The Need for Customer Experience is Based on Science Not Myth

The need for customer experience to improve is not a myth. In fact, here’s why. Noted psychology researcher and writer Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi observed in 1998 that people who perform seamless, sequence-based activities on a regular basis are happier than people who don’t[i]. He coined the term “flow” to describe this behavior. With the advent of CoIT, we’ve actually imposed a new set of demands on our customer’s brains. But instead of offering a series of smoothly sequential flows, websites and mobile applications are characterized by lag, downtime, and restarts. And at the same time customer’s flow-oriented brains simply aren’t wired to deal with poor digital experience interactions. Science has shown the business need for great customer experiences is a fact, not a myth.

And it can be tempting to label customers picky and impatient. But there’s a wealth of research on what happens to customers at a neurological level when they are forced to deal with slow or interrupted processes.[i] Their impatience is an indelible part of their human circuitry. Brands must recognize that customers’ hardwiring of the brain’s and their neurological desire for flow and easy of use as part of the cost of doing business. Companies must come to terms with the economic imperative of the customer experience or drive customers to their competitors because of their poor focus on customer experiences.

Fast websites and mobile experience create happier users. Those happier users are more likely to follow “calls to action” to register, download, subscribe, request information, or purchase. Unhappy users, which could include those who experience a mere two-second slowdown in how a web page loads, make almost two percent fewer queries, three point seven-five percent click less often, and report being significantly less satisfied with their overall experience[i]. Worse, they tell their friends about their negative experience. With the word-of-mouth social networks provide, brands need to heed the seriousness of differentiating their brand’s customer experience or be left in the dust.

Response Times have been consistent for 45 years. Based on neuroscience, the facts about human perception and response times have been consistent for more than forty-five years[i]. In fact, these numbers are hard-wired in human brains. And they are consistent regardless of the type of device, application, or connection a customer is using. In fact, that’s key to where customer expectations come from thus important to capitalize on. And what’s critical is determining where a brand’ web / mobile sites compare to customer expectations as well as benchmarking against CoIT applications or competitors or even non-competitors who have a great customer experience.

Response Time Has Not changed Much. In Robert B. Miller’s 1968 paper, “Response Time in Man-Computer Conversational Transactions[ii]“, found people have always been most comfortable, most efficient and most productive with response times of less than two seconds. Since 2006, what has changed slightly is the average online shopper expects pages to load in four seconds or less. Today, forty-nine percent expect page load times of two seconds or less, and eighteen percent expect pages to load instantly[iii]. And while optimizing every aspect of a brand’s digital assets to meet an “instant” expectation is a laudable goal, organizations simply may not have initially budgeted the resources to achieve these goals. Digital experience maturity, however, provides teams the ability to identify the interaction points in the digital customer journey most sensitive to improvement so they can maximize return on performance investment and include this in the budget and resource planning activities. Here’s the results of the Walmart study on page load times and conversion rates:

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Businesses can keep arguing that customer experience doesn’t matter, it’s a touchy-feely construct or get it directly affects the bottom-line and start by designing and measuring customer experience performance management. For more on this see my report, here.

@drnatalie petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst

Covering Customer-Facing Applications


[ii]Robert B. Miller’s 1968 paper, “Response Time in Man-Computer Conversational Transactions,



[i]Dual-task interference in simple tasks: Data and theory. Pashler, Harold Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 116(2), Sep 1994, 220-244.

[i] The Concept of Flow: Handbook of Positive Psychology, Nakamura, J. and Csikszentmihayi, M. 2002.


Guest Post: Operational Information to Include in Your Business Plan


Benjamin Franklin said that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. This is especially true when business planning. A business plan will be the road map that you follow as you create and grow your business. Central to the plan is the operational information that will link all of the parts together and transform your idea into a viable business.

