Bell and Howell’s Winning Formula for Digital | Future of Field Service
Digital Transformation

Bell and Howell’s Winning Formula for Digital

Dr. Haroon Abbu, Vice President of Digital, Data, and Analytics at Bell and Howell and co-author of the 2021 book Trust: The Winning Formula for Digital Leaders, a Practical Guide for Digital Transformation talks with Sarah about the differences between digitally mature and digitally developing organizations.

Sarah Nicastro: Welcome to the Future of Field Service podcast. I’m your host, Sarah Nicastro. Today, we’re going to be talking about all things digital, data, and analytics. I’m excited to be joined today by Dr. Haroon Abbu, who is the Vice President of Digital, Data and Analytics at Bell and Howell, as well as co-author of the 2021 book, Trust: The Winning Formula for Digital Leaders, A Practical Guide for Digital Transformation. Haroon, welcome to the Future of Field Service podcast.

Haroon Abbu: Thank you. And great to be here, Sarah.

Sarah Nicastro: Yes. I’m excited to have you. Alright. So before we dig into some of the points we want to be sure to cover today, tell our listeners just a little bit more about yourself, your background, your role at Bell and Howell, that sort of thing.

Haroon Abbu: Glad to. My name is Haroon Abbu. I’m the Vice President of Digital, Data and Analytics at Bell and Howell, which is headquartered in Triangle Park in North Carolina. I’ve been with Bell and Howell for the last 12 years. If you don’t know, Bell and Howell is a technology enabled services company with over 850 service engineers. Bell and Howell services industrial equipment from mail automation to robotics with a large install base in North America spanning multiple OEMs. The company also delivers comprehensive solution for retail click-and-collect grocery, pharmacy automation, and production mail industries. Currently I’m focusing on transforming the company through analytics and digital technologies, such as IOT, machine learning, artificial intelligence and field service automation. My team is building digital service offerings, such as remote monitoring by connecting both Legacy and new equipment through log file sensors, et cetera, and processing them in real-time in order to provide prescriptive insights and recommendation to our field service technicians.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay, excellent. So can you talk to me a little bit, Haroon, about what drew you to the field of digital transformation?

Haroon Abbu: Yeah, it’s a great question. My undergraduate degree is in industrial engineering. I was always fascinated with operational improvements and efficiency gains, which my, which drove my choice of major. Then I did my MBA and M.S. in Engineering Management with intention of working in a managerial role in manufacturing. Right after my graduation, at that time, I worked in a company that was transitioning from print production to audio cassette manufacturing, and then to the manufacturing of compact discs and DVDs. So in that company, I saw firsthand how a company can be disrupted by rapid changes in technology and can eventually go under if it cannot keep up with the speed of innovation.

Haroon Abbu: When I started at Bell and Howell, I quickly witnessed the same challenge, which is transitioning from a Legacy Mail equipment manufacturing company, into state-of-the-art technology enabled services company, as well as a solution provider for cutting edge technologies in click-and-collect business. While working at Bell and Howell, I also pursued my Ph.D. on digital transformation, where I studied, how physical companies digitally transform themselves. I strongly believe that digital transformation, when done right, can add tremendous value to an organization in number of ways.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. No, it’s a really exciting field. I actually recently wrote an article. I’ve had a few people in the last couple months ask me, “Do you think we should still be using the term digital transformation?” Right? And-

Haroon Abbu: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sarah Nicastro: … So I sort of reflected on that in the article because I do get where they’re coming from and there’s a couple different points that have been made. One is some people perceive that they have already transformed in the instance of the initial migration to a digital ecosystem.

Haroon Abbu: Right.

Sarah Nicastro: And then, is transformation the appropriate word if we’re really talking about something that’s more of an ongoing continual effort? What are your thoughts on that?

Haroon Abbu: Definitely. It’s not digital transformation because it’s table stakes. All companies need to go through digital transformation. We nowadays effort to has just digital. It’s companies, how companies can innovate their business models using digital technologies-

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: … Because digital actually magnifies the traditional metrics. In the olden days, if you’re getting one X return on something, once we have the backbone under digital systems, then the impact is multifold because-

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: … The investment is already made, then it’s basically scaling up from there.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So it’s basically how companies can use digital in their strategy.

Sarah Nicastro: Right.

Haroon Abbu: There is no business strategy in digital strategy because digital is the strategy.

Sarah Nicastro: Right.

