Monthly Archives: November 2016

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About Krisgo

I’m a mom, that has worn many different hats in this life; from scout leader, camp craft teacher, parents group president, colorguard coach, member of the community band, stay-at-home-mom to full time worker, I’ve done it all– almost! I still love learning new things, especially creating and cooking. Most of all I love to laugh! Thanks for visiting – come back soon icon smile Big plans

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Deep Fried Bits

Baidu Map Inks Deals With Northern European Tourism Bureaus

Baidu Map has reached strategic cooperation deals with the tourism bureaus of the four Northern European countries: Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

Baidu Map’s representative told local Chinese media they would jointly begin operational activities by exchanging data and sharing promotional resources to improve the travel experience of Chinese tourists to promote the sustainable development of the tourism industry of the four Northern European countries.

Baidu Map has already reached similar strategic cooperation with Thailand and South Korea. At the same time, they announced plans to launch services in 106 countries in Africa, Europe, and Asia by the end of this month, as they aim to cover 209 countries and regions around the world and 99% of the world’s population.

In April 2016, Baidu Map officially announced the launch of its international strategy. At that time, they announced plans to cover over 150 countries around the world and they expected that 50% of its users would be from the overseas market by 2020.

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ChinaWirelessNews.com

How Financial Advisors Use CRM to Meet DOL Fiduciary Rule Requirements (and Strengthen Customer Relationships in the Process)

Financial Services Global Investment Managment Meeting lowrez 300x232 How Financial Advisors Use CRM to Meet DOL Fiduciary Rule Requirements (and Strengthen Customer Relationships in the Process)Scheduled to go into effect on April 10, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule is a hot topic among financial advisors including broker/dealers, asset managers, and wealth managers because it has a dramatic impact on how financial advice is given in the United States. The rule’s goal is certainly worthy. It protects investors by requiring financial advisors to demonstrate how their advice serves clients’ best interests. However, it requires significant changes to the way data is tracked and managed. And that translates to business disruptions and expensive technology to support new processes.

But is that necessarily true? And are there potential opportunities being overlooked?

CRM: A way to comply with the DOL Fiduciary Rule that won’t complicate business…or break the bank

With the clock ticking, financial advisors need to get processes and technology in place, regardless of the cost or operational headaches that it creates. However, today’s powerful CRM capabilities have made it possible to prepare for and manage compliance without the big price tag and frustrations associated with implementing a new system.

DOL Fiduciary Compliance Management, a solution designed by AKA Enterprise Solutions for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM (online and on-premises), enables financial advisors and the back-office employees who support them to address the DOL Fiduciary requirements with minimal effort or disruption, and without the painful cost.

How it supports advisors:

  1. Capture and track events that qualify as recommendations—e.g., Onboarding, New Account Creation, Change of investment, Quarterly review, and Investment Research—and route them to back office employees for review and approval
  2. Use the intuitive, mobile-enabled interface to capture and report on key client, account, product, and event type information within a recommendation
  3. Quickly and efficiently capture research and maintain a product library

How it helps the back office:

  1. Easily create and update BIC contracts, maintaining them in a central location
  2. Use dashboards to monitor and review recommendations created by advisors
  3. Quickly generate reports for internal management (branch managers, compliance) and external authorities (DOL, FINRA, SEC)

An unexpected bonus: achieving DOL Fiduciary Compliance with CRM and strengthening customer relationships in the process

With the power of a CRM system behind it, the right DOL Fiduciary Rule solution can help financial advisors better serve their customers while meeting regulatory requirements. With a 360-degree view of customers as well as detailed tracking of events and interactions, advisors will feel secure that their recommendations are in the best interest of the customer and that those recommendations are thoroughly documented.

But that same visibility provides a deeper understanding of customers, enabling advisors to be more proactive in uncovering and addressing potential problems while taking advantage of more opportunities. And that helps build stronger relationships.

Webcast Image 300x234 How Financial Advisors Use CRM to Meet DOL Fiduciary Rule Requirements (and Strengthen Customer Relationships in the Process)Upcoming webcast: Compliance and Client Loyalty – How to Tackle the DOL Fiduciary Rule with CRM

Want to learn more about how you can achieve DOL Fiduciary Rule compliance while enhancing the customer experience?  Join CEB and AKA Enterprise Solutions for a live webcast on December 8th, Compliance and Client Loyalty – How to Tackle the DOL Fiduciary Rule with CRM.

