Posts tagged: customer communications

Highlights from DSF18: The DOCUMENT Strategy Forum

David Stabel
 Jun 12, 2018

Celebrating its 10th year, the 2018 DOCUMENT Strategy Forum (DSF18) was held last month (May 21 – 23) in downtown Boston, MA. This peer-driven, peer-reviewed, and peer-produced conference is designed to educate professionals on how to deliver and manage customer communications, customer engagement, and information management. As was the case in previous years, the 2018 event offered a wide array of educational sessions, executive round tables, panels, and inspiring keynotes. Visitors had plenty of opportunities to network with industry peers or any of the 44 exhibitors in attendance.

This year’s opening keynote speech was given by Ian Khan, a world-renowned speaker and author. During his keynote entitled “Tomorrow 4.0: Are You Ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?”, he asserted that man and machine are coming together in new and unprecedented ways in today’s era of digital disruption.

Industrial revolutions are momentous events, and many experts believe that only a few have occurred to date. The first was triggered in the 1700s by the commercial steam engine and the mechanical loom. The second took place prior to World War I with the harnessing of electricity and mass production. The third occurred when technology shifted from analog electronic and mechanical devices to digital technologies and computers. A number of industry strategists now believe that we have entered the fourth revolution, which builds on the third revolution. It is driven by interconnected digital technologies and has been marked by technological breakthroughs in a number of fields.

During his keynote speech, Khan hinted that we might actually be on the cusp of a fifth Industrial Revolution, which is all about Artificial Intelligence (AI). He believes that many of today’s emerging technologies will impact industries more profoundly in the very near future than they have in the past 500 years.

Timur Kalimov, Vice President of Products and Services at HyperScience, expanded on Khan’s keynote by talking about the claims that vendors make about AI. When it comes to Artificial Intelligence, Kalimov suggests being skeptical of vendors that fall into the following categories:

  • “Singularity” vendors basically claim that their AI solutions can handle everything in terms of performing machine learning. For machine learning to work well, though, the AI solution must develop a painstaking understanding of the specific business problems that the company is working to address. Unfortunately, none of today’s AI solutions have been able to master this capability.
  • “Trainer” vendors promise to deliver a working product after the business has provided its customer data. The challenge is that this data will not usually have been collected with machine learning in mind, and it will often be subject to strict security and privacy constraints. Furthermore, since machine learning is  uncertain by its very nature, it is impossible to know if a functional solution is even a reality at the outset.
  • “Perfectionist” vendors promise 100% automation with no human involvement. The issue with this approach is that neither people nor machines are perfect. The reality is that machines will need human supervision when real-world problems arise.

Another concept that was front and center during the sessions at DSF 18 was the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was officially implemented on May 25, 2018. The legislation is expected to influence the formation of data localization laws on a global basis, and it will likely have a major impact on where and how enterprises do business. During a Compliance Power Session during DSF 18, Lauren Barnes (S&P Global), Kurt Neumann (Prime Therapeutics), Tom Serven (State Street), and Lane Severson (Doculabs) spoke about how today’s businesses can prepare for regulations like GDPR. Although this is a European initiative, GDPR is expected to have wide-ranging implications for companies on a worldwide basis.

According to survey data on Marketing Communications from Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends, only 41% of respondents in North America and 56% of those in Western Europe had already taken steps to prepare for GDPR. Most respondents were at least aware of the regulation, but the share of respondents who were unaware of it was considerably higher in North America than it was in Europe.

Another common theme that came up multiple times during the educational sessions at DSF 18 was the commoditization of the customer experience. Today’s businesses are strongly focused on delivering a better overall experience to increase customer satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty. In response to this, a number of vendors are developing solutions that are designed to improve specific parts of the overall customer experience.

Alan Pelz-Sharpe of DEEP ANALYSIS presented a session on the impact of blockchain during the PFMA Annual Conference, which was co-located with DSF 18. Pelz-Sharpe believes that blockchain—a shared digital ledger for recording the history of transactions—will be the biggest disruptor of business information management in decades.

Blockchain is distributed across a network, so the entire ledger is stored multiple times in various locations. Every computer that is part of the blockchain network will contain a complete copy of the entire ledger. This method of storage is absolutely secure because the ledger in the blockchain is immutable and cannot be changed. This makes it ideal for documenting contracts, legal documents, and other critical documentation along a variety of supply chains.

The 10th annual DOCUMENT Strategy Forum placed a strong focus on transforming processes, the changing regulatory landscape, and disruptive technologies. Artificial Intelligence, regulations like GDPR, the customer experience, and blockchain will continue to shape and reshape our industry. Industry players must keep pace with and react to these new and emerging trends, and educational events like DSF are a great way for service providers and vendors to ensure that they can do just that!

Around the World in 50 Billion Customer Communications

Will Morgan
 Jun 26, 2017

Some might call it overkill. We just call it being thorough.

When we set out to interview 50 key stakeholders in the customer communications space, most of our peers thought we were being too ambitious. Well, 60 interviews (and 250+ pages of notes) later, we had managed to gather insight from customer communications service providers and other stakeholders who represented over 50 billion printed, electronic, and mobile communications delivered in 2016.

Highlighted in a press release today to announce its publication, the resulting report, entitled Enterprise Customer Communications—Trends and Strategies from Around the Globe, includes perspective from some of the largest players in the customer communications market, as well as important smaller providers with deep vertical and regional insights.

