The place where the Customer counts

Free thoughts on CRM, Business and the next big thing

The place where the Customer counts - Free thoughts on CRM, Business and the next big thing

My personal review on G-Force EMEA 2012

Great time in Barcelona attending to the G-Force 2012 by Genesys. I’ve been invited here as a CRM and Social CRM blogger by the Italian Regional company, to have a look at what they are going to launch next months in terms of new solution features and best practices witnessed by their main customers. So I would like to report what happened there and to share with you my considerations.

First perspective: Who’s who

Genesys is a well-known worldwide B2B company, operating as a leader in the Collaborative CRM market, which mainly sell customer service software and contact center solutions for enterprises. Recently (02/02/2012), Genesys has been officially acquired by Permira Funds and Technology Crossover Ventures for US$ 1,5 billion, coming definitely out of the Alcatel-Lucent organizational structure and becoming again independent. This recent circumstance gives Genesys new opportunities to focus on its business having top management free to operate with its own strategic views and operational leverages unless Permira potential interference (but it doesn’t seem so); and in the current economic situation is a really important working condition.

Second Perspective: The event model

The 2012 G-Force EMEA event had a traditional structure with general sessions led by key managers and breakout session in which were shared case histories directly by Genesys customers.

Moreover there was a very rich and interesting booth area with business partner and Genesys suite demo stands available for customers and press/analysts.

Third perspective: So what? (a.k.a. the event contents that I liked)

Genesys is a market leader for their extensive offering in applications and service for interaction and channel management, and the last 8 months were crucial for the changes that introduced and which have forced the company to re-design its strategy roadmap.

Genesys CEO Paul Segre and his managers know it very well cause they’re leading their people towards a model of company which have to offer to their clientele the best and most complete contact management suite, helping them to provide the best final customer experience possible. Yes, because – even if it’s strange to hear that from a software vendor – the main message of the conference was “Save the world from a Bad Customer Service” (which is Genesys pay-off and I hope also corporate vision) and this perspective is really comforting cause is the sign that companies (or better some of them) are finally recognizing the long term value of a customer-centric approach (even in a B2B market).

Even if Genesys during these years has “failed” to analyze, interiorize and “productize” (sorry for the awful word) best practices in order to quickly apply them on new deployments, something is deeply changed in the ability to execute and the investments on research and development. After all, this is a mandatory approach when your new investors (which typically invests in high growth company such as Facebook (???), Groupon, etc.) ask you a challenging 22% as revenue annual growth rate. So the key drivers of this “new deal” must be:

– Rapid deployment (editor’s note: simplicity)

– Lower TCO

– Best practices productization

Four pillars of Geneysis offerBut don’t forget innovation and how’s changing the customer service world so, the four pillars on which the new Genesys strategy will be based, and R&D is investing, are:

– SIP (Session Initial Protocol)

– Big Data

– Cloud

– Social

Beyond the typical communication application business I found really interesting to see Genesys well aware of its role on topics like Big Data and Social, maybe because Collaborative CRM vendors aren’t typically mentioned in Social CRM discussions. Indeed I think that they have to conquer again their role after the partial loss of the social interaction market due to the entrance of social media listening companies. These ones, in fact, are now well beyond their primary scope of social analytical reporting, developing and deploying engagement consoles and/or integration capacities with main Operational CRM vendors (i.e. Radian6-Salesforce.com case history). So thanks to Social Engagement module, Genesys integrates traditional and social channels considering every piece of interaction as a tessera of the overall conversation picture and using proprietary semantic algorithm to route it appropriately to the right resource (after many year of tests on email text analysis). In this sense, the announcement of Genesys presence at the Dreamforce (look at the session title here) can be seen as a strategic path to a really profitable partnership.

Finally consider how data coming from interaction and channel attitudes can contribute to the Big Data subject and to the wealth of information necessary to deeply understand your customers…terrific!

Mobile and Web engagementNext topics on the stage? Obviously Mobile (Engagement) and a very interesting Web Engagement module which, based on navigation behaviors, indentifies irregular/atypical trends and triggers supporting alerts to help customers activating an interaction through different channels (i.e. chat).

So the dream of a real consistent cross-channel experience seems coming true and close at hand.