Sign Up for the Webcast or Register for a Recording

There is no cost to attend, but space is limited. RSVP to save your seat.

Can’t attend on December 8th or missed the webinar?  Register for the recording.

About AKA Enterprise Solutions

AKA Enterprise Solutions helps asset management, investment banking, private equity and wealth management firms transform the way they do business with world-class solutions built on Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM and ERP, as well as Office 365, business intelligence, and mobility.

A combination of deep technical expertise, years of experience working in financial services, and a highly collaborative approach has earned us an unmatched reputation for delivering ongoing return on investment.

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CRM Software Blog

Stay on the offensive with real-time analytics (VB Live)

analytics.shutterstock 495988867 1 780x468 Stay on the offensive with real time analytics (VB Live)

Don’t just stay on top of real-time data — use it to stay two steps ahead. But if you can’t separate the wheat from the chaff, you won’t just make bad decisions, you’ll look bad, too. Join this VB Live event for insight into finding and turning the right information into actionable insight.

Register here for free.


“If you look at real time analytics, there are two parts,” says Michael Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, which focuses on ensuring the technology investments of their clients deliver sales. “It’s defense and offense.”

And it doesn’t even require advanced analytics dashboards that monitor customer movements more closely than the KGB, he adds, but what Healey calls a part of classic real-time analytics — social monitoring.

He offers the example a Yeoman client whose brand-tracking strategy includes following conversations on Twitter. The company discovered that they had mistakenly been added to a boycott list being compiled by consumers — and they were able to catch the error and respond immediately before the rumors spread. They reached out to the protestors to ensure they understood that their company had not been a part of the actions being protested.

“That is some of the best defense ever,” Healey points out. “That was purely on social. There was nowhere else this data was floating around. They were going to get marched and protested against, and they were able to pick it up and knock it out before it ever got the legs that it might have.”

But real time data isn’t just about watching for trends and always reacting — it’s uncovering opportunities to leverage new strategies, and innovative ways to move beyond the information your dashboard is delivering.

“Don’t just think about your own real-time data — think about the real-time data that’s available to you as a marketer that you can use,” Healey says. “Perfect example: weather. What you don’t see all the time is people looking at the real-time weather and using that data as part of their strategies.”

Something as simple as real-time weather information can be the underpinning of an astonishingly effective offensive strategy, he adds. “A ten percent increase in online marketing spend when there’s a storm and nobody’s going out to the stores could have a dramatid impact on your ecommerce,” he says.

The basic formula, Healey says, is deceptively simple. “If there’s something going well in real time, you should try to augment it,” he says. “And if there’s something going poorly, you need to understand, is there an impact or is there not an impact?”

In other words, while real-time data lends itself to immediate pivots and instant reactions, which admittedly help you stay ahead of the brand conversation, overreacting is a real danger, and senior marketers need to tread very, very carefully.

“Real time data should always prompt you to look further,” Healey explains. “What’s going on, should I look deeper, should I do something? It shouldn’t be a kneejerk of ‘Oh my gosh, we’ve got to do something!’ You think of it almost as a canary in the coalmine. The canary’s not dead, but if it’s coughing, what should I look at?”


For more insight into separating the wheat from the chaff, plus using real time analytics to keep stakeholders on board every step of your campaigns, don’t miss this VB Live event!

Register here for free.


In this VB Live event you’ll:

  • Learn how to define the “truth” with metrics, and which version of the truth is meaningful to the business
  • Deal with the unpredictable nature of real time data blips
  • Frame business analytics into actionable solution-focused priorities for stakeholders

Speakers:

  • Stewart Rogers, Director of Marketing Technology, VentureBeat
  • Michael Healey, President, Yeoman Technology Group

Moderator:

  • Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat


This VB Live event is sponsored by Tableau.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

Successful Sales and Marketing Alignment, Part 4: When to Pass a Lead to Sales

Successful Sales and Marketing Alignment Part 4 When to Pass a Lead to Sales FI Successful Sales and Marketing Alignment, Part 4: When to Pass a Lead to Sales

This post is part of a series to help B2B organizations understand and implement sales and marketing alignment. Part one was about getting started. Part two showed how to identify the target buyer and their journey. Part three outlined the steps to designing a successful lead process. We’ll now outline what defines a qualified lead.

