In late 2015, IBM Websphere Commerce announced the release of Websphere Commerce V8.0, the latest version of its popular ecommerce platform framework. Already a trusted ecommerce solution for more than 1,200 companies worldwide, IBM Websphere Commerce is a highly scalable platform that’s flexible enough to support both small businesses and global enterprises alike. And the new version promises to strengthen the platform’s already sparkling reputation for delivering first-rate customer experiences.
While the new version contains a whole host of upgrades, here are a few of the key upgrades and add-ons that make IBM Websphere Commerce V8.0 a winner:
Customer Service for Websphere Commerce
First off, the new version offers major improvements to customer service and support. This has been highlighted by IBM, as indicated on their site here. Built into the WebSphere Commerce storefront, these customer service enhancements enable a customer service representative (CSR) to assist with, and perform key tasks on behalf of the customer.
Available for both Professional and Enterprise editions, Customer Service for WebSphere Commerce offers a more user-friendly customer service experience by bringing the customer and the CSR closer together. Using a centrally maintained web application with a common user interface, this upgrade allows CSRs to experience the same buying process as the customers in order to better assist them with a variety of site activities. This includes assistance in everything from looking up a customer’s account and order history, to helping customers with cart content management and walking them through the checkout process.
Other benefits of Customer Service for WebSphere Commerce include:
- An intuitive customer service interface for the storefront that CSRs can quickly use with little training.
- Personalized content and promotions presented to CSRs to help drive increased sales.
- Powerful WebSphere Commerce site search to quickly find the right products for customers.
- Functionality with both B2B and B2C business models.
IBM Management Center for WebSphere Commerce
Another major improvement to the platform is the new highly-customizable Management Center. This feature was also touched on in a post on Briteskies.com. Aside from an updated new look for the Management center’s user interface, the system also got an updated new framework. The Management Center now operates on the open source Spring Framework, making it easier than ever for developers to add, modify and embed customized tools. Furthermore, as mentioned on Balfes.net, the system now uses DHTML, which eliminates the Management Center’s dependence on Adobe Flash and makes it possible for developers to view their changes without first compiling their code.
IBM Commerce Insights
Following in the wake of Websphere Commerce V8.0 is a new software as a service (SaaS) offering, called IBM Commerce Insights. Designed for use with on-premises deployments of WebSphere Commerce V8.0, or through IBM Commerce on Cloud, Commerce Insights offers ecommerce management professionals the ability to view analytics and business data from multiple sources all in a single place, rather than having to constantly switch between data streams to stay up to date with the health of their businesses. This allows business owners to make faster, more informed decisions based on solid, easy to read real-time data. However, although Commerce Insights is optimized for use with Websphere Commerce V8.0, it must be ordered separately.
All in all, IBM WebSphere Commerce V8.0 is an incredibly flexible new tool for ecommerce management professionals, offering a vastly improved user experiences for both business owners and customers alike. With new available tools, and a strong emphasis on customizability, V8.0 enables people at every level of your business, from merchandising to marketing, to foster stronger customer engagement than ever before.