Posts Tagged ‘Chief Sales Officer’

News Analysis: Vertical Solutions Extends Customer Experience And Field Service Footprint With Three Partnerships

Vertical Solutions Partnerships Showcase Why Complex Field Service Is A Critical Glue Between ERP and CRM In Improving Customer Experience


Announced March 4th, 2014 at the Microsoft Convergence event, Vertical Solutions, made three significant partnerships with Blue Horseshoe Solutions, Cincom, and Vidcie.  The Cincinnati, Ohio based customer experience software vendor provides cloud contact center and service management solutions that bridge the worlds of physical goods with customer experience.  The analysis of the three announcements show:

  • Where after market sales and service creates a strategic differentiator for Cincom. Cincom signed a reseller partnership with Vertical Solutions for integrated Field Service Management and Maintenance Repair Operations.  Cincom is a global Microsoft ISV for manufacturing. The partnership allows Cincom to resell VSI’s Service Lifecycle Management Solution with Cincom’s Business Suite for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

    Point of View (POV):
    In the current digital business transformation, manufacturers realize that product margins can no longer sustain growth.  While service revenues, warranty management, and installation can provide additional revenues, organizations must move from selling products to keeping brand promises.  Post sales service is a key component to ensuring that the brand promise is kept for manufacturers.
  • Why supply chain and post sales service should team up to improve customer experience in the Blue Horseshoe partnership. Blue Horseshoe provides a Supply Chain Suite for Microsoft Dynamics AX.  The partnership ties customer support, field service and mobile environments with logistics, supply chain, transportation management, advanced warehousing, and order completion.

    (POV):
    While the Blue Horseshoe solution provides a robust capability in supply chain, Vertical Solutions provides post sales and complex field service requirements.  These requirements enable customers to deliver on the complete order management cycle.  In speaking with several Blue Horseshoe and Microsoft Dynamics AX customers, they have a need to reduce warranty costs and improve customer satisfaction through improved first visit resolution programs.  Constellation believes that customers do not care what department resolves the issue, just that the issue is resolved across the continuum of customer engagement.
  • How video streaming can provide real-time access to experts through the Vidcie partnership. The partnership with Vidcie allows customers to integrate video streaming technology into the VSI enterprise Service Lifecycle Management solution VServiceManagement.  Vidcie is a Silicon Valley based hands free live streaming, mobile, and wearable technology provider.  Vidcie is More…

News Analysis: Gainsight Spring 2014 Release Targets Large Enterprises Making The Transition To #DigitalBiz

Customer Success Management Pioneer Adds Key Functionality For March 2014 Release

On March 18th, Mountain View, CA based Gainsight announced the Spring 2014 release of its customerssuccess management platform.  Led by CEO Nick Mehta, the cloud software vendor has received over $29M in funding from key investors such as Bain Capital, Battery Ventures, Capital Innovators, Cultivation Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, and Summit Partners.  In addition to the latest release, the company added two industry veterans Sherif Botros from SAP as Chief Data Scientist and Puja Ramani from Facebook as Director of Product Management and Analytics.

Five key features designed for the largest of enterprises were announced for the Gainsight Spring 2014 release and include:

  • Support for sponsor tracking with LinkedIn and InsideView. New feature takes contacts listed in a client’s CRM system and monitors status changes in InsideView and Linkedin.  Known as Gainsight Sponsor Tracking, the feature also adds relevant news, events, and CRM intelligence.  These additional, external data points factor into a holistic customer health score that includes usage, support, engagement, and and other relationship health metrics.

    Point of View (POV):
    A top root cause for churn is an executive sponsor’s departure.  The automated system serves as an early warning indicator when status changes for key contacts to help provide the advantage of time and insight when protecting renewals and future upsell.  The feature also locates potential advocate or customers to on board.
  • Delivery of a Salesforce1 mobile app .  The Gainsight Salesforce1 Mobile App integrates natively with Salesforce (see Figure 1).   The Gainsight offering allows users access on Android and iOS phones and tablets.  Alerts, tasks, customer health data, and survey feedback are integrated with Salesforce system data.

    (POV):
    Mobility tops this year’s list of key enabling digital technologies in almost every Constellation survey.   Customers can take advantage of in-between and wait times to update customer health and fill notes via the application.  Many existing customers expect that this feature will improve team productivity from 10 to 25%.