Components of a Business Plan

Before focusing on one part of the business plan, it is important to understand all of the pieces that make up a good plan because they are all interrelated. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a typical business plan will have an executive summary, company description, market analysis and marketing methodology, management, services or product, and a financial projection. Each of these parts is dependent on information from other parts. For example, financial projections will influence the speed of manufacturing and vice versa. If you can only make 10 items a day, you either need to have a high price point or a low financial projection.

Start With the Market

There are several theories for developing a price structure, but the easiest is to set your price comparable to that of the industry average. Once you have your unit prices for products or services, you will multiply this by the number that you can make in a month to get your monthly revenue. Conversely, if you know how much you want to make per month, you can divide this by your unit cost to get the number for production in the month. Since all of your financial analysis comes from revenue and revenue comes from service or product delivery, this is the first important piece of operational information that you will need.

Know the Competition

Your competition will be one of your primary operational drivers. Do not look at them as an enemy. Instead, see competitors as businesses that have already achieved a market share and use them as a model of success. Most successful manufacturing companies have their pertinent information online. For example, Apple Rubber has material guides for its o-rings posted on its site. Assimilate this data into your operational plans instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

Develop Flowcharts

There are a lot of moving parts to any business. It is one of the reasons that you want to plan it out. To truly understand the minutia of your operations, use a flowchart and plan out every element of the process from concept to delivery of products. Since one of the reasons for a business plan is to prove competency to an investor, the operations flowchart should be done with extreme detail. The ordering of supplies, quality assurance and distribution all need to make an appearance. If this is for a sole employee business, then the flowchart needs to show all of your activities, including marketing, accounting and service delivery.

The Cost of Space

The space needed to run your operation is directly influenced by the business structure, type of business and number of employees. This information also flows into your financial analysis as the purchase of a building will change the structure of your assets. Decide whether to purchase or lease and do not forget to include various fees associated with real estate. Weave all of this information throughout your plan so that it gives the most guidance possible for you and your business.


About the Author:

Paul Reyes-Fournier has served as the chief financial officer for social service organizations, churches and schools. He created his ownmarketing firm, RF Media. Paul holds a BS in physics and an MBA.


Dr. Natalie’s Research Agenda and Published Research

If you are wondering what I have been up to lately, I thought I would put all the research I have published  into one place. Here’s a list of Dr. Natalie’s completed and published research and soon to be published content! It ranges from IOT, Analytics, Big Data, Customer Experience, Leadership, Organizational Change Management, Storytelling, Collaboration, Digital Transformation, Social Selling, Social Media, the Cloud, Marketing, Sales, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, DaaS, AI, Machine Learning, Innovation, Social Networks, Social Media Monitoring, Mobile, Customer Service and Customer Success Management….and a few things in-between…

IOT (The Internet of Things), Innovation, AI, Machine Learning, Analytics and the Cloud

• The Algorithm of You: How IoT Transforms and Differentiates Customer Experience: Using the Internet of Things to Boost Revenue and Deliver a Brand’s Personalized Promise

• Digital Disruption: The Blind Spot That Could Sink Your IoT and CX Initiatives

• The Internet of Things Improves Customer Experience in Retail Supply Chain

• The As-a-Service Economy: CX and IOT Mean You Have to Deliver Great Experiences- Upcoming

• Customer Experience IOT in the Automotive Industry-Upcoming


Digital Transformation: Customer Engagement, CRM, Innovation, Customer Experience, Customer Service, The Cloud and Analytics

• ROI Of Customer Service & Customer Experience

• How to Measure Customer Experience: Performance Management Maturity-Upcoming

• Case Study: Elaine Turner® Brand and Oracle Commerce, Marketing and Customer Service-Upcoming

• The Need for Inspiring Leaders to Orchestrate Customer Experience Initiatives-Upcoming

• Experience Management: How to Deliver Integrated Customer Experiences

• How Rackspace Creates the Next-Generation Customer Experience

• The ROI Of Agile Customer Care: Reduce Training and Easy To Add Channels

• Digital Imperatives for Omni-Channel Retail Customer Experiences

• Nine Pillar Of Successful Self-Service for Digital Customer Engagement

• 6 Pillars of e-commerce Customer Engagement

• 9 C’s of Customer Engagement – Delivery and Communication Styles: Channels, Content and Cadence

