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Showing posts from May, 2016

Go Digital or Die - CRM Evolution 2016

Conference at a Glance CRM Evolution 2016 revolved around two main topics customer experience, customer engagementdigital transformation As part of these three main topics many speakers were about how to get there, which includes thinking and talking about machine learning, predictive analytics, and, of course, the Internet of Things. The conference, organized by David Myron and chaired by CRM guru Paul Greenberg once more had an impressive lineup of speakers, starting with two highly impressive keynotes, held by Dennis Snow, formerly of Disney on Monday, and Brian Solis from Altimeter Group on Tuesday. As before it was co-located with SpeechTek and Customer Service experience, the latter chaired by Esteban Kolski. This combination guarantees a lot of high caliber attendance and a lot of networking opportunity, something that Paul Greenberg very strongly and actively supports. It is virtually impossible to not network … According to colleague Scott Rogers, although the conference appea…

Bots can kill User Experience

Bots are all the rage currently. By the looks of it they are at the peak of the hype cycle. We will see their deep fall into the trough of disillusionment soon. After all the well-known examples based on the Facebook messenger are somewhat underwhelming, to formulate it carefully. There is not much artificial intelligence visible - nor needed - to provide services like these. They also come with a poor user interface. And this combination of hyped examples, mixing up chatbots and AI, has the potential to kill customer experience. They certainly kill the user experience.
Unless, this is, that these machines already reached a level of intelligence that they are magic to my simple mind... Which I doubt.

To be sure, there are AIs around that amaze us: IBM's Watson, Apples Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google's Now, ...   even Microsoft’s infamous Tay which got a pretty bad reputation in no time, to name but a few. Recently a whole class of graduate students didn't realize that the…

Love is in the Air? SAP and MS deepen their Partnership.

Today SAP and Microsoft announced a new partnership centred around HANA, Azure, Office365, and Fiori. This marks another step in a 20 year cooperation (and nowadays coopetition) between these two software giants. The stated goals are "empowering organizations to advance their digital transformations". “Together with SAP, we are bringing new levels of integrations between our products that provide businesses with enhanced collaboration tools, new insights from data and a hyper-scale cloud to grow and seize new opportunities ahead” as Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft puts it. In McDermotts words the two companies will "unlock new productivity for customers beyond the boundaries of traditional platforms and applications”. As a part of this SAP HANA - and hence SAP applications running on HANA, will now be run on Microsofts Azure infrastructure. Further, the companies will develop integrations between SAPs cloud solutions and Microsoft's productivity solutions that are par…

SAP Ups the Ante in the SMB Game

Yesterday SAP announced the general availability in the US of its SAP Anywhere solution. It is "specifically designed to help meet the e-commerce and customer interaction needs of small businesses with 10 to 200 employees". SAP Anywhere is a fully cloud-based solution that covers all front-office (i.e. customer facing) processes of running a business from inventory via sales to customer service, including mobile PoS capabilities. This includes multi channel commerce and -marketing. It is purpose built from the ground up instead of being a 'slimmed-down' enterprise solution. In an emphasis on its ecosystem strategy SAP directly partnered up with Google and Paypal to facilitate digital marketing and payment integration. The mobile first approach seems to come directly out of Microsoft's playbook. Being targeted towards SMBs SAP boasts a setup time of 40 hours, i.e. one work week.  My PoV While it is hard to count the number of (not so successful) approaches that SA…

Gartner Magic Quadrant on CEC - some Musings

The May 2016 version of Gartner's magic quadrant sees SAP in a challenger position, with the favourite competition Salesforce, Oracle and Microsoft being leaders - all of them dwarfed by the perceived strength of Salesforce. Lets have a brief look into what Gartner thinks about these four companies. Salesforce Salesforce is again a clear leader in the quadrant, mainly based upon the fact that they have the best sold solution, which is probably due to sticking effects of their other successful products. This attracts partners and apparently has become a kind of virtuous circle although there are a good number of shortcomings: The product is missing industry specific functionality but is 'fairly generic'lack of master data management functionality, which needs to come in via other productsthe new Lightning development environment and user interface is far from mainstreamit is expensive and raises concerns about vendor lock in, especially when there are other components, tooim…

Enterprise meets Sexy! SAP - Apple Partnership

The business applications powerhouse and the (consumer) user experience powerhouse get together. Finally!

In my eyes this partnership was long overdue. SAP has a long standing reputation for creating great business functionality. With the proverbial German engineering SAP arguably creates what constitutes the most powerful business software around. With HANA SAP also has a platform that offers unprecedented possibilities. Period. Unluckily, SAP also has a good reputation for developing user interfaces that (pardon my French) suck. The long reign of SAP GUI, clunky attempts at improving it like Webdynpro for Java/ABAP, the People Centric UI that CRM adopted in the early 2000s and that luckily got replaced by the far superior CRM Web UI - which also is outdated; Netweaver Business Client, etc pp, carved this reputation into stone.  Although it is somewhat a thing of the past, too. SAP can do sleek. Look at C4C, look at Fiori.  One of SAPs stated goals is the consumerization of IT, which…

Measure Customer Experience - But Don't Over-Engineer

You have determined for your SME business that you want to improve your customers' experience.But you do not know how to measure it. And you want tangible results fast. And you want to contain the risk.  After all there is nothing more risky than a big venture that promises results only in the far away future...
You have heard about this Internet of Things thing, beacons, customer journeys, sentiment analysis, and predictive, even intent driven analysis. But this all seems a bit big and daunting.
You ask yourself: How to go ahead? And how do I measure success?
Many companies, especially bigger ones, already have a voice of the customer (VoC) program, which is a good start. Not to be gotten wrong, there are all sorts of challenges with VoC programs. Getting insufficient replies, data that doesn't really help, data that covers only one single channel, etc. etc.
But then a VoC program is a very good start, if kept simple, and also consistently available across channels. It again…