CRM Services

Pegasystems seeks to banish "cloud gibberish" with better architecture

“This got so big Vegas is the only place we can put us all,” says Don Schuerman, CTO & VP Product Marketing during his keynote on the first day of Pegaworld 2016. In fact, with 3600 attendees it overtakes the vast MGM Grand hotel with badge wearing delegates, sign-wielding staff and massive outdoor marquees.

Founded by CEO Alan Trefler in 1984, this event offers a chance for Pegasystems to highlight its breadth of customers, from Cisco to Royal Bank of Scotland. Its latest partnerships, with the likes of Philips. And most important of all, highlight the need for improved customer experience in the world of connected devices.

Traditionally a BPM and case management company it has made a big recent push into CRM and Trefler describes the company mission as to: “Harness software to empower business outcomes in an unpredictable world.”

This means although the market has set it up as direct competitor to, it is a much more integrated play than most of the new wave of cloud companies. If people want something quick and simple and don’t want to change, Pega won’t be for them, says Trefler during a press briefing.

With revenues of $800 million last year Pega is still a long way behind Salesforce - which is at $6.6 billion - on earnings. Rated second after Salesforce on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM and customer engagement this year, it has a history of large customers. Yet Trefler says: “I’m pleased we now have a number of small companies that have chosen us over Salesforce.”

“I think their marketing exceeds their technology,” he adds during a separate briefing.

Trefler sees the company’s ‘model driven’ architecture as a clear differentiator from competitors in the space. “We’ve put a lot of work into generating a cloud native system which automatically generates new code to make it work,” says Trefler. He believes this makes it future proof unlike many other “cloud gibberish” companies which won’t stand the test of time.

“Architecture matters – it is what will differentiate the evolving system from the legacy system,” he says.

With the purchase of robotic automation software provider OpenSpan for $52 million in April the company has also put a lot of emphasis on automation. The main benefit of this is to increase productivity in contact centres, by automating the boring manual processes left over from legacy systems, and simplifying repetitive tasks like signing in.

Pega also uses the event to unveil a number of high profile partnerships which help give the company a deeper reach. This includes Philips in the health space. Here, Philips provide consumer health devices which transmit data, while Pega works with health providers, and particularly insurers in the US, to make that data part of a clear process to deliver connected care.

In the marketing space it is working with agency Merkle to incorporate advertising data in the full customer journey. This means that if a consumer purchases a product online, instead of being stalked round the internet by an advert for that same product, they will receive better targeted information. And if they’re looking at alternate utility suppliers their current company can target them with a better offer.   

Pega’s story is not a simple one because it is keen to stress its relevance across so many different areas. In the Technology Pavilion – a massive marquee behind the swimming pool – it had a new VR experience created with Cisco and a very red, shiny connected Corvette. The message is loud and clear: these are business applications that connect everything. And at the end of each and every one of them is a customer.


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