Monthly Archives: April 2015

Social Media Marketing Tools Aren’t Cutting It

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Forrester Research called out Social Relationship Platform (SRP) vendors for not providing what digital marketers really want.

A platform that says what to post and when. A platform that measures performance.

With all the hype over social media marketing, Forrester researchers said few SRP platforms share data with "trusted measurement tools" or tell brands what to post and when. They are good at, however, saving marketers time as they manage multiple social media accounts.

"The biggest need many organizations face with social media monitoring is mining truly useful data," said Cappy Popp, principal and co-founder of Thought Labs, a digital marketing agency out of Boston. "Many organizations still shortsightedly isolate social media metrics instead of integrating them with their other company-wide metrics. Such integration takes planning, internal collaboration, strong communication skills and deep understanding of social media."

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Simple Lessons on E-Signatures [Infographic]

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In the past few months, we’ve heard a lot of speculation why e-signature software has been so slow to gain traction — from legal and security issues to worker resistance and misunderstandings about how to use them.

But Sam Thorpe, director of product at San Francisco-based Nitro, a document productivity company, blames it on simple lack of education.

"A lot of people are unaware of the benefits or potential return on investment (ROI) of e-signatures,“ he said.

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Is Salesforce For Sale?

Did you hear the one about Salesforce.com selling itself to a competitor? It’s not a joke, at least according to news reports that sent shock waves through the technology world Wednesday.

The company that transformed CRM from an acronym to a ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange is toying with the idea of an acquisition Bloomberg reported. Specifically, reporters Alex Sherman and Cory Johnson noted Salesforce is apparently "working with financial advisers to help it field takeover offers after being approached by a potential acquirer."

While the potential suitor was not named, one thing is clear: the buyer would need extraordinarily deep pockets since Salesforce has a $49 billion market cap. That puts the spotlight on several companies, including Microsoft, SAP, IBM — and one especially close to the heart of Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Oracle.

And here’s something else. Benioff has been steadily selling stock. In the past month, he’s reduced his outstanding common shares from more than 37.937 million to 37.675 million yesterday, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission

Shares surged 13.5 percent in late trade yesterday on news of the rumored takeover.

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‘Spartan’ Win10 Browser Morphs to ‘Edge’ #Build2015

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Microsoft confirmed what developers who had peeked into some of Windows 10’s “Project Spartan” files had speculated: The new Windows 10 browser has a new name.

At its Build developers conference in San Francisco today, Microsoft announced it will rename the new browser engine “Microsoft Edge.”

The new name has the virtue of beginning with “E,” so long-time Windows desktop PC users will recognize the logo: a lower-case “e” with a little wavelet-shape cut in it. It’s different enough to be new, but similar enough to be associated as Microsoft’s native web browser.

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Look! The Mini Googles are Coming

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Fresh off of its $30 million in Series B funding, Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Looker has launched a new business intelligence platform that it claims will lead to the launch — or at least transformation — of companies into data-driven entities. Call them mini Googles.

In general, that is where the industry has been heading anyway, CEO Frank Bien told CMSWire.

"What we are seeing unfold now is the newest generation of companies really using data to change the culture of their companies."

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Is Microsoft Office Fundamentally Changing? #Build2015

This morning at Microsoft’s annual Build developers conference in San Francisco, CEO Satya Nadella announced what he calls a “fundamental change” to the forthcoming Microsoft Office 16. That includes add-ins for Excel and Outlook that developers can craft to run on any platform — including online, in Windows and on the iPad.

An early demonstration of the company’s forthcoming Office add-ins enable an Uber customer to book a ride through what used to be known as an appointment screen.

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Microsoft Aims for Amazon with Elastic SQL #Build2015

Hey Amazon, can Redshift do this?

We know the kinder, gentler, “we play nice with everyone” Microsoft would never egg AWS boss Andy Jassy on like this, but here’s the deal: Today at Build 2015, Microsoft executive vice president for cloud and enterprise Scott Guthrie made a whole slew of “elastic” announcements — some involving technologies that will make data scientists pretty happy.

Most notable, from our point of view, is the Azure SQL Data Warehouse, an elastic Data Warehouse-as-a-Service with enterprise class-features.

"Unlike Redshift, you can independently adjust the amount of compute and storage you use in a SQL data warehouse. This allows you to… adjust your data warehouse in seconds… allowing you to increase and decrease pretty much at will," said Guthrie.

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Treat Your Customers as You Treat Your Friends

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Your customers are the only thing keeping you in business. So, what are you doing to make sure they’re satisfied with the service you provide? It’s just not enough anymore to offer a great product with a low price — customers are more than happy to go elsewhere if your customer service isn’t up to their standards.

There’s a load of theories on customer retention and how to attract new customers, most of which are backed up by solid research, but have you ever thought about taking a simpler approach to keeping your customers happy?

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Want to Know the Top CX Trends? [Infographic]

Marketers are so focused on providing personalization and trying to make the customer experience just right that they may be ignoring the very people they want to please.

A new customer experience trends report and infographic released by InMoment reveals that while customers do appreciate the personalized touches that brands create for them, they are much more interested in providing value back to the company.

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Demystifying Bimodal IT: 3 Questions Answered

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Managers today understand that keeping up with their agile workforces is the key to staying competitive, no matter what industry they’re in. But these employees aren’t necessarily making that an easy task.

Employees are turning to an array of collaboration and communication solutions that suit their needs, often regardless of company policies and security standards.

That’s why, for large enterprises, to balance the stability of core IT systems and the need for agile IT innovation that meets employees’ demands, Gartner recommends a "bimodal IT" approach. Bimodal IT involves having a "traditional" Mode 1 and a "sprinter" Mode 2 which maintains standardized IT elements to keep businesses going, while deploying parallel experimental communication and collaboration solutions.

There’s a lot of confusion about how bimodal IT really works, what sets it apart from what organizations are doing today and how it can benefit the enterprise in the long run. Here are some insights into three of the most frequent questions I receive.

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