Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

About the Analyst

Mark Smith

Mark is responsible for the overall direction of Ventana Research and drives the global research agenda covering both business and technology areas. He defined the blueprint for Information Management and Performance Management as the linking together of people, processes, information and technology across organizations to drive effective results. Mark is an expert in technology for business from Performance Management, Business Intelligence, Analytics to Information Management across finance, operations and IT. Mark has held CMO, product development and research roles at companies such as SAP, META Group, Oracle and IRI Software. He has experience across major industries including banking, consumer products, food and beverage, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and retail and consumer services.


Recent Posts

A 360-Degree View of the Customer Journey Can Provide Customer Experience Insights

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 7, 2019 7:00:00 AM

For interactions with customers to go well, organizations must manage an ever-increasing array of engagement channels. Our research finds that organizations expect to see interaction volumes increase on all channels, especially digital ones such as text-based messaging, chat, mobile and social apps. Unfortunately, the systems that manage these channels are typically disparate and uncoordinated and may not use the same underlying technology. This makes it difficult for organizations to coordinate customer interactions consistently and provide the best possible customer experience.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, business intelligence, embedded analytics, Analytics, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Information Management, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Data, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, blockchain, natural language processing, data lakes, Intelligent CX, AI and Machine Learning, subscription management, agent management, extended reality

Technology Really Does Matters for Customer Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 5, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Using customer analytics effectively involves several challenges. Organizations must make it a business priority, cultivate leadership and set a course for ensuring data and analytics are being processed and governed effectively. But effectiveness also requires technology that will assist in the effective operations and management of customers and help an organization achieve its goals.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, business intelligence, embedded analytics, Analytics, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Information Management, Contact Center, Data, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, blockchain, natural language processing, data lakes, Intelligent CX, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, subscription management, agent management, extended reality

Identifying the Leaders in Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 31, 2019 7:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insights from our latest Value Index research, which rates how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). The Ventana Research Value Index: Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. Drawing on our benchmark research and expertise, this research-based index is the first such evaluation to assess the full business value of sales performance management software. You can learn more about our Value Index as an effective vendor selection and RFI/RFP tool here and participating vendors can learn more about how to use the Value Index here.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Analytics, Contact Center, Data, Sales Performance Management, Financial Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, subscription management, agent management, intelligent sales

Effective Customer Analytics Requires Comprehensive Data and Metrics

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 29, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Customer analytics have never been more important, but effectively creating and managing them is not easy. The data that’s required to achieve visibility into all customer activity involves many applications and systems and it’s a challenge to ensure the data used is accurate and consistent. Even once data is assembled, organizations often struggle to apply analytics to create the metrics that best represent an understanding of the past and, more importantly, the path to the future.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, embedded analytics, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Information Management, Contact Center, Data, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, blockchain, natural language processing, data lakes, Intelligent CX, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, subscription management, agent management, extended reality

The Science of Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 24, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Ensuring that the sales organization contributes as fully as possible to the success of the organization — to revenue, growth, profitability and the overall customer experience — requires not only dedication but effective strategy and planning. A well-developed strategy and plan to utilize current and future sales talent is essential for the best possible sales performance. To carry out this mission, organizations need a set of coordinated sales-related activities, processes and systems that enable the sales organization, from leadership and operations to the manager and sellers, to operate in a coordinated and collaborative manner. We call this sales performance management.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Analytics, Contact Center, Data, Sales Performance Management, Financial Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, subscription management, agent management, intelligent sales

The Challenges in Customer Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 22, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Today’s intense competition requires that companies know as much as they can about their customers in order to anticipate their needs and deliver a superior customer experience. However, many organizations struggle to do this well. Implementing initiatives to improve customer value across any department or process involving customers requires both in-depth visibility into current operations and excellent metrics.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, business intelligence, embedded analytics, Analytics, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Information Management, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Data, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, blockchain, natural language processing, data lakes, Intelligent CX, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, subscription management, agent management, extended reality

Gaining Dynamic Insights on Sales Planning

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 15, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Managing sales processes and resources without careful planning is a recipe for failure. Effectiveness in sales starts with planning that involves the full range of stakeholders. This planning should involve a systematic process, incorporate all relevant information and be supported by capable software designed for this purpose. Furthermore, everyone who participates in sales-related activities, including those dealing with quotas, territories and resources, should be providing input for the planning. Without broad participation the likelihood of less-than-optimal planning increases and anyone who is excluded may not fully buy into the plan and its execution.

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Topics: Sales, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Commerce, subscription management, intelligent sales

Dynamic Insights Research on Sales Analytics Guides Innovation, not Evolution

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 4, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Having effective analytics enables businesses to understand far better than ever before the data they’re collecting, and to do so in greater volumes and more forms. These new capabilities are especially relevant to sales organizations. When applied to sales data, analytics can help sales teams achieve quotas and forecast more consistently, as well as understand the impacts of incentives and maximize the potential of territories, all of which help improve sales performance. These benefits provide the foundation for a business case to adopt analytics tools that generate information to guide actions and decision-making for sales organizations.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, embedded analytics, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Data, Information Management (IM), Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, blockchain, natural language processing, data lakes, Intelligent CX, AI and Machine Learning, subscription management, agent management

AWS Lags in Connecting Contact Centers in Cloud Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 6, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on AWS drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated AWS and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud. 

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

8x8 Brings Good to Contact Center in the Cloud Market

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 3, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on 8x8 drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated 8x8 and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud. .

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization