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Everybody Talks About CX, but Nobody Does Anything About It
November 21, 2017
Customer experience quality didn't improve in the retail industry this year, despite keen competition among online retailers, according to Forrester's U.S. 2017 Customer Experience Index. The three top-ranked etailers came within fractions of a point of each other. Among the industries Forrester examined, online retail was the only one in which no brands kept the same position as last year.
E-Commerce Provides Fertile Ground for B2B Growth
November 19, 2017
Business-to-business firms view increased online activity as an effective way to boost their growth, according to a new report from CloudCraze. Eighty-nine percent of the 400-plus B2B decision makers CloudCraze surveyed in the United States and Europe expected digital commerce would help their businesses grow. E-commerce has altered the role of sales teams, the CloudCraze survey also suggests.
Revisiting Show Season
November 14, 2017
Show season changes the CRM market. One day you're in the vanilla application software space, and a week later you understand the need to incorporate social media or analytics or machine learning, or you see a need for enhanced integration and development through platform services. It goes on. Today, in the wake of many companies' trade shows, we're again taking a look at the available suites.
Real Human Interactions Beat Automation, Survey Says
November 13, 2017
Customers prefer human interactions to IVR systems or other automated customer service offerings, according to a new report from B2B ratings firm Clutch. Businesses need to move carefully when outsourcing customer service operations, the research also suggested, because there are big differences depending on a number of factors, including how familiar reps are with the local language.
Driving Digital Transformation by Making Citizen Developers Heroes
November 10, 2017
Corporate executives know that if they don't transform their companies into digital enterprises they're going to be at a significant competitive disadvantage. Yet many corporate leaders have been unable to make significant progress transforming their organizations. Many executives have found that changing their corporate cultures is a lot harder than adopting cloud-based applications and services.
Dreamforce Pivot
November 9, 2017
Dreamforce 2017 is in full swing this week in San Francisco, which means that Salesforce is changing, shedding a skin to reveal a new and improved creature. This time, rather than announcing a new cloud or a mountain of technology, the company seems focused on improving what it has and delivering a tighter and more powerful solution set for a future that's just emerging.
With Gamification, CRM Is a Brand New Ball Game
October 27, 2017
Advances in technology -- including speech analytics, metrics, a wider array of scrabble data, and perhaps even big data -- are making gamification a must-have tool in customer relationship management, call centers, collections, sales and other business areas. Technological advances have enabled the design of games that offer employees incentives to make customers happy.
Email Marketing Goes Hand-in-Glove With E-Commerce Shipping
October 20, 2017
ShippingEasy on Thursday launched Automated Email Marketing as an addition to its customer management module. This new tool has a powerful rules engine that helps users increase sales, the company said. Among other things, it can set up a trigger to send an email to first-time buyers immediately after an order is downloaded -- customized with a logo and specific coupon code if desired.
Counting Down to ASC 606
October 19, 2017
There will be little New Year's Eve celebrating but perhaps a lot of morning-after hangovers for U.S. businesses that haven't begun preparing for ASC 606, the Financial Accounting Standards Board's new rules about revenue recognition. They are set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018. The news is much the same for Europe, though there the rule's name is "IFRS 15." The change is hard to do.
Accenture, SAP Plot One CX Platform for All
October 18, 2017
Accenture Interactive and SAP Hybris have partnered to create a new platform that will let users build and curate end-to-end contextual, personalized customer experiences -- from marketing, e-commerce and offline shopping to customer service and loyalty management. The joint platform will target B2C and B2B firms in retail, telecommunications and resources.
Helpshift VP Tushar Makhija: Not All Customers Will Help You Make Money
October 17, 2017
"As services are getting more and more mobile, service needs to get mobile as well," said Helpshift VP Tushar Makhija. "If you look at customer service over the last 10 to 15 years, first it was all about average handling time. If you grew quickly as a business, you needed to stack up a call center. The next five to six years were all about self-service, so technology started building up."
Salesforce's IoT Strategy
October 16, 2017
Salesforce is a large and well-disciplined development company. It's pretty good at marketing too. It continues to innovate in all product areas, from core platform to applications, and the one criticism I'd make is that it's information overload at times. Lately Salesforce has made a big deal of adding its AI product, Einstein, to every application area to provide insights and stack rank options.
Retailers Slowly Embracing In-Store Tech Tools
October 16, 2017
Most retailers don't have the in-store technology to view customer information across various touchpoints, suggests a new study from Kibo. Fifty-eight percent of retailers who participated in the study, released last Thursday, acknowledged they did not have that capability. The study was based on questions posed to 115 retail executives during the Future Stores 2017 conference.
Study: Music Improves Customer Experience, Even in Serious Settings
October 14, 2017
Music can enhance the customer experience even in nontraditional retail environments, suggests a study released Thursday by Mood Media and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers. The study was conducted in France. Customers had a more favorable experience in five business locations -- including gas station, optical, banking, sports apparel and pharmacy locations, the study found.
Salesforce Reshuffles SaaS, PaaS in Internet of Things and AI
October 13, 2017
It can be a full-time job trying to keep up with Salesforce's newest cloud offerings. However, it is always worth the effort, because the company's pronouncements are often early bellwethers of the future direction of the software industry. This has become particularly true with respect to the company's evolving efforts to penetrate and gain a prominent position in the AI and IoT markets.
