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IBM Stumbles on its Road to the Cloud

The transition to the cloud is not happening fast enough for slow-moving IBM, which today reported disappointing third quarter results: Revenue of $22.4 billion declined 4 percent year over year and fell short of the Wall Street consensus estimate of $23.37 billion, while per-share earnings of $3.68 missed the consensus by 64 cents. 

With the second half of this year now coming in weaker than expected, the company’s outlook has gotten more hazy, so management pulled its 2015 earnings forecast of $20 a share, saying it would provide an updated figure in January.

IBM’s latest numbers have not been well received on Wall Street: the stock today is down 7 percent, earlier hitting a new 52-week low at $166.71. 

For the quarter, IBM’s global services revenue of $13.7 billion (61 percent of total revenue) was off 3 percent, while software revenue declined 2 percent to $5.7 billion and hardware revenue dropped 15 percent to $2.4 billion. “We saw a marked slowdown in September in client buying behavior,” said CEO Ginni Rometty.

SAP CEO Boasts 'We're Better than Everyone Else'

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Bill McDermott made one thing very clear in SAP's third-quarter earnings call this morning: SAP is better than everyone else.

Better than Oracle. Better than Salesforce. Better than Workday. Even better than Facebook, Ikea, Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.

The CEO's confidence is based on SAP's progress in the cloud, which he said allows businesses run their entire production engines. Competitors merely offer "point solutions," he claimed.

The Walldorf, Germany-based software giant saw cloud revenues climb 41 percent this quarter year-over-year, and its customer count in its business suite on HANA jumped from 450 to 1,450 this quarter in the same period.

Never missing an opportunity to cite a competitor's inferiority, McDermott said that's "more than Workday's total number of customers."

Busy People Need Help, Not Interruptions

Getting attention is getting harder. The Web is a place where busy people do things. Help them, don’t disrupt them. 

Can You Make Google Love Your Global Content?

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Nǐ hǎo! ¡Hola! Konnichiwa! Oi! Guten Tag! Bonjour! Ciao! Privét! 

If your website isn’t translated into at least five of the above languages, you could be missing out on at least double your potential sales. This is the new reality of a global economy, said Alison Toon, senior director of new markets at Smartling, one of the hosts for a recent American Marketing Association webinar, “How to Make Google Love Your Global Content.”

She contends that 90 percent of global opportunities can be reached by businesses that have websites in 12 languages other than English. But many businesses seem to be missing out. When checking in with webinar participants via an interactive poll, almost 40 percent stated they currently have no website option for the non-English speaking world.

Week in Review: Salesforce's Marketing Dream + Are You Too Old for Tech?

Dreaming of Marketing
Salesforce shared its vision for marketing at Dreamforce along with a few other things.

Not Time for HubSpot Investment?
Excitement was palpable for HubSpot's IPO, but it's not a good investment now.

Too Old for Tech?
Nah! Don't be intimidated by those 20-somethings around you.

More Social Love for Office 365
Microsoft wants to make it easier to collaborate.

Who, Us? Hacked? No Way
Dropbox sets the record straight.

Anatomy of Microsoft's Delve
Confusion cleared — we now know the roots of Delve.

Study: The State of Always-On Marketing 2014
So You Think Your Marketing is Always On?
Read This to Find Out

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Faking Big Data #strataconf

Sorry folks, but this shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. Anytime a new technology or field emerges, so does a group of posers. They’re typically software vendors, consulting firms and “experts” who claim to be able to help you cross the chasm between where you are and where you need to go to remain viable in the future.

These aren’t, for the most part, evil companies, snake oil salesman or under educated individuals. Vendors iterate products as quickly as they can and push them out too early, they take shortcuts and rationalize them and sometimes they simply don’t know that they don’t know what they’re doing.

Big data is still an emerging field.

B2B Marketers Unite with National Advertisers #ANAMasters

digital marketing, B2B Marketers United in Merger with National Advertisers #ANAMastersThe technology's there, and the door's open for innovation. But everything is so complicated.

