thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
CRM for SMB. The way it needs to be

CRM for SMB. The way it needs to be

Now this title is not a case of do a rhyme or get bitten but actually summarizes the topic pretty well. The CRMKonvos team had a long and good discussion with John Paterson, CEO of Really Simple Systems about the needs and wants of a CRM for SMBs. Are the requirements that an SMB has really different from the ones that an enterprise has? At the end of the day the original challenges seem to be fairly similar. Especially on the sales side, people avoid the system, just like Denis Pombriant found in a study that we talked about earlier this year in our CRMKonvo about why salesreps hate their CRM. Here a short version that just answers this very question. The parallels in thinking and observations between Denis and John are striking! But then, there are a few differences. Listen to John explaining them. But then this isn’t all. Talking about value of the systems we couldn’t not also talk about the value of AI. Is there any? Where? Spoiler alert: There is, but one needs to know what one is doing. What? The discussion reveals it in the last 15 or so minutes. Enjoy the conversation. We learned a lot. You can,...
CRMKonvo – Freshworks on Platform, CRM and useful AI

CRMKonvo – Freshworks on Platform, CRM and useful AI

Freshworks has is now officially a fresh (sorry, I really couldn’t resist this pun) member of the club of platform players. The company introduced its own flavour of CRM and a platform that they build upon. What is next? Lot’s of ground to cover. A CRKKonvo with Prakash Ramamurthy, Chief Product Officer, Peter Stadlinger, Head of Products CRM and David Krauss, Senior Director Product Marketing at Freshworks. ogether with Marshall Lager, Ralf Korb and Thomas Wieberneit they discuss market perspectives, what the value for customers is and how the innovations that the team has recently introduced fit in there. Prakash, Peter, and David bring a wealth of knowledge to the conversation, including a pretty interesting dive into how to train an AI based upon the idea that the human who is in front of the machine is still one of the most important trainers, due to tacit knowledge and wisdom that cannot be codified. Which also explains the trifecta of priorities that Freshworks follows with its CRM: UI/UX firstAI that actually worksnative customer 360 It is also about value, where we do a short deviation towards pricing and, of course, platform. Enjoy a fascinating discussion with empathic points...
CRMKonvos – Raj Balasundaram on AI in Marketing and more

CRMKonvos – Raj Balasundaram on AI in Marketing and more

It was a Tuesday again. This time Ralf Korb and I greeted Raj Balasundaram, Senior Vice President of AI at Emarsys as our guest – and had a second one, but more on this special appearance below. Of course we were interested in both sides, Emarsys, the marketing automation company that was recently acquired by SAP, and in his deep experience with the implementation and use of AI based systems. We had lots of questions like: Where is the marketing automation market headed? What is your view on marketing automation tools at the intersection of CDP’s, personalization, RTIM, Customer Journey Orchestration? Will these market segments merge? Will they jointly create another one? What is the difference between Marketing Automation and Marketing Clouds? Is one used rather for B2B purposes and the other one more on the B2C side? Or is it different concepts? What is the role of AI and M/L? What is AI after all? Is it just a vendor generated hype? Why should AI work now, after the previous hype cycles failed to deliver on the promise? What are promising applications of AI and machine learning in marketing? Lots of ground to cover. And then we also touched pricing, which currently is a very hot topic. Raj has an interesting point of view – that I like a lot. Last but not least, Ray Gerber, Chief Solution Officer at Thunderhead, who started to follow the CRMKonvo as an interested and active community member came in for some more in depth AI discussion. Things couldn’t get any better, and of course we didn’t stick to the hour that we gave ourselves. Too...
SugarCRM supercharges its AI by acquiring Node.io

SugarCRM supercharges its AI by acquiring Node.io

The News On Monday, August 24th, 2020 SugarCRM announced the acquisition of node.io. I had the pleasure to get pre-briefed by Craig Charlton, CEO SugarCRM and Rich Green, Chief Product Officer and CTO SugarCRM about this topic. Node was founded in 2014 with significant expertise, including ex-Google personnel and he creator of the Alta-Vista search engine.  According to Crunchbase, the company has acquired $43.5M US to innovate around AI as a service. The company applies deep learning to help organizations make better predictions and decisions that impact their bottom line and focuses on delivering accurate predictions even with minimum CRM data. It does this by taking advantage of large data sets that it acquired or has free access to, including company and available business related personal information. That way, it is possible to hand over only a limited amount of SugarCRM data to Node in order to achieve accurate predictions. Instead, the prediction engine runs almost exclusively on Node data. According to Charlton and Green, SugarCRM itself also does not see any personally identifiable data (PII) but only meta data out of the Node system. One core idea behind the acquisition is that superior business outcomes need a combination of internal and external data. As Paul Greenberg gets quoted in the press release “now more than ever it is critical to leverage all available data and signals to work towards better outcomes for both customers and the business alike”. SugarCRM compares the result of combining CRM data with the data and intelligence provided by Node to the switch from a low fidelity to a high definition view on the...
Intercom takes on Zendesk

Intercom takes on Zendesk

The News Intercom is a conversational relationship platform that helps businesses build better customer relationships through personalized, messenger based experiences. It’s the only platform that delivers conversational experiences across the customer journey, with solutions for conversational marketing, conversational customer engagement and conversational support. Intercom is bringing a messenger-first experience to all business-to-customer communication, powering 500 million conversations per month and connecting 4 billion unique end users worldwide across its more than 30,000 paying customers, including Atlassian, Sotheby’s and New Relic. On August 12, 2020 Intercom launched a new product release with more than twenty functional enhancement that are intended to ‘supercharge customer support’. The company says that it is its biggest ever launch and targeted at ensuring that its customers “can provide prompt, personal support without sacrificing power or efficiency”. The twenty plus new features in this release cover enhancements across Messenger, Inbox and reporting. As part of this, there are new bots that can be used in the messenger, new data attributes that conversations can be tagged with and new rules and assignment features that enable deeper automation of conversations. This gets augmented by additional view capabilities in the support inbox that help getting better overview and by offering more task bots to the messenger that help providing a high customer experience while automating jobs. Additionally, Intercom improved its reporting capabilities by adding three dashboards covering conversations, effectiveness, and team resolutions with twelve new metrics plus improved filtering capabilities. Lastly, Intercom changed the side-bar navigation by providing clearer icons, changing their sequence and renaming one of the core sections, Platform, to Contacts. This has the goal of improving...