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

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.

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

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When the Internet came along, optimism was at an all-time high. We thought we would solve all the problems of the world, possibilities were endless.

And granted, we solved many. We work much better today because of the innovations of the last 20 years. The scope of these improvements has been massive. However, one major problem still looms — collaboration in the workplace. Seems like a no-brainer doesn't it? Everyone is connected, so it should be easy to work in unison, splitting tasks and having every specialist do their own thing.

"Should" is the keyword here.

Adobe Helps Marketers Measure a Changing World

In recent years Adobe Systems has concentrated on refining Adobe Analytics into the Adobe Marketing Cloud solution.

Adobe shared its updates at the Adobe Digital Marketing Summit. The summit is a premier event for analytics practitioners, including many who still remember when Adobe Analytics was Omniture Site Catalyst.

The big deal this year was the transformation of web analytics tools to physical analytics solutions.

The latest Marketing Cloud changes, for example, signal that measurement must extend beyond a web or app page to share measurement insights.

Q1/Q2 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (25-Mar-15)

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: 7 Ways to a Competitive Advantage with the Cloud

Join CMSWire and OpenText with Guest Speaker Forrester Research on Mar 26th for a one-hour webinar on using the cloud to move faster and overtake the competition.

> Register Now

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Lexmark Steps Up Its Play to Organize Your Office With Kofax Buy

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Lexmark wants to get deeper into the lucrative enterprise content management (ECM) space so, last night, it announced a merger with Kofax.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Lexmark will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Kofax for $11 a share in cash for a total enterprise value of approximately $1 billion, net of cash acquired.

Once the deal is complete, Lexmark’s enterprise content and process management business will be worth approximately $700 million and a formidable force in the growing $10 billion content and process management software market.

Kofax, which provides content, analytics, mobile and process management systems, also automates things like mailrooms and invoices. It serves the financial, healthcare, government and insurance industries.

I'm Not the Dammed Newbie Here

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There are few aspects of my professional life that I enjoy less than evaluating enterprise software. Granted, my company sells enterprise software, and I’m in charge of marketing it, so I get the irony here.

But while enterprise software vendors increasingly focus on user experience, we are sorely deficient in prospect experience.

The problem starts like this: I make contact and explain my interests (usually in detail), and then schedule a meeting with someone I presume to have experience with the software. Knowing that everyone’s time is valuable, I do my homework. I do research. I prepare a list of questions. If my questions involve anything more than the basics, I send them ahead of time, just to make sure I give my sales contact the time needed to prepare.

And then comes demo day.

Apple Buys FoundationDB, Shuts Down Access to Code

We think it’s a done deal.

All signals suggest that Apple has bought flexible, fast database maker FoundationDB. TechCrunch first reported the news.

The company’s community site states:

“Thank you for your support of FoundationDB over the last five years. We’re grateful to have shared our vision of building the best database software and we strongly value your participation in this community. We have made the decision to evolve our company mission and, as of today, we will no longer offer downloads. If you have any technical questions, please email info@foundationdb.com.”

But pulling the code is exactly what very proprietary Apple would insist on. Regardless of how the FoundationDB community might react.

Money and More: It Pays To Be a B*DAS* Developer [Infographic]

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With big data and analytics being all the rage, hiring a Big Data, Analytics Software (thus the term B*DAS*) developer is no easy task. “Developers are the kingmakers,” explained Matt Asay, vice president of mobile at Adobe. At the time he said that, he was working at MongoDB.

And the job rate for this kind of worker is growing faster than the amount of qualified talent.

This is a problem for employers because 3rd platform developers write the software that can catapult them to new heights or let them float into oblivion. And we’re not talking only startups, but also big companies like Nordstrom, Cigna, FICO and even the Federal Government. They need these kinds of workers, too.

As a result, businesses are pulling out all the stops to attract developers. But before they can do that, they need to discover who these developers are and how they prefer to work. Otherwise, there’s no point in putting a perks package together.

Are These Vendors the Best at Social Media Monitoring?

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Social media marketing can be a lot like email blasts. Send out something, and see if it sticks

We're still in early days here. Many digital marketing teams, especially B2B, still search for that "gotcha" in social media marketing.

"One of the difficult things about using what I call flat metrics as a barometer for success is that there isn't often an actionable next step," said Erin Robbins O’Brien, chief operating officer at San Francisco-based GinzaMetrics, which just released a social intelligence suite. 

"For instance, a tweet receiving a high volume of retweets is often not analyzed for how it worked, who it worked for — in terms of audience segmentation/persona group — and if it would have worked on other channels or just Twitter. This means marketers aren't able to harness the good and fix the bad as easily."

