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Forrester Wave: No Leaders in Digital Experience Delivery

customer experience, Forrester Wave: No Leaders in Digital Experience DeliveryWho's driving the digital experience train today?

No one, says Forrester.

In its first Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms, released today, analysts said no vendor offers a truly "end-to-end solution."

"Overall completeness and adoption" in this space is "middling," according to analysts.

Unified platforms are "more myth than reality," they wrote in the Wave.

Despite no leader, Forrester did cite Adobe and hybris (SAP) as "pioneers" that offer the most complete options while IBM and Sitecore "aren't far behind."

The Guy Who Believes in Disruption, Innovation and 'Memorable Stories'

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Jonathan Marks is a writer, broadcaster and researcher on a wide range of issues connected with the media.

And he has an interesting position: he "leads disruptive innovation" at Critical Distance, a creative guild of digital craftsmen and women based near Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In a more traditional sense, he is CEO.

But Marks just thinks differently. It's not quite clear what his objective was when he founded Critical Distance in 2003. But it doesn't really matter, because "last year, we rethought everything from the ground up. Why? Because routine is the enemy of change."

Today the company helps entrepreneurs "build, produce and keep really memorable stories."

"We inspire, guide and collaborate to build great companies. We specialize in digital strategy, cross-media productions, consultancy (at senior management level) and training the trainers," he explained.

Before founding the company, Marks was program director at Radio Netherlands. He led the development of online and mobile storytelling on projects in Latin America, South Asia and Africa.

AvePoint Bridges Box and SharePoint

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You have SharePoint. You have Box. Theoretically, you have all your enterprise information management, governance and collaboration bases covered. Right?

Well, yes … if all your content silos are connected and operating seamlessly. Unfortunately, that's rarely the case.

While there is a lot of patching and connecting to be done to pull all your silos together, it’s a job that’s rarely finished. To help enterprises with two of the most important silos, AvePoint has just announced the release of DocAve Cloud Connect, which bridges Box and SharePoint.

Think Long-Term with ECM Strategy

2014-22-July-No-Heroes.jpgFixating on the cheapest and seemingly most user-friendly solutions can ruin your enterprise content management (ECM) strategy. What should IT departments do to resist the lure of cheap fixes and easy launches to ensure a successful, long-term ECM solution?

Information Architecture: The Engine that Drives Retail

2014-22-July-Steam-Locomotive.jpgUnder pressure from pure play e-Tailers such as Amazon and eBay, brick and mortar retailers are scrambling to defend their businesses. To stay competitive, most have now added an e-Commerce channel. The challenge for many legacy retailers is that e-Commerce has involved a long learning curve and now mobile and web channels have become part of core functionality rather than a cutting edge addition to the brand.  Add to this that many traditional retailers still lack a core competency in the technical nuances necessary to compete effectively with the Amazons and eBays.

Dusting Off Intranet Metadata and Search

2014-22-July-Antiques.jpgSome people assume that if a concept is old, it's no longer relevant. Since we looked at the continued relevancy of the quaint old fashioned concept of information publishing on intranets in last month's post, I thought we'd take on a few more of those dusty relics of days gone by today: metadata and intranet search. The concepts are interrelated in that the success of communicating content on a one to many basis — or an n to m basis, as you may have a small body of publishers or content creators putting out information to the company — relies on findability.

CX: It's Not Rocket Science But it's Still Hard

2014-22-July-Kennedy-Space-Center-Rocket.jpgThink customer service is a synonym for customer experience? Think again, suggests Alpharetta, Ga.-based customer experience (CX) consultant Jim Bass. "Customer service happens after the sale. Customer experience starts before the sale," he explained.

Bass stirred a lot of interest on LinkedIn recently with a post that explored the importance of pre-sale processes. The story got more than 15,000 views and 1,674 shares on LinkedIn.

This week, Bass talked with CMSWire to share more insights on CX — including the things companies tend to get wrong and the reasons why so many customer interactions are still so bad.

Nope, CX isn't rocket science. But it's not easy to get right, either.

