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Pega’s Take on Digital Experience: What’s Ahead in a World Powered by Autonomous Customer Service – Futurum Tech Webcast Interview Series

In this episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast, Interview Series, I had a fascinating conversation with Jeff Nicholson, the VP of CRM Product Marketing for Pegasystems about digital experience and what’s ahead in a world powered by autonomous customer service. Our discussion centered on the future of customer service, especially as it relates to digital experience, the ever-changing world of customer expectations, and how autonomous customer service is a game-changer.

Pega’s Take on Digital Experience: What’s Ahead in a World Powered by Autonomous Customer Service

In our conversation about digital experience and a look at what’s ahead in a world powered by autonomous customer service, Jeff and I touched on:

  • What is today’s digital experience and what that looks like — for both customers and for the brand side.
  • How the landscape of customer experience has changed, not only in the last handful of years, but also how that’s been impacted by the impact of a global pandemic.
  • The change in customer expectations and how brands are shifting to address those expectations.
  • The role technology plays in the customer journey (and meeting customers where they are, when they need it).
  • What kind of technology is needed to most efficiently, most effectively, allow brands to do that.
  • How COVID-19 has changed customer demand, buying preferences, and customer loyalty and what brands are doing to step up and adapt to those changes.
  • And we explored autonomous customer service and where this technology fits in the customer engagement timeline?

The Future of Customer Experience and How That’s Changing

For a quick look at some interesting stats as it relates to the future of customer experience, here’s an image of the transformation we are seeing as a result of technology, which is delivering a lower customer effort (read: less frustration on their part), as well as accelerated resolution of their problems. As a consumer, I couldn’t be more excited about this — and as a tech analyst, I’m equally excited to see this kind of technology already in use.

Pega’s Take on Digital Experience What’s Ahead in a World Powered by Autonomous Customer Service – Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series
Image credit: Pegasystems


Autonomous Customer Service and What’s Ahead

To see the different levels of autonomous customer service and what’s possible (and ahead), take a look at this image:

Pega’s Take on Digital Experience What’s Ahead in a World Powered by Autonomous Customer Service – Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series
Image credit: Pegasystems


As always, my conversation with Jeff was a fascinating one. He also shared some customer use cases that you’ll find valuable, so I encourage you to dive into this one. You can watch or listen to the video here:

Or grab the audio here by way of your favorite podcast app:

If you’re focused on improving the customer journey and customer experience within your organization, if you’d like to learn more about autonomous customer service and how you can employ it to deliver better, more efficient customer service and empower your team to both do more and enjoy their jobs more, I encourage you to make time to register and attend Pega’s upcoming Pegaworld iNspire event on May 4th from 9:00 to 11:30am EDT. The event is a virtual one and I can promise it will likely be the best, most interesting virtual event you attend this year. Register for free here and I’ll see you there!

Disclaimer: The Futurum Tech Webcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this podcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such.

More insights from Futurum Research:

New Research: The Culture Of Digital Transformation Today, A Conversation With Pega’s Don Schuerman – Futurum Tech Webcast Interview Series 

Recapping The Year Of Change And Looking At What’s To Come, A Conversation With Pega’s Alan Trefler – The Six Five Insiders Edition


Shelly Kramer: Hello and welcome to this episode of The Futurum Tech Webcast Interview Series. I’m your host, Shelly Kramer from Futurum Research. Today, I’m joined by my friend and regular guest, Jeff Nicholson from Pegasystems. Good morning, Jeff. How are you?

Jeff Nicholson: I’m good. Great to be back on the show.

Shelly Kramer: Great to have you as well. We’re talking about a subject that I know is near and dear to your heart. You’re immersed in it all day every day, but it also is very near and dear to my heart, and we focus a lot on customer service and customer experience and how technology is changing that. I’m really excited to have this conversation. Before we do that though, let’s step back a minute and tell me a little bit about your role at Pega and the things that you focus on in a day-to-day basis so that our audience can be more familiar with you.