Vendors claim they make these fixes. And where there are vendors, therein lies software rankings.

G2 Crowd, the Chicago-based crowdsourcing platform that provides user-review based reports on business software, released its Grid for Social Media Monitoring today. At least 10 users must have submitted reviews/ratings on a vendor for it to be mentioned in the report. The report looks at customer satisfaction (based on user reviews) and market presence (based on market share, vendor size and social impact).

How accurate are they? Like any reviews, take them with a few grains of salt.

Do We Expect Too Much of CMOs?

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You may have noticed that the relationship between buyer and seller is in major flux. This turmoil impacts the position tasked with leading firms’ marketing efforts and held responsible for leading firms’ marketing efforts — the CMO. Today’s Chief Marketing Officer tops a pyramid of people, technology and behavioral science focused on getting the brand’s message to its intended audience in order to convince that audience to buy.

Many CMOs are finding it difficult to shoulder the blizzard of responsibilities descending on their desks. The CMO’s average tenure is just 45 months — considerably shorter than their CEO, CFO and CTO counterparts. 

Given this level of turnover, it’s fair to ask why, with all the new and sophisticated technological resources available, so many CMOs can’t seem to get their feet on the ground.

Coke's Happiness Formula: Compelling Stories About Real People

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Tim Goudie is a pilot, a camper, a hiker, a swimmer, a skier.

But he's also an international marketer with global experience in a variety of packaged goods industries.

He's director of social media, sustainability, for The Coca-Cola in Atlanta, where he specializes in driving corporate trust and brand love.

His 15-year career with the company spans three countries and includes roles in global interactive marketing, sports marketing and strategic brand marketing, among others.

Cracking the Code on Personalization

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It’s no secret that customer experience is a big deal. Companies who are great at it win, those who fall short, lose. While we have the necessary data to improve that experience in ways that increase loyalty and drive sales, there’s a discrepancy between what shoppers want and what brands deliver.

At the core of that? Personalization. It’s essential to success as a digital brand, yet, while our dictionaries may have agreed on its meaning — ”to design or tailor to meet an individual’s specifications, needs or preferences” — things get far trickier out in the digital marketing world.

Microsoft Elbows Its Way Onto Android Devices

Microsoft has forged several new partnerships with tablet makers using the Android operating system, including Samsung and Dell.

Peggy Johnson, executive vice president for business development at Microsoft, said the deals extend Microsoft’s reach in the mobile world and extend its Mobile First, Cloud First strategy.

Forget Intranets, Give Me an ESN

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We heard it all a decade ago: Intranets are the wave of the future. Intranets are a waste of resources. Intranets are valuable tools. Intranets need to be social. Intranets are dead.

The only thing that's true is that Intranets need to solve an actual problem. Many organizations wanted an Intranet to replicate a little of the Internet inside their organization. Very few asked why they needed one.

The Future of Smart Cities Depends on Who You Ask

Gartner and IBM are at odds over a potential collision between the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities.

Gartner researchers think a large number of IoT related devices will be tied into smart cities by the end of this year. But Katharine Frase, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of IBM Public Sector claim the two are close but will remain separate for the time being.

Gartner estimates that 1.1 billion connected things will be used by smart cities in 2015, rising to 9.7 billion by 2020. The predictions are included in a new report that curiously overstates the case by 300 million entitled Smart Cities Will Include 10 Billion Things by 2020.

Microsoft to Host Next-Generation BizTalk Server on Azure

Microsoft is deploying a new, Azure-based platform for applications designed to handle business transactions on mobile devices – apps that can be both designed and deployed in the cloud, by non-professional developers.  Azure App Service will be a web apps platform for the business process management (BPM) market.

As the business world moves away from the monolithic client/server model to a cloud infrastructure based on microservices, the transactional system upon which the world’s financial structure is based, must move with it.

The brains of the world are relocating.  Now it’s time to move its cardiovascular system.

Users Wonder: Can Hadoop Protect Our Big Data?

Nearly nine out of 10 Hadoop users (89 percent) are uncertain whether native security tools provide enough protection for their big data projects.

The irony is almost the same percentage of users (86 percent) rate data security as a critical requirement for their Hadoop data lake or hub.

The survey was conducted by Protegrity at last month's Strata + Hadoop World Summit in San Jose, Calif.

Despite the giant question mark over Hadoop security, users are apparently willing to continue to deploy the technology.

Some 80 percent of respondents reported their organizations are using Hadoop in production environments. In addition, 80 percent estimate their organizations would be spending more on Hadoop-related projects this year.