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The Platinum Rule of Customer Experience

2014-09-September-Golden-Rule.jpgMany of us know the “Golden Rule” — treat others the way we want to be treated. It’s a philosophy that helps us better relate to one another and to understand how our actions impact those around us. Although the intentions of the “Golden Rule” are noble, this approach carries with it one fatal assumption: that how we would prefer to be treated is how others would also prefer to be treated. For the sake of your customers, let’s propose an upgrade to the “Platinum Rule.”

Apple Pay: Using Its Midas Touch to Reinvent Mobile Payments

2014-09-October-Apple-Buying.jpgWith Apple Pay, Apple is once again doing what it does best: reinventing existing markets, products and business models by delivering a simpler, more stylish and more streamlined user experience. Let's face it: Apple has a knack for making things frictionless and more exciting.

And its ability to market new services and create demand by seducing consumer’s appetite for making things in life easier is a lesson for all marketers. That’s true innovation.

Adaptive Path's Sale Signals Change for UX

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An era has passed. Many in the user experience (UX) and web development worlds were shocked to hear last week that a small company in San Francisco called Adaptive Path had been acquired by, of all companies, Capital One.

With the announcement, company co-founder Jesse James Garrett — author of the foundational UX book, "The Elements of User Experience" and now chief creative officer at the company — assured his community not to worry. While they would be closing the celebrated consulting business that helped kickoff the web 2.0 movement, the cherished events the company produced, including UX Week, UX Intensive and The Service Experience Conference would continue.

Still, you have to wonder. With the acquisition of what is arguably one of the world's foremost UX firms, is UX dead?

Embracing SharePoint and OneDrive in Hybrid Clouds

Last month, a colleague and I were recalling a conversation we had at a SharePoint conference a few years ago. At the time we were debating whether Office 365 would have more success than its predecessor, the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS).

The funny thing is that neither of us could remember which conference it was. So I looked it up and it was way back in 2011 in Anaheim, California.

iThe debate is old news today. Microsoft announced that Office 365 is a $2.5 billion dollar business at its World Partner Conference in July.

Social Media: More Powerful Than Mother Nature

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I took my annual holiday in the Adirondacks last month to spend time with Mother Nature at her finest.

Yes, it was incredibly beautiful and, no, I did not disconnect from the grid as I had planned. In fact, I took the time off as an opportunity to upgrade my mobile, Internet and TV services.

Here is my first-hand customer experience story that took me on an omnichannel journey through brick-and-mortar store visits, multiple phone center calls and, ultimately, to the promised land of social media.

3 Rules of Respectful Data-Driven Marketing

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Technology’s recent surge in big data capabilities has also spawned a number of concerns – perhaps most notably the issue of privacy — and whether or not it actually exists.

Most technology executives have similar attitudes on the subject. Google CEO Eric Schmidt remarked, “If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.” Sun Microsystems former CEO Scott McNealy even went as far as saying, "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it."

Do You Really Want To Do Content Fake Marketing?

The poster children of the latest content marketing craze are Coke and Red Bull. That should be a warning signal in itself.

Gartner ECM MQ's Challengers, Niche Players and Visionaries

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What’s the difference between a Gartner Magic Quadrant (MQ) Leader and Challenger? A Challenger and a Niche Player? A Leader and a Visionary?

These may sound like trick questions or something for which you have to do homework.  But relax … Gartner did the research and we’ve got the answers. So if you’re interested in how enterprise content management (ECM) vendors rate in this year’s MQ, and what that might mean, read on.

What to Do Before You Become a SharePoint Developer

So you want to be a SharePoint developer.

It’s a topic that has been discussed around the web numerous times. However I still find myself talking to .Net developers who want to become SharePoint developers by jumping right into coding. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to reiterate some key points — things you should and shouldn't do before you deem yourself a SharePoint developer.

Why CEOs and Other Top Execs Need CIOs - and the IT Team

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As a customer-focused business leader, you may not like IT. You may even think everyone in the IT department is socially awkward because they spend more time interacting with computers than people.

But whether you like it or not, if you want to close sales you’re going to have to invite IT to your business meetings.

Perish the thought that anyone from IT will sit in on a sales call. However, it's important to sit down with your IT team and listen to what each person has to say about the state of your technology. Otherwise, there’s a pretty good chance you won’t have to worry about sales calls.

There won’t be too many of them.

Bring Your Workforce Together with Open APIs

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A funny thing happened over the last decade or so: Our work networks got really, really big.

It wasn’t that long ago that even the most seasoned salesperson’s address book would have maybe a couple hundred entries. Now, though, it’s common for the average worker to be connected to more team members, vendors, clients and conference contacts than the 500 LinkedIn counts.

What Skills You Need to Extract Business Value from Big Data

Enterprises have been collecting data for decades. Now advanced storage and network technologies offer the ability to capture more data than ever.

