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Discussion Point: Security Experts Respond to the State of the Union Address

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Cybersecurity wasn't even the stuff of dreams when George Washington delivered the first State of the Union message to Congress on Jan. 8, 1790. But fast forward to 2015 and there it was, playing a prominent role in Barack Obama's annual address to the nation.

Obama called for better cybersecurity in his televised address last night, urging Congress to pass legislation that will improve computer protection. “No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids,” he said.

Put the Tech Back into Tech Shows

CMSWire Op-Ed

It was sometime after Neil Young, Ariana Huffington and Al Gore had finished their bits on the Dreamforce stage. The speaker now was Eckhart Tolle, the most spiritually influential person in the world. But I wasn't feeling it.

I surfaced from the windowless basement of the Moscone Convention Center and found a cool gray October morning had turned into a warm, sunny afternoon. Hundreds of conference attendees lounged around an artificial-turf park on top of San Francisco's Howard Street. I watched two techies play ping-pong as Tolle's voice boomed from a nearby jumbotron.

That's when it hit me: In the world of big tech shows, the "show" now overshadows the "tech."

Optimizely Claims 'Breakthrough' in Online Testing Platform

Optimizely, a website optimization platform, just released what company execs describe as an innovative capability that breaks from traditional statistical methods. 

The platform — Stats Engine — adds to the company’s experience optimization platform by delivering test results that are "always valid" and "freed from the limitations of traditional statistical analysis," officials at the San Francisco-based provider boasted. Pete Koomen, co-founder of Optimizely, said Stats Engine "represents a breakthrough in the world of online testing."

Developed in collaboration with statisticians at Stanford University, company officials said Stats Engine relies on innovative approaches in statistical analysis. Combined with the company's own algorithms, it allows customers to interpret and act on data quicker "and more confidently than ever before," the company noted.

Stats Engine "propels statistical analysis into the Internet age," a company spokesperson told CMSWire.

Leave Your iPad at Home, Forget BYOD, Says HP

Face it, HP notes: iPads, Android and Windows tablets may be great but they weren’t built specifically for business. And the house that Meg Whitman rules may have a valid argument when you consider that the devices are being used by gazillions of kids strapped into shopping carts drawing animals for Night Zookeeper, by teens playing Candy Crush Saga and by moms who have adopted them as digital recipe displays when they cook. Never mind everyone watching Netflix.

Think about it. Do you want to make sales presentations on the device that your kid rests his lollipop on? Or that you and your honey used last night to watch a racy movie? Maybe yes, maybe no, but that’s not the main reason HP thinks that you might want to use different devices at work and at home.

“They (consumer-grade devices) also pose significant challenges to IT departments who have to support their now mobile workforces while keeping corporate data managed and secure,” said Ron Coughlin, senior vice president and general manager, Personal Systems, HP.

Telerik Exec Dishes on New Release, JavaScript's Momentum, More

Progress Software just debuted the latest version of the Telerik application development platform for mobile development. It's an important release for Bedford, Mass.-based Progress, which bought Telerik, the makers of the Sitefinity web content management system (WCMS), late last year.

Now barely a year old – this Telerik platform launched in February 2014 – it is difficult to imagine that major changes could be so quickly introduced. But as Aygun Suleymanova, head of Platform Product Marketing at Telerik, explained, the platform has gained significant traction. Specifically, some 20,000 apps have been built with it by more than 600 enterprises, to say nothing of the thousands of individual developers.

So scratch that supposition that little could have changed in the space of a year. In fact what Telerik has done is taken the usage data and customer feedback to development more capabilities to make development that much faster.

Ektron Delays Annual Conference 7 Months

Low registration numbers have reportedly convinced Web CMS provider Ektron to delay its annual conference. Ektron Synergy 2015 is now scheduled for Nov. 8 through 11 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas — seven months later than originally planned.

