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Microsoft's Power BI Gets Mobile Muscle

Shortly after Satya Nadella took the helm at Microsoft, he began talking about a “data culture.” Two of his favorite tools —Microsoft Delve and Power BI — are supposed to be key in helping us live and work smarter.

The Microsoft boss has told us this over and over again.

And given that we live in an increasingly mobile-first world, being able to glean intelligence via our mobile devices is a must. So it should come as no great shock that Microsoft today announced that it has acquired Datazen, an industry leader in mobile business intelligence and data visualization on Windows, iOS and Android devices.

Windows Server Changes: What You Need to Know

The operating system upon which a majority of the world’s business applications are managed is transitioning from a monolithic host of massive programs into a minimalistic provider for microservices.

This is from the person responsible for executing this transition for Microsoft: its general manager for Windows Server, Mike Neil.

Whether your CMS, CRM, ERP or any other business applications platform runs in a Windows Server virtual machine or on a Linux system, its underpinnings are in the midst of being swapped out. The entire server world is now an active construction zone.

“From an evolutionary path, it is the direction that we’re going,” Neil said in an interview with CMSWire. “The next stage along that path is really focusing the core pieces of our operating system, for delivery in containers.”

How You Can Cope With Email Overload

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Feeling overwhelmed by all that email?

Think fast, short and selective: When email piles up, most people send short responses to a small number of incoming messages as quickly as possible.

If you're the one sending the email, you have better odds of getting a response if you send your messages on weekdays, during regular business hours — especially if you can resist the urge to add an attachment.

These are some of the not-so-surprising findings of a large scale study by researchers at Yahoo Labs in Barcelona and the University of Southern California. The researchers analyzed the behavior of more than 2 million users exchanging 16 billion separate emails over several months, which they describe as the largest single study of email behavior to date.

Mimecast Wants You to Trust Business Email to the Cloud

A new, web-based secure messaging system announced this morning by Mimecast aims to address the continuing problem of malicious payload passing through email.

Mimecast’s strategy with its simply named Secure Messaging service is not entirely new: Direct Outlook to upload email attachments to a web gateway, encrypt them there using AES protocol and let browsers manage the transfer of the encrypted attachments through secure sessions.

What's new, however, is Mimecast’s appeal to customers. Please trust a cloud for your security.

“We do retain data in the cloud, so you can archive perpetually with us,” said Orlando Scott-Cowley, Mimecast’s director of technology marketing and a certified security engineer, speaking with CMSWire. “Or alternatively, if you have legal concerns about security and privacy of using a cloud service, we have a zero-drag or zero-retention which just sends the mail straight through to the organization.”

Is Marketo Enough for You? #MKTGnation

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Marketo jumped on the all-in-one marketing platform train today.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based provider announced today at its annual Marketing Nation Summit at the Moscone Center in San Francisco capabilities that allow marketers to engage their customers across all channels from a single software platform.

The eight-year-old company this week welcomes its biggest crowd to date for its annual marketing festival — a 41 percent growth in registrations up to more than 8,500. Marketo officials said last week it had nearly 4,000 paid registrants, 86 percent growth since last year. 

What does more people mean? More money for Marketo. But also more momentum for the marketing automation specialist that reported a 54 percent third-quarter growth in October

"It's about inspiration in the nation," Sanjay Dholakia, Marketo's chief marketing officer, told CMSWire in an interview last week.

The Sticking Point with Social Collaboration Tools

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Charlene Li, founder and CEO of Altimeter Group fights the good fight in a recent Harvard Business Review article — "Why No One Uses the Corporate Social Network" — but ultimately makes a conclusion that's not supported by her own data.

In a 2014 study, Altimeter found that deployed "social collaboration" tools aren't widely used. (These are often called enterprise social networks, or what I'd rather refer to generically as work media, after social media). The value of any social tool increases in an exponential fashion relative to the number of users. So when few people use a tool, its value is low, and the payoff for joining is low, as well.

The Inside Scoop on Influencers: 3 Ways to Get Results

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If you’re thinking about adding influencers to your marketing mix, but aren’t quite sure if you can pull it off, take a few minutes to read what Christine Vieira has to say. She’s the co-founder and president of Find Your Influence, a cloud-based automated influencer marketing program.