Jeff Nicholson: Absolutely. At Pega, I have, of course, CRM strategy and that includes getting to talk with great experts in the field like yourself, our great clients, our great partners, industry analysts like Gartner and Forrester around. What are the best practices? Where is this really all heading? That’s going to be part of a big subject for our conversation today in this new category that’s emerging for autonomous service.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely. Absolutely. I want to talk a little bit as we get started here about the landscape of customer service. Customer service, customer experience. I think we were motoring on and in many ways, we were seeing brands in certain industries, certain verticals being agile, speeding along their digital transformation efforts and seeing some real results as a result of that. Then, we also had brands that were doing such a great job, and then we had a global pandemic and everybody had to pivot. There was an, “Oh, crap” moment, right? Everybody had to pivot and figure out not only how we’re going to serve our customers, but how we’re going to do this with a distributed largely remote workforce.

I think that as businesses have grappled with the impact of the pandemic, we’re not through it yet. What I’m interested in is, tell me a little bit about some changes you’ve seen in customer expectations that your customers have shared with you about the challenges that they have and what customer expectations have shifted? I’m also interested in the second part of that conversation that answer, how we’re seeing brands adapt?

Jeff Nicholson: Well, absolutely. What we saw of course, when the pain is a big influx in customer service inquiries, across many industries and everyone was scrambling. Some interesting things happened, a lot of businesses started to scale up their self-service efforts. What was interesting, we just complete a brand new primary research, and it’s actually uncovering that many customers began using self-service. They actually, were going to your website first anyway, to find your phone number or what have you. They’re willing to use self-service, but unfortunately, almost half don’t expect self-service to work.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: Something’s broken in the process. There’s an opportunity here to fully resolve these inquiries right there on the website, but the approaches of the past were no longer sufficient. What we saw a number of brands do was think about the problem differently. They were able to not just serve up product information on their website and just general information, credit card information, mortgages, we’ll have that and not forcing customers to play hide and seek with the answer they’re looking for, but we organize around customer journey.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah.

Jeff Nicholson: The ones that did that, some major successes.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah. I also often feel like as I’ve navigated my own customer service journeys, I felt like, and I know that everyone who’s immersed in this space like we are, has had these same experiences, but you’re doing something, you’re trying to solve your own problem, you know it’s going to be quicker for you to solve your own problem than to actually call or to email and wait for a response or whatever.

Then you start down that journey and you’re like, “Oh my God. It is clear that the president of this company has never tried to get customer service to take care of a problem themselves.” It has seemed in many ways as though, people really aren’t thinking through every step of the process or if they put it together, no one is actually testing it to see if it works, how it works and that thing.

Conversely, when you have an experience, that is so intuitive, that is so easy. It’s like, You just want to stop and tell everybody, “Oh, my God. I just did this thing with such and such a brand and I needed to change this and it’s always been such a pain, but it was so amazingly easy.” Like you want to sing it from the rooftops. Not that anybody cares, but it is when you have those experiences. Unfortunately, in many instances it does seem like those are the exception rather than the rule. Hopefully, what we’re seeing as part of this, as companies accelerate their digital transformation journeys, hopefully we’ll see more and more of this.

The end result is good for everybody. Right? It’s not serving up an amazing customer experience that solves all the problems quickly and easily is as beneficial to customer retention, customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, as it is to profitability and time spent by staff on solving problems. It really is a win all the way around.

This relies on technology in many ways. Right? One of the things that you and I had talked about in one of our previous interviews was, in the early days of the pandemic, we were seeing banking and financial institutions and health insurance companies and that thing, just bombarded with customer questions and claims and requests for assistance and all that thing. What we learned very, very quickly was that humans can’t do this alone. That technology is a big part of the solution. I would like to talk a little bit about, what kind of technology is needed to address customer touch points in the most effective and efficient ways possible?

Jeff Nicholson: Absolutely. That is all changing right now under our feet.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah.

Jeff Nicholson: In days past, we rushed out to individual channels and stood up channel infrastructure.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: We thought that would solve it. All it did is created in just individual silos, disjointed experiences, a chat bot experience over here that can only do a small subset of things and answer your store hours and things like that, that waste people’s time versus maybe a better experience through talking with an agent, what are the different experience to the mobile app? What we saw organizations do is take a step back. Well, the ones that did it best, and they said, “Well, Can we reorganize run journey in the center and if we did that, is there a way to activate it in other ways to change the shape and surface area of the types of service we’re able to deliver on more than just one touch point?”

