Information Management

Turn Regular Customer Communications Into a Powerful Marketing Asset

customer communications

When you receive a bill or an invoice do you ever give it a second glance? Most bills that arrive at my house just get dropped on the desk in my wife’s office to get paid. All except one. The monthly bill for our power consumption is more than just a straight forward demand for payment, it’s a tool that we use to run our house. As well as telling me my consumption for the last month, it is personalized to show the last three months, and a comparison with the same three months last year matched against the average temperatures. It also shows me what time of day I’m hitting peak consumption. We check it each month and adjust our thermostats accordingly to make sure we are using the power we pay for in the most efficient manner, while keeping the house at the comfortable temperatures we want. As a customer I appreciate the information that matchs my personal needs against the larger data set that the power company has access to. It has made me more loyal, as we’ve stayed customers despite several opportunities to switch to other suppliers over the years. The invoice as a customer retention and sales tool is one aspect of the customer experience that many companies overlook. Yet by delivering a more personal and interactive document (be it in print, on mobile, web, or even a well-crafted text message) a company can deliver a better customer experience and accelerate the customer acquisition. This in turn, has shown to improve retention rates and total Customer Lifecycle Value as well as giving the company’s personnel more time to focus on fulfilling customer’s needs, addressing their questions and concerns, thus deepening the relationship and expanding sales opportunities. With OpenText™ Communications Center you can maximize the effectiveness of your communications, not only by providing a single, consistent look and feel across all devices, but also by creating a dialogue from the document. Also, because the channels are linked, a customer can, say, initiate an application from their email reader and complete it on their tablet at a later time or date. Communications Center provides the robust, enterprise-grade CCM solution that you need to effectively generate and manage communications that connect all your business systems, while providing up-to-the-minute critical information to your customers, partners, vendors and personnel. You can find out more about the benefits of using Communications Center here.

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The RFP Process and You – A Relationship Guide (Webinar)

RFP process

Do you have a love-hate relationship with the RFP (Request for Proposal) process? Does it elicit warm feelings that the acronym could also stand for “Reliable, Fair, Pleasant” process? Or is it more like “Really Freaking Painful?” The RFP process began in the Government sector as a way of ensuring fairness to suppliers – all competing vendors get the same information and deadline requirements, evaluate proposals against stated criteria, and select the “winner” in a transparent, defensible way.  Today the RFP process is used in most industry sectors, where organizations see it as a useful method to collect competing bids. However, for many procurement professionals, bid management can be time consuming and labor-intensive. Processes are often manual, paper-based and inconsistent. Large volumes of information with multiple versions must be collected, coordinated and distributed. Vendors, both known and new, need to be evaluated and multiple stakeholders must work together. Smart organizations know that the relationship with the RFP process can be fulfilling, productive and yes, even, satisfying. Below is our Relationship Guide which contains best practice advice on how to improve your bond with this sometimes misunderstood process. Enough with the spreadsheets If you are wondering why your procurement processes are slow, error-prone, and costly, it is probably because of the M-word – most RFP processes are manual. This results in inconsistent execution and vendor engagement, and potentially compliance risk. Moving your bid process online facilitates the efficient flow of work, while enabling the capture of KPIs and process metrics. Automating workflows provides decision makers and management with real-time visibility into procurement operations and enables sound strategic decisions. Difficult-to-manage emails become a thing of the past by moving all vendor and buyer interactions and communications to a single, central portal. According to global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, the most successful procurement leaders “are fully automated – with real-time access to data.” It’s the 21st century. It is time to automate and join the digital world. Know your suppliers Large organizations often interact with hundreds or thousands of vendors and partners. Sifting through corporate memory to identify the best vendor(s) to fulfill a particular requirement can be time and effort-consuming — if not impossible. Intelligent tools are needed to keep track of suppliers’ capabilities, as well as how well they have performed in the past. Choosing the wrong vendor can have a host of impacts ranging from delayed projects and bleeding budgets, to business disruptions and public relations nightmares. A bid management solution with strong vendor management capabilities can ensure that all relevant vendors are included in the evaluation and that past vendor performance is taken into account when executing new procurements. Follow the rules Like in any relationship, there are rules. And if rules are broken sometimes someone gets hurt, usually in the form of a fine or reputational loss. In one extreme case a few years back, the Government of Canada was ordered to pay almost $30 million in lost profits to a losing bidder for intentionally favoring the incumbent. There are numerous policies that govern sourcing activities. Organizations must ensure they spend money judiciously and eliminate waste; and in the case of government, protect against abuse of public dollars. According to the US Office of Management and Budget, more than one out of every six dollars of federal government spending goes to contractors, making it essential that all sourcing result in the best value for the taxpayer. Legislation such as the US Federal Acquisition Regulation, Federal Accountability Act in Canada, and the Public Contracts Directive in Europe, mandate that business is conducted with integrity, fairness, and openness. Protect the information The RFP lifecycle generates many business records that must be managed. When processes are manual, there is no central repository for communication and collaboration between the numerous stakeholders, jeopardizing information integrity and efficiency. Choose a solution with a secure back-end system of record, enabling the indexing of documents for easy search, full audit trail of actions that have been taken, sophisticated access controls, and automated records retention and disposition. These features play a key role in demonstrating the trustworthiness of the bid process and protecting important records per regulatory requirements. Rekindle the passion In large organizations, an RFP can be worth millions of dollars to a supplier and represent a strategic effort for business, procurement and IT organizations. Business leaders want to know they are getting the best solution for their dollar, and suppliers want to compete fairly for the business. You don’t need to have a strained relationship with the RFP process. A strong bid management solution will make you look at the sourcing in a whole new way. Introducing OpenText™ RFx Center OpenText RFx Center is an application targeted at automating and improving the efficiency of bid management. Built on OpenText™ Process Suite with integrations into OpenText™ Content Server and OpenText™ Contract Center, RFx Center combines industry-leading process automation, content management, and contract functionality in a single solution. Automate RFP, RFQ, RFI, Framework, and sole source processes Enforce regulatory compliance and increase transparency though audit history and tracking of all procurement actions, documents, and artifacts Manage procurement documents in secure centralized content repository Empower business users to rapidly configure workflows and business rules with intuitive, easy to use interface – no coding required Improve efficiencies and integrity for all vendor and buyer interactions using a single, central portal – no more emailing documents Take advantage of powerful Analytics capabilities that provide deep insight into procurement performance Ensure fairness to vendors with increased internal auditability, visibility, and accountability OpenText Live Webinar featuring OpenText RFx Center – Streamling Bid Management Find out more, join us for the OpenText Live Webinar featuring OpenText RFx Center on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. EDT. Streamlining Bid Management with OpenText RFx Center

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Resist the Dark Side—Govern Cloud Content, You Must

Cloud content

Everyone knows that cloud and mobile platforms are game changers, offering a long list of benefits. At the top of the list is improved sharing and collaboration. Knowledge workers have always looked for better, faster ways to share and collaborate. It should come as no surprise that they have readily adopted Microsoft® SharePoint®, Microsoft® SharePoint® Online, and other cloud-based repositories. In recent years, users have been moving more and more of their work processes away from their on-premises Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system and into these online applications. According to AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management), as many as 30 percent of users already use “unofficial cloud file-sharing tools” in the workplace. Unfortunately, there is a dark side—at least in terms of security and governance. While these online applications excel for their easy-to-use portal interfaces, they generally lack robust document and records management capabilities. As described by AIIM, this “renegade approach to information sharing completely blindsides the organization—the information now resides outside of all governance, permission and security systems, and quite literally has gone AWOL.” Limited Support for 100% Cloud ECM While the move to the cloud is a near certainty—the benefits are simply too hard to pass up—it is also becoming clear not all content will migrate there in the near future. Many organizations are simply not comfortable moving highly sensitive ECM content at this point. In a 2016 AIIM study about cloud and mobility, less than 20 percent of information management stakeholders believe 100 percent cloud ECM is suitable for their operations. Security and reliability are their primary concerns. Not only do these systems contain proprietary information, but in many cases business processes and third-party integrations are built on top of them—applications that are critical to everyday operations. Balancing the Opposing Needs of Stakeholders It’s a balancing act. Knowledge workers want faster, easier ways of working. And they are willing to bypass restrictive corporate policies to get things done. Those charged with managing risk and security, however, want content securely governed on premises. What is the best way forward? The best approach is to provide tools that do not restrict users—yet provide the level of security and reduced risk the organization needs. Hybrid ECM: Best of Both Worlds Hybrid ECM is an excellent and increasingly acceptable option. In the same 2016 AIIM study mentioned above, the majority of respondents viewed Hybrid ECM as offering the best of both worlds. The entire organization benefits from using the on-premises ECM system for securing, managing, and archiving sensitive enterprise content—and also using a cloud-based application like Microsoft SharePoint Online, for example, to enable easier sharing and collaboration with outside partners and vendors. Synchronization is Key Synchronization technologies are integral to any Hybrid ECM solution. They integrate the cloud-based file-sharing application with the on-premises ECM application and automatically move or copy content to ensure governance. Here are some typical scenarios: Archiving—content is moved from the cloud/SharePoint into the on-premises ECM system for governance and archiving Publishing—content is moved from the on-premises ECM system into the cloud/SharePoint for publishing Synchronization—when content is duplicated in more than one location, synchronization ensures changes in either location are applied to both At the end of the day, the best solution requires little or no effort from the end user. It works seamlessly to support the use of cloud-based sharing repositories while minimizing the dark side—the proliferation of unintegrated, ungoverned content and its risk to the organization. OpenText™ eDOCS offers automated, easy-to-use tools for synchronizing content into your DM. As part of the eDOCS solution, synchronization capabilities are available through eDOCS DM as well as through our SharePoint Integration module. To learn more, visit our microsite.

