ccm

Using BIRT to Run Your Business From Your Phone

Remember the first time you saw a cell phone? The guy holding it was probably in a business suit and looked pretty successful. And you probably thought, How cool it would be to make phone calls and do business on the road, right? Well the promise of mobile phones and business on the go has evolved again with the release of BIRT PowerDocs for the Salesforce1 Mobile App. This cloud-based app is designed for the salesperson or account executive on the go. With a few clicks, you can automatically tap into your company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) data and parse it within Salesforce1, a popular mobile business app for sales. The result is the generation of customer data such as service requests or sales quotes and auto-generation of the appropriate documents. BIRT PowerDocs conveniently accesses Salesforce1 to manage the delivery of PDFs and Word docs as well as generate and continuously edit customer documents in the cloud. All processes and files associated with quotation creation and management can be saved in a file system or backup server, issued through a wide variety of channels, and even printed directly from Salesforce. Generated documents can be archived in any location. Of course, the app is designed for the modern smartphone, not the brick of a device you see above. Translated into more than 10 languages, the BIRT PowerDocs app can be accessed from any device – including a PC, tablet, or smartphone-  running either Android or iOS. The importance of document management cannot be understated. The proliferation of smartphones and tablet computers force companies to turn to mobile apps to manage documents where they need to be competitive. “For instance, the typical output management system is incapable of dialogue, which essentially strikes it out from the system requirements for managing next generation communications,” said Christian Rodrian of legodo product marketing in a recent blog. “Similarly, CRM and ERP systems alone do not allow any personalized written dialogue. For communication with customers that is both quick and personalized, a company must deploy CCM [Customer Communications Management] solutions. These CCM solutions can deliver the whole gamut of information generated by customers over social networks and through other digital services; which is necessary for creating and managing meaningful conversations with customers.” This latest version of BIRT PowerDocs is immediately available for test drive and deployment on the Salesforce AppExchange. Here’s the first in a series of videos explaining the awesomeness of BIRT PowerDocs.

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Five Principles of More Personalized Customer Contact

Although corporate marketing departments are striving harder than ever to create more personalized contact with customers, the reality is often quite different. Two surveys we conducted have highlighted major deficiencies in practice and application: other than naming the intended recipient, most messages lack any other notable aspects of personalization. Since correspondence without the use of customer-specific information is not really personalization, the following strategic guidelines for creating personalized correspondence are useful: 1. Forget Conventional Wisdom Most customer correspondence in the form of bills and information is generally in writing. In the past, companies have taken many steps to boost response rates; however, the primary emphasis has been on optimizing content and response elements. In turn, very little attention has been given to customizing correspondence with customers. Naming the intended recipients in mass mailings is far too insufficient to draw the attention of addressees. Personalization means reconsidering the current lines of correspondence and choosing to communicate with customers in a way that evokes the same effect as face-to-face customer service. 2. Stick to Relevant Information Optimizing correspondence means following the principles of quality optimization. In the field of information, this means putting quality before quantity, i.e. limiting the entire contact only to truly relevant issues. An ideal benchmark is the quantity of information needed by the recipient. 3. Allow Customers to Indicate their Preferred Channel(s) of Communication In this electronic age, the degree of acceptance that written correspondence receives from addressees and how welcomed it is, no longer solely depends on content. Therefore, to personalize the correspondence, it is crucial to set up a system that allows the addressee to select their preferred channel for receiving information, whether it is mail, email, texting, MMS, or instant messaging. Customers should also be able to specify their preferred channel for social networking communications. 4. Consolidate Everything You Know About a Customer Today, most companies store information on customers in different systems and databases. However, departments across a company should be able to access all the information about a customer in order to personalize content in such a way that the correspondence grabs the recipient’s interest. This calls for the seamless linking of ERP, CRM, and other business applications to integrate and localize all relevant customer data. 5. Set up User-Friendly Interfaces Communication systems should be designed with ease of use in mind. If not, users will tend to avoid the complicated system, particularly if the volume of correspondence is large. Company employees should have software that expedites creation and customization of content matched to intended recipients, especially for personalizing business-to-customer correspondence. This requires an integrated system that contains all relevant information on customers and can be easily accessed.

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Putting the “I” in E-Presentment: What’s in it for Customers

For all that’s been written (here and elsewhere) about the value of e-presentment and online customer engagement, the fact remains that not all customers are yet taking advantage of the efficiencies and conveniences these options have to offer. This is bad news, of course, for organizations that regularly send their customers the likes of billing statements and explanations of benefits, because it means you still have to spend significant money on paper, ink, printing, and stamps to tell these people what you think they need to know in the way you think they want to know it. (They can’t, after all, personalize their information on paper the way they can online, so you have to guess.) But it’s no news at all for them because, when you get right down to it, they don’t care what their hard copy habits are costing you in cash, time, and cross-selling opportunities. No, all each paperbound person wants to know is “What’s in it for me? Everything’s working fine, so why should I hop on the electronic bandwagon?” Answering this in a compelling way is hard enough, and the degree of difficulty is compounded by the fact that the motivation to jump is likely to differ from one person to another. Some Won’t Making matters worse, there are some customers who will never make the change – maybe they can’t afford a computer or a smartphone, or they don’t know how to use one, or they’re skittish because of the recent spate of highly-visible security breaches. For them, your best course of action probably is simply to keep serving up paper, as there may not be any kind of incentive program that will get them to move (at least not without going broke while trying). Or you could just cut them off and force them to go online – but that may just as likely lose them as a customer. Others Will, With a Little Push For the others, sometimes all they need is a little push – it’s not so much that they’re anti-“e”; rather, they may just have paper so deeply ingrained as a habit that it doesn’t occur to them that there may be another way to go. I’ll offer myself as the poster child for this kind of customer because I resisted electronic presentment for years – too many cyber gremlins, I told myself. Plus, I liked getting notices by snail mail because they served to remind me that bills were due or accounts needed attention. The “push” in my case was a replacement letter carrier who frequently didn’t bother to bring us our mail. After missing a few due dates, I rushed to sign up for all the “e” options I could find – and then, having seen the possibilities, I kicked myself for not changing channels earlier! Hit Them Right Between the “I”s The trick, then, is to figure out what types of pushes to give your non-digital base. Since it’s tough (and illegal) to arrange for their regular mail to go missing, let me suggest the following as a few serviceable options that may hit your customers right between the “I”s: Offer a personalized discount: since you’ll save time and money, you can afford to incentivize your clientele for opting in to electronic communications of all stripes – and the savvy ones among them know it. So if you’re a bank, say, maybe give them 0.5% off the current rate for home equity loans – not just in general, but making specific reference to the home they are living in. If you do the math right, it won’t cost you anything, and you’ll give some folks the push they need to get off paper and onto a screen. Run a contest: promote the fact that the first/next 20, 50, 500 customers to enroll in your “e” program will be entered to win baseball tickets, or dinner out, or some other perq. Just be sure it reflects the locality in which they live so you’re also living the precepts of personalization and make it clear that you have them individually in mind. Profile “customers like me”: communicate stories about other “e” people whose demographics and activities resemble those of the malefactors you are chasing. The message is that “if Bob/Mary can do it, so can you!” In this way it takes a page from the Big Book of Best Practices for Organizational Change by highlighting an early adopter and making it okay for others to follow suit. As you see, there are a number of things you can do to try to motivate your paperbound patrons to enroll in your e-presentment program. Some may not be moved by your entreaties and enticements, but others will, and each one you convert represents significant savings for you over their customer lifetimes.

