Archive for the ‘White Papers’ Category

NewImageA new study by McKinsey & Company reveals that less risky and potentially more beneficial realm of Big Data software is a higher priority today than social media integration. The study consisted of 1,500 surveyed CEOs, CFOs and CIOs between April 3 and April 12, 2012.

Almost 50% of respondents stated that they are currently using Big Data to “understand their customers better”, whereas 32% stated they are using social media for “interaction and promotion purposes.” The survey also found:

— 13% did not consider Big Data a priority, so far as stating it was “not on the agenda”
— Over 50% state that flexible delivery platforms are a priority for the next 1-2 business years
— 19% of respondents have deployed digital marketing practices across the enterprise
— 4% used location-based software to target customer promotions

The study also found:

— 52% believe that organizational structures not designed to take advantage of either Big Data or social media priorities 
— 51% say that lack of technology infrastructure and IT systems are a significant challenge
— 43% and 31% are having difficulty in finding functional and IT talent, respectively 

Big Data and social media do not ave to be mutually exclusive. A number of businesses are beginning to integrate the two, using Big Data solutions to analyze business content based on their social media activity.


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NewImageDr. Andrew Currah, Social Media Leadership Forum, in conjunction with Natalie Cowen, Head of Brand and Communications at first direct, has just release a excellent report, “Future Customer Service: The Rise of the Social Customer.” The report looks into the role playedby social media within the evolving landscape of customer service.While commissioned by first direct, it is based on the insights of executives, technologists and theoretical experts across the fields of customer service and social media.

The report recommends that leaders in companies need to support the move to social business

  • Make themselves more visible, especially when public crises occur.
  • Provide all employees with the training, tools and authority to engage with customers.
  • Look beyond standard metrics to the value of brand loyalty, advocacy and a sense of community.

Currah explains that building the social enterprise will rely on a combination of cultural, functional and technical changes. He uses the graphic below as a visual framework, which identifies the key components of the social enterprise with respect to customer service.


The key point is that social CRM technologies are integral to every level of the customer service model in a social enterprise. However, the key is the “realtime flowof information between the customer service operation and the rest of the social enterprise.” In doing so, service organizations are equipped with the right information, at the right time, that is necessary to sustain the customer relationship.

The report also emphasizes the importance of CRM software as a means to harness the collective knowledge within the company.

  • The customer service operation is equipped to monitor and engage with a targeted spectrum of media.
  • Companies fully understand where, why and how their customers are using social media before making any changes
  • A balance is struck across different types of media – telephone, email, web, social and mobile.
  • The power of online communities is recognised, and customers are encouraged to help each other.
  • Relationships are nurtured with advocates who wield particular influence on the Internet.
  • Specialist tools are used to measure the impact of customers’ online activity

The report concludes with a belief that the social media will become the center piece of modern customer service activities. Currah say that the “rise of the social customer has powered a broader transition to the social enterprise, which is seeking to emulate the speed and simplicity of the social web.”



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Introduction to Cloud Computing, by Archie Reed and Stephen G. Bennett, is arguably one of the better basic discussions about the cloud.


While is an except from their book (Silver Clouds, Dark Linings: A Concise Guide to Cloud Computing), this discussion of cloud services market, benefits, what is and isn’t the cloud, and the value proposition is valuable knowledge in and of itself.


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While there are no standards that define the necessary and sufficient characteristics of SOA or how to evaluate it, SEI has published a technical report that provides the necessary elements for such a framework. I use this report quite a bit, both practically to help customers with SOA development and as a reference during presentations. Please check it out if you are in the SOA field.

Software Engineering Institute:
Evaluating a Service-Oriented Architecture

“The emergence of service-oriented architecture (SOA) as an approach for integrating applications
that expose services presents many new challenges to organizations resulting in significant risks
to their business. Particularly important among those risks are failures to effectively address quality attribute requirements such as performance, availability, security, and modifiability. Because the risk and impact of SOA are distributed and pervasive across applications, it is critical to perform an architecture evaluation early in the software life cycle. This report contains technical information about SOA design considerations and tradeoffs that can help the architecture evaluator to identify and mitigate risks in a timely and effective manner. The report provides an overview of SOA, outlines key architecture approaches and their effect on quality attributes, establishes an organized collection of design-related questions that an architecture evaluator may use to analyze the ability of the architecture to meet quality requirements, and provides a brief sample evaluation.”

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Daniil Fishteyn, CTO of WebApps Inc., discusses multi-tenancy in his recent white paper produced for the SIIA OnDemand Conference 2008. Fishteyn makes the observation that since few standards have been established for multi-tenant application elivery or operational goverance, the suitability of SaaS in support of mission critical business activities needs to be explored.

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