Interactive Edge: Transforming Technology for Faster and Deeper Insights

Zel Bianco | Co-founder, President & CEO | Interactive Edge - Insights Success

An industry leader in data analysis and presentation software, Interactive Edge has been serving the consumer goods industry to enhance productivity and efficiency for over 20 years. Interactive Edge provides shopper and category management data analysts, marketing and field sales teams with the award-winning XP3® software solution that helps them deliver customized category and shopper insight data in presentation format to retail buyers. Its XP3® platform helps to integrate multiple data sources directly into Microsoft PowerPoint® and Excel® to speed up the process of creating dynamic, data rich presentations and dashboards. On average, it reduces the time spent by over 80%.

Customer Management, Visionary Innovation, and Demand Data Analytics are some of the areas where Interactive Edge has been winning several industry awards.

Initial Challenges leading to Triumph

Interactive Edge was one of the very first companies to create customizable Category Management software called CMS-Pro®. They have successfully completed implementations for many of the largest CPG companies including Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Hormel, Pepsi-Cola and many more. CMS-Pro® was designed to require very little effort on the part of the casual end-user who only needed to make limited selections such as retailer, time period or product/category to refresh and update an entire presentation or report. While this was proven to be very effective, in order to meet the requirements of each retailer, additional analytical slides needed to be added which fell upon Interactive Edge’s support team to complete this task.

As Interactive Edge ultimately wanted to put all of the power in the client’s hands, a new solution was developed that would meet the need for additional flexibility. XP3® Suite was developed to meet the needs of both field account sales who required a simple user interface as well as analysts who needed it to be powerful enough to easily import and flexibly explore data to simplify the process of building and maintaining business intelligence analytical presentations and reports. The XP3® Suite software can be implemented as either a desktop or enterprise solution.

Ground Breaking Services of Interactive Edge

The Interactive Edge support team works very closely with the client organization to understand the needs of those who are “power” users and the sales organization so that the software is implemented to deliver the business benefits they were looking to achieve by using XP3®.

The flexible, scalable design of XP3® allows clients to deploy as much or as little functionality as their business environment requires. XP3’s front–end analysis and automated presentation development tools can be layered over existing data management solutions to enhance and extend their value, or XP3’s full functionality can be leveraged by implementing its back-end data loading and integrated data warehouse functionality to meet robust information management requirements.

Future Roadmap of Interactive Edge

Interactive Edge is currently working on the next version of their software: a cloud based solution that incorporates the easy to use interface and rich features their clients have come to expect from Interactive Edge. Interactive Edge is also expanding their professional services team to provide more services to more organizations as many CPG organizations are facing significant staff reductions. E-commerce will also be another area of focus as online purchasing continues to impact brick and mortar retailers.

Strategic Leader Accelerating Success

Zel Bianco is the Co-founder, President and CEO of Interactive Edge. As an industry leader for over 25 years, he has been a member of the Category Management Association since its inception and has contributed his and the Interactive Edge’s team’s expertise in the association’s ground-breaking changes such as the updating of the category management process to Category Management 2.0, as well as support for many industry white papers including Category Management Mastery- the Key to Growth and many others.

Zel is the member of the DePaul University Sales Leadership and Category Management Advisory Board and a frequent speaker at the Category Management Association Annual Conference and other industry events. He is also a member of Retail Wire’s Brain Trust and a regular contributor to the Retail Wire daily on-line newsletter and blog. Zel and Interactive Edge also won the prestigious Demo Jam Award at the SAP TechEd SAPPHIRE User Conference against hundreds of contestants.

Zel’s main focus is on driving value for Interactive Edge’s clients and their retail customers by helping clients to build better connections between raw data sources and the category management and shopper insights professionals who need to generate insights and actionable recommendations to their retail buyers. He also contributes his time and resources to help students at a number of universities seek a career in CPG or related industries.