The change marks the latest in a series of shakeups at the Nashua, N.H.-based company. In the past two months, Ektron has made headlines with a sale to a private equity firm and a change in executive leadership that resulted in the ouster of co-founder Bill Rogers.

Rogers left late last month, but the company has yet to officially announce his departure or announce a new CEO.

Ektron was sold last month to Accel-KKR, a private equity firm that also bought EPiServer. Some sources within and outside the company report Ektron and EPiServer are destined to merge in the near future. 

One Happy Family: Marketing, Messaging Apps and the IoT

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Marketing and creativity has typically gone hand-in-hand. But many of the marketing folks I know are also innovative — and strike me as far more Silicon Valley than Madison Avenue. 

There's no argument that marketing departments want to get their messages in front of as many people as possible. But they have to be the right people or the whole effort could be a loss. That's where innovation comes in: marketers are always looking for unique ways to share their messages. 

As a child, TV was the primary medium by which I was exposed to marketing and advertising. Then the web came along.

The web slowly and methodically changed everything about advertising and marketing. Once it took hold, we were off to the races. The web gave marketers a new way to get their messages out to ever more targeted audiences and has allowed companies to become far more engaged with their customers — or, even better, potential customers.

From 0 to 1000 in a Month: One Online Community's Story

Shortness of breath during a routine walk. A chronic cough or continual wheezing. The need for supplemental oxygen. These are common symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition that affects approximately 24 million Americans.

That number doesn’t count the friends and family members who help care for those affected. If walking to the corner store causes shortness of breath, then chances are that loved ones will need to accompany you to assist with routine tasks.

Making EFSS More Than Just a Bucket for Content

2015-20-January-Jeetu-Patel-2.jpgOver the holidays I had the opportunity to trade some emails with Jeetu Patel on the future of the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) industry. Patel is general manager of Syncplicity, a business unit of EMC.

Prior to leading Syncplicity, Patel was Chief Strategy Officer of EMC's Information Intelligence Group (IIG). He was responsible for orchestrating and driving cross-category product vision, growth strategy, innovation agenda, cloud computing and big data initiatives. Additionally, he headed Worldwide Marketing for IIG, where he was responsible for product marketing, thought leadership, as well as competitive, vertical and solutions marketing.

4 Trends in Workplace Communication [Infographic]

Flexible hours, the ability to work remotely and more time off will motivate employees to work harder in 2015. But there’s another motivator on this list you might not expect: better communication tools.

This is just one of the findings of a recent survey conducted by uSamp Research on behalf of RingCentral. The results were published in an infographic, Business Communications are “Always On” in 2015.

“What we’re seeing is a change in which people communicate, and how business communication is perceived,” said Kira Makagon, EVP of Innovation for RingCentral. “It has a lot to do with an employee having the freedom to work from anywhere, wanting the freedom to work from anywhere and almost demanding the freedom to work from anywhere.”

Signs on the Road to Digital Analytics Maturity

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There's a danger when we turn to competitive analysis to compare progress against others in the same industry. If you're in an industry where digital transformation is slow in coming, or digital analytics are considered "new," you'll never have an example to follow because everyone's trending at the same slow speed. We've already seen how competitive analysis can act as a distraction when coming up with digital strategies. So when we took the first pass at the data from the EY Digital Analytics Benchmarking Survey, we kept this idea in mind.

Can Egnyte Snuff Box's IPO Fire?

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Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain makes no apologies. He handpicked today to reveal that his company is raising the stakes in Enterprise Sync and Share (EFSS), just a few days before Box’s IPO. The latter is expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the week — on Jan. 23.

Jain said Egnyte initially planned to make its announcement on Jan. 27. But he didn’t want to chance Egnyte getting grouped in with Box should its IPO disappoint. “We don’t want to be defined by the way the market reacts to Box,” he said.

Of course Jain, whose company might be seen as a Box competitor (they are both named in the same Gartner MQ report as well as Forrester Wave), made it clear that though both companies provide solutions around file sharing, they are quite different.