• 9 C’s of Customer Engagement – People Centric Values: External & Internal Culture, Community, Credibility

• 9 C’s of Customer Engagement – Right Time Drivers: Context, Catalysts, Currency

• How Delta Uses Microsoft Dynamics and Avanade to Create Next-Generation Customer Experiences

• How Microsoft Dynamics CRM Improves Productivity at Trek Bicycle

• Delta Uses Microsoft to Transform Flight Operations and the Customer Experience

• New Belgium Brewing Creates Great Customer Experiences Using Microsoft Dynamics

• Beyond Journey Maps, Delivering Mass Personalization at Scale

• The State of Customer Service and Support Evolves 


Social Media, Customer Service, CRM, Analytics, Innovation and the Cloud

• How General Motors Using Social Media To Listen To Customers and Sell Cars and Deliver Service

• The ROI of Online Communities: Online Communities Provide Value Beyond Call Deflection

• Why Top Marketers Create Branded Social Networks for Customer Engagement

• The State of Customer Service and Support Evolves 

• ROI of Social Customer Service- Upcoming

• The Customer Service Playbook for Integration of Traditional, Digital, Social and Mobile Customer Service Strategies and Technologies-Upcoming

• Mobile Customer Service-Upcoming


Digital Marketing, Analytics, Innovation and the Cloud

• Should the Chief Marketing Officer Oversee the Whole Customer Experience?

• Data-Driven Marketing Campaign Optimization

• VentureBeat: Should the CMO Run the Whole Customer Experience?

• Executive Brief: Can Brands Keep Their Promise?

• Oracle Moves Its Focus from the CIO to the CMO

• How to Staff the Team for Effective Content Marketing

• The State of Marketing 

• Marketing Funnels Are Dead, What’s Next?


Digital and Social Sales; Commerce, Innovation, Analytics and the Cloud

• How Sales Leaders and Sales Reps Can Create a Social Selling Organization: Convert Average Sales Teams into Top Performers Using Social Networks

• Five Approaches to Drive Customer Loyalty in a Digital World

• The Modern Sales Experience

• Continuity of Customer Experiences Drives the Future of Commerce


Customer Success Management, Analytics, Innovation and the Cloud

• The State of Customer Success Management

• Gainsight: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy

• ServiceSource: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy

• Bluenose: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy

• Totango: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy


If you are interested in learning about any of these reports or research, a speech or webinar on any of these or related topics, please reach out to me here!

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Innovative, Customer-Facing Applications that Create Great Customer Experiences








Guest Post: How Digital Technology Is Transforming Customer Data Collection

Digital business is increasing the potential monetary value of data, but most companies aren’t leveraging this valuable resource. Smart devices, mobile technology and social media are increasing the volume and variety of customer data available at an accelerated rate, turning data brokering into a multibillion dollar business while simultaneously making data more affordable than ever. General information about consumers is now available for about $0.50 per 1,000 people, estimates the Financial Times. Read on for the trends that are transforming data collection and the tools that smart companies are using to turn data into profit.

Internet of Things

One of the biggest technology trends is the increasing presence of smart electronic devices, a trend known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Earlier stages of the Internet were centered around personal computers and then mobile phones, and now the Internet of Things includes all sorts of smart devices, from smart houses to smart TVs to smart cars, watches and clothes.

All these devices collect data that is centered around the consumers who use these devices. This enables businesses to organize their market research and advertising efforts around the totality of data as well as individual uses, a trend known as marketing personalization. The Internet of Things means that the data collected can conceivably be used to personalize ads they see in their car, at work and while shopping.

Location-Based Data

The Internet of Things forms a digital mesh that enables consumers and their data to be pinpointed by location. Smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note5 are GPS-enabled, allowing marketers to collect data on their location and deliver personalized messages that appeal to customers at specific locations.

