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Customer Experience News & Analysis

What's New in November for Open Source CMS

It's been a, well, interesting month for free and open source content management systems (CMS) communities.

Thousands of websites running Drupal, one of the world's most popular open source CMSs, may have been compromised by a "highly critical" security flaw. But Imperva, an IT security firm, claims attacks against WordPress, the world's most popular CMS, are even more prevalent.

Jahia named the ever mobile Kevin Cochrane — the former CMO of Mindjet, the former CMO of Open Text and former vice president of digital marketing at Adobe — to its board of directors. But no one, including Cochrane, has yet addressed his abrupt departure from Mindjet. Could Cochrane be planning to relocate from San Francisco to take up an office and deeper role with Jahia in Paris?

Ghost, a relatively new CMS created by John O’Nolan — former deputy head of the WordPress user experience team — continues to wow critics who, for obvious reasons, keep comparing the platform to WordPress. O'Nolan, meanwhile, who funded the project with a $300,000 Kickstarter campaign, just keeps creating. His recent efforts extend to creating a company culture. We'll let him explain: 

We’re very much trying to choose our culture and make it one that we’re proud of. We encourage open and frank debate, but always with civility. ... Recently we also published a set of clear community guidelines. The crux of it is pretty straightforward: Don’t be a dick."

With that in mind, let's take a look at what's new in free and open source CMS this month.

Kana Adds a Social Network to Its Call Center Toolbox

2014-07-November-Tangled Wire.jpgIt can't be easy to work in a call center, listening to gripe after gripe from customers. When they can't solve the case, agents tend to put customers on hold while they get help from managers or experts.

Kana, the customer service software company acquired earlier this year by Verint, claims it is making that job a little easier by adding an internal social network into the 2014 version of its flagship contact center software, Kana Enterprise, which rolled out today.

The social network, called Activity Streams, isn't the only improvement. The company also enhanced ways to direct known callers to specific agents, to monitor call queues, to conduct multiparty chats and to share screens with customers, according to Kelly Koelliker, director of product marketing.

Your Content is a Promise to Your Customers

The content an organization publishes online is increasingly contributing to how customers regard that organization’s brand. 

How to Become a Best-In-Class Content Marketer

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B2B marketers with documented content marketing strategies consider their organizations more effective at content marketing, and can better track ROI over those with verbal or no strategies, according to the latest research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). 

And although an encouraging 83 percent of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy, only 35 percent have it written down, which means that a majority of those surveyed are missing out on the benefits that come with being a Best in Class B2B Content Marketer, the research revealed.

The study, 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America, was sponsored by Brightcove and conducted in conjunction with MarketingProfs.

DAM Shopping? Use These Criteria to Find the Right Vendor

The number of DAM vendors on the market can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of DAM vendors, many of which provide very good solutions, which can make it hard to choose the right vendor for your organization. Start by developing the project goals and the key problems to be solved and then filter, filter, filter.

Sitecore's New Experience Database Collects, Connects Data

To borrow a phrase from defending Super Bowl champion coach Pete Carroll, Sitecore was "pumped and jacked" at its annual conference in September when it previewed Version 8 of its web content management system (CMS).

Meanwhile, it quietly released a softer update, Sitecore 7.5, which introduces an Experience Database (xDB) that is designed to help end-users make immediate use of customer data.

"The big change  with 7.5 is the ability to collect and connect customer experience data at scale," said Mark Floisand, vice president of marketing for Mill Valley, Calif.-based Sitecore. "When I say collect and connect I mean gathering information from both within Sitecore and other systems. We're aggregating that information down to the individual level so marketers are able to effectively have a single view of the customer."

Technology Can Help Humans Sound Human

2014-07-November-Free-Hugs.jpgIs it too much to ask a customer service rep to sound human and, more importantly, to treat the person on the other end of the line as a fellow human?

