Posts tagged: Customer Engagement

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!

Highlights of the SmartVideo Summit 2017

David Stabel
 May 5, 2017

SundaySky recently held its fifth annual SmartVideo Summit in New York, NY. This year, SundaySky invited a couple hundred partners, customers, and analysts to discuss “The Art of Personalization.” SundaySky also used the Summit to update the community on its latest developments and strategic direction moving forward.

Jim Dicso, CEO at SundaySky

Jim Dicso, CEO at SundaySky

In the opening presentation, Jim Dicso, CEO of SundaySky, discussed the importance of scaling personalized customer engagements to tackle the strategic challenge of improving customer experience. This next generation of personalization is all about moving from simple (“Hello Jim…”) to individual/one-to-one personalization (“Just for you…”).

AT&T, Hilton Worldwide, Royal Bank of Canada, Verizon, and others shared their challenges and successes as they implemented personalized video campaigns as a mean to elevate their respective organization’s personalization capabilities. In addition to the presentations, there were networking opportunities, as well as a chance to speak with SundaySky’s senior management and specialists.

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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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Highlights from the Pitney Bowes 2017 Software Technology Analyst Summit

David Stabel
 Apr 6, 2017

Pitney Bowes held a Software Technology Analyst Summit in Half Moon Bay, California, on February 28 to March 1. It was the first dedicated technology analyst event in several years for the company. With 34 analysts from 19 firms in attendance from around the world, including senior executives from Pitney Bowes, the Software team was making a statement that they were ready to put their corporate wide go-to-market strategy center stage with the analyst community.

Marc Lautenbach

Pitney Bowes had put together a comprehensive and highly informative 1.5 day program to bring participants up-to-date on its software strategy, latest business developments, and latest software innovations. Next to the agenda and scheduled 1:1 meetings with senior management, participants had plenty of opportunities to network or to get live demonstrations on some of Pitney Bowes’ latest software innovations.

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Customer Journey Management: A Natural Evolution of CCM

David Stabel
 Oct 14, 2016

Enterprise priorities today are strongly propelled by improving customer experience. With only about 28% of enterprise respondents in our 2016 Annual Customer Engagement Technologies State of the Market study being satisfied with the experiences they deliver to their customers, there seems to be significant room for improving customer experience. For some enterprises, this means turning to the practice of Customer Journey Management.

CJM

We define Customer Journey Management as the automation of (or parts of) customer communications in each point of engagement along the customer journey. This includes customer communications management, dash-boarding and reporting on the customer journey, journey mapping, as well as incorporating collaboration capabilities which allow stakeholders across an organization to actively participate in the customer conversation.

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Highlights of the OpenText Dialogue Conference 2016

David Stabel
 Oct 10, 2016

OpenText recently invited more than 350 customers, prospects, partners, and analysts to its Dialogue 2016 conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The team rebranded this former HP Engage event to focus on the digital transformation for meaningful conversations across multiple channels. This was the first major event to take place after OpenText acquired the HP Engage and HP Exstream assets for a total transaction price of $485 million.

Dialogie2016

Last year’s event expanded the focus to the full HP Software portfolio, while this year’s event generally focused more narrowly on the Exstream, TeleForm, and LiquidOffice investments.  As in previous years, the event focused on extensive educational sessions directed toward IT and marketing professionals, with networking opportunities to help cultivate a stronger user community. Here are our key takeaways from the event.

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Who’s Buying What: Acquisitions in the CCM Vendor Market

David Stabel
 Sep 26, 2016

Over the last decade the vendors in the Customer Communication Management (CCM) market have been actively participating in mergers and acquisitions on a global scale. The recent acquisitions done by OpenText, Accell-KKR, and Kofax (a Lexmark company), however, have brought some major changes to the CCM vendor landscape. Among others, these players find that the CCM market is attractive, in part because of its global market size today of around $1B and growing at an estimated 10% (CAGR ’14-’19). New business in this market is driven by opportunities within enterprises who increasingly become digital including their communications.

CCM vendors

Key Acquiring & Acquired CCM Vendors 2010-Present

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HP Inc Continues to Divest its Software Assets to OpenText

David Stabel
 Jun 21, 2016

OpenText announced yesterday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Customer Communications Management (CCM) assets from HP Inc for USD $315M following an earlier acquisition of HP Inc’s customer engagement software assets for USD $170M (read InfoTrends’ blog on this here). The transaction is expected to be finalized by early 2017 and is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

HP and OpenText Logos

Included in the sale this time is HP Exstream, HP Output Management, HP TeleForm and HP LiquidOffice for CCM, process automation, and document delivery solutions. Additionally, OpenText and HP Inc also announced that they will look into opportunities to work together to continue to expand their software solutions to benefit customers of both companies while moving forward with this transaction.

According to the announcement, OpenText expects to generate between USD $110M and USD $125M of annualized revenues, which means they are seeking a 2.5 to 3 year return on investment.

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Highlights from Xploration 16

David Stabel
 Apr 13, 2016

Last week, customer communications conference Xploration 16 hosted around 355 participants in Orlando, Florida. While attendance was about the same as last year, there were 141 first time attendees registered. With more than 55 educational sessions and panels for vendors, service providers, and enterprise attendees, this annual conference continues to be an important industry event.

The educational sessions covered a broad range of customer communications management (CCM) topics including analytics, business intelligence, production management, managing multi-channel and omni-channel communications, mobile strategies, as well as evolving trends such as personalized video, customer experience (CX), and customer engagement. Two educational tracks took a special focus on executives and career development and discussed topics such as compliance auditing, data security, M&A, RFPs, and topics around personnel management.

We have long been supporters of Xplor and this year we hosted two sessions and sat on two panels. Our sessions focused on providing high-level insights from annual research within our Customer Engagement Technologies and Transactional Communications & Payments advisory services.

Picture1

David Stabel and Matt Swain presenting highlights of InfoTrends’ annual research on customer communications

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OpenText’s Mark Barrenechea Talks About Digital Disruption

David Stabel
 Mar 9, 2016

On March 7-8, OpenText’s Innovation Tour 2016 took place nearby Munich, Germany. This user conference, part of a global series of events held in five cities around the world, hosted more than 750 participants. The conference featured keynote speeches, several customer and partner presentations, and breakout session focusing on a variety of topics around the digitalization of the enterprise – all focused on this year’s theme of Enabling the Digital World.

In his keynote, Mark Barrenechea, CEO and CTO of OpenText, talked about the digital enterprise revolution, the importance of enterprise information management (EIM), and their next generation EIM platform: Release 16. Here are the key take-aways from his keynote.

Keynote of Mark Barrenechea, CEO and CTO of OpenText.

Keynote of Mark Barrenechea, CEO and CTO of OpenText.

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2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

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