You mentioned insurance companies, there’s a great American insurer, Aflac who did a great job at this. When COVID hit, they were able to take the processes, the journeys that were orchestrated in the center activated initially in their desktop for their agent. Activate them out to an intelligent virtual assistant on a website that actually understood. It was you, Shelly, that was there and you perhaps asking about a claim that you had opened. We’re opening claims, and it’s specific to you and your journey. It’s not giving you information that’s completely generic. That was actually the highest volume inquiry type, which was claim status.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: Then, if they saw that they were able to resolve fully, almost 80% of those inquiries right there in the intelligent virtual assistant, and the reason is it was organized around journey. It was giving you the same level of information that you would be able to get, individual context tool information that you would get by speaking with an agent right there 24/7. They observed that their NPS scores were tremendous. This is the changing surface area. Think of it as the AI and automation being activated, really, wherever you go. This ability to almost be autonomous, organized around you and your needs. This is where it’s all going.

Shelly Kramer: Which is exactly how it should be. Right? I think that from a customer standpoint, there’s nothing more frustrating than when you’re starting the process of needing customer service and whether you’re doing it on the web or whether you’re doing it on the phone and it’s like, “Shelly Kramer, and this is my information, and this is my claim number and this is my…” when you put all this information in or give all this information, and then the next thing, in many instances you get a human that you’ve had to wait a long time for, who has none of this information at their fingertips. Who’s asking you all the same information again, which in the big scheme of life, it’s a small frustration and it’s when we, customers have learned to deal with. When the technology exists to instantly identify me because of my phone number, because of my email address and to make every part of that experience efficient for me and efficient for the brand. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s a no brainer.

There’s no way that it doesn’t… Again, NPS scores great, but customer retention, customer loyalty, all of those things. Then when you look at the cost savings on the brand side, we’re able to touch customers in a more meaningful way, more effectively, more efficiently, more rapidly. Oh, by the way, our employees love their jobs so much more.

Jeff Nicholson: I think that’s where I will EX or employee experience is a big growing trend at the moment. Rightly so, agents have had a hard time in these distributed environments. They’re an island on their own, and we want to make their world better as well.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah.

Jeff Nicholson: It was a really interesting, Shelly, you brought up something on that repetition of information across channels. If you organize around journey in the center and you can carry that context across channels, it helps with the efficiency inside your contact center, not just the resolution for your customer. Meanwhile, we see a lot of contact centers trying to optimize around average handle time and metrics like that, where they’re just trying to shave a second off here or there. Well, this is a golden opportunity.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: If you can carry that context across, avoid having that customer, repeat that same information and eating up all that time, it’s a win, win on all sides, but a different approach from a technology standpoint. We’ll get you there, is that center out architecture.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: That is the method by which you achieve that journey in the center.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely. I’m thinking about a little bit more about customers and what we’re seeing as a result of just navigating a pandemic. What are we seeing has changed from a customer demand standpoint, or perhaps maybe even their buying preferences standpoint? What things have your customers mentioned they’re seeing as we’ve gone through the last year and continue on because we’re not done yet?

Jeff Nicholson: No, we’re not done yet. As we started the conversation, there’s a big sea change happening in customer service and where it’s all going? Thinking of yourself, Shelly, or me as a customer of a business. I know I can take my banking anywhere. I know I can take my bins to anywhere. More and more, we want to feel, especially now, someone’s looking out for us and not just taking out money, but really trying to get ahead of issues for us and try and knock them down. We’re seeing a trend moving toward not just reactive customer service or inbound customer service, where the customer has to think either big problem to solve and then come to you. The next wave is coming and it’s around two terms, proactive and preemptive service. We’re beginning to see organizations think about this problem, put in place processes like event and pattern detection into the customer data.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: To understand, is there something either that has gone wrong or may likely go wrong? Before it does. If that’s the case, put in place processes to reach out digitally, which is obviously much more expensive than a live agent interaction.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: To do the right thing for that customer and connect them to the right self-service, help them transfer money to avoid overdrawing their account. If you see it trending that way. These are the types of strategies that are coming next, and it’s still the same category, this is what a autonomous service is all about.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: Putting in place the digital process, the AI and automation that can make sure that you’re organizing around journey wherever it goes

Shelly Kramer: Well, I love the phrase. I’m just sitting here, my black little heart is warmed by the thought of doing the right thing for the customer, because the reality of our business world is that, it has largely not been built with that in mind. If someone manages to overdraw their account and… Gosh. I remember when I was young, that was like the worst thing that could ever happen. I’m already so poor and then I mistakenly overdrawn, I don’t know. Then before you know, you have $200 and $15 in the embarrassment and all that. That preemptive doing the right thing for the customer, anticipating a problem, making my life easier. My car is powered by a ridiculous amount of technology, and every single time I get in it, it reminds me that it’s time for me to schedule a service appointment. It comes up on… I have a massive display screen and it comes up and it doesn’t go off the screen until I either say, “Push the yes button.”

