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By Kemal Carr

EXPANDING CAPABILITIES IN HOSTED MANAGED SERVICES PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY

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echnologies for implementing more advanced customer communications management (CCM) emerged over two decades ago and since then have expanded their capabilities through the development of more sophisticated automation. Over time, CCM platforms have become a comprehensive means of launching and sustaining personalized and interactive communication with customers. This is especially important today as the way a company communicates with its customers along the customer journey often defines the nature of the customer experience. While organizations utilizing CCM traditionally worked with in-house CCM technology and staff, various types of third-party services have developed to take on some or all functions of a company’s CCM operations. Termed hosted managed services (HMS), they are built on various and flexible business models and offer different service levels to fill in the gaps of an in-house operation and/ or to perform specific, often specialized CCM functions. Madison Advisors’ February 2021 study on CCM HMS is its third surveying this field, uncovering how the market has changed since its previous 2015 study, and focusing on the in-depth analysis of six successful organizations offering CCM HMS. Of these six, three

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MAY-JUNE 2021 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com

are print service providers (PSPs) that have branched out from offering primarily print output to becoming increasingly involved in offering CCM HMS. A Closer Look For those companies considering CCM HMS, it is important to understand the seven critical components that need to be incorporated into a single fully integrated CCM platform. Summarized, these include: Data management and processing: the collection, aggregation, standardization, and storage of data in a standard data model from a variety of sources Content management: a centralized repository that stores all the components necessary for the document composition process Preference and customer profile management: the collection and management of customer profile information, delivery channel preferences, and customer consent for electronic interactions Composition: the process that combines data and variable content with document templates according to pre-determined business rules to create customer communications that are optimized for the delivery channel(s) Omnichannel delivery: delivering communications in the appropriate format to a variety of channels, including

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print, email, web portal, mobile, tablet, SMS, and social media Archive: a single repository to store all customer communications as delivered for future retrieval and delivery to support customer service requirements and regulatory requirements Dashboard reporting: a thin-client or browser-based user interface that provides business users full visibility into the entire communication workflow

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CCM HMS provide a complete end-to-end solution and, similar to SaaS (software-as-aservice), is designed to deliver a better return on investment than an on-site installation because of the shift from a capital expenditure model (CapEx) to an operational expense model (OpEx). However, unlike SaaS, where a company that purchases the SaaS solution is responsible for its deployment and integration within its existing technological environment, in the HMS model, the client and provider are jointly responsible for the system’s implementation and utilization. Additionally, CCM HMS providers, in some cases, have tailored their offerings to serve specific industry segments, such as financial or insurance organizations. Trends to Be Aware of The entrance of PSPs into the CCM HMS marketplace has introduced a second cat-

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Mailing Systems Technology May/June 2021  

Mailing Systems Technology May/June 2021

Mailing Systems Technology May/June 2021  

Mailing Systems Technology May/June 2021

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