IMD International

IMD and Cisco launch the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation

From left: Michael Wade, Peter Wuffli, Dominique Turpin, Martin McPhee, Thierry Maupilé, and Edzard Overbeek

June 25, 2015

IMD and Cisco recently inaugurated the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center), an IMD and Cisco initiative that brings together innovation and learning to create disruptive business models for the digital era.

The DBT Center is a global research hub at the forefront of digital business transformation, where executives engage in solving the challenges created by massive market transitions. The DBT Center seeks out diverse viewpoints from a wide range of organizations — start-ups, incumbents, and disruptors — to bring new ideas, best practices, and disruptive thinking into the process. The collaboration combines Cisco's leadership in the Internet of Everything — the networked connection of people, process, data, and things — with IMD's expertise in applied research and developing global leaders, focusing on the organizational change required for digital transformation.

"IMD's vision is to be the best at business value development," said IMD President Dominique Turpin at the launch. "It's a great day for the school. This will be a win-win project. We are extremely excited about all the opportunities."

Martin McPhee, senior Vice President of Cisco Consulting Services, said "the pace of change has been accelerating faster than ever," discussing the center's first report called "Digital Vortex: How Digital Disruption is Redefining Industries". The paper demonstrates that although 75% of executives surveyed for the study believe digital disruption is a form of progress, 43% either do not acknowledge the risk of digital disruption or have not addressed it sufficiently; furthermore, only 25% describe their approach as proactive.

According to IMD Professor and Cisco Chair for Digital Business Transformation Michael Wade, the Center "aims to become the preferred global source for unbiased research and thought leadership".

The inauguration was followed by three workshops so executives could experience how, as Thierry Maupilé, IMD MBA alumnus and Cisco Head of Strategic Ecosystem Group - Chief Technology and Strategy Office, put it, "the center's office is a sandbox to test digital business transformation".

Kristin Huuse, Project Manager at Cisco, presented the Connected Classroom, an initiative that will be used for IMD's "Global Leadership in the Cloud" blended learning programs. The classroom allows groups to communicate remotely as if they were in the same room together. This will facilitate intimate teaching experiences while professors and participants can be in different parts of the world without having to travel to meet face to face.

Also during the launch, participants were given a tour of the Digital Business Innovation Lab, which included a number of examples of connected objects that make up the Internet of Everything, such as a 3-D printer, an electric motorcycle with a battery that can provide electricity to houses while not being used for transport, and more.

Participants got to travel back in time to Cape Canaveral on July 21, 1969, to experience the first manned flight to the moon through the eyes of Neil Armstrong, thanks to Oculus Rift goggles.

Stephan Monterde, Director of Business Development at Cisco, said that thanks to digital business transformation, in the near future this type of eyewear will allow people to go on virtual shopping trips for example.

Summing up the event Michael Wade said "the DBT Center will help businesses answer why, what, and how they should digitally transform and it will draw upon the experiences of executives who are facing digital disruption".

Find out more about the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center).

Coinciding with the opening of the center, IMD also recently launched Leading Digital Business Transformation, a program designed for business leaders and senior managers from all business areas, who wish to develop a strategic roadmap for digital business transformation in their organizations.

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