Dealerships bleed too much data

The franchise system in the U.S. operates the way it does because of actions taken and adaptations made by auto dealers for more than a century.

That seems an anomaly since dealership activities are controlled by contracts written by automakers. Still, the distribution and servicing system of independent dealer owners has been resilient through two significant phases of evolution.

The first lasted 50 years. Control was exclusively in the hands of the manufacturers, which had contracts with dealer owners that allowed terminations without cause. The second phase started in the 1950s as dealers used their political power and an alignment with consumer interests to get the federal Automobile Dealers’ Day in Court Act passed.

We are now entering a new phase. In it, dealers’ attention to their intellectual data assets will play a key role in determining how the distribution system will operate.

But today, dealerships are both physical spaces and digital efforts. And with that change, the historical marketing roles of dealers are being threatened.

The digital world challenges dealers’ capabilities for gathering and analyzing market insight faster than other data acquirers. Every marketing company wants to have the customer information that’s generated at the retail level.

Other companies hook up directly or indirectly to dealership customer data and use the information for purposes other than helping dealers build and strengthen their retail brands.

So how are dealers allowing others to get access to their customer files?

The flow of customer data from a dealership is opaque. Too often, it’s not even under a dealer owner’s control. Data are pulled from dealership management systems. Dealers and their managers sign contracts giving companies complete data access. And some of those companies reuse the data or combine the data with other third parties to relate directly with consumers.

And it’s not just operational information. Streams of customer-behavior data are being created from social media. Vehicles are spewing data about how they’re being used and serviced.

All that information can benefit dealers. Yet dealers must know how to dig insight from it. New capabilities at the retail level or purchased from trusted allies also will have to help dealers turn the market insights into action.

Dealers, therefore, need trusted partners. If dealers are bypassed by companies or their franchisors and left with only the operational descriptive data sets, they will miss out on ways to monetize their valuable data.

Even worse, other parties with access to their dealership customer data could communicate with dealership customers or future customers about their vehicle needs. Once that happens, the historic role of the franchised dealership will shrink.

What can dealers do? They can start by controlling who has access to their data. To do that, they should:

• Question everyone with that access about the direct benefit the dealership is getting.

• Ask for complete transparency about parties that may be getting data indirectly from companies with direct access to a dealership management system.

• Determine what fees are being charged to get the data and balance those with any benefit.

• Deny access to any company that will not be transparent or is not giving any reports that help build a retail brand.

With new ways to predict consumer behavior, the marketing and relationship roles of dealerships should become stronger, especially as society moves toward mobility services.

But that will happen only if franchised dealers manage to avoid opening their valuable data files to those who want to replace dealers in that frontline customer-relationship role.



Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday launched the AP Purse mobile app, which presently has 13 mobile banking and 10 mobile wallets available and can help people pay their bills and carry out their cash transactions.

Speaking on the occasion, Naidu said people should opt for mobile banking to come out of the present small currency crisis.

The government will encourage people including students to improve digital financial literacy among people. He said the government will provide incentives to the agents named ‘Marpu Nestam’.

Also Read: Demonetisation helps Amazon clock triple-digit growth, says Amit Agarwal

Naidu said engineering students would be encouraged to train people in mobile banking transactions using several wallets, adding this would help the students to earn while learn. The government would recognise the services of engineering colleges and students for their service to society at the time of currency crisis.

The Chief Minister said that the state government introduced cashless transactions at fair price shops and completed the 70 per cent of transactions using Aadhar linkage to provide relief to people suffering from shortage of small currency.

He said that the state government has been making efforts to solve the currency crisis and the situation likely to improve soon. He said that Rs 2,472 crore is available with banks and the state will receive Rs 1,100 crore on Wednesday.

Naidu said that as a convener of the committee on post demonetisation crisis and digital transactions, he would head a meeting scheduled to be held at Mumbai on December 8 and discuss the problems being faced by people for small currency and alternative measures to be adopted to ease the situation.


KIA to partially close flight operations for 3 months next year

  • BENGALURU: The Kempegowda International Airport will not have flights landing and taking off between 10:30am and 5pm from February 19 to April 30, 2017. This is to facilitate upgradation work in the existing runway.On Saturday, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) in its official communique said operations at the airport will be partially closed for three months next year. The runway will be partially closed during the rehearsals and show timings of the Aero India 2017.Authorities have worked out the flight schedules in the hours preceding and following the closure each day during this period with the Air Traffic Control and all the airline companies that operate in KIA, with the approval of the civil aviation ministry, the statement said.The plan is to build two rapid exit taxiways (RETs) under the existing runway to enhance air traffic movement from 38 per hour to 48 per hour.