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Is Your Application Development Getting Lost in Translation?

application development

More and more companies are changing their approach to application development, focusing instead on the information they need to create and manage instead of on the business process itself. Which makes sense, as people typically ask themselves what needs to happen, before they determine how it should happen. (You wouldn’t decide how you were going to get to a particular store, if you didn’t yet know what you wanted to buy..…….would you?) The biggest challenge with this situation is that the business experts who determine what is needed, rarely speak the same ‘language’ as the IT specialists, who figure out how to make it happen. Unfortunately, this ‘lost in translation’ scenario typically leads to significant delays during the development and deployment of new process or case applications. Bringing these key stakeholders together and providing them with a common language has long been a goal for BPM solutions, and now it is a reality, with an application development environment that meets both of their needs. Process Suite 16 removes this ‘language’ barrier, providing an intuitive application development approach that enables business experts to directly engage in development effort via a drag and drop user interface. And when IT support is required, developers work in the same environment as the business experts, streamlining communication and speeding the time and success of application delivery. OpenText has enabled this business process collaboration with an innovative, low-code application development approach that delivers case management capabilities. It supports ‘information-driven’ design, enabling the person building the application to start with the information or asset that needs to be managed, instead of how the process needs to flow. By enabling business experts, who prefer this approach, to be directly involved in the development of the application, there are fewer communication errors throughout the development process – which means less time and fewer resources are wasted. And by keeping the amount of complex (and expensive) code to a minimum, overall application costs are reduced. The result is an application development platform that speeds the time-to-market for new applications, simplifies the efforts required to modify and update processes, allows for experimentation and creates a common language that can be ‘spoken’ by both business and IT. Interested in learning more about how Process Suite 16 can help keep your application development from getting lost in translation? Read more about entity modeling in this whitepaper from Digital Clarity Group.

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A DAM Fine Time in New York – now on to Nashville

media management

Last week I got to spend time with Jon Snow, Mr. Peanut, and some monster trucks – thanks to spending a day at one of the regular OpenText™ Media Management User Group Meetings. This gathering of Digital Asset Management aficionados was kindly hosted by HBO at their building in mid-town New York. As well as the use of their impressive theater we also got to enjoy some great views of The Empire State Building from the top floor location. Customers like HBO, Kraft-Heinz, Monster Energy, and others, shared how they use the Open Text Media Management (OTMM) platform as the core of their digital marketing and content channel distribution (you can see us in the photo at the top of this blog). In these meetings each customer brings new perspectives and insights on building business cases, implementation, usage, and extending the use of DAM across the enterprise. Another highlight of the day was the opportunity for the customers and partners in attendance to hear, and see, what is in the recent Release 16 version of OTMM, and ask detailed questions of the product team. The session was highly interactive with great questions, observations, and some impressive feature demos. Overall everyone seemed very impressed by what they saw of the latest release. These single day User Groups are a great place to network with industry peers and find out what other people are doing with a technology solution; as well as get ‘under the covers’ with the folks who are developing the software. We’ll be taking this approach to a whole new level at the upcoming OpenText™ Enterprise World conference in Nashville the week of July 11. The focus for Enterprise World 2016 will be to provide more informative and detailed technical sessions, alongside customer case studies, making it the most informative user conference to date. For example, the OpenText Media Management specific sessions on offer in Nashville include: Best Practices and tips for a Scalable, Secure and Performance Tuned Media Management Platform Media Management – System Monitoring, Troubleshooting, and Logging. Creating custom widgets and transformers in Media Management How to Leverage the new Adaptive Media Delivery features in V16 to publish assets to your WCM And that’s just a small selection of more than 20 sessions around the Customer Experience Suite and the 200 plus breakout sessions, roundtables, labs, and demos on offer across the whole OpenText portfolio. Enterprise World 2016 is a must attend event for anyone in the Customer Experience and Media Management world. Check out all the details, and register at the Enterprise World website.

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Next Generation OpenText Content Suite is Here…You Won’t Look at ECM the Same Way Again

Content Server

Re-thinking ECM Drives Personal and Process Productivity as well as Control It’s happened. Last month saw the release of major upgrades to the OpenText product line, including an incredible new version of OpenText™ Content Suite. Together they represent the most ambitious, extensive launch in OpenText history. Nothing has even come close to this in my eight years with the company and I have to say, it’s a pretty exciting milestone! Of course, I’m most excited about the powerful new edition of Content Suite. Its most important innovations — huge advances in functionality and usability — are inspired by a whole new way of thinking about ECM, its role in the enterprise, and the way knowledge workers interact with, and use information. What’s led to this step change? Take a look around your own office and the answers become clear. People Processes Governance The demographic make-up of our co-workers is tilting toward the digital-native generation, a cohort that’s come of age with simple, instant access to the information they want, whenever and wherever they want it. And they expect to work the same way; they’re mobile, agile, and instantly responsive. As you’ve probably experienced, most organizations are poorly equipped to meet this new approach to sharing, collaborating, and innovating. Used to be, phone calls, faxes, and eventually email provided 99% of the information flow you needed to do your job. Not any more. Digital information is flooding the enterprise in exploding volumes, from ever-diversifying sources. Data generated by everything from social media to the supply chain constitutes an organization’s most valuable asset, if they can use it properly. There’s a critical need to seamlessly integrate, aggregate, and correlate this information to extract full value from it, as well as the people and processes that create it. Unfortunately, working with huge pools of data has a dark side. Digital information’s key strength — mobility— has led to regular data breach headlines. Countless employees put employers at risk every day by transferring intellectual property to unsanctioned, ungoverned apps for easy access. In a world of increasingly complex and far-reaching security, privacy, and compliance requirements, organizations struggle to maintain control over their information with outdated tools, inadequate oversight, and labor-intensive practices.   Content Suite 16 is purpose-built to help organizations solve all these problems. It’s not just a re-launch of our ECM platform, it’s a complete re-think of the purpose and function of ECM within enterprises as they transform to become fully digital. By building on its traditional strengths as guardian, bond, and organizer of information with new usability and integration functionality, Content Suite shifts the focus of ECM toward creating an enterprise-wide information backbone that places people before technology. It can now bridge previously isolated silos and distribute information effortlessly to drive productivity and oversight in three inter-connected areas: Personal Productivity Users want to access, share, and collaborate on business content in the same seamless, simple ways they connect with each other in their private lives. Content Suite 16 creates this environment. With OpenText™ Tempo Box and OpenText™ Core, organizations can finally foster frictionless synch-and-share collaboration on both sides of the firewall in a fully governed ECM environment. Users work the way they want, on their own terms, anytime, anywhere, underpinned by an ECM safety net that manages everything from version control to auditing to application of meta-tags. Content Suite 16 also introduces a new user interface, one that provides a cohesive personal experience tailored to each individual user. Everything related to a subject can be personalized and presented in a simple format based on the user’s role and device. As an example, here’s an insurance industry use case: Through one easy-to-master interface, users can see everything they need to in relation to a claim — account information, completed claim form, feeds from the adjustor in the field, in-line communication from across the company, task lists, and more. All compiled, connected, and shared through Content Suite. Process Productivity In the digital era, we’ve digitized enterprise processes but not done a very good job of connecting them to each other. The information they produce is usually stored in a siloed repository aligned to the process. It’s usually hard to access, difficult to govern, and almost impossible for the business to use effectively. The Extended ECM capabilities of Content Suite eliminate this. They integrate ECM into the lead applications that produce this data (SAP®, Oracle®, Microsoft® and others), connecting silos to aggregate related information and present the full picture of any instance. With ECM fully embedded in the process, governance policies and classification tags can now be automatically applied right at the source. Users are spared from doing the dirty work, yet benefit from the results. Imagine a use case where a user with a decision to make doesn’t even leave the application they’re working in to access the contract, inventory reports, sales figures, and email communication related to a supplier. Think of the increased efficiency, insight, and throughput. It’s all possible now. Control Having all this newly accessible information available to be usedin innovative, far-reaching ways actually creates more risk and inefficiency if proper governance and control isn’t consistently applied at all points. Analysts have always considered information governance to be one of Content Suite’s competitive strengths and Content Suite 16 improves on that. The key is in the ability to integrate governance best practices into both personal and process information flows without impeding productivity. Personal Productivity content — the high-volume, wildly unpredictable result of day-to-day collaboration and creation — is notorious for being high-risk while resisting oversight. Content Suite 16 introduces new capabilities to transparently capture content as it’s created in applications like file synch and share, email, and SharePoint® and automatically apply retention and security policies based on machine learning. Process Productivity data — critical to continuity and records management — can now be automatically classified, tagged, and aggregated behind the scenes as soon as it’s generated. It’s inducted into the enterprise information lifecycle for effortless discovery and use by records managers, legal teams, and LOB leaders. OpenText Content Suite is the Future of ECM Content Suite redefines the role of ECM in the digital enterprise. It creates a seamless cross-enterprise information grid that provides the Personal and Process Productivity gains enterprises need within a framework of Control. Available on premise, as a subscription in the OpenText™ Cloud, or as a managed service, today it stands as the only comprehensive, fully integrated ECM suite in the industry. Take a few minutes to find out more about what we have in store for you in Content Suite 16. Start by erasing your preconceived notions and perceptions of ECM. Then, visualize what transforming to become “digital inside” means to your organization. Chances are, OpenText Content Suite’s innovative new approach to implementing, extending, and using ECM can get you where you want to be.

