For the past 20 years, I have been a part of the Unica Professional Services Team, first at Unica, then at IBM via the Unica acquisition and now at HCL via Unica divestiture from IBM. In all that time, I don’t believe I’ve been more excited about a new major release of Unica! There are many great things (or should I say 800 reasons) coming with Unica v12, but I want to call your attention to the 12 things we on the Unica Professional Services Team really love about v12.0.
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The reason I am personally so excited about these 12 items is that each item has been requested directly by customers, and they are so excited to see these features added to Unica. So let’s jump in, here’s our top 12 list, in no particular order.
1. Centralized Offer Management (COM)
As many of our customers have told us that in their organization the folks that build offers are not the folks that build the campaign flowcharts, to accommodate these request and others we have established a Centralized Offer Management (COM), for centralizing and integrating offers with other channels, across the Unica Portfolio.
We gathered the feedback from other Unica end-users who want to build the offer once and then be able to deploy the same offer both on batch outbound campaigns & on real-time inbound channels. Centralized Offer Management (COM) meets both of those needs. Offers can now be created without an offer template. This means that offers can be assembled using offer attributes and tested out before needing to create a template. Only after you’ve used and determined the correct set of offer attributes, you can then create an offer template for continuous reuse.
2. Easy CMS Integration
Centralized Offer Management (COM) can be configured for CMS (Content Management System) integration (DX, AEM, Bing & many more). Content in your CMS can be searched/browsed from within Centralized Offer Management (COM) through a single sign-on enabled pop-up window, enhancing the ability to associate creatives directly with offers. Previously, only a reference URL could be added to the offer, it is now graphical, and you can say good-bye to all those copy-paste errors!
3. Treatment Rule Eligibility
Interact now has two new Treatment Rule Eligibility options – dates and scores. These can be used separately or together and can be combined with other eligibility criteria. This provides deeper levels of granularity to ensure that the best offers are presented to the customer.
4. Strategic Segment Sharing
Strategic Segments, those end-user created reusable audience populations with meaning have been a part of Campaign for more than a decade. With v12.0, those same populations can now be shared with Interact for use in real-time inbound marketing channels. Strategic segments can be updated without the need to redeploy the Interact interaction strategy. It enables you to deliver a unified brand experience to your customers across channels.
In the screenshot above, both the “Offline_Young_And_Married” and “Offline_Young_And_Single” are both Strategic Segments from Campaign being used as part of the interactive strategy in Interact.
5. Advanced Treatment Rules
Users of Interact spend most of their time updating their interactive strategies to deploy new offers to their inbound channels (a.k.a., touchpoints – website, customer care center, IVR, etc.). We have now made this important and a repetitive task 50% faster by introducing a new UI that allows for group updates to existing treatment rules.
This new interface intuitively knows what you are looking to accomplish and uses drag and drop functionality to speed your updates and assignments. Advanced configuration related to treatment rules (dynamic scoring, offer parametrization, etc.) are now streamlined and organized logically into a tabbed window. Have a look at the screenshot above and Interact, users – rejoice!
6. Cross Session Contact Events
With v12.0, contact events can be posted to Interact for offers that were presented in previous sessions. Now, without any additional data work on you or your team’s part, this will allow the service layer to track offers presented to customers through asynchronous channels, such as email, POS, and mobile push. The best part is you have control over how many days the contact events are kept in the cache. This adds a consistent brand experience across all your channels.
7. Rich Text in Forms
This single new v12.0 feature in Unica Plan provides three benefits: 1) quicker template creation, 2) easier end-user adoption, and 3) <finally> you can choose the colors! Seamlessly bring content from MS Office documents to your marketing projects in a few clicks and reduce your time to launch.
Launch your marketing projects faster with visually rich and functionally efficient forms that make data entry a breeze for end-users and are super simple for Plan administrators to build as Project Templates with Plan v12.0. Faster end-user adoption will occur because your marketing team has previously been using these forms off-line, so they are very familiar with them. Oh, yeah, and now you can choose your color schemas when building forms – color glorious color!
8. Copy Projects
Copying projects just got granular! We all know that copying existing projects within the Unica Plan is a great way to leverage prior projects when creating the next iteration, be it for the next week, month, or year. However, previously copying the custom tabs was all or nothing, now with v12, you can choose which of the custom tabs to copy.
9. Configure and Run Optimize Sessions from within Campaign
For those of you who run Unica Optimize based on a single Campaign flowchart contributing all the proposed contacts, wouldn’t it be easier to launch the optimize session from within the Campaign flowchart? We thought so, so we made it so! With Optimize 12.0, you can configure optimization sessions in one single interface, all within the campaign flowchart. Get your optimized campaigns out of the door quickly with the new easy to use Optimize interface, embedded directly with the Campaign flowchart. For those who find it advantageous to perform the session configuration, by launching the Optimize interface, you are still able to do so.
10. BIRT Reports
I want to introduce you to BIRT, the new open-source reporting engine. Unica Insights is built on BIRT technology and is complementary with Unica v12.0. You can gain and act with powerful insights right within the Unica application. Customers can get insights on all aspects of Campaign, Interact, and Plan through native out of the box reporting built on BIRT. This eliminates dependency on Cognos reporting. With over 90+ reports, customers can get insights on all aspects of their marketing automation (marketing planning, campaign management, and execution) from operations to performance through native out of the box reporting built on BIRT.
11. REST APIs
Don’t lose sleep – REST APIs can automate everything! We have introduced 500+ REST APIs across the Unica Suite. A whole new level of integrations to/from Unica is now possible. We have even embedded a Swagger UI to make it easy to code using the REST APIs. Many of you have asked for a broader set of Unica APIs to enable integration and automation – REST easy, Unica v12.0, has this covered.
The ship has left the port – Unica has begun its journey with Dockerization. So, What is the best way to deploy Unica? With a Docker-Kubernetes-Helm Chart based cloud-native deployment, Unica is easier to install, scale on-demand, and faster to upgrade.
For those of you who have not heard, Docker is a set of the platform as a service product that uses OS-level virtualization to deliver software in packages called containers.
Docker makes it easier to create, deploy, and run applications in any environment. For those not ready to adopt Docker or for those who don’t need it, you can still install and upgrade using our traditional on-premise installers.
Of course, there is much more to Unica v12.0 than are listed here, but these are the 12 things we love the most about v12.0. In the coming months, we’ll be releasing short video blogs under our “Geek Out On Unica” moniker that will dive into the details of each of the Unica v12.0 features listed above. To ensure you don’t miss these, join our LinkedIn group, and follow the Unica LinkedIn page to stay updated on Unica.
We would love to hear from you, please share what you love best about Unica v12.0 in the comments section below. You can also subscribe to our blog & stay updated on future blogs.