thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
How to walk a Fresh way towards CX and EX

How to walk a Fresh way towards CX and EX

The News On November 11, 2021 Freshworks held its annual Freshworks Refresh event. This year, the event had a hybrid format with around 250 customers, partners and analysts participating on site while around 17k people have registered for online participation. There was a social pre-event and an after-event for entertainment and networking purposes.  The event itself was themed around “delight made easy”. Naturally, it had different agendas for customers and partners on one side and analysts on the other side. The morning was dedicated to a 4-hour sequence of keynote sessions for everyone. The event was kicked off with a keynote by Neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and author David Eagleman, who spoke about the “Science of Delight”. The closing keynote was delivered by Amy Purdy, who shared her inspiring story of how she used creativity, a positive outlook and a never-give-up attitude to turn her life from nearly dying, finding herself with a double lower leg amputation and failing organs into becoming a 3 times Paralympic medalist. Between these two speakers, who set the scene, Freshworks offered product and customer information. Freshworks CEO Girish Mathrubootham gave a product update that linked into Eagleman’s message and a distributed customer panel spoke about their experiences with Freshworks, how they implemented Freshworks solutions and how these help the respective businesses. Rounding this off, Freshworks awarded several prizes to customers who offer exceptional EX or CX and showcased the winners of an internal hackathon. The latter is relevant because these winning solutions made it into or will make it into Freshworks products. The afternoon was filled with customer related information in the customer and partner track and product and strategy sessions for the analysts. The...
How autonomous automation is the future

How autonomous automation is the future

During the past weeks I had a couple of observations and conversations that lead me to thinking that sometimes software vendors underestimate the power that their machine learning based systems could have to improve the lives and experiences of employees and customers.  From various vendors in various lines of business, from process mining and automation via application performance monitoring to vendors of conversational AI and pretty much everything in between I hear something like the following: “Our machine learning based system continuously analyses the process/interactions and detects anomalies. From there on it identifies the patterns and can make suggestions how these anomalies can be avoided or resolved.” Of course, this is paraphrased, but you get the meaning. Here are some examples. A real life scenario that I once encountered is as follows: A global B2B e-commerce solution using synchronous pricing is set up in a template approach. It is using one single ERP system for pricing. This is a pretty common B2B scenario, as it is often not feasible to replicate all prices to the e-commerce system, due to the sheer amount of product – customer combinations that are possible. In this scenario, adding a product to the shopping cart involves multiple calls from the e-commerce solution to the ERP system to establish the price. The pilot country site is close to the country that hosts the ERP system. Implementation of the e-commerce solution happened in the country that hosts the ERP system for all e-commerce sites. Deployment into the target countries can happen only after the testing phase, which is clearly suboptimal. Adding a product to the cart...
Nimble Workflows for added value

Nimble Workflows for added value

The News I haven’t written about Nimble in a while. Probably a mistake, because there is always something interesting going on in the Nimble world. Already on October 19 2021, Nimble announced the availability of a workflow functionality that is targeted at enabling teams to replace spreadsheets with a when following through processes. Nimble workflows support Relating workflows to contact records with the objective of getting a complete overview of the relationship, including interaction history, attachments and custom fieldsManaging business workflows across departments to support more than sales and marketing needsPre-built workflow templates that are delivered by Nimble to already support a variety of common workflows for short time-to-valueCreating own workflows by modifying the delivered templates or creating new ones from scratchVisualization in a Kanban- or spreadsheet style with inline editing for making quick changesOffering the ability to add contacts to workflows from emails, websites, web forms, social media, business apps or via Zapier/Integromat and Nimble’s API In the words of Jon Ferrara, Nimble founder and CEO: “Repeatable processes are key to scaling a business, but managing external contact-related workflows across an entire company has historically been very difficult. Most CRM’s are built for salespeople while non-sales teams end up using spreadsheets to manage people processes. Since Nimble is in the business of relationship-building, we realize the importance of effective collaboration. With [Nimble] Workflows, every department in your organization can now manage all people-related processes within your CRM!” As part of the announcement, Nimble emphasizes on its enhanced positioning as being built for the whole company and “not just sales and marketing teams.”  The bigger picture Workflows are something...
How SugarCRM is setting out to become a Titan