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Oh Behave! Marketing, Optimization and Testing Convergence

Behave

The OpenText™ Optimost team just got back from BEHAVE 2016 in Austin, a wonderful conference for digital marketers interested in translating behavioral insights into how they create and optimize digital experiences for their customers. A big shout out to our friends at WhichTestWon who put it on! I was impressed and gratified by attendees’ passion and belief for testing everything, and using science to drive marketing success. It was clear that this was our flock – and that it’s healthy and growing. But it was equally clear that when dispersed in our respective offices and organizations, some people feel frustrated and stymied. Their efforts run into brick walls of internal politics or those who feel threatened by a data-driven approach. This isn’t just happening between the doers and middle management, Steven Levitt (of Freakonomics fame, and a hilarious speaker to boot) told a wonderful story of the CEO of an electronics retailer bringing him in to look at their major TV and newspaper ad buys. The retailer was very consistent: TV spots 3 times a year (Fathers’ Day, Black Friday, and Christmas) and newspaper inserts weekly, without fail, for the last 25 years. The CEO wanted to know the ROI of these buys, but because there was no variation in the tactic from week-to-week or market-to-market, it was impossible to know for sure. Levitt suggested running an experiment to turn off the inserts in random markets for random weeks, to see what would happen to sales. No one in the C-suite was willing to try it. So it’s clear that even in the highest levels of the organization experimentation can be a tough sell. The disconnect between the power of an experimental approach and how most organizations work today may explain the overflowing demand for our bootcamp, which focused on practical strategies to get buy-in, resources, and accelerate the success of digital optimization efforts. I’ve shared the presentation at the end of this post, also WhichTestWon’s Test of the Week last week covered similar ground. The bottom line is, as bearers of a relatively new (and appealing, effective, efficient, and scalable!) approach to marketing, we all need to learn to manage up, down, and sideways to build support and move our organizations forward, or we will all suffer for it. At another conference I attended last week in Austin, a CMO said, “the one thing worse than being wrong is being irrelevant.” Make sure you are the champion of relevance!

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Measuring Customer Lifecycle Value

customer lifecycle value

As the analysts have been telling us for a year or so now, digital business puts people right in the center of activity – they can get what they need, where, when and how they want today. The traditional model of finding a new customer, selling to them, and then moving on to the next opportunity has changed. Research has consistently shown that it costs less to sell to an existing customer than to find a new one, and that customers who feel engaged with a brand or product will spend more on repeat business through the lifetime of ownership. However traditional measurements like Net Promoter Scores or Customer Satisfaction scores are reactive, descriptive, and sentiment-based, while what is needed is something that is predictive and performance based – a measurement of the Customer’s Lifecycle Value (CLV) to the business. Customer Lifecycle Value is usually formally described as amount of revenue, or profit, that a customer, or defined group of customers, generates over their projected lifetime of interaction with a company. This could be argued to be a somewhat myopic viewpoint as it presupposes a traditional sales cycle and a finite predefined timeline of customer engagement. In today’s digital world, by delivering a continuous connected customer experience, it is possible to grow a customer’s interest and investment in a redefined relationship that delivers benefit to both the customer and the enterprise, resulting in a CLV model that measures interaction and investment at different stages of interaction. Digitally sophisticated customers and partners increasingly research products, make purchases, track orders, and manage their accounts or subscriptions online. Customers increasingly expect these transactions to seamlessly transition from one digital platform to another, while retaining a consistent personalized experience, with data, information, and assets moving seamlessly from one environment to another. Serving your customers across a continuous digital experience journey maximizes Customer Lifecycle Value and increases revenue potential If you invest in your customers they will invest in you with their time, information, brand loyalty, recommendations, and ongoing sales. Investment in customer experience means delivering a continuous connected digital experience that will increase a customer’s lifecycle value to you as a business. The CMO Council recently looked at how marketing executives quantify customer engagement success. More than a third of respondents said that revenue metrics, like Customer Lifecycle Value (CLV), revenues per customer, and overall revenue increases were the primary type of metric they used to measure consumer engagement. Mathematical models (Segmentation and Lifetime Value Models using SAS, Malthouse 2013) have shown that changes as small as a 5 percent increase in customer retention can bring increases as high as 80 percent or more in a CLV. In mathematical terms maximizing the Customer Life Cycle Value in a continuous connected digital engagement model can be expressed as: The more other departments invest and buy in to the overall direction, the greater the experience, the greater the customer’s investment. The benefits from committing to a combined, systematic approach to growing and measuring Customer Lifecycle Value across the enterprise include: Increased customer retention rates Increased customer satisfaction scores Increased revenue It has been proven that increases in Customer Lifecycle Value can drive revenue. By taking that a step further and managing on CLV to deliver outstanding customer experiences you can also drive sustainable growth across the enterprise To find out more, you can download the whitepaper “Drive More Revenue by Measuring and Managing Customer Lifecycle Value.”

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How Digital Disruption is Shaping Customer Experience – Webinar Invite

digital disruption

On May 12, I am the key speaker on a customer experience webinar entitled ‘From Drones to Smart Homes’. It’s the first in the new OpenText Digital Innovation webinar series that takes a fresh perspective on important issues that are affecting every business today. So, I thought I’d take a moment to give my perspective on delivering an excellent customer experience beforehand in the hope it persuades you to join me on the day. Perhaps the place to start isn’t with experience at all. Perhaps the place to start is with customer expectation. In almost every industry there are transformational changes in the experience companies are delivering to their customers. Think about moving from 28 days to same day delivery – then to real-time tracking of your order in transit. Today it seems that we’re not far from having delivery drones landing on our lawns! The first time you experience something like this, it feels like a revelation. By the tenth, it feels like it’s the norm. We have to live by one rule of thumb: customer delight always turns rapidly into customer expectation. You can occastionally afford to not delight your customer on a few of the interactions you have with them –  but you are in big, big trouble if you consistently fail to meet their expectations. The challenge is that, with every digital customer experience innovation we deliver, we consistently raise the bar on customer expectation. So what do customers expect? They expect a consistent experience with a company no matter which stage they are in their buyer’s journey. They expect to be able to connect with the company on any channel they choose. They expect to begin an interaction – buying a product or receiving support – on one channel and complete it on another seamlessly. They expect more transparency, more honesty and more information from their chosen suppliers than ever before. They don’t hope for this experience. They don’t want this experience. They expect this experience. And, they will go elsewhere if they don’t get it. Customer experience expert Steven Van Belleghem says: “The amount of trust consumers put in brands is decreasing all the time, and a typical consumer will now switch brands without hesitation if they get a better offer.” In this world of digital disruption, it is all too easy for an organisation to become the architect of its own downfall. In a rush to provide better and better external experiences, the company overlooks how closely tied external and internal processes actually are. In doing so, they set themselves up to disappoint the expectations of their customers. There is little point in marketing painting a wonderful picture in the customer’s mind if the product or the service fails to meet the expectations set. A customer can have the perfect purchasing experience but if the product arrives damaged or doesn’t arrive at all then all that good work is undermined. Organisations want to go digital on the outside. They know they need to be able to accommodate the growing number of data types and communications channels that their customers are embracing. They also want to go digital inside – creating new systems that transform digital operations, streamline internal processes, reduce information glut, and integrate business applications with information stores. Most companies find the prospect of tackling both at the same time too daunting and risky preferring to focus on internal processes. But, even here, creating end-to-end processes is challenging when you are faced with information silos built up over years or decades. On top of breaking down the silos, you have to layer on the ability to integrate the new data types and channels. Digital disruption is challenging the customer-facing parts of your business, but business transformation is an even greater force. At this point, business transformation becomes the bigger initiative and digital transformation falls under the larger umbrella. Unless carefully managed, the initial reason for embarking on the transformation – to deliver excellence digital customer experience – can become lost in the drive to improve internal processes. From my perspective, a more productive and longer term strategy is to redefine what you mean by digital outside and inside your business. You can instead see then both as a single cross-functional process that flows seamlessly between customer behaviours and internal functions. This allows you to focus on changing a single business process – such as supply chain management – rather than taking on two huge transformation projects simultaneously. It reduces the cost and risk involved in effectively responding to digital disruption and delivering consistently excellent customer experience today and into the future. I hope this has captured your curiosity and you’d like to know more about how OpenText can help you deliver an ever better customer experience. If so, I’d like to invite you to join me on the ‘From Drones to Smart Homes’ webinar on May 12 at 2pm BST for an hour.

