Posted tagged ‘social service’

Social Dynamx Launches: Social Customer Service Designed for Large Enterprises

April 26, 2012

I was lucky to get a pre-brief of one of the most exciting new company launches I’ve seen for some time, Social Dynamx. Based in Austin, with leadership whose background includes executive roles at Siebel/OracleCRM  and Sigma Dynamics (one of the best offer management platforms ever invented, acquired by Oracle in 2006), this company has built a social customer service platform designed for large enterprises. The company officially launched this week! Here’s a link to the press release.

There are some very innovative features in the Social Dynamx platform, including:

  • Role-Based User Interface. Role-specific UIs designed for agents, supervisors and managers, giving each the features and access levels they need for their individual responsibilities.
  • Automated Prioritization and Matching. Social Dynamx’s proprietary algorithms score posts for relevancy and actionability. Then posts are matched in real time and auto-assigned to the most appropriate skill group. Agents can quickly identify and respond to high-priority issues first and fast.
  • 100% cloud based. The platform’s open architecture means it’s easy to integrate with your existing investments in CRM, knowledge management, social listeners, peer-to-peer support communities and business intelligence systems.
  • Advanced Conversation Management. Go beyond posts and start having conversations. Social Dynamx supports advanced conversation management so agents can respond, thread, split, de-dupe and unify conversations so customers receive the attention they deserve and expect.
  • SLA-Based Metrics. Stop treating social media interactions lack second class conversations. Social Dynamx delivers comprehensive real-time metrics across agent and workgroups so managers and supervisors have immediate insight into KPIs. Use out-of-the-box metrics, or export and build your owns.
  • Enterprise-Grade Workflow. TSIA members are very process oriented, and I was thrilled to see that the platform delivers customized workflows so you can assign, re-prioritize, flush, re-assign, audit and report on every post and conversation.
  • And more…

Congratulations to Social Dynamx on the launch! The company is already engaged with multiple TSIA members, and I look forward to sharing customer case study examples as they emerge.

For those of you attending Technology Services World, I’m pleased to announce that Social Dynamx will be participating in our Service Revolutions showcase on May 9th, in which the audience watches live demos of bleeding-edge tools for service and votes for their favorite. I’m looking forward to everyone seeing Social Dynamx in action!

Thanks for reading!

Top Attended Session on TSW Day 1: Social Media Trends & Best Practices

October 25, 2011

Yesterday was the opening day of TSIA’s Technology Services World Conference in Las Vegas, and our opening keynotes took a somber tone as our executives discussed the changes in the industry and service revenue models and gave calls to action for rapid evolution in order to survive. I always worry about starting a conference on a worrisome note, as you walk a fine line between energizing attendees about the importance of change vs. intimidating them with dire predictions.

Following the keynotes, we had the Power Hour, with concurrent presentations from each of us on the research team.  (See this previous blog entry for an overview of my session on Video in service.) We had a good selection of topics, including a big focus on revenue generation and cloud impacts. I was anxious to see the numbers on top attended sessions, since I think that is great indicator of where people’s heads are at. Christi Holzer, our tireless Events Project Manager, sent me the attendee numbers for the Power Hour session late last night, and while the revenue generation sessions all had good attendance, the top attended session with Shawn Santos’ presentation on social media, “The State of Social Support: New TSIA Research Uncovers Leading Trends & Best Practices.” Not only does social media continue to be a fascinating topic for members, it is also a fun and sexy subject that is relevant to everyone, regardless of your role or title.

Just in time for TSW, Shawn completed his annual social media survey, which has a massive response rate and provides incredible information. This is the third year Shawn has done the survey, so now he has created great trending data, tracking results from 2009 to today. He shared his findings in this session. My session on video in service was actually next door to Shawn’s presentation, and I could hear hoots, hollers and applause from the audience, so I’m pretty sure the content was well received!