One of the emerging applications of this is beacon marketing, which identifies when customers are entering stores to deliver customized coupons, discounts and other special offers. For instance, Hillshire Brands saw a 36 percent increase in brand awareness and a 20 percent increase in purchase intent by using beacon technology.

Context-Sensitive Data

Data collection is becoming more context-sensitive. For instance, a webpage that displays well on a desktop screen needs to adjust to be viewable on a smaller mobile device screen. This means that the site needs to collect context-sensitive data about the viewer’s device and screen size.

Another context-sensitive use of data is retargeted advertising, when information gathered on one device follows users as they use other devices. For instance, Yahoo recently added a feature to its Gemini ad marketplace that enables advertisers to send retargeted ads to customers on websites, apps and Yahoo interest categories based on their browsing behavior.

Social Media Data

One of the most important data collection sources is social media. CMS Wire reports that 90 percent of the data available today was collected over the past two years and 80 percent of it came from social media use.

Social sites are seeking to capitalize on this, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google and YouTube all introducing buy button features last year. In 2016, social media brand engagement and buying will drive data collection, predicts Brandwatch.


About the Author

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance copywriter who helps small businesses get more customers and make more sales. His specialty is helping experts reach their target market with a focused sales message. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.


I’m Judging the SuperNova Awards: Make Sure to Submit Your Case Study

I’m judging the 2016 Constellation SuperNova Awards! Every year the Constellation SuperNova Awards recognize individuals for their leadership in digital business. Nominate yourself or someone you know before August 8, 2016.

About the SuperNova Awards
The SuperNova Awards honor leaders that demonstrate excellence in the application and adoption of new and emerging technologies. In its sixth year, the Constellation SuperNova Awards will recognize individuals who demonstrate leadership in nine categories:
•  Internet of Things – A network of smart objects enables smart services. (sensors, smart ‘things’, device to purchase, artificial intelligence)
•  Data to Decisions – Using data to make informed business decisions. (big data, predictive analytics)
•  Digital Marketing Transformation – Personalized, data-driven digital marketing.
•  Future of Work: Social Business – The technologies enabling teams to work together efficiently. (enterprise social networks, collaboration, digital assistants)
•  Future of Work: Human Capital Management – Enabling your organization to utilize your workforce as an asset.  (talent management, benefits, HR core)
•  Matrix Commerce – Commerce responds to changing realities from the supply chain to the storefront. (digital retail, supply chain, payments, ‘ubiquitous-channel’ retail)
•  Next Generation Customer Experience – Customers in the digital age demand seamless service throughout all lifecycle stages and across all channels.  (crm, customer experience)
•  Safety and Privacy – Strategies to secure sensitive data (blockchain, digital identity, authentication)
•  Technology Optimization & Innovation – Innovative methods to balance innovation and IT budgets. (innovation in the cloud, ENSW cost savings, cloud ERP, efficient app production)
The SuperNova Awards are seeking leaders and teams who have innovatively applied disruptive technolgies to their business models as a means of adapting to the rapidly-changing digital business environment. If you have what it takes to compete in the SuperNova Awards submit your application today:
If you are doing something really interesting, make sure to send in your case study! It’s your time to be recognized for your hard work!
@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Customer Facing Applications that Drive Awesome Customer Experience

From The Field: Adobe Conference 2016: Data as a Disrupter Report

Data as a Disrupter: The Adobe Summit was fantastic. The opening keynotes gave us insight into some of the new products and innovations. What’s clear is that digital disruption means taking all the data that can be collected about customers, using that voice of the customer data and making better business decisions. The idea of “know me,” “respect me,” and “speak in one voice” all create the experience.

Disrupting the Enterprise Adobe Summit know and respect me speak in one voice

The keynotes were all about fearless and breaking what you thought you knew and to reconstruct the truth about your products and services by using data as a digital disputer. Data is a way to connect to your audience, experiment with new content, stop doing the things that don’t work, appreciate your segments and the changing set list, being able to do all of this yourself and working pretty darn close to real-time, if not real-time. Be FEARLESS. This is not something easy for corporate cultures. It takes guts and being fearless. And Adobe announced the ability to help you learn the skills (if you don’t have them yet) to be able to data to work for you.

