IBM Unveils Smarter Commerce Software, Services Offerings

Transforms how companies manage, adapt to customer and industry trends.

Note: ESJ’s editors carefully choose vendor-issued press releases about new or upgraded products and services. We have edited and/or condensed this release to highlight key features but make no claims as to the accuracy of the vendor's statements.

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 of 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 how it processes new partners 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.

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 road map 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:

  • Advanced Analytics: WebSphere Commerce and Coremetrics Web analytics enables customers to gain faster insight from statistics, charts, and dashboards to determine the effectiveness of their marketing programs, call center performance, and cross-selling initiatives, making it easy to manage and enhance the customer experience.

  • Cloud Computing: The new Coremetrics Lifecycle offering is a cloud-delivered product that helps IBM clients track key customer advancement milestones, allowing them to better target investments in marketing programs, content and products to improve results.

  • Cross-Channel Commerce: Through the integration of Coremetrics Intelligent Offer and WebSphere Commerce, organizations gain immediate insight into online buying trends, while Sterling Configure, Price, Quote with embedded business intelligence by Cognos helps companies streamline the quote-to-cash process.

  • Social Business: The integration of Coremetrics Social Analytics with WebSphere Commerce allows enterprises to measure the impact of social activity on their commerce websites, including social referrals and the usage of social features such as product reviews, enabling them to make better investment decisions in social programs.
  • -- Supply Chain Planning & Execution: Through the integration of WebSphere Commerce and Sterling Order Management, IBM’s Smarter Commerce enables businesses to better optimize inventory investments by providing enhanced visibility and intelligence around current inventory positions and sourcing options, resulting in improved fulfillment rates at a lower cost.

More information is available at www.ibm.com/press/smartercommerce.