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How Blockchain Will Create New Business Models in the Insurance Industry
04/12/2018

As far as the insurance claims process goes, the song remains the same. Submit a claim, wait, renegotiate, validate … and wait. You think, “With all this technology, there has to be a better way.” And you’d be right.

The idea came to me during a conversation with my friend and colleague Joe Rahaim as we were working with one of our insurance clients, discussing Blockchain technology and its impact on business. Joe said, rather a matter-of-factly, “Blockchain is rocket fuel for business. Companies will see the greatest success when they rethink new business models instead of trying to apply Blockchain to the status quo.” It reminded me of a recent stop at Penn Station. Waiting between trains, I came across a payphone, tagged with graffiti, banged up, beaten and unused. Smart phone in hand, I thought about how quickly old models can change (while keeping some change in my pocket).

Blockchain is the one digital technology that removes the need for a 3rd party to perform and approve a transaction. Today, when I purchase something on Amazon, I know that I can trust Visa to send my money to the merchant. If there’s any issue, I can call Visa. Conversely, the merchant knows they can trust Visa to pay them on my behalf. The seller and I may not trust each other, we both trust Visa.

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Join Optimity Advisors at Henry Stewart DAM New York, May 2–4, 2018!
04/11/2018

By John Horodyski and Mindy Carner

We’ll be talking metadata, design thinking and, of course, DAM!

Celebrating nine years as a Henry Stewart presenter, John Horodyski, Partner at Optimity Advisors, will be there again this year, talking all the good DAM things, like metadata, taxonomy and governance. But this year, we’re excited to take a new angle in the approach to DAM — a creative, human-centered, design-thinking approach. Below, you’ll find the sessions we’ll be leading and what you’ll learn when you attend.

Our Sessions

Fundamentals of Metadata for DAM Professionals Tutorial | Wednesday, May 2, 9:30 a.m.

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Social Prescribing – Time to Accelerate Development?
04/10/2018

The first question to consider is why would we want to introduce social prescribing into local health care systems in the first place? On the face of it there appears to be a simple answer - of course we should mainstream social prescribing (or non-medical referrals by General Practitioners that support health and well-being). It provides patients with a more holistic offer by combining traditional health care services with services that can help people with a wide range of social issues. The evidence tells us if these are not tackled they can contribute to poor health and wellbeing. There is a compelling case for primary care to invest in social prescribing as around 20% of patients see their GP for a social rather than medical problem. NHS England has published their ten high impact change recommendations; one of which is social prescribing.

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Four Ways to Apply Human-Centered Design Thinking to DAM
04/06/2018

By Mindy Carner

Learning the Theory

Being a DAM manager can sometimes feel like being an island. Many of the individuals involved in day-to-day business operations may not really understand the value or need — not to mention the complexity —  of the tool. But gaining buy-in and user adoption doesn’t have to begin at post-launch user education. It can and should begin as early as the design stages for the system requirements, and continue through system configuration, implementation and testing.   

Enter human-centered design, an approach to creating a solution that ultimately meets end-users’ needs. Some principles underlying the practice include:

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Digital Transformation – Part IX: Moving Beyond the Hazards of Human Bias
03/27/2018

By Rod Collins

In 2002, Daniel Kahneman was awarded the prestigious Nobel prize in economics. This extraordinary feat was even more impressive because Kahneman is a psychologist. Although he was recognized by the Economist in 2015 as the seventh most influential economist in the world, Kahneman holds no formal academic credentials in the field of economics. How does a psychologist so earn the respect of colleagues in a completely different field that, without any formal training in their field, he is embraced not just as one of their own but is considered one of their stars? The answer is rather simple: convincingly demonstrate that one of the prime assumptions of a discipline is completely wrong.

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Amazon, JPMorgan & Berkshire Hathaway Partnership
03/12/2018

Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway caused ructions in healthcare insurance markets recently following the announcement of their intention to work together to launch a not-for-profit health insurance company for their U.S. employees. Whilst concrete details of the collaboration have yet to be released, the markets illustrated their concerns at the entry of a new potentially powerful competitor with shares in CVS dropping 4%, United Health dropping 11% and Cigna dropping 7% following the announcement.

