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Social Networks News & Analysis

Few Businesses Use Social and Mobile to Improve Productivity

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Enterprises are using social and mobile to improve customer engagement, but not using them to improve productivity. At least that is the conclusion of new research from UK-based Advanced Business Solutions (ABS).

The findings are somewhat surprising given that the uses of enterprise social networks are largely associated with internal collaboration. But that is a myth, at least in the mid-sized enterprises segment.

Lose the Fat, Embrace Lean Portals

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In its recently published Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals, Gartner identified a number of trends.

Among the most important: the convergence of web content management (WCM) customer demands with lean portal functionality and social technologies. The concept of lean (as opposed to bloated) portals has gained traction recently, with lean portal vendors starting to work their way further up the Magic Quadrant.

Large vendors claim they can offer all the functionality an enterprise could want and more — what smaller vendors describe as "bloat." Lean vendors claim they can respond rapidly to changing business conditions and have enough functionality for any office or mobile worker.

Smaller Firms Nip at the Big Dogs in Gartner's Portal MQ

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Gartner cited six trends in its Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals, including a convergence of portal and Web Content Management (Web CMS) needs across enterprises. In addition, long-time traditional, portal vendors and their bloated, unwieldy architectures are losing ground to smaller, lighter portal vendors.

As evidence of both trends, just look at the companies who made it into this year's MQ: Ektron, Jahia, Sitecore, Squiz and WordPress.

6 Trends Dominate the Portal Space, Gartner Claims

In recent weeks we have spent a lot of time talking about data search and discovery. While there are many ways of finding content, access through portals is still one of the major pathways. This week, Gartner has published what it believes are the top horizontal portal vendors in a market that is changing rapidly.

While there are many trends in play, one of the most notable, Gartner noted, is convergence of Web Content Management (WCM) demands through lean portals that are also incorporating social technologies in the enterprise.

Google Plus Gasps for Breath, Does Anyone Care?

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There's no mourning in cyberspace, no overt sentimental ramblings on social media — despite yet another move by Google to put its struggling social network out of its misery.

This time, Google is dropping the requirement for all new users to create a Plus account when signing up for a Google network.

Typically when Google chops a product, it triggers a storm of protests. With Plus, though, the blogosphere has been largely silent — a sure reflection of how few people care whether the network fades away.

Should You Use LinkedIn to Build a Network or an Audience?

2014-27-August-LinkedIn-Head.jpgI’m not sure how to use LinkedIn anymore. I’m on LinkedIn all the time as a social marketer, and over the last year or so I’ve noticed some big changes to two basic aspects of how I think about LinkedIn … and they've left me scratching my head about my own approach.

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.

Lithium CMO: Klout is a Game Changer for Brands

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Since Lithium acquired Klout in late March, there's been considerable speculation about just what it would do with it. Now we know.

The San Francisco-based social customer experience platform announced two new products at its LiNC conference — Pop-up Communities and Klout for Products.

Whether the products will have the "disruptive" impact predicted by CEO Rob Tarkoff remains to be seen. Perhaps more important is how they reflect a maturing role of social networks in building relationships between companies, products and customers.

CMSWire interviewed Lithium CMO Katy Keim on the third and final day of the conference to get her perspective on the new products and other topics.

4 Secrets to Successful Customer Engagement

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We're still very much living in the age of the customer. So what can businesses do to increase engagement between employees and customers? Here are some suggestions from Gartner.

Engaged customers are generally better brand advocates. They are more loyal and spend more on that brand. In a report titled "The Four Attributes of Customer Engagement," Gartner researchers stress that it is important to understand the foundation of customer engagement. It defines that as "attracting and influencing of customers" to hold their attention and induce them to participate in a long-term relationship.

Yep, It's Still the Age of the Customer

Still need evidence that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology is hot? Then take a quick look at recent research from Gartner, which shows CRM spending in Europe remains strong despite continuing economic problems.

Half of the 102 businesses surveyed in 30 countries and 20 industries in the fourth quarter last year plan to increase spending an average of 2.5 percent on CRM projects this year.

Microsoft Transplants Social Listening, Smart Marketing into Dynamics CRM

Just two weeks away from its 2014 Convergence Conference, Microsoft has started releasing details of the forthcoming upgrades to its customer relationship management (CRM) offerings. This year’s upgrades include smarter marketing capabilities, acute social listening and enhanced customer care based on the recent Parature acquisition.

Microsoft Loves Yammer: Boosts Integration with Office 365 for Education

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If Microsoft’s strategy for Yammer and its integration into the wider portfolio got off to a shaky start after the acquisition in 2012, it now appears rock solid. Over the past few months, the company has announced tight integration with a number of apps, with special Yammer love for Office 365.

This week, Microsoft officials noted that Yammer Enterprise will ship with all Office 365 Education plans for no additional cost, as of April 1. Currently, education customers can use free Yammer Basic.

5 Reasons Customer Relationship Management Is Still Hot

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Customer relationship management (CRM) technologies may not be making headlines — but they haven’t gone away. In fact, according to Gartner, demand for CRM is growing. To provide integrated customer experiences, businesses are focusing on technologies that enable targeted customer interactions in multichannel environments. 

OpenText Evolves Biz Management with Tempo Upgrade

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OpenText is redesigning the way business information management is done with a number of new upgrades to its OpenText Tempo product line. The upgrades also offers practical examples of how its Project Red Oxygen will work.

The upgrades, announced this week, are intended to provide users a way to increase business productivity through secure social collaboration. OpenText is changing Tempo — essentially a collaboration application — into something that covers all the bases of enterprise collaboration, including enterprise file synchronization and sharing.

5 SaaS Advantages To Confound Your Competitors

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is not just about cutting costs anymore, it’s about getting a competitive edge. While slashing capital expenditure on software is still a primary reason for taking the SaaS route, recent research from IBM shows that leading companies are using it to give them an edge over the competition.

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