Monthly Archives: March 2016

Hadoop’s Adolescence: It’s In Our Hands

The Strata + Hadoop World conference kicked off in San Jose on Tuesday with an excellent slate of keynote presentations, as always.  Doug Cutting, advocate and creator of open-source technologies including Hadoop, and Cloudera’s Chief Architect, led the way with his reflections on the first 10 years of Apache Hadoop.  Much of his talk focused on the third pillar of Hadoop – the first being the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), the second – Apache YARN, and the third, the Community.

While much has been made over the past year of Spark overtaking MapReduce – and everyone believes the same will happen to Spark over time – Cutting pointed out that this evolution doesn’t threaten the definition of “Hadoop.” Rather, the lasting legacy of Hadoop is the very process of the community coming together to create new and improved components of the technology stack.

Looking forward to the next 10 years, Cutting believes the biggest changes will come from the community and the applications we create to solve diverse challenges and seize new opportunities.  If anyone needed proof, the speakers who followed him on stage offered great examples.  In an inspirational presentation, Megan Price, Executive Director at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, demonstrated how machine-learning methods can be applied to questions about conflict violence – specifically in Syria.  At the other end of the spectrum, Bruce Andrews, the Deputy Secretary of Commerce for the US Department of Commerce discussed his agency’s efforts to make all the data they collect available to us all to fuel innovation that helps to drive the economic engine.

As an active member and contributor in the open source community, our Syncsort Big Data team is excited to work with our partners and customers to shape what the next 10 years of Hadoop will deliver to the world.

If you  want to learn more about the themes at Strata and how Syncsort is working to help shape Hadoop’s future, watch the appearance on SiliconANGLE TV’s theCUBE by Tendü Yoğurtçu, General Manager for our Big Data business that also took place yesterday during Strata.

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Study: Enterprises Shift Analytics Focus to Back Office

Companies have shifted their analytics efforts from consumer-focused processes to operations, according to the results of a survey released last week by Capgemini.

analytics operations Study: Enterprises Shift Analytics Focus to Back Office

Seventy percent of 600 executives at companies in the United States, Europe and China said they focused more on operational analysis, and more than 80 percent said analytics in operations plays a pivotal role in driving profits or creating competitive advantage, according to the survey.

Organizations have begun using the improved efficiency and performance of operations resulting from operational analysis to create a better customer experience, Capgemini noted.

For example, Tesco uses its supply chain statistical model, which incorporates various external indexes such as weather, to predict customer behavior and stocks products based on the data, ensuring a 97 percent chance that customers in-store and online are able to buy what they want.

However, only 39 percent of the organizations surveyed have integrated their operational analytics initiatives extensively with their business processes, only 29 percent said they’d achieved the desired objectives from their operational analytics initiatives, and 40 percent reported moderate success.

Only 18 percent — firms Capgemini calls “game changers” — had extensively integrated their analytics initiatives across most business process and adopted a data-driven approach to decision-making.

Why the Shift

“Many firms find that the consumer analytics deliver some value, but it’s the ability to provide the end-to-end operational view that drives greater value today,” said Steve Jones, global vice president for big data at Capgemini.

“In terms of bang for the buck right now, the value is more around operational analytics in most firms,” he told CRM Buyer. “Linking the whole chain, for instance, in the demand-driven supply chain is the ultimate goal for data-driven decision-making firms — but this must be delivered iteratively.”

This doesn’t mean companies are throwing away customer analytics, Jones said.

Instead, “it’s about the road map to be able to drive all decisions in a firm based on accurate analytics and delivering that road map iteratively based on best ROI at each stage,” he noted.

Where the Game Changers Are

Heavy manufacturing is a “massive innovator in this space” as the costs and margins need to be tightly managed, Jones said. Global supply chains are the second key area. In healthcare, collaboration among hospitals, patients, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies and countries needs greater analytical effectiveness.

Meanwhile, automotive and the connected car “are driving a new era of predictive and prescriptive maintenance.,” he said.

The final area is finance, “which is continually looking to improve and optimize the mid- and back offices, particularly around regulatory compliance and cybercrime, areas which are engaged in a technical arms race around analytics,” Jones said.

Getting Better All The Time

Companies always have recognized the value of operational analytics, observed Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research. “The challenge has been in actually making them operational.”

Analytics toolsets that required experts to implement and tune on an ongoing basis and interpret the results made it difficult for companies, even those with a lot of resources, to use analytics in an operational fashion, she told CRM Buyer.

However, investments that vendors such as IBM have made in operational analytics platforms and usability, and the cloud analytics players that are making the tools more accessible, “are making operational analytics a practical reality,” Wettemann added.

