We recently sat down with the company’s collaboration programme lead, Mark Mazza, in advance of his colleague Dan Thomas’ presentation at the upcoming Aurea Experience 18 conference in Munich. Mark shared insight into how Jive is helping Lloyds constantly adapt and change to customers’ needs.
Read more here!
Here at Aurea, we’re closely observing happenings in the CRM space as we continue to evolve and build out our differentiated product vision for Aurea CRM. Recently, I was asked to share some of my perspectives on the future of CRM in an article for a German publication called Big Data Insider. For those of you who read German, feel free to take a read and let me know your thoughts.
For the rest of you, I’ll summarize my key points here. Two of the biggest trends we’re seeing in CRM these days surround mobile and big data. Mobility (and in particular, offline enablement, which we offer through Aurea CRM’s mobile clients) is especially key for driving sales adoption amongst reps who are always on the road, often in areas with poor Internet connections. In addition, intelligent CRM capabilities are becoming more and more critical for modern solutions, as buzzwords like artificial intelligence and machine learning start delivering real value. Every business is looking for ways to increase work productivity, and CRM systems of the future will enable this through more sophisticated customer intelligence that proactively detects important patterns in your customer activity, relationships and networks.
Of course, with all this data, security is increasingly critical for CRM systems, especially here in Europe where GDPR is top of mind. And finally, social is an area that no sales team should overlook, since these channels contain a treasure trove of valuable information about your customers that can be leveraged to inform and accelerate sales cycles.
What additional trends are you seeing in your business? I look forward to discussing these topics and much more with those of you who are joining us at Aurea Experience 18 in Munich next month.
Continuing our recent thought leadership momentum, today I'm excited to share another great CMSwire article by our own Kosheno Moore! This piece delves into ways companies can bring more rigor to their employee engagement strategies at each stage of the employee lifecycle.
Read more here!
If your business is looking to truly improve the employee experience and increase engagement, it’s not enough to just roll out an intranet and hope that does the trick. While putting the right platform in place is important, it is essential to also have digital leaders who advocate for your community’s transformative power across the organization.
That’s why we’d like to congratulate our customer Aaron Kim, head of Digital Workplace Solutions at the Royal Bank of Canada, who was recently awarded Digital Leader of the Year by Digital Workplace Group (DWG) in partnership with Simpler Media Group (SMG)/CMSWire. The prestigious award recognized Aaron for his leadership on RBC Connect, Royal Bank of Canada’s enterprise community (powered by Jive), among other projects.
Through Aaron’s leadership, RBC Connect has grown to more than 63,000 active users and 3,600-plus active communities. His strategy for the next five years is to continue evolving RBC Connect to meet the company’s and employees’ ever-changing needs. By doing so, Aaron’s goal is to keep the RBC Connect experience for employees simple and keep their engagement high.
One of the things that most impresses us about Aaron is that he makes time to contribute to the broader business community by sharing his valuable insights around collaboration, digital transformation, and trends in business communications. Check out his latest articles in Biznology or this recent video interview from Intra.NET Reloaded Boston.
We’re also pleased to announce that Aaron and his colleague – Sajneet Sodhi, program IT director at RBC – will speak at Aurea Experience 18 in New Orleans this December about how they’re expanding the Global 500 bank’s use of Jive to take adoption and engagement to the next level. Interested in attending? You can still grab a spot here: https://www.aurea.com/experience18/.
Greiner Bio-One is a global supplier of high-quality laboratory products with more than 1,800 employees and 23 subsidiaries, including production sites in Austria, Brazil, Germany, Hungary, the United States and Thailand. The company develops biotechnology, diagnostics and medical devices, and its BioScience division ranks among the leading providers of specialist products for the cultivation and analysis of cell and tissue cultures.
With such a large, diverse and dispersed business, it’s not easy to stay on top of individual customer relationships or manage every single lead, opportunity and interaction worldwide. That’s why Greiner Bio-One decided to adopt Aurea CRM’s comprehensive customer relationship management solution a few years ago.
We recently chatted with Ingrid Lamperstorfer, who manages the company’s CRM & EDI initiatives, to learn more about their experience in advance of her presentation at the upcoming Aurea Experience 18 conference in Munich.
Aurea: How long has Greiner Bio-One been using Aurea CRM?
Ingrid: Previously, we used two different CRM tools – eSales and SugarCRM – in just a few countries, so our sales teams were not well-connected. About four years ago, the managing director of our UK subsidiary, Tom Woods, initiated a project to look for a new CRM system that could span the entire organization. The team evaluated nine software vendors, looking for a CRM solution which would both meet all our key workflow scenarios and be configurable to facilitate local operational requirements. We chose Aurea CRM and are rolling it out across Greiner Bio-One.
Currently we have around 300 active users in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, and are in the process of rolling out Aurea CRM to our operations in France and Austria this year. We’ll add eight more countries going forward, with our total user base anticipated to be around 500 people.
Aurea: How do your sales reps use Aurea on a daily basis?
Ingrid: Our representatives use Aurea CRM as the cornerstone of their day-to-day administration. They can do their activity planning and visit reporting, create new contacts and organizations, assign interests, as well as enter offers in the system and order product samples for customers. All of this relevant customer information is therefore captured in Aurea CRM, where it is then available to a range of interested colleagues, such as line management, product management and marketing departments.
Aurea: Do you use any other solutions from Aurea Software?
Ingrid: Yes, we started using Aurea Campaign Manager for our email marketing at the end of last year. So far, we’ve done the initial integration with Aurea CRM. Its new user interface is modern and up-to-date, and the product roadmaps both look very promising. We look forward to more seamlessly connecting the two systems as we continue expanding our marketing programs.
Aurea: What do your sales reps like best about the CRM software?
For them, it provides high visibility of key information and easy access to everything they need to know in order to prepare for a meeting -- including current and historical pricing, invoice and customer support activity, status of sample requests and offers, etc. They also have access to the latest sales and support information, as well as helpful marketing information (such as conferences the customer recently attended), so they can follow up appropriately.
One Aurea CRM feature we use often is the opportunity module, which is especially helpful with all our public-sector contracts. We can create the appropriate offers in the system and track all the information we need for these proposals, including the customer’s pricing requirements. Aurea CRM enables our sales force to see far more customer information than they ever could in the past.
Aurea: What kind of adoption and success are you seeing across the organization?
Ingrid: In addition to our sales teams, who make up the majority of our Aurea CRM users, our customer service, marketing, quality control and technical support teams are also now using the solution to both extract data and track and follow up on issues. We are expanding the range of users and user groups as more affiliates go live and we find new opportunities to benefit the business.
With our increasing user base, the Aurea CRM platform provides a management tool for the evaluation of either general activities or those of particular interest -- such as activities related to a priority product or campaign. We are currently developing and evaluating our metrics and reporting structures to provide relevant qualitative and quantitative data, as the system and the culture of CRM in this form is still relatively new to many users.
Does simultaneously increasing sales, aligning marketing campaigns and improving customer service sound like utopia? Synergy Consultants, a CRM project management consultancy based in Kelkheim and Lüneburg, Germany, achieves exactly this for its clients. Since its first projects dating back to 1999, Synergy Consultants has helped clients gain more customers and build strong relationships with existing ones. They’ve delivered more than 200 value-driven CRM projects and initiatives all channeled through Aurea CRM.
In fact, Synergy is hosting an event this week for their customers, and our own Michael Obermaier is honored to be sharing a presentation about use cases and future trends in CX management. If you’re planning to attend, please stop by and tell him hello! In the meantime, to find out more about what Synergy has learned over the years, we recently chatted with their managing partner, Klaus Eichhorn.
Mark: How long have you been an Aurea partner, and how would you describe your company’s offerings?
Klaus: We started as an implementation partner of update.crm back in 1999. When update.crm was acquired, Aurea’s strategy helped us grow our business and our offerings. We have deep expertise in all aspects of Aurea CRM, and we are able to deliver solutions from the earliest touchpoint of the customer journey to every following scenario.
Our CRM + Prozesse offerings align processes with efficient software solutions to benefit our customers. We help clients meet their customers’ needs by identifying and addressing relevant customer touchpoints. We provide expertise and tools that help our clients gain new customers and build up strong relationships within their existing customer base, whether through marketing, sales or service processes.
Mark: What is your favorite customer story?
Klaus: Let me pick out one example. We’ve worked with Stäubli, a robotics and mechatronics company, to improve the sales process. Stäubli is now able to offer specialized services to their customers based on Aurea CRM’s opportunity features. Because they can track the specific needs of each prospect in the opportunity record, their offerings fit much better than before, they’ve increased customer satisfaction and they’ve achieved higher closing rates. In another project, we brought their sales and services together in one system worldwide. This significantly improved cross-team collaboration, which even impacted revenue. Stäubli boosted service revenue with the help of proactive and preventive offerings at the end of machines’ lifecycles at customer sites.
