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Making B2B software that’s friction free

A smart, agile, intuitive software designed for the business teams of the 21st Century in mind is the only place to start.

A trend has swept through business to business software over the last few years bringing many of the attributes of consumer applications into the workplace.

Following the cue of Netflix, multi-screen TV service providers have finally recognised that reliance on exclusive content is no longer sufficient to win and that a personalised, responsive, comfortable UEX is at least as valuable in attracting loyal subscribers.

Likewise, the consumerisation of B2B addresses changing client and workforce expectations by becoming seamlessly integrated with user experience design. Speed, access and shareability are core attributes that have been transplanted from Apple and Android app experiences into e-commerce.

But while other areas of e-commerce have evolved to offer excellent user interfaces and top-class analytics that benefit all parties, entertainment distribution simply hasn’t kept pace.

This side of the industry remains stuck in clunky, siloed, digital unfriendly technologies.

Spreadsheets are an amazing tool that have given business a degree of accountability and calculation they could never achieve before. But no executive would say they want to run their business in future solely on Excel.

The future of B2B software delivers on the expectation to use digital tools and insights that make it easier for marketers to compare brands, products and features at each stage of the content journey.

A big part of what’s driving this trend is generational. Millennials (those between the ages of 23 and 38 in 2019) are the largest cohort in the US workforce, at 56 million, according to this report [https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/11/millennials-largest-generation-us-labor-force/]. Millennials expect to be able to share information and collaborate with colleagues, easily. Their ideal work tools are optimised for mobile, a format that slots into flexible arrangements including working remotely and hot desking.

The hallmark of the successful consumer app is a UEX design which gets you to where you need to go in the fewest clicks. It has to be super intuitive, something that your marketing and operations teams don’t need any special training to be able to pick up and use.

In reality, the entertainment business involves tremendous complexity.  Customers have sophisticated supply chains with complicated rights management rules and elaborate back end systems. So, while we want to create a consumer-like experience in B2B, we have to do that in the context of inherent complexity.

For example, rather than laboriously going into every page of a VoD store for some idea of how your titles are being promoted – and then inputting that into a spreadsheet – the user interface, whether for iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime or any other VoD service, might be rebuilt on a platform with all the tools for ease of navigation. What’s more, it will automatically serve analytical insights about your content.

As it stands a lack of meaningful insights and the need for richer real time feedback is harming the ability of content owners to generate returns on their increasingly large content investments and video service operator’s ability to compete with vastly more agile SVoD players.

A smart, agile, intuitive software designed for the business teams of the 21st Century in mind is the only place to start.

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