Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

CallCopy Continues To Refine Agent Performance Management

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 29, 2011 11:16:07 AM

About a year ago I wrote that CallCopy had emerged as a major vendor of agent performance management (APM) software. Ventana Research has updated its definition of APM to mean the people, processes, information and systems involved in effectively managing the entire workforce that handles customer interactions, and this includes interaction recording, quality monitoring, workforce management, training, coaching, incentive management , agent-related analytics and performance management. Our revised definition recognizes that companies now have to manage more channels of communication and that more people, including home workers, are engaged in handling interactions. 

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Call Copy, Operational Performance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management

Verint Expands Feedback Management with Vovici

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 28, 2011 11:20:18 AM

Verint recently announced that it has acquired Vovici,a vendor of enterprise feedback management systems. In light of the fact that Verint was recently rated the top vendor in the Ventana Research Value Index for Customer Feedback Management, at first it seemed odd that the company would buy another that offers a very similar product. In this situation the business driver often is to gain market share, with the net effect being that customers are left with fewer choices. Looking deeper reveals that is not so in this case; comparing the two product sets and target markets you can see benefits for current and future customers. Verint has positioned itself in the customer feedback market and has mainly focused on collecting customer feedback through IVR surveys. In contrast, Vovici has been in the enterprise feedback market and has capabilities for collecting feedback through channels other than IVR, and it also collects employee feedback as well as customer feedback. Thus the combination of the two product sets now enables Verint to offer survey collection and analysis across all channels, both for customers and employees. The Vovici product set also has capabilities to create and run social media-based groups, which provide another avenue for communicating with customers. 

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Verint, Vovici

Finance Analytics Innovation

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jul 21, 2011 8:38:31 AM

Our recently completed benchmark research on how finance departments use analytics makes clear that while they have a distinct competence in this area and execute the basics well, a majority of companies are immature in their use of advanced finance analytics. Regardless of industry or geography, few finance departments use predictive analytics or delve into important areas such as strategic profitability management. This is of note because these undertakings are no longer difficult to pursue: With the growing availability of in-memory processing and the improved ability to work with large data sets, information technology now makes it possible for finance departments to embrace these to enhance the effectiveness with which they execute core functions.   

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Office of Finance, Finance Analytics, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Financial Performance, CFO

Optimizing the Customer Experience Requires Dedication

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 18, 2011 12:21:19 PM

In my research area, a lot is said and written these days about optimizing the customer experience. Some say it is done by improving key performance metrics such as customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS) and customer effort score (CES). Others say customer experience management (CEM) is the “new CRM”; some think it is part of a multichannel service strategy, and for others it is as simple as managing social media. In my view it takes all of these, and other efforts, to optimize the customer experience, and thus it is difficult for companies to achieve. Customer experience management is the practice of managing the effectiveness of customer interactions so the outcome meets the customer’s and the company’s expectations. In any case, the key question is how companies achieve this goal. 

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Cicero, Cincom, MarketTools, ResponseTek, Operational Performance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Upstream Works, Confirmit, OpenSpan, Verint

IFRS for the U.S.? Yes – But When and How Are Still Iffy

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jul 18, 2011 11:56:38 AM

Hans Hoogervorst, who just succeeded Sir David Tweedie as the chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), recently said he is “optimistic the SEC will move to fully incorporate IFRS [International Financial Reporting Standards] shortly.” I find it hard to see why, unless one has a fairly elastic definition of “fully,” “incorporate” and “shortly” (or at least two out of three). Then again, one shouldn’t fault the head of an organization for expressing undue optimism since that’s what he or she is supposed to do. 

