HOT TOPICS: Customer Experience Marketing Automation Social Business SharePoint 2013 Document Management Big Data Mobile DAM

Digital River and Microsoft's Bumpy E-Commerce Road

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It's been an interesting couple of weeks for Digital River. Its deadline to re-sign Microsoft to an extension of the Microsoft Operations Digital Distribution Agreement, which would continue Digital River provision of Microsoft Store’s e-commerce platform beyond March, 2015 came and went on Dec. 1. While only a handful of people might have noticed, the company made a bigger splash on Dec. 8 when it announced an extension of the negotiation timeframe until Dec. 19.

Digital River's stocks rose and fell with the ups and downs of the announcements, dropping almost 25 percent from its close of $25.51 on Friday, Dec. 5, to $19.71 on Monday, Dec. 8. The stock eventually bottomed at $16.58 on Dec. 11, a drop of 35 percent in less than a week. On the power of yesterday's news the stock closed at $24.08, a 45 percent jump from last week’s low.

Do Analytics Matter for B2B Marketers?

B2B marketers use analytics and gain value from them in their campaigns and marketing programs, a survey released today claims.

But earlier this year, another study claimed otherwise. It found only about a third of organizational projects include marketing analytics. And it further claimed there has been no significant gains for how marketing analytics contribute to a company's overall performance.

Who do you believe? Your call.

Today is ON24's day in the sun. The webinar-based marketing solutions provider based its findings on a survey distributed last month to 221 US-based B2B marketers experienced with marketing analytics. Redshift Research administered the survey and ON24 released the results today.

Q1 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (18-Dec-14)

Our industry event planner gives you the heads-up on what key industry events are coming around the corner. If we've missed something, don't hesitate to add your event to the list. (You can also view the full calendar here.)

You're Invited: Total Economic Impact of a Workflow Automation Solution

Join CMSWire and Nintex on January 13th for a one-hour webinar to explore a Forrester study on effective workflow automation results.

> Register Now

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Design and Refine Your Digital Business in 2015

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User experience was top of mind on Dec. 5, when nearly 150 business people, designers and technologists came together at Idean’s UX Summit in San Francisco. Two questions that I wanted to explore at the event: 1. How can UX design help digital business and customer experience success? and 2. Should all employees apply some design discipline to contribute?

The summit coincided with the 100 year anniversary of the start of Ernest Shackleton and his crew's epic attempt to traverse the continent of Antarctica. I couldn’t help but make a connection between the Endurance story and the challenges modern enterprise teams face with digital business and customer experience initiatives, often times ill-equipped and/or having to dramatically pivot en route, just to survive.

Technology Can't Ever Solve the Information Management Problem

2014-18-December-Unix.jpgWe’re in an exciting time for information management: cloud storage has become ubiquitous, mobile devices provide a functional (though not yet entirely optimal) experience for end users, disruptive entrants have pushed the envelope, venerable leaders have begun to execute on powerful innovations, and, at least in theory, managing information better seems to be an aspiration of organizations across nearly every vertical. Not to mention the vibrant community of information management practitioners available on the web through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and more blog sites than you could ever hope to read.

How Google Analytics Can Make Cross Device Marketing Easier

In an early post on tag management systems, I noted how these systems would provide a great flexibility in measuring customer behavior in the growing information anywhere and anytime environment. Laptops with Wi-Fi access have supplanted desktops in sales popularity, while mobile devices are as essential now as a wallet or purse. Consumers can access retailer information anywhere and anytime.

One driver of the growing need for cross device analysis is webrooming and showrooming, both retail-related activities stemming from holiday shopper activity during past few seasons. Webrooming is the retail customer behavior of researching products and services while in a store. It differs from showrooming, an in-store behavior in which customers compare prices and research features, leading to a purchase online.

Both trends signal the need to understand foot traffic that is likely to become web traffic, including traffic from customers researching products in the privacy of a home.

The fact is that it is critical to add an analytics solutions to accurately capture that traffic. And adding a User ID in a Google Analytics script captures the best cross device behavior to enhance a marketing strategy.

Prediction for 2015: The Fall of People, Process and Technology

2014-18-December-Strike.jpgI don't know how many more years I'll be able to keep it up — every year I try to make predictions that are unique, bold and a little bit against the grain. Last year I predicted the rise of lefties, two years ago I went with big data finding an Andy Warhol all of its own. This year I'm going extra bold, and extra big: I predict an age old enterprise IT axiom — People, Process and Technology — will wane and emerge anew as People, Perseverance and Technology.

Getting a Grip on Information Governance

Cyberspace is looking a lot like the Wild West these days, with outlaw hackers ready to rob you of your data and the sheriff nearby looking to make sure you’re sticking to the letter of ever-tightening laws.

Are you ready?

A new Forrester Consulting survey report, Governance Takes a Central Role as Enterprises Shift to Mobile, commissioned by Druva, a data protection and governance firm, shows that more and more companies are responding to these pressures by boosting spending on information governance (IG) and adopting new systems to better-manage data.

New Alliance to Big Providers: Share the Cloud

Smaller providers are tired of big players monopolizing the cloud — and now they are banding together to do something about it.

Intent on balancing out a market they claim is unfairly dominated by large public cloud providers, the newly formed Open Cloud Alliance (OCA) claims it has a strategy to level the playing field. The group is a network of providers, software vendors and system integrators.

Rethink Your Redesign Strategies to Hit Your Targets

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The central message of 2014 for digital marketers couldn't be much clearer:  give customers the information they need on whatever devices they're using.

