HCL Unica

HCL Unica

Score 7.6 out of 10
HCL Unica


What is HCL Unica?

HCL Unica (acquired by HCL Technologies from IBM in late 2018) is a suite of enterprise marketing management tools including marketing automation with cross-channel campaign management, budgeting and forecasting, project workflow management, asset management, brand management and spend management.
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What is HCL Unica?

HCL Unica (acquired by HCL Technologies from IBM in late 2018) is a suite of enterprise marketing management tools including marketing automation with cross-channel campaign management, budgeting and forecasting, project workflow management, asset management, brand management and spend management.

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Product Details

What is HCL Unica?

HCL Unica (acquired by HCL Technologies from IBM in late 2018) is a suite of enterprise marketing management (EMM) software that include marketing automation with cross-channel campaign management, along with budgeting and forecasting, project workflow management, asset management, brand management and spend management. Unica Campaign, Unica Marketing Operations, and Unica Interact are the foremost products in the suite.

The product is geared towards large B2C customers, and is available as either a Saas or an on-premise offering.

HCL Unica Features

  • Supported: End-to-end campaign management
  • Supported: Campaign measurement and reporting
  • Supported: Deeper customer relationships

HCL Unica Screenshots

Screenshot of End-to-end campaign managementScreenshot of Faster campaign creation

HCL Unica Video

Learn more about UNICA: https://hclsw.co/unica-page Personalization, customer journeys and delivering messages in any channel are top of mind for CMOs today. In this video, we show how Unica is tackling CMO's biggest marketing challenges. #UNICA #UNICAIsBack

HCL Unica Integrations

  • Aprimo
  • Oracle Siebel Enterprise Marketing Suite (discontinued)

HCL Unica Technical Details

Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

HCL Unica (acquired by HCL Technologies from IBM in late 2018) is a suite of enterprise marketing management tools including marketing automation with cross-channel campaign management, budgeting and forecasting, project workflow management, asset management, brand management and spend management.

Adobe Marketing Cloud, Aprimo, and Uptempo are common alternatives for HCL Unica.

Reviewers rate Implementation Rating highest, with a score of 7.2.

