Madison Advisors views interactive personalized video (IPV) solutions as the next stage in the evolution of customer communications. The growing use of email and mobile communications provides organizations the opportunity to leverage electronic communications as a preferable and less expensive communications channel. With increased access to broadband Internet, video communications have the opportunity to reach a greater percentage of customers than ever before. Unlike traditional online videos offering general instructions or generic information, IPV communications enable customers to self-guide through the information specific to their account. Customers can view the options associated with their account and take appropriate action through the interactive document.
Madison Advisors defines customer communications management (CCM) hosted managed services (HMS) as a delivery model in which a single source, integrated technology platform incorporates the seven critical components necessary for end-to-end customer communications management, incorporating workflow automation and governance. Enterprises that generate outbound customer communications achieve measurable results from this model in several ways, including, but not limited to, the elimination of capital expenditures associated with purchasing, installing and maintaining software and integrating with other technology solutions necessary to generate and deliver customer communications.
The line between document composition and post composition software is starting to blur due to the fact that post composition software, once considered a tool to “fix” applications prior to print production, has now evolved into a multifaceted solution with feature-rich capabilities for enhancing and managing customer communications. With the evolution of high-speed inkjet color print solutions, post composition solutions allow fulfillment operations to take advantage of technology that efficiently manipulates and optimizes documents with the ability to merge print streams and dynamically affect content prior to output or archive.
In this research, Madison Advisors focused on the integral components that make up a post composition solution, capabilities of this software and where post composition fits in an overall customer communications management (CCM) strategy. Our research will explore the fundamental advantages that current post composition solutions offer organizations and in what way each of our study participants delivers solutions to meet those advantages and more.
The Madison Advisors 2020 Capture Service Provider Market Study provides insights on the latest trends in the inbound document processing market with a focus on how capture service providers (CSPs) are positioning their offerings to stay current with technology and strategic services to meet customer demands. A June 2019 brief published by Madison Advisors initially outlined the roles of CSPs in an organization’s digital transformation to improve its overall customer experience. The 2020 Capture Service Provider Market Study expands on those observations and provides an overview of how CSPs that participated in the study are using technologies to improve inbound document processing.
Enterprise Output Management Systems (EOMS) were historically used to manage the production of printed communications; however, today, these solutions offer enhanced workflow and additional output capabilities to meet consumer expectations for digital delivery. Over the last decade, the print industry witnessed an increase in service provider mergers and acquisitions, and stricter privacy and security requirements necessary to comply with the Affordable Care Act and other regulations such as HIPAA, GLBA and FISMA. Yet, despite the prediction of the demise of print—especially since the introduction of email—print may never cease to exist entirely, making enterprise output management critical for monitoring production. Advances in technology have commoditized this industry forcing enterprise in-plants to consider outsourcing due to low print volumes, and service providers rethinking their value proposition beyond print and mail service offerings.
The outsourced transactional print market continues to be under intense price pressure. Service providers must compete with other service providers and adapt to the growing transition to various electronic delivery mechanisms being referred to collectively as “omnichannel delivery” because so many different types of non-paper information sources are involved. While some core applications, such as statements and policies, have been slow to transition to electronic media, many of the ancillary print applications that provided higher profit margins for print service providers have diminished due to customer preference for print suppression and electronic delivery.
Since its introduction over a decade ago, color inkjet technology has provided the transactional print industry with numerous improvements, including better output quality, faster print speeds, greater flexibility in print jobs and increased productivity. Transactional communications are business-to-consumer (B2C) communications, such as statements, bills and customer letters, which span a variety of verticals including financial services, insurance, healthcare and utilities. These communications, once thought of as documents that were required to satisfy regulatory requirements, are now being revitalized as a communication delivery channel that enhances the customer experience (CX) through eye-catching and colorful document design, variable content and targeted marketing messages to cross sell or upsell to existing consumers.
Stating that the introduction of the color inkjet printer changed the world of print is an understatement, to say the least. While the price point for a color image has decreased to a significantly attractive level, the increase in adoption for transactional communications has not been as impressive—but the good news is it’s getting better. The printing industry has been rife with analyst predictions about its demise, especially since the introduction of email, and more recently other digital delivery mechanisms. USPS mail delivery volumes dipped slightly in 2016 from the previous year—down approximately 2.2%—but based on continuous research efforts conducted by Madison Advisors, print is certainly not dead and in fact, we believe it will experience a revival thanks to the color inkjet technology available in the market today.
Before making the investment in color inkjet technology, a company will typically focus its research efforts on three key features: output quality, throughput and the range of supported media. In addition to these features, the service capabilities of the manufacturer and cost considerations make up the main decision criteria. The sales and marketing teams for both the inkjet printer manufacturer and its resellers focus their efforts on highlighting the capabilities of the equipment. To demonstrate these capabilities and narrow the buyer’s focus on the printer, customer test files are often used to compare the output of several different printers. While print quality and speed are important considerations, Madison Advisors believes many companies tend to overlook the importance of workflow when conducting due diligence, which results in a diminished realization of the full value of an inkjet investment. Workflow software selection is often conducted as an ancillary project only after the capital investment has been made in the printer. It is our opinion that this decision sequence should, in fact, be reversed…
Enterprise organizations recognize that their customer communications are vital. However, with the increased demand for different delivery channels and a better customer experience (CX), enterprises increasingly seek to outsource the composition process along with the document production.
More enterprises, even highly regulated ones such as banks and insurance companies, have begun leveraging cloud-computing platforms for mission-critical applications. The new level of corporate confidence in cloud-computing has extended into the adoption of cloud services. Combined with renewed interest in outsourcing document services, enterprises have more readily outsourced document design and composition services creating significant growth opportunities for hosted managed customer communications services.
Enterprises must walk a fine line between data privacy and enhanced customer experience. On the one hand, customers appreciate personalized recommendations and the ability to opt into an omnichannel experience. On the other hand, many customers are concerned about how much personal data corporations collect, how their preferences are managed, and how this information is used within the organization or sold to others. The cloud-based consent and preference management (CPM) solutions presented in this study enable enterprises to collect customer consent in keeping with the ever-expanding array of regulations. The solutions also allow enterprises to manage customer preferences for data sharing and make it possible for customers to control how the data is used, as well as which channels the enterprise may use to contact them.
For enterprise firms, selecting the right print service provider (PSP) is often the deciding factor in delivering personalized, consistent customer communications while leveraging the latest in print technology to build economies of scale. In a competitive marketplace, companies typically rely on requests for proposals (RFPs) to select a vendor, but the RFP process can yield less than optimal results when organizations lack in-depth knowledge of print industry best practices or a systematic method for evaluating vendors. Without sufficient expertise, organizations may lack the insight to objectively score RFPs and select the vendor that best meets their needs.
Digital communications attract customers both from an environmental standpoint—by eliminating paper— and from a process standpoint. However, challenges remain for enterprises trying to support digital channels. In many enterprises, print production is disconnected from digital delivery. Software systems for automating print production processes have been available for decades. While often consisting of a suite of software tools, these automated document factory (ADF) solutions enable print operations to significantly reduce manual processes and the tools provide piece-level tracking for legal and regulatory purposes. This brief shares the data Madison Advisors collected from eight ADF vendors about their products’ capabilities, how they define an ADF and their thoughts on the future of the ADF market.
The primary driver for enterprise adoption of CCM HMS is the demand from customers for a better CX. Customers want to communicate on the channel of their choice, carry an interaction across channels and receive feedback faster. Organizations now have a broad range of hosted CCM solutions. Many new and established providers as well as print service providers (PSPs) offer hosted services for composing and distributing customer communications. While all the solutions provide the same basic services, each offering has its own strengths. Data management providers offer a strong suite of data tools. Document design providers offer robust template design and rationalization.
Over the past year, Madison Advisors has been observing the changes in the document capture environment and the impact new technologies are having on traditional inbound workflows. Last May, our briefing, Maximizing the Benefits of Inbound Automation covered areas of focus important for organizations to be aware of (internal and third-party providers) as they continue to improve the automation of inbound documents with advanced workflow technologies and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). This brief expands on these considerations with a specific focus on Capture Service Providers (CSP), but much of the information is also relevant to in-house operations.
Do you remember a time, not so long ago, when the document workflow for capture service providers (CSPs) and in-house shops included countless team members (preppers) to open mail, print out electronic documents, apply patch sheets for document classification and ready the documents for scanning? Inbound document automation, complemented by a strategy for customer communications management, ERP integration, archiving and dashboard reporting, will provide increased accuracy, speed in document processing and a competitive advantage.
When you’ve made the decision to invest and optimize your in-house scanning and capture operation navigating the capture solutions currently available can be a difficult, if not daunting, task for your organization. If your organization has numerous manual-based document processing workflows, choosing a capture solution and the ROI associated will be straightforward. A quick web search will provide dozens of self-proclaimed “technology” providers.
What is the best way to get started on the journey towards better management of your remaining paper based processes?
Companies know that digital transformation is absolutely critical to evolve and drive the customer experience so the business may achieve their revenue growth, customer retention and operational goals. Allowing customers to decide personal and virtual preferences for how, where and when the brand delivers paper, web, mobile and social communications will lead to great customer experiences and drive business results.
In our Research Brief, Madison Advisors shares the challenges, strategy and market technology relating to preference management for multi-channel communications.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is rapidly becoming a necessary tool for enterprises and service providers to streamline document workflows, manage quality and reduce processing costs. As outlined by the Institute for Robotic Process Automation (IPRA), “Robotic process automation (RPA) is the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software or a “robot” to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.”
Customer communications management (CCM) hosted managed services (HMS) is a technology model that incorporates the critical components of CCM in a single integrated platform. This results-driven model offers a complete end-to-end solution that addresses enterprise communication requirements, relieves the burden on IT resources, and delivers an optimized return on investment (ROI) by shifting from a capital expenditure model (CapEx) to an operational expense model (OpEx). CCM hosted managed services solutions transfers the risks associated with purchasing and installing software to the provider while allowing the enterprise to obtain the full benefits of a CCM HMS solution.
