The pace of innovation is accelerating in the mobile space like never before and opening up new opportunities. Mobile has the potentiel to bridge the digital and the real worlds. Not a day without a new mobile augmented reality service or application out on the market. Of course, that's still niche but it clearly demonstrates the potential of the mobile platform.
If you disagree or if you don't get my point, just watch the video below
This video is not brand new and has already been seen close to 500,000 times. The service is provided by an innovative start-up that offers a reality browser available for Android. However, these types of applications are flourishing. See for example the Métro Paris application here or more recently the Meilleursagents.com app here.
I bet the best mobile service at the next MWC conference in Barcelona will be a mobile augmented reality app or service. If you haven't submitted your service, the contest is now open at www.globalmobileawards.com.
After a wave of pretty abysmal attempts in the early part of this decade, virtual chat agents pretty much disappeared from the scene. However, the past couple of years has seen a new wave of implementations of this customer-facing technology with some large-company implementations, including “Frank” on the Verizon website (Ask Verizon); “Louise” at eBay France (Votre conseillère virtuelle); and “Anna” at Ikea (Have a Question?). Virtual chat sits in the interaction spectrum between search and live customer service agents and combines natural language processing, conversational interactions, and an (optional) animated persona.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to three different vendors in this marketplace — all of whom have seen an uptick in the their business over the past 12 months. The common themes expressed by all three — the ability to engage customers with a more conversational tone where questions are answered, rather than search results based on keywords presented; and common results of better sales and higher service call avoidance, indicate that virtual agents may make a good corporate “hire” in the right circumstances. Rough estimates of costs — about $0.25 per successful resolution of the customer problem.
If you are in the office when reading this blog post, please take a moment to look around to your colleagues and register what they're doing. Are they on the phone? Using their BlackBerry's? Do they have an iPhone on their desk? Are they using the PC? What for?
To understand better how employees perceive and use technology Forrester recently launched a product called Workforce Technographics(R). We surveyed 2,000 people in the US with jobs in which they use a computer covering topics like how much time they spend with their computers and phones, which applications they use daily or even hourly, what applications they find indispensable, who they work with, and much more.
with some of my Forrester analyst colleagues earlier today I listened into the
conference call hosted by executives of both - Dell and Perot Systems - to explain the rationale behind Dell's
announcement to buy Perot for US$ 3.9 billion cash. There has been some
speculation lately about Dell possibly making such a move, but the timing and
the target they finally picked came as a bit of a surprise to everyone. The speculation was rooted in some of the statements made by Steve
Schuckenbrock, President of Large Enterprise and Services at Dell, earlier this
year where he pronounced that Dell would get much more serious around the
services business. Now, you would of course expect nothing less from someone
like Steve - after all he has spend much of his professional career prior to
Dell as a top executive in the services industry (with EDS and The Feld Group).
To this end Steve and his team finally delivered on the expectation, even more
so as this had not been the first time that Dell promised a stronger emphasis on
I talked recently with the SAP CRM management team and partnering with SAP appears to becoming less onerous for vendors of customer-facing complementary software products. Many of these interaction-centric products in areas such as email management, knowledge management, and communication channel management had been forced into a go-it-alone strategy when looking to integrate with SAP CRM and Customer Service installations due to complex partnering rules and high fees. In a recent briefing, SAP appears to have loosened the reins a bit – structuring mutually beneficial agreements with a number of companies (announcements to follow) outside of their traditional partner channels. This bodes well for all three stakeholders in such a relationship: SAP, who broadens the capabilities of its product with well-integrated point solutions; independent software vendors, who can now work with SAP to tighten integrations; and users, who will benefit from co-marketed, tested solutions. As an indication that this is not just trading logos on PowerPoint decks, in at least one case, most of the work to integrate the products is taking place by SAP within the SAP product. Expect more news about the specifics of this new strategy in next few weeks. This is a vast change from prior policies which offered potential “partners” two choices – take it or leave it.
I just published a doc “Footwear
Manufacturers’ Cross-Channel Experience, 2009” with the results of
Cross-Channel Reviews of the four leading footwear manufacturers: adidas, New
Balance, Nike, and Puma. We tried to complete standard user goals (looking for
running shoes, buying a pair, and then tracking the order) in several channels
(Web, IVR, phone, and email) and then looked at the experiences across
I am off to the annual itSMF USA conference in Dallas TX, better known as Fusion 09. This is expected to be the biggest and best IT Servcie Management conference yet and the pinnacle of the itSMF USA organizations progress to date. I hope these predictions come true because I am an avid supporter of itSMF and its mission to promote service management excellence.
As one element of a new partnership between Forrester Research and itSMF USA, we will be holding one-on-one meetings between conference attendees and Forrester analysts. Both my delightful and brilliant colleague Evelyn Hubbert and I will be there and we look forward to one-on-one meetings with as many people we can fit in!
With all the wonderful sessions that will be happening at the conference, it is tough to pick favorites. Still, here are the sessions I hope to catch while I'm there.