Sanjiv Yajnik, President of Capital One Financial Services, was on the featured Customer Experience Panel with Bottle Rocker Founder and CEO Calvin Carter and Marty Cagan.
Capital One’s Beyond Summit convenes tech leaders to inspire innovation in D-FW
by Sabrina Corsiga, special contributor | December 16, 2019
In today’s tech-driven world, transformative products are critical to nurturing the leaders of tomorrow. But what does it mean to create truly transformative products?
This question was answered in a variety of ways at Capital One’s Beyond Summit on Monday, Nov. 18 in Plano. A free summit series aimed at highlighting D-FW’s status as a tech hub, Beyond brought thought leaders from across industries together to explore the intersection of tech, product, design and data science. More than 115 companies participated in this year’s all-day event, which brought more than 350 attendees to the Capital One Conference Center.
Keynote speaker Marty Cagan opened the summit with a lecture on product discovery: the process of coming up with solutions that are valuable, usable, feasible and viable in the tech space. Cagan, a partner at Silicon Valley Product Group and author of “Inspired: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love,” said that product teams, feature teams and delivery teams are necessary for solving these hard problems and creating a collaborative product workspace.
“We need to all view our jobs as leaders [to] create this environment,” Cagan said.
The theme of teamwork carried over into a panel on customer experience featuring Calvin Carter, CEO of Bottle Rocket, and Sanjiv Yajnik, President of Capital One Financial Services. Yajnik defined a great customer experience as one that is seamless, timeless, ethical and magical, while Carter advocated for Bottle Rocket’s philosophy of creating experiences that are beautiful, useful and valuable to the user.
“Profits allow you to have a life, but it’s not the meaning of life,” Yajnik said. “It’s a magical thing that happens when you’re completely steeped in the art of creating that value for your customers.”
Innovative mobility in Dallas
The summit’s second panel discussed the future of transportation. DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) recently joined the Automated Bus Consortium, a collaboration between transit and transportation agencies created by engineering firm AECOM to explore the future of autonomous bus vehicles.
Andrew Ittigson, project manager and transit planner at AECOM, said the firm was looking for transit agencies and mobility partners to leverage their resources and test the technology.
“We’ve contracted with DART for 15 years, so our partnership combined with DARTs innovative initiatives made them a natural fit for the Consortium,” Ittigson said.
Darryl E. Spencer, Senior Assistant Vice President of Engineering at DART Operations, said AECOM developed a matrix to help transit authorities choose desirable autonomous bus routes. DART evaluated 12 of its transit routes and narrowed down the choices to three, including an airport shuttle route to Dallas-Love Field Airport. Tina Mörch-Pierre, Assistant Vice President of Innovation for DART, added the buses wouldn’t be truly driverless. The buses would operate at a level of high automation, but drivers would remain onboard with the option of controlling the vehicle.
Data science and tech
This year, Beyond’s breakout sessions covered topics surrounding tech, data science, product and design. Dr. Junhua Ding, Professor of Data Science at the University of North Texas, led a discussion on research and education in data science. Ding shared a number of results from his research in the classification of biomedical images and demonstrated how data science is used to design and develop devices for recapturing cell images.
Micah Price, Principal Associate Data Scientist at Capital One, led a session about developing technology to augment the car shopping experience using image recognition. Because car shopping can often be a challenging experience for customers, the Capital One team developed an augmented reality system that allows users to scan cars with their phones to get instant information about the vehicle and find available models at nearby dealerships. The images are uploaded to AutoNavigator, Capital One’s digital tool for finding and financing your next car, where you can use your mobile device to search by photo anytime, anyplace.
“On-device machine learning can augment customer experiences,” Price said. “You can use it as a starting point for designing something for a customer.”
Design and product
Dr. Diana Hubbard, Director of Experience Design Research at Hilton, discussed broadening accessibility through the power of inclusive design. Dr. Hubbard explained that universal design is the design of a product or system that can be used by everybody without an adaptation, while open design invites underserved people to come into the design process.
To illustrate these concepts, Hubbard showed an example of an African American who posted a photo of himself to Twitter wearing a bandage that matched his skin tone. The man was unexpectedly moved by the sight of a bandage that, for him, was truly flesh-toned. Hubbard commented that if diverse perspectives and realities had been reflected in the design process from the beginning, the standard peach-toned bandage’s ubiquity may not even have been a design issue for people of color in the first place.
“It’s not a problem if you’ve never thought about those things, but it’s a problem if you don’t include underrepresented people,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard also told the story of how the Lego company has released brick-building instructions in audio and Braille format for hearing and visually impaired children. Other businesses can be compelled to follow suit not only in order to incorporate inclusive design, Hubbard said, but to increase profits by catering to those with disabilities.
“It’s not a better experience or a different experience, but the same experience,” Hubbard said. “That’s all that people are looking for — to be treated the same as everyone else.”
In his afternoon session, Chris Viscito, Senior Product Manager at Bottle Rocket, discussed the role of product management in the agency world and explained his philosophy on how product managers can collaborate with clients to fulfill client needs. Viscito stressed that product managers must demonstrate their expertise to their clients in order to prove their value and be seen as resources rather than workflow disruptors.
“As product professionals, we are the ones that have to be able to work and pivot and keep all the stakeholders aligned [while] everyone sees value in what we’re doing,” Viscito said.
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