Chief Information Officer

Dell Boomi’s VP and CTO Discusses “Connecting with Me”

Michael J. Morton, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Dell Boomi, talked about how to connect data to create an individualized experience.

Morton began his thought leadership presentation at the 2019 CIO Leadership Forum: Embracing the Digital Revolution, from Information to Transformation, held on June 20 in New York, with the statement, “I feel this presentation is a rare opportunity to tell you what I think about, and what I think about is the impact that technology has on people. So, I’m going to talk about pizza—Domino’s, in particular. In 2014, Domino’s started thinking of itself as an IT company, not a pizza company, and, after they did that, their revenues jumped by thousands of percent. How did this happen? They were one of the first pizza companies to put an app on a mobile phone to order pizza. Not only that, but they were one of the first companies that allowed you to track your pizza. They created a relationship between the customer and the pizza,” he explained.

“I think about how Domino’s could improve that relationship. The pizza could be given a name and talk to you on its journey. This not only provides information, it’s fun. This is an example of how to use technology to make people happy, more productive, and give them a better quality of life,” said Morton.

Think about who is ‘me’ in your business. It’s customers, clients, patients, students. It’s expected that there’s a student-portal app that’s informative and individualized for that person. This is the source of competition going forward. It’s not only your clients, your patients, or your customers, it’s your own employees. Think about how to make your own employees better, smarter, faster, higher quality, and more engaged with the company. ‘Me’ also includes people you work with and for. Really, ‘me’ is everybody,” he said.

“What generates data about ‘me?’ One new source of data is augmented reality. You wouldn’t believe how much data is collected about you when you look at your phone or walk into a store. There are companies that are measuring your emotions, your happiness, and what’s successful or what isn’t about a product. So much data is being produced about people, and there’s so much more we could do with that data to create individualized experiences,” Morton observed.

“But the challenge is, where is that data? It’s all over the place. It’s in legacy databases, on phones, on an IoT Edge gateway. Another challenge is integrating that data. It’s critical for businesses to have an integration platform that has the ability to connect to what needs to be connected to for the purposes of getting data. It’s necessary to run something to access that data. Then the next step is engagement—delivering that data, in context, to the individual—and through what channel,” he said.

“Technology should work for us. We shouldn’t get stuck in this hole where we’re maniacally focused on running the business. Happiness runs a business.”

In summary, Morton stated, “If I got you to think a little differently about how to create an individualized experience for your customers, ask yourself, what will set you apart? How do you improve the engagement with your customers—without being invasive. Where’s the creepiness line? There is a line, but we don’t always know what it is. You need to provide value, not creepiness, but you can figure that out. Making that connection is about getting that data from all the necessary sources, putting it together—perhaps by moving the data to a data lake for the purposes of AI—having access to the results of that, and figuring out how to present it to the individual. These are the virtues of an integration platform.”

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