IBM puts customer engagement products under one roof

TAMPA — IBM Corp. has no shortage of software for helping organizations with what is broadly called customer engagement – everything from analytics to price optimization – and separate channels for selling them.

To help businesses take better advantage of its offerings it has folded them under the umbrella brand called ExperienceOne, which now includes eight product families with dozens of products covering marketing, sales, service, and the ability to better integrate them.

The announcement was made here Tuesday on the first day of IBM’s SmarterCommerce conference.

The products themselves – from IBM divisions like Tealeaf (customer experience management), Coremetrics (Web analytics and marketing optimization), Unica (enterprise marketing management), DemandTec (SaaS service for retailers), Xtify (mobile push notification), Silverpop (SaaS for marketers), Websphere Commerce and XDX – largely haven’t changed much and are still sold separately, although IBM said new capabilities announced today make it easier for business users to switch between several pieces of software.

But as Kevin Bishop, the new vice-president of ExperienceOne explained in an interview, IBM’s way of selling them has. Until recently, the products were sold separately; now they are grouped by solution. Solutions are still available through IBM channel partners.

The 10 best practice solutions ExperienceOne has assembled so far include

  • Understand your customers using analytics
  • Grow customer relationships through marketing
  • Personalizing a store
  • Serving customers with better experiences
  • Delivering better digital experiences
  • Curate meaningful customer interactions with personalization
  • Converting digital prospects to customers
  • Automating B2B sales processes
  • Maximizing sales, profit and shopper loyalty through merchandise optimization
  • Delivering exceptional experiences across all channels.

Within each of these is a group of IBM on-premise or cloud software and services customers can pick from.

Bishop said one of the changes to software announced Tuesday includes the integration of the separate ability of users track a customer’s Web journey on their sites through IBM Digital Analytics, and analytics that captures every click through Experience Manager or predictive analytics.

Before IT departments had to integrate these pieces of software for viewing on one screen; now IBM does it (although they are still separate applications) “so as a user it feels like one journey,” he said, “and it’s not obvious to you that you just left one piece of software and went to another.”

Now when marketers discover an unusual movement or pattern they can delve into the data easier. That could give better insight into whether the site design needs to be changed or a promotion inserted, he said.

IBM also announced a new SaaS solution called Multi-Enterprise Relationship Management (MRM), which links its Emptoris supplier selection and assessment management software to its Sterling B2B network. That allows electronic transactions to flow between organizations and suppliers.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer. Former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, Howard has written for several of ITWC's sister publications, including Before arriving at ITWC he served as a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.

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