Author Archives: Marketing & Co.

  • Self-service apps are the future of the customer experience

    July 20th, 2016 by Marketing & Co. Big Data, Customer Relationship Management, Technology 0


    In customer experience field, customers are increasingly “taking back the power”. The goal of encouraging them to do so is obviously to create and win their loyalty. Thanks to an easier relationship with less management, firms are betting on customers to consolidate their strategy.

    What could they develop to make customers’ lives and easier and thus increase retention?

    The future must be in self-service apps.

    Self-service means time management of the relationship with the brand, by the client himself. For example, in our grocery stores, we already do our buying by ourselves, self-service checkouts are multiplying.

    In services, a self-service app may exist soon. We have to imagine apps which allow customers to manage – almost – totally their relationship. Simplicity is primordial.

    Simplifying the customer’s journey is a bonus for the client – a need for the brand. By offering this kind of app, the firm let its customers manage the relationship by themselves.

    For both partiess, it represents time savings. Call centers will be less saturated, clients can easily resolve their issues. Frustration is avoided.

    It is already possible for the app to follow the customer history, to visualize bills and to reach customer support.

    Yet, the app has to go further.

    With the self-service app, it will be possible to contact directly customer support; it will integrate social network exchanges and accounts. It will be unavoidable, as it will allow customers to cireatly access bargains. It will even make recommendations: new products and friendly prices, exclusively.

    For the customer, it is the promise of a personalized experience, continuously nourished and simplified. For the firm: lower operational costs and more time available, particularly in brick and mortar shops. It is time to take the plunge.

  • Customer Services Have to Invest in Predictive Analytics

    by Marketing & Co. Customer Relationship Management, News, Products 0

    Photo Flickr by Steve Jurvetson

    Oliver Renard, the CIO of La Poste Mobile, announced at Big Data Paris 2015: “To predict clients’ behavior and needs is the next horizon of customer services”.

    In the field of digital data, technologies to detect, predict and find similarities have appeared. We talk about data science. In the business world, these techniques are based on algorithms and complex calculations. Yet, the point is simple: Analyze data generated and establish a behavior’s logic to anticipate potential outcomes.

    In industry, we may think about products from cars to bikes and mobile phones. These tools generate huge quantities of data every day. For human beings, we talk about signals – either direct or indirect (calls, messages, product use) – captured through various connected objects.

    Clearly, customer services have a lot to (l)earn by investing in data and predictive models.

    Services, slowly, change. The realm of the possible expands. Traditional call center are a thing of the past. Now the possibilities are extended to brick and mortar shops. Customer services are no longer limited to the brand’s department. They have become dematerialized. The amount of data created by the client and the enterprise has exploded.

    So why don’t we take advantage of that? Obviously, we need guidelines. Once the client and the brand agree, data exchange begins. It has been successfully tested in various sectors such as telecommunications.

    The time has come to adopt predictive technologies. Thanks to models, the firm can now determine which precise action it may undertake for a particular client. In case of potential churn, the brand can then propose exclusive and special offers to head off a departure. The client’s reaction will be also analyzed. A learning cycle is in place  to continuously improve algorithms and predictions.

    We should not look down upon it; it’s not about spying. Actually, it is to the client’s advantage. By predicting issues, the brand simplifies processes and can respond better to difficulties. Actions can be launched to avoid attrition – very necessary at a time when buying cycles are short. Indeed, it is a requirement to react as fast as possible to the market (product, challengers) and changing customer behaviors.

    Because, yes, the customer is at the heart of the brand. The firm can now focus thanks to its new tools and the organized data from new machines.

    A simpler life and more time to do what matters to people … and more efficient companies more respectful of their clients and their environment.

    The beginning of a virtuous circle?

  • EXALEAD @ Science in the Age of Experience – Boston MA – May 23-25 2016

    May 18th, 2016 by Marketing & Co. Big Data, Events, Products, Technology 0

    In a few days, Boston will welcome the 2nd Dassault Systèmes Megatrend Event of 2016.

