What is Continuous Cloud Innovation—And Why Do You Need It for the Customer Experience?

In a marketplace full of closed proprietary systems prone to stagnation, continuous cloud innovation is the third of three pillars that come together to make Sugar’s platform stand out in the customer experience (CX) marketplace. The first two are:

  • No-touch information managementThis automates the capture of data points from email and text, voicemail and other interactions, and goes on to enrich that automatic process with AI-driven input from third-party sources of data. That’s how it gives users access to comprehensive customer data without the need for time-consuming manual data entry and the accumulating errors and variations that can make it gradually more difficult to retrieve a coherent picture of the customer journey.
  • Customer intelligence. This aggregates customer data from multiple channels into a streamlined and unified model, augments that model with external data, and analyzes the result using AI and machine learning to forecast the next steps for sales, marketing and customer service. This extension of Sugar’s innovative time-aware mechanics is also called the high-definition customer experience or HD-CX.

These pillars are covered in more detail on other posts on this blog, but for now, let’s dive into the marketplace quirks and rapidly-changing cloud ecosystem that make continuous innovation essential.

The Limitations of Proprietary Cloud Solutions

The standard backend approach to customer relations management (CRM) and customer experience (CX) solutions is to build them on proprietary clouds. The selling point in this approach is that the vendor owning their cloud technology conveys a sense of expertise, control and security to prospective customers.

Unfortunately, in practice, this approach can actually create more problems than it solves. Being tied to a vendor’s proprietary cloud solutions means you’re also tied to their capacity to evolve, develop new tools. You are also generally tied to their capacity to scale with your business and help you adapt to changing circumstances and standards. Often, building initial proprietary tools proves a far different technical proposition than adapting those tools for new situations, and it takes a vendor with extraordinary tech acumen to be able to keep pace with all the needs that the marketplace, in general, and their customers, in particular, may come to require.

This limitation can lead to some common frustrations:

  • Businesses trying to expand into markets abroad find that their vendor’s cloud installation doesn’t have the necessary international functionalities.
  • Companies wind up waiting on promised new features for a year or more after submitting a support ticket. This is one of the leading circumstances that will often drive clients to switch platforms.
  • Formerly competitive organizations find themselves—gradually at first, but faster and more decisively as time passes—falling behind their competitors in innovation. Big projects become increasingly difficult to implement and customers increasingly notice and chafe at the discrepancies.

This path of increasing frustration and steadily eroding agility and adaptability is easy to fall into when you’re reliant on proprietary cloud spaces where innovation is irregular instead of continuous. The idea of continuous cloud innovation is designed to stop this cycle.

The Difference That Continuous Cloud Innovation Makes

Continuous cloud innovation doesn’t bet your company’s future on the innovation and technical acumen of a single vendor. Instead, it builds on the most advanced technologies that are current throughout the commercial cloud, accessing dozens of capabilities in areas ranging from storage and security to advanced machine learning. Being able to leverage the widest possible range of innovations makes it far easier to stay current and ensure that your technical support infrastructure will always keep pace with your best ideas.

Invest in continual innovation makes it possible to persistently enhance the customer experience, ensuring a cost-effective method of equipping clients with the most up-to-date tools and technologies. It makes Sugar extremely adaptable, consistently available, stable and easy to customize. More importantly, without having to worry about whether your tools are up to date, you can focus your energy fully on building strong and rewarding customer relationships.

This pillar is so important for one simple reason: In the modern digital marketplace, there is never a point at which companies can take a break from innovation. There are no resting stations and no clear-cut endpoints; rather, it is a continuous endeavor and one of the services that any company is now routinely expected to deliver for its customers. The process of digital business transformation is in large part a process of getting accustomed to the need for continuous innovation and knowing which key performance indicators to monitor.

Accomplishing all of this in-house can be difficult no matter what resources your company has. This technology makes it far easier by front-loading the acceleration of business transformation, easing the process of integrating innovation into your corporate culture. It also creates a circular innovation process by taking on the heavy lifting in one of the most important and fast-changing areas of modern business: Customer experience (CX). With continuous cloud innovation, the process of accessing and implementing the latest innovations becomes automatic and a company has much more space to evaluate what works best and to plan for the future.

The world can change at the speed of a single social media post. Companies need to prepare for a future of constant innovation and re-create themselves as intelligent enterprises that thrive on change. They also need the ability to easily plug into the ongoing cycle of technological transformation. Continuous cloud innovation can put a company a step ahead, positioning your business to become one of today’s winners and one of tomorrow’s leaders.

The Pillars of SugarCRM

Sugar’s leveraging of continuous innovation in the contemporary cloud is a big part of what has made the company a multiple award-winner over the years. There’s a fourth pillar to consider as well: Sugar’s lifetime commitment to customer success, the rule by which the platform’s success is measured strictly as a function of your results. If you want to learn more about Continuous Cloud Innovation and how can it help your business, request a demo or schedule a meeting with one of our reps.

  • CRM
  • SugarCRM
About the Contributor
Michael Tschirret
Michael Tschirret Michael Tschirret is the Sr. Manager, Marketing Communications at SugarCRM. Prior to Sugar, Michael was the Marketing Communications Manager for Smart Cities, Communication Networks, IoT and Smart Lighting at Sensus. He has over 20 years of wireless and communication network expertise, to include product marketing and business development positions at Nortel and Agilent Technologies. Michael holds a B.S. degree from the Florida State University, and an M.S. from Virginia Tech. He can absolutely fix your WiFi, as long as he's not skiing or rooting for his Florida State Seminoles.

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