In the "don't take my word for it" category, I want to call your attention to two seminal business books that form the basis of this post and speak to a couple of the non-obvious benefits of innovation - Inventing the Future and Embracing Automation.
The first, Inventing the Future, as it relates to innovative new products, shows up in Clayton Christensen's "The Innovator's Dilemma," specifically, the point Christensen makes about the uses of new and innovative products. When discussing the trap of over-planning innovative new products, he states, "In disruptive situations, action must be taken before careful plans are made. Because much less can be known about what markets need or how large they can become, plans must serve a very different purpose: They must be plans for learning rather than plans for implementation."
His main point of focus here is that as a product designer, while your initial use cases are undoubtedly valuable, it is ultimately the customers who will show you new and innovative ways to use your product that go beyond your initial designs. And you should be open to hearing about and incorporating these new use cases into future releases.
This is precisely what we're seeing with our customers' use of Calix Marketing Cloud. Early adopters of Calix Marketing Cloud are teaching us how, for example, the Social Channel Heatmap can be used for detailed analysis of micro-segments of their subscriber base to enable highly targeted and focused marketing campaigns to those select subs –to great success!
The second aspect of innovation - Embracing Automation, (as opposed to fighting it) is the main premise of the very excellent "Race Against the Machine" by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in which the authors make the case that the winning formula for knowledge workers in the 21st Century are those that embrace technology and use it to their (and their company's) advantage.
A great example of this approach is Calix Support Cloud. The latest release in the Calix Cloud family, Calix Support Cloud is the perfect addition to the toolset of any service provider's frontline call center staff. Built specifically for those taking calls on broadband services support, Calix Support Cloud is powered by deep integration with instrumentation in the client devices in the subscriber's home, as well as by domain specific analytical models that allow call center staff to focus on the customer interaction, while Calix Support Cloud identifies the root cause of the subscriber issue at hand through a series of parallel diagnostic tests on the caller's home network infrastructure. This combination of human + machine engagement represents the optimal knowledge worker advocated by Brynjolfsson and McAfee. This agent + machine approach allows call center managers to hire more junior staff, accommodate high turnover, and minimize training requirements, all the while delivering best in class customer support.
If you haven’t seen a demonstration of Calix Support Cloud, don't hesitate to contact your Calix account team to request a demonstration and discussion of this innovative new product today. Your subscriber customers will thank you.
For more of my Calix Cloud and IoT musings, follow me on Twitter - @IoTStephen