Visual Workflow

Visual Workflow Designer Released by Quickcoms

Visual Workflow Designer Extends Business User Control of Customer Communications

Quickcoms March 23, 2020, Austin, TX – Quickcoms, a Customer Communications Management (CCM) SaaS platform enabling highly regulated industries to do effective communications and marketing, today announced the launch of its visual workflow designer.

Visual Workflow Designer Provides Business User Control

Quickcoms visual workflow designer is now available to all platform subscribers. The Quickcoms platform was designed from the ground up to put business users in control of their customer communications by providing a highly adaptable and configurable environment. The workflow designer extends the platform’s configurability by enabling business users to design and modify workflows by visually manipulating standard workflow components.

Visual Workflow

 

Breaking Away From Legacy Bespoke CCM

Most legacy CCM software is highly bespoke and difficult to adapt to modern communications and marketing practices. The bespoke nature of these solutions also places the burden of making changes with the vendors, which is slow and drives up cost. Quickcoms’ visual workflow designer puts business users in control of adapting and changing the platform to meet new market demands.

“The voice of the customer was the primary driver of developing the new CCM platform,” said Giri Gondi, CEO of Quickcoms. “CCMConnect, like most legacy platforms, was built in a pre-cloud world. When we set out to develop Quickcoms platform we wanted to take full advantage of the configurability, scalability and security of modern SaaS platforms. The visual workflow designer is just the latest innovation in the evolution of this platform.”

CCM Key to Improving Customer Experience

A recent Bain & Company study revealed 80% of management teams believe they are delivering a “superior experience” to customers. But when their customers were asked about their experience, only 8% felt those companies were really delivering a superior experience. The reality is that customer expectations are at an all-time high and companies in every industry are scrambling to meet or exceed new customer expectations.

“Our CCM customers want control of business rules and workflows,” said Giri Gondi, CEO of Quickcoms. “They don’t have the luxury of time anymore, so asking third parties to do it simply isn’t viable. Our new visual workflow designer gives them the control they need to quickly adapt customer communications strategies and execution as consumer expectations evolve.”

CX is now taking center stage in most corporate communications and marketing departments. In fact, 62% of companies are investing to meet changing customers needs. In this rapidly changing world, it’s become imperative that Customer Communications Management software be adaptable to keep up. Quickcoms visual workflow designer provides business users the tools they need to adapt to new CX strategies.

The Quickcoms platform is positioned well for companies in healthcare, insurance and financial services. These are all highly regulated industries that put a premium on the customer experience and the need for tight controls around communications.

About Quickcoms

Quickcoms provides marketing and Customer Communications Management (CCM) software solutions that help customer–focused entities achieve success. Quickcoms is a global company linked by shared goals, cutting–edge software, a solid methodology and relentless focus on you, the customer. We strive to create an environment that fosters close collaboration between us and our customers in the spirit of true partnership. For more information go use our contact form or call us at (855) 466-6888.

CCM Trends 2020

CCM Trends for 2020

Over three decades starting in the late 1980’s there wasn’t
much to talk about year over year when it came to CCM trends. The big trend was
best described as slow incrementalism. If you subscribe to no news is good
news, well you got a lot of it.

As we moved into the 21st century the pace of change in CCM
software accelerated. We’re seeing new social and interactive communication
channels and the cloud playing an increasing role in delivery. 2020 starts a
new decade and it seems like an appropriate time to look at some of the current
CCM trends. Here are five CCM trends you should pay attention to in 2020.

CCM Trends: The Customer Experience (CX) Standard is Rising

One of my favorite statistics comes from Bain & Company
which indicates over 80%
of companies believe they deliver a “superior experience” to
customers, but only 8% of customer believe they are really delivering a
“superior experience.
” This disconnect seems to be occurring because
consumer expectations are rising.

A recent survey revealed over 90% of companies are focused
on improving their customer experience. Those companies are constructively
working to improve CX, so of course they believe the consumer should be seeing
a difference. What they are missing is the standard is rising.

To draw a similar analogy, prior to Amazon Prime everyone
thought getting a package delivered in a week to ten days was acceptable. Now
anything over two days is unacceptable. The same thing is happening with CX.
What was acceptable yesterday is no longer acceptable tomorrow. This is what
happens when everyone works to raise the bar.