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Can You Afford Desktop Analytics and Agent Guidance?

desktop analytics

This is another in a series of blogs about desktop analytics, desktop guidance and automation. In the previous blogs about desktop analytics and agent guidance, we’’ve discussed numerous features that could lead to a strong business case for this kind of investment. As a call center professional for many years, it became an annual ritual for me to devise return-on-investment (ROI) studies for an abundant variety of contact center technology investments. Given the profound potential effect of a well-designed desktop analytics and guidance solution on a number of call center cost drivers, the business case for these products is remarkably strong. The non-invasive, open architecture of an intelligent desktop guidance solution will allow integrations without development costs and lengthy timelines. Before we discuss the potential financial and service-level benefits of agent guidance and desktop automation, it’’s worth a mention that the ability to measure desktop and workflow activity at granular level is, in itself, a significant analytical advantage. For example, the ability to identify which agents take the more time to complete various workflow steps would help supervisors target their coaching with outliers towards more cost-efficient behaviors, and to measure improvements on an agent-by-agent basis. Today’’s leading contact centers use agent guidance solutions to connect disjointed applications and reduce the number of required steps (and the amount of time required) to complete tasks. Handle time is reduced by eliminating duplicate data entry Suggesting talking points to agents at strategic junctures reduces customer misunderstandings and helps guide conversations to the best next action more quickly Transaction times and accuracy are improved by pushing just the right information to the right agents at the right times or via automatic navigation next correct screen, next correct selection on the current screen, new application or new URL Fewer keystrokes means fewer clerical errors  Process guidance improves compliance and helps agents through unfamiliar and complex procedures, which also reduces process errors Don’’t forget to factor this reduction in errors into your ROI for desktop automation. Errors often result in customer callbacks, losses, chargebacks, and for some companies, product-return and re-ship costs. In some cases, the most significant financial benefit of agent guidance and desktop automation might simply be better first-call resolution. Finally, in terms of cost-saving benefits, if your desktop analytics solution has the capability to send commands to a server, you could realize substantial savings by automating a variety of manual processes. Virtually anything that your agents are tracking via tick sheets and manual logs could probably be automated via triggered commands that pass data from the agent screens to a database. With a bit of creative programming, call center organizations could automate their call disposition process, post transaction information to databases or trigger the delivery of confirmation emails to their customers in real time. An integrated desktop analytics product means users can capture any value from agent screens and attach it to the current recording as a search parameter. In addition to cost savings, your ROI for desktop analytics could include using the solution to generate revenue, especially in a sales or upselling environment where better contextual scripting or quick access to product information could result in incremental sales. The ROI model for desktop analytics is strong enough that a simple AHT-savings proposal usually makes the case. We’’ve devised a number of ROI proposals for OpenText™ Qfiniti Optimize and have yet to encounter a customer that wouldn’’t break even within a year with the purchase of this solution and a moderate implementation effort. If you’’d like to learn more about desktop analytics, we’’d be glad to explore how this solution could radically improve your understanding and control over your cost and savings drivers. Learn more about Qfiniti.  

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Transforming Your Business Processes

business processes

Many people think of digital transformation as nothing more than the act of going paperless. However, at OpenText, we believe it is much more than this. In fact, we consider digital transformation to be ongoing business processes – a journey instead of a destination. Going digital radically redefines how we innovate, regardless of industry. It accelerates the pace and scale of a business, and creates opportunities for new ecosystems to thrive. With this in mind, business processes need to do more, use more and change more. They need to better adapt to manage routine and non-routine work, and support structured and unstructured processes. And all these processes require content, from forms and documents to images and many other types of media. As this content moves through the business via various processes, the two – content and processes – need to be tightly connected. This is where OpenText™ Process Suite 16 together with enterprise content management (ECM) and customer experience management (CEM) delivers the solutions that support digital transformation. With Release 16, Process Suite supports tight integration between content and processes to connect the right person, system or thing with the content it needs – at the right time. We call this ‘information-driven’ design: it focuses on how your information assets need to be managed and then allows you to build the right processes to manage them. By connecting your business processes with your content, you’re able to create context: your users can stay in the flow of work, uploading and sharing content as needed while the content management transparently happens behind the scenes, applying metadata to content, enriching its contextual value. This enhances your business processes and gives you the opportunity to ensure the right information is acted on at the right step in the process, providing the context so that action can be taken to move forward. To learn more about how OpenText Process Suite 16 and how it can help you create context for your business process, check out the Process Suite Executive Overview.

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Using Synchronized Media Assets to Bridge Platform Silos

media assets

Positive customer experience is all about removing the friction from the process. The easier something is to do, the better the experience. Today’s customers increasingly expect these transactions to seamlessly transition from one digital platform to another while retaining a consistent, personalized, digital experience, with data, information, and media assets moving seamlessly from one environment to another. It is tempting to try to address this by breaking down as many operational and siloed business and technology platforms as possible. This is often an impractical approach that leads to mismanaged expectations, delays, and higher than expected costs. It is better to bridge the silos in a way that allows data to flow between them. Instead of trying to break down silos, bridge them into irrelevancy by delivering a customer experience solution that focuses on delivering high impact content (usually visual), and allows you to conduct meaningful analytical analysis to continuously refine the experience. With an exceptional digital experience in place, it is not only the customer, but also your supply chain, distributors, and even employees who can benefit as well. The most effective way to bridge content silos is by adopting a media management strategy that empowers your digital supply chain by drawing brand approved assets from a centralized repository to deliver a connected consistent experience to multiple destinations – web, kiosk, mobile, tablet, etc. – which are compatible with the end user’s device. But what happens once you’ve published a media asset and it’s been delivered to one or more devices? What if the asset (be it an image, video, PDF file etc.) needs updating? Do you need to trace it and update each siloed instance individually? How do you know that you’ve found all the possible uses of that asset? Managing a media asset’s lifecycle can often be a hidden cost that in real terms costs more than the original investment in producing the asset. With the OpenText™ Media Management (OTMM) you can control your assets even after they’ve been published outside of OTMM. Assets are updated automatically when the tethered version in OTMM changes so you don’t have to. Every web page or application with the asset’s embed code – even the forgotten ones – will have the latest, correct version to make sure you stay on brand with current media assets. No more chasing content across operational and technology silos. Find out more about OpenText Media Management and how it helps companies enhance their investment in brand value and digital media with technology to manage and control media assets across various departments and optimize resources, efforts and budgets in an organization-wide strategy that delivers on your brand promise.

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Redefining The Customer Journey

customer journey

Management Consultant and author Peter Drucker once wrote that “the purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.” This may seem to be an obvious statement, but many companies traditionally focus on the first half of that statement to the detriment of the latter part. It could be argued that keeping a customer is more important than finding a new one – for a repeat customer is often an engaged customer. As OpenText CEO & CTO Mark J. Barrenechea points out in his book, On Digital, the digital world helps you by giving you more ways to know your customer better. “Know Your Customer isn’t just a regulatory obligation, it’s a key competitive differentiator. The best way to satisfy your customer is to truly understand them. You can do this by mapping your customer journeys.” But customer journeys are changing. The old traditional models of a singular pre-determined linear path or funnel from awareness to purchase no longer apply in a digital world where flowcharts have given way to multiple interactions at whatever point the customer wants it to be. The customer is not only driving the decision on when and how interactions are made, they are also demanding a more personalized experience. In a recent article, CMSWire columnist John Zimmerman outlined a vision of a digital experience platform that delivers “individualized content presentation for each customer interaction.”  To achieve this vision, organizations need a better way of engaging with the customer. This requires an enhanced understanding of the customer’s journey, one that is an infinite engagement rather than a linear process. The process can be viewed from two different perspectives: The Customer’s Perspective is one of a continuous experience where they BUY, then OWN (or use) a product (or service) throughout its lifecycle before repurchasing. The Enterprise Perspective is one of a continuous process where they ACQUIRE and then SERVE a customer to lead to a level of engagement where they will acquire additional revenue from that same customer and/or more customers “through recommendation”. The full engaged customer journey cannot be addressed by separate applications at different parts of the process. To be fully effective, it has to provide an exceptional continuous experience made up of a combination of many different experiences, processes and systems that all have to interact. These different aspects of the journey can be grouped into five separate, but interdependent, layers: The customer’s activity, The company’s activity, The departments involved, The related business process, The associated metrics used to measure and manage the engagement. I’ll be examining each of these layers in more detail in upcoming blog posts.