The most common users of HCL Unica are from Enterprises (1,001+ employees).
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(1-3 of 3)
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Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
The implementations I supported were primarily used by my clients' Marketing departments. IBM EMM (aka Unica) for these clients is primarily used for the very granular segmentation of customers for multi-channel marketing such as Direct Mail, eMail and Social. The solution (the application and underlying datarmart) allows the client to efficiently create segments and campaigns; capture promotion history and assign responses.
  • The application has very robust and flexible functionality while maintaining a relatively high ease of use. Relatively complicated segmentation logic can be created for a campaign by a knowledgeable user and the application design supports efficient execution.
  • The application supports the logical "storage" of campaigns in support of a multi-faceted marketing organization: multiple divisions; field marketing; different channels etc.
  • The application allows SQL to be hand coded and inserted into the segmentation process.
  • The application supports exit points for custom code to be executed instream.
  • I don't see a lot of areas for improvement in the actual application software - I see a lot of areas where you need to have someone that really knows what they are doing do the implementaton; configuration and tuning.
  • Different datamart mappings should be created for different groups of users or types of campaigns. I see a lot of implementations where the team was pretty lazy and just mapped everything and left it up to the user to sort it out. This slows down the creation and execution (running) of the campaigns as well as causing a longer learning curve for new users.
  • It would be nice to have more tracking on the components that are added to the templates section so that users know when it was last updated and by whom. I see a lot of companies set up templates and then either never use them (instead just copy/paste last months campaign) or worse - not maintain them and therefore potentially introduce errors.
Key questions: 1. What can you afford? 2. What do you really need? 3. Do you need something that runs superfast like Alterian? or something that is slower but much more sophisticted and robust like Unica? 4. How complicated is your datamart? How many customer rows? How much transactional data etc. 5. How quickly and how often do you have to incorporate new data? suppression files; zip files etc.
  • I think that the primary impact on ROI is by being able to very quickly build and execute new campaigns therefore allowing faster response to market trends
  • another primary impact is on user efficiency - being able to copy last month's or last year's campaign to this month (ie. the Valentine's Day camaign) edit and execute quickly.
  • another strong point is in being able to review the campaign and see what was really done in all components - auditing.
Unica compares very well against other tools such as SAS CM and Teradata. It is easier to use. However, SAS CM has more built in value added components and Teradata supports highly complex segmentation and campaigns rapid execution a little better. Alterian does not support near the complexity of queries/segments that the others do but it does run them very quickly (the advantage of an index based solution).
I know Unica well and can make it do just about anything I need it to do. I love the abiity to call in custom code along the way for extremely complicated scenarios and optimum performance. Situations that would steer me to other applications are: If already a heavy SAS user with Enterprise Miner and/or Enterprise Guide I would seriously consider SAS CM; if already owning Teradata platform would seriously consider Teradata RM.
  • Implemented in-house
Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
It is used by 2 departements.
It is used to "program" campaigns. 2/3 of the campaigns are one shot, 1/3 is recurrent. 1/2 are commercial campaigns, 1/2 are administrative campaigns to inform clients of p.e. changes in interest rates and so on.
  • The most powerful in Unica are the audience swaps. They are very helpful for cleaning up audiences like households, if one of the members of a household has a product, you can easily exclude the whole audience.
  • When working with segments in a flow, this goes really fast.
  • The use of templates is easy and helps to standardise the working process.
  • The mappings of tables can be different in every campaign
  • Logging is not easy to read and is incomplete. It has a lot of information i'm not interested in, but the queries that really interest me, p.e. the queries used for calculation of derived fields are missing. I also miss the queries that add the result of the derived field to the final selection.
  • Difficult to document a flow in a good manner.
  • No way to search in a flow. and over all the flows where something is calculated.
  • No way to have a good overview of what is happening in a flow or a process in a flow.
  • The calculation of derived fields is far too slow.
  • You can not make decisions in a flow based on data.
  • You have to promote flows by copying them manually from a test environment to a production environment.
  • This might lead to inconsistence over the environments.
I think it is wel suited for a business with a lot of one on one relations in the database. For example a supermarket that sells products to a client and gives a reduction on that product. It is nice if the selection process is not to complex and does not involve to many calculations. It is also nice if it is very clear what you want to follow up.

In our environment we have lots of many-to-many relations. for example one product is held by more then one client. And that client might have more of those products with other clients. These kind of situation demands for a lot of calculations with derived fields(*), and there things go far too slow. Unica is probably not such a good solution for us, because our environment is too complex, and so is to process of creating the selection, we often have to change things in the selection flows. Because of the complexity it is difficult to see what the flow is exactly doing afterwoods, it also takes to much time to modify existing campaigns.

The interface is not handy to work with, if you have long lists of variables, of tables or derived fields(*) you have to scroll through trough them, you can not really search them or reorder them. You can not drag and drop fields or other objects like derived fields in the flow, what would be easy if you have to make frequent changes to the proces flow.

When you copy objects something the content of the object changes because the links with other objects or lost.

(*) derived field: field to calculate something
  • We are only using Unica for the selection part of campaigns, I think things go twice as slow as before when we were working in SAS, but it is difficult to compare, as the people doing the work in SAS had all up to 20 years of experience and those working with Unica now are all new people. The people who liked to do the campaign selections with SAS did not like to work with UNICA, so they left, and with them also their experience.
The consultants of UNICA where very good at their job, fast and efficient. They always had a very convincing answer to our questions.
When we worked in SAS we used macros before to perform all the tasks in the selection process. When things changed on a global level we modified the macro programs, and all the campaigns written with the macros automatically changed. This is impossible in Unica. We use templates to create the campaigns, but if the templates change, the old campaigns still run the older versions. With about 500 campaigns a year, it is impossible the update all the running campaigns manually with the newer version of a template.

