• September 24, 2007
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Product Roundup: Gartner CRM/MDM Summits

Vendors made a flurry of announcements from the Gartner CRM and MDM Summits in Hollywood, Fla., last week. The product news spanned customer service, analytics, enterprise feedback management (EFM), and master data management (MDM) solutions. Some highlights included: Allegiance launched Engage Platform, an EFM system that links profits to employee and customer loyalty in order to help companies measure overall customer profitability. The new platform will allow an organization's service department to pull together softer, attitudinal data with hard, CRM metrics while gathering, analyzing, and responding in real time to customer and employee complaints and suggestions. The Engage Platform compares qualitative and quantitative factors, such as perceived quality of a department's customer service and that department's profitability, says Adam Edmunds, CEO of Allegiance. "We're providing our customers with a comprehensive analytic tool," he says. "We've taking EFM past the surveying and to the next level by adding analytics: 'Now you have all that rich surveying data, what do you do with it?' " Autonomy
announced a new service that allows its contact center clients to take advantage of an off-site hosted archiving solution for storing, managing, and retrieving their customer call recordings. The new service provides customers with a secure storage environment and direct access to contact center audio files, enabling companies to meet regulatory requirements, according to the company. The hosting center will provide clients with an unlimited amount of hosting space, and was designed by integrating Autonomy etalk's Qfiniti recording system with the Autonomy Zantaz Digital Safe consolidated archiving software-as-a-service solution. SAS Institute made its own splash with new marketing packages:
  • SAS Real-Time Decision Manager: The new release, which will enable marketers to coordinate interactive marketing across multiple channels, provides what Jeff Levitan, general manager of SAS Customer Intelligence, calls an added, predictive punch. Marketers will be able to make recommendations on a customer's eligibility to receive a particular offer, or score a customer's propensity to buy a certain item, he adds. "We're giving marketers an analytical approach to making these decisions, which has been proven to drive greater value," Levitan says.
  • New versions of three solutions in the SAS Customer Intelligence suite -- SAS Marketing Optimization, SAS Marketing Automation, and SAS Digital Marketing: The biggest enhancements are within SAS Marketing Optimization, which extends its campaign and offer optimization capabilities with a new user interface, upgraded contact policy optimization, and enhanced report publishing. Levitan says the new user interface has undergone a "complete makeover," with improvements to contact policy management that will offer users such options as limiting contact or displaying the amount of time that has transpired since the last contact. SAS Digital Marketing: improves its capabilities with RSS and Dynamic Web Publication support, adding further multichannel support. In addition, a digital content repository is now included. New capabilities in SAS Marketing Automation bring tighter integration with other SAS solutions, Levitan says -- including the new SAS Real-Time Decision Manager -- by sharing a single user interface that lets marketers design and execute inbound, outbound, and event-based campaigns. SAS Marketing Automation also comes with the capability to create reusable custom tools.
From the MDM Summit, Initiate Systems introduced version 8.0 of its Master Data Service, the company's MDM platform. New to Master Data Service is Inspector, a Web-based, integrated data stewardship and governance application that enables data stewards to track and resolve data quality issues using a drag-and-drop interface. It also allows data stewards to view, manage, and modify master data relationships in separate applications, including hierarchical relationships, says Michael Moran, Initiate's senior product marketing manager. "The big problems with MDM are around data governance and data stewardship. It's about being able to manage the data correctly," he says. "Inspector addresses that."

Related Articles: CDI Comes in All Shapes and Sizes At the Gartner MDM Summit, one analyst explains how CDI differs by industry and type of customer, and how the CDI market continues to evolve. MDM's Monumental Momentum A series of keynote speakers at the Gartner MDM Summit outline why the time is right for master data management; Gartner reveals its 7 Building Blocks of MDM. CRM's Future Will Look Nothing Like Its Past At the Gartner CRM Summit, a distinguished industry analyst outlines (yet again) how companies have learned about -- but continue to struggle with -- the requirements of CRM. Feature: Making the Most of Marketing Optimizing operations can intimidate the strongest of marketing departments, but with able people, good processes, and strong technology, the beast may be conquered, one bite at a time. Feature: The 2007 Market Awards: Marketing Automation SAS Institute's strategy of delivering solutions to answer specific problems served the company well this year. IBM Tops Gartner's CDI Hub Quadrant Initiate Systems is among the visionaries -- vendors that display healthy innovation and strong potential to influence the direction of the CDI hub market, but are limited in execution or track record. Speech Analytics Goes Visual with Autonomy etalk The company's Qfiniti Explore Version 3.5 -- features sentiment analysis, voice processing, trend spotting, and real-time notification -- and gives analytics a whole new look. All Hail EFM Allegiance releases version 4 of its EFM suite, with considerable emphasis placed on reporting and managing of survey results for company management.
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