Point of View

Connect the dots between the back and front offices using Pegasystems to deliver a OneOffice experience

March 26, 2021

Enterprises face mounting pressures to radically update their systems to remain competitive and relevant to their customers. Increasingly, this means moving to the cloud to achieve speed, flexibility, and ease of management of their IT environment. Several cloud platform providers have developed compelling solutions to position themselves as the partner of choice for enterprises on their digital transformation journeys. Pegasystems is rapidly becoming a credible choice because it offers integrated back-office and front-office solutions littered with automation offerings and a low-code application development platform. This portfolio aligns nicely with the HFS OneOffice framework, which also advocates for a connected enterprise approach to solving today’s business problems.

Pegasystems differentiator: World-class business processes that achieve world-class CRM

Since its inception in 1983, Pegasystems has focused on the importance of business process excellence to support enhanced customer engagement. Initial offerings focused on automating business process management (BPM) and case management. Its $162 million acquisition of Chordiant in 2010 added a customer relationship management (CRM) business, lending Pegasystems the credibility to link the back office with the front office for enterprises. Other acquisitions added specific capabilities, such as RPA-provider OpenSpan in 2016 and Qurious.io, a cloud-based speech analytics company, in January 2021, Customers and partners can also build enhancements on the low-code application development Pega platform. A key bonus for customers is what Pega calls Cloud Choice: Customers can choose to run their solution on the AWS-powered Pega Cloud as a managed service, on any other cloud, or even on-premises. The provider’s preference is for customers to use the Pega Cloud as a managed service, and this part of the business is its biggest growth area, representing a 56% revenue growth in FY 2020.

Because of Pegasystems’ holistic approach to digital transformation, which includes operational excellence and superior customer engagement, its competitors vary by market. The most obvious competitors include ServiceNow, Salesforce, and traditional BPM foes like Appian. Salesforce, for example, also offers a complete CRM solution, supported by its AppExchange low-code development platform that contains thousands of additional assets. A much bigger company, with FY 2021 revenues of $21.3 billion, Salesforce was even once rumored to be interested in acquiring Pegasystems. However, Alan Trefler, CEO of Pegasystems, was not interested in any acquisition and continued to steer his ship to a respectable $1 billion revenue for FY 2020. Salesforce, ServiceNow, and other platforms, including Appian, Mendix, and others, all offer valuable low-code development and integration capabilities for customers. Pegasystems’ golden nugget is its focus and experience in linking back-office operations to support front-office capabilities to deliver robust customer service and loyalty while supporting multiple hosting options.

Pegasystems’ center-out approach: Change your mindset from siloed processes to cross-functional operations

Central to achieving the HFS OneOffice is a mindset shift from considering the enterprise as a set of siloed processes to considering it as an environment of cross-functional enterprise operations. Pegasystems CEO Alan Trefler has a similar vision for enterprises to adopt a “center-out” approach to modernization that focuses on customer outcomes. This involves considering what Pega calls customer microjourneys, which connect all the relevant systems to provide call center agents with the right information for answering the current question and predicting the next best action. An essential element of achieving this goal is Pegasystems’ investment history in artificial intelligence (AI), for example, its Pega Intelligent Virtual Assistant for Email and Pega Intelligent Interactive Voice Response (IVR). As a World Chess Open Champion in 1975, Trefler’s understanding of analyzing the next best move in a changing environment is a key skill that may be hard to match!

Everything is dynamic-it’s no longer “one and done”

Trefler is also keen for customers to understand that this is a journey and that your business and technology are dynamic. And he’s right, of course. As necessary as it is to re-think the way you view your processes, it is also imperative to understand that digital transformation doesn’t have an end state. For example, Pegasystems advocates that customers implement a center of excellence (CoE), as Sun Life Canada did, to continually identify new opportunities to improve the system. Continuous improvement requires a continual development and implementation approach rather than the “one and done” mentality associated with legacy implementations of old. A CoE empowers your internal teams to evolve, improve, and stay abreast of technology innovation, your business strategy, and your increasingly demanding customer expectations. While this may sound daunting, once you implement a OneOffice mindset and framework, this forward-looking mindset becomes business as usual.

You still need a service provider to help you get this right

So, you’ve contracted with Pegasystems and bought into the vision. However, a contract and shared vision alone will not deliver the mindset change required to succeed in your digital transformation initiatives. You will need help from service providers who have collated best practices and developed leading tools and technologies to help you to succeed. In fact, needing help holds true for all the software platforms that we cover at HFS. It is the service providers who can help you to understand the value of the solution, ensure that you consider all the relevant issues upfront, and help you to maximize your investment in the technology. You can see examples of assets on the Pega platform, for example, Accenture’s Customer Safety and Recall Management Solution, HCL’s Rapid Deployment Framework, Virtusa’s Provider Lifecycle Management platform. Pegasystems has a large partner channel consisting of global and local partners that can guide you through your engagements.

The Bottom Line: Consider using Pegasystems to facilitate your OneOffice journey, but use a service provider for guidance and expertise to get it right.

Pegasystems has the components to assist you in your OneOffice journey to achieve a connected front and back office, with a laser focus on customer-centricity. However, there is a huge opportunity to communicate this message as many enterprises are not aware of this capability. Service providers are ramping up skills and solution investments to support customers in their Pegasystems services-based digital transformation journeys. HFS will explore this further in the upcoming Pega Services Top 10 report.

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