Develop mad skills

data as a disruptor







The Adobe Platform offers businesses the ability to connect the front and back offices, so key to making the customer experience actually work.

Adobe Platform

connecting the front and back office adobe summit

How Is The Data Being Applied? We got to listen to several company’s stories of digital transformation. Mattel, REI, Delta, Cirque Du Soleil, Comedy Central and Dunkin’ Donuts to mention just a few.  Here’s some highlights:

Mattel realized the world of play was changing as digital has become part of play. As a result, they had the guts to look at how they were doing business and discern what was working and what was not. This is very brave and not the norm in most corporate cultures, but it is certainly the key to the future of success. My fear is most companies will become dinosaurs and become extinct before they realize this is the roadmap to future business success.

The conference showed how Adobe is helping brands differentiate by driving excellent customer experiences. This has never been more important than ever.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer-Facing Applications that Drive Awesome Customer Experiences and Revenue




From The Field: Oracle CX Conference 2016 Report

What we saw at the conference was a full suite for customer experience. As point solutions turn to suites, Constellation Research predicts organizations that want to keep all the information about customers flowing in one place will most likely turn to platforms, suites and hubs for customer experience.

Oracle Cloud Suite

With suites there is the opportunity to know your customers better, via shared data, shared knowledge across lines of business for personalized and relevant offers, products and services. Instead of having silos trying to each engage with the customer, suites provide the opportunity for employees to collaborate when engaging with customers (especially when the organization change management issues are dealt with from a leadership point of view.) Suites also provide the opportunity to drive new workflows, products and services that meet customer needs better. If companies are able to take advantage of what suites offer, they can sell more, innovate faster and increase shareholder value.

As we listened to Mark V. Hurd’s (Co-CEO or Oracle) keynote, he talked about the issues in IT spending. He estimated, worldwide IT spending is down over the last five years and down 5.1% in 2015. He also talked about revenue growth being stalled because companies are focusing on cost cutting to make their numbers for Wall Street. However, the focus needs to be on choosing the right software to grow the company’s revenue. One of the big drivers for software is getting the customer experience right. With all other things being equal, Constellation Research believes customer experience is the number one differentiator.

World IT spending decreased Mark V Hurd @drnatalie

Why? People expect that when they buy something, the experience will be at least positive if not really “wow” them. Otherwise, they will choose to go to a competitor. Mark spoke about the reality that most revenue growth will need to come from share shift as opposed to market growth. What this means for software companies is that they need to provide better software so that companies can provide better experiences so customer choose to move from their competitors to them. This also goes for software companies. The best way to grow revenue is to increase customer satisfaction. It’s interesting that this focus on customer experience seems to be the topic of the day. It’s something that I’ve been writing about for years. Customer Service and satisfaction perhaps has come into it’s own, finally.

Drivers for Customer Experience and Revenue Mark V Hurd @drnatalie

Often times companies don’t realize they are taking themselves out of the running when a customer sees (in forums, ratings, review sites, social media…) that the company is not responding, doesn’t show it cares and isn’t there to work with the customer to make things right. In fact, 67% of a decision on what to buy in B2B sales is completed before the customer even talks to a sales person. The customer is getting what they need from reading what is in digital and social media. And that customer automatically looks whether the company is participating in digital and social media, and even though they may not be aware, the company who is not participating make take themselves out of the marketing funnel, because customers realize that if they bought from that company and had an issue, they too would fall into the “no customer service zone” and be stuck with an issue. Nobody wants that and customers, after years of pretty bad service in many industries, are choosing to leave companies they have tried to be loyal to, but just can’t be loyal to any more.

And smart data is a huge opportunity for companies. Why? When companies put their data in the cloud they are able to aggregate more data in a single location creating convenience for marketing, sales and customer service in a very data-driven world.

