Want more evidence that companies are realizing that digital customer experience is essential to survive and thrive in the Age of the Customer?
Look no further than last week’s IBM Connect conference in Orlando. Bridget van Kralingen, the senior VP in charge of the IBM’s $20 billion Global Business Services group, used her main stage keynote to unveil new services to help enterprises create “irresistible user experiences.”
IBM’s new global IBM Interactive Experience consulting practice “anticipates the emerging client demand for irresistible user experiences as the point of entry to high-value relationships with their customers, employees, prospects and partners,” according to the company.
The new offerings will integrate design and user experience capabilities from IBM Interactive, its digital agency, plus innovations and data expertise from researchers in its IBM’s Customer Experience Lab.
You could call it the next step in the digital customer experience gold rush. Software vendors have spent years building and selling clients software to run digital infrastructure, such as web content management, eCommerce, digital asset management and analytics.
The last Forrester Wave for MDM was released in 2008 and focused on the Customer Hub. Well, things have certainly changed since then. Organizations need enterprise scale to break down data silos. Data Governance is quickly becoming part of an organization's operating model. And, don't forget, the big elephant in the room, Big Data.
From 2008 to now there have been multiple analyst firm evaluations of MDM vendors. Vendors come, go or are acquired. But, the leaders are almost always the same. We also see inquiries and implementations tracking to the leaders. Our market overview report helped to identify the distinct segments of MDM vendors and found that MDM leaders were going big, leveraging a strategic perspective of data management, a suite of products, and pushing to support and create modern data management environments. What needed to be addressed, how do you make a decision between these vendors?
The Forrester Wave for the Multi-Platform MDM market segment gets to the heart of this question by pushing top vendors to differentiate amongst themselves and evaluating them at the highest levels of MDM strategy. There were things we learned that surprised us as well as where the line was drawn between marketing messaging and positioning and real capabilities. This was done by positioning the Wave process the way our clients would evaluate vendors, rigorously questioning and fact checking responses and demos.
Last year, we saw mobile apps getting smarter, tapping a wider range of personal data to anticipate and deliver in-the-moment needs before a customer takes action. Google is in the lead with Google Now, but Apple and Microsoft also signal interest in this space. Much like the VIP concierge services of major credit cards and airlines, these apps have the potential to form intimate customer relationships and increase affinity for products and services. And they are resetting expectations in a new paradigm we call the mobile mind shift — the increasing expectation of individuals that they can access any service, in context, in their moments of need.
You have an opportunity to play in the game, but to a different tune, one that enriches your brand by enhancing existing scenarios, engagement points, and relationships.
In 2014 and 2015, we anticipate that customer-obsessed companies in verticals such as retail, finance, and insurance will introduce and develop proactive features in their mobile loyalty apps. CIOs should expect an influx of requirements from marketing peers leading such efforts. With the opportunities will come challenges on three dimensions:
1. Business strategy. Proactive experiences can reap extraodinary rewards but can also lead to devastating consequences. For example, achieving 85% accuracy with your recommendation engine appears to be a success — until you consider the diminishing returns of a 5x penalty on trust factor for that 15% you got wrong.
Internet of Things is a hype - no question. But let's talk about the INTEGRATION Of Things.
It’s been a while since Bosch completed the acquisition of the Germany BPM and Integration vendor Inubit AG in October 2011. Two years later Inubit has not only well arrived in the Bosch Group, it became even the nucleus of Bosch’s allover software business and helps the traditional manufacturer of automotive parts and consumer electronics to embrace an additional business model of a software vendor.
Nevertheless calling the conference ConnectedWorld articulates the repositioning of the former general purpose BPM and Integration software into the internet of things. This is where Bosch with its dominant automotive footprint and their good market share of home appliance in Europe is strong. It is a natural move to focus Bosch Software Innovation’s in the areas of Bosch core business. In this context, it is no surprise that every second visitor of the show is a Bosch employee who likes to understand if and how their Bosch units can use the new software assets. Ideally this results not only in internal use, but in joint external products. Today the clear majority of Bosch's software revenues are external and not yet related to other Bosch products.
Satya Nadella is Microsoft's new CEO. Check. He's the right person for the job, insider, change agent, provocateur. To see his 10-point todo list, see this Forrester report.
Bill Gates is leaving Microsoft's board to "substantially increase time" spent at Microsoft. Check. What, huh? How can both things be true? How can Bill Gates leave the board, but remain involved in the company?
Here's what I think will happen: Bill Gates will play a critical though invisible role in Microsoft's future. By leaving the board of directors, he won't be making strategic decisions as chairman. He won't be driving the strategic decisions as chairman of the board, but he will be a vital force behind the scenes. Here are three jobs that Mr. Gates must get right:
Be silent on the strategy, transition, and plans. I believe that Mr. Gates new role is to advise and support Mr. Nadella as the new CEO pushes the company faster on a pivot to the cloud. The company has much to do. 1) Mash the products together into SaaS offerings. (Mr. Nadella has already done this with Azure, but now must do with Office 365, Skype, Dynamics, Bing, and much much more.) 2) Create a more comprehensive private cloud offering (beyond Office 365 Dedicated). 3) Break the lock between Windows and the rest of the business. (It's the only way subscription services are interesting to today's consumers and businesses. For example, Office must run everywhere.) Mr. Nadella will need help, not interference.
