The People Puzzle in Shifting to a Customer-Obsessed Business

Victor Milligan

It’s not news that the digitally-empowered customer is changing our world. What is news is (1) the pace needed to catch-up to an extremely dynamic and impatient customer and (2) the magnitude of real change needed to meet the challenges (and opportunities) of a customer-led market.

The magnitude and pace of change driven by customers, competitors, and innovation can be dizzying:

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Forrester’s Security & Risk Spotlight – Rick Holland

Stephanie Balaouras

Newly minted Vice President and Principal Analyst, Rick Holland, is one of the most senior analysts on our research team. But for those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to get to know him, Rick started his career as an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, and he went on to hold a variety of security engineer, administrator, and strategy positions outside of the military before arriving at Forrester. His research focuses on incident response, threat intelligence, vulnerability management, email and web content security, and virtualization security. Rick regularly speaks at security events including the RSA conference and SANS summits and is frequently quoted in the media. He also guest lectures at his alma mater, the University of Texas at Dallas.

Rick Holland Image

Rick holds a B.S. in business administration with an MIS concentration (cum laude) from the University of Texas at Dallas. Rick is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and a GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH).

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As Salesforce, The SaaS Behemoth Grows, So Does Pressure On Deals

Liz Herbert

This is the second post in a series on strategies and tactics for negotiating your licensing agreements with software companies including SAP, Salesforce, and Workday.

Salesforce is coming off of another banner H1 and monumental customer event, Dreamforce ’15. The SaaS giant continues its meteoric rise — now into full-blown CRM, Internet of Things (IoT), and broader platform use cases. Customers remain excited and enthusiastic about Salesforce’s potential to transform their business, and they continue to adopt more and more of the Salesforce portfolio.

This continued growth has also meant a greater deal scrutiny by customers big and small. Although Salesforce famously built its business by going direct to line of business leaders -- flying under the radar of corporate procurement and IT -- those days are coming to an end. Salesforce’s growing deal sizes and newfound position as a mission-critical, strategic platform have caught the attention of sourcing and procurement professionals, IT leaders, CFOs, and even CEOs and Boards of Directors.

As you think about your relationship with Salesforce and prepare for negotiations, here are some tips to consider:

  1. Have a thorough understanding of your current and future Salesforce usage. This will inform an appropriate and fair deal that you won’t outgrow too quickly.
  2. Remember that deal structure and contract terms and conditions are critical. It’s not just about your price or the discounts negotiated, but also the business value your company is receiving.
  3. Be watchful for “hidden” extras such as Premier Support, storage, and sandboxes. Understand their value to you and some alternative options.
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Introducing Unified Marketing Impact Analytics

Jim Nail

“Hey…you got chocolate in my peanut butter!”

This line from a 1980’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups campaign is a classic in advertising…and aptly describes what is happening in marketing measurement today. (For a blast from the past click here to view this oldie!)

Two proven techniques that work great separately – attribution and marketing mix modeling – work even better when merged into a unified measurement approach.

I suspected the convergence of different marketing analytics approaches was inevitable so earlier this year, my colleague Tina Moffett and I began sharing our ideas on where marketing measurement was headed.   We agreed each approach provides only a partial answer to the marketing ROI puzzle and they shared enough methodological similarity that merging them was plausible.

We’ve just completed research that shows that our intuition is correct and in our new report "Embrace Unified Marketing Impact Analytics to Deliver Value Across Interactions" we dubbed this converged approach as Unified Marketing Impact Analytics (UMIA), defining it as:

blend of statistical techniques that assigns business value to each element of the marketing mix at both a strategic and tactical level. 

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From Insights To Innovation: Data-Driven Disruption

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

Tomorrow Forrester will host our Geneva-based clients for a breakfast meeting and discussion on “Powering Innovation Strategies with Insights.” My colleague, Luca Paderni, will kick off the morning with a presentation on digital disruption in the age of the customer, specifically looking at how to take a pragmatic approach to innovation with the “adjacent possible.” Then I will lead a discussion on how to build an action-oriented approach to data and analytics, exploring examples of companies that have successfully turned their data into new business opportunities – into data-derived innovation. 

Thanks to Forrester’s Business Technographics, we know that business and technology leaders prioritize initiatives that secure their position in the age of the customer – to improve customer experience, address rising customer expectations, and improve their products and services (kind of all the same thing, or very closely related). It’s all about the customer.  But when we ask about these priorities, the one that comes next – right after the customer-focused initiatives – is innovation: “improving our ability to innovate.” They know that the disruptions they face in the age of the customer won’t be addressed with business as usual (BAU as one of my clients referred to it yesterday; I learned a new TLA).  Innovation has been elevated to an initiative, which means that executives are focused on it and likely someone is in-charge of it – we’ll come back to that one. 

