Pegasystems is a big software vendor operating in multiple but connected software markets. Some are familiar with Pega as a business process management (BPM) vendor, whereas others might be more familiar with it as a customer relationship management (CRM) solution provider. Pega is doing a good job reinventing itself as a business issues-focused company that can deliver differentiation for customers, rather than leading on the capabilities of its technology platform. PegaWorld 2015 brought together users from both technology and line-of-business to hear more about how Pega is moving forward.
The keynote presentation from Alan Trefler, CEO and founder of Pegasystems, was very much focused on the evolution of CRM as a discipline, rather than as a technology. Trefler acknowledged that the 3,500-strong audience had heard it all before – digital disruption, the need to put the customer first, change is a requirement, and so on – but now is the time to fully operationalize the delivery of customer service. The touch-points across the business need to work together in a coherent fashion (which speaks to the BPM element), and the current gaps in customer experience are forced by the silos that have been created between functions. If these gaps are not addressed, an organization can expect to be vulnerable to attack, not only from new competitors but also more traditional competitors who have evolved and are therefore more agile.
There's certainly some merit in the assertion that if multiple organizations are using one technology solution to address a need, then there's little opportunity to differentiate using technology, and this is Pega's argument against using conforming (and typically lowest-common-denominator) cloud-based applications. The vendor's contention is that strategic applications (ideally built on the Pega7 platform using Pega pre-built processes as a starting point) will help an organization in its quest for differentiation. The reality, however, is that the difference lies in the execution of the use of technology, rather than solely the technology itself, and it will come down to individual organizations to decide on the investment they want to make in developing specific applications to set them apart from their competitors.
Pegasystems: Pega 7, EI015-000011 (January 2014)
2015 Trends to Watch: Business Process Management, IT0021-000034 (November 2014)
"What should enterprises consider when starting their BPM journey?" IT0021-000043 (November 2014)
Maxine Holt, Director of Research & Analysis, Software
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