Author Archives: Marketing & Co.

  • 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

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    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.).

  • And what about the workers?

    June 11th, 2015 by Marketing & Co. Customer Relationship Management, On the personal side..., Uncategorized 0

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    In recent months, we have been talking about customer relations, whether it be to imagine our future or through the issues facing an information systems department.
    Companies are creating more and more services around their products. These services are the company’s added value, the factor that makes them stand out from the competition by offering something more, which then becomes essential for the customer.

    But we must never forget the essential cog in every company: the employee. Their experience and their satisfaction at work must not be overlooked. Recent surveys have revealed that almost 70% of American employees are not engaged, or even feel disengaged, in their company.

    And it is not clear whether organisations take full account of what is, after all, their productive force. How can this experience be improved? What can be done to make employees feel valued?

    The first attempts to find a response addressed the management of the company. The management system often has a major influence on the workers’ morale. It is difficult to feel valued when, in some cases, there are dozens of hierarchical levels. It is impossible to talk with your +2 or +3 manager under these conditions.

    New working organizations are emerging to address these issues. These so-called “Flat Organisations” have been popular for several years now. The goal of these organisations is to do away with the hierarchy. Everyone is on the same level and can, in theory, communicate with anyone else. The employees organise their work themselves in small teams. The personnel is more engaged.

    Still with a view to empowering people, certain companies, often start-ups, now offer their employees as much holiday as they like. Or more simply, employees can take their holidays whenever they feel like it, provided that they meet their targets. Obviously, employees tend not to take more holidays, maybe because this system allows them to go about their work in greater peace of mind. In France and elsewhere, certain companies take part in “Great Place To Work”, a survey that measures employee satisfaction according to a series of criteria that include working conditions, pay, equity, the atmosphere, etc. The idea is to enter a virtuous circle. The employees can express themselves and the companies listen to their employees in order to increase their satisfaction at work and to highlight their good results that will attract future new hires.

    The working environment is one of the working conditions that receives a lot of attention. The location and, in particular, the infrastructures made available to employees have a significant impact on their well-being. So it comes as no surprise to see how big companies are stepping up their efforts to offer work places that offer the employees just what they want. There is even talk of a colossal project to build a “Facebook town”, which will be reserved to the firm’s employees, offering them the ideal living environment in the vanguard of technological progress.

    The tools employees use every day are even more important when it comes to employee satisfaction.

    Let’s stay within our scope of competence by only talking about computer tools. Both the hardware and the software are integral parts of most tertiary activities. So it seems obvious that they should be designed, not only to satisfy the organization that acquires them, but also the employees who use them. And as we all know, a well equipped employee can respond more easily to internal demands and to external demands from partners, suppliers and, of course, customers, where appropriate. Ideally, the design of a computer, software or mobile application must take the employee into consideration. This obviously has something to do with the employee’s experience…
    For example, if getting started and commanding the tool is more intuitive and faster, then the time spent in training in the tool is reduced. These time savings can be used to follow other training that may be more enriching for the employee, such as learning a foreign language. Moreover, the tool is a source of less frustration and is adopted more quickly. It is a win-win equation for the company and for its employees. Reduced training costs, easier change management, employees who feel more at ease and valued, etc. The organization benefits from this progress in ergonomics and agility from one end of the chain to the other.

    And by the end of the chain, we also mean the customer who has relations with the employees.

    An employee in after-sales, a salesperson or a customer advisor must be well equipped with a tablet or software that is adapted to today’s interactions. This has become necessary to perform efficiently with customers. Employees can answer more quickly and they are more precise and relevant in their interactions. When employees are in a position to satisfy their customers, they feel more self-confident, they feel that they can meet the demands placed on them and they feel satisfied with a job well done.
    Certainly more so than for any other type of software solution, these notions are at the very heart of search-based business applications designed to find and analyse information. Because intuitive, easy, relevant and intelligent access to the data employees need is essential to making their jobs easier. And for people in the front line with customers, this is crucial.

