A new series of videos is starting, to get an insight about what is happening behind the scenes at Adobe for enterprise developers, and what is upcoming.
This first episode starts with David Nuescheler, introducing Customer Experience Management and the technological platform behind it.
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More videos will be published there soon:
– Lars Trieloff – the Enterprise Cloud
– Bertrand Delacretaz – the Enterprise Platform & Open Source
– and more is planed on REST, Sling, OSGi, the Content Repository, etc.
And here's the transcript:
What is Customer Experience Management exactly?
Customer Experience Management is a relatively broad space, where we want to harmonize all the different interactions an organization has with their customers. If we dissect that a little bit, we see that there are separate disciplines that we try to assemble into one homogenous experience, or into one homogeneous market if you wish. Looking at the various different components, it includes things like, Web Experience Management that harmonizes how we talk to our customers through the web channel. But it also embodies things like Mobile Interactions, Customer Communication, or Correspondence Management, with more a print/PDF type of environment; as well as Rich Internet Applications that are built on the Flash / Flex platform.
How is it technically possible to have a consistent platform behind all these technologies and customer touch-points?
I think that it is very desirable for an organization, as well as for the customer, to have this generalized platform behind things, and that's why we're so exited about the release of the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform, which provides that exact layer as backbone for all of the Customer Experience Management interactions.
Now Customer Experience is a very broad topic, it starts with with web, and ends with the experience when going to a branch, or a store. So this platform has a lot to provide and I think that Adobe has an absolutely unique position to do that, because the creative workflow needed to create those experiences usually starts somewhere in the Creative Suite, which obviously is one of our very strong areas. Then through the delivery of the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform, we have a very robust platform as well. Taking it to the next step, where we want to monitor the performance and want to find out how we can optimize the experiences, we take that into the Adobe Online Marketing Suite, closing the loop by going back to the creatives and do the modifications that we need. Now I think that this closed loop workflow that we can offer around Customer Experience Management is definitely the absolute magic sauce from Adobe.
And open source is an important part in the platform, isn't it?
Right, we have a very strong backbone in open source projects. So the foundational pieces of what we use in this platform are combined of projects that we started in the Apache Software foundation. So that is where we try to produce a lot of the foundational code that is mainly commodity code. But it really is platform code that is required to build such a platform. And that is why we started for instance the Apache Jackrabbit project, or the Apache Sling project, or the Apache Felix project, which all are now instrumental parts of this platform.
The great thing about open source is of course that the innovation happens a lot more open and a lot quicker, because there are people from different backgrounds, there is essentially global resourcing of ideas, if you wish. Very often ideas are contributed from people that you don't even know in detail. And somebody can come up with a great idea and bring it into the community, and then it starts to develop. So I think it is an acceleration of the innovation patterns. And that's really why we started to get a great feedback from the open source community.
Does working with an open source community help to widen the use-case the software is built for?
Yes, absolutely. You get a lot more use-cases that you didn't think of, and especially if you have such a broad problem set like we have with Customer Experience Management, you want to build something that is as flexible as possible, so that it can be used in all the different respects. That's certainly where it helps, even throughout the development phase if you have a horizon that's as broad as possible.
Back to Customer Experience Management, what innovation is upcoming in this sector and what is your vision?
Customer Experience Management is still a new field, so the sky is the limit and there are various different direction we can go to. Particularly in the area of what we call the context, where every user, every customer, at any point of time, there is a specific context that they are in. They can be in a store, on your website with a particular mobile device, or on the call center. That context about that user, that unifies information that you may have in your customer relationship management database and information that's much more transient, such as the screen resolution, the IP address, the latency, their mouse movement, etc. All these different things are aggregated into what we call the context. And I think that there's going to be a lot of innovation in that area, particularly because it's a very interesting area in the tension of privacy and it's somewhere where a lot of the organizations can still really improve. I mean everybody has had that experience on a call center where you dial in for the second or the third time and you re-explain your same sort of story again.
And not only obviously we want to avoid that, that's a relatively traditional environment, but we want to take your experience from one channel into the other channel, so the customer experience agent, the person on the call center should have the same information about what kind of targeting you get on the website, similarly to the marketing campaigns we want to push to you. At the same time knowing about all your incidents, and so forth, and vice-versa, the targeting on the website should know that you have a call logged about that one product, so we shouldn't push that product onto you at the same time.
You can take that further and say for example that you start a transaction on a mobile device and sort of start filling out the form, and then realize that this is all too complicated, I want to continue this on your desktop computer, then you should take your context onto your desktop and continue from there. It's crossing these boundaries with context and making the context rich.
So I think that in Customer Experience Management, there will be a lot of innovation around the context.