Capgemini Joins Forces with Blueprint to Offer Advanced Requirements Management Capabilities for Financial Services

What’s The Combo Up To? Blueprint, an innovator and global leader in accelerating and de-risking large, complex IT projects, and Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, today announced a resale agreement increasing the ability for strategic customer growth worldwide.

How Will Capgemini and Blueprint Work Together? Capgemini will continue to leverage Blueprint’s wide array of requirements management capabilities both for its internal product development and for its customer implementations. Blueprint’s leading-edge, enterprise solution allows Capgemini to accelerate delivery of its industry leading solutions and reduce total cost of ownership for its customers. Blueprint’s software assists in aligning business strategy with IT execution, ensuring regulatory compliance, and supporting organizational transformation.

A Note From the Executives: Martin Saipe, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Blueprint said, “Blueprint’s growing alliance with Capgemini represents a significant milestone in Blueprint’s channel strategy. Capgemini is a key part of our growth plan through the system integration channel. We are excited about this new resale capability and are expecting significant activity in the near-term.” 

Anand Moorthy, Vice President, Global Testing Practice, Financial Services, Capgemini stated, “Our collaboration with Blueprint provides very robust requirements and documentation tools for customer implementations and internal product development,” said . We can accelerate the requirements process for many of our customers because of pre-built, accelerator models that are refined over time, incorporating best practices which we then deploy in selected projects. Rather than creating new custom requirements for each project from scratch, we are able to be more prescriptive in our delivery helping our customers manage costs and lock-in quality.”

MY POV: This combination will help Capgemini’s clients accelerate the requirements process  because of pre-built, accelerator models that are refined over time, incorporating best practices which we then deploy in selected projects. As a former systems integrator and management consultant, I can say this is a very distinct advantage.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer-facing Applications That Drive Better Business Results
Share

The Year of On-demand, Personalized Shopping: The Cloud and IOT Abound

What’s Happening in the World of Shopping and Customer Experiences? At the National Retail Federation Annual Convention in New York City, Microsoft made announcements with GameStop, Hardee’s, TGI Fridays, Panasonic, HP and FreedomPay, and NCR on efforts to modernize shopping experiences.

How Does IoT, The Cloud and Customer Experience Come Together? Microsoft believes this will be the year when modern shopping experiences come to life. Where retailers create instant, personalized experiences for shoppers on their smartphone, online and in stores. It will be the year that customers return to stores because technology is engaging them in new ways, making them want to buy more and come back. Microsoft shared for the first time several retail innovations using its technology, including a smart shelf and a tablet-enabled shopping cart, and showed how retailers can gather better store analytics. Microsoft also announced how Pandora and Ashley Furniture are working with technology to create more engaging experiences for employees, helping them be more collaborative and support faster product innovation.

Engaging Customers During the Shopping Experience is Essential for Today’s Retailers. GameStop announced it is working with Microsoft to create an interactive, informative and entertaining shopping experience in an immersive environment. In the near future, when customers walk into one of the GameStop pilot stores, they will be connected to the services enabled by the Microsoft Cloud, allowing them to browse product choices, share their shopping cart with salesperson’s tablet running an assisted selling application, and even browse products interactively on a big screen Ultra High Definition TV where they can view video game trailers with pristine clarity. When a customer downloads and opts into the GameStop app on their smartphone, they will be able to interact in a whole new way with GameStop marketplace through the use of Azure. Ultimately, the customer and the salesperson can push the desired products to the point of sale (POS) system for order processing and payment.

What’s Another Great Example of How Microsoft is Working With Retailers to Improve Customer Engagement and Customer Experience? One example is Hardee’s new way to make ordering a meal fast and fun. Hardee’s is currently deploying self-ordering kiosks for ordering meals, using Windows 8 devices. These in-store kiosks are being tested currently in 30 restaurants with plans to extend that test to additional restaurants soon. Each kiosk allows customers to review the menu and order food and lets managers run sales and shift reports, while dramatically reducing wait times. Check out the video and read more here.

Another Example is TGI Fridays Who Has Plans to Transform the Way People Order Food by Equipping Servers with 8-inch Tablets Armed with Payment Sleeves. With the Fridays’ Service Style technology the customer’s order is processed right at the table, the device also helps manage the waiting list and queue. The solution helps ensure orders are correct, reduces training time, and streamlines waitlists.

Modern Points of Sale Connect Retailers and Customers in New Ways.  As the shopping experience becomes more modern, so does the POS. Modern POS devices are allowing retailers to better understand their customers, provide more customized service, and help them achieve compliance with new security measures being implemented in 2015.  In partnership with Panasonic, HP and FreedomPay Microsoft is demonstrating how the modern POS can create personalized retail experiences, in real-time, through smart and secure devices. With new security regulations on the horizon, retailers need to upgrade their POS devices, not only to ensure their customer data is safe, but to also be able to provide a more personalized and seamless experience at check-out. Read more about modern POS devices here.

