May 9, 2013

The IBM EMM/Unica Suite: Which version to upgrade to…

Every 18 months or so, a software upgrade is released for marketing technology systems, including IBM (previously ‘Unica’). These upgrades can help increase performance, streamline marketing functions, and simplify IT involvement. To put them into place, however, is not generally an easy task requiring time, expertise, adjustment, and sometimes even the planets proper alignment. Over the years, I have done my fair share of software implementations and upgrades with various clients. These experiences, collectively, have given me a robust perspective on what many marketing organizations struggle through when presented with the many software versioning options under the cry of “Upgrade!”

When I first became a Unica architect in 2007, my philosophy was simple: Upgrade to the latest and greatest version of Unica  and be done with it. Now that I’m a few years older and armed with more insight into what companies truly need, I have changed my way of thinking when it comes to upgrading sophisticated marketing products, like IBM Unica.

Above all else, your organization’s Marketing Technology comfort level needs to factor in to your decision making. It’s all about the path of least resistance. In my experience, organizations tend to take the path leading towards the best user adoption and ease of meeting IT system requirements first, before taking notice and advantage of new software features.

If your organization is in need of an IBM Unica upgrade today, you have three version options to choose from:

IBM Unica suite version 8.5

IBM Unica suite version 8.6

IBM EMM Suite version 9.0

Sometimes there’s not enough hours in the day to look at mountains of documentation so here’s a quick and easy synopsis of the routes I recommend, a cheat sheet for the Directors of the world if you will.

If you’re on version 6.x – 7.x and don’t want to be early adopters of 9.0, then upgrade to:

IBM Unica Version 8.6

If you’re on version 8.0-8.2, and are of the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” culture, upgrade to:

IBM Unica Version 8.5

If you’re one to embrace the latest and greatest, upgrade to:

IBM Unica Version 9.0

Choosing the IBM Unica upgrade version for your organization doesn’t have to be a painful process.  Most marketing organizations have good instincts, and should factor in more than just key new features.  They should keep in mind the ultimate goal of user adoption. This is a strong driver; what’s the point of upgrading to a version that people will not easily accept?

These are just the big brush strokes, and there is a lot more information that makes these upgrade options the best fit for a marketing group to select.  If you’d like to know more about any of this, please feel free to contact me or any of my friends here at Covalent Marketing.