Haroon Abbu: Because if they don’t have digital, then it’s very difficult to manage your business going forward.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. So what I said was, “You could call it the digital journey. You could call it the digital…” What was the other term I used? Something like that. The problem is-

Haroon Abbu: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: … People hate all of those words. Do you know what I mean? There’s always someone that says, “Oh, I’m sick of journey” or “I’m sick of transformation” or whatever. And at the end of the day, it really isn’t so much what we call it, but a common understanding within the business that digital is an imperative part of the business and the strategy. Right? And I kind of laid it out into a continuum just based on the stories that I’ve heard and helped tell over a number of years of how companies tend to progress through that.

Haroon Abbu: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: I think honestly the definition and that common understanding can be a challenge in and of itself for businesses. What are some of the other ways you see companies struggling to really succeed with digital?

Haroon Abbu: Yeah. So digital, the classic definition that I use is it’s the process of using digital technologies to create or modify business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet the changing business and market requirements, right? So it’s basically a fundamental change in the organization’s mindset, systems, data, and tools, all that need to be together, needed to reposition the entire company and company’s business model. So we, when I say we, I basically, it’s the research teams that I work with at innovation departments of two prestigious universities. One is Business Analytics Initiative of North Carolina State University, which is headquartered here, which is located in Raleigh. And Innovation Department at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. So we first studied the phenomenon of digital transformation through an extensive survey that we designed called Patterns of Digitization survey. So this survey examined every aspect of digital and how it is implemented.

Haroon Abbu: We looked at over 500 companies, their business strategies, how they allocate resources, their design practices, et cetera. In addition to that technology angle, we also analyzed the people side of things, what we call soft skills-

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: … How their leaders communicate, how they build trust in their teams, et cetera. And what we realized, or what we saw was that companies fall into two distinct groups. One is digitally developing companies. The other one is digitally mature. Far majority of those 500 companies where digitally developing versus digitally mature companies. The companies that focus mainly on technology rather than cultural and mindset aspects of digital are really struggling to implement it.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. That makes sense. Absolutely. And there’s so many layers to this where you realize that it’s also about incorporating new skill sets, right? So the role that you’ve taken on and in Bell and Howell is a really good example of dedicating more resource, energy, and effort to this practice. Right? And, sometimes I think companies struggle to figure out how they need to digitally advance without recognizing some of the new and different skill sets that are necessary within the organization to really go as far as they need to. Does that make sense?

Haroon Abbu: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah.

Haroon Abbu: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: While also to your point, making sure that the incumbent people are understanding the evolution and bought into where the company is going and the introduction of different tools or different ways of measurement or different practices of making business decisions. All of the things that come from, not just the introduction of the digital tools, but as reflected in your title, the result of that is the data you didn’t have access to before. And, the way that you can analyze the business in ways that you couldn’t do prior. Right? So there’s the idea of digital tools is really the beginning of this journey, not the finish line. Right?

Haroon Abbu: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah.

Haroon Abbu: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: So if you look at a company that you consider digitally mature, who has done a really good job at this-

Haroon Abbu: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sarah Nicastro: … Versus someone earlier on in the process maybe a bit of a laggard or someone that still has quite a bit of work to do to digitally transform, what would you say would be the key differences that would sort of surface between those businesses?

Haroon Abbu: Yes. So we statistically validated these results. So the major driver for the differences between digitally mature and digitally developing companies is the differences in human dimensions of digital leaders, right? Digital mature organizations are managed differently. Their leaders align the human and financial resources with a strategy. They create an innovative culture, even within a Legacy environment like Bell and Howell, you create a collaborative environment, innovative environment, kind of entrepreneurial culture, promote open and transparent communication that enduring human traits of these leaders far outweigh the proficiency in the technology evolving field of information technology. Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: The knowledge of the technology is important. But it’s also how you exhibit, how you promote the, that culture.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: How do you make digital part of your strategic priorities? It’s the ability to engender trust of their employees. It’s more about people than it’s about digital technology.

Sarah Nicastro: Right.

Haroon Abbu: So it actually requires organizational changes to the customer centric that’s backed by leaders.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So that’s pretty much what we found is that the leaders, they trust their teams. They put leadership in place. They hire the right skill sets. They build credibility. They tell stories of when they’re successful or their failure, so that employees are properly aligned to the theme of digital.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay. Now, would you say that there are some, I guess, common trends in terms of as a company moves from digitally developing to digitally mature, if you look at the people part, right?

Haroon Abbu: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sarah Nicastro: So, I understand what you’re saying. The impact of leadership and how leadership views this transformation and understands its role in acting as a motivator and acting as a connector but not needing to act as a doer of all things. Right? And, really trusting the team. Would you say there’s any commonalities, though, in the new skills or new roles that you see companies bringing in to help support and build this out?

