Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: ColdFusion

ColdFusion: Article

EvolutionB M39

EvolutionB M39

There Goes the E-Neighborhood
Browse the Web, or nearly every business or financial publication, and you'll see that e-commerce is no longer just a great idea. It's everywhere. Sales over the Web are in the trillions of dollars. Books (amazon.com), cars (iMotors.com), groceries (HomeGrocer.com) - you name it. Almost anything that retails in a store is on sale now at somebody's Web site. And why not? Doing business over the Web solves many customer- and company-related problems associated with shopping at a store's physical location (inventory, product availability, hours of operation, to list a few). However, challenges remain.

Arguably, two of the biggest challenges still facing businesses are ac-quiring new customers and keeping existing customers. In Q4/2000 EvolutionB will provide an Allaire Spectra-powered solution to succeed in meeting those challenges. Code-named M39 (see Figure 1), EvolutionB defines the product as an Internet Relationship Management (IRM) solution. M39 is designed to strengthen customer-company relationships by building customer loyalty and delivering dynamic personalized content.

M39 enables business and marketing managers to better profile their customer base and the reasons they buy the products and services they do. This increased understanding allows managers to optimize marketing strategies to attract new customers as well as customize existing customers' online experiences to generate further sales. M39 is also designed to allow customer service representatives (CSRs) to assist customers with requests for information quickly and more accurately. Let's take a closer look.

Some Background
M39's functionality is provided by way of Spectra. Spectra is Allaire Corporation's packaged system solution for content management, e-commerce, and personalization. Spectra leverages the capabilities of ColdFuson to enable companies to reduce time-to-market requirements in de-livering enterprise-level Web sites, intranets, and extranets. The Spectra design is twofold: transactive content and spectrum of participants that Forrester Research Group defines as "active, intelligent multimedia information delivered and composed on demand." In other words, managed content, displayed in a personalized and dynamic way.

The spectrum-of-participants de-sign concept provides a model and methodology by which an organization can scale its Web presence to its employees, business partners, and customers. The spectrum of participants encompasses all the different types of users involved with a system. From the lower-level programming of system administrators and developers to the higher end of business managers, customers, and site affiliates, Spectra features interfaces or services to accommodate the needs of each level of user.

How M39 Works
M39's architecture is fairly straightforward. As you can see in Figure 2, it extends from the content management and personalization capabilities of Spectra, which leverages the ColdFusion application serving environment, which is tied to a Web server and NT or Solaris operating system. On the back end, M39 taps Spectra's ContentObject API (COAPI). Spectra's Webtop (the front-end user interface) enables business users, customer service representatives, and customers alike to utilize the application.

The system's functionality is based on what EvolutionB calls the Customer Relationship Life Cycle. This life cycle encompasses the evolution (sorry, I just had to) of an online consumer from casual browser to the stage of making a purchase and thereby becoming a customer who may later request product support. The cycle continues as company marketing departments and customer support centers utilize detailed information that M39 gathers about individual customers. This information is stored in the Customer Knowledge Repository, which is made available to marketing and support personnel throughout the company.

E-Customer Marketing
Marketing departments can use customer profiles from a knowledge base to launch niche marketing campaigns. Whether shoppers are just browsing or actually making a purchase, M39 gathers detailed information about their activities. M39's transactive logging provides data for analyzing customer behaviors and modifying marketing strat-egies accordingly.

M39's marketing module utilizes a campaign set, containers and articles, and an intelligence engine. The campaign set contains one or more campaigns, each of which has an associated audience that is most receptive to the campaign. Each campaign and its associated articles can be displayed in any number of containers using configurable publishing rules. A container is a rectangular portion of a Web page dedicated to specific placement of marketing material. A good example of a container is a rectangle, 468 pixels wide by 60 pixels high, located at the top of a page for banner ads. Articles are graphics, text, or other media inserted into the containers.

The intelligence engine controls which articles are placed in which containers. The engine weighs user profile, marketing campaign input, and personal preferences to generate a custom page. The page will be filled with articles that attempt to match the interests of the customer and the essence of the marketing campaign.

E-Customer Service
The customer service module gives CSRs the power to more quickly and efficiently help customers once they've made a purchase. For example, when an inbound support request arrives, say, by a customer submitting an online form or sending e-mail, M39 applies it to a number of service rules (which you can create and modify). One such rule determines if the request is related to an existing incident. If so, the originating support request and its threaded history are attached to it, along with the customer's profile, for the benefit of the CSR.

Other rules apply metadata keyword searches. These searches allow a number of intelligent operations to happen. The request can be classified according to a hierarchical structure such as Books>Internet> E-Commerce>Software. M39 can then forward the request to the CSR with the most experience in that area. The keywords can also be matched against a knowledge base that can provide the requesting user with related articles that may meet the needs of his or her request.

Wrap-up
EvolutionB's M39 is designed to enable a Web site's business users to better attract new customers, build loyalty among and offer further buying opportunities to existing customers, and improve customer support accuracy and response times. M39 provides marketing, and service modules to complete the core content management, commerce, and personalization solution offered by Allaire's ColdFusion- based Spectra platform. Pricing was unavailable when this article was written. You can learn more about M39 and even apply to be a participant in its beta program by visiting www.evolutionb.com/m39.

More Stories By Jerry Bradenbaugh

Jerry Bradenbaugh works as a senior Web developer for Red Oak Technologies, Inc. (www.redoaktech.com). He focuses on robust Web-enabled systems using JavaScript, ColdFusion, Java and database technologies. He is also
the Webmaster of HotSyte - The JavaScript Resource
(www.serve.com/hotsyte) and is currently writing a JavaScript book for O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...