I will leave it to Shawn to share his results, but I will be providing a few data points today when I served as moderator for a session entitled, “Social Support: Seizing the Opportunity,” led by David Kay of DB Kay & Assoc. and Brad Smith, Vice President, Global Support Experience, Yahoo.  You will have to come to the session to hear the details (2:15 in St. Thomas B), but suffice to say a shocking percent of companies continue to report they are either unable to measure ROI for social media, or worse–they receive zero ROI for their efforts. We also continue to see lagging adoption of best practices like CRM integration and federated search of self-service content and community content. However, companies that ARE receiving ROI for social media have already done these things, helping prove our point that integration, reporting and dashboards are key to success.

Also today I am leading an invitation-only partner advisory session on key industry trends across each of our service disciplines, I have multiple member 1:1 meetings scheduled, and I’ll be interviewing LionBridge and Astea on the Solution Stage in the EXPO. If you see me in the hallway, please say hi! And as always, thanks for reading!

Calculating the ROI of Community Projects: A Conversation with Francoise Tourniaire

March 7, 2011

This month I am going to publish interviews with the instructors for our Professional Development Courses scheduled for Monday, May 2nd at our Technology Services World conference in Santa Clara, CA. We have pulled together five courses, each with an instructor who is a recognized expert in their field. The courses from from 8am-1pm, and are a great way to educate your team, reward top performing employees, and get them enthused about a new topic.

First up is a long time partner and supporter of the TSIA, Francoise Tourniaire, founder of FT Works. Francoise is a very popular author and visionary on KM and social media, leading workshops and providing consulting services for dozens of TSIA members each year. Her professional development workshop, “A Gold Mine? Calculating the ROI of Community Projects,” hits on the single hottest topic in service today. I had a chance to chat with Francoise last week about her course as well as industry trends. Here are some highlights.

John Ragsdale: I’m thrilled to see you offering a workshop on the ROI of customer communities. Talk about jumping into the lion’s den—this is the hottest topic in support today. About three fourths of our members companies offer a customer community. Does it surprise you that so many companies adopted this technology without an understanding of where the ROI comes from—or if there is ROI?

Francoise Tourniaire: The rational side of me hates jumping into any large initiative without a good metrics strategy – but at the same time experiments are wonderful and mind-opening. Support organizations tend to be very conservative so it’s great to see them taking risks. My view is that it’s always ok to try something new, and that part of the experiment must be to measure the success of the experiment. So sure, get going without being certain you will see an ROI, but take steps to measure the ROI.

Ragsdale: According to our most recent social media survey, 65% of members active in social media say they are unable to measure ROI—they don’t know how or where to start. Many companies assumed they would easily deflect phone calls to the forum, but I don’t hear many stories out there of dropping call volumes. What are some of the financial benefits other than call deflection?

2010 TSIA Social Media Survey

Tourniaire: In my experience the bulk of the quantifiable savings comes from case deflection so it would be interesting to see why volumes are not affected. At the same time, I see lots of my clients experiencing significant benefits on the knowledge management side. Rather than having to invest large amounts of resources in creating and maintaining knowledge, they find that the forums create a strong “tribal” knowledge base, which can be even more useful to customers than something built internally. So that would be one area to investigate. Another area is how increased customer satisfaction (and customers are overwhelmingly happy with forums) can translate into repeat purchases, additional purchases, and referrals. It’s not easy to track them, but it’s worth trying.

Ragsdale: One of the complaints I’ve had from members is the reporting tools for their community platform are insufficient, and there aren’t enough prepackaged reports to get them started. In the workshop, do you make recommendations on what ‘best practice’ reports companies should be tracking?

Tourniaire: Reporting is an issue, yes. Some of the problem lies with what the limitations of what community vendors offer today, but a big part of the problem is that support communities are often rolled out without much forethought and without solid thinking around metrics. If you think through the metrics requirements and implement with them in mind, you can gather those “best practices” metrics much more easily.

Ragsdale: Let’s talk about integration. Francoise, I believe you were at Scopus about the same time I was at Clarify, so we both have a CRM-centric background. I have to say I am saddened that only 8% of our members have integrated communities to CRM—and that number remained flat from the 2009 survey! Clearly CRM integration isn’t a priority, but in my mind, it should be. Does the 360 degree view of the customer not include community activity? Or is CRM no longer the center of the customer data universe?