TDR files stuck with government for over a year as developers await new policy

BENGALURU: Several real estate projects, that translate into hundreds of crores in investment, have been stuck within the corridors of Vidhana Soudha for the past 14 months.

The reason being cited is that the state government has informally directed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) — the two sanctioning agencies — to reserve approvals for projects, which involve transfer of development rights (TDR), until a new policy is rolled out.

“About 1,000 TDR files are pending with civic agencies, awaiting approval. Since September 2015, not a single one has been cleared, jeopardising our investments. When we seek explanations from officials, they claim that the files are pending before Bengaluru development minister KJ George,” said sources from the realty sector.

Additional chief secretary for the urban development department, Mahendra Jain said that the new TDR policy was getting delayed owing to “inevitable reasons”, adding that the government was “trying to expedite the process, and will soon take a final call.”

The state government has been acquiring private property for infrastructure development, particularly for road-widening projects, and giving those who lose their land TDRs, especially in Bengaluru. “The delay in sanctioning TDR files, and implementation of the new policy is causing undue hardship to builders and investors. The state government should walk the extra mile to make these rules effective, easy and implementable,” said VK Jagadish Babu, president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI), Karnataka.

Earlier thsi week, industries minister RV Deshpande pointed out that the failure to approve construction and building plans quickly was hurting the state’s ability to draw investments. He added that this was one of the reasons for Karnataka falling from the ninth position to the 14th im the ease of doing business (EoDB) index.

However, the proposed TDR policy has developers worried since they fear that the new rules could end up making redevelopment projects unviable. TDR is a vital tool for builders because it gives them construction rights over and above the normal floor space index (FSI), which is permitted when they construct or redevelop buildings on busy avenues. A TDR is generated when the developer or owner surrenders land to the government, in return for which a certificate that provides additional construction rights in the area or zone of the plot that has been surrendered.

Is the price right?

The stories doing the rounds are that ticket prices will be doubled. A leading multiplex operator says, “We are looking at an increase of Rs. 30 to Rs. 50 from the present ticket price of Rs.120. Due to low ticket prices and the craze for cinema, Tamil Nadu has the highest footfalls among multiplexes in India. We would like to maintain that with a small correction in pricing. But remember that Chennai city ticket rates will never ever be as high as other metro cities, such as Mumbai or Bangalore. But more than anything, we are looking at flexi ticket pricing (different pricing for weekends and normal working days) and also flexibility to have a number of shows, depending on demand and supply.”

Tamil Nadu exhibitors, distributors and producers feel that the Kerala model is best suited for Tamil Nadu. In Kerala, there is a flat entertainment tax, irrespective of content or language, flexible ticket pricing and a single window for theatre licensing. In fact, from 408 screens in 2014, the numbers have gone up to 516 by September 30, 2016. National multiplex operators are falling over each other in their attempts to acquire screens in a State, where nearly 15 screens are run by the State Government. Now, the Kerala government is insisting on total computerisation by theatres and transparency in box-office collections, which is being opposed by vested interests within the industry.

Theatre owners feel that any film brings in 85 to 90 per cent (depending on the star cast) of the film’s total collection in the first three days. So, if a film does not do well, then the stake holders should be given leeway to sell tickets at discounted rates.

But for some single screens outside Chennai city limits, it just does not matter, as they have been selling tickets at higher rates in connivance with local authorities. For multiplex operators, there are other revenue streams. More than 50 per cent of their profits come from concessions (food, beverages, advertisements, hosting promotional events, parking etc). Chennai is the only city where combo deals (popcorn + cola) cost more than the ticket. The lucrative online advance booking, for which most theatres charge Rs.30 per ticket, has become a bone of contention between exhibitors and the trade. The Tamil Film Producers Council has been repeatedly asking multiplexes to share this amount with them, as Internet booking now accounts for almost 80 per cent of the total sales in Chennai city.

Meanwhile, mutually agreeable deals are being secretly worked out between the theatre association and the officials concerned, to go with the court ruling. The idea is for a marginal increase in ticket rates without burning a hole in the audiences’ pocket.

IIM Bangalore Vs IIM Ahmedabad: Which institute to choose?

It’s that time of the year when lakhs of MBA aspirants would gear up to vie for places in the top MBA institutes in the country. With CAT 2016 approaching, we at bring to you the ultimate MBA Guide. Our endeavour is to help you make the best decisions. Needless to say, the first up is the comparison between the top MBA institutes in the country – IIM Ahmedabad vs. IIM Bangalore. Both rank in the top MBA colleges of the country and the world, both offer excellent options and both have in the past delivered the leaders of today. So as you prepare, here is a quick look at the two IIMs and how they stack up against each other.  The aspirants need to be aware about the fee structure, faculty, placements and other important details.