“The key to success is making sure you understand your audience, your strategy and who your influencers might be,” Vieira told CMSWire.

She added that influencer marketing isn’t just for B2C companies. “B2B companies are starting to see which influencers might make sense for them," said Vieira. "Their target clients are looking at blogs and reviews more so than a consumer, so they can use influencers to educate potential clients. It can truly make sense for any brand.”

Is There a Future in Content Marketing?

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“Things looked bleak for the Angels when they trailed by two runs in the ninth inning, but Los Angeles recovered thanks to a key single from Vladimir Guerrero to pull out a 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday.”

Nice bit of reporting, right? You'd be forgiven for thinking it was the lede of a beat writer's game recap in the Los Angeles Times.

It wasn't.

A computer wrote it. 

The paragraph appeared in a New York Times’ Opinion piece titled “If an Algorithm Wrote This, How Would You Even Know?” In the piece, Shelley Podolny, director of e-discovery company H5, explored the emergence of robo-writers, computer software that not only analyzes data, but creates human-sounding commentary.

The sophistication of robo-writers is impressive. Could you have guessed that the quote was written by a computer? 

Hey Cloudera & MapR: Open Data Platform is the Real Deal

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If you thought the Open Data Platform (ODP) was just a bunch of hype, think again.

This morning at the Hadoop Summit in Brussels, three big data crunching giants — Hortonworks, IBM and Pivotal Software — are making big news.

The three will announce that their Hadoop platforms are all standardized on identical versions of Apache Hadoop 2.6, as well as Apache Ambari, and available on the market. The aforementioned configuration is known as ODP.

“We’re all shipping the same version,” Anjul Bhambhri, vice president, Big Data and Streams at IBM, said during a pre-release interview.

What You Should Know About Enterprise Mobility

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With all of the research and resources being poured into mobile, you’d think every single company would have a mobile strategy in place — and be hard at work executing it. However, the number is probably lower than you think.

According to a study by Lopez Research, more than 75 percent of enterprise companies surveyed concede their e-mail, calendar and contact applications are all they have enabled for mobile.

“The vast majority of businesses are either just getting started or are just starting to realize they need to accelerate their mobility needs,” said Adam Stein, vice president of mobile solution and product marketing for SAP.

“Twenty-five percent are using apps for workforce management, productivity gains and to improve the customer experience. And that really helps them make gains in the mobile organization."

Discussion Point: Why Do Intranets Fail?

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Most hard-working professionals need a good reason to use their organization's intranet.

Remember the early days? The one-page company Wiki that had 1,000 links on it? And once in a while you'd get an email from a manager who said, "It's on the intranet. Go find it."

Those days are gone — hopefully. Vendors cash in on companies needing a strong, internal collaboration platform. Intranets still serve as great fodder for debate in tech circles. Case in point — the Intra.Net Reloaded conference that circles the globe.

We caught the Boston version of this conference last week. Practitioners discussed the relevance of gamification, platform usability, how to improve adoption and costly mistakes to avoid. We continue that conversation today with our latest Discussion Point.

Pivotal Gets Open Sourcier

You can’t help but wonder if EMC Federation boss Joe Tucci is reaching for his stress ball today. His company’s spawn, Pivotal Software, is open sourcing the core of GemFire, its distributed in-memory database.

We asked Tucci to comment, but he hasn’t gotten back to us yet. And though his press spokesperson told us “we’re for it,” when it comes to open source, we suspect that it might feel a bit like watching your teenager turn your mansion into a commune.

EMC spinoff VMware (a part of the EMC Federation) paid good money for GemFire (it was called GemStone at the time), after all, and it’s hard to imagine that Tucci is elated about releasing it to the Adobe Foundation for incubation, where the code is open to all and free for the taking.

Madison Logic Data Rebrands as Bombora

Madison Logic Data made its biggest identity move yet today.

Madison Logic Data, which seven months ago became the sister company of Madison Logic, has rebranded as Bombora. It will stay in New York City. Madison Logic bought Linthicum, Maryland-based BBN Solutions in March.

Bombora officials believe in the power of intent data, which they define as data collected about a web user’s content consumption.

That kind of technology, they added, allows the provider to identify key topics (2,300 total as of last month) that will show marketers when users express interest in a specific topic.

The provider told CMSWire last month that it aggregates digital and mobile display inventory from 1,600 B2B media outlets. This allows brands to interact with more than 245 million decision makers monthly.