Tourniaire: Fifteen years ago when Scopus was pushing the 360-degree view of the customer I totally, absolutely believed that we would deliver just that to all our customers. But even then I could not help but notice that even our customers were not always purchasing an entire solution from us, and with the proliferation of functionality I think things may be worse today than they were at the time. With communities, integration is rare because many times communities were started as a skunkworks project, under the radar of the structured and slow-moving CRM team. So it will take time to hook up all of the pieces. I’m very hopeful in the long term.

Ragsdale: Let me get back to your course. You have a lot of ground to cover in a 5 hour workshop. Could you give us an idea how the day is structured?

Tourniaire: It’s going to be very hands-on, with the goal that every attendee takes away a custom model for his or her organization, so it will run as a hands-on workshop. We’ll start with some best practices discussions on ROI in general, and then we will dive into practical topics, from measuring case deflection to estimating knowledge management savings, drawing on my experience working with a variety of clients on community ROI. The workshop will be very attendee-driven. Ideally I’d like to be able to put the power of the attendees of the workshop behind each and every ROI we build. That’s the power of communities!

Ragsdale: I’m so impressed you are actually giving class attendees a spreadsheet model for calculating community ROI. That’s one heck of a take away!

Tourniaire: I’m a generous person 😉 — and I’m all about practical, tangible results.

Ragsdale: Francoise, thanks for taking the time for this interview!

Tourniaire: John, it’s always a pleasure to talk with you. And I want to mention that I will also facilitate a workout with Rob Shapiro of Oracle on Tuesday afternoon at TSW on the topic of community best practices and metrics, so that’s another opportunity to talk about my current obsession, support communities.

Bringing TSIA’s Social Media Message to Asia Pacific

August 25, 2010

Next week I am doing a webcast for Asia/Pacific on leveraging social media for support. The event is sponsored by TSIA Partner Citrix Online and callcentres.net, a research, consulting, analyst and online publishing company dedicated to the Australian and Asia Pacific contact center and outsourcing industries. I hope all of my readers and our TSIA corporate and community members in Asia/Pac take this opportunity to tune in to a webcast in your timezone–Thursday, 2 September at 2:00 PM Australian EST (9pm PST on Wednesday September 1).

This webcast will cover the results our TSIA Social Media Survey, and much of the information has not been previously published. This is a fascinating, and as far as I can tell, completely unique data set, so definitely worth your time to attend. During the webcast I will cover survey data as well as the top FAQ’s for social media, including:

  • Adoption growth of discussion forums 2007-2010
  • Which department owns social media efforts within companies?
  • What social support channels are most companies using, across discussion forums, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • How do you select the social media channels to support?
  • What staffing is required for social support?
  • Social media interaction volumes
  • Basic support processes for handling social media channels

The moderator for the event is a leading voice in support practices in the Asia Pacific region, Dr Catriona Wallace, Managing Director of callcentres.net Pty Ltd and ACA Research. Dr Wallace is an expert in Customer Engagement and Employee Engagement and advises companies on service and employee strategies, with particular emphasis on contact center service channels. Dr Wallace has a PhD in Organisational Behaviour, which gives her great insight into consumer behavior and the impact of social media on the workplace. She is also funny as hell, so it should be an educational and entertaining webcast.

To register for the webcast, click here.

Hope to see you all online next week!

Social Platforms Mature: OutStart Seamlessly Blends Internal/External Communities

August 3, 2010

I had a call today with the folks at OutStart, a vendor of social business software as well as learning and mobile solutions, to get an update on their Participate platform, which includes full community capabilities along with knowledge and expertise management tools. I’m happy to see that social media (or social service or Social CRM, depending who you are) is definitely maturing, with products and customer examples reflecting more integration, more inclusive definitions of community, and a broader range of content management capabilities.