Fourth perspective: The case

Despite numerous sessions held by many customers and coping with their experience (I really appreciated the Akbank and Belgacom ones), on the main stage has been presented probably the most interesting case by Ben Kay, Head of Digital Strategy & Adoption at Everything Everywhere Ltd (the newco running T-Mobile and Orange in UK).

The most important step of his show were:

Route to a Social PilotMain ingredients for a social pilot – the fundamental activity of listening your people is combined to more internal aspects where a clear company ambition together with team building capacity and the will to work hard and honestly can let you succeed.

A simple and clear mission with few boundariesOrganizational aspects are leading components of a great social strategy because only investing in skilled people and nurturing them through empowerment, good engagement frameworks and a solid social media policy can help your company to reach a real sustainable edge. But what about the right metrics?

EE Social Business FrameworkEE social business framework where a physical central management capability (The Social Hub) assures control of 5 work streams which deliver the social experience, acts to achieve its business objectives, monitors this effort through a set of predefined KPIs; striving to the realization of EE vision.

The Social HubFifth perspective: The chat

I had also the opportunity to meet with Keith Pearce and have a chat about his role in Genesys as VP Customer experience. And once again I found really inspiring to understand that a Collaborative CRM vendor like Genesys is enriching its portfolio trying to offer added value through business consulting practice which design optimized customer experience to its customers. It’s hard to do it in a context where consulting partners help Genesys to sell its products but who knows Genesys potential better than Genesys? Who can really configure Genesys products/services optimally once the customer journey is mapped? I wish Keith good luck for his job and I hope his little “baby” will grow big and healthy as soon as possible.

Last perspective: My final considerations

Lots of things during the G-Force had inspired me and others let me a little bit confused. I think that a 22% Revenue AGR is very challenging even for a leader like Genesys. The main point is that its product/services are complex and specifically focused on enterprise market which is quite saturated, giving room only for a bloody battle between giants. As Gartner said in its last MQ for Contact Center Infrastructure Worldwide, it’s time to raise the bar and begin to compete in the midmarket with new products/services tailored for this kind of organizations and needs (and I think that in the short we’ll have some good news).

Then I’d sincerely like to suggest Genesys to improve their product’s user experience cause interfaces looks to me a little bit “oldie”. Nowadays, visualization is quite an art mixed with science and, for sure, an important piece of an application’ success. Besides, even if I’m not the biggest fan of this kind of practice, I can see great potentiality in the application of a gamification approach in the design of this class of UIs.

Finally I’d expect new developments on Social Engagement module aligning it to social media monitoring best practices, particularly improving its scraping capabilities and number/type of information sources.

What I really liked during these 3 days were:

  • the new business vision based on a customer experience approach more than a mere product promotion (value vs. usual stuff)
  • the possible development of a business consulting practice inside Genesys that can give more value to its offer
  • a complete solution that really want to offer the enabling factors for a real cross-channel experience
  • real interactions between customers with different experience, sharing information and best practices
  • exhaustive real-time demos held by qualified and professional experts.

Acknowledgments

A special thank you goes to the Italian Regional company and precisely to Paolo Mariottini, Paolo Bergamini, Aida Mazzitelli, Stefania Covatta and Carlo Rossi that invited me to this special event, creating a professional, transparent and genuine relation with me and the other blogger Luca Conti.

Largo ai giovani del social web: Young Digital Lab a Milano

Un altro evento che vorrei segnalare e che si terrà a breve sempre a Milano è il corso di formazione sui Social Media, con particolare focus sulle sue applicazioni in ambito marketing, proposto dal Young Digital Lab, creatura nata dall’iniziativa di Michele Polico che ha come obiettivo quello di raccogliere attorno a sè un gruppo giovanissimo (anagraficamente e non professionalmente) di esperti sui temi legati al Social Web e ai suoi impatti sul business delle aziende.

Oltre a Michele Polico, tra i docenti che interverrano a questa nuova edizione mi piacerebbe citare ad esempio (mi limito nelle citazioni solo perchè li conosco direttamente e non per fare un torto agli altri) Stefano Mizzella, Stefano Besana (che operano in Open Knowledge di cui avrete sicuramente sentito parlare se vi occupate di Social Business, Enterprise 2.0, Social CRM e Open Innovation) e Andrea Colaianni (Senior Associate di 90:10 Group, una delle più importanti realtà europee di consulenza sull’utilizzo di tecnologie sociali a supporto del business).