If there are changes in data sources, it is really difficult to find out with unica campaigns are affected, and very time consuming to make the changes.

In SAS we it was possible to automatically document all our programs, so that we could easily search that documentation for the use of variables, files, calculations and so on, in UNICA this is all done manually.
selections for sending emails, letters. Providing calls to the internal and external call centers, and to the survey agencies we work with.
It people to install new release and resolve really technical issues.
  • Selections for the call centers
  • Sending email messages
  • Selections for surveys
  • none
  • none
SAS base, the decision was made on group level, their was no really a need for it in our branch, we were very well organised.
  • Product Reputation
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
The consultants who demonstrated the product where very good and convincing.
I think we did right at that time. But the timing was not right. We should have waited a bit longer.
  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house
3 phases:
- technical test fase
- user test fase
- production test fase
  • The design of the underlying datamart
  • The difficulties of setting up response tracking
- We had to rebuild a part of the datamart afterwards to tighten up and simplify the selection process. But as it was too time consuming to rebuild all the existing campaigns, we no run campaigns on different versions of the datamart.

- The response tracking of the campaigns never worked out well, it was impossible to implement a direct response where there is a link between the lead and the response in our operational process.
I didn't use the Unica support since it is with IBM, only before.
It took a long time to resolve
Not really, or exceptionally bad support (no experience with IBM, only in the period before IBM bought UNICA)
  • If you don't make complex selections, the interface is simple to use.
  • With few explanations, you can make simple selections.
  • the use of date functions in selections
  • the right way of mapping the used tables seems to be difficult for beginning user
I think it is easy to use, if you don't have to do to complex selections.
Brent Banning | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
IBM Unica Campaign (IBM Campaign) is hosted on behalf of clients, to provide access a customer and prospect data for the purpose of marketing and service campaigns. Generally the tool is used by either analytics team who have a core understanding of data OR marketers who are using pre-built pre-defined campaign segments. IBM Campaign can be used for very simple data selections or complex data selections that require numerous requirements to be met, this includes splitting 'contacts' by channel based on customer preferences (opt outs) or data that is available (presence of data or not, based on a requirement for a contact channel - telephone contact obviously requires a telephone number).
  • Allows for complex selection to be made using both simple process of 'merge/purge' processes and also the ability to use raw SQL within a selection process.
  • One campaign flowchart can cover off multiple channels for an individual campaign, along with multiple campaigns within one flowchart (can defeat the purpose but it is an option)
  • Contact History - Allows good management of contact points with a individual be it a customer or a prospective customer, allows you to provide compliance information when required to appropriate authorities or respond to a customer/prospect complaint.
  • Automation using scripts outside of the actual application environment to call an IBM Campaign object (such as a flowchart), to trigger a campaign post another process such as a data load into a table within the defined application schema.
  • A user can schedule a flowchart to run on a set schedule and an output file delivered to a specific location on an going basis (set and forget).
  • IBM Campaign is a tool for enterprise organisations with large and complex data content, with the introduction of IBM Marketing Cloud (dubbed Unica Lite) this will allow access to the power of this tool to smaller organisations. To use a previous reviewers comment "It's VERY involved. Hire a an integrator and educator!" - this is an involved integration process and the right training can make it very easy to use.
  • IBM Campaign by itself lacks data visualisation within it's module, additional modules within IBM's EMM suite does allow data visualisation but as within any additional module it does come with the IBM price tag.
The more data you have, the more likely I would recommend IBM Campaign over the other tools in the market. It is truly an Enterprise Marketing Management solution, that can be built on as you mature your marketing requirements from traditional channels to the evolving channels under the digital banner. There are over 10 modules within the full suite of IBM EMM from Campaign through to Marketing Operations, Opportunity Detection and email campaign execution (IBM eMessage).
  • Automation - allows employees to be more productive and allow better analysis on the data, opposed to time spent building campaigns that run a on regular schedule.
  • Minimal downtime - pushing through the regular patches and updates from IBM is key to maintaining the environment but it is a very simple process.
  • Improves processes and removes risk by the use of templates for campaigns, allowing a predefined set of inclusions and exclusions based on campaign type (acquisition or retention) and channel (OTM, DM, eDM, SMS).