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This 43-page analysis examines in detail the top ten trends driving enterprise expectations and aspirations for customer communications. Here is some insight into three of them:

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Highlights of Adobe’s Marketing Summit 2017 in Las Vegas

Ashley Bilko
 Apr 10, 2017

Recently at the Venetian in Las Vegas, Adobe employees, partners, customers, press and analysts gathered for the annual digital marketing conference, Adobe Summit 2017. With over 250 sessions this year, the event drew over 12,000 attendees—a 20% increase over last year’s participation—including more than 120 sponsors and 1,500+ partners.

Adobe Summit 2017 Welcome Banner

Adobe Summit 2017 Welcome Banner

The event took place over the course of three jam-packed days with a little something for everyone in attendance. Keynotes and break-out session topics ranged from cross-channel marketing, to customer experience, data-driven marketing, integrated marketing, mobile marketing, and programmatic advertising.

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Digitization of Banks: A Shift from Back-end to Front-end Thinking

David Stabel
 Feb 16, 2017

In the age of enterprise digitization and increasing competition within the banking industry–from established players to disruptive outsiders–banks are accelerating the modernization of their customer communications technologies. Key strategic goals often associated with this technology overhaul include customer experience improvement and operational efficiency as our 2016 customer communications technology enterprise research shows. Banking respondents of this research cite that improving customer experience is the number one business objective relative to invest in this technology, followed closely by improving the efficiency of front office employees.

Trying to implement these goals has proven to be a big challenge. Accumulated IT systems over the last generation created a legacy IT architecture—including siloed point solutions, custom integrations, and self-developed scripts—inhibiting innovation in this area for keeping up with new digital competition. That said, we are also seeing successful initiatives as this case of DZ BANK AG (DZB) in Europe.

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DZB is the third largest bank in Germany and is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The company is conducting a multi-year digitalization project within its corporate banking strategic business unit (SBU). InfoTrends had the opportunity to be briefed on this initiative.

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Takeaways From the SPS Analyst Summit in Vietnam

David Stabel
 Dec 15, 2016

Swiss Post Solutions (SPS) recently invited the analyst community to its Industry Analyst Symposium held in Vietnam on November 23-26. During this multi-day symposium, SPS’ senior management briefed analysts on the SPS business, its latest technology innovations, as well as on its Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) strategy. Analysts were also invited for site visits to both of its Vietnam offshore facilities in Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho City. This blog post covers our takeaways from the event.

SPS

SPS Industry Analyst Symposium in Vietnam, Nov 23-26, 2016

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Reinventing HP Inc.: The 2016 Industry Analyst Summit

Jim Hamilton
 Jul 1, 2016

Last week HP Inc. brought a sizeable group of industry analysts to Boston for the first time since splitting from Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The goal was to discuss its priorities and outline how it intends to grow. The company’s bold vision and mission statements set the tone for the details that followed:

  • Vision: Create technology that makes life better for everyone everywhere
  • Mission: Engineer experiences that amaze

HP Strategy

Dion Weisler kicked off the event by outlining the company’s strategy and describing four major trends that impact the company’s decisions: Read more »

Highlights of Xploration 15, the Customer Communications Conference

David Stabel
 Apr 23, 2015

Last week, customer communications conference Xploration 15 hosted around 350 participants in Orlando, Florida. This annual conference is a major industry event with more than 60 educational sessions for vendors, service providers, and enterprise attendees.

The educational sessions covered a broad range of CCM topics including workflow and automation-related technology, e-presentment and payment technology and innovation, hosted/cloud managed models, as well as strategy considerations for outsourcing versus maintaining in-house operations. InfoTrends hosted two sessions that covered a review of highlights from our annual customer communications research, and insights on the importance of CCM in an increasing connected world.

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The Customer Journey as the New Paradigm for Customer Communications Management

David Stabel
 Mar 19, 2015

The paradigm for Customer Communications Management (CCM) has changed throughout the years, shifting from transactional mainframe printing to the enablement of personalized and targeted communications, from cost-based to profit-enabling with TransPromo, and from customer service to managing the customer experience. The discussions around customer communications today are about optimizing customer engagement or optimizing ALL customer engagements (touchpoints) that a customer experiences when interacting with a brand (i.e., a customer’s journey). In this blog, I briefly discuss what makes up a customer’s journey and how CCM can be a part of it.

The Customer Communications Journey

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Broadridge and Pitney Bowes Double Down on Digital Delivery with Launch of Inlet

Matt Swain
 Jun 9, 2014

Broadridge Financial Solutions and Pitney Bowes announced today that they have formed a joint venture and launched a new technology platform named Inlet. Inlet is being billed as a platform “that will make it easier for companies to distribute statements, bills and other documents to consumers via participating online channels.” Essentially, this means that the approach is to act as a behind the scenes secure digital mail aggregation service that will be made available to businesses seeking expanded online services functionality for their customers.

The Wall Street Journal preempted the press release and reported on the announcement last Friday.

The logo has been deliberately designed to Read more »

How Social Networking and User Generated Content are changing Customer Communications

David Stabel
 May 26, 2014

On May 22nd, censhare AG, a software provider of business communications solutions for a variety of industries, organized its third Futureday conference (Futureday 2014) after two successful Futureday conferences in 2010 and 2012. More than 400 international experts, analysts, and entrepreneurs travelled to Munich, Germany, to discuss the role of technology on customer-centric corporate strategies and business models.

 

Dieter Reichert, CEO of censhare

The conference started off with several presentations showing how social networking and user generated content is changing today’s communications and is more and more influencing corporate strategies and business models. Following the presentations, a panel of experts discussed about customer engagements and marketing automation. Here is a brief summary of the observations made by Infotrends.

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2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

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