Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Social Business Goes Mainstream in the Enterprise, Forcing Cultural and Process Shifts from the Inside Out

Recent IDC research on the intersection of Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, and collaboration shows that we are entering a time of significant cultural and process change for businesses, driven by the emergence of the social Web. According to a new IDC survey, 57% of U.S. workers use social media for business purposes at least once per week. Additional findings from IDC’s social business research include:

  • 15% of 4,710 U.S. workers surveyed reported using a consumer social tool instead of corporate-sponsored social tools for business purposes due to the following top three reasons, (1) ease of use, (2) familiarity due to personal use, and (3) low cost.

  • The number one reason cited by U.S. workers for using social tools for business purposes was to acquire knowledge and ask questions from a community.

  • While marketers are the earliest and largest adopters of social media, these tools are now gaining deeper penetration into the enterprise with use by executive managers and IT.

  • Software companies will increase their social software offerings significantly as customer demand steadily increases and “socialytic” applications will emerge, fusing social/collaboration software and analytics to business logic/workflow and data.

  • More information on CRM can be found at

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    CRM Survey in Europe Shows New Customer Acquisition Rises to Second Priority in 2010

    Customer relationship management (CRM) is weathering the economic downturn better than many other enterprise software applications, according to a recent European survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. Gartner predicts that CRM software revenues in Europe will remain flat in 2010, exhibiting a 0.7 percent growth from last year.

    With a slight improvement in CRM software revenues expected this year, respondents still remain cautious about their CRM investments with 45 percent not planning to select new CRM technologies in 2010, up 5 percent from 2008.

    The survey respondents reported on their primary objectives for their CRM initiatives in 2010. The survey uncovered significant changes in the top three rankings from 2009 and saw the appearance of acquiring new customers as the No. 2 objective for 2010. In previous year’s survey it was ranked sixth in order of priority, indicating that organizations now believe they should be finding new customers instead of focusing their efforts purely on existing customers.

    More information on CRM can be found at

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    New Survey Reveals That CRM, Search and Web Analytics Are Key Elements in Web Content Management Strategies

    Developers, marketers, interactive agencies and IT professionals cite Search and Web analytics as key applications of an overall Web Content Management System (CMS) strategy, a recent survey conducted by Sitecore, has revealed.

    In the survey of more than 100 decision makers, Sitecore found the number of organizations implementing Web analytics rose to nearly 90 percent. Organizations are looking for a more integrated understanding of site traffic and Web campaigns, therefore unifying Web Content Management, analytics and marketing automation has become a top priority to yield faster conversions. In addition, respondents noted that integrating Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and Web CMS software is a top priority.

    Key Findings:

    -- Top drivers for implementing a Web CMS solution include: improving productivity (19 percent), improving customer service (11 percent) increasing sales leads (10 percent) and building global brand awareness (10 percent)

    -- 73 percent of survey responses indicated online Search as the top third-party application with Portal (33 percent) and CRM (20 percent) following behind

    -- More than 33 percent of respondents plan to integrate online video management as part of their 2010 WCM initiatives

    -- More than two-thirds of respondents use LinkedIn the most for professional use with Facebook and Twitter closely behind

    -- A majority of the respondents (52 percent) stated that Web Forms are key components of building an interactive website

    More information on CRM can be found at

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    Tech-Savvy Shoppers Setting The Pace For The Future; Retailers Must Follow Their Lead

    A new IBM global survey of over 32,000 consumers reveals that technology is giving shoppers a new source of power -- pushing retailers to engage them more directly via increased use of personalized promotions and offerings.

    The changing economy has given rise to the smarter consumer– one who uses technology to make more informed buying decisions, exchange information with peers, make purchases on-the-go and shop across multiple channels. At the same time, the increased use of technology has empowered consumers to become more vocal and demanding about their wants and needs. Not only are consumers becoming more demanding, but they are also more willing to help. 79 percent of respondents said they want to work with retailers to co-design new products and services that better meet their personal needs.

    The study also revealed that while shoppers are showing increased demand for multiple technology channels, they want to use different technologies for different activities.

    * 79 percent want to use websites to access and print coupons
    * 75 percent want to use mobile phones to find out where the nearest store is located
    * 66 percent want to see what goods are in stock before going into the store.

    From the consumers’ eyes, the top areas of improvement for retailers were around delivering customized promotions and ensuring product availability. The good news is that 61 percent of respondents said they would spend more with a retailer if they got these two areas right.

    While IBM’s analysis shows that consumers are increasingly ready to use technologies to interact both with retailers and with other consumers, this trend is even more pronounced in growth markets. Consumers in India, China and Brazil, are almost twice as willing to use multiple technologies for shopping and making purchases. This is primarily because the uptake of new technologies is often faster in emerging countries.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Steady Growth for Business Intelligence Seen in 2010, but Twitter Data Won't be in the Growth Plans

    A new survey of business intelligence (BI) practitioners worldwide reveals that a majority expects the use of BI at their organizations to continue growing at a steady pace in the new year. Survey respondents said, however, that they remain unsure about the value of analyzing data obtained from social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook.

