Information Management

Test at the Right Time – Flexible CRO Seasonality

CRO seasonality

In my previous posts, I’ve covered how to choose the right tool for a conversion rate optimizaton (CRO) problem, and how to build technical flexibility. Now I want to talk about how planning your time can make your program more dynamic and get you better results. Recognizing CRO seasonality requirements can lift the overall number of incremental sales you make over a year. CRO seasonality vs. quarterly results Whatever business you are in, you are likely to have to deal with peaks and troughs in web traffic throughout the year. Retail teams often have huge peaks in sale season. Energy doesn’t see much activity in the summer when we turn the heating off (at least here in the UK). My US colleagues with air conditioners tell me things are different there! However, testing provider contracts and team targets often don’t account for these. Many leaders expect equal effort to create equal results throughout the year. You will see more successes if you plan your testing to fit in with your natural traffic variations. Do most of your tests when you have strong, but not “over-excited” traffic – the type that makes up the majority of your users over the year. Plan specific targeted tests for high peak periods (more about this in a previous blog), and have a testing plan associated with each major marketing campaign. That may mean you end up building and launching 20 tests one month, and only 5 the next. There is nothing wrong with this if you have planned carefully. Example: Energy sector In this sample roadmap below resources are freed up for other projects in summer when traffic is low, but concentrated on high-value testing when traffic is higher. In the next post I’ll cover resource flexibility – how to build a team that will allow you to adapt to any CRO challenge. Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out my posts on a flexible CRO toolbox and technical flexibility.

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Announcing OpenText Developer Experience Suite for TeamSite 8

Developer Experience Suite

Things have been busy for us in Professional Services during our transition from HP to OpenText, but that hasn’t stopped us from innovating inside our Center of Exellence (COE). The Professional Services (ProServ) team has been involved with customer transitions to TeamSite 8, with its new slick Experience Studio interface, proving to be a delight for both the casual contributor and marketeer! We’re also working with developers and site administrators who require a deep, sophisticated feature-set around content and asset management/development. After years in the field listening to feedback from power users and developers, with the advent of a new modernized UI framework, we are able to deliver to all in our ProServ Package solution – Developer Experience Suite. Some features and benefits include: Timelines Manager: A dashboard that allows to you create different timelines from published content. This allows developers and authors to work and visualize the site for multiple, cascading release cycles, without affecting business-as-usual publishing. Content Explorer: A power user interface (modernized CCPro) content repository browser with a familiar Windows Explorer feel with support for modern file management features from traditional browsing to full-text search. Integrated Express IDE: Language detection, syntax highlighting, direct editing of any development resource files or properties while eliminating needless downloads and uploads. Visual and source “diff” support for up to 3-way merges. Components Update Manager: Allows for quick reporting on eStudio components, templates and placeholders that need updating and provides a powerful UI to manage and cascade bulk modifications to pages and templates. If your enterprise wants to harness the full potential of TeamSite and exceed your CEM expectations please contact me or your solution services representative. Learn more about this exciting revolution in our OpenText™ Developer Experience Suite solution brief. Stay tuned for even more product innovations from the labs of our ProServ team!

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Enterprise World Highlights: ECM Evolves and Heads Into the Cloud

ECM

And, we’re back in 3…2…1: Happy August! After a few crazy months book-ended by the most extensive product release in OpenText history and a truly insightful, inspiring week at Enterprise World 2016, I’ve been able to make the most of a nice vacation and reflect a bit on how our annual flagship event both summarized and expanded on the happenings of the first half of the year. Interest in the Cloud is Exploding While it’s no secret that the cloud is becoming a priority for many organizations, I was amazed to see just how much interest in it had mushroomed from last Enterprise World to this one. Cloud-based breakout sessions such as Enterprise Managed Services in the OpenText Cloud and Top Questions you need to ask when Upgrading ECM to the Cloud were standing room only in Nashville. A marked increase from last year and a remarkable progression from two years ago when cloud breakouts were more of a curiosity than a must-see. My main observation from talking with the attendees at this year’s cloud-focused sessions? It’s clear that, while many organizations are still just getting their feet wet, most see an ECM future that involves fully harnessing the power of cloud-based solutions. Furthermore, the current and proposed use cases I had the pleasure of hearing about are as endless as, well, a cloud-dotted sky. Organizations are utilizing the cloud to focus on everything from the tactical—freeing up ECM administration resources—to enterprise-level strategic initiatives designed to push innovation on new business solutions. It was also noteworthy that these discussions were consistently peppered with the sort of benefit statements CFOs like to hear; things like lowering capital costs and shifting to more economical SaaS-structured payment models. The cloud devotees have really been doing their homework! Re-Thinking ECM is Definitely a “Thing” The role of ECM is changing and organizations are successfully shifting to viewing ECM in a new light. This year, I had strikingly fewer discussions devoted to traditional ECM terms like storage, compliance, governance, and records management. Customer emphasis is now on how to best elevate ECM solutions to enhance productivity for processes and people. Optimal governance is just expected. My take on this: ECM has matured and many organizations are comfortable with the baseline management of the content currently under the purview of their ECM platforms. Existing ECM implementations are doing their job storing content and ensuring that information is following the appropriate governance path throughout its lifecycle. The general feeling is, that’s fine, but not enough. Most of the customers that I spoke to are now looking for ECM to do more as they target digital transformation in a post-analog world. The reasons? They’re bang-on in envisioning a new competitive and customer service landscape where ALL the digital data in an organization has to be easily accessible to play a symbiotic role in success. And they’re not exactly eager to approach the powers that be with capital requests for new platforms and technologies to try and achieve it. Hence, questions revolved around accomplishing this by extending the reach of their tried-and-true ECM platforms further into business processes and collaborative activities. At times I felt like a hi-tech relationship counsellor as discussions delved into methods to facilitate better communication between Oracle and Salesforce or why it’s critical for structured and unstructured information to come together to contribute to a common goal. Bottom line: all this, and much more, is possible with new advances in ECM capabilities. We can show you how. Of course, Enterprise World made for the perfect forum to host these discussions. A host of product experts, customer roundtables, demo pods, and over 200 breakout sessions provided ample opportunity to gain a better understanding of extending the value of ECM to transform your organization. If you couldn’t make it, we’ve got that covered, too. Kick off your journey into re-thinking the role of ECM while exploring the possibilities.

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Does Your Testing Strategy go Beyond the Surface? The Value of Full-Funnel Testing

full-funnel testing

I recently sat down with WhichTestWon to talk about the importance of full-funnel testing – testing throughout your conversion funnel. You can listen to the whole conversation at the bottom, it’s free through August 16 and available for WTW pro subscribers thereafter. Among the ideas we discussed: A mature testing approach requires full-funnel testing, because a conversion isn’t typically measured on just one page. There are multiple clicks to revenue. It’s not productive to boost conversions only at the top of funnel and have all that additional traffic drop out — if one link in the chain is broken, you don’t have a chain. But testing deeper in the funnel does have challenges. Those pages usually have lower traffic, so results take longer to come back. Or they’re higher risk — if the testing system breaks the checkout page, your site is hobbled. Challenges notwithstanding, it’s worth it if you understand where your abandonment rates are farthest behind industry benchmarks. Many people also focus on landing pages for organizational reasons: most testing users have direct control of top of funnel pages and it’s easier to get approval for testing there. But especially if you’ve been at the game awhile, that’s probably not where the most value remains. You can overcome the challenges – building a strong culture of testing is key to driving a business case for testing pages you might not own directly today. Bottom line: if you say you want to be customer-driven, testing needs to be close to the top of the set of things you focus on, rather than a last mile optimization. Put it at the core of your strategy. And test everything from the top to the bottom of the funnel! Listen to our full conversation below:

