The High Performance Digital Front Office

Avoka recently announced our intention to focus on the emerging Transaction Experience Management  (TxM) market. This post is one of several posts that discuss TxM and the business drivers behind the Digital Front Office.

There are two classes of business drivers for TxM.

  • Improving Competitive or Market Position: Delivering the all-digital experience that more and more customers seek enables organizations to attract new customers, increase the loyalty, satisfaction, retention rates of existing customers, and generate more revenue.
  • Improving Operating Performance: Eliminating non-digital activities from customer-facing business processes has been shown to decrease operating costs, increase data quality and provide opportunities to reduce cycle times.


The dramatic growth in Mobile and e-Commerce is creating a “new normal” as more and more customers and citizens now expect:

  • To be able to do anything and everything online
  • That every customer-facing interaction is available as a digital experience
  • That all digital experiences are optimized for the device in use.

Mobile and e-Commerce

No longer can customer-facing business transactions rely solely on “analog experiences” such as filling in paper forms or PDF forms, phoning the call center, visiting a branch office, or using an application that doesn’t offer an optimized experience for every device.

Today customers want an intelligent, interactive, and engaging digital experience across all the devices they use throughout the day.

The Digital Front Office

Industry analysts are using the terms “Digital Edge” and the “Digital Front Office” to describe the transformation to an all-digital experience.

A Digital Front Office is a digital channel that enables customers to do anything and everything online.  It is achieved by replacing “analog experiences” with engaging digital experiences that run on any device. A Digital Front Office transforms processes and the customer experience to create value for the organization.

Transaction Experience Management (TxM) Defined

A transaction is when an individual applies, purchases, enrolls, registers, claims or participates in any other interaction that initiates an internal business process. There are three classes of transactions:

  • Simple e-commerce transactions – suitable for the sale of retail products
  • Complex custom developed applications – typically written by IT or outsourced to System Integrators
  • All other business transactions – delivered today as “analog experiences” – paper or static PDF forms, call-center interactions or branch office visits.

When an organization wants to enable a transaction with a customer, they typically do so in one of several ways:

PAPER Historically, all transactions were paper. These transactions are the ones found in insurance, banking, health care, telecommunications, education, government and just about every other industry. “Paper-like” transactions, such as downloadable PDF forms, don’t provide the benefits of the interactive, intelligent, all-digital transactions that are becoming more and more compelling, both for consumers and organizations.
E-COMMERCE For retail organizations, many transactions are handled by the standard eCommerce online shopping cart. The shopping cart will continue to be used by retail organizations, but is not suitable for the more complex transactions found in most industries.
CUSTOM DEVELOPMENT For some of their very high volume transactions, organizations have built custom web applications. However, these developments are typically very costly. Due to the high cost of custom web development, only the most high volume and high value transactions become digital. A new approach is required.

Transactions are the lifeblood of every organization and Transaction Experience Management (TxM) makes it possible for organizations, outside of the retail industry, to quickly deploy, manage and optimize business transactions that allow customers, citizens, partners, and mobile staff to conduct business online.

Please visit our website to learn more about TxM or about Avoka Transact.

Gaining from Changing Customer Expectations

In this blog we are going to focus on the set market forces that result from increases in the use of mobile devices and e-Commerce. For leading organizations these changes present an opportunity for competitive differentiation and market gains.

Mobile Becomes the New Face of Engagement

At the recent Mobile World Congress Gary Kovacs, the CEO of Mozilla summed up the Internet’s growth this way “While it took 22 years for the first 2 billion people to connect to the Internet, the next 2 billion users will be coming online in the next five years.”

The big news is that the majority of this growth will come from mobile devices. In fact smartphones and tablets are on a trajectory to replace desktops and laptops as the devices of choice. Consider the following statistics:

  • 2013: Shipments of smartphones and tablets passes 1B (Gartner)
  • 2014: Shipments of tablets pass shipments of notebooks (Merrill Lynch)
  • 2014: Mobile Internet users exceed desktop Internet users – see below (Morgan Stanley).

Mobile Internet Users V2

The shift to mobile brings with it significant changes in user expectations and behaviors. According to a recent Harris Interactive survey today’s mobile users have high expectations and little tolerance for poor experiences. Of the mobile users surveyed:

  • 47% expect the mobile experience to be better than an assisted experience
  • 43% who experience a problem will abandon the transaction
  • 78% who experience problems share those experiences with other.

The breathtaking growth in smart mobile devices and results from surveys like the Harris Interactive survey above tell us that the growth in mobile is much more than a platform shift. It is a fundamental transition to a new level of simplicity, ease-of-use, and above all, convenience.

e-Commerce Sets the Expectation for all Transactions

There was a lot of attention paid to a June 2011 Goldman Sachs report on e-Commerce that predicted that worldwide e-commerce sales would reach $963.0 billion by 2013, growing at an annual rate of 19.4%. The report stated that the e-commerce market was benefiting from several positive trends, including the continued rollout of broadband, increasing user comfort shopping online and the decline of certain brick-and-mortar retailers.

e-Commerce GrowthIt turns out the report was wrong. The Global e-Commerce market sales crossed the $1 Trillion dollar threshold in 2012, a year earlier than their original predictions.

  • e-Commerce was initially driven by the convenience of global shopping from your computer
  • Now it is driven by convenience of global shopping from any location and at any time

Just as with mobile, the growth in e-Commerce is a fundamental transition to a new level of simplicity, ease-of-use, and above all, convenience.

Convenience Rules

The growth in mobile and e-Commerce is driving us toward a new age of convenience.  Customers now expect that researching and purchasing products and services should be an engaging online experience. In order to achieve real growth and profits companies must now focus on not just what they have to offer, but how they offer it.

So what’s the hold up?  Why isn’t everything digital?

Most Transactions are Analog for a Good Reason

The reason most business transactions are analog is because they are usually more complex, longer, and more detailed than simple retail e-commerce transactions. They also require additional features such as eFormsmobile forms, save and resume, automated receipts, attachments, information from multiple parties, or signature workflows.

Complex Requirements

These requirements have made them very difficult and costly to move into the digital channel. As a result only the highest value/highest volume transactions have been moved to the digital channel.

Avoka Transact

That is why we created the Avoka Transact platform. Avoka Transact has been enabling organizations to quickly give their customers the ability to transact online, using the device of their choice, for the past five years.

Avoka Transact completes your journey to the Digital Front Office.  Best of all the depth of functionality built in to Avoka Transact, from the experience of hundreds of client projects, means we can deliver results to clients in days or weeks, not months or years.

Let us know what you think and watch for the next next blog in this series. That one will cover the other business drivers including some amazing cost savings analysis recently performed by the UK Government.

Rod Hodgman

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