Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more about our loyalty management, gamification marketing, campaigns solutions

 

 

 

 

 

1. What is Comarch CRM & Marketing platform?

Comarch CRM & Marketing platform is a comprehensive suite of IT solutions and professional services, which helps build and manage loyalty programs, create rich consumer experiences and personalized interactions across multiple touch points, automate marketing processes, analyze customer and marketing data and finally, boost profits.

This comprehensive, modular platform consists of the following systems: 

 

2. What loyalty strategy services does Comarch offer?

To provide our customers with more complex support, our domain experts support Comarch’s customers with the following services:

Loyalty Managed Services - Comarch's managed services range includes: Loyalty Consulting, Creative Services, Program Management and Customer Analytics, and offers a broad spectrum of services that can help companies optimize their marketing activities, build strong engagement strategy and manage the entire customer loyalty life cycle.

Loyalty Consulting - Comarch brings its best practices, fresh perspectives and insights to build the optimal model of program operations and to organize processes and program management tailored for businesses of any size within any industry. We help our clients build complete, innovative programs - or revamp existing ones that will enable them to retain customers, increase profits, and create stronger engagement between customers, partners and the brand.

Creative Services - Comarch provides complex services based on measured strategies, high-tech solutions, best practices, “outside-the-box” thinking, and new perspectives to optimize benefits from implementation of the program. Our creative services are based on designing a gamification strategy, setting on gamification program rules, developing customer engagement program management and unique graphical design like: web and mobile versions, leaflets, posters, and TV spots.

Program Management Services - Comarch program managers are highly-qualified professionals with global market expertise specializing in customer relationship management from both business and operational aspects. Comarch supports companies in all processes starting with setting up the initial program to providing guidelines on how to expand and gain access to new market areas and top-class advice for future development and growth.

Customer Analytics - Our confidence and experience regarding analytical projects covers: data gathering, data cleaning and auditing, improving and maintaining data quality, and data analysis. We specialize in: elevating and understanding client needs, identifying purchase triggers, uncovering mechanisms responsible for creating engagement and customer loyalty. We do this by using a variety of methods and approaches taken from scientific practices and background.

 

3. What types of supporting services does Comarch offer?

Comarch's maintenance services are based on the ITIL v3 standard. Maintenance services include: incident management, event management, and change management. Service centers are located in Toronto, Chicago, Krakow, and Lviv.

Hosting services - includes services necessary for the CRM & Marketing solutions to work stably, efficiently and reliably (server administration on the hardware level, system software administration, Disaster Recovery Center, Backup services). Comarch has its own data centers which guarantee the highest levels of safety, and business continuity. Apart from its own data centers, Comarch cooperates with partners around the world, so it can provide its services on an extensive network of data centers in Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.

 

4. What SLA levels are offered by Comarch support & maintenance team?

As standard, Comarch currently proposes three service levels:

service-levels

Support hours – time when support team is available for customer and works on critical issues – depends on chosen service level (see above)
Working hours – time when support team and production team (3rd line support) are available for customer and work on any issue/error/bug or customer’s question.

They differ in:

  • default support hours
  • reaction time and fix-time to reported errors/issues/bugs

 

5. What types of training services does Comarch offer? What is included with the solution and what is offered on a fee-for-service basis?

Comarch training sessions cover all CRM & Marketing applications and modules. The detailed training scope is tailored to particular implementations and adjusted for specific Customer needs.

Our trainings are focused on the following areas:

  • Loyalty program business perspectives/business processes
  • Integration overview
  • System usage

The training may be enhanced with sessions regarding 3rd party applications, e.g. bug reporting systems, if necessary.

