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What's the Sweet Spot Between Intranets and ESNs?

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A speaker at a recent intranet conference declared “Intranets will be dead within five years.” He waited for the horrified gasp, but none came.

In fact the seasoned audience seemed to agree, at least in the sense that we were all trying to push intranets on from the top-down, publishing paradigm of old. Enterprise social networks (ESNs) have sometimes been positioned as being ideologically at odds with intranets, but in practice most organizations have embraced both (see, for example Jane McConnell’s annual survey).

The more pragmatic question then, is what is the right balance point? 

We're All In This Together: Share Your Cybercrime Stories

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What's the best defense against cybercrime? Surprisingly, it might be a big mouth.

Sharing information about threats and risks is quickly becoming the expected starting point for any credible defense. And as proof, you need look not further than recent examples in the public, private and non-profit sector.

Think of what's happened in just the past few days. Congress has moved forward legislation that would encourage information-sharing in the financial sector. The retail industry has introduced a portal for this same purpose. And a security company has introduced a new product that uses shared information as its base.

It is quite the turnaround from a few years ago when such information was carefully hoarded. Back then, if an attack occurred, it was only reluctantly shared with customers and competitors.

A Data-Driven Look at the Open Source E-Commerce Market

Retail businesses are moving online in growing numbers. 

Compared to Q4 2013, last quarter’s US online sales rose 14.6 percent to a staggering $79.6 billion dollars. This accounted for 6.7 percent of the total US retail sales market. Major trends fueling this growth include the proliferation of mobile devices, faster online checkout flows and improved fulfillment practices.

The availability of open source e-commerce platforms is helping some offline business with the move online. Much like WordPress provides free, customizable CMS solutions, popular open source e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento and PrestaShop offer a variety of pre-built templates and plugins that DIY retailers can customize to build and grow an online business from scratch.

To get a feel for the size of this trend, here’s a current snapshot of the top providers and number of websites they power.

News You Can Use: Microsoft, Facebook, Zendesk, More

The latest in connecting, publishing, managing, chatting, targeting, offering and backing up from the Evergreen State, the Knickerbocker State, Don’t Call it Frisco, Tree City USA, Climate Best By Government Test, Bharat, the Baked Bean State and that Toddling Town.

Sales: A Star Player on the CMO's Team

2015-27-March-High-Five.jpgMarketing has changed — we all know that. But the business goals remain the same: to acquire and retain customers.

Well into 2015, marketers are more than ever contributing to that goal by discovering new prospects, filling sales pipelines and driving revenue. Part of accomplishing goals and objectives means all departments within the organization work as a joined force. Most importantly, CMOs must ensure marketing is in lockstep with sales. 

If Your Social Media Marketing Tools Could Think

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If you spend several hours a week trying to determine the best day and time to post to social media, posting content and trying to make sense of the analytics afterward, you might want to listen to Brennan White.

He’s the CEO of Cortex, a new artificial intelligence tool for social media marketing that he claims can save marketers so much time, they can finally get back to the root of social media: creating content.

White believes we’ve entered into an era where marketers should demand more from their marketing tools, and use less of them.

You Can't Create Digital Businesses Without E-Signatures

Two converging trends — the growth of the mobile workforce and digital business processes — are giving a big boost to the e-signature market.

That's the word from Michael Laurie, co-founder and VP of product strategy at Silanis, an electronic signature provider.

"Acceptance for e-signatures has been growing over the past years in terms of end user adoption," he said, noting that customer experience is a priority. If users don't like an e-signature solution, they won't use it, he said.

OpenText Takes Its Digital First Message to Paris #OTInnovate

OpenText has been beating the Digital First drum pretty loudly in North America. And this week it finally brought the message to France.

It didn't have any particular reason to beat the drum it in Paris, apart from it being a mighty fine city. It was just the latest stop on its Innovation Tour.

Microsoft Shops Again: Buys LiveLoop, an Office Collaboration Start-Up

Installing software to collaborate on PowerPoint slides is a drag. Signing into web-hosting services like GoToMeeting, for the same reason, isn’t much better.

Microsoft knows this, so it set out to solve the problem — but not by assigning a team of engineers and UX experts to come up with a remedy. Instead it decided to buy a startup that had already found an answer.

Late yesterday a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the company had acquired Office productivity tool maker LiveLoop. Here’s what the statement said:

“Microsoft is excited to welcome the talented team from LiveLoop to help build great collaboration across Office applications, as part of our strategy and vision to reinvent productivity.”

LiveLoop will be permanently shuttered on April 24, the site acknowledges.

The terms of the sale have not been disclosed.

CMS Vendors Partner on Open Customer Data Sharing Standard

What the web has always lacked is a reliable and secure way to identify you. 

Sure, there are ways for you to log onto services, and there are servers in the business of letting you borrow their login mechanisms. But that’s just for letting you in the front door. 

What about when a commercial site wants to know something about you?

Do You Care What People Say About Your Brand on Facebook?

