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Eim News & Analysis

TinderBox Extends Dynamics CRM With Sales Automation

Think you’re missing something in Microsoft Dynamics CRM? TinderBox says you are.

In fact, according to TinderBox, Dynamics CRM users may have a lot of technology to provide customer insights and engagement, but its sales automation processes are just not up to scratch.

PC Market? Up Slightly, But Still Barely Breathing

Though it appears there will be some relief for the besieged PC market in Gartner’s second quarter predictions for 2014, the relief will be be only temporary.

Overall, the global devices market  will witness a revival in 2014, increasing by 4.2 percent over 2013.

The PC market, which falls under the devices umbrella, will contract 2. 9 percent — considerably less than last year's 9.2 percent .The driving force behind this trend, according to Annette Zimmerman of Gartner, is the ongoing development of the mobile market. However, the longterm direction of the PC market remains downward.

Here's Why You Should Take Good Care of Your Customers

2014-9-July-hot-air-balloon.jpgNew research confirms what many marketers have already suspected: It’s harder than ever to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Competition for customers is heating up — or as London-based Ovum, a global research firm, puts it, "hotting-up." Colloquialisms aside, the fight for customers appears to be kicking into high gear.

And the reason is clear. Customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce will be the fastest growing enterprise applications through 2018. According to the global analyst firm’s newly launched software forecasts, customer-engagement systems will be the fastest growing enterprise application between 2013 and 2018.

Metrics to Watch When Evaluating Search Performance

2014-08-July-Hide-and-Seek.jpgPeople are dissatisfied with the search applications they are using. This is the result -- without exception -- from surveys of search performance. Search managers charged with improving satisfaction levels face the problem of defining what "satisfaction" actually means. Search performance has to be evaluated on three criteria: technical performance, retrieval performance and impact performance, but it's impossible to bring all three together in some mathematical formula for "satisfaction."

Microsoft Pushes Yammer into SMBs

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Microsoft is pushing Yammer ... again. The focus now is on small and midsize businesses (SMBs). 

Microsoft underlined its enterprise ambitions for Yammer in November by making it available with all Office 365 enterprise plans. Now it's also added Yammer to Office 365 Midsize Business and Office 365 Education plans.

IBM's BlueMix Targets the Internet of Things

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Remember IBM’s open cloud development platform BlueMix? Well, IBM has just announced it is now on general release, and there’s all kinds of cloud-centric goodness now available for it.

Accessible in open beta since February, the Cloud Foundry based suite now has more than 50 services and is being adopted at a rate that places it among the largest Cloud Foundry deployments in the world, IBM claims. It has also been released with an eye on the emerging Internet of Things (IoT).

Microsoft Transforms Customers to Beta Testers

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Two weeks ago Microsoft promised a whole new approach to roadmaps and future releases when it announced that it would be posting regular, publicly accessible updates to the Office 365 roadmap. Transparency is the new black at Microsoft, it seems.

Today it has taken one step further and has made a public call for beta testers of it is new Office products. Not exactly what you want to be doing over the summer, you might think, but there is a couple of interesting new products in the offing that you could end up testing.

Databricks' Spark Could Light SAP's Fire

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SAP HANA seems to have taken a bit of a public beating lately, namely because its creator, Vishal Sikka, and several other notable executives left the company.

And while some might speculate the Guinness World Record setting in-memory database has had its best days, there are very few facts to support that contention. In fact, we say the best may be yet to come.

After all, SAP HANA hasn’t yet infiltrated most Enterprises and SAP, as a whole, has become no holds barred, cloud-bound only lately.

Will Dropbox's New Feature Be Enough?

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Dropbox wants legitimacy in the Enterprise, and it’s racing to get all the boxes (no pun intended) checked that will win it official entry through company doors. 

To be fair, according to Dropbox for Business product manager Anand Subramani, they already have 4 million users in businesses. We haven’t called any of them to ask if they’re spending a dime on the service; in fact, it would be interesting to know how many of them are personal accounts or shadow IT.

But as we’ve asked workers at large enterprises to try to create accounts on the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) service, the most common response we get is “it’s blocked.”

Microsoft Tightens Email Security

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Edward Snowden has done more for electronic security than anyone else. Singlehandedly, he has forced some of the biggest IT vendors to take a close look at data, data transfer, and how it is stored.

This follows the revelation that security agencies across the world were systematically scanning emails.

In response, Google has made much of its email encryption practices and its efforts to secure the contents of the email itself.

Last night, Microsoft, in turn announced that it has upgraded its encryption standards across all its networks.

The Greatness of Information Governance

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” -- Abraham Lincoln

Governance is good -- in fact, it is great. Governance, and specifically IT Governance, is defined as, “putting structure around how organizations align IT strategy with business strategy, ensuring that companies stay on track to achieve their strategies and goals, and implementing good ways to measure IT’s performance. It makes sure that all stakeholders’ interests are taken into account and that processes provide measurable results.”

Records Management in Law Firms: Face the Future

Records and Information Governance are perhaps the most important staff side functions in the modern day law firm. Yet many Records and Information Governance professionals think we are one step away from obscurity and irrelevance.

Why the divergent views?

Is Google's Drive for Work Too Little, Too Late? #io14

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Every time Google or Microsoft makes an announcement about lowering the price of storage, someone asks us why anyone would pay more for a service like Dropbox, Box, Syncplicity, Egnyte, Accellion … you get the picture.

So yesterday, at its I/O Conference, when Google announced Google Drive for Work (a combination of Google apps and Google Drive with added security and reporting features that comes with unlimited storage for $10 per user per month), we were slammed with inquiries. Has Google had just entered — and, all at once, won — the file sync and share market in the Enterprise?

No Application Should Be An Island

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Applications cannot thrive alone in today's hyper-connected world. Nearly every modern business process requires information from multiple sources. If a company’s applications are not working together the business loses enormous opportunities for synergy and automation. Instead of finding streamlined and efficient new ways to automate business processes, the company becomes mired in manual and redundant tasks, with multiple versions of the same data being created across the organization.

The days when CIOs could hope to standardize across a single platform or vendor and expect applications to automatically work together are now just a memory.

NetSuite Mixes CRM With ERP

The term customer relationship management (CRM) isn’t always viewed properly, according to Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite, a provider of cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. 

At the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decision Conference in late May, Nelson said most people see CRM simply as a sales force automation tool used for prospect management.  With a CRM solution, salespeople have the opportunity to generate forecasts based on leads in the pipeline.

But Nelson believes the big problem with most CRM solutions these days is they don’t include customer records. And in order to do CRM really well, Nelson argues there must be customer orders, which just happen to sit in the ERP system.

In fact, ERP systems contain a lot of important data on customers—such as where they bought, what they bought, when the item(s) shipped and if returns were made. By offering a single system to connect the front and back offices, Nelson says NetSuite is seeing more and more customers deploying its solutions in conjunction with e-commerce.

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