Haroon Abbu: Yes. So, the key thing is when you hire new people, trying to have them understand the value about the data. So it’s basically starting out with what is that you’re trying to do with the digital.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: It’s not a buzzword anymore.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So what is your business goal? What is that your company try trying to do with digital transformation or digital tools? For example, take Bell and Howell. We were transforming a company from a manufacturing based mail production based company that was in rapid decline 10 years ago, five years ago, and create new business models. We were transforming ourselves into a technology enabled people powered service organization. And in order to do that, in order to service other OEMs in the robotic space and in other adjacent markets that we never handled before we needed new business models, including remote monitoring.

Haroon Abbu: And, we are able to connect because our existing Break-Fix model no longer works when we are servicing retail, one of the largest retailer with 5,000 stores.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: We had to do more with remote monitoring. So how do we do remote monitoring? We had to obviously put the digital backbone with IOT machine learning algorithms where analytics data is the underpinning.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So we had to do that. And now, at this point at, we are remotely monitoring 98% of our service calls on this new click-and-collect, the retail focus product. And in order to do that, we need to win over our technicians. We need to start small and show them that, hey, there is value here.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: You’re able to resolve an issue in 10 minutes. And the remote monitoring platform, the digital backbone we put together is going to tell you what the issue is.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: And then there is that contextual information. So you’re able to fix a problem in 10 minutes, rather than having to roll the trucks and resolve, or take it for, three hours or four hours. We just cannot scale that model. Right?

Sarah Nicastro: Right.

Haroon Abbu: So they see that as sucks. So when they see that, okay, now I see the value of data. These guys are really modeling it, algorithm, using algorithms to minimize the attention needed to these machines.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So when those machines are calling home, meaning our home office, creating a service call, alerting them, and then if they cannot fix it in the same field service management system, dispatching a technician based on geolocation, based on skill sets, et cetera.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: That’s really a win. So they see that. And when they see that as successful, then the culture slowly starts to change.

Sarah Nicastro: Sure.

Haroon Abbu: So that, okay, there is innovation happening. There is value in data that I see, and then they are on your side. Right?

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So yeah, technology played a key role, but do they need to know how we solve this using algorithms, machine learning, artificial intelligence? No, they don’t need to know that.

Sarah Nicastro: No. Right.

Haroon Abbu: Yeah. They don’t need to know the technology details. But just focusing on technology details is not going to win them over.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So right from the top management, we need to make this strategically intentional-

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: … Analytics and digital is strategically intentional. It’s not because everybody else is doing.

Sarah Nicastro: Right.

Haroon Abbu: No it’s part of our strategy. We need to make sure this happens. And then we talk about it. We talk more about it. We share the success stories.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: And then the whole organization becomes part of it.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah.

Haroon Abbu: We are not there quite yet, but I think we are making progress.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: Same thing, we implemented KPIs, field service performance metrics. This is how we measure our success. This is how our OEMs measure our success.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: That’s defined throughout the company. And we measure it in real time using the digital platform that we put together.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So we see how those then cause improvements in our operational efficiencies, et cetera.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So that’s, it takes, it’s a journey, as you said. It takes time.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: But digital for me is a lot more than technology. Technology is important. You need the right people to get to understand the technology.

Sarah Nicastro: Right.

Haroon Abbu: But it’s bringing that, bringing people on board.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: It’s changing their mindset.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: It’s very critical for our success.

Sarah Nicastro: I think it’s also, I agree a hundred percent, but I also think there’s this kind of stumbling block. And so I mentioned that continuum, right?

Haroon Abbu: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: And there seems to be this stumbling block where, like you said, digital today is table stakes, right? So we’re not talking about, should we and all of that stuff, right? It’s a given.

Haroon Abbu: Right.

Sarah Nicastro: But I think you have some leaders who understand it’s important and advocate for it. But where they get stuck is all of a sudden they have this wealth of data that they don’t know what to do with. Right? So then it becomes, they’ve gotten a certain ways to the end game, right, which is really being able to not have digital tools for the sake of digital tools, but have digital tools for the sake of extracting the relevant insights and stories from the data to make better decisions or to solve more issues remotely or to create a new customer value proposition. Right?

Haroon Abbu: Yep. Yep.

Sarah Nicastro: And so from the analytics and the storytelling perspective, what is the best advice you have there for making sure that you are not just going down this path because you know you need to, but going down this path with the right outcomes in mind?

Haroon Abbu: Yeah, exactly. It’s starting with the right outcome.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: What is the business objective, right?

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: What is the business objective? What are the business questions you’re trying to answer with data and what digital tools you need to do that?