Then it’ll automatically call it’s a scheduled appointment, or unless I push, no and put it off. I keep thinking like, “Just wonder how long I’m going to get down to this game here”. It’s like 60 miles until I need to schedule the service. Again, it’s preemptive, it’s making my life easier. It’s telling me what I need to do because I have a million things on my mind and a million things to remember, but I really love that, doing the right thing for the customer.

I think that’s such a thing to build brand messaging around. It’s such an important thing, I think, to build just your whole brand premise around doing the right thing for the customer. I really like that a lot. Tell me a little bit about, I love use case stories. You talked with me a little bit about Aflac. You have any other customer use case stories that can illustrate for our audience? Maybe, how brands are responding a little bit to these changing demands? How they’re putting the customer’s needs first? I’d love to hear some, if you do.

Jeff Nicholson: Well. Absolutely. Other examples include contextual self-service portal, so if they do have a need and reach out to the business, again, most are actually going to the website first.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: Anyway. Can you solve it there without making them take that extra step into that game with an intelligent virtual assistant or automated phone system that asks for your 16 digit account number, only to send you onto an agent that asked for your 16 digit account number. if you can actually go to where the customer goes, that’s more empathetic.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: If you go to that self-service and offer a contextual portal that has information organized around your new journey, that is one of those ways. If you can operate the intelligent virtual assistance, instead of a chat bot or a dumb bot.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: Or that isn’t built around you at all.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: Again, can have that same level of conversation. That’s more empathetic. We see others using similar AI and automation techniques and natural language processing to implement things like, let’s see email box. Think of it as a software based robot that converts the old world, where it’s a dumping ground of emails in a big inbox where someone’s going to go through bit by bit. It might take days to get through and maybe assigned to someone and you as a customer, haven’t heard anything back. What if it was different? In that software-based robot could open your email, the instance proceed, use natural language processing, understand what it’s about, often reply completely automatically because it understands your journey. If things do require escalation to an agent and routing, it could take care of that. This is exactly what’s happening right now with AI and automation. Again, it doesn’t replace agents, it doesn’t replace empathy, but it puts empathy in more places.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah.

Jeff Nicholson: That’s what it is doing for us. It is this changing surface area of customer service.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah. You guys at Pega have been talking about empathy for years. As you know, I’m pretty immersed in the customer experience space and automation space and the technology space. That’s something that I don’t hear anywhere else. I remember, gosh, maybe two or three years ago when you guys first rolled out the empathy. One of the things that… Back in the day when we used to actually go to events.

Jeff Nicholson: Yes.

Shelly Kramer: I was at a PegaWorld event. You were able to show as part of a presentation, an empathy meter and how you could have a dashboard and a client, a customer could decide, what we want our level of empathy to be with our customers. You could slide it higher, you could slide it lower, you keep it in the middle, but what was so compelling to me at that time, and again, this is years ago, which I think two or three years in our world. Right? That’s a lot of time, but it was so fascinating to me because what you were also able to show is the revenue possibilities and the revenue impact of increasing empathy of understanding a situation that our customers might be in what they might be dealing with.

Then, fast-forwarding to a pandemic. Right? If I’m reaching out to my bank or my insurance company or whatever. I’m stressed to the max. Right? I won’t ever forget the fact that it was really Pega that led in the empathy space and I love that you continue to really focus on it because I think it’s incredibly important. Again, I always like something when we hear… In this space, we hear lots of the same things all the time, low code, no code and this and that. But people don’t talk about empathy and I think that’s really, really important. I think that customers respond to that a lot.

I think it makes a big difference. I want to talk a little bit more about autonomous customer service and really… I know there’s a number of different levels of autonomy. Just give us a little bit more of a look into this whole new and I think is going to be as probably as important as empathy. Right? Talk to us a little bit more about autonomous service.