Innovation that helps retailers understand buying behavior and customers make informed decisions.  One of the challenges in retail is to create an in-store experience that engages customers in unique ways, entices them to come in to stores, and keep them coming back. Creating those connections creates better experiences and ultimately increases sales. With the help of a Kinect sensor, AVAretail’s SmartShelf technology allows every interaction of a shelf in a store to be monitored and recorded in real-time, providing insight into which products are most selected and picked up by customers. Another form of technology, Path Tracker, gives retailers real-time detection and analysis of a customer’s shopping path.  This provides counts of people in the store, areas visited, dwell time and shopping path, acting as a heat map of where customers are spending the most time in the store.

The NEC Biometric interface with Kinect Camera System Provides Demographic and Face Recognition Services to a Kinectically Enabled Application. Retailers can use this information for analysis and for providing the customer with a more personal selling experience. MediaCart will change the shopping cart as we know it. Adding a location-aware tablet to the cart allows a retailer to present a personal and relevant shopping experience to its customer.  This allows context sensitive ads and promotions when in front of various products along with a barcode scanning capability for price lookups and basket totals.

Retailers Are Predicting Consumer Behavior With Machine Learning. As technology advances, consumers have more tools at their disposal during the buying process. This trend seems to be growing exponentially, especially as the Internet of Things (IoT) matures. This is both an opportunity and a challenge for retailers looking to capitalize on a whole new base of consumers. Competitive pressure, combined with ubiquitous connectivity, smart devices and an intelligent cloud platform is causing a shift to a new retail reality. Food delivery company JJ Food Service uses machine learning to make product recommendations as customers are shopping for food. This provides insights, saves on costs, and ensures their customers have the food they need, when they need it.

Customer Behavior Can Be Predicted. Auckland, New Zealand-based VMob runs a mobile engagement platform on Microsoft Azure which predicts likely customer behavior based on historic and live data streams. The platform currently delivers personalized content to millions of consumers around the world, including customers of McDonald’s across several European markets. The VMob platform collects real time data from multiple sources including mobile devices, wearables, location temperature sensors, WiFi transmitters, beacons, digital signage, and POS systems to personalize engagement with the customer. The VMob platform uses Azure Machine Learning to harness the Internet of Things to predict future customer behavior – transforming live and historical data streams into actionable insights McDonald’s can employ to individualize its marketing efforts. See more information about VMob’s work here.

You Want to Reach Your Customers Where They Are. For retailers to succeed, they need to reach their customers where they are.  Because of this, we are pleased to be announcing Sitecore Commerce, powered by Microsoft Dynamics. This solution integrates the experience management capabilities of the Sitecore Experience Platform with the omni-channel commerce capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail. The result is a product that allows enterprises to bridge the gap between in-store and digital experiences. We are also announcing a combined effort with Toshiba to form the Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions with Microsoft Dynamics to help retailers deliver leading customer experiences through true omni-channel customer engagements. This effort includes Toshiba delivering software and implementation services on the Dynamics platform as well as plans for the global availability of a combined solution – TCxGravity powered by Microsoft Dynamics – specifically tailored to deliver omni-channel transformation on the customer’s terms, helping it provide seamless brand experiences to build lasting loyalty.

What’s The Future of Retail? Retailers are changing the game through connected stores, empowered employees, digital engagement and ambient intelligence all geared toward delighting the modern shopper. By gathering and ingesting insight from myriad data sources, retailers can create a comprehensive understanding of each customer, its store’s inventory and the capabilities of its business to seamlessly match people with the products and services they desire.

The end result of these technologies and services, and of Microsoft’s work with retailers, is an increased focus on solutions that help grow sales and profits, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, bring products to market faster, and create a more effective business.

If you want more information, visit the Retail NewsroomThe Windows for Your Business Blog, and The Dynamics Blog.

MyPOV: I Love to shop and I love technology. So this is gonna be a great year! I can’t wait to see how cloud computing, IoT and customer experience emerge as the top competitive advantage to lead conversion rates, higher revenues and awesome customer experiences!

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Cloud and IoT That Drive Better Business Results and Awesome Customer Experiences in Retail Environments
Share

The Secret to Success in IoT: Microsoft Partner ICONICS Shares It’s IoT Cloud Experiences

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic these days. Unlike many overhyped technology visions over the years, IoT has the underpinnings today to start happening throughout the developed world. Sensors everywhere. Ubiquitous mobile wireless communications. Powerful data analytics. Graphic visualization tools.

Although the Internet of Things (IoT) often refers to connected devices in a personal or industrial setting, it also has the potential to unlock vast opportunities in many cities today, from energy management in civic buildings to traffic monitoring to public services. But that wealth of possibilities can be overwhelming to local governments, as public agencies try to find ways to get started with IoT while making the most of limited resources. The CityNext blog has some  advice from guest blogger Melissa Topp of Microsoft partner ICONICS: Don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, pick one thing and spend time getting it right before expanding your Cloud IOT program.

