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Big Pictures, Micro-Moments: Takeaways from #KMWorld

2014-11-November-Lucas.jpgBig pictures start with small parts. At last week's KMWorld conference in Washington, DC, we were given a taste of both.

Lee Rainie, director of Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, explored a utopian vision of knowledge sharing in the future during his Thursday keynote.

A day earlier, Dion Hinchcliffe, Chief Strategy Officer at Adjuvi, shared success stories: examples of how knowledge management works in businesses that have successfully implemented and integrated social collaboration, both internally and externally.

The lessons became more granular in individual sessions: How contextual awareness in the workplace can help deliver relevant information to employees. Individual storytelling as a pathway to organizational narrative. The importance of the url for a successful search in SharePoint.

Demystifying Web Personalization: 3 Myths Debunked

2014-12-November-Name-Necklace.jpgIf you want your online business to keep up with the competition, you should be deploying website personalization.

Amazon set the precedent some years ago, and now receives 30 percent of its revenue through its pioneering use of product recommendations. Other e-commerce giants, notably Staples, have acquired entire personalization tools into their arsenal.

Research by Forrester found personalization to be the top priority for 55 percent of retailers. For B2C marketers, it was found to be this year’s top digital priority. Insights from another survey revealed that 83 percent of consumers prefer to receive a personalized cross-channel experience.

There's a number of studies and reports available that all point to the same place: personalization is the future of e-commerce.

Microsoft Wants to De-Clutter Your Inbox

An empty email inbox is apparently a new status symbol in the IT industry — and vendors are lining up to provide products designed to help you manage your mail.

Google has already introduced its Inbox, and now Microsoft is bringing Graph to inboxes to make them smarter.

While the concept of intelligent inboxes is a bit of a contradiction – think of all the trash they attract – Microsoft Graph promises to change that. It will teach inboxes what you want, what you don’t want and dump the rest in a hole called Clutter.

Want to Connect With Customers? First Step: Don't Be a Jerk

2014-12-November-Mean-Pallas-Cat.jpgAll businesses have certain characteristics that embody the spirit of the company, and allow a brand to better relate and communicate with its customers. However, there are a few traits in particular that help businesses to truly connect with its customers. This connection is all about being more human.

OpenText: Ditch the Competition for Our EIM Suites #OTEW2014

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ORLANDO, Fla. — OpenText pulled no punches in the official opening session of its Enterprise World 2014 conference this morning at the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort here.

It's enticing potential customers to ditch competing products and adopt its own enterprise information management (EIM) suites.

Bye-Bye Microsoft Lync, Here Comes Skype For Business

2014-11-12 skype for business.jpgWhen Microsoft paid $8.5 billion in cash for Skype in 2011, it left some scratching their heads where the product would fit in the Microsoft ecosystem. And while Microsoft has since integrated the software into a number of its products, we now have a better sense of its future. As of next year, the Lync name will disappear and be replaced by Skype for Business.

This is not just a rebranding exercise. It involves joining together the Lync infrastructure with Skype, which includes the ability to use on-premises servers, optional integration with external communications networks and the use of the Skype interface on top of Lync.

Guess Where Kevin Cochrane Popped Up?

Just a year ago, Kevin Cochrane was a keynote speaker at OpenText Enterprise World 2013. This week, at OpenText's 2014 conference in Orlando, Fla., Cochrane is nowhere near the stage.

His days as CMO of the Canadian enterprise information management provider — which followed several years as vice president of enterprise marketing at Adobe — are behind him.

Cochrane left OpenText in July.

In September, he was named CMO at Mindjet, a project-based collaboration software company. He remained in that position less than two months. 

Cochrane no longer maintains any references to Mindjet on his LinkedIn profile. Instead, he states that he is a member of the board of both the Digital Clarity Group (DCG) and Jahia.

He also notes that he is CMO of San Mateo, Calif.-based Agari, a Cisco-spawned company that develops data-driven security solutions powering real time cyberthreat detection prevention for global companies and their customers. 

OpenText Reimagines Information Management #OTEW2014

There’s a gap in the kinds information management solutions available to businesses today. On one side there are the heavy-hitting, feature-filled Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions that highly regulated life sciences, energy and financial industries require.

On the other side, there are Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) solutions that typically store content on public clouds. And then there’s Box, which is busily adding social and collaboration features to its EFSS service.

But until today there hasn’t been a vendor that provides a business information management service that sits on a private cloud and offers secure social and collaboration features, without any involvement from IT at all. That’s right, end users can buy OpenText’s new enterprise-grade Information Management solution, OpenText Core, with a credit card and get busy.

“It’s designed for the digital first world. It’s very intuitive, requires no learning and is focused on the business,” said Lubor Ptacek, vice president of strategic marketing, at OpenText.

The Big Challenge for Marketers: Good Content #KenticoConnection

BOSTON — Technology can help solve some of B2B marketers' biggest problems, such as increasing customer engagement and providing measurable results.  But it only works if marketers know how to use it — and it's not their biggest problem.

“The biggest issue for marketers is creating content that supports customer decisions at every step of the journey, " Petr Palas, Kentico CEO and founder, said at the company's two-day conference here this week.

The Paperless Office? Dream On

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The paperless office is only a dream, and we should be setting our sights a little bit lower.

That's how Doug Miles introduces this year’s AIIM Industry Watch report on document management, specifically on paper-free processes.

Even though office workers are mobile, computer literate and aware that paper-free processes improve productivity and lower costs, most organizations are still struggling against the tide of paper documents that clog offices and stall business processes.

AIIM — the Association for Information and Image Management — is a global community of information professionals.

OpenText VP Highlights Digital First Agenda #OTEW2014

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Enterprise information is like, well, pasta sauce.

