It has been an exciting time at HCL. Now that the acquisition has closed we take the next steps with Unica and the other acquired brands including Appscan, BigFix, Commerce, Portal, Notes & Domino, and Connections. Although we have not been able to talk about an expanded road map for Unica until the acquisition closed, we certainly have been developing it and planned enhancements for a while. So, what’s next for the Unica brand?

The Unica Brand is Back #UNICAisBack – Yes, the Unica brand is back! I will confess that I had some apprehension that the Unica brand had changed many hands, but all that vanished after I joined  HCL and received over a hundred messages like “Awesome Unica is back”  from so many industry connections. At the HCL TechConnects, customers were cheering and clapping that the friendly blue U was back, With that kind of positive energy and love, the Unica brand is definitely resurged as the forward-looking brand of the HCL Software Marketing Solutions.

Listening to User Feedback – In June 2019, we hosted full-day Unica HCL TechConnect events in Atlanta, Redwood City, Chicago, and Ontario Canada to talk face-to-face with customers and partners. We all ate very well, had some great informal and formal discussions where we talked through the current state of the acquisition and V11.1. The HCL team was excited to see that we exceeded our attendance goals by over 25% – indeed, customers and users are still very passionate about the Unica solution. We shared the features of 11.1 and captured great ideas on where to improve the suite. This feedback will be the foundation of many new enhancements in upcoming short and long-term product updates. We are coming up with an exciting webinar where my colleague Claire Timlin and I will share a lot more about Unica Future road-maps.

Directly register here for our next upcoming Webinar July 18th

Registered community members will be automatically notified of upcoming training, events, and webinars – click above to register as a new Unica community user.

Unica is not new to HCL – One of the wrong perceptions some people, (although very few) had was that Unica is new to HCL. Whereas, the reality is HCL has been an IBM and Unica solution integration partner for years. Most importantly, HCL has been actively supporting the entire engineering, development, support, and product management of the Unica Suite since 2017 through the IBM/HCL IPP (Intellectual Property Partnership) agreement. So, all Unica support you were getting since 2017 was through HCL. IBM was managing sales, customer communication, and billing. Now, this responsibility has also moved to HCL Software. The Unica Version 11.1, close/completion of over 1500 ESA (Enhancement service requests) and upcoming V11.x and V12 releases are all the result of HCL’s hard work since taking over full support of the Unica suite in 2017.

The Acquisition was the Best Thing for Unica – About ten years ago, many marketing and commerce brands were acquired by large companies just as Unica was by IBM in 2010. Today we see almost all of this acquired legacy commerce, and marketing suites have lacked investment to keep them on the expected maturity curve they once were acquired. Unica’s move back to the HCL entrepreneurial culture of innovation is backed by a trustworthy $8.5B company with 150K employees globally across 45 countries, which will give Unica an infusion of new ideas, resources, and talent. HCL is not just talking about making big development jumps. HCL has exponentially increased the development team size by nearly 4 times and significantly expanded the product management teams’ size. All these changes have allowed Unica to get back to its roots of marketing innovation and deliver a significant feature and functionality jumps in V11.0 and V11.1 in a short period of time.

One of the significant additions was the Director control panel for the IT-level database and server performance insight at users’ fingertips. We also wholly rewrote code to deliver Dockerized containerization of Unica Campaign to provide customers a choice and flexibility of where their marketing solution is hosted along with many expanded integration points. A customer commented at a TechConnect, “I feel like someone hit the Nitrous button on Unica.” This is precisely the energy and customer sentiment our Unica team is striving to deliver to you the Unica user with each and every release.

Click here to read more about everything new in Version 11.1 and the Marketing Director Module.

