How to support your Unica/Silverpop Integration in a changing market

Unless you’ve been living in a sealed bunker for the past six months it would be impossible to have missed the series of sensational announcements from the world of IBM Watson Marketing. First in December 2018, IBM announced their intention to sell the Watson Marketing Software tech stack (the artist formerly known as Unica) to long time tech partner HCL. Then, in late April 2019 it was announced that Mark Simpson, with the backing of private equity firm Centerbridge would be taking on the bulk of the IBM Watson Marketing Cloud technology suite, including WCA (Watson Campaign Automation, formerly Silverpop) as well as CXA (Customer Experience Analytics) and UBX (Universal Behaviour Exchange).

Historically, a key advantage of choosing IBM for your marketing software needs was that end to end, the technology was supported by a single vendor, including the way the applications (Unica & Silverpop) talked to one another. If you had a problem with the technology or a requirement to be clarified, there was only one organisation to go to for issue resolution, which of course greatly increases speed to resolution on all support requests.

So, has that changed? Both Nick Combridge, Senior Director Software and Sales at HCL and Mark Simpson, incoming CEO of the new Centerbridge enterprise have taken great pains to reassure the customer base that going forward it will be “business as usual”. It’s easy to see why, as both organisations have a lot to gain by maintaining API connectivity between the two, and as we’ve written about on other blog posts, there is a lot to be said for a good ‘Frankenstack’, where you use API connectivity to connect up best of breed software solutions.

The challenge will come with where you go to raise your issues. For example, if your Unica stack has trouble talking to your Silverpop stack, like say, a contact list has failed to upload or is taking too long, or a personalisation field doesn’t look like it is formatted correctly, which vendor are you best talking to? In those scenarios, one vendor owns the application transmitting the data, and the other vendor owns the recipient technology, so is it one, or the other, or both? And what if you want to do something new, different and innovative, who do you ask to find out if it’s even possible?

For PSCs Application Support clients, this risk is completely mitigated, as we provide a single point of contact for all the technical solutions across HCL Unica and the new Centerbridge/Silverpop technology stacks. We manage the problem/issue/question process seamlessly, no matter the technology vendor, and if we need to speak to both to facilitate a solution, we can do that on your behalf. Our Advanced tier service provides Unica & Silverpop application support 7am – 7pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, providing a single point of contact for our clients for all their marketing automation software issues. To find out why Nectar Loyalty use our Application Support service and how they benefit, click here.

When is this all expected to happen? Both the HCL acquisition of Unica technology and the Centerbridge setup of the new vendor representing Silverpop & co are expected to complete by mid-2019, which isn’t that far away now.

Why not get in touch today to discuss how we can help you maintain continuity and effective issue resolution through the changes happening in the Watson Marketing space.

By Tim BiddisccombeChief Services Officer