    SIMULIA is teaming with BIOVIA, but also CATIA, SOLIDWORKS, EXALEAD and ENOVIA to present Science in the Age of Experience – a conference that features an expanded simulation program, as well as significant new content.

    Dassault Systèmes ambition is to harmonize Product, Nature and Life.

    While rules based simulation had been serving to « model » the world of goods for many years, when it comes to modeling nature, it has to be made by observation. And when what is being observed is nature … this is at the edge of BIG DATA & DATA SCIENCE.

    In this context, EXALEAD can deliver value across 3 main domains:

    – Capitalisation of scientific knowledge and experience while leveraging all structured and unstructured content with semantic analytics, while « propagating » skills extracted from documents and publications, to peoples in order to build an enterprise scale skill and expertise matrix
    – IOT driven modeling of life
    – Leverage of physical test data (any source, any format) toward performance driven

    Here are EXALEAD Highlights during Boston event:EXALEAD Agenda - Science in the Age of Experience

    >> Discover the full agenda

  • COE 2016, San Antonio – 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, OnePart and PLM Analytics Highlights

    April 1st, 2016 by Marketing & Co. Kudos 0


    COE 2016 – Annual PLM Experience & Technifair – will take place in San Antonio, Texas mid-April.

    Morgan Zimmermann, EXALEAD CEO,  and other EXALEAD Experts, will hold several sessions in order you can go deeper into our solutions:

    Customer Experience Session: 3DEXPERIENCE –  A Platform for Continuous Innovation and Sustainable Growth

    Andy Kalambi, VP of 3DExperience Platform
    Morgan Zimmerman, Chief Executive Officer, EXALEAD 


    This session will explore why customers are adopting 3DEXPERIENCE platform as a business framework to drive their growth strategies, how more than 900 customers of Dassault Systèmes are already on this journey, the three paths to 3DEXPERIENCE they have chosen, as well as some insights from
    successful deployments of over 100 customers who are now enjoying the benefits through leaps in productivity and business agility.

    Session Number: 4130
    Track: General Sessions
    Primary Presenter: Andy Kalambi [CEO, ENOVIA – Dassault Systèmes]
    Co-Presenter 1: Morgan Zimmermann [Exalead CEO – Dassault Systèmes]
    Time: Apr 11, 2016 (09:30 AM – 10:30 AM)
    Room: Salon ABF
    Community of Interest: All
    Industry: High-Tech, Transportation & Mobility
    Applicable Products: CATIA, ENOVIA
    What will attendees get out of this presentation?: Deployment and Collaboration in the 3DExperience Environment for Google’s Self-Driving Car
    Session Description:  To secure sustainable growth in the experience economy, companies and innovators must do (a lot) more with (a lot) less, create new income streams, and secure mergers, acquisitions and partnerships. Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE® Platform is the business framework for driving sustainable growth – for the individual and the enterprise.

    Join Andy Kalambi and Morgan Zimmerman as they demonstrate how customers and users are adopting the 3DEXPERIENCE® Platform as a data-driven framework to drive their growth strategies; share why more than 900 customers of Dassault Systèmes like JLR, Doosan Infracore, Pratt & Whitney Canada, V-ZUG are already on this journey; explore the 3 paths to 3DEXPERIENCE® they have chosen; reveal insights from the results achieved, and highlight the role of individual leadership in making this transformation a reality.

