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A first look at Selligent V6

The long-awaited new version of the Selligent Interactive Marketing solution is here. Our experts set to work with it, with high hopes. What was their conclusion? Read on to find out.

So, it's here: the long-awaited new version of the Selligent Interactive Marketing solution, or SIM for short. With our years of experience, we set to work with it and have pleasure in reporting our initial findings to you.

You can now also use SIM in browsers other than Internet Explorer. (At last, we think.) After installing the Selligent Launcher you can get started right away. What is immediately striking in this 6th edition is the new look. It reminds us just a little of the 'Windows tiles'. It certainly looks considerably fresher, but the new interface does take some getting used to.

You now have a dashboard - a start screen where you can pin your recent or favourite items such as Journey Maps. 'Journey maps?', I hear you thinking. Yes, because with V6 new terminology is also introduced: a flow is now called a 'Journey Map', marketing pressure has become 'Planning & Communications Cadence', Simlink is now known as 'CRM Connector', user lists are now 'Audiences & Lists' and users are simply 'Contacts'.

  • You now have a dashboard - a start screen where you can pin your recent or favourite items such as Journey Maps. 'Journey maps?', I hear you thinking. Yes, because with V6 new terminology is also introduced: a flow is now called a 'Journey Map', marketing pressure has become 'Planning & Communications Cadence', Simlink is now known as 'CRM Connector', user lists are now 'Audiences & Lists' and users are simply 'Contacts'.
  • From the left side, you can go to your Pins, Reporting, Modules or directly to Campaign. From Modules you can also start up Campaign. No separate Designer - now called 'Editor' - or Campaign Manager any more: it's all rolled into one. Depending on your contract, you may also have additional modules here such as Planning & Communications Cadence, Expres, Customer Intelligence, MRM, Target, Front Office and Customer Data Management.
  • On the right is the Message feed where Selligent users can communicate with one another but where system notifications also appear.

Selligent

OK, time for action! Let's try to put together a very simple Journey Map: to do this we need to create a list and an email. We start with the list fields. The process is still just the same, but what is striking is that a lot more clicking is required. You can't use 'Enter' any more, and for a new field you always have to go to the button at the top instead of taking up position in the next blank field. Afterwards, once all your contacts have been created or imported, you can scroll with the mouse, use the scrollbar or browse through your list using the cursor keys and Page Up/Page Down keys. In our view, though, an opportunity has been missed here to introduce function keys: we reckon an F5 refresh function would be very handy, for instance. One positive feature in this section is that it is now possible to keep your segments in folders.

Selligent

The next step is to create the email. Here we immediately see the new code editor (with line numbering and code hinting): an old sore point that Selligent has finally done something about.

The preheader field also instantly catches the eye, as does the WYSIWYG editor, which gives you direct access to system tags and variables. Functionally, everything is the same as before: it is only the arrangement and the way things are displayed that are different.

The preview which now supports responsive design is a nice touch, and the Litmus integration is considerably better. From now on you can also send a test email from the Editor in the design phase without Journey Map.

We still have to bring everything together in a Journey Map.

The direct dragging of objects and components is definitely a big improvement. However, we fear that the left side - where the available objects are - quickly becomes very confusing. The message is that you need to create folders in a carefully considered way.

On the right side, the components are grouped by type and given a hip icon. In other respects, making a journey map is no different from in V5. The previewing, validating and sending out of test messages are now grouped together on the right side. It must be said that this means there is even less space to examine an error in the logging.

The plus points of this new Selligent V6 are definitely the Editor, the properties on the right, the drag-and-drop capability of objects on the canvas and the Properties screen, which is always visible on the right and has an auto-save functionality.

The downsides are the sometimes strange arrangement of elements on the screen, which doesn't help the UX , and the extra clicks that are needed here and there. You also couldn't call this V6 entirely bug-free as yet: just try playing with dragging the left and right sides. When we did this, it completely messed up the interface display.

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(Fortunately successive releases are coming out at a rapid pace.) This new version has undergone significant changes, both cosmetically and under the bonnet. There is definitely still room for improvement here and there: this V6 is not yet free of teething troubles, but there is nothing to stop you from getting started with it already.

+
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 Browser-independent  Not yet completely bug-free  
 New code editor  Extra clicks needed
 Responsive design preview  UX could be better
 Drag and drop functionality  
 Auto-save functionality  

 

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