Digital Experience

IBM Amplify-Engaging Customers and Communities in Context Keynote

IBM Amplify - Gary Dolsen

IBM’s Amplify conference featured a digital experience keynote on adaptive experiences which engage customers in context with several prominent speakers.  These included:

  • Gene Phifer, VP, Distinguished Analyst, Gartner
  • Deloss Schertz, Director Enterprise Strategic Application Services, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc
  • Gary Dolsen, IBM, Vice President, Strategy and Offering Management, Digital Experience
  • Rob Enright, IBM Digital Experience Strategist

The session started with Gary setting the stage that 100% of business is now conducted over is digital channels.  The challenge is noise is everywhere and the challenge for enterprises is to find a way to cut through that noise and that key is content.  He gave several examples of how this is applicable such as Illy Coffee reaching customers through telling a story and making them fall in love with Coffee.

A couple of statistic of where Torchbearer CMOs focus on are:

  • 92% focus on integrating marketing, sales and customer support
  • 82% focus on customer journey mapping

The next speaker was Gene Phifer.  Gene has been covering digital experience for Gartner since the inception of the industry.  Key takeaways are and highlights follow.

  • Omni channel is the holy grail of customer engagement.  Few companies are there and most don’t have a strategy to get there.Gene
    • Silos within organizations are barriers to customer engagement – Examples include  sales, marketing, CRM, commerce etc.  People are typically the barriers to bridging silos, not technology.
    • Difference between IT and business priorities introduce conflict and barriers.
    • Governance and skills are often lacking to deliver customer engagement solutions.
    • Applications are often all written the same.
    • Old ways of delivering are not working anymore
  • Keys to bridging silos (not breaking them down) include experiences, process and data tiers.
  • CMOs understand customer journies.  Having one is critical to creating the multi-channel, omni-channel experience.
  • Gartner refers to the collection of platforms and tools to deliver omni-channel solutions as the Digital Experience Platform (DXP.)
  • A Gartner study shows some key technology-enabled capabilities that are most important to CEOs that they are willing to invest in include:
    • Customer experience management
    • Digital marketing
    • IoT sensor networks
    • Social engagement
  • Most organizations have heterogeneous technologies.  Picking a DXP platform that can integrate with them is important to integrating these diverse technologies.
  • As you build the customer experience, think beyond the current model.  There will be a revolution in the types of devices in the near future.
    • Restful APIs are required to deliver content and data.
    • Data is everywhere.  360 view of customer is important but be careful of data both from legal and privacy perspective.
    • Personalization and targeting are important to reaching customers at the right time in the right way.
    • Content in context is king.
    • Customer centric platform is required but make sure the platform is balanced with innovation and doesn’t stifle it.
  • People are important to delivering great solutions e.g. governance, organization, culture, technology, data, vision and more.

The next portion included Gary Dolsen having a discussion with Deloss Schertz, Director Enterprise Strategic Application Services, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.  This focused on establishing customer relations through the entire customer journey.

The final segment shifted focus to how IBM is making these insights real in the Digital Experience suit.  The focus on four key aspects customer experience must deliver.

  • Engaging
  • Integrated
  • Agile
  • Intelligent

IBM Investment areas from these aspects are:

  • Content – It is the backbone of the experience, it could be social, multi-cultured, etc.
  • Commerce – Integration with commerce to drive persona driven sites.
  • Cloud – Everything IBM is doing is cloud.  Everything IBM does is cloud first and sometimes cloud only.
  • Cognitive – Design time, run time and analysis time are all considered for cognitive computing.

The session wrapped up with a demo by Rob Enright of some DX capabilities.

Hearing perhaps the most influential and important digital experience analyst, Gene Phifer, share his insights and vision and then hear how IBM interprets that vision and makes it a reality in the Digital Experience portfolio made this session flow very well.  It also leaves one with confidence IBM hears customers and has a pulse on the industry to lead the way delivering a platform they will continue to invest on innovate that customers can rely on for many years to come.


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Glenn Kline

Technical Director, Portal

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