    PLM Analytics to Improve Product Development Processes and Accelerate Your Business

    Session Number: 4153
    Track: Infrastructure, Develop, Deploy & Knowledge (IDDK)
    Sub-Categorization: Develop & Deploy (D&D)
    Session Type: Process Session
    Primary Presenter: Morgan Zimmermann [CEO EXALEAD – Dassault Systèmes]
    Time: Apr 11, 2016 (11:35 AM – 12:25 PM)
    Room: Room 17-18
    Conference Hot Topics: PLM Interoperability
    Community of Interest: All
    Industry: Aerospace & Defense, Architecture, Engineering & Construction, Consumer Goods & Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods & Retail, Energy, Process and Utilities, Financial & Business Services, High-Tech, Industrial Equipment, Life Sciences, Marine & Offshore, Natural Resources, Transportation & Mobility
    Applicable Products: EXALEAD
    Session Description:  PLM Analytics to Improve Product Development Processes and Accelerate Your Business

    Reveal & Reuse Legacy Assets & Intellectual Property for Maximum Value

    Session Number: 4152
    Track: Infrastructure, Develop, Deploy & Knowledge (IDDK)
    Sub-Categorization: Develop & Deploy (D&D)
    Session Type: Process Session
    Primary Presenter: Morgan Zimmermann [CEO EXALEAD – Dassault Systemes]
    Time: Apr 11, 2016 (10:40 AM – 11:30 AM)
    Room: Room 17-18
    Community of Interest: All
    Industry: Aerospace & Defense, Architecture, Engineering & Construction, Consumer Goods & Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods & Retail, Energy, Process and Utilities, Financial & Business Services, High-Tech, Industrial Equipment, Life Sciences, Marine & Offshore, Natural Resources, Transportation & Mobility
    Applicable Products: EXALEAD
    Session Description:  Reveal & Reuse Legacy Assets & Intellectual Property for Maximum Value

    Creating an Integrated Electronic Component Management & Search System Using ENOVIA and EXALEAD

    Session Number: 4197
    Track: Information Management
    Sub-Categorization: Information & Data Management (IDM)
    Session Type: Process Session
    Primary Presenter: Bob Maffia [BAE Systems]
    Time: Apr 11, 2016 (01:15 PM – 02:45 PM)
    Room: Room 8
    Community of Interest: All
    Industry: Aerospace & Defense, Architecture, Engineering & Construction, Consumer Goods & Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods & Retail, Energy, Process and Utilities, Financial & Business Services, High-Tech, Industrial Equipment, Life Sciences, Marine & Offshore, Natural Resources, Transportation & Mobility
    Applicable Products: ENOVIA, EXALEAD

    Big Data PLM Analytics with EXALEAD (pre-registration required)

    Session Number: 4213
    Track: Information Management
    Sub-Categorization: Information & Data Management (IDM)
    Session Type: Workshop (pre-registration required)
    Primary Presenter: George Voutes [Dassault Systèmes]
    Time: Apr 10, 2016 (02:00 PM – 05:00 PM)
    Room: Salon D
    Community of Interest: All
    Industry: Aerospace & Defense, Architecture, Engineering & Construction, Consumer Goods & Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods & Retail, Energy, Process and Utilities, Financial & Business Services, High-Tech, Industrial Equipment, Life Sciences, Marine & Offshore, Natural Resources, Transportation & Mobility
    Applicable Products: EXALEAD
    Session Description:  Attendees in this workshop will learn how EXALEAD helps users gain visibility into their business with sophisticated tools, rich analysis, and straightforward dashboards. By swiftly and accurately extracting, aggregating, analyzing and disseminating information from multiple PLM and non-PLM sources, users can measure and make better management decisions to drive key performance indicators throughout their business.

  • DESIGN IN THE AGE OF EXPERIENCE – Global User Event – Milano – April 11-12, 2016

    March 24th, 2016 by Marketing & Co. Customer, Events, Industry Solutions, News, Part Reuse, Products, Showrooms & Conferences, Technology 0

    In 3 weeks, Milano, Italy, will host Dassault Systèmes new Worlwide Design User Event...

    2 days to be inspired by solutions delivering disruptive 3D experiences for designers around the world.