Mark spoke about his own frustration with the financial institution he banks with and their calls to him about his account. He explains every time they call him, in detail, what the issue is, yet the bank still calls him with the same question. It’s as though the bank is on autoplay. It’s important to know your customers, understand who they are and what they need to keep them loyal.

Troy Carter, from Atomic Factory, spoke about the importance of engaging fans and his traverse of the start-up world. His words were very inspiring and really emphasized the idea that companies need to think about their customers as fans. With that mentality, how they are served, could change quite a bit. It was great to see someone who has arrived at a lot of fame, remember his beginnings and be humble about his amazing accomplishments in innovating in the music industry.

The conference was also graced by a number of customers who are on the journey with Oracle to provide not only better UX for their employees to use the software but also to develop the best in class suites to better service their customers. Look forward to an up coming case study on a brand called Elaine Turner. And here’s a case study on how GM listens to their customers in digital and social media and drives better marketing, sales and service.

Better UX Design

@drnatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer Facing Applications that Drive Great Customer Experiences and Revenue Growth

Troy Carter Will Smith @drnatalie

Troy Carter Lady GaGa

Troy Carter, Atomic Factory, Keynote at Oracle CX Conference


How GM Uses Social Media to Listen and Engage Customers

Having worked for GM years ago and lived in Detroit, the motor capital, it was really interesting to see how GM is using social media to listen and engage customers – in marketing as well as customer service. This new case study shows the depth and strength of how GM is taking advantage of what social media can provide to the business. What’s interesting – and if you follow me, you know I am an ROI gal – is that GM was able to trace their social interactions to actual car sales. And that’s really where the rubber meets the road. Social media has huge implications to business – many of them not obvious to many – but over the years I’ve spent a lot of time understanding how social media provides business value.

For more information on this report, you can find it here.

how GM listens in social media for marketing and customer service @drnatalie

For other reports on ROI of online communities, ROI of customer care, ROI of agile customer serviceNine Pillars of Successful Digital Customer Experience and Self-service, How General Motors Listens to Customers on Social Media, you can find more info to help your business understand why it’s important to take social and digital media very serious.

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Nine pillars of customer self-service natalie petouhoff @drnatalie






@Drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering customer-facing applications that deliver amazing customer experiences.


SAP Hybris -Commerce / IOT / CRM Event 2016

After attending the SAP Hybris IOT/ CRM event, I was very impressed to see a vendor really connect the dots between commerce and customer service and customer experience. Commerce is really where the rubber meets the road. At the end of the day, if the customer experience is poor, customers will abandon shopping carts and revenue will suffer. But SAP Hybris is helping customers handle this. SAP Hybris is looking to become partners with brands in their digital transformation. They deliver  customer data management, context-driven marketing tools and unified commerce processes for all a brand’s channels.

  • SAP Hybris Commerce Solution: This solution helps brands to target and engage with your customers better, wherever they are. As the world of commerce continues to change, this can give customers a consistent and meaningful experience – across every channel, every time.  The core hybris solution ranks consistently among the top commerce software platforms worldwide. Their B2B and B2C commerce applications include an Omni-Channel Offering, Product Content Management (also known as Master Data Management or Product Information Management), Order Managementhybris Marketing Conversion, and powerful search and merchandising. And Hybris, at its core, is omni-channel. The commerce software helps integrate all digital and physical customer touchpoints onto a single platform – including online, mobile, point-of-sale, call center, social media and print. Regardless of your industry, SAP can help to create contextual, personalized and relevant customer experiences that boost loyalty and increase sales. Brands can kick-start their commerce project in just a few months through the hybris Commerce Accelerator. Omni-channel solutions are pre-configured for B2C and B2B, and for specific regions and industries.
  • SAP Hybris Marketing: This solution combines superior customer insight with a highly agile and scalable platform. Brands can reach their customers at all points of their journey, and boost loyalty by responding to real-time data to deliver the best possible customer experience. Note that traditional marketing campaigns can fall short at engaging the individual customer. They can lack the basic knowledge of customer’s wants and needs and blast indiscriminate messages to the masses. However, Hybris Marketing enables marketers to develop a deeper understanding of customers; i.e., to know what they have done, what they may do and most importantly what they are doing now. Brands can gain real-time insights into the context of each customer and leverage these insights to deliver highly individualized customer experiences across channels. Here are some of the benefits:
  1. Understand Real-Time Customer Intents. Dynamically capture and enrich customer profiles across all sources into a single view, leverage implicit customer signals to gain insights into customer’s real-time intents
  2. Deliver Unique Customer Experiences. Convert ‘in-the-moment’ opportunities to dynamically deliver contextually relevant customer experiences across channels. Create new engagements to increase online community participation and customer loyalty
  3. Market with Speed and Agility. Proactively react to customer opportunities with increased visibility and alignment of the marketing process, resources, and performance.
  • Products for Billing: SAP Hybris Billing helps brands to monetize their digital transformation and renovate their revenue management processes with a highly agile and scalable platform. SAP allows customers to build flexible pricing models to meet their B2C and B2B customer needs as well as share revenues with partners of their business network.

