IntroductionIn today’s Wonderflow’s interview, we speak to Sander van der Blonk, a digital venture builder. He has been founding, financing and leading software-based companies and tech agencies since the early 90s. He is building Scoutely (www.scoutely.com), a networking platform for corporates and (deep) tech startups that seek partnerships. Today’s conversation revolves around the trends of enterprise software and what technological disruptions mean for companies and their employees.
The latest trends in enterprise softwareWhat do you see as an important trend in enterprise software?
Among the many, an obvious one. The continual search for doing it better, faster, smarter. As to technology, there is a rise in demand for newest-best-of-breed and rethinking of tools across all vertical functions. As more and more tech solutions become available, more and more companies will seek to re-architect legacy systems that were previously built on outdated tech stacks, without requiring huge spend and many months of implementation to deploy.
How will that impact the way people work?
Most tools not only bring new functionality, but they also help people gain the ability to get the job done at the most efficient rate. One of those tools is Wonderflow’s dashboard, the Wonderboard. It provides a new, smart way of working with insights, giving the opportunity to everybody in the team to access the same data.
With the trend of re-architecting enterprise systems, and integrating new technology, what are some of the challenges you see for enterprises today?
New tools require new ways of working and require a lot of retraining and redeveloping skills. Amazon, for instance, spent $700 million over 6 years to retrain a third of its workforce in the US and launched Future Ready, a $1 billion online-based platform that includes courses in collaboration with Coursera, Udacity, and university. Additionally, the platform includes a career center that allows employees to train for the specific jobs that the company needs today, but also in the future.
Analyzing multi-language customer feedback in large volume from different sources is a complex process. With an AI-based technology and years of experience, Wonderflow is helping global brands to become customer-centric. Find out more about our solution.
The skills that companies need todaySo, what do you think are the most valuable skills that companies need today?
Soft skills. Specifically, the ability to build relationships with others and empathy. Roles with high levels of human interaction are in high-demand. Although there hasn’t been a corresponding rise of soft skills education in the market, companies became increasingly interested in understanding their clients’ points of view. This was enabled by companies like Wonderflow, which provide VoC (Voice of the Customer) analytics and sentiment analysis. The analysis of customer feedback consequently allows companies to improve their relationship with their customers in different ways, from communication and marketing to product optimization.
Additionally, flexibility is an important skill to integrate within companies. Today’s market is highly complex and it is constantly evolving, creating a challenge for companies to keep up with its latest developments.
Something I often see in companies is the tendency to develop in-house solutions to address the latest innovations in the market.
Companies often spend more resources on developing in-house solutions than they would if they adopted the technology from an external and specialized vendor.So, do you think it is beneficial for enterprises to adopt technologies and solutions provided by external vendors?
Absolutely, as I mentioned before, external vendors are more specialized than your team. For this reason, they are able to provide enterprises with a higher quality service. Additionally, adopting an external solution is often cheaper than developing it in-house. Finally, if external vendors are startups or scaleups, it is even better. This is because startups and scaleups are extremely flexible and can accommodate enterprises’ needs easily.
I believe that a common misconception within companies is that external solutions are complex and hard to use. However, external vendors often offer extremely easy and user-friendly solutions that any employee can utilize. This is the case for Wonderflow’s dashboard (the Wonderboard) that allows any employee in the company to look at, understand and make use of insights from the customer feedback.