Why SaaS Saw Its Biggest Revenue Gain Since Recession

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Software companies led by entrepreneurs with experience in building successful software-as-a-service (SaaS) organizations are thriving. They as much as double revenue growth year-over-year, a new software industry report finds.

In other words, those in their second or third rodeos in SaaS software fare well.

The findings are reported in this month's 2014 Software & SaaS Financial Benchmarking Industry Report, the eighth annual study produced by Boston-based OPEXEngine in conjunction with the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

"Far more well-funded, venture-backed, companies are hitting their stride with growth rates of 50 percent to 100 percent year over year, than ever before," Lauren Kelley, CEO and founder of OPEXEngine, told CMSWire. "Many of these companies are being established by entrepreneurs who have already built one or two, sometimes three, SaaS companies before, and managed by executives with equivalent experience. These executives can get a new company up and running far faster than five or 10 years ago when SaaS was a new management discipline." 

Yahoo Buys Flurry to Personalize the Mobile Experience

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is intent on becoming a mobile-first company and when it comes to advertising revenue, let’s just say there’s room for improvement. Last week the company reported discouraging earnings of $1.08 billion in revenues, 4 percent less than for the same quarter last year. Display revenue, which Mayer hoped to raise, actually fell 8 percent.

And while companies in Yahoo’s position sometimes look for ways to solve their problems from within, Mayer prefers to shop. In slightly more than two years at the helm of the Internet pioneer, she has purchased blogging site Tumblr, social web startup RockMelt, social diary company Wander and technical recruiting firm Distill. Earlier this month, she bought RayV, which streams  high-quality video to computers and mobile devices

How’s that strategy working for you, Marissa? In any case, let’s hope that today’s purchase is a charm.

Apple's IBM Play Isn't Only About Selling More iDevices

Apple wants a seat at the enterprise table and IBM will soon be rolling out the red carpet that leads to the boardroom. Sure, Big Blue’s CEO Ginni Rommety might have to help Apple Chief Tim Cook tie his tie and polish his shoes first, but it’s a fair trade.  He might have to tell her the difference between an application and an app. Other than a few small hurdles like those, the earliest days of the IBM and Apple relationship should run smooth.

After all, without needing to sacrifice turf, Rommety’s 103-year-old monolith could be perceived to be cool and forward thinking again. Not only to the old guard that holds IBM Research, with its track record of pushing the boundaries of science, technology and business to make the world work better place, in high regard, but also to the fast tracked execs of the digital generation who have tremendous respect for old guys who get it.

Yes, for IBM the Apple partnership has the potential of doing what Watson hasn’t been able to do —namely making it relevant to Gen Y and the millennials.

Not only that, but Rommety’s slowly sinking ship will be buoyed by consulting fees earned through helping enterprises roll out Mobile in a safe and compliant way.

Could Russia Be Starting a Software/Hardware Cold War?

Russia is considering giving preference to its own hardware and software organizations in a current legislative bill, reducing its reliance on foreign suppliers, Bloomberg reported today

Does this mean a major hit for companies that do business in the country — such as IBM, Microsoft, HP, Cisco and Oracle? 

Not really.

"In this day and age, every customer is valuable," said Alan Tonelson, an independent policy analyst who blogs at RealityChek. "But total Russia losses seem easily absorbable."

Originate Buys Applied Intelligence Group

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Originate has acquired the professional services company Applied Intelligence Group, which makes digital platform solutions.

The deal gives Originate, a San Francisco-based venture and enterprise development firm, a foothold in the Boston area where Applied Intelligence is based. The two firms have worked together since 2012.  Originate already has seven other branches.

"Opening an Originate office in Boston also brings us closer to some of the country’s premier enterprises and institutions,”  Rob Meadows, CEO of Originate, said in a statement. He said Applied Intelligence adds " unparalleled talent" to solve client problems.

Master Customer Experience in the New Age of Retail

2014-21-July-Sales.jpgProviding a high quality customer experience is critical for retailers, no matter the sector or audience. Delivering on this goal means more success in sales and more repeat business.

But our ideas around what constitutes a high level customer experience have changed in recent years. In the pre-internet days, it generally meant attentive sales people available to help with in store requests. But in today’s connected world, it’s more often associated with quick page loads, easily navigable sites and rich media.