So Pick Your Best Bet And Get Started on IoT! ICONICS works with Microsoft to deliver cutting-edge tools for infrastructure, mobility and analytics, on a Microsoft Azure cloud platform that reduces capital investment and dramatically expands data storage and processing capabilities. In her post, Topp explains how a recent smart energy management project for Peirce Elementary School in Arlington, Mass., illustrates the keys to success for cities’ IoT Cloud deployments. By starting with a single project — in this case, cutting summer operating costs in a school building — then focusing on that problem until they had it right, and finally expanding their program in phases, the school’s administrators were able to discover and resolve equipment problems and lower energy costs. Topp’s experience is a good reminder to businesses in any industry that IoT deployments don’t have to be massive and overwhelming to make an impact.

Want To learn More About How Microsoft IoT Helps Cities and Businesses? Here’s a link to understand how this can happen and while you are taking a look at this consider how, when a city changes how it does things, how does that affect the experience of the customer of that city? It’s huge!

IoT Can Be Daunting for City Governments. After all, with just one of Google’s self-driving cars gathering 750 MB of sensor data every second of driving time, the amount of data that a fully wired city would generate in a second would have to be in the petabytes. What’s more, cities would have to figure out where to put all that data. It’d be a bigger problem than Boston had finding places to put all its snow during last winter’s relentless blizzards! But it doesn’t have to be daunting. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Think of IoT as the same thing. Don’t try to do everything. Just pick one aspect of your business where it will have a real impact to revenue generation, cost savings, and the customer experience.

Wired (IoT) Cities Drive Better Experiences. Nonetheless, cities around the world are “wiring up,” as the many Microsoft CityNext customer stories can attest. Among those cities are also many ICONICS customers. They’re successfully transforming themselves through greater operational visibility and efficiencies using our HMI/SCADA, mobility, and analytics tools for cutting-edge energy and sustainability solutions.

In working with hundreds of cities worldwide, we’ve found that their successful deployments typically have three common hallmarks that we might call “secrets” of their success.

  • First, they chose one place to start, many with a specific need in their municipal utilities, water treatment facilities, transportation systems, or schools.
  • Second, they focused their limited resources and energies on that starting point to ensure it worked, taking as many lessons as they could from it.
  • Third, they didn’t try to solve everything at once, but rolled out their deployments in phases.

What is An Example of a City That Has Gone Down The IoT Path? Arlington, Massachusetts, a town of 43,000 people six miles northwest of Boston, started with the need of its public schools to consolidate summer operations into one building, Peirce Elementary School. To help save air-conditioning costs, the district bought a new chiller, but it also sought energy management software. After evaluating competitors’ offerings, it chose ICONICS Facility AnalytiX hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Using Azure eliminated the need for any upfront capital expenditures in IT infrastructure.

Facility AnalytiX uses advanced Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) technology. FDD works via customizable fault rules that weigh the probability of equipment failure. It then alerts staff to actions they can take when faults occur.

IoT Focus Helps Save Time and Money. When equipment fails, the software analyzes current and historical information (along with symptom/cause relationships), executes predictive algorithms, and provides a list of possible causes sorted by probability. This information is securely available to all key stakeholders from desktops, browsers and smart devices such as Microsoft Surface tablets. FDD helped the district cut the time its HVAC contractors spend searching for malfunctions by as much as 20 percent.

The Facility AnalytiX software also showed that the chiller was unnecessarily turning itself on and off every five minutes. This cost the district energy and would potentially reduce the chiller’s lifespan, as constant cycling would put more wear on the equipment. The software helped the district save 20 percent of its energy consumption the first winter after installation.

When You Implement IoT, Phase it in With Fast, Easy Cloud Scalability. With the success of Arlington’s deployment of smart energy-management software in that single elementary school, the town is already working to adopt it to another school. And government buildings are likely candidates for additional deployments. In other words, it found one place to start; focused its resources on making it work; and is taking a phased approach.

With Microsoft Azure, adding those buildings to Arlington’s Facility AnalytiX operations dashboard is fast, easy, and economical. That’s because, by simply connecting to existing HVAC equipment, sensors, and SCADA network hookups, Azure can spin up another instance of Facility AnalytiX with just a series of mouse clicks.

Arlington is just one of many examples from the ICONICS customer base of a city that is implementing IoT — sometimes without actually realizing it — to improve operational visibility and lower costs. As the town adds more buildings to its smart-energy network, those benefits will continue to grow.

With Microsoft Azure, it won’t need to add any IT infrastructure that requires money, maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. In effect, Microsoft Azure is a standby IT resource for Arlington, just waiting to be tapped whenever new demands arise.

