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LAS VEGAS, - 12 Apr 2011: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today introduced new software and services offerings dedicated to helping businesses swiftly adapt to rising customer demand in today's digitally transformed B2B and B2C marketplaces. The announcement was made at IBM's annual Impact Conference before thousands of IBM clients and business partners.
With its Smarter Commerce initiative, IBM is defining and leading a new market that it estimates will grow to $20 billion in software alone by 2015. Smarter Commerce transforms how companies manage and swiftly adapt to customer and industry trends across marketing, selling and service processes that span the entire commerce cycle, putting the customer at the center of their decisions and actions.
"Customers use social networks, mobile devices, Web sites and influencers to make buying decisions today," said Craig Hayman, General Manager, IBM Industry Solutions. "These businesses must connect to these customers where and how they prefer to buy to be successful. At the same time, they need to make sure they have the means of effectively managing their supplier and trading partner network to ensure they have the products at the right time and place to meet this new customer demand."
Business adoption of Smarter Commerce technology is already underway. IBM client CSX transportation has used elements of Smarter Commerce software to improve partner onboarding in its supply chain and partner communities from two days to 10 minutes. By installing IBM Smarter Commerce software, First Tennessee Bank improved the success rate of its marketing campaigns by more than 3 percent, realizing a return on investment in the software of more than 600 percent.
IBM software has enabled electronic publishing leader Cengage Learning to not only offer a subscription model that allows students to electronically rent textbooks but also electronically or physically receive supplementary offerings of items such as study guides. IBM helped XO Communications reduce customer churn by 8 percent the first year and 18 percent in the second year, delivering a nearly 400 percent return on investment in a matter of months.
The new commerce imperatives are bringing non-traditional IT buyers such as marketing officers and procurement executives into pivotal roles that are supported by Smarter Commerce.
IBM has announced Smarter Commerce services offerings to help these clients deal with these new challenges related to commerce. Customer value strategy accelerator – IBM's industry and strategy specialists will work with clients to envision, evaluate and prioritize a set of fresh and exciting new business value possibilities. Clients receive a roadmap and prioritized recommendations for new business models that address the changing needs of the social, digital and mobile consumer. Cross-channel experience assessment – IBM's industry and channel specialists will analyze current customer experience by channel, identify pain points and limitations, and map customer expectations and behaviors (based on voice of the customer information). In addition, through a customer experience workshop, IBM explores cross-industry leading practices and creates design principles for the target customer experience across channels.
Building on IBM's R&D innovations and acquisitions, IBM has also announced new Smarter Commerce software offerings that meet a wide range of business demands:
IBM's Smarter Commerce offerings are flexible and integrated solutions spanning the entire spectrum of commerce phases that include buying activities such as sourcing, controlling and procuring of goods and materials; targeted and personalized marketing capabilities across all customer interactions; sales and fulfillment of products and service across all channels; and service, responding to all customer needs throughout the relationship.
The challenges of commerce today create new opportunities for clients to use Smarter Commerce in serving their customers by:
Bringing all these elements together to help better manage commerce is a priority for businesses. A recent IBM Institute for Business Value survey of more than 500 economists worldwide estimated that much of the $15 trillion in system inefficiencies on the planet comes from waste in inventory backlogs, failed product launches, wasted materials and ineffective marketing campaigns.
"The commerce process that used to be just about 'selling' has become a much broader effort that involves new ways of marketing to, serving and maintaining the brand loyalty of members," said Shamim Mohammad, Vice President of IT, Marketing, Merchandising, eCommerce and Supply Chain Solutions, BJ's Wholesale Club. "The new Smarter Commerce offerings from IBM will help us meet the increasing demand of our members who are now using things like social media and mobile access to gain greater power and control of the commerce process."
For more information, visit: http://www.ibm.com/press/smartercommerce.
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