We helped Stäubli deploy a global CRM system with Aurea CRM, replacing three different CRM systems in three different divisions. By using Aurea CRM worldwide, they’re experiencing heightened productivity and improved sales metrics. As a global leader in its industry, Stäubli is accelerating its entry into new markets and regions with structured processes and an efficient CRM tool.
On the marketing side, we’ve successfully implemented many marketing and promotion processes channeled through Aurea CRM workflows. As a result, our customers in the life sciences and consumer brand industries eliminated Excel work, significantly reduced manual entry and cut time spent on data handling. We also gave these companies better control over their campaign process with automated invitation and response handling. As one outcome, customer satisfaction increased significantly.
Mark: What customer experience best practices do you recommend to your clients, based on your extensive experience with our products?
Klaus: I always remind people that the more successful CRM implementations are the ones driven by the business. IT is important but cannot play the role of the business. CRM implementations where a C-level sponsor is on board (not all the time – but at a high level) have more speed. And most importantly, there is no successful CRM implementation in the sense of business value and increasing sales where there is no benefit for the user. Forget any initiative that’s all about results without offering real advantages for your day-to-day users.
Mark: What do you think are the most important trends enterprises should consider when it comes to digital transformation?
Klaus: I would separate between hype and concrete issues that help to improve and accelerate business. To see clearly about this, we recently asked 50 clients about their needs an where they want to concentrate efforts. Here’s what they voted to be their most important issues and interests:
Copyright SYNERGY, Lüneburg, Germany, Eichhorn - 2017
We are happy to share Aurea's first CMSwire thought leadership article by our very own Kosheno Moore! Her byline article covers why a company's culture has to be part of the fabric of everyday interactions among employees, and between employees and management.
Read The Article Here!
You may not feel like making any new resolutions regarding your writing, and that’s okay. But how about taking a look at writing challenges that others are taking on and seeing if you can be a little motivated to take on a few of them yourself. Who knows? Your muse may become excited and take you to new heights.
Here are some challenges that other writers are assuming. Pick a few and get going.
1. Write a Minimum of 1,000 words a Day
Really. This is not that much. The key to it, however, is that it is a daily thing – no exceptions. Whether you are working on a short story, a novel, poetry, or nothing right now, commit to those 1,000 words a day. Consider it critical practice of your craft. If you are in a dry period, try a different type of writing. Instead of writing fiction, write blog posts on topics that interest you, and submit them to relevant popular blogs.
Consider downloading a writing challenge app that will provide an unending supply of activities to get you going. You may find that writing 1,000 words a day is far easier than you thought.
2. Commit to Reading More
If you write fiction, read more fiction; the same goes for non-fiction. Many writers have taken the challenge of reading one piece a day. Even if you are busy with a “day job” or other obligations, put in those headphones and listen to those pieces. Good ideas can be sparked by reading/listening to the writing of others.
3. Resurrect Old Writing, finish it, and Submit it
All writers have pieces they began but then abandoned for a number of reasons – loss of interest, disappointment with its quality, etc. Make this the year that you pull those out, revise, re-work, and finish them, and then submit them. What is the worst that can happen? A rejection – nothing you haven’t experienced before.
4. Become a “Renaissance” Writer
The term “Renaissance man” refers to any person who has become a “master” of many things. Thus, a mathematician may also be an artist or musician and perhaps study law or medicine. Becoming a “Renaissance writer” means that you will dabble in the entire field, creating in all writing niches during the year. Even if short stories are your niche, add another genre each month – poetry, scriptwriting, non-fiction articles, a short novel, etc. You can even sign up with an online writing service. Students access them with “write my essay” please, and Trust My Paper professional writers craft them. You have probably not written an academic piece in years, and even this can prove worthwhile as you widen your thinking processes.
5. Choose Plots/Topics from the News
Become a bit of a news junkie. Read newspapers, watch cable news, and access a few news websites. Find stories that pique your interest, and make a list of the headlines and main facts. Go through these periodically and choose one as a start point for a short story, poem, or even a novel.
