For many, IBM's announcement to acquire Lombardi came as a little pre-Christmas surprise. Over the past 24 hours, I've heard several arguments for and against this deal being a game changer. Ultimately, if you look at this deal strictly as a software acquisition, then it presents many potential problems and hurdles for both IBM and Lombardi:
IBM's BPM portfolio is already confusing to customers, with customers and prospects struggling to reconcile whether they should buy Websphere Process Server or FileNet P8 (not to mention the peripheral workflow capabilities provided by Lotus). From a software perspective, this acquisition makes IBM's BPM maze even more intimidating to navigate.
As 2009 draws to a close, what are the key trends that customer management business process professionals need to pay attention to as you finalize your plans for next year?
Trend 1: Companies Return To Investing In Their Most Important Asset – Customers
Beginning in mid-2009, I have seen a strong up-tick in investment dollars being released by organizations intent on improving their customer management capabilities to capitalize on the economic up-turn. What are their key priorities? My most recent research shows that both B2B and B2C enterprises spotlight improved customer loyalty as their top goal. But, B2B companies are also intent on capturing new customers, while B2C companies obsess about improving the customer experience.
Social networks are the future of online life, whether we like it or not. Before the end of the coming decade, relationships with everyone –including family, friends, colleagues, employers, merchants, suppliers, and government agencies—will hinge on your access to these parties, and theirs to you, through online communities of all shapes and sizes.
Social networks are becoming much more pervasive than today’s mass-market communities—such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—would lead you to believe. Before long, many will be embedded in the full range of business and personal applications. In ten years’ time, today’s social networks will have evolved into a powerful, seamless worldwide infrastructure for collaboration, sharing, interaction, and transactions. Many will be integral features of the mobile, broadband, and streaming media services that shape business and consumer life.