The “qualified lead” definition is the point at which marketing determines that a lead is ready to be handed to sales. Without a shared definition, sales usually complain marketing is sending them bad leads and marketing complains sales isn’t following up on their hard-won leads. Establishing this definition is one of the most important things you can do to foster cooperation between sales and marketing. The qualified lead definition should cover demographic information (such as company size), situational information (such as their current pains or challenges) and behavioral information (such as webinars watched, specific pages visited, papers downloaded). It’s good to include information that shows clearly why the lead is ready for sales.

A qualified lead must be a demographic fit

The first step is to identify the demographic parameters of a qualified lead. Analyze your current customer base to find common denominators. Look for demographic parameters such as company size (employees or revenue), industry, job title, business model, and geographic location.

A qualified lead must have demonstrated relevant engagement

Look to the lead’s activity history. Did they open and click on an email? Attend a webinar? Fill out a form? Download a competitive analysis? Which web pages have they looked at, and for how long? A genuinely qualified lead will display proactive engagement.

A qualified lead must be ready to speak to sales

Don’t send unqualified leads to sales, even if you’re striving to make a benchmark number. This damages trust and inhibits their desire to follow up on marketing-generated leads. For full cooperation, sales must be able to trust the leads marketing sends. When you did your buyer persona research, you should have uncovered the steps your best buyers took to become your customers. Be very aware of the late-stage steps that amount to buying signals and score them as such. This will let sales know why you’ve sent them the lead and will foster confidence in your process.

Create an agreement and have both sides sign it

Document the qualified lead definition using a service level agreement (SLA) and have both marketing and sales sign it. This clarifies the understanding and uncovers doubts about the definitions if the parties aren’t willing to sign. The document should include the demographic and behavioral traits a qualified lead must have. It should also include marketing’s responsibilities (develop qualified lead, provide required information, hand-off to sales) and sales’ responsibilities (follow up on leads in a timely and thorough manner, provide regular feedback).

Here’s an example of what an SLA for lead qualification might look like:

Here’s what’s needed for a successful lead qualification SLA:

1. Required Lead Information. 

Marketing is responsible for providing correct contact information with their qualified leads. Required information should be limited to information that sales must have in order to sell. Any non-essential information should be optional or left out completely.

2. Demographic Qualifiers. 

Demographic filters ensure the lead fits your target buyer profile. In this example, leads under 100 employees would be excluded. Most companies choose to filter leads based on either company size or annual revenue, but not both.

3. Behavioral Qualifiers. 

Behavioral qualifiers include any activity that shows buying intent. These can (and should) be adjusted and optimized over time.

4. Both sales and marketing must sign the SLA.

Here are the steps to developing your own process:

  1. Commit to developing a qualified lead definition.Sales and marketing must commit to developing a qualified lead definition. In many organizations, marketing creates a qualified lead definition but sales never sees it, or agrees to it.
  2. Use your buyer personas as a starting point.Make sure you refer to your target buyer personas as a starting point for your qualified lead definition.
  3. Get anecdotal feedback on the qualified lead definition from sales.When designing the qualified lead definition, it’s essential to sit down with individual sales reps and ask them: What is a qualified lead for you? That doesn’t mean the organization agrees to deliver these types of leads, but it is critical to find a way to get as close as possible to creating a qualified lead definition that sales is willing to work with.
  4. Determine demographic qualification information.Demographic characteristics often used in qualified lead definitions include company size, location, the buyer’s role, or industry.
  5. Determine behavioral qualification information. Decide what actions the buyer can take that will qualify them to speak to sales. For example, marketing might pass on any leads that download certain whitepapers or attend a specific webinar. Some organizations ask the question “Would you like to be contacted by sales?” on their registration form to determine whether a lead is truly ready and willing to talk to sales.
  6. Forecast whether marketing can deliver enough qualified leads.If the parameters are too narrow, what may look like the best possible lead definition might not work because marketing won’t be able to supply sales with enough leads to fill the pipeline. This is a critical part of the qualified lead definition phase and may require some negotiation between sales and marketing. In some cases, sales will need to accept a broader qualified lead definition in order to fill the funnel with a sufficient number of leads.
  7. Create a service level agreement for marketing. Marketing’s SLA should specify it will pass onlyleads that fit the qualified lead definition. Marketing should also agree all the required fields are filled out, and that qualified leads will be delivered to sales in a timely manner. Marketing needs to commit to deliver a certain number of qualified leads each quarter. The qualified lead number should be tracked on a weekly basis.
  8. Create a service level agreement for sales.Sales should agree to follow up on leads in a timely fashion. Best practices recommend that sales follow up on leads within 30 minutes of receipt and no longer than one day. Sales should also agree to a minimum amount of touches over a defined period of time. How many, and for how long, depends on your business model and sales cycle. For example, you’re selling a low-priced service that requires no capital outlay, and the typical sales cycle is about 30 days. In that case, the sales organization could agree to three phone calls and three emails over two weeks for every qualified lead they receive. Higher-priced items and complex sales could take much longer and require many more touches across multiple channels. Sales should also agree to update the status of every qualified lead that is passed to them.
  9. Sign and publish the qualified lead definition.The qualified lead definition is like a contract and should be treated as such, which means it should be shared with everyone who takes part in it.
  10. Revisit the qualified lead definition.Each quarter, sales and marketing should meet to determine whether the qualified lead definition should be modified. For example, the company might be launching a new product that serves a new demographic and the definition should be updated to reflect that.