    6 majors brands, leaders in their domain, will show, demonstrate, share their latest technologies… CATIA, SOLIDWORKS, ENOVIA, SIMULIA, 3DEXCITE, and of course EXALEAD.

    You can discover the whole agenda here

    but we have sum up EXALEAD sessions for you!


    We would like to imagine with you the future of Design and Engineering by connecting the dots between FICTION and FUNCTION with the help of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.

    Register now:



  • How a CIO is improving the customer experience

    January 19th, 2016 by Marketing & Co. Kudos 0

    On March 10-11, 2015, EXALEAD Dassault Systèmes presented its solutions at Big Data Paris. One of the workshops featured Benoît Bourdé from Dassault Systèmes & Olivier Renard, CIO from La Poste Mobile, describing the French MVNO’s deployment of EXALEAD.

    La Poste Mobile needed a partner to achieve three objectives: customer satisfaction, financial gains and reporting. Olivier Renard explained that “We quickly realized that, if we were to efficiently manage our growth, we urgently needed to manage all our customers with a CRM solution.”

    La Poste Mobile chose EXALEAD for various reasons:OneCall aggregates all the systems data, making it available in a user-friendly manner to salespeople in post offices and contact centers

    – The solution delivers a 360° view of the customer profile, quickly and easily.

    – It also provides alerts when profiles are created or closed, as well as detailed views and custom reports.

    – One day of training on the solution is enough to master it. The employees are ready to use OneCall directly. It means time and cost savings for both customers and employees.

    OneCall is able to crawl open source data and the Web to complete its customer profiles. In the future, it will have prescriptive and predictive functions (combining algorithms and crawling, the prediction rate reaches about 80%) so that potential losses can be converted to business opportunities. For more information, watch the video of the workshop in French with English subtitles:

  • [2015 Review] Monoprix Success Story: innovating in quality through data

    December 11th, 2015 by Marketing & Co. Big Data, Interviews & Commentaries 0

    In case you’ve missed this CPG and Retail use case and video… 

    Challenge: Because store quality assurance audits resulted in a fragmented view of each factor assessed, Monoprix needed a more consolidated view by theme on a regional or national level.

    Solution: Monoprix selected Dassault Systèmes’ EXALEAD CloudView for real-time search and analysis of all store quality-related data.

    Benefits: With CloudView, Monoprix has an overall view of store performance on a store-by-store, regional or national level and can determine areas for improvement in real time.

    Click to read and watch >>


    >> French Version

  • Inside engine (1)

    November 25th, 2015 by Marketing & Co. Big Data, Powered by Exalead, Technology, Uncategorized 0


    This post is the first of a series about EXALEAD‘s web search engine activities. We’ll first introduce the engine and the team, and next posts will dive into more technical details of the problems we solved to make all of this work.


    Since its founding by search engine pioneers in 2000, EXALEAD has always crawled and indexed the world wide web as a showcase of its software platform’s capabilities and scalability. The team is responsible for both the development of the crawler software, and operation of the web search engine. The software components of the crawler are also used in Cloudview, EXALEAD’s search platform. Today, is one of the biggest web crawlers in the world, and is run by a team of 6 engineers.

    The team belongs to EXALEAD’s Research & Development department, alongside the team responsible for EXALEAD’s main product, Cloudview. Cloudview is powered by EXALEAD’s core search engine software, which the team uses to index 16 billion web pages. The team is thus the first large-scale “client” of Cloudview, and its web search engine allows everyone to evaluate Cloudview’s semantic features and large scale indexing performance.

    Tech & Projects contains several specialized search indexes:

    • the main web search index, containing 16 billion pages.
    • a news index with 50 million news and blog articles, polling 7600 feeds in near real-time, a wikipedia index.

    We’ve also included image and video search in the web interface (for science). They include 1 billion images and 100 million videos.

    We’ll focus on the main web search engine because it is the largest and most important. It is split in 4 parts:

    • the crawl
    • indexing
    • search indexes
    • front servers.