That theme surfaced again Tuesday in a CMSWire webinar sponsored by Ektron, "Website Redesign: Strategy First, Tactics Second." Two Ektron executives, CEO Bill Rogers and CMO Lou Jordano, provided a roadmap they said will help marketers attract more business from different types of customers. You can watch the webinar here or at the end of this story.

"It's tactics that win marketing battles, but strategy that wins wars," said Jordano, who led the first part of the presentation. "You have to have your website strategy clearly in mind before kicking off any redesign or rebranding project." 

Is Teradata Buying its Way into Big Data Leadership?

Teradata is serious about big data. In fact, when it comes to Hadoop, it wants to be the one-stop shop for its large customer base. Aside from making its existing products more powerful and more capable, it recently strengthened its support partnerships with independent Hadoop distro providers MapR and Cloudera, and signaled a continued commitment to Hortonworks, which in now publicly traded as Nasdaq:HDP.

Today the company announced that it has purchase RainStor, a provider of patented Enterprise archiving solutions around Hadoop.

Is Gmail Google's Way to the Future?

Google wants you to keep your files on Google Drive and for you to spend more time in Gmail. So it's raising its game and your experience to help make that happen.

And this is no small deal for Google. The internet sweetheart is suddenly being squeezed by competition on all sides. On one end, it seems that more and more people are going straight to Amazon when searching for products (ComScore says that Amazon’s desktop search queries were up 47 percent between September 2013 and September 2014), which is hurting Google’s core ad search business. And, on the other end, Facebook is not only beginning to woo mobile marketing dollars away, but it may also be in a better position to leverage video in its News Feed.

In the Future, We Will Still Need to Work

A lot has been written about the future of work. The tenor of some recent discussions resemble the social media hype from five years ago: lots of pretty pictures with little research or data behind the pictures. While there is valuable research and qualified researchers working in this area, the noise in the system is extreme. It takes effort and commitment to quality to conduct research, analyze results and it takes experience to understand the impact.

I wish I could simply state — "here I am, an expert, ready to set the record straight" — but that isn't the case. But I can call BS on specific points that have been written and are simply wrong. You can't talk about the future while ignoring facts, history and experience. Yes, the technology is changing rapidly and the human response to these changes is complex, but guesswork will not help us get through the evolution.

Private or Public: Different Stories from Dell, HubSpot

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How's Dell doing after going private a little more than a year ago?

We don't know. It's private. The PC giant took the private route in an historic $24.9 billion buyout last year called the biggest in tech since the Great Recession.

But it's not being all hush-hush, of course. It has plans, we're told, to shake up the big data and analytics markets.

Going private only helps, it claims.

"We can make changes swiftly to parts of our business and, ultimately, that helps our customers," Suresh Vaswani, president of Dell Services, told CMSWire about going private. "We were constrained by financial reporting previously and that has now freed up more time for our customers and to devote to innovating our business."

Salesforce Connects to SharePoint with Universal File Sharing

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After more than a year in development — and the inking of a strategic partnership between two companies that never had a lot of nice things to say to each other before last May — Salesforce.com announced the release of Salesforce Files Connect.

The new centralized, universal file-sharing solution offers access to SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2010 and 2013. It will add access to OneDrive for Business in February before moving on to connect with other services.

21st Century Fox Buys true[x] for Ad Engagement

Do you think there's a need for better engagement models with digital advertising? 21st Century Fox agrees with you. Today the company announced it is buying true[x] media, a digital advertising company focused on driving more consumer engagement with advertising.

Although the terms of the deal were not announced the Wall Street Journal reported the deal size at $200 million.

The deal shows that despite the plethora of advertising formats and technologies, media markers and consumers are still not fully satisfied with the digital advertising experience. Concerned about the metrics and engagement levels ads are delivering, media companies are looking for better advertising solutions, especially those that can prove more value for their customers. 

A Year of Employee Engagement Advice, Minus the BS

2014-17-December-Employee-of-Month.jpgHow a bold but simple act of respect helped turn one organization around.

Employee engagement matters. 2014 sent us a barrage of “5 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement” and “7 Things Great Leaders Do” posts, and many of them had some good nuggets. We get it. You get it.

There have been studies and data that most employees aren't engaged and those that are drive a remarkable profit. Their customers are happier and so are their bottom lines.

Microsoft Pushes Yammer Deeper Into Enterprises

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Microsoft is pushing Yammer deeper into the enterprise with the addition of Yammer to the Office 365 K1 plan. It’s a small step forward, but gives users who don’t have desks access to it where they didn’t have access before.

Microsoft doesn’t say whether it has changed its mind and decided to offer Yammer to users who previously lacked access, except to say that it wants to give it to workers that have no fixed abode.

Open Source Has Won: Now What's Your Strategy?

2014-17-December-World-Domination.jpgMany years ago, a friend who is a partner at McKinsey related a story from his years in grad school. He was at an AT&T presentation on Unix, held in a room full of bearded, jean-clad engineers and coders to hear about the wonders of Unix. He was standing in the back of the room in a jacket and tie, next to the other few coat-and-tie-attired attendees, who my friend characterized as IT managers from Fortune 100 companies.

During a break in the talk, one of the F100 folks leaned to another and whispered “I like everything I’ve seen about Unix — except the people in this room.”

Jump ahead 30 years. Have you ever been to an ApacheCon? It’s like living in the 70s all over again.

Using Benchmark Reporting In Google Analytics

Any coach of a sports team at the start of a season will tell you that he wants his team to reach the championship. Reaching that pinnacle means benchmarking your team’s performance.

In the digital marketing world, managers who use Google Analytics are starting to feel a bit more like a sports coach. In September Google introduced a new benchmark reporting feature for its Google Analytics solution.

This benchmark reporting enhances decision making on analytics results.