By Leigh Segall, CMO of Smart Communications

Last month marked the third and final INNOVATE event of 2019, and what an event it was! With record attendance and a day full of learning, networking, and stories of digital innovation, I couldn’t be more inspired by our fabulous attendees, guest speakers, industry experts, and incredible customers. Like our INNOVATE US and INNOVATE ANZ events, this year’s theme – Digital Transformation Made SMARTer –  resonated with attendees who understand that now is the time to embrace a more digital-first approach. With spectacular views from the iconic Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard London serving as the backdrop and an incredibly empowering keynote presented by experienced digital business executive and co-founder of Shazam, Dhiraj Mukherjee, this year’s INNOVATE UK was truly one-of-a-kind.

For those unable to attend, we’ve captured key takeaways and other exciting highlights below.

How to Build a Business With a Digital DNA

If you’re a digitally savvy music lover, you likely have Shazam downloaded to your smartphone. This year we were extremely excited to welcome one of the founders of the mobile app that now connects more than 1 billion people across the globe with nearly instant identification of music, movies, television shows, and ads. What initially started as an idea from one of his Stanford University classmates evolved to a highly-popular music recognition app that was purchased by Apple in 2018 for $400 million.

Keynote speaker and Shazam co-founder Dhiraj Mukherjee presenting at INNOVATE UK 2019

In his presentation, How to Build a Business With a Digital DNA, Dhiraj shared intimate details surrounding the birth of Shazam with INNOVATE attendees. He also emphasized the importance of involving customers in co-creation and to focus not on today’s technology, but tomorrow’s experiences. According to Dhiraj, if you’re looking to build a future-proof business, experiment. Speak to your customers, be creative, and look over the horizon for new ways to solve the issues that you face today. We couldn’t agree more!

Catering to the Digitally Enabled Customer

In addition to hearing from digital innovators like Dhiraj Mukherjee, INNOVATE provided a unique opportunity for attendees to learn from and connect with industry peers who are fronting similar challenges in the face of digital disruption. Our customer and the winner of this year’s SMARTest Innovator award, AXA, shared how they were able to overcome multiple complexities to ensure an exceptional customer experience with the ability to consider details such as location and channel preference in the customer communications. David St. Clair, AXA’s Head of UK Operations – Travel, revealed how the company has strategically invested in cultural shifts and digital transformation efforts to enhance their claims experience and better meet the demands of the digital customer, regardless of where they are on their journey. With a desire to become more customer-centric, AXA shared how they have broken down internal silos and improved communications by using digital tools. Today, they’ve successfully transformed their claims capability through a digital revolution in customer service and efficiency, leading to reduced costs and improved customer experience.

AXA team with presenter David St. Clair after receiving the SMARTest Innovation SCALE Award

Getting Inspiration from Product Experts

Perhaps what many attendees find the most exciting is not just hearing why they should start making SMARTer steps toward digital transformation, but learning about the new and exciting tools that we provide to help make the journey much smoother. In his presentation, The Road to SMARTer Conversations, Simon Tindal, CTO of Smart Communications, revealed exciting plans for innovative product enhancements designed to deliver more meaningful, multi-channel, interactive customer conversations.

Simon Tindal, Smart Communications CTO presents The Road to SMARTer Conversations


Along with Simon’s roadmap presentation, the afternoon was filled with product-oriented and business-focused sessions designed to help attendees better plan for digital transformation – we call these our Empowerment Tracks. This year, we were excited to feature Intelledox’s Head of Product, Clinton Brown, who shared how digital form transformation makes it easier for businesses to deliver meaningful next-generation conversations that touch on the entire customer lifecycle. In his presentation, Transforming Forms Interactions with Intelledox and Smart Communications, Clinton demonstrated ways enterprise-level organizations like Chubb, Vanguard and Raymond James are using the Intelledox platform to remove friction and drastically improve the customer experience across key customer services processes including, account opening, onboarding, and claims.

Words of Advice from Key Partners

We always enjoy having our valued partners participate with inspiring stories of digital transformation within their own organizations. Raja Singh, Vlocity’s SVP Products and General Manager of Insurance, spoke about how insurance carriers can drive towards simplicity by building the right teams, evolving to straight-through processing, and mandating a microservices-oriented architecture.

Vlocity’s SVP Products and General Manager of Insurance presenting The Future is Simple


Stories from the Trenches: Smart Communications Customer Panel

Today, nearly every company is on a digital transformation journey — some are just getting started, some are deep in the process and some are already reaping the benefits. We were thrilled to have customers Simplyhealth, M&GPrudential and National Australia Bank (NAB) join Smart Communications Chief Revenue Officer Dave Towers on a customer panel to discuss how they are embracing digital to ultimately deliver exceptional customer experiences.

When asked what they were most excited about in the future of CCM, M&G Prudential shared being able to transform static communications into much more interactive communications. For Simply Health, it’s sustainability and the ability to drastically reduce the amount spent toward paper and postage when it comes to communications. When it comes to the lessons learned along the way, NAB emphasized the importance of understanding the needs of its customers so they can serve them better offers.

Customer Panel featuring Simplyhealth, M&G Prudential and National Australia Bank (NAB) with Smart Communications CRO, Dave Towers


See You at INNOVATE 2020!

What a fabulous way to cap off our INNOVATE 2019 events. A big THANK YOU to all our presenters, customers, and valued partners who made INNOVATE UK 2019 a tremendous success. For those of you in the US, we are excited to announce that the date and location for 2020 have been announced.  We look forward to seeing you in Nashville, May 11-13. For those of you in the UK and ANZ, details about your regions will be coming soon!

Until then, if you have questions on how you can take a SMARTer approach toward your digital journey, get in touch with us! Oh, and before you go, be sure to check out our INNOVATE UK 2019 Highlights video below: