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

Salesforce Shares Its Marketing Vision #DF14

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Matteo Sala, a developer and analyst from Italy, strolled away from Salesforce.com's Marketing Cloud presentation at Dreamforce today liking what he saw.

"The marketing cloud is very exciting. Journey Map is very interesting," said Sala, already a customer of the Salesforce Sales and Service clouds. "We saw a lot of innovation in this product."

It was probably the exact reaction that Scott McCorkle, CEO of the Marketing Cloud, had hoped for during a keynote speech that included demonstrations of the ways Salesforce technologies already work at such customer-centric companies like Fitbit, Live Nation and McDonalds.

On Heels of SAP-IBM, ISO Debuts International Cloud Standards

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Just a day after the SAP-IBM cloud partnership news broke, an international standard setting body issued two standards related to cloud computing.

Perhaps CEOs Ginni Rometty of IBM and Bill McDermott of SAP should take note.

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) today released what officials there call "ground-breaking standards" that "lay down the basic terminology and architectural framework" for cloud computing.

The cloud "poses many issues, chiefly related to compatibility," ISO's Vivienne Rojas blogged today. "With more and more providers offering cloud-based services, the technology has suffered from chaotic development, making it almost impossible for companies to ascertain the quality of services offered."

HP, EMC Drop Merger Talk

Hewlett-Packard Co. has walked away from merger discussions with EMC Corp., Reuters reported today. Reuters reported HP has walked away after "months of fruitless negotiations."

The news comes as no real surprise as there were rumors earlier this month that the two companies were deadlocked over financial terms.

Will Salesforce's New Analytics Cloud Make Waves? #DF14

2014-15-October-Bolivia-Salt-Flats.jpgData Science is hard. Ditto for Big Data. You can add analytics to that list as well.

But “difficulty” and “complexity,” as they relate to data, aren’t the bogeymen of this day and age. Partly because it’s too expensive to let them play that role when the difference between winning and losing, success and failure, on a macro scale might come down to how well you leverage your data. And partly because a new generation of startups has emerged to put a smart, user friendly face on big data analytics.

Ensighten Buy Adds Analytics to Marketing Stack

Digital marketing tag management provider Ensighten scooped up a marketing analytics company in an deal that gives Ensighten integrated data collection, real time personalization and marketing analytics. 

Ensighten, based in San Jose, Calif., announced today that it bought San Diego's Anametrix and its cloud-based multichannel marketing analytics platform.

It's another way five-year-old Ensighten tries to compete with the big marketing cloud players. When the company acquire rival TagMan in March, Ensighten CEO Josh Manion said the company is gunning for the Adobe Marketing Cloud. It "provides marketers with the unique ability to derive powerful insights and act on them in real time,” Manion said in a statement.

“In a competitive environment smart and timely actions make all the difference, and we’re proud to be leading the industry towards delivering more relevant and personalized consumer experiences across the entire customer journey,” the company boasted.

Digital Asset Management as a Medication

2014-15-October-Pills.jpgThe software industry offers so many solutions for so many problems, you’d think you could succeed in business without any training or talent whatsoever. No matter what goes wrong, someone offers a cure.

Among those cure-alls is digital asset management software. Many DAM vendors try to package up DAM as a knight in shining armor that’s a simple double-click away from cleaning up the mess it took you and your coworkers years to make. It’s not your fault, they tell you, it’s society. We’re under stress and pressures that leave us with absolutely no time to do the things we love, like managing digital assets. Fortunately, now there’s a solution!

No there isn’t.

Big Data as a Disrupter - Thinking About Big Data Strategically

2014-15-October-Roller-Coaster.jpgAfter riding the roller coaster of hype, Big Data disillusionment has been setting in, driven in part by the inherent fuzziness of exactly what the term means, but also because the term by itself is really descriptive of just a bunch of bits, rather than tangible business benefits. So I’ll try to put some gloss back on big data by putting it in the context of business strategy, which, after all, is the context that matters to the senior executives who have the financial wherewithal to really make big things happen with big data.