As for the CCM trends, two things are clear: first, you must
improve your CX or risk falling behind your competitors, and second
differentiating through CX is getting harder and harder.

CCM Trends: Digital First CCM Experience

When it comes to CCM trends “digital first” is about
prioritizing content delivery. In this case we’re specifically referring to
prioritizing social, web and mobile content over tradition voice and print
channels.

What’s driving this change is the approach many companies
are taking to improving CX. One of the first steps in improving CX is mapping
the customer journey. As most businesses begin to do this, they realize the
consumer starts shopping for most products and services online. In fact, major
analysts estimate 50%
to 70%
of the customer’s buying experience happens online prior to engaging
anyone at the selling company.

As this change in consumer behavior has occurred, companies
have shifted their focus to digital media, and we don’t see this changing
anytime soon.

CCM Trends: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Emerges

With all the change occurring with these CCM trends, one
thing that hasn’t changed is the need to get information in front of the
customer when and where they want to consume it. This is how AI has found its
way into being on the CCM trends list.

We live in a content driven world, and as mentioned above,
upwards of 70% of the buyer’s journey is occurring online. Almost 100% of the
information and educational part of the journey occurs this way. Consumers are educating
themselves prior to any engagement with a company.

New AI based marketing solutions are emerging to monitor the
customer’s online behavior for indications of interest and progress along the
buyer’s journey. These AIs then surface information when/where the customer
needs it. The customer enjoys a better experience which in turn makes a
favorable impression of the brand.

This is just the start of how AI will begin impacting the
customer experience and integration of traditional CCM outputs will be critical
to delivering on this.

CCM Trends: Cloud Migration Continues

For highly regulated industries CCM software has been a must
for years. Therefore, it is one of the oldest components in the technology
stack. As large companies move major portions of their infrastructure to the
cloud, they’ve found migrating legacy CCM solutions problematic.

Legacy CCM software often relies on out-of-date
infrastructure which isn’t supported by the mainstream cloud infrastructure
providers. This leaves companies with limited good choices. You can keep legacy
CCM on-premise and remain on out-of-date infrastructure and walk a slow death
march towards obsolescence or lean on vendors to update their core
infrastructure components. Most companies push for the later solution which is
why cloud migration remains on our list of CCM trends.

As painful as that migration was, it isn’t over. The CCM
migration alerted companies to the security and obsolescence risks of legacy
CCM technology. At the same time a new breed of CCM providers has emerged with
technology built for the cloud. When we refer to a continuing cloud migration,
we’re referring to this new breed of born in the cloud CCM platforms.  

These new cloud CCM platforms are architected to that take
full advantage of cloud infrastructure scalability and security. They also have
a lower cost structure. We’re seeing a mass migration from legacy bespoke
solutions to cloud first platforms and there is no sign of this slowing. 

CCM Trends: Emphasis on Connectivity & Configurability

A residual benefit of the move to born-in-the-cloud CCM
platforms is easier configuration and integration. Cloud CCM vendors aren’t
standing up a new instance for every customer. Their platforms are
multi-tenanted and rely on standardized methods for both configuration and
integration.

Gone are the days of bespoke solutions that required vendors
to code when changes were necessary. Now business users can manage and maintain
business rules and build workflows. 
Business rules resemble the spoken English language versus something
only a coder could understand. Workflow configuration requires simply dragging
and dropping standard workflow components. This is shifting control from the
vendor to the business user.

CCM software has always required some level of integration
with other components of the corporate technology stack to access critical
customer information. This reliance remains, but integration is bolstered
through standardized APIs which makes building these connections easier and
more maintainable over time.

When it comes to CCM software we’re experiencing some of the biggest changes we’ve seen since the early days of the technology. A new era of platforms has arrived, and customer expectations are rising. It’s important to stay abreast of the changing landscape or you risk falling behind. We hope this list of CCM trends help you stay informed and in front of the curve.

Learn more about the latest CCM Platforms.

Cloud CCM

Cloud CCM Advantages

 
 Blog

By 2020 most companies are expected to have cloud-first or cloud-only policies according to Gartner. According to a study by the Cloud Security Alliance, 79% of companies receive regular requests from end users each month to buy more cloud applications with file sharing collaboration, and communication at the topping the most requested applications. So, is it any wonder Cloud CCM is rapidly gaining a foothold?