Figure 1. Gainsight Delivers a Native Integration To Salesforce1

  • Release of  Gainsight Success Snapshots. As a new data visualization publishing feature, the solution helps clients build and publish data filled presentations, executive updates, and QBR reports.  Users can populate presentations with customer queries or templated reports.

    (POV):
    Customers seek not only good reporting tools, but also consumer grade user experience and ease of use. Data visualization tools play a key role in effectively democratizing the data to decision process among stakeholders championing customer success.

Event Report: Microsoft Convergence 2014 Day 1 Demonstrates Solid Momentum and Mindshare ( #CONV14 )

Microsoft Convergence Kicks Off In Atlanta

The annual Microsoft Convergence customer event kicked off on March 4th, 2014.  Far from the days of the Stampede in Fargo, North Dakota, the event shows how far the Microsoft Dynamics customers, partners, and products have progressed.  Over 12,000 attendees including customers, partners, staff, and prospects gathered in Atlanta, GA for the largest Microsoft Enterprise Applications conference.  The sold out event featured a volunteer program on Day 0 and a good number of partner meetings the weekend before.  Analysis from four key announcements on Day 1 include:

  • Microsoft Dynamics gaining momentum on the large enterprise and divisions of large enterprises. Key customers presenting in the opening keynote include Chobani, City Harvest Inc, Delta Airlines, Lotus F1 Team, New Belgium Brewery, and Weight Watchers.  These presenting customers share a key theme of customer centricity and a Microsoft enterprise backbone.  Moreover, many showcase the devices and services theme set by former CEO Steve Ballmer.

    Point of View (POV):
    Constellation sees a growing trend where organizations and brands move to Dynamics for both CRM and ERP.  The ability to integrate back to other Microsoft technologies such as SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure Services provides both a pull and a push.  As organizations think about consolidating vendors and moving to the cloud, the Microsoft Dynamics team provides some compelling options in manufacturing, retail, distribution, public sector, professional services, and travel and entertainment.  The launch of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Enterprise License at $200 per user per month show cases the move upmarket.
  • Dynamics CRM users gain key marketing and social capabilities. Microsoft announces the next release of Dynamics CRM in Q2 of 2014.  Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, which was formed from the Marketing Pilot acquisition , debuts to assist with campaign management.  The service and support offering gains new features such as Unified Service Desk along with closer integration to recently acquired Parature.  Newly launched Microsoft Social Listening launches at no additional charge for Dynamics CRM Online professional license holders.

    (POV):
    The rewrite of acquired entity Marketing Pilot provides some improvement to the original product.  Parity at the Exact Target and Hubspot level will take at least two to three more releases.  Release of unified service desk paired with Parature, provides a powerful combination in customer service and support.  Microsoft Social Listening finally provides customers with a social tool that has been sorely missing in the line up.  More importantly, in CRM and customer experience, the mobile access options have not forced customers onto Windows Phone and instead have provided native support of iOS and Android..
  • Dynamics ERP users prepare for new releases. Dynamics GP gets a release for Q1 2014 that includes identity management, workflow, and self service companion apps.  Dynamics NAV shoudl receive an update in Q4 2014.  More importantly, the team announced the availability of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 for May 1st 2014.  Key themes include mobile enablement, support for deployment on Windows Azure in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) layer, and an end to end apps and services framework.  .  The cross offering with the Windows Azure team is the Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services which improve implementation times and enable agile updates.

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News Analysis: FinancialForce.com ERP Arrives To Signal The Era Of Best Of Breed Cloud Suites

FinancialForce Debuts Its Full ERP Suite


On February 19th, San Francisco headquartered, FinancialForce.com announced the launch of its full suite of ERP offerings built on the Salesforce1 platform.  Backed by investments from UNIT4 and Salesforce.com, the cloud based vendor began as a single ledger financial management system built on the Salesforce.com Force.com platform.  The announcement and product launch shows how FinancialForce:

  • Delivers a full ERP suite on the Salesforce1 platform. The platform brings together a series of organic products and recent acquisitions in HR, supply chain, and project management (see Figure 1).  The December 2010 acquisition of Appirio’s professional services automation assets form the Professional Services Automation offering.  The 2013 acquisitions of Vana Workforce and Less Software brought the human capital management (HCM) and supply chain management (SCM) capabilities.