Madison Advisors’ Customer Communications Management (CCM) Solutions Market Study, 6th Edition provides an overview of several CCM technology solutions available in the market today. Of particular focus is how each solution innovatively solves the challenges associated with customer communications management, and how these solutions are positioned to keep up with changing technology and consumer demand for a digital experience. This study provides an update on some of the capabilities reviewed in our last report which included multi-channel delivery, cloud technology, and support for social media. In addition, we have included a review of current trends in the market and how each solution is positioned to stay abreast of these trends while meeting the increased requirement of enhancing the customer experience.
Customer Communications Management (CCM) is a dynamic industry that continues to evolve and adapt because of changes in technology, increased competition, and strict regulatory requirements. These changes not only affect enterprises that produce communications for consumers, but for all stakeholders who are involved in the CCM ecosystem. Print service providers (PSPs) are not exempt from feeling the impact of these dynamics. Historically, these organizations were the final step in the document lifecycle and were responsible for the physical manufacturing of documents and submission to the United States Postal Service (USPS) for delivery…”
Customer Communications Management (CCM) is rapidly evolving as enterprises continue to expand their communications infrastructure to address a variety of needs, both internal and customer, while leveraging new technology capabilities. The challenge, however, is that these communications infrastructures are continuing to grow instead of evolve, creating overly complex environments which include unsupported solutions, homegrown systems, and software that is far behind the current version. This in turn, removes focus from an overall customer engagement strategy, as enterprises are concerned with getting customer communications delivered. While CCM solution vendors have grown their portfolios to include software that addressed the expanding needs of enterprises, the existing infrastructures and lack of resources make it challenging to fully implement these new solutions…
The outsourced transactional print market is under intense price pressure. Service providers, focused primarily on print, must compete with other service providers as well as adapt to the growing transition to electronic delivery. While many core applications, such as statements and policies, resist transition to electronic media, many of the ancillary applications that provided higher profit margins for print service providers have diminished due to higher electronic delivery adoption rates. As service providers transition to multi-channel delivery models, differing pricing models are emerging for electronic services.
Madison Advisors’ Inbound Mail, Delivery and Return Mail Assessment Study is designed to examine the best practices for developing inbound mail and delivery efficiencies as well as identifying return mail best practices to lower waste and re-mailing costs. Through a series of site visits, Madison Advisors examined digital mail processing, including the workflow and business processes, for delivery of everyday United States Postal Service (USPS) mail to employees – a solution that many clients are looking to incorporate into their future business plans.
The Madison Advisors’ Multi-Channel Delivery Market Study, 3rd Edition (2013) is a continuation of the series that began in 2009 as the ‘Print Suppression Market Study’. In 2011, the study title was updated to ‘Multi-Channel Delivery Market Study’. While we have changed the name to more accurately reflect the multi-channel nature of the study, our focus remains on gauging how the market is progressing in substituting electronic – or multi-channel – content as a replacement for printed, post-sale transaction and customer care documents. The study also focuses on the strategies and techniques that enterprises are using to manage their multi-channel offerings, and the results of these efforts.
Madison Advisors’ examination of the customer communications management (CCM) market, in this transitional time of emerging social media contact and cloud-based infrastructure, reveals that traditional document composition solutions have pivoted to more robust CCM solutions. While most of the vendors provide robust support for electronic output formats, few offer strong support for social media channels. In addition, data analytics remains a growth area of functionality for many vendors. Key findings from the study include:
Organizations face increased pressure from customers to deliver better customer communications. Traditional monochrome and line-mode bills have been replaced by color documents with graphics that reflect historical buying or usage patterns. Demand for multi-channel delivery has also increased. While roughly 25% of customers receive documents electronically, the rest receive the same documents in paper form.
Multi-Channel delivery of customer communications has radically and irreversibly changed the Service Provider landscape, as the struggle for market dominance and, ultimately, survival depends on establishing a beachhead in this new growth market. Evolving delivery platforms are changing production methods and processes, slashing costs significantly, and enabling ultra high quality, security, and delivery compliance.
Madison Advisors’ examination of the Service Provider market for Multi-Channel delivery of customer communications reveals the changes to the competitive forces at work in the market, provides insights into the specific Multi-Channel offerings, and discusses what to look for when evaluating these services.
Madison Advisors’ examination of the enterprise output management systems (EOMS) market in this transitional time of growing demand for multi-channel communications reveals that most products focus heavily on print management. Madison Advisors expects a significant round of vendor acquisition and consolidation to alter the EOMS landscape. Key findings from the study include:
Rising economic and competitive pressures have forced many enterprises to look at how they can transform the transactional document, such as monthly statements and invoices, into a marketing tool with a high ROI through the addition of highly personalized, promotional data. The end result of this transformation is the emergence of TransPromo documents.