Defining, scoring, and nurturing can be a complex process, but when you implement sales and marketing alignment, the result can be a streamlined, efficient lead nurturing machine.

Stay tuned for the next blog post in this series, where you’ll get an up-close look at the lead handoff process.

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Act-On Marketing Action Blog

Insightly adds CRM security to its product

TTlogo 379x201 Insightly adds CRM security to its product

Each quarter, the editors at SearchCRM recognize a CRM technology for innovation and market impact. The product selected this quarter is Insightly CRM and its new Advanced Permissions feature.

Product: Insightly Advanced Permission CRM security features for small and medium-sized business

Release date: October 2016

What it does

To help small businesses combat the threat of data breaches, Insightly Inc. added CRM security features, including Advanced Permissions, which creates layers of permissions based on employees’ status. The less available that vital company information is, the less susceptible it is to cyberattacks or employees exposing the information — either maliciously or accidentally.

“One of our clients’ main concerns is employees leaving with data,” said Loretta Jones, vice president of marketing for San Francisco-based Insightly. “It’s part of the reason why we created this feature. It’s important that customer data be secure and we make it harder for that data to be stolen from them.”

Insightly is just one of many companies working on enhancing its CRM security features to make its data more secure. The market of access control tools includes Tivoli Systems Inc.’s SecureWay Privacy Manager and Watchfire Corp.’s WebCPO, which manages website privacy. There are also consultancies focusing on helping businesses, including Privacy Council Inc. and Corsaire, which provides network security.

Focusing on small businesses with miniscule funding for security features, Insightly hopes its CRM security capabilities both protect its customers and save them money.

Why it matters

Small and medium-sized businesses are among the most vulnerable for a cyberattack, because they typically lack a robust IT security team and substantial budget for security firewalls.

Smaller companies often need to invest in tools that not only help run businesses processes, but also provide safety features to deter vital company information from being stolen.

CRM security is one area that is particularly vulnerable for smaller companies, because the customer relationship management software contains immense amounts of data and information, both from in-house and from customers and their companies.

“Security is extremely important, especially as we hold a lot of information for other companies,” said Erin Mathie, co-founder of Business Made Simple, a Salem, Utah-based CRM implementation company and Insightly customer. “Most of the companies we work with have small teams, and we don’t have the staff in-house to do security features for us.”

“It’s great to have something simple enough to control internally that we don’t need to outsource that work,” Mathie said. “It’s very important that only the people that need to have access to client information do so.”

The percentage of cyberattacks on small businesses has steadily increased since 2011, according to Symantec, rising from 18% of attacks occurring on small business in 2011 to 43% in 2015.

Feature drilldown

Advanced Permissions: Allows users to create layers of permissions based on the level of user. The feature allows content to be viewed and accessed by only the people who should have access to it, without compromising data security.

Recycle Bin: This feature allows you to correct for human error and accidental deletion of data, and it provides a backup plan to combat incidental data loss.

Opportunity History Report: It displays changes to sales opportunities. The track of changes creates a visible audit trail of user updates on all sales opportunities.  

Security Organization Controls 2: This complies with security standards developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The compliance is required by many industries managing sensitive data.

What users say

Mathie works with a crew of four others to implement CRM systems and help other small businesses organize their processes and get on track. To manage the companies they work for and for their own internal processes, Mathie said she uses Insightly’s CRM system, which is built primarily for businesses with one to 250 employees.

“We use Insightly for everything, to track projects, do task management, track our sales from when they become leads,” Mathie said. “We use it for reporting and projections. It’s our main go-to for everything.”

Mathie said while the security features meet the needs of what Business Made Simple does, more regulation compliance, such as with Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, would be a welcomed addition to Insightly.

The CRM security features were released in October, and Mathie said they’ve allowed the company to share necessary information across the company, while also keeping certain data closed off.

“It gives us a lot of ease and flexibility in setting up permissions,” Mathie said. “It allows for that horizontal sharing of information. There’s also a hierarchy, so each team member can see the information available for the people below them. It makes it easy to manage, but doesn’t allow everyone to see what they don’t need to.”

Prior to the release of Advanced Permissions, Mathie said you had to set those guidelines on individual leads, which took time and was prone to error.

Pricing

Insightly has plans ranging from free — for up to two users — to Enterprise, which is $ 99 annually and $ 129 per user, per month. The Advanced Permissions and other security features are available on only Professional and Enterprise plans.

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SearchCRM: News on CRM trends and technology

Problem controlling layout of Manipulate-generated GUI

For example:

Manipulate[
 With[{value = a}, 
  Plot[Sin[value x], {x, 0, 10},
       ImageSize -> Small,
       PlotLegends -> "AllExpressions"]
 ],
 {a, 1, 2}, 
 ControlPlacement -> Left]

Below I show two snapshots of the same GUI, for two different positions of the slider.

Ip6T8 Problem controlling layout of Manipulate generated GUI

I have two (simple?) questions regarding this example:

  1. How can I center the slider vertically (while still keeping it to the left of the plot)?

  2. How can I keep the width of the GUI fixed, irrespective of the width of the legend’s text (while still keeping the legend to the right of the plot)?

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Recent Questions – Mathematica Stack Exchange

4 Analytic Predictions for 2017 – From Killer Devices to AI Hype

Analytics Hand 4 Analytic Predictions for 2017 – From Killer Devices to AI Hype

In many ways I think 2016 was the year that analytics hit the mainstream. At cocktail parties and in coffee shops, 2016 has been the year that we data scientists suddenly felt a bit like – dare I say it? – rock stars. A quick Google search provides a fascinating data point:

  • “analytics 2015” returned 28.6 million hits
  • “analytics 2016” returned 52.3 million hits

Suffice it to say that in 2017, I believe that analytics, and the many domains it influences, will be a non-stop hit machine in terms of generating news headlines and ideas that fascinate us. Here are my predictions:

1. Security/IoT: Is your video cam no longer your friend? 

In light of the recent Dyn attack, will 2017 be the year that your IoT device will turn on you? (Think Westworld, Humans, Terminator.) I think the answer is “yes.” In my recent blog, “Real talk: The imminent and very real danger of IoT,” I wrote:

Due to lack of security features, creating an IoT botnet is a great deal easier than phishing users to compromise PCs. Given the ease with which IoT devices can be hacked, we can expect more attacks to follow. Mirai, Japanese for ‘future,’ has given us a view into the future through these attacks, which include data breaches and ransomware attacks through compromised IoT devices.

I predict that in 2017 our personal lives, as well as infrastructure, will be brought down by the devices we design to make things easier. I’m not sure which IoT category or device type it will be, but driverless cars provide – pun alert! – a good conversation vehicle: What is the quality of the security of code inside that fancy new red car? Most consumers are swept away by the shiny red exterior and unaware of downstream security considerations. Many may turn to un-connected cars; for me, that could be a nice air-cooled Porsche circa 1973.

2. Enterprises: Lax cyber security? You’re about to be found out

Have a poor security posture? Enterprises that do are about to be exposed. The FICO® Enterprise Security Score brings companies’ security posture to the forefront for partners, enterprises and insurers. These intelligent scores can be used to assess risk in the underwriting process for cyber security insurance, an exploding category that CFO magazine calls a “must have”: “A September [2016] survey by the Risk and Insurance Management Society found that 80% of the companies bought a stand-alone cybersecurity policy in 2016.” I predict that we will see big advances in how ESS is adopted as an important risk assessment tool. Another critical area will be in vendor management, particularly use of the ESS score to continually monitor vendors’ cyber security postures.