Il programma di questa edizione, che si terrà presso la Sala Corsi di Olivo di Strada, in Giardino Calderini 3 in centro a Milano il prossimo 26 e 27 maggio 2011, è molto ricco e toccherà in dettaglio le seguenti tematiche:

Social Web e Azienda

  • Tra check-in, badge, like e dislike: comprendere il Social e il Mobile Web
  • Attenzione: le cose da non fare nel Social Web
  • Il Social Web e l’impresa: dall’Enterprise 2.0 al Social Business

Strategie di Social Media Marketing

  • Le conversazioni sono mercati: ascoltare e capire prima di agire
  • Web Strategy e pianificazione digitale: il successo è armonia
  • Co-creazione e open-business: le strategie per innovare
  • Corporate Storytelling: progettare e costruire la narrazione d’impresa
  • Social Media Analytics e misurazione dei risultati: tra ROI, ROE e ROC

Il Marketing sui Social Network

  • Facebook Marketing: soluzioni per le aziende dalla A alla Z
  • Social Media Management: gestire con successo la comunicazione continua
  • Esclusivo: i segreti per ottenere visibilità con i Social Media
  • Social PR: gestire le relazioni con blogger e influencer
  • Social Gamification: le dinamiche del gioco applicate al business

Online/Offline

  • Geolocalizzazione: la quarta dimensione del Social Media Marketing
  • Online / Offline: integrazione strategica, tecnologica e culturale
  • Social CRM: come gestire le relazioni con i clienti
  • Open Innovation: dipendenti e consumatori migliorano prodotti e servizi

Non c’è che dire, gli argomenti sono tanti ma tutti indispensabili per avere un quadro completo delle potenzialità del social web, e dei suoi strumenti più comuni, nel generare valore per le imprese consentendo loro di raggiungere un più intenso livello di engagement con la propria clientela.

Io spero proprio di esserci e invito chi sta leggendo questo post a fare altrettanto cliccando qui per maggiori dettagli e per l’iscrizione.

 

Bastano 27 lettere per una sferzata di creatività

Questo non è il mio solito post sul Social CRM o CRM o Marketing o chissà cos’altro che comunque navighi sul digital landscape e che sia dedicato al cliente finale, ma visto che sono stato contattato per discutere su un argomento che in qualche modo unisce due mie forti passioni (sono un canonista convinto) mi sono sentito quasi in obbligo di scriverne un pezzo.

La notizia in realtà è già uscita su vari blog di illustri colleghi ma forse il mio “pubblico” è leggermente diverso e quindi potrebbe essere interessato all’argomento in questione.

Partiamo con il CHI: Getty Images è il leader mondiale ed indiscusso della archiviazione e distribuzione di contenuti digitali. È una vera e propria autorità che gestisce i diritti delle opere multimediali più belle e conosciute nella storia della comunicazione visiva e non solo (chissà quante famosissime foto avrete visto sulle più importanti riviste di “proprietà” di Getty Images).

Passiamo al COSA: Getty Images ha da poco lanciato un nuovo interessante servizio dedicato alle agenzie (e personalmente credo che sia estendibile a chiunque abbia a che fare con il mondo della comunicazione) dal nome 27 Letters. Questa è un’applicazione gratuita che si appresta a diventare nell’immediato futuro una vera e propria fonte di analisi ed ispirazione per i creativi. E’ una vetrina interattiva che continua ad aggiornarsi senza soluzione di continuità per proporre gli ultimi trend visivi. L’obiettivo è quindi quello di diventare uno spazio di riferimento in cui trovare spunti, idee e suggerimenti per i propri lavori (e magari anche per quelli dei blogger più ispirati).

In questo calderone interattivo sono esposte le migliori immagini, quelle più utilizzate, più discusse, tratte dai 250 siti web e blog più influenti della rete e ricercabili selezionandole per categoria (moda, news, advertising, architettura, design, arte, celebrità, intrattenimento) o per ordine alfabetico inglese (noi siamo sempre il fanalino di coda).

Se volete dare un’occhiata a 27 Letters andate al seguente indirizzo, registratevi, navigate e fatemi sapere cosa ne pensate.