Getting Smarter in Madrid
To start, I must confess that I’m usually quite skeptical about seminars and conferences. My job makes me a large-scale consumer of events, and unfortunately they often have very little substance to offer. This time I travelled to Madrid for the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, the content of which promised very much.
What was it all about? Last year, IBM launched a new concept, Smarter Commerce, which actually covers all the critical functions of companies (Buy, Market, Sell, Service). Customers have been given the place they deserve in the very centre of all these different services. IBM has been very aggressive in its corporate acquisitions, with the goal of creating a complete package to offer a variety of companies in different fields. As it is today, IBM’s offerings are already impressive and very interesting for a partner like Descom. Our mission is to concretize IBM’s offerings to our own customers, and it was nice to see many of our customers in Madrid.
The most important content of the event was compressed into three days. This means that there were lots of various lectures and presentations. I saw a lot, but unfortunately I missed even more. Luckily, we Descom people spread out efficiently to different sessions, and we are now sharing information internally – in fact, our knowledge-sharing culture is very strong, so the insights gained in Madrid are guaranteed to spread in-house, and to our customers as well.
The actual content of the event was constructed in a way that the opening speeches discussed Smarter Commerce on a broad level, and the sessions then dug deeper into the themes. The event finished off by going back to the general level, reminding us that success requires mastering the big picture – not every single detail. The keynote speakers were brilliant, and Magnus Lindkvist in particular shook the participants awake with his thought-provoking speech. Not an easy task after three days at a seminar.
What did I gain from the summit? New insights, but I especially remember the most concrete things, like customer speeches and case presentations. The Smarter Commerce philosophy challenges companies and providers to think in a new way. As a new Descom employee, the event confirmed my thoughts about my employer and our expertise, which is valued even internationally, as demonstrated by the recognitions given to both Descom and our customer, the Finnish retailer Hong Kong Department Stores.
In summary, I can say that the Smarter Commerce event was extremely successful. I believe that this sentiment is shared by all the over 1700 participants from 47 different countries.
A few authentic comments from my iPad:
“The empowered customer is redefining commerce”
“Multichannel – understand channel roles and optimize that channel by role”
“Infobesity – information diet is needed”
“Compete or Create?”
“Deliver the experience that the individual consumer wants”