Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

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 Management, 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 Management, 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), Agent desktop, unified communication, virtual agent, voice of the customer (VoC), workforce optimization

Agents Performance Management is Hot for Successful Customer Interactions

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 16, 2012 12:23:44 PM

Our benchmark research into agent performance management shows that the majority of companies are not very mature in their use of people, processes, information and technology in handling customer interactions. Companies are most mature is their use of information, but even in this area they are hampered by their failure to use the latest technologies available to support their efforts.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, VPI, CallCopy, Enkata, Envision, Genesys, in Contact, KnopahSoft, LiveOps, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, coaching, Compensation Management, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Agent Analytics, Aspect, OnviSource, Training, Verint, Workforce Force Optimization

Echopass Demonstrates Value of Contact Center in the Cloud

Posted by Richard Snow on May 31, 2012 11:09:27 AM

Our benchmark research into the contact center in the cloud shows that almost all companies now support multiple communication channels to engage with customers. Most of them also involve multiple business units in handling inbound and outbound interactions. More companies now support at-home agents, and contact centers are becoming more distributed. These scenarios are a good fit for cloud-based systems, and the research finds that the top three ways organizations said they can meet these challenges, and thus improve the way interactions are handled, are to improve training and coaching, adopt applications in the cloud and adopt communications in the cloud. It also shows that organizations have high expectations of cloud-based systems, expecting them to require less capital expenditure, facilitate innovation in interaction handling, lessen demand on in-house resources, including IT and better support home-based agents.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Echopass, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Business Intelligence (BI), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Information Applications (IA), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Cloudforce UK Shows Salesforce.com at Its Best

Posted by Richard Snow on May 24, 2012 11:14:00 AM

When the Salesforce.com marketing machine rolls into town, you have to sit up and listen, and that’s what 14,000 attendees did at the latest Cloudforce event in London. The company took over a vast portion of the ExCel London Exhibition Centre to accommodate the keynote speech, lots of side events and meeting rooms and an expo floor where attendees could see demonstrations of every product and service, including many from partners showing what they have to offer.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, LiveOps, NewVoicemedia, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Business Intelligence (BI), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Information Applications (IA), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Vocalcom

Splunk Provides Intelligence for Customer Analytics

Posted by Richard Snow on May 22, 2012 1:04:49 PM

Recently my colleague Mark Smith wrote about Splunk and its latest technology supporting analytics for IT on machine data and providing operational intelligence. I wasn’t familiar with the company, which has focused on IT users and improving the performance of a company’s networks and IT systems. From a customer management perspective, these are of little interest unless they impact the customer experience; for example, if the website is down or the online banking system is unavailable. But in a follow-up briefing I learned that Splunk is increasingly playing in the business analytics market and has several user cases that relate directly to customers.

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Topics: Customer Experience Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Splunk, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Intelligence (BI), Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Genesys Moves into Mobile Self-Service for Customers

Posted by Richard Snow on May 21, 2012 11:29:55 AM

It has been a busy time for Genesys, a company best known for computer/telephony integration (CTI) and routing software for contact centers. In February it split from Alcatel-Lucent and announced that with financial backing from two investment funds it was going forward as a stand-alone company. Over the last few years Genesys has diversified its portfolio to include workforce optimization, agent desktop, intelligent customer front door (ICFD) and analytics. Amid the current economic uncertainties, going it alone might seem risky and lead it to focus on these core products before expanding more. Not so; at its recent customer event, it announced a new product, Genesys Mobile Engagement, that it says “links mobile apps to customer service agents.”

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Topics: Customer Experience Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Genesys, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Intelligence (BI), Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Information Applications (IA), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

NICE Systems Mobile Customer Self-Service Connects to Agents

Posted by Richard Snow on May 18, 2012 11:35:23 AM

Conventional wisdom in the contact center is that self-service options for customers reduce the number of their telephone calls. However, my benchmark research into the use of technology in contact centers throws doubt on this, finding that companies still expect the volume of interactions through all channels, including the phone, to increase. This is further supported by my benchmark research into customer experience management which shows many customers starting out with self-service opt to call the contact center because they cannot resolve their issues. In recognition that for the foreseeable future agent-assisted service is likely to sit alongside self-service,  NICE Systems recently announced Mobile Reach,an application that ties self-service on mobile devices to agent assistance.

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Topics: Customer Experience Management, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Intelligence (BI), Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Information Applications (IA), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Make It Simple for Customers To Engage with You

Posted by Richard Snow on May 8, 2012 10:01:02 AM

A recent research project involving 7,000 consumers carried out by the Harvard Business Review concluded that to retain customers and get them to buy more products, organizations must make it simple for people to engage with them, provide information they trust and allow them to weigh their options before they buy. The research found that consumers are bombarded with information and choices, and as a result they tend to go down the easiest route, which often leads them to take a blinkered view: I haven’t got the time and energy to consider options so I’ll take this one.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Interactive Intelligence Offers Customers Mobile Self-Service

Posted by Richard Snow on May 7, 2012 10:10:05 AM

Interactive Intelligence announced Interaction Mobilizer, the latest application in its growing portfolio of products. As I recently wrote, Interactive Intelligence has come a long way since it launched its first software-based PBX in 1994. It was a pioneer in offering contact center applications in the cloud, which now include communications in the cloud and products for workforce optimization. The latest announcement follows similar ones from other vendors also announcing applications to support mobile self-service. Each of those products supports slightly different sets of capabilities, but all of them follow the trend to provide organizations with another channel through which customers can interact with them, and support customers who want self-service capabilities from their smartphones or tablets.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Business Intelligence (BI), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Information Applications (IA), Interactive Intelligence, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)