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Seven Typical Stumbling Blocks to Written Correspondence with Customers

Contrary to speculations made some time ago, burgeoning digitalization has actually bolstered the role of written customer correspondence, rather than diminished it. Nevertheless, the conventional letter is increasingly being replaced by digital messages. The outcome is that sales and marketing units face even more communication pitfalls, which could jeopardize their customer relationships. The common errors made when corresponding with customers are: 1. Little to No Personalization Experience shows that the more personalized the correspondence, the greater its impact. In reality, things have functioned differently – because business communication is typically done using systems designed for output management or similar approaches. With the dawn of social networks, customers no longer wish to be addressed anonymously – they clearly favor personalized correspondence. 2. Excessive Information that is either Irrelevant or Superfluous We live in an era that generates and disseminates mountains of information. Thus, it is even more critical to limit oneself to truly relevant information when corresponding with customers. The underlying principle of written correspondence is putting quality before quantity. This means fulfilling the information needs of addressees as succinctly as possible – whether dealing with one or a million receivers. 3. Communication Channels Not Specified In this era of electronic communications, evoking a positive response from the addressee means not just delivering the right content but also using the best/correct/right channel. However, enterprises often lack the setup that allows customers to indicate their preferred form of correspondence – whether a letter, email, SMS, MMS, an instant messenger service, or, especially in our time, social networks. 4. Conditions for Proper Dialogue are Lacking The Facebook icon on company websites has long been perceived as a common element used to facilitate customer communications. Yet, many people ignore the fact that this only offers customers one-way communications – because these enterprises do not have the technical infrastructure to systematically handle responses over social networks. The fact is, companies cannot carry on significant dialog through traditional means of automated and impersonal correspondence, which are incompatible with the concept of social networks. 5. A Fraction of Knowledge about the Customer is Being Used in the Correspondence Enterprises typically store information on customers in highly diverse systems and databases. However, in the era of CCM, employees need to be able to access information on customers in order to personalize the content so that the recipient views it as important and meaningful. This calls for seamless linking of ERP, CRM, and other business applications to integrate all relevant customer information, regardless of the system in which it is stored. 6. There are No Systems for Customer Communications Management (CCM) High-volume communications are best achieved under proper technical and operating conditions that maximize customer service and minimize required effort. Therefore, one of the key aspects is to empower employees with appropriate solutions that expedite composing, laying out, and personalizing customer correspondence. This is predicated upon ease of use and seamless access to all relevant customer information. 7. Strategic Positioning is Still the Bottleneck Although nobody questions the significance of the quality of written customer correspondence, people often fail to draw from these conclusions. This was reflected in our recent survey which revealed that few sales and marketing managers have addressed the issue of CCM in a way that enables them to define the need for reorganizing their approach to corresponding with customers.

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Getting Personal One Key to Effective Communications

Last time, we discussed the how important it is to use customer history to shape communications planning. This time, we go a step further and explore the technique of personalization, which looks at behaviors beyond just buying history and, properly done, can cement your customer relationships. The first thing to know is that personalization cuts two ways: first, it permits us to send customers communications that greet them by name and include references to individualized local interest. Second, it allows them to customize the whole interaction to suit their needs and preferences. Taken together, these two attributes make it clear that this was prepared with you in mind, and utilizing the techniques properly has been shown to improve engagement by as much as 30-50%. Serve the “Me” Generation “Dear Steve” are two of the most powerful words in a marketer’s lexicon, as are others like “You may also be interested in” – as long as I am actually “Steve” and have actually expressed interest in things that relate to the items you think I might care about. Otherwise, it’s clear it’s a robot at work, and you’ve lost me forever. Research consistently validates the power of doing this correctly. For instance, a study last year by the University of Amsterdam suggested that identifying a recipient by name “has the highest ability to make the message feel personal and hence bring positive effects.” Organizations “should also take person-related factors into account,” it concluded – as did, for a slightly different reason, a separate study by the CEB Marketing Leadership Council, which found that a significant minority of respondents now expect some degree of personalization as a matter of course, and a fair number of others don’t expect it but would be pleased to see it. Whether you choose to embrace simple mail-merge techniques or provide personalized URLs and landing pages for people to click through to, the evidence is compelling that they want this kind of attention, and feel liked by you when they get it. So it would appear, then, that there’s no good excuse for withholding it! Give Control to the Control Freaks As noted, the flip side of the personalization coin involves letting people control the way they interact with you. Especially potent online, this ranges from allowing visitors to modify your Web interface to suit their preference (e.g., by arranging the placing of widgets in a portal, or changing color schemes) to permitting them to retrieve, manipulate, and analyze their account information so they can better engage with you (e.g., by buying something more, paying a bill, inquiring about another offering). This control is important because it leaves customers feeling as if they’re driving the relationship they have with you, rather than the other way around. Without getting lost in the depths of human psychology, suffice to say that this speaks to the way people are physically wired, and a little flexibility on your part can go a very long way. Giving your constituents some control is especially valuable when trying to get them to migrate off their beloved pieces of paper (i.e., printed documents) and onto their screens (tablets, PCs, etc.). Getting them to do more things online is great for you since it can save piles of money and throw off all kinds of other benefits. But your customers don’t care about that; they want to know what’s in it for them. In this case, the answer is “the ability to do what you need to do in the way you want to do it,” and that can be a very powerful incentive to make such a fundamental change. The Bottom Line The bottom line here is that the case for personalizing your communications is compelling, in both of the ways we just talked about. But care must be taken to ensure that this personalization is meaningful, or you risk having it blow up in your face. Simply including recipients’ first names in your communications is not enough; no, it must be buttressed by messages that read as if they were crafted with each intended person in mind and not merely assembled by a database. At the same time, each of these people must feel he or she controls his or her own destiny when it comes to taking the next step in your relationship. As it is written, “if you love something, set it free” – and in this case, this means by loosening the interface bonds that have so long complicated the access to and presentation of the information they most desire.