There were three things that struck me about the OutStart demo I found impressive, not just that the product includes the features but that the market is demanding them:

  • Blending internal and external communities. I have written about this before, and I’m thrilled to see new vendors like OutStart who sell internal, external and blended communities. Some of the leading community platforms only sell to customer communities, not internal, because they make their money by the number of page views so only care about huge customer communities with big page view traffic.  Employee communities will never be as big or as profitable for them. But I think it is incredibly short-sighted not to realize how useful communities can be for employees, as well as understanding that employees play a critical role in customer communities, and we should be encouraging as much employee participation as possible.
  • Content control. Only 17% of TSIA members have integrated social media channels into the corporate website, but it appears that this is changing–at last. I made a comment to OutStart during the briefing that their platform now includes a lot of features normally found in content management systems (CMS), and it is great to see so much flexibility built into a customer service platform. The Participate customer portal treats discussion forum content as one library of content, with sections and links to knowledge articles, other corporate content, and even external content from 3rd party forums, expert blogs or news outlets. Additionally, OutStart offers very granular controls for who can see what content, allowing separate internal and external discussions and content to happily co-exist on a single platform with no problems. This also means that content can be developed and published to different groups along the way, embracing Knowledge Centered Support processes.
  • Integration. Only 8% of TSIA members have integrated social media channels, including forums, into their CRM/incident management system. It didn’t help that early community vendors formed strategic relationships with specific CRM/incident management vendors, with few packaged integrations available. Then the new breed of vendors came along offering combined CRM and communities, and while they do solve the integration problem, they require you to replace your existing tools. I was happy to see that OutStart has a tight integration to Salesforce.com (used by 19% of TSIA member companies), with an open integration framework available that customers can use to connect to their CRM system of choice.

Shawn Santos, our director of social media, is working on the 2010 TSIA Social Media survey, so it will be interesting to see if these integration issues are being resolved by member companies, and how the formerly separate worlds of web self-service knowledgebases and discussion forums are merging. Stay tuned for those survey results later this year. If you have any comments or questions, please add a comment or drop me an email, and as always, thanks for reading!

KM Megatrends: Social, Mobile, Global, Green

June 4, 2010

I’m doing a webcast with KMWorld and eGain next week on June 8th at 11am PT (click here to register!) on knowledge management (KM) megatrends.  When we had our content planning call, we brainstormed on top trends in customer service, and every one of them had a tie-in to KM.  We’ve divided up topics to discuss on the webcast, and I’m going to cover these 4 areas:

  • Social media/social service: New channels, increased transparency, customer in control
  • Mobility: Information access anywhere, anytime, on any device
  • Globalization: Meeting needs of customers regardless of geography or culture
  • Green Support: Reducing environmental impacts of support

I’ve blogged about some of these topics before, but the globalization angle is new. I’m adding a graphic here showing how many languages different industry segments currently support for phone, email and web self-service.

In how many different languages are the following support resources offered?

No surprise, consumer companies are out in front, but enterprise software firms are also far along the path to offering multiple languages across channels. Even small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are getting in on the act. Why is this so important?

  • Increased self-service adoption and success with local language versions. If you want to boost self-service success, offering content in the customer’s native language is a great place to start.  Note that some companies are already WAY ahead in this effort, and here are a couple of “all star” company examples:  17 languages offered by Nikon (B2C), 32 languages offered by Xerox (B2B)
  • Huge improvement in translation tools and KM capabilities to create/maintain multiple languages. I’ve given a couple of Recognized Innovator Awards to Language Weaver, who has the single best (and accurate) translation tool on the market. Also, KM vendors like eGain are now able to handle multiple languages in a single instance, with reference customers for proof.
  • Cultural differences extend beyond language and can thwart success in other geographies. I’ve told the story before about how my first startup lost a big deal in Japan because of a stupidly designed icon in our product that was mis-interpreted as insulting by the Japanese prospect. North American companies have always tried to shove our approach to UI and workflow down everyone’s throats, but increasingly, we are seeing companies enter China starting not with sales, but development centers, building new product versions that are more in tune with local expectations, norms and culture.