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Making Your ECM Worry-Free

ECM worry free

Back in 2005 I worked at a Software as a service (or SaaS) startup in the human capital management space. Large enterprise customers were worried about purchasing SaaS – because of data security risks, compliance with employee data privacy laws, and general wariness about the long-term sustainability of the SaaS model and therefore, our company in general. I spent countless hours responding to in-depth technical security questionnaires – some longer than 20 pages. Customers basically wanted to know, “Is my data going to be safe? Really? Can you prove it?” Fast-forward to 2016 and companies like Salesforce.com and NetSuite have over a decade of success under their belt, so most people agree SaaS is here to stay. Customers in compliance-driven verticals like healthcare and financial services have come to trust Software as a service with their data. In fact, according to Forrester’s 2015 Global Business Technographics software survey, 51% of global software decision makers have made it a high or critical priority to increase their use of SaaS¹. And as for sustainability – nowadays you probably wouldn’t want to do business with a software company that doesn’t have a cloud offering. If you run a large enterprise content management system, data security – even in your on-premises systems – is just one of many things keeping you up at night. But even if the cloud is a lock-box for your data, is it really worth moving to the cloud? With Documentum as a Service or DaaS – the answer is a resounding “yes!” In fact, transferring your traditional on-premise ECM to DaaS will help you rest easy. Here’s how: We provide transition services that ensure everything gets moved correctly into your new SaaS instance of the software with minimal business disruption – and you keep the same features, functionality, customizations and integrations you have today. Our transition team is ready to keep up with the pace of change that you’re comfortable with. Instead of different teams pointing fingers at each other when things don’t work – we are responsible for the success of our technology – with Service Level Agreements. On average DaaS customers experience an 81% reduction with Severity 1 and Severity 2 incidents, and a 16% improvement in application performance. But the best thing about moving to DaaS is the operational and economic impact it will have on your business. Customers who have switched to Documentum Cloud have reported operational cost savings of 20% – 40%. And no longer do you need to worry about budgeting money and resources for upgrades – with DaaS – that’s all handled by us. DaaS frees up your IT resources for adapting Documentum to the needs of your business instead of keeping your system up and running. And yes the data is secure – I won’t give you the 20 page version, but DaaS is SSAE 16 compliant and physical security in our data centers includes 24-hour manned security, dedicated concrete-walled data center rooms, equipment in access-controlled steels cages, and video surveillance. ¹”TechRadar™: Software-As-A-Service, Q3 2016”, Forrester Research, Inc., July 13, 2016

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It’s not About the Technology; It’s About the Strategy

Technology

No matter what the industry, any company that deals with customers has reached a critical point in the evolution of their organization. Transformation to a new way of doing business is happening faster than ever before. Those who have denied or failed to prepare for this evolution are left behind, scrambling to catch up or keep up. In the ever-evolving digital age, I don’t see a single industry free of the disruption risk. It’s a risk borne not so much out of the business models of companies such as Uber, but rather in the industry invading strategy being skillfully executed by one of the digital world’s leading players. I’ve personally grown a bit tired with the example of Uber and the taxi industry. In my opinion, the most relevant current illustration of digital transformation is the ubiquitous Amazon. Not only because Amazon was born, by the measure of the business technology timeline, ages ago (1994 to be exact), but primarily because of the company’s ability to regularly and consistently reach in and disrupt a vast range of industries. Amazon, as we all know, started with Books, then CDs and DVDs. Later, they added software, furniture, jewelry and almost everything you could think to buy to their offering. Recently, they’ve started competing in the food supermarket space with an online grocery delivery option. However, who would have thought that Amazon was going to be a star during this year’s Cannes festival presenting 5 movies? This might not come as a surprise for those who closely follow this medium and know  Amazon recently acquired the rights to stream big budget drama “Manchester by the Sea,” outbidding industry giants as Universal, Sony and Fox in an auction early this year. These companies can now be numbered among the many across industries that Amazon has surprised. Let’s look at the example of my friend who owns and operates a city tour company that focuses on visiting historical buildings and locations around Spain. His is unlike the tourist bus tours you can find in almost every city, but a more personalized experience, spending a full day with a group of 40-50 people. We were discussing the impact of disruption in every market and he told me, “We will not suffer any impact in the next 20 years…we do something different.” This answer has become all too typical, with businesses in denial about transition in their industry because “We are unique and these are my customers.” As it turns out, two days later I found an interesting article that gained my attention “Airbnb begins testing City Hosts program to give guests guided one-of-a-kind experiences.” Of course, I immediately shared the link with my friend and received a one word response: “Interesting.” I’m sure he now may be beginning to feel now his business could be in danger. With Airbnb running their beta programs in San Francisco, London, Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo, it’s only a matter of time before Madrid will be added to that list. For my friend, the time to react is now. Sure enough, this week he called to ask me which technology he should use to transform his business. My answer to him was as follows: Technology is not the solution; it’s only the enabler. You see, during the last 15 years, I‘ve seen many customers use the same Documentum technology and get completely different results based on one key factor: strategy. Further, I’ve witnessed the same company follow a renewed strategy using Documentum technology on-premises and in the cloud, thanks to our “Documentum as a Service” offering, and achieve vastly enhanced results and benefits, something I will talk about in future posts. So in the end, or perhaps more accurately, at the beginning, it is primarily about strategy. For my friend, strategy centers on understanding who his digital customers are, where he can engage with them and how he can develop a different type of relationship to provide a great experience. Once he understands this, we will discuss the technology can support his new strategy. Do you know companies who are focusing on the technology and forget about the strategy?  Where is your business on the transformation journey?

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Developing a Content Hub Strategy for Publishers

content hub publishers

I’ll confess at heart I’m still a print guy. My house is full of books. But I also read a lot on digital platforms, and in fact I probably get most of my news from various digital channels. Yet I’ve noticed that while I may no longer read a daily newspaper a lot of people still do, and even I’m starting to once more pick up the weekly community papers. It seems in some ways that the paper/digital publishing model is starting to find a level. Although there were early expectations that digital publishing would totally replace paper, in truth it was never going to be an either/or decision rather it was a question of how would print and digital coexist. Despite this apparent leveling across publishing as a whole, the state of the news media industry in particular continues to be uncertain, with traditional print newspaper circulation showing slow recovery in some markets and continued decline in others. Meanwhile revenues from digital news sources continue to grow (although it could be argued that this growth is slowing down), while other medium, such as video and audio continue to gain in popularity as primary news sources. Digital transformation is key to survival in the news and information delivery industry. However, any digital efforts must not only address the process of delivery, they must also address the new paradigm where content has become the hub of the business model. It is no longer sufficient just to automate the original print process model using technology, it is now essential to leverage content assets to deliver compelling and engaging stories that can be accessed from any platform, from print to digital, to mobile, to social, at any time. By placing the content at the center of the new business model, it becomes possible to move towards an iterative workflow that flows across the organization and delivers a way to address the challenges of digital transformation by controlling, enhancing, tracking, and leveraging assets that can be delivered across multiple channels and platforms. OpenText™ Content Hub for Publishers OpenText Content Hub for Publishers (CHP) is the platform for the receipt, enrichment, creation, packaging, delivery, archiving and syndication of all forms of publishable content. The platform is designed to handle the large volumes of content that newsrooms across the world are exposed to on a daily basis, and efficiently manages the repackaging and distribution of that content to multiple publishing channels, such as web, print, mobile and tablet. Content Hub for Publishers also provides a Syndication portal, allowing packaged content to be made available to clients for licensing and syndication purposes. Content Hub for Publishers sits at the heart of publication workflows, controlling the receipt, management and delivery of all publishable content to multiple delivery platforms. Content Hub for Publishers is used by a number of large global news publishers, for: Filtering through vast quantities of incoming media Managing costs associated with publishing Managing rights associated with publishing Tracking what has been published, where and when. In future related blog posts I’ll be taking a more in-depth look at the challenges facing the news and information publishing industry, plus going into more detail around the concept of Content Hub workflow.

