Nimble 2018 – The Story continues

Nimble 2018 – The Story continues

The year 2018 is coming to an end, which means it is high time for some interesting product and roadmap news. Here’s some Nimble news (ok, not THAT fresh anymore, I have been incredibly busy recently). For starters, Nimble released its long awaited Mobile 3.0 for Android, complementing the iOS version that got released earlier this year. Nimble unifies contacts from teams’ mobile, cloud-based, and desktop records into an all-in-one relationship manager. With minimal taps, sales and marketing professionals can prepare for meetings by quickly scanning social insights, sales intelligence, and contact engagement history from their portal device. To keep the momentum going, Office 365 and G Suite users can send personalized responses using template, trackable emails, and monitor opportunities across all deal stages from their portable devices. “People buy from the people they know, like, and trust,” said Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara. “We therefore designed Nimble Mobile to give users the insights they need to build confidence, engage in productive discussions, and follow through promptly anytime, anywhere.” With this milestone, Nimble has now truly achieved a vision of being a simple, smart ‘CRM’ for MS Office and G-Suite users that works for the user. I put the CRM into quotes as this term for me and most other people relates to a stragegy or system that includes marketing, sales and service capabilities and not only Sales Force Automation (SFA). And SFA, particularly contact management, is what is at the core of Nimble. Still, Nimble combines key ingredients of the digital workplace that a mobile, sales person needs, into one single place. It provides the user with vital information about...
The Secret Sauce of Success – Recipe unveiled by the DC Office of Unified Communications

The Secret Sauce of Success – Recipe unveiled by the DC Office of Unified Communications

Back in 2015 the Washington D.C. Office of Unified Communications (OUC) started a re-platforming exercise of their backbone from an on premise system to a cloud based customer service solution. The Washington, D.C. Office of Unified Communications manages non-emergency services for 311 callers across the District of Columbia, supporting 17 different agencies, including the Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and more. The OUC also manages emergency services for 911 callers. One of the main reasons for this re-platforming was the downtime challenge inherent to all on premise platforms: They need to be upgraded regularly, which causes service degradation or even unavailability. Other reasons included insufficient and slow reporting capabilities as well as the need to add more self-service channels. Having strong reporting and analytics capabilities are crucially important for call centers. The biggest thing for them is the answer and solution rate, which needs to be as high as possible. Additional self-service channels were necessary to be able to cope with the influx of requests and to both, improve customer satisfaction and modernize the customer experience. To further achieve the latter, a chat service and social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have been added to the 311 services. All of these challenges have been addressed by migrating to a software solution based upon the Salesforce Service Cloud, along with some organizational measures. Being a main KPI, the answer wait time has been drastically reduced from 7 minutes to a mere 31 seconds. Doesn’t sound good to you? Consider that the service still serves 1.8 million calls per year with...
Data Rules – SAP acquires Qualtrics

Data Rules – SAP acquires Qualtrics

The News On November 11, 2018 SAP announced that it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Qualtrics, the “global pioneer of the experience management (XM) software category”. Here is the full announcement for you to read: WALLDORF, Germany, PROVO, Utah, SEATTLE, Wash. — SAP SE(NYSE: SAP) and Qualtrics International Inc. (Qualtrics) today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which SAP SE intends to acquire Qualtrics, the global pioneer of the experience management (XM) software category that enables organizations to thrive in today’s experience economy. Together, SAP and Qualtrics to accelerate the new XM category by combining experience data and operational data to power the experience economy Creates a highly differentiated offering for businesses to deliver superior customer, employee, product, and brand experiences Ryan Smith to continue to lead Qualtrics; Qualtrics to maintain dual headquarters in Provo, Utah, and Seattle, Wash. Under the terms of the agreement, SAP will acquire all outstanding shares of Qualtrics for US$8 billion in cash. SAP has secured financing in the amount of €7 billion to cover purchase price and acquisition-related costs. The purchase price includes unvested employee incentive compensation and cash on the balance sheet at close. Subject to customary closing conditions and attainment of regulatory clearances, the acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2019. The Boards of Directors of SAP and Qualtrics have approved the transaction. Qualtrics’ shareholders have also approved the transaction. SAP CEO Bill McDermott said: “We continually seek out transformational opportunities – today’s announcement is exactly that. Together, SAP and Qualtrics represent a new paradigm, similar to market-making shifts in personal operating systems, smart...
Clash of Titans – The IaaS Platform Providers

