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

Pivotal Revs Its Big Data Play, But There's a Better Story

2014-23-September-Chunyun.jpgWe’ve all heard an earful about the emergence of computing’s third platform, built for a world in which big data, mobile, social, analytics and cloud change the way we live and work. And while, for many of us, the actual impact thus far has been around shopping, dating, getting movie or music suggestions, there are real world examples that are absolute game-changers for large segments of the population.

And Pivotal’s big data platform and Pivotal GemFire, in particular, is powering some of them.

Pivotal GemFire, for anyone who needs a refresher, is a distributed in-memory data management solution for enterprises creating high-scale custom applications.
 

Intranet Search: Where Documents Go to Die or KM Enabler?

2014-23-September-Lost-and-Found.jpgOrganizations look at search, its use, management and funding in different ways. My colleague who runs our organization's corporate intranet noted that although he isn't the business owner of “enterprise search” for the organization, employees go to the intranet, see a search box and assume that the intranet team is responsible for search.

Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud Gets Personal with Apps

2014-23-September-Marc-Benioff.jpgSalesforce officials are in Indianapolis this week at its Connections 2014 conference promoting the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. 

The latest addition — Journey Builder for Apps — helps users deliver personalized customer journeys directly from mobile apps, they said. Today they announced it also allows customers to use the Salesforce CRM platform to connect the customer journey across sales, service, marketing and communities. 

It's about the ability to "move me along that journey with content that's relevant to me," as Salesforce Chief Marketing Officer Lynn Vojvodich said this morning at the 8,000-person Indianapolis show.

Microsoft: Get 'Em While They're Young

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What's the best way to make a lifelong customer? Microsoft apparently believes in getting them while they are young. In its latest assault on the productivity suite market, it is offering Office 365 to students for free.

Yes, yes. They were getting it free already through the Student Advantage program, but that wasn’t quick enough.

Microsoft wants all students signed up lickety-split and that means enabling them to sign-up themselves, for free and without all the rough stuff around licenses and school-based IT departments.

Personalized Content: Nice in Theory, Challenging in Practice

2014-23-September-Cookie-Cutter.jpgAmid the intense focus on vehicles for marketing — social media, omnichannel merchandising and what have you — heightened interest in content and its role in marketing is a welcome development. Perhaps content marketing hasn’t taken center stage before because everyone does it, and always has. If what you tell or show prospective customers has always been part of your marketing efforts, what has changed to justify the increased interest?

While the goals and concepts of content marketing have remained the same, the evolution of technology and the internet have largely taken over media and delivery channels, changing the execution of those concepts in ways that are forcing a radical rethinking of how best to engage rapidly changing target audiences.

Discussion Point: Will We Still Use Twitter in 10 Years?

discussion-point-1.jpgTechnology tastes change quickly. Things can be hot today, gone tomorrow.

Anybody remember Pointcast? Once the software app of the moment, it was quickly tossed into the rubbish bin of technology history.

That brings us to Twitter, one of the apps du jour. It's amazing how swiftly it has penetrated into the public consciousness. We now see the tweets of public figures scrolling across TV screens during International sporting events.

Founded in 2006,  Twitter has gone public and amassed a $31 billion market cap in less than 10 years.

But will we still tweet 10 years from now? After all, it's just a text message. There's not really any rocket science here. And it's been proven that new social apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp can swoop in and grab the fickle-fancy of teens in a heartbeat.

A decade is an eon in tech terms. When you think of Moore's Law, whereby computer speed and capacity doubles every two years, it makes 10-year old technology look lame.

No app is safe in the zeitgeist of mobile culture.

GSMA Focuses on Connected Living in Atlanta #Mobile360

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ATLANTA  —  GSMA, an association of mobile operators best known for its massive annual Mobile World Congress trade show in Spain, opted for a more intimate setting this week. 

Rather that the  85,000 mobile industry stakeholders it attracts in Barcelona, the inaugural Mobile 360 North America conference here lured less than 300 attendees.The two-day event kicked off yesterday at the W Hotel in the Midtown section of the city.

Attendees included heavy-hitters in the mobile industry, include C-level executives from the likes of AT&T, Verizon, ZTE and Ericsson.

The theme of the conference, “Driving Innovation in Connected Living.” It was held to address the growing mobile ecosystem in North America — the world’s largest broadband market, as well as what we can expect in years ahead.

The Key to Security is Subtlety

2014-23-September-Megaphone.jpgPeople are similar when you dig deep: they want to get thing done and move on to the next thing. Even procrastinators get great work done when faced with having to get an even larger task accomplished.

Most people also share a degree of stubbornness. People are happy to do things your way if they see the benefit, but anything that's perceived as getting in the way is quickly worked around. When you try and force something, they will dig in their feet on sheer principle. It's amazing how hard people will work around things that they view as unnecessary change.

For organizations rolling out new systems, this is a problem.

Google Plus Gasps for Breath, Does Anyone Care?

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There's no mourning in cyberspace, no overt sentimental ramblings on social media — despite yet another move by Google to put its struggling social network out of its misery.

This time, Google is dropping the requirement for all new users to create a Plus account when signing up for a Google network.

Typically when Google chops a product, it triggers a storm of protests. With Plus, though, the blogosphere has been largely silent — a sure reflection of how few people care whether the network fades away.

Changes Ahead for EMC's Documentum, Syncplicity, AirWatch?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that EMC is weighing its options for a merger or the possibility of being acquired. Though seemingly serious conversations about an HP/EMC merger have fallen apart, according to the New York Times, some industry-watchers suspect they could be revived.

EMC is also reportedly talking with Dell which might be interested in buying pieces of the storage giant. Analysts have told Market Watch that Cisco or Oracle may be potential suitors as well.

