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Alcatel-Lucent Helps You Add a 'Phone' to Salesforce

A funny thing happened on Alcatel-Lucent’s way to breaking ground on its Rapport Communications-as-a-Service platform.

To the surprise of many, even within the organization, it completed its under-the-radar negotiations with Nokia, in a deal which may bring the caretaker of Bell Labs under the wing of a newly empowered management team with a score to settle with the world.

Rapport is now available today, and for the first time is being offered directly to enterprises as a kind of application in itself — not an end-to-end, single-vendor, locked-down solution. It’s not just the telephone as software, but the entire network.

Microsoft Puts OneDrive on the Apple Watch

Microsoft is offering OneDrive support for the new Apple Watch.

The new version of OneDrive appeared in the Apple store yesterday. According to the blurb on the Apple store page, it offers users the ability to access and delete OneDrive photos right from their wrists, as well as view albums and find photos by tag.

Who Leads in Multichannel Campaign Management?

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Gartner made one change when it evaluated the leaders in its latest Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Campaign Management.

The Stamford, Conn.-based research firm upgraded Salesforce from a visionary to a leader.

Salesforce joins five leaders from the previous MQ — IBM, SAS, Teradata, Oracle and Adobe — which analyzes vendors that promise to be multichannel marketing providers.

Gartner named SAP a challenger and cited Marketo and Sitecore as visionaries.

Ten vendors made it into Gartner's niche players quadrant for Multichannel Campaign Management (MCCM): RedPoint, Microsoft, SDL, Experian, Selligent, Infor, Pegasystems, Zeta Interactive, Pitney Bowes and AgilOne.

Keep Your Head Above the Email Floodwaters

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What do you get when you study the communication patterns of over 2 million email users exchanging over 16 billion messages? 

A whole lot of data and a little bit of anxiety.

A new study from USC and Yahoo Labs, “Evolution of Conversations in the Age of Email Overload,” reveals how people react when confronted with an increasing load of email messages. This study is unique in its scale.

Besides statistically analyzing communication patterns, it also analyzed how people react under increasing loads of email messages. And while the research was limited to conversations between pairs of Yahoo email users, who are primarily consumers, the study uncovers important implications for organizational contexts, including conversations between more than two business participants.

Metalogix Moves Into Social Media Archiving

Metalogix is back to business-as-usual after the MetaVis buy with the announcement this morning of a triple release across its Files and Exchange offerings, as well as new module that protects enterprise brands in social media settings.

The Archive and Files upgrades promise universal mobile access along with enhanced security and compliance features. But the company expects the new social module to be the real crowd pleaser.

To find out more, we talked with Hudson Casson, the company's global director of marketing and product strategy.

Don't Let Big Data Keep You Up at Night

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Massive amounts of data is zooming around online and through the airwaves — data that could help your small business accomplish a great many things. But just because it's there doesn’t mean you have to worry about ALL of it. You just need to focus.

Although the Internet of Things is upon us, hovering over the Interwebs like some humongous alien spaceship, big data concerns don’t have to keep you awake at night if you own a small business. Why, then, do you have a nagging feeling that it should?

Cisco Launches Knowledge Sharing and Learning Platform

Roughly one month after the release of Oracle’s Learning Cloud, Cisco has come out with its own news around what it calls “creating perpetual learning environments.”

With today’s release of Cisco® Collaborative Knowledge — a knowledge sharing and learning platform —  Cisco executives say they can help build smarter, faster, more agile workforces.

“The workforce is becoming more fluid, mobile, distributed and multi-generational,” Kathy Bries, Senior Director and General Manager for Learning@Cisco told CMSWire. “In order to foster a culture of learning, you need to make all knowledge accessible to everyone.”

8 Tips to Spring Clean Your Digital Work Life

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Not everyone is a digital packrat, but we could all benefit from at least a little spring cleaning.

Whether we’re talking about our drives at work, our folders in the cloud, the apps on our mobile devices or the social media accounts that include our professional personas — if you’re like most of us, there’s too much content and too much data out there.

And we haven’t even begun to talk about email ….

VMware, Microsoft Push Microservices at Their Own Pace

The software architecture of the future is microservices. That much is certain, but what’s up in the air now is whether that future can be pushed far enough ahead for investments in present architecture to be fully amortized before they’re finally allowed to expire.

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger started off his company’s announcements today around virtualized microservices with a bridge metaphor. When you see a vendor break out the bridge metaphor, you realize it’s not a ferry or a steamboat or an airplane. It’s something that stays grounded on both sides.

Grab Your Pitchfork: It's Time to Skewer Someone on Social

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How are we supposed to get any work done with all the drama on social media?

It's downright exhausting. Every day there's someone new to judge and vilify, which we collectively do with the vengeance and rage of the villagers in Frankenstein.

I'm not talking about people who have committed truly horrible acts of inhumanity and cruelty, like that Texas veterinarian who put an arrow through the head of a neighborhood cat — and boasted about it on her own Facebook page.

I'm talking about the ill tempered and the foul-mouthed, the anger impaired and the sensitivity-challenged, the seriously naïve who either didn't know or didn’t think anyone would care that their butts or bellies or bosoms were on display in that too tight, too short, too small article of clothing.

I'm talking about people much like me and you who simply had the misfortune of having their stupidity immortalized on social media.

And the whole thing has me and others, including Peggy Drexler, an assistant professor of psychology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, wondering:

Is this unhealthy "us and them" mentality coloring our perspective of the world? Do we feel "better than" by sharing the latest story of someone's bad behavior? Now take it one step further: Could these feelings of superiority and underlying lack of respect for other people be sabotaging our commitment to customer-centricity, at least subconsciously?

Big Dogs Trail in Forrester's Social Relationship Wave

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Some big software players jumped into Forrester Research's hearts for platforms that help digital marketers make the most out of social media.

But they're not the leaders.

In its Wave for Social Relationship Platforms for this quarter — targeted at B2C marketers — the Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm tabbed Oracle and Hootsuite among its most significant providers in the space. Those organizations did not make the cut two years ago.

They join Adobe, Expion, Falcon Social, Salesforce, Percolate, Shoutlet, Spredfast, Sprinklr and Sprout Social as significant providers in the Social Relationship Platform (SRP) space.

Forrester evaluated vendors with at least 100 enterprise SRP clients whose average deployment includes at least 25 seat holders.

"One of the things we looked for in our evaluation was vendors’ ability to automate key SRP functions," Forrester analyst Nate Elliott wrote in a blog post today. "We know — automation remains a dirty word in social media. No brand wants to repeat the automation-driven mistakes of Coca-Cola or Bank of America. But marketers say one of their top social challenges is hiring and training enough qualified staff. In this environment, the greatest value that social relationship platforms can offer their clients is lightening their workload." 

The Key to Analytics for the Masses

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When organizations discuss how to drive value from big data, they often focus on improving the customer experience through big data analytics. But they face a challenge here: Many of the employees who actually interact with customers are not sophisticated consumers of analytics.

Cashiers, call center agents and front line sales people rarely have analytics backgrounds or skills. And these same employees usually have little desire to dive into analytics.

So what’s an organization to do?

Where Multichannel and Omnichannel Selling Diverge

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Wikipedia's editors removed the omnichannel retailing entry and redirected it to multichannel retailing in early March. What prompted the move? The editors didn't see a clear difference between the two.

Retail isn't the focus of Wikipedia's editors day-to-day jobs, so a clearer definition is obviously in order. But if the folks at Wikipedia are unclear where the two diverge, there are probably people involved in B2B and B2C today who don't understand the difference as well.

What Does the 21st Century Corporate Memo Look Like?

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From the choppy, painfully poor audio quality conference calls of the Mad Men era, to email announcements and static intranets, to the modern workplace collaboration solutions that proliferate by the day — company communications have come a long, long way.

But there’s still work to be done. 