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Content Chaos Holding You Down? Cut the Ropes

shutterstock_312596810

Hot air balloons, with their bold colors and incredible designs, are beautiful even when tethered to the ground. But, their real glory isn’t realized until they launch — soaring unbound into the sky. Tethered, they are beautiful, but soaring they are magnificent. In a similar way, some organizations possess incredible potential, but remain tethered. What holds them down? Many are overwhelmed by content chaos. This occurs as growing volumes of information become scattered throughout their organization in shared drives, intranets, extranets, cloud repositories, or stored on desktops. Unintegrated, unsecured, and unindexed — their information becomes difficult to find and use. Sound familiar? If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many organizations today battle content chaos, as cited in these statistics: On average, 35–50 percent of the information available within an enterprise is not centrally stored or indexed. Today’s knowledge worker spends 1.8 hours a day, almost 20 percent of their work week, searching for documents. They cannot find what they are looking for 15 percent of the time. Not being able to find documents they know exist (82 percent) and version control (78 percent) are listed as the most frustrating document problems. Seventy-three percent admit half of their content probably has no business value, but they don’t know which half. As a result, 32 percent have a “keep everything” approach to deletion. One in five organizations are spending more than 25 percent of their IT budget adding and maintaining storage. The average is 16 percent. Clearly, these organizations are constrained and hindered by content that has grown scattered and unruly. The significant and growing costs related to content chaos are well documented — from productivity loss, increasing and expensive storage, to non-compliance penalties and more. The solution? Well-managed information not only reduces these costs, but also gives the organization a competitive edge. The Potential of Well-Managed Information Business leaders are realizing that the increasing supply and availability of information can (and must) be used for competitive advantage, value generation, and transformation. A recent study found that 95 percent of organizations correlate strong information management with business success. To unlock the value of information, however, it must exist in a state of control — centralized, organized, easy to find, the latest version, accessible to those who need it, and to no one else. Controlled information is easy to locate and use. It flows seamlessly across business processes and workflows, satisfying customers, completing transactions, driving revenue. It can be shared easily and securely. It can be harvested for customer, market, and operational insights. The time has come to control and leverage your information — and keep up with those who do. Get Started Cutting those Ropes. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions bring structure and control to fast growing libraries of information. At the foundation of every ECM solution is a Document Management repository into which your valuable information is saved—ensuring it is managed, secured, and easily accessible. As a leading ECM solution for the Windows desktop, OpenText™ eDOCS boasts industry-leading user adoption levels by offering intuitive, easy-to-use methods for managing information. eDOCS has thousands of unique customers, millions of users worldwide, and is backed by an extensive support and partner network. It can be deployed on premises, in a private cloud, or hybrid. Visit our eDOCS microsite to learn more. Hear from customers who have taken charge of their content chaos, cut the ropes, and started maximizing their business potential.

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Does Your Testing Program Have the Flexibility to Meet Your Goals?

testing program

I think most of us would agree that flexibility and the ability to adapt are important, but we perhaps don’’t realize how much we rely on this. Take for example our eyes -– our pupils open and close to adapt to the amount of light in our environment, and we can see small differences of color in bright daylight, while still being able to make out shapes in low light. Even more impressively, our retinas manage the amount of brain power we need to see by communicating only the changing parts of our environment to the brain and when we move somewhere new, the retina dynamically adjusts. How the retina does this is known as Dynamic Predictive Coding. So what does this have to do with conversion rate optimization? For a CRO programme to be truly effective, it needs to have the same effortless flexibility that our eyes have. The seasons change, your business changes, your customers change, your competitors change – and your CRO activities need to adapt and like our eyes use resources efficiently to react only to those changes that matter. Here, I’’ll talk about ways that you can develop your own version of Dynamic Predictive CRO to keep your CRO program adapting quickly whenever it needs to. I’’ll start out by covering why you need a flexible toolbox that can quickly adapt to each situation. In later posts, I’’ll go into how you can prime your program to be flexible when it comes to technical implementation, resources, time planning and the ability to react immediately to important changes outside of your control. Flexibility to choose the right type of test Remember when you test that you are trying to solve a problem for your users, and you need to pick the right tool to fix that problem. Think of this like DIY. If you want to knock a nail into wood you reach for a hammer, but if you want to paint a room you’ll need paint, rollers and brushes. If you want to test two different concepts for a landing page then reach for an A/B test, but if you want to understand how positioning of multiple elements on your high-traffic product page affects sales, plump for a multivariate test. If your problem is users that don’’t understand how your product solves their problems, try segmenting and serving personalized content. If you don’’t know what your problem is in the first place, turn to your analysts and analytics or set up some user testing. You will almost certainly have lots of different problems to solve, and these will keep changing as your site and your customer base evolve, so it stands to reason you will need to have a toolbox with multiple tools. Trying to answer every question with a two variation A/B test is like trying to paint a wall with hammer! In summary, take a look in your toolbox and make sure you have access to variety of tools, for example self-service and complex A/B testing, multivariate testing, personalization via audiences, customizable analytics and user research capabilities. When planning a campaign or test, start with the problem and then choose your tool rather than the other way around.

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Want to Trade Your Cube for the Corner Office? Find out How!

conversion rate optimization

Are you an insurance Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) expert looking to make your mark, but you feel like you’re slaving away with little sustained success? Or are you meeting stiff resistance before you can even express or implement your ideas? You’re not alone. OpenText™ Optimost has created a practical conversion rate optimization “how-to” guide just for you called, “Trade up: from cube to corner office”. Learn how you can make an impact, feel recognized, and climb up your organization. You can sign up to receive the complete guide now. Why should you sign up for the full guide? Get step-by-step guidance to overcome roadblocks Change your organization’s culture through better planning, prioritization, and more Find out how to get your executives to listen, love, and lavish resources on you and your team. Is this yet another guide to optimization?  No – this guide is NOT about how to run a test or interpret its results. It’s about how to make better decisions about where to test, what to test, and get the most resources, skills, buy-in, and attention for your CRO program. Trade up by reading our guide today.

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Qfiniti Optimize: Supercharge Your Desktop Applications

Qfiniti

In recent blogs we discussed using desktop analytics to understand your average handling time (AHT) and how OpenText™ Qfiniti Optimize can provide a simple and meaningful analysis of desktop activity. In this blog we will discuss the strategic advantages to using an effective agent desktop guidance and automation product like Qfiniti Optimize. The underlying technologies are similar, so desktop automation and guidance products are frequently sold in conjunction with products that measure desktop activity. Even with the excellent training and quality programs you already provide, contact center agents can only be as efficient as the applications they use to complete their routine tasks. Instead of focusing on the customer, many contact center agents today are forced to spend too much attention and energy working with inefficient applications. Four AHT guzzlers are common and each of these can be easily addressed by a well-designed product like Qfiniti Optimize that provides real-time contextual desktop guidance and automation. Disjointed applications Given the high costs and lengthy timelines typically associated with application development, it’s no wonder that many contact centers can’t often afford the luxury of a unified and easy-to-use suite of applications. Instead, most make due with a series of unconnected applications, forcing agents to switch back and forth between applications, sometimes needing to enter the same information on multiple screens. This wastes time, gives rise to errors and diminishes the customer experience. Solution: When triggered by any desktop event you define, a great desktop automation application, with an open architecture can interconnect your disjointed applications. Qfiniti Optimize will: Watch your agent screens in real time, remember values already entered or displayed, and then automatically paste those values into subsequent selected fields within the same application or in other applications when those controls come into view Display a list of values already remembered for the current interaction and display them on the agent desktop in a table for quick reference Send a command to the workstation or to a server: automatically open or close applications, navigate to specific application pages, send alerts to Supervisors, or post captured data to a central database Complex processes   Processes take more time because call center applications don’’t typically guide agents toward the next best step that is specific to the situation at hand and to your unique business needs. Also, newer agents are slower and make more mistakes because they simply can’t remember every step of every process or what to do next. Solution: Qfiniti Optimize can display any message to any group of agents at any workflow juncture, guiding agents to the next best step. Desktop analytics solutions can also be programmed to identify and monitor compliance issues that could put an organization at risk. These negative behaviors can be eliminated or controlled by using the real-time guidance features that show employees the steps required to properly handle inquiries or to accurately process their work. Process guidance can be enabled on a group-by-group basis. Script uncertainty  When reps don’t quite say it right, this invariably raises more questions and digressions. As a rule, contact center reps who say the right thing, in the right way, at the right time have better call control. Many of the applications that contact center agents use today offer little or no scripting prompts, and these prompts are contextual only to the page or place on the page, and not to the interaction as a whole. Solution: Contact centers can use a desktop guidance product like Qfiniti Optimize to centralize the programming of all agent scripting prompts for all scenarios and applications into one solution. In this way, scripting can be displayed in a consistent manner and can be programmed in such a way that it is contextual to the interaction. For example, at the same point in the call, the agent could be prompted with different scripts, depending on what happened on the call prior to that point. Finding information  In most cases, you probably prefer that your reps look up information vs. guess to rely on their memory, because in our world, the answers are often changing. Against pressure to control talk time, the extra step of verifying information is too often neglected. These delays and any misinformation provided increases your costs, frustrates your agents and intensifies your customers’ level of effort. Solution: With Qfiniti Optimize a desktop event can pop-up a hyperlink that the agent can click on to take them to the information they need, right at the moment they need it. Using a workstation command, and desktop event could automatically open a browser and take the agent to the URL of your choice. These are just a few of the many benefits that a well-designed desktop automation and guidance solution can provide. OpenText Qfiniti Optimize is extremely easy to use and comes with some slick features that you can use to provide effective contextual guidance to your agents on every customer interaction. Learn more about Qfiniti.

