If one thing is for sure, digital transformation has been a blessing – or a curse – for many companies. Some – especially legacy companies – have had a hard time retrofitting their processes and reinventing their image to fit in with a fast-paced modern world. Others, however, have shown themselves to be agile and willing to change with the times. Those are the companies I’d like to highlight now.
A few companies – StubHub, JetBlue, CapitalOne, and Domino’s – are “killing it” in digital transformation. Rather than freaking out and seeing technology as the bad guy, they decided to see the new digital marketplace as an opportunity – a chance to reexamine their brand and vision, adopt new tools like automation and big data, and recommit to the customer experience. Today, I’ll share a few more of my favorites – companies that refused to quit, even in the face of a charging digital bullet train. In fact, not only have they survived, they are thriving in the process.
Pitney Bowes: Building On Strengths
Ah, Pitney Bowes. The name brings back memories of office mailings and postage meters. And until recently, that’s all I would have known them for. But when digital transformation – and a decreased need for paper – hit the global marketplace, Pitney Bowes – a company with a century-old reputation – knew it needed to adapt. One of the greatest things about their story is that instead of starting from the ground up, Pitney Bowes kept a focus on what they do best: global postage metering. Creating their own Commerce Cloud, they leveraged their experience in shipping to help other companies more efficiently ship, communicate, and pay. They even created a completely new business unit to help online giants like eBay determine where an international package can be shipped, and how much duty will be charged.
Other companies like Zillow and Twitter use Pitney Bowes to show the locations of their 1 billion+ social media users. Part of Pitney Bowes’ success can be attributed to the fact that they’ve changed their identity from a mailing company to a “global technology company.” Proof that it’s working: net income rose from $143 million in 2013 to more than $400 million in 2015. Talk about a digital transformation. As I’ve said before, agility is key in digital transformation. Pitney Bowes learned that lesson fast and well.
Experian: Making Customers’ Lives Better
One of my favorite parts of the digital transformation is seeing how technology is making people’s lives easier and better. That’s why Experian has such a great story. The company known for credit scores is now helping people build a more accurate credit profile, thereby increasing their ability to take out home loans and other lines of credit. Working in partnership with finance app developer Finicity, they are able to capture “alternative data” like rent payments, utility payments, and other on-time transactions to build a more accurate credit history. Just as exciting for many, they’ve also worked to digitize the loan asset and income verification process for consumers and lenders. An underwriting process that once took more than two months has now been reduced to just 10 days – saving time, stress, and money in the process. That makes the entire home-buying process not just easier, but more enjoyable, as well.
20th Century Fox: Acknowledging The Time
Face it: A company with a name 20th Century Fox won’t likely last long in the 21st Century – even when its parent company adopts a new name. That’s why 20th Century Fox decided to leverage the power of Salesforce’s “digital accelerator,” Salesforce Ignite. The program helps companies identify ways they can transform to better suit today’s modern environment – and also provides the tools to help them do it. Perhaps not surprisingly, much of the discussion focused on creating a clear and positive customer journey and roadmap to help them better service their customers in the 21st century. This new customer focused thinking has shifted 20th Century Fox executive mindsets, but also kept them focused on achievable transformation rather than a more unrealistic vision that can come with change management initiatives. (Read more about the importance of customer experience: The Seven Laws of Digital Transformation Revolve Around Customer Experience.)
All the companies above could have panicked when digital transformation hit – being quickly outdone by digital apps and newbie entertainment. But instead, they faced reality. They found partners with strengths that suited them. They acknowledged that their role needed to grow or evolve to serve customers in the way they wanted to be served. And that, to me, is the definition of digital success.