    Point of View (POV):
    The management team at FinacialForce.com was smart to bring in acquisitions built on the original Force.com platform.  Post merger integration was greatly simplified as the products shared a common architectural base.  More importantly, the acquired solutions were easily upgraded to the Salesforce1 platform to create an end to end ERP cloud based ERP suite.  Customers gain the full advantages of the Salesforce 1 platform and integration with the core Salesforce CRM offerings.
  • Demonstrates focus on long term growth and viability .  FinancialForce.com showed 80% year over year growth in revenue run-rate compared to 2012.  Headcount grew 62% year over year with over 260 global employees.  Furthermore, customers represent a global base with 27 countries and users in 45 countries.

    (POV):
    Cloud has gone mainstream and customers now expect their cloud companies to demonstrate viability.  The mergers and acquisitions required to build a full cloud ERP suite signal a maturity by FinancialForce.com and the market.  Early customers of the full suite provide positive references on both the synergies of the ERP offering and the flexibility of the Salesforce1 platform for extensibility.

Figure 1. FinancialForce.com Launches A Full Integrated ERP Suite

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Trends: [VIDEO] The Digital Business Disruption Ahead Preview – NASSCOM India Leadership Forum (#NASSCOM_ILF)

A 10-Minute Preview Video Interview Of The Digital Business Disruption Ahead From The #NASSCOM_ILF Team

On January 17th, 2014, the NASSCOM team interviewed Constellation Research about the digital disruption ahead.  The short 10 minute video covers key topics including:

  • Convergence of the five pillars of digital business drive the current digital disruption. The end of social, mobile, analytics, cloud, and UC (i.e. SMAC) as you know it.
  • The new ecosystems of digital business bring new opportunities. From GE’s industrial internet to mass personalization at scale, to augmented humanity, Constellation sees a new future beyond the traditional software ecosystems.
  • Everyone vs Amazon is becoming a reality. Insights on why everyone is competing with Amazon not only in retail, but also in the cloud, physical distribution, and media.
  • Mergers and acquisitions in software signal a maturing industry category. Large enterprise software companies no longer innovate fast enough and have to purchase startups for IP and growth.
  • Mobile first and cloud first drive key success factors. Constellation sees the need to move to mobile first in order to innovate and move at the speed of digital business change.
  • Service providers must focus on a higher stack. IT services firms traditionally deliver operations, maintenance, and transfer.  However the value add and higher margins are in design and build.
  • Preview of the Constellation Futurist Framework. Using a PESTEL model, Constellation provides a sneak peak in some of the big 2014 futurist trends.

VIDEO: The Digital Business Disruption Previw

Source: NASSCOM

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The Bottom Line: The Shift To Digital Business Disruption Will Forever Transform The Service Provider Landscape

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Event Report: #NRF14 Preview – Retail’s Big Show Hints At Lessons Learned In #MatrixCommerce

Retails Big Show Transformed For 2014

Over 29,000 people are expected to gather at the National Retail Federation’s big show (NRF) this Sunday, January 11th, 2014, in New York City.  #NRF14 brings the intersection of new retail business models, products, store concepts, technology, society, and culture together!

A few big trends emerge based on conversations with our clients attending the event:

  1. Building out matrix commerce. Retail faces rapidly changing business models and new payment options that are often misunderstood and poorly integrated. Matrix commerce describes the fusing of demand signals and supply chains in an increasingly complex world of buyers seeking frictionless buying experiences. Channels move from multi-channel to total channels. As the world revolves around the buyer, channels, demand signals, supply chains, payment options, enablers, and big data will converge to create what Constellation coined in 2011 as Matrix Commerce. Matrix Commerce spans across disciplines as people, process, and technologies continue to transform today’s commerce models.  This shift to a buyer centric model will result in continued consolidation of retail technologies as stacks and ecosystems form around real buyer needs.  Lessons learned: There is no single end to end solution.  However, strong open standards and a focus on buyer centricity will help provide guide rails to success.
  2. Dealing with digital disruption. The convergence of the five forces of consumerization described in 2009 and 2010 serve as the five pillars of digital business.  Retailers recognize that they no longer sell products and services, as buyers seek experiences and outcomes. Market leaders and fast followers now democratize the data to decisions pathway to enable innovation at all levels More…

News Analysis: Sitecore Acquires Commerce Server In Quest Towards Customer Experience Management

Commerce Server Finds Its Logical Home

On Wednesday November 20th, 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark based Sitecore acquired Ottawa, Canada based commerceserver.net for an undisclosed price.  Originally known as the Microsoft Siteserver and Commerce Server 2000, the product was orphaned by Microsoft,  then Ascentium, the key development partner were given the rights to further develop and market the product.  Adding to the lore, Ascentium changed their name to SMITH in the Fall of 2012 and the product group was rebranded to commerceserver.net.

