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SAS and Sword Ciboodle Partner Up

You may have already heard the announcement from June 3 about Sword Ciboodle using SAS Realtime Decision Manager (RDM) analytics in its new contact center application, Ciboodle One. If not, you have now. I’d have told you about it sooner, but I didn’t get the official briefing until today—I couldn’t share what I knew until then.

The curious can see Ted Hartley, chief channel officer for Sword Ciboodle, talk about the combined SAS RDM/Ciboodle One value proposition here.

According to Ted (he’s a friend, so I can use his first name), Ciboodle was approached by SAS about six months ago seeking a business application to support with its RDM technology. Around the same time, the Ciboodle boffins were thinking of how to create a more compelling experience in the contact center.  Faster than you can say “you got your chocolate in my peanut butter,” the two companies were coding up a system to use existing data to increase the comfort level of customers at the point of contact. Ted says it’s a continuation of the focus on voice of the customer, but now getting into the mind of the customer.

The result is likely to be a new high water mark in customer intelligence and frontline service. SAS is the first name in analytics, and Ciboodle has one of the sweetest CSR agent desktops I’ve seen. With SAS handling high-level intelligence and pushing the results to the Ciboodle desktop, agents can have a better sense than ever before of who they’re talking to. This means better routing, less repetition, and smarter cross-sell/upsell. Most importantly, the agent sees the customer’s history, recent activities, and attitudes so there is a basis for communication—it feels like a relationship, not just a transaction.

The SAS-powered Ciboodle One is rolled out in North America presently, but according to Ted the SAS salespeople in other regions are already calling to ask for the partnership to be extended further abroad.

There’s been a lot of maneuvering going on in the CRM space (as I noted at the tail end of this post), especially where business intelligence meets customer service and social CRM. There’s more to the story in development as you read this, so my lips are sealed until things become official. All I can say is this: The contact center is the natural home for social CRM, and a social engagement model that uses serious analytics is bound to make a difference if somebody can develop one. Stay tuned.