It’s 5 months since HCL Acquired Unica (Here’s why we think its good news for Unica fans); they took over official responsibility for the product roadmap late in 2017 and it’s been on an accelerated path ever since, with v11 the first major release seen for several years, delivered in 2018. One of HCL’s product management aims is to delight the customer, and with the release of version 12 due in Q1 2020, we’re all anticipating good times ahead for Unica.
Born in 92, it was great; it knew all the right faces and was seen at the best parties, then it made those romantic comedies we all wish we could forget about. A handful of releases later and all better for having been through a little therapy, we fast forward to June 2018 and March 2019 and versions 11 and 11.1, the first major releases for several years delivering performance enhancements and an improved learning engine, new utilities and integration capabilities, different approaches to upgrades, and 1000’s of enhancements.
We’ve been at several HCL’s roadmap sessions, and have met with executives across development and commercial streams and its clear there’s a lot of excitement and passion for Unica in the business; so, what’s in the frame looking ahead? In a nutshell the vision is a suite of closely integrated high performance cloud native solutions, with a unified and optimized underlying code base, open API framework, and Dockerization capability; enhanced features and functions, broader inbound and outbound 3rd party integration capabilities, and several new solutions for analysis, orchestration and broadcast.
Smarter Campaigns – There are clear benefits to be realized from tighter integration between the products, HCL are aiming to deliver mechanisms for organizations to create highly optimized campaigns through deeper collaboration of capabilities across Campaign, Interact and Optimize; campaigns that are right first time, with the ability to leverage your existing predictive modelling directly in Unica itself, in near real time, decreasing latency of the information and increasing the effectiveness of segmentation and personalization.
We’re also hoping to get the first iteration of a new and improved interactive virtual assistant, to answer how-to questions, provide recommendations based on data specific to your organization as well as industry data, and to perform basic tasks and actions in Unica.
Omni Channel Capabilities – HCL are following the market trend of providing a Journey planning tool to help craft and orchestrate compelling customer engagement experiences across touchpoints. Billed as more than simply a collaboration and planning tool, the expected level of integration with Campaign and Interact and support for 3rd party digital delivery platforms outlined during sessions with the HCL, certainly make for a more convincing and desirable solution.
Long overdue, an overhaul we’re also looking forward to with anticipation is HCL’s Unified Offer Management solution aimed at centralizing offer administration across the Unica portfolio into a single place, with the ability to roll out offers from anywhere in the suite and including; improved features for offer creation and deployment, better alignment with content management solutions and improved attribute management capabilities, and in addition we are promised improvements for the distributed marketing model that will help with the customization of offers at the point of customer interaction.
Unbound Marketing – One of Unica’s key strengths has always been its ability to integrate with a wide array of data platforms and HCL are committed to continuing in this vein with a core philosophy of future Unica offerings being; the ability to integrate directly with third party systems via REST API, to send and receive information for campaigns, journeys and real-time interactions, embedded and available out of the box to all v12 customers. HCL are also planning for the delivery of several out of the box connectors to leading 3rd party email, mobile, social, CRM and loyalty managements platforms.
Dockerization – allows organizations to reduce the infrastructure and maintenance costs of supporting an application, to rapidly distribute applications globally, and to update applications and infrastructure on-demand with no downtime. HCL expect Unica to be entirely dockerized by v12 with the pre-configured and pre-installed Docker images able to be launched with a single command to install the applications.
As with any presentations of a vision for the future, there are accompanying disclaimers from HCL around what may or may not eventually appear and we can certainly expect a few details won’t make the final cut, but Unica’s enhanced upgrade capabilities coupled with HCL’s commitment to ongoing development and to regular, accelerated release cycles, mean we expect continuous improvements to filter through rapidly.
Keeping your Unica marketing software up-to-date and taking advantage of the many new features and functionality delivered with the most recent versions ensures your business maintains its competitive edge. With the release of version 11.1 in July and the support for fast upgrades, there’s never been a better time to move over to the latest version of the Unica marketing software suite. We are proud of our reputation for delivering a reliable, professional service and have pooled our knowledge and expertise to bring you cost-effective programmes for a seamless transition. Contact Purple Square today, and we’ll help your business move forward with confidence.
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