The Other Side of the Issue

“Analyzing operational metrics only gives insight once it’s too late to do something,” argued Denis Pombriant, principal at Beagle Research Group. “Other measures worth considering include revenue and leads per program against costs, time for programs to yield measurable results, and number of marketing-qualified and sales-accepted leads generated per time unit per unit of expenditure.”

Companies can compete on operations — “a kind of low-cost producer niche” — or on personal relationships in a more high-end approach to the market, he told CRM Buyer.

“This wasn’t the way it used to be,” Pombriant mused. “These days the customer base looks more like a two-humped camel — one hump at operational excellence and well-priced adequacy, the other at a more luxurious end.” end enn Study: Enterprises Shift Analytics Focus to Back Office

Richard%20Adhikari Study: Enterprises Shift Analytics Focus to Back OfficeRichard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it’s all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon’s Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+.

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CRM Buyer

When I have the spoons to shave before I go out

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tumblr inline o4jxmlEkiy1s98p54 500 When I have the spoons to shave before I go out


The Future Of Work In A Project-Based, Consultant-Driven World

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review features a cover story on design thinking’s coming of age. We have been applying design thinking within SAP for the past 10 years, and I’ve witnessed the growth of this human-centered approach to innovation first hand.

Design thinking is, as the HBR piece points out, “the best tool we have for … developing a responsive, flexible organizational culture.”

This means businesses are doing more to learn about their customers by interacting directly with them. We’re seeing this change in our work on — a community of design thinking champions and “disruptors” from across industries.

Meanwhile, technology is making it possible to know exponentially more about a customer. Businesses can now make increasingly accurate predictions about customers’ needs well into the future. The businesses best able to access and pull insights from this growing volume of data will win. That requires a fundamental change for our own industry; it necessitates a digital transformation.

So, how do we design this digital transformation?

It starts with the customer and an application of design thinking throughout an organization – blending business, technology and human values to generate innovation. Business is already incorporating design thinking, as the HBR cover story shows. We in technology need to do the same.

SCN+SY The Future Of Work In A Project Based, Consultant Driven World

Design thinking plays an important role because it helps articulate what the end customer’s experience is going to be like. It helps focus all aspects of the business on understanding and articulating that future experience.

Once an organization is able to do that, the insights from that consumer experience need to be drawn down into the business, with the central question becoming: What does this future customer experience mean for us as an organization? What barriers do we need to remove? Do we need to organize ourselves differently? Does our process need to change – if it does, how? What kind of new technology do we need?

Then an organization must look carefully at roles within itself. What does this knowledge of the end customer’s future experience mean for an individual in human resources, for example, or finance? Those roles can then be viewed as end experiences unto themselves, with organizations applying design thinking to learn about the needs inherent to those roles. They can then change roles to better meet the end customer’s future needs. This end customer-centered approach is what drives change.

This also means design thinking is more important than ever for IT organizations.

We, in the IT industry, have been charged with being responsive to business, using technology to solve the problems business presents. Unfortunately, business sometimes views IT as the organization keeping the lights on. If we make the analogy of a store: business is responsible for the front office, focused on growing the business where consumers directly interact with products and marketing; while the perception is that IT focuses on the back office, keeping servers running and the distribution system humming. The key is to have business and IT align to meet the needs of the front office together.

Remember what I said about the growing availability of consumer data? The business best able to access and learn from that data will win. Those of us in IT organizations have the technology to make that win possible, but the way we are seen and our very nature needs to change if we want to remain relevant to business and participate in crafting the winning strategy.

We need to become more front office and less back office, proving to business that we are innovation partners in technology.

This means, in order to communicate with businesses today, we need to take a design thinking approach. We in IT need to show we have an understanding of the end consumer’s needs and experience, and we must align that knowledge and understanding with technological solutions. When this works — when the front office and back office come together in this way — it can lead to solutions that a company could otherwise never have realized.

There’s different qualities, of course, between front office and back office requirements. The back office is the foundation of a company and requires robustness, stability, and reliability. The front office, on the other hand, moves much more quickly. It is always changing with new product offerings and marketing campaigns. Technology must also show agility, flexibility, and speed. The business needs both functions to survive. This is a challenge for IT organizations, but it is not an impossible shift for us to make.

Here’s the breakdown of our challenge.

1. We need to better understand the real needs of the business.

This means learning more about the experience and needs of the end customer and then translating that information into technological solutions.

2. We need to be involved in more of the strategic discussions of the business.

Use the regular invitations to meetings with business as an opportunity to surface the deeper learning about the end consumer and the technology solutions that business may otherwise not know to ask for or how to implement.