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Five Hypotheses About Customer Communications Management

It should be mandatory for companies to enable customers to select their preferred channels of communication. In recent years, we have seen a clear trend of consumers preferring digital dialogues; this shift has been triggered by social media channels and mobile technologies. With the current trend, one finds a rising demand for quick response possibilities via customers’ preferred channels. Consequently, it is clear that enterprises will have to completely revamp their current customer correspondence. Below are 5 hypotheses on developments concerning CCM (Customer Communications Management): 1. Digital Communications Will Become Much More Significant What we see now is no longer simply a generation of digital natives, who prefer to communicate via Facebook or smartphones. Rather, digital communications is a trend that increasingly encompasses all social groups and ages, as evidenced by downloaded apps statistics. In fact, current projections foresee e-mail, which is not a traditional means of communication, dying out in the near future. Against the backdrop of such dynamic changes, enterprises are forced to redefine their approaches to corresponding with customers both now and in the future. 2. Correspondence with Customers is Becoming Increasingly Personalized People are becoming used to a messaging culture that is defined by rapid, personalized responses. Companies that do not wish to lose touch with their customers through written correspondence are being compelled to set up similar conditions to provide prompt communication. However, generally speaking, firms lack the structure to quickly respond to incoming messages and enquiries with a personal touch. In most enterprises, automated mass mailings still seem to dominate the communication landscape. In the near future, automated, impersonal communication, to a large extent, will be replaced by communication structures that deliver interactive content focused on customers’ personal issues. If companies do not adapt to the changing communications landscape their correspondence with customers will become less and less effective. 3. It is Almost Mandatory to let Customers Select a Preferred Communications Channel Each correspondence channel serves a distinct purpose. However, it is important to note that acceptance of these various channels is determined by the customers alone. Customers are not interested in being informed via one main and impersonal channel (i.e. letters, e-mails, texting, etc.). Customers would rather select a communication channel based on their need for interaction and personal preferences. Companies will not be able to continue to circumvent their customers’ desire for communication flexibility for very long. Therefore, firms must continue to pursue a strategy of offering customers multiple communication channels to choose from. 4. Mobile Devices are Stepping into the Limelight For a long time, we have seen a change in user behavior as reflected by accelerating purchases of mobile devices. Meanwhile, sales of stationary devices are continuing to lag further and further behind. Hence, written correspondence with customers must definitively shift over to digital and mobile communications. Although noticeable differences still exist in the behaviors of customers across various age groups, these gaps will level out very soon. Thus, enterprises should ensure that they are equipped to effectively handle mobile communications. 5. Customer Communications Management will Transition to New Technologies Conventional systems are a real handicap when trying to fulfill the new demands on written correspondence. For instance, the typical output management system is incapable of dialogue, which essentially strikes it out from the system requirements for managing next generation communications. Similarly, CRM and ERP systems alone do not allow any personalized written dialogue. For communication with customers that is both quick and personalized, a company must deploy CCM solutions. These CCM solutions can deliver the whole gamut of information generated by customers over social networks and through other digital services; which is necessary for creating and managing meaningful conversations with customers. Indeed, CCM is heading towards dialogue-oriented solutions. And CCM not only guarantees fast interaction, it also enables one to apply all the knowledge about a customer stored in various business systems.

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Process Management – the Glue that Ties CCM Together!

According to analysts from Gartner, Forrester and InfoTrends, a customer communications management (CCM) strategy is a necessity in the current competitive environment where customer experience rules. Organizations need to be able to interact and communicate with their customers and prospects in a relevant and engaging manner. To tie the components of a customer communications system together, you need a strong, robust, scalable and reliable process management tool that handles high volumes of documents, and that can connect to multiple systems. A strong process management tool can allow your organization to: Orchestrate, schedule and execute complex document and content manipulation in all stages of the CCM process, no matter what the platform and where the processes reside. Monitor the completion of these processes, and make changes where necessary to ensure critical Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are being met. Highlight and handle errors in the processing, ensuring a higher level of quality. Reduce the operational costs and manual labour associated with complex and repetitive tasks, such as storing, printing and delivering high-volume content. To make this happen, you need a process manager with many out-of-the-box, configurable components, including: trigger events, repository adaptors for storing and retrieving content from repositories and archives, document and data transform tools, graphical tools to create and test your organization’s process flows (see Figure 1 below for an example of graphical interface), performance tools to elevate and enhance performance. Trigger Events Trigger events start a process, based on an external action. For example, a document arriving in a file folder may trigger a process to transform that document to a more usable format. A robust set of trigger actions including triggers from electronic mail, FTP sites, messaging systems, application programming interface (API) calls and Web Services is definitely desirable for maximum interoperability. Repository Adaptors During the course of the business process, it may be necessary to access documents and content from different sources. A repository adaptor will reach into the repository, using basic search and index routines, and retrieve the document for inclusion in the process flow. Conversely, it may be necessary to load and/or store the content in third-party repositories for later access. Data and Document Transform tools Usually, the data and documents you receive are not in a format conducive with downstream systems. With functional transform tools, the data and documents can be transformed into a standard for the organization, or setup as input into a different system. Data tools include business intelligence, analytics and data manipulation functions that reformat or translate the data from many diverse data sources into the correct format for each system. Document Transform tools allow you to re-purpose your documents, convert them to different formats and standards (like PDF, AFP, Accessible PDF, XML and HTML) to present them online or index them for loading into a repository. Information and images can be replaced, removed and added to documents for specific purposes like re-branding, electronic presentment and targeted messaging. Graphical Process Design Tools A Graphical Process Design tool assists the technical architect or developer in creating the content processes that provide value to the business. The tool must operate in batch and real-time mode, provide a deep set of configurable options and be easy and intuitive to use. Capabilities needed to create and configure processes include routing, rule-based decisions, error handling and process testing. A strong tool will lead to strong processes and real business benefits. Performance Tools Performance is the overall key to process management. At any given time you want to monitor your processes, and have the right tools available to enhance and accelerate their performance. Key concepts such as multi-threading, connection pooling, load balancing, resource caching, system clustering, system redundancy, automated failover and scalability are mandatory to enhance system performance and realize the business benefits. Summary A process management tool is essential for optimal customer communications. It can be used by system integrators and internal architects and developers. It is the product that makes all the other products work more effectively. A process manager tool creates order from chaos.