Jeff Nicholson: Sure. It is very much related to empathy.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah.

Jeff Nicholson: It’s empathy for the customer as well as our agents at the same time. I’ll use the example that you brought up earlier, Shelly, of the big screen in the middle of your car. Right?

Shelly Kramer: Yeah.

Jeff Nicholson: Your car is packed with lots of technology and all the vehicle manufacturer today are actually using five levels of vehicle autonomy as their guiding principle. Level zero is all manual, all the way through five, which will someday be complete autonomy.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: The car drives itself. In between are all these progressive levels. I think all been in some cars where it might now chime, if you veer out of your lane and pay attention.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: Other ones might actually nudge the car back a little bit. Other ones just plain, keep it in the lane.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah.

Jeff Nicholson: That’s an example of progressive levels of vehicle autonomy, or AI and automation, depending upon how complex the journey you’re on is, are able to sometimes almost do it all for you. Same exact see changes happening now in customer service, and the same levels are moving across. Depending on the complexity of your customer journey, not your driving journey, but your customer journey, you may still require a 100%, old-fashioned you and me agent, where a lot of empathy and understanding is required in the situation. Other cases, you may be able to be completely autonomous, just like some of those claims status inquiries we talked about earlier with intelligent virtual assistant, resolving it for you.

In between, you have AI and automation that can nudge along the way, whether it’s simply using things like robotic process automation to automate the repetitive things for agents in the background, whether it’s real-time speech analytics and voice analytics or text-based analytics.

Shelly Kramer: Right.

Jeff Nicholson: It doesn’t really matter. It’s able to listen to the conversation, whether it’s over messaging or voice and understand what’s being said, and perhaps automatically surface relevant knowledge articles right into the screen for the agent as it’s happening. As a customer says, “I want to update my address or other things that require information.” What if the agent didn’t have to key it in, but the system just entered it?

Shelly Kramer: Right. Absolutely.

Jeff Nicholson: Again, the agent, it frees them up just like you and your car to focus on what’s really around you on the customer and no longer just on the keystroke. Yeah.

Shelly Kramer: I’m listening to you and I’m thinking back to my car. One of the things that I’ve said, this is not the first smart technology driven car that I’ve had, but it’s the most sophisticated one. I have a voice recognition system, so I can tell my car what I’m looking for, what changed the station? Do this, do that. My car will park itself. I have to admit, I’ve had my car for a little over year, and I’ve never used it to park itself largely because I’m a really good parallel Parker and there’s a part of me that just wants to be able to continue to demonstrate that… I kick ass at parallel parking. I’ve joked before, that it’s impossible for me to hit something because if I’m backing out of my driveway and there’s somebody with a dog or car or whatever, my car will actually shut itself down.

It is impossible for me to really hit somebody. The same is true if I’m coming up to a parked car at a stoplight and the car senses that maybe I’m going a little too fast, shuts me down. My point in all this is that once you get used to great experiences powered by technology, whether they’re in your car, whether they’re as a customer working with resolving a problem with a provider of yours, it is really hard to go back. I can’t imagine not driving a car powered by smart technology because I’m so aware every single day, how it keeps me safe and how it keeps other people safe from me. Right?

Jeff Nicholson: From you.

Shelly Kramer: Well, I’m thinking about backing out of my driveway or coming up to the [inaudible]. Then, you think about it when people start getting a taste of really great autonomous service and you’re not doing it, and I believe that today’s customers are a lot like, “What have you done for me lately?” I’m looking for a brand who cares about providing the best experience for me. Right? There’s so much competition. Think about financial institutions, it used to be. We had a relationship with a financial institution that maybe it was even passed down to us by our parents. Right? Dad always banked here so we bank here or he felt like you had to have this personal relationship with a banker. I remember a few years ago, my husband and I were buying a car and we hadn’t gotten a loan at least a vehicle for a long time and the vehicle was coming off lease and we decided to buy this car.

