Ok, here we go again… Roundup Time!
First, a big, huge thanks to all who said it was a good idea to do this and to those who tweeted, facebooked (is that a word?) and made it their job to broadcast my first roundup. I’d love more feedback and direction, if there is something you want to see or not see in these updates (like proper grammar, better spelling, specific topics, etc.) do let me know.
Why? Well, as we get ready to enter the Fall Trade Show and Conference Season (also known as the black plague among analysts), most of the vendors are going to be releasing their new or improved products. This happens twice yearly (Spring season, know as bubonic plague is the other). In no particular order (well, some to make it make sense, but no preference given to anyone over anybody else),
Jive (client) held their annual sold-out user conference in San Francisco earlier this week. No major news that were not pre-announced, (their “New Way” to work Social Business Manifesto is an interesting read, but as will all marketing manifestos, it could use a little community help to sound less hypey), except for their Jive for Mobile being released. They did have some very interesting people talking and presenting and tweeting, some good stuff (and some corny tweets) came from there. My perspective for them, from the CRM myopic view I have, is that they have to come up to the table and show some SCRM muscle — they are a leader (per Gartner and Forrester) but I only hear about E2.0 implementations. They need to become a force in the market or they will be left behind… which is a great segue to…
GetSatisfaction (client) introduced a very cool new site, announced a new round of funding and brought in new people. Their product strategy is now being led by the legendary, smart, and experienced Jeff Nolan (formerly of SAP fame) in product Marketing and Nick Prybil in Biz Dev. These additions to an already very strong management team (Wendy Lea – which we all know, and Keith Mesnick on keyboards — sorry, Marketing) makes me almost giddy for how they are going to position themselves into the future. I am seeing the market become fractured and segmented (this is good, means it is maturing) and I see GetSatisfaction and Lithium (client) getting ready to go tete-a-tete for the leadership in SCRM. Both are working on their positioning, and doing quite well actually — I can only publicly talk about GetSatisfaction’s at this time, and their approach to creating a new model for communities is something you want to stay tuned to.
nGenera (client) announced their new go-to-market strategy: split software and research services, relabel software into Moxie Software (research services continues to be nGenera), and refocus the story on the software. I am very bullish on their approach to close the gap between the internal communities and the external ones, this is an interesting new perspective that I wish Jive would’ve taken before. There is still work to be done, but if you have not planned to attend the Enterprise 2.0 show in Santa Clara in November, you may want to reconsider, as it is likely going to be opening round of a long battle for social business positioning (just to be fair, the illustrious and forward-thinking Sameer Patel saw this coming and worked really hard to get Paul Greenberg to keynote at the E2.0 conference, and me to present on a SCRM track — going to be oodles of fun — be there!).
RightNow (not a client) announced the availability of their Facebook integration. This is not a first-to-market move (GetSatisfaction, Parature, Genesys, and eGain had already released) but it is something that RightNow needed to do to remain competitive and in the leadership position. As Gartner just released their new Web Customer Service Magic Quadrant (must be a client or someone with a lot of credit in your CC to see that link, Web Customer Service was born eService by my hand, renamed late last year) with RightNow, eGain, and Genesys (client) as leaders (so, they got one out of three right, not too bad — right? nah, not going to name names — you figure out or ask me…) and the biggest surprise is who is missing more than who is leading. In any case, this is also a good segue for…
eGain (not a client) expanded their social Suite of products – communities, social media monitoring, and connectors for every possible imaginable social network (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Similar to Rightnow, this positions another eService (sorry, Web Customer Service — gotta stay current) leader in the Magic Quadrant with a complete set of social tools and to remain in a competitive situation.
Few more tidbits, IBM (not client) revolutionized the world of Experience — although no one yet understands what they introduced or what they offer, SAP (not client) introduced a few analytics applications — stay tuned in the next few months for more from SAP and BusinessObjects (smart, IMO), and Oracle is getting ready to trash every vendor in the universe and tell you why they rule at Oracle Open World (will be there, will try to blog about it).
OK, ending this now — this changed from a vendor news section into a market commentary.