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Making the Most of Your CCM Initiative: Influencing Customer Behavior

Customer Communications Management (CCM) isn’t only about communicating with customers – it’s about ensuring that you communicate effectively. That means ensuring that customers are sent communications that are relevant to them. For our last post on making the most out of your CCM strategy, we’re going to look at how to successfully use CCM to influence customer behavior. This is the final step listed in the InfoTrends white paper Improve Your Enterprise Customer Communications Strategy in Five Vital Steps. Data analytics and business intelligence tools can help companies better understand their customers: who they are and how they behave. By understanding their customers better, organizations can now help tailor communications directly to their customers’ needs, predict future requirements, as well as fuel upsell and cross-sell initiatives. Customer profiles – determined by online behavior, social media data and other factors – can help ensure that companies send more relevant, personalized communications, which leads to a higher rate of response. Meanwhile, technology such as personalized landing pages and QR codes can even help track printed communications. This becomes even more relevant as companies push more marketing communications through their CCM platforms, allowing them to become hubs that store, track and measure communications. The right CCM technology, with business intelligence and data analytics capabilities built in, will help provide the functionality to do so. Read the full white paper: Improve Your Enterprise Customer Communications Strategy in Five Vital Steps

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Making the Most of Your CCM Initiative: Automating and Integrating

There are several ways to make the most out of your Customer Communications Management (CCM) strategy. We’ve recently been outlining the 5 steps discussed in the InfoTrends’ white paper, Improve Your Enterprise Customer Communications Strategy in Five Vital Steps. The fourth tip relates less to the processes you put in place and more to how they are implemented, with the goal of automating and integrating through the right CCM technology. Most CCM systems are implemented in IT architectures that are patchy at best, with stakeholders often operating in siloes, with limited knowledge of how the overall CCM process works. Legacy systems may be in place and they may be less advanced in terms of their management and tracking capabilities. Corporate IT systems that could be considered part of CCM include enterprise resource planning, CRM, accounting/tax and archiving systems. Having a centralized approach to your CCM system can help ensure that you automate and integrate everything in the most efficient way possible. To ensure this, communications should be stored centrally, whether it’s in an archive, an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system or a CCM solution. Other things to consider include: CCM technology should be easily integrated with other systems. Legacy communications should also be stored and tracked centrally, since modern CCM platforms and post composition solutions can process and store legacy output in an archive. Vendors that invest in cloud solutions can offer the next level of integration, likely including on-premise data and cloud-based delivery. Lastly, the right technology will also ensure that your communications are tracked and stored properly, giving business users and customer service representatives the information they need to communicate with customers. They also allow for the use of data analytics, offering information you can use for upsell and cross-sell opportunities. We’ll finish off this series in our next blog post, by looking at one final step to successful CCM strategy: Influencing Customer Behavior. Read the full white paper: Improve Your Enterprise Customer Communications Strategy in Five Vital Steps

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Making the Most of Your CCM Initiative: Enabling Business Users

Recently, we’ve been looking at different ways to make the most out of your Customer Communications Management (CCM) initiatives, discussing some of the strategies listed in the InfoTrends white paper, Improve Your Enterprise Customer Communications Strategy in Five Vital Steps. Our tips have so far involved taking a more centralized approach to your CCM strategy and engaging your customers through mobile technology. Another step to a more successful CCM strategy is finding ways to enable your business users, while reducing IT costs in the process. Standardized processes for document creation, production and fulfilment can sometimes make flexibility in CCM difficult – any changes along the way require approval from marketing and legal, and need the line of business (LOB) or department to sign off on costs. Only then can IT implement any changes. Such a long process not only means it takes a while before those changes are finally made, but can add to overall costs as well. The right technology can help streamline the process, putting less strain on IT. More specifically, template-based technology can help business users create, manage and deploy customer communications themselves. With this end in mind, tiered template communication systems are becoming the norm. In this system, there are three “tiers” of users: The IT user develops data and content constructs to make template creation easy. The business super user builds the templates and creates business rules. The business user then creates, modifies and schedules the communications. This method takes a lot of the pressure off IT, and puts more power into the hands of users, creating a more efficient and flexible CCM system. In our next blog post, we’ll look at the fourth step for improving your CCM initiative: Automating and Integrating. Read the full white paper: Improve Your Enterprise Customer Communications Strategy in Five Vital Steps.

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Experience Suite Release—Adaptive, Omni-Channel Experiences

Digital technologies have ushered in the “age of the customer.” With increasing access to information about products and services, today’s consumers are empowered to shop comparatively online, influence the buying behavior of peers, and guide the overall brand experience. They expect immediacy and experiences that satisfy. The sales funnel of the past is being replaced by multiple interactions that create a lifetime of customer value and brands are consistently maintained in consumer communities rather than by advertising or marketing departments. By the year 2020, enterprises need to transform for the age of the customer. To gain a sustainable competitive advantage, companies need the ability to connect directly with the customer to create exceptional, long-term, and rewarding experiences. To nurture deeper relationships with customers, organizations are increasingly required to create consistent experiences, tailored to suit individual needs, across multiple digital channels, touch-points, and even supply chains. Organizations that do this effectively will benefit from deeper relationships with their customers, based on data-driven insights that enable them to more effectively meet their customers’ evolving needs. The latest release of the OpenText Experience Suite bundles interlocking capabilities into a comprehensive solution designed to deliver engaging customer experiences across all touch-points. It manages the entire customer experience by combining adaptive content management, orchestrated information flows, and compelling omni-channel experiences—all within a governance framework to ensure consistency. Experience Suite accelerates collaborative media creation, curation, and personalization to ensure that each user gets the best possible experience at every point of interaction. Experience Suite delivers rich, digital engagement through: Faster time to market: with omni-channel and tailored experiences based on analytic insights and market feedback. Responsive delivery: adaptive content management consolidates information from multiple sources to publish the most effective content for the buyer. Adaptive content delivers experiences that are device agnostic and can adjust as customers switch between devices and channels. Unified, seamless experiences: by connecting a broad ecosystem of partners (e-commerce, translation engines, web analytics, social media, and more) to deliver a consistent and seamless brand experience. Governance: through orchestrated information flows to ensure information and assets are effectively managed, governed, and can be reused in multiple instances. Extensible EIM services: engagement can be extended to include comprehensive EIM capabilities, such as enterprise content management to process management, information exchange, and information discovery—all in one environment. Flexible deployment options: Experience Suite gives organizations the option to deploy on premise, in the cloud, or in combination using a hybrid solution. OpenText Experience Suite provides rapid design tools to create and manage content that is delivered to web, social, mobile and print destinations, and is integrated with the AppWorks EIM developer platform, extending capabilities to all of the OpenText product suites. Solutions can be built on the platform to address digital marketing, customer self-service, social communities and brand management initiatives. OpenText Experience Suite combines capabilities that have been architected to work seamlessly together. Technologies include Web Experience Management (WEM), Customer Communication Management (CCM), Media Management, Tempo Social, and Portal. To find out more, read the press release.