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NAB Show 2016 – Not My First DAM Rodeo

OpenText at NAB

At NAB, the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas, Digital Asset Management (DAM), media and technology are finally catching up. I have been attending the NAB Show for nearly all of my working life – a long time! I have been working in the DAM industry for the last five years and it is gratifying to see the amount of interest in DAM at this show. Over the years, many media companies were looking for solutions to better manage media, but they were ahead of their time. The technology just hadn’t progressed to a point to make their vision a reality. Now the technology is catching up. Broadcast media has certainly evolved. Back in the day, it seemed innovation at NAB was about how many shiny new buttons were added to the cool box for the control room gallery or studio. Now all those buttons are part of a slick mouse-controlled interface that can do the same job that it used to take 25 people to do. Managing media assets and metadata, whether its called MAM, DAM or whatever, should be a no-brainer in the media industry. DAM sits at the intersection of making media and doing something with it. It is not just about broadcasting, and DAM is not just a library of media content. The biggest change for vendors in both broadcasting and DAM is in integration. The silos must die! The proprietary systems of the past have given way to interdependent ecosystems. In DAM this means going beyond integration with other systems and being able to adapt to the customer’s environment. Who wants to support an integration in which both ends have to code and test at every release to make sure the middle still works? Plus, there are so many pieces to fit together, multiple systems and dependencies that need to share information and work together. It is all part of an ecosystem which includes the processes to plan, produce, deliver, and measure digital media. Lots of pieces have to fit together and work together in complex environments, touching all parts of the organization and the wider digital media supply chain. What excites me about DAM (OpenText™ Media Management is the one I am most familiar with) is that it is moving to more of a configuration model, rather than heavy coding for integration and customization. It  allows loosely coupled integration with secure, controlled access to share and synchronize data. It allows customers to work the way they want to work. At OpenText we are starting to see this with the media companies we work with. We can media-enable the processes, such as project management, so you can track the people, budget and time as a project as all of the associated assets move through its lifecycle. We can consolidate the assets so there is a single container or place for all the metadata, relationships and versions – a single source of the truth, and we can securely manage and control access. Ultimately, this is about providing transparency and collaboration in media planning and creation, and leveraging metadata to provision the processes in how that media content is to be used.  Then providing the feedback with analytics and metrics in how it is actually used across all of the  different delivery vehicles to get your message and story to any audience, any device, any format, any time. I tell customers all the time that every company is a media company. And it’s a great time to be a media company.

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Introducing Process Suite 16

Process Suite 16

Real-world business processes can be messy, inefficient and downright painful – we know! We have listened to your feedback, identified your key pain points, and now, are pleased to announce the solution to your business process problems: OpenText™ Process Suite 16. Our new OpenText Process Suite 16 Platform (Process Platform) delivers the power and flexibility you need to digitize, automate and integrate your business processes across functions, systems, machines, and clouds. Process Platform facilitates the process-flow of information throughout your business in human-to-human, human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions. And most importantly, these processes can be either structured or unstructured – providing you with the ultimate control to optimize and expand your business performance. The Process Suite 16 Platform was built to simplify the effort it takes to get to a business solution. At a high level, here are some of the new features that will help businesses achieve their desired business outcomes more quickly and easily: One Platform, Two Approaches: Most processes that span a business are at times structured (process), and at other times ad hoc (case). Process Suite 16 enables you to use a single system to easily manage these processes as they transition from structured to case and back again, which better supports the reality of your day-to-day business. Simplified Application Development: Process Suite 16 introduces a new low-code application development approach that provides an alternative to process-centric design. Instead of following a process-driven design, you can build a process application based on how the information needs to be processed. This is more intuitive for business experts and enables them to be directly involved in development. When IT support is required, developers work within the same environment to streamline communication and speed the time and success of delivery. Content Rich Processes: Content is managed with processes, and processes need content – whether it’s a form, document, media or voice file. Process Suite 16 allows you to bring everything together (including both structured and unstructured processes) easily, effectively and at the right time, which increases productivity within and across your teams and processes. Greater Integration Capabilities: Integrations that deepen the information exchange between Process Suite and OpenText Content, Analytics and Experience Suites as well as with external systems and applications. OpenText Process Suite 16 also includes many other new features including improved user experience, new pre-built applications and new mobile app development support. Visit Process Intelligence or read the Process Suite 16 Executive Brief to find out more.

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Desktop Analytics – OpenText Qfiniti Optimize, Simple and Meaningful

Desktop analytics

In a recent blog about desktop analytics, I discussed the value of using desktop analytics to understand your AHT.  In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of desktop analytics solutions in general and of Opentext™ Qfiniti Optimize in particular. There are several software products on the market called “desktop analytics.” Different products collect different information from the desktops, and have different ways of organizing the data collected and exposing this in reports. We took a good look at the rest of the desktop analytics market and have invested heavily to deliver an enhanced analytics product that: Is simple to use Provides a meaningful view into desktop activity Is easy to afford and justify Qfiniti Optimize watches and logs every application, web site or web application your agents use, and can track values entered or displayed on those screens, buttons clicked, drop-down values selected, field values changed —time stamps for everything that happens on that desktop, even between interactions. It then streamlines and organizes this hidden data for real-time or future analysis, no matter how many workstations are in use and no matter where those workstations are located, even in remote or work-at-home environments. There is no limit to the amount of desktop activity that can be captured and analyzed. In addition to reports about application usage Qfiniti Optimize includes several great reports about workflows. A workflow is simply a sequence of steps through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion. For any date range, team or user, workflow reports show completion/abandon rates per workflow step, a comparative analysis of the total time and average time it takes to complete each step of a workflow, and an in-depth comparative analysis of the total time and average time it takes selected agents to complete a selected workflow step. A good quality monitoring program will certainly identify behaviors that can cause workflow steps to take more or less time than seems necessary. (Too often it seems, the emphasis is on taking too much time vs. not taking enough time to complete certain tasks.) The best way to consistently identify workflow-step AHT outliers, however, is to compare a long-term step-by-step AHT breakdown for each agent against that of the entire team. Telling an agent to improve their talk time without pinpointing which part of the workflow to improve could be asking for trouble. Desktop analytics is quickly becoming a necessary tool of choice for call center organizations that need to measure the amount of time it takes front-line and back-office agents to complete workflow steps. This information can be used to identify and track budgetary initiatives and to empower quality coaches to deliver a more relevant and meaningful analysis of behavioral trends. Desktop analytics products are especially helpful to companies whose agents perform any kind of predictable workflow process, including back-office activities. Without this type of measurement, it’s difficult to set meaningful handle-time goals measure progress towards those goals. Learn more about Qfiniti Optimize.  

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Eight Seconds! Your Deadline to Deliver an Engaging Web Experience

web experience management

Eight seconds! Research has shown that’s all the time you have to capture the attention, and engage with, the average user on the web. Eight seconds! To meet this challenge, it isn’t enough to create great web content and deliver it through a traditional web content management system. To really capture attention you need a compelling web experience management strategy. Today’s web users expect a higher level of engagement and sophistication when it comes to their online experience. These elevated expectations have led to a more contextual, meaningful and compelling conversation between website, brand and user – across multiple devices and platforms. Rather than simply pushing static content to web properties, businesses now need to exceed customer expectations with tools that dynamically deliver adaptive and content-centric experiences across any, and every, channel where the customer may be interacting with them. There needs to be a bi-directional flow that runs from consumer to the organization and back again. Web content management is no longer a single point solution for website management because businesses are looking to integrate other enterprise systems that can bring greater value to their web content. Integration into these touch points allows for a greater 360-degree view and three-dimensional understanding of your customers. Omni-channel touch points must also take into consideration multilingual content, translation services and engines, and translation dashboards, which ensures that content pages are translated and localized for global visitors. Omni-channel touch points need to be available 24/7, which means that more self-service applications have to support consumers’ behaviors. Website management has been transformed from a static publishing process to a highly engaging web experience that compels audiences to interact and engage. As businesses try to find the balance between outbound and inbound marketing, the website is still at the forefront of every conversation with the customer. Using your website to create fresh, relevant, targeted content specifically designed to reach a distinct audience segments is key. Inbound marketing, significantly less expensive than outbound marketing, includes strategies such as social media marketing, blogging and content marketing, podcasts, white papers, eBooks, infographics, etc., and can be used to personalize the experience of customers, engage with them and let your brand shine. With a web experience management strategy and supporting platform in place, Digital-First enterprises can report and analyze the usage of pages, content and other relevant objects to increase the visibility of any information delivered in a personalized way and to optimize their knowledge regarding consumers’ expectations through any related business process, business partner and enterprise application. This will help to drive a higher customer lifecycle value and increase upsell revenue. Find out more about the OpenText™ Web Experience Management platform, and how you can use it to deliver compelling, and adaptive experiences across multi-channel touch points, to transform everyday online transactions into actionable, strategic insight.