***shameless plug time***
I am doing some things I want to share with you (links are below, highlighted). First, former employer and client KANA and I are doing a webinar talking about a different perspective on where Customer Experience is going. This is a continuation, of sorts, of my presentation at Evolution 2010 earlier this year. There is some cool stuff I am going to cover, from my perspective, that talks about a different way to do Customer Service and Experience Management. I think you should attend (working on putting it all into a white paper as well, in case my sultry voice is not your cup-of-tea) and a second white paper and presentation for later this year. Register and see you there.
Jacada (client) has retained me as part of their series on Meet the Experts (and Esteban) to talk about Social CRM. Since they gave me plenty of latitude, I decided to move beyond the traditional what is Social CRM post and talk about the need for it. Want to know if you need to deploy it? Read on for the next five weeks as I talk more in detail about the existing hype and try to present a futuristic version of where SCRM is and where it is going. This will also turn into a webinar and White Paper, so you get the chance to catch up later — but why wait? I am awesome in installments (feel free to disagree).
Big tip of the hat to two illustrious CRM / SCRM Folks. Last week-ish there was a conference in the Netherlands called CRM in 1 Day (yeah, all the cool stuff happens there — we get the 5-day long conferences here). Some of the presentations were outstanding, but there are two I want to highlight: First, Dr. Graham Hill’s presentation on “Extreme CRM Makeover” where he proposes how to change the way we approach and do CRM, creating a very interesting customer-centric model in the process. Second, Wim Rampen presented a very thoughtful and makes-you-think presentation on how companies need to change their perspective in regards to the social Customer and what it means to become a Social Business. Both these presentations are more than worth the time to go through them and understand the concepts. Definitely worth a cup of coffee and the better part of an hour or two.
Another very cool article this week was Dr. Michael Wu’s (Lithium – client) take on what makes a relationship — a relationship. I always encourage people to read Dr. Wu’s work, he is one of the very few (only one I know) people in the world that can successfully bridge the gap between science, business, biology, and neurology. He writes about very complex concepts in very simple terms and the charts and graphics are incredible. If you want to understand what a relationship is, definitely read this. Also, make sure to bookmark and / or follow his blog on RSS or him on Twitter so you won’t miss the future installments of research goodness he produces.
Earlier this week I was working on a presentation and needed a reference to a statistic I had seen earlier. Tried to do some googling, but was not able to find it — so I asked the Twitterverse. Within 10 minutes I had found the answer I was looking for, to which I am very grateful to two of my followers – Harry Klein (@custengagement) and Lawrence Bird (@LawrenceOfAvaya), and I promised I’d share the sources. The statistic was that 80% of companies believe they are doing a superb job with customer experience, but only 8% of their customers agree. This came from a report by Bain and Company. Laurence sent me a tweet with two other reports on the same concept that were also interesting enough to share – a report commissioned by Avaya talking about the spend plans for 2010 (free registration required), and the commentary written by Network World that makes similar points but with slightly different numbers.
Paul Greenberg released his Experience on the Edge podcast #2 at a smidgen over one hour. But, this is a killer hour of news, commentary, and entertainment — including the always popular and uber-cool music he picks. Listen to it and learn about CRM. Extremely well done, and taking on good topics once again (including a piece on the five misconceptions of Social CRM that you must listen to, a take on left-brain v right-brain, and an analysis on an Forrester’s report on CRM benchmarking). Definitely tee it up with your second cup of coffee and the rest of your morning (you spent the rest in the presentations above, remember?). BTW, if you want to really, really think about the state of Social and where the world is going, check out this post by Paul. Yeah, told you… cool stuff, huh?
And to close on a high note, learned that one from Seinfeld — always leave them laughing, here is a Definitely Not Suitable for Work or the Easily Offended — but very funny — site that makes t-shirts with slogans. Childish? yes, Offensive? Sometimes — exercise your right to chose what you see and go on to T-shirt Hell and take a gander — or ignore it and unfollow me. My favorite? The t-shirt I believe every single customer service rep should be forced to wear…
The rest of the cool links of the week are below, please do leave me comments and let me know what you would like to see more or less off — next week will give you my quick impressions on Oracle’s show, tell you about other cool news and projects, and — make this shorter…
Cootie, Candyland or Chutes and Ladders: Solving a Parent’s Dilemma with Monte Carlo Simulation (thanks Jeffrey Henning for sharing this) — want to play with your kids, but finish the game sooner? Which one lasts less time?
Until then, please do comment.