I was working with my existing bank where my business bank accounts are, my personal bank accounts are. They have a lot of my money in a 20-year relationship. My husband… This was pre COVID. My husband travels about 90% of the time. We were going through the loan process and we needed to…. It was also, I think, challenging because I was turning my leased vehicle in, he was going to be gone. I literally wasn’t going to have a car, so it was like, “We needed to expedite this process of this car purchase.” The hoops that my existing bank or making us jump through were so like… I remember saying during the process, “You’ve got to be kidding me. We can’t sign something electronically. We can’t do this in advance.”

It was just like, “You know what? This is the way we do it.” I walked away from that conversation saying, “This is ridiculous. There’s got to be a better way.” Ended up doing business with another bank that the car dealer recommended a really big national bank, great reputation who made everything about the process so easy. That began the process of siphoning off business from this long-term bank that wasn’t able to meet my needs to a new bank that I’d never done business with before, but now I’m more willing to do more business with them. My point is, what have you done for me lately? How have you made my life easier? There’s got to… Don’t make me say, there’s got to be a better way, because there is a better way. I think that’s what we’re seeing with autonomous service and how exciting that is. Oh, I think you’re muted.

Jeff Nicholson: Sorry, I was… Hopefully, that fixed it there.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah. You did.

Jeff Nicholson: I think that’s entirely spot on. I think what we’re going to see, Shelly, is that similar to what we’ve seen in other areas, experiences that we see in even industry is different from ours are going to affect our industry.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely.

Jeff Nicholson: Right. No larger way than right here in customer service.

Shelly Kramer: Well, I think people are… The more we get accustomed as customers to having great experiences, the less interested we are in modeling through crappy experiences. You really need to see as the message here, the takeaway is truly… Brands need to step up, they need to understand this. They need to understand that there is really cool, so many technology that solves, so many of these problems and leading with a customer centric focus cannot be an afterthought. It cannot be something that we do after we do these five things. It truly has to be the foundation upon which your customer or which your company has built and certainly your customer experience strategies are built, I think.

Jeff Nicholson: I totally agree. I think now is the time. The advances in tech technology have actually changed what is possible at this point.

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely.

Jeff Nicholson: For a long time, the barrier was, it’s going to be too hard. It’s going to take too long. It’s going to cost too much, so let’s just live with the status quo. It’s just simply not the case anymore.

Shelly Kramer: Yeah. Yeah. I agree. Well, you at Pega have an exciting event coming up. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about it?

Jeff Nicholson: We do. It’s called PegaWorld iNspire, it’s where the world’s customer service leaders are coming together to talk about the latest trends in customer service, in customer engagement, using AI and automation to really orchestrate that journey wherever the customer goes. it’s taking place on May the fourth, all the Star Wars fans are going to have their antennas go up, may the fourth be with you, but it is May 4th and it’s an online virtual event. Last year, we set a record with our attendance. We’re hoping to do even better this year. We hope you can us.

Shelly Kramer: Well, I will be there for sure. I have been attending PegaWorld as I said for. Oh, my gosh. It seems like a really long time now. I always learn really interesting things. Here I am recalling the empathy meter from three or four years ago. For all of you listening, we’ll share a link to the event, you can register for the event. I will also tell you that over the course of the last year, I personally have attended more virtual events than I can count. Last year’s PegaWorld event was one of the first virtual events during a pandemic. Right? When everybody was making shifts. What I will tell you is that that virtual event was one of the very best, just the environment, the platform, the experience. Everything about it was fantastic.

You and the team at Pega do a fantastic job of putting on a virtual event. If you are listening and you’re hearing that, “Oh, virtual event. Another virtual event.” I can promise you it will be spectacular. We’ll include some registration information. Go check it out. We’d love to do that. Jeff, it’s always a pleasure talking with you. I know we feel the same on a lot of different topics, but it’s always fun hanging out together.

Jeff Nicholson: I agree. Thanks for having me back on the show.

Shelly Kramer: All right. We’ll talk soon.

Author Information

Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”


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Steven Dickens, VP and Practice Leader at The Futurum Group, shares his insights on Databricks' RAG suite and Vector Search service, which are reshaping AI application development.
Marvell Industry Analyst Day 2023 Sharpened Its Vision and Strategy to Drive Infrastructure Silicon Innovation Key to Advancing Accelerated Computing
The Futurum Group’s Ron Westfall believes Marvell is solidly positioned to drive infrastructure silicon innovation for accelerated computing throughout 2024 and beyond, especially as the advanced computing opportunity expands during AI’s ascent.