The proof is in the details.

And the details are what Deb Miller focuses on in her monthly column for CMSWire. Miller picks apart the elements that create winning customer experiences, whether looking through a wide lens at how the banking industry is reinventing its customer interactions or on a personal level in her frustration with healthcare tech.

Throughout, Miller puts broader trends in a historical perspective, reminding us that while the focus on innovation is definitely of the moment, it has deep roots in the past.

What was the biggest lesson you learned in 2016?

In 2016, I rediscovered that true business value is in the mind of the customer. It's all about customer perception and context in the vertical industry where the customer lives. 

What gives you the greatest satisfaction at work?

This year I had the chance to build an industry marketing team and discipline at Appian. Working with some seriously smart and crazy creative people (yes, you know who you are!) has made it an interesting and satisfying year.  

Name one (work-related) moment that surprised or gave you an a-ha moment in 2016.

Realized that not everyone has heard of Five Easy Pieces, but they all know Wolf of Wall Street.

Did you ever take on a job you thought you couldn't do?


Learning Opportunities

I've taken some risks and definitely had to figure out some jobs while "in-flight," but I find that far more interesting than doing the same job over and over. 

As a favorite colleague once said, "no reason you can't screw it up as well as the next guy."

If you had to get rid of your computer or your phone, which would it be and why?

I would ditch my computer ... mobility is everything! But in the future, I'll get rid of the phone too once brain-to-brain communication is  perfected.

When you were seven years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a librarian. I loved reading — still do — and my neighborhood library was the most magical place on earth to me. 

Of course I thought that the librarian's job was to read books all day ... and shush all the noisy people. I would still like to have that job!

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