It's an interesting dichotomy for B2B marketers — where technological advancements are met with increased difficulties in the world in which they market.

"Complexity is exploding," said Stephen J. Liguori, founder and CEO of Liguori Innovation and the global chairman of the Business Marketing Association (BMA), the 17-chapter, 2,500-member network of B2B marketing peers. "B2B marketers have all the opportunities and challenges in reaching their customers in new ways just like B2C companies."

However, Liguori continued, "we additionally work in extremely complex markets and companies. Examples: digitally connecting healthcare equipment in hospitals to support doctors, nurses and patients. Building apps for airline pilots to fly shorter, smoother routes to save money and time. So gaining new skills and expertise to successfully navigate this complex world is critical."

Microsoft Ignites 'One' Enterprise Strategy

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It’s still only October, but already some companies are starting to talk about what they plan to do next year. Unfortunately, the word from most tends to be pretty vague this far in advance.

Microsoft is no exception.

However, one thing Microsoft has given some very concrete details about is its conference line-up for 2015. 

For the first time ever, Microsoft is bring all its enterprise business applications together in a new conference called Ignite.

Content Targeting: It's the I's and O's, Not the 1's and 0's

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There’s no mistake that personalization and delivering contextual content to consumers across digital content platforms is a hot topic with marketers. As content and delivery of it in an omnichannel universe becomes an imperative that no brand can ignore, the need to target it to a specific audience (or even an individual) is becoming a business must-do.

The challenge, of course, is that consumers have learned about this as well. And their ability to filter out the noise and focus on the signal makes it increasingly hard for marketers to reach them.

6 Trends Dominate the Portal Space, Gartner Claims

In recent weeks we have spent a lot of time talking about data search and discovery. While there are many ways of finding content, access through portals is still one of the major pathways. This week, Gartner has published what it believes are the top horizontal portal vendors in a market that is changing rapidly.

While there are many trends in play, one of the most notable, Gartner noted, is convergence of Web Content Management (WCM) demands through lean portals that are also incorporating social technologies in the enterprise.

SharePoint is Already Legacy

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SharePoint is already legacy. It was built in a world that needed a better enterprise solution for basic document management capabilities than the big enterprise content management ECM vendors were offering. And it spread like wildfire because it was easier to deploy and was more end-user focused than the large ECM tools.

It was laughed off by the ECM tools because of all of the functionality that it lacked. But the lack of functionality was exactly what made SharePoint so dangerous. It provided document management functionality that was good enough for end-users and IT with a much lower cost of deployment.

News Bites: Real Science, Easy Apps, Get Togethers and Tree Hugging

The latest in powering, streamlining, partnering, enabling, communicating and saving the world from the Swinging City, San Francisco, the Big Peach, the Tall Stick, the Empire City and Silver Sprung.

Just Because You Can Steal Content Doesn't Mean You Should

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You just finished preparing your first presentation for that big seminar at the annual meeting with the coolest pictures you could find on Google images and Flicker, the slickest YouTube videos and the hottest tracks from Pandora. You’re all set, right?

Not so fast, according to Gretchen Klebasko, associate general counsel and managing director of Intellectual Property at Legg Mason. While those sites offer a wealth of media for the asking, much of the material may be considered pirated if you use it. The legal problems begin with the difference between “free to view” versus “free to use.”

The Copyright Clearance Center’s overly wordy titled webinar: “Video, Music and Text, Oh My…Managing Copyright Compliance in a Multimedia World,” does a good job of explaining those differences in plain language. It also explains how to avoid the plethora of media materials that could get an individual or a company in legal hot water.

Klebasko has an impressive litigation background, but stuck with lay-language and delivered helpful information in a succinct presentation that doesn’t talk down to the participants. (Her full disclosure includes Legg Mason’s “wonderful working relationship with CCC.”)

