Customer Obsession Will Remake App-Development Tools

John R. Rymer
Application-development leaders shifting to modern techniques are like acrobats performing above a flimsy net. The tools and technologies they need to support the planning, execution, and evaluation of customer-focused applications just aren't widely available yet. The biggest gaps are in portfolio management, test-and-learn development environments, and digital application platforms. This report provides an overview of the tools and technologies application-development leaders need. 
 
Our key findings: 
 
  1. Organizing Principles For Tools: Composition, Collaboration, Continuous Delivery. An emphasis on composition, collaboration, and continuous delivery makes modern application development different from prior eras. Tools and technologies must support with equal facility apps, projects, and assets living in public clouds and private data centers. They must also foster contextual collaboration in near real time to enable rapid, continuous delivery.
  2. Tools Reflect The Needs Of Cross-Skilled "Two-Pizza” Teams. Tools for modern application development and delivery reflect the convergence of roles across the old boundaries between product management, design, development, QA, and operations. Not all market-leading products act on this reality; they still address siloed roles as before. Thus, application-development teams will look to new tools — even command-line editors — and open source projects to improve project flow.
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Start Caring About VR And 360-Degree Video

Nick Barber

At the International CES mega show in Las Vegas, virtual reality hardware makers moved the needle on both consumption and creation devices for formats like VR and 360-degree video. Specifically in the area of 360 video creation technology, we saw some impressive cameras at CES.


Insta360 Pro debuted
 an 8K camera (left) that can also shoot 4K video at 100 frames per second. Slow mo, high res VR, anyone? The Insta360 also employs new H.265 encoding, which can deliver better video quality at the same bitrate versus H.264 compression. The camera is priced at $3,000, which is steep, but much more competitive than the $60,000 Nokia Ozo.

Ricoh added to its lineup of cameras with the Theta R, which can livestream in 2K resolution at 30 frames per second for up to 24 hours.

At $800 the Vuze Camera will finally begin to ship in March. Its compact size and price point will be good for brands and businesses that want to dip their toes into new content

VR and 360 content can be a powerful tool for companies. For example, Delta used a 360 image to show off its new Delta Premium offering. It drove 2,700 shares and 16,000 engagements. Click on the post below to see it in 360.

The hardware for VR and 360 video is one piece, but the technical and production component is equally as important. When it comes to producing 360 video, remember:

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How self-service technology is changing the contact center job landscape

Ian Jacobs

Over the holidays, I was a guest on the Modern Customer Podcast, a wonderful podcast hosted by Forbes’ blogger Blake Morgan. She describes the podcast as providing “surprising and counter-intuitive insights on customer experience, social customer service and content.” No pressure there, then. During our episode, Blake and I discussed the ways that increased usage of self-service has begun to dramatically transform the jobs of customer service personnel and contact center agents.

At heart, my argument goes like this: customers have begun to use, and in some cases even prefer, non-agented interactions. They use knowledgebases, FAQs, mobile customer self-service, chatbots, and peer-to-peer communities in increasing numbers. This means that:

  • Because self-service solves many of the simpler issues that customers have, the inquiries that do make it through to contact center agents are the more complex, difficult, or relationship-dependent ones. So, contact center agents now need to be prepared for solving harder problems than in the past.
  • Because most customers that actually do reach a contact center agent will have tried to self-serve and failed, they will more frustrated than they were in the past. In a world where the phone and even chat are actually escalation channels, agents start three steps back by the time they say the word, “Hello.”
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Divide (BI Governance From Data Governance) And Conquer

Boris Evelson

Stop! Before you invest even 10 minutes of your precious time reading this blog, please make sure it's really business intelligence (BI) governance, and not data governance best practices, that you are looking for. BI governance is a key component of data governance, but they're not the same. Data governance deals with the entire spectrum (creation, transformation, ownership, etc.) of people, processes, policies, and technologies that manage and govern an enterprise's use of its data assets (such as data governance stewardship applications, master data management, metadata management, and data quality).  On the other hand, BI governance only deals with who uses the data, when, and how.

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Findings From The Forrester CRM Wave For Enterprise Organizations

Kate Leggett

The CRM market serving the large enterprise is mature. The market has consolidated in the past five years. For example, Oracle has built its customer experience portfolio primarily by acquisition. SAP, like Oracle, aims to support end-to-end customer experiences and has made acquisitions — notably, Hybris in 2013 — to bolster its capabilities. Salesforce made a series of moves to strengthen the Service Cloud. It used this same tactic to broaden its CRM footprint with the acquisition of Demandware for eCommerce in 2016.