    We all know that companies must satisfy their customers and build customer loyalty, but they must also keep their employees happy. There are several ways of achieving this: through their organization, their communications, their rewards, the working environment, plus, of course, the resources made available to the personnel.
    And it seems quite obvious that, by taking care of their employees, they are also taking care of their customers.

    These are just a few ideas about the quest to offer employees a positive experience at work. There are many paths to be explored in this field and discussions to be held on how our society will evolve. You can make comments on this article on LinkedIn or Twitter to express your opinion on the question. We would be delighted to hear from you.

  • Customer relations: From interaction to conversation

    February 10th, 2015 by Marketing & Co. Big Data, Customer Relationship Management, Kudos 1

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    We are witnessing, in numerous areas of daily life, a dematerialisation and cross border flow of data. From disks, we have moved on to mp3 files stored on our computers, to today, where live streaming reigns. This cloudification impacts customer relations, and while the transformation may not yet be complete, hard copy is slowly but surely making way for digital.

    It is already often possible to consult one’s account and its activity directly online using a PC or tablet. Nonetheless, change is slow and the quantity of data visible on the client interface is not always satisfactory. Intelligent information must, in the future, be available to the client, and cloudification must allow bilateral information sharing. In summary, it must put the two stakeholders on an equal footing. This means one single dossier, complex or simple, that is understandable from one end of the chain to the other. For example, on my telephone operator’s site, I can see my invoices, my current consumption, and my monthly fee. But why don’t I have a clear view of my contracts (Internet, mobile, tablet) or the history of my requests, as opposed to telephone consultants from call centres? From our side, it is not always easy to reconstruct the complete chronology of our activities. An electronic health record is one example, and although this is not yet a fait accompli, it is a step in the right direction.

    Consumers and clients want transparency, so might this not be the time for companies to make the leap? The availability and collection of personal data are currently under debate, and will continue to be so. With the sharing of information, a simple interaction becomes a real conversation. There is less need to call on intermediaries and clients are in possession of all information, with one goal: improved understanding for smarter decision-making. For companies taking up this challenge, it will not be easy: they must deliver a maximum of information, in a concise and pertinent manner, without revealing their internal mechanisms and competitive advantages. With a shared data system, misunderstandings are minimised. Only information relating to the process and management will remain on the customer advisor side to avoid overloading the customer with technical information.

    We already know how to create, with technologies like CloudView, not just readable information from raw data, but real intelligent information using the same data. This is enhanced information that is not only readable, but that can be used in a decision-making process by highlighting key points for the client and the client record.

    If cloudification enables the display and modification of data in real time, why can we not imagine completely transparent and shared information? This idea means going above and beyond simply accessing the same information. It means having the same interface on the client and employee side with a view, for the client, to accessing all the information that concerns it without the company’s approval.

    It means dealing with a transparent company that restores the same data for its advisors and its clients. If certain companies were ready to cross this threshold, they would need tools to manage the wealth of information available on their clients: to find, aggregate and present the data in a way that highlights pertinent information. We can also imagine servers equipped with semantic technology able to understand questions asked in a natural language by the client, and presenting clients with a document, a contact or link addressing client concerns. The issue of IT system security would become more important… as would, of course, the performance of the IT systems themselves.

    The technology exists, the need is there, we just need to make the move. There is still of course much to think about with respect to our core businesses. We have recently been asking ourselves about the outlook for this year. We must also prepare ourselves and think about what comes after.

    What is your feeling on this? Don’t hesitate to reply here directly or via our Twitter account: @ExaleadOneCall.

  • Build customer interaction for tomorrow

    January 5th, 2015 by Marketing & Co. Big Data, Customer Relationship Management 0

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    In this start to the New Year, EXALEAD would like to share its convictions regarding the potential for improvement in the field of customer interaction, especially in customer experience.

    American start-ups are creating more and more buzz about their capitalization/development.

    When we think about interaction, the first things which come in mind are Uber, AirBnb, online banks and every service where the customer don’t have to connect with an intermediate.

    Why are they growing so fast?

    The answer is simple. They decided to make customer interaction a priority available via the Web and easy-to-use applications. The decreased time and cost sped up their entry into established markets.

