Twelve short months ago, I was hired by HCLSoftware to drive the Unica brand into the future. With a clear-cut vision for what the brand could be and should be, I was energized by the opportunity to help refresh a category-leading brand. To accomplish this in a timely manner, I knew three key things had to happen.
- Executive empowerment to push hard and move fast towards a shared vision
- Authority to hire platform experts and category specialists from various backgrounds to anticipate and meet the needs of our customers
- Honest and constructive feedback from a passionate userbase to drive our final product roadmap
Fortunately for us, across the board support for our vision has never wavered and because of this, we couldn’t be more excited to have the Unica V12.1 launch in sight. This release represents not only the largest expansion of the Unica portfolio ever, but also a paradigm shift in how customers will consume Unica today and into the future.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey”… and our journey is what I’d like to share with you today.
Our journey began in 2019 with big expectations, lofty goals and a desire to immediately enhance the Unica platform. Our first order of business was to address the technical debt customers earmarked as first priority importance. With that, our V11.x versions delivered big jumps that included:
- Ability to upgrade quickly with Fast Upgrade allowing users to jump from a legacy version to the newest GA version in hours instead of months
- Flexibility to manage the IT centric duties of the overall platform, logs and databases all within the Unica platform via Director
- Over 1,200 upgrades that addressed a very long list of enhancement service requests
These upgrades represented the largest feature updates of the solution in over eight years! After dedicating so much time and effort to deliver these enhancements, we were thrilled to receive an outstanding NPS (Net Promoter) score of 73. But more importantly, positive partner and customer feedback assured us we were on the right track. This gave our entire team a much-needed boost to continue forging ahead with confidence.
Fast forward to April 2020, which marked just nine months since HCL acquired Unica, the team released Unica V12.0 – the largest platform update in Unica history. An accomplishment for all of us to be proud of with over 200 total enhancements including 25 new features, 90+ native reports, 500+ REST APIs and a new UI/UX. V12.0 also delivered some huge features to the platform with a new Centralized Offer Manager and out-of-the-box reports all without an additional reporting license dependency. However, the really big news was that with V12.0, Unica went Cloud Native, was able to deploy in minutes, upgrade in hours, was premises agnostic supporting on-prem, cloud, or hybrid environments with Cloud Native capabilities like Docker and Kubernetes, a rich set of micro-services, and open source support (no WAS, DB2, Cognos dependency). Probably the most impressive demo was seeing the entire Unica platform being installed with just the words, “Hey Alexa, install Unica!” – Our engineering teams have brilliant minds.
Looking back, we have taken amazing leaps with a solution so many people said was an aging legacy platform. In just over a year after the acquisition close, Unica is now a modernized platform that is doing things no other system has done and with a stunning level of integration flexibility, speed and even more power… which sets the stage for everything to come with an open integration platform allowing even faster feature additions.
The Unica team is enthusiastic about what we have accomplished thus far, but it has been the almost war cry like chat from customer and partners that has kept us powered up … #UNICAisBack. Customers wanted Unica back because of its power, control and flexibility. We listened to customer input, invested in the platform and delivered on our promises for the best Unica ever with V12.0… but as of July there will be even more.
Next month, we launch the most anticipated Unica release since the HCL acquisition. Unica V12.1 will be an unprecedented platform expansion with three customer requested modules. Customers said they wanted an integrated deployment solution, Journey creation and management, and the ability to connect to all the data and application sources connected to the customer experience. Customers wanted to be able to take advantage of the Unica platform capabilities as a unified and integrated platform instead of individual products. Customers also wanted us to simplify the pricing to make it more consumable. Just one of these requests would have been an enormous release in any other software company, but we are delivering on each of these requests – Unica Deliver, Unica Journey, Unica Link & a radically simplified pricing model!
- Unica Deliver – Consolidate your spend & lower your TCO … with Unica Deliver, a high-volume email delivery engine that is 20% faster than alternatives.
- Unica Journey – Nurture your customers across all channels in real-time… with Unica Journey’s goal-based marketing.
- Unica Link – Unlock the power of your marketing data & applications … with Unica Link, through point and click integration.
- New Simplified Pricing Model – To help customers capitalize on the power of an integrated cloud-native marketing platform, HCL is introducing the Unica Power Pack, which lets customers get access to the entire Unica platform, using a simplified, transparent, consumption-based pricing model.