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The Tech at Training Camp – WFO

WFO

All 32 NFL teams returned to training camp this week and I guarantee you that each team is looking for that slight edge that will carry them to the playoffs. Coaches are studying new talent and evaluating veterans and more than ever they seek to find that elusive “better way” to train and condition the team. For years I’ve also seen coaches in contact centers use the phrase “a better way” to describe a better way to speak, a better way to type, or even a better way to dress. A good coach on the football field and in customer service has the experience and insight to help others and by adding technology to the mix, that “better way” becomes the best, most consistent way. However, what if that better way wasn’t clearly seen with the human eye? What if the best coach with the best skills couldn’t really see the next layer of better ways? Ever see a quarterback step off the field after a poorly executed three and out? What is the very first thing they do? They scramble to the bench, grab a tablet and immediately review the plays… they look for another perspective, another angle. They use technology to look for patterns and keys and unseen insights. A human must execute the play, but technology can provide the tools to reduce errors, calculate risk and monitor the unseen. This is exactly what desktop analytics is doing in the modern-day contact center. In sports, the cameras are rolling on every single play.  So too should desktop analytics be rolling on every single interaction. Every chat, every call, every email should be automatically analyzed to see the behaviors and idiosyncrasies of the agent and their keystrokes. With this new insight, the visit from the coach isn’t just a pep talk about their tardiness or their soft skills; rather, the coach is now equipped with a “Workflow Completion by Step Report” to truly “coach” the agent on efficiency and effectiveness. If your contact center hasn’t yet embraced Desktop Analytics, you should consider the latest from OpenText™Qfiniti. Let the data enlighten the better way and then add guidance on the agent’s desktop to remind and influence the “best” way. Want to learn how to put all of these new insights on your screen and be ready for your next sideline conversation?  Learn more by contacting one of our coaches (with their headsets on) that are standing by to show you a better way.

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Build Technical Flexibility for a Dynamic CRO Program

dynamic CRO program

In my last post, I introduced a basic toolbox for creating a dynamic conversion rate optimization (CRO) program which adapts to the changes that matter. In this post I will expand on the technical expertise that is required to use those tools. Tools and expertise together make it possible for CRO to solve the most challenging problems. If your organization is anything like the average digital business, then your website consists of several levels of different technical weirdness layered one on top of another like rainbow cake. Never stop tweaking  WYSIWYG tools like OpenText™ Optimost’s very own VisualTest, are great for optimizing the top layer. You can jump right in and make big gains by finding the best copy, color and imagery for your users. Successful CRO programs run tests like this frequently. Every new campaign, product or piece of content can be optimized! Moving beyond the top layer But (there’s always a “but”) to get maximum ROI you’ll need to do more than just scrape the surface. For example, say that you find out that users frequently leave your site after seeing errors on your registration form.  You need to make your error messaging more friendly and easier to understand. The errors only show when users make mistakes in filling the form – they are triggered by an event. This means you need to delve into the next layer to solve your problem. You’ll need:  someone withb basic JavaScript knowledge on your team  a tool that will allow them to use this to reconfigure the error messaging We introduced our pre-load and post-load JavaScript in VisualTest to allow you to do this (more on that in a later post). If you use our managed services you can dig even deeper, as you’ll work with an experienced Technical Consultant who tackles this kind of challenge day in, day out. The coding patterns that are needed in testing seem somewhat crazy to most of the front-end development world, so there is a lot of value in experience at solving these specific types of challenges. A truly dynamic CRO program If you want to be able to fundamentally change the customer journey, you’ll need your CRO team and tools to work with your development team. For example you would need their help to drop or re-order steps in a checkout process. If you’ve had a recent redesign, you may have a single-page app using a framework/library such as angular.js or React. In this case you can integrate so the testing JavaScript drops right in and forms a seamless part of the app. However you are going to need the JavaScript skillset in your CRO team more than ever. The old web principles that WYSIWYG editors rely on don’t always hold true with single-page apps. In short: You need 3 things for a dynamic CRO program: a simple tool for quick changes, basic JavaScript expertise friends on the dev team! So that’s what you will need to build technical flexibility. In the next post, I’ll cover the best way to plan time for successful dynamic CRO program. And don’t forget to look at my previous post on choosing the right tool for the job.

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The Questions you Should be Asking Along the Redefined Customer Journey

digital customer journey

Several blog posts ago I talked about the way that the customer journey is being redefined in the digital age from a linear process to an ongoing loop of BUY then OWN, with the companies you choose to deal with becoming more and more engaged in every part of the cycle. I’ve also posted on how that on-going loop looks like from a customer perspective. But how does this relate to the activities within a company to support that experience? The second layer of the Continuous Customer Journey loop (above) maps the customer’s activities to those of the organization as it attracts the customer, informs, teaches, and converts the customer so they will make a purchase that then needs to be followed up by logistical operations, onboarding and ongoing support. Winning organizations also use engagement assets, such as loyalty programs, to up-sell and cross-sell to the existing customer, thereby generating revenue at a lower cost of sales Although the overall experience is continuous it is made up of 11 distinct stages: Attract: Before any relationship with a customer can be built, it is essential to first make potential customers aware of the company and attract them to find out more. Do people in your potential market know you exist? Inform: The company should then inform any potential clients about the products and/or services they offer. It’s surprising how many companies miss this step, just relying on building brand awareness without actually telling you what they do. What is it that you do? Learn: Another step often overlooked is learning about the potential customer. In today’s digital world customers expect a more personalized experience and service that meets their particular needs and requirements. Do you know who your customers are, and why they need your products? Convert: Perhaps the key moment of the customer journey is the transition from prospect to customer. Ensuring that the previous three steps outlined above have been well executed can ease the conversion process. Unfortunately a lot of companies are focused on this stage of conversion and see it as the culmination of the process, when in fact it is the start of a potential on-going relationship that can drive more revenue. Transact: How easy is it to do business with your company?  Personally I’ve had too many dealings with companies that make it difficult for me to give them money – many of those companies lost my sale. The easier it is for the customer to complete a transaction the more likely they are to want to repeat the process. Logistics: Once your customer has paid for the product and/or service how do you deliver the goods that they just paid for? Is it a quick frictionless process, or is it along drawn out experience? Onboard: How do you make it easy for your customers to set up and start using your product? Do you welcome new customers to your company and community? Support: Supporting your product is not just about helping to fix problems, although that is an essential part of it. Do you make it easy for your customers to own and operate your product? Do you connect with them on a regular basis? In a digital world do you use analytics and trends to be proactive with your customers? You should be supporting the customer, not just the product. Loyalty: How do you make your good customers into great repeat customers? Loyalty programs can be a great way to do that, but they need to be proven to benefit your customers as well as the company. Up-sell: Do you understand your customer’s needs well enough to be able to anticipate when they need to upgrade to the latest iterations of your services? Cross-sell: Can you identify what other products from your portfolio will help your customers meet their business or personal needs? Do you know how to attract their attention and inform them about those other offerings? Have you built a solid ongoing relationship that means you can continue on the customer’s journey together? I believe that this layer of the customer journey is best summarized in a recent tweet from Mark Hurst, the Founder and CEO of Creative Good: “Did you know that your company has a team responsible for managing the customer experience? That team’s name is ‘the entire company’.”

