Voices of the Engagement Economy: Sunil Notani, AVP of Big Data & Cloud, JDRF

Engagement Strategies



Sunil is responsible for the entire enterprise transformation to the cloud at JDRF.

In this discussion, Sunil talks about technology’s role in the Engagement Economy, strategies for customers and employees, and change management as a senior leader.

Q: What must senior leadership do to stay ahead in the Engagement Economy?

I believe that how effectively we use technology to take our business to the next level is critical. Technology is a disruptor, and each organization needs to constantly evaluate how they can use emerging technology to transform their business model. If that doesn’t happen, it’s most likely that your competitor, or someone who is not even on your radar, will use it to disrupt your business model. Companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Netflix are leaders who successfully took advantage of technology to create new business models. Mercedes is another brand that I greatly admire for their ability to be customer-centric and focus on customer lifetime value.

Q: What has JDRF done to increase engagement?

Overall, the transformation of the enterprise has enabled engagement with customers and employees to further our mission. Successfully driving engagement can make them passionate, and that, in turn, leads to a lot of influencers or ambassadors who will help build a loyal customer base. From a customer perspective, I think it’s extremely important to understand our customers to determine how to best engage with them. One of our primary channels of communication is email. Before Marketo, our email communications were only one-way. With Marketo, we have the ability to take our customers down a journey. With every communication, our customers learn more about us and, based on their interactions, we learn more about their interests, which enables us to build more effective engagement.

Q: Does your strategy differ for employees?

For employees, we use Glint to measure and improve engagement. Previously, we had an external agency conduct our annual employee surveys that consisted of over 100 questions. The process took several months, and by the time we received the results, the data was old. With Glint, the pulse surveys consist of approximately 20 questions, and they take an employee less than 10 minutes to complete. We receive their feedback and actionable results in real-time. Glint provides us with a data-driven platform with dashboards and heat maps to help us determine where we need to take action. We received over 90% participation with Glint, and I think we can continue to successfully engage employees in this fashion. It will drive them to be our brand ambassadors and ultimately create better engagement with customers.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge in moving JDRF to the cloud?

My biggest challenge in transforming the enterprise to the cloud is change management. Technology enables efficiency and creates productivity, but it also creates a tremendous amount of change. Over the last few years, we have transitioned several manual paper-based processes to cloud applications. However, it has not been easy for our end users to constantly learn new applications. Therefore, the solutions we implement need to be very easy, so our employees can focus on doing their jobs better, rather than constantly learning new applications. It’s given me a deeper appreciation of the importance of ease of use, user interface, and user experience—it’s critical for the adoption and overall success of a transformation.

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