It's been a market leader within this space for over 10 years, it has a high ability to execute time and time again. Against it's competitors it has been tried and proven to been robust but flexible within reason to allow adaptations that will not break the system. Can be simply managed by an experienced DB Administrator and/or DB Developer, along with the appropriate system administration for the maintenance of the actual server environments.

It is fair to say that it is generally more expensive that its competitors, but it has been proven that costs on implementation of the base of the IBM EMM suite IBM Campaign is a lot more cost effective when done right but a reputable service provider.

There are three main factors to renew a licence:

1) Cost to migrate to another platform would be rather expensive and time consuming, plus the requirement of retraining employees to use a new tool

2) It has been proven time and time again that it is a market leader in the space (10 years +)

3) It can be built upon, with the addition of additional IBM EMM modules - despite theories it does have very strong digital capabilities.

It is used widely across the client delivery functions, from analytics teams through to consultants and account managers. Dependant on their roles does increase of decrease there use of the tool. Our clients also use this tool as a self service tool to create there own campaigns, whilst at the same time we manage a number of automated campaigns that are scheduled to run on a regular basis.

There are three key resources to maintaining a solution:

1) An expert in the IBM Campaign software, itself

2) An experienced DB Administrator or DB Developer with Administration abilities.

3) System Administration to ensure the servers are functioning an up to date with latest patches based on the operating system.

  • Marketing automation, set and forget - only remember when there is an issue and you are alerted by failure triggers
  • Resource management, allowing resources to focus on other items whilst repetitive campaigns can be managed by a schedule (be it within Unica or managed outside)
  • Can handle complex data sets, and large amounts of data
  • Using external Cron-tab scripts to manage automated campaigns where it requires pre-work to be completed on the database side prior to the campaign running.
  • Using the Scheduler tool to run tasks or campaigns in an automated fashion that only have a short lead time or run time.
  • Pre-building segmentations and using data flags to create pre-built selection criteria's which will then speed up campaign flowcharts. Opposed to querying the whole database each time you create a new campaign.
  • Building out the stack of IBM EMM, and using such modules as Contact Optimisation to provide the right message at the right time OR eMessage to bring the campaign selection and execution into one environment.
  • Implemented in-house
  • Professional services company
We partnered with RiverPoint (www.riverpoint.com), we brought across 3 of there best consultants (from USA to Australia) to complete not only the implementation but a complex upgrade and jumping up numerous versions in one go. I cannot speak highly enough of the team from RiverPoint.

There where several phases of the implementation:

1) Reviewing the environments and ensuring they where specified as needed

2) Implementation of the development/test/uat environment

3) Migration of Campaign objects from the old environment to the new, within the development/test/uat environment

4) UAT testing of the development/test/uat environment

5) Implementation of the Production environment

6) Migration of Campaign objects from the old environment to the new, within the Production environment

7) Side by Side testing of the old production environment to the new production environment

8) Sign off on the new implementation

9) Shut down of the old environments

Depending on if you are upgrading or not then all of the above are not necessary, but I strongly suggest ensuring you have a secondary environment for testing/uat and even training.

Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled
Use an experienced implementation and training partner to ensure that it is done to the required specifications. Whilst it is a wizard install, there are multitudes of complexities that can cause issues from the application, to web server to the database. Having experienced people on hand to deal with whatever came up in front of them, helped ensure we progressed even when we did hit road blocks.
  • Lack of understanding of what was required for the installation/implementation prior to bringing on an experienced implementation partner.
  • Upgrading multiple versions at the same time - never do this. Keep up to date with fix packs and feature packs as they are released and where possible keep moving along with versions as soon as practical. NOTE: the move from 8.x versions to 9.x version will require some additional testing due to the changes in the flowcharts (design and code)
Use an experienced implementation partner, that has a good track record.
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