Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Subscriber Experience Impacts Recurring Revenue

Posted by Ventana Research on Nov 8, 2015 11:19:15 AM

The digital economy has changed the way many companies provide products. Some no longer deliver packaged products but provide them as services over a network, typically the Internet. Telecommunications providers in particular are familiar with this business model and have developed processes and systems that use innovations such as product bundles that include elements of fixed charges (such as cost of installation) and variable charges based on usage (such as the number of calls made) and means of registering customers on the network, collecting usage data, invoicing and collections. This model has been adopted increasingly by the software industry, replacing a single license fee and maintenance charges for on-premises products with software as a service in which users access products over the Internet and pay per user and/or for usage. Adoption of this model by other types of business has led them to think of customers as subscribers.

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Topics: Big Data, Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Marketing, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM)

New Generation of Recurring Revenue and Billing Inspired from Cloud Computing

Posted by Richard Snow on Jun 22, 2014 10:59:07 PM

Much has been written about how cloud computing changes the way businesses source their software and services. For software companies, instead of being installed inside the company, software like business applications run on a computer installed at an external site. If the external site is not shared with any other business, this is called a private cloud; if it is owned and operated by a third party and supports more than one business, it is called a public cloud. In the case of public clouds, users access the applications via the Internet, and increasing they can do this while out of the office, using laptops or mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The main advantages of this model are that companies don’t need to invest in hardware or support staff to install and maintain hardware or software like these applications, the vendor handles system updates and users can work anywhere (including on the move) by logging in through a Web browser or an application designed specifically for mobile technology. Our research confirms that the overall importance is overall important in more than half (57%) of organizations.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Mobile Apps, Self-service, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Force Optimization

Customer Analytics Research Reveals Required Capabilities for Software

Posted by Richard Snow on Mar 29, 2014 9:52:42 AM

Our recently released research into next-generation customer analytics shows that the most participants (52%) use spreadsheets as a customer analytics tool. I recently wrote that while these popular tools are adequate for some tasks, they are not suitable for analyzing large volumes and many types of customer data. So I think it is appropriate that one in four (26%) participants have adopted a dedicated customer analytics tool and a further 29 percent are planning to invest in such a tool in the next 24 months.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Text Analytics

Failure in Agent Workforce Optimization Adoption Plagues Customer Interaction

Posted by Richard Snow on Dec 5, 2013 7:39:39 AM

Ventana Research defines workforce optimization as a set of processes and technology for customer agents that include interaction (call) recording, quality monitoring, workforce management, training and coaching, compensation management and analytics. My benchmark research into next-generation workforce optimization set out to discover the people, processes, information and systems companies are using to get more from their customer service agents, the benefits they have gained, their plans to change and the barriers holding back those changes. Our research projects apply the Ventana Research Maturity Model™ to evaluate the maturity of organizations in a given market or with respect to a business or IT process. In this case our analysis shows that based on current practices nearly half of companies are at the lowest Tactical level of maturity and only 13 percent have reached the highest Innovative level. Closer examination of the results shows that companies are least mature in their use of technology for workforce optimization, with half at the Tactical level. Much has changed in the way companies handle customer interactions. Two of the biggest changes I have seen in various research are that companies now support more channels of communication and more employees around the organization are involved in handling interactions, meaning companies need to review their workforce optimization systems and begin to take advantage of these advances. Yet the research shows that most of them aren’t yet doing that.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Experience, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM)

Infor Aims to Reinvent Business Applications

Posted by Richard Snow on Nov 6, 2013 8:20:24 AM

Infor is a vendor I haven’t covered much in the past, but after attending the recent Infor on the Road day in the U.K. that is about to change. I viewed Infor as basically a CRM vendor, and I don’t believe such systems have much impact on customer engagement and the customer experience. Indeed if you view Infor website’s product page, it features several product categories focused on internal processes: CRM, Asset Management, Financial Management, Resource Planning, Human Capital Management and Product Management. (By the way, my colleague Robert Kugel wrote about some of these after his visit to Inforum.) If like me you are not technically minded, you might skip the technology section, which is where Infor showcases innovation in business applications.

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Topics: Big Data, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Speech Analytics, Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Text Analytics, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

IBM Social Business Bets on Key Application and Technologies

Posted by Richard Snow on Oct 24, 2013 8:23:57 AM

I recently attended an IBM event about its new social business products and services. I was skeptical at first: I have seen another vendor’s “social enterprise” come and go, and although companies need to address customer use of social media, I don’t think “social” is the path businesses should take; it is more to do with collaboration. However, I quickly learned that IBM sees things rather differently. Its starting point is the need for companies to make their workforces smarter – something I agree with. Employees are the heart of a company; for example, according to my research into customer service and the agent desktop, not only do happy, empowered employees twice as often deliver superior customer experiences, but they also meet customer-related targets more often, and deliver or retain more satisfied and more loyal customers who spend more.

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Topics: Big Data, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Speech Analytics, Self-service, Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Text Analytics, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Customer Engagement Day Reveals New Issues and Opportunity

Posted by Richard Snow on May 1, 2012 11:15:47 AM

I recently attended the second in the series of customer engagement days organized by the Directors Club (GB & NI). The format of the event was the same as the first day that I wrote about and included three keynote presentations and three roundtable sessions where attendees discussed how organizations should engage with customers. As for the first event I chaired the roundtable on perfecting multichannel customer engagement in the contact center and gave a keynote on how social media is impacting the contact center.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Sustainability, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Genesys, InContact, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), Interactive Intelligence, IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Noble Systems, Verint

Aria Heralds a New Era for Billing Systems

Posted by Richard Snow on Apr 12, 2012 10:25:01 AM

Recently I was introduced to Aria, which provides a billing and subscription management system in the cloud. Its target customer is any company that offers subscription- and/or usage-based services. Its core module allows users to set up a product catalogue that consists of plans (such as subscription charges or recurring use charges) and inventory items. Usage-based charges can be based on a scale; for example, the first 10 occurrences are charged at one rate, the next 10 at another rate and so on. Users can create a plan by modifying an existing plan or by picking items from a list. Plans are hierarchical, making it easy for companies to update and manage plans built on lower-level plans; for example, a platinum service plan can be made up of a combination of lower-level services such as bronze or silver. Users can also create dependencies – for example, specifying that a plan must include software support or cannot include 7-by-24 calls. Inventory items are one-offs – for example, a modem that allows connection to hosted disc storage – and each of these can have its own charging structure. This may seem complicated, but a demonstration showed that the process consists mainly of ticking boxes or dragging and dropping prebuilt items.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM)