Skip Henk XPLOR CEO Interview with Brad Banyas CEO OMI on Cloud CCM

OMI is participating at the upcoming 2013 Xplor User Conference and Vendor Forum for the first time so I wanted to spend some time with CEO Brad Banyas and learn a little more about the company and their thoughts on issues related to CCM and the cloud.

Skip: Brad, OMI has fourteen years in the customer communication management space, what drives your organizations innovation in this area?

Brad: When we started 14 years ago it was about simplifying access to documents and customer communications. At that time we were one of the first movers in the Software as a Service area focused on transactional documents online. Early on we focused on automation and driving operational costs down in the document backend and customer service lifecycle for companies we served. OMI’s service maturity and best practices in this area are now just a given, so about four years ago we shifted our focus on innovation via the customer-facing side of the communication lifecycle. Our innovation efforts are specifically focused on making mass communications more personal through any channel — be it social, mobile, online, email or print if required. This innovation is providing better visual communication intelligence to brand and marketing executives that need to understand how, where and when customers engage with their organization.

Skip: Can companies save money by moving their customer communications to the Cloud?

Brad: Yes. Cost reduction is still in the top three areas of our clients. Today OMI’s innovation and R&D is to a large degree focused on delivering Cloud services that are integral to our clients brand development and customer engagement – the new revenue side of the lifecycle. The Cloud is not new to OMI so, we have a very strong discipline in communication workflows around content creation, online presentment,email, SMS and the composition side of communications. We shifted our focus to new areas like social and mobile about three years ago, and this has allowed us to add multi-channel disciplines to our core expertise. That’s one reason we are highly effective at helping our clients devise strategies that save money in the real world today. We believe Cloud-based customer communication management is still early in adoption, and the CCM space in the Cloud is positioned to explode over next 3-5 years.

Skip: CCM is not a new concept. Why do you feel it has not merited the same level of corporate attention like the CRM and ERP movements?

Brad: I think there has been no clear thought leadership in the area. CCM started in the document composition and printer manufacturers’ area, and then was promoted by print services organizations, but overall it has primarily been a back office discussion – the concepts and strategies never were never fully understood or embraced by front office marketing and brand leaders. As a result, organizations often struggle to provide a consistent brand experience across all outbound communications that are typically managed by third party print service providers. The traditional siloed approach of multi-channel communication management has left organizations with mixed messages, inconsistent customer experiences, and costly marketing campaigns that often fall short. If you look at the Cloud CRM movement in particular, thought leaders like recognized that to change the ideologies and paradigms of the past, an open Cloud environment allowed the client to share important information amongst disparate systems like billing, ERP and other systems thus permitting rapid adoption. CCM has the same fundamental issue yet software developers, hardware manufacturers and printers do not want to let go of their proprietary domains in fear of jeopardizing their current licensing models.

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