Part 1: Web Engagement Management – Relative Importance of Software vs. Implementation Quality

Ars Logica Introduction: Since we have seen that implementation strategy and choices nearly always trump quality of the software platform in determining whether a web/customer engagement initiative succeeds or fails, we decided to ask a few technology-vendor CTOs to give their views on the subject.  The first response comes from Lars Nielsen, SVP of Technical Marketing at Sitecore. Lars writes the following:

“An effective Web Engagement Management strategy requires three strong pillars:

  1. Commitment
  2. Resources
  3. Tools

“Commitment comes from top management, where the goal is to have digital channels aligned with core business objectives, like growing revenue and saving money.

“Resources are about having the right smart people, internally or externally, on the WEM strategy task, [key elements of which include]:

  • analyzing the business
  • getting the right insights for recommendations on WEM strategy
  • identifying the highest value strategy components for implementation
  • aligning the implementation roadmap

“Tools are about having the right software available to implement the WEM strategy on … but the tools also influence the WEM strategy, by offering new possibilities for leapfrogging what was previously possible!

“They all go hand in hand.  While an application might be the world’s best, the most accessible, and the easiest to get insight from, etc., without resources who understand fully the possibilities for using the application, it will end up being just a fancy tool … put to rest, unused in the corner.

“A poor WEM systems integrator can create poor WEM solutions, on great WEM platforms.

“A great WEM systems integrator can create great WEM solutions, on poor WEM platforms!

“So does this mean that you as a potential WEM solution buyer should focus on getting a great WEM systems integrator and forget about the platform?

“No.  A great WEM systems integrator will be able to leverage poor WEM platforms, connecting the dots by integrating several tools with each other (analytics, personalization, customer intelligence, automation etc.).

“But it will be a big effort.  It will require lots of hours (and budget).  It will be difficult to maintain or change.  And such systems will often present usability challenges.

“Of course the best solutions come from the combination of a great WEM platform and a great WEM system integrator!

“By using a tightly integrated WEM platform, you’ll spend less spend on integration, shorten time-to-market, reduce project risk, and increase the possibility that your own internal staff can maintain the WEM solution — without having to call the WEM systems integrator for every little change and adjustment.”