It may sound like a simple request, but too often the forces in the customer service universe can easily undermine an organization’s efforts to deliver an exceptional, personalized experience.

News Bites: Releasing, Renaming and Growing Revenue

The latest in toolsets, interfaces, focus, growth and predictions from the Jerseys, the City of Notions, the Gold Coast, the Warrior King and San Jo.

Extreme Mobility: The Rise of Nomadic Cities #QuartzNewYork

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At a forum that explored the issues surrounding the "Next Billion” people to go online, one of the more interesting presentations entailed building communities for the next billion or so people who are and will be displaced by war or climate change.

Cameron Sinclair, executive director of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, the charitable humanitarian charity founded by actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, said that the world population would continue to grow in the short term, but will eventually level off and decrease in the 2040s and beyond. 

Sinclair, who previously founded the charitable group Architecture for Humanity, gave his presentation entitled “Building Communities for the Next Billion,” at the all-day Next Billion forum in New York City. Presented by digital news service Quartz, it was held Wednesday at the Bohemian National Hall.

Quartz has held similar forums in Seattle and New York and plans another next year in London. The objective is to address the by-products of an increasingly connected world. 

IBM or Twitter: Who Needed the Deal More?

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IBM posted disappointing quarterly revenues last month. Twitter hasn't found a way to make good money.

They needed a boost, and they hope it's each other.

But who needed who more?

"That’s arguable. Both need to can some lightning," said Tony Baer, principal analyst at Ovum Research.

"For Twitter it's the need for another path to market where they don’t have to compete with the Facebook colossus head-on. For IBM, this is entirely consistent with directions such as Watson where it is striving to establish cognitive computing as the new de facto enterprise solutions building block."

3 Lessons from the Marketing Festival #mktfest

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Organizers of last weekend's Marketing Festival in the Czech Republic analyzed 500 conferences from around the world before choosing 18 promising speakers.

Having soaked up their collective wisdom, I found three lectures gave me the most to think about and I've summarized them here.

Attention Retailers: It's Time to Plug Those Data Leaks

The birth of e-commerce dates to August 11, 1994 — the date when what was likely the first secure transaction over the World Wide Web occurred in Nashua, N.H.

Someone purchased Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales CD from Noteworthy Music’s website.

While this transaction wasn't scalable, it leveraged the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) algorithm and demonstrated the Internet was open for business. It would take several years before a critical mass of sales was reached, but the doors of e-commerce were officially open.

The Smucker's Facebook Fail: How to Protect Your Brand

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Posts are disappearing from Smucker’s’ Facebook page, and consumer social reaction is anything but sweet. The company, best known for its jams and jellies, is making headlines for deleting posts that criticize its stance on GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling or that pose questions about GMO’s in their products.

According to the Cornucopia Institute, the J.M. Smucker Company is also one of the top financial contributors to oppose recent efforts in Oregon and Colorado mandating that food companies label packaged foods containing certain ingredients as “genetically engineered.” (NPR just reported that both of the November ballot issues were defeated. 

Getting Personal with Big Machines

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When we think of personalization of service through analytics, the first thought that likely comes to mind is retail applications or consumer goods.

But what about industrial equipment, especially heavy equipment? The way we service big machines is undergoing a renaissance, thanks to the same technology we use to enhance the consumer experience.

Will Big Data Analytics Fuel Dell's Renaissance? #DellWorld

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Michael Dell and friends are rocking Austin, Texas this week. The company best known for making “made to order” personal computers and servers has a boatload of well-established customers and the “freedom to be bold,” now that it a private company, said Michael Dell, the company’s founder and CEO.

When we hear the word Dell, the first words that come to mind are probably not big data, advanced analytics, machine learning or hybrid cloud.

But if you’re a business analyst who needs the powers of a data scientist, but doesn’t have immediate access to one …  or an enterprise that wants to leverage big data and advanced analytics to improve customer relationships and such … Dell may be your ticket. We kid you not.

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