No two companies are the same, nor do they need big data to solve the same problems. More data on clicks, likes, locations and other types of information are being collected than ever before. But without the right skills to integrate and analyze this information, big data is useless.

IT professionals need specific skills to manage, monitor and operate Hadoop clusters and they need specific expertise to extract real business value from big data. The IT team must train or obtain resources with these big data engineering and analysis skills as well as business talents.

Building Authentic Experiences on the Internet of Things

Remember the days when the biggest user interface (UI) challenge was how to get your website to work both in Internet Explorer and Netscape?

It’s a matter of opinion whether those were the good old days or bad old days, but one thing is clear. Now that mobile dominates online interactions, content creation has become a lot more concise and nuanced — and the Internet of Things (IoT) is about to complicate matters. In the not-too-distant future, “do you speak my language” is going to mean more than it ever has before.

To gain a foothold in the IoT, savvy brands must think about global content in new ways, and understand that devices themselves are part of the localization equation. Otherwise, brands risk being the equivalent of stuck in the desktop era — and we all know how that will turn out.

Discussion Point: What's the Big Problem With Big Data? [Video]

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Ask 100 people to define big data and you'll get 100 answers, including no answers at all. In theory, big data can help organizations make decisions faster, easier and more accurately. But in practice, faster and easier is just an unrealized goal — and creating business value is often even more elusive.

Riddled with hype and inflated expectations, big data has been nothing more than a nebulous concept for many organizations. 

Rather than successfully analyze a complex set of datasets to discover information that could help teams make better decisions or find new patterns, floods of data often overwhelm the people struggling to make sense of it.

Have Retail Analytics Crossed the Line from Cool to Creepy?

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A body of new solutions for retail businesses promises to both excite and upset consumers. These solutions deliver in-store (or near store) content to consumers that a vendor has decided might want to buy a product in the store.

The drivers are analytics software solutions that crunch data from a plethora of sources — social, digital, point-of-sale and customer service — in close to real time.

Consumers are organized into profiles or personas that can be scored by their propensity to buy a particular product at a point in time. Using these profiles, marketing professionals create and distribute personalized content that engages and, in theory, excites consumers enough to prompt a purchase. 

But could the technology just as easily agitate or annoy potential customers?

Salesforce CRM Users Embrace the Cloud, Mobile Tech

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Some people get freaked out by the thought of going to the cloud. We heard that last month at the SharePoint Technology Conference, for sure.

It's not the case in Salesforce's CRM world, at least according to a survey of 1,000 Salesforce users conducted by a Salesforce partner.

New York City-based Bluewolf, a global business consulting firm, today released its third annual State of Salesforce report. It found that 70 percent of Salesforce CRM users are diverting budget from on-premise to cloud-based solutions, down slightly from about 75 percent last year.

"In my view the security debate should have been retired years ago," said Eric Berridge, CEO of Bluewolf, which claims to be “born in the cloud” and was Salesforce.com’s first consulting partner more than 14 years ago. "The cloud and Salesforce.com specifically are serving some of the largest and most demanding global organizations on the planet, with tens of thousands of users, complex regulatory and compliance issues and multiple layers of both security and redundancy."

How Semantic Web Tech Can Make Big Data Smarter

Over the past few years, major enterprises have shown interest in combining semantic web technology with big data for added value. Let's take a look at what enterprises are seeking and why they think semantic web can make big data smarter.

3 Things to Consider When Migrating to a New Portal

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Moving your website to a new portal is comparable to moving into a new home. It takes a lot of time, planning, effort — and always proves harder than you expect. 

You have to clean up beforehand and make decisions about what you really need to take with you. You want the move itself to go as efficiently as possible. You want to make sure the movers don’t miss any of your things (like, say, your data).

You need a compatibility plan for older items: just as an antique sofa might go from a parlor to a modern living room and the locations of tables and chairs need to be reconfigured in the new space, your legacy data needs a new place within your modern portal’s framework.

You’ll have to figure out how to keep your current system running smoothly during the move. And you’ll want to make a list of everything to be done, so you don’t miss anything. Since there’s often quite a bit of confusion around portal migration, here are some key considerations when you’re ready to take the plunge.

 

A Look at the Most Important Trend from Fashion Week

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What's on trend this season for the fashion industry? The answer may surprise you.

Try big data. At least that's what a story I recently read suggested.

When I think of Fashion Week in New York, the last thing that likely comes to mind are data scientists sitting in a front row seat on the runway. But maybe I should change my perspective.

The adoption of big data represents a big step toward changing the operating principles of an industry that has for years represented the antithesis of customer-centricity.

Is Your Intranet Stuck in the Stone Age?

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The reason no one uses your organization’s expensive collaboration software is because your employees absolutely hate your intranet.

You would think that by 2014, we’d be past stone-age issues like cluttered landing pages or non-existent search options. Sadly, dinosaur intranets are still the reality for many enterprise organizations.

Are you an intranet dinosaur? Let’s bring your intranet back into the 21st century.