Want to Learn More About Cities, Clouds and IoT? For more ICONICS IoT customer stories or to learn more about ICONICS products and solutions, visit www.iconics.com/IoT. Learn more about ICONICS’ smart city solutions on Twitter. Follow Microsoft CityNext on Twitter for news, trends, and smart city solutions.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Cloud, IOT and Customer Experiences
Share

Nissan Selects Microsoft Azure Cloud to Power Nissan Telematics System

How Do You Meet Customer Experience Expectations in Electric Vehicle’s? Start with the Cloud. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Microsoft Corp.  announced that all Nissan LEAF models and Infiniti models in Europe will have Connect Telematics Systems (CTS) powered by Microsoft Azure. Since the Nissan LEAF’s launch in 2010, more than 200,000 have been sold worldwide, making it the world’s best-selling electric vehicle. Nissan selected Azure to meet customers’ expectations about in-vehicle mobility solutions, create additional ways to interact with their vehicles, and enhance safety.

What Do the Next Generation Of Customers Want In their Cars? Nissan knows. They design cars to meet the needs of the next generation of car buyers, the environmentally conscious “digital natives.” Having transformed the performance, practicality and public perception of EVs around the world since the LEAF’s launch, Nissan remains one of the leaders in EV technology. The connectivity to their owners and to the world around them makes electric cars more attractive and convenient. Maps, range prediction, charging station availability, charge status, plus all the services customers have come to expect when inside a vehicle are dependent on that connectivity. Azure provides a global cloud platform with cutting-edge security that allows Nissan to deliver services worldwide to this broad customer base.

How Does the Cloud and Nissan Work Together To Create Better Customer Experiences? Nissan CTS is coupled to Azure, allowing a remote connection to the vehicle. With CTS, Nissan LEAF drivers can perform a range of functions on their car, while not even inside. These include using mobile phones to turn on and adjust climate controls and set charging functions remotely even when the vehicle is powered down. An onboard timer can also be programmed to start the charging event.

What About The Cloud and Customer Privacy and Security vs Their Customer Experience? As countries and regulations become more stringent on data privacy and technology standards, Nissan and Microsoft are committed to investing in meeting regulatory standards around the globe. Nissan selected Azure because of its enterprise-grade security and compliance. Microsoft was the first major cloud provider to adopt the world’s first international cloud privacy standard, ISO 27018, providing another reason enterprise customers can move with confidence to Azure. Azure supports multiple operating systems, programming languages and tools, providing flexibility and choice for Nissan.

Why Is Voice Control In Cars So Important? With the standard Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant for all Nissan LEAF around the world, drivers can manage incoming text messages via voice control without taking their hands from the wheel or their eyes off the road. Drivers are alerted to an incoming text and, after initiating the system, can hear the text read out loud and respond by voice, or via the steering wheel switches using preset answers such as “driving, can’t text,” “on my way,” “running late,” “okay.” These experiences are powered by the back-end connectivity and support of Azure.

Nissan can also send over-the-air “point of interest” (POI) updates as they become available, enabling customers to have the latest information as the company continues to refresh its services. Connectivity to Azure allows Nissan to bring new connected features to market faster and offer flexibility for the future.

How Does the Cloud Play in The Data Management Area? The partnership allows Nissan to tap into Microsoft’s deep expertise across critical areas such as data management and analytics. Azure offers Nissan the scale and commitment to security it needs to support its global operations. The expansive global footprint of Microsoft’s datacenters provides the coverage to support Nissan’s vehicles anywhere they are in the world.

Notes from the Executives: Celso Guiotoko, chief information officer and corporate vice president in charge of global corporate IS/IT, Nissan said, “Microsoft Azure will help us deliver a more innovative and intelligent future for our connected technologies. This is also a bold first step toward innovations that will realize future new mobility.”

Nissan’s connected platform powered by Azure is allowing Nissan to continue to provide its customers with exceptional value and add new services throughout the vehicle life cycle.

Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development, Microsoft said, “Our partnership with Nissan shows what automakers can accomplish by tapping into Microsoft’s intelligent cloud platform. Further, our collaboration reveals tremendous possibilities for how consumers can get more out of their connected driving experience.

 

My POV: As we become more accustomed to thinking about the cloud and the conveniences it brings to the automotive industry, something very near and dear to many American’s hearts, we see that the cloud and IoT are really transforming the way we will be traveling in the future, the very near and present future.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Cloud and IoT That Drive Better Business Results and Awesome Customer Experiences

 

Share

#OracleCloud Summit 2016 Trends, Updates & News

I’m here with my colleagues, Holger Mueller and Doug Henschen @DHenschen, covering the #OracleCloud Summit 2016 in NYC at the Waldorf Astoria @WaldorfNYC. (BTW the Waldorf Astoria has great customer service!!!)

MY POV: My overall take away is that Oracle has built / are building the most comprehensive cloud offering – Data as a Service (DaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas).

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 10.55.56 AM

B2B Customer Experience: How does an application consume all this data – from service, sales, marketing, mobile… to result in a business outcome? That’s my focus- not as much on all the data or infrastructure – but rather what is the customer / business outcome that all this provides? Here’s an example…

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 10.57.27 AMThe person is coming close to the company and gets a notification to look to see more about how well the account is doing (Account Health.) I (as this sales person) sign-in and I find out that from service cloud, that this is not a “healthy” customer, so I can’t talk to them about adding services or products. I’m walking into a situation where there is an issue that has not been resolved. If I did log on and see there weren’t any issues, I might be able to start the conversation about what they might buy. Instead, I’d start by solving the unresolved issue. I can also see the opportunity for what they might buy if I can solve their issue.