I hope you can tune in next week to hear more, as well as additional megatrends to be covered by Don Muchow, Senior Solutions Consultant with eGain. Don always has great insight to share–not only has he been at eGain since 2003, but he also worked at early CRM vendor Scopus as well as Siebel, so he has seen a lot! Thanks for reading, and hope to see you on Tuesday!

Recap of Day 1: Technology Services World

May 4, 2010

Yesterday our Spring 2010 Technology Services World (TSW) kicked off at the Santa Clara convention center, with over 700 attendees. The morning was filled with professional development workshops, advisory board meetings, and 1:1 meetings with members and partners. The conference officially opened at 3pm with a keynote by my boss, executive director of TSIA Thomas Lah.

Thomas talked about how “the cloud” is changing technology services, and not necessarily for the better. The traditional “on premise” hardware and software companies are all morphing into OnDemand as quickly as possible, yet pure SaaS companies have lower profit than their on premise counterparts. Should we really be running so fast towards what seems to be a cliff?

One thing you can’t deny about cloud companies–support has a critical role in keeping customers happy so they renew when their 2-3 year agreement is up.  The most profitable accounts are those that extend beyond the initial contract, but the cost of switching OnDemand solutions is low, and you have to work extra hard to be sure your customers won’t leave for a better deal. In some ways, enterprise software is beginning to feel an awful lot like a cell phone plan: loyalty is hard to come by when the cost of switching is so low.

During the support services advisory board meeting, Bill Rose asked the board about problems that “keep them up at night,” and the answers were interesting, with a mix of old issues that never go away, and emerging challenges with no official best practices yet.  Some of the long time issues companies still struggle with include:

  • Multi-vendor support. As technology becomes more intertwined, identifying the failing component between a dizzy array of hardware and software is darn near impossible sometimes, and members are spending more time troubleshooting technology they don’t own or control. Training time and costs are going through the roof to keep techs up to speed on dozens of technologies, in addition to the core technology they support.
  • Outsourcing attrition. With turnover rates as high as 15% per month for some outsourcing contracts, having adequate staffing of highly skilled staff becomes very challenging. And, this is not just an India problem anymore. Latin American and other areas in Asia are now finding high demand for seasoned, trained support techs, so turnover keeps growing.
  • Demonstrating value. The economy has put even more pressure on maintenance renewals, with discounts climbing and more customers asking to renegotiate terms.

Some of the emerging issues listed were:

  • Managing consolidation. High tech has always been a hot bed of mergers and acquisitions, and activity has increased as valuations dropped due to the economy. 2009 was a big year for acquisitions, and 2010 is expected to be as well.  Multiple companies said more information is needed on best practices for merging support organizations, standardizing processes and systems across global operations.
  • Cloud complexities.  Companies m0ving to the cloud are finding a new set of support challenges, including confusing international standards for cloud computing–data storage, privacy, etc. Also, what are the key metrics/KPIs for cloud operations?
  • Social media. Our larger members, and many of our smaller members, have jumped into social service and now are wondering how to effectively handle the huge influx of customer content. In addition, the ROI of social service continues to stymie companies as online communities find huge adoption…but assisted support interactions never decrease.

Day 2 of TSW is underway with a full day of breakout sessions, including my session at 4pm revealing the results of my 2010 Member Technology Survey. I’ll also be giving 2 Innovation Tours of the Expo at 11am and 2pm, with a drawing for an iPod shuffle for tour attendees. Come join us!

Social Media: Hot Topic for Technology Services World

April 21, 2010

Our 2010 Spring Technology Services World (TSW) Conference is just around the corner, kicking off on Monday, May 3rd. It seems only yesterday we were in Las Vegas last October; I definitely ran out of time to lose that 50 pounds I wanted to get rid of before the next conference! If you are a regular blog reader, you know that social service (customer communities, emerging social media channels like Twitter, etc.) is a hot topic, and I wanted to highlight some conference sessions around this topic you don’t want to miss.