    How do they stay competitive?

    First of all, they have to communicate with agility inside the company. When you have numerous colleagues, all specialized in a particular function, the silos have to break down. Nothing can be accomplished without efficient cooperation between teams. The aim: transform internal processes and then boost customer interaction.

    Next, external communication, headed by the customer. Each firm has to know its clients in order to respond to their needs. The first step was to develop Big Data technologies. Today we have to go further: create a real 360° view of the customer by enriching data. It’s the only way to answer customer challenges, especially in the multi-channel era.

    Multi-channel management isn’t an option. Every organization has to receive and understand diverse messages, regardless of their origins.

    In these interactions, the business model itself is evolving. By changing the way they interact with customers, certain enterprises have changed their offer, their value proposition, and other factors. To stay competitive, many enterprises will have to offer new services and invest in customer interaction or risk becoming outdated.

    For example, mobile applications are growing in the insurance sector, improving communication and innovation.

    Until now, information systems have answered organizational challenges. Today they have become the way to anticipate customer and business needs. In certain industries, they’ve become a key strategic component. These systems and software help make customer interaction easier. But most important: Never forget to keep the customer at the heart of communication.

    Benoît Bourdé

    EXALEAD OneCall Offer Manager

  • Interview of Alexandre Figuiere, EXALEAD representative at the After Market Conference

    November 17th, 2014 by Marketing & Co. Big Data, Business Intelligence, Industry Solutions, Part Reuse, Powered by Exalead 0

    As you may know, EXALEAD DASSAULT SYSTEMES was present at the After Market Business Platform 2014 held in the Netherlands on October 22-24.

    The conference focused on the future of the aftermarket. EXALEAD’s CloudView technology provides solutions to aftermarket challenges.

    Here’s an interview of Apps Development Manager Alexandre Figuiere, in which he outlines EXALEAD’s ability to:

    1 – Leverage all the data produced by other brands and software
    2 – Deliver the right information at the right time
    3 – Improve customer support
    4 – Bring value to the aftermarket with its e-services solution

    For further information about the After Market Conference check out this: http://blog.exalead.com/2014/10/06/exalead-dassault-systemes-will-be-present-at-the-aftermarket-europe-2014-event/

    The event page is found here: http://aftermarketeurope.com/

  • BREAKFAST WITH EXALEAD DASSAULT SYSTÈMES LEADER

    November 4th, 2014 by Marketing & Co. Business Intelligence, Part Reuse, Products, Technology 0

    EXALEAD Data Intelligence Transforms Your Business
    Nov 12th 7:00 to 8:15 am

    Morgan Zimmermann, VP SALES EXALEAD Dassault Systèmes, will present data challenges faced by organizations and the way EXALEAD solutions empower them to overtake the future.

    MorganCompanies today are challenged not only by data that are numerous, heterogeneous, and piling up quickly. They also want to cross-reference data to add value and new services for their customers…
    thus going one step further to transform their business.

    EXALEAD can help in 4 primary domains:

    • Customer Interaction
      Aggregate, visualize, and analyze information to better know and engage with customers
    • Digital Assets
      Reveal existing information spread throughout the enterprise, capitalize on and reuse it
    • Big Data Applications
      Compile, analyze, and uncover the value of system-generated data to create new services
    • Web Mining
      Reveal the hidden information intelligence in unstructured Internet data

    EXALEAD answers these challenges and delivers personalized or packaged applications, transforming Big Data into real enterprise benefits.

    Then Morgan will focus on two types of applications:

    • PLM analytics based on CloudView to make sense of the invisible for smart operational decision-making;
    • EXALEAD OnePart to find, reuse and reduce existing parts, 2D/3D designs and related documentation.

    He will demonstrate the high-performance indexation and treatment through use cases, and show the indisputable ROI of these solutions and how they could change the game for IT departments and the entire organization.

