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Highlights of Pega CES 2018

Highlights of Pega CES 2018

Last week Pegasystems held their annual Customer Engagement Summit in Amsterdam. After a warm welcome from Jacqueline van Wees (Sales Director Financial Services & Insurance, Pega) at the Passenger Terminal we had an interesting afternoon and plenty of opportunity to network over drinks. Let me share some of the highlights from the various presentations that afternoon as food for thought.

Make no mistake...

Right off the bat, Chief Technology Officer and VP of Product Marketing, Don Schuerman, presented to updated vision of Pega. Themed Digital Transformation for Real he talked about how the technology sector is constantly changing. His remark that "customers want it easy, not creepy.” is becoming more relevant each day, given the current revelations from Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. And we all know it won´t stop here...

Nonetheless, Schuerman continued on the capabilities of the new Pega platform (7.4 and upcoming 7.5). While Machine Learning platforms have been around since the 80´s, the challenge is still in applying it appropriately. He elaborated on three common mistakes:

  1. Channels, not journeys — embedding intelligence within a single channel is a waste
  2. Tasks, not outcomes — lack of a common process leads to disjoint customer experience (CX)
  3. Silos, not end-to-end (E2E) — isolated verticals imply missed opportunities towards the customer aka "Digital Gap"

Pega helps bridging that gap by offering an Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution they refer to as the "brain" and including E2E Robotic Automation as integral part of the new platform release.

Customer Obsessed

Next, Reineke Reitsma (VP, Research Director at Forrester Research) presented her analytical insights on what excellent customer experiences do look like, and why companies need to become customer-obsessed. Because these days “customers are making the rules”. The gap is widening between leaders and those incrementing forward. Negative customer sentiment could destroy your business. Also, innovation changes customer expectations. And there are indeed lower barriers to switch.

Luckily for businesses, "there’s order to the [behavioral] chaos" and she observes the following five patterns:

  1. Willingness to experiment (hyper adoption)
  2. Device usage
  3. Digital/physical integration
  4. Information savviness
  5. Self-efficacy

She explained another common misconception. According to recent research "millennials are not that much more pioneering". Yet, "we’re customer obsessed" and this could increase your revenue (potentially some 2,3% in 3 years). Let me repeat her question for the audience: Is your company customer obsessed?

Process First

Later, Marc Bakermans (Business Change Manager and John Agterdenbos, Enterprise Architect at Vivat Verzekeringen) shared Vivat’s story about customer experience innovation in a highly complex environment. The main takeaway I got from this presentation is the value of defining your process(es) in PRPC from the get-go. With this "process first" approach you can easily leverage the built-in metrics of Pega to find your improvement points.

In my experience, starting with your happy flow Stages & Steps helps to open up the dialog between IT and the business. Just don´t get stuck on silly details. Also, try not to (overly) rely on "Change Stage" to redo process steps.

Note: Slides can be downloaded from Pega´s event page

Feel free to drop me a note about what you think of this non-technical article through LinkedIn.

[Edgar] (4/20/2018 1:23:00 PM)


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About Edgar

Edgar is a software engineer with experience in TIBCO Middleware and Pega Case Managemement. He holds a master's degree in Computer Science with a specialization in Data Visualization & Computer Graphics.

In his spare time Edgar reads SOS and Empire, mixes house music, blogs and writes film reviews or goes running.

Currently employed by SynTouch he is specifically looking for a PRPC project. Feel free to contact him for challenging assignments through LinkedIn.