It is important to note that the faculty is good in both IIM Bangalore and IIM Ahmedabad.  It is believed that the faculty for marketing is better in IIM Ahmedabad.  The Faculty members at IIM B generate knowledge through research in all functional areas of management that would benefit public and private sector companies, and government and society in general. Many text books and working papers are written on a regular basis.  As per official information the research carried out by IIMB is used to augment new courses and executive education programs while the Faculty members of IIM B  are active and regular participants in international conferences and symposia. They are known for their contribution to international journals and collaborate with a broad range of agencies to develop and execute consultancy projects. The faculty members of IIM B serve on executive committees and policy formulation boards of a rich variety of organizations in both private and public domains. These include corporations, financial institutions, cooperative societies, NGOs, academic institutions and international agencies such as FAO, World Bank, and WTO.

Cognitive mobility in Auto industry

GENERAL Motors and IBM announced a partnership to bring the power of OnStar and IBM Watson together to create OnStar Go, the auto industry’s first cognitive mobility platform. Starting in early 2017, OnStar is expected to give millions of GM drivers the ability to connect and interact with their favorite brands. The platform will deliver personalized content through the dashboard and other digital channels supported by the OnStar Go ecosystem to make the most of time spent in the car.

Combining OnStar’s industry leading vehicle connectivity and data capabilities with IBM Watson APIs will create experiences that allow drivers and passengers to achieve greater levels of efficiency and safety. These experiences could include avoiding traffic when you’re low on fuel, then activating a fuel pump and paying from the dash; ordering a cup of coffee on the go; or getting news and in-vehicle entertainment tailored to your personality and location in real time.

“On average, people in the US spend more than 46 minutes per day in their car* and are looking for ways to optimize their time,” said Phil Abram, Executive Director, GM Connected Products and Strategy. “By leveraging OnStar’s connectivity and combining it with the power of Watson, we’re looking to provide safer, simpler and better solutions to make our customers’ mobility experience more valuable and productive.”

The GM/IBM partnership will expand the existing OnStar AtYourService offers and deals platform by launching new capabilities supported by OnStar Go with IBM Watson. These capabilities will be available in more than two million 4G LTE connected vehicles and millions of GM vehicle brand app-enabled mobile devices in the US by the end of 2017.

With the customer’s consent, Watson will learn the driver’s preferences, apply machine learning and sift through data to recognize patterns in their decisions and habits. This information will allow brand and marketing professionals working with IBM and OnStar to deliver individualized location-based interactions that directly impact their target audiences. Companies in retail, fuel, hospitality, media and entertainment, restaurants and travel and transportation and more can use OnStar Go to build individualized mobile, in-vehicle experiences for a growing population of connected drivers that opt-in.

The new cognitive mobility platform enables brands to design Watson-enabled consumer experiences. Examples of potential uses include:

– OnStar Go taps Watson Personality Insights and Watson Conversation APIs to remind a working father to pick up diapers and formula at the pharmacy a few miles before his exit, so he won’t have to leave the house again once he gets home.

– The platform employs Watson Tradeoff Analytics to give a traveling foodie dining recommendations from celebrity chefs when driving in a new city.

– Watson Retrieve and Rank, used by OnStar Go, lets the driver know that their order is ready for pickup at a nearby retail store and one of the store’s employees will load their purchases into the car.

“IBM and GM are changing the whole notion of where valuable, daily rituals occur. The combination of IBM Watson and industry-leading OnStar connectivity will enable vehicles with intelligent branded skills and services to empower drivers and passengers,” said Paul Papas, Global Leader, IBM iX. “Simply put, OnStar Go with IBM Watson transforms time wasted in the car into time well spent.”

ExxonMobil, Glympse, iHeartRadio, Mastercard and Parkopedia are the first brands to join the platform.

– ExxonMobil will use the cognitive mobility platform to help drivers quickly locate Exxon and Mobil retail fuel stations, recommend the best fuel and lubricant product for their vehicle, and authorize fuel payment from inside the vehicle. Consumers can even pay for a car wash or, when away from their car, get notified when they are low on fuel.

– As a location technology partner in the cognitive mobility platform, Glympse enables consumers and businesses to manage customized real-time location sharing with anyone on any device.

– iHeartRadio will use Watson insights from OnStar Go to curate personalized experiences that leverage on-air personalities and local content from radio stations across the US Drivers will be invited to share information from their calendars, social graph, location, music preferences and more, to create dynamic and locally relevant entertainment experiences only available through the power of radio.

– Mastercard will enable drivers and passengers to safely make simple, secure and seamless payments for goods and services from the comfort of their cars. By integrating the security of Mastercard tokenization platform – Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) – and Masterpass digital payment service within OnStar Go, Mastercard will enable consumers to complete transactions using credit or debit cards stored in their Masterpass wallets.

