As a Partner and Co-Founder of Altai, I want to let you know that you are going to see a lot about digital transformation coming from us over the next year. You may ask “What’s going on?”
Digital transformation is all about reacting to velocity of change. The loom took 100 years to get from England to the U.S. The smart phone took about 5 years to saturate the market. Uber passed the entire cab business in 4 years, and the velocity of change is only going to increase. What I am saying is that you used to be able to steer your ship in a straight line for 100 years, but today you need to view your two-year horizon every year.
Our clients are in the business of distributing, sharing, and selling knowledge, and much of this is digital or digitized knowledge. Your industry is looking for platforms that support not only the core revenue, but can also be adapted quickly, easily, and inexpensively to accommodate change and new business models at a rapid pace.
How do you transform?
Step 1: Protect the House
Membership models, non-dues revenue, event management, and donations – the automation of these are critical for your existence. No dues, no event, no you. This is what Altai was consumed with for the last 10 years. Our product covers this, and we can help you protect your house.
Step 2: Capture Digital Signals and Journeys Today – Analyze Tomorrow
From the first-time your members visit your website or call in through the last time they renewed, attended a conference, or commented on the community site, they left a digital signature and a trail. Start capturing and recording all these signals so you can analyze them later. With every interaction, record the trail. Record it all, and don’t ask how much the space will cost. It ain’t 1985 with respect to storage costs. 🙂 We are going to tell you how to analyze all this data in Step 3.
Step 3: Plan on Continuous Investment
You can’t boil the ocean, and you can’t do all this at once. Rip out a page from the Michael Dell success book. Every single month or quarter identify and attack your top 3 inefficiencies. My saying is “Automate the mundane.” Let us figure out where we can use the platform to solve inefficient processes or look at all the data and noise to see what we can’t see. Bounce ideas off of the Altai management team. Bring us in; not only are we good at this, but we like it a lot. It’s fun, but you need to instill the commitment and plan into your organization. “This does not end at phase II.”
Step 4: Smile at the Naysayers
There are people in your organization that don’t want to transform. Smile at them; put one or two of them on the team so you have a different point of view when approaching projects, and feel free to not take a large percentage of their advice. Make sure your new hires do not have the same qualities. The naysayers hold on to old models of working. They don’t look to the future and see the possibilities of tomorrow; they only see what worked in the past. While I may seem to be dumping on the naysayers, it is important to have them participate in Step 1. It is possible to convert some of them, and if you do, it is thrilling to watch. But overall, I say hire passion. At Altai we believe when looking at a candidate is that having passion is equivalent to about 15 years of experience. You can teach skills, but you can’t teach passion.
Step 5: Explore the Business Platform
Unless you spend at least 2 days a week all year long exploring, you have no idea how large (and easy) the Microsoft Business platform is. Heck, Microsoft spends >$15 billion a year on just research and development alone and a lot more than that on the platform itself. This is a bigger investment being made back into a platform than the gross sales of any other software on the market. It covers everything: worried about GDPR? There is a consulting toolkit out there you can download, and it’s free! Want to automate expense reports? There are probably a dozen “Flows” that do that; they are easy, free, and they integrate to email, mobile, etc.
Microsoft, like you, is going through a digital transformation. In fact, they are undergoing the largest digital transformation of any company out there. The new Microsoft is 100% different than the Microsoft I have known for the last 25 years. They have different management, different values; they have become softer, gentler, and the market has responded. For example, did you know the new CEO (Satya Nadella) has transformed Microsoft from a product company to a platform. That change has taken Microsoft from a $350 billion company to a $780 billion company in only 4 years.
Your business is more than events, dues, certifications, etc. You are more than the sum of your parts. We believe that the Microsoft Business platform, upon which Altai is built, is second to none. We don’t think you should settle for less than the best in the management of your organization. Remember – It’s not just AMS and CRM, it’s a complete platform.
More information is coming but we want you to know that Altai is transforming, the industry is transforming, and soon you will need to transform as well. Transformation is not a single implementation but an ongoing process; it will never end. It is more than we can put into words for this blog, but if you’re up for the conversation, I would love to talk to you about it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.