The IT industry overall may not have a track record of operating in this way, but if we are not involved in the strategic direction of companies and shedding light on the future path, we risk not being considered innovation partners for the business.

We must collaborate with business, understand the strategic direction and highlight the technical challenges and opportunities. When we do, IT will become a hybrid organization – able to maintain the back office while capitalizing on the front office’s growing technical needs. We will highlight solutions that business could otherwise have missed, ushering in a digital transformation.

Digital transformation goes beyond just technology; it requires a mindset. See What It Really Means To Be A Digital Organization.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

Top image via Shutterstock


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Digitalist Magazine

Catnip Party

A relaxing afternoon at the catnip garden.

when you grow catnip Catnip Party“When you grow catnip.  This is what happens when you grow catnip in your backyard.”
Image courtesy of

“Workflows and Dialogs” upper limit has been removed

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online there was a limit to the number of “workflows and dialogues” you can create of 200, along with entities of 300. You could find information about their usage in the Resources In Use page for your deployment (Administration/Settings/Resources in use) that looked like below:

WFDLimitRemoved 1 300x139 “Workflows and Dialogs” upper limit has been removed

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 (Spring 15 Release ‘Carina’) this upper limit of “Workflows and Dialogs” has been removed.

If you notice in the below image the 3rd bar for it has been removed, for best practices of workflows please refer to:

WFDLimitRemoved 2 300x211 “Workflows and Dialogs” upper limit has been removed

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online there is a limit to the number of entities you can create. If you need more custom entities, contact Microsoft Dynamics CRM technical support. This upper limit can be adjusted, Ref:


Fadi EL-Hennawy

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Dynamics CRM in the Field

Microsoft launches Cognitive Services based on Project Oxford and Bing

Microsoft today announced updates to its portfolio of machine learning tools. Until now they have fallen under the Project Oxford name, but now they are being rebranded to Microsoft Cognitive Services. The Project Oxford website now redirects to the new Cognitive Services website.

In total there are 22 APIs available in Cognitive Services now, said Microsoft senior program manager lead Cornelia Carapcea.

And now there are prices for the new services, along with application programming interfaces (APIs) made available from Microsoft’s Bing search division. Developers can still try out these services for free.

The brand name Cognitive Services is a nod to IBM’s Watson, which for the past few years has been marketed as a “cognitive computing” product — that is, one that’s based on the way the human brain works.

This is one of many announcements Microsoft is making this week at its Build developer conference in San Francisco.

Project Oxford’s Face application programming interface (APO) was the technology behind the How Old Do You Look? app, which turned into a meme because it got the ages of so many people whose photos were used to test it out hilariously wrong.

In November Microsoft fleshed out the portfolio with an API that could detect the emotion in a person’s face in an image. The company also said that services for spell checking, facial tracking and motion detection in videos, speech recognition for individuals, and smile prediction would be coming.

All of the Project Oxford services — including the Face API, the Speech API, and the Custom Recognition Intelligent Service (CRIS) — were in preview, and the new Cognitive Services are still in preview.

Now Microsoft is working on allowing developers to customize the new Cognitive Services to meet their own needs, Carapcea said.

More on Cognitive Services can be found in a blog post today from Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Mcirosoft’s data group.

Update at 3:15 p.m. Pacific: Added that the Cognitive Services are still in preview.

Microsoft Corporation is a public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through … read more »

VB Profile Logo Microsoft launches Cognitive Services based on Project Oxford and BingNew! Track Microsoft’s Landscape to stay on top of the industry in 3 minutes a day. Understand the entire ecosystem, monitor innovation, and track deal flows. Learn more.

MoreBreaking news from Microsoft’s biggest event of the year.  

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Temporary/Disposable Email Addresses & Their Effect on Deliverability

email addresses Temporary/Disposable Email Addresses & Their Effect on Deliverability

As you know (and as most of you have encountered), many, if not most, of the addresses in your list will stop working over time. Some experts estimate that 25 to 30 percent of your organization’s contact data go bad each year under normal circumstances. When a recipient changes jobs or an organization changes email providers, those perfectly good addresses are rendered useless. These newly invalid email addresses negatively affect your deliverability due to the bounces that will inevitably occur if you keep sending to them.

You probably already knew this. What you may not know is that there are email addresses that are created to be temporary or disposable. These addresses are designed to stop working within a certain timeframe – or just keep existing and become unused.

The disposable email address (DEA)

The term “disposable email address” refers to addresses that have no long-term value to the creator or owner. They are usually acquired with a limited purpose in mind, and can be easily discarded. For example, if you wanted to sign up for a discussion board or chat room and also wanted to shield yourself from any email from the group, you might use a DEA. It would remain valid until you discarded it.