“EFSS is table stakes,” he said. Box co-founder and CEO, Aaron Levie has said this too. Ditto for the CEO’s of a dozen other competing vendors.

People are People, Not Users

Empathy is an essential skill for those who design and manage websites and apps. It’s hard to have empathy for a user.

The Emotional Value of Data: 5 Critical Actions to Take

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Emotional consumption has recently been identified as one of the social trends shaping how we live and work – now and in the future.

“The shift to emotional consumption has huge implications for employers and marketers,” wrote Marc Emmer in a LinkedIn post. Emmer is a strategic planning consultant and author of the book, Intended Consequences.

“In a time when we are blitzed with thousands of messages daily on multiple devices, people have a hunger for an emotional connection. Watch for shifts in marketing messaging to greater emphasis on empathy and community.”

Discussion Point: Are Trade Shows Worth the Cost?

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They're crowded, noisy, informative, exhausting and sometimes fun and profitable. But trade shows are also very expensive at a time CMOs need to show a strong return on investment (ROI) on every marketing dollar.

Once they were the place where vendors launched their latest products and business managers came to write big checks.

Today, most product launches take place outside of trade shows, digital marketing drives year-round conversions and marketers buy qualified leads as a commodity.

How One Female Web Technologist Broke Barriers in Tech

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Martha Elliott remembered walking into the office to interview for a web designer position when she was 40-years-old.

“The interviewer,” Elliott recalled, “looked puzzled and said, ‘I'm sorry we're not looking for receptionists at this time. We're looking for a web designer.’”

“I have to say that the early years were not easy,” Elliott told CMSWire about her effort to break into tech. “As a woman, and especially as a black woman, you had to constantly prove yourself over and over again.”

Week in Review: Don't Fear SharePoint + Windows 7 Support Ends

No More Windows 7 Support
Are you scared?

Emotional Intelligence Meets CX
Businesses will start to feel more human.

Don't Fear SharePoint
Don't worry about customizing SharePoint.

Listen to the Consumer — in Apps
What enterprise apps can learn.

What's Coming in 2015 for Cloud
Four views on where we're going. 

Know What Your Employees Share?
Better get a handle on it.

 

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Retail's Omnichannel, Data-Driven Revolution is Here

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The retail revolution is here. It’s always on, omnichannel, social, mobile and highly personalized. It’s informed by data — big data, small data, fast data, machine data.

The times, they are a changing. If you’re a retailer or a brand, the question is "Will you?"

You’d better. Because the consumer already has.

That was the general sentiment at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) BIG Show in New York City this week, where we heard speaker after speaker talk about data being the critical ingredient in creating customer experiences the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

Customer Experience Means the Same Thing, Online or Off

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If you're like most people you experienced some great, and some awful shopping experiences over the past few months. But what made some experiences great and others less than average?

The answer is almost certainly that the good experiences were driven by exceptional service tailored to your specific needs, and the bad experiences were caused by poor and uncaring service. It's the difference between the sales associate that takes the time to understand what you are looking for and helps you find it, versus the sales associate that is too busy texting to be bothered by your questions.

The same characteristics of a good in-store experience also make for a good digital experience. The more personal and relevant the digital experience, the better.

Companies Desperately Seeking IT Talent

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It would be a simple matter, it would seem, to hire a senior developer with Microsoft Dynamics skills. Yet, Kelly Bedrich, the director of IT for the non-profit firm APQC (the American Productivity and Quality Center), has been having difficulties filing the position.

He has his theories.

One is simply that local talent who can perform development, training and tier 2 support is scarce, he tells CMSWire.com. Another: organizations are starting to realize how critical the customer relationship management (CRM) function is to effective sales and marketing "so they are protecting their resources," he said.

It's not as though the non-profit was trying to hire one or more data scientists, a highly-sought skill. But then again, it might as well be. In general, the demand for IT talent has typically outstripped the supply and as the economy continues to recover that is hardly changing.