September 24, 2012

IBM Smarter Commerce in Review from a Unica partner perspective

Going in to the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit (SCGS) I knew this show would not be the replacement for Unica’s Marketing Information Summit (a.k.a. MIS) of old.  For starters, Unica is now just one of four softwares that IBM has packaged together in to their EMM suite of tools (Unica, Coremetrics, DemandTec and TeaLeaf).

So shedding as many preconceived notions as I could, I tried to ride the show like a surfer on a fresh wave.  And while I was able to carve some of my own paths at the show, I was still at the mercy of the unstoppable wave, always pushing forward.  There were high profile key notes, IBM partner sessions, software specific breakout sessions and general networking events.

Not trying to over complicate things, I went to a couple keynotes, attended a few sessions in the “Market” track and met a lot of new people (and some old).  I even participated in the Guinness Book of Records longest handshake!  I’m in the records books….until some incoming Division I college freshman orientation group decides to hold hands for 60 seconds.

I was able to learn more about IBM’s recent acquisition: TeaLeaf.  While Coremetrics is great for identifying a web behavior issue, TeaLeaf is great at helping to diagnose its resolution. Even better, I met the right people so my team can get a full blown demo.

I was able to learn more about IBM’s new SaaS release: Marketing Center.  If someone has Coremetrics and needs a boost in marketing operations functionality this is definitely the way to go.  While it’s not as robust as Unica’s Marketing Operations, it was never intended to be.  This is a tool designed for web analysts who need some more organization in their lives.

I was able to learn more about IBM’s EMM Customer Café.  This is a new website designed for those IBM’s EMM customers who are looking for real domain expertise.  There will be white papers, Q&A’s, monthly webinars, etc.  I foresee this site being a great resource for anyone looking for EMM related answers from people who live and breathe this stuff.  In fact, we’ve already submitted our MRM whitepaper.

Unfortunately I was not able to specifically hear much about the new Unica v9 coming out which was a bit disappointing.  However, as the Stones frequently remind me: You Can’t Always Get What You Want.  Luckily for me I’m surrounded by a team of Unica experts who are well connected within IBM.

Here is some of what we have heard about version Unica 9: Active-x is going away with Java (Dojo), there will be a new look to the interface, Unica Campaign will be multi-threaded and a few other things that if you ask I will tell 😉

All in all it was a great conference for learning about understanding some for the complementary software to Unica, meeting new people and getting energized to take on that next big initiative.  But if you’re looking for some deep Unica insights I’d suggest sticking to the Unica Regional User Groups (RUGS).  We’re expecting more information on those shortly and will share it back out on our site and our blog.