What’s driving the move toward Cloud CCM? Predictable factors like cost of ownership, scalability and flexibility top the list while other more subtle factors like control and security play a significant role.

Cloud CCM is Business User Configurable

Let’s take on one of the less obvious factors first. Most legacy CCM solutions are bespoke, and making changes requires a lengthy process of engaging vendors and developing customizations. Modern CCM solutions developed for the Cloud put a premium on configurability. Vendors needed this to migrate legacy platforms and keep the cost down when adding future customers.

As a result, Cloud CCM solutions have tools for managing business rules and developing and maintaining workflows. These tools move ongoing management and changes of CCM platforms from vendors to business users, putting business users in control.

Cloud CCM is Scalable

From the word go, one of the biggest challenges CCM platforms have faced is the ability to scale up to meet peak demands. Whether you’re a financial services company dealing with a major market shift or insurance provider managing open enrollment, demand can peak suddenly.

A properly architected CCM platform can scale infinitely in the Cloud. In the past, we built CCM platforms on infrastructures to support peak demand. Still these platforms often came up short when peaks occurred.

Today’s modern CCM platforms are agile and adaptable. They not only scale up to meet peak demand but also scale down when demand is minimal. Cloud infrastructure has really provided the best of all worlds.

Cloud CCM is Secure

With all the large data breaches in the news over the last couple of years, businesses have become very security sensitive. When the Cloud first started to become a viable option, security was one of the reason companies were skeptical. Now, it is one of the Cloud’s primary advantages.

One of the key roles a Cloud provider takes on is monitoring security. They have resources that far exceed anything an individual company could assemble to do the same. RapidScale claims that 94% of businesses saw an improvement in security after switching to the cloud, and 91% said the cloud makes it easier to meet government compliance requirements.

Another reason why Cloud providers are uniquely suited to provide security is most data breaches can be tied to internal perpetrators. This is why it is safer to have data security in the hands of a third party expert.

Cloud CCM can be Easily Integrated

CCM solutions need to connect to internal and external data sources. In the past, passing data from system to system was done through klugey methods of sharing files through FTP. These methods were error prone and often caused downtime.

A well architected Cloud solution comes with an application program interface (API). An API is a set of procedures, methods, and tools for connecting diverse systems. This allows born in the cloud CCM platforms to be easily integrated with internal and external systems.

Cloud CCM has the Lowest Total Cost of Ownership

Many companies are worried about the cost of implementing or migrating legacy CCM systems in the Cloud, and they should be. Using a cloud infrastructure takes time to learn and master. Standing up a legacy system can be expensive.

But looking at the Cloud like that really misses the point. You don’t want to migrate legacy systems you want to replace them with solutions built for the Cloud. Born in the Cloud solutions are designed to be easily configured and are built to take advantage of Cloud infrastructure.

With a born in the Cloud solution you don’t migrate or stand-up a new solution, you simply subscribe. No need to learn Cloud architecture that cost is shifted to the provider. Also, you eliminate large capex expenses and simply pay as you go. Better yet, you only pay for what you need/use. You also eliminate large IT staffing costs by letting the provider manage the infrastructure.

Costs related to downtime are also reduced, since downtime is rare in the Cloud. Cloud solutions are built with redundancy in mind. Eliminate or significantly reduce time and money fixing issues related to downtime.

Automatic Software Updates:

Bespoke CCM solutions of the past tended to stagnate unless the customer was willing to devote significant funds towards new features. As vendors took on more customers their resources go primarily towards supporting all the derivative system.

With multi-tenanted Cloud solutions all customers are on one instance of the software. This reduces the cost of maintenance for the provider and allows them to devote more resources to new features. All customers benefit as these new features are brought to market.

This saves valuable IT staff time and money spent on outside IT consultation. PCWorld lists that 50% of cloud adopters cited requiring fewer internal IT resources as a cloud benefit.

See for yourself request a live demo.

 

configurable ccm

Configurable CCM versus Bespoke?

 
 Blog

We have a mantra “don’t customize, configure” that’s driven by the sins of CCM’s past. Today we have cloud SaaS configurable CCM. 

What we know as customer communications management (CCM) arrived in the mid to late 90’s. This is when vendors began producing platforms for mass customization of customer communications. The technology took a big leap forward in the late 90’s when high-end variable color printing hit mainstream. 