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: For example, in Bell and Howell case, if our goal is to provide or invent or innovate new business models to grow our service business because we are no longer servicing our own equipment, we are servicing 50 plus other OEM equipment. So we needed a new business model, which is remote monitoring, remote collaboration tools, et cetera. So, that’s our business model. We needed to innovate the business model from traditional Break-Fix to more on the predictive, prescriptive side, right? So, that was our business model innovation. So in order to do that, what did we need? We needed a digital backbone, right?

Haroon Abbu: Which takes these machine log information in real-time from these machines. And then we put together IOT based platform that built a model on, okay, if this and this, the error logs happen, this is your likely action. Basically, intelligent with algorithms and then connect that to our field service management system.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So, that service call gets created. And then it’s visualized service call can be closed. It can visualize using Tableau platform, et cetera, et cetera. So, that was our business need. And that’s how we solved using digital tools.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: The second thing is we needed to improve our operational efficiency, which is one of the main starting block in any continuum. For example, that you’re talking about focus on your operational efficiencies. In order to do that, we need to come up with some KPIs. We are out of this organization, but we did not really have a commonly communicated, commonly defined performance metrics.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: And so we defined that based on some of the best practices. And then we developed a method to measure those metrics in real time for each OEM. And also for every technician, what’s his tech utilization? What his first time fixed rate? What is his call, close rate? All that kind of stuff, so we can provide a scorecard with the idea that if we improve that we’ll obviously achieve some operational efficiencies and then we’ll also be able to present that to our OEMs. So they can also see how we are improving towards the whole.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah.

Haroon Abbu: So yeah. So all in all it comes down to, what’s your main objective?

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: Which is tied to a strategy.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah.

Haroon Abbu: You have to tie that to the strategy and then go get the data. You may not have all the data. Or whatever data we think we have been collecting may be useless.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: Right? So define the problem and then see if you have data. If you don’t have data, put systems in place where we can collect the data and then improve, refine the data, so that will ultimately lead us to operational improvement or in the case of remote monitoring, et cetera, new business models.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: That should be some of the analytics driven path towards digital. But analytics driven path for improvement are new business models using digital technologies and tools.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay. Alright. So speaking of data, in the book, you did this research and so you had this analysis of digital based on the statistics that you found.

Haroon Abbu: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: But you also incorporated interviews. So tell me a little bit about the importance and the value you found in talking directly with other digital leaders to put the content for the book together.

Haroon Abbu: Yeah. So as you said, we had compelling statistics based on the studies that we have done. But we wanted to go and talk to successful digital leaders.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So we interviewed 15 digital leaders in the U.S., as well as, in Germany. We know they’re successful based on their track record. These are proven companies with proven successes in digital transformation. So they included CEOs and Chief Data Officers, business unit leaders from automobiles, medical equipment, IT services, and lot of different fields. So, these interviews showed us that the strength of their leadership based on what they told us comes as much from their personal character, as it does from their competencies to deploy digital technologies. So most of these leaders actually model human dimensions to build trust in their organization.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: Most of the Chief Data Officers, what we have found is the average tenure is two to three years. So they need to make sure, and CDO roles are pretty much recent, so they’re basically have to work together with a lot of other Cs, a lot of other business here leaders, we call them their boundary spans boundary, spanning capabilities.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So they need to be able to work with multiple departments and multiple people. So they need to have growth mindset. They need to have storytelling capabilities, et cetera. And after talking to these 15 digital leaders, we methodically, using content analysis, actually developed a scale to measure human dimensions of digital leaders.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So there are 15 human dimensions that came out of these studies as well as interviews. And actually there is a self-assessment tool on our website patternsofdigitization.com, where digital leaders can actually go and take that survey. And it actually shows them how they are doing on various dimensions like storytelling or ethical use of AI or growth mindset or humility, integrity, et cetera.

Haroon Abbu: It shows them where they are lacking so that they can measure themselves or they can have their team measure them. So that’s part of our research, continuing research. They’re also, we are also in the process of developing some tools that will help them improve their skills that are in deficit.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: Sometimes these are, these seem to be trivial, but they’re not really trivial. It matters a lot when you are implementing a major company wide initiative. How do you really make sure that they’re successful? And as you know, most of the times technology, yeah. Implementation of technology is one thing.

Sarah Nicastro: Right.

Haroon Abbu: Even field service management system, for example. But it’s after that, what happens? How is it internalized by the people, by the employees in the organization?

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. What would you say, Haroon, has been the hardest? Personally, Larry Blue, the CEO of Bell and Howell has been on the podcast before as well. And I think the company has a really cool story of how you really reshape the identity of the business. It is a really compelling story. That being said, I’m sure it wasn’t easy. So, looking back on that journey, what would you say was the hardest part of digitally transforming the Legacy Bell and Howell business?

