Part one of three
Amidst the end-of-the-year hustle and bustle, it’s good practice to take a few moments to reflect on the year that was and prepare for the coming year. Depending on what area of the industry you’re in, many technology and behavioral trends set the stage for future success.
In our three-part Year in Review series, we’ve asked leading analysts—each representing different segments of the market—to provide their spin on 2015 and thoughts on what to expect in 2016 and beyond.
The first installment comes from Stephanie Pieruccini, VP of research and enterprise technology consulting services, Madison Advisors, an independent analyst firm that provides project-based advisory services designed to assist clients with technology selection and business process decisions.
The firm recently released its latest report, Customer Communications Management (CCM) Hosted Managed Services: Changing the Paradigm in CCM, which identifies the emergence of Hosted Managed Services (HMS) as the ideal solution for many organizations looking to lighten the load on IT resources and focus initiatives on an overall customer engagement strategy, rather than the day-to-day logistics of creating and distributing communications.
The following excerpt was provided by Pieruccini regarding developments in the CCM space throughout 2015.
2015 has brought quite a few interesting developments in the CCM space, both positive and disappointing. First and foremost, consolidation continues to be a trend amongst software companies. That continued in the CCM space with OpenText acquiring Actuate Corporation. Which begs the question, what’s happening with Streamserve? Or perhaps even more interesting, what will Dell do with EMC Document Sciences? Both OpenText and EMC have preferred the label Enterprise Information Management (EIM) over CCM as they tend to target IT first. I know I’ll be watching how EIM further differentiates itself from CCM, creating more confusion in the various offering in 2016.
While HP Exstream is presenting a platform engagement model that is more broadly encompassing of all the communication factors, there seems to be a lack in their ability to offer a solid HMS model. HP Relate seemed very promising, but has been serving the enterprise as an interactive application solution much more than the small- to mid-sized businesses it initially targeted. While this application is still relevant, it has limited HP’s ability to move downstream, which arguably, presents the greatest opportunity for both software vendors and service providers right now.
With all the hype around HTML5 by all of the CCM solutions, there still seems to be limited adoption. Organizations continue to create content in channel silos rather than the design once publish anywhere model we’ve been hearing about for a quite some time. Hopefully 2016 will showcase some new case studies.
On the flipside, we’ve seen quite a few positive developments this year. The HMS providers, which include CedarDocs, Data Oceans, and NEPS, have gained traction this year as many mid-size enterprises recognize the challenges behind managing their CCM workflows in house.
We’ve also seen an expansion of color Inkjet devices including new cutsheet models, such as the Canon Océ Varioprint i300 Inkjet Press and Ricoh VC60000—which started shipping this year. These models are better suited to support reprint workflows as well as some of the smaller jobs and marketing applications in plants are looking to support. There is still a limitation of substrates supported by inkjet devices and a need for more testing by vendors.
Personalized video is another area that has gotten a lot of buzz, but seemingly very few publicized case studies. HP Exstream launched its partnership with SundaySky a few years ago. GMC has followed its lead, also creating a partnership with SundaySky while featuring a speaker from the company at its 2015 users conference in October. Pitney Bowes, however, has taken a different approach and showcased its own interactive video solution, EngageOne Video, at Graph Expo, which is more of a hybrid personalized video meets interactive communications.
These are just a few of the key developments that stood out to Madison Advisors this year. We can only begin to predict what we may see in 2016. One suggestion for anyone focused on this market would be that while there has also been more emphasis on customer experience, there still needs to be emphasis on retiring legacy and mainframe systems in favor of platforms better prepared for improving customer experience and delivering on customer preferences.
From consolidation to personalized video, trends in the CCM space provide both concern and promise. In part two of the series, we move on to thoughts from Caslon & Company and PODi. dps