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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.

Don't Hold Your Breath: SharePoint Release Delayed

Microsoft is significantly delaying the release of SharePoint Server 2016 — creating what one industry expert described as a "ripple of sadness" across the Internet.

In a blog post yesterday, Microsoft revealed a new delivery plan for the next on-premises version of Sharepoint. It confirmed that SharePoint Server 2016 will become generally available in the second quarter of 2016, with a public beta in the fourth quarter this year. That is about a year later than originally expected.

Does the Apple Watch Signal a Post-Browser World?

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The pre-orders are in, launch day is set and the Apple fanboys are lining up. On April 24 the Apple Watch will officially be available to the public.

But the fanboys aren’t the only ones watching out for this launch — marketers are keeping their eyes on the Apple Watch too. It's billed as “an intimate and immediate communication device" which, for any marketer, suggests a goldmine of opportunities to connect with consumers on a device that is literally attached to them during most hours of the day.

How to Navigate the Collaboration Seas

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While companies were busy evaluating the benefits of ESNs, their employees went ahead and implemented their own systems.

Enterprise social networks (ESN) were born from a fusion of commercial networks like Facebook and enterprise content management systems. They aimed to increase collaboration among geographically dispersed workforces, as well as improve information transparency and visibility.

Many ESNs provide a browser-based, mobile-friendly system with familiar, consumer-market features — like tagging and group sites — integrated with the traditional enterprise content management (ECM) capabilities. Companies such as Microsoft, Jive and Huddle capitalized on this market, providing organizations with systems aimed at achieving these goals.

What Game of Thrones Teaches You About Work

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How hot would it be to have your own dragons, especially if you could take those fire-breathing beasts to work?

Who would dare question your judgment, your work ethic or your annoying inclination to notice gaps in strategic plans — while everyone else nodded "yes"  — with massive flying reptiles at your side?

Ah, dragons. They were all I could think about after Lou Barreiro, the content and strategy manager at Chicago Creative Space, made an unexpected link between HBO's Game of Thrones and your typical office.

The popular series, which broke its own audience record with the season 5 premiere last Sunday, revolves around several Houses all vying to become the supreme rulers of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

"The intricate storylines that have captivated audiences worldwide are complex narratives that in some cases, believe it or not, come down to culture. While we hope your company is nothing like Westeros, there are definitely a few workplace culture lessons to be learned," Barreiro wrote on the company blog.

Todd Klindt: I'm Not Smart Enough for PowerShell

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Jeff Hicks is a PowerShell MVP, all-around smart guy — and he’s apparently doing community service for something, because he agreed to share his expertise with us.

As he told us, "I had nothing else to do tonight, so I figured I might as well do this. I was literally just going to sit in the corner and stare at the wall until this came up."

Those of you who watch my show know I’m a huge fan of PowerShell. Got a big old crush.

I used to do the PowerShell tip of the week until I ran out of things that I knew about PowerShell. Which means there were only like three weeks of PowerShell tips.

It was very short-lived. But you know, Jeff Hicks and I still travel in the same circles, speak at the same conferences. Our paths have crossed. We’ve chatted about PowerShell. So I wanted to bring him on and just kind of get some honest to goodness PowerShell talent in here to talk about some stuff.

News You Can Use: Yammer, Celtra, Neustar, More

The latest in stories, audiences, flows, text, standards, missions and security from Albion, Shawmut, The View, The City and Shallow Alto.

5 Ways Digital Work Will Change Data Centers

The structure of data centers is changing. Gartner attributes this to the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and increased investment in what it describes as the Nexus of Forces — technologies primarily built for cloud, social, mobile and information management.

For much of the past 40 years, data centers have been staples of the IT ecosystem. However,  IT departments need to develop new strategies for managing their data centers or business agility and competitive strength will be compromised.

The solution, Gartner suggests, is to develop new data center strategies for the digital world, according to a recently released report.

And Then Alcatel-Lucent Said, 'Hello, Nokia'

If a buyout deal was truly in the works between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia for a while now, as certain folks have retroactively predicted in recent hours, then the timing of yesterday’s deal announcement came as a shock at least to some at Alcatel-Lucent. 

The French global telecommunications equipment company had every intention of launching a new communications-as-a-service cloud platform called Rapport, speaking about it with CMSWire in depth.

Now the word CMSWire has been given to describe this launch is “delayed.” 

Not “cancelled,” which is a positive signal for A-L employees who may very well still be in shock over yesterday’s merger news.

Like Windows? Docker Does, Too

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Server-based applications built for Linux and packaged in Docker containers will be able to run on a Windows platform. 

This a result of Docker Inc.’s release today of its Docker 1.6 package, which features a Windows-based Docker client console contributed to the project by Microsoft itself.

The importance of this development may not be self-evident, so I’ll explain: For several years, the Linux operating system has been able to run on a Windows platform by way of virtual machines (VMs). 

But beyond the ability for a developer who happened to be using Windows to test her work in progress in a Linux environment, there was little other value to this.

Trapit Takes On LinkedIn with Social Selling Platform

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Social-selling platform provider Trapit wants to help companies deliver "relevant and engaging" content to employees and manage sharing through social channels.

The company debuts a new platform today that combines Trapit's content discovery and curation technology with the employee advocacy tools it gained in the merger last December with Addvocate, officials said.

Trapit's CEO said it's a platform that can take on LinkedIn, which also released a similar solution.

"The key to this space is content," Hank Nothhaft Jr., CEO and founder of five-year-old Trapit, told CMSWire. "No matter what features a platform has built, if you don’t have the ability to deliver great content, you’ve got nothing. I’d argue that the winner in this space will be determined by their ability to source quality content that is highly relevant to each user it serves."