Customer Service Is Mission Critical: This makes so much sense and why customer service needs to be a mission critical part of the overall business strategy. It is the canary in the coal mine. Everything you need to know about what your customers think and feel about your products and services can be found in customer service. It always has been. It’s only recently, by connecting marketing, sales, service, that we can actually use that information to make better business decisions. I like this a lot. It’s something I’ve been on a soapbox for years. I thank the cloud for bringing all these applications together so that we can have this integrated view of our companies.

Customer Success Management: What some of the conversation today reminds me of customer success management. I have written about this in separate reports for vendors that specialize in looking at how well an application has been deployed, used, by whom and for what. It seems this idea has been translated into the Platform as a Service by Oracle, to be able to know more about my customers and determine if they are happy and if not, and what I, as for example a salesperson, can do. It only makes sense. If you have the data, why not use it to know if your customer is happy? No customers, no business. It’s really that simple. This capability may not be as developed as the customer success management vendors, but it’s definitely in the right direction.

Customer Experience: Certainly it’s gotten more difficult to manage devices and channels and predict customer behavior. One of the TRENDS at  is to have all data in one place, analyzed to help brands to deliver the right message, at the right & real time, which results in much better customer experiences #cx for the customer and better business results for the brand.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.13.30 AM

The message is that Oracle ID Graph can be used to connect customer behavior to get right message, to the right channel via modeling the data to discover the best decisions.Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.27.59 AM

From analyzing all this data, Oracle has found the best predictor of future purchases is past purchases. This shows that one of the real values of data is customer’s behavior. If businesses can understand “Say, Do, Buy” they will be able to target, personalize and measure the success of the customer experience across devices and channels via this Identity Graph.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.24.53 AM

Oracle CX Cloud Differentiators: The CX Cloud Product Highlights include, because of the PaaS, DaaS, IaaS and SaaS, a unique customer experience cloud – including the ability to integrate the sales, marketing, service, commerce, social, mobile….to provide brands the ability to make the right business decisions, quickly.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.29.05 AM

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.44.45 AMFuture of B2C and B2B: If could measure TV ads, it could put end to guessing how much money and where to spend money on TV ads. This is a huge challenge that needs to be solved. That would be a service that would put an end to the huge amounts of money that lead to the famous quote – “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” by John Wannamaker.

Mark Hurd @MarkVHurd: He’s speaking to us about their need to shift to persona selling, which they are and have done. It used to be that the buyer was the CIO. But the cloud has brought new buyers to the table – CMO’s, Customer Experience Professionals, Customer Service… Smart. The line of business doesn’t have to wait in line for IT’s list of to do’s. Maybe IT still needs to stay focused on their list. Certainly much of what they do is needed. And maybe it was never realistic to think they could do all that is required in IT and to service the lines of business. Perhaps that is part of the beauty of the cloud. It puts the line of business in charge of their needs in software / hardware.

mark hurd

Mark is also talking to us about the idea that the focus of software as a service is interested in the business outcome, rather than what software companies used to focus on, which was the product. This is something that is so important. Software / Hardware for the sake of software / hardware is not enough, at least in my opinion. Until the cloud, the multiple customer personas didn’t have as much buying power and they didn’t have the weight they do now. Yes, hardware / software all needs to work, be secure, be fast, etc.. but at the end of the day, it has to provide a business owner capabilities that make their business run better. Period.

Great information. Great Summit.

@Dr Natalie Petouhoff, Constellation Research, VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Customer-facing Applications

 

 

Share

Capgemini Expands Its Digital Growth Strategy With The Acquisition of oinio, a Leading European Salesforce Partner

Capgemini and onio: Capgemini announced the acquisition of oinio, one of Europe’s leading Salesforce partners. This acquisition will expand Capgemini’s Digital Strategy Group growth by augmenting Capgemini’s capabilities in providing digital transformation services around the Salesforce solutions and platform across Europe and Asia. Oinio, based in Munich, has become one of the major European players in the consulting and deployment of Salesforce cloud-based CRM and digital marketing solutions. Oonia has more than 600 projects for a portfolio of international clients in life sciences, manufacturing, financial services, high tech and utilities.

Statements from the Executives on The Acquisition: Maic Stohr, CEO of oinio commented, “As part of Capgemini, a global leader in digital business transformation, we’ll be able to offer Salesforce based agile innovation to enterprise customers at scale, to drive quicker business outcomes. It’s a commitment to our customers, our team and to the digital era.”

Dennis Flüchter, COO and CFO of oinio, said, “Joining Capgemini with its worldwide reach is an opportunity to accelerate our growth in Germany and on a global basis too. We’re proud to become part of the Capgemini family.”

