Technology: How To Get The Win & Avoid An Own Goal

Written on Father’s Day 2014. Learn more about Dan Reeve.

Technology, it’s there to help us be more productive, give us greater capacity, allow us to focus on more valuable activities and achieve our goals. I got to thinking about the future this weekend as a result of a few things.

  • Reading how Fortune 500 describes the type of work that we will do in the future.
  • Watching the France v Honduras Soccer match.
  • Viewing the movie ‘Her’

It’s Father’s Day, I’ve just read an article noting that between 2001-2009 jobs that required some form of interaction/problem solving grew in the US by 4.8 million—whereas production manufacturing jobs fell by 2.9 million. Maybe I’m paranoid. Surely I am not the only dad wondering what his daughter will grow up to be, what education will she need, what skills can we give her to help her to be happy, independent and (dare I say) competitive. We feel a need to ensure that our daughter is exposed and comfortable with technology—That she uses it as an advantage, yet that she has the emotional intelligence and personal skills to ensure she can bring something to the game that technology and automation cannot. 

Technology At The World Cup And In Cinema

This afternoon, I watched the French Striker ‘Karim Benzema’ take apart Honduras with some clinical goal scoring. At one point, he smashed a ball against the goal post and the camera footage was unable to show if the ball had crossed the goal line. Technology came to the rescue! the new technology showed the ball had been accidentally pushed over the line by the Honduras goalkeeper. In a cruel twist, this evidence robbed Benzema of recording a ‘hatrick’ (3 goals in a single game), as it was the second goal that was judged to be an own goal by the keeper. The result was the same. France scored a second goal and were on their way to a convincing win. Technology provided the greater visibility that many a soccer game lacked in the past. The majority will be pleased with the goal line technology. However, I am sure the Honduras goalkeeper would have preferred a delayed “go live” of the new technology.

This evening we watched the movie ‘Her’, a comedy/tech spoof in which Joaquin Phoenix and ‘Samantha’ a near future computer OS fall in love. She understands him better than his former wife, and she learns the full-spectrum of human emotions. Technology helps him move past his ex-wife, breaks his heart and sets up a business deal that he may not have had the foresight to organize on his own. I was expecting technology to gang up on the human race, instead ‘Samantha’ evolves and leaves.

I hope to enjoy many more World Cups. Every four years, I am sure that I will reflect how technology has crept into the game and our lives ever further. I will need to ensure I play my role as a father to educate my daughter and ensure we both keep up with technology. Just as critics of Robert Luis Stevenson’s Steam Train failed to block his ‘rocket’, I think we have little chance of holding back the advancement of technology and automation—so we best get onboard.

Embracing The Change That Comes With Technology

My day job at Esker is about helping companies to remove errors and automate Order-to-Cash and Procure-to-Pay processes. This enables customer service and procurement staff to spend more time actually talking and strengthening relationships with customers and vendors–and in turn, cut costs through less errors and supply chain efficiency. I’m pleased when I see automation technology being deployed and the existing staff are able to take on more strategic tasks that are both satisfying and more valuable.  I have found that automation leads to productivity gains and more job security, especially when staff embrace the change that comes with technology. I see this as the method for ensuring a win as oppose to an “own goal” through the continued introduction of automation.


Daniel Reeve

Dan Reeve has been with Esker for 18 years. As Sales Director he helps companies streamline and improve visibility across order to cash and procure to pay. Transforming customer service and helping companies utilize digital transformation in order to compete via service/customer loyalty. For P2P it means accelerating invoice approval, paying suppliers faster, freeing up cash flow and leveraging supply chain finance opportunities.

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