Macro trends in technology and shifting customer behavior are giving rise to the connected business — which is not defined by technology but is rather a new style of doing business. The responsibility for transforming a company into a connected business ultimately rests with the CEO, but the CIO also plays a central role.
CIOs will be responsible for introducing technology solutions that help break down silos, boost cross-team collaboration, drive the end-to-end customer experience, and engage more deeply with customers. In order to succeed, CIOs must go beyond technology enablement and support organizational and cultural transformation. It’s easier to implement technology innovations than to change habits and culture. Technology is only the catalyst for cultural and organizational transformation. As Jeroen Tas, CIO, Philips told me:
Historically, digital asset management (DAM) has been a niche technology compared with other components of enterprise content management (ECM) and digital experience technology. This has changed dramatically over the last few years as many organizations are using DAM solutions to support digital experience and marketing-focused content and processes.
In the wake of this change, most DAM vendors have fallen behind. Our latest 2014 DAM Market Overview found a few key areas in which vendors have particularly lagged behind:
Most vendors are selling software technology, not solutions.Most vendors are in a race to support address functionality, scalability, and infrastructure needs. These are the core components of DAM technology, but they don't make it usable to the new marketing and line of business buyers. Usability must improve with features like drag and drop and HTML5 interfaces. Too many vendors have neglected investment in this area or mistake lightweight solutions with little functionality as an "easy to use" option.
DELETE. It's a button we hit every single day. But normally, we are comforted by the fact that if we need to get something back that we accidentally deleted, backup software can save the day. But what happens when you delete data within a SaaS application? In some cases it is as simple as pulling up the virtual trash can and retrieving it. Sometimes, however, its not so simple. While the majority of the enterprise-grade SaaS offerings have robust methodologies for backing up and restoring data to protect against data loss or disaster, they may or may not make this technology available to you as the user. In cases where data is deleted accidentally or maliciously, tied to the account of departing employees, wiped out by rogue applications or lost during a migration, the vendor may or may not work with you to retrieve data from its backups.
How well do you know your SaaS provider's SLAs for retrieving data? Chances are, this isn't something you've spent much time thinking about. In a recent report, we dug through the backup and restore policies of dozens of SaaS vendors and found the results extremely variable. Some vendors will help restore data, but only for a hefty fee, others will take no part in assisting you with restoring data, and the vast majority, simple don't disclose their policies. Here are excerpts from several SaaS provider's restore policies that we found particularly interesting:
In the Age of the Customer, it’s vital that your hard-pressed IT budget is spent wisely and is refocused into areas of the business that can help improve client acquisition, retention and profitability. Negotiating better deals with your legacy incumbent software vendors is a great way to free up cash to spend on innovation.
If you have an upcoming contract negotiation with Microsoft, Oracle or SAP then let’s schedule a call to discuss how you can gain greater pricing and contract concessions by working with Forrester’s dedicated Software Contract Negotiation experts. With the costs of software licenses and annual maintenance going up each year and vendors providing limited transparency into licensing options, it’s critical you know which discounts to target and what negotiation tactics have worked well for other businesses.
Having worked with thousands of clients, Forrester has built up significant market intelligence on what’s achievable and how to get it. As a result, we are often able to show our clients how to negotiate additional savings on their license and on-going maintenance/support costs. And our success-based fee model means you only pay us if our advice helps you save you money.
We can help you and your negotiating team:
● Review the competitiveness of your software vendor’s proposals and renewal contracts.
● Refine your negotiation strategy and tactics so that you target the most valuable concessions, improve contractual terms and maximize savings.
● Optimize your time at the negotiating table by helping you prepare for, and react to, your software vendor’s sales tactics and objections.
India's government cloud infrastructure, Meghraj, goes live today. The government cloud (g-cloud) now offers infrastructure-, platform-, storage-, and software-as-a-service for the Indian public sector.
A fortnight ago, my colleague Manish Bahl and I published a report that highlighted the opportunities and challenges of cloud adoption in the public sector. Three-quarters of the Indian public sector organizations we interviewed indicated that addressing the rising expectations of citizens and ensuring that they are satisfied is their top business priority. Over the next decade, the Indian government’s g-cloud approach will drive major changes in the types of services it delivers — not just to citizens but also to employees and businesses by 1) rolling out services faster and reaping the desired benefits earlier, 2) optimizing the use of infrastructure while reducing management overhead, and 3) reducing bureaucracy and increasing transparency.
While the government’s efforts to centralize services via the g-cloud is commendable, we believe that the initiative will be successful if the government can overcome three fundamental challenges:
A lack of common policies will challenge application reuse. The problem is significant in India due to the diversity of the federal structure and the disjointed, disparate IT initiatives of the central and state governments. The government will face challenges in getting the various departments to use common policies and a shared g-cloud infrastructure.