What is a Business Moment and why you should care?

As companies start gaining stronger maturity in their digital transformation strategy, I think it’s time to think forward to what Gartner calls a “Business Moment”.

A Business Moment is a “transient opportunity, exploited dynamically”.

A transient opportunity means that this is only for a limited period of time. Consider for example a passenger stepping off the plane at the airport. This is transient opportunity as he will leave the airport shortly. There are a lot of uncovered opportunities there :

  • a taxi company can ping the passenger to offer a ride with a premium service or a coupon
  • a bank can inform the passenger on their closest ATM nearby
  • a food chain can offer a special welcome menu

Life period of a Business Moment

We can see that this Situational Awareness offers many great opportunities that need to be seized in a very short time period. Picture below shows how the value of a Business Moment diminishes over time. We can see that the Business Moment is worth nothing after a short time. If we take our previous example, there is no more value in the mentioned services once the person leaves the airport.

The 3 actors of a Business Moment

To participate to a Business Moment, companies need to think how they can exploit the connection of people, business and things in order to innovate for entirely new scenarios.

  • People: What are the scenarios which consumers or employees are involved in?
  • Business: What businesses – both the company and external business – are involved and how are they enabled with technology?
  • Things: Which technology can be leveraged to to generate the data needed to capture the Business Moment and provide a contextualized response?

How to exploit a Business Moment?

Exploiting these Business Moments requires first that you know about the context: how do I identify and reach out to travelers arriving at the airport?

There are in my opinion two ways of doing it:

  • either you have a partnership with the telecom provider and push a message once the person has just been roaming and is now localized as new in the area.
  • or you partner with a mobile app provider whose app is massively used by travelers – such as Uber – and own the customer relationship.

In both cases, your system will receive a notification and you will be able to process it in your system to correlate it with information in your CRM in order to issue the right offer.

As opposed to many, I believe companies don’t need complex event processing technologies to seize opportunities of business moments. Complex technology consisting in collecting tons of events will be owned in the future by just a very few, the ones owning the customer relationship when the Business Moment occurs.

The magic of the Business Moments is that no one can claim owning the customer relationship permanently. Once the traveler arrives at his hotel, the hotel will start owning the customer relationship thanks to the interactive TV in the room and the complimentary Wifi network. And once he will arrive at the office, his business calendar provider could own it in turn …

There are plenty of opportunities just there waiting, it’s just up to up to seize them first.

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