Rear-view mirror with a school bus in the rear.
PHOTO: Jack

What did CMSWire readers care about in 2019? Well, if you measure that by who's clicking on what, our readers are invested in watching technology moves of major vendors in digital customer experience, information management and the digital workplace. Twelve of our top 20 stories of the year covered vendor technology, including our No. 1: Virginia Backaitis' thoughtful look into the paradoxical vibe of SAP's company restructuring and multi-billion-dollar acquisition as it held its SAP Qualtrics X4 Experience Management Summit in March.

Our readers also cared about the connection between employee experience and customer experience, major web design fails and why digital transformation can't be confused with customer experience.

Without further ado, let's take a peek at our reader's top 20 most popular stories:

20. 10 Keys to Microsoft Teams Governance Success

Managing an organization-spanning Microsoft Teams environment is no easy task. Major governance measures must be in place to contain sprawl, secure internal data and ensure efficiency. We cover the 10 most important factors to consider when setting up your Microsoft Teams governance.

19. Should a Project Manager Become a Scrum Master?

The scrum master’s role is deep and wide. Scrum masters need to support their teams while working with the rest of the people in their organizations to build awareness and enable greater agility. 

18. 7 Key Principles for a Successful DevOps Culture

The demand for rapid and constantly improving digital experiences has never been higher. To match the market’s demands, brands are adopting a DevOps culture to streamline the development, deployment, management and maintenance of software at scale. Here’s everything you need to know about DevOps and the principles necessary to be successful. 

17. Notes and Domino Return to Their Roots

IBM's agreement to sell (Lotus) Notes and Domino as well as Sametime and Connections to global tech firm HCL was announced last December. We know far more details about what will happen with Notes and Domino, since the plans were — to a large extent — already published before the announcement of the planned takeover. And the worldwide launch of Domino version 10, which took place before the announced acquisition, points the way to this future.

16. 8 Ways to Support a Customer-Obsessed Culture

Companies that care about their customers may not be able to truly deem themselves “customer-obsessed.” They may think or say they are because they focus on great products and great service. But the moniker of customer-obsessed goes deeper than that. 

15. Top 26 ChatBot Builders for 2019

Chatbots have become commonplace on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Slack and WhatsApp. In fact, most enterprise company websites now boast a chatbot in some way shape or form in the bottom right-hand corner.

14. 9 Voice Data sets You Should Know About

Mozilla gave users an early holiday gift in November 2017 when it introduced an initial release of its open-source speech recognition model. Perhaps more significantly, it also released the world’s second largest publicly available voice data set, called Common Voice, which was contributed to by nearly 20,000 people globally. Here are other voice data sets, both public and private, that are worth exploring.

13. 6 Security Issues That Will Dominate IoT in 2019

The potential business edge that access to data from billions of connected devices offers is too much for enterprises to resist. As a result, in 2019 more and more enterprises will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) using more and more endpoints.

12. Don't Confuse Digital Transformation with Customer Experience

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably familiar with two popular industry buzzwords that are often mentioned in the same breath: digital transformation and customer experience.

11. Salesforce's Major Outage Reinforces Pitfalls of Cloud Software World

Salesforce reported an outage with its Pardot B2B marketing automation platform that began Friday, May 17, lasted into the next week and left users unable to perform their marketing tasks — but more than able to complain about it on Twitter.

10. Will Microsoft Acquire Adobe?

Microsoft took advantage of the Adobe Summit in March to get in front of 17,000 marketers and tout its partnership with Adobe. Particularly, Microsoft and Adobe pushed an extension of the Open Data Initiative (ODI) partnership with SAP and their investment in Account-Based Experiences (ABX) with LinkedIn. Was it a sign of things to come? 

9. Why Employee Experience Is the New Customer Experience

Happy and engaged employees create better experiences, which leads to more satisfied and loyal customers and, ultimately, brand and company growth. A virtuous cycle, market-leading organizations recognize that a thoughtful and deliberate focus on managing employee experience (EX) is not only good for their workforce but also good for their company.

8. How Will Adobe and Salesforce CDP Announcements Impact the Industry?

Adobe and Salesforce entered the customer data platform (CDP) mix last month, a big boon to marketers seeking validation as they look to fit CDPs into their marketing technology (martech) stacks. The digital experience software providers, which seem to be going head-to-head in the martech race, debuted CDPs within a day of one another.  

7. Why RPA Implementation Projects Fail

For the most part Ernst & Young is very enthusiastic about robotic process automation (RPA), according to a report about the technology in which E&Y wrote: “It promises to transform the cost, efficiency and quality of executing many of the back office and customer-facing processes that businesses rely on people to perform.” However, in that same report E&Y also made clear that the implementation of what for all appearances is a simple application — many are low or no-code — can be fraught with issues for some companies.

6. What the Oracle-Microsoft Cloud Partnership Really Means

At the beginning of July, Microsoft and Oracle announced that they were creating a cloud interoperability partnership enabling customers to migrate and run mission-critical enterprise workloads across Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud. The companies said this means enterprises will be able to seamlessly connect Azure services, like Analytics and AI, to Oracle Cloud services, like Autonomous Database.

5. Microsoft Launches Free AI Business School for Execs

Machine learning and, more broadly, artificial intelligence (AI) have become the tech industry's most important trends over the past 18 months. And despite the hype and, to some extent, fear surrounding the technology, many businesses are now embracing AI at an impressive speed.

4. What Is Microsoft Kaizala?

If you've never heard Microsoft Kaizala, you aren’t alone. But, depending on where you live, it may already be part of the Office 365 subscription you own. 

3. Slack and Microsoft Teams Get Together, Automattic to Release Productivity Suite

With all the talk in recent months about Microsoft Teams and Slack and which platform might be better for what collaborative work, the obvious solution for many enterprises — especially those that have already made a substantial investment in Microsoft tools — is to pull the two of them together.

2. 10 Lessons from Hertz's $32M Web Design Lawsuit Against Accenture

The website redesign project that led to Hertz’s $32 million lawsuit against Accenture “was a catastrophic relationship meltdown of epic proportions,” according to Liz Miller, senior vice president of marketing for the CMO Council. There are many lessons to be learned for brands enlisting the digital services of agencies. 

1. A Tale of Two SAPs

A week in early March played out like a tale of two cities at SAP, especially for those who are employees or members of the large and engaged SAP community. For some it was the best of times, for others it was the worst of times.