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Sharing Experiences in the Energy Industry

Energy industry

Over the past couple of months, we have had some great opportunities to bring customers together and share experiences. Talking with customers, hearing about their challenges, and working to better understand the value that our solutions and technologies deliver is one of the best parts of my job, but providing a forum for customers to talk to one another is a completely different experience. It Started in Vegas No, this isn’t another sequel to The Hangover. Our few months of watching customers interact with one another started at Momentum 2016. While there was plenty of discussion throughout the entire week, the highlight was on Monday, when we kicked off our Energy & Engineering track with an industry panel discussion. This year’s industry panel featured several customers and partners, as well as a few industry veterans. While we started off with some planned discussion topics around digital transformation, the conversation quickly moved to being driven by the customers in attendance, both on the panel and in the audience. The customers discussed how they are managing to keep their businesses profitable in today’s economy, how Operational Excellence programs are more important today than ever to reduce costs and maximize efficiencies, and the role of IT enabling their businesses to succeed. Let’s Meet in Houston Last month, we reinstituted an event that used to be a regular tradition with Documentum customers in Houston, the Momentum User Group meeting. With an agenda driven by – you guessed it – customers, we met for an entire morning last month to give our customers a chance to learn, share, and ask questions. In addition to a couple of customer-led presentations, sharing their information management strategies and initiatives, we again featured a customer and partner industry panel to discuss many of the same topics that we covered in Las Vegas. Like Momentum, the conversation quickly became driven by our customers, with familiar topics like digital transformation, cloud initiatives, and operational excellence dominating the discussion. The feedback we received from our customers at this event was excellent! In fact, a few folks mentioned that it would be nice to extend the meeting by another hour or two for even more interaction and networking. We will be helping our customers “continue the conversation” by working with them to schedule future events for this community. This meeting was a great start! It’s a Global Economy, so Virtual Meet-ups Were Next The reality is that not all customers are able to join us in Las Vegas or in Houston, so we kicked off a series of virtual roundtables last month as well. During these sessions we met up, Google Hangout-style with a select number of customers. The format worked, enabling customers to both share and listen to others experiencing the same challenges. A special shout-out to these customers, as they were extremely open and provided great detail about their operational excellence initiatives. Helping customers share experiences and best practices remains an important part of our role as a solution and technology provider. Our industry solutions represent this collaboration, but I really appreciate the interaction, the shared experiences, and the new learnings directly. And no, we’re not done with these initiatives. Momentum Barcelona is October 31st – November 3rd There are several Customer.NEXT events scheduled in the U.S. throughout October (for those in the Oil & Gas industry, please plan to join us in Austin, Texas). For those that weren’t able to join us in person, let’s continue the conversation here (leave a comment).

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Fish Where the Fish are…

conversion rate optimisation

In my post, “Do you have the GRIT for testing success,” I summarized a data-driven framework to develop sound testing output. The utilization of business intelligence and web analytics tools, augmented with session replay, click-maps and voice of customer insight all contribute to the what and why of the digital user experience. Ultimately, this insight is used to build data-informed hypotheses, facilitate a successful testing roadmap and effectively “fish where the fish are.” This post aims to share recent examples where I used data to inform testing strategy to “fish” in the right places. I’ll share case studies and recommendations, highlighting some fundamental data sources as well: Measuring on-page elements on high traffic pages Benchmarking landing page performance Funnel segmentation Voice of customer analysis Measuring on-page elements on high traffic pages Testing on pages with high traffic is obvious: with a large pool of traffic, it takes a relative small segment of users to identify treatments that move the needle. Yet, how many times has a page been launched with measurement an afterthought?  How many templates are launched solely on UX wireframe and small-scale user study? I don’t recommend this as approach, but if you have already launched templates on this basis, it’s a good idea to start testing right away. In this example below, we used OpenText™ Optimost to provide click-through rate (CTR) data on a homepage, where web analytics had yet to be implemented. It was quickly apparent that the carousel was under-performing and quick task icons (labeled “icons” below) were out-performing click-through to products. For this client, the carousel housed 12 links to products and the aim was to improve product click-through: Control: We provided a new template as a challenger to the existing Home page which replaced the carousel with a static hero banner and an overlay menu of product links. The challenger increased product CTR from 5.3% to 8.96%, a 66% uplift in product engagement from the homepage. Challenger Compare this example to your own web site: Do you employ a rotating carousel? What is the CTR? What is the CTR of rotation 1 vs rotation 2 and 3? Which is the best-performing element on your landing page? You can measure on-page CTRs in three ways 1) Use your testing solution to create custom click measurements, to plug gaps where web analytics tools have yet to be configured. 2) Set up a variable in your web analytics solution that measures on-page clicks – I recommend using a URL parameter to signal and capture an on-page element post-click e.g: www.domain.com/pagename/?internalclick=homepage_hero_CTA_1 When using an analytics tool to measure CTR, use this calculation: CTR =     total instances of your internal campaign(s)                  page views of the landing page 3) Use an insight tool to provide click-maps and heat-maps. In my experience, I have recorded above-the-fold CTR ~6% and ~10% during sale activity. I have also seen higher CTRs on relevant static campaigns, rather than the employment of rotating carousels. How is your above-the-fold CTR performing? Benchmark Landing Pages Our customers work hard driving traffic to their web site(s). Landing Page analysis helps manage which pages visitors arrive at on the first page of the visit. Below are web analytics reports that can help benchmark landing page performance. In Google Analytics, the report to use is Landing Pages: Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages Click the comparison icon Ensure that column 1 is set to Sessions to provide the highest landing pages Ensure that column 2 is set to Bounce Rate The RED bars show that the Bounce Rate on these Landing Pages is performing worse than the average Site Bounce Rate. You can switch the same report to show landing page conversion vs the site average. Landing pages with high bounce and low conversion need improvement. Click the comparison icon Ensure that column 1 is set to Sessions to provide the highest landing pages Ensure that column 2 is set to Ecommerce Conversion Rate The RED bars show that conversion on these Landing Pages is performing worse than average conversion rate. These landing pages need improvement in retaining traffic. When using Adobe Analytics, the Landing Page report is found: View All Reports > Pages > Entries & Exits > Entry Pages It is harder to compare landing page bounce rate by average site bounce rate. Here are two options: 1) Create a calculated metric called Site Bounce Rate [Total Bounces] / [Total Entries]. This can then be applied as a metric to this report (as shown in the example above, third column). 2) Use the trended report View All Reports > Site Metrics > Key Metrics (Trended) to get bounce rate separately, using the same dates as the reporting period. By using the same landing/entry page reports, the metric can be changed from bounce rate to conversion rate. This will show which landing pages are poor converting. Now that you can identify high bounce and low converting landing pages, it’s important to compare landing pages of similar hierarchy. Comparing Landing Pages E.g “Which is the most under-performing top tier category landing page?” E.g “Which is the most under-performing product grid landing page?” In this example, the domain has four top-tier landing pages – compare the bounce rates and conversions between them: All bounce rates are better than the site average, however, the conversion rate from the Mens and Womens landing pages are worse than the site average. In this example, the company “New In” clothing (e.g., New In Mens) owned the entire estate for both Men and Women landing pages. In the attempt to promote high-margin product, perhaps too much emphasis was given to just a small percentage of their assortment width. We recommended that this company reduced its emphasis on “New In” clothing and used product sales and conversion data to identify popular categories, brands and “brand category” combinations: G-Star Jeans | Men’s T-shirts | Diesel Underwear etc….. So having identified a high bounce and low converting landing page, we used further product data to tailor a landing page that directs traffic to high-converting product assortments. This is standard practice in a data-driven organization. Even so, sometimes it’s natural for these same organizations to present their own agenda on a landing page, rather than use data and testing to claim authority on landing page performance. One Funnel, multiple opportunities Small improvements in the funnel can return significant incremental revenue. Typically, a funnel can be measured in terms of fallout at each step, to see where customers are experiencing difficulty. Testing can then be prescribed to a focused area of the funnel. Greater insight is found through segmentation. When you segment the funnel by device type and logged in status, this one typical funnel now has six user journeys that can be optimized. Each journey may show different pinch points that can be tested: In this example, we segmented funnel performance by device type and immediately found three areas of focus for testing: Step 1-2 of the funnel are not performing on Tablet, nor Mobile Step 2-3 shows poor performance compared to other steps – so we need to test across all devices Step 4-5 for Tablet is lower than Mobile Not only is it important to segment the funnel to find pinch points for optimization, but also to explain the results of a funnel test or a new implementation feature. More and more large organizations have the resource to productize their customer journeys, and consequently, have a team working solely on the funnel. Therefore, this level of segmentation is becoming increasingly common-place. Add operating system or browser segments into the mix and the number of funnels to optimize can multiply quickly.  Listen to the voice of the customer The use of survey, customer feedback and NPS verbatim is crucial in the application of a testing roadmap and strategy. Such qualitative data is the only time when customers actually tell you what’s up! It quickly shows areas that are causing frustration and provides opportunity for testing. In this example, a legal research provider collated quotes from various sources of customer feedback for their product research tool. Analysis of customer quotes identified words that are most commonly associated with the words frustrating and cumbersome. Clearly, users of the research tool found it difficult to download and print documents. Since that’s a primary objective of this tool, it was cause for concern: On the page, users had to click a print icon, then select a download and/or email icon to have documents delivered (see screenshot below). Based on the insight from the feedback analysis, we believed hiding document delivery behind a print icon might be the source of the frustration, so we designed an experiment to make the options clearer. Control: “hidden” document delivery options   Challenger: Exposes document delivery options After 30 days of testing, results were conclusive: the challenger increased total interactions per visitor by +12% (99% confidence). Session ID data was recorded for this experiment and then returned to validate metrics recorded in the client database.In addition to more interactions, the challenger improved actual document deliveries +6% and improved customer success score. In summary, this was a small change to the control experience that yielded a clear improvement and serves as a great example of sound, data-driven end-to-end testing methodology: 1) Qualitative & Quantitative analysis of customer feedback 2) Diagnosis of current situation – what is causing frustration? 3) Data-driven identification of problem, testing with a prescriptive hypothesis 4) Clear results, measurements provided both in-test and post-test analysis 5) A winning experience that can now be iterated and further optimized “To fish where the fish are” requires understanding of web analytics and user scenarios of the customer journey. As a result, you’ll be feeding quality ideas into your testing program and have a higher chance of success. If you’ve read this far, consider yourself ready for open water! If you’d like our help, please reach out. And please share your ideas for finding the fish in the comments.

