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Lori Angalich

Recent Posts

Want a 360-Degree View of Your Customers? Look to APIs.

By Lori Angalich | Tue, Feb 05, 2019

It’s no secret that customers want a connected, on-demand experience—but companies often fall short of delivering on those expectations.

According to the Consumer Connectivity Insights 2018 report, 81 percent of consumers are frustrated with what they perceive to be a disconnected experience, and more than two-thirds of consumers say a disconnected experience would make them consider switching service providers.

Part of this may be because 65 percent of consumers also want to interact with companies via messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but a large part of the disconnected experience is because companies don’t have a 360-degree view of the customer.

The research found that less than 10 percent of companies have a 360-degree view of the customer. They only have access to a fraction of customer information in real-time, which not only hampers customer service levels but also makes it challenging to create personalized Web and mobile interfaces, applications and other tailored experiences for their customers.

However, organizations often face challenges when attempting a 360-degree view of the customer, usually due to their current IT architecture. Manual aggregation is too time-consuming and doesn’t deliver data in real-time. The data changes quickly, making it difficult to process in a timely fashion. Their static data lakes are not flexible enough to allow companies to get the most from their data, and integrations can be complex and brittle due to the number of disparate systems and the data silos they create.

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3 Ways Financial Services Companies Are Capitalizing on APIs

By Lori Angalich | Thu, Jan 03, 2019

While some financial institutions may not be known for being on the cutting edge of innovation, several powerful forces have been driving the need for digital transformation, the development of new products and services, and more compelling customer experiences in the financial services industry.

Market conditions like an uncertain economy and increasing regulations, combined with increased customer expectations and agile new entrants to the market, have led financial institutions to move forward with digital initiatives to help be on the leading edge of technology.

However, this has not come without its pains. Business leaders are under pressure to deliver digital transformations faster, along with reduced costs. IT leaders must deliver increased volumes of projects, remove IT as the bottleneck to innovation, and move the focus of the department from keeping the business running to growing the business. Application architects face pressure to incorporate new digital technologies into legacy stacks (including the trusty mainframes) in an agile, flexible way to avoid creating brittle integrations that require constant maintenance. The IT department is being called upon to drive change.

At first glance, traditional, point-to-point integrations may seem like the most logical choice to link together disparate systems and provide access for customers and partners. However, these types of integrations are time-consuming, very system-dependent, and costly to maintain. Each additional system requires new coding and connections, and when the system needs an upgrade, developers and architects are left scrambling to ensure the code is compatible with the upgrade.

Is there a better way than this duct-tape approach?  Leading financial services institutions have already discovered it: APIs. With an API-led integration approach, these institutions are improving their expense to revenue ratios, attracting and retaining customers, and responding rapidly to industry threats. Furthermore, their API Management solutions provide important connectivity, security, and change management capabilities to meet the needs of line of business users, customers, and partners.

In this post, we’ll explore three real-life examples of financial services companies leveraging APIs and the advantages they have achieved.

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The Importance of Store Enablement in the Omnichannel Customer Experience

By Lori Angalich | Fri, Dec 28, 2018

As many of us rushed to find just the right gifts and have them in-hand in time for our holiday gatherings this year, we experienced first-hand the importance of retail stores in the overall omnichannel order fulfillment experience.

In some cases, after ordering online and opting to pick up in store, everything went smoothly and we had what we needed in-hand quickly, as expected. Wonderful! Everyone’s happy, right? (Unless your gift recipient is just that impossibly picky).

In other situations, we waited in long lines to pick up our orders or stood frustrated at the customer service desk as a frazzled store associate struggled to locate an item we ordered online for pickup in-store.

When I experienced this last week, it seemed that the retailer's online inventory information didn’t reflect reality, and there was no indication of a problem until I arrived to pick up my order.  After 30 minutes of watching multiple store associates making phone calls, getting help from managers, and running around the store looking for misplaced inventory, I had to cancel my purchase and found another retailer that had what I needed. It may be a while before I choose the "Buy Online, Pick up in Store" (BOPIS) option from that retailer again. 

Sound familiar? I hope not, but chances are, you have dealt with this type of frustration at some point.  Let’s explore the good and the bad of the in-store experience in Omnichannel, and why store enablement is so important.

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4 Business Benefits of Optimizing B2B File Transfer

By Lori Angalich | Mon, Nov 12, 2018

With the right file transfer capabilities and processes in place, you can simplify and enhance your interactions with customers, suppliers, and other trading partners—to the point where the business benefits help to accelerate you past your competition.

At a high level, speeding partner onboarding, reducing the time and effort involved in partner management, improving security and compliance, and enabling greater visibility—all can play a key role in driving increased revenue and customer satisfaction.

Let’s take a closer look at how this works.

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3 Essential Managed File Transfer Capabilities for Driving Growth

By Lori Angalich | Thu, Oct 04, 2018

Business growth can be a double-edged sword. While increased revenues are never frowned upon, the downside manifests itself in the burgeoning data volumes that the organization must manage—particularly files that must be transferred between the organization, its customers, and its partners.

These challenges add reliability issues, compliance concerns, and security risks related to moving data, as well as challenges managing the volume and size of files moving through the systems.

As partner networks grow, companies find themselves managing multiple solutions for file transfer—and lack visibility from end to end. The typical enterprise supports three or more file transfer platforms—and as a result, have many disjointed file transfer processes and blind spots. This severely limits their ability to support the company’s growth initiatives effectively. 