Comarch training team can provide different types of courses including:

  • General training - dedicated for small teams (up to 10 participants) managing a loyalty program. The general assumption is that everybody needs to be familiar with the application already
  • Team oriented training - dedicated for large teams with shared responsibility areas. Training includes several training sessions tailored to the specific needs of each team
  • Other training approaches:
    - Basic-Advanced - the main assumption is that all loyalty team personnel should be familiar with the program/system basics. Only selected employees should know particular issues on a master level. Each training topic is divided into two parts – basic and advanced.
    - Train-the-trainers
    - Off-site training via WebEx

 

6. How much does Comarch CRM & Marketing platform cost?

The cost of the solution and implementation depends on various factors including: complexity and number of interfaces, number of members (B2C), number of users of the system, the complexity of customization resulting from special needs of the customer. Prices are estimated based on the information provided by clients. Please contact our sales managers who can provide you an offer and prices calculated based on the information provided.

 

7. How does the cost and license structure work?

The costs of the solution include:

  • License fee (depends on the modules selected)
  • Implementation fee
  • Ongoing costs (monthly fees) that can contain: Technical Support & Maintenance services, Managed Services and Hosting services

 

Comarch offers scalable and flexible pricing options to help clients manage costs.

 

8. How do you primarily deploy and deliver your loyalty technology platform?

Comarch CRM & Marketing solutions are offered as:

  • standalone implementation at the customer data center
  • hosted solution in Comarch's or a Comarch operated data center
  • managed and SaaS model

 

9. Can the solution be configured or customized by non-technical users? How much custom development is typically required?

The platform provides a wide range of configuration options that can be done by non-technical employees including program management, promotions, interfaces, and reporting. Custom development focuses primarily on integration and does not impact the ability to adopt new features or upgrade the platform.

 

10. How intuitive, easy to use, and customizable is the interface for marketers and program managers?

The UI is role-based, clean, and linear; non-technical users can perform a wide range of tasks associated with program configuration, management, marketing, measurement, and reporting. All associated modules are accessible via single sign-on and have a consistent look and feel.

It is equipped with several drag-and-drop wizards, graphical designers, calendars, WYS|WYG editors, charts, and dashboards.
Tutorials, online help, templates are also available to make the system more intuitive and easy to use.

 

11. What languages are supported by Comarch CRM & Marketing solutions?

The interface of the solutions can be adopted for all languages. The platform also supports creation of marketing messages or names of different elements in many language versions.

 

12. How many employees do you have dedicated to your loyalty business?

Comarch has a team of 480+ experts in 18 countries dedicated for marketing product development, implementation maintenance, sales, consulting, program management, and trainings.

 

13. Which clients/industries use your applications?

Nowadays CRM&Marketing platform supports over 80 mid-size and large enterprises in more than 42 countries throughout Europe (Poland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Romania, Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, Turkey), North and South America (USA, Canada, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile), Asia and Middle East (Malaysia, Philippines, UAE, Indonesia, Vietnam, Reunion). Comarch marketing solutions power retail, oil & gas, telecoms, banks, insurance companies, consumer goods producers, airlines, airports, and car rentals.

 

14. How are your solutions tailored to the needs of different industries?

Comarch has in its portfolio industry-specific services such as:

  • retail - where interfaces for specific POS and ePOS are available, as well as complex discounting scenarios (on top of the regular loyalty promotions) and vouchers/coupons;
  • oil & gas downstream marketing - specific IFSF protocol for site communication, integration with POS@the pump (Verifone), integration with SAP Retail; 
  • airlines - integration with industry leading Internet Booking Engines, Reservation Systems, Revenue Accounting Systems, Departure Control Systems; providers that we integrate with: Sabre, Amadeus, Navitaire, Datalex, SITA, Mercator, Revera.
  • airports, car rentals
  • finance (banking, credit card services), with PCI Compliance for selected implementations, cashback scenarios

 

15. What differs the platform from other solutions?

Unique Selling Points of Comarch CRM & Marketing platform include:

  • Comprehensive, end-to-end loyalty offering - complete portfolio of IT solutions and professional services that help manage and support the entire loyalty value chain and enables companies to create a loyalty program from scratch
  • Multi-industry loyalty experience – support of marketing programs for the world’s best brands and deep understanding of loyalty strategy
  • Modularity - easily configurable system components that allow future expansion and development of the platform
  • Powerful engine - fully scalable platform that grows along with client business
  • Innovative & robust Promo Designer – graphical user interface, which enables the ability to create multiple loyalty benefits as a result of a single transaction in drag and drop technology
  • Real-time experience - real-time accrual and redemption of points/miles, as well as coupon issuance and marketing communication
  • Partnership management very strong capabilities in managing partners within the airline coalition or multi-partner loyalty programs.
  • Integrated micro-location technology - Comarch Beacon - new richer consumer experiences & improved targeting offers
  • Embedded gamification solution - maximizing customer engagement and strong advantage over competitors
  • Loyalty marketing-oriented analytical tool with interactive dashboards and KPIs -complete insight into loyalty program’s condition and social engagement in real-time
  • Seamless integration - easy access to valuable data and complete insight into customer profile across all touch points, capability to integrate with diversified and complex systems existing on client site by leveraging own resources
  • Support of all kinds of program structures & loyalty mechanics - system tailored to all businesses and various industries
  • Quick, flexible & in-house delivery - full system customization, exclusive features of the system & effective change management process
  • Creative touch - rich user experience and state-of-the-art graphic design as well as web development with the use of the best available technology

 

16. Are your solutions recognized by any leading research companies?

Comarch Loyalty Management solution was distinguished by Forrester Research and Gartner. Comarch product has been recognized and evaluated in the following reports by analyst companies e.g.:

  • Market Guide for Loyalty Marketing Platforms, 2015
  • The Gartner CRM Vendor Guide, 2015
  • The Forrester Wave: Customer Loyalty Solutions for Large Organizations Q1 2016
  • Understanding The anatomy of a Loyalty Technology platform, 2012

 

17. How can I integrate external data?

Comarch CRM&Marketing platform is equipped with an open interface enabling easy integration with external systems. The system can integrate data from various sources including systems like CRMs, ecommerce platforms, industry dedicated integrations (e.g. IBE, DCS, RAS in case of Airline industry) or social media (integration with Facebook and Twitter). The comprehensive range of interfaces enable integration of the Comarch system with any existing infrastructure and 3rd party systems. Moreover the system can process sale transactions online using ISO 8583 protocol or offline from batch files.

Comarch CRM&Marketing platform supports such integration technologies as:

  • JMS/Message MQ - for asynchronous and event-based external systems integration
  • PL/SQL interface - traditional method for integration, often chosen, when the performance is critical or the external systems do not offer any other option for cooperation
  • SOAP web services – i.e. for processing POS transactions, as a data source for a customer web site - CLM supports web service-specific technologies and protocols such as Java API for XML-based RPC, Java API for XML registries, etc. In some cases, this method can also be used
  • RMI over IIOP- i.e. for sending sales information to the master system - CLM supports the Java RMI that relies on remote method invocation APIs, which use Java language interfaces to define remote interface objects; similarly, a very important and commonly used method of integration in CLM
  • Internet protocols - i.e. for processing POS transactions in IFSF format - CLM supports such standard, common Internet protocols as TCP/IP, HTTP, SSL, etc; in CLM we often use TCP services as a method of real time integration.
  • ETL – data exports from CLM, which are used to feed external systems with data using the CSV file format, full and incremental exports are available.
  • Flat Files – i.e. for updating transaction histories, system dictionaries and third-party data – CLM utilizes flat files for any asynchronous data transfers which happen on a periodic basis.

Innovative approach to streamline integration process is also realized by:

REST API – new generation HTTP-based API for external systems integrated with CLM as well as for building modules using CLM data (e.g. customers and partners portal). The API supports the OAUTH authorization standard.

Data Hub - is a new generation tool responsible for streamlining the file exchange process, including automated file format conversion. It allows users to quickly and easily integrate new partners, reducing time and costs of new integrations.

