Omnichannel: Balancing Cost and Control

Two of the most critical issues companies deal with when deciding on the right omnichannel solution are what it costs and how it’s controlled.

The cost of installing and maintaining a sophisticated omnichannel operation is as low as it’s ever been, for three reasons:

  1. The cost of all the pieces of compute-network-store infrastructure becomes cheaper and simpler in the Cloud.
  2. The hidden costs—administration, update and upgrade, bug fixing and so on—that are part of on-premises systems are absent from Cloud systems.
  3. In the case of Metaphor Engage, there’s only modest effort needed to get started. Metaphor Engage is not a disruptive bolt-on product. It’s integrated into the entire Metaphor solution suite, ready to be provisioned, configured and activated.

But it’s the other issue—control—that’s often overlooked.

Multiple channels sharing connections, data and events in real-time are a lot to control and manage. That challenge usually requires serious technology skills: programmers’ work. You’re not just making a single channel do something. You’re dealing with all the issues of multiple servers, networking, data sharing and repositories—and more—that are the basis of any omnichannel platform.

Metaphor Engage eliminates the need for programming. A simple, intuitive interface allows for flexible data access (XML, JSON, etc.) across any platform, simplifying the exchange and use of information. The rules and workflow engine allows unprecedented control over every aspect of customer interactions, from responding to customer requests to proactively engaging them across your omnichannel landscape.

When I say it’s simple, I don’t mean anyone can do it. It takes skill, knowledge, and experience. But they’re the skills of a business analyst, not a programmer. Those analysts track and understand customer behavior, preferences, and trends—and keep the business ahead of customer satisfaction curves. They use Metaphor Engage to connect customers in new ways and across new channels.

And they do it on the fly—often just to test and evaluate different scenarios and different strategies. To play “what if.” The basic construction of any program is “IF THEN ELSE.” With Metaphor Engage it’s also “WHAT IF – WHAT THEN – WHAT ELSE.” Working in test, design and sandbox environments, analysts work through ideas, try out new ways to reach and serve customers, and expose those ideas to their colleagues and partners before going live in the production environment. And because the omnichannel platform is in the Cloud, those analysts can access the platform anytime they want, from wherever want.

Cost and control are critical issues to any company considering implementing a new or upgraded omnichannel solution. Why not take a minute and ask us how we can create the perfect balance of omnichannel cost and control for you.