Over the past year or so, my colleagues and I at InfoTrends have been taking a look at software that enables TransPromo communications. For those that may have attended InfoTrends’ recent TransPromo Summit in Boston or are attending our European TransPromo Summit in October, you know that TransPromo programs can be extremely effective, but most are inherently complex and require ongoing attention and dedication for recurring success. They often require the proper organizational alignment among many departments for execution, including marketing and IT. Even though there are complexities, software vendors in this space have been working to enhance their solutions for ultimate usability and scalability in multi-departmental enterprise organizations.
The TransPromo technology landscape is very broad, and includes many different types of solutions: document creation and composition, message creation and management, post-composition, output management, production management, and campaign management. We decided to focus on enterprise-level document composition solutions with message creation and management components due to the important role they play in empowering multiple organizations within an enterprise to be involved in a TransPromo campaign. The result is a comprehensive (and lengthily-titled) guide to the leading solutions in this space: The Ultimate Guide to Enterprise TransPromo Solutions: Document Composition. While our existing Ultimate Guides have focused on software solutions for the Graphic Arts (W2P, VDP, Multi-Channel), we wanted to explore solutions that enable wide-scale collaboration in the creation and execution of TransPromo programs.If you’re not familiar with our Ultimate Guide reports, they are buyers guides that give an in-depth overview of the market and comparisons of leading solutions. Each provides a market overview, concepts of the topic covered, considerations when choosing a solution, a quick take overview on each solution, product comparisons by feature sets, product & vendor profiles, and a glossary of definitions.
While researching the topic area of document composition and message management, we noticed a few interesting software trends that I’d like to share:
- – One of the biggest trends we see is vendors giving more power to business users through the use of message creation and management workflows. These components give marketers the power to easily create their own marketing messages for a TransPromo document or campaign while automating the approval process for those messages. These components are typically Web-based and very customizable to meet an organization’s needs. Vendors are also increasingly leveraging Rich Internet Application (RIA) frameworks like Adobe Flex and Microsoft Silverlight to enhance usability, including the use of business logic wizards and drag-and-drop interfaces.
- – Vendors are adding Web Services layers, such as Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA) to their solutions to enable tight integration with existing business systems. This enables organizations to develop their own custom applications that tie multiple systems together to meet their needs.
- – While we find a lot of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings in something like the Web-to-Print market, we see some of these enterprise-level suites adding components, such as message management workflow and even composition services, to the cloud. With the success of SaaS tools like Salesforce.com and Google Apps in large organizations, we expect to see more movement to vendors in this space offering hosted solutions.
These software solutions are always evolving to meet clients’ needs, and it will be interesting to see how they transform in the near future. It’s important to remember that implementation costs of these tool sets range from mid $10,000’s to over $500,000, which means that in-depth research and testing is highly recommended before making an investment. Our Ultimate Guide to Enterprise TransPromo Solutions: Document Composition aims to help with that process. If you’re interested, please visit our online reports store or drop me an e-mail.