Microsoft Gives Office 365 More Social Love

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Microsoft wants to make it easier to search and collaborate. 

Last week it improved the social collaboration abilities of Office 365 by upgrading Outlook Web App (OWA). This week, it's giving OWA more love by improving the OWA interface and navigation tree to make it easier to use, especially on tablets.

Salesforce Catches the Wave to Customer Success #DF14

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There aren't many CEOs who'd hire the Beach Boys to break into "Good Vibrations"  in the middle of a keynote address. Then again, there aren't any technology evangelists quite like Marc Benioff.

After spending an hour promoting the charitable efforts of Salesforce.com, the Salesforce CEO cued the band to fire-up the crowd. After the final chorus, he explained how Salesforce's new analytics cloud — called Wave — will help his company become a customer success platform.

Yesterday's speech was the centerpiece of the four-day Dreamforce conference, which more than 140,000 registered to attend in Salesforce's hometown. 

Are You Too Old to Work in Tech? IT's Midlife Crisis

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IT has the reputation of being a young person's game.

Average tech workers are portrayed in media and industry lore as  20-somethings who spent their youth tinkering with code and playing video games.

The 40-something tech worker who cut his teeth on such technologies as mainframe computing? Let's hope he cashed in on the first dot-com boom or this second wave, because otherwise, his tech career is coming to an end.

In truth, nothing could be further from the truth, say IT recruiters and human resources staff contacted for this article.

SAP, IBM Steal Salesforce's Thunder

It wasn't if, but when. Who would try to steal the thunder from Salesforce and its Dreamforce glory?

It was SAP. And IBM. Together.

The enterprise software giants joined forces today.  SAP announced its HANA Enterprise Cloud service is now available through IBM’s cloud in a move officials from each company claim expands major markets with the addition of the IBM cloud data centers. 

Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, said in a statement the demand for SAP HANA and SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA in the cloud is "tremendous and this global agreement with IBM heralds a new era of cloud collaboration."

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty called it a "significant milestone in the deployment of enterprise cloud” and added that IBM's "secure, open, hybrid enterprise cloud platform will enable SAP clients to support new ways to work in an era shaped by big data, mobile and social.”

Real Bedfellows? Salesforce, Office 365, OneDrive & Power BI #DF14

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff knew the conversation would be special, so on the opening day of Dreamforce, Salesforce’s user conference in San Francisco this week, he brought Microsoft Windows Vice President Tony Prophet on stage for a fireside chat.

After some genuine, inspirational, heart-to-heart talk about their mutual charitable work at Benioff’s Children’s Hospital at University of California San Francisco (UCSF), among other things, Benioff dropped his jaw.

"A year ago at Dreamforce we would not have thought Microsoft would have been here, on stage,” he said. “It's a shock."

And to him it certainly seemed to be, and for good reason. But are things always what they seem? 

Forrester Analysts Focus on Adaptive Intelligence #DF14

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It's no secret in the age of customer-centricity that marketers need to leverage data to enhance service levels. So how's that going?

Not that well, it seems. Two principal analysts for Forrester Research shared their insights today at Dreamforce in San Francisco.

"Every client we deal with has operational systems that just can't keep up," said John R. Rymer. "And they have to reinvest in those systems so they can actually act on the insights they get."

We Weren't Hacked, Dropbox Claims

Forget the headlines you may have seen. Dropbox wasn't hacked. Seven million Dropbox accounts were not compromised.

That’s the word from the cloud-based storage service provider, which, quite frankly, doesn't seem too  worried that customers accounts have been compromised. “We have proactive measures to prevent those kinds of things,” said a company spokesperson. “And when we see suspicious activity, we automatically reset passwords.”

And in this case, the vast majority of the passwords that hackers claimed could be used to log into Dropbox accounts had expired. Any that weren’t are expired now.