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Making the Most of Your CCM Initiative: Engaging Through Mobile Technology

In my previous blog post I’ve been discussing Customer Communications Management (CCM), and how to make the most out of your CCM initiatives, based on the InfoTrends white paper, Improve Your Enterprise Customer Communications Strategy in Five Vital Steps. The first tip considered, in a previous post, was to take a more centralized approach to your CCM. The second is to use mobile technology to better engage your customers. It makes sense. Smartphone use is up significantly in recent years, and people are accessing information on the move more than ever before – especially younger consumers. Interacting with these customers through mobile solutions, if done right, can improve engagement and increase customer satisfaction. Using CCM platforms for mobile technology can also help organizations track, measure and manage their communications more effectively. An effective and centralized approach to mobile technology can go a long way. InfoTrends predicts that mobile adoption will only increase in the years to come, as companies are driven to: – Provide a better customer experience. That includes introducing adaptive and responsive design, allowing content to be adapted to a mobile device’s screen size. It also allows users to dynamically select, group content and interact with their communications however and wherever they want. – Innovate business processes. Since smartphones have camera and GPS capabilities, this can make claim processing for example, easier, while QR codes, mobile payments and mobile data verification also add the possibility for further innovations. – Reduce costs. Mobile communications reduce the need for printed statements and provide more efficient ways to interact with customers. Next up in my series on making the most of your CCM: Enabling Business Users and Taking some of the Burden off of IT. Read the full white paper: Improve Your Enterprise Customer Communications Strategy in Five Vital Steps.

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Making the Most of Your CCM Initiative: Taking a Centralized Approach

Customer Communications Management (CCM) can help build customer satisfaction and loyalty – but only if you do it right. And that begins with implementing the right CCM strategy. In my previous post, How to Advance Your CCM Strategy: Recommendations for Enterprises, I looked at some of the recommendations that emerged in the InfoTrends white paper, Improve Your Enterprise Customer Communications Strategy in Five Vital Steps. As evident in the title, InfoTrends has identified 5 steps to making your CCM strategy more successful. The first step: Taking a Centralized Approach to your CCM initiative. Chances are, your company currently doesn’t create, produce or manage their customer communications centrally. In fact, most businesses don’t. Instead, they manage them by line of business (LOB) or department, where communicating with customers is a key business function. While this may be a popular way of approaching CCM, it’s not necessarily the method that works best. InfoTrends found that a more centralized approach to CCM is more effective, helping your organization in several ways: – You get more out of your initiative. By taking a centralized approach, you can benefit more from the latest CCM technology, including channel preference management, data analytics and a synchronized experience between channels. Members are also better able to see and understand what exactly has already been communicated to a specific customer. – You improve your ability to stay consistent. By seeing the whole picture, you can make sure brand, messaging and style remain consistent between departments. – You can shorten the investment cycle. Having centralized experts in place to guide the initiative through the funding approval process can help push it through any red tape faster. What’s more, these experts are also able to articulate the benefits of investing in CCM, arguing its merits to anyone who needs convincing. In my next blog post, I’ll look at the second step to a more successful CCM initiative: Engaging through Mobile Technology. Read the full white paper: Improve Your Enterprise Customer Communications Strategy in Five Vital Steps

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How to Advance Your CCM Strategy: Recommendations for Enterprises

Has your company implemented a Customer Communications Management (CCM) system or are you thinking of doing so? If so, you probably already know a lot about the benefits you can garner from CCM: higher customer satisfaction, stronger customer relationships and even an improved lifetime value for each customer. However, making the most out of your CCM initiatives means introducing a proven strategy that will move your business forward. A new white paper from InfoTrends, Improve Your Enterprise Customer Communications Strategy in Five Vital Steps, reveals exactly what goes into a successful CCM strategy. The following are some of the recommendations that emerged: – Make CCM a hub for centralized communications. This way, you can holistically track your communications and ensure consistent branding and messaging. – Invest in a CCM Center of Excellence. It will help you quantify and articulate all of the benefits that emerge from CCM, while also helping to speed up implementation. – Consider template-driven technology. This will empower business users to create, manage and fulfill communications themselves taking some of the burden off IT. – Think about your mobile strategies. With so many people using mobile technology today, the market is full of opportunities for companies looking to create interactive communications with their customers. – Analyze your customer behavior. Data analytics and business intelligence will help do so, while also assisting as you create data-driven communications, all with the end goal of influencing customer behavior and driving upsell and cross-sell opportunities based on predictive analytics and past behavior. Over the next few blog posts, I will delve more into InfoTrends’ findings, highlighting some of the other key ingredients to a successful CCM strategy. Next up: Creating a more Centralized approach to CCM. Read the full white paper: Improve Your Enterprise Customer Communications Strategy in Five Vital Steps.

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Automating Content Categorization and Mining for Insights with Computational Linguistics

