Why is friendship so difficult?

We look at why do your European friends desert you when you need them most?

There’s this girl I know, she found me on Facebook. I don’t know why. She invites me to be her « friend ». I don’t have a problem with that, so sure, I say, why not. Who are you? Tell you what, (I say) – give me your phone number and we can have a chat.

“No, sorry, (she says) – I only give my number to my friends.“

My colleague in Vilnius Lithuania, is connected. A very smart guy. He calls me and says, « you know what I am hearing Richard? The rumours here are that the local EU people are aiming to make it as hard as possible for the UK to leave the EU with anything much – a sort of deterrent to stop any other countries from following suit. ».

This is not alas the first time we have heard these stories. So, at a time when British troops and planes are currently defending the space of all of the Baltic States – and are committed to continue – what is it about friendship that can be so one-sided? True friendship is a rare thing.

The problem is this. If your « friends » do not support you when you are down – and the UK is in a « down » place at the moment – then what was the point of the relationship in the first place? And it is self perpetuating, because it means that for people like me – who voted absolutely to Remain in our fateful Referendum, and who was not taken in by the lies and total myopia of our Leave cousins – I am now – dare I say these awful words, wash your mouth out Richard – thinking; hey, maybe we are indeed better off out of this Club. They can keep their ball. We don’t want to play any more.

And then you start to think.

The UK culture is at its best when we are in a tight spot. We are an island mentality. Somehow or other, against all the odds (goes the romantic story…)… we somehow survive and keep the home fires burning. We love it when life is unfair. It offends our innate tolerance and sense of fairplay. You don’t need any more motivation that this.

And for sure, the good people of Scotland have already worked out they will sell gallons more whisky if they don’t have to abide by EU rules. And down in Devon/Cornwall, our fishermen and farmers are similarly upbeat. Somehow or other, we have generated a revenue stream that provides for all of us, with quality of life, and that remains a Mecca for immigrants who prefer to set up camp at Calais rather than stop en route a Lille or the tech hubs of Valenciennes nearby.

Which makes me suggest that the guys who do the currency exchange forecasts etc, have got it rather wrong. Now is a great time to invest in the UK, as this is the very time we take off our jacket and actually do some work.

But it is also a strategic time for the colleagues of the EU to reconsider their approach. Your « friend » will have a much bigger chance of coming back, in prodigal son style, if you support them when they leave. And make no mistake, the EU needs Uk money for its grandiose schemes. In the same way that you and I will never shop again at the store that refuses us a refund – so at the end of a hostile Brexit, there is fat chance of us ever wanting to to get back into a relationship with these robbers who have stolen our ball.

That would be a pity for all of us – but then again, it might not. True friendship is a rare thing. In the words of that great Corrs song – Maybe we never liked them anyway.

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Why is paying money – so difficult?

We look at the upcoming keynote conference discussions at Trustech, and ask; do we really need another hotel trip?

I happen to know Copenhagen Airport better than most people who even live in Denmark. I have never been into Copenhagen tho. Business trips are what they are. They are not Tourist trips. Then again – some things need to be discussed, face to face.

For those of us not connected with the intricacies and practicalities and sheer volume, of international payments, how our buying and selling gets sorted out corporatively – then the idea of listening to several of Europe’s leading experts on “payments”, who will be speaking between the 28th-30th November in Cannes – seems a bit unnecessary. A luxury. A junket for jobs for the boys.

The simplistic view is that, well, we all use our contactless card and our Apple Pay, and it all works ok – so what’s there not to love? Why is it all so difficult?

This is not so naive as it sounds, and there are two issues here.
The first is that the absolute importance of making sure payments and money transfers, actually “work” in volume, is essential for any Bank. As one Bank Director told me – “the last thing we want is for pensioners not to get their Giro every Friday”.

Which means that the legacy systems, on which banks still depend – remain untouched. Despite the awareness of mobile disruption in the established order of things (and both Santander and ING refer to this in their recent Presentations) – there is too much risk involved in going back to one’s roots so to say.
The result is a growing level of complexity, based on traditional architecture alongside a slow step by step toe-in-the-water approach to change. This works against what the market – the ordinary guy in the street – is experiencing and now demanding. As life in general becomes more and personalised, in healthcare provision, retail offering, etc – we expect things to “work”, at our own personal level, using the toys we have in our hand.

