Thought leadership

IBM has opened what it’s calling the IBM Customer Experience Lab, the latest in a series of hands-on, education-oriented facilities. This one intended to teach management how to favourably impress customers by leveraging mobile, social, cloud and analytics technologies.

What makes this one worth mentioning? First, in a word, personalization—using newer technologies to personalize the experiences of each individual customer, identify patterns and pinpoint preferences—is becoming a hotly competitive area.

And, secondly, the transformation of the front office—sales, marketing and customer service functions—to get a better leg up on competitors, is a wave gaining enough momentum for IBM to term it the most important business change since enterprise resource planning (ERP) became all the rage 20 years ago.

Partner Opportunities

What’s this got to do with partners? Actually, plenty, if IBM lets the channel in to the party as trusted advisors to help businesses understand and deploy mobile, social, cloud and big data technologies to their benefit.

“Business leaders realize they need to continuously transform their customer experience in order to be relevant and competitive–from the perception of innovation and value, to the quality of the interaction, to the economics of delivery,” said Mahmoud Naghshineh, IBM services research vice president.

“What made them successful over the last decade, or even last year, may not be competitive in the future. We will help clients explore the possibilities presented by new assets, technologies and innovation models based on our engagement experiences with thousands of organizations across every industry,” he said.

And, while IBM’s Customer Experience Lab, which the vendor says offers CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, heads of sales and other C-suite executives the opportunity to tap online into some 100 researchers to addressing the opportunities of the digital front office, there appears to be openings for consultants and solution providers. The vendor says its 9,000 business analytics consultants have completed more than 30,000 such client engagements in the last several years.

The Lab focuses on three main areas:

  • Customer insight to predict differences in individual customer behavior across multiple channels.

  • Customer engagement to drive insight and deliver value by personalizing engagement.

  • Employee engagement by using semantic, collaborative, and multimedia technologies to promote employee engagement and insight.

The lab will be headquartered at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., with researchers available from the vendor’s labs in Africa, Brazil, California, China, India, Israel, Japan, Switzerland and Texas.


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