With tremendous increase in volumes of electronic document and web content, the task of automatic categorization of documents became the key method for organizing information and knowledge discovery. Proper classification of e-documents, emails, office documents, blogs, online news, and digital content needs mythology or technique such as machine learning and natural language processing. Organizations need solutions which can capture high volumes of unstructured content, provide repository to store them in native formats, text-mine using various techniques, and extract entities, concepts, and categories to classify the contents properly. Many vendors promise solutions which claim to provide insights and categorization of unstructured content. But getting insights on unstructured content (big data) is not a straightforward task. It requires a text analytics solution that is accurate and detailed and which produces results that are transparent and clear. Most solutions on the market use statistical method for natural language processing that simply finds an appropriate set of text fragments that have been classified according to the researcher’s goals. Although this can often produce reasonably good results in a relatively short time, this method is over-generalized and carries sampling bias. It becomes challenging when the actual results aren’t what was expected. In case where input used in actual projects is different from the input data used during training, it becomes too cumbersome to maintain and recreate corpus and re-train the algorithm to get the expected results, because there is no clear links between the results and the steps that are needed to improve the results. On the other hand, Computational Linguistics approach is transparent. Every piece of linguistic knowledge is explicit and can be easily fine-tuned to produce quality results. This is true even if the software needs to be customized for a specialized task (such as processing legal or medical texts). Over time, the incremental improvements inherent in a knowledge-based system yield far greater improvements compared to the statistical method where the input data soon deviates from the original training set. Moreover, Computational Linguistics is detailed and, instead of just working on keywords and word frequency, it applies various rules and makes use of dictionary and additional analysis techniques, including: Grammar to tokenization: how a document is split into sentences and a sentence into words. Morphological analysis: how words are modified to express features such as gender, number and tense. Syntactic analysis: how a sentence is split into phrases and how those phrases are assigned functions in the sentence e.g. “The can goes on the shelf” vs. “It can go on the shelf”. Semantic analysis: how words and phrases are interpreted to give meaning to a sentence (“pretty awful” is negative, “pretty case” is positive). Overall, there are several key features of Computational Linguistic Approach that make it much more powerful compared to the traditional Statistical Method. Below are some real examples of how Computational Linguistics provides insights into the real meaning of unstructured content. Analyzing every word in every sentence In a language, small words can make all the difference: it’s important to know the difference between “great” and “not so great”, between “I like this cake” and “it looks like rain”. Important linguistic information for each word is extracted from dictionaries; comprehensive rules which are defined into the multilingual grammars are used to break down texts into phrases. The next step is to assign important roles within a sentence and use our semantic technology to extract meaning from the unstructured text. Working with phrases rather than just keywords To extract insights from text, it is important to know what the author intended to say. As humans, we structure the word according to the detailed attributes of the objects and ideas we have to deal with and we use phrases to express it: we know that a “fire engine” is not the same kind of thing as an “engine”. A system that works only with keywords can never express this level of detail. Another example can be “Ministry of Finance has taken steps against slow economy”, here Ministry of Finance is a single entity and ‘of’ plays a very important role in linking “Ministry” and “Finance”. Dropping ‘of’ in the extraction process will lead to different results. Analyzing every opinion in every sentence Generally documents consist of multiple opinions representing several closely related but subtle differences. By reducing this to a single score, many systems hide the best insights and prevent people from drilling down to extract really useful information from the text. E.g. “I hate vodka, but love beer and I enjoy red wine”. The sentence has 3 opinions being expressed and separate score is returned for each one. Understanding structure To benefit from automation of text processing, it is necessary to first extract useful items and then aggregate them. Many models can be used to add structure to flat lists of items. One of them is extracting the semantic structures from syntactic features in the text. For example, capture the relationship between a product or service and its components or features (“the screen of this iPad”, “the telco signal”). Another model is the categorization of relevant items according to taxonomy (“signal” and “reception” both belong to the category SERVICE). In this way a flat list of items can be turned into a useful hierarchy (Telco à Service à Quality). How the results are calculated Every opinion in the sentence is scored, and moreover it also shows exactly which words in the sentence express the opinion and the entities (people/brand/product etc.). This is true even for adverbs such as “really” or adjective such as “excellent” or negations such as “not”. Document categorization is enhancing the level of data storage as well as data access and modification process. Many techniques and algorithms for categorization have been developed and none of them is sufficient on its own. Organizations must seek solutions which are best fit to solve their specific challenge, solutions capable of dealing with large volumes and different formats of electronic content. Visit www.bitext.com to learn more about the computational linguistics. For more on solutions that handle high volume electronic documents, visit Actuate Content Services.

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Customer Communications Management Trends in 2014

The Customer Communications Management (CCM) market is demonstrating healthy growth as enterprises recognize that improving the way they communicate with their customers reaps benefits. By making communications more relevant, timely, and communicating with customers using the channels they prefer, enterprises see favourable uptick in customer loyalty and buying behaviour. There are 3 main trends that will be impacting the CCM marketing in 2014: 1. Focus on best practices to overcome implementation challenges In my conversations with enterprises I often notice a very strong desire to learn about best practices on how to overcome the challenges associated with implementing CCM technologies. Implementations are usually technologically complex, there are many stakeholders involved, thousands of document templates that need to be ported (and “modernized”), and often the implementation process takes a long time to complete. It does not come as a surprise that many enterprises are still working with legacy systems that impact their ability to benefit from the latest technological advancements around targeted, synchronized, multi-channel messages. InfoTrends wrote a whitepaper for Actuate on this topic that I highly recommend. 2. Marketing getting more involved in CCM CCM, especially statement production, is an area that traditionally is seen as a cost to the business and in many organizations ultimately is managed by the CIO or COO. However, there is a clear trend that marketing is getting more involved in CCM than just branding – they want to make sure that the messaging is purposeful, authentic, and engaging. For this, marketers rely heavily on data analytics, business intelligence and customer insights. It will be very interesting to see how enterprises are going to deal with those challenges – eventually it is my expectation that CCM and Multi-Channel Marketing will converge but it requires new organizational structures, especially around funding. It is unlikely that the CMO wants to pick up the tab for a cost that has always been charged to the CIO/COO. 3. Centralization for better tracking and distribution Progressive enterprises are actively looking to centralize their communications. This way they can rationalize the number of CCM systems, and enable centrally tracked, synchronized and orchestrated messaging. Business users (as well as customers) can be given access so that they can have a clear understanding of what has been communicated. A big complaint on the consumer side is that large enterprises send non-orchestrated, sometimes even conflicting communications, giving the impression that they don’t really understand their customers. While printed communications generally have been pretty well tracked, it’s embedding the electronic and mobile communications into the mix that is causing challenges. We expect CCM vendors to build out their electronic and mobile communications capabilities, as well as social media listening technologies so that enterprises can increasingly use those tools for their digital, mobile and social communications.

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OK < EXCELLENT = $$$

Recently I had an opportunity to join Marci Maddox, our VP of Marketing for Customer Experience Management here at OpenText for a webinar focused on the evolving role of the CIO and, specifically, what today’s CIOs need to know about the drivers, challenges and goals of their peers and customers within their companies. Axient, a long standing OpenText partner in Australia and New Zealand, with a strong focus on Customer Experience for the Banking and Financial services markets, is sponsoring a series of webinars to educate and assist their customers in improving business communications, helping them to reach the next level in exceeding customer expectations. Three themes dominated the session: Consumers EXPECT to have a personal rapport with their service providers and REQUIRE that each interaction reflects that customer’s needs and preferences, particularly for mobile and online engagements. The marketplace for all financial services is undergoing a seismic shift with businesses providing new products in unprecedented volumes. At the same time government regulations and safeguards are expanding, creating a double challenge for customers and providers. Aging, disparate and IT-centric systems need to be replaced to meet these demands & opportunities. Systems that push technology to the back and experience to the fore, to enable customer-facing personnel to exercise their skills, will win and retain customers. These points were based on recent research gleaned from industry analysts like Forrester, Gartner and InfoTrends, and have been validated in a series of customer interviews conducted by OpenText. Although many older customers still expect paper-based communications, their experience is anchored in the personal relationships that were established and nurtured over the years by direct engagement between consumer and business. These exchanges not only provide information but also serve to reinforce the relationship. For younger, more mobile and more Internet-engaged customers, a personal relationship is no less important. Developing the trust and faith that anchors the relationship is built not in a face-to-face manner, but from the establishment of a multitude of indirect, online and offline engagements, which incrementally deepens and broadens the relationship. Again, nowhere is this more critical than in finance and banking. As the research shows, Customer Communications Management (CCM) is at the heart of this context-rich, adaptive omni-channel experience. What distinguishes this next generation of CCM is not merely the outlets through which communications travel, but that it seamlessly combines analytics with business process management while utilizing a dynamic media management system to insure that information is delivered as active communications provided with consistency, persistence and common branding. Until recently this vision for “Excellent Experience” may have been viewed as aspirational, however today it has become a business imperative. The challenge for CIOs therefore is to cost-effectively begin the replacement of legacy and specialized systems with applications that span their business needs, empower Line of Business owners and meet corporations’ guidelines and governmental regulations. Done properly, evidence confirms that these solutions provide both immediate cost savings and long-term business growth. This is where companies like Axient and OpenText have partnered to bring together the systems and expertise to meet these challenges. To hear the webinar in its entirety go to: http://www.axient.com.au/form-builder/form/index/form/2178 And to learn more about Customer Communications Management from OpenText visit us at: http://makeastatement.opentext.com

