Or so it seems. You can’t follow our industry’s thought leaders without seeing a daily recitation of the value of connected vehicles, internet of things, autonomous vehicles, disruptive business models and customer intimacy with both dealers and end customers.
Interesting stuff. But if you’ve been around as long as I have, much of this has a familiar ring to it.
In 2000, I ran product development and marketing for Siebel’s Automotive business unit, and we were talking about the same things. This became clear the other day when I went into my personal archives to share come content from that time with a friend.
It’s not that we were particularly brilliant, or even visionary. Rather, like all good thought leader wannabes, we listened carefully to our customers – smart, informed professionals who deal with these issues every day. Then we distilled and synthesized what we’d learned into a vision, and sought to map it to capabilities enabled by the solutions we sold. The result was a set ideas I’d be comfortable presenting as current today, with a few minor adaptations.
But does that mean nothing has changed? NO!
Very much has. We talked a lot 15 years ago, and had some successes in call center, captive finance, dealer lead management, and rudimentary CRM marketing. But the technology, as good as we liked to believe it was, remained limiting. Fast forward to 2016. Big data, Cloud, cost-effective Internet of Things, Mobility… the pieces are here now to actually realize what we saw then.
That’s why I’m so excited about the upcoming Best Practices for Automotive conference (http://bestpracticeconferences.com/auto/).
To realize the value of capabilities availble today in driving present value, and as a foundation to create new visions, we need challenging dialog.
This event will deilver by bringing together practitioners, not theoreticians, to discuss what companies like Yazaki, Harley-Davidson, Delphi, BMW, Karma, Local Motors, Ford, GM and others are doing to leverage the benefits of currently available technologies in creating a digital transformation.
Ideas we’ve been pondering for years are dramatically impacting the decisions we make today, and it’s critical to understand what leaders in the industry are doing. Here’s our chance.