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Latest Customer Experience News & Articles

Watch Out! Microsoft Released Dynamics Marketing Today

customer experience, Watch Out! Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Released Today

Hey Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe and other big marketing software providers who feel they should be mentioned in this sentence:

Microsoft's here. Today. Consider the space shaken up.

Living up to its promise to deliver on the new Microsoft Dynamics marketing platform by this quarter, Microsoft announced today new capabilities in marketing, customer care and social listening. It comes as part of the Redmond, Wash., giant's Microsoft Dynamics CRM spring wave of updates in 54 markets and 42 languages.

This new releases are integrated with Microsoft Office 365, Yammer, Lync, Skype, SharePoint and Power BI for Office 365. 

What's New in June for Open Source CMS

Thumbnail image for ed-schipul-with-helicopter.jpgWho has time to handle post-CMS deployment needs when there's so much to do developing the platform? That's the thinking of the creators of Tendenci, an open source content management system (CMS) project for associations and other nonprofits (NPOs).

Last week, the software development company spearheading the Tendenci platform launched a web alliance marketing program. It enables leading providers of marketing and website services to partner with Tendenci "to accelerate the success of the large installed base of websites powered by the Tendenci CMS platform," the Houston, Texas-based company claimed in a press release.

Establishing "an ecosystem of leading service providers" allows Tendenci to focus on developing its CMS platform, according to company founder and CEO Ed Schipul. He said Tendenci has more than 1 million users and powers "hundreds of websites" for NPOs, associations and other cause-related organizations worldwide.

Schipul quit his full time job as a software consultant for a large petroleum corporation in 1997 to start his own web marketing company. He began selling Tendenci CMS worldwide in 2004 and released it as an open source product in 2012. 

Schipul describes himself as an amateur photographer as well as a drone builder and pilot, who just wants to "Organize and Connect the World's People" — and "Do Good."

What else is new in free and open source CMS this month? Read on.

Google Wants to Tap Your Brain

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While the quest for the ultimate in marketing automation technology continues, I'm still struggling to get my email spam filter to work properly. But Ray Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering, says that more intelligent systems are coming faster than we think.

By 2030, computers will be able to handle natural human language and experience emotions, Kurzweil said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal this weekend. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. By 2045, we will attain "full singularity," he continued, which means that humans will be completely integrated with technology — with direct links to the cerebral neocortex.

Managing Services Requires Different Success Metrics

Customers are not as locked into services as they are to products. Therefore, we need a continuous process to ensure that the customer is satisfied.

How Isaac Mizrahi and Liz Claiborne Use Omnichannel Marketing

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You may not recognize the name Robert D'Loren — or even his company, Xcel Brands. But odds are you're familiar with the company's fashion apparel: It owns the Isaac Mizrahi brand and has an interest in Liz Claiborne New York.

Xcel is a champion of the omnichannel strategy and is helping to take fashion brands to more than 150 consumer products categories. The company engages in the acquisition, design, licensing and marketing of consumer brands by incorporating a sales strategy that includes interactive and social media, digital and brick-and-mortar retail. 

D'Loren successfully led the restructure and recapitalization of some of the world's most widely recognized fashion, retail, consumer brands and entertainment companies including: Bill Blass, The Athlete's Foot, Maggie Moo's, Pretzelmaker/Pretzel Time, Waverly Home and The Great American Cookie Company.

His expertise earned him a spot as the keynote speaker at the recent IRCE Focus Conference in New York City, where he shared his ideas on the convergence of the customer experience through brands, stores, web, mobile and TV.

As he stressed at the three-day conference, customers are everywhere — and brands, retailers and all modern businesses need to be everywhere, too. Today, in the first of a two-part series, we'll hear what he had to say.

NYC Media Lab: Using Technology to Save Media Companies

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Justin Hendrix is a man of many interests — media, Americana music, space news … oh, and he plays the banjo. But the real story is that he is executive director of the NYC Media Lab, where he "helps companies discover."

The NYC Media Lab "connects technologists in digital media and technology companies with bright minds in New York City's universities" to drive innovation and talent development. A public-private partnership launched by the New York City Economic Development Corp., Columbia University and New York University, the Lab hosts events and seeds projects "to foster collaboration across a range of disciplines core to the future of media."

With an impressive roster of corporate members — HBO, Time Warner Cable, Hearst, AT&T, Verizon, News Corp. and NBCUniversal — the Lab is designed to spur innovation. More specifically, in its own words, "generate fresh thinking that creates value through research, prototyping, knowledge transfer, talent development, and human relationships."