What SAP Gets With Its $8.3 Billion Acquisition of Concur

SAP's acquisition of Concur Technologies expands its cloud network, gives it access to another large list of customers and keeps it competitive with Oracle and IBM, analysts told CMSWire.

SAP announced last week it had acquired the Bellevue, Wash.,-based business travel management software provider that will beef up its HANA platform.

The estimated $8.3 billion deal brings Walldorf, Germany-based SAP 23,000 customers and 4,200 employees, according to a letter to customers from the SAP Global Managing Board. SAP is led by CEO Bill McDermott, and Concur's chief is Steve Singh.

"The end game for SAP, as shown by its acquisition of SuccessFactors and now Concur, is to assemble a big portfolio of horizontal cloud business services useful to many customers," said Ted Schadler, vice president and principal analyst for Forrester Research.

Kana Blends Analytics Into Its Customer Engagement Suite #Connect2014

Thumbnail image for 2014-10-July-SS-Robert Hoetink.jpgSince Verint bought KANA earlier this year for $514 million, the question has been how the business analytics company would blend KANA's customer experience services into its suite of employee services.

The answer, or at least a big part of it, came today in San Francisco as the new "KANA, a Verint company" introduced a big data solution called Engagement Analytics at the Connect2014 conference.

The new product ties the actions of employees together with the experience of customers across the web, mobile, contact center and other channels in near real time.

Does Cloudera Need to Cool It?

2014-22-September-Elephant-Fight.jpgA staple gun or roll of masking tape might come in handy today when Amr Awadallah walks in through his company’s doors. The CTO and co-founder of Hadoop platform provider Cloudera mouthed off about the competition to the European press late last week inspiring tweets like “Elephant fight!” The elephant reference, for anyone who may not know, refers to the symbol used for Apache Open Source Hadoop.

Why HP Pulled Autonomy and Vertica into a Big Data Union

2014-22-September-Drum-Duo.jpgHP ended months of speculation on its plans for the Autonomy acquisition in August with the announcement of its Big Data business group, which brought Vertica and Autonomy together on the same platform. 

Badly stung by the Autonomy acquisition, it had taken HP some time to stick its head up over the parapet again. But by pulling together Vertica and Autonomy, it did just that, and a lot more besides.

Quick Start Guide to Selecting Information Management Solutions

2014-22-September-Multiple-Choice.jpgDeb Lavoy recently argues that IT’s approach to providing enterprise software solutions is not effective. IT often buys complex enterprise software platforms and then starts a “science project”:

"Most enterprise software is more like undertaking a science project than buying a product that solves a problem. Organizations buy a 'platform' and have their IT departments build the 'solution' on it."

Lavoy maintains that this IT approach to acquiring and deploying enterprise software is slow, costly and often ends in project failure. I completely agree. Then how should you select your software products and implementers? Here’s a methodology that I’ve found to be very effective.

Shopzilla Rebrands as Connexity

You probably saw this coming. In June, Shopzilla, the shopping search engine, branded three newly-combined business units as Connexity — the name of the programmatic media buying startup it acquired in February.

Today, the Las Angles-based marketing technology provider took the next logical step and officially rebranded as Connexity.

Company officials said the new name will help highlight the shift of the company from comparison shopping to technology driven marketing solutions that "enable retailers and brands to understand their consumers better, acquire new customers at a lower cost and increase sales based on retail signals."

Shopzilla had been best known for its comparison shopping websites, such as Shopzilla and Bizrate. But CEO Bill Glass said today that the comparison shopping websites "were just the tip of the iceberg."

In a statement, Glass noted, "We have launched a comprehensive set of solutions so marketers can touch consumers at every stage of the path to purchase from awareness, consideration, transaction, right to loyalty. These businesses are now the majority of our revenue and growing at an accelerating rate."

The Greatest Enterprise Collaboration Tool in the Universe

social business, The Greatest Enterprise Collaboration Tool in the Universe

Finally, some true enterprise collaboration software that works

I've been in B2B technology reporting for the better part of this century. You may be surprised to hear I've seen a few product pitches. 

Lately, the hot software product is the enterprise collaboration tool. Let's communicate. Collaborate. Share files. Share documents. Avoid meetings. 

Let's streamline all forms of communication into one platform and forget about the old days of disparate systems that don't talk to each other — and in turn make humans bad at the same thing.

What's the Real Deal with Marketing Content?

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Talk to any marketer today about her demand generation strategy and she’ll regale you with stories of the magical properties of content.

It’s consuming increasing amounts of money, according to a recent study by Starfleet Media. Specifically, marketers now spend 20 to 50 percent of their budgets on content creation — and 25 percent plan to spend even more in 2015. Already, about 7 percent of the survey’s respondents spend more than 75 percent of their marketing budgets on content.

Content is designed to engage buyers. It informs, inspires and illuminates while building brand credibility and preference. Done correctly, it can influence buyers to act in ways that favor the brand.

The aspiration is correct, but the reality doesn’t measure up: content has become a panacea. It’s the new elixir of customer engagement, applied in peanut butter fashion across every possible channel, in every imaginable form.

Why Agile As We Know It Will Disappear

2014-22-September-BackFlip.jpgSomeday, Agile as we know it will disappear. It won’t be because everyone will give up on sprints and story points. It won’t be because some new idea blows it all away. Tomorrow’s Agile will be fundamentally different, because it will be just that — fundamental.

Adapting to the Digital Future: The Senior Management Challenge

“Bureaucracies are honed by the past and almost never can they deal with the future.” This quote, from biologist Leroy Hood, starts the first chapter of Paul Boag’s excellent book, "Digital Adaptation."

There is an old saying: “That which makes you strong can kill you in the end.” What gets you here might not get you further. In fact, it might become a drag on progress. The greatest strength in one environment can become a major weakness in another.