Aspire Leaderboard – Q3 2023 Update

October 17, 2023

The Aspire Leaderboard is a one-of-a-kind tool designed to help stakeholders in every part of the customer communications ecosystem compare software vendors’ and service providers’ Customer Communications Management (CCM) and Customer Experience Management (CXM) offerings across a grid that evaluates both the strength of their capabilities and the scope of their strategic direction. In this update, I’d like to give you an overview of Leaderboard developments in the last quarter (2023 Q3).

If you’re unfamiliar with the Aspire Leaderboard, the system allows visitors to compare participating vendors and providers using our in-depth filtering algorithms. At the beginning of this year, we replaced our annual updates with a continuous update model that enables us to quickly adjust participant scoring and revise their detailed written profiles within just a few weeks of a significant change or addition to their service offerings and technology. With vendors and service providers moving to agile development methodologies and shorter release cycles, this allows us to more easily track new developments. Now, at the end of every quarter, we will release revised static grids and provide a short write-up of pertinent developments. Visitors can find our extensive analysis of each participant’s offerings, strategy, and roadmap on their profile page by clicking on the vendor or provider name on the Leaderboard grid.

Q3 2023 – New Entrants

Let’s begin our update by reviewing the newest additions to the Aspire Leaderboard: Belwo, Canon Europe, Dialog Group, and Eclipse.

Based in Dallas, TX, Belwo is a system integrator specializing in Quadient implementations. The company has been around for a long time. It was first a trusted Xerox implementation partner focusing on print workflow and composition, but it now increasingly specializes in digital and CX areas leveraging the wider Quadient stack. The company has a local team in the States, over 100 employees offshore in India, and an increasing presence in Europe as well.

Canon Europe, as it is represented on our Leaderboard, includes the European CCM team of the global print equipment and digital services provider giant. Marketing and sales teams operate out of the UK and are supported by a CCM competence center in the Netherlands. Canon Europe empowers its national sales offices across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa with the tools and skills they need to offer CCM services to its large installed base. The organization has more than 100 professionals in its competence center and partners with a variety of vendors, most notably Quadient, SmartComms, OpenText, Upland (formerly Objectif Lune), and Compart.

Dialog Group is a Dutch solution integrator with offices in the Netherlands and Belgium as well as a recently expanded presence in Germany and the Czech Republic. While its close relationship with Precisely is enabling it to transition from a labor augmentation services provider to a tech-enabled solution integrator, Dialog Group also supports Quadient, SmartIQ (Smart Communications’ forms solution), and Crawford Technologies’ ECP capabilities. It has exclusive rights to distribute for Precisely’s RapidCX hosted managed services platform in Benelux, Germany, and the Czech Republic, but Dialog Group also markets its own technology. It is heavily focused on offering bi-directional communications capabilities, including interactive personalized videos, mobile messaging, and its newly acquired chatbot functionality.

Eclipse is a Dutch solution provider offering a mature SaaS platform based on Quadient’s composition engine, complemented by a significant portion of its proprietary developments related to scenario and event management, forms, and digital channels. The company offers single or multi-tenant SaaS and serves some of the largest enterprises in the Benelux region. It has formed a strategic partnership with Paragon in the Netherlands (formerly the services arm of PostNL) through which Eclipse provides a cloud-based communications platform to support Paragon’s print capabilities and design services.

2023 Q3 – Aspire Leaderboard Movemements

We’ve made the following adjustments to the scoring and profiles of existing Leaderboard participants. Companies on the Leaderboard that are not included in this update may be featured in the next cycle slated for the end of Q4 2023.

  • Airdocs has made significant improvements in orchestration (the very backbone of its offerings) and continues to invest in additional R&D resources to fuel new innovations. Its cloud composition platform is based on FIS’ CSF technology, and FIS is increasingly introducing Airdocs to additional markets outside Australia and New Zealand.
  • DataOceans continues to find traction in the consumer lending space, particularly in auto finance with its Oceanus platform (which it recently extended with a Compliance Hub). This new development allows DataOceans’ customers to access pre-approved compliance letters to help them accelerate time-to-market.
  • eGlue is a progressive Italian CCM-CXM services provider who has successfully transformed itself from a print business to a digital first solution provider. The company has developed a sustainability assessment that evaluates new projects based on the energy, carbon, and consumable savings they could generate. eGlue has also teamed up with Didier Rouillard, a former Quadient executive, and together they have taken over Quadient’s former business development program DigitalNow, that will continue under the DNow! brand.
  • GhostDraft is a cloud-native, US-based CCM solution provider focused on the mid-sized P&C market. The company has made improvements in its Hub & Content Library as well as its business process automation (workflow) engine to streamline how insurance companies create, manage, and file compliance-based communications (referred to as “forms” in the GhostDraft product portfolio). GhostDraft is also focusing more on form migration, helping clients to easily digitize complex forms and their associated workflow.
  • Intense has released significant improvements to its cloud capabilities that have boosted its position on the AnyPrem, SaaS and Communications Experience Platform (CXP) Leaderboard grids. Key new developments include a multi-tenant SaaS support allowing Intense to go into the SMB market, vertical industry focus in manufacturing, retail and general insurance, the development of a light-weight thin-client designer, the use of native AWS capabilities and the inclusion of Uniserve 360 on the Amazon app exchange, and a sharpened focus on data as well as blockchain smart contracts.
  • KWSoft is a German-based document composition vendor seeing strong demand for its solutions in its home country, particularly in the insurance space. At the same time, its Series M technology (with better content authoring capabilities through its Tonic Content Hub system) is fueling expansion into the wider European and American markets.
  • Messagepoint was ahead of the market in its release of ChatGPT integration and the natural fit within its product improved its platform strength. Messagepoint not only identifies content quality issues, but it now also has the capability to rectify them while giving customers granular control over content. We believe Messagepoint’s AI strategy is compelling and in line with market needs.
  • OpenText’s strengthening data capabilities (driven both through its own CDP product development and its evolving Google partnership) and updates to its orchestration, journey management, and intelligent workspace solution have boosted its capability score on our CXP grid. Its Aviator AI strategy was the big new announcement this quarter. We expect to hear more details in Q4.
  • O’Neil Digital Solutions unveiled a new version of its expansive Communications Experience Platform. It includes Valet, an integrated AI that helps customers create communications, analyze content, and even code workflow. The company has a strong background in data analysis and has embedded in-depth data analytics based on live personas.
  • Quadient made architectural improvements in its AnyPrem cloud deployment and evolved Scaler to support native event listening capabilities, boosting its platform score. On the SaaS grid, its Evolve product continues to approach parity with its AnyPrem product. Meanwhile the ease of Impress deployment gives it traction in the SMB market. Quadient’s go-to-market position reflects some of the risk created by changes in control of the service provider-focused business development program DigitalNow, which is continuing as DNOW! through a partnership between eGlue and Didier Rouillard (the former Quadient VP running the program).
  • Sefas continues to evolve in the direction of a Communications eXperience Platform (CXP) by incorporating capabilities from its parent company Docaposte. Being part of the Digital Trust division, it has placed a keen focus on digital identity and e-signature capabilities. It’s CXP vision is based on its Sefas HC Producer product, which links downstream orchestration with upstream composition and partner capabilities from the CX ecosystem such as provided by PossibleNow.

What’s Next?

We’re currently working on adding several new suppliers to the Aspire Leaderboard, including two vendors from the U.S., two providers in the UK, one in Germany, and one from Sweden. Stay tuned for more updates in the near future.

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