Clash of Titans – The IaaS Platform Providers

In the past three posts of this series I have covered the definition of a platform, followed by a brief analysis of the big four players in the customer experience world, namely Microsoft, and SAP, followed by Salesforce and Oracle. And then there are the IaaS Platform Providers Of which there are mainly four, although Gartner Group lists six of them in their 2018 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide! And this drop from 14 vendors in 2017 to just six in 2018 already shows how much consolidation is going on in this market. But why even mention them here? After all this text originated as an analysis of the big business software vendors. Cloud infrastructure provides are important for two reasons: They do provide the raw computing power, the storage, networking resources, etc. for business workloads in a highly elastic way – including the ability to scale up and down in (near) real time. IaaS platforms also more and more contain and offer the PaaS portion that is necessary to offer value added services. In essence, the big six of the IaaS providers that are covered by the Gartner Group offer a technology platform, an ecosystem, insight, and productivity tools. The only thing that they are not really doing – yet – is offering rich, integrated business applications. But back to why I do see only four main IaaS providers going forward. These famous four are AWS, Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba. Of course with AWS having a tremendous lead for now, with Google and Microsoft struggling for the second spot, and with new kid on the block Alibaba growing...
Clash of Titans – The War Cry: Oracle and Salesforce

Clash of Titans – The War Cry: Oracle and Salesforce

More Food for Thought In the last article Clash of Titans – Microsoft and SAP weigh in of this little series, I discussed the strategy of two of the big four and how they are positioned in the platform play of the business software titans – and others. This article covers the other two: Oracle and Salesforce. These business software vendors are competing in a market that is changing – commoditizing – at a fast rate towards an experience market, and probably beyond, if I follow the argumentation and thoughs of CRM godfather and friend Paul Greenberg. Business application vendors can stay really successful only if they morph into platform players. And this platform is more than just a technology platform, but encompasses four dimensions. The four dimensions that are paramount to be able to deliver great engagements that result in lasting positive experiences are Platform (IaaS/PaaS) Ecosystem Insight Productivity In this article I look at Oracle and Salesforce and how they position themselves in this game of thrones. But now, without further ado, let’s dig into the topic. Oracle Since the launch of what originally was project Fusion and now is Oracle CX, the company has done a remarkable pivot from being an on premise company to becoming a cloud company. The company has its strength in being a full stack provider with a full range of business applications. However, its main strenght is owning the gold standard database engine that runs the majority of business workloads worldwide. From its overall technological profile one could position Oracle somewhere between SAP and Microsoft as it with Open Office also...
Clash of Titans: Microsoft and SAP weigh in

Clash of Titans: Microsoft and SAP weigh in

A little recap As it has been some time since I published Clash of Titans – Platform Play, the first part of this little series, let me start with a little recap. The business applications market, especially the CRM market, is evolving fast. CRM has morphed from concentrating on transactions to become an enabler of engagements. Engagements in turn result in experiences. And positive experiences are what companies want to achieve. In a digital world this is possible only if companies rely on a foundation, a (technical) platform. Becoming the provider of the dominant technical platform therefore has become the main goal of of the big business software vendors. However, even governing a great technical platform is not enough. Software vendors that want to be successful platform players need to be able to deliver on four areas to succeed: Platform (IaaS/PaaS) Ecosystem Insight Productivity Only if they deliver on all four aspects are ‘platform players’ able to provide their customers with what they need to involve themselves in digital engagements that result in sustainably positive experiences. I will look at how the big four are measuring up in this and the next article of this little series. Microsoft and SAP will be the starters. Then I will look at Oracle and Salesforce. I might conclude with some surprise additions. But let the games begin! Microsoft Microsoft is the (not so, if you look sharply) hidden champion of this game. Actually, I think that Microsoft is the 800 pound gorilla in this game. It is Microsoft’s objective to become the fabric that connects enterprises of all sizes with their stakeholders,...