Should There Be An “I” In Smarter Commerce?

The following is a guest post by Laurence Leong, Senior Director, Strategic Partner Marketing, SugarCRM.

Unless you lack basic spelling skills, you know there is no “i” in Smarter Commerce. But should there be?

Leading organizations are increasing their use of digital mechanisms for the business processes of buying, marketing, selling, and servicing. To do this, many organizations are turning to IBM Smarter Commerce and IBM Enterprise Marketing Management. Marketing automation tools like IBM Campaign and Interact are great for defining multi-touch campaigns, cross-channel marketing across digital channels, and real-time personalizations for customers on electronic store fronts.

But what happens when a customer – who may have received an offer driven from IBM Campaign – calls into a customer service center? Does the customer service agent who answers the phone – let’s say it’s John – have a history of that customer’s past interactions, and have the right information to answer her questions? Even better, can John reinforce an offer that may have already been presented to the customer via IBM marketing automation offerings?

What happens if a sales person – let’s say it’s Sally – is about to call on that customer? Sally could be an inside sales rep, or an insurance agent, or a personal shopper in retail. Does Sally know everything about her customer including the fact that he received an offer through email that was generated by a campaign management tool? To take that a step further, if a campaign management tool generates 1000 leads, does Sally know that 7 of those leads are her customers, and does she know exactly what to do with those 7 leads?

We know that IBM Campaign can precisely target a specific set of customers. But imagine if Sally, upon signing in for her work day, sees 7 specific new leads that are assigned to her from that campaign, along with specific actionable information for those leads. Imagine if John, our customer service agent, was able to pull up a complete view of the customer as he was helping resolve her issues; and could even upsell her based on a real-time offer appearing in his customer service dashboard.

This is what is meant by putting the “i” in Smarter Commerce. “i” of course stands for the “individual”: customer-facing individuals like Sally or John in our anecdotes above.

SugarCRM, an IBM Global Alliance partner, can help. SugarCRM enables businesses to create extraordinary customer relationships with the most innovative and affordable CRM solution in the market. Sugar is an innovative CRM system designed for every individual who engages with customers: sellers, marketers, customer support agents, receptionists, and executives.

SugarCRM has integrations into IBM Campaign to surface campaign information into sellers’ daily tools, whether that be Sugar itself or IBM Notes or Connections. Sugar also has integrations to IBM Interact to present real-time offers to sellers and customer service agents.

Organizations that integrate SugarCRM and IBM experience faster campaign-to-cash times, more efficient marketing and sales processes, and higher customer satisfaction and value.

For more information, see, or come visit us at IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2014 in Tampa, Florida, May 12-15, at the SugarCRM booth S-2 in the expo.

Catch us at the following breakout sessions:

  • CUST-1365 : Exceptional Customer Service Solutions from IBM and SugarCRM, Wed, 14-May, 05:30 PM-06:30 PM, Room 11
  • MM-1406 : A Day In the Life of a Digital IBMer, Thu, 15-May, 09:15 AM-10:15 AM, Room 13
  • MM-1369 : Your Biggest Untapped Channel: Extend Marketing to Every Customer-Facing Individual, Thu, 15-May, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, Room 22

About the Author

Laurence Leong is Senior Director, Strategic Partner Marketing at SugarCRM. In this role, Laurence focuses on joint go-to-market and business development for the SugarCRM global alliance with IBM. Previously, Laurence held a number of roles in IBM including business unit leadership of the IBM Archive and Governance business unit in IBM Software Group; managing IBM Enterprise Content Management and IBM Business Intelligence channels and solutions; managing the IBM DB2 alliance to Siebel Systems; and various DB2 product management and development roles.

The article was previously published on

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