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Example Use Cases for the Digital Enterprise and Their Impact on Architecture

Example Use Cases for the Digital Enterprise and Their Impact on Architecture

Insights Learned from Mighael Botha, CTO of Software AG

In his presentation “The Vision of the Digital Enterprise.”
Presented at the Technology Executives Club Technology Innovation & Leadership Summit August 2015.

By Alex Jarett


At a recent Technology Innovation & Leadership Summit (August, 2015), Mighael Botha, CTO of Software AG kicked off the event with a presentation called “The Vision of the Digital Enterprise.”  This was a terrific presentation that reviewed a critical issue – that of matching your architecture and technology with your challenges.

Mighael’s presentation is unique, in that he has the ability as a world class CIO and CTO to tie the understanding of the new customer experience to the back-end architecture and/or technology required to make the experience a reality.

In the first of 3 posts, I summarized what Mighael indicated were the three drivers of Digital Disruption and required new technology solutions.  In this post, I’ll share Mighael’s example use cases, and in the final post next week I’ll summarize the key architectures and/or technology he pointed out as required for each use case.

Here are the example use cases:

  1. Lexmark
    Lexmark is predicting (as of the time of presentation) a 50% increase in maintenance/consulting revenue and better SLAs! Here’s how.As you know, Lexmark is a very large printer/scanner/copier company.  They started putting sensors in the devices and then put a hub in each building to send more real time data to the company.  Previously they had used BI and predictive analytics to determine when machines would run out of ink or go down.  But by using an event driven architecture on top of their messaging, they were able to create a more event driven, real time system to speed up their responsiveness and predictive capabilities.  As a result, they are able to have better SLAs for service and they are able to reduce the number of technical visits because they are using the sensor data to proactively service equipment.  The result of these changes is that they were able to grow their consulting revenue by offering better SLAs for maintenance to their companies.
  2. Electrolux
    Electrolux went to Home Depot and asked them to be a distributor. Home Depot said yes, as long as you carry your own inventory and you handle the delivery.  Previously the Electrolux model was that they shipped inventory to each retailer.  This created a need to track and ship individual orders as well as customer service.   They were able to open up their architecture through APIs.  This way their customers could track their order and also know through predictive analytics things like when they need a new filter.  They can also now be proactive with their customers by sending them text messages or other forms of communication, so the customer knows ahead of time when to service their product.
  3. Greyhound
    Greyhound used to keep their sensor information on their buses (like an airplane black box).  When the bus got to the terminal, they would plug it in and then send it to headquarters for predictive analysis of which buses needed service.  This proactive use of sensor data allowed Greyhound to reduce downtime of the buses and avoid many of their buses breaking down.But when they decided to improve the system, they realized they needed to implement a real time feed of sensor data, PLUS they decided they wanted a live feed of video from the buses so they could monitor the customer experience.  These two requirements required new technologies to achieve the objectives.
  1. Macy’s
    Macy’s wanted to create a better overall customer experience for their customers who bought online, used their app and also shopped in the stores. This required integration between the different systems.  For example, if you were on their website and put something in the shopping cart, but didn’t buy it, then the next time you were at the mall, Macy’s wanted to be able to text you and say, “We see you are at the mall.  Would you like to try on those items you looked at?”  This requires integration as more real time tracking of events.  I’ll explain how they did it in the next post, plus how they enhanced the loyalty points experience for those customers when they did buy.
    The final use case that Mighael shared was  Politics aside, we all saw what happened when was first launched.  It was too slow and couldn’t handle the volume.   The original design and architecture of the site would have been okay ten years earlier, but in today’s market, the customer needs more real time responsiveness.  They did solve this problem, and I’ll share how in the next post.

Mighael makes a great case that creating a better experience for these larger companies creates technology and architectural challenges.

In the next post, I’ll share for each of the use cases (plus a few others) Mighael’s explanation of what technology they used to solve these challenges!
What do you think?  Make your comments to this post here:


Want to see Mighael’s entire presentation?  Go here:


Updated: June 6, 2016 — 7:20 pm


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    1. … especially the Lexmark case is really impressive. I should discuss this approach within our company. Pure gold!

      Warm Regards,
      Erika Taylor
      MyHub Intranet

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