the parking is filling up or not.

So that’s when the stalking began.

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