Interview WidasConcepts: User-oriented and secure cloud operation
Customized customer experience begins with login.
Wimsheim, 22. Juni 2016 The IT-Consulting form WidasConcepts, with Customer Identity Management as a Service (cidaas) offers an intelligent connect between user convenience and IT-Security. When it comes to complex management of customer identities across all digital channels, the SaaS solution provides adequate support from which not just cidaas providers but their customers profit as well. Thomas Widmann, Founder and CEO WidasConcepts, talks about the potential of the software solution and the opportunity for customer oriented companies to establish a real win-win situation.
- The customers across numerous industries come into contact with companies these days not only in person, by phone or computer – Mobile Devices and Apps have long been among the most common tools. How to companies confront this development?
Many companies provide custom apps and portals with various tasks and priorities for their customers. These often use custom and proprietary user account management methods. The possibility of a Single Sign On (SSO, one account for all channels) or even a much more comfortable social media login option is not usually given.
In a digitized world companies make available to their customers various interfaces (web services), which must be protected. Also customized permissions must be supported and managed. Whether Customer Identity Management is seen in conjunction with SSO and Security API in businesses, is questionable.
- What are the needs of customers, when they come into contact with a company over the internet?
Customers want to be known and personally attended to – and that too by latest from the date on which they sign in with their user account. Individuality in addressing them thus plays a fundamental role: Businesses should not approach their customers consistently with the same schemes, but give customized offers.
With so many companies and deals, the fact that customers today – depending on how often they use a system or access the respective provider – no longer are able remember each individual user ID and associated passwords. This is especially the case if they want to access individually created accounts that they rarely use. In addition, those who use apps are also accustomed to not having to login repeatedly – because there, users are usually instantly online. i.e. they sign up once, when they access the app. Even days later, a new registration is not necessary, unless a Customer identity management system considers this necessary sporadically.
- The service aspect is itself a requirement that customers have formulated long before the wide use of the Internet. Has the demand for individuality in the customer approach with the advent of the network got a new dynamic?
We can see clearly that social media login is now already become a standard, particularly in the e-commerce sector. Many companies in this area already offer such login options. Many other industries have not yet realized the potential behind it. In general, one must also realize that we are not the fastest in Germany, when it comes to such adaptations.
- How can the customer experience designed to be as smooth as possible across all channels?
Basically, the customer experience can be steered decisively in a positive direction already, when the users login with a single account and use a variety of services – thus eliminating the cumbersome logging in into different accounts, which also often differ in the login procedures. The ability to be instantly online, enhances the positive experience further. In addition, if it is also possible to be simultaneously logged in to various endpoints, the whole range of comfortable use-options manifests itself: customers contact their providers in this way not only through websites or portals, they can be simultaneously logged in on the smartphone or tablet and nevertheless be recognized as the same person. This is a clear added gain in the user-oriented interaction.
- What is the added value that cidaas has to offer in this context?
cidaas does everything what customer experience involves, like I just said: This begins with the ability to choose from various social media providers, so that a customer can login with his habitual account. cidaas offers SSO, so that the account can be used across all channels. The customer additionally has the option to be instantly online. Even more important for providers however is, that they can integrate their Web services to other systems. Very often companies that use apps and mobile devices, clearly offer more services than other companies. These interfaces must of course be protected reliably. To ensure this requirement, cidaas offers out-of-the-box API Security, so that a company can make secured services available for third parties, i.e: partner companies and customers.
- Keyword Security: A customer login via social media profile is comfortable but also carries risks. How safe is the solution in the event of unauthorized access attempts?
We ensure a strong authentication that the person who signs up, is clearly identified and also permanently represents that person. This is guaranteed using Big Data technologies. Where there is uncertainty regarding the user identity, more information about the user is queried. We then send an SMS, for example with an additional code to the registered mobile phone number, with which the customer additionally confirms his identity. This is something that many proprietary solutions that companies have today cannot yet vouch for.
- How do companies benefit from the use of cidaas?
The topics customer safety and customer identity management are among the core focus aspects of WidasConcepts. Therefore we dedicate ourselves exclusively and constantly take care about the security aspect. A company usually cannot guarantee this in such a defined manner. Safety of course is clearly a defined need for them as well. However, the actual capital and investment should flow into the core business of the company to be able to provide the best possible service for their customers.
WidasConcepts provides Customer Identity Management as a Service from the secure, cloud system hosted in Germany. Integration from a company’s view point is thus very simple – because no personal resources, such as that for the operation, for software updates and maintenance of the system, need to be delegated. Customers of WidasConcepts benefit across the board from our constant commitment to keep the software safe.
- Can the solution be integrated into existing systems? What expenses does such an implementation entail?
The technical effort for implementing the first solution is approximately five to fifteen days. The successive cidaas steps can be subsequently completed. Ultimately, we follow a standard, by which many systems can be easily integrated.
- Is the solution also scalable?
cidaas itself is not visible to the user: The system always corresponds to 100 percent of the corporate identity of our clients. It is ultimately all about the customer registration and the login functionality of the client’s company. On the other hand there is the possibility, during registration to query upon extended customer information. For this, custom fields are offered which the client can use to perform a meaningful registration. Finally, additional adjustments are of course also feasible keeping in mind the extended integration in the company. Again this is possible following the registration, in accordance with the cost.
- Keyword customized usage: What options do Providers with cidaas have, in order to further optimize the customer experience for registered customers?
Through social login, a company that uses cidaas can access information of its customers. The basis being, that the customer who performs registration on the system, is ready to pass on information from his social network – about contacts, hobbies or interests. The customer decides exclusively himself, as to what he wants to share. This information can be used in sales and service, in order to offer personalized experience. This corresponds to the requirement of the customer too: Because if he shares information, he also expects that the company uses this to offer him personalized services.
These are the two sides of the coin: The company gets more avenues for the interaction with the customer, but must in return redirect the added value for the benefit of customers. This will be gladly accepted.
- What scenarios can be realized in the future with solutions such as cidaas? Where are we heading in the areas of customer comfort and customer experience?
Basically it applies well to all such areas, where accounts are used, in order to protect the user’s identity. In this regard, there are constantly new technological possibilities – think of Mobile Phones with fingerprint or screen unlock-patterns being built instead of a password for authentication. Such concepts will be obtained out-of-the-box with cidaas. And one remains always up to date. Furthermore, companies are increasingly making Web services available to third parties in order to be a part in the digital world.
In future it will also be necessary accordingly, to offer users enhanced services, based on the local intelligence. That is, depending on location, time or emotional state of the person, these services will be selected.
- To what extent are social media logins gaining more significance?
Today one can clearly see that the number of customers who use the social media login is rapidly increasing. And the willingness of new customers to register in this way, is now more accepted than the conventional registration form, where everything has to be entered again and again manually. This plays a fundamental role, especially in cases where such a service will be used only once. Here the customer’s trust in the provider is of great importance, which completes the circle: The safety aspect comes to the fore here as well.
- So is the conclusion, that companies using cidaas, in future have significant advantages as far as customer loyalty is concerned?
Exactly. Companies receive an out-of-the-box well thought-through solution that provides their customers a very safe and comfortable access to their portals, apps and services. This improves the utilization and strengthens customer loyalty.
For businesses, there is almost no added value, which justifies the in-house development of such a solution. When thinking about the ever-changing security threats alone, or new authentication methods, one can easily estimate, what additional expenses may result therefrom. cidaas in contrast, with a charge starting from € 900 / month onwards is very lucrative for businesses.