3. Who’s scoring you now?

FICO revolutionized the operationalization of empirical scores, for ensuring accurate and fair provisioning of credit. I was surprised to learn that FICO® scores are not just sought by credit grantors; they are a fixture in the dating scene.

I believe that businesses and individuals will be getting scored much more in 2017. These will allow us to measure the complex data-filled world around us and boil down the risks we accept in those with whom we interact and do business. For our part, we have recently announced a Safe Driving Score.

As we score more of our lives, we need to keep in mind:

  • What does the score measure?
  • Is it empirically derived?
  • Why should you care about it?
  • Who is creating that score and with what data?
  • What actions can be taken to improve a score? This point is quite important. There should be transparency on what drives a score, and how you can utilize it as a tool to improve over time.

4. Will the AI hype cycle crash?

Well, it is true that the hype cycle is in overdrive, with artificial intelligence powering everything from juice bars to robo investing. How much is too much? I think that we are just at the beginning of the golden age of analytics, in which the value and contributions of AI, machine learning and deep learning will only grow as we accept and incorporate these tools into our businesses.

As part of that, and with a shout-out to my colleague TJ Horan’s prescience that 2016 would be the year of “bad analytics,” we must view AI (including buzz terms du jour like machine learning and deep learning) with a healthy amount of skepticism, and avoid putting blind trust in every claim we hear. Proper model development and governance is a must, and we should watch out for companies purporting to re-invent AI. It’s not the technology solution for every problem, and it can be easy for companies to misuse the algorithms that drive artificial intelligence due to inexperience, or the race to be on the hype cycle.

We should also be wary of irresponsible use of AI. It won’t be the algorithm that harms you or your business, it will be the inexperienced that try to apply artificial intelligence.

Cheers to 2017! Follow me on Twitter @ScottZoldi to see how many of my predictions come true.

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FICO

Finnair Adopts iOS Enterprise Apps from IBM to Accelerate Digital Transformation

Helsinki, Finland and Armonk, N.Y. – 30 Nov 2016: Finnair and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a first-of-its-kind agreement to utilize iOS enterprise apps from IBM to support the airline’s overall digital transformation.

31208210261 9db05749fc n Finnair Adopts iOS Enterprise Apps from IBM to Accelerate Digital Transformation

IBM expands its global cloud data center footprint by opening 4 new facilities in UK. IBM Cloud will have 6 cloud data centers in UK, 16 across Europe and 50+ worldwide. (credit IBM)

Finnair is focused on Asia-Europe traffic, carrying over 10 million customers annually and connecting 70 European destinations with 17 Asian mega-cities and three North-American cities via its Helsinki hub. In preparation for growth, Finnair has recruited more than 500 employees, rolled out new aircraft and launched new routes this year. Now, Finnair seeks to improve its processes and enhance the customer experience through digital transformation.

“Our collaboration with Apple and IBM is an important building block in our digital transformation,” says Katri Harra-Salonen, Chief Digital Officer, Finnair. “We want to link our employees with the insights they need to make better decisions. This collaboration enables a user focused, high quality, yet cost effective way of developing digital solutions, helping us to improve the way we operate as an airline.”

First applications from the collaboration will be deployed in Finnair Technical Operations in aircraft line maintenance in the beginning of 2017.

“We see a wealth of opportunities for improving productivity as well as adding value to the work flow of our employees, by improving real-time visibility and transparency across the entire maintenance process,” says Jari Huhtinen, Head of Finnair Technical Operations. “Our mechanics team participated in the application creation work with Apple and IBM to ensure the best possible design, user experience and fit into our organizational processes.”

Finnair is the first organization to take advantage of IBM’s new app design and development model for clients that plan to adopt multiple iOS apps, called Mobile at Scale for iOS. This integrated approach, unique to IBM MobileFirst for iOS, increases the speed, efficiency and quality of how iOS apps are designed, developed, deployed, enhanced and maintained over their lifecycle.

The airline has a team in the IBM MobileFirst for iOS Garage dedicated to rapidly executing Finnair projects. The MobileFirst for iOS Garage operates as a global hub for the development of iOS, enabling Finnair to tap into the world’s largest concentration of Swift developers, design, integration and iOS device expertise along with consulting services. The Garage team can deliver initial apps in weeks that are tailored to meet Finnair’s enterprise needs and the user requirements of its employees This integrated approach brings consistency to the project, saving 25 percent of development effort, cost and time.