In store App - is an innovative solution for tablets that can replace the standard integration process. It is dedicated for cashiers in retail outlets (possibly also other service points) that are part of the loyalty program and are not integrated with the program through the POS terminal. Cashiers are equipped with a tablet device with installed in-store application. The application allows for accrual, redemption and quick enrollment to the program - all actions performed in real time at the till.

Additionally, supporting product called CSM is a service that gathers information about customer activity on social media platforms and uses this information for detailed analysis of customer data. In the times of tweets, likes and post adding, collecting observations can be an innovative way to understand what is going on in the potential buyers’ minds.

 

18. How is the roadmap defined? How can customers influence the roadmap?

Comarch strategy in the field of loyalty marketing has the following assumptions:

  • Proprietary product, developed based on knowledge and experience from numerous projects
  • Implemented by Comarch staff – quality control
  • Hosted by Comarch – transfer of responsibility, software in the form of the service
  • Support by Comarch staff - transfer of responsibility, software in the form of the service
  • Agile product development
  • Waterfall product delivery
  • Strong RnD, roadmap development

Each time, our product roadmap focuses on extension for both: Customers and Day to Day Operators. This approach allows us not only to capture the needs of different system users but also bring an accurate solution to their challenges. Product development works under an extremely dynamic environment. As the experts, we know that it requires from us flexible, open to constant changes and efficient in delivering high quality products that matches requirement changes, customer turnover and technology innovation. That is why we follow the agile methodology as our development strategy in R&D to ensure rapid and flexible response to industry changes that is beneficial to our clients. Product managers dedicated for each system gather and analyze ideas regarding new features and enhancements from multiple sources, starting from existing clients and prospects, consulting, sales, developments, support teams, conferences and industry events to market trends & reports. A very important role to play:

  • Customer Advisory Boards - The advisory board is one of the sources of input regarding the development of new features and functionalities to improve the system.
  • User groups - the Comarch user conference takes place regularly and brings together our customers from across different industries where they can exchange ideas and experiences and benefit from cross industry best practice.

 

19. What is the release policy?

Comarch develops the system according to a roadmap which is based on market research, input from the advisory board and our presence at industry conferences. Releases are published regularly. Comarch CRM & Marketing solutions follow the release cycle of major, minor and maintenance releases and patch sets.

The release policy for the system is split into four levels:

software realease

  • major version – A new release of the system is published every 4-6 years. Such a release is usually related to a major technological change, which is why it is called a major version. For customers who have already purchased an older major version of the system, an upgrade to the latest version involves carrying out an entire implementation project for the system to be changed and customized. This is why Comarch does not force clients to implement a new major version and continues to support older ones.
  • minor version – these system versions are published and offered to customers every six months. It groups maintenance releases as well as newly developed functions.
  • maintenance release – published every 10-12 weeks. These versions include bug fixes as update packs and additional small functions ordered by specific customers (CR’s).
  • patch sets – published after the detection of a critical bug. These versions are included in the support agreement.

 

20. What kind of certificates and standards does your solution have?

  • PCI-DSS
  • SAS 70/ISAE3402
  • ISO
  • ITIL

 

21. How long does it take to implement the solution?

Typically between 6-9 months, however, this can vary based on the size/scope of the project, integrations required etc.

 

22. Which operating systems are supported by the platform?

For the loyalty, campaign and social mining tools we support SuSe - commonly used Linux distributions in other projects are RedHat and Oracle Linux).

 

23. Which databases are supported by the platform?

For loyalty and campaign management we use Oracle 11.2 or 12.1.

For Social Mining we use Apache Hbase and can also use PostgreSQL or Elasticsearch.

 

24. Which browsers are supported (e.g. IE xx)?

The solution is web based. Common browsers supported (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome). The frontend for the member portal is device neutral.

 

Tell us your business needs, and we’ll find the perfect solution