CCM Software vs. Platform: What’s the Difference?
With so many technology buzzwords thrown around these days, it can be hard to determine which ones actually matter. More challenging yet is actually understanding the fine nuances that define them. Here we’ll explain the difference between CCM software and a CCM platform.
CCM Software or Platform? It depends on the future flexibility required.
Software vs. Platform
Customer communications management (CCM) has proven to be essential to businesses of all sizes. Knowing the terminology of, and the best approach to CCM is therefore vital to a firm’s success in the modern market.
Although they may sound quite similar, having CCM software is not the same using a CCM platform.
The concept of what constitutes software versus a platform has evolved over the years. Presently, the most distinguishing difference between software and platforms is the fact that software is a stand-alone product that may integrate with other software or platforms; platforms, on the other hand, host applications and provide resources (APIs, services, etc.) that enable developers to create applications on top of it.
What that means in terms of customer communications management is that CCM software addresses specific, known use cases; whereas, a CCM platform enables you to address existing use cases and later leverage the underlying content services to develop new applications that solve for future use cases. More simply put: software has predefined capabilities while platforms are built for change and are more adaptable and adjustable.
The Advantages of a CCM Platform
As featured in Forbes, Software AG CTO Wolfram Jost insists that platforms are more valuable to businesses than individual software products. His most compelling argument is that with software, you could end up using a single iteration of the product for a couple of years. Conversely, a platform (think: cloud) provides you with continuous improvements, so that you can use the same one for many years.
When it comes to CCM, there is no substitute for a solid platform. Companies that continue to manually manage customer communications are struggling by attempting to reply to each customer personally. Personalizing high volumes of customer communications is where CCM platforms shine.
By using a CCM platform, you’ll be able to keep up with your customers and generate communications that are timely, meaningful, and effective.
Get the Best of Both
The biggest downside of most platforms is that you have to build applications yourself. When looking for a new CCM solution, prefer solutions that offer both CCM applications (software) on top of a CCM platform. That way, you can use the application(s) to address your current needs, then leverage the underlying resources when you’re ready to develop new applications.
There is a wide range of variability among the purveyors of CCM software and platforms alike. With Topdown, you get immediate tangible value in a platform, and a company, that will provide a return on your investment for years to come.
Get in touch with Topdown and ask about our CCM platforms.
About John Zimmerer
John Zimmerer is the senior director of marketing at Topdown, where he leads market research and outreach efforts for the company's customer communications and customer experience products. Most recently, John has been researching and writing about the future direction of the technologies that power customer experience, and is regarded as a thought leader in this area. John has nearly 20 years of software product marketing experience. His areas of expertise include market research, analyst relations, public relations and digital marketing.