Today’s interview is with Leon Gauhman, Elsewhen’s Director of Product and Strategy. Leon joins me today to talk about why enterprise software and particularly enterprise CX software is still so terrible, the power of the umbrella in the age of Unix philosophy, why we should all be focusing on delighting our customers, why beautiful and functional is the highest degree of problem solving and also what we can learn from Mr Potato-head!
This interview follows on from my recent interview – A Center-Out business architecture enables better and more empathetic customer experiences – Interview with Don Schuerman of Pega – and is number 347 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
Here’s the highlights of my chat with Leon:
- So much enterprise software is still eye-wateringly terrible.
- Software historically is built around processes.
- Even now it is still designed kind of inside out.
- There is a consumerisation of software going on but it’s not really reaching into enterprises as fast as it should be.
- The reason behind that is that the enterprise B2B space has inherited a slow replacement cycle.
- It’s not as fast paced and as ruthless and punishable as the consumer space.
- Organizations and enterprises need to dig out a lot of weeds and roots and everything else to make the changes that they want.
- If you’re not helping your staff, your team and your employees and giving them the right sort of tools and support in order to deliver the right sort of experience that you want to deliver for your customers then it almost feels like you’re driving with a handbrake on.
- Taking an umbrella approach as SAP, Oracle and Salesforce have taken is different to and incompatible with the the UNIX approach and that is where computing is heading.
- When developing enterprise software you need to be very ruthless about what you can build and what you should buy while also being very clear about the tradeoffs involved.
- What are the fundamentals and the basics we need to do for our customers?
- Software is a Bauhaus rather than an Art Deco style of architecture. It is functional first, then beautiful.
- Software needs to be synergistic with how people work.
- Given how technology and science is developing there is going to be a lot of ethical questions in the near future that will need to be answered.
- Mr Potato Head is a great metaphor for our brain and consciousness.
- Leon’s best advice: One of the most important things to come to terms with is that you need to pay. You need to pay the dividend of prioritising and saying I’m going to put my customers first. That may cause pain in the organisation but you decide you are going to take that.
- I think that we are moving from a place where data is consider an unexplored asset to a place where we will be drowning in data.
- Start with the end in mind and understand what data you need to deliver the things that we want to deliver.
- Leon’s Punk CX word: democratisation of means and allotments.
- Leon’s Punk CX brand: fiverr
Leon Gauhman is Elsewhen’s Director of Product and Strategy. Drawing on his extensive technical, creative and business expertise, Leon leads product teams, guiding them through the entire product lifecycle from identifying the market opportunity, developing a business case, designing and prototyping ideas, through to building a product and taking it to market. He works with the C-suite at FTSE 100 companies, advising startups and mentoring incubators like Seedcamp and Wayra on everything from innovation strategy, design and CX, to engineering and operations.
Elsewhen is a digital product consultancy which delivers world class, consumer-grade CX to clients including Google, Microsoft, Bupa, Citibank, Pollen Street Capital, Mastercard and Go Compare.
Leon is a keen surfer, has a black belt in Aikido and is also a Zen practitioner. Originally trained as an artist, he’s a self-taught polyglot software engineer. At Elsewhen, he blends his technical expertise, creativity and business acumen to work with our teams on continuously developing new ideas and strategies that deliver real value for clients.