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Contact Center Webinar: Selling the Value Inside Your Organization

contact center

As a contact center leader, are you always asked to do more with less, yet expected to deliver an outstanding customer experience? Are you tired of having to justify or ask for investments for your contact center during the budget planning process? If you answered “yes” to either of the above questions, you’’ll want to attend this new webinar with Call Center IQ (IQPC). During the webinar we will be discussing how you can sell the value of your contact center within your organization. You’’ll learn the “who, what, why and how” behind sharing valuable contact center insights with other departments in the enterprise. There’’s a goldmine of information and insights within the contact center; you just need to know how to leverage it. You can register today, but if you can’t make it, or if you read this blog post after the date, just follow the link anyway and you can get the recorded version instead. Webinar: Ready to get noticed? Selling the value of the contact center inside your organization Date: Wednesday, April 20 Time: 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET Register here.

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Using Desktop Analytics to Understand Your AHT

Desktop analytics

I used to work for a large global contact center organization, where I was in charge of QA and Training. One of my responsibilities in that role was to determine and drive budgetary talk time goals every year for a variety of phone projects. Our budgetary plan for each project had to detail what changes we would make to scripting, desktop applications, call flow, or training during the upcoming year, as well as the expected change to AHT or other budgetary drivers for each proposed change. We also needed to be able to track or progress towards budgetary goals throughout the course of each year. We needed an analysis that measured the average amount of time it took our contact center agents to complete each step of a defined process. Lacking any automated system of talk time analysis, we created manual reports by listening to hundreds of random calls and manually timing each step of the call. All of this data was entered to spreadsheets for analysis. It took an army of listeners and calibration was a challenge. At the end of the study, we had to hope that we had selected the right mix of calls for our talk time studies. Report example: average number of seconds required to complete workflow steps. After using a manual process for years, we acquired a desktop analytics product for PCI compliance purposes and soon discovered its ability to also measure AHT for basic workflow steps. The reports were super-accurate, didn’’t take an army to create them, plus they included data for as many calls that we wanted to include. By using an automated measurement tool, we went from being good to being really good about understanding our talk time. In addition to AHT step measurement, a good desktop analytics tool can provide tremendous insights into individual and aggregate agent behaviors: Which applications do most agents use most often and for the most amount of time? Which process requires agents to jump around from place to place looking for information that they need? Which agents spend more or less time completing various workflow steps than they really should? Desktop analytics technology provides transparency into what front- and back-office employees are doing at their desktops, valuable insights that are not available without this investment. As a result, it can rapidly identify costly system, operational, and performance issues that can prevent the staff from delivering a consistently outstanding customer experience. Learn more about OpenText™ Qfiniti Optimize and read this white paper on the benefits of a managed service approach for contact centers.  

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Flying Highs (and lows) – Customer Experience Across the Pond

customer experience

I recently blogged about customer experiences I noticed on a business trip to New York, and how we are more attuned to both good and bad experiences when traveling, than we are when we are in our normal day-to-day routines. Not long after my trip to New York, I went to London and Paris for a week and had some more interesting experiences! Arrival in London I have the privilege of traveling to London a number of times a year, so by this point I feel pretty familiar with the layout and procedures at Heathrow. Upon arrival, I’’m always struck by what the experience must be like for a first-time, non-English speaking visitor deplaning bleary-eyed after a long haul flight. There are a number of long hallways, escalators, and signs pointing you this way and that, with no obvious rhyme or reason. Every public space, like airports, train stations, hotels, or hospitals, should have the “five-year-old” test – bring in a tired and hungry five-year-old to see if they can figure out where they need to go and what they need to do to accomplish the key tasks of a passenger, guest, or patient. If a cranky, illiterate five-year-old can figure it out, surely any traveler can, too. This sort of test will also make it really clear about the clear what parts of the experience are most confusing and need to be redesigned or clarified. When I was departing London, I had an experience that reinforced this idea. I was in a newsagent buying some gum when a Korean tourist speaking only a few words of English walked in and asked the guy behind the cash register, “Beer”? “Beer”? Clearly these travel hubs are full of people who don’’t know what to expect and get confused! When too much money is a problem By the time I arrived from Heathrow to Paddington, I had to use the bathroom. Unlike in the U.S.,  you have to pay to use the bathroom in many places in Europe, in this case 30 pence in coins. Of course I only had a £20 bill, so the change machine gave me about 4,000 coins. Kind of like winning the jackpot on a slot machine without any of the excitement. #experiencefail Getting unknowingly fleeced When I arrived at the hotel, the front desk informed me that breakfast was not included, but if I purchased it in advance at the front desk I would get a discount vs buying it in the restaurant in the morning, so I agreed. Only later did I discover that I had paid extra for the cooked-to-order option, when the more than adequate breakfast buffet was already included. Arriving in Paris and another #uberfail In my last travel customer experience blog post, I wrote about Uber and Lyft’ botched mapping that made it hard to find a driver. At least in those cases I eventually connected. When I got off the EuroStar train at Paris’ Gare du Nord, I spent at least 15 minutes trying to find the driver in the traffic jam in front, to no avail. Uber lost my business that time. The infamous Parisian cold shoulder? Notwithstanding the Uber experience, the rest of my customer experiences in Paris didn’’t match the city’’s infamous reputation at all. Waiters and shopkeepers were unfailingly helpful and polite. I asked for French menus so I could struggle a bit (it’’s more fun that way!) and when a colleague and I got dinner the waiter apologized for his poor English, despite the fact he spoke it very well. The next evening, I joined a group of colleagues after they’’d finished dinner. The kitchen was closed, but the waitress was kind enough to offer me a cold plate. I was reminded of this hilarious scene from one of my favorite movies, La vita è bella, where Roberto Benigni persuades a late arriving customer to order the only thing he can offer. Another, better experience with cash The last day in Paris, I met a local friend and wandered around. We stopped by her favorite croissant spot. The neat customer experience here was a machine next to the register that let’s customers put cash in and get cash back, similar to a supermarket self-checkout, so the folks behind the counter can keep their hands clean without having to put plastic gloves on and off all day. Don’’t know why I’’ve never seen this in the US! A final disappointment On the way back to California, I had a stopover in JFK. On the perfectly pleasant flight over the Atlantic, I watched the first 20 minutes of The Good Dinosaur before landing, and planned to continue it on the domestic connection. But once I got on that flight, I realized that I’’d forgotten American charges for movies on domestic flights. How annoying. To be honest, this is what I’’m used to when I am only flying domestically, but somehow the idea that my experience wasn’’t consistent throughout the journey was jarring and disappointing. It’’s another reminder that a flight is really a collection of people on their own journeys, with their own expectations. Airlines have got so good at personalizing the pricing side through yield management, but that hasn’’t bled over much into customer experience, except by seating class. What do you think? Have you had any memorable customer experiences on international travel? Do you think airlines should customize the passenger experience, and how? And is Parisian service always good, or was I lucky? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Elevate the Digital Experience With TeamSite 8.1