6. Up Your Submissions Numbers
If you generally submit a piece once every six weeks or so, “up the ante” for yourself. Commit to one a month. Even if you are working on a novel, set a number of short pieces to submit – pieces of any type – for free or for pay.
7. Participate in NaNoWriEvMo
You may have never considered participating in this annual event – writing a complete novel of at least 50,000 words in the month of November. Consider taking this challenge, and choose any month you want. Even if you don’t make it, you will have a great start on a piece that you can ultimately finish and submit.
8. Join a Writing Cooperative
There are cooperative writing groups all over the web. Many of them have writing challenges of different types. Pick a challenge and use the other participants as a support group to keep you motivated.
9. Get Collaborative
There are lots of other writers out there who want to stimulate their own creativity and production just as much as you do. You can find them by joining writers’ groups, either on or off-line. Find a few colleagues who want to participate in a collaborative writing project.
A Final Word
Cooks cook; builders build; and writers write. Whether writing is your full-time job or something you do “on the side,” you are a writer, nevertheless. And just as in any profession, there are times when you are passionate, productive, and churning out pieces and times when you are discouraged, unmotivated, or just in a general “funk.” These latter times are when you can benefit from taking on writing challenges – challenges that will force you back into your craft. This list of 9 is by no means comprehensive. Look around and see what other challenges are offered up. What do you have to lose? Even if you take on a challenge and don’t meet it, you have moved yourself forward.
Klöckner & Co Germany GmbH manufactures products and components made of steel and metal for customers all around the world. One of the leading steel traders in Europe, the company offers a wide range of products and logistic services. In fact, with hundreds of years of industry expertise and a distribution and service network of around 170 locations in 13 countries, Klöckner supplies around 120,000 customers.
A top priority for Klöckner is digitizing its business processes by improving internal workflows and increasing cooperation with suppliers and customers. Not only can businesses order their very own steel in the online shop, they can also check current contracts online, integrate with the Klöckner API for constant data exchange or visit the Klöckner Connect customer portal for any other customer service or supply chain needs.
With all of these services, Klöckner has built a strong customer base. In order to keep track of each and every customer and provide them with great service, the company turned to Aurea CRM. We had the chance to speak with Florian Müller, head of pricing & CRM at Klöckner & Co, about his professional and personal experiences with Aurea CRM. Florian is responsible for evolving the company’s use of the CRM system, including a Europe-wide rollout and serving as a “Scrum Master” with a small team that works on continuously developing sales support tools.
Aurea: How has Aurea helped Klöckner & Co disrupt the steel industry?
Florian: Klöckner is one of the big retailers when it comes to fabricated metal and steel. In this position, it is only natural that we want to lead the way into the future by digitizing the steel business. Aurea CRM helps us every day with this goal, because it helps us deliver better customer experiences and supports our day-to-day workload. Our salespeople can look into our customer database to view former and current contracts and deliveries, as well as contact details to help plan customer visits. We all know exactly what is going on: no matter where, no matter when.
As part of our “Klöckner & Co 2022” strategy, we set a quite ambitious target of generating 60% of our sales via digital channels by 2022. By using Aurea CRM and other digital tools that are necessary in today’s business environment, we’re confident we can achieve this goal.
Aurea: What is Klöckner’s history with Aurea CRM?
Florian: I joined Klöckner last August to manage Aurea CRM in-house, but our experience with Aurea CRM dates back to 2011. Back then, we compared the solution with a bunch of other competitors and chose Aurea CRM because it best suited our needs and our digital strategy.
Currently we are leveraging the CRM system in the UK, France and Belgium, and our sales department is so happy with it that we decided to roll it out to an additional 900 users across our offices in Germany and the Netherlands as well.
Aurea: How do your sales reps use Aurea CRM on a daily basis?
Florian: We use Aurea CRM for a variety of purposes. In total, 2,100 employees use Aurea for:
Aurea: What do your sales reps like best about the solution?
Florian: Klöckner’s reps are always on the go. We really care about our customers and often spend the time to meet them in person rather than just having another call. Before we had Aurea CRM, in order to find customer details, our sales reps often had to log into several big, bulky systems that were made for desktop computers (which was especially inconvenient when travelling).
That’s why route planning is so important to us, and Aurea CRM’s mobile web version is where it really gets helpful. Our reps appreciate that they can simply look clients up in the database from any device, and find all the essential information they need to prepare for customer meetings. Furthermore, it is easy to use and very accessible. Overall, the best thing about Aurea CRM is that our staff wants to use it. I think that’s the best proof of success -- that the solution supports our people in their daily work.