The Surprising Scarcity of IT Security Talent

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No, it is not your imagination: good IT security help is hard to find.

So says a new survey by ISACA and RSA Conference, which reports that 82 percent of organizations expect to be attacked in 2015 – yet acknowledge that they have talent pool that is largely unqualified and unable to handle complex threats.

More than one in three companies or 35 percent are unable to fill open security positions, according to the report, The State of Cybersecurity: Implications for 2015.

Given that online security has been a brewing issue for years — and that universities and colleges have not been shy about promoting their computer science departments and degrees — it is fair to wonder what the heck is going on. Are these IT skills really that scarce and difficult to acquire?

5 Tips for Startups from #TechweekDET

The city of Detroit is trying hard to reinvent itself as more than just a manufacturing hub. And if this year’s Techweek Detroit is any indication, it's succeeding.

The celebration of technology and innovation last week brought together more than 30 speakers from across the country to Ford Field, with events held throughout the city.  It featured sessions around everything from emerging cities to mobility and entrepreneurship.

Attendees discussed not only trends and tech innovation but ways to grow and capitalize on technology in the Motor City.

If you weren’t able to attend the sessions, you can still get a flavor for the atmosphere, with some quick highlights about the event, focused specifically on how startups can succeed in a sea of big business.

The Digital Revolution Is Cultural, Not Technological

Technology is an enabler. What Web-based technology enables is networks. What networks enable are the broad and free flow of information and the democratization of the ability to freely and easily connect with other people. 

Discussion Point: How Can You Solve Your IT Talent Gap?

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Consider it a classic Catch-22: Your company has plenty of open IT positions to fill, and too few qualified candidates to fill them. Now what do you do?

By all accounts, 2015 will be a spectacular year for IT workers as the unemployment rate continues to plummet, salaries increase and organizations double down on retention and engagement strategies. The challenge is finding the right candidates.

Another report from CompTIA, called Cyberstates 2015: The Definitive State-by-State Analysis of the U.S. Tech Industry (registration required) also showed that job positing in technology jumped by more than 11 percent over the previous year and some 650,000 job openings were listed in the fourth quarter of 2014. And many of those jobs remain unfilled, month after month.

How many? The White House estimates some 500,000 jobs that require various levels of tech skills sit open nationwide in the US. Just last month, the Obama administration took steps to address that talent shortage with a new $100 million TechHire Initiative.

TechHire is a new campaign to get more Americans rapidly trained for well-paying technology jobs — and simultaneously convince local governments, businesses and potential workers that a four-year degree is no longer the only way to gain the tech skills they need.

The IT talent shortage is real. Can creative and innovative hiring strategies help you address it?

Week in Review: Web CMS Mistakes + Collaboration Chaos

Web CMS Disasters
11 easy ways to kill your project.

Future of Content Marketing
Good content writers = obsolete?

Down, Collaboration Boy! Down!
How to tame the chaos.

Too Much Collaboration?
Maybe it's not enough leadership.

Let Go of Your Content
Good times to purge.

I'm Not PowerShell Worthy
But Jeff Hicks sure is.

The Forrester Wave™ for Web CMS, 2015 
Adobe and Sitecore lead a strong field of WCM vendors

Download the Wave

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Where Moore's Law Dead-Ends

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“What computing rule of thumb,” reads a trivia question on How-To Geek, “predicts the doubling of computing power every two years?”

It’s a tougher question than you may think.

Fifty years ago this weekend, an electronics engineer named Gordon E. Moore who had co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor, and who had moved on to lead a kind of startup firm with the strange sounding name Intel, published an article in Electronics magazine (PDF). In it, Moore shared an observation that the costs of producing more highly integrated electronics were declining at a predictable rate.

The article, with the beautiful title, “Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits” (perhaps Moore was also an SEO visionary back then) suggested that integrated circuit manufacturers may actually be compelled to find new and innovative ways to combine the various parts of an integrated circuit into ever smaller spaces over time, in order to take full advantage of those declining costs.