TeamSite

Give your digital team even more leverage to create beautiful and impactful customer experiences. TeamSite 8.1 offers new tools for better page performance analysis, more efficient collaboration across organizations and agencies, and faster time-to-market for your omnichannel campaigns. New Features and Enhancements: Push Notifications Take mobile experiences one step further by engaging app users with push notifications. This latest release expands upon the TeamSite’ hybrid mobile app capabilities. Use TeamSite to repurpose digital content to quickly create apps and send text notifications to app users. This comes in handy, for example, when you’’ve created an app tied to an event, and want to quickly send reminders, or important announcements to users in real time. The modern user interface makes it easy. In the hybrid app project within TeamSite, click the “notifications” tab, type your message, and send. HTML2Template Bridge the gaps between designer, marketer and web developer during collaborative design projects. With the HTML2Template feature, your team can grab web designs produced by creative agencies and convert them straight into TeamSite templates. TeamSite will take the HTML and break page content into reusable template components – all in WYSIWYG mode. When finalizing the template, you can accept each element as a component or not. HTML2Template will save developers a lot of time when converting new page designs into workable TeamSite projects and will ultimately improve time-to-market for new campaigns. This also speeds up the traditionally labor-intensive process of importing large numbers of existing pages to a new web content management platform. Google Analytics Now, you can view site metrics from Google Analytics while staying within Experience Studio. Identify top performing pages and top drivers of traffic to your pages so that you can improve visitor engagement and increase conversions on your site. The site analytics dashboard includes: Top landing pages Number of unique hits and page views Average duration of visits Top exit pages Top referrers (online sources like search engines that drive visitors to your site) A global heat map showing locations of most site visitors Guided Help Reduce the learning curve for those new to the TeamSite 8 interface, with the new guided help function. Within the Help tool, users can find step-by-step instructions for a given topic. Guided help will then take the user through the interface where pop ups will guide them through the given task. This is an interactive way for a user to receive help on a task while they are completing it rather than having to go back and forth between a list of instructions and the platform. Business users who don’’t frequently use TeamSite, and others who have just started using it after an upgrade to TeamSite 8 will benefit from guided help. Localization TeamSite is now localized for the following languages (in addition to English): Chinese traditional Chinese simplified Japanese French Italian MediaBin Integration Experience Studio is now fully integrated with MediaBin 8.2 and 8.3. Pull in your company’’s approved images and other assets directly from MediaBin, while you are using Experience Studio. Search for MediaBin assets while building content, and import the correct file sizes and formats for your web and mobile-ready pages. If you’’re using a particular MediaBin collection for a given campaign, you can sort through that collection and also repeat assets across pages, components and sites, as appropriate. User Extensions Third party applications can be integrated into Experience Studio. Developers can create tabs in the navigation and build in a view of their other application of choice. Possible applications that could be integrated include: translations, e-commerce, CRM and other platforms that come into play when building sites and integrating data sources.  Other Technical Improvements FreeMarker, a modern Java-based template engine, is now supported Bootstrap is now supported for Experience Studio templates and pages FormsPublisher has an updated look and feel  

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MediaBin 8.3 – Single Source of Truth for Digital Assets

digital assets

OpenText™ MediaBin helps global marketing teams to create innovative, engaging campaigns by effectively managing, distributing, and publishing thousands of customer-facing digital assets such as videos, images, promotions, and logos. You can now enjoy higher-impact marketing and communications while remaining brand consistent with a single, self-service repository that stores all of your rich media assets. MediaBin 8.3 builds upon the automated image analytics released in the previous version. It automatically tags digital assets with the following elements and allows you to search based on: A visual color swatch that allows you to select colors you’re seeking Barcodes and QR Codes with the ability to filter by barcode type Text within items that have been traditionally more difficult to crawl for text: digital images and scanned documents, also known as Image Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Facial Identification within images Human Analysis characteristics like general age, gender, dominant clothing color, eyes open/closed or whether a person is wearing eye glasses (new experimental option) User interface enhancements in MediaBin 8.3 include: Ability to view the “parent” asset of an associated asset Configure non-image asset preview by extension type with custom preview images Representation of certain asset types with glyphs in asset preview The option to refresh galleries, summaries, listviews and folders Improved video playback and functional improvements to video user interface For more information, you can read the brochure.  

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Take Advantage of new TeamSite Optimost Self-Service Features: JavaScript and CSS editing

TeamSite Optimost

We’’re excited to release our latest self-service features – JavaScript and CSS editing, available now in VisualTest! Both of these features are a direct response to requests we’’ve heard from our customers, and fit into our strategy to put the incredible power of OpenText™TeamSite Optimost at your fingertips. Read on to learn more. JavaScript Editing Insert JavaScript into creatives provides powerful capabilities and flexibility in defining their behavior. Now you can make complex layout changes, swap images in a carousel, or even make programmatic call-outs to other interfaces to test page elements like reviews, custom offers based on logged-in status, and much more. Access the JavaScript editor from the creative drop down menu The editor allows you to run JavaScript before or after the page loads, and has user-friendly features like color-coded parenthesis-matching, line numbers, and more, for a smoother and faster coding experience. The JavaScript editor  CSS Editing We’ve added CSS style editing to the element editing features of VisualTest.  Now you can edit or add new CSS attributes and values. Access the CSS Editor The CSS Attribute Editor auto-suggests CSS attributes names as you type, validates attribute names, shows inherited and node-specific attributes, and more.  The CSS Attribute Editor How do I get started? If you’’ve enabled the self-service interface, you’’re ready to go! If you haven’’t, speak to your Client Success Manager or Account Executive today. Once enabled, you can get started right away. Is there training? Yes. Contact your Client Success Manager or Account Executive – and we’ll be happy to walk you through it.

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Introducing TeamSite Optimost Audience Builder

Optimost Audience Builder

We’’re very excited to release TeamSite Optimost Audience Builder, our latest self-service feature – available now! What is Audience Builder? Audience Builder is a key part of our strategy to put the power of OpenText™ Optimost at your fingertips to: Easily create complex audiences with the intuitive interface Maintain incredible precision using a long list of attributes and grouping logic with only a few clicks Fit targeting easily into your workflow– in advance or on the fly Can I see it? Here’’s a short video that shows how easily you can discover and target tests using Optimost analytics and Audience Builder. What conditions can I use to create audiences? • Device • Platform • OS • Browsers • Cookies (first or third party) • Date/time • URL • Geo-targeting • IP address • Referrers • Javascript expressions How do I get started? If you’’ve enabled the self-service interface: From VisualTest you’ll find it under target experiment: Or go to Audience Builder directly in the Optimost Dashboard. If you haven’’t enabled self-service, speak to your Client Success Manager or Account Executive today. Once enabled, you can get started right away. We’’d love to hear your questions and feedback. Happy testing!

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MediaBin Portal Client – Engage and Increase DAM Adoption

MediaBin Portal Client

OpenText™ MediaBin Portal Client is another view into the MediaBin repository targeted at the every day user within the enterprise, or external users such as partners, dealers and agencies. Simplify Digital Asset Management for the enterprise. Product details Search and browse assets Download assets with rendition Asset analytics – number of views and downloads Gallery and list view View assets, metadata and play videos Create, add assets and share collections Email direct link to collection of assets Export assets to PDF or CSV User content permission – secondary permissions based on metadata For more information, read our product brief or visit the website.

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Accelerate Time-to-Market & Create Beautiful, Modern Digital Experiences Easily With TeamSite 8.0

TeamSite 8

OpenText™ TeamSite is a modern, dynamic, and flexible platform for digital experience management that enables you to easily take control of multichannel experiences and campaigns. It makes it easier to deliver outstanding digital experiences by simplifying the entire process of managing content across all marketing channels, including websites, mobile platforms, email, social, commerce, composite applications, collaboration sites, and portals. From a single interface, you can author, test and target content, manage rich media, design websites and mobile applications, and publish content. With TeamSite, you can: Take control of your brand. Easily author content and build experiences without help from IT. Use TeamSite’’s enhanced, tile-based interface that allows you to drag and drop assets, reuse page templates and components, and automatically scale content for mobile devices. Personalize digital experiences. Automatically deliver relevant information to your customers and prospects. Quickly matching what your customers are looking for to the right content will keep them coming back to your brand as loyal customers. Save time and resources. Small teams are able to manage hundreds of sites by relying less on IT, customizing workflows, previewing and editing pages and mobile screens, while archiving pages and meeting governance and compliance requirements. You can also save by moving everyday maintenance of your digital experiences to the cloud. Scale for the enterprise. Move to a secure yet open, flexible platform that has the best performance to cost ratio for enterprise-level implementation and offers a smooth integration into existing environments.  New Features and Enhancements TeamSite 8.0 introduces a new user interface with significant enhancements in usability and performance: Experience Studio.  Modern graphical interface Rely on an easy and intuitive interface built with the latest UI technologies and UX concepts, designed for marketers and business users. Project-based organization Gain a multi-site- and multi-project-based view of content, templates, web sites, and resources to promote collaboration and reuse of assets. Search, sort, and filter Natively integrated powerful search allows you to break away from the limits of navigating folder-based views of content, and instead work with visual tiles and a card-based view of assets. Just type a search keyword and get a context-sensitive listing of assets, filtered in real time. Templates and mobile-first approach TeamSite 8 has a brand new template and page design tool. Using this modern tool, you can add reusable content or application widgets (components) directly onto the template and design it exactly as the end user would see it on the website.  Drag-and-drop these components to design any layout you need for the template and page. All templates and pages are mobile-ready by default, with responsive design out of the box, and leverage modern UI frameworks like Foundation (http://foundation.zurb.com) and Bootstrap. You can create or edit these templates and pages using three different views – desktop, tablet and smartphone. You have multiple devices in each category and you can edit in-context of any of those devices.  Previewing these templates and pages gives you even more options – more device categories and devices as well as the ability to preview the template or page side-by-side across multiple devices. Easy creation of mobile apps Create and design pages and screens for hybrid apps, and automatically generate the mobile app from TeamSite. Once the app is made available to end users, publish content updates to it without having to republish. Asset management Enable marketers to create and edit digital content in one, centralized location and then publish across multiple channels and reuse for different campaigns. Search and filter to retrieve exactly what you need. Adding new assets to the system is as simple as “dragging and dropping” the asset from your desktop into the browser. For more information, visit TeamSite.

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