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IBM Unifies Offerings with ExperienceOne
Tie together products for better end-to-end customer engagement.
Posted May 13, 2014
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TAMPA—Creating moments that matter to customers isn't just about marketing anymore. It's about the whole customer journey, from sales and marketing to customer service. In order to help companies better serve their customers, IBM introduced ExperienceOne at its Smarter Commerce convention here.

ExperienceOne is "a portfolio of solutions that goes beyond traditional marketing and has a holistic approach to customer engagement. It's about industry best practices," outlined Maria Winans, vice president of industry cloud solutions marketing at IBM Smarter Commerce.

Creating a unified experience for the customer requires integrating the technologies used to engage and analyze the customer so they operate in concert. "Companies' approaches to customer engagement typically happen in silos. You've got the mobile team, the Web team, the contact center," lists Geoff Galat, vice president of marketing for IBM acquisition Tealeaf. "The customers don't engage in silos, they engage with your company, and ExperienceOne reflects that."

While sophisticated retail clients have already integrated multiple IBM solutions, ExperienceOne has pre-integrated all of these solutions, giving customers a quicker time to value. It will also help IBM move downmarket, targeting businesses that couldn't make the time and money investment required to tie together multiple solutions.

The ExperienceOne portfolio will also bring together many of IBM's recent acquisitions. Its most recent is Silverpop, the email marketing provider that has much more traction in the SMB market than IBM, because of its user-friendly solution. The deal with Silverpop closed Friday. The other recent acquisitions that will become part of IBM ExperienceOne include Sterling Commerce, Tealeaf, Coremetrics, Unica, DemandTec, and Xtify.

ExperienceOne is organized around 10 capabilities, which companies can combine in unique ways to serve their needs. The areas also combine aspects from different acquisitions and IBM products. The Understand Your Customers analytics segment, for example, combines aspects of Tealeaf with what used to be Coremetrics as well as social media analytics and predictive customer intelligence that originated with IBM's BI Analytics group, Galat says. The offering will also include new mobile analytics, which allows users to replay individual customers' mobile sessions. Site optimizers or analysts can find out what paths led to a purchase or shopping cart abandonment.

The importance of mobile was echoed in customer examples during the opening keynote and sessions. Mexican bank Grupo Financiero Banorte changed its focus from selling products to serving customers. As part of that switch, they introduced mobile banking to a rural town hours from the nearest branch. Now, more than 70 percent of people use mobile payments in that area, transforming a town where chickens are still delivered by bicycle. Abercrombie & Fitch also keeps mobile close. Ninety-five percent of its young customers sleep with their phones next to them, and understanding that mobile mindset informs everything from the type of "snackable" content they try to deliver to a modular design that can be quickly changed. Having mobile analytics solutions is critical for its future.

There's also the need to move and deliver content. IBM is touting its acquisition of Aspera, which is optimizing "digital supply chains," revolutionizing them the same way the physical supply chains have been transformed, explained John Mesberg, vice president of B2B and commerce solutions at IBM. Aspera helps move digital content, especially video, quickly and securely. Its clients include Netflix, Disney, and ESPN, and IBM hopes to grow its client base beyond the entertainment sector as "video is pervading everything we do," Mesberg summed up.

According to Kevin Bishop, vice president of IBM ExperienceOne solutions, the creation of this portfolio represents a "pivot point," as the company "[shifts] from integration of offerings to a single branded solution set. [ExperienceOne] is extending the idea to the full life cycle of customer engagement," with better insights into the end-to-end customer experience.


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