In case you missed our big news, last week we announced that we’re now Wiser Solutions Inc. We wanted to take the time to introduce you to the new President of Wiser (former CEO & President of Mobee), Hal Charnley. Hal brings decades of executive experience in the tech sector and we are excited to have him onboard.
We recently conducted an interview with Hal to learn a bit more about his vision, passion, and what he’s bringing to the new Wiser.
Hal, we’re a little less than a week into our merger. What excites you about this merger and what do you aim to accomplish as a cohesive team in the next six months?
“Finalizing the terms of this merger was a great moment because we now have a much more expansive product offering and a lot more heft in the market. As Wiser, we are able to collect both in-store and online data and give our clients the opportunity to take action on this broader dataset. It was such a natural fit, bringing together our in-store and online capabilities, because we truly held the puzzle piece the other was looking for. Together we’re able to move forward as a cohesive unit that can focus on the holistic, omnichannel reality our clients are faced with.
In the next six months we have a lot of work to do to make our solutions as intuitive as possible. Our new entity covers all aspects of retail, and is also helpful for many other industries. Conveying our robust offerings and building up our joint brand is one of our primary goals. In addition, we will need to establish a scalable operating model that allows us to function efficiently across multiple sites.”
Now that we’re now Wiser Solutions, Inc., how do you think they will better serve the retail, QSR, and financial services industries?
“Having access to data across industries is paramount in 2017. Either you know where you stand in the market or your strategies are uninformed. Putting the power of offline and online data collection together provides a holistic solution that goes far beyond retail. These insights are immediately actionable, helping businesses become more efficient and put the most optimal strategies into place consistently.”
Backing up a bit, what inspired you to join the Mobee team back in 2014?
“My career has spanned a number of different industries (probably too many!). I had just sold my prior company in the spring of 2014 and was looking for the ‘right’ next opportunity. ‘Right’ in my mind is an intellectually challenging market/business model, an opportunity to make an immediate impact, and the opportunity to work with great people. Mobee had all of those things and I knew one of the Board members–and here I am.”
As many people have likely heard from me already, I have a keen appreciation for the impact that an amazing culture can have on business performance. This is something that has been near and dear to me for over two decades as a business leader. It is something that we have in the Wiser East office and I can already feel the same thing with Wiser’s West coast team.”
Since retail is one of the core industries Wiser serves, what predictions do you have for the industry, based on your deep knowledge?
“We are certainly witnessing a shift in retail currently. Some traditional retailers are finding it hard to adapt to our digital reality, or are playing a time-consuming game of catch up, compared to competitors. But no channel is better than any other. Meeting your customers where they are is the right perspective to take.
Mega-retailers, like Amazon and Walmart understand this, as they’ve both recently completed a flurry of acquisitions. Online channels are growing much faster than offline, but the reality is that the vast majority of sales still happen in stores. Amazon’s move to open up bookstores and take over Whole Foods seemed puzzling at first, but in hindsight they were genius. They have impressive online sales growth, and having physical stores with real people helping out is the next step. They’re setting up a comprehensive retail business that reaches nearly all consumers, instead of keeping a narrow, albeit successful, online focus.
We’re in an interesting time where the retail winners and losers are being decided. It’s an era of experimentation and those who can fail fast and keep on generating new ideas will be the companies that will still be household names in 10 years.”
Thanks so much for your time and insights, Hal!
“My pleasure. I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish together as Wiser.”
About Hal Charnley
Hal Charnley is the President of Wiser Solutions Inc. Charnley took over Mobee as President and CEO in 2014. He is a former executive/CEO at several tech companies including NetClarity, Artel, 3Com, and Chipcom, and Director of Cambridge Sound Management. Hal holds an MBA from Boston University and BS and MS in Computer Science from UMass.