Aurea: What are your plans for the future?
Florian: At Klöckner, our digital strategy is one of our top priorities. We’re working to achieve an open industry platform for the steel and metal industry in which information can circulate freely with the help of digital tools like Aurea CRM. We want to connect market participants in order to improve efficiency and speed the supply chain. As we align our business for the long term, we also see digitization as a key step forward in sustainability. Just think of all the paper and fuel we save through digital communication and smart planning!
Aurea is a great partner and we are excited to continue working with the company. As we roll out Aurea CRM to more of our global sales teams, it makes everyone’s work easier and unites us as a company across country borders.
Jive is a complete collaboration hub and interactive intranet, powering a wide range of essential functions and processes in leading companies worldwide. We’ve compiled and templated numerous use cases and process flows to help customers build successful strategies. Explore seven of the top Jive use cases that helped companies achieve these breakthrough results.
Read the article here!
Today’s digital workplace is a beautiful and terrible thing. Technology helps us get more done, more quickly, than ever before, but it comes with its own challenges, from security to sprawl. In fact, the average business today uses over 300 applications, and employees shift between those applications every two to three minutes. This scenario impacts everything from IT’s overall strategy to each individual’s productivity.
One key unintended consequence of the digital workplace is the loss of corporate memory – a challenge we at Aurea are working hard to help companies solve with Jive’s interactive intranet. With so many applications and so much content in so many places, company culture gets diluted and eventually lost. Culture is often a fuzzy topic but the ramifications of the loss of corporate memory are serious and tangible: companies spend an average of $430,000 per departing employee due to corporate memory loss in addition to standard replacement costs.
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Enterprise social collaboration, as defined by the Aberdeen Group, is “an organizational initiative where employees or partner organizations work together to accomplish business-related tasks, via user-generated (social) content creation and sharing.” The analyst firm also notes that social collaboration “connects internal stakeholders… for timely and effective information exchange,” which is a definition closer to our own interpretation here at Jive. Put simply, social collaboration connects people to each other and to knowledge within an organization.
Read the rest of the article here!
Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Pearson’s mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning.
With more than 30,000 people across 70 countries, Pearson needed a way to provide employees with tools that would foster collaboration, improve productivity and drive success – in short, a digital workplace. To that end, in 2011 the company launched Neo, an interactive intranet powered by Jive. Neo quickly attracted thousands of users and helped Pearson create a unified culture, including improved dialogue between execs and employees, an easier way to find and share content, and a hub for employee engagement and experience.
Seven years later, Neo is still going strong. The team recently released a video designed to introduce new employees to the platform, which includes some quotes from Neo users. According to Pearson employees, Neo is…
Watch the video below to see how Neo is transforming communication and collaboration at Pearson:
The value of enterprise collaboration (EC) seems intuitive: of course it’s better to have customers, employees, and partners working together in a holistic way. Measuring collaboration, however, isn’t nearly as straightforward. Even when you can see the results of engagement in action, it can be challenging to benchmark and prove the impact of your enterprise collaboration initiative. That’s where Forrester comes in.
Read the article here!
Our AlertFind team recently created a very helpful active shooter assessment tool for businesses. Whether or not you use our AlertFind emergency notification system today, any company can benefit from this valuable exercise, which will help you think about how best to protect your offices against such an attack.
With 20-year law enforcement veteran Jason Bryant, we put together the free tool to provide evidence-based, concrete recommendations that can help HR and risk management teams protect employees. No one can predict where an active shooter will strike next, and the sad truth is that business locations have been the site of nearly half of these events over the past 15 years. Yet most companies have no formal plan for the first three minutes of an attack — the average amount of time it takes law enforcement to arrive on the scene.
“Creating a plan, implementing recommended procedures and practicing them with employees are the best ways companies can ready their workforce for the stress and panic of an attack. Tools like the AMS AlertFind assessment provide a framework that can help businesses increase their employees’ chance of survival during an active shooter event.”
For instance, the framework includes tips on how to control your entrances and identify interior shelters, as well as implement physical improvements to office spaces. It also explains why it is so critical to adopt a notification system and have an active shooter preparedness plan and trainings in place, so employees know what to do if the worst happens.
I encourage anyone interested in learning more to check out our many useful active shooter preparedness resources at https://alertfind.com/activeshooter/.