Thursday, November 1, 2018

Integration Key to Customer Experience - An Introduction

omnichannel customer experience
For the past few months I've been digging in to my new role with a group of Portfolio Architects, looking specifically at integration as the key to omnichannel customer experience.

It's an interesting challenge in that we've been given the mission of creating of architectural content based on common customer adoption patterns. That's very different from most of the traditional marketing activities usually associated with generating content for the sole purpose of positioning products for solutions. When your basing the content on actual execution in solution delivery, you're cutting out the chuff. 

What's that mean?

It means that it's going to provide you with a way to implement a solution using open source technologies by focusing on the integrations, structures and interactions that actually have been proven to work.

What's not included are any vendor promises that you'll find in normal marketing content. Those promised that when it gets down to implementation crunch time, might not fully deliver on their promises.

Enter the term Architectural Blueprint. 

Let's look at these blueprints, how their created and what value they provide for your solution designs.

The process

The first step is to decide the use case to start with, which in my case had to be linked to a higher level theme that becomes the leading focus. This higher level theme is not quite boiling the ocean, but it's so broad that it's going to require some division in to smaller parts.

We've settled on the higher level theme being 'Migrating Applications to Containers,' which gives me the latitude to break it down as follows and in no particular order:
    omnichannel customer experience
  • Omnichannel customer experience
  • Agile integration for cloud-native applications
  • APIs for customer and partner ecosystems
  • Multiple SaaS integration across hybrid environments
  • Application modernization
The first case I'm tackling is omnichannel customer experience.

The approach taken is to research our existing customers that have implemented solutions in this space, collect their public facing content, research the internal implementation documentation collections from their successful engagements, and where necessary reach out to the field resources involved. 

What's next

The resulting content targets the following three items.
  1. A slide deck of the architectural blueprint for use telling the portfolio solution story.
  2. A generic architectural diagram providing the general details for the portfolio solution.
  3. A write-up of the portfolio solution in a solution brief format.
As for this series of articles, it's designed to walk through the initial omnichannel customer experience portfolio architecture blueprint as follows:

  • Generic common architectural elements
  • Details around specific elements (external apps, api gateways, container platform storage services)
  • Application integration details
  • Dissecting several specific application integration architectures
Next in this series, taking a look at the generic common architecture for omnichannel customer experience.