The Stellar Trends & Insights Report keeps us at the cutting edge of trends in our industry and in customer experience. It kicks off internal conversations at Stellar about how our clients might be impacted and how we can make improvements to our business to navigate change.
Look out for the Stellar Trends & Insights Report every month on our blog.
Powering the future
Utilities industry innovation supported by funding boost
The Australian Federal Government will provide AU$2.57m in grants for a blockchain-powered smart utilities project to be set up in Fremantle.
The intention of the project is to assess how cities could use blockchain technology combined with data analytics to integrate solar power and water distribution systems on the path to developing ‘smart cities’.
As more interest develops in the blockchain and its potential to streamline operations across several sectors including financial services and utilities, it’s likely that there will be more similar examples being launched on a ‘test and learn’ basis that will hopefully lead to commercialisation if deemed viable.
Knight Rider 2017
Automotive innovations driving customer experience improvement
Ford is transforming itself into a mobility solutions provider through an app called FordPass. The app will allow some models to remote unlock, check fuel levels, and even schedule when to start.
Additionally Hyundai has introduced a Shopper Assurance program that will allow buyers to handle most of the purchase process online.
For an industry that has relied heavily on face-to-face customer interaction for decades, such initiatives are likely to be disruptors to the skills required by the traditional dealer salesforce. It will be interesting to see if such technology ends up being a major differentiator in growing market share in comparison to other factors that drive car purchases (no pun intended!).
Taking credit for innovation
New Australian technology hub for major global financial services company
Mastercard is opening a tech and innovation centre in Sydney in mid-2018. It will focus on artificial intelligence, blockchain, natural language processing and robotics capabilities, and co-create with customers and local start-ups on payment technologies. This will be an addition to existing technology hubs in the US, India and Ireland.
Co-creation is a trend that we expect to see more and more often, as more companies launch experience or innovation centres for developing products in a more agile way in conjunction with their customers or supplier partners.