Welcome to my CRM Blog. Having worked with a large number of clients struggling with their CRM implementations and continually facing the challenges of evolving technology and requirements, I thought I would start to share my thoughts on some of these common challenges.
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Users need a 360° view at all times. Definition of the 360° varies by users’ role and stage in the process. This view has to be readily customizable.
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The Mobile App Development
Platform Decision: Cross-compiled
vs Hybrid vs Native
The objective of this report is to help
developers and companies decide on the best platform for building mobile apps.
This report is based on a compilation of research, market trends and ratings from
different sources as well as our technical evaluations on various cross-platform
tools for building mobile applications available in the market.
There were two drivers within our company
leading to the work in this report.
Keeping Current with the Latest Trends: Need to
keep abreast of the latest trends and technologies mobile app development, and
hence the best platform to develop our mobile apps.
Rationalize the Development Cost: Given
that we develop web-based apps, server-side apps, and mobile apps, it was
becoming difficult to manage the diverse set of technology skills required
within our development team. The number
of skills each developer needs to master as well as the number of developers
required to manage different apps was fast becoming unsustainable.
Switching app development platform is
expensive and often entails re-developing some of the existing apps. The decision on which platform to use for
developing mobile apps could be affected by the other types of applications and
technologies used within the company. This
report focuses on the mobile app development platform options.
After performing individual comparisons
between different Hybrid development platforms, and selecting the top few, an
overlying comparison table was made comparing 3 different mobile development
approaches - Hybrid, Cross-Compiled and Native. This table compared
cross-compiled platform tools such as Apache Flex/ActionScript, Ionic, React
Native, Appcelerator Titanium, Xamarin, and Native Android/iOS development
tools on various metrics such as Ease of Development, Learning Curve, Time-to-market,
Device Access, Performance, User Experience, Development Cost, Access to
features and Future Scope.
Each platform option was scored on each
metric, with a lower number signifying a better score. These scores were based
off of different comparison research reports done which highlighted specific
aspects of a certain cross-platform tool on similar metrics. The report contains scores that are subjective
assessments made by us. Other experts in this area could arrive at different
rankings and conclusions. At the very
least, we hope readers would get a good idea on different factors to consider
in picking their mobile app development platform.
With Siebel 15.5 came the new Usage Pattern
Tracking; an improved way to get usage statistics out of Siebel.Siebel has always had the ability (though
little known) to provide usage statistics based on providing a time stamp for
every view that a user visits.
We have been using this method for many
years to provide in-depth analysis of user behaviour within Siebel.
With the new Usage Pattern Tracking we are
now seeing additional events that can be tracked.Before UPT we could only monitor view visits
and had to extrapolate the Application, Business Component or Applet from
that.With UPT this has now been made a
lot easier for us to get that information.
UPT will now also provide information on
and Server Scripts. This adds a lot of value to information that can be
So all in all UPT brings a lot of
additional information that can be analysed, but what it doesn't do is perform
I can see that the Usage Pattern Tracking
view within Siebel may be of use if a specific view or script is being closely monitored
- maybe there is a performance problem within a view or a script is causing
issues - it's like a mini SARM.But I can’t see that it would be
of any use for one of our typical engagements that require us to analyse
millions of records.
And that for me is the missing piece. After
a quick Google it’s obvious that I wasn’t the only one hoping that UPT would
provide the capability to analyse the data that has been captured – but sadly
no – that task is still left to the Administrator.
Usage Analytics from CRMantra
As I mentioned earlier, we have been
performing Siebel Usage Analytics for a long time now – and we always had, and
still do, have the same ‘knee jerk’ reaction to our solution. That it was very easy for the Siebel
Administrator to turn on the usage service and do the analysis by themselves. I agree with the first part, yes it’s very
easy to turn on – but the second part? Absolutely not. I’ve lost count of the number of Siebel
Administrators who came back after a few weeks and asked for help to analyse
the enormous amount of data that had been captured.
So whilst turning on the Usage logging and
capturing the data is easy – actually analysing the data and turning it into
actionable insights is no trivial task.
This is how we typically work on one of
1 – Work with the business and the Siebel
team to discover what is the key aim for this analysis.
For example; Is
it to find our who is or is not using Siebel and overcome user adoption
issues?Is it to find out which parts of
Siebel are heavily used – or never used?Is it to find out what are the common paths users use to traverse the
application and improve training?
2 – Turn on the Usage logging (that’s about
a 10 minute job!)
3 – Work with the business to gather
additional user demographic information.
What’s a user’s
role, their skill level, their job title, their location, their business unit –
everything we need to further enrich the data.
4 – We leave the logging to run for around 2-3
weeks and then get to work on the analysis.
5 – We merge in the user demographic
profiles and start running through our standard set of analyses.
6 – We run any additional analyses that the
client has asked for and pull together a full set of reports.
7 – We then look for actionable insights
within the results.
Are there 8
heavily used Views that could do with some UI improvements? Are there a set of
users in a remote locale that just aren’t using Siebel?Is their a Siebel ‘SuperStar’ that is using
Siebel more than anyone else – what can we learn from them?
8 – Finally we package up the analysis,
generate the necessary graphics and charts and present our findings back to the
client, with clear action statements that we gathered from the analysis.
Typically, projects would then be kicked
off based on these findings – which aren’t always Siebel based, it could be new
training material or a re-training programme.
most importantly is the need to re-analyse Siebel once any improvement measures
have been put into place – without that there is no way of knowing if the actions
that were taken had any effect!
So, hopefully it’s now clear that whilst
turning on the Usage logging has to be done, it is only a very small part of
Get in touch if you’d like to run one for
Siebel Usage Analytics - Kick start your Siebel UX project
I thought this week that I would share some of the shocking stats CRMantra have gathered during a number of our assignments. They make for eye-opening reading... Our customers are using these analyses as the groundwork for improving the Siebel User Experience (UX). Without this kind of analysis most customers don't know where to start or where to focus and typically have to rely on 'gut instinct'. With Siebel Usage Analytics from CRMantra they now have concrete evidence of the how Siebel is being utilised. Below are some of the stat's we have produced... Siebel Views accessed - We are typically seeing only about 10% of the available views being access during the course of the analysis (usually 3-4 weeks). The one below is even lower at about 8% of views accessed.
Another client had 225 views accessed, with 44% visited less than 10 times in a month (That's for the whole user base of about 2000 users) - So that leaves 56% of the views - around 126 views, that could be said to be used 'Regularly'.
The Usage Profile below goes even further and highlights that if we can focus on the Top 20 or Top 50 views we have pretty well covered the majority of regularly used views.
And what do I mean when I say 'Focus' - well I mean fix, streamline, improve, update, consolidate.
So now there is a definitive list of those Top20 views, it is not an insurmountable task - and typically these only cover 3-4 Siebel Screens, usually Accounts, Service, Activities and Opportunity.
Think how powerful that Top20 list has now become. It can be used to define the area's to focus effort and resource on. It can be used to re-prioritise existing change requests. It can be used proactively to provide feedback to the business as to how their lives are going to be dramatically improved!
It can also give a good foundation for continual analysis of user adoption rates. Where to target training, which user group, which geo, which processes.
Oh and lets not forget upgrades - most of the time taken for the upgrade should be QA & UAT - ensuring that when you do go live your users are not impacted. If you could focus on those top 50 views and ensure they are fully tested not only are you likely to have very little problems post go-live but you could bring that go live forward by weeks or months by not having to QA all the thousands of views that might have been affected.