Sitecore’s acquisition continues a consolidation trend in the Matrix Commerce market where vendors are aggregating technologies to support a buyer centric approach to customer experience.  Constellation believes customers should pay attention because Sitecore:

  • Signals seriousness to deliver on end to end customer experience. Sitecore’s portfolio includes its core web content management offerings and an emerging set of digital marketing assets.  Commerce Server adds key B2C functionality for hard goods, digital goods, and web based services; B2B capabilities in trading communities and e-procurement; complex B2X scenarios; and personalized portals.

    Point of View (POV):
    Addition of commerceserver.net fills one key hole in Sitecore’s customer experience management portfolio.  Customers and prospects can expect additional acquisitions from the new management team.   In fact, the company has brought in heavy hitters such as a new CRO and CMO over the past 12 months.  Constellation believes that Sitecore is serious in completing key holes in the end to end customer experience story and moving up the stack to support a range of small to large enterprise customers.  In fact, Commerce Sever 10 scales up to support 220,000o orders/day on a 12 hour peak, 60 million user profiles, 10 million item catalogs, 100,000 catalogs and virtual catalogs, and hosting support for 100 active, 1000 provisioned.  Constellation believes the acquistion places Sitecore in the direct battle with Adobe, IBM, Oracle, and SAP for customer experience and commerce.
  • Ensures Commerce Server a friendly and natural home. Commerce Server brings its core Microsoft heritage.  Dependencies include Microsoft SQL Server, .NET,  Commerce Server Staging (CSS), and Component Object Model.  Commerce Server also plays well with other Microsoft server stack components including Biz Talk Server and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.  Sitecore’s software is built on a Microsoft.NET platform.  Deployable in Microsoft Azure, the core CMS can use Oracle or Microsoft for the database and content can be stored in either .NET or XML objects.

    (POV):
    Customers should find relief that the Commerce Server assets return back to a product centric company.  While SMITH (formerly known as Ascentium), a digital experience agency, served as a reasonable owner and even delivered the latest version 10 release, software cultures and services business models often clash.  Why? The research and development investment required to take products to market work against the resource utilization and project focus required for successful services.  Constellation will measure integration success by how well the team builds and accelerates the original major release plans (see Figure 1).
  • Gains critical ecosystem assets. Commerce Server brings 3000 customers and 25 partners around the world.  Partners range from 17 enterprise providers, hosting providers, training, ISV, and consultants. Key industries for Commerce Server include retail, manufacturing, and e-government.  Sitecore brings over 3000 customers, 1000 certified business partners in 50 countries, 8,000 certified developers, and 17,000 active members in the developer ecosystem.

    (POV):
    Prior to the acquisition, Commerce Server product holes included content management, search, analytics, campaign management, and other key customer experience management capabilities.  Sitecore fills many of these product gaps and adds a larger ecosystem.  Customers can expect significant cross-training among the partners as they integrate the Commerce Server assets into their portfolios.

Figure 1. The Pre SiteCore Acquisition Commerce Server Road Map More…

News Analysis: Salesforce 1 Signals Support For Digital Business at #DF13

Salesforce Seeks To Tackle Digital Business At Dreamforce

Over 125,000 virtual and physical registrants descend on San Francisco the week of November 17th for Dreamforce 13, a future of technology meets SXSW event.  One day in advance of the largest enterprise software event of its kind, Salesforce.com announces Salesforce 1 (see Figure 1).  The Salesforce 1 customer platform seeks to address a cadre of emerging digital business requirements that customer centric companies face.

Figure 1. Salesforce 1 Customer Platform Intends to Support The Internet Of Customers

Source: Salesforce.com

SalesForce 1 Reflects Much Needed Refresh Of Existing Platform

The new customer platform includes platform services, platform APIs, and the Apps created from the platform.  Salesforce 1 platform services includes refreshes in Force.com, updates in Heroku, and adds Exact Target Fuel.  As expected, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Exact Target Marketing Cloud, and Apps Exchange sit on top of the salesforce1.com platform (see Figure 2).

The key analysis of this release include:

  • Internet of Customers support. Salesforce includes social, mobile, cloud, and connected as the key components for The Internet of Things.  In order to meet the requirements of a third wave of computing that moves from Internet of Things to what Salesforce calls the Internet of Customers, the new platform is designed to support this customer centricity convergence.