How SugarCRM is setting out to become a Titan

The news On November 2, 2021, SugarCRM held an analyst summit to share what is going on at the company and to get some candid feedback of the participants. As usual for this type of event, there is quite some information that is still under NDA, so I will be able to cover some of it only in broad strokes rather than the detail that the matters deserve. After a business update by CEO Craig Charlton, the event itself revolved around two themes: customer success stories, including customers describing how they are using SugarCRM to improve their own business by better serving their customers in an interview style formatSugarCRM business development, technology, and its future trajectory. Naturally, this part is largely under NDA. There were breakout sessions covering Sugar Sell, Sugar Service, and Sugar Market As usual, and with the notable exception of the customer interviews, the event was slide-driven with giving the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the respective agenda items plus offering a brief Q&A with the executives. Last, but not least, part of the event is a 1:1 session with a SugarCRM executive a few days after the summit. After a short opening by Sarita Kincaid, Craig Charlton offered a business update, showing how SugarCRM developed in the past twelve months. The company is focusing keenly on the mid-market. Craig painted a bright picture that shows a very high customer retention combined with a good growth rate. Noteworthy are a steep increase of the recurring ARR. He quoted a nearly doubled number of new logos, combined with a more than doubled new/upsell ARR...
Zoho One – The Operating System for Business

Zoho One – The Operating System for Business

Zoho is a privately-owned technology company that was founded in 1996 as Adventnet, Inc. and has quietly evolved into an ambitious global player that serves the SMB and enterprise markets with cloud applications. The company offers a suite of more than 50 business, collaboration and productivity applications. These include applications for CRM, project management, finance, human resource management, analytics and support.  The company is headquartered in Chennai, India. It has eleven offices in India, five in the United States and has offices in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Singapore, China, Egypt, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands. Offices in France and Germany are in preparation. Zoho has more than 10,000employees as of mid-2021. It is present in 180 countries with more than 70 million users. Zoho is led by its co-founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu. Being a privately held company, Zoho is not obliged to, and does not publish revenue or profit numbers. However, the company indicates a track record of profitable growth that is well in the double digits. The company manages its growth organically, i.e. without acquisitions. All applications are built by Zoho, using one single hard- and software stack. They are deployed and delivered via Zoho owned data centers in the United States, Europe, India, China and Australia. Following this unique approach, the company has built a solid platform with a unified data model that allows it to grow and deliver software at high speed. Core values of Zoho include corporate self-determination, privacy as a principle and a commitment to delivering high value. Zoho One Zoho aspires to deliver the operating system of a business with the goal of driving customers’ margins by unifying business operations on one single technology platform. The most important part...
With Oracle Fusion Marketing into the Future of CRM?

With Oracle Fusion Marketing into the Future of CRM?

The News On September 20, 2021 Oracle announced during an Oracle Live event named “The future of CRM” Oracle Fusion Marketing, which is not the same as Oracle Marketing. According to Rob Tarkoff, EVP and GM Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience, Oracle Fusion Marketing is a layer that automatically executes account based marketing and sales campaigns.  The product aims at enabling an end-to-end process from creating a marketing campaign to closing the sale, bridging the divide between marketing and sales.  It does so by combining services that are delivered by three products: Unity, Oracle‘s Customer Data PlatformFusion Advertising, Oracle‘s digital advertisement platformFusion Products & References, Oracle‘s recommendation platform under one easy-to-use user interface that is modeled as a guided procedure.  Oracle Fusion Marketing simplifies and accelerates the creation and execution of marketing by Building a target audience of known contacts: Marketers can select a product or service that is the focus of the campaign, and then select a list of known contacts from any CRM systemExpanding your audience: From that audience, Fusion Marketing will automatically generate a highly targeted audience profile for use in online advertising to target people who are potentially relevant to your campaign – byt unknown to your contact databaseIdentifying the best customer references: based on the focus of the campaign and specific industry of each customer, Fusion Marketing recommends the best reference stories to promote in the campaignSimplifying campaign configuration: Fusion Marketing provides a single user interface to assign all of the campaign assets required to run your campaign across email, website landing pages, and advertising channelsLaunching the campaign: the marketer can easily set up advertising budget, star and...