Office Graph From a Partner's Perspective

2014-17-October-Sidecar.jpgWhen Microsoft showcased the power of Office Graph through Project Oslo, the Microsoft partner community collectively wondered about extensibility and API access. But as with many Microsoft products, it will take the greater partner community to push Office Graph into the mainstream.

To explore this dynamic, I spoke with Yaacov Cohen, CEO of Harmon.ie, to discuss the Microsoft Office Graph reveal and how it will impact the Silicon Valley-based software developer and its product line.

Do You Have to be 'Modern' to be a Great Marketer?

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Do things that are current. You'll win if you do.

A Forrester Research study commissioned by Oracle finds that organizations embracing a modern marketing strategy make more money, are seen as industry leaders and create better workplace environments.

According to the responses from 492 marketing decision-makers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France, companies using "non-modern" marketing strategies are at a loss.

Deliver Big Data in Bite-Sized Pieces with Mainstream Apps

2014-16-October-Squirrel-Lunch.jpgHow can we transform Big Data into the Big Idea that turns into an opportunity in the digital revolution? How can we use this data gleaned from multiple sources and turn it into smart “consumer style” data driven, mainstream apps? The answers aren’t easy.

But without these answers we'll be unable to develop the data driven-apps that analysts are flagging as the next “Big Thing” in the sales and marketing arena.

Is it Better to Build or Buy Your Marketing Cloud? [Video]

Build versus buy is a debate that precedes digital marketing clouds. It's nothing new.

But it's hot in digital marketing. And it's something that got a lot of people talking during the annual Marketing Technology Conference this past summer in Boston.

"The explosion in marketing technology (martech) is a wonderful opportunity for all of us in digital marketing," said Jay Calavas, chief evangelist for San Diego-based tag management provider Tealium. He made his comments during a CMSWire/Tealium webinar this week, "Build vs. Buy Your Marketing Cloud — A Roundtable." 

"There are more than 1,000 digital marketing solutions," Calavas added. "That's a good thing. Here at Tealium we've experienced a huge growth in the tag management space, the desire for the marketer to manage data and distribute it off to all their marketing technology partners."

So the verdict in the build vs. debate from the webinar panelists? It's all about your organization's ability to match marketing technology with core business objectives and have solutions in place that integrate well.

Cloudwords Localizes the Oracle Cloud

Cloudwords, a startup backed by Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff, has beefed up its integration with the Oracle Marketing Cloud, aiming to automate and organize the process of managing the localization of B2B and B2C content

Cloudwords announced yesterday that it is now integrated with Oracle Reponsys, Oracle Content Marketing (formerly Compendium), Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle WebCenter Content.

Transform the Customer Journey with Predictive Analytics

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Predictive analytics is on the rise. Two years ago, retail chain Target was able to find out a teenage girl was pregnant before her father even did. While this revelation sparked controversy around issues of user privacy, the incident demonstrates the power of data.

Data can also predict user behavior. Google Calendar, for instance, absorbs user information and can predict where you will be and what you will be doing on a given Tuesday afternoon.

But data’s ability to anticipate and understand human behavior is not limited to business-consumer interactions: it has the ability to implement much-needed change in the way we engage with customers in general.

Jeff Dachis: Still Leading the Digital Revolution After All These Years

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Jeff Dachis is the kind of guy who responds to a tweet in the middle of the night. But what else would you expect from an entrepreneur whose titles include co-founder and former CEO of Razorfish, founder and CEO of the Dachis Group, chief evangelist at Sprinklr and mentor at TechStars, Capital Factory and the Founder Institute?

Dachis has spent the past 20 years "navigating the dramatic shift in the marketplace" brought about by digital, mobile and social technologies and "has tried to help unlock the value and impact created when people can connect, share and engage with each other."

He's not only a pioneer of the digital revolution, but one of the most adaptive participants. Earlier this year, he evolved again — from the head of Austin, Texas-based Dachis Group to the Chief Evangelist and advisor at New York City-based Sprinklr.