Like most of the software of that era, CCM solutions were poorly architected, had crude user interfaces and were expensive to maintain. Most of the vendors in the market have either faded away or have slowly updated these platforms to more modern standards.

The problem with being early in a market like this is your customers become a blessing and a curse. It takes a lot of resources to support one-off solutions. Every year customers have new needs that require the devotion of developers and only benefit that one customer. This makes it hard to devote resources to improving the overall foundation of the platform (if there is a platform).

Vendors who have struggled to move to more modern architectures continue to rely on one-off customization. To make this sound better they’ve begun calling their solutions “bespoke” which is a term used in other industries to signify some form of exclusivity.

What is bespoke?

The word bespoke (/bəˈspoʊk/) evolved from the phrase “to speak for something” to its present usage describing something tailor made like suits or shoes. It has become a popular marketing term for high-end brands to imply distinctiveness. These brands offer to tailor their goods to your specific tastes, effectively creating something unique to you.

When you’re buying suits or shoes bespoke can raise their value. When you put it in the context of highly complex systems like CCM, it has the opposite impact.

Why would I not want something custom built for me, or bespoke? The simple answer; things change. Your foot size won’t change much over the life of a shoe, nor will your overall body for a suit. Your organization however will be faced with new regulations, people coming and going, and changing processes.

If your CCM platform is bespoke, you’ll be going back to the vendor every time something changes. This is expensive and tends to slow the speed of change. Bespoke solutions lack adaptability and flexibility and thus the term bespoke has the opposite meaning when it comes to complex systems.

What’s the alternative to bespoke?

Over the last decade the cloud ushered in a new set of vendors that offered Software as a Service (SaaS) creating what is commonly called the subscription economy.  In order for SaaS vendors to afford to let customers lease their software on a month to month basis they needed the cost of implementation to be low. Most built a self-service approach.

Think about the early days of sales force automation or martech. To adopt those solutions, you simply went to the vendor’s website, signed up, and configured the solution. As SaaS solutions got more complex a cottage industry of vendors emerged offering to configure an instance of the solution for you.

SaaS vendors focused their resources on building more features and improving existing ones. This enabled these vendors to move much faster than traditional software vendors and all customers benefited from the new features.

Better yet, most of the IT cost went away. No more infrastructure to maintain, or Capex expenses. Customers no longer had to worry about keeping up with updates. Updates just automagically happened as part of their subscription. Most of the security burden also shifted to the vendor. Overall the customer benefited from a lower total cost of ownership.

Configurable CCM is the future

This brings us back to our mantra “don’t customize, configure.” A custom solution built be a vendor uniquely to your needs may sound attractive, but you’ll suffer in the long haul. Every time you want to make a change you’ll find yourself going back to the vendor and paying for custom development. This is a slow and expensive way of maintaining a platform.

Contrast this with a cloud SaaS solution that has configuration at its core and it is easy to see why there has been such a big shift to cloud apps. If regulations, your organization, business rules or workflows change you simply go to the admin interface and reconfigure. No more going back to the vendor and paying for custom code only to do it again the next time something changes.

Sound too good to be true? Request a demo and see for yourself.

Close up of female hands working on computer keyboard

What is modern CCM?

 
 Blog

We’re hearing many healthcare and financial services organizations asking: What is modern CCM? Most of these companies are struggling with legacy systems that have been cobbled together through multiple acquisitions, and they simply need something better.

They’re hearing there is something new out there and they’re all hoping the answer lies at the end of the question: What is modern CCM? We’ve found if you tune out the noise there are six core elements that separate modern CCM solutions from legacy solutions.

Advanced Personalization

CCM has been about personalization since its early days. The ability to create statements and correspondence that addresses the individual and provides account and status information are at the heart of what CCM has been and continues to be.

What is advanced personalization? Today’s modern CCM solutions are taking personalization to a whole new level. Every aspect of communications are being tailored to the individual. Take for instance the imaging on a communication. Imaging is being tailored to the demographics of the recipient. If the recipient is a 55-year-old Asian female, the imaging will represent her, her family and friends or at least some statistical facsimile of them. Any offers will also be tailored to the demographic.

The point is every aspect of the message is designed to help the consumer relate to it and to make it more impactful. 

Omni-Channel

The last decade saw an effort to create a common brand presentation across all communications in all channels. That’s what we called multi-channel communications. Brands are now focused on what’s being called omni-channel communications.