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    http://www.3ds.com/3ds-events/3dexperience-forum-nam/

  • EXALEAD Dassault Systèmes will be present at the AfterMarket Europe 2014 Event

    October 6th, 2014 by Marketing & Co. Big Data, Customer Relationship Management, Events, Industry Solutions, Technology 0

    EXALEAD is participating in the AfterMarket Europe 2014 event on October 22nd to 24th at The Grand Hotel Huits ter Duin near Amsterdam, The Netherlands. During this conference, we will explore the potential of eServices and machine data relative to industry.

    EXALEAD will be represented by Alexandre Figuière, Apps Development Manager in Paris.

    His presentation will focus on the use of EXALEAD technology to provide extended aftermarket support while creating new eServices. Indeed, servicing complex machines requires accessing a wide variety of highly heterogeneous information. Moreover, these same machines produce a lot of valuable information that could be put to great use, with the right tool.

    EXALEAD technology is the right approach for producing new services, reducing costs and providing an overall enhanced customer experience. EXALEAD CloudView for eServices transforms data into real enterprise benefits.

    More information on this event: http://aftermarketeurope.com/

  • The LOD2 project results presented in “Linked Open Data — Creating Knowledge Out of Interlinked Data”

    September 10th, 2014 by Marketing & Co. Big Data, Exalabs, Technology 0

    As part of the LOD2 project, Bert Van Nuffelen, Christian Blaschke and I, wrote a section in the book: “Linked Open Data — Creating Knowledge Out of Interlinked Data”. In our chapter, we focused on recommendations concerning the LOD paradigm, relative to an enterprise application use.

     

    As you may recall, we wrote this blog post presenting the project a few years ago.

     

    LOD2 is a large-scale integrating project funded by the European Commission within the FP7 Information and Communication Technologies Work Program (Grant Agreement No. 257943). Started in September 2010, LOD2 project comprised leading academic and industrial partners from across 11 European countries and South Korea to advance the state of the art in research and development in Linked Data lifecycle management.

    During the 4 years of LOD2 project, the Linked Data paradigm has evolved from a practical research idea into a very promising candidate for addressing one of the biggest challenges in the area of intelligent information management: the exploitation of the Web as a platform for data and information integration as well as for search and querying. In fact, Linked Open Data technologies has evolved as a powerful enabler for the transition of the current document-oriented Web into a Web of interlinked Data and, ultimately, into the Semantic Web. As a consequence, an increasing number of data providers has adopted the Linked Data paradigm leading to the creation of a global data market of billions of data facts. In that context LOD2 targets a number of research and industrial challenges to close the performance gap between traditional well adopted and established data management systems, like databases, and emerging new W3C standards based services. To achieve the later goal, LOD2 consortium published LOD2 Stack, an integrated distribution of aligned tools which support the whole life cycle of Linked Data from extraction, authoring/creation via enrichment, interlinking, fusing to maintenance.

    Dassault Systèmes was the leader responsible for the coordination of the activities on the integration of the Linked Data in enterprise applications. Thanks to the successful collaboration with the other LOD2 partners, we achieved an application demonstrator in the domain of HR (Human Resources) to showcase a concrete use case of using the Linked Data paradigm in an enterprise application. Moreover, Dassault Systèmes and the LOD2 consortium defined a list of recommendations and best practices to efficiently exploit the semantic possibilities of the Linked Data paradigm in an enterprise environment.

    Amar Djalil MEZAOUR
    R&D EXALEAD development manager

    You can read these recommendations in :Building Enterprise Ready Applications Using Linked Open Data, chapter, pages 155 – 174”.

    You can also download the entire book here.

     

  • SEEK – Leading Aussie Job Search Website Powered by CloudView

    July 17th, 2014 by Marketing & Co. Customer 0

    SEEK Customer Story

    When SEEK wanted to improve job match relevance and enhance the user experience of its job search website, the company selected EXALEAD CloudView to provide more thorough and targeted search results.