And Jean Lassignardie, Corporate Vice President and Group Head of Salesforce Expert and Transformation Services at Capgemini stated, “The recognized expertise of oinio will allow us to reinforce our position in the European and Asian markets, while strengthening our partnership with Salesforce globally. Together, we will be able to quickly deploy the most innovative solutions to support our customers in their business transformation and growth acceleration.”

What Does This Mean? What I find interesting about this acquisition is the pace at which the foreign markets are understanding the value of digital transformation. This type of acquisition clearly shows that both Capgemini and oinio are seeing the desire and need for consulting services in the digital transformation area. System integrators of yesteryear were known for implementing large, on-premise solutions, taking years to implement, many of which were given up on.

Today, system integrators have had to reinvent themselves as the advent of SaaS / cloud solutions replacing the on-premise projects. But smart systems integrators have become trusted advisors in the role of aiding digital transformation. Because there is so much about a business that has to be transformed, in reality there is a huge market for systems integrators that realize that the transition from the old way of doing business, to truly being digital requires a transformation of people, process, leadership and technology. And there is no shortage of actual work that has to get done to make that all happen.

The future? Look to see which systems integrators are understanding what digital transformation means and who is leading companies to transform their culture, the mindset, their leadership, their workforce, their processes (how work gets done and how customers are interacted with and engaged) and what technologies are chosen to make this a reality in the short term. The longer companies wait to take on this type of endeavor, the more danger they put themselves in becoming extinct, i.e., irrelevant to their customers and unfortunately, for some really great brands, the certainty of going out of business.

@DrNatalie VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer-facing Marketing, Sales and Customer Service Strategies and Technologies and System Integrators

Share

IBM Watson and Genesys Partner to Power Smarter Customer Experiences

IBM and Genesys (www.genesys.com), a leading provider of customer experience and contact center solutions, today announced a partnership that will transform how organizations of all sizes differentiate their customer experience by tapping the power of IBM Watson to transform the way brands engage clients across customer service, marketing and sales through data-driven insights and automated actions.

 WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?

The combination of the Watson Engagement Advisor with the Genesys Customer Experience Platform to is reportedly positioned to transform how organizations worldwide engage with their customers across customer experience touchpoints and channels of communication. This partnerships will allow Genesys to develop a learning system that can better serve consumers in their self-service applications and contact centers because The Watson Engagement Advisor enables natural language solution learning and adapts and understands market and organizational data quickly and easily, and gets progressively smarter with use, outcomes, and new pieces of information.

 WHAT IS A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF HOW THE WATSON ENGAGEMENT ADVISOR HELPS CUSTOMER SERVICE AGENTS?

The partnership will aid and assist a brand’s customer service agents to provide fast, data-driven answers, or simply sit directly in the hands of consumers via mobile device, chat session or online interaction. In one simple click, the solution’s “Ask Watson” feature can quickly help address customers’ questions, offer feedback to guide their purchase decisions, and troubleshoot their problems.

Because today’s consumers are a tweet, post, phone call, email or web chat away from reporting an issue or asking a question, and nearly half expect a response from businesses within a span of minutes, according to Edison Research, companies need to get a lot smarter about how they operationalize real-time customer service. Brand customer representatives who field these inquiries are often backlogged with time-consuming issues or questions that require detailed, accurate responses not often readily available to them – which can lead to an inconsistent customer experience. We’ve all been there – called a contact center and knew more about what we were asking than the company did. Perhaps this will help agents become closer to being able to provide real-time customer service.

DOES THIS MEAN KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT DATABASES ARE BEING REINVENTED? 

Contact center agents can gain access to a cloud-based Watson advisor that reads and uncover insights from millions of pages of data-driven content within seconds, from product guides to call transcripts. The result: cognitive computing that will augment a contact center agent’s knowledge and shift their time from searching for answers to discovering timely insights that solve problems, facilitate new opportunities, and improve the customer experience.  

WHAT IS A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF HOW THE WATSON ENGAGEMENT ADVISOR HELPS CUSTOMERS?

Genesys customers will gain the additional value of a Watson cloud-based advisor that thinks, learns and provides expert insights, while combing through millions of pages of data within seconds for customers and the contact center agents who serve them. As a result, Genesys customers can tap into the body of data that Watson understands and puts to work and use that knowledge to deliver more actionable and satisfying responses to customer inquiries in their self-service applications and contact centers.

HOW DOES THIS CONNECT A CUSTOMER AND A COMPANY TO PROVIDE BETTER SERVICE?

Imagine yourself as a bank customer, home from work and doing late night research on mortgage loans after your children are in bed. You may see a feature or rate that you like, but you have detailed questions that require expert advice. You can call, email or tweet the brand, but it’s after-hours. Many brands dont even pay attention to tweets much less have someone answering questions at night. Often that customer would not have access to a customer service agent until the next day.

