IDC Analyst logo


    Follow us

    Sign Up for Updates

      4 min read

      Systems of Engagement Vs. Systems of Record

      Featured Image

      Think of almost any brand, and then search your favorite social network to find their name. You’ll easily find them; they’re posting content and information - engaging consumers, in hopes of winning more customers.

      Marketers are promoting brands with product images on Instagram, check-in specials on Foursquare, viral videos on YouTube, hashtag chats on Twitter, and contests on Facebook.


      Social Mobile Engagement

      Social conversations are an exploding medium; IBM recently estimated that 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data are created every day. To put these numbers into perspective, social media alone generates more information in a short period of time than existed in the entire world just several generations ago.

      Obviously these conversations and the data surrounding these interactions are marketing gold. But how do enterprise organizations utilize the information from these sources?

      First and foremost brands need to marry this new social and mobile data to their existing customer data so the assimilation can be made. In most enterprise organizations there are legacy systems – commonly referred to in business as systems of record.


      Database: Systems of Record Vs. Systems of Engagement


      Systems of record are authoritative data sources otherwise known as databases. You are likely very familiar with databases. On the other hand, systems of engagement are applications people use to engage with other people: messaging, collaboration, web conferencing, social networking and social media are examples.

      Although effective for executives and associates headquartered in the home office, systems of record have no bridge to the information generated on these systems of engagement and devices being utilized by today’s mobile and socially connected consumers.

      Companies’ attention and budgetary priorities are moving from systems of record, to systems of engagement. Systems of record won’t completely disappear, as we’ll always need repositories to store our data. However, we’ll see more integration with systems of engagement as consumers become more demanding.


      Road Sign With Black Arrow Pointing In Opposite Directions resized 600 resized 600


      Bi-lateral exchange of information between the existing back office infrastructure and a system of engagement can provide a single and complete view of an individual consumer or group of customers.

      This aggregation can provide critical information that’s far beyond today’s standard information gleaned through product registration and other more traditional efforts.

      Information about an end-users likes, whereabouts, interests, possessions, friends, family and extended networks are a marketing goldmine that can benefit up-sell, cross-sell, loyalty and advocacy – resulting in customer engagement at the moment of intention.

      Customer Engagement Results From Customer Experience


      How companies manage their moments of engagement with customers is the key to long term success. Having the data is one thing, knowing how to apply it to genuinely engage the customer is something else altogether.

      Products become commoditized over time, and companies are at risk due to a variety of variables, however companies that excel at transforming the overall customer experience in these moments of engagement - these are companies that will succeed.

      The explosion of social and mobile also requires these systems to be usable and configurable from mobile devices. Not only do consumers need to access these systems of engagement from mobile devices, but enterprise associates as well.

      The idea of two individuals sitting back-to-back at a coffee shop with the first person marketing products from their mobile device, while the second person is actually discovering and purchasing the product from their device is a modern reality.


      Customer Loyalty Resulting Customer Experience


      The Holy Grail is seamless integration of these systems of engagement, with systems of record. This is the new information paradigm, with both consumers and brands deriving value from the information and resulting services that this aggregated data brings to the relationship.

      If you’d like to learn more about how systems of engagement can benefit your organization you can start by joining Warranty Week Editor, Eric Arnum as he moderates the upcoming webinar, Detecting and Preventing Warranty Fraud Using Predictive Analytics

      Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 1:00 PM join Venky Rao, IBM's North American Predictive Analytics Segment Leader, along with Terry Hawkins, President of the Global Warranty and Service Contract Association and Ashok Kartham, Founder and CEO of m-ize as they share their decades of experience in the warranty space.

      In this webinar you'll learn to:

      • Transform through analytics for breakaway results

      • Learn from solutions that get smarter with every outcome

      • Align your organization around information

      • Anticipate, see, predict and shape business outcomes

      • Act with confidence at the point of impact to optimize results

      Webinar registrants will receive a complimentary copy of The Service Council’s recently published whitepaper, Customer Experience Management: Strategies to Succeed.

      Register For Webinar & Download Content

      You’ll also receive the opportunity to watch the replay video of the live webinar resulting from the report, as well as an infographic highlighting key data from the report and other associated content.


      Bruce Burke