What a year! Software companies are on a tear of buying, and the money is flowing like Cristal at Cielo, NYC. Pegasystem bought Chordiant, Attensity grabs Biz360, NICE buys eglue, Consona takes Compiere, Pitney Bowes announces it wants Portrait Software, Twitter moves into analytics buying Smallthought, Adenyo absorbs mobile marketing intelligence software from KinetX, and now IBM adds Coremetrics to its quiver aside SPSS. But what does it mean?
In many of these cases, what I think is happening is that vendors are seeing that just owning the customer data, and pushing it around on the screen, is a failed approach for most of their customers and prospects. What businesses are looking for in the effort to improve customer processes is more intelligence, especially intelligence in understanding the customer’s intent.
Understanding the customer’s intent and matching that with the business intentions that the business / government or whatever has for the customer is the heart of business success. It is what creates trust and loyalty. Now take a look at some of these acquisitions: eglue does process optimization. Portrait does marketing and data analytics and real time advice, Chordiant has similar capabilities. Coremetrics optimizes marketing plans and offers. This is the clear trend in CRM software.
Most of the current generation of CRM software for sales and customer service is primitive and should probably have been replaced years ago, but most of us have been augmenting it with best-of-breed bolt-ons. Maybe now we will see the chance for deeper integrations. But a truly intelligent customer service system from one code base? No. That is another four years away. Until then enjoy better stitching together of the modules needed to create intelligent customer conversations.
Do you see it otherwise?
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