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When you make decisions regarding your company, do you rely on facts – or on something else? While most companies have mountains of data that can be useful in their decision-making, a Bisnode survey conducted by Kairos Future in 2019 reveals that 25 percent of CXOs actually base strategic decisions on their gut feeling. At the same time, 38 percent say that they will have no business in 2030 if they don’t commit to a data-driven future.
This development is something with which Zsuzsanna Ferenczi, Director of Marketing for Northern Europe at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is very familiar with.
– When I started working here 19 years ago, the world was a different place. IT is exponentially more complex today, and we are beginning to reach the limits of human capability in working with it. Companies like HPE need data and AI to solve the challenges we face – our guts don’t have all the answers, says Zsuzsanna Ferenczi.
HPE is one of the world’s largest technology companies. Providing ICT infrastructure solutions – servers, networks and data storage services – is a key part of their business. As the world keeps changing, HPE’s customer needs and opportunities are changing as well.
– Customers are constantly reconsidering and redesigning their data centers. Today, they are largely opting for hybrid solutions – keeping certain elements in house while moving other parts of their ICT infrastructure to the cloud. As ICT solutions evolve, customers also have the option of consolidating their ICT infrastructures. Both of these trends could be negative for us. If we just ignored the development and kept it “business as usual”, it would be like putting a gun to our heads, says Zsuzsanna Ferenczi.
In order to maintain their leading role on the market, HPE quickly understood that they need to look at new ways of identifying potential customers. Since their customers are constantly moving targets, HPE needed to be a step ahead.
– In a market that’s becoming more complex, we knew that we had to simplify and optimize the search for customers. So we focused on two simple questions: “Can we grow without increasing sales and marketing capacity by focusing on the “right” potential customers?” and, of course, “In this new market, who is our potential customer?”
To find the answer, HPE turned to AI, machine learning and smart data – and to Bisnode. It it natural to ask why it was necessary to include an outside consultant, when so much of HPE’s own business is centred on data and data analytics.
– While HPE has incredible global internal capabilities working with data, we also know the importance of local insights on local markets. For example, when analysing data from the Netherlands it isnecessary to know how the Dutch taxation system attracts many shell companies to The Hague, or the analysis will be flawed with false positives. Bisnode could supply that local knowledge along with lots of structured and unstructured insights regarding our potential customer base there, says Zsuzsanna Ferenczi.
"Our goal here was to find the right opportunities based upon of HPE’s current customers and potential prospects."