First up is the TSIA’s director of social media, Shawn Santos, who had the top attended session at our Vegas event. Shawn will present, “Don’t Believe the Hype: Social Media & Technology Services,” on Tuesday at 11am. This session dismantles the hype surrounding social media and explores real-world examples of how technology companies are successfully using social media to service their customers. We’ll delve into ROI, staffing & social media operational models and give you compelling data and examples that will get you started down the path of least resistance in structuring your social media tools, people, and processes.

Another really interesting session is longtime TSIA/SSPA member and all around great guy, Manish Sinha, Vice President Global Customer Care, Yahoo. Manish is going to tackle a topic I hear companies struggling with every week–how to successfully leverage customers to create content without throwing quality out the window. Come to his session, “An Efficient and Effective User-Generated Content Moderation,” on Tuesday at 2pm, and learn how Yahoo! is addressing the ongoing challenges with user generated content (UGC) moderation. Manish will discuss his philosophy on how best to improve moderation consistency, effectiveness, and efficiency, as well as the frightening truth of moderation resources and an enormous business opportunity currently untapped. Sinha will outline the opportunities and respective solutions: automation, community, and customer care.  I’ve seen a draft of his materials–this will be a great session.

The final session I will hype, selfishly, is my own breakout on Tuesday at 4pm, “The 2010 TSIA Technology Heatmap.” In this session I will unveil the results of my 2010 Member Technology Survey, showing technology adoption and spending trends across support services, professional services, and field service. Social media spending is HOT, and my adoption and spending data shows how quickly companies are moving to support these emerging customer channels.

I look forward to seeing all of you in Santa Clara. If you’d like to schedule a 1:1 meeting with me, look for the signup sheet at the registration desk when you pick up your badge–my slots fill up fast. Thanks for reading!

2010: Dollars pouring into Social Service

April 9, 2010

Yesterday I participated in a TSIA webcast with Lithium and Baynote, with an amazing presentation by Brooke Molinaroli, Head of Digital Care Design with BT (British Telecom) Retail Customer Service. This was our third social service focused webcast this year, and another record crowd–this is the topic of the year. And, viewing my preliminary 2010 spending data (which I will release at TSW next month!), companies are putting their wallets on the table–BIG spending planned on social service and other areas. If you missed yesterday’s webcast you can register to view the OnDemand version here: http://webcasts.tsia.com/event/pe30e09f8q57m9

At lunch today I’m making a presentation to the Bay Area Business Executives Meetup Group entitled, “Effectively Leveraging Social Media as a Support Channel.” (If you’d like to come, here’s the link to register.) Why are so many people interested in this topic? Here’s what I think.

It took a dozen years for CRM to become established, highly adopted, with lots of documented best practices. Social media, which includes customer communities, micro-blogs and social networks, have reached high adoption in just a couple of years, so now everyone has their toes in the water but no one knows how to swim…and there appears to be a tidal wave coming. Customers continue to jump on the social bandwagon, the younger folks who crave online social interaction continue to age into the target demographic of more companies.

So this time the thirst for information isn’t about, “Should we do this?”  They are already doing it, and want to be successful The cost to engage in Twitter, for example, seems desperately cheap compared to starting up, say, a Web chat support team–little technology, few specialized skills needed (or are there?), and a more ‘devil may care’ attitude than with traditional support channels.  The issue, in the eyes of enterprise customers and forward-looking consumer companies, is this: today customers view these channels as a fun way to interact with the company and other customers. But with each use, relying on these channels becomes ingrained to customers.  It is very worrisome then, that according to our 2009 TSIA Member Social Media Survey:

  • Only 17% of members have integrated social media channels into the corporate website. Accessing an online community requires a different logon and password, and uses a different UI than the corporate website.
  • Only 8% of members have integrated the new channels into their CRM/incident management system. After a decade of trying to build the “360 degree view of the customer,” none of the social media interactions are being tracked.
  • Only 8% of members include social media channels in performance dashboards. So if you suddenly start neglecting a social media channel, no alarms or notifications exist.
  • Only 3% of members address social media channels in SLAs. If you aren’t setting customer expectations for service levels, achieving high customer satisfaction will be challenging as traffic via these channels increases.