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Navigating the Customer Experience at Enterprise World

Ifyou have ever tried to organize a surprise party for your friend, childor significant other, you know it is quite a task to be creative, getjust the right entertainers, plan fun activities for the guests and hopethat they enjoy themselves and your event is all the rage the next dayat work, school or around town. Planningour Customer Experience Management track at Enterprise World is alittle like that surprise party, but on a grander scale, throwing ineducational sessions and one-on-one meetings with customers and partnersas well. Our goal is to provide education, sharing and collaboration, with a bit of fun thrown in. Thisyear’s theme to Ignite, Innovate and Impact your business drove us tofind ways to share our insights with you in three fulfilling days. So grab a coffee, soda, tea or beverage of choice as I navigate the CEM frontier for you. Techie Tuesday Not 1. Not 3. But FIFTEEN discussions just for the techies in our midst! Forthe developer, administrator or technical user of the CustomerExperience Management products, we have organized 3 sessions with anopening topic and 5 tables to delve into your product specifically. At each session, find your table, join your peers and let the learning begin! Table 1: Web Experience Management Table 2: Media Management Table 3: StreamServe Table 4: Portal and Tempo Social Table 5: Web Site Management Session 1: Upgrades – Thistechnical focused section is designed to take a look at the most recentrelease of the CEM products and give tips and tricks to devise anupgrade checklist. Learn about configurations and extensions to streamline your move to the current release. Session 2: Integrations and Extensions – This session will focus on the user experience design and adoption of key extensions and integrations to other products. This deep dive session will discuss how you can extend your products further. Session 3: Architecting Optimization – Get in tune for the next big project with this technical session. Joinother architects to learn keen ways to tune-up your products and learnsome how-to tricks for higher scalability and faster response times ofthe product. CEM Sessions on Wednesday & Thursday Keynotes: On Wednesday, we continue the technical discussion with roadmaps and switch gears for two business level tracks. We begin the day with Main Stage Keynotes from guest speakers and OpenText Leadership. Rightafter lunch, we will host a mini-keynote session for CustomerExperience Management, where we have organized a “View on CEM” for you. The mini-keynote will tease you with discussions that will continue into more in-depth breakout sessions. CEM – Innovation Joining us this year for our mini-keynote is Bruce Temkin. Brucehas been helping companies embrace the customer experience methodologyand will have a TED-Talk like session to enlighten us on the Innovationsin CEM. CEM – Vision Following Bruce will be Anthony Gallo, VP CEM Product Unit, sharing the future of CEM at OpenText and the strategy behind it. CEM – In Action Listen as Hybris shares the customer experience journey through an example of commerce in action. Get inspired to implement some of these key ideas in your industry. CEM round table – Each speaker will then sit down along side a member of the content team at Taco Bell for an in-depth discussion on key challenges facing organizations today and what to do to exceed the customer experience. Breakouts: After the mini-keynote, we will have 4 CEM tracks running simultaneously. Each track is designed to stimulate conversation and interaction with the audience on a variety of topics. Whether you want to continue the technical discussion or look for business oriented sessions, we have something just for you. Track 1: DEFINING a VISION This track is designed to cover the latest roadmaps and map it to the customer journey. ATTRACT – rich media is the hot topic today to attract visitors to your website and build brand awareness. Learn more about Media Management and how media can be woven into WEM, Portal, Social and CCM today. CONVERSION – getting users to click the “buy” button requires good tracking and personalized, relevant content. Look to this session for ideas on the latest features and upcoming capabilities in Web Experience Management and Portal. Web Site Management roadmap is one to watch for with the new release just around the corner. SELF-SERVICE – continuing the customer journey into self-service portals or personalized communications requires key capabilities of StreamServe. Learn about the latest release and what is coming to take document presentment to the next level. ADVOCACY – social analytics, collaboration and sharing are key to keeping customers, partners and employees building your brand further. This session will cover the newest release of Tempo Social and highlight the best features to come! Track 2: PLANNING the JOURNEY This track is geared toward the business user or content owners that are planning their digital experience strategy. Learn from other companies who are on their journey and what hurdles they had to overcome to implement a successful vision. Hasbro will discuss their winning digital marketing program Wells Fargo will share insight into defining and achieving great ROI Seagate will look at overcoming obstacles to deliver a great web experience Hydro Quebec shares their inspiration to the employee intranet Track 3: SUCCESS IN ACTION Next up on the hit parade is customer stories. Keyindustry experts will join forces with OpenText customers to sharetheir insights into achieving value with the OpenText CEM products. MARKETING AUTOMATION: ExactTargettakes a look at what’s happening in the digital marketing world and howthe partnership with OpenText will take rich media and personalizationto the next level. E-COMMERCE: Hybris teams up with Fossil for an interactive discussion on multi-channel commerce strategies INTERACTIVE DESIGNS: Sabrae kicks off with a view into their customer self-service portal and Siteworx discusses how to build a business case for a creative user experience design fit for today’s omni-channel world MEDIA IS THE FUTURE: Oracle and 20th Century Fox share their use of rich media in their organization FROM DOCUMENT PRESENTMENT TO PERSONALIZED COMMUNICATIONS: Irish Dairy Board looks at the value of content a little differently when streamlining their digital communications. We have also planned session on CLOUD, MOBILE and the TEMPO SOCIAL innovations. Innovation and CEM Labs and Meetings Justwhen you thought you had a full agenda, don’t forget to stop by theexpo hall and check out the latest Customer Experience Managementinformation workflow (we like to call the CEM LAB). Here you will find the process of creating, managing, sharing and publishing content all visible in one location. Can’tmake it through the whole story, don’t worry, we have a time table setthat you can pop in and out as often as you can to see it all. Expo Hall: CEM Lab, WEM, Tempo Social, Media Management, WSM pods Innovation LAB: Get your hands on (and give feedback on) a few new UX designs for CEM products Meet the Experts: Just in case you want some 1-1 time with our engineers, product managers, support or services staff on site, you can request meeting times with your favorite experts. As you can see, in addition to the great entertainment we have in store for you with WILLIAM SHATNER¸ there are many different activities to partake in over the course of the week. REGISTER NOW to ATTEND! WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!! https://opentext.cvent.com/events/enterprise-world-2013/registration-eab7d5e064c4482ca0d3862bc683a285.aspx

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How Does BYOD Affect Your Relationship with Your Customers?

