Telstra Digital Summit: Afternoon session liveblog

We’re back after the break at the Telstra Digital Summit.  Up next is @briansolis and Larry Marshall from CSIRO.  I’m liveblogging again.  Keep refreshing the page for updates.

Brian Solis is up first, talking about his book, The Experience when Business Meets Design, and rethinking the possibilities about everything.  He says we don’t see things as they are, but as *we* are.

Solis says it’s important not just to see things as we experience them, but enable sharing of ideas to better engage with communities.  We need to ask ourselves what matters, and to invest in experiences so that we are generating more effective acquisitions and sustaining retention.

Businesses are no longer the sole creator of brands, says Solis. Brands are the product of our experiences – disruption is happening to us or because of us.

Experience is not a thing, it’s something that you feel. Experiences are now more important than ever, and they help encourage you to share ideas and help others.  85% of people would pay 25% more for a better customer experience.

[The interesting thing is watching Australian piracy levels bottom out after Netflix was released.  People will pay for content when it’s available in a fashion and at a price that is reasonable.]

Social, says Solis, is second nature.  We expect services to be available instantly because we are being conditioned to access those services. Experience architecture begins with empathy, not with business objectives.  Solis displays a picture of desire lines to show how people forge their own paths rather than following rigidly created footpaths.  People, he says, want to create new understanding and will only ‘break’ medium use when one medium is insufficient for their purposes.

But last week, Google’s mobile search overtook desktop search.  It’s a sign of a medium achieving what is needed in terms of customer experience.

Great customer experience is the sum of all interactions.  Once you understand every step of the experience you can restructure how it works and who participates.  Experience is about intent, content and immediacy.  You need to be able to help customers take the next step.

None of us have time or patience to deal with over bureaucratised processes.  Old ways won’t open new doors. We are the instruments of our own innovation, concludes Solis.  One of the greatest gifts about social technologies are that they are humanising.  They describe who we are and who we want to be.  Then technology is great.


Up next is Dr Larry Marshall from CSIRO talking Australia’s innovation catalyst.  He starts by talking about his history in developing startups in Silicon Valley and then talking about CSIRO as a new ‘startup’ – a nearly 100 year old startup.

Marshall says we are living in exponential times; we have a unique connection between digital and physical which was never enabled before.  He says that while the perception is that data is the heart of the most successful companies, that’s not actually true.  But deep tech fuelled the hardware revolution that have grown to be the biggest companies.

We now have data on an unprecedented scale.  We have moved from a connectivity driven era to an era where content is more important than connectivity and now that content can be free where we become the data producer.

Deep tech matters because it takes inefficiencies out of the system and improve productivity. This is the process of disintermediation.

Marshall outlines what he’d do if he were a carrier today – optical computing backbone, wifi on steroids, wiring the world and focusing on services that can eliminate legacy architecture, quantum communications and quantum encryption.

Marshall talks about the square kilometer array where surveying of space has reduced research time from thousands of hours to mere minutes.  It’s all about the data.

Marshall cites the stat that 87% of businesses think they will be disrupted in the next 5 years but only 7% have a plan to adapt.

Australia’s innovation powerhouse is going to be in Data61.  Marshall wants to help Australian businesses to conduct the research they need to generate the intelligence it needs for improvement. He cites how mining and agriculture can be improved through data.  He also says we haven’t had much success in e-health (except in Queensland), but where we have had success we’ve seen improvements in aged care and reduced mortality rates.

Marshall concludes that companies should come to CSIRO to help companies navigate disruption. Disruption leads to growth, we have to work together to make it work effectively.

We now have Q&A with Gerd Schenkel.  I’ll leave this to the tweets again! Hope this is a useful record.

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