Haroon Abbu: Yeah. Again, I’ve been here for 12 years. The hardest part is getting people on board. Right?

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: That’s the hardest part because in a company that has a history dating back to, I guess, 1906, there have been several iterations. There are a lot of employees here with long, long tenure. So they’ve seen everything, right?

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: The thing is, why is this different? The same as anything else, so we have to show the value in what we are doing. That’s more important. Plus, the support and direction from leaders like Larry Blue makes a big difference. Right?

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So one of the thing that we have learned is, as I said, when we are successful in making a change to the business model, remote monitoring is a perfect example, people automatically buy in. So next time they ask, okay, can we get this?

Haroon Abbu: So that becomes part of the culture. The other thing is, when we work with multiple machines, even our engineering department, they would write a machine log like a log file in for a machine, before until we started this initiative, they would just write it, thinking that nobody’s going to look at it.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: Now they understand that analytics actually is taking that piece of error log that they’re writing on the machine to drive remote monitoring, to drive when to dispatch a technician. After a couple of years now, engineers are fully on board with that.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: When they design a new system, like the one we recently did, it’s a grocery pickup machine. When they did it, it’s completely designed for serviceability with machine logs, knowing that, analyst actually worked very well together on that initiative so that we can, they will write a machine log, et cetera, and even machine log, et cetera, write it in a way that we can use it for predictive and prescriptive maintenance.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So that took time. It didn’t happen overnight.

Sarah Nicastro: Right.

Haroon Abbu: So as people see how you’re successful or how analytics can be used in multiple ways to help the company, to help the service organization, to eventually help technicians and employees, that will make it different. So, we had some obstacles, but I think we are at a point where we have slowly started to change the mindset and we are seeing some of their successes.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Yeah. That’s really cool. And I think, in your role and you mentioned the role of the Chief Data Officer, the idea of someone who’s harmonizing things is very important, right? Because one of the biggest barriers to success we see with digital transformation is it, companies attempting to do it in a very siloed way right? Which is kind of the opposite of what needs to be. Right? And so, I think that’s an important point as well is to really think about not just how imperative it is to overall strategy, but how important it is to have that consistency and that collaborative view on how it can happen.

Haroon Abbu: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay. Last question for today, Haroon. If you were to summarize, some key takeaways for folks listening on this digital journey, what would you leave folks with?

Haroon Abbu: Yeah, I would say that people are the key to digital transformation. Yes, bring in the right technologies. But you know, if you embrace Cloud, you can actually scale up or scale down technology elasticity of the Cloud gives you that opportunity to adopt these new technologies as you, as business conditions change.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: And secondly, start small and get some early success and always try to build trust in the organization that way the benefits of digital can be felt across the organization. Lastly, as far as the industry is concerned, I know your audience is field service organizations. My take is that the data landscape, it’s probably not as mature or as some other industries. So there is a lot more potential to innovate faster beyond remote monitoring. There’s a lot more opportunity to use AI and ML. So, for example, most of the field people who are in the field service organization, Field Service USA conference that you and I attended, we mostly the operations side.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So I strongly believe that there should be more analytics representation, so analytics folks don’t just work in isolation.

Sarah Nicastro: Right.

Haroon Abbu: They need to hear the real-time problems.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: They need to hear it from the people who are running these service operations, right?

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Haroon Abbu: So it’s always good idea to have that kind of balance so analytics can become main ingredient of success for field service organizations.

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative). For sure. Yeah. That makes sense. And, and I agree and I appreciate you coming and sharing your insights. I think it’s a huge topic. There’s probably a lot of different areas we could dig into in terms of the storytelling and all of that stuff. But, I like the point that it’s just as much about people as it is about technology. I think it’s a really important point. So thank you for coming on and sharing and, Haroon, if folks want to check out the book Trust, where can they find that?

Haroon Abbu: The website is patternssofdigitization.com.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay.

Haroon Abbu: There’s a link to the book from that website. Also, there’s more research in that website and also self- assessment tool where you can measure the human dimensions of digital leaders.

Sarah Nicastro: Excellent. Okay. So patternssofdigitization.com is where you can find the book. Haroon, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it.

Haroon Abbu: Thank you, Sarah, for doing this and your thought leadership in this space. Thank you.

Sarah Nicastro: Thank you. You can find more by visiting us at futureoffieldservice.com. You can also find us on LinkedIn as well as Twitter @TheFutureOfFS. The Future of Field Service podcast is published in partnership with IFS. You can learn more at ifs.com. As always, thank you for listening.