We are Listening, Tell Us What Features You Want – Tech Connect participants were shocked to see the leaders of our global engineering teams at the events answering direct customer questions. We had customers asking for integration to the latest cloud databases & reporting systems, quick counts, even a background color wheel to reduce eyestrain… 100s of features were asked for and discussed. Some of these will be very quickly available in the next 11.2 release. While other more complicated requests will be addressed in future 2020 releases. Unica 11.1 now has a lot of previously hidden features, integration, and compatibility that customers were happy to learn about including FAST upgrades which reduce the version upgrade cycle from weeks to just a few hours in most cases – yes, you can now jump from an early version of Unica right to 11.1 using FAST.  We would love to hear your ideas on how to make Unica even better. We are listening and have an army of developers ready to work on customer-requested features. We will be using Aha! As a support tool to formally capture and analyze customer ESAs (Enhancement Service Requests). Look for that in the Community once you have your credentials.

Some of the hot topics under discussion were –

  • Ability to be able to quickly design a campaign with clear insights and recommendations before creating flow charts
  • Some other customer wanted the ability to patch their environments without having to shut down Unica services every time they do patching of their server machines.
  • Audit reports of the MO templates and performance improvements
  • Single Flowchart to support multiple projects
  • About our new and upcoming products like ‘Customer Journey’ and ‘Centralised Offer Management.’
  • For Director, about Threshold alerts being sent through email/message notifications, etc.
  • Automate the import of Forms into different environments?
  • Waterfall like report needed for Interact as well (Simulator)
  • Updating a table Catalog through APIs? (Discover)
  • How can we consider ML for search in Marketing Ops- Plan to use Elastic Search?

Find out more about TechConnect and what customers are expecting

Partners will be a huge part of the Unica solution – A long time ago, Unica partners were the backbone of the brand implementation and support. We had fantastic partner attendance at the Tech Connect events. HCL plans to expand and re-establish our partner support ecosystem. If you are working through a Unica partner, they will undoubtedly be reaching out to you with new features, updates, and integration ideas.  Of course, new and previous Unica partners are welcome to jump back on board the Unica brand.

Register on the partner portal for more information.

Thank you – Thank you again for the support and passion for the Unica solution. Our team is all very excited at the opportunity to hear your feedback and allow Unica to organically grow and mature into a marketing suite uniquely tailored to support the user and business needs of the marketing practitioner and organizations strategic marketing goals.

Tony Arnold

CMO Strategy

Tony Arnold is careered data and analytics focused CMO holding several CMO positions throughout his career and notably was featured in Inc. Magazine as a Web Strategy Award Winner. He has unique marketing, customer data, and technology background which includes working in various senior-level marketing positions as client, vendor, and consultant, across B2C, B2B, software, consulting, data IDR, retail, financial, manufacturing, and advertising businesses. Tony led the Sears Holding implementation of Unica, which processed 25B customer contacts yearly and delivered $2.1B incremental revenue annually.  He co-presented numerous times with Unica founder Yuchun Lee. Tony also has ownership and implementation experience with Unica and nearly every competing marketing solution on the market. Tony spends his free time making things, welding, fabricating, and working on refurbishing old motorcycles.

 