Get on Board with B2B E-commerce, Forrester Warns

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The old theory that B2B companies can avoid selling through online channels is done, and B2B e-commerce solutions "contribute significantly to key selling metrics and incremental revenue," according to a new Forrester Research Report commissioned by EPiServer.

Forrester said 50 percent of B2B companies have plans to change or upgrade e-commerce technology in the next 18 months. 

"Every company that plans to compete in the future must transform digitally simply because all your competitors are planning for it now," said Bob Egner, vice president of product management at EPiServer, which sells an e-commerce platform. "There are no restrictions based on type of product or service, or on geography. In fact, many of our customers find they can expand geographically in a shorter time frame and at a lower cost by going digital."

This Week: Gartner's Top Multichannel Managers + Integrating Yammer with SharePoint

Five of an MCCM Kind
Gartner taps these five providers as leaders in multichannel campaign management. 

Target B2B Influencers
If you haven't yet, start engaging with your brand's top influencers.  

Don't Lose Sight of IBM
Microsoft and Cisco exchanged words on enterprise collaboration software, but don't rule out IBM and Hootsuite.

Yammer Marries SharePoint
They can live happily in your organization. Just follow these steps.

Hang Onto Your DAM Assets
Your biggest challenge may be finding assets that are lost in the vast Siberia of DAMs and pretend-DAMs within your organization.

Sync This, Share That
The enterprise file sync and sharing market is cluttered with vendors, but we've got our eye on a few.

Research: Unlocking Knowledge to Engage Customers
How information integration and customer centricity can drive revenue
Learn how they did it

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Any.do To-Do for Web, Planisware's Updated PM, More

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Summer's nearly here, and the news is sprouting up.

This week: Any.do unveils a browser-version of its to-do list app, 3CLogic and Lime Light CRM partner for a more complete view of customer interactions, and GM Voices helps SpeechStorm localize itself.

Also: Extensis updates its mobile DAM app, Trustwave is out with its newest Global Security Report, Planisware has launched version six of its product/portfolio management software and Pontis' new data profiles can help personalize data plans.

Google Now Offers E-Commerce Analytics #GASummit2014

Google analytics e-commerce May 28 2014.jpgGoogle has taken up the challenge of shedding light on retail behavior by adding enhanced e-commerce capabilities to its analytics platform.

By combining analytics and e-commerce, Google claims it will be able to offer marketing and customer experience managers insight into not only what their customers are thinking, but also how effective their marketing campaigns have been.

Mobile Publisher Onswipe Highlights Mobile Behaviors

The ways people interact with content and functions on a mobile device are, of course, different from a desktop or laptop. But different how? Two new reports from mobile publishing platform Onswipe help to fill in a few data points about mobile behavior.

For instance, what are the most popular financial stories on the iPad?

How Social Media Cuts through the Noise

2014-29-May-Marching-Band.jpgWhile most companies spend a lot of time and energy celebrating the success or agonizing over the failures of their direct sales forces, much of that energy is misspent. Studies show that the indirect channel — resellers, VARs, distributors, consultants and partners of all stripes — accounts for 70 percent of sales worldwide — but channel programs are seldom showered with the attention that direct sales teams get.

Can Skype Translator Bust the Language Barrier?

While being interviewed on stage at the Recode Code Conference yesterday in Pailo Alto, Calif., Windows CEO Satya Nadella demonstrated some new technology the company has been working on. 

Skype Translator, as it is currently known, will give Skype near real time translation capabilities. The program — which will be available on all devices — currently supports 40 languages and is slated for consumer beta later this year. 

Nadella demonstrated the program in a phone call with Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of Skype, who spoke German while Skype translated. Nadella spoke English, which was, similarly, translated by Skype for the benefit of Pall. 

In a blog post addressing the first public demonstration of the forthcoming technology, Pall had this to say: 

In our industry, we often talk about pursuing big, bold dreams, and how we're limited only by the power of our imaginations. Skype Translator is one of those endeavors, and I look forward to keeping you apprised of our journey to break down another barrier to human productivity and connection." 

Cloud Disruption in the Call Center

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The $22-billion call center market — dominated by legacy solutions from Avaya, Cisco Systems and Genesys — is ripe for disruption. Of the estimated 14.5 million call center agents worldwide, 95 percent of them still sign into on-premise offerings.

However, thanks to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) total cost of ownership (TCO) savings of as much as 40 percent and relatively easy implementations, the transition to the cloud has already begun: It’s estimated that within two years the cloud penetration rate in call centers will reach 13 percent.

