It’s Showtime for CRM

CSC and Infovisionix announced a new agreement at the Retail’s BIG Show 2012 in New York City.

Under the agreement, Infovisionix’s suite of retail reporting and analysis tools will be incorporated in CSC’s Retail Enterprise Intelligence (CREI) offering. The new capabilities will help retailers understand and improve key operational and customer performance metrics. Reporting and analysis tools will enable them to identify and focus on the key challenges presented by constantly connected customers.

Available as an enterprise solution or as a CSC service, the CREI offering extends CSC’s Retail Business Excellence capabilities, including retail domain business consulting services, as well as its application integration, systems implementation and cloud-based services.

JDA Raises the Bar for Customer Engagement

JDA Software Group also announced a new solution designed to improve and personalize the customer shopping experience, build consumer loyalty and drive profitability.

Built to integrate with existing CRM systems, JDA Customer Engagement is a single solution delivered by JDA Cloud Services that addresses omnichannel commerce and optimization logic in real time. It helps optimize not only how retailers deliver goods to customers, but also the alignment of real-time supply processes and inventory to effectively source those goods.

“This is fundamentally a brand new solution,” Wayne Usie, senior vice president of retail for JDA Software Group, told CRM Buyer. “It’s no longer acceptable for retailers to be able to capture customer information and start marketing to them with promotions, which is the typical CRM approach. The real issue retailers will have is how profitably they can satisfy customers from a delivery perspective from any channel.”

The omnichannel capability is intended to deliver a seamless experience to consumers regardless of how they interact with retailers, he added. “As we start localizing and personalizing offerings, this solution gives them the power to profitably promise and deliver in the most effective way, which can be different for every consumer and/or shopping experience. It’s a whole new direction, which is why we built a whole new solution.”

IBM Survey: Customers Willing to Share

IBM unveiled a new retail survey that shows consumers are now willing to communicates with retailers in order to educate companies on how, when and where to approach them. The global survey, conducted with more than 28,000 consumers, is the largest of its kind to date, according to IBM. It indicates that consumers are willing share the following personal information with their favorite brands:

  • Media usage (75 percent)
  • Demographics (73 percent)
  • Identifications such as name and address (61 percent)
  • Lifestyle (59 percent)
  • Location (56 percent)

IBM reports that these numbers show consumers actually want to receive more communication, not less. But they want it delivered through their preferred media channels in a relevant way.

The survey also takes an in-depth look at technology usage in shopping, attitudes around economic concerns, who consumers trust most, and where they get information during various stages of the shopping process.

IBM Integration on the Agenda at Lotusphere 2012

At Lotusphere 2012 in Orlando, SugarCRM announced enhanced technology integrations with IBM that enable organizations to leverage best practices for creating social businesses and enhancing collaboration.

SugarCRM integrations with IBM expand the company’s breadth of offerings for social businesses. New enhancements:

  1. SugarCRM on IBM DB2: Sugar now supports IBM DB2 database software on Linux, Unix and Windows systems.
  2. SugarCRM on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise: SugarCRM is announcing a new deployment option with IBM SmartCloud Enterprise that will be branded as “SugarCRM Private Cloud, Powered by IBM.” The integration is designed to provide businesses greater visibility into sales, marketing and support to gain and retain customers while offering a scalable cloud infrastructure to grow as the business grows.

Erik Vos, founder and co-owner of RealConnections, a cloud services aggregator and IT consulting company, said his company switched to SugarCRM in large part because of its commitment to IBM integration.

“One of the key drivers behind our choice was that SugarCRM has demonstrated an ongoing dedication to working with IBM, and that’s important for our organization,” he told CRM Buyer. “You don’t see a lot of that with other CRM applications we used previously, which is not good for us. We expect to be able to take advantage of more IBM integration features in future.”

Avistar also demonstrated its newest comprehensive virtual desktop videoconferencing experience designed for IBM Sametime. Avistar C3 Unifed and Avistar C3 Integrator solutions deliver an immersive, VDI-enabled HD videoconferencing experience, while also delivering high-quality, continuous presence multiparty virtual videoconferencing. With these solutions, users can now extend the value of unified communications and collaboration software, including IBM Sametime, in a fully virtualized environment.

Gartner Customer 360 Summit 2012 Coming Soon

Gartner has announced that the Customer 360 Summit 2012 will be held March 14-16 in Orlando. The event will provide coverage of the new strategies and technologies that are enabling organizations to better understand and engage their customers, build loyalty, and grow the business.

It will include more than 50 sessions focused on helping CMOs and senior sales and marketing leaders deliver a world-class customer experience, improve sales and marketing integration, and use analytics to deepen relationships and drive growth. Scheduled presentations include “Top Trends for 2020” and an executive panel entitled “The New Role of CRM in the Age of the Empowered Customer.”

Denise J. Deveau is a seasoned freelance writer based in Toronto, Ontario. She has more than two decades of experience in business- and technology-related subjects.

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