HOT TOPICS: Customer Experience Marketing Automation Social Business SharePoint 2013 Document Management Big Data Mobile DAM

Big Data for Geeks and Non-Geeks, Thanks Microsoft

Microsoft aims to do one thing better than anyone else: bring the power of productivity tools, big data, machine learning and data driven insight to both every day Jacks and Jills and geeks, and makes it look simple. How does it propose to do that? There’s Bing that tells Cortana who will win the World Cup and the Super Bowl, Delve that surfaces the content that’s most relevant to you without your needing to ask, Power BI that puts data driven insights and impressive, informative viz’s at your fingertips, Hadoop and machine learning delivered in the cloud, on premises and even on a silver platter (OK, maybe we’re going a bit too far). 

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Microsoft Adds 4 Security Measures to Office 365

Microsoft has added four security measures to Office 365 to help businesses keep their data secure. Two of the measures are focused on compliance and the other two offer better identity protection.

Are four new measures at once a bit much? Not if you consider things like the recent Anthem breach.

Microsoft’s drive to ensure Office 365 security and compliance is nothing new. But with the number of high profile information breaches growing, everyone responsible for enterprise data is a bit edgy.

Link Information Architecture to Productivity

2015-18-February-To-Do-List.jpgDuring his keynote at the Worldwide Partner Conference last July in Washington DC, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke at length about the company's messaging evolution from "devices and services" to a "platforms and productivity" theme. For many on the IT side of the house, productivity has long been a part of KPIs and metrics, in many different forms. Productivity's ultimate goal is to help businesses move faster, become more effective and be more accurate.

Why Small Businesses Should Tap the IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is big and getting bigger.

Fueled by some incredible buzz, the IoT is driving big data analytics and helping companies make some big money in the process. Almost every day a new startup bursts onto the scene with a new IoT product or service. 

Given all that, it should come as no surprise that major players in tech like Google and Apple have committed some significant resources in staking their claim to a slice of the IoT space.

So it’s hardly a shock when we hear about massive tech companies like Samsung are equally eager to make major investments in this sprawling opportunity. But just because IoT has a firm footing in large enterprise doesn’t mean that smaller businesses are out of luck.

How to Get Customers to Not Hate Self-Service

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Self-service portals are springing up everywhere.

Some customers love them, while others shudder at the thought of involving a database in their problems. At the same time many companies are doing a poor job of implementing self-service or avoiding it altogether for fear of driving customers away.

It doesn’t have to be this way. By understanding the potential benefits of a well-integrated self-service portal, you’ll be able to make sure yours doesn’t suck (and even pick up some new customers in the process).

So why consider a self-service portal?

Manufacturers Stand on the Cusp of a Big Data Boom

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Despite what the hype surrounding big data might lead you to believe, the widespread existence of data is not a new concept, nor has there been some sudden "aha!" moment when decision makers realized that data could be put to use to better their businesses. Data — and lots of it — has always existed, and companies have always understood that it has value. There just wasn’t a whole lot they could do about it.

That is, of course, until the development of so-called big data technologies — a wave of new tools that make it possible to store, integrate and analyze data more efficiently and affordably than ever before. These technologies have transformed data analysis from a cost-cutting mechanism into a primary vehicle through which companies make money and find new revenue streams.

When people talk about the power of big data, they’re really talking about this transformation. And perhaps no industry is a better embodiment of it than manufacturing.

EMC, Hippo Partner on Content Management for the Digital Era

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It's long been a dream of content management solution providers from both sides of the street to offer Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Web Content Management (WCM) capabilities under one roof to help companies optimize their information assets and provide enhanced customer experiences.

And while it's an impressive vision, single vendors have seldom realized it. Managing enterprise information — and leveraging it to inform and present web and (now) digital experiences — are different things.

EMC Documentum tried to do both with Web Publisher, a product it ceased developing in 2010. Alfresco tried as well, but it now seems to be steering customers toward its web content platform partners.

The better solution: collaborative efforts between WCM and ECM providers to deliver best of breed solutions for their mutual customers. And that’s precisely what the teams at Hippo and EMC’s Enterprise Content Division (ECD) are doing today as they bring to market an enhanced integration between Hippo's web content management system (WCMS) capabilities and EMC Documentum’s ECM platform.

Microsoft Sends Productivity to the Stratosphere via Cloud Integrations

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If Steve Jobs were still alive, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella would give him a kiss. Ok, maybe that’s going too far, but a hug or a warm handshake certainly isn’t. After all, that’s what Nadella offered Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff.

Today Microsoft announced that Office for iPad and iPhone — which have seen more than 80 million downloads to date — is also available for third-party storage providers via an open API. “We want Office to be the preferred way to work with documents no matter where they’re stored,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

Or as Damon Tompkins, corporate vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Microsoft partner Metavis recently explained in a blog post, Microsoft "plans to be the go-to for all you do, in other words, it wants to be your gateway to the cloud.”

EMC/VMware Spinoff Pivotal Tests Big Data's Golden Rule

What’s good for the community is good for business. This is the new golden rule. Or at least that seems to be the case in the world of big data, where most commercial solutions are open source at their core.

“Enterprises don’t want lock-in,” said Michael Cucci, a marketing manager at EMC/VMware spinoff Pivotal Software, during an interview last week. He added that companies want to be able to influence the future of the technology that they use to drive their businesses. In fact it's practically a must. “It has to be open source or the conversation doesn’t begin,” he explained.

