PlumSlice is delighted to welcome Mike Jones to our team of eCommerce and technology veterans who are bringing you the industry’s first holistic solution to product information and development for the omnichannel market. Mike’s credentials are outstanding: he has led executive IT teams at Gap and served as Chief Development Officer for JC Penney. Mike understands firsthand what needs to be done to move legacy organizations into the omnichannel environment and he has a stellar track record in helping organizations make the transition. Over the next months we will explore, in this blog, how Mike sees retailers moving to an omnichannel environment, what needs to be done and what benefits accrue.
Q. Describe your new position at PlumSlice.
A. I have two main objectives: driving product development to respond to customer needs and global technology changes, and working with eCommerce C-level and senior executives to explore solutions that will help them fulfill customer expectations. I see my role as a subject matter expert, working at the intersection of product strategy, sales and customer relationships – taking the mystery and fear out of new IT implementations and showing how they can be achieved quickly and seamlessly.
Q. What attracted you to come to PlumSlice?
A. The business model and solution offerings put forth by the founders, specifically Abnesh Raina. In my former role leading IT development staffs, I wished I had an all inclusive product management solution product. The PlumSlice modules and services provide for a holistic approach to managing products internally and externally.
Q. Where do you see yourself spending the most time on a daily basis?
A. While I’m based in Dallas, I will be certainly be traveling quite a bit to meet with customers onsite and help design a solution for them that meets their specific needs. As someone who has worked in IT leadership, I understand the inherent challenges in choosing and integrating any new solution. I can dialogue on a peer-to-peer basis with executives and drill down to discussions at the architecture level, as needed.
Q. As you travel around the country, who do you see taking the lead in evaluating omnichannel support systems? Who should these constituents be?
A. Even though my career has focused on IT, I believe the CIO should not be the lead decision maker. It has to be a collaboration among the executive suite or omnichannel implementation will fail.
Q. You seem quite firm in your belief that the CIO can’t necessarily drive this change.
A. At the core we’re talking about organizational change and that takes broader collaboration. It might be the Chief Marketing Officer, the Chief Merchandising Officer or even head of the supply chain. But it does have to be a top-down initiative. As CIOs change and become more strategic and talk in business rather than technical terms, their role in this omnichannel environment will become more powerful.