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Sell Holidays Online? Good Emotions Mean Good Conversion

conversion

It’s summer holiday season, and we’re all feeling excited about our upcoming summer breaks. But if you work in the online travel industry, how do your customers feel when they book with you? Booking a getaway can be an emotional customer experience, and to get the best conversion rate you need to make sure your site and booking process always evoke the right emotions. Emotions that reduce conversion Fear of the unknown A holiday is a big purchase, so it’s natural that customers can feel some trepidation when committing a large sum of money. As a marketer think about what you need to put in place to reassure customers. How to avoid it Include every detail of what is included in the deal. A package holiday company wanted to save space on their mobile holiday product listings. They tested removing a breakdown of what the holiday included to do this. Their bookings dropped by over 30%! Make cancellation policies clear, and offer insurance if the customer could lose out if they cancel. One European travel company saw increased conversion when a more detailed table of insurance options was shown. The change lifted conversion even among customers who didn’t actually take up the insurance. Confusion Make sure it’s clear what the user needs to input at each stage in their search and booking. How to avoid it For one travel company, simply adding a one word label to a field in a search form resulted a seven figure increase in annual revenue. Before the change the label was a placeholder inside the field, meaning that prospective holidaymakers who tabbed to the field didn’t see it. This left them without any signpost telling them what the field was. The result was confusion and abandonment of the search. One package holiday purchase journey had a large ‘basket’ detailing the options chosen so far above each step. This pushed the current call to action below the fold, so they tested removing or collapsing the basket. For the first few steps, conversion to the next step increased but ultimately conversions stayed the same. Why? The confusion caused by not having the selected holiday details easily accessible balanced out any gains from making the CTA more obvious. Emotions to create for high conversion Fear of missing out While we’ve discussed the bad kind of fear above, this kind of fear can help you make a quick sale and guide users towards impulse purchases. A holiday can be a long purchase cycle, but recently many travel retailers have started to use the tactics of scarcity and urgency to give potential customers a reason to make the purchase now. How to create it Add up-to-date information that shows that a deal is popular – so users fear that it will sell out. Booking.com are famously the pioneer of this. The hotel listing shown below displays both the number of people looking at the hotel “right now”, and the number of bookings today. The second listing even explicitly states that they expect to sell out soon. An airline found that showing the precise number of seats left on a flight significantly lifted conversion. Visitors felt pressured to make the purchase before the seats were sold, and so didn’t have as much opportunity to change their minds or research competitive options. Use countdown clocks where a deal or offer is limited, such as this one on Expedia’s deals page: Smugness Managing to secure a holiday that seems exclusive and sought after gives your customers a sense of smugness or one-upmanship. This might annoy their friends but is something that as a travel marketer you want to encourage! To build on this make sure that any savings the customer is making are made crystal clear so they can pat themselves on the back for being so financially prudent. those in the UK will recognize this idea from the memorable but annoying series of moneysupermarket adverts. How to create it Scarcity messaging as described above can help to create this effect. If the deal does in fact sell out, follow up with a notification email to create this feeling of smugness and encourage repeat business. Placing the savings within the actual CTA e.g. “Choose this deal and save £500” increased views on deals and package bookings for one vendor. Excitement Prospective holidaymakers are more likely to part with hard earned cash if they feel excited about a deal or destination. In addition excited customers will often post to social media about the trip they just booked, giving you free word of mouth referrals. How to create it Content such as imagery, video or travel guides can show off the best features of your holidays. Don’t however highlight this at the expense of a clear and prominent search feature. We’ve seen ugly but clear search pages perform better than design-led, content heavy pages where the search is hidden. Social proof, like a high volume of positive reviews, also helps to hype your visitors up and turn them into customers. Discover more information on how to improve conversions on your website here.