However, enterprises that leverage a managed file transfer solution can gain critical capabilities for enabling—even driving growth. A centralized, enterprise-grade managed file transfer (MFT) platform allows for full visibility into file transfers and provides a better user experience for line of business users and partners alike. It also includes the security and audit trail capabilities necessary in today’s ever-changing alphabet soup of regulations, from PCI-DSS to Sarbanes-Oxley and beyond. Let’s explore this a bit.

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Why Successful Digital Transformation Requires Integration and APIs

By Lori Angalich | Wed, Sep 19, 2018

Digital Transformation Is a Must

Digital transformation is on the minds of many senior business executives. They realize that digital transformation can no longer be discussed in the abstract; it must be a part of their business strategies and goals.

According to research firm Gartner, most CEOs understand the importance of digital business, and half of those surveyed expect to see digital transformation in their industries. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, and autonomous transportation all played a role in their responses.

More immediately, mobile and omnichannel are necessary capabilities for moving ahead of the competition. Businesses are under an increasing demand to delight consumers with unique experiences, as well as providing employees and partners with immediate access to useful data. That can’t be done without integrating new systems and touchpoints with legacy systems and data stores.  We'll explore the importance of integration and APIs in this post. 

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3 Ways to Reduce Omnichannel Order Fulfillment Costs

By Lori Angalich | Wed, Sep 05, 2018

Omnichannel order fulfillment is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you have multiple methods for fulfilling customer orders, and customers can choose whether they want orders shipped to them or picked up in store. This flexibility helps to make customers happy.

On the other hand, retailers have seen upwards of a 300 percent increase in what it costs to serve omnichannel customers. 

According to the Retail Industry Leader Association’s annual survey, as reported in Supply Chain Quarterly, executives identified controlling supply chain costs as a top priority, with order fulfillment and omnichannel costs being a part of the reason.

The good news is that tools exist to help reduce omnichannel order fulfillment costs and complexity. These tools leverage advanced capabilities like artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, and predictive analytics to optimize order fulfillment processes.

The transparency provided by these tools can help companies drastically reduce the cost to serve their omnichannel customers while still meeting consumer expectations of speedy delivery.

While there is no magic bullet to cost reduction, let’s take a look at three ways companies can use these advanced capabilities to improve the way they fulfill orders.

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Top 5 Pillars of Highly-Effective Managed File Transfer Strategies

By Lori Angalich | Fri, Aug 31, 2018

Managed file transfer solutions are gaining traction, particularly in financial services, telecommunications, and healthcare organizations. According to Research and Markets, the global managed file transfer (MFT) market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 6 percent from 2017 to 2025 as more companies adopt these solutions.

However, adopting MFT technology isn’t enough; organizations need to make sure they back up the technology with a strategy that aligns with the organization’s goals, compliance needs, and end users.

The organizations that are most successful with MFT include five key pillars in their strategy. These underpin the technology with user adoption and confidence, allowing MFT to become as much a part of the organization as sending email—but more secure, and with better results. From introducing standardization in the technology itself to making sure end users know the how and why of MFT, highly effective MFT strategies include the following:

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How API-Led Connectivity Addresses Digital Transformation Challenges

By Lori Angalich | Wed, Jul 25, 2018

In the early stages of a digital transformation initiative, there are many decisions to make, including which new technologies to implement, what applications should be moved to the cloud, and what processes should be redesigned.

However, many organizations find that the further they go in their transformation planning process, the more they realize they need to connect.

Everything as a Service (XaaS), the Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile require effective integration for you to get the most out of your investments in your current systems and any new technologies you acquire. Also, achieving your business objectives often depends on connectivity and real-time communication between systems that previously existed in silos.

However, the traditional ways of integration won’t work for the rapidly-increasing number of endpoints and the constantly changing IT landscape. Adopting API-led connectivity and application networks helps organizations meet these challenges head-on, providing a critical enabler to digital transformation.  

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Why Cognitive is Critical in Omnichannel Order Management

By Lori Angalich | Wed, Jul 18, 2018

For retailers as well as B2B companies, order fulfillment plays a major role in both customer satisfaction and profitability. Customers expect flawless, fast order fulfillment across all channels.  While customer-centric companies work hard to meet these expectations, it can be very expensive to do so.

As customers purchase from your company across multiple channels—via the Web, mobile apps, kiosks, marketplaces, retail locations, and even catalog and telephone orders—you’ll want capabilities like centralized order orchestration, ship from store, drop ship, and real-time inventory visibility. These order management capabilities work together to meet customers’ expectations seamless, fast and error-free order fulfillment.

However, these capabilities alone don’t ensure companies can do so profitably.  In fact, while many CEOs have identified omnichannel commerce as a top priority, the IBM Consumer Expectations Study found that it could cost up to three times more to serve omnichannel customers.

Every channel adds complexity to the order fulfillment process. In addition, there’s pressure from customers and competitors to same-day or two-day shipping, making it even more critical to leverage modern technologies to fulfill orders in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible. In fact, the IBM study found that 72 percent of consumersconsider two-day or less shipping as a factor when making a purchase.

On top of using an omnichannel order management system, companies are now adopting solutions that can apply human reasoning and cognitive capabilities to order fulfillment. As a result, they’re able to meet or exceed customer expectations while reducing their fulfillment costs. Let’s take a closer look.

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