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Organizations of all sizes face tremendous challenges and pressures in providing seamless customer experiences through every channel of the customer’s preference. While engaging customers with relevant and timely communications throughout the business value chain is important and critical to the business, it is equally important to keep operating costs of customer communications low.

Traditionally, organizations have produced large volumes of diverse customer communications more frequently and consistently—including common documents such as new policy kits, enrollment packages, statements, bills, and correspondence—via the core report generation systems built within business applications and delivered through a single channel preferred by the enterprise. Making changes to these types of customer communications required great information technology (IT) involvement and often created delays in time to market.

With the evolution of customer communications management (CCM) platforms, organizations are able to invest in a single, unified platform for all customer communications across the entire organization. With customer preferences as the goal, these CCM platforms offer the ability to design communications using the tool of choice by business users and deliver them via multiple channels, including print, email, and web. This drastically reduces the involvement of IT and time to market. However, business users are required to use more than one design tool, such as Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Word, and an array of proprietary tools, to produce communications for multiple channels.

Designing communications
Multi-channel design technologies, tools, and strategies are all a part of the escalating digital transformation occurring in the enterprise today.
  • The rise of customer experience management (CXM): Currently, businesses across all leading markets expect the CCM platform to evolve as a CXM platform, providing an enterprise with the ability to design a communication once within a single design tool of the business user’s choice.
  • The emergence of "Design Once" communications: Organizations are pushing to meet the new digital standard, creating insightful, meaningful, and real-time customer communications that support brand development and encourage customer loyalty through consistent engagement.
"Design Once" communications are the production of timely, accurate, and personalized customer communications using familiar tools.
Design once is the ability to preview and proof the output for multiple channels, as well as generate optimized output from a single, rules-based template meant for a specific channel. Design once practices enable business users with powerful and familiar features with minimal training required, allowing the roll-out of business-developed templates without IT. An enterprise can streamline efforts to create and update interactive applications while, at the same time, produce millions of documents per hour with high-volume publishing engines.
  • Design once for multiple channels using EMC xPression: Part of the EMC xPression software suite, xPresso for Microsoft Word enables business users to add variability to new or existing Word documents, creating a single document template that enables fast and easy development of content for print, web, email, text messaging, and other channels. xPresso for Word makes it easy for users to create business rules that specify the type of communication and mode of delivery based on activity, regulatory requirements, and customer preference, as well as produce timely and relevant offers uniquely suited to each recipient. Within the xPresso template, business users can also control interactive data collection parameters used by external applications or systems without relying on IT.
  • Design once for multiple channels using GMC Inspire: GMC Inspire Designer lets organizations create, manage, and deliver quality customer communications that span the entire customer journey. The solution’s multi-channel preview, proof, and sign-off capabilities allow a business to optimize every customer interaction, wherever it takes place—call center, smartphone, tablet, web, email, even print.
  • Design once for multiple channels using OpenText Exstream: OpenText Exstream’s container-based design capabilities let organizations share data and content across multiple channel designs. OpenText Exstream’s robust support for cascading style sheets (CSS) enables responsive designs that assure content is scaled and presented appropriately on every device. This means that not only will organizations be able to produce multiple communications from a single source, but that all of their communications will be consistent, up-to-date, compliant, and relevant to customer’s needs.
When it comes to keeping the customer fully engaged throughout the business process life cycle via customer communications, design once capabilities allow enterprises to confidently answer the following questions:
  • Do we care about our client communications—and our clients?
  • Are we looking to leverage new channels?
  • Do we want to create communications faster with one design for all channels?
To meet the escalating requirement for engaging the customer, organizations must leverage multiple channels to be successful marketers. With design once capabilities in place, the opportunity to engage customers in a personalized, impactful way emerges.

Elangovan Ekambaram is a lead technology strategist for Paragon Solutions’ Insurance and Financial Services practice and is responsible for architecting, designing, building, and delivering enterprise solutions. For more, visit

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