Salesforce Gets Granular
October 11, 2017
If you need an example of digital disruption, you can't do better than the retail banking industry. A byzantine collection of rules and regulations plus the overhang of many legacy systems have conspired to prevent banks from becoming more involved with their customers. Even innovations like the ATM, which entered the scene several decades ago, only serve to distance banks from their customers.
OpenWorld 2017
October 10, 2017
I spent last week at Oracle's OpenWorld 2017 in San Francisco. When I wasn't drinking from an information fire hose, it was alternately fascinating and exhausting. There were major announcements in database, blockchain, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and other stuff I'm associated with only tangentially. For instance, my eyes glaze over when they start talking about bare metal servers.
Show Season
October 4, 2017
Autumn officially kicked off about a week ago -- not with some celestial convergence but with show season, with companies like HubSpot and SugarCRM holding conclaves of their faithful. This is traditionally the beginning of attempts at closing the calendar year on a high note, as CRM vendors work to garner customer dollars based on the promises of new technologies unveiled at conferences.
New BPM, CRM Features Aim to Speed Strategy Execution
September 30, 2017
Bpm'online has introduced software update 7.11 for its intelligent CRM and BPM platform, with more than 200 improvements designed to accelerate strategy execution. Among other features, it provides new machine learning capabilities and predictive algorithms that offer users relevant information and automation within a specific context based on analysis of historical data.
Digital Hub Returns
September 28, 2017
Digital Hub is not a new idea. It's been percolating for a few years, and its roots can be traced to Dublin, Ireland, where in a cluster of eight buildings, there exists what might be the original hub. In Dublin, it's made up of 97 companies employing 725 people, and it was given a jumpstart by the government in 2003. Elsewhere, we might be more attuned to the idea of a tech incubator.
Cloud Partner Program Aims to Replace ERP
September 22, 2017
Brightpearl, which offers a cloud-based retail management system for mid-sized retailers and wholesalers, on Wednesday launched a new Enterprise Partner Program. The company aims to build out its partner ecosystem to deploy an end-to-end management service for omnichannel retailers as an alternative to traditional enterprise resource planning systems.
Finally Oracle
September 20, 2017
Oracle showed some very good numbers in its latest earnings report. As it begins its second year of aggressive cloud promotion, the company overall is showing significant year-over-year improvements, thanks to its turn to cloud infrastructure, applications and platforms. Yet when read right, the numbers announce the end of the beginning of the end as much as they announce the end of the beginning.
Account-Based Marketing Inspires New Software, Strategies
September 18, 2017
InsideView has released a new tool for business-to-business companies that have implemented account-based marketing. It is a fully redesigned version of InsideView Target, with the addition of ABM workflows and other enhancements. "Companies who want to [succeed] with ABM need to start with the right set of target accounts and people," said Joe Andrews, VP of product and solution marketing.
New Checklist Guides B2B Marketing Automation Platform Purchases
September 15, 2017
Four Quadrant this week released its Marketing Automation Buyer's Checklist for companies seeking to purchase a B2B marketing automation platform, or MAP. The checklist has eight major categories for evaluation and more than 35 subcategories. It lists more than 100 questions buyers should ask to make an informed assessment of MAP vendors' offerings.
The Vision Thing
September 15, 2017
Salesforce earlier this year introduced its Einstein Vision capability, an idea with a lot of promise but not a great deal of precedent. Who had applications that could see, and how would this be used? For decades, we've been content with scanning documents and analyzing them with OCR tools, or we've used bar codes and QR codes -- but it all came down to recognizing simple symbols.
AI Tool Captures and Updates Contacts Automatically
September 13, 2017
Nimble has partnered with CircleBack, which offers an AI-powered contact capture and cleaning tool that updates contacts and scans business cards automatically. The CircleBack tool captures email signatures in Gmail and G Suite in real time, automatically adding new contacts to a user's list. The tool photographs or scans business cards and adds the information to contact lists as well.
Oracle's Numbers
September 11, 2017
Oracle will announce its Q1 revenue and profit numbers after market close on Wednesday. There's more than a little excitement about what might be revealed, specifically if the company can continue its rise, thanks to its cloud products. The anticipated answer is yes, but there's potential for a surprise. The company so far has been posting great numbers for its cloud products.
Enterprise SaaS Market Skyrockets: Report
September 5, 2017
The enterprise SaaS market grew 31 percent year over year, totaling almost $15 billion in revenue in Q2 2017, according to Synergy Research. Collaboration was the highest growth segment. Microsoft is the clear leader in overall enterprise SaaS revenues, having overtaken Salesforce a year ago. Microsoft's acquisition last year of LinkedIn gave its SaaS operations a significant boost.
How Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Can Stand Up to E-Commerce
August 31, 2017
Brick-and-mortar retailers have been finding it difficult to offer pricing that's competitive with e-commerce sites, which have the advantage of massive scope and scale, according to a report Frost & Sullivan's Stratecast service released Wednesday. E-commerce will account for nearly 18 percent of the total retail market by 2025, the report projects.
Rise in Mobile Commerce Fuels Demand for Omnichannel Service
August 30, 2017
Omnichannel support and communications are becoming essential for brands, as consumers' increasing use of mobile devices to make purchases and access content fuels their demand to be able to connect with companies when and how they want. However, brands lack the necessary expertise and infrastructure, and are turning to mobile network operators, or MNOs, to acquire omnichannel capabilities.
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It's enabling many more people to engage in serious discussions.
It's functioning mostly as an echo chamber.
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