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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.

Marketing Challenge: Social Recommendations or Content Marketing?

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Why aren't B2B marketers doing more to generate recommendations for their brands? I mean every B2B marketer (or head of sales, for that matter) understands how important positive word of mouth and referrals are, right?

And these days, it’s easy to leverage social media to amplify favorable comments about your brand, products or content. Yet my experience is that few B2B marketers are making it a priority to generate these “social recommendations” as part of their marketing strategy.

Why is that?

Retargeting and Reengagement in Mobile App Marketing

With millions of mobile options in app stores, competition for attention is higher than ever. That's why it's so critical for marketers to engage key audiences to ensure the longevity and visibility of their apps.

Mobile has moved in leaps and bounds over the past year to make an attempt to catch up with other online marketing techniques.

Mobile app marketing success used to be measured by the number of clicks on an advertising source. Then the focus moved to how many people installed the app. Now the industry is starting to realize that engagement and retaining valuable users is key to marketing success.

Mobile marketers are looking beyond the install to get the best value out of their user base.

The Real Secrets About Content Marketing

Remember the good old days when a CMO could build a roster for his digital marketing team and fill it with search gurus and social media ninjas?

It wasn’t that long ago, but back then marketing was obsessed with channels, and more specifically, how ads could best be inserted into each of those channels.

Today, we operate in a converged media space. What we once thought of as a series of separate channels (paid, earned and owned) are really one big channel, and consumers, who see thousands of brand impressions a day, can’t remember where those impressions occurred.

While that might be troubling for an advertising model, the truth is that we live in a world dominated by content marketing. That means consumers don’t care where they find their content, and you shouldn't either, because what really matters is quality of your content operation — not the channel.

Measuring Community Success: More Than Just ROI

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Social leaders ready to take the next step in their community journey now have access to a new assessment tool to help them evaluate their community’s strengths and weaknesses, and make better decisions to build more successful online sharing spaces for their employees, customers and partners.

The Community Performance Benchmark (CPB), developed by The Community Roundtable and released today, helps leaders understand how effectively their community management efforts are performing against organizational objectives. 

“Community management has evolved to the point where organizations understand the impact of communities and the best have created roadmaps and ways to measure value,” Rachel Happe, co-founder and principal of The Community Roundtable and CMSWire contributing author, noted in a press release. 

“However, goals simply tell you where you want to be, not how to get there. The Community Performance Benchmark gives you an understanding of where you are, your management gaps and your opportunities.”

Give Your Customers to Amazon - Or Do These 4 Things Instead

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As the holiday season approaches, online retailers need to step up their efforts to win and keep the online retail market share that Amazon (mostly) and other large e-retailers are quickly gobbling up.

According to Growth Champions, Amazon accounts for one third of US e-commerce, and “is growing twice as fast as online commerce in general.”

CMSWire.com recently spoke with CommerceHub founder and CEO Frank Poore about ways that retailers can succeed in an e-commerce world filled with heightened customer expectations and shrinking market share.

Why Risk Management Technology Projects Fail

Too many organizations buy risk management solutions for today, without thinking of their needs for the future.

Michael Rasmussen works with a number of companies that sell solutions for risk management (these days typically packaged with other “stuff” and mislabeled GRC solutions) and helps buyers of those solutions, as well as participating in related conferences and seminars.

And though he has never run a risk management function, his views merit attention.

Put Away the Pumpkins: It's Holiday Time for E-Commerce Sites

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It’s October … time for ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night, right? Wrong. Think sleigh bells and shiny objects like holiday lights.

The winter holiday season triggers an exponential growth in online shopping volume. “Many e-commerce sites do 40 percent of their annual transactions during these holidays,” said Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus Marketing Group.

If you handle this demand correctly, the season can gift you with a heaping helping of new, year-round customers. If you don’t, you may watch future profits disappear right back up the chimney with the guy in the red suit.

Rackspace CEO: We Screwed Up During Cloud Reboot

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Rackspace's CEO didn't mince words in an email to customers yesterday. He admitted the company made communication mistakes as it worked this week to patch a security vulnerability affecting certain versions of XenServer, a popular open-source hypervisor.

Taylor Rhodes, CEO and president of the San Antonio, Texas-based public and private cloud hosting provider, said the problem ultimately forced a reboot for about a quarter of Rackspace's 200,000 customers.

"In the course of it, we dropped a few balls," Rhodes said. "Some of our reboots, for example, took much longer than they should. And some of our notifications were not as clear as they should have been. We are making changes to address those mistakes. And we welcome your feedback on how we can better serve you." 

The Line Between Creepy and Effective Marketing

2014-01-September-Creepy-Bob.jpgThere's a fine line between effective, personalized marketing and an eerie feeling that “big brother” is watching. Unfortunately, being creepy is one of the most common perils of data-driven marketing. In an online environment, retailers can observe every single nuance of an individual’s shopping experience.

Social Will Not Succeed Without Business Process Integration

2014-01-October-Integration.jpgIt's been said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.”

We see this theory in action every day within most corporate environments as businesses try to apply the latest technology without understanding how to integrate it into their daily business processes. Information Technology and business groups make this same mistake repeatedly with the same result — lack of adoption and usage across the enterprise resulting in a failed implementation. Users don’t hold onto legacy technology because they fear change: they crave change! But in order to be effective, the technology has to be woven into the user’s daily business processes.