SAP /IOT: Devices of all types now communicate over the Internet, creating unprecedented potential for sales and service in the utilities industries. IoT items include smart home appliances, thermostats, meters and monitoring software, cars, alternate power devices, irrigation technology, fleet vehicles, store sensors, networked sensors, and software integrated with machinery. All of these support a new and diverse collection of customers and consumers: more aware, expecting individualized service, and a radically changing the supplier/customer relationship. The connectivity and communication abilities of devices of all sizes will vastly change every aspect of marketing, delivery, and support of utilities, as it has done with other industries. Countries, cities, and individual consumers are making significant changes in their consumption and usage of utility-related resources. Some of these include:

>> More reliable connectivity, increased data availability, and lower price points make virtually anything connectible

>> Every business must now consider itself a digital business, regardless what product or service is being sold

> Every business must own its data and make it available across the organization and to consumers

Businesses are preparing for a future where software becomes more important than hardware and data becomes more important than products. A new generation of consumer (the prosumer) is becoming an active partner in the production and distribution cycle. What are the benefits?

  • Better use of a utility’s products and services, making consumption and customer relations healthier
  • The opportunity to upsell and/or to offer upgrades for newer, better, and more effective products and services
  • Predictive service based on warnings, alarms, or analytics sent by the devices themselves
  • Tailored pricing – flexible entitlements based on usage, frequency or time, and metering
  • Wider range of services– extension into new service areas
  • Enables direct conversations between customer devices and business platforms
  • Analyzes large quantities of data in real-time against defined business KPIs
  • Lower regulatory risk and cost of compliance through increased visibility and response.

The event was a very important one in the history of SAP. These are key aspects to the digital transformation of any company and SAP’s ability to help their customers transform key aspects of their business are critical. This is certainly not your grandpas’ CRM.

@Drnatalie Petouhoff

Covering Customer Experience, Marketing, IOT and Digital Transformation.


SOASTA Ushers in New Era of Innovation in Digital Performance Management

SOASTA, a leader in performance analytics, announced the Winter 2016 release of its Digital Performance Management (DPM) Platform. The new release introduces a series of enhancements and services to help digital businesses meet the growing demand for the ultimate measure of performance – the customer experience.

“We’re in the era of Digital Performance Management, and it requires a new mind set, with new solutions designed to deliver great user experiences. Companies that fail to keep up with the demands of online consumers will deliver lousy customer experiences and, as a result, will not thrive,” warned SOASTA CEO Tom Lounibos. “Websites and mobile applications need to be improved and optimized constantly, and that requires modern-day DPM technologies and skills.”

This product announcement is part of a broader SOASTA strategy that to empowers digital businesses by giving them the contextual intelligence they need to maximize performance and revenue – in real time and at scale. Digital Performance Management is the evolutionary next step from traditional Application Performance Management (APM). Fueled by the DevOps philosophy and Agile methodology, DPM is a data-centric approach to performance management in which web and mobile applications are continuously measured, tested and optimized to deliver the best possible user experience and business outcome.

