thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
Your ultimate 2021 hit list of most read articles

Your ultimate 2021 hit list of most read articles

It is this time of the year and I want to extend a heart-felt Thank You! to all my readers who honour me by investing your time into reading my posts, sharing and commenting on them. Thank You! Below is the list of the top 10 posts read by you in 2021 #10: How to avoid the looming CRM crisis #9: The Dirty Dozen of 2021 Trends (maybe I should revise this one for 2022?) #8: CRMKonvo – Freshworks on Platform, CRM and useful AI #7: Outlaw Spirit – Lessons from The Zoho Analyst Day 2021 #6: How to orchestrate customer journeys in real time at scale #5: Digitization, Digitalization, Digital Transformation – A Stake in the Ground #4: With Oracle Fusion Marketing into the Future of CRM? #3: Together, Zoom and Five9 shape a new market (well, in the light of this merger having failed … they could have shaped a market. Still, a very readable one) #2: Nimble strengthens its ability to be where the user is #1: Ecosystem Play, One Game at a Time Obviously, I do not know yet in detail what I am going to write about in 2022. however, I strive to make it as valuable for you as this year – at least Bonne...
Ecosystems, how to play for small players

Ecosystems, how to play for small players

Lately, we have talked a lot about ecosystems, in particular business ecosystems. Normally, business ecosystems follow a hub and spoke model rather than a network approach; one major player sets it up, and then adds customers and partners like independent software vendors, systems integrators, analysts, consultants, suppliers, or other similar entities. Good examples of successful ecosystems are the ones around the big four enterprise software vendors: Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce and SAP. Sure, there are other ones, but these are easy reference examples. In theory, ecosystems shall provide more value to customers, better serving their needs by making it easier for them to get access to information, knowledge, skills and productized enhancements to the core solution that they chose to implement. They also get a broader choice of possible enhancements, provided by different vendors in the ecosystem. Of course, this also benefits the other participating stakeholders. Customers are, of course, an important group of every ecosystem. Treating them as partners helps the platform company to create a transparent prioritization process for delivering requested new functionalities that extend the own solution in an optimal way. Not all customers provide the necessary input, though. For the platform provider, the ecosystem creates stickiness. Still, this company cannot develop and provide all the functionality that is ever needed by its customers. Nor can it provide sufficient implementation services. And it does not want to, either. So, it needs ISVs and SIs as members of its ecosystem to provide this functionality, either as products, or as consulting solutions. What these companies deliver on top of the core solution also increases the attractiveness of the ecosystem. ...
Ecosystem Play – One Game at a Time

Ecosystem Play – One Game at a Time

It is not that uncommon that a software company creates new software based upon customer requirements. Actually, this is the way things should be done; not exclusively, but to quite an extent. Now, there are few software vendors who are truly independent. Most vendors are, and need to be, part of one or more other vendor ecosystems. This is simply a matter of scale, as there are only a few vendors who have the size and market power that are necessary to surround themselves with a good number of customers, ISVs, system integrators and other partners. And the number of these ecosystems is rather shrinking than growing.  What this means is not that these few companies can implement and deliver what they want, but that the other ones need to carefully check two things. First, which ecosystem(s) to belong to, be it one or more than one. And as the CEO of 3CLogic, Denis Seynhaeve in a recent CRMKonvo said: It is important to choose wisely, which ecosystem to commit to. One of the fundamental consequences of this decision is the degree of dependency on other vendors that the smaller vendor has. This degree naturally decreases with the number of ecosystems it participates in, although they can never be truly independent – which is also not wanted when playing the ecosystem game. Conversely, participating in more than one ecosystem increases options and the potential reach. On the other hand, there are some other factors that come into play. The software architecture and the software itself will become more complicated when different vendors’ systems shall get augmented. Deep knowledge in...
How to create customer experience with blade technology

How to create customer experience with blade technology

Starting with the concept of blades we went across a number of different topics related to customer experience with our guest Denis Seynhaeve. Denis is the CEO of 3CLogic, a company that is dedicated to ‘pluggable’ contact centers in the cloud, helping organizations to provide good customer experience via voice technology. So, naturally a number of questions arises. What is blade technology (hint, it doesn’t have anything to do with the blade runner but is closer to the blades used in data centers …)? How does this technology contribute to a customer experience? Why choosing AWS and not another hyperscaler – or run out of own data centers? And, first, and foremost: Why the concentration without exclusivity on ServiceNow? Here, Denis clearly has a strategy that differs from the one pursued by Richard Rosen of Fastcall, who has an exclusive focus on Salesforce. And, last but not least the fundamental question: How to choose the right ecosystem to play in, if one is not an 800-pound gorilla? Answers to these questions and more in our...
Ecosystems are about the customer! Are they? Think again!

Ecosystems are about the customer! Are they? Think again!

Ecosystems is all I say – was his post in Linkedin. And as you can imagine, this sparked quite a discussion. Why? Because “he” is SAP’s venerable Chief CX Evangelist Esteban Kolsky. Not that it needs a reason to invite Esteban to a CRMKonvo (because he is always good for a well founded opinion) but this discussion and the topic itself certainly made it highly interesting to cover some ground and Esteban is always good for a lively discussion. What is an ecosystem – and how does it relate to the word “symbiosis” – if at all? How does one get an ecosystem viable? What is fairness in that context? Is trust a factor? Fairness? Or is that all too fuzzy? And – spoiler alert – as you can imagine by the title: They do not revolve around the customer. I will not tell you what it is though and leave that to Esteban himself. Best of all: Some highly interesting insight in the comments as well. Enjoy the CRMKonvo. We certainly...