Stepping Back to See the Big MarTech Picture

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The after-effects of the recent MarTech conference in San Francisco linger on. Between the strong speakers, fireside chats and diverse set of attendees, the event has already provided a point of departure for many a conversation on the state of marketing technology.

And beyond that — as witnessed from colleagues, peers and personal experience — it's sparked some needed soul-searching within the industry.

Marketing Technology is vast, diverse and rapidly evolving. Scott Brinker's Marketing Technology Landscape Infographic serves as a regular reminder of just how quickly martech has evolved. 

In such a fast-paced industry, there isn't always time to take in the big picture. With this event, Brinker offered that opportunity: two days to take a step back, take a deep breath and look at where we are with marketing technology.

Want a Great Career? Just Create It

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Where do you turn for leadership insight? A lot of people in media and entertainment turn to Heidrick & Struggles, a global provider of executive search, leadership consulting and culture shaping services.

And more specifically, they turn to Angela Gardner, who rejoined the firm last November as Partner within the global consumer markets practice.

Based in Los Angeles, she's tasked with delivering leadership insight to clients across consumer- and technology-facing industries, including digital platforms, in the firm's Media and Entertainment Practice.

Let Your Social Collaboration Use Cases Lead the Way

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For many organizations, the move towards social collaboration is entirely grassroots-driven. Pockets of employees find a tool which meets their need, and suddenly the organization is faced with many different, unsupported technologies.

Clearly there is demand for a better alternative to the organization's existing approved tools, but how do you a. find a solution that meets everyone's needs, and b. get people to switch to the corporate approved choice?

Tomorrow's Too Late: App Delivery in Digital Time

Ouch!

It takes only four letters to describe the sting that line of business users feel about the rate at which their IT departments bring new applications to market. According to a September study by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, companies need to dramatically change the way in which IT and business users work together to build applications as well as the IT infrastructure on which they’re deployed.

And this isn’t just supposition.

“Success in the digital economy is increasingly driven by a company’s ability to leverage information for real-time decision making, or to improve customer experience via customer-facing products and services,” the study noted.

Enterprises that are “digital masters” are 26 percent more profitable than peers in their industries, according to cross-industry research conducted by Didier Bonnet of Capgemini Consulting together with George Westerman and Andrew McAfee of MIT.

These companies are leveraging information from social, mobile, cloud, analytics and big data. In addition, IT and the business are working together to build applications collaboratively and in short order. And when it comes to deployment, there’s a fraction of the lag time.

This means that yesterday’s systems development life cycles, reliance on coding, and old IT infrastructures may actually prove to be a disadvantage.

Cloud, mobile, social, big data, the Internet of Things and digital have disrupted the status quo and changed the game.

For quick-thinking business leaders and technology providers this spells opportunity.

Today, Mendix and Pivotal Cloud Foundry announced a new partnership to speed Enterprise IT’s journey to the digital era.

We Need a Department OF the Customer

We have a department of selling to the customer, a department of marketing to the customer, a department of communicating at the customer. We have a department of dealing with customer complaints. But we have no department OF the customer. 

3 Ways Marketing Automation Boosts Business Efficiency

"The attention economy is not growing, which means we have to grab the attention that someone else has today." — Brent Leary

I remember Brent Leary, a partner at CRM Essentials and a well-known subject matter expert on CRM, making that bold assessment a few years ago, and it still rings true today. 

The battle for customer attention has never been more intense. Fortunately marketers are finding a few ways to help ease their efforts to retain customers. 

Marketing automation is one of those effective digital balms. 

Here are three ways automation unleashed valuable analytic strategy. The key is through timing and segmentation, which leads to analytic decisions that highlight meaningful operational support.

Week in Review: Collaboration Tools + Inside MS Spartan

Meet the Chief Data Officer
It's not for the faint of heart.

Take that, Microsoft
Google's CRM salvo at Microsoft.

These Tools Don't Cut It
Everything's wrong with social collaboration tools.

The Most Important Collaboration Tool
Focus on community management.

What's the Deal with Spartan?
A look at Microsoft's new browser.

You Love Dropbox and Office
Why you'll stay.

Why Implement a Voice of the Customer (VoC) Program? 
Customer experience: The great differentiator

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