Companies will have to take on board Mobile, Social, Big Data and the Cloud if they want to continue being successful. And they should first of all integrate these processes internally.
We caught up with Jean-Pascal Ancelin, Country Manager for France at business intelligence
technology specialist MicroStrategy, at the MicroStrategy World 2012 conference, which
took place on 9 -12 July in Amsterdam.
L'Atelier: This conference is focusing on the changes that Mobile, Social, the Cloud, and Big Data are bringing about in companies. Are these trends already well-rooted?
Jean-Pascal Ancelin: At the present time, these four trends are key for us, and we’ve
already observed our customers’ needs and the value for our customers in these areas. Today
everyone has a smartphone and, to a lesser extent, we’re seeing more and more tablets. In
a way, these ‘connected’ devices have become like our wallet and key-purse rolled into
one. We use them to connect to an application, to make purchases online, to open our cars.
And companies need to embrace this new toolkit, to provide their employees with mobile
applications because this is now part of their daily lives. This is one way for companies to
innovate inside their own walls as well as vis-à-vis customers and partners.
L'Atelier: Where does France stand on all this?
Jean-Pascal Ancelin: When it comes to mobile, France is up with the rest. As for social
networks, we’re getting there, finally, but it’s true that here we weren’t as quick to adopt
as the United States. Anyway, there’s now real demand from company Marketing and IT
departments, who are extremely interested in using this data. The Cloud is here now, and so is Big Data. But as far Big Data is concerned, is it just a trend, is it really useful to analyse all
the data that we have at our disposal? I’m not so sure. But in any case there’s a lot of analysis and thinking to be done inside companies if they don’t want to fall behind.
L'Atelier: When you talk about innovation, internally or externally, what exactly are
you referring to?
Jean-Pascal Ancelin: Well, these technologies will help companies to be proactive rather
than reactive in their businesses. Because as soon as you give people in marketing, finance,
sales, or logistics the chance to receive information in real time on their mobiles, that’s clearly
faster than waiting for the information to be updated every day, every second day, every four
days. The important thing isn’t just being able to receive a report on your telephone or your
iPad; it’s being able to browse and obtain information in real time. This speeds up decision-
making, it means that any given problem will be sorted out more quickly. So, right away the
information is arriving faster. Then more people can get hold of that information. So you’re
giving greater autonomy to your people on the ground, a supermarket aisle supervisor for
instance, or a financial adviser in a provincial bank. It’s vital to be more innovative than
your competitors, because the use of new technologies is a means of attracting customers,
getting them to choose your bank rather than another for example. Analysing data from social
networks helps a company to get to know its customers better, to understand what they really
want. It gives companies a 360° view of their customers.