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Topics: Office of Finance, Reporting, Consolidation, FASB, IASB, IFRS, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Financial Performance, GAAP, SEC

SnapLogic Makes Data Quality in the Cloud a Snap

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 7, 2011 1:27:39 PM

SnapLogic, a cloud-based data integration vendor, has extended its product linewith new data quality capabilities. This is worth comment because SnapLogic sits at the intersection of two recent trends in information management.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management, Workforce Performance

SAS Helps Optimize Key Business Processes

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 7, 2011 1:14:21 PM

If you look at the SAS Institute home page it appears easy to identify what it does – “the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market.” My colleague recently assessed them as the multi-billion dollar business analytics supplier which I would agree. However, at the company’s recent analyst event I learned that this description only skims the surface of what it really does; even SAS CMO Jim Davis said he couldn’t be sure of the exact number of products it has (more than 200). Some things, however, are more evident: SAS is successful, with revenues up 6.7% on a like-by-like basis from last year; staff numbers continue to grow (up 2.4% from 2010 and 2011 already showing a 4.9% growth); Fortune named it one of the best places to work; customer satisfaction scores are at an all-time high; and it has enough cash in the bank to be self-funding and able to execute an extensive acquisition program, including companies such as DataFlux, which specializes in data management.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, SAS, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

Analytics Can Make Finance More Relevant

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jul 7, 2011 11:15:58 AM

Ventana Research recently completed groundbreaking benchmark research on how finance organizations use analytics these days. Of course, analytics have been a mainstay of finance organizations since people started using accounting ratios to assess the health and performance of a business. Yet perhaps because traditional analytics are so deeply entrenched, finance departments execute the basics well but don’t take the next step to fully utilize the power of information technology to use analytics more effectively. And they should: Our research finds that a majority of executives and managers outside the finance organization want the department to play a more strategic role in their company’s management.  

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, SAP, SAS, Office of Finance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Financial Performance, IBM, Oracle, Cognos, Financial Performance Management

Managing Customer Communications in a Multichannel World

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 3, 2011 7:50:45 AM

In the customer service and contact center markets we used to talk about phone calls, letters, faxes and email; now we talk about “communications,” “interactions,” “contacts” and “touch points.”These four terms are used almost interchangeably to talk generally about actions involving customers and can include all forms of communication – calls, documents (letters, email, forms and surveys), website visits, text messages, instant message (chat) sessions and social media – over all types of channels – fixed and mobile phones, in person and the Web. This proliferation of forms and channels of communication has caused various issues for companies. 

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Analytics, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

SHRM Helps Socialize Human Resources

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 3, 2011 7:30:21 AM

I had the pleasure to drop into the 63rd annual conference of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in Las Vegas where over 18,000 human resources professionals came to learn, engage with peers and also enjoy a variety of entertainment. It was the definitely the place to be if you wanted to mix Hollywood with HR. From Sir Richard Branson in Sunday’s opener to music from Keith Urban to controversial political commentator Arianna Huffington and finally actor Michael J. Fox for the closing keynote, the HR professionals got to enjoy a range of interesting perspectives; it seemed like a good outlet for a segment of professionals who often do not get enough credit in business.  

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Topics: Big Data, Performance Management, Social Media, Human Capital Management, Metrics, Mobile Applications, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, Compensation, Talent Management, Workforce Analytics

Taxes on Internet Sales Would Drive Software Adoption

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jul 3, 2011 6:35:57 AM

Many companies have automated their sales and use tax processes to cut the effort required to execute them and to reduce the number of errors and their cost in dealing with a fiendishly complex set of rules and rates. This is one step in bringing tax into the mainstream of finance, which we advocate. Most people are familiar with sales tax; a “use tax” is a form of excise tax assessed on otherwise tax-free goods purchased by a resident of the assessing state regardless of where it was purchased. The use-tax rate is usually the same as the sales tax rate that would have been applied to an in-state purchase and is designed to serve the same purpose of generating revenue. 

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Topics: Sales, Office of Finance, Tax, Business Performance, Financial Performance

Two Elephants Face Off: Hadoop and Oracle

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 3, 2011 6:03:46 AM

I stopped into the Yahoo Hadoop Summit (Twitter: #HadoopSummit) to see how far the open source Hadoop technology has progressed. This open source community has been advancing for years with support from Internet titans like Yahoo, eBay and Facebook. Hadoop, as my colleague David Menninger has written, is now ready to play a large role as organizations try to cope with data on a large scale and solidify their information management agenda.  

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, Strata+Hadoop