I know, I know… I’m always talking about how it’s the age of the customer and how everything revolves around the customer. Guess what? I don’t just talk about it, I live by it too. Last week, it was my privilege to host our 2017 Client Day here in Toronto. We were joined by senior business and IT leaders from many of our customers from across the globe, across the country, and down the street. Client Day is our annual opportunity to highlight what we’ve achieved this year, hear from our customers on their successes, and talk about the path ahead of all of us. When I look back at those accomplishments, the innovative things our customers are doing with our technology, and our roadmap – I have to admit, I’ve never been prouder.

The theme for this year was “Intelligence”. Specifically, the evolution of CRM from sales force automation or contact management to a solution that uses artificial intelligence to leverage information to help an advisor, banker, or agent do more and work smarter, ultimately improving customer outcomes. Gene Leganza, Research Director from Forrester presented on the industry view and how it’s imperative to leverage data to transform into an insights-driven business and a shift from being just “customer-centric” to being “customer-obsessed”. I was delighted to have our product teams share how we could support the shift with intelligence-driven segmentation of customers, machine-learning derived interaction patterns to achieve desired outcomes, and what that looks like operationalized into the CRM experience.

Of course, our customers wanted to know about what we’ve been working on. We showcased our upcoming redesigned user experience that adheres to well-established Google Material design standards, and enables a fully-responsive and high-performance UI. Speaking of user interfaces, we talked about and showed what different kinds of conversational interfaces could look like in the road ahead. Customers were very excited about the potential for Natural Language Processing and Natural Language Generation and how that could dramatically improve the experience for users and customers alike.

From a technology perspective, we talked about our move to continuous delivery with app-store-like pushing of updates, while still enabling our customers to retain enterprise control over roll-out to end-users and A/B testing. Since this same time last year, we have moved to much more frequent releases of functionality and we talked about how we’re helping customers speed the time-to-market of new features. Our IT audience was also excited about the added flexibility of our deployment options with container / docker / PaaS support – reducing internal infrastructure costs and enabling hybrid strategies to gain all the benefits of cloud and SaaS while still retaining all the benefits of single-tenant, customer-controlled deployments.

A big thank you to our customers for attending and even presenting content on user adoption and the success of their platforms. Also, a big congratulations to our product and marketing teams for putting together such a great day. I’m excited to think of where we’ll be this time next year, building on the successes we’ve earned this year.