How Free Puppy Syndrome Can Ruin Your ECM Strategy

2014-21-July-Bathtub-Full-Of-Puppies.jpgWhen it comes to selecting and deploying enterprise software solutions, including enterprise content management (ECM), many IT departments face pressure to control costs, decrease time-to-benefits and give end users what they want.

However, IT departments that fail to challenge this kind of short-term thinking are taking a risk — and that may be surprising news to many organizations. Conventional wisdom tells you to choose the software that produces the quickest win for the least amount of money that the end users like best and will quickly adopt. How could you go wrong with a choice like that?

Discussion Point: Where Does HR Go From Here?

Thumbnail image for discussion-pointAnother day, another disruption. 

Or at least that's how it must feel for most every department in organizations today. The repercussions of the combined digital, social, mobile trifecta radiate throughout the organization. But if you mix in economic factors, shifting skill requirements, distributed workforces and new expectations of those entering the workplace, then I think you know which department specifically we're talking about: Human Resources.

Deloitte's Global Human Capital Trends 2014 (pdf) report identified the most urgent trends that HR professionals face today. Number one? Leadership development. Number two? Seventy-nine percent answered retention and engagement. Yet only 16 percent felt ready to tackle these and the challenges they face. 

A fundamental rethinking of the HR department is required to meet these demands.

Clickability Acquires a Patent for Visitor Testing

Upland Software, a web content management provider for B2B and B2C, has received a patent for its Clickability platform's ability to test web visitor segmentation and profiling.

This is the company's fourth patent for its website personalization and targeting solution, called Website Marketing Acceleration (WMA). In the tests covered by the new patent, marketers can try out their messages with specific site visitors on the actual site, such was whether the right content is being presented at the right point in the buying process. But WMA allows such testing without polluting the site analytics data.

From Intranet to Net-Work: The Rise of the Digital Bridge Builder

As an intranet professional, your career is about collaboration: Of systems and processes, not just people. The web is a network and those who thrive on the web network, connect and collaborate. It’s the same with the intra-net, where the lines are increasingly blurred between what is "internal" and what is "external." 

Who Will Become a Gartner MQ EFSS Challenger in 2015?

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When Gartner released its inaugural Magic Quadrant for the Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) market, it predicted that by 2017 less than 10 percent of today's destination vendors would offer stand-alone products. That means that as many as 80 of those who are offering services today (there are well over 120), will have been absorbed into adjacent markets, such as collaboration, enterprise content management (ECM), mobility and storage.

What it didn’t articulate as clearly, as we see it, is how quickly the vendors mentioned in the study are raising their games, we reported on four different instances of this in the past week alone.

Who will succeed? Who will be acquired? And who will fade away? 

Thank You, Apple-IBM? Why Mega Deal is Good for Microsoft

mobile enterprise, Thank You, Apple-IBM? Why Mega Deal is Good for MicrosoftApple and IBM announce a mega deal that changes the mobile enterprise as we know it — during the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

Microsoft lays off 18,000 the same week at its conference, about 14 percent of its workforce.

And there's actually a silver lining for Microsoft?

Yes, says Richard Edwards, principal analyst for Enterprise IT at London-based Ovum Research.

"It’s no coincidence that the announcement came as Microsoft was holding its Worldwide Partner Conference," Edwards told CMSWire, "but I actually think the IBM/Apple hook-up will benefit Microsoft in the long run."

Real Estate Firm Scales Up Its Global Marketing Efforts

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By 1985, two years after Gary Keller and Joe Williams set up their first realty office, it was already the largest brokerage in Texas. Today, Keller Williams is going global, raising significant technology challenges in marketing, business process management and governance.

At the center of that tornado is Cary Sylvester, the company's Austin-based vice president of technology, communication and innovation — a long, but accurate title considering everything on her plate as the company expands to six far-flung locales: Vietnam, Turkey, UK, Indonesia, South Africa and Germany.

"You can tell there's no specific region we've targeted," she explained. "Once we find the right people, and if their culture is one that will really embrace and adapt to our models, and they want our models, that's the country we'll go into."