    The 32 crawlers explore the whole web to find new content and update already known pages, and store them in a large database.

    The 27 indexing servers crunch these documents to extract the text and semantic properties, and build index data structures optimized for search.

    The 30 search indices store these data on fast SSD storage to process user queries and find matching documents.

    The 8 front servers serve the web application, pre-process user queries, and build the result page.

    All these servers are physically hosted in Telehouse, Magny-lès-Hameaux.


    One of our latest blade servers, with 4 attached disk arrays

    The indexing and search is completely handled by a standard installation of Cloudview. The crawlers are web-specific, and the front application is a custom design using Django and python.

    Each release of Cloudview is first beta-tested on our pre-prod servers. The bugs caught are then fixed before final releases are deployed to the whole indexing chain and EXALEAD’s other clients.‘s volume allows us to find and fix even the most stubborn bugs, for example scaling issues and exceptional conditions happening only once on the whole web. All EXALEAD’s clients thus finally benefit from this large QA. It is worth noting that, even though the team has always used Cloudview pre-releases, has never suffered any significant service disruption, thanks to careful operations planning and monitoring. search engine today

    The team is in the middle of a large project of hardware migration and upgrade. The crawler storage has already been migrated from a proprietary solution based on LSM-trees to HBase, and the index storage itself will use HDFS from the end of the year. 

    Up to 2015 Next
    Pages 16 billion 32 billion
    Total raw HTML volume 500TB >1PB
    Disk Storage 150TB (HDFS cache) + 50TB (index) Full HDFS: 300TB (cache)
    + 600TB (index)
    Crawl speed 3000 pages/second >6000 pages/second
    Total raw indexed volume 3PB/year ~6PB/year
    Crawl bandwith ~400 Mbps >800 Mbps
    Sustained queries (per second) up to 10 qps >at least 30 qps


    The team has developed many algorithms to keep only the most relevant documents of the web in our 16 billion page cache. Having a fixed budget, the crawler mainly refreshes existing documents. To optimize the hardware resources and crawl bandwidth, the crawler uses adaptive refresh: each page’s change rate is inferred from its crawl history, so that important and fast-changing pages are refreshed up to once a day, whereas static pages such as archives are only refreshed once a year.


    The whole development and operations are handled by a team of only 6 full-time engineers.

    • Morgan Champenois graduated from Université de Caen in 2008 with a background in Software Development, Search Engines and Network communications. He joined EXALEAD in 2008 as R&D engineer, to work on crawler software, and Datamining with Hadoop.
    • Julien Leproust (@jleproust) graduated from Ecole Centrale Paris in 2004, with a background in software development and network communications. He joined EXALEAD in 2007 as R&D engineer, to work on core platform technologies. He moved on to the web team in 2011, and became team manager in 2012.
    • Omar Bouslama graduated from Université de Technologie de Compiègne in 2010 and earned a master in distributed computing from Université Pierre et Marie Curie in 2011. He joined EXALEAD in 2011 as R&D engineer and is now in charge of operations, and crawl software components in Cloudview.
    • Riadh Trad (@riadhtrad) PhD, graduated from Telecom ParisTECH in 2013, with a background on High Performance & Distributed Computing, Content Based Search Engines & Machine Learning. He joined EXALEAD in 2012 as R&D engineer, to work on Hadoop integration and operations within, distributed software development and data mining.
    • Raphaël Claude (@heapoverflow) is an INSA-Lyon 2013 alumni with a background in Distributed Algorithms and a focus on statistics & machine learning. He joined the team in 2013 to work on data mining with Hadoop and distributed software development.
    • Fabrice Bacchella (@fbacchella) graduated from Université d’Orsay in 1995, and joined EXALEAD in 2006 as a system administrator, for and other resources. He never moved away from his keyboard since, except to take a few pictures (Abec.Photographe). He is also the main author of JRDS (, a monitoring software extensively used at EXALEAD.
    • Andrey Krivonogov is an intern for 6 months with the team. He is from Novossibirsk, Russia, and will graduate from École Polytechnique next year. He is busy enhancing our data mining algorithms, especially page and site relevancy ones