London Firm Bets Money on the Internet of Things

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Gartner expects the Internet of Things (IoT) will be driven by small entrepreneurs rather than big tech companies. And that means funding for those entrepreneurs is going to be crucial.

So far, compared with the funds available for start-ups in other areas like social or information management, there is relatively little investment in IoT start-ups. However, Reply, a London-based consulting, systems integration and digital services company, is taking up the torch and setting up a new trans-Atlantic initiative called Breed Reply.

The Search Landscape Surveyed

2014-14-October-Surveyor.jpgWe've reached an understanding over the last few years around issues related to the low level of enterprise search implementations and the lack of user confidence in search results. A number of surveys published in 2014 have investigated how search is being implemented and some wider issues of managing enterprise information. Let's take a look at the lay of the land.

More DAM Integration: Now It's Magnolia CMS and Canto

Digital Asset Management (DAM) software provider Canto is partnering with Magnolia CMS's Java Open Source platform. The goal is to integrate digital assets into websites and apps and avoid what company officials call duplicates and versioning of assets across all marketing channels.

"The partnership primarily targets creative marketing teams who routinely create compelling, visually attractive campaigns," said Jan Haderka, CIO at Basel, Switzerland-based Magnolia International Ltd, which staffs 70 and has 200 enterprise clients. "Job roles that the integration serves include web editors, digital asset managers, social and marketing communication experts and campaign project leads."

The news comes about two months after Magnolia CMS teamed with a European digital platform provider on a cloud implementation of the open source content management platform.

The partnership speaks to a CMS trend: in September, Sitecore announced its website editors can use Picturepark DAM systems to find and place digital assets onto websites. Earlier in the summer, Sitecore partnered with DAM provider ADAM Software.

Big Data's Dark Side: Keep the Creep Out of Your Analytics

2014-14-October-Spider.jpgMost of what’s been written about big data and data analytics — and there’s been a lot written —accentuates the positives and the possibilities. It highlights the ability to use insights gleaned from data to make faster, smarter business decisions. It talks about how companies can use big data to drive the development of new and improved products and services capable of improving life for customers. It examines the myriad ways data analysis can be used to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare, facilitate a better learning experience for students, and help the world proactively prepare for disasters.

None of this is untrue. Big data analytics can indeed be immensely powerful. But as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. As we turn the calendar to October, a month famous for the scary, there’s no better time to talk about the dark side of big data. If not handled properly, ethically and procedurally, big data can get pretty creepy, pretty quickly.

Personalizing Your Office 365 Content with Graph and Delve

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Last month, Microsoft introduced Delve, built on top of Microsoft Graph. Graph joined people across the enterprise in a single, unified… well graph. But Delve offered those connected users a way to find each other.

There is a lot of reason to be excited about it, especially for those who have been following the Microsoft One strategy.

That strategy was further clarified by CEO Satya Nadella’s Mobile First, Cloud First mantra. But it wasn’t entirely clear for those outside the loop what Delve is and where it came from.

To clarify this we asked Cem Aykan, senior product manager for Office Graph and Delve.

Post-IPO HubSpot Still Playing Competitor Catch-Up

marketing automation, HubSpot Gains in IPO, Still Needs to Play Competitor Catch-Up

If competitor stories are valid precedent, HubSpot's IPO last week was a good move.

But it certainly won't be an easy road for the Cambridge, Mass.-based marketing automation provider that made its NYSE debut last week. Not with future investment in marketing automation from competitors and not with recent advancements like Oracle's integration with BlueKai, according to a marketing automation analyst. 

"IPOs worked for Marketo, Eloqua and Responsys, so the precedent is good," said Gerry Brown, senior analyst for customer engagement and marketing technology for Ovum Research. "Competition for HubSpot will become intense as other vendors, such as Sitecore, offer marketing automation as an add-on. HubSpot needs to make sure they don’t get distracted from execution by the razzamatazz of the IPO."