In a recent engagement with a customer, the CIO of the company involved asked the question “So, does your solution help me with my BYOD problem?” I had to pause for a few minutes as I wasn’t sure if our software was approved for medical use, or indeed if it was safe to use as a cure for this man’s’ medical problem! Fortunately my sales colleague realised that BYOD was not an infectious disease, it’s an Industry acronym used to describe the phenomenon where more and more employees were bringing their own electronic portable devices into the workplace such as tablets, phones etc. Why do you BYOD? As working hours are beginning to get longer and longer and the divide between work/personal time is blurred, BYOD has become an unconscious rebellion in the workforce. Longer working hours combined with flexible/mobile working patterns have led to employees breaking down traditional barriers. “Why should we only use hardware/software provided by our employers?” mutter the masses in hushed tones. Workplace-provided technology is safe, boring and usually outdated (EDIT: sorry I mean in line with corporate standards!). Rather I would like to use modern tablets/PCs – not only will I get the latest versions of Android OS, iOS etc. but, with these types of devices, I can access both my personal and work email in one place. This single device fits into my mobile lifestyle too; I can enjoy a movie or book on the commute to and from work, I can see my travel plans and maybe play games, but still keep in touch with LinkedIn profiles, perform industry research, access my work documents and collaborate. Too Many vendors! BYOD has raised some objections related to data security etc. However in this CIOs’ case his concerns were different. With the advent of BYOD, what could he do to make sure he could keep in touch with his customers via this new delivery mechanism? CRM was an important aspect of his company’s investment a few years ago, including a new web portal, enhanced printed output for their transactional statements, and other customer related correspondence. They have different technologies from different vendors to help them manage the different types of output – e.g. specialised software to handle dunning/treatment letters sent to customers who missed payment dates, as well as other solutions to produce online statements, and finally they use a third party organisation to handle printed statements and finishing (barcodes etc.). None of these solutions could handle output which fully capitalised on HTML5 and the real rich interactive capabilities offered by modern devices. Frankly speaking, BYOD users were being turned off by the idea of boring websites to access statements or view policy documents. Internal employees felt cheated when their expensive device with amazing power was being reduced to just accessing internal systems with poor internal user interface. Manage the Complete End-to-End Process The Actuate’s CCM offering could help this CIO and we went on to explain why our solution was different. Our solution brings together the whole chain of customer correspondence into one software solution, from one vendor. Our solution breadth encompasses the end-to-end information flow vital to this CIOs’ CRM concerns. We have technology which can be used in data acquisition and preparation phases to analyse trends, merge different data feeds and re-purpose information. We also have technology to help design customer correspondence for a variety of formats – a single design for all output channels. Our composition software is capable of producing output in HTML5 with real-time dynamic interaction capabilities, as well as regular HTML, or traditional print formats. Finally, we also offer solutions to help them archive correspondence and its source data within a scalable repository which can use a variety of back-end technology/solutions for storage such as Hadoop. BIRT Document Composition This CIO was particularly interested in our composition capabilities since it sounded too good to be true. BIRT Document Composition was originally designed for web facing output and later grew to support print stream technologies (PostScript, AFP etc) with rich internet capabilities always being at the forefront of its main functionality. Also, since it is based on Eclipse software, its user interface is very intuitive and a natural fit for users familiar with Eclipse. The BIRT Composition software supports shared document content and libraries, for example the ability to create a library of document styles, a library of approved legal wording, a library of pre-prepared correspondence content (pre-built signatures, address blocks, etc.). Libraries can be referenced by many correspondence designs – simplifying template creation/modification. There are also significant technological benefits of BIRT, for example it has native charting capabilities rather than having to use an external Third-Party plug-in. It also supports the ability to extend information by performing grouping, calculations on data thus overcoming any limitations in the input back-end billing/calculation engines. Good News for BYOD Luckily for me, the meeting ended well and I didn’t need to break out our First Aid Kit. Our product Management and Product Development teams were also happy they didn’t need to start working on a new module of the solution for reading our clients’ pulse! BYOD plays straight into our strengths. The Actuate’s CCM solution is built for this brave new world and indeed presented this CIO with a fantastic opportunity. Learn more about Actuate’s CCM solution.

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Problems Become Solutions: Actuate for CCM

In our last post, we explained how Actuate’s CCM solution was designed to address the problems that have traditionally plagued Customer Communications Management (CCM). We designed it to be different, which means that instead of a hodgepodge of disparate technologies cobbled together, it’s a single solution that covers the entire process. How exactly does it stand out? Let’s count the ways: It’s a holistic solution.It’s designed and built to promote a seamless flow across the CCM lifecycle, from data acquisition to multi-channel delivery, while at the same time providing centralized management and audit capabilities. It’s also developed and supported by a single provider, promoting seamless integration across the disparate areas of CCM. It offers analytics for consumers and businesses.Data acquisition and translation technology integrates well with analytics components, letting organizations gain insight into their data at both the consumer and business level. Organizations can use this analysis to promote personalized customer messages at the composition stage or next best offer programs within online customer portals. Analysis at the business level can highlight trends across aggregate consumer patterns, or help gain insight into the macro usage patterns of consumers. It has integrated repositories.Repositories are included and integrated within the system. They continue to promote the traditional archiving values of records management and rapid document discovery, but also provide extensive integration capabilities through Web Services and API to promote back office document integration and online customer self-service channel integration. These repositories offer abstracted storage layers that can connect with a variety of devices, including standard SAN/NAS/hard disk, WORM technology and Hadoop. Complex storage reduction techniques are also used to reduce operational costs. It provides central management.The entire CCM process is managed centrally, meaning that business process rules are designed using graphical utilities that define how content is acquired, processed, stored and delivered. But that’s not all: Processes are run atop engines that are optimized for performance, scalability and availability while accounting for error handling and recovery processes. Central logging provides business insight into system utilization, workflow scheduling, execution and audit information against content as it is processed, stored, accessed, and delivered across the CCM lifecycle. Integrated transformation utilities allow organizations to handle multiple inbound content formats and transform output in batch or on-demand to meet the requirements of internal or external consumer delivery. Transformation engines can also be utilized to extract index or metadata information that is ultimately stored in databases to promote rapid search and discovery. Instead of looking to see how it’s always been done, Actuate has successfully streamlined CCM with a singular system. Learn more about Actuate’s Customer Communications Solution.

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