The SOASTA DPM platform enables continuous measurement and improvement of digital performance – starting with an understanding of real users and combining that with the ability to predict and prevent performance and functionality issues before they occur. SOASTA’s DPM platform is designed to offer monitoring, testing and optimization capabilities to ensure continuous delivery of peak performance.

“We are significantly enhancing the SOASTA DPM platform, extending the capabilities of the number one cloud testing platform in the world with this release,” said Lounibos. “It perfectly illustrates our ‘monitor-test-optimize’ approach to continuous performance management and maximizing digital performance and, accordingly, revenue.”

The SOASTA platform consists of five key technologies – mPulse, CloudTest, TouchTest, Digital Operations Center (DOC) and Data Science Workbench – working in concert to provide continuous performance delivery. Enhancements to two of these technologies, mPulse and CloudTest, are the highlights of the Winter 2016 release.

mPulse real user monitoring (RUM) collects and analyzes 100% of the front-end performance data from every web and mobile user and correlates this data with critical business metrics – all in real time. As a result, the site owner always has a clear view of what’s working, what isn’t, and what to do next.

CloudTest provides a powerful, flexible and affordable platform for continuous load testing – including real-time analytics, a visual test creation environment, dynamic test- grid provisioning and the ability to pause and restart tests in production.

“With this new release, we are delivering better DevOps, improved agility and optimal business performance,” Lounibos explained, “with a greater emphasis on ease of onboarding, implementation and use.”

The new SOASTA mPulse enhancements make Big Data insights easy to visualize, access and share. mPulse democratizes insights about aggregated end user experiences, making performance analytics available to all. Instead of siloing information within groups, SOASTA mPulse with embedded Data Science Workbench reports help enterprises isolate issues, triage performance problems, and make decisions based on a better understanding of the customer.

The most notable benefits of the Winter 2016 release are DevOps productivity enhancements, with unlimited alerts to easy “exception management,” fully integrated with popular tools such as PagerDuty and Slack. This enables DevOps teams to better manage workflows and respond to and resolve incidents faster, while dramatically improving productivity.

The SOASTA CloudTest load and performance testing technology now extends its support of continuous performance testing with SOASTA’s patented cloud provisioning system, accessible from continuous integration environments. The release delivers several significant new capabilities, including:

• Native service level agreement (SLA) support for comparing results against baseline quality requirements
• Faster provisioning and support for SOASTA partners, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and Rackspace
• Integration with popular Continuous Integration (CI) automation tools such as Jenkins, Atlassian Bamboo and Microsoft Visual Studio • • • Online and the ability to script starting and stopping load generators in the SOASTA cloud for “hands-off” performance testing

“SOASTA’s approach to DPM allows us to continuously measure and improve our digital experience. The integration between these tools helps us see how our real users are doing and take action before issues arise,” said James Erb, UI consultant and Sephora mobile technology director. “We have found ways to improve client-side performance time by over 20% as a result of having SOASTA’s solution in place.”

“Effective analytics across mobile, web and other environments are essential to optimizing performance and enabling successful DevOps execution,” said Melinda Ballou, program director for IDC’s Application Lifecycle Management & Executive Strategies Service. “Automation and insight across a broad portfolio such as SOASTA’s – coupled with appropriate process and organizational strategies – are key to visibility and support for digital transformation with quality software delivery.

SOASTA DPM Platform is available immediately with offerings that include SOASTA CloudTest™ for integrated load testing, SOASTA mPulse™ for real user monitoring, SOASTA TouchTest™ for mobile performance and functional test automation, SOASTA Data Science Workbench for advanced performance analytics, SOASTA DOC™ for unified presentation of all aspects of digital performance, and installation and consulting services. For more information about the SOASTA DPM Platform, please visit:

@drnatalie petouhoff
covering customer experience and performance management