Archive for January 2009

Live from the Genesys Analyst Conference

January 30, 2009

I’ve been receiving more questions lately about work force management/optimization, so I accepted an invitation to attend a Genesys analyst event yesterday in San Francisco. There were about 30 analysts in attendance (Forrester, Gartner and Frost and Sullivan were all well represented).  I’ve always given Genesys, a division of Alcatel-Lucent, a lot of credit for multi-channel service capabilities (more than most telephony vendors), and they were the only telephony vendor included in my last Forrester eService Wave published in 2006 (and they did well).

My take on Genesys back in 2006 was that they had some eService capabilities (email response, Web chat, voice self-service) as good or better than the eService specialists. But, in 2006 we were in the middle of the move to IP telephony, and Genesys hadn’t decided how much they wanted to focus on applications, coming from a hardware/switch background.

In the last 2+ years, the shift toward applications has occurred, and there have been some interesting developments for those of us who are primarily interested in what happens ‘after the screen pop,’ i.e., not telephony infrastructure. Examples include: (more…)


Autonomy Acquires Interwoven: Long Term Implications for Search

January 27, 2009

I’ve been stewing about Autonomy acquiring Interwoven for a week now. Full disclosure: neither company briefed me (both ignored my emails), so I am not saddled with any pesky facts in forming my opinion. And my opinion is that this inevitable merger is emblematic of several trends, none of which are good long term for companies needing excellent cross-enterprise search technology.

How on earth did search companies become so powerful? It is bizarre if you think about it. Companies have been buying applications and databases for decades to collect information. Each has a search tool to help you find what you need from within that application. Most of these search tools don’t work really well, and few allow you to search beyond the boundaries of the individual application.

Enter the search giants. “We don’t care where your content is, we’ll index and search it.” Whee! Why bother migrating to a single content management system (CMS) or knowledgebase when you can create and store content ANYWHERE and easily retrieve it using the magical search tool??!! If the vicious cycle ended there, we’d all be OK. But as vicious cycles do, this one continues. (more…)

Announcing Recognized Innovator Award Categories for Spring 09

January 26, 2009

2009 is the SSPA’s 20th anniversary, and we are gearing up for our annual Spring conference, Technology Services World, to be held April 4-6 here in Silicon Valley. My favorite part of these events is our Recognized Innovator Awards, presented to technology partners for innovation in specific categories.  This round of awards represents the first time the program has been open to partners across the SSPA and our sister associations, TPSA and AFSMI.  

It is no surprise that ROI will be front and center in every technology decision this year. Based on inquiries, purchases have slowed but still continue, particularly in area with well-known ROI stories, such as knowledge management and remote support.  To help showcase how different areas of technology can impact employee productivity, operating expenses and incremental revenue, the categories for the Spring 2009 Recognized Innovator Award: Back to Basic Edition are: (more…)

ClickSoftware’s New Release Radically Improves the Customer Experience

January 15, 2009

When I speak with field service organizations, they often ask me how to improve customer satisfaction.  My first response is always the same: give me a specific appointment time, not a window, and keep me updated on the arrival time.  The usual response is:  we can’t do that.  So I was thrilled today to hear about the new product from ClickSoftware, a leading provider of mobile workforce management and service optimization solutions, and a long time AFSMI partner, which I think is the first step to overhauling field service’s view of the customer experience.

Today’s announcement from ClickSoftware is the launch of ClickContact, a new solution for customer interaction management and the newest addition to the Company’s ServiceOptimization Suite. ClickContact offers a number of out-of-the-box features to help service organizations improve customer service by facilitating better communication with customers. Starting with appointment booking, the solution enables service organizations to offer customers the option of self-service appointment booking via the Internet–a huge plus for Web savvy customers.

Customer self-service appointment booking

Customer self-service appointment booking


Live Webcast for India: 21 Jan at 4:30pm IST

January 15, 2009

The first comment I always hear from our SSPA constituents in Asia/Pacific is: Why don’t you ever do webcasts in OUR time zone?

I’m happy to report that I will be presenting on a live webcast next Wednesday, 21 January, at 4:30 pm Indian ST. The webcast, The Strategic Role of Support: Improve Experience and Drive Revenue, is sponsored by CitrixOnline. I will talk about the importance of an excellent customer experience during a down economy, and present my findings on the actual ink between customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and increased revenue.

Also on the webcast you will hear from Gautam Saha, Vice President-BPO and Global BU Head-TSS, HCL. HCL is launching a new business in India offering consumer support for any PC problem, a Value-Added Support model becoming very popular in North America.

Attendance is free, we will have several polling questions, and you can ask any question you like. The moderator, H.R. Shiever, MD Asia Pacific, Citrix Online, will be asking questions all along the presentations, so please take this opportunity to chime in! Here is the link to register:

I hope you take the opportunity to attend and hear from the SSPA live (for once!). Please pass this along to any India-based colleagues who may be interested. The best ammunition I can have to push for more Webcasts targeting Asia/Pac is a big turnout for this event! And thanks for your continued support of the SSPA!

Consumer Electronics: Lessons Learned from eHoliday 08

January 9, 2009

I am continually amazed at the amount and quality of data that is available on just about every topic, if you know where to look. A great example of this is my favorite  web analytics vendor, Coremetrics, who regularly publishes click stream benchmark data about online retail. The Holiday 08 online shopping results are in, including these tidbits (with my interpretations) for consumer home theatre and home office.

  • Single page sessions down 11.29%. The percent of visitors to a consumer electronics shopping site who left after viewing the first page dropped from 27.9% of visitors in December 2008 to 24.75% in December 2009. Websites with high one page sessions may indicate a really bad site design that turns off shoppers so much they abandon the site in disgust or frustration. The 11% drop means to me that all the website redesigns that have taken place in the name of convergence are enticing shoppers to linger and learn more.

Note: If your site has higher than average one page sessions, check those click streams to see how they got to you–often a misleading ad word purchase is presenting you in search results where you don’t belong.

What changes will customer support see in 2009? Vote now!

January 6, 2009

Welcome to 2009! As my first post of the year, I wanted to take a poll to see what you think will impact customer service/tech support the most this year.

I think the top change drivers will be: (more…)