It's constantly tinkered with — by perfectionist chefs. It's altered, adapted and, if not to its creator's liking, simply discarded.

"Information is not inert," Muhi Majzoub, senior vice president of engineering at OpenText, told CMSWire. "It has context. It changes state, can be replicated, modified or destroyed."

Managing enterprise information today requires a "digital transformation" and recognition that we live in a "digital first world," he added.

Hence, the theme of this year's annual conference for the Waterloo, ON, enterprise information management provider: Simplify, transform and accelerate in the digital first world.

Box Wraps Enterprise Files in Snazzy iOS Features

Stop the presses. Box built a new user interface (UI) for its enterprise sync and share apps. Perhaps it’s a little rude to say so, but who cares?

Those of us who have been watching the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) market for a few years know that one vendor innovates and in the next few weeks another catches up or comes up with something compelling of their own.

New features cause us to drop our jaws at first. Then they become ordinary.

Chief What Officer? Too Many Titles, Too Little Substance #esddc

A year ago, Anne Buff, thought leader with SAS Best Practices, was utterly certain that all companies needed to have a Chief Data Officer (CDO) to keep a company's online and digital operations on track.

She was wrong, she came to conclude, and explained why at last week's Enterprise Search & Discovery conference in Washington DC. 

Buff's realization about the role of the CDO, though, extends to the ever-growing universe of new digital-related titles that have emerged in the last few years.

There is chief data officer, of course. Thought leader, Buff wryly points out. And then there's a host of others. Chief digital officer. Chief analytics officer. Chief experience officer. Chief data architect. Data custodian. Data visualization designer. Chief knowledge officer. Chief wisdom officer. Data hygienist. Data trustee. Chief insights officer. Data quality officer and perhaps the most colorful of all, Transmedia Mastermind.

Money, Politics and Digital Infrastructure #QuartzNewYork

For more than 10 minutes of his keynote speech at last week’s Next Billion conference in New York City, Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig discussed the heavy influence of “Tweedism, which has corrupted political processes in democracies such as Hong Kong and the United States.

Tweedism, named for the political corruption that pervaded New York City politics under William “Boss” Tweed in the 1860s, comes in the form of undue political influence on the candidates being nominated for office, as well as the heavy hand of business on the political process.

He made his comments during one of the sessions at the all-day conference presented last week by digital news service Quartz.

Quartz has held similar forums in Seattle and New York and plans another next year in London. The objective is to address the by-products of an increasingly connected world, as well as examine the issues and products that will be used by the next billion users of the Internet.

So You Want to Be an Online Community Manager?

2014-11-November-Flock.jpgBecause I write a lot about online communities and online community management, I've had people ask me, “I’d like to make a career change into community management. Where do I start?” The first thing I tell them is that I’m not a community manager. But I quickly follow by saying that I work with community managers and that they’re the target audience for much of the content I develop.

SAP, Facebook Up the Ante on Personalized Marketing #SAPtd

OK, we were a little off. When IBM and Twitter partnered last month in what they called a landmark connection for enterprise data analysis, we figured more would come.

"What's next?" we asked. "Oracle and Facebook? SAP and LinkedIn? Microsoft and Pinterest?"

So maybe we had the companies mixed up. But we knew something was coming. And it's SAP and Facebook.

The enterprise software giant connected with the social media king today in a partnership that allows SAP to combine insight with customer engagement by using Facebook’s scalable Custom Audiences targeting capability. This enables marketers, officials at the companies claim, to use SAP solutions to reach customers on Facebook.

Why the Best Digital Workplace Teams Don't Get High on Tech

2014-10-November-Trampoline.jpg“Not another new system.” “I don’t have time.” “There are so many tools already.” If any of these is a common refrain in your organization, it may be a symptom that the digital workplace team is high on technology.

Part of the problem is that shiny new technology tends to make the headlines and attract eyeballs, but we don’t always get to hear the more human stories about what makes those technologies tick.

That Anonymous Visitor Is Your Next Great Customer

2014-10-November-Fake-Mustache.jpgPersonalization is critical to your business — we can all agree on that. But when it comes to rolling up our proverbial sleeves and getting down to getting personal, the conversation veers into choppy waters. Why? It’s a simple enough notion.

Compare digital personalization tactics to the local corner store from decades ago. Remember the butcher who held the special cut of meat for a favorite customer? Or the clerk who knew I wanted the next comic book in the series? That was personalization in the pre-Internet days but, even though the landscape has changed dramatically, the rules really haven’t. We, as marketers, just have infinitely more to work with — and even greater demands than a pound of sirloin.

Discussion Point: Creating Long Distance Collaboration and Teams

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You may not like everyone who works in your physical office. But at least you know people well enough to have reasons to dislike them. After all, you spend eight or more hours together every day.

Not so in the virtual world, where the lack of serendipitous encounters and chance conversations make it all the more difficult to forge connections — and increase the ease of developing biased perceptions.

Sometimes even the warmest and most considerate people sound cold and abrasive on the phone. A shy person can be misconstrued as cool and aloof. And, curiously, someone suffering from massive insecurities can seem narcissistic and egotistical because he insists on hiding behind a wall of faux achievements.

So in the age of remote workforces, when employees are increasingly connected by technology rather than shared desk space, how do we make lofty concepts like collaboration and cooperation a daily reality?

Can we force people on opposite coasts to actually like each other? Or, failing that, can we just get everyone to respect each other enough to embrace a common culture?

Obama, the FCC and 2 Perspectives on Net Neutrality

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The White House and President Obama dropped the hammer on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday, pressuring the FCC to introduce rules that would strengthen protection of the "Net Neutrality" concept for consumers.

Is this something that should thrill supporters of a free and open web or just more spin from an administration looking for positive press? In this CMSWire Point/Counterpoint, we'll look at both sides of the issue.