So when Banks talk about losing their brand identity and perceived value – this is what they mean.

And it creates a problem, because there are just too many individualistic players. There are too many multi-levels of players in the whole process of simply buying a train ticket. Which means that – if there is indeed a problem in the process – well, who is to blame and at what point?

The one thing that banks cannot afford is the risk of failure – but that in itself misses the point, because we are equating “personal transaction – with “corporate transaction”. And whilst Banks accept the way things are going – there is a fear factor in actually “doing something” and throwing out the old and truly embracing the new.

But customers themselves don’t see it that way. Whilst we absolutely “get” that in the big high volume world, there need to be proven systems, and if they are old – but they work – well, where is the problem? – We also absolutely “get” that if at a personal level, we want to be cool and use our smart individual Toys, then we will balance that risk with the state of the art benefit.

So what’s the answer?

It is not necessarily the disruptive rise of the Neo Banks, because their own lifespan and implicit credibility is still too young and under review.

In short – the fear of losing brand awareness is actually the reverse; Those banks that do not live at the cutting edge at a personal level – which is where the increasing volume of personal business exists, and which drives corporate business – are losing their raison d’être because they are not visible.

The fact is, disruptive “mobile” technology – is here to stay. So; in that spirit if we “get” that mobile technology is the way things are going – then why the Conference? Why not just do everything on Skype? Well then again – somethings just have to be said – face to face. At least I’m not travelling via CPH.

ISSUES AND COMPLEXITIES OF DATA MANAGEMENT IN THE FINANCIAL MARKET

We report on the latest success story from the IQPC company, and how to deliver a Conference that actually works.

Generally speaking – we are a polite society. True, we all have our moments, but again, generally speaking, if we have not the greatest meal at our chosen restaurant, then we will not give a hard time to the waiter. We will just not go back. Restaurants that develop a reputation for being reliable, always, somehow, delivering the ambience as well as the food – keep us coming back.

IQPC do not do restaurants. But they do have the “secret sauce”, the ambience from the moment you descend the stairs into the meetings areas, to the ease of engagement into groups of like minded professionals.

Because the fact is, if you are a strategic decision-maker in a financial market, these focussed events need to deliver; they are your one time to engage and share with your peers. And they need to get it right.

This latest IQPC Conference, at the Pestana Chelsea hotel just by the Thames, – in a whole series of their Data Analytics events , brought together some of the financial markets leading voices and contributors, from across the UK and Europe, who were relaxed enough to share and to receive, the do’s and don’ts of how to manage your data process in a complex world, that you will never get from browsing the marketing material of the vendor website.

This Conference was a sharing experience; vendors were not selling, they were explaining; delegates were listening and contributing. Topics ranged from the essentials of how to manage the data you actually have, which still remains the key issue for most corporates – through to the modern topics of Money Laundering, how to recognise it, bow to stop it.

But what was most insightful, was that the need of delegates had already moved on from GDPR as the sole topic of interest. As such, an IQPC Conference remains the benchmark of how to do business events that deliver.

We found the round-table break-outs the most insightful, not just from the commentaries and points made, but from the levelling of opportunity, the facility for everyone, from whatever level of knowledge to make a contribution, to be involved.

This was a Conference that was looking forward, a focussed two day event, that never lost sight of its objective, to give the Delegate the framework of information that they otherwise would not obtain.

Sure, IQPC don’t do restaurants. But they do great Take Aways.

Charity begins at home…

Good news, doesn’t sell newspapers. But there are times in life when we have just had it up to here with the incessant black and despairing Content that seems to populate our News channels.

At times like these, there are two options, reaching for the Gin bottle is one of them. The other, -which may well give you a more lasting satisfaction – is to bathe in some nice news, some nice human interest, the stories that do good for someone else.