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What I Learned at Digital Elite Camp 2016

testing framework

Fantastic conference in Estonia by Conversion XL recently. 3 days of seminars, workshops and networking, where the key message was to apply a testing framework that relies upon a foundation of analytics; user research; segmentation and operational site performance. Any experimentation will be compromised if foundations:  Cannot be measured with confidence  Are prone to functional errors cross-device and browser Where strong foundations are in place, then optimization is trusted. This conference continued to reference many testing examples; but my key takeaway was an evolving maturity in measurement; moving into longer-term metrics such as customer loyalty and lifetime value, rather than CTR and conversions. The first two sessions saw motivational discussion on “being the change”, challenging the status quo and having the confidence to excel. Paul Rouke (@paulrouke) talked obout how optimization professionals can help reinvent the persona of the HiPPO (Highest paid person in the organisation): Humility Integrity Passion Positivity Openness As optimization professionals, we have to avoid ‘imposter syndrome’ and act as ‘evangelists’ to promote testing culture within an organisation. Tom Barker of Royal Bank of Scotland (@tomabarker) shared how they rolled out testing to the front-line staff of RBS; creating a nucleus of experts to spread knowledge via internal training. The change in culture was emphatic, generating over 400 tests in a year, 110 live data dashboards and buy-in from the executive tier.   Ask yourself, are clients really sharing the wealth of optimization activity performed? Can you do more to present and share success? Avoiding corporate politics in new website design was also discussed. UX examples were provided where the internal business agenda has surfaced on websites. The learning here is to intensify user research: such as UX labs, scroll/heat maps, surveys. “Sell the way your customers want to buy, rather than how you want to sell to them.” Amy Harrison (@Harrisonamy) delivered a great session on how to write copy with impact. Avoid the use of umbrella terms such as “this is a powerful tool” because what does that mean anyway?  Focus rather on the USPs of your product/solution. Surface the needs of the customer to the benefits of the product/solution to match customer requirements: “you can download and trial today.”  Many landing page visitors bounce within 5 seconds – are your USPs visible within 5 seconds? Matching requirements featured in sessions that dissected journeys of an eCommerce site. The message was that each template of the funnel has an independent purpose. Reinforce customer requirements that are satisfied on each page type. Testing should bridge the gap in promoting an offline experience to online. Pop-up buying guides should appear upon scrolling; use localized testimonials; use of videos and alternative imagery –  all help to provide the look and feel you get with an offline experience.Use these tactics to effectively help customer decision-making. And if a product that is niche, technical or spec heavy, but is suitable for beginners, then tell them so! Day 1 was summarized by Peep Laja (Conversion XL). He pitched the XL Institute, a subscription where case studies are shared and academic papers translated for general use. This academic research is in the psychological study of cognitive bias that rationalizes the internal processes of decision making. Recent Institute case studies, showed some interesting trends on uplift with: Use of bullet points Left to right priority of pricing plans Familiarity of Trust/Security symbols Addition of images to testimonials Use of female customer service voices Days 2-3 drilled further into optimization practice; SEO/PPC optimization; video optimization; growth-hacking tactics; and analytics. It is clear that optimization professionals rely heavily on additional tool sets, such as heat-maps, session replay and user research. Usabilityhub.com was mentioned as a shared resource. These tool-kits featured in many sessions to help solve “why?” a customer is exhibiting certain behavior. Data Layer, GTM and GA all delivered sessions regarding configuration, content optimization and re-targeting activity, with a key message: Your testing tool has to be hooked up to a web analytics platform.  Two sessions stressed the benefit of creating calculated metrics in your web analytics platform and creating multiple micro-conversions. Session scoring methods were discussed, applicable to measure content engagement and sites of low-traffic. Hit-level behavioral segmentation was also exemplified. For example: “A user visited page x and then clicked button y”  Yehoshua Coren (@analyticsninja) gave a great example of using multiple micro-conversions to create a scoring index to measure visitor interest over 30 days; used to avoid banner fatigue in re-marketing. Both sessions stressed a move to longer-term user behavior. Metrics such as Customer Lifetime Value; Average Cost per session; and Cost of Acquisition were especially pertinent. The conference was summarized by Craig O Sullivan (@OptimiseOrDie) stating that tools, knowledge, and techniques have all improved, but the foundation of conversion optimization remains a difficult job. Here are 12 concluding points: Avoid relying on best practice. It’s never 1:1 advice Build an optimisation roadmap on strong foundations of data Work on organisational design and culture; prepare for scalable growth Embrace failure – it’s an integral part of conversion optimization Humility and ignorance help achieve better results. You can’t and don’t know everything! Develop a ‘better quality’ ignorance Mature your metrics. Focus on loyalty, satisfaction and customer lifetime value rather than short-term events Prioritize: “Without scoring, you are burning rubber” Use quantitative and qualitative methods to map out the whole situation and solution Usability vs. motivation – work on both, but functionality trumps motivation Implement a process. Find a way of working that fits your team You MUST have copywriting, persuasion and psychology available to CRO teams Do cross-device optimization – not many companies and agencies do it fully yet I also learnt that I need to read this book. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. Thanks again for a great Elite Camp!

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Nashville Notes – Impressions of my First Enterprise World

Enterprise World

I’ve been to Nashville several times before, but never for an event like this. It had everything from Country Singers to an Astronaut – and some great business and technology as well. Welcome to OpenText Enterprise World! On the second day of Enterprise World, someone described it to me as “overwhelming,” and so it was on some levels. There was simply so much to choose from. Over two hundred breakout sessions ranging from business strategy, to software practioner how-to tips,through to  developer sessions that got down to the code level. Alongside were six themed theaters on the main Expo floor each running fifteen minute presentations on an equally wide range of subjects. Plus an Innovation Lab, a Developers Lab, Customer Roundtables, and over forty demo stations; it was a lot to take in. Whether you are a long time OpenText customer, a recent customer going through systems implementation, or a prospective customer – there was something for everyone. And as a relatively new staff member there was a lot for me to take in too; but I couldn’t have asked for a better immersion on the company’s culture, customers, staff, solutions, and products. Everyone I spoke to had a good time. Despite its size and apparent complexity the event ran very smoothly, and all were happy with the experience. Experience was the framework around which my week at Enterprise World was structured as I was managing the Experience Theater for the Customer Experience Management team. We had a steady flow of visitors to the theater to discuss a variety of subjects, and to take a look at the various product demonstrations available. It was interesting to note that most of the conversations were about solving business problems, and how to move towards delivering a continuous customer experience driven by digital transformation initiatives and projects. The changing nature of business was also highlighted in the opening keynote from OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea as he described the journey from Engagement to Insight across the enterprise. Engagement | Capture | Content | Process | Collaboration | Discover | Exchange | Insight This concept clearly resonated with the audience at Enterprise World and is one I’ll be revisiting in future blog posts on how delivering an exceptional customer experience can drive the journey towards better customer and business insight. If you couldn’t make it to Nashville this year, make a note on your calendars for the week of July 10, 2017 and join us in Toronto next year for what promises to be another exceptional conference.

