What is your background briefly?

I’ve spent many years client side managing brand and design for large UK retailers, before I jumped ship and went agency side. With my own agency I spent several years consulting and creating people facing brand communications for some truly global businesses. Gradually I have shifted into the tech arena.

Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?

My career has never followed a logical path, I’m attracted to businesses that create change in meaningful ways, Omnitude is one of those businesses. Most importantly though I find myself here because I like to work with interesting people who care about what they do. So no, it’s not logical, it’s emotional.

1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

Omnitude are creating a blockchain framework via middleware, where progressive businesses who see the advantages of DLT technology can engage our broad-based system easily, efficiently without the need to update their current IT systems.

The variety of business cases we are currently working on is truly exciting, from data integrity in transportation systems and infrastructures, provenance of goods and sustainable manufacture, through to self-sovereign identity management systems.

Why did you get involved with this project?

It’s the biggest idea I have ever seen, it’s potential for positive change is huge, and it’s attracted the brightest minds I’ve met. We started out as friends, and that has continued and grown in strength. None of us are doing it for the sake of the technology.

I do it because I understand the potential it has to transform businesses and their relationships with individuals. That takes me back to my roots in branding and design. Each of us has our own motivation but we all sit under the umbrella of being pioneers in our field who embrace the challenge of making this big idea happen.

Why do you think it is such a powerful idea?

I think Omnitude is such a powerful idea because it is so simple. Digital transformation has brought complexity into our lives in many ways, from extended global supply chains, through remote relationships with businesses we know very little about, and communication through social platforms that farm us all for our data and serve it back to us as advertising. Blockchain’s ability for transparency and security can help us solve these complex problems in simpler ways.

We believe it’s all about authenticity, possession and ownership, it’s taken us a long time to understand the complexity of this technology in simplistic terms. Our technology is all about clarity and security for individuals and businesses alike.

If you combine that with efficient methods of implementing blockchain into existing businesses with lower costs and clearer benefits, then the potential is huge.

Why is there a growing need for blockchain within global business?

As digital transformation has taken hold it has created a growing gap between makers and consumers. We now have hugely complex systems of supply that have been put in place to exploit the growing global reach of businesses. It’s only now with hindsight we can see that it has not always been beneficial.

There is a growing awareness of the importance of sustainability, trust and safety to consumers and users alike, and blockchain seems to be the right technology at the right time to help solve these complex issues.

Businesses now are under increasing pressure to act responsibly and respect their end users. They understand the importance of this demand and are now reacting to it. Blockchain may well be able to help them not only create a better operating framework but also opens up new avenues of development for their organisations.

Can you explain more about this?

Businesses ignore the wants and needs of their consumers at their own risk. If you don’t listen to growing demands from individuals to respect their digital identity, create products that are sustainable, don’t exploit developing economies and workers etc, etc then those customers will go elsewhere.

My generation has adopted this technological world, my children and their children are native to it… they get what it can do and want proof positive that businesses are using it responsibly. People might not even know that it’s blockchain, but when they understand there is immutable proof available for the sourcing and supply of their goods and services they will demand that it is available and stewarded.

Tell us about the importance of Millennials within this marketplace?

From a marketing perspective you should always look at the potential for markets on the rise and understand markets that are in decline. Baby boomers have always been a rich seam to mine for brands and businesses, and continue to remain so, but that market will get smaller. Millennials as they continue to move upwards in their careers will gain more and more spending power, even though currently they have less disposable income. They have a different set of shared values, so their incentives will change, they are much more likely to ask questions around the sourcing of the goods they buy, and are much more concerned with supporting businesses that have a social purpose of some kind. You don’t need to be a genius to understand that this market and its demands needs to be recognised and serviced with integrity.

What are the Retail trends in relation to blockchain, AI ,machine learning ,IOT in a broad overview?

This new wave of innovation will see all this data that is being amassed by businesses on their consumers being put to work to enable a much more flexible and personalised shopping experience. AI can help link up any customers real-world and online shopping experience into a profile that can be anticipated and acted on by retailers. We will soon see much more fluid and flexible retail experiences that change with location, weather, time of day and demographic. Pop up shops in certain seasons or around significant events, IOT gives us automated checkout, personalised discounts and beacon driven advertising and promotions depending on where you are in relation to the store or even where you are in the store itself.

For all of this to work well, you need the secure and trusted movement of data, ensuring privacy and choice is in the hands of your customer. Blockchain allows this, and even allows you to reward your customer directly for loyalty via a user controlled Self-sovereign identity and crypto transactions. It all becomes rather mind boggling. But it has already started to happen and will soon become commonplace.

How can people find out more about you & your work?

You can visit us at https://omnitude.tech/ , follow us on twitter or email us at [email protected]

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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