The apps will be managed and hosted on IBM Cloud allowing Finnair to implement multiple apps at speed and at scale, transforming everyday tasks for employees across the organization. The apps combine simplicity with the power of analytics to generate insight for more informed decision-making and better management.

 “Finnair is innovating and setting an example — not just for its industry, but for all enterprises. Rather than using mobile in silos, the airline is looking to IBM’s industry expertise and solutions to digitize the entire airline,” said Raimon Christiani, global industry leader IBM Travel & Transportation. “Finnair has access to IBM’s full portfolio of MobileFirst for iOS apps and if there’s something else it needs to empower employees and provide Finnair passengers a more seamless travel experience, we can build it.”

The first apps to be rolled out within the agreement are:

  • Inspect & Turn provides aircraft mechanics with digital task cards and documentation with analytics-driven recommendations to complete work assignments to ensure the safe upkeep of aircraft and achievement of on-time arrival and departure targets.
  • Assign Tech provides aircraft mechanic supervisors a clear overview of flight schedules, maintenance process and mechanic availability. Using advanced analytics, the app recommends optimal shift assignments and incorporates the skills and certifications of each mechanic. Push notifications also alert supervisors to flight delays process issues, so they can easily make changes on the fly.    

About Finnair

Finnair flies between Asia, Europe and North America with an emphasis on fast connections via Helsinki, carrying more than ten million passengers annually and connecting 17 cities in Asia with more than 70 destinations in Europe. The only Nordic carrier with a 4-star Skytrax ranking, Finnair has also won the World Airline Award for Best Airline Northern Europe for the past seven years running. Finnair is a member of one world, the alliance of the world’s leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travelers. www.finnair.com.

About IBM

For more information, visit http://www.ibm.com/services/gbs.

For more information regarding IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps and services please visit www.ibm.com/mobilefirst/us/en/mobilefirst-for-ios.html or www.apple.com/business/mobile-enterprise-apps/.

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Colbran South Africa

The Apps They Are A-Changin’—Embedded Analytics Meets Container Technology

rsz bigstock 143049293 The Apps They Are A Changin’—Embedded Analytics Meets Container Technology

The International Space Station (ISS) tips the scales at 925,000 pounds—the equivalent of about 260 Ford Mustangs and about the size of a football field—quietly orbiting above our heads in the darkness of space.

But it wasn’t always that big. The ISS first started as a single module, Zarya, weighing in at a modest 42,600 pounds (only 12 Ford Mustangs). The Zarya module gave the ISS its electrical power, storage, propulsion, and guidance and the rest of the 40 or so modules were added slowly with over 115 space flights. Each module has a specific function and can often be re-configured based on need. In fact, the original Zarya module has been reduced to a storage closet in recent years.

Screen Shot 2016 11 28 at 11.11.40 AM The Apps They Are A Changin’—Embedded Analytics Meets Container Technology

Figure 1 – (Picture Credit Wikipedia)

What does any of this have to do with apps? Apps today are built in the same way as the ISS. Instead of a single monolithic block that performs everything, apps are broken down into collaborative groups of processes that work together to provide complex functionality. The advantage of this modularization (or containerization as it’s called within software) is greater agility to deploy and scale applications.

We know that 96% of applications today have reporting or analytics functionality. Embedded analytics (or embedded BI) is a ripe service for containerization—it needs to integrate with a constellation of applications, services and data, and varying workloads require the ability to flexibly scale a whole environment. In order to have applications that interact and interoperate in the most efficient way, they should be organized like the ISS.

This is why we are happy to announce the Jaspersoft for Docker’s release. Jaspersoft for Docker lets you run the same code on any environment, alongside all of your services as a set of containers and can be scaled from a single developer’s laptop to a swarm of cloud servers.

Screen Shot 2016 11 28 at 11.07.58 AM The Apps They Are A Changin’—Embedded Analytics Meets Container Technology

The containers become our ISS modules, sets of those containers provide services, and those services can be deployed anywhere. It’s a good time to be alive and building apps!

Register for one of our Introducing Jaspersoft for Docker webinars to learn how this technology will change the way you build, release and deploy your embedded BI apps.

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