When is a CCM Solution Also a Content Services Application?
Monolithic out-of-the-box customer communications management (CCM) systems are on their way out. Gartner and Forrester research indicate that future CCM use cases will be addressed using best-of-breed content services designed to be part of a larger digital experience architecture.
By incorporating content services into your software, you stack can make a big difference in how your organization’s enterprise architecture will address ever-changing customer communication needs. But building that architecture requires a long-term commitment, and right now, you have CCM use cases that you need to solve immediately.
Let’s take a closer look at how CCM and content services intersect.
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Content Services & CCM
Gartner defines content services as a
“set of services and microservices, embodied either as an integrated product suite or as separate applications that share common APIs and repositories, to exploit diverse content types and to serve multiple constituencies and number use cases across an organization”.
Content services essentially consist of a set of building blocks from which you construct your own applications. Content services applications are pre-built solutions, created using content services that address specific use cases (for example, correspondence management). Gartner specifically identified CCM as one of those use cases.
When addressing CCM use cases, Forrester refers to content services as “communications-as-a-service” (CaaS). Forrester believes that cloud-based CaaS platforms will become the primary orchestrator for future communications.
The Best of Both Worlds
Content services and CCM applications are poised to serve as the primary contributors to an organization’s ability to present a consistent brand image (logos, language, messaging, etc.), as well as providing a positive customer experience. When a CCM solution and content services are running on the same infrastructure, the organization will benefit from new possibilities:
- Top-down consistency in content
- Enhanced communication with customers
- Improved accuracy when personalizing customer interactions
- Drastically decreased content search time
- Increased efficiency for employees at every level
When a CCM solution is also a content services application, enterprise architects, digital product owners and line-of-business leaders have access to the best of both worlds: the ability to address longstanding use cases right now, today, plus the ability to build new applications as needs arise going forward.
Digital Transformation and CCM
It’s no surprise that digital transformation initiatives (eventually) include CCM use cases. CCM ensures a persistent and positive customer experience (CX) during interactions with a company and its products or services. CCM solutions facilitate essential customer touchpoints (e.g., customer service agents) and enhance a brand’s ability to string these touchpoints together to create a consistent customer journey. As a result, Gartner recommends that a technology roadmap is not complete unless it addresses integration.
Migration to the cloud seems to go hand-in-hand with modernizing enterprise architecture. Some brands adamantly cling to on-premise applications, either out of fear or complacency or unfounded fears of data/customer privacy. Still, the future is clear. An increasingly growing number of new content and CCM apps are cloud-based. They all come prepared with interfaces (APIs) for ease of integration. Industry leaders are incorporating content services to increase agility, efficiency, and ROI. It’s time you do the same. The future is now.
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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.