Which is why we are publishing the request by Rory Clarke, Director at Rix, in Hull – to reach out to a local charity. Local charities rarely get the media coverage of their national cousins. But their needs are as acute. And you never know, you might be one of the people they help, in years to come. This is what Rory says;

“Hello, I’ve started fundraising for Child Dynamix . I’m running the Hull 10k to raise money for Child Dynamix who are a brilliant local charity providing care and support to young people growing up in some of the least affluent parts of Hull. For some people in these areas this support can be life changing Please sponsor me. Here is a link to my page http://www.justgiving.com/Rory-Clarke”

Best Regards
Rory

Rory Clarke
Director
J R Rix & Sons Ltd’

 

 

New Ways to Share Sensitive Data

We look at the launch of the 360ofme Platform and the appointment of its new Key Execs

If you would take your clothes off,  – for less people  than the number of fingers you have on one hand – then your Doctor would certainly be one of them. It goes without saying that – you would not expect him to share that info, with the rest of world.

And you could say the same about Financial Data too. Sensitive info, is, well, sensitive info.  And that’s the problem. Because, in the modern world,  our personal data is digital, and insights into our digital data routinely need to be shared and accessible to  chosen people, for our own wellbeing. The question is – how do we do it?

The answer could be the new 360ofme platform.  360ofme is a new platform that provides consumers with portability, ubiquity and insights from their digital life. From healthcare to financial and insurance to automotive and home, 360ofme provides a simple means of securely sharing critical data with family members, doctors and others that consumers choose. Utilizing cognitive computing from IBM, new insights about people’s lives will be surfaced and consumers will gain control of their digital footprint.

The key point is that they attribute their future success to the appointment of seasoned industry experts, rather than the typical  “start-up”  routine of  inexperienced founders, which rarely work.   And they go on…

“360ofme, the world’s first personal data exchange platform, today announced that four new executives-in-residence will help to guide the further development of its groundbreaking solutions. Scott Dueweke, President of Zebryx Consulting; Becky Wanta, CEO & President of RSW1C; blockchain expert Evelyn DeSouza; and Steve Schlabs, VP of Sales Strategy at BMC Software, will serve as 360ofme’s Board of Technical Advisors. The new executives will serve alongside some of the brightest minds in consumer focused software development. Other members of the 360ofme Board of Advisors include Derek Collison, CEO, Apcera; Jan Plutzer, COO, Apcera; and Carole Bellis, Partner, Kilpatrick, Townsend, LLP.

360ofme offers an online solution that enables consumers to regain control of their digital assets, allowing them to manage, share and act on their digital data. From healthcare to financial and insurance to automotive and home.

The current Board of Advisors guided 360ofme to its recent beta launch in just 10 months and will be instrumental in onboarding its first cohort of consumers. 360ofme recruits advisors in areas of critical strategic importance and relies on their guidance to ensure that significant company disciplines and processes develop and operate according to industry best practices.

“We feel so fortunate to have the advisement and counsel of these recognized senior executives. As we complete the beta release of our platform, these executives are ensuring that we can scale, delight our customers, and maintain the trust that is expected and required,” said Cindy L. Warner, CEO and Founder of 360ofme. “Becky, Evelyn and Steve will be invaluable in our journey to becoming the market leader in consumer data privacy, and Scott will be instrumental in our next phase of security architecture, as we create the most secure personal data exchange in the world.”

How to sell in a Digital Market. Get back to basics.

We learn a timely lesson on how to make retail sales.

It’s so easy to forget, in this ecommerce world – that sales go to real people. When people go online and fish out their credit card – we are dealing with the same influences as if that person was sitting in front of us.  In fact less so – because they are not sitting in front of us.  And that process is more difficult because of that.
The eCommerce Show just a week or so ago in London – and this is similar to all of the others across Europe and USA – has increasingly forgotten that the “sales process”  is not about fulfilment, as important as this is. It is about the man relationship, or the semblance of this – during the virtual ordering process.
One of the key reasons why so many eCommerce companies bite the dust and do not have a long life expectancy, is their failure to get alongside their customers, face to face, and do this repeatedly, so that they both build up a relationship, but they also get a sale.
How do we know this?
We spent a day last Saturday signing copies of our own new Book, that was published by Austin Macauley and earlier launched at the London BookFair.  We travelled to a lovely market town in Wales, the shop owners gave customers small glasses of mulled  heated wine, and we did our magic engaging with customers. We sold ten times more books in one day than the average daily turnover.
The moral of this little story is;  get your “good customer sales process”  right – and you keep your customer for the long term.   Hide behind your digital process – and the customer will not come at all.

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