Enterprise hits and misses - retailers get ready for the vaccine economy; Silicon Valley reels from corporate exits as the workforce changes

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed December 14, 2020
This week - your roundup of the final surge of events and acquisitions (we hope). Retailers try to anticipate the vaccine economy with the holidays in full swing, and Oracle becomes the latest to acknowledge flexible work - via their corporate headquarter plans. As always, your whiffs.


Lead story - Omni-channel retail in a Vaccine Economy - Kroger prepares for a pragmatic 2021 response, by Stuart Lauchlan

MyPOV: Retailers pushed through a difficult 2020, only to face an even more complicated 2021. Double down on digital? Or count on storefronts re-opening? We're going to need plan A, B, and C on hand. Stuart quotes Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen:

Everything we can see, we think that pandemic has accelerated growth or transition to digital probably by three years or so. It wouldn't surprise me if it dropped off a smidgen, but I think it will continue to grow from that, because it is a long-term trend where the customer really expects to be able to get something in-store, pickup or delivery, and they expect to be able to bounce back and forth based on what's easy for them.

Count McMullen amongst the "changes are here to stay" folks:

We believe a number of the impacts of COVID-19 will be structural and lasting.

If you're preparing for whatever's next, customer data/preferences better be at the core. As Stuart writes:

So what does that mean in practical terms? McMullen says the key to what happens next lies in "leveraging our unique data and customer insights." This is about the relationship that Kroger has with its customers and what it knows about them and how that insight can be exploited to service both the buyers and the bottom line.

Kroger believes they have deeper and better customer data than the competition; time will tell on that one. As for the broader retail predicament, Stuart closes out with this:

There will be a recalibration of customer intent and the likes of Kroger need to be aware of the need to find the new omni-channel balance that has proved so elusive on other retail sectors.

Also see: Stuart's follow-on, The omni-channel lessons retail needs to take from COVID - Macy's CEO on pandemic learnings for 2021.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

SAP TechEd analysis as the fall event season (finally) winds down: the last shows of the year rolled out last week. Den and I took in the SAPiness. Den chews upon breaks down a surprisingly meaty event: The big takeaways from SAP TechEd 2020 (and, it must be said, a vast improvement over the online Sapphire Now misadventure). Also see: Den's Q&A for new cloud extension developers at SAP TechEd 2020.

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon's grab bag - It wouldn't be 2020 without Facebook roiling the regulators again (and again). But is change in the offing? Stuart isn't so sure: Facebook under fire for illegal monopolistic practice, but what chance genuine action by regulators? Meanwhile, Neil dissects AI hubris gone wrong AI flaws and potentials in The ups and downs of cognitive computing, from Watson to Amelia.

Speaking of monopolistic chokeholds, can Google search ever be upended. Yext thinks so. See Stuart's The search for change - Yext CEO wants answers to Google's ad fetish. Jerry ponders an even tougher set of California privacy regulations in California voters approved a new and even tougher data privacy act.  What happens now?

And yes, Brian and I are at it again, with your annual predictions-gurs-recovery-program satirical holiday tonic, The 2021 enterprise software un-predictions - your fallible guide to the next un-normal. This year, we also provided an un-predictions generator, well stocked with your fave synergistic buzzwords.

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top six picks

Overworked businessman


So Netflix has 'no plans' to add disclaimer that The Crown is work of fiction... Glad that's sorted, though I was hoping it was all true. Oh, and we got this officially sorted also:

Stalwart diginomica contributor Kurt Marko wonders why he presses so hard for insights, when there's clearly another way:

Bonus points for the strikethrough... Our social channels bustled with un-predictions riffs:

Graham Robinson gets the nod for being the first to use our un-predictions generator:

And that's a wrap for 2020. Hits and misses will return in 2021 with my annual enterprise blogger awards edition. You can expect some holiday specials and roundups from the diginomica crew in the meantime. We thank you for your loyal and vocal readership. If you didn't voice your views and see us as relevant, we wouldn't be around. Have a good holiday, or make it good if you can, whether it's holiday music, or a playlist of your own making....

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.

Image credit - Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from Fotolia.com.

Disclosure - Oracle, Workday, Coupa and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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