Lean Platform Selection

The CX Ecosystem

We get asked all the time which customer experience platform is best for a business, but at the heart of this question is another one: “How do I do a better job of talking to my customers and managing my customer journeys?” Inevitably, the discussion veers into everything from campaign management to search to analytics. That’s why we tend to steer the conversation toward the digital Customer Experience Ecosystem (CXE), which is a way of representing the disparate infrastructure elements that need to work together seamlessly so that business users can accomplish their day-to-day tasks without requiring IT involvement. We work to guide customers to the “best fit” platforms for their needs using our lean platform selection process. Content management systems are typically at the core of the CXE and therefore a primary focus of our technology selections.

The 5 Goals of Platform Selection

Goal 1

A system that works with both tomorrow’s vision and today’s resources

While we do need to factor in the rest of the CXE, the CMS is the hub of the CXE and is typically the first piece of the puzzle. There are over 600 products that offer some form of Web Content Management , however for enterprises operating at scale, we recommend a focus on the top products in the space. We take a platform agnostic view, reviewing top products quarterly and looking at up-and-coming products on a regular basis to vet them for viability for our customer base.

Goal 2

A platform that meets the needs and skillsets of key users

You need a system that doesn’t just please the people vetting it but also the people who will be using it day in and day out. We help clients determine who the key stakeholders and users are, what results a system needs to deliver for them, and how it needs to function in order for these users to realize those benefits. A successful implementation is one where the internal adoption increases over time.

Goal 3

A platform that integrates with current and potential future technology

You want a platform that will integrate well with your existing systems and IT organization. We work with clients to determine what sort of hosting situation would work best for them, how much or how little additional IT support they’ll need, and how new technology will be integrated into the existing landscape.

Goal 4

A road-tested final solution

Typical sales demos are difficult to map to the needs of the business and your users. Our process identifies your most important uses cases, and then guides apples-to-apples demos of the different platforms so that your team can make clear comparisons and informed decisions.

Goal 5

A clear path forward

With your platform selected, we’ll help your organization plan for designing and building on it, and for any future operational or marketing needs.

Activities

Activity #1:

Stakeholder Workshops & Interviews: We host workshops with key stakeholders across your company to pinpoint the 10-20 things the organization needs to do every week; the workflow, review and approval needs for content; the plan for any advanced marketing activities, such as personalization, multivariate testing, or audience segmentation; as well as the current budget and staff realities. We will use these requirements to create a short list of 3 vendors.

Activity #2:

Use Case and Script Development: We’ll work with key stakeholders in your organization to determine the primary users of the system, as well as their needs and skillsets. From there we will create a script for the vendors where your prioritized requirements are converted into a set of user stories or use cases that are time-boxed. This way, you get the opportunity to see what it is like to perform tasks in an apples-to-apples fashion.

Activity #3:

Platform Demos: We will work with each of the short-listed vendors to ensure they create a demo that follows the script and that they build out the use cases with your assets, so that the demo is truly representative of what it is like to work with the platform. We will facilitate the demos to ensure the vendors stay on task and we will debrief with your team to answer questions. We provide scoring sheets so that your team can score your priorities and come to a final selection.

Activity #4:

Future Planning: Once you’ve selected a platform, that is really just the beginning of your journey. The next steps include site design, implementation, and, ultimately, site governance. We’ll work with your team to craft requirements and a roadmap that can guide this process.