– Parkopedia will provide detailed parking spot information – including opening hours and up-to-date prices as well as booking and payment capabilities. Drivers find, reserve and pay for parking all at the click of a button.

The cognitive mobility platform was designed and developed by IBM iX in conjunction with OnStar, using iX’s expertise in experience and mobile design. iX is also working with GM to design OnStar’s intuitive, touch screen interfaces for consumers on the go. The Weather Company, an IBM Company, will provide rich weather and location data to support personalized targeting and warnings about driving conditions.

GM began the connected vehicle revolution 20 years ago with the launch of OnStar and has more connected vehicles on the road than any other automaker. By the end of 2016, GM expects to have 12 million OnStar connected vehicles on the road worldwide. — SG

What digital transformation already means for your business and what it will mean

We are at an inflection point as digital transformation efforts shift from ‘project’ or ‘initiative’ status to strategic business imperative (Frank Gens)

Whereas digital transformation has always been about “the profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way”, within a holistic perspective, as we use to call it (and not about digital marketing as I so often see), digital transformation and the nascent DX economy will impact and shape the entire macro economy, IDC’s Frank Gens said in the first FutureScape 2017 webinar.

Why will it reshape the macro economy?

Organizations as digital natives: when DX moves to the core of business

First of all because it will not be about specific projects or business units anymore but because it will move to the core of business and how organizations operate.

Or as Frank Gens put it: all companies will be digital natives. I’m sure that stretches further than many think.

The accelerating acceleration of innovation accelerators

Secondly, because acceleration is accelerating faster. Come again? Allow me to explain.

Global digital transformation investment will reach $2.2 trillion in 2019.

We talked about the pillars of the third platform before (the SMAC stack, although now it’s often called the SMACIT stack: social, mobile, analytics, cloud and the internet of Things). We also mentioned how, on top of the pillars of the third platform, a range of innovation accelerators were added when IDC talked about the DX economy end of last year.

Well, the growth of these accelerators is moving way faster than the mentioned pillars. Simply said: if you believe that organizations were ‘disrupted’ by the fast growing adoption of social, mobile, cloud and (big data) analytics, to stick with the original pillars, all those accelerators will affect your business ecosystem even much faster.

As a reminder, these accelerators include AI and cognitive systems, next generation security (with, among others blockchain), AR/VR, the Internet of Things, robotics, 3D printing, you name it.

Business leaders need to understand technologies better

For any business leader it’s crucial to understand these technologies. And that is not new at all. You just need to be more aware and be able to speak with your CIO and understand what these technologies do, mean and will mean.

You don’t have to be able to create a distributed ledger (there will be many blockchains, far beyond the Bitcoin and financial context) but you need to understand what it is, how it impacts your market and what it can do – and at the very least know what it is because it’s coming your way.

You don’t need to know the details of fog computing or be able to set up a LoRaWAN IoT application but you need to understand what the Internet of things can do and that it’s not about wearables but about real business, whether it concerns the Consumer Internet of Things or the Industrial Internet of Things.

 Brands that makes success

People buy form people and companies that they know, like and trust. Social media has made it easier than ever to establish personal relationships with large numbers of customers and prospects quickly and for very little cost. Brands that understand this and are investing in creating a more authentic and humanized marketing experience will be the clear winners in 2015.In 2017 there is updation towards digitalization.This will involve putting relationships ahead of sales, and building connections rather than simply promoting products. Brands that focus on building community and providing amazing content via social media will be the clear front-runners.

Keywords plays a pivotal role.

For the Content writers and SEO experts know that by user intent we mean the intent behind keyword, what users are really looking for when they type specific keywords in a search engine bar. As time goes by, some things remain the same in the digital arena, and one of them is the importance of user intent. Rank Brain introduced new priorities for SEO experts and content writers, as Google now values user intent more than just plain keywords. In 2017, the focus in content writing will be serving user intent.

 Program Ahead Of Release Of New Ti zen Smartphones for Samsung phones

Samsung is planning to introduce new Tizen OS-running smartphones next year. As part of its preparations, it has launched an incentive program for app developers to create more applications for the Linux-based operating system.

According to VentureBeat, Samsung has decided to create the Tizen Mobile App Incentive Program as part of its efforts to increase the number of apps available for Tizen devices. Through this incentive program, app developers can earn $10,000 for an app that manages to emerge as part of the top 100 most-downloaded apps list on the Tizen Store.

Each month, developers can earn cash prizes as long as their apps continue to be among the most successful applications on the Tizen Store. The incentives will be available starting in February 2017 and will last until October of the same year. This just means that Samsung is willing to spend $1 million each month for nine consecutive months just to ensure that its Tizen Store will be filled with quality apps.