Expert analysis

Leveraging communications platforms to access insights: How the digital revolution came to be, and where it’s going

  • Matt Kresch
    Matt Kresch
  • Feb 22, 2021

What should business leaders prioritize in digital transformation planning? How can companies take the long view while still optimizing for efficient innovation? We asked a distinguished group of analysts, industry watchers, and experts on transformation and engagement to weigh in on how the world is changing and what competitive businesses need to know.

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Customers today demand more and better communication from the businesses and brands they engage with. Market-leading companies are launching second- and third-generation communications strategies that are taking them past just communication to building new experiences, generating engagement in the process.

Realizing how to build these communication-enabled and communication-driven applications is the next challenge for all companies and the guiding star for the next decade of business transformation. But one of the biggest hurdles in the imagine-if and what-if worlds is that practitioners on the front lines miss the clues and the transition points. Enter our thought leaders.

This series represents an amazing opportunity to engage our industry’s top thought leaders on a single theme. I hope these articles help you embrace the worlds of digital communications and customer experience, to inspire new perspectives and spur new ideas for better engagement strategies and, ultimately, strengthen your customer relationships at scale.

Esteban Kolsky, a customer experience expert consultant who recently joined the SAP team to lead CX strategy, kicks us off with an examination of what, exactly, a platform really is.

Paul Greenberg, whose expertise centers around social CRM strategies, explains how the digital revolution isn’t about technology or data, but rather communications, in his post, Why the communications revolution requires a new approach.

Later, we’ll peek into how a business stakeholder can begin to put together the pieces of the communications revolution, platforms, and goals for the business, in his second article, The channel doesn’t matter: Get and keep customers with a channel-agnostic approach.

Brent Leary, recognized by InsideCRM as one of the 25 most influential industry leaders, tackles the issue at the heart of the digital revolution. Nothing is more valuable to a business than the conversations it has with customers, and subsequently, how it impacts planning and adoption of digital transformation.

As the founder of Opus Research and someone who helped define the Conversational Commerce marketplace, Dan Miller discusses how all these conversations are the beginning of a new world: Conversational eCommerce in the age of XaaS, where we will buy things as part of an ongoing conversation with a brand.

Maribel Lopez, formerly an analyst for more than ten years at Forrester Research and International Data Corporation (IDC), shares her thoughts on right-time experiences. She delves deep into her research and the topic of her next book: how to make experiences shine at the right time, in the right place, and amidst the right conversations with a focus on customer experiences.

Virtually all companies are undertaking customer experience initiatives as part of their digital transformation projects, and intelligent automation expert Neil Raden looks at the three steps an organization must undertake to create experiences that keep customers coming back.

Sheila McGee-Smith is the founder of her own analyst firm and has more than three decades of experience in the telecommunications industry. She tackles the complexity of customer service, through contact center transformation to customer experience.

Former Gartner analyst and current VP of Constellation Research Inc. Nicole France tackles the most complex part of this revolution: How to put the personality of the customer into personalization. She digs into her research on customer understanding and the future of sales, service, marketing, and experiences, as well as engagement and business transformation.

Award-winning author and world-renowned digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist Brian Solis writes about the art of listening. As humans commanding computers, we have to do better than just hearing what’s out there and instead focus on listening to what’s going on, empathize, acknowledge, and act accordingly.

Each of these technology visionaries offers a unique perspective, but they all share the belief that a platform can fundamentally transform the way an organization interacts with its customers. 

To begin, let’s hear first from CX expert Esteban Kolsky on what a platform is, and why it matters.

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Matt Kresch

Matt Kresch

Matt leads industry marketing at Twilio. Prior to Twilio, Matt was director of product marketing at Microsoft, responsible for the positioning and go-to-market strategy for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Service applications. He holds a BA in English from the University of Arizona and continuing education in marketing at University of California, Berkeley.