At this month’s JP Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Mike Burkland, CEO of Five9, an emerging provider of on-demand software for contact centers, explained that the migration to the cloud is tied to the refresh cycle for on-premise solutions. Instead of spending big bucks to upgrade to the latest legacy offerings, the refresh often acts as a trigger opportunity to bring call centers to the cloud.

New Cirrus Insight App Links Google Drive with Salesforce

customer experience, New Cirrus Insight App Connects Google Drive With Salesforce

Cirrus Insight, the Laguna Hills, Calif., CRM app developer that integrates Salesforce with Gmail, today released a new app that lets users manage and sync files between Salesforce and Google Drive.

The app — Cirrus Files — enables workers in the enterprise to organize Google Drive files by Salesforce opportunities, contacts, accounts and more, as well as sync them to the corresponding records in Salesforce.

For Cirrus Insight, this is about combining the collaboration and portability of Google Drive with the contextual organization of Salesforce.

Men Want Products, Women Want Help and No One Wants to Wait

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No one has time for patience when it comes to customer service. But beyond that universal truth, there are significant gender differences between men and women when it comes to customer service.

According to a new survey from Kana, a provider of customer service solutions, both sexes are frustrated by wait times and slow response.

Beyond that, men are most annoyed by out-of-stock inventory, unknowledgeable or incompetent employees, lack of assistance and the bad attitude of customer service representatives. Women rate their frustrations, in order, as lack of assistance, bad attitudes, out of stock inventory and unknowledgeable or incompetent employees.

Don't Lose Your Assets in the Siberia of DAMs

2014-27-May-siberia.jpgA typical journey through DAM-land is full of surprises, detours and missed turns. But the biggest challenge of all may be finding assets that are lost in the vast Siberia of DAMs and pretend-DAMs within your organization.

One of the most desired (and basic) postulates of a Digital Asset Management system is the ability to search and find assets.

So even before you decide to buy and implement a new DAM system to take advantage of much needed search and find functionality, take a look at your vast DAM landscape and try to figure out in which corners your assets reside.

New Hack Targets Windows XP Computers

Microsoft is warning XP users to avoid using a hack that allows continued security updates of the operating system, despite the fact that the company put an end to XP support in early April.  

In a statement released to ZDnet on Monday, the company said: 

We recently became aware of a hack that purportedly aims to provide security updates to Windows XP customers. The security updates that could be installed are intended for Windows Embedded and and Windows Server 2003 customers and do not fully protect Windows XP customers.

Windows XP customers also run a significant risk of functionality issues with their machines if they install these updates, as they are not tested against Windows XP. The best way for Windows XP customers to protect their systems is to upgrade to a more modern operating system, like Windows 7 or Windows 8.1." 

The hack capitalizes on the fact some users are looking for a workaround to keep their XP computers secure in the absence of updates from Microsoft.

5 Reasons for Marketers to be Thankful

customer experience, Five Reasons Today's Marketer Should be Thankful

It's Memorial Day weekend. The official start of the summer. Cookouts. Beer. Flip flops. Relaxation. Beer. Getting the boat on the lake. The first camp-out. Beer.

All that.

We always forget, though, the true intent of this holiday weekend: honoring Americans who lost their lives serving their country. I'm guilty. "Long weekend" enters the mind too often when "life sacrifice" should. 

But I am thankful for my freedoms. I get to write for a great company. Have a great family. A great group of kids to coach in Little League.

Marketers can be thankful, too. Sure, it's a thankless job a lot of the time, but there is a lot to be thankful for as a marketer. We think so. Hence, here are five things we think marketers should be thankful for:

Salesforce1 Mobile App: Better than Dynamics and Siebel?

customer experience, Salesforce1 Mobile App: Better than Dynamics and Siebel?

Salesforce gained an edge over its competitors with its move to mobilize CRM processes. Its new mobile app for the enterprise empowers sales professionals to do “business on the move,” analysts told CMSWire.

“It’s difficult to judge against all enterprise apps, as they all serve very different purposes,” said Richard Absalom, senior analyst for Enterprise Mobility for London-based Ovum Research.

“But CRM is really low-hanging fruit in terms of a process that can be immediately improved by mobilizing. From that point of view, Salesforce1 does stand out, making it easier for the huge number of sales professionals using Salesforce to do business on the move. Making it available through any browser should mean that it can reach a wider audience, and the range of new features in this update looks pretty impressive.”