    More to come

    Crawling billions of web pages may seem easy at first, but EXALEAD’s web team has encountered lots of problems in 15 years, spanning performance scaling, relevancy, spam fighting. In the next months, we will publish a series of articles about some issues we faced and how we solved them:

    • How to make a web crawler scale to billions of pages
    • Finding information in an ocean of data: document relevance, redundancy, and user queries
    • Identifying and fighting web spammers

    Stay tuned!

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers is launching its Information Management Application, based on EXALEAD CloudView

    September 9th, 2015 by Marketing & Co. Kudos 0

    At the 2015 Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Congress, PwC presented the implementation of an information management software product called Pulse and shared its users’ experiences. Every day, more than 10,000 consultants receive all the available information on customers and market trends, sorted according to their specific needs, thanks to this application. Pulse is a Dutch concept that is being deployed all over the world.

    Digital disruption

    On June 25, the Grand Hôtel Amrâth Kurhaus in Scheveningen, on the Dutch coast, welcomed several hundred information professionals to the 2015 EIM. The theme of this year’s congress on enterprise information management was “Inspiration and interaction: sources of innovation for novice and experienced professionals”. Much of the inspiration and interaction was provided by an application designed specially for the event by the professional association Ngi-NGN, which brought all the participants into contact with one another. The host and columnist Farid Tabarki kicked off the event. His captivating description of this era of digital disruption, also known as the digital transformation, inspired the audience. According to Tabarki, we are currently in a phase of transition between the old rigid structures and a world that is much more transparent and dynamic. Against this backdrop, people, organizations and businesses of all shapes and sizes occasionally collaborate with increasing flexibility, and are faced with the challenge of perpetual change. Anyone who wants to find out more should read “Digital Disruption” by James McQuivery, an analyst with Forrester.

    The pulse of customers and markets

    The program of morning plenary sessions at the 2015 EIM congress included numerous interesting presentations, and in particular the one made by Bas Eenhoorn, the Commissioner for the digitization of the Dutch public administration, who reviewed the digitization of the public sector and the main obstacles that stand in its way. The practical experiences presented by major enterprises like Agis, Eneco, Landal GreenParks and Menzis were also very interesting. After lunch, the guests could attend one of two sessions of simultaneous presentations, according to their areas of interest. One of these sessions looked at Pulse, the enterprise information management solution that PwC is in the process of deploying worldwide so that the company’s consultants receive made-to-measure information on a daily basis. The program manager, Benoît Despierre, explained how Pulse, designed and developed in the Netherlands a few years ago, takes the pulse of customers and markets. PwC employs around 195,000 partners and employees worldwide who advise organizations, check annual accounts and solve their customers’ tax and human resources management problems on a daily basis.

    The challenges facing enterprise information

    The need for an information management solution was born in two sections of PwC: the consultants and agents who work for customers; and research specialists working for PwC. For the former, the main challenge consisted of staying informed of all the latest news about their customers and the changes in their field of activity. But it was also important to know where reliable information could be found. The research specialists, who study various sources and conduct in-depth analyses, were increasingly overwhelmed by the ever growing quantity of information. A white paper, published by IDC in mid-2014, revealed that people working in professional services spend 26% of their time looking for, organizing and analyzing information. And at PwC, this time cannot usually be billed. Furthermore, Despierre identified three trends that, in his opinion, influence the consumption of information in a general manner. First, the autonomy of the public, in the sense that the public wants to have control over the time, the place and the manner in which they consume. Then comes the fragmentation of the public, or the division of its attention between increasingly numerous news items. Finally there is the fragmentation of the media, or the boom in channels of communication.

