September 30, 2011

Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2011 Wrap-up

Last week IBM held the first ever Smarter Commerce Global Summit (#IBMSCGS) in San Diego.  To me this represented a significant milestone in the development of IBM’s vision for the Smarter Commerce initiative.  Right away it struck me how much IBM believes in this initiative by the level of significance that they put into this new entry; bringing together a suite of assets that can hold its own in the Smarter Planet portfolio – that’s not trivial.  On the whole, I found the summit compelling and was captivated by keynotes from Guy Kawasaki — Apple’s former Chief Evangelist and Erik Qualman, best-selling author of Socionomics. (catch Guy’s dynamic presentation about Innovation here; time stamped 5:23 to 40:21 within the larger Smart Commerce summit video.)

Occasionally I had to remind myself that Smarter Commerce is still very new, even within IBM – only being formally announced last April – so many new things were discussed last week.  While some of us had seen the new Smarter Commerce life cycle which puts the customer in the center of it all,

I found it very useful when they showed all of the Smarter Commerce software packages lined up with their phases (which I was able to capture in the moment– please ignore the tops of people’s heads).  And let’s not forget, IBM’s recent investment for the assets in Smarter Commerce represents $2.5 BILLION in recent acquisitions.

I enjoyed hearing the details around IBM’s longer history in the eCommerce technology space through Websphere.  However, EMM is still central to everything Covalent Marketing and our customers do. To that end, I thought Elana Anderson, VP of Products for Unica, summed it well in presenting EMM’s influence on the Sell and Service sides of things.

SELL – By using EMM you can get your customers to say: ‘These guys get me’; presenting the right offer(s) at the right time.

SERVICE – By using EMM you can get your customers to say: ‘These guys care about me’ by contacting them on their preferred channel and frequency.

In this web educated, customer enlightened world of marketing, our efforts need to start feeling much more like a service to the customer.

From a Unica perspective, as it relates to non-EMM software, they are currently OEM-ing Cognos for Business Intelligence, but as I learned from Jay Henderson, Strategy Program Director for Unica, it will have better hooks into other IBM products as well:

  • SPSS for Predictive Analytics
  • ILOG as a Business Rules & Events Engine
  • FileNet and InfoSphere MDM for Data & Content Management

And they will be coming out with guides soon on how to integrate data across the Smarter Commerce portfolio.

Finally, I heard from many IBM’ers, that is will not be the replacement for Unica’s MIS.  Many people felt confident that there will be an EMM-centered conference next year…I hope so!

Other fun conference tidbits gathered at the summit:

  • 80% of CEO’s think they deliver a superior customer experience…but only 8% of their customers agree
  • IBM will be releasing their first ever CMO study will be released on October 11
  • I don’t know much about America’s Got Talent, but Team iLuminate was pretty cool
  • Multi-channel buyers spend 4 to 5 times more than average
  • Similar video to the one EQualman showed:

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