Organising around channels is killing companies, according to Pegasystems, CEO Alan Trefler. But it remains a common practice and is being exacerbated by some of the technology “nonsense” being pushed by vendors as the company announced more of its channel integration tools, he said.

“All companies say that it’s about the client, it’s about the customer, that we want to organise and galvanise and energise ourselves to really do an awesome job with customer data,” Trefler said during his opening keynote at PegaWorld in Las Vegas today.

“And boy, that sounds terrific when the CEO says it. But then, reality sets in. And what the companies do? Companies end up actually organising around the channels.”

Channels like mobile, web and voice can “disastrously” embed programming, further siloing channels and departments, Trefler said, arguing that organisations should instead be organising around customers and outcomes. 

Delegates attending the first day of the company’s PegaWorld event in Las Vegas were told that while the channels may function in their own right they will struggle to connect to back end systems in a way that allows scale. Even if the systems can be “glued together” the fundamental problem of organising around channels rather than customer journeys remains, Trefler said.

Pegasystems founder and CEO Alan Trefler.

“At the end of the day, most back office approaches and most systems … end up being organised around tasks and doing little pieces, as opposed to outcomes, which is what’s critical.

“And the result of this is that IT organisations have these digital gaps. They have silos, silos between the channels and you know, can a customer move from one to the other and pick up where they left off? … Silos not being end to end is disastrous for a business, disastrous for efficiency, but also disastrous for the fundamental aspects of customer engagement.”

Pegasystems’ own software solution is a “common brain” which connects the channels, providing each with “next best actions” he claimed. It is used by Australian customers like NAB and the Commonwealth Bank to predict customer enquiries and automate processes at enterprise scale. It links the customer facing functions with the back end, allowing the automation of processes at scale, ultimately driving greater engagement, Trefler said.

“That’s what Pega is about. It’s about bringing intelligence and automation together to revolutionise customer engagement, and digital process automation,” Trefler said.

Combining the two is at the heart of digital transformation, Trefler says, although the concept is being muddied by overhyped and underperforming technology which fails to achieve “real” change. “There’s so much noise. There’s so much nonsense in the technology sphere,” Trefler said.

Pegasystems new channel integration capabilities

As a response to the increasing channel complexity Pegasystems will continue to open up its messaging integration to allow more channels now and in the future. The company said it will allow its customers to connect with consumers through their messaging channel preference.

The new capabilities have been added to Pegasystems digital transformation suite which continues to be fleshed out after debuting last year.

In a statement announcing the new capabilities the company said messaging is increasingly the channel of choice for consumers wanting to contact brands. Rather  than try to predict the next popular channel Pegasystems is adding support for nearly all the major social and mobile channels, including Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Messaging, Apple Business Chat, or Google RCS, as well as other yet to be created.

Pegasystems users can access customers in those channels via a single application of its own with the added bonus of data following customers rather than remaining within individual apps and silos for each channel.

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