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3 Misperceptions About Content Management and FinTech

FinTech

One particular section of my Momentum presentation seems to have deeply resonated with the audience – how our perceptions can hold back progress. In many institutions and enterprises, I have noticed a way of thinking that, unless swiftly altered, might bring down the greatest of brands or the largest of banks. Much of it centers around the FinTech phenomena, but it is also intertwined with recent trends toward evolving IT to become more business-centric.Here are three misconceptions of digital transformation that I encounter across the banking sector, and how one might think differently to carve out a lucrative future: 1 – It is just a new tech revolution For any technology to be successful, it needs to begin with addressing business requirements. Digital transformation may involve technologies to implement upon a strategy, but first it is about creating new business models. This means adapting to new or different needs of your customers – especially customer segments you expect to increase in volume or revenue percentage. (As I noted in my presentation, Millennials are key to future growth). Start to identify new business opportunities by breaking down your value chain and creating greater customer pools and engagements. Only after that is clear, begin finding innovative and/or reliable technologies to implement your plan. 2 – It’s just a new way to introduce mobile channels to existing platforms — in other words, just a new way to do old things! Certainly mobile users are important, and the ability to serve functionality through devices is a new baseline (“mobile first”). But this misses the bigger opportunity mentioned in the first misperception above — that transformation is about you finding new ways to do new things. In today’s app-centric, fast-moving, time-sensitive world, customers evaluate you against their latest experience. This may not be another bank providing a mortgage approval in two weeks. It may, in fact, be an Alibaba or PayPal offering lines of credit at the touch of a button. They may have powerful capabilities to offer these services because they already eliminated customer charges and banking branch costs when they crafted their business model to begin with. Mobile functionality is important, but again, only after you understand customer segments and your role in the value chain. 3 – It’s a threat against our core business and we need to protect against it As with any market disruptive activity, the effects are not all negative or all positive. Yes, customer-centric FinTech start-ups can quickly tear down your revenue streams. But simply defending against such competitors can miss your grand opportunity to reinvent your business for the better. Specifically, digital transformation can open up new cost efficiencies. As you reposition yourself in your customer’s value chain, consider how to implement: Automated processes to expedite customer services while reducing staffing and overhead costs (how about that mortgage approval process?) Third party service plug-ins or partnerships that negate the need to perform in house development and testing, while helping retain your most lucrative customers or deliver exciting innovations Infrastructure cost reduction, perhaps by moving some applications to a cloud model or decommissioning legacy apps and migrating data to regulatory-compliant systems Looking at digital transformation as a way to catalyze your content management efforts is a step in the right direction. It is precisely this movement to the digital transformation wave that offers an opportunity to change your relationship with customers and the technologies that solidify that relationship.

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Introducing OpenText TeamSite 8.2

Contact Center

Optimize Your Digital Experiences with OpenText™ TeamSite 8.2 We’re happy to share the announcement of our latest OpenText TeamSite release – TeamSite 8.2! TeamSite is a modern, dynamic, and flexible platform for digital experience management. It makes it easier for marketers to deliver outstanding digital experiences by simplifying the management of content across all channels, including web, mobile, email, social, ecommerce, and portals. From a single, easy-to-use interface, you can author, test, and target content, manage rich media, design websites and mobile applications, and publish content. Get to know what’s new in TeamSite 8.2 by scrolling through our SlideShare deck – or reading the details below. You can also email teamsite.mediabin@opentext.com for more information.   Test your web pages for higher conversions and improve productivity OpenText TeamSite 8.2 brings you an even more marketer-friendly digital experience management platform that helps your business increase revenue – while also increasing productivity. With TeamSite 8.2, you’re able to optimize customer engagement and simplify tasks for your content editors, authors and web teams. Boost conversions by testing the value of your web pages TeamSite 8.2 is integrated with OpenText™ Optimost. Now, you can create experiments and view reports without having to leave eStudio. Adjust text and creative elements of your published TeamSite web and mobile experiences. Then, push your site to the next level by running experiments. You’ll see which versions brought you the best business results, so you can then take that knowledge to lift conversion rates and revenue. Take advantage of more flexible TeamSite templates Creating and editing pages just got even easier. Your web team won’t have to waste precious time creating new templates for every minor deviation from standard pages. They can set up flexible templates by designating components as “placeholders” that can be swapped out for other component types. For example, let’s say you have a template with a header, an image, and two columns of text, but you want to change the image to an embedded video instead. Now, you easily switch out the image for another type of component, like video. Flexible templates empower you to create new pages faster – without having to go back to web designers for every little layout change. Recognize web and mobile content easier with thumbnail previews Foggy memory? That’s ok. Now, when you are in eStudio, web and mobile pages and templates automatically generate image previews. This supplies you with visual cues to quickly identify existing projects. You no longer have to remember file names in order to find what you’re looking for. Publish dependencies from rules The Publish feature now looks at all of the targeting rules that are associated with the components of your page or template. It sees what content could potentially be returned from the rules – images, for example. It automatically grabs the content and publishes the content with all of the dependencies. You don’t have to manually publish each piece of targeted content associated with each published page. This update will save you a lot of time when publishing content – and it reduces the risk of accidentally forgetting to publish targeted assets for each page. Easily create new hybrid mobile apps Now, you can create a hybrid mobile app directly from the source – by using an existing TeamSite-generated site or a subfolder of a TeamSite site (such as a campaign microsite). And there’s an even easier option to create hybrid mobile apps. You can now simply enter the URL of any live website, regardless of whether that site was created or published via TeamSite, and create a new app based on content from that site. And just so you know – when you create Android and iOS apps, you can choose IPA and APK options. These options will enable you to directly download and install ready-made apps. You’ll save a lot of time because you or a developer won’t have to build the apps manually. Speed up the mobile testing process Enterprise organizations have so much on their plates when it comes to testing and reviewing content before it’s published or updated. We wanted to make it easier for the testing teams in your organization – so that they aren’t wasting a lot of time looking at devices they don’t support. The mobile emulator – which allows users to virtually preview and edit content displayed on multiple device types at once – has been updated so that your team can configure the specific devices it wants to see. This enhancement speeds up the mobile testing process by helping your organization view only devices it supports. View content in a folder structure If you’re used to navigating TeamSite via a folder structure, you’re in luck! In addition to the tile-based view of content included in TeamSite 8.0 and 8.1, you now have the additional option to view content in folders. Not only that – you can search the folders for the sites, pages, templates, apps, etc. that you’re looking for. So no matter how you slice it, you’ll find what you need in the way that’s comfortable to you. See version history in Experience Studio You can now view version history for all web and mobile app files – within Experience Studio. This includes pages, templates, assets, and targeting artifacts. Version History shows all the versions of a selected file or page to help differentiate them in their draft, submitted, and published states. Versions can be previewed, and changes can be reverted. When selected, each version reveals several details including version number, date and time submitted or published, and who modified the draft files. This feature helps those in highly regulated industries or companies with strict archiving requirements. Easily navigate through localized content The Monitor Localization dashboard is clean, easily searchable, and can be launched from eStudio. The number of tabs have been reduced, making it easier for your team to navigate and find the assets they are looking for. Other enhancements There are several other enhancements included in TeamSite 8.2. eStudio now offers the functionality to customize workflows, according to your organization’s business processes. Now, your organization can segregate user access to certain areas of your websites and access multiple stores in Experience Studio. The TeamSite Administration Guide now shares how to run Linux installations as a non-root user. There have been some additional enhancements to layout capabilities. Now, users can select sections, rows, columns via standard CSS3 index-based pseudo selectors. Any associated styles will be reflected in edit and preview mode. And this feature also provides a page/body wrapper for users to add styles for the entire page. Technical support Expanded technical support includes: Java: Support for Java 8 runtime is now added to TeamSite, OpenDeploy, LiveSite, and Search. Tomcat: Support for Tomcat 8.0.36 has been added to LiveSite. OpenSSL: TeamSite 8.2 components will link to OpenSSL 1.0.1e on the Linux platform. However, OpenSSL 1.0.x is supported. Windows will link to OpenSSL 1.0.2e. Thank you for taking a look the new features included in TeamSite 8.2! For more information, email teamsite.mediabin@opentext.com.