With realizations like this, how do you sell (even the best) a big data platform that’s largely proprietary?

It turns out that maybe you don’t.

Tealium Closes on $30.7M in New Financing

Tag management provider Tealium closed on $30.7 million in Series D financing. The round was led by Georgian Partners, with participation from Bain Capital Ventures and current investors Battery Ventures, Tenaya Capital and Presidio Ventures.

As part of the financing, Justin LaFayette, managing partner and co-founder of Georgian Partners, will be joining Tealium’s board of directors.

Tealium reported a banner 2014, with organic sales growth of 138 percent year over year and the addition of more than 200 organizations to its customer base.

SharePoint in the Sky: Takeaways from #SPTechCon, Austin

2015-17-Feb-Mcnulty-Image1.jpgWith apologies to Norman Greenbaum, greetings from sunny Austin! This year, the SPTechCon conference came for the first time to the Lone Star State. It was a great place to soak up the latest on SharePoint, as well as some sun. (Full disclosure: I live in Boston, where annual snowfall already totals over 100 inches.)

SPTechCon was billed as “SharePoint at the Crossroads” — but from the presentations and keynotes, “SharePoint in the Sky” seems more appropriate. Microsoft and Amazon focused almost exclusively on the cloud in the keynotes, and interest in learning about cloud optimization seemed greater than ever before.

Are E-Signatures the Missing Links in Paperless Offices?

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The paperless office is still a dream.

While there are plenty of possible reasons, the most likely involve a combination of technology and management — and, some claim, the failure of even organizations with enterprise content management (ECM) in place to adopt an e-signature strategy.

The problem is not a lack of available e-signature solutions, but the failure of C-Suite executives, including Chief Information Officers, to deploy or develop IT strategies that include digital signatures because of security and legal concerns.

Fortune Favors the Bold: Vendor Strategies in the IoT Age

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One day in the not too distant future, people will look back and say, “Do you remember when things weren’t connected?” In much the same way that smartphones reshaped not only what we thought possible, but also what we took for granted, the Internet of Things (IoT) will dramatically change what we do, how we do it and what we expect.

6 Ways Enterprise Search is Nothing like Google Search

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Google's popularity in the consumer world causes many people to have similar expectations of enterprise search. Beyond the 3000 plus engineers that Google has working on its search algorithms, ranking and relevancy of results, there are many other ways that the two cannot be compared. Taking an off the shelf product like SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 or any number of other specialty search applications designed for the enterprise simply does not work for many reasons. Here are six key differences of why Enterprise Search is nothing like Google search.

How Twitter Could Win the Social Media War

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Twitter's had a pretty busy 2015 so far. Just look at the data-sharing deal with Google and the acquisition of Niche, a content creation platform for the creative community.

However, the social network is still having trouble attracting users, according to some business analysts. Although it beat Wall Street's revenue expectations, it fell short of its expectations for monthly active users by 7 million.

Can Twitter really win the social media war?

We Need a Measure for Customer Effort

What the text of a particular link means to someone will be influenced by the task they are trying to complete. 

3 Tips to Power Your Knowledge Management Initiatives

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With so much emphasis on how organizations need to be more human to connect with and satisfy their customers, a new report reveals insight around a Gartner prediction that’s decidedly unhuman: "By the year 2020, customers will manage 85 percent of the enterprise customer relationship without ever interacting with a human."

Quoted in the report, The State of Knowledge Management, the prediction sheds light on the growing self-service economy, while illustrating the importance of knowledge management (KM) across the enterprise.

However, the report, developed by thinkJar Research and sponsored by IntelliResponse, also notes 44 percent of organizations still don’t have a KM initiative in place. Further, it shows that 83 percent of customer experience professionals polled understand knowledge management concepts and tools, but still need to learn more and improve.

Make Your Brand Stand Out in a Crowded, Multichannel World

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For a long time, the big brands had it relatively easy. Advertise, buy shelf space, sell stuff. Then came the Internet.

With the rapid growth of global e-commerce, some of the biggest brands have found themselves challenged. Myriad new competitors offer good value at a lower price. Consumers have the option of switching brands with a click. Travelers can find the lowest airfare with a quick search.

Landor Associates has helps companies re-postition themselves in this new age, including household names like Levi Strauss, Rolex, Hanesbrands, Macy's, P&G and Old Spice.

Discussion Point: Should Work Related Email Stay at Work?

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German Labor Minister Andrea Nahles has floated the idea of "anti-stress regulation" in which companies would take steps to reduce workplace tension. Chief among these measures would be a ban on employers contacting employees after hours, by phone or email.

Nahles even commissioned Germany's Federal Institute for Health and Safety at Work last year to come up with a report on the feasibility of a possible law to protect workers from stress caused by smartphones and constant contact with their bosses.

The report could generate legislation that would ban employers from contacting workers after office hours. But the report is only expected to be released next year, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Nahles' boss, has already discouraged the idea of a contact after-hours ban.

So for now the idea remains just that — only an idea.

But it was an idea heard around the world. And as workers in the US continue to struggle with their increasingly muddled work and personal lives, smartphones at their sides and visions of email dancing in their heads, we wondered … is it such a crazy idea, after all?