These acquisitions broaden and deepen the footprints of large vendors, but these vendors must spend time integrating acquired products, offering common user experiences as well as common business analyst and administrator tooling — priorities that can conflict with core feature development.

What this means is that these CRM vendors increasingly offer broader and deeper capabilities which bloat their footprint and increase their complexity with features that many users can't leverage. At the same time, new point solution vendors are popping up at an unprecedented rate and are delivering modern interfaces and mobile-first strategies that address specific business problems such as sales performance management, lead to revenue management, and digital customer experience.

The breadth and depth of CRM capabilities available from vendor solutions makes it increasingly challenging to be confident of your CRM choice. In the Forrester Wave: CRM Suites For Enterprise Organizations, Q4 2016. we pinpoint the strengths of leading vendors that offer solutions suitable for enterprise CRM teams. Here are some of our key findings:

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Business Intelligence Skills

Boris Evelson

So you have gone through the Discover and Plan of your Business Intelligence (BI) strategy and are ready to staff your BI support organization. What skills, experience, expertise and qualifications should you be looking for?

  • Since the term BI is often used to also include data management processes and technologies, let's assume that in your case you are only looking for expertise required to build reports and dashboards and it does not include
    • Data integration (ETL, etc) expertise
    • Data governance (master data management, data quality, etc) expertise
    • Data modelling (relational and multidimensional) expertise
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Developers: Will AI Run You Out Of Your Job?

Diego Lo Giudice

Much has been written about how artificial intelligence (AI) will put white-collar workers out of a job eventually. Will robots soon be able to do what programmers do best — i.e., write software programs? Actually, if you are or were a developer, you’ve probably already written or used software programs that can generate other software programs. That’s called code generation; in the past, it was done through “next” generation programming languages (such as a second-, third-, fourth-, or even fifth-generation languages), today are called low code IDEs. But also Java, C and C++ geeks have been turning high level graphical models like UML or BPML into code. But that’s not what I am talking about: I am talking about a robot (or bot) or AI software system that, if given a business requirement in natural language, can write the code to implement it — or even come up with its own idea and write a program for it.

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Another Agency Gets Gobbled Up: Accenture Announces The Acquisition Of Karmarama

Anjali Yakkundi

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a flurry of consultancies acquiring agencies. Acquity, BGT Partners, Lunar, and Cynergy  are just some of the agencies that have been scooped up. The agencies and consultancy convergence has radically altered the conversation for marketers looking to purchase marketing services. They now have a new category of provider to consider and new capabilities to assess across the board. And marketers are paying attention: 73% of marketers told us in a recent survey that they were somewhat open, open, or very open to using consultancies for digital marketing work.

 
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Take a Pragmatic Approach To Personalization

Anjali Yakkundi

Co-authored by Allison Cazalet 

Has the topic of personalization come up within your organization recently? Chances are that personalization not only comes up, it’s also a foremost priority: 68% of the firms we surveyed in our Q1 2016 Digital Experience Delivery Online Survey said personalization was one of the most important initiatives for their business today. Why? Because personalization is one of the best ways to contextually engage with customers across a variety of touch points. But many organizations we speak with today struggle to get initiatives off the ground and struggle to prove the business value of personalization.

To help organizations get started on their personalization program, my colleague Ted Schadler and I researched how best-in-class organizations today have operationalized personalization. The most successful firms we spoke with created a four-pronged personalization program that Forrester calls POST:

People – Before doing anything else, successful firms ask and answer this question: Which customers am I trying to reach and serve? In order to implement a successful personalization program, you will need to do the same by researching your customers in their context so that you know which ones to prioritize.  

Objectives – The next step to a successful personalization program is to make sure you and your personalization team have an in depth understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. You must keep this simple. Determine what business outcome you are optimizing, the experiences you will personalize, and what data you need to make it all happen.

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Is Data Visualization A Separate Market Or Just A Feature Of Business Intelligence Platforms?

Boris Evelson

Lots of my clients are confused. They start a Forrester inquiry with a question about data visualization capabilities, but when I lead them into discussion about business intelligence (BI) platforms, they say "but we already have a BI platform. All we really want is an ability to create and share data visualizations". Is there a separate market for that? If there is, I am not aware of one. Here's my take on it:

  • If what you are looking for includes requirements for data visualization administration, security, data management, version control, collaboration, etc, you really need a BI platform with data visualization capabilities.
    • The last time Forrester looked at Data Visualization as a separate capability was in 2012 and even then, as you will see from the URL, we ended up evaluated BI platforms.
    • In our last (and going forward) Wave on the topic we grouped data visualization and self service BI capabilities together as we see them inseparable.
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