The temporary email address

Temporary email addresses, on the other hand, expire automatically over time. The timeframe could expire an address after twenty minutes, or a month, or after receiving a set number of emails. Email service providers and many online services offer these addresses, many times for free. The reason behind the growing popularity of these temporary email addresses is that they combat spam and identity theft, and address the annoyance of high volume senders.

With the rise in popularity of subscription-based websites, discussion forums, online retailers, and news sites, many people want access – without the inevitable deluge of emails in their inbox. Consumers often use temporary/disposable email addresses to take advantage of special offers or gain access to a site’s content without having to use their personal or business email addresses when completing sign-up forms.

Good for the consumer, bad for the marketer

Although these emails may be beneficial to the people who use them, they do present risks to email marketers. Implementing and sending to a list filled with these addresses presents almost zero benefits to the sender. If the address has expired, you’ll get a hard bounce. If an email does get through to the inbox, the potential that a recipient will engage is very low. Those email might go into a filtered folder, where they will be ignored until the end of time. Or they will notice your message is sent to an email they created to protect themselves from spam.

These addresses can drastically impede efforts to reach potential customers or contacts. Not only does it reduce your effective reach to customers and contacts but worse yet – it also skews your email list analytics. For example, your team may have extremely high delivery or subscription rates, with only a small fraction of those recipients and subscribers actually reading your emails.

In email marketing quality trumps quantity, and these types of email addresses are undeniably nonconducive to attracting quality leads. Temporary emails also increase the risk of reducing delivery rates and overall deliverability metrics. This means fewer messages get through due to higher bounces and can lead to you getting marked as a spammer.

How to protect yourself

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Act-On Marketing Blog

Marketing performance management software to drive ROI

Marketing performance management examines the effectiveness and efficiency of the activities performed by the marketing…

department, such as campaign management and lead generation. Software for marketing performance management helps automate creation of the marketing budget and measures the contribution of tactical marketing activities to the bottom line. The software also helps align marketing projects with business strategy.

In this article, I will briefly review how marketing performance management software aids the marketing function and how, from the point of view of the CEO, CFO and corporate performance management staff, marketing performance management and software must align with corporate CPM functions and overall strategy.

To better understand marketing performance management software, I spent some time looking at the offerings of two capable software vendors, Allocadia and Hive9. Both vendors have similar capabilities, which are summarized below and followed by two case studies.

Marketing performance management and corporate strategy

At a high level, marketing performance management (MPM) software allows organizations to define their business strategies and then align their marketing plans with individual components of the strategy. Then, the ROI of marketing can be computed by determining the relevant revenue and cost components of marketing’s impact on the execution of the business strategy.

This is all quite valuable, but incomplete in two ways. In the first place, these MPM software vendors speak of marketing “inheriting” a business strategy, but don’t discuss how marketing should have a seat at the table when the business strategy is created. While this is admittedly not a software function, it is nonetheless a methodology that the vendors should include somehow. Second, the entire business strategy, including the marketing strategy, should be supported with traditional tools, such as balanced scorecards and strategy maps.

Detailed budgeting for marketing departments

Both software products allow for the creation of detailed budgets and ROI calculations that are based on revenue and cost numbers. Again, this is quite valuable, but an additional step is needed to link the marketing budget to the corporate budget. For the corporate decision makers, the important questions are whether to accept the marketing budget, overfund it or even underfund it. That’s one reason a close connection between MPM software and CPM software is critical.

Attributing costs and revenues

Consider email campaigns, an important tool in the marketer’s arsenal. With the notion of attribution, managers can use a historical perspective to understand the cost and revenue contributions of completed campaigns. This also helps create a budget for new campaigns. Then, as the new campaigns unfold, attribution software can help measure the current results, leading to midcourse corrections, if necessary.

Dedicated data repository and analytics

All of the relevant data on plans, revenue and costs is typically stored in a data repository inside the MPM software. A wide range of analytics tools — reports, dashboards and more — are also available to help analyze results. While these local, marketing-specific analytics are quite valuable, the data must still be exported into CPM software for further analysis.

Allocadia case study: VMware

VMware, the global software company that helps companies virtualize their infrastructure, uses MPM software from Allocadia.

Previously, VMware marketing managers were building spreadsheets for their marketing budgets. The team wanted to analyze data by product and regions, and produce reliable benchmarks. With hundreds of disconnected spreadsheets, it was impossible to consolidate results and compute an overall ROI figure.

With Allocadia, marketers can now enter their budgets at the beginning of each quarter and track expenses by activity, product, segment or stage in the lead-to-sales process.

