How Omni-channel Is Changing Business

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We’ve told you how the cloud and retail trends are changing business.

We’ve run down the numbers on some highly used apps in the SMB space.

We’ve also evaluated e-commerce platforms and marketplaces from an integration point of view.

The fact is that omnichannel is changing business in all these ways, and more.

But how are businesses adapting?

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Based on our previous research, and in light of the great discussions we had at Dx3 Canada 2016 in early March, we present you with a short list of ways businesses are changing in response to all the above and more.

Keep reading below!


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Abandoning Legacy Applications

There was an interesting phenomenon at Dx3 Canada 2016 this year – something that echoed what we at VL have been talking about for years (see here, here, and here):

Don’t let your business become entrenched in Legacy Applications.

By ‘legacy applications’, we mean any application that has been grandfathered into the business, has been around way past it’s ‘best before date’, or is something that the business has always used and does not want to move away from (usually based on the trifecta of excuses: time, cost, and simply being afraid or wary of something new). The phrase “better the devil you know” might be a succinct way of summing up the mindset of these businesses surgically attached to their out-of-date applications.

But there’s been a change in the tides.

We’re speaking to more and more businesses who are purposely seeking VL out as they look to abandon their entire legacy application stack in favour of moving to an all-new one. This is amazing! These businesses have recognized the shortcomings of their legacy systems, and have decided to instead start from absolute ground zero and rebuild their back-end application stack from scratch, rather than trying to upgrade in a piecemeal fashion.

But it gets better:

These businesses are seeking out VL to help them plan their applications with omni-channel data integration in mind. They’ve done their homework, they realize what they need to do and where they need to be, and they’re bringing VL along as their expert guide. We’re helping them through our extensive partner network (which is a network based on good-will alone), through our 21+ years of data integration knowledge, and through our first-hand experience with a host of applications.

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Complicated Back-End Application Stacks

Omni-channel is changing business’ back-end technology stacks in another way: it’s pushing businesses to simplify their application mix.

As cloud applications have become more popular and attractive to businesses in the last 5 or so years, most businesses didn’t have a concrete plan for how these applications were going to adopted in a strategic way. This led to a complicated mix of cloud applications, legacy applications, and other on-premise applications.

But it seems that we’ve reached a breaking point where businesses are realizing that their overly-complicated back-end technology stack is cumbersome, slow, and it ultimately hurting their customers’ experiences with their brand.

So businesses are simplifying their technology mixes.

They’re paring their technology down to a sensible arrangement that’s backed by their overarching business strategy and goals. They’re trimming the fat, and among the first applications they’re ditching are the ones that cannot be integrated with their other applications.

A Need to Strategically Tie Everything Together

Both of the above ways in which omni-channel is changing business comes down to this simple fact: businesses are realizing that they need to tie all of their applications together in a way that is robust, scalable, and makes sense.

In talking to various people across Canada, the US, and the UK, there’s a striking commonality:

A good deal of businesses have been burned by plug-and-play or DIY data integration.

This is an interesting output from the sudden rise of the cloud application empire, and the mass exodus of businesses from on-premise applications into cloud-hosted applications. Plenty of businesses adopted these cloud applications ad-hoc without any real rhyme, reason, or strategy in place for the long term. Then many of these cloud applications started offering plug-and-play integrations bolted onto their main packages, allowing these businesses to integrate, at a low level, application A with application B in a quick and easy way. Alternatively, when these plug-and-play integrations weren’t available, businesses just quickly had a Design your Integration portal

Just answer a few questions about your company’s applications, and we will model what your data integration solution might look like with VL OMNI!

You’ll receive a completely free report at the end of the 4-question quiz, making it easier for you to continue on your journey towards being fully integrated. This quiz is available any time on our website’s home page via the “Design Your System” button.

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