    Point of View (POV):
    Constellation sees more than 50B connected devices and at least 150B connected endpoints by 2020.  The opportunity is huge.  While Salesforce.com addresses 3 out of the 5 key components of digital business, the vendor still needs to provide video/unified communications and big data/analytics.  Constellation believes the big data and analytics opportunity is critical to enhancing customer experiences, to benchmarking and brokering data servcies, and to buildoing new business models around big data and analytics.  Customers should encourage Salesforce.com to consider how to enable big data business models in digital business in the next iteration.  Meanwhile, most customers can wait until future releases for video and UC requirements to be met.
  • Next generation apps developer platform. The PaaS layer adds a mobile first orientation that enables a write once and deploy anywhere platform. Developers can now deploy to a range of social, mobile, and connected devices.  The platform services include 10X more API functionality.   Developers can build customer apps, wearable apps, product apps, and salesforce apps.

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Event Report: Metaio’s #InsideAR Conference Hails The Future Of An Always On, Always Augmented Reality

Digital Business Arrives In The Always On Always Augmented World


On October 10th and 11th, 2013, over 800 attendees from more than 45 countries arrived at the Munich Olympic Park to share their passion and excitement about the latest augmented reality (AR) developments (see Figure 1).  Hosted by augmented reality pioneer Metaio, Inside AR 2013, has emerged as one of the world’s largest conferences dedicated to the business of AR.  The conference touched on key areas such as:

  • Wearable computing
  • Hardware advances
  • Applications and development
  • Global adoption
  • Future of digital business and AR
  • AR use cases from engineering to sales
  • Consumer AR
  • Future of print and packaging in AR
  • Public sector use cases

Figure 1. Full Flickr Stream Of InsideAR Including Demo Videos


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Source: Copyright © 2001 – 2013 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.

Augmented Reality Brings Contextual Experiences To Life

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News Analysis: Avangate Acquired By Francisco Partners For Matrix Commerce Capabilities

Digital Distribution Leader Gains West Coast VC Backing

On October 7th, 2013, private equity firm, Francisco Partners acquired Avangate, a leader in digital commerce and subscription billing.  Avangate serves over 3,000 customers across more than 100 countries.  Avangate has experienced 70% year over year growth over the past six years.  The deal terms were not publicly disclosed and was led by My Le Nguyen.

Constellation sees this development significant for buyers and prospects because Avangate:

  • Gains critical west coast financial community backing. The acquisition of Francisco Partners supposedly includes a buy-out of existing investors.  My Le Ngueyn of Francisco Partners is also an investor and board member at GXS, EF Johnson Technologies, and WatchGuard Technologies.

    Point of View (POV):
    Avangate frees itself from the shackles of non-west coast investors who tend not to invest for high growth and lack the key networks of Silicon Valley based investors.  My Le is a rising star at Francisco and will help Avangate invest in future areas of growth.  The buy out of existing partners and shift to US-based ownership and technology ecosystem is critical to Avangate’s continued success trajectory.
  • Invests in key customer facing and product areas. Avangate provides what Constellation terms as a matrix commerce platform.  The product delivers a unfied online eCommerce, subscription billing, global payments, and reseller & affiliate management offering.  Avangate targets individual developers and large organizaitons such as FICO, Kaspersky, and Software AG.

    Point of View (POV):
    Constellation expects the management team to invest deeper in product development, sales, customer service, and marketing.  Recent customer successes requires Avangate to adequately support its growing vendor customer base with more engineering support, professional services, and product management resources.  Expect continued expansion of Avangate’s online commerce and subscription billing capabilities.
  • Expands geographically and through mergers. New investment round provides opportunities to grow in new digital commerce hot spots as well as fund additional technology and customer base acquisitions.

    Point of View (POV):
    Many opportunities exist in areas with high mobile penetration and digital commerce growth.  Avangate could build upon its international strength given its European founding to expand its presence more into India, Indonesia, and Latin America to support both vendors selling into, as well as exporting out of those rapidly growing markets.

The Bottom Line: Matrix Commerce Platforms Continue To Gain Traction With B2B and B2C Customers

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News Analysis: Zuora Raises $50M Series E Round, Rides #MatrixCommerce Wave

Zuora Rides The Wave In The Subscription Economy

On September 5th, 2013, Foster City, CA based Zuora, announced $50 million in Series E capital.  The announcement has significant ramifications not only for Zuora’s self proclaimed subscription economy category, but also the broader business theme of matrix commerce because Zuora:

  • Expanded the investor pool. Zuora successfully added Next World Capital, Northgate Capital and Vulcan Capital to existing investors.  Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Tenaya Capital, Workday founder and co-CEO Dave Duffield and Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com all contributed to the existing round.