    Improved efficiency and lower costs

    Before implementing Pulse at PwC, both the agents working for customers and the research specialists spent a lot of time looking for, organizing and analyzing the necessary data. The research specialists write and distribute daily news bulletins on the latest news and the significant market trends. In the past, these operations were performed manually, whereas now, Pulse automates them to a significant extent. Two years ago, the team in Holland employed six people working on a maximum of 60 subjects. Today, four research specialists are sufficient to analyze, interpret and incorporate more than 1,000 subjects in the daily news bulletin. In Germany, where Despierre works, the new enterprise information management solution has saved 95% of costs in the search for, organization, analysis and processing of all the news. Pulse also offers other advantages, such as a better understanding of the use of information sources with subscriptions, and a reduction of the time wasted interpreting and processing duplicate articles.

    “Nouvelle cuisine” for the information sector

    Benoît Despierre uses the term “nouvelle cuisine” to explain how Pulse works. He makes the distinction between “shopping”, the “kitchen” and the “restaurant”. Shopping represents all the sources of content, charged or free, where PwC employees collect the necessary information every day. They include providers such as Gartner, IDC, Reuters, and others. In the kitchen, the research specialists process information about customers and the markets according to the consultants’ needs. Finally, in the restaurant, the analyzed and organized information is automatically sent to the agents in the customer service department and the consultants, mainly in the form of the news bulletins described above. But the information is also available in the Pulse portal and in an application. A few figures: Pulse uses some 10,000 sources in 25 languages and processes about 80,000 articles every day. The information extracted daily is sent to more than 10,000 internal subscribers in 11 bulletins and 2,400 information alerts. For the users of Pulse, the main advantage is that it significantly simplifies access to the information they need every day.

    A time-proven solution

    Pulse uses EXALEAD CloudView semantic search technology, distributed and partly implemented by BSL Computer Consultancy in Breukelen (NL). The EXALEAD CloudView software solution from Dassault Systèmes facilitates the rapid search and use of sources of structured and unstructured information. In existence since 2007, this enterprise information management concept was integrated initially in other software applications. Since it was reworked as EXALEAD CloudView, the configuration of the queries has become easier and they are processed much faster. Furthermore, the results of the searches are more precise, significantly reducing the number of duplicates and the time wasted managing them. PwC has deliberately decided to roll out Pulse on an international scale gradually, in order to generate plenty of enthusiasm amongst users. A business case is prepared for each country on the basis of its needs, the benefits and the potential savings. PwC also intends to make the content in Pulse accessible by other internal systems (e.g., the project workspaces), to integrate the sources, and to make the search function even smarter.

    Graydon and Mascus

    After the presentation of PwC’s experience, Gert te Winkel, a senior consultant with the event’s sponsor, KBenP, presented two EXALEAD applications used at Graydon and Mascus. Graydon is a provider of complete information services for enterprises, in particular to check that companies are solvent, but also to canvass new customers. Graydon invested in information search technologies in order to combine data from its own marketing database with information in the public domain. The goal is to provide smarter marketing data to its customers. Thanks to the development of new services, EXALEAD CloudView has allowed Graydon to become a provider of smart information. According to te Winkel, the average amount of orders per customer has doubled, partly thanks to the new search solution. At Mascus, a platform for the purchase and sale of heavy equipment, EXALEAD CloudView is used to drive e-commerce. It helps to establish contacts between supply and demand more quickly, and to display advertisements that are of interest to the users. In this company, every month, EXALEAD CloudView facilitates the searches made by 4.25 million potential buyers amongst more than 300,000 machine parts, and displays the parts in the ads.

  • Flows, data or quality: how to manage interaction with customers efficiently

    July 31st, 2015 by Marketing & Co. Business Intelligence, Customer Relationship Management, Technology, Tips and tricks 0


    Customer interaction software is often positioned in opposition to CRM systems. One of them is quantitative, while the other is qualitative. So users tend to prefer CRM systems to customer interaction software. But is this the ultimate solution to manage customer relations?

