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Real time insights and response

F.Y. Teng | Jan. 17, 2012
The future of business is going to be about real time analytics and response. "After-the-fact" marketing will soon die.

Progress Software has a complement of real-time software solutions, which it says “helps enterprises quickly respond to changing consumer demands, and capitalise on opportunities emerging from rapidly evolving business conditions.” That explains why its solutions are found in 88 percent of the Fortune 500, and it has more than 140,000 customers in more than 175 countries. The company offers a family of solutions put together to provide business leaders with real-time visibility into business processes from an interactive control panel. These solutions come under the Progress Responsive Process Management (RPM) brand, and collectively put the power of technology directly into the hands of company’s leaders, by providing them continuous insights on their business so they can make well informed decisions.

Highly noteworthy is the fact that it has been very successful in Asia in the past decade, counting leading companies in the financial services, communications, media, and other industries among its happy clients. And in 2012, Progress Software executives have set their sights on two main objectives: expanding their company’s footprint in ASEAN, which is something they intend to do by extending its partner network; and, growing further the company’s business in the Greater China Region, India, Australia and Japan.

Late last year, Sanjay Kumar, Vice President of Communications and Media Industry at Progress Software granted mis-asia.com an interview, during which he talked about his company’s business in the different major sectors of the region’s economies and where it is headed in the near future. The following is the first portion of the interview.

Talk about the key segments of your business, particularly with respect to your operations on this side of the world.
Sanjay Kumar: We do work across a number of industries. However, we decided sometime back to focus on four industries: communications, capital markets, banking and supply chain. Although, we have activities in many other industries too, those four are the ones we have taken especially great pains to start aligning our position to target. We’ve not only started aligning our sales organisation to target those industries. We’ve also aligned our product organisation that way.

We have started developing solutions that continue to leverage our core products–our enterprise products, such as our Responsive Process Management Suite, a complex of end-processing Business Transaction Assurance offerings, our Data Xtend products for data mapping, our Sonic product for enterprise service bus–but are configured specifically as simple solution sets that are needed in each of those industries. That’s where a lot of our product development focus has been recently.

You recently announced a deal with Turkish telecommunication services provider Turkcell re the implementation of the Progress Apama Complex Event Processing platform, which purports to enable the company to “collect real-time data about its users’ behavioural patterns, locations, and personal preference to receive different marketing campaigns.” Tell us the ways this platform will benefit Turkcell and other operators deploying it.
A lot of it revolves around our complex of end processing core products. That line of products had previously been extensively used in quite a number of industries, such as capital markets, for things like helping to predict real time trading patterns. So our CTOs also did a fair deal of research and testing around how we can apply that line of products in the communications arena, and what the impact would be from the use of those to start making decisions.

They looked closely at ways to correlate information that in some cases was internal and in some cases was external. They looked for patterns across both kinds of information. Obviously, one huge challenge that came up had to do with dealing with a massive amount of data and having to filter and find the specific patterns you’re looking for. But it wasn’t just that. They had to be able to pull out everything else that came in the mix.

What they ended up doing was work with a lot of customers, with their marketing teams and others. They worked with a lot of mobile operators.

Turkcell is a good example of what we’re talking about—if you consider the type of information they were looking for and the massive amount of data they had to filter. Traditionally, they would use standard business intelligence tools to correlate all their information and draw analyses from there. Problem is if you work like that, the information you get is after the fact. It may be a few days after the fact. In their business, that’s a factor that has an impact on their marketing and sales.

They knew that. They also knew that there’re alternatives that do real time filtering and analyses, but which were usually restricted to other sorts of activities and functions. So they were looking for something that could help time capabilities with their

There are alternatives that do real time marketing but they are usually restricted to certain sorts of activities and functions. And so they were looking for a way of “how do we combine all those together?” We will have massive amounts of data and you want to correlate activities and functions that we may target as promotions but knowing that whatever we are doing today, we’re going to want to change next week and the week after and the week after and how do we do it in a model that doesn’t have them going to their IT organization every time they do it. So meeting a tool that can help them really stretch all their creativity is what was critical.

Now obviously it’s important to get access to that information though it’s not something they do in silo but as you start getting into the right sources of information and as you start determining how you are looking at your customers, what are the activities that you want to look at, it becomes pretty obvious that there is no complete answer and it’s an evolving model especially as you get into things more on the social media side, different forms of content and you start looking at the customer not as an individual but as part of an eco-system. So it became obvious that they needed that sort of change and that’s where a lot of the effort was put in to determine what and how that would best apply. In the end, the real power is for the service providers to really start stretching their creative talents to say: “All right now, how can I use this to get a better understanding of my customers, differentiate one from another, understand more about what their appetites are?” Again, we are not out to bombard them but to control how much is given to the point that it still remains appealing.

Tell us about how your own clients have made significant gains from leveraging this real time personalised marketing solution and approach.
They’ve noticed that by targeting the right campaign at the right time–the right team meaning when it has the most value to them–the responses to the promotions have come back three to four times what they would have received had they gone and done it the old way, what you can call the “after-the-fact” way. So certainly this approach has brought about a significant amount of difference. In fact, it’s actually driven the aspects to start creating new and more innovative types of promotions that could cover a broader range of activities for different customers.

 

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