Intelligent use of e-business solutions to become a critical competitive advantage
Intelligent IT solutions will become a critical competitive advantage in the e-commerce and customer service sectors. This was the unanimous opinion of the participants in this year’s annual conference of novomind AG. The event in Hamburg was attended by over 180 customer care and e-commerce experts from various companies, including representatives of Bertelsmann Der Club, Ernsting’s family, mytoys.de and the Otto Group. Under the motto “Innovate or Change”, they discussed the latest developments in e-commerce and customer care. Christian Lindner, Chairman of the Federal Democratic Party in North Rhine-Westphalia, congratulated novomind for having become such a successful software provider of e-business solutions ever since its inception in 1999. Mr Lindner had got to know the company’s co-founder, Peter Samuelsen, already during the dotcom boom when internet avatars were one of the big topics.
Mr Lindner said he appreciated that many companies have decided to base their customer care activities on e-communication solutions which are matched to the communication habits of their target groups. As a politician who also uses Facebook, Xing and Twitter to communicate with his target audiences, he knows just how important these communication channels have become. Social media therefore remains one of the key topics in the customer care sector. In his key note speech, Albert Hirsch (CEO of United Labels AG and Managing Director of its subsidiary, Elfen Services GmbH) addressed the key success factors for e-commerce and multi-channel commerce: “In an ideal world, every company could make the necessary changes to its services, processes and organisation starting from scratch and free from any historical burdens. Essentially, every company today needs effective and professional external support in implementing the necessary IT systems and processes. This is the only way to offer your customers high-quality services and expertise.” Companies are showing increasing readiness to invest in modern web shop IT. In this context, the future belongs to multi-channel systems. Martin Groß-Albenhausen, Managing Director of BVH-Services GmbH at the Federal Mail-Order Association (bvh), is convinced that “cross-device commerce is a key issue for providers and mail-order firms, which are currently busy defining the respective strategies and implementation plans.”
Retail company Ernsting’s family, for instance, has operated an online shop since 2003. It complements the company’s over 1,630 stores in Germany and Austria and has been exploiting synergies through its “pick up in store” concept since 2003. Going forward, Ernsting’s family intends to expand its cross-channel approach. “To ‘cross channel or not to cross channel’ is not a question for us. Consumers are using multiple channels anyway, which is why we need to respond and be available to our customers anywhere, anytime,” said Stephanie Wölfel, Head of eCommerce at Ernsting’s family.
Many companies are taking new approaches also in the customer care segment, where the integration of social media is well underway. If you have many customer relationships, you want to respond quickly to customer inquiries and give competent answers, and social media are certainly a communication channel that cannot be ignored. In response to these developments, novomind will launch a new version of the novomind iAGENT in April 2013. In their presentation, Sylvia Feja and Harald Rußland from novomind provided conference attendants with advance information on the 8.0 release of the novomind iAGENT.
“Our technology is driven by the wishes of our clients and target groups - and not vice versa,” said novomind CEO Peter Samuelsen, explaining his company’s strategy of partnering with clients in meeting their actual communication needs. In doing so, novomind relies on proprietary e-business solutions that are suitable for global use and cover the complete digital value chain of e-commerce and electronic customer communications. The Hamburg-based provider of Internet technologies and computer-based solutions for customer contacts contributed to the discussion by presenting practical examples, e.g. from its work for DKB Service or Zalando. Besides lively discussions and creative workshops, the conference again gave participants the opportunity to gain a hands-on impression of the latest trends in this field.
Since 1999, Hamburg-based novomind has been developing innovative eBusiness Solutions for the modern Internet world in four eBusiness segments: eCommerce (eShops), PIM (Product Information Management), eMarketplace (marketplace integration) and eCommunication (solutions for contact and service centres).
In each of these performance segments, novomind ranks among the technology leaders in Europe. The company covers the entire digital value chain of trade and electronic customer communications.
novomind provides extensive consulting services for e-commerce operators to help them choose the right IT system, including established licensed software such as IBM WebSphere Commerce Server (WCS) or customised SaaS solutions based on iSHOP.
novomind currently serves more than 80 companies including Targobank, Club Bertelsmann, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund, Ernsting’s family, EnBW, OTTO, QVC and Sixt.
16 Nov 2012