Omni-channel is customer centric, meaning no matter where/how the customer engages a customized, relevant message is presented. As the customer moves through their buyer’s journey data is updated and messaging is refined with what’s been learned about the customer’s interest all the way through to purchase.

Interactive

Where in the past outgoing communications were disconnected from incoming communications, Interactive brings them together in real-time. Interactive communications are a real-time, or near real-time, exchange of information with the customer.

The challenge with interactive communications lies in staffing and consistency. How do you staff for peak periods and how do you get all those people to communicate consistently? The answer lies in building a knowledgebase of questions and answers that can be served up on demand, ideally by bots.

Using AI technology bots can answer common questions with pre-configured answers which addresses both the staffing and consistency issues. Interactive communications are a big part of the next generation of modern CCM.

Modern CCM is Configurable

Most legacy CCM solutions have been cobbled together through multiple acquisitions. Each application brought an integration and customization of the platform. The more of this that occurred the harder it got to make changes.

Modern CCM solutions come with the ability to build and maintain business rules and develop workflows without writing custom code. No more going back to the vendor every time a change is required. With modern CCM business users are taking control.

Modern CCM Scales on Demand

Most highly regulated businesses also have periods of seasonal or peak demand. Whether it is an annual enrollment period or a significant change in the market modern CCM solutions need to be able to scale up on demand.

Today’s modern CCM platforms need to be agile and adaptable. This is why leading vendors have moved to the Cloud where platforms are infinitely scalable. Cloud infrastructure not only enables you to scale up on demand, but also cost optimize in slow periods. It’s really the best of all worlds.

Connects to Other Business Systems

Last, but not least, modern CCM solutions need to connect to internal and external data sources to be effective. This means they need to be designed to be connected. This is where APIs come in to play.

An application program interface (API) is a set of procedures, rules, and tools for connecting diverse systems. Basically, an API specifies how two systems talk to each other. Modern CCM solutions offer APIs to ensure they can be easily integrated with internal and external systems that have data critical to effective communications.

What is Modern CCM? It is a fresh Cloud based platform that easily scales on-demand, connect to other systems, is business user configurable and supports the latest communication methods.  

tecra systems announces quickcoms

Tecra Systems Announces Quickcoms

January 13, 2020, Austin, TX – Tecra Systems, a software solutions provider enabling effective customer communications management by delivering powerful personalized marketing and regulatory messages across multiple industry segments, today announced the rebranding of its CCMConnect platform as Quickcoms.

Quickcoms enables organizations to communicate more effectively and consistently with customers while lowering operating costs and ensuring compliance. Quickcoms offers everything highly regulated industries need in a customer communications management (CCM) platform along with cloud scalability, security and affordability. Quickcoms put business users in control with a mantra “don’t customize – configure.” The platform provides a powerful interface for managing business rules and workflows.

The Quickcoms brand reflects a 20+ years of being a customer communications management (CCM) innovator. Along with the new brand and logo the company also refreshed its online presence to better reflect the full breadth of its offering at quickcoms.com.

 “We completely rearchitected the CCMConnect platform from the ground up for the Cloud and thought this was an ideal time to rebrand,” said Giri Gondi, CEO of Tecra Systems. “We felt customer communications management was a perfect cloud application as it requires the security, scalability, and compliance the cloud offers.”

Along with the new platform architecture comes a new administrative interface enabling business users to build and manage business rules along with a drag-n-drop workflow designer. “Our goal was to alleviate the reliance on vendors for changes, and put business users in control,” said Vijay Vattikonda, CTO of Tecra Systems. “This allows us to devote resources to building more features versus maintaining multiple platform instances,” Vijay Vattikonda went on to say.

The Quickcoms platform is positioned well for companies in healthcare, insurance and financial services. These are all highly regulated industries that put a premium on the customer experience and the need for tight controls around communications.

About Tecra Systems, Inc.

Tecra Systems, Inc. provides marketing and Customer Communications Management (CCM) software solutions that help marketing–focused entities achieve success. From marketing portals to content management systems for regulated industries, our technology and services offer you a distinct edge over your competition.

Tecra is a global company linked by shared goals, cutting–edge software, a solid methodology and relentless focus on you, the customer. We strive to create an environment that fosters close collaboration between us and our customers in the spirit of true partnership. For more information go to: https://tecra.com/ or call us at (855) 466-6888.