We will continue to write on this topic and share best practices as they emerge. Luckily we have members with hugely successful social service practices who are willing to share their lessons learned…and judging from the STAR Award applications for Best Online Community, there are lots of great stories to share. Hope to see some of you in Mountain View today for my lunch talk! Thanks for reading.

nGenera CIM Launches CIM 9 with Social Service Focus

March 31, 2010

One of the realities of high tech is high employee turnover, especially in sales and marketing roles. The grass always looks greener, and a job change usually means a decent salary bump and title change. I was thinking about this when I received my pre-briefing on nGenera Customer Interaction Management (CIM) 9, which launched today. I’ve seen a lot of demos in my time, and this was pretty impressive. Not only for the functionality, which I’ll get to in a minute, but even more so because of Nikhil Govindaraj, Vice President of Products at nGenera CIM, who drove the product briefing and demo. Nikhil started at nGenera CIM (then Talisma) in 2000 as a program manager, and has worked his way up through the business in sales and sales engineering roles before assuming his current role, responsible for Product Management and Engineering functions for the nGenera CIM product line, last year.

With a decade of customer facing roles at nGenera, Nikhil knows his customer. He’s heard every criticism and wish list first hand; he understands the balance between fulfilling tactical customer requests with pushing the envelope on market-leading capabilities. It was really enjoyable to have a briefing with a product person who knew the product so deeply, as well as the back story for every feature. He is also a great presenter, so check out the next nGen webcast you see advertised, Nikhil will probably be presenting. You can also see him in action in a video on the nGen CIM 9 launch page.

Today’s nGen CIM 9 launch was interesting because they focused on customer success, not marketing. Beta customer KMD, the largest IT company in Denmark, presented case studies of launching nGen Knowledgebase,  nGen Community and nGen Social Media in a variety of government services, technology support, utilities, consumer financial services, etc., all with great success (including publishing articles from the knowledgebase to Twitter and Facebook). Nice to hear from a customer, especially for a new release.

nGen CIM 9 includes new or enhanced capabilities in the following areas:

  • nGen Community: nGen CIM has extended their forum capabilities into a full community offering, including wikis, reputation modeling, discussion forums with good management tools, and the integration with the popular nGen Knowledgebase means community-generated content is fed back into the knowledge base and can be accessed by users through federated search.
  • nGen Social Media: This release enables customer support via popular social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, including some cool sentiment technology that prioritizes and routes incidents using a sentiment score, so frustrated customers can be sent directly to a senior agent.
  • nGen Knowledgebase search: nGenera CIM has expanded its federated search capabilities to include knowledge-base content, Web site content, file server content, and now with CIM 9 nGen Knowledgebase, database and social content has been added to the search. For more information on nGen’s intelligent search, check out my new research report, “Intelligent Search Market Overview: Three Search Technology Markets Converge to Streamline Information Access.”
  • nGen CoBrowse: One of the few multi-channel players to embrace remote control/co-browse, nGen CoBrowse allows support techs to engage customers in collaborative CoBrowse sessions to help them complete purchases or solve complex issues.
  • nGen Survey: Having a survey module as part of a multi-channel platform seems a ‘must have’ to me, it allows you to create granular rules about surveys by channel and account with zero integration costs. nGen Survey is a completely integrated post-interaction survey module, so nGen customers don’t need additional survey tools.
  • Enterprisabilty: In deals for large accounts, nGen has sometimes faced FUD from competitors about their mid-market roots. To put to rest any question about scalability, nGen CIM 9 features architecture enhancements that ensure scalability, and new administration features to streamline management of large, globally distributed support agents.

I wish nGenera great success with their launch, and I hope all of you shopping for multi-channel and social service tools will check them out!  Thanks for reading.