What is an Innovation Factory? My GM recently pointed out that the words ‘Innovation’ and ‘Factory’ don’t really go together, with innovation being associated with something new or unique, a different way perhaps of engaging with customers. Factory conjures up images of buildings where a uniform product is manufactured in volume, with no concern for individuality. I see his point, but I still like the idea behind the name – a team that has figured out a way to accelerate innovation that can be ‘productionized’ and adopted at speed into our commerce platform.

Every day we see our clients having to move fast and one thing I have come to realize is that it doesn’t matter how big a company is, their success and growth is dependent on how fast and agile they can be. So, we wanted to create a team dedicated to helping our clients move faster, to deliver innovation that would help them sell more, by offering new and engaging world-class experiences that would draw their customers back, again and again, and help them be leaders in the new digital economy.

Innovation Factory Mission

The mission for the Innovation Factory is to help our clients stay in front of their competition and grow their business through the use of innovation. We take the risk out of the process by taking ideas from our clients or finding promising early-stage commerce technology and testing the concepts on the HCL Commerce platform. By leveraging our platform expertise, we get the most out of the innovation and develop them into new assets or an extension to the platform, helping clients differentiate themselves in the market.

To summarize – This team creates excitement, for our customers, partners, products and innovation. Everyone wants to be on this dedicated team that plays (with purpose) with all the cool new technology and ideas!

Who has Access to the Innovation Factory?

Every one of our clients – It’s one of the services that you get simply for being part of our family! The capabilities built by the innovation factory are available for all and not for just the one client who came up with the concept. Since the capabilities are built on an API-First approach, it’s easy for every customer to incorporate them onto their HCL Commerce platform, regardless of version.

Are Any Innovations Complete?

Yes! In just 6 months, the team has built these 18 new capabilities in conjunction with our customers and partners. And those 8 assets tagged with an * are now part of the core platform.

*Barcode Scanner CKEditor-Using Content URL
*Voice Search CKEditor- using Content Picker
*Image Search *Eclipse Toolkit
*PayPal (Braintree) Stripe Integration
*Google Analytics and Dashboard NetSuite OMS Integration
*KProp Zendesk Commerce Integration
Single Sign On External Event Triggering ( Dialog Activity)
Google Voice assistant Punch-out 2 Go
Google IoT Core *Push Notification

Here’s a quick demo of one of the assets, push notifications, to get you excited. If you want to take advantage of the Innovation Factory or simply want to learn more, contact Johnn Tinch johnn.tinch@hcl.com.

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Further Reading
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Marketing & Commerce | March 5, 2021
Overview of HCL Commerce Content Manager
Every major release of HCL Commerce must have 3 WOWs designed to deliver value to our customers. We group these WOWs into categories - World-Class Experiences, Optimized Merchandising and Cloud Native. Today’s example is part of World-Class Experiences and our new HCL Commerce Content Manager capabilities. In our recent (9.1.4.0 and 9.1.5.0) releases, we enhanced our headless React based Reference Storefronts, EmeraldPlus (B2C) and SapphirePlus (B2B) with an embedded Content Management System (CMS). All the sample data necessary to support these storefronts has been loaded into the Content and Digital Asset Management system so that business users can take control of the store experience. EmeraldPlus (B2C)                                                     SapphirePlus (B2B) Let’s clarify a few terms before we dive in. Digital Assets – these would be your product images, attribute swatches, marketing content images, documents and videos. Web Content – this would be an assembled home hero image. The content would include the background from your digital assets, plus some overlay text as well as a call-to-action button perhaps. E-Marketing Spots – these are spots on a page where you can display content, products, etc. using the HCL Commerce Management Center. The EmeraldPlus and SapphirePlus reference storefronts display elements in E-Marketing Spots. Integrated Marketing Content Tools: From within HCL Commerce Management Center, we have added a menu item for “Content”. This is where you will launch in to either the Digital Asset or Web Content modules, depending on the task you are working on. We’ve also simplified logins by providing Single Sign-on capabilities to preserve user authentication when working with both tools. Within the Marketing tool of Management Center, we have created a new content type called...
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Marketing & Commerce | March 5, 2021
How Search Powers the Future of Commerce
Recently I have been working with Ray Wang, Principle Analyst and Founder of Constellation Research on a thought leadership report on Search called How Search Powers the Future of Commerce. The report highlighted the key strategies leaders should take to enhance their search to drive real business benefits like: 35% more page views 41% more customer time spent on site 49% higher add-to-cart rate Ray’s perspective is always insightful and the more we talk, the more I learn. Add to the mix one of the resident HCL Commerce experts, Brian Gillespie, Director of Product Marketing, I feel I am taking a fast track to understanding both the business and the technical side of search. However, you too can benefit from their knowledge. HCL is hosting a fireside style chat with Ray and Brian on March 9 at 10am ET and you are welcome to join in the fun. Will it be the Battle of the Titans or will they align on their thinking? Whichever it is, I promise it will be fun, with not a single PowerPoint slide in sight. We will have deep discussions on the key topics like personalization and search in the customer journey; Is the hype about AI real? And where should you focus your efforts on search to beat your competitors? Not only that, we will go rapid fire with questions at the end to keep Ray and Brian on their toes. If your business partners are asking for help: Understanding the customer. Looking for ways to make better business decisions in merchandising products. Engaging the customer in new ways like voice and image search. Learning from every interaction instead of relying on rules! Register Now or Watch On-Demand after March 9, 2021. It promises to be one of the hottest sessions in 2021.  
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Marketing & Commerce | February 9, 2021
Finding Friction in the Shopping Funnel with HCL Unica Discover
We’ve all been there. You’re shopping online for something you need – that perfect gift for Mother’s Day, or even something as mundane as your groceries, and something goes wrong. Search is taking forever, the pick-up calendar isn’t working right on your phone, or maybe it’s just a big fat error message. So irritating, right? And what do you do when you get fed up with all the problems? You abandon and probably don’t go back! Now flip it around. You’re running an eCommerce site and now you’re the one causing problems! At least, that’s how your customers see it. So, what do you do to help them? What do you do to make sure that everyone is getting the best possible experience? Simple, you go back to your kindergarten lessons and follow the Golden Rule. Remember your own bad experiences as a shopper and make sure your customers don’t run into the same ones. “Think of shopping cart abandonment as the flip side of the customer engagement coin” Once you’ve committed to “what” you need to do, now you just need to learn “how” to do it. This is the challenging part but think of it like a game and you can have fun turning all of those frowns upside down! First, think of shopping cart abandonment as the flip side of the customer engagement coin. Everything you do to optimize engagement reduces abandonment and everything you do that contributes to abandonment will ultimately reduce your customer engagement (and loyalty). One solid tactic is to implement tooling that provides both quantitative and qualitative insights across the customer journey on each of your digital shopping touchpoints. It’s like x-ray glasses for your apps. Similar to the visibility that a business analytics platform provides, a customer experience analytics solution can give...
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