IBM Accelerates Smarter Commerce Through Intelligent-Guided Customer Experience
ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
At the Smarter Commerce Global Summit, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced new software and services designed to help Chief Marketing Officers (CMO), Chief Procurement Officers (CPO) and other key line-of-business executives realize quicker business results by delivering intelligent-guided customer experiences, across all digital channels, aligned to the buying and shopping preferences of each individual.
With today's news, IBM expands its Smarter Commerce initiative with new cloud-based software and services that allow businesses to immediately put the customer at the center of their operations in order to drive revenue and ensure sustainable brand loyalty. This includes:
IBM Marketing Center, an IBM SmartCloud Solution that integrates digital analytics with real-time marketing execution capabilities into a single solution that allows CMOs to better meet customer needs by quickly analyzing customer shopping patterns and turning these insights into intelligent offers that are personalized to each person.
A new Smarter Commerce managed services offering that helps clients more rapidly and effectively deploy and manage their ecommerce environments.
A new offering for Strategic Supply Management, available on-premises and as a SmartCloud solution, that speeds and improves supplier governance, risk and compliance.
With the new offerings introduced today, IBM provides customers with automation and intelligence while accelerating and improving marketing, sales, customer service, procurement and supply chain management.
IBM currently analyzes more than $100 billion in commerce transactions per year in the cloud. Current IBM customers that have embraced cloud-based Smarter Commerce offerings include RadioShack, Bank of Montreal and Urban Outfitters.
New Marketing, eCommerce Capabilities for CMOs
According to IBM's State of Marketing survey, 48 percent of marketers believe that improved technology infrastructure will enable them to better meet the needs of customers, who are increasingly interacting with brands via multiple channels. For example, over the recent back to school shopping season, 15.7 percent of online sales took place via a mobile device in July and 15.4 percent in August.
IBM's new Marketing Center combines digital analytics and real-time marketing execution in a single integrated offering that can easily be deployed without taxing the resources of the chief information officer (CIO). Once live, marketers can turn data provided by customers into personalized offers via email or website personalization (including the mobile web), all with just a few clicks.
Through these capabilities CMOs consistently deliver exceptional experiences that are in line with the wants and needs of each individual. To ensure ongoing success, the application provides automated marketing tracking, digital and campaign analytics that measure the effectiveness of marketing efforts which can be adjusted in real time if necessary.
For example, while an individual frequently visits a retailer's mobile website and identifies items of interest, they consistently fail to complete their purchase. Through its automated capabilities, CMOs and their team can quickly identify this trend and, with just a few clicks, re-engage the customer by sending a coupon for 10 percent off specific items and also presenting them with a personalized website that reflects their unique interests.
"Given today's empowered customers that are digitally connected 24/7, we see it as a top priority to provide our customers with the best possible experience in every interaction," said Laura Symspon-Cornelius, director of Web Analytics from Office Depot. "The idea behind the new IBM Marketing Center, to combine digital analytics and real-time marketing execution in a single application, is very compelling for making that task easier."
In another instance, a CMO of a bank can analyze two campaigns simultaneously to determine the effectiveness of each overall and with specific groups and customer segments. With this information, the marketing team can determine in real-time which campaign best meets the needs of each customer in order to ensure the best experience possible.
"Customers today are connecting with brands on multiple fronts, including mobile devices, social media sites and in the store. Regardless of the channel, these individuals expect each experience to be flawless and relevant," said Yuchun Lee, vice president, IBM Enterprise Marketing Management. "With the IBM Marketing Center, we expand our SaaS portfolio with an all-in-one solution that provides CMOs and their teams with the intelligence required to consistently meet the unique needs of each individual customer -- the ultimate goal of all marketers."
To further enhance the entire shopping experience, IBM also today introduced Smarter Commerce Managed Services, a new set of services from its Global Process Services (GPS) group. The service augments IBM's software and global business services offerings with full-scale business, process, and IT managed services to help business executives deploy and manage cross-channel commerce processes, especially providing the human interaction components of eCommerce, such as needing agent chat support or live assistance. In this way, companies are able to more quickly and effectively interconnect their multiple commerce channels to speed business results.
New Software for CPOs Rapidly Reduces Spend and Risk
In addition to the CMO, the demands of the empowered customer have put additional pressure on CPOs to further reduce spend with suppliers and improve risk management. In an environment where an average 50 percent of the value of a product comes from suppliers, managing supply costs and risks plays a critical role in meeting the needs of the empowered customer(1).
With IBM's new Emptoris Strategic Supply Management, CPOs are given complete visibility and control over spending, contracts, service providers and supplier intelligence and processes. The new version also improves supplier governance, risk and compliance with enhanced information management and workflow capabilities. In addition, IBM has enhanced procurement analytics for contract compliance and improved program accountability for suppliers, categories and regions.
"Building a world-class procurement organization involves people, process and technology. BP Lubricants has built its procurement operations with high-quality people and processes," said Mark Edwards, Chemicals procurement manager, at BP Lubricants. "The use of advanced sourcing technology from IBM has enabled our Lubricants procurement team to gain greater control over global spend and market data. The solution empowers us to realize the best value, not just the best price, from a supply base by factoring multiple performance drivers into decision-making."
Streamlining the supply chain, from materials sourcing to product delivery, are as critical to meeting customer expectations as the outward-facing marketing and sales departments. For example, IBM is helping global brewer Anheuser-Busch (AB InBev) streamline supplier sourcing and contract management in the cloud with IBM Emptoris solutions. This will enable the company to achieve significant breakthroughs in supply chain visibility that reduces risk, lowers costs and accelerates business results.
Prepackaged Best Practices Speed Client Deployment
The IBM Smarter Commerce Workbench is an asset repository that helps IBM accelerate the adoption of solutions for Smarter Commerce. The workbench captures implementation best practices, assets and knowledge that can be shared globally with other project teams to help improve the speed and quality of solution building. This enables clients to get faster business results from their solutions.
For more information on IBM Smarter Commerce, visit: http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/smarter_commerce/overview/
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(1) "Cross Industry Report of Standard Benchmarks," published by CAPS Research, July 2012
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