VMware is hitting its goals of better forecasting and expense management. Variance reports are widely used to manage budget groups. And, with all the finance data in one place, VMware can actively participate in both the marketing and corporate budget processes.

VMware’s experience shows why importing marketing spreadsheets into a central repository can be of great value, especially when it is combined with relevant analytics.

Hive9 case study: Zebra Technologies

Zebra Technologies is a $ 2 billion corporation that sells mobile computers, scanners, specialty printers and RFID devices. When Zebra acquired a large part of Motorola, its marketing organization needed to absorb a team three times its size.

Zebra’s objective was to create a consolidated marketing department, with a singular focus on revenue attainment. By implementing Hive9, Zebra was able to develop all its marketing plans in a single repository, which enabled easy collaboration among marketing managers. Then, with all plans in one place, they could easily analyze multiple scenarios. Marketing budgets could now be tied to specific marketing initiatives, which makes the budgets more transparent and relevant.

One example of revenue attribution revolved around Zebra’s many marketing campaigns. With Hive9, Zebra can measure the revenue results of each campaign and push them into Oracle’s Eloqua marketing automation software.

Zebra’s experience demonstrates how MPM software allows a more orderly approach to marketing. In particular, budgeting becomes a more scientific process as plans are tied to initiatives. Then, when marketing initiatives are run, it’s easier to measure the revenue attributable to each one.

As an all-inclusive system for marketing performance, MPM software is most effective when all three of its main functions — budgeting, analytics and data repository — are used. And since MPM software results are important input for overall corporate budgeting and strategy, it is vital that the chief marketing officer meet quarterly with financial executives to decide how plans need to be created and updated, and how to use the central CPM software to integrate marketing plans with corporate plans.

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SearchCRM: News on CRM trends and technology

How to tell if you are emotionally abusive

text 200 How to tell if you are emotionally abusive







I feel we talk about signs of abuse from the victims standpoint but not from the abusers standpoint. In order to stop emotional abuse and recognize when we engage in unhealthy behaviors I made this list.

  • Do you react to important people in your life by ignoring them completely and not acknowledging their presence? Especially if they do something you don’t like?
  • Do you feel that your partner/friends/family members are the cause of your bad moods or frustration?
  • Does your partner/etc “do things the wrong way”?
  • Do criticize your partner/etc for being unreliable or a bad person?
  • Do you feel you have to constantly overlook your partners flaws in order to be around them?
  • Are you frequently accused of being “moody” or “hard to please”?
  • Do your partners complain that “nothing they do is good enough?
  • Do your partners appear to avoid you when you are angry or upset rather then comfort you?
  • Do you negatively comment on their intelligence or appearence? Either in private or in front of others.
  • Do you blame them when someone goes wrong?
  • Do you ever use phrases like “I could just hit you right now” or “I”m so mad I could punch something”?
  • Do you ever punch walls/throw things in front of your partner/etc?
  • Do you leave during fights and not inform of where you are going and when you will be back?
  • Do you behave the same alone with your partner that you do if you were in front of your friends or in public?
  • Have you frequently accused your partner of being too sensitive?
  • How often is your partner praised and complimented by yourself?
  • Do you think your partner spends too much time with friends and family?
  • Do you feel your partners friends and family are trying to drive you apart?
  • Do you actively comfort your partner when they are upset or angry even if you don’t really understand why they feel the way they do?
  • If your partner brings up a behavior that bothers them do you respond by discussing how to change it or do you respond defensively?
  • Do you have difficulty apologizing?

All of these things are abuse tactics. Obviously even the healthiest of us will do these sometimes but if any one becomes a regular habit that’s when the problem starts.

this is super important, i feel like this website makes it easy to put yourself in the role of the victim but never the abuser. It’s also important to note that being a victim does not preclude you from being an abuser.

I find this esp. important. I’ve exhibited some of these behaviors. I know abuse perpetuates abuse and that victims of abuse learn abusive behavior. I also know that having mental illness can make reacting and dealing with feelings even more difficult. That being said: being mentally ill does not mean you cannot be held accountable for your actions. Nor does being a survivor of abuse. I gotta take care of myself & heal and recognize how trauma and mental illness plays a role in how I treat others. Being a victim doesn’t mean you cannot be an abuser too. 

this is the most important post on this website.

Thank you for this.

If you’re interested, I highly recommend “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft. It’s a bit dated, but literally the most well-known book on abuse. It goes into the psychology of abusers, why and how they do things, how there are different types, how they can change with help, and acknowledges the problems faced by people being abused. It’s available online for free (I can’t link, but you should be able to find it fairly easily) and also in print.

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