Taking the ABB web experience to the next level

As ABB wins recognition for setting new benchmarks in web experience we take the first steps to unlocking real business value online

The Internet is all about connectivity. Not just connectivity between machines or people, but connectivity between different ideas, different business models, and different possibilities. Wearable computing, 3D printing, autonomous cars, smart phones – these are all the result of connections between disciplines. Understanding and creating such connections will be the key to developing ABB’s web presence.

As a young boy I once imagined a world where computers could be easily connected together, and all of the fantastic opportunities this could bring. I was lucky enough that this came true, and luckier still that I was able to build a career on the amazing technology that is the Internet.

The web has transformed our world and together with Moore’s law and increasingly sophisticated software and hardware it has brought seemingly impossible things into our everyday lives. With no sign of this trend abating a career in technology brings the challenge to constantly re-invent, rethink, discard old assumptions and unlock new ways to create value.

I accepted such a challenge in 2011 when I joined ABB to help bring the transformative power of the Internet to ABB’s communications, customers and business. The web is the initial contact point for many of our interactions with the world, but its potential goes far beyond making a positive first impression. Using the web to convey information is last century’s vision. The true power today lies in its ability to be integrated within every part of our business process, to capture unimaginable quantities of data and draw new insights, to be mobile – even wearable – together with innovative user interfaces that make the web actionable and proactive. This is where we can unlock real business value.

Getting business value from the web

Together with hundreds of colleagues across ABB we’ve made the first steps on this journey, being recently recognized for setting a new benchmark in web experience through the new web platform and design that is the foundation for our vision.

Although we are proud of this achievement, it is only the beginning and our goals need to be set higher every day.

We are actively working to make our web more actionable by integrating business processes such as product availability, pricing and ordering in ways that make the experience simple and elegant, as modern technology users expect. We’re looking at opportunities to integrate information in ways that bring user value, and projects such as “Ask ABB” are helping us to create information that is tailored to customers and to the search engines that are an essential part of their lives.

We are also listening closely, making extensive use of analytics and feedback to get a deeper understanding of what our users need. We know that we don’t provide a perfect experience on every visit and we are using data to focus carefully on improving that.

The future

At the same time, new expectations, new behaviors and new opportunities continue to emerge. Just as self driving cars were unimaginable only a few years ago, our web development plan for the next 5 years can’t be based only on what we know today. It  must be based on continuous dialogue with users, our business, and the opportunities that technology will continue to unlock.

Together with the way that we think, the way we work also needs to evolve. In 2011 we released a new version of our web software every 3 months. Today we’ve brought this down to 2 weeks, and our ultimate goal is to be able to deliver new functionality every single day. In such a relentlessly changing environment the ability to experiment, react and innovate are essential.

Although I imagined a kind of Internet 30 years ago, I could never have envisioned what actually took place, or how exciting it has turned out to be.  Most exciting of all will be the next 30 years, and I’m thrilled to be a part of ABB’s web journey towards that future as we continue to innovate, imagine, and execute to make every ABB web user’s experience more productive, rewarding, and valuable.

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About the author

Mark Seall

I'm head of Digital Communications at ABB
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