Now envision the following experience: at any time of night, you can access a web chat advisor that has access to the bank’s data-driven content around mortgages, and through a natural language interface, understands your questions and history interacting with the bank. Not only will the application educate you on all things mortgage shopping, but it will also provide a formal offer that can be presented by a mortgage expert at a convenient time scheduled by you.

The idea is that with the Watson Ecosystem, Genesys customers will gain access to a cloud-based advisor that, within seconds, can read and uncover insights from millions of pages of data-driven content, from product guides to call transcripts to deliver exceptional customer experiences. The result: cognitive computing will augment agents’ knowledge and free their bandwidth from searching for answers, to creatively thinking of how they can further help a customer or even make a sale. This, in turn, will allow Genesys clients to deliver on their brand’s promise to the nearly 80 percent of consumers who say that the contact center is involved in defining the customer experience. SOURCE (IQPC)

 WHAT INDUSTRIES DOES THIS SOLUTION PROVIDE BETTER SERVICE FOR?

Leveraging its experience and deep domain expertise across industries including banking, insurance, and retail, Genesys will integrate access to the cloud-based Watson to its Customer Experience Platform empowering their customers with the ability to interact through a natural dialog leveraging Watson’s understanding and intelligent natural language response. Now consumers can tap into Watson to gain insight and answers faster than possible with knowledge management solutions.

HOW WILL THIS IBM AND GENESYS PARTNERSHIP AFFECT SELF-SERVICE?

The desire for self-service is there – both from the company’s point of view (reduce call volume, etc…) and customers are tired of calling into a contact center only to be disappointed. But while self-service has been a leading “idea” it rarely delivers an experience that doesn’t garner the customer to try to get help in another channel, often the phone channel. This defeats the purpose of self-service and reduces the first contact resolution — one of the most important indicators of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The IBM Watson and Genesys solution provides organizations with the ability to identify when a customer needs to speak with a customer experience representative, rather than continuing in a self-service application. For example, if a customer reaches a point in conversation during a self-service interaction that could prompt either customer churn or a timely sales opportunity, Watson’s knowledge of pre-defined business guidelines allows the solution to signal when it is time to transfer the conversation to an agent.

The customer is not arbitrarily transferred to just any agent among the potentially hundreds who work at a call center. The solution pinpoints the exact agent to handle a customer’s inquiry, based on specific factors such as an agent’s experience, channel used, training and even license to discuss or sell a given product and then transfers the customer with the accompanying detail of the self-service interaction. This could mean a shift to reducing call volume and increasing first contact resolution – if it works as indicated. Case studies will be interesting to hear how brands are actually putting it to use.

WHAT DOES THE CEO OF GENESYS THINK ABOUT THE NEW PARTNERSHIP?

Paul Segre, President and CEO, Genesys says, “This combined solution delivers sophisticated yet simple to manage knowledge capabilities to transform self-service systems and human interactions into positive brand impressions. With Watson, our new solution provides a transformational customer experience with a natural and informed transition from self service to agent assistance to yield better business outcomes.

WHAT DOES THE MIKE RHODIN, SVP OF IBM WATSON GROUP THINK ABOUT THE NEW PARTNERSHIP?

Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group says, “By tapping into IBM Watson’s cognitive intelligence, Genesys is infusing a personalized assistant into every customer interaction. Customer engagement is a natural fit for Watson, empowering brands with information driven insights. This is a key example of how a new era of cognitive computing applications will transform industries and professions and revolutionize how decisions are made.”

About Genesys

Genesys is the market leader in multi-channel customer experience (CX) and contact center solutions in the cloud and on-premises. We help brands of all sizes make great CX great business. The Genesys Customer Experience Platform powers optimal customer journeys consistently across all touchpoints, channels and interactions to turn customers into brand advocates. Genesys is trusted by over 4,500 customers in 80 countries to orchestrate more than 100 million digital and voice interactions each day. Visit us at www.genesys.com or call us at +1.888.436.3797.

 

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

Three years after its victory on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!, IBM Watson has evolved to represent a new era of computing, where by 2017 it is predicted that 10 percent of computers will be able to learn as Watson does. Today, Watson is no longer just the world’s most famous game-playing computer. IBM has put Watson to work in various industries. In healthcare, IBM is co-developing an application with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and partnering with WellPoint, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Additionally, IBM has partnered with numerous colleges and universities across the country to teach Watson capabilities and cognitive computing technology to the next generation workforce. In 2013, IBM announced the introduction of the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, the first Watson offering designed to improve customer experience, putting the power of Watson within reach of everyone.

IBM’s mission to spark a new generation of Watson-powered apps is just the latest milestone in developing cognitive system offerings that help its clients and partners succeed.

For more information on IBM Watson, please visit www.ibmwatson.com

@DrNatalie

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

Catch my latest:
• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 
• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title) 
Share

LIVEOPS Engage Press Announcement

LiveOps® Engage™ is the industry’s first single, integrated, multichannel desktop, built with both the agent and the customer in mind. LiveOps Engage simplifies the user experience to increase agent productivity and improve customer experience across all channels on a single screen: phone, email, live chat, SMS, Twitter, and Facebook.

