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Pega Adds Social to CPM
With its latest release of Customer Process Manager, Pegasystems aims to make customer interactions more meaningful and customer feedback more actionable.
Posted Nov 30, 2010
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Companies of all shapes and sizes face a ubiquitous challenge: They need to provide a differentiated customer experience, while at the same time doing it at a reduced cost. Steve Kraus, senior director of product marketing at Pegasystems says that was the vendor's central mindset when developing the latest version of Customer Process Manager (CPM). The latest version, CPM 6.2, features new role-based user interfaces, process configurability, and knowledge management authoring. It also infuses social elements into the process-centric CRM by letting companies monitor social media for mentions of the company name, and then respond. All of those elements are aimed at letting businesses interact faster and smarter with its customer.

"One of our unique differentiators has been this concept that we deliver an intent-driven approach," Kraus says.  "It allows people to configure processes unique to their business."  Managers are able to define and implement specialized approaches to different customer segments, for example. Additionally, the role-based portals ensure that customer service agents have the right information and processes at their fingertips-which proves important in today's multi-channel world.

"Customers are coming at you from many diverse channels today," says Michael Maoz, research vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner. Customers may give you formal feedback, but they are also speaking to one another on informal social networking platforms. "Both are critical," Maoz insists.

Given the rise of social media as a source of customer concerns and feedback, Pega has added a sliver of social media monitoring to its competencies. CPM reacts to that discussion out on the social Web, Kraus explains. "If someone is tweeting, now I can capture [the Tweet] and proactively initiate a process."

"Customer feedback, social media, and knowledge management, until now, have not been hallmarks of the Pega [roadmap]," Maoz says. "Market awareness has shown these are critical issues for customers."

Demonstrating the knowledge about a customer has never been more important. However, there's a gap between what customers know and what companies know-especially in support organizations. Enhancements to the CPM knowledge management tool means that agents can demonstrate to customers and access knowledge about them in a much easier way. "Instead of bolting knowledge onto the side and having the person search for an answer, what we have done is pushed it directly into the process," Kraus says.

Maoz remarks that he would like to see Pega begin to input more industry-specific capabilities in the CPM product. "They still have a lot of room to be known as a cross-industry specialist," he says.

Maoz adds that he would like to see Pegasystems further position itself beyond the IT manager. "There are a lot of processes within your business that you could apply this to," he says. "It's not just a back-office, heavy-duty tool but can applied to much more." Yet, he points out the concept of process-centricity has not resonated as much with line-of-business people. "People higher up are stumped with the complexity of ‘everything is a process,'" he says.

Pegasystems CPM is available both on demand and on premises. 

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