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Further Reading
Marketing & Commerce | December 9, 2020
Unica 12.1 – Licensing – Quick Start for Customers
Unica V12.1 has been released to power the next generation goal-based marketing, and Unica v12.1 is the first release to enable an HCL Licensing portal called FlexNet. Once the user deploys the HCL Unica products, they will need to configure required licenses with HCL Unica products to start using them. Without applying for a valid license, the user would not be able to login into Unica environments. Licensing in Unica is to validate products' entitlement and measure the product consumptions based on various units. HCL Unica products support the below license models. Term based licenses Perpetual licenses If you are upgrading from earlier versions of Unica products to version 12.1, you can have the option to take a Perpetual type license for the existing products you are entitled to use. And for new product licenses, you can take the option of Term based licenses. This is flexible as per your entitlement plan. In the upgrade scenario, you could have Term and Perpetual licenses in your entitlements. While you upgrade to 12.1, you should have default entitlements with Perpetual type licenses in your FlexNet account. HCL supports the below type of counting mechanism for products in the HCL Unica suite. Configuring Unica 12.1 – Licenses Once you perform a clean install or upgrade install and tries to login to the Unica application, you would be prompted to enter the license details. Below are the high-level steps to configure the licenses for Unica 12.1. Pre-requisites: Before you start with license configuration you will need to fulfill the below perquisites: Make sure you have FlexNet (HCL Licensing Portal) login details. Login to FlexNet portal. Check if you can see entitlements for the products they are entitled to. Please raise a support ticket if you do see the products in entitlements. You will need...
Marketing & Commerce | November 17, 2020
Unica Named a November 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Multichannel Marketing Hub.
HCL Software is excited to announce that Unica, a leading enterprise marketing solution, has been recognized as a November 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Multichannel Marketing Hub (MMH). Our team at Unica takes great pride in this distinction, as customer feedback continues to shape our products and services. In its announcement, Gartner explains, “The Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice is a recognition of vendors in this market by verified end-user professionals, taking into account both the number of reviews and the overall user ratings.” To ensure fair evaluation, Gartner maintains rigorous criteria for recognizing vendors with a high customer satisfaction rate. Here are some excerpts from customers that contributed to the distinction: “A solid product with deep user community and good integrator expertise in region.”- Head Of Marketing Data & Analytics in the Finance Industry “HCL Unica is a great Campaign Management tool which generate good revenue for organisation.”- Senior Manager in the Services Industry "HCL Unica is a great ROI Marketing Automation tool.”- Associate Director in the Manufacturing Industry Read more reviews for Unica here. Everyone at Unica is deeply proud to be honored as a November 2020 Customers’ Choice for Multichannel Marketing Hub. To learn more about this distinction, or to read the reviews written about our products by the IT professionals who use them, please visit the Customers’ Choice announcement. To all of our customers who submitted reviews, thank you! These reviews mold our products and our customer journey, and we look forward to building on the experience that earned us this distinction! If you have a Unica story to share, we encourage you to join the Gartner Peer Insights crowd and weigh in. The GARTNER PEER INSIGHTS CUSTOMERS’ CHOICE badge is a trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc., and/or its affiliates, and is used...
Marketing & Commerce | November 12, 2020
Manage TVC-Grid Validation in Unica Plan – A Systematic Way
Marketers are always looking for tools and processes to manage their marketing operations, streamline workflows, optimize the budget spend, resources, and manage other marketing assets. MRM is a single solution that can take care of all your needs, from strategic planning to executing a certain marketing activity and ensuring that consistency binds the team together. Unica Plan is the solution that Unica Suite offers to manage all your marketing needs and activities. HCL Unica Plan (Formerly known as Marketing Operations) supports the feature called Tabular View Control (TVC) Grid, where the marketer can choose and arrange the different attributes like Text, Numeric, Date, etc. which they want to use for tracking their business activities. Grids are mainly used for collecting data, in the user interface, it appears like a table or a list. You can enter data into the cells of the grid according to the selected attributes and their data type. Apart from this, the product supports the customization of grid attribute(s) with validation; for example, the attribute should start with a specific character/word OR attribute should not allow entering beyond a certain limit OR attribute should only allow data between a certain range, etc. “com.unicacorp.uap.grid.validation.plugin.GridValidatorPluginImpl” validator is delivered with HCL Unica Plan which can help you to define the validations on-grid attribute(s). This validation plug-in supports two types of rules. ROW: row-level rules are executed first. GRID: grid-level rules are executed after row-level rules. HCL Unica Plan ships with the following sample rules. BeginsWithRule DateCheckRule RangeCheckRule UniqueCheckRule This article will help you to understand the grid validation, data validation rules, and how to implement the ROW level validation using the "BeginsWithRule" rule with the Text Single Line Type attribute. Let’s follow the step by step approach to learning the validation. Create the new grid frame using the Form...
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