The proliferation of digital services has forever changed the business landscape, and heads of large B2B companies are starting to wrap their heads around what was once a very fragmented marketplace as the pieces have come together. To make sense of it all requires a partner well versed in digital, with tested methodologies to help clients get maximum value out of their digital investments. Consulting caught up with Revel Consulting CEO Vikas Kamran to talk about the huge opportunities in this $2 trillion industry.
Consulting: How has digital changed the way B2B companies operate globally?
Kamran: Over the last eight years, cloud or SaaS or Hardware as a service has basically commoditized the data center play, it’s commoditized what it takes to really build an application and get it out to customers, so now a lot of them are dealing with the struggles every day of how to stay in front of their market, how to remain relevant, and really thinking about what is the continual energy they need to put forth to understand the long tail as it exists in the digital marketplace considering there are so many competitors. Revel’s entire community model that supports our business is really built on that context of digital disruption, the innovation flywheel allows us to continually build, store and release the relevant energy into our engagements, so when we’re talking to B2B customers, irrespective of whether they’re a hardware or software vendor, we can truly get in there with our process and help them remain relevant in a world that changes by the second. So our goal is to operate by the millisecond. Our community process allows us to do that from a traditional consulting perspective.
Consulting: What was behind the timing of Revel’s pivot into digital transformation?
Kamran: The pivot is more about validation of the community model we’ve built and how we’ve seen it come to life across several Fortune 1000 customers. If you look at the guiding principles of Revel we started on the premise to remove the bureaucracy and layers that exist in the traditional consulting model because at some point we thought the consulting world itself would be disrupted and long gone would be the business model built on scale and repeatability and focused more on creativity and uniqueness. So we knew the first building block would have been let’s build a shared consulting model, and internally let’s start building out the expertise around cloud and what that really means to the large organizations that have been wildly successful in Information Technology. Once we start to gain a lot of confidence around those we’ll start to introduce our innovation flywheel, which sits within each community and start bringing that to life. We started to then test with our customers what that model would look like, and once a lot of leaders started to understand why we were building the model that way, we’ve stayed persistent and relentless in our focus and said we’re not going to build our model based on scale and repeatability but instead remain committed to creativity and uniqueness. We started to get a lot of stickiness and said now let’s truly get the word out there, evangelize the model that is working now that we have empirical evidence across multiple case studies where if we can sit down with leaders, bring them into our community philosophies, great things happen quickly so they can remain relevant and top of mind of customers rather than being distracted by so many options.
Consulting: What are the big consulting opportunities you see arising out of this?
Kamran: The consulting opportunity is massive. Every organization has made a commitment to start with the human first across the organization. Microsoft and Adobe are great case studies where the CEOs came out in front and said let’s first visit our people internally, because if we can truly activate them in an empathetic and authentic way, by default they’ll start to care about the end customer and lead with empathy as well. So as you go through A/B testing or think about the products we want to build, we’re truly thinking about the day in the life of the customer journey. That starts to then bleed in in a really authentic, organic way versus sitting in conference rooms pontificating on what the customers would want.
Consulting: What are some of the biggest risks clients face undergoing digital transformation efforts?
Kamran: There are three pillars we start with: desirability, viability and feasibility. When you look at desirability, the desire to innovate is there. It’s common sense; everything wants to grow in the right way for the customer’s value creation and service. What we desire may not be viable or feasible depending on the size of the organization, the commitment and the human readiness of the organization. Unless you are a leader who truly believes in a culture of community, it becomes very difficult to shift their mindset. The number one stumbling block is a lot of these companies that have become incredibly successful treat short-term volatility with a lagging the sector mindset versus short-term volatility for the greater good of the future of the organization.