Friday, 29 January 2021 15:03

CMS key to good customer experience: Progress exec

Progress senior vice president for APJ John Yang Progress senior vice president for APJ John Yang

Progress senior vice president for APJ John Yang believes a good content management system is essential for delivering a good customer experience.

"Everyone [in Australia] has some sort of a web site," he observes, but today's conditions mean they need to strengthen their digital presence, and not everyone has a clear idea of how to do that.

The current environment also means that time to market is particularly important, so organisations must work more efficiently than is possible with traditional methods.

So the question becomes 'how can marketing teams be empowered to do more for themselves?', and they are increasingly talking to Progress to answer that.

It's not just about the CMS, he says, but also about the degree of automation and other ways to reduce IT operational and management costs.

The Progress Sitefinity CMS was built to empower marketing people, says Yang.

Customers don't need to apply hundreds of developers to the task, as 70-80% of what's needed is already built into Sitefinity and automated, so little customisation is needed and marketers can operate it themselves.

They are also increasingly interested in moving their sites to a PaaS as that is more scalable and reduces operational and management costs.

People want a long-term relationship with their supplier, he says, as their digital platforms should last for years.

Progress is "a steady partner" with "a very complete PaaS offering around Sitefinity," which he characterises as a complete, secure, automated, cloud-scale platform at a competitive price.

Australian organisations using Progress Sitefinity include Beyond Blue, CBHS Health, Charter Hall, City of Kalamunda, e-Superfund, Feros Care, Guild Super, Murdoch University, MyLife MyFinance, and World Vision.

Sitefinity makes provision for personalisation and the need to understand the customer journey through the site, which is necessary if you want to turn a web site into a "business engine," he said. Intelligence gathered from the site can be used to help turn browsers into customers.

Looking ahead, Yang believes we will see an increased use of chatbots to provide more intelligent and automated engagement, helping to keep customers exploring websites for longer.

In turn, customers expect more than they are currently being offered by most sites, he says. Organisations need to increase the provision of rich media content, and improve the integration of the CMS with historical data to provide greater personalisation.

Combining the various silos of data to this end will be a key consideration over the next few years.

Vendors such as Progress can help, he says, by providing frameworks and tooling to let marketing people do this work for themselves with minimal involvement from IT staff.

Progress has a lot of experience with data connectivity, and offers "the largest repository matrix" including popular data stores such as Sybase and MongoDB.

"It's a sizeable business for us," he says. "You can't build it in one day," but Progress has decades of experience that it can bring to bear to the benefit of its customers.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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