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Pegasystems gives the channel the Infinity option

The way some companies use CRM is less engaging than enraging. But Pegasystems has a suite of tools to help resellers fix that for clients

Traditional industries built on ledgers, such as banks, insurers and telcos, didn't really get CRM because they were used to old school relationships. We called the bank manager Sir, rather than the other way round. So when they adopted CRM they used it to bully us. There was more stalking than talking.

That's why fintech start ups, which use the channels of communication for a two way conversation, could be the ones picking up all the new business and nicking all the disaffected customers of traditional banks.

Pegasystems claims it can help companies fix communications breakdowns on at least two levels, man and machine. They can also help by making processes run better. Which involves office politics, so good luck with that.

There's a ton of work to be done across the globe, as customer relationship management (CRM) is universally woeful in insurance, telecoms and financial services. CRM treads a thin line between customer engagement and customer enragement, says Jeff Nicholson, Pegasystems VP of product management for CRM.

At its PegaWorld2018 conference Pegasystems announced the launch of Pega Infinity - a  suite of tools that aims to transform faulty CRMs from a digital transformation software suite.

There must be plenty of opportunity for the nation's systems integrators and service providers here, since many a corporate omni-shambles needs to be fine tuned.

The machine-transforming bit is pretty ambitious on its own, but at its PegaWorld Conference there were plenty of companies ready to testify to the veracity of these claims. A man on the CGI stand said the 'no code' model for integration could shorten the development of a new banking product, such as a quotes system, from two years or three years to about nine months.

There were deputations from Liberty Global, the telco that now owns Virgin Media, testifying that Pega World has made it a lot easier to knit together all the mismatched systems they inherited when taking over 36 companies. By integrating all the 'silos' they've improved the customer journey, said Rhona Bradshaw, business lead at Liberty Global.

Pegasystems claims to have a 'no code necessary' ethos that makes short work of integration projects. You just set up the model and the system does all the necessary coding for you. You just tell it to fine tune all your channels of communication with the customer – which these days can be everything from Alexa, through Twitter, e-mail and chatbots to good old fashioned phone calls. The goal is to harmonise them all, so people don't fall through the cracks. With some companies you might as well put a message in a bottle and chuck it in the sea.

Thanks to companies like Amazon, PayPal and Uber, customers all expect great communication from their service providers, says Nicholson.

Pegasystems claims it can change company processes to make them more efficient. Somehow it can break the ice between human parties too, such as intransigent rival departments. It claims it can convert the state of responsiveness of a bank, telco or insurance companies from Aloof to Agile in a fraction of the time it would take a team of developers. All the while providing a level of continuity with legacy systems. How? You'll have to ask them as it's too complex to go into.

Analyst IDC, says global businesses will spend $1.3 trillion on digital transformation. Eighty per cent of digital transformation projects fail. Maybe its because there is a massive reality gap between the people who tour the world issuing sound bites at conferences, and call centre operator whose natural instinct to help is actually reigned in by their supervisor who wants the maximum number of calls to be handled as quickly as possible.

Last week Pegasystems announced its new Infinity system which use artificial intelligence and robotics to breathe life into customer relationship management.

Infinity promises to connects front-end digital customer experiences with back-end process automation. It says new 'DPA and customer engagement' will smash silos, speed digital transformation and enable brands to disrupt markets.

It will achieve this through self-optimizing, AI-powered marketing campaigns, dynamic customer interfaces, robotic automation included in all new licenses, an expanded bot library and a new Blockchain kit for Ethereum.

It sounds promising and there were 5000 delegates all fanatical about Pegasystems ability to communicate. If they can transform Virgin Media, from customer enrager to customer engager, they will be absolute geniuses.

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