capturing the enthusiasm, expertise and support of the many gathered attendees, du’s inaugural Customer Advisory Board (CAB) attracted 40 leaders from various industries to address and discuss key issues and trends in customer behaviour and expectations. The event – which took place at Armani Hotel, Dubai, on 14 June 2010 – was the first of its kind in the region and proved a resounding success, receiving much positive feedback from attendees at the meeting.
Several top industries leaders attended the CAB meeting, in their own capacity, including – Ian Sanders, Partner, Price Waterhouse; Deepak Khullar, CFO, ADCB; Joe Tesfai, SVP, IT, Atlantis; Cules Schoemen, General Manager, IT, Welcare EHL Group; George Pawlyszyn, Executive Director, Injazat Data Systems; Sultan Karmostaji, COO, Higher Colleges of Technology; Sam Barnett, COO, MBC; Andy Young, CFO, Twofour54; Marwan Al Ali, CTO, Jumeirah Group; Prince Denzil, CIO, Siemens; Takreem El Tohamy, General Manager, IBM Middle East; Clive Haswell, CIO, Standard Chartered Bank; Charbel Fakhoury, General Manager, Microsoft Gulf, David Horton, VP, IT, Mashreq Bank, Patrick Naef, DSVP, IT, Emirates Group, and Osman Sultan, CEO, du, along with senior executives from du.
Addressing the gathered CAB, Osman Sultan, CEO, du, said: “This new CAB initiative, which is the first of its kind in the region, aims to draw on the various experiences of leaders across all industry verticals, both regionally and internationally. As we move away from a transactional view of the customer experience towards a more enlightened mode, we as service providers must examine the factors which are accelerating this change – including technology, consumer behaviour and the economic climate we find ourselves in.”
“The purpose of meeting here today is to share experiences and insights into customer trends and issues from our various different businesses. We need to gather information, discover trends that are taking place and move forward with this. The earlier we do this, the easier it will be to prepare for the future. I’m sure that I will learn a lot from all of you gathered here today,” he added.
du’s inaugural Customer Advisory Board meeting was moderated by industry expert Rob Staples, Global Head of Telecom, Media and Entertainment, Capgemini Consulting.
“I would like to thank du for the great opportunity to moderate its inaugural Customer Advisory Board. I thought the event created an excellent impression of the company, and the organisation and execution of the evening was outstanding,” commented Staples.
Throughout the evening, three presentations were delivered by top industry leaders. The first presentation, ‘Key Trends and Issues in the Industry’ given by Kevin White, Consulting Director of Ovum Consultancy, examined customer retention as the best way to grow a business and the various ways in which to improve customer engagement, as well as addressing the trend of contactless payment. White also announced the launch of a dedicated newsletter which Ovum will be compiling on behalf of du, entitled “Executive Insights”, which will cover various industry news and trends for the benefit of du’s partners and clients.
The second presentation, ‘Customer Experience Economy’, delivered by Colin Shaw, founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, examined seven key strategic questions which explore the emotive contributors to the customer experience, such as ‘what emotions are you trying to evoke in your customer?’ and ‘what is the significance of the customer’s subconscious experience?’
“A customer experience is an interaction between an organisation and a customer, as perceived through a customer’s conscious and subconscious mind. It’s a blend of an organisation’s rational performance and the senses and emotions that the organisation stimulates,” explained Shaw.
Finally, Rob Staples, the moderator for the evening, delivered a presentation entitled ‘Cloud Computing Implementation’, which examined some of the key challenges among clients on how to move forward and implement cloud computing, including the benefits generated by Cloud and how to succeed in the Cloud Computing implementation.
The evening concluded with a discussion panel led by Osman Sultan, Rob Staples Colin Shaw, Kevin White and Qaalfa Dibeehi Chief Operating Officer, Beyond Philosophy, which enabled the gathered industry professionals to ask the panel questions related to the customer sphere.
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