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Governance: Rules of the Road to Keep Your Organization on Course
03/09/2018

By Jesse Celso

Today, most organizations are faced with industries that are rapidly evolving. In order to adapt to increasing business demands they have numerous concurrent projects underway of varying complexity, while also struggling to keep up with day-to-day business operations. Sound familiar?

Managing multiple initiatives involving implementation of new technologies and multiple stakeholder groups with differing priorities can prove to be difficult even for the most mature organizations. A governance program provides the framework for effectively managing this organizational change.

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Digital Transformation – Part VIII: The Shift from Workers to Gamers
03/06/2018

By Rod Collins

Whether we’re ready to acknowledge it or not, Digital Transformation—the fundamental socioeconomic architectural shift from top-down hierarchies to peer-to-peer networks—is dramatically disrupting all the rules for how the world works. At the heart of what many call digital disruption is this unsettling reality: most of our beliefs about how things work become rapidly obsolete once an institution is fully disrupted.

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State of the DAM
02/20/2018

Things are getting DAM interesting. It's about time, and it's good for us all. 

"Change brings opportunity." - Nido Qubien

Change is rumbling through the processes and technology in which we operate in business, elevating DAM along with it. Now it's not just digital asset management - it's a critical component of the content ecosystem.

Look at the seismic shifts in the industry: The recent acquisition of WebDAM by Bynder. MediaBeacon, being acquired first by NorthPlains and Xinet, and then Esko. And most recently, the acquisition of ADAM software by Aprimo.

This activity is evidence that DAM not only holds the critical position in an organizational content ecosystem, it's maturing, receiving its due praise and being accepted by a wider audience. DAM vendors - large and small, open source, on-premises and cloud - are listening to their users and developing the necessary functionality for the future.

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Digital Transformation – Part VII: The Human-Machine Symbiosis
02/20/2018

By Rod Collins

Over three days from February 14 – 16, 2011, the American public was introduced to the amazing capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) during the telecast of the Jeopardy! IBM Challenge, when IBM’s Watson faced off against Ken Jennings, the holder of the record for the game show’s longest winning streak, and Brad Rutter, Jeopardy!’s all-time money winner. This much-publicized human-versus-machine competition turned out to be no contest at all, as Watson easily beat its human challengers with a score of $77, 147 to Jennings’s $24,000 and Rutter’s $21,600.

With this remarkable victory, the public learned what was once considered science fiction was suddenly scientific reality: computers could interact with humans in intelligent conversation. Watson wasn’t a linear program following a series of pre-planned fixed steps, like a dishwasher. It was an intelligent machine that could absorb spontaneous human communication and could respond sensibly. And what was most impressive is that it could do so far smarter and faster than the long-running game show’s two greatest champions.

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5 Things That Will Make Users Love Their New DAM
02/09/2018

By Chris Rossi

Your company is putting in a new digital asset management (DAM) system. It comes with training materials and documentation from the vendor.

These resources cover basic functionality and the unique features of the system. If users have questions, they should be able to find the answers they need. And since the training docs show users how it all works, you should be good to go, right?

Not exactly.

Adoption rates for a new DAM can be miserable and customizations to improve on this can cost in the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands in some cases with larger enterprises.

No one wants to invest in a DAM only to have it ignored by a wide swath of users.

Fortunately, it’s not that tough to get people to use — and even love — their new DAM. The key is to make sure the DAM’s training materials are tailor-made to your users’ level of understanding and working knowledge.

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SKUs me while we fix this bottleneck.
01/22/2018

For the past 20 years, consumer brand companies have invested in a tremendous ability for their manufacturing and supply chain operations to support agile development and to produce variety.

But in so doing, they’ve accidentally created a bottleneck — their own marketing departments, whose overworked and stressed-out managers are barely able to keep up with the flood of new SKUs.

Fortunately, some senior management teams are waking up and smelling the burn-out.  

These enlightened firms are optimizing tools and automation with the goal of increasing marketing’s ability to meet demand without linearly increasing marketing’s cost. 

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Digital Transformation – Part VI: An Evolutionary Leap in Human Intelligence
01/17/2018

By Rod Collins

“May you live in interesting times,” is an old English expression whose enigmatic meaning can make people wonder whether they’ve been offered a blessing or a curse. Regardless of the apparent well-wisher’s intentions, interesting times are oftentimes a blessing for some and a curse for others. The difference depends upon how capable and how fast people are in recognizing and embracing new ideas and new opportunities.

