Good communication between a business and its partners and customers is an essential part of success and growth. But emails sent to customers and partners can have a value beyond the purpose of the message itself. New Zealand-based firm Crossware has built its products on this idea.
“Our enterprise offerings enable an organisation’s emails to be on-brand and assist with marketing campaigns, and have the ability to track and generate leads,” says Peter Molyneux, general manager at Crossware. “But mostly, since they are centrally managed, they can also save businesses time and money.”
For organisations that do not use an email signature solution like Crossware’s, rolling out changes to email signatures would traditionally require an IT employee to visit every device or ask individuals to update signatures themselves.
“This not only introduces the risk of human error, it also takes up a significant amount of time for staff members who may not be familiar or confident with making the changes,” says Molyneux. “Even if it takes just half an hour, when you extend that out to every person in the business, it’s a lot of time that they have not spent on their actual job.”
While there are many email signature solutions available on the market, Crossware has achieved several world-firsts that set it apart from its competition. For example, it has been named Microsoft’s Preferred Solution for Email Signatures. And the reason for this lies partially in the firm’s Email Signature Management for Enterprise Private Cloud, which is hosted in the customer’s own Microsoft Azure infrastructure.
“Organisations have moved in their droves from on-premises Exchange boxes where they have to manage, patch and upgrade them, to the cloud where Microsoft manages all that,” says Molyneux. “The Enterprise Private Cloud solution is hosted in Microsoft’s data centres, but instead of it being under our subscription, it is under the customer’s subscription. This gives the customer a level of control and management that they may want for compliance, security and legality reasons. Other customers are happy for us to manage that though, and in that case, we will.”
When Crossware came up with its original email signature solution for Office 365 in 2014, it was entering a market where every other product sent the email from Office 365 to the vendor’s cloud, which then sent it onto the recipient.
“This can create major problems,” says Molyneux. “If we had implemented that same process into our services, the customer’s email would come to us and we would be responsible to deliver it to the end recipient. We are not our customers or their organisations. That is why it is so important to our customers that we have this ‘closed loop’ approach.”
Crossware was the first business to come up with a solution that takes the email from Office 365, passes it through its service, adds the signature, and then routes it back into the customer’s Office 365 infrastructure.
“Every other competitor has now basically copied that framework,” says Molyneux. “We were the very first one to come up with this private enterprise solution where the email actually doesn’t go through the Crossware service, it goes through the customer’s own Azure service with the signature solution software in there. We even won an award from Microsoft because of that architecture – the team there loved how we had created that ‘closed loop’ because it protected their customers as well as our own.”
Security, compliance and legality are not the only benefits that Crossware delivers to its customers. Molyneux believes that its solutions deliver real value in marketing.
“An effective email signature solution puts the power of email marketing into the hands of the right people, such as the marketing or communications manager,” he explains. “Historically, you would need to engage with IT to make a change to a marketing banner, if you could make a change at all. With our products, marketing executives can log into a portal and update banners as and when they need to, without adding to the IT team’s list of jobs.”
This can save time for staff in many ways, particularly as Crossware’s products enable users to preload and schedule marketing campaigns ahead of time. The firm also delivers what it calls ‘dynamic banners’ which can automatically be customised depending on various factors.
“Say you have a company that is in the UK and in Germany and you were sending emails to UK customers,” says Molyneux. “You don’t want to send the German banner to a UK recipient. These dynamic banners can change depending on the location of the recipient, the time of day or even content in the email or subject line. We are working to deliver truly valuable products that help our clients provide better customer experiences and reap the rewards of doing so.”
This article was originally published in the Summer 2021 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.
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