    The survey was conducted globally by Kognitio, a provider of BI and data warehousing solutions, and Baseline Consulting. Almost two-thirds (63%) of the people who responded said they are "undecided" about the value of data collected from social media sites to help them understand more about their organization or customers. Another 23% called social media "overrated," saying "there are not as many customer conversations going on as the media would have us believe." Only 14% said they want to incorporate data from Twitter and other sites as part of their ongoing data analysis efforts.

    But 29% said they are under pressure to justify the money they have spent on BI projects, and are looking for "quick wins or new opportunities." In a separate question, 36% said the speed to delivery of BI projects will be an imperative in 2010, saying they will need to test, evaluate, and deploy new systems within a matter of weeks. That is a marked change from previous years, where BI projects were routinely expected to take months to implement correctly, and where obtaining usable information could take a year or more.
    The survey also found that:

    * Almost half of respondents (49%) said BI is becoming more appreciated as a strategic tool at their organizations, with the business side increasingly embracing its value; 43%, however, believe that BI will not grow as an enterprise-wide initiative, with "pockets" still existing across their organizations;

    * BI practitioners expect to see the deeper use of the technology at their firms in 2010, and plan to add capabilities to additional lines of business, with almost one-third (31%) saying they plan to add new BI tools;

    * 55% believe that business intelligence is used by their firms for both strategic and operational purposes, a clear move toward "pervasive BI;" and

    * The adoption of in-memory databases, which enable faster analysis of immense amounts of data, is predicted to grow slowly by 61% of respondents, who said their price/value point will continue to fall.

    More information on Business Intelligence can be found at

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Outlook for IT Spending Growth Continues to Thaw in January

    The January results from the monthly IDC FutureScan show continuing signs of improvement in the IT market. Buyer Intent remains above zero for the third straight month, suggesting a positive outlook for IT spending gains over the next 12 months. Similarly, the five major inputs to the Market Indicators – stock market, GDP, profits, interest rates, and vendor revenues – are all on the rise.

    FutureScan is a set of market metrics that measure supply and demand in the IT industry based on leading indicators and customer surveys. Values reflect expectations of future growth, with an index value of 1000 indicating zero growth and each additional 10 points representing roughly 1% of expected growth or contraction.

    The Buyer Intent metric for January was 1023, which was up from 1010 in December. One year ago, this metric was at a six-year low of 921. Buyer Intent reflects market demand for IT products and services over the next 12 months.

    The Market Indicators number for January, which combines input from economic and IT industry revenue forecasts, was 1083, an improvement over the previous month's 1067. The low point for this metric was in March 2009, when the indicator fell to 901.

    More information on the IT industry can be found at

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Yankee Group 2010 Predictions: From Crisis Comes Opportunity

    Yankee Group unveiled its annual predictions, projecting that 2010 will be a year of rebuilding for the communications sector. While the economic crisis has permanently changed how consumers, enterprises and network builders approach connectivity, the report, "From Crisis Comes Opportunity: Yankee Group's 2010 Predictions" forecasts opportunities in key areas including cord cutting, devices, cloud computing and network innovation

    The Yankee Group 2010 predictions are:

    -- Cord-cutting will double yet again in 2010. Consumers will continue to drop land-line phone service in favor of mobile, and mobile broadband replacement will accelerate.

    -- The bell tolls for device subsidies. Lower operator profits will prompt many new no-subsidy, no-contract plans from major network operators.

    -- Netbooks fall from grace. While netbooks won the battle for consumers' hearts in 2009, they will ultimately lose the war, as notebooks will take on similar form factors and similar prices without such drastic compromises in processing power.

    -- Consumers drive more than 50 percent of enterprise smartphone purchases. Rampant consumerization of IT continues with the majority of wireless devices used for business purposes being purchased by employees themselves.

    -- Chrome OS powers a new class of Anywhere devices. Google's browser-based OS won't be a PC killer, but it will power a new range of must-have consumer devices.

    -- Cloudy IT sparks demand for clear management tools. One in three businesses will invest in a new class of cloud-based IT service management (ITSM) tools to manage hybrid IT infrastructures of physical and virtual assets.

    -- Upstart upsets the equipment vendor applecart. As LTE strategies are aggressively pursued in North America, Huawei will jump the Pacific and take an early lead as the predominant LTE equipment supplier.

    -- Enterprise trust lifts telcos to the top of the cloud. Service outages from Amazon, Google and others made clear that many cloud services aren't yet up to par. Telcos will become trusted intermediaries between disparate cloud environments, offering service delivery, SLAs, federation, orchestration, security and more.

    -- Network innovation well runs dry. The telecommunications industry has long tapped start-ups and IPOs for innovation, but with venture funding on the steep decline, vendors will awaken to the fact that the start-up pipeline is broken.

    -- Telcos unite behind infrastructure sharing. Led by European trailblazers, sharing of both active and passive network assets will become the de facto business model for efficient telcos in both developed and emerging markets.

    -- U.S. network neutrality rules have domino effect worldwide. Decisions from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission will reverberate globally, and service providers will be forced to become more transparent about internal traffic management practices and their effects on end-users.

    More information on CRM can be found at