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Forrester’s Customer Experience Index, Q3 2015: It’s Hard Being An Optimist

Michael Gazala

I am an eternal optimist. My take on the Dow’s spiraling downward in Q3? Buying opportunity! That “exercise pill” scientists are working on that promises the benefits of exercise without any of the effort? I’m thinking my six pack abs are now a sure thing. And I’m even holding out hope that the next season of “Homeland” will be as good as the first.

But the Q3 2015 data from our Customer Experience Index is making it hard for an optimist like me to find a lot of bright spots.

We’re in a world fraught with persistent economic imbalances where customers with copious options are flexing their market muscles more than ever before. If this is still news to you, I suggest reading up on our research about the Age of the Customer. But I think most of you know that an obsession with winning, serving and retaining customers is a must, and that you should transform your company to be more customer-focused.

Given that, I expected our latest US CX Index report would reveal that brands are delivering customer experiences that are getting better at strengthening the loyalty of their customers. But while much remained the same in the second round of Forrester’s 2015 US CX Index study (scores didn’t change for 69% of brands), when scores did change, they got worse instead of better. So, of 92 scores that changed significantly from round one to round two, only seven improved; 85 got significantly worse.  It’s hard being an optimist when:

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What Does It Mean To Have Privacy As A Competitive Differentiator?

Heidi Shey

In 2015, 26% of global security decision makers consider privacy as a competitive differentiator for their organization.* But what does that even mean? And how would an organization achieve this?

Last week I was out in Las Vegas for Privacy. Security. Risk. and moderated a panel on this topic. Panelists included Michael McCullough (CPO, VP, Enterprise Information Management and Privacy, Macy's), Nathan Taylor (Partner, Morrison & Foerster), and Jamie May (VP of Operations, AllClear ID). Two things were clear:

  1. The ability and desire to use privacy as a competitive differentiator heavily depends on the nature of the business. For example, a cloud provider would approach this differently vs a company that sells gasoline.
  2. Treating privacy as a competitive differentiator vs marketing/selling with it are separate concepts. Some organizations may choose to embrace both. Treating privacy as a competitive differentiator has more to do with corporate culture, privacy practices, and your privacy team. The notion of responsible information management came up several times during the panel session. There is also risk involved with marketing/selling with privacy as a competitive differentiator; if you make a promise, you must be able to fulfill it.
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Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad AI?

Peter Burris

I’ve read a lot recently about the emerging danger of increasingly powerful artificial intelligence. Are there dangers? Of course, but I don’t think we have to worry about machines suddenly deciding it’s in their best interest to end humanity. Here’s why:

The debate first assumes that machines develop a “self-interest” that’s distinct from their programming. Again, leaving aside all the research that demonstrates that the relationship in humans between self-interest, rationality, and intelligence is weak, at best, let’s assume that machines do “learn”:

  • the need to protect “themselves”;
  • acts that can protect them from humans;
  • the ability to discern the impacts of taking those acts; and
  • acquire enough control to execute those acts.
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The Time Is Now To Invest In Knowledge Management

Kate Leggett

All that customers want these days is effortless engagement. 55% of US online adults say that they are very likely to abandon their online purchase if they cannot find a quick answer to their question. 77% say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service

Customers increasingly use web self-service as a first point of contact with a company. In fact, last year, web self-service was the most commonly used communication channel for customer service, exceeding phone use for the first time ever.

Companies are not only investing in customer-facing knowledge. They are also using knowledge management solutions to add order and easy access to content for customer-facing personnel - specifically for customer service agents. Our data shows that 62% of technology decision-makers say that they have implemented or are expanding their implementation, and 21% plan to implement their knowledge implementation in the next 12 months.

Knowledge delivered to the customer or the customer-facing employee at the right time in the customer engagement process is critical to a successful interaction. When done correctly, deeper knowledge can be used to personalize an interaction, increase customer satisfaction, reduce call handle time, lead to operational efficiencies, increase customer engagement, and ultimately drive conversion and revenue. 

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Do Developers Need a Hippocratic Oath?

Jeffrey Hammond

"I will utterly reject harm and mischief."

These words, taken from the Hippocratic oath, are ones that I think application development and delivery professionals should consider carefully as we watch the latest example of "Software eating the world" gone wrong. In this case the software algorithms in the "defeat device" that Bosch created for VW defeated emissions testing for millions of diesel cars. Now, 7 years later, VW is setting aside $7.3 billion to remediate the result. But this is just the latest example of developer complicity in creating algorithms of questionable quality. Consider:

  • Facebook's manipulation of users' news feeds. In 2014 Facebook revealed that it had manipulated the news feeds of over half a million randomly selected users to change the number of positive and negative posts they saw. It was part of a psychological study to examine how emotions can be spread on social media.
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