Technology is driving servitisation

27th March 2019 |   Richard Vincent

This report from Cranfield’s KAM and Strategic Sales Forum in November 2018 explores how advances in technology are enhancing and changing KAM.

Artificially intelligent business relationships – where we’ve come from; where we’re going

Professor Daniel Prior, who recently joined Cranfield University, has observed the following key trends:

  • Streamlined data flows from more sources using more secure technology (such as quantum computing);
  • Decision automation (eg automated trading); and
  • Consolidated data visibility (through Aps/augmented reality).
Professor Daniel Prior

Professor Daniel Prior: Significant initial investment.

Outside of the business world, lots of work is going on with bots and the automation of relationship managements, exemplified by tools such as Siri and Alexa and robot receptionists being developed in Japan. Currently, these only work for simple relationships that don’t involve complex decisions, but the current advances in data handling and decision-making technology will mean that more and more complex issues will be able to be handled in the future and more complex relationships will become easier to automate, according to Professor Prior.

So, all individual and organisations need to be looking at what they do and how they add value and be prepared to automate where appropriate, because companies that don’t will be out-competed by companies that are able to embrace the new environment. Once the trend starts, it will impact all organisations, whether they chose to be involved or otherwise.

Initial investment to make the change will be significant but the paybacks will be huge, so there will be significant advantages to be had, from being ahead of the field. The session ended with a short workshop to help participants assess how their current businesses will be impacted.
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Richard Vincent spent nearly 29 years at HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise where he specialised in Strategic Business Operations and Key Account Management. He is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University where he has been an active member of the Key Account Management and Strategic Sales forum, since its early days. He is also a self-employed consultant, helping companies build long-term profitable relationships with complex and demanding customers.