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Digital Transformation in Training and Change Management

training

As software moves to the cloud, as technology accelerates the pace of change yet again, as new solutions to old problems are implemented, there is still one critical factor that has changed very little, and because of this can disappear into the background … the user. Humans, despite cultural tags like millennials or baby boomers, are surprisingly similar. We like those tags for noting cultural differences, but the humans along with those tags continue to prove, research study after research study, to share a lot of similarities. With software in the cloud, complexity is being moved out of the data centers and out of the customer’s business, but it is having an increasing impact on the user community. In the older on-premises software model, it was possible for end-user training and change management to slowly evolve over time. Internal knowledge resources would be developed, circulated, and continuously improved. But modern on-premises and cloud-based models do not allow for this slow evolution, distribution, and passing of knowledge. Even with on-premise solutions, the complexity of the software and the security threats inherent in the modern internet require a nearly constant stream of updates. The major difference between modern on-premise and cloud-based software is whose technical team is applying the updates, not whether or not the updates are being done. All of this creates uncertainty in the end-user communities. The enterprise applications that they depend upon to do their jobs are often changing right out from under them. This requires a dramatic rethinking of training and change management. We are facing the same challenges in Education Services. One major consideration is the need to evolve from a training as an event to training as a process mindset. A critical component to any learning is repetition. In the slower models, repetition was built into the very work that users did on a daily basis. They didn’t really consider repeating training, because by the time the next upgrade was due, the system would be dramatically different. It simply isn’t so. Training is no longer the component that could be pulled from the plan without significant risk. Training is becoming a cost of doing business. It is good to remember the meme, “CFO: What happens if we train people and they leave? CEO: Yeah, but what happens if we don’t train people and they stay?” Do you engage in regular training, or encourage your team to continuously add to their skill sets? Share comments below.

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Better Together: LEAP Apps Working With Existing ECD Systems

LEAP

No-one who attended EMC World and saw the keynote presentation (including the very compelling live demo of the new LEAP applications), or had a chance to review some of the recordings could fail to be impressed by the intuitive user experiences on display. LEAP applications, tailored to specific activities, enable users to be so much more productive than wide-ranging, generic applications that offer too many capabilities and only make tasks more complex. All of the LEAP applications – whether it is the document exchange and workflow of COURIER; the intelligent image capture of SNAP; the seamless task approval of EXPRESS; or the rich collaboration of CONCERT – represent a change to a user-focused experience by using technology, rather than putting technology first. But how can the modern organization– with several years of IT development in many directions and a broad mix of technology – start to make the transition to leveraging the opportunities presented by products like LEAP? The transition to cloud and Software as a service (SaaS) will be an evolution, not a revolution. IT security experts have reservations about the cloud that may only be assuaged with experience. And, many software systems are sticky and will take an effort to dislodge from their position at the heart of many organizations. The first step to experiencing what can be achieved in the cloud is to use the LEAP applications in conjunction with existing ECD systems – they are BETTER TOGETHER. COURIER provides excellent, easy-to-use, capabilities for document exchange with an outstanding user experience. COURIER is also providing APIs to enable the system to be integrated with existing ECD content management systems, either on-premises or in the cloud. For example: triggering a document exchange based on the creation of a loan application in the organization’s loan management system, or archiving documents exchanged for the process into an archive system for future reference. As these APIs are expanded and extended, integrators will be able to access all of the rich features of COURIER, for example, initiating an exchange with documents from inside the enterprise, or recording comments from reviewers in an audit trail. SNAP already provides standardized FTP and CMIS interfaces for release of content into a content management system located on-premises, or in the cloud. These standards provide basic data interchange capability, and will be enhanced down the line with an API that will expose more functionality –for example to trigger workflows when files are uploaded, or to provide rich support for indexing in SNAP itself. Already integrated with Documentum D2, EXPRESS provides not only review and approval from anywhere via mobile device, but also: Document browsing, searching, favorites, and some offline capability for the organization’s content management system. In the future, EXPRESS will be able to interact with existing ECD systems, making it even more relevant for our customers. The capabilities of CONCERT will provide customers the most value once they can be integrated with the organization’s content management systems. APIs will enable the collaboration to be backed up by secure archiving, audit trail history and robust access control. While the LEAP apps give customers many benefits of cloud architecture without the need for migration, in Fall 2016, we intend to open up the LEAP platform, the rock on which LEAP applications are built, by providing APIs to directly access platform services. I expect to see an explosion of development where partners, and customers alike seek to leverage the cloud in a more open paradigm to build business solutions with rich user experiences. At this point, we will also see a demand for migration to the cloud, with data leaving on-premise systems and moving full-time into the cloud environment. Our dedicated Migration and LEAP Practices can help you make your applications work better together.

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3 Proven Tips for Optimizing Your Lead Forms

Optimizing lead forms

One of my favorite page elements to optimize are lead forms. I enjoy optimizing lead forms for a number of reasons, one being the fact that clients who have lead forms are sometimes smaller businesses, and every additional lead we receive due to optimization significantly affects their business. Another reason why I enjoy optimizing lead forms is that they offer up a ton of opportunity. Within the lead form itself, you can optimize the headline and sub-headline (if one exists), the number of fields presented, the location of the lead form on the page, how the lead form is presented; the list goes on and on. After recently completing a number of tests involving lead forms, I reflected on my learnings and composed these 3 proven tips for optimizing your next lead form. Let’s review them below. #1 – Personalize the Form Headline Typically, lead forms span multiple pages throughout your website, specifically across product and services type pages. Visitors to these pages are looking for additional information related to that product or service and when visitors cannot find the information they require, they either leave the site or consider contacting you through a lead form. To increase the likelihood a visitor submits the lead form, draw them in by personalizing the headline of the form. You can easily pique interest by communicating the fact that a specialist related to that product or service will be contacting them, rather than a random sales representative. There are two key takeaways related to the example below. Voice Services is the name of the product. This product name changes based on the product or service the visitor is viewing.  By changing the name of the product dynamically, the visitor believes they are going to speak to someone who is knowledgeable about that specific product or service. Often times visitors are reluctant to complete a lead form for fear that a random sales representative will be contacting them. We tacked on the word specialist to the end of the headline to increase trust. #2 – Know Your Audience Life throws a lot at us. We constantly juggle work, personal life, kids, bills and more. Long story short, we are busy people. Because people are so busy, it benefits you as a business to take on the responsibility of initiating the conversation, rather than the other way around. Consider the example below. The original call to action was passive and made it seem like the visitor was responsible for initiating the conversation, whereas the challenger gave the visitor the impression that the business would take on the responsibility of getting in contact with them. At the end of the day, understand that people have busy schedules and help them understand that you as the business are here to make their lives easier. #3 – Include the Form Directly on the Page Throughout my years of optimization, I’ve heard arguments for and against exposing the lead form directly on the page. Some believe it adds clutter or can be a distraction, but I tend to believe that because it takes up more real estate it actually helps increase the attention the form receives and it reduces the number of steps necessary to complete the lead form (removes the need to click to another page). Make it easier for visitors to interact with your business by adding the form directly to the page rather than asking the visitor to click a button to view the form. These are just 3 examples of how you can significantly increase the submission rate of your lead forms. Before conducting your next test, consider these proven techniques for optimizing your lead forms.  If you need help making your tests more actionable and want to learn more about optimizing your lead forms, get in touch with us at cemsolutions@opentext.com.

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