WIM isn’t a Whim

DialogTech ,

The world needs another three-letter acronym about as much as it needs $200-a-barrel oil. However, CRM magazine is right on the money with its new CRM Service Awards category: Web Interaction Management (WIM).

In a post last week, InfoToday Editorial Director David Myron explains why the magazine replaced the Web-Support Services category with two new ones, Web Self-Service and Web Interaction Management:

“– to make a clearer distinction between applications that provide automated self-service and those that handle live support across multiple Web channels (i.e., email, instant messaging, click-to-call, and click-to-chat). As time goes on, innovation may soon yield new Web interaction management tools.”

It’s one more sign that in the tech business focus is moving from “how” to “what.” And that’s all good news. First because it means that we’ve got “how” — the technology — down. Second, because focusing on “what” — the product — is where industries grow and money is made

For example, public key cryptography by itself isn’t likely to catapult a company into the Fortune 500. But a widget for shopping safely online anywhere, is. In 2007 PayPal generated $1.8 billion in revenue for eBay.

Likewise in the VoIP space, we haven’t yet seen anybody skyrocket into the financial stratosphere by selling Internet phone service — while at the same time the market for mobile phone service continues to explode. The reason is simple.

Many people — about three billion worldwide — see value in not being tied to a wired phone line. On the other hand, a very small number– about 90 million — see value in making a phone call via the Internet.

So what does this have to do with WIM? This: For years VoIP companies have been wandering in the wilderness looking for the promised Killer App. But it isn’t one killer app or even a killer app they need. It’s an app — period. Something people want that the technology makes possible. 

For example, suppose you need a plumber. A standalone IP phone just lets you call the plumber over the Internet — something you can already do with your landline.

By contrast, use a click-to-call and you can turn that transaction into a Web service that finds out what your problem is and schedules a technician who’s already in your neighborhood. And if it’s urgent, the service can automatically escalate the call to the plumber’s 24-hour emergency operation.

Oh, and it dials the phone call for you, too.