The future of GLAMkit and CRMs

Written by Dr Greg Turner
Published on 18 July 2017

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About the author

Greg has been building websites for 17 years. He is an interaction designer and computer scientist specializing in emerging forms of interaction. A founding member of the Interaction Consortium, he is currently the CTO of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

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Our projects for ACMI and SFMOMA were great successes, but they’re only the beginning of what can be accomplished by having GLAMkit talk to Tessitura or other CRMs. Let's see what else we can do…


Name tag showing the name "Sharyn Morrow - artist"

Connecting Tessitura with a museum website makes it possible to store and act on individual history to personalise a visitor’s experience.

For example, if GLAMkit can find out from Tessitura that a website user is a member, it can highlight content that encourages the person to upgrade their membership. If GLAMkit knows they bought a ticket to an exhibition, it can show them merchandise from the exhibition.

Extending the idea further, GLAMkit can use Tessitura data to encourage visitor loyalty by designing rewards for purchases or promotions.

GLAMkit can also notify Tessitura about visitor behaviour on the website: if someone engages deeply with content, or abandons a cart, or shares content with their friends. This information can be used to engage visitors in a post-visit conversation.

Integration deeper into visitor journeys

A man in a suit wanders through a gallery of framed landscape images

Right now GLAMkit integrates with Tessitura mainly for the purpose of facilitating a transaction. The result is reduced pain and better experience when trying to give a museum money. 

But what if we could use customer data to reduce pain and increase delight elsewhere?

Here are some examples:

  • Instant ticketing: barcodes appear on-screen or in Apple Wallet after purchase, rather than having to check email.
  • Customising in-person experiences using online behaviour (and vice versa): GLAMkit and Tessitura happily talk to non-web systems. If we know visitors spent a lot of time with a particular exhibit, or have particular preferences, we can direct them to more exhibits, shop items or events that they might like.
  • Putting your museum higher in people's minds, through more contact and anticipation in the lead-up to their visit, and delighting them with mementos after their visit.

Sharing knowledge and code

Tessitura's non-disclosure agreement prevents liberal sharing of code and knowledge about using the Tessitura APIs. Not being able to share knowledge costs museums money, and restricts Tessitura’s ability to grow as a developer-friendly platform.

We believe this costs Tessitura more than it benefits it, and it runs counter to its ethos as a non-profit organisation. It certainly hurts its clients more than it needs to. 

We’d love to see Tessitura change this approach, and we’re keen to hear if there are any plans to make this happen.

Open-source online complexity in GLAMkit

A tangle of multi-coloured wires

In the SFMOMA project, GLAMkit and the middleware model handle nearly every aspect of a transaction between them, except for the actual payment and the storage of the outcome in the CRM. Pretty soon it will be simpler to conduct the whole transaction in GLAMkit, and just tell the CRM that it's happened. This will reduce the complexity of the CRM, and will reduce the dependency on any particular CRM.

But why would you reduce dependency on a CRM to do online ecommerce just to increase dependency on GLAMkit?

For starters, the alignment is better: there are fewer systems to participate in the online experience, and therefore fewer moving parts and a more consistent experience.

Also, GLAMkit is open-source (unlike Tessitura). That means you can control and modify its behaviour. It’s possible for a developer to completely understand how it works and extend or adapt its behaviour to suit different audiences.

Finally, the integration complexity goes down. Rather than having to integrate sales, checkout, payments and user account maintenance, you’ll just need to implement the bit where GLAMkit tells the CRM that a transaction has taken place.

Check out our other posts about Tessitura and CRMs for museums.

(Photo of visitor in gallery by Hernán Piñera on Flickr)

End of article.
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