    SEEKING THE PERFECT MATCH

    In a world where people data is more readily available and people are more mobile, talent searching has become more complex than ever before. SEEK plays a crucial role in matching hirers with the most relevant candidates. With the ability to create sophisticated and seamless technology solutions that work across desktop and mobile devices, SEEK can leverage the power of search to perform fast and accurate matching capabilities that deliver highly relevant search results. Read more here

  • Achieve Rapid and Dramatic ROI from Innovative Legacy Data Discovery and Parts Reuse

    June 18th, 2014 by Marketing & Co. Big Data, OnePaart, Part Reuse 0

    Part 3/3 of Reveal, Reuse, Reduce Series: Reduce Duplicate Parts

    As we saw in Part 2, EXALEAD OnePart helps companies optimize the reuse of components and parts, avoiding creating duplicate parts at the front end; this contributes to efforts to halt the propagation of unnecessary processes and costs throughout the enterprise. OnePart can also be leveraged to tag and root out existing duplicates. While conducting the search, the user may come across two or more parts that are pretty much the same. With access to all related metadata, the determination of which part to keep and modify or reuse, and which obsolete parts, and their attendant costs, to rework or recycle over time, is more obvious. Let’s see how this process can be automated.

     Going One Step Further

    Clearly, when a company’s part numbers are in the thousands or the millions, or when faced with a merger or acquisition that will multiply the number of parts, finding and winnowing down duplicate parts can be an overwhelming proposition. The power of EXALEAD OnePart simplifies the task by grouping and recategorizing parts, at which time the decision to reuse, modify, or eliminate can be rapidly made.

    OnePart introduces a new way to work, focused on defining the existing stock of parts according to their metadata and shape. It does not come with pre-defined groupings; the company chooses how to categorize its parts and OnePart adapts in consequence. These unlimited categories are then entered into the PDM and ERP systems so that parts can be better managed in the future, saving time and money. 

    How does it work?

    • First, quality and method engineers define the kinds of “universes” that exist within the company’s legacy parts. For example, a part that has been created in copper and purchased externally could make up one universe. The parts that meet these criteria are found by using OnePart’s metadata search capabilities.
    • Next, the universes are segmented into clusters according to their shape. As an example, a cluster could represent all of the clamps of the same size. The engineer wants to reduce the 20×20-sized clamp cluster first, because it represents the most expensive inventory (according to unit price x quantity in stock).
    • The cluster displays all of its parts. Those listed first are those that are recommended to be the master, based on the rules defined by the Engineering, Manufacturing, and/or Procurement departments. As an example, masters could be those parts with the most recent (less than six months) and active history in the ERP system with REACH Directive approval.
    • When all the parts in the cluster are determined to be either the master, alternate, or obsolete, then the result is massively propagated into OnePart and the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. A workflow of acceptance can be used to propagate into the stock through the ERP.

    Because the parts catalog is narrowed down, engineers and designers have more time available to be more creative than they would by simply creating (or recreating) required parts. And the discovery of a broad selection of existing possibilities can lead to further creativity and innovation.

    A New Paradigm to Directly Optimize Working Capital

    A less obvious beneficiary of reducing duplicate parts is the Purchasing department. Purchasing personnel are able to search the ERP and associate its contents with documentation found in other systems. They can go one step further and benefit from the results of using OnePart to pare down duplicate parts. This simplifies the system and the responsibilities of the Procurement team, as they can better negotiate with vendors based on volume. Reducing the number of parts in progress is an expenditure analysis application for the financial controller that directly impacts the balance sheet, lowering inventory and ultimately working capital. 

    Benefits of OnePart

    Here the benefits of OnePart are obvious. Continuing on the path of New Part Creation leads to additional spending. Using it to reuse saves time and money. Implementing it as part of an ongoing parts management program adds significant value over time.

    Conclusion

    In this 3-part series, we’ve seen that designers and engineers are looking for a solution that finds and gathers all existing product part-related information, no matter the format—adding similarity, metadata, and semantic-linked documents and related information to shape-search capabilities. It should allow users to quickly discover if the part exists by simply shortlisting the possible designs, comparing them, checking their similarity, navigating parent/child relationships, and assembling related documents to reuse legacy parts, reduce duplicate parts, and revitalize the product development enterprise.

    We’ve created this interactive video for you to see how much your company could save!

    For more information, contact us at exalead-onepart@3ds.com.

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