World Cup lessons to give your business a competitive edge

Russia is not normally a country we look to for tips on business technology, but as the dust settles after the World Cup, some lessons that translate into a business environment can be drawn from how the most successful teams overcame their opponents.

Brazilian great Pelé once said: “When you control the ball, you control the score”. But that wasn’t always the case in this World Cup, where teams frequently dominated possession only to lose, with Spain’s attempt to bore the host nation into submission during their quarter-final defeat being the most notable example. Instead of possession, the deadliest football weapon in Russia was speed.

Whether it was the searing pace of France’s Kylian Mbappe leaving defenders tackling thin air, the lightning counter-attacks of Belgium and Mexico, or the Socceroos’ fans drinking the bars of Kazan dry in record time, speed created all manner of problems during the four-week tournament. In both the semi-final and final, the French were often pressed back by aggressive opponents; they absorbed the pressure, waited for their moment, then hit on the break faster than a newly employed Paris Metro worker demanding to go on strike.

Getting the right kit

A business manager aspiring to be faster and more agile is about as remarkable as a football manager wanting his team to score more goals and concede less; everyone wants to do it, however far fewer achieve it. But attaining faster, more efficient business processes to drive productivity and profit can be easier to pull off than bribing a FIFA official – and not nearly as expensive. What it takes is expert knowledge of the best enterprise technology and – more crucially – how to optimise it.

Over the past year, Microsoft has taken its business technology offerings to a new level with the unveiling of its Power Platform, integrating the features of Power BI, Power Aps and Microsoft Flow. The genius of the system is its ability to creatively meet business requirements on one powerful platform, with endless adaptability allowing greater innovation.

The PowerApps component of the Platform allows even technological benchwarmers to become software developers. Use PowerApps to quickly create tailored business applications and deploy them across a range of mobile devices. Take a photo, conduct a survey, capture data in the field – like rising Socceroos star Daniel Arzani, this program is nimble, dynamic and adaptable. Give it instructions, send it onto the field, then sit back and collect the praise for your shrewd tactical decision.

Microsoft Flow plays the role of Croatian captain and midfield playmaker Luka Modric within the Platform. Instead of linking attack and defence, Microsoft Flow securely and effortlessly collects data from multiple sources across your business, and efficiently distributes the information where and when you need it to be.

Finally, every team needs a predatory goal scorer who can rise to the big occasion when the pressure is on. Look no further than Power BI to finish off your team’s hard work in style by creating compelling dashboards and other data analytic tools. Power BI lets you rapidly and easily achieve your deepest insights ever through visualisations that look more impressive than the Portugal vs Spain Post match analysis.

Importantly, the Power Platform has unlimited extensibility, so you can expand its capabilities indefinitely, without a capacity “cliff” seeing your progress collapse in a heap like Neymar Jr in the penalty box.

Bringing in a top-class coach

As the first-round departure of 2014 World Champions Germany demonstrated, having the right tools only works if you know how to effectively use them. Many businesses already have the right technology infrastructure in place, but lack the expertise to unlock its almost unlimited potential. They just need to be shown how.

Customer Experience (CX) consultancy Bluleader is heading the charge on the Power Platform in Australia as technology pioneers. Bluleader specialises in guiding its clients on a high-speed journey towards digital transformation. Bluleader’s CX team will teach your business how to use this innovation toolset to unleash your competitive advantage through faster processes, greater efficiency and flexibility, and deeper insights from your data. It’s like Football Federation Australia hiring Dutch coaching great Guus Hiddink to take the Socceroos to their greatest international success.

The combination of pace, precision and the Power Platform can help your company attain another attractive “p-word” – profit. Because while business world may not be a sport, it’s most certainly a competition, and one where defeat can have far more dire consequences than a sombre post-match interview, slightly smaller bonus and a first-class plane ticket home.

To sign Bluleader up to your team and unleash your business’s full potential, call Phil Walsh or Louwis Venter on (02) 9037 4345