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Why managing a Consumer Brand is so hard.
01/08/2018

What do consumers want? In a word, more.

More products. More varieties. More formats. More channels. And they want more of everything NOW.

Between multiplying product versions, increasing product line extensions, more varied retail formats and your need to competitively innovate, the number of SKUs you have to support is getting out of control.

And now you suddenly require more branding assets, more creative development and more packaging. Then there’s the need to create brand stories for new specialty markets, such as healthy eating trends (farm-to-table, anyone?), socially responsible business practices and sustainable production in nearly all CPG segments.

Combine the increasing SKUs, the brand story creation — oh, and let’s not forget a changing regulatory environment related to product information transparency — and it’s a hot mess. Don’t even get me started on local market adaptation…

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Digital Transformation – Part V: Blockchain May Be the Future of IT
11/17/2017

By Rod Collins

Morning Star is not your usual company. That’s because the 400-person California-based agribusiness has no supervisors. Rather than relying on the intelligence of an elite few, Morning Star is a highly successful self-managing peer-to-peer network that has skillfully leveraged the “power of many” to sustain its position as the world’s largest tomato processor.

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Digital Transformation – Part IV: The Two Big Jobs To Be Done
10/19/2017

By Rod Collins

One of Peter Drucker’s most popular and enduring business quotes is, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” This advice has never been truer than it is today as the technologies of digital transformation are changing all the rules for how the world works by displacing top-down hierarchies that amplify the “power of one” with more powerful peer-to-peer networks that enable the “power of many.”

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Digital Transformation - Part III: The Internet of Things Changes Everything
09/29/2017

by Rod Collins

In 2006, Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams described in their book Wikinomics how a new phenomenon they called mass collaboration was going to change everything. They recognized that this unprecedented capacity for self-organization would give rise to powerful new models of production based on distributed peer-to-peer networks rather than centralized top-down hierarchies. Tapscott and Williams envisioned a world where this new way of organizing would eventually displace traditional corporate structures as the economy’s dominant engine for wealth creation. At the time, many critics dismissed the two authors as being carried away by breathless hype and overstating the impact of the digital revolution. While these critics acknowledged the obvious reality of fast-paced technological innovation, they scoffed at the notion that new technologies would radically change the fundamental dynamics for how our social structures work.

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Digital Transformation - Part II: Collective Intelligence is the Game Changer
09/18/2017

The science fiction writer William Gibson once astutely observed, “The future has already arrived; it’s just not evenly distributed.” As described in last month’s blog, our future is a digitally transformed world that will usher in an entirely new human epoch where the dominant top-down hierarchical structures of the first 10,000 years of human civilization will rapidly give way to the far more powerful peer-to-peer network architecture that is now possible, practical, and increasingly more pervasive thanks to the proliferation of digital technology. However, despite the increasing evidence of the ascendance of hyper-connectivity, our rapid transformation to a fully networked world remains hidden in plain sight. Although we use our connected iPhones to do Google searches as we step into an Uber car on our way to close a deal we made on eBay, we are in many ways oblivious as to just how radically the world is changing around us.

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Digital Transformation - Part I: It’s All About Networks
07/31/2017

In his recently published book, The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks, Joshua Cooper Ramo relates the story of one the most closely guarded secrets during the early years of the Cold War: If the Soviet Union had engaged in a nuclear first strike, it was highly likely the United States would have been unable to respond. That’s because the American field officers and their commanders in Washington would have had no way to communicate with each other. Consistent with the technology at the time, the American radio and telephone systems were highly centralized, which made them also highly vulnerable. One of the key structural problems of centralized systems is that each regional center has the potential to become a single point of failure that can disrupt the entire system, as often happens when air traffic across a nation is snarled because of unexpected weather at a major hub.

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Nobody is Smarter or Faster Than Everybody
07/04/2017

By Rod Collins

One of the deepest beliefs of command-and-control management is the assumption that the smartest organization is the one with the smartest individuals. This belief is as old as scientific management itself. According to this way of thinking, just as there is a right way to perform every activity, there are right individuals who are essential for defining what are the right things and for making sure that things are done right. Thus, traditional organizations have long held that the key to the successful achievement of the corporation’s two basic accountabilities of strategy and execution is to hire the smartest individual managers and the brightest functional experts.

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