Inspired by modern web design, LiveOps Engage is a browser-based cloud application that’s available at no additional cost to customers of the LiveOps Platform. The contemporary design, color palettes and typography of LiveOps Engage create a highly intuitive user interface that’s easy to learn and use. Agents using LiveOps Engage need less time and fewer clicks to complete the most common functions, since everything is contained in a single, integrated agent desktop.

Results of a recent survey of traditional multichannel agents indicate that the use of LiveOps Engage creates the potential for agent productivity gains, efficiencies and cost savings including:

  • 25% to 50% increase in agent productivity
  • 25% to 50% increase in agent “happiness”
  • 25% overall cost savings
  • Improved first call resolution
  • Reduced average interaction handle time
  • Reduced customer churn
  • Increased Customer Lifetime Value

“LiveOps Engage is very appealing. The look and feel is clean and a lot less cluttered than the user interfaces that many other vendors are showing,” observed Dan Miller, Senior Analyst, Opus Research. “It masks many of the unavoidable complexities and lets the agents focus on what’s most important without having to spend time toggling between multiple applications and browsers.”

Industry experts estimate that the time delays created for agents by disconnected applications can cost companies more than $5,000 per year in unnecessary spend per agent. These delays also lead to inconsistent service across communications channels and ultimately a fragmented brand experience for the consumer. Contact center agents are critical brand ambassadors, but they are often not empowered with the right tools they need to effectively manage their work flow or track customer engagement across an increasing number of channels.

“Agent experience is directly linked to delivering superior customer care across multiple channels. As such, it’s imperative that businesses focus on empowering their agents with tools that help them easily access unified multichannel information,” said Omer Minkara, Research Analyst, Contact Center and Customer Experience Management, Aberdeen Group.”Best-in-Class organizations enable agents with the ability to handle multi-channel customer interactions through a unified agent desktop on a single screen. These unified agent desktop tools, such as those provided by LiveOps, enable increased agent productivity and improve customer satisfaction results by 39.9% year-over-year.”

Whether the customer initiates a phone call, email, chat session, SMS, Facebook post or Tweet, the message and phone panels in LiveOps Engage are integrated within a single screen. This single screen integration enables agents to receive a 360 degree view of the customer to ensure that the most relevant information is seen at the right time alongside a history of past interaction. Plus, the integrated user interface of LiveOps Engage helps agents to quickly and easily respond to customers in the channel the customer prefers, or seamlessly pivot to the channel best suited to resolve the customer’s issue. This empowers agents to resolve customer inquiries faster and with greater accuracy, and can improve customer satisfaction.

As a company with more than 10 years of experience running the world’s largest cloud customer service contact center, LiveOps knows how agents work and how their performances are measured. This unparalleled expertise has shaped the vision at LiveOps that the future of customer service hinges on brands not only having a complete view of their customer and their interaction history in one place, but also the ability to pivot customer interactions across multiple channels in one application.

“There is little doubt that for customer support operations to improve performance in today’s complex environment, a unified agent desktop is an essential tool. It improves the customer experience, increases accuracy, supports more personalized interactions and reduces processing time,” said Elizabeth Harrell, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Constellation Research. “LiveOps demonstrates solid innovation in this area that will attract more customers and help sustain its strong year-over-year growth in cloud customer service.”

“At LiveOps we have a saying: ‘the agent experience creates the customer experience.’ It really is that simple,” said Kieron Lawson, Chief Technology Officer of Applications, LiveOps. “Driving agent productivity and efficiency are still the foundation of any contact center. LiveOps Engage lets today’s Internet-savvy agents interact with customers on their channels of choice, with a user experience that’s as simple as any other consumer application. By providing agents with a 360 degree customer view and all the tools they need to manage both social and private channels in a single desktop, they are more productive, more efficient, and ultimately provide better customer service. At the end of the day, that’s what matters most to contact center decision makers.”

About LiveOps

LiveOps is the global leader in cloud contact center and customer service solutions. More than 300 companies around the world, including Salesforce.com, Symantec, Royal Mail Group, and Amway New Zealand trust LiveOps’ technology to enable effective multichannel, social and mobile interactions with their customers. LiveOps’ award-winning platform has processed more than 1 Billion minutes of customer interactions and managed operations for the largest US-based cloud contact center of 20,000 home-based, independent agents. With 10+ years of cloud experience LiveOps is the partner of choice for companies wanting to migrate to the cloud. Headquartered in Redwood City, California with European regional headquarters in London, UK, LiveOps supports a wide range of industries including financial, health care, insurance, retail, and high tech. For more information visit www.LiveOps.com.
Learn. Share. Grow!
@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff

For more info on my work:
Ebook
:Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI YouTube Videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Book on Monetizing Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Let’s Connect here:
Twitter:
@drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.petouhoff

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share