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by Otto van Haaren | March 25, 2020
Companies across the world are finding their business extremely disrupted at present and it looks like things may get worse before they get better. During this time there has been a strong focus on the need for people to work from home. Business journals are full of tips and tricks on how to keep companies running when nobody is at the office, but the emphasis is always on this situation being temporary.
I believe this is wrong. The chaos may be temporary, but there has been a fundamental shift in the way that companies need to do business for several years now. I believe the present crisis is just shining a light on the difference between companies designed to operate in the new, modern, global economy and those designed for the past.
Here are just a few observations on the present-day business environment:
This last point can be seen most acutely in the financial services industry. The emergence of financial technologies (Fintech) has created the ability for new companies to be designed around a specific customer requirement. Look at how Transferwise has made it so simple to manage foreign exchange or how Zopa directly connects people with cash savings to people who need a loan.
None of these companies said ‘let’s build an app that delivers loans or foreign exchange the same way as the banks do it…’ The world has changed and as this current crisis is demonstrating, there are some agile and flexible companies that can adapt and there are some dinosaurs. We all know what happened to the dinosaurs.
Your competition in 2021 may not even exist today. An entrepreneur in California or Kigali may already be designing a new app that disrupts your entire industry. If you don’t believe that a single app can transform an industry then do you remember how we used to share photographs before Instagram?
Companies with a new economy mindset are also able to transcend their industry, taking their skills elsewhere. Look at how Amazon now runs most of the Internet with their AWS or how Apple has become a major player in payments with Apple Pay – why didn’t the credit card companies do that first? Why didn’t the major taxi companies build their own version of Uber before allowing a startup to transform their industry?
This is the real story of the crisis. There is a wave of digital disruption sweeping every industry at present. The World Economic Forum has called it the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ because they believe the effect on business is fundamental. You either embrace this new economy and thrive or you will simply no longer exist. It’s that simple and the history books are full of famous brands that went out of business.
Two of the fastest business trends in the world today are the need for greater digital literacy and the need for business flexibility. I would add the need to focus on customer-centricity if you want your business to succeed.
This business crisis is not just about companies having the flexibility to allow their people to work from home. It is a far more fundamental exposure of which companies can react to a change in their market quickly and which are stuck in the twentieth century.
Otto van Haaren is Founder and CEO of 5CA.
Gaming has been one of the few beneficiaries of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Global quarantine and stay-at-home orders preventing people from traveling, commuting, and socializing has resulted in a boom for the gaming industry.
Maximize the value of your VIP players and discover how work from home (WFH) support helps you add more value to your gaming whales.
Game launched? Check.
Player hype? Check.
Champagne? Crack that bottle, you deserve it!
But while it bubbles on your tongue, let me ask you this: Have you considered how to respond to players who need assistance or want to provide feedback? And when your player base grows (and let's be honest it will - your game is awesome), what will you do when those interactions start exploding in languages you do not speak? How will you manage the volume of requests coming in, but still provide the best possible user experience to your fans?
Yes…. Another thought piece on how COVID-19 is re-shaping life as we know it and what can we learn from it going forward.
With people stuck at home and shops closed, several industries, such as e-commerce, streaming entertainment, and gaming, are experiencing hyperactivity. The influx is driving revenues but also customer support needs.
Did anyone see that Assassins’ Creed Valhalla announcement trailer? Of course you did. Chances are you did not discover it on your own, but instead it appeared on your social media channels, most likely shared by a fan of the franchise or an influencer. At least that is how it happened to me. Game marketing truly has changed in the era of digital, community, and influencers.
It’s often said, ‘people are the weakest link in cybersecurity’. I get that and I agree that we must seek to minimize human-related threat vectors. But I believe that if we view our people, our teammates, as our greatest security asset, then we start from a position of strength.
In BPO, we often talk about how we deliver the best possible customer experience. We focus on training knowledgeable and empathetic agents, we run and rerun staffing simulations to ensure minimal wait times. These things are important, but, for the most part, once a customer is reaching out to us, it’s already a ding to the overall customer experience. Customers want an easy experience that works as it should and is intuitive.
Last month, Vice ran an interesting article by Jess Morrissette on how games marketing invented toxic gaming culture by promoting toxicity and harassment as value propositions for gaming. While considered perfectly reasonable at the time, games marketing has luckily taken a turn for the better.
One of the most interesting things about the gaming industry is that gamers don’t behave like customers. Sure, they have no problem spending like customers, but their devotion and passion makes them more like super-fans.
With more and more companies providing work-from-home possibilities, and children spending more time at home during school breaks, many tend to fill the time previously spent commuting or at after-school activities on picking up new or old hobbies. It comes as no surprise that playing video games is one of those favored hobbies.
The World Health Organization and almost every national government has encouraged everyone in non-essential roles to stay at home. With millions of people in self-isolation, there is a real need to ensure these people have something to do.
Companies across the world are facing an unprecedented wave of disruption at present. One of the specific outcomes from this is that many people are suddenly working from home. Many have no experience working away from the office and so the business journals are full of tips on how to make it work.
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