    Point of View (POV):
    The quality of the investment round and the amount indicate significant affirmation that the subscription economy thesis carries a gravitas among the A-list of Silicon valley investors and angels.   With $132.5M in funds raised to date, Zuora is sitting on tremendous amounts of cash from fundraising.  While Zuora could wait well into 2014 for an additional round, the move to raise additional capital will provide Zuora with an advantage over any new entrants or potential direct competitors.  Buyers can expect Zuora to be around for quite some time.
  • Added new board members with deep experiences. CEO and founder Tien Zuo adds Abhishek Agrawal of Vulcan Capital and Craig Hanson of Next World Capital to the board.

    Point of View (POV):
    Craig Hanson  brings significant experience in mergers and acquisitions of late stage and public companies.  Successful acquisitions include MXLogic, LeftHand Networks, NexGen Storage, Nimsoft, PSS Systems, and SenSage.  Abhishek Agrawal brings deep consumer experience from his General Atlantic heritage including Alibaba Gropu, Bazaarvoice, Dice, Facebook, Gilt Groupe, and Network solutions.  Buyers can expect more expertise in supporting vertical markets.  Buyers can expect new partnerships and entry into new geographies.
  • Demonstrated continued growth in a new market category. Since 2007, Zuora’s core solution provides subscription commerce, billing, and finance solutions for pay-as-you-go pricing models.   The More…

Event Report: CRM Evolution 2013 – Seven Trends In The Return To Digital Business And Customer Centricity

Market Leaders Refocus On Digital Business and Customer Centricity

The annual gathering of the industry’s top thought leaders, users, and vendors of CRM converged at the Marriott Marquis in New York this past August 19th to 21st.  As with any good conference, the speaker tracks and the corridor conversations provided a glimpse of where market leaders and fast followers planned to make their future investments and provided key insights for 2014.  After speaking with over 100 attendees, the following seven trends emerged from this year’s event:

  1. CRM is dead, well not really. While the term CRM is loosely used to define many things.  Leaders realize that CRM is the technology.  Customer experience is the business process and journey maps.  Customer centricity is a state of mind that’s required of management and leaders.  While customer experience is the new term du jour, all three elements (i.e. technology, business process, and people leadership) are required for success.  Front office is more descriptive than Tom Siebel’s legacy term of CRM.
  2. Customers seek outcomes not products or services. Customers no longer buy products.  Customers expect products to be bundled with services.  Services providers now seek to sell experiences.  Experience providers now sell access to outcomes.  This evolution of what customer’s want and what’s delivered continues to accelerate.  With hipsters and millennials short on cash, access, experiences, and outcomes have emerged as one market category to deliver for in this growing sharing economy.  However, not all customers seek just access. A movement to move too far, will result in a backlash from a majority of customers who seek ownership without the shackles of renting.
  3. Transformation projects now rally behind the shift from social back to digital business. The social business and social crm era focused on a key aspect of CRM – the relationship.  In the past, CRM excelled at management, poorly accomplished customer, and failed at relationship.  Looking back three years,  the rise of social ties back to the need to address relationships.  Now that social moves to the mainstream, market leaders refocus to digital transformation of customer centric initiatives.
  4. Funnels make no sense in an asynchronous world. Classic sales, marketing, and service funnels force fit customers into unrealistic models.  Entry points will ebb and flow as channels and context drive demand into a variety of use cases.  Design must account for this constant state of change.
  5. Big data provides relevancy and context. All the hype on big data continues to miss the point.  Customer centricity requires context.  Context creates relevancy based on a customer’s roles, relationships, products, services, location, time, sentiment, and intent.  Without relevancy, acquisition, targeting, and personalization will fail.
  6. Front office still needs back office integration. Integration with back office is required for customer experience.  A customer who makes an order for a product or service that’s out of stock and billed twice for something they did not receive will most likely be upset.  Customer centricity is both a front office and back office exercise.
  7. Identity plays a key role. Identity plays a multi-faceted role for each individual. The business implications of identity after authentication, authorization, access, and availability touch on commerce, work lives, personal lives, and engagement with each other.  Identity is a unifying factor in the current transformation to a digital world and required for customer centricity.

The Bottom Line: Business Leaders Must Embrace Customer Centricity In Order to Differentiate In A Digital World

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