Developing a targeted message for a Facebook fan page audience can be challenge. The challenge takes a new turn when a business is unaware of how positively or negatively its online activity is accepted among its fan page followers.

Facebook has made sentiment easier for business operating a fan page through the launch of a new set of fan page metrics called Topic Data.

Topic Data reveals the aggregate sentiment of fan page audiences on Facebook about events, brands, subjects and activities. That will help businesses gauge whether the sentiment is good or bad.

CMSWire Tweet Jam: Defining 2015's CMO #CXMChat

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The Chief Marketing Officer's role has grown in both significance and complexity in recent years. As the expectations and demands on CMOs continue to evolve, what new challenges await them? What can they do to stay ahead of the curve? Find out this Thursday during our "Defining 2015's CMO" Tweet Jam.

Beware Red Herrings: Intranet vs. ESN is a Sham

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Should I replace my intranet with an Enterprise Social Network?

Internal communications departments have debated this question, as have ESN teams and intranet teams. Maybe they saw higher adoption and engagement on their ESN platform, or read success stories from their peers. Or maybe their tired intranet publishing platform is in desperate need of replacing.

Mobile Performance Anxiety? You're Not Alone

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What can brands do to improve customer relationships on mobile? And why is brand engagement on mobile so important? The answer is rooted in two unavoidable realities.

Customers today are mobile – an IDG Global Mobile Survey last year found that mobile device use is now ubiquitous. Eighty-five percent of 25-34 year olds and 91 percent of 18-24 year olds use applications and social networking sites on their smartphones.

And with digital media consumption on mobile devices overtaking desktops, the choice is black and white: engage with customers through mobile channels or become a relic of the past.

3 Reasons a CMO's Digital Projects Fail

2015-26-March-face-plant.jpgIf you’re a CMO, you know better than anyone how your role has transformed over the past few years. CMOs are no longer an advertising cost center, isolated within their organizations with accountability for secondary digital projects.

Today, they are full-blown digital players, charged with profit and loss and caring for the entire customer lifecycle. If your company has a digital customer-facing project underway, it’s a sure bet that the buck stops with the CMO.

Thanks Apple: You Made It Easier to Market Luxury Wearable Tech

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You don't even have to like Apple products to acknowledge the company is a master when it comes to marketing and branding. This is the company, after all, that is widely perceived as the one that produces products that consumers want — before they know they want them.

So now Apple has entered the smartwatch market.

And it should really knock everyone over with a feather to realize that the company has gone to great lengths to develop what it predicts will be a market trendsetter, packed full of features and design refinements unseen in earlier smartwatches.

Meet the Top Brands Consumers Really Trust

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Bruce Temkin thinks it all comes down to a matter of trust.

Over the past five years, he's evaluated thousands of brand perceptions and distilled them all into his company's Temkin Trust Ratings.

Brands that earn trust do so over time — with consistent customer experiences, he said.

"Trust is built up over time based on the experience that consumers have with the company," said Temkin, customer experience transformist and managing partner of the Waban, Mass.-based Temkin Group.

"The top companies are really good at meeting their brand promises. That's why the companies at the top of the list have employees that understand and are bought into the company's mission and its brand promises. They're committed to earning the trust of customers. They tend to do really well in our Temkin Experience Ratings as well, showing that they deliver great customer experience."

Maybe Hadoop Providers Can Protect Your Data After All

There’s one thing no one in the Hadoop community will argue about — namely, that the big data crunching technology’s enterprise features are growing quickly.

In fact, that may be one of the best things about the highly competitive market. Every vendor is continuously raising its game to win customers.

And in the Hadoop world, security is a hot issue. “Hadoop isn’t inherently secure,” said David Chaiken, CTO of Hadoop-as-a-Service (HaaS) provider Altiscale.

But that doesn’t mean that the Hadoop-based products or services that Enterprises pay for aren’t secure. On the contrary, that’s one of the reasons that the commercial vendors are in business. It’s what they add on to naked Apache Hadoop that creates differentiation.

Are You Ready to Tap the Power of Intelligent Business Clouds?

Just when companies are finally mastering the definition of hybrid clouds, Accenture claims there is a new paradigm on the horizon.

It predicts the next wave of hybrid clouds will be "Intelligent Business Clouds." And that's more than some vague marketing idea — or so it claims.

In a new report released by Accenture recently, it describes these new hybrid deployments as a way of working and combing multiple clouds and multiple vendors to offer highly adaptable applications to manage context-rich data as well and flexible IT infrastructure. 

We Need Fewer Information Managers and More Business People

I recently gave a keynote presentation at a records management conference in Salt Lake City on how records managers need to evolve to meet the demands of the changing landscape of corporate information management.

The talk covered a wide range of subjects: from techniques for getting buy in, to the differences between records management and information management, to information management's centrality to front office operations, and how “justifying your existence” is critical for information managers.

But the key theme was to stop being information managers and start being business people.