    Customer interaction management software is valued for its quantitative functionality, which allows it to process data quickly and efficiently. But it is also accused of neglecting the qualitative dimension. In other words, it does not take the actual customer into consideration. The customer is treated just like any other form of data, or the customer’s loyalty is not measured. This type of solution is essentially oriented towards the management of the information to be processed by flow. The primary objective consists of allowing the application to integrate the information and, therefore, making the information available, no matter which channel it arrives on.

    The goal of these solutions is to install optimal interaction, not to respond to the customer.

    CRM lives up to its name: customer relationship management. By producing a customer ID card and a view of the customer’s dealings with the company, it provides the user organisation with a detailed view and enables it to manage the customer “files”. Usually, CRM software makes closer and deeper relationships possible between the organisation and its customers. Customers are not treated as a series of flows, but as a person with a history and a global existence, and with whom a dialogue can be built. Employees benefit from CRM, because it helps them to understand the profile of the requesting party. Customers also benefit from CRM, because their needs are better understood and the organisation shows increased interest in them.

    So what is the ideal CRM solution?

    But we must never forget one serious shortcoming of CRM: its limited horizon. CRM is limited to the information that we choose to enter or import. It is not designed to retrieve all the information that is needed to process customer queries, irrespective of their source in the company (or outside the company) or their format, nor to reconcile this diverse and dispersed information, so that it can be put into a context and create value. CRM often lacks information, which means that it lacks precision and does not allow its users to be reactive, or even proactive. This is one of the consequences of the expansion of (large) companies on all fronts since the 1980s, which has put the growth of their activity before the organisation of their data. Data has also been ultra-multiplied, as we all know. CRM software is not designed to collate and exploit a multitude of data sources, nor to analyse them and put them in context, almost in real time.

    Moving ahead

    How can the limits of CRM systems be overcome? Organisations could simply reorganise their information systems from head to toe by reviewing and unifying all their sources and their software. But this option is unrealistic, in view of the time required, the cost and the organisational implications. But, more importantly, because it does not meet the current demand for speed, fresh data and ultra-precision, in the face of customer over-information. So why not piggyback the CRM system on the flow management solution described above? Because information analysis will always fall short, as will the reconciliation of all the data to obtain a precise 360° view that is comprehensive, precise and in context, and that offers a genuine possibility for interaction between the company’s employees and their customers.

    Therefore, the real alternative for organisations is to adopt solutions that do not call the existing IT infrastructure into question, while allowing them to make full and efficient use of these legacy systems. This solution consists of indexing, semantic, analytical and display software that adds value to the data. This is currently the only solution capable of effectively processing structured and unstructured data, irrespective of its sources. In this way, employees use a single interface to access the complete legacy environment, all the channels and all the systems. Furthermore, this type of solution opens up new possibilities, because it can index the web. An
    d therefore enrich internal data to produce a richer vision of the customer profile.

    Upwards and onwards

    Collaborative functions further improve the service delivered to customers by enabling these 360° solutions to be extended to the entire enterprise. They allow employees to share full-scale information with one another and with customers, by allowing for call deflection, and the simple addition of notes and enrichment of the history. Tomorrow’s challenge? Real-time cross-selling and upselling based on extended 360° for greater anticipation and prediction. The publishers of customer management and interaction solutions absolutely need to enter the era of customer engagement [1]. In this way, they will allow companies to keep or to regain control of the perilous and demanding relations they have with their customers, against the backdrop of advanced disintermediation, with Uber, Airbnb and so on.

    [1]EXALEAD develops this type of service with the EXALEAD OneCall application for customer interaction that integrates prediction (a proposal system based on algorithms). It sends actions directly to the employee, who can then propose them to the customer according to their profile, and avoid possible churn (reductions, guarantee extensions, etc.).

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