Monthly Archives: May 2017

The Importance of Personalization in the B2B Buying Journey

blog title just for you personalization 351x200 The Importance of Personalization in the B2B Buying Journey

Imagine you’re a marketer about to begin researching a new martech solution for your organization. To get started, you’ll need to assess whether this type of solution is something you could benefit from, and then decide which options on the market fit your current needs. Now imagine that after visiting one vendor’s homepage — in the process of simply gathering information — you’re immediately hit with a message that says, “Fill out this form to speak to one of our salespeople!”

How do you respond? At best, you ignore it. At worst, you leave the site. Why? Because you’re not ready to speak to a salesperson — you’re just looking to quickly understand what this company has to offer. If you can’t easily figure that out, you’ll move on.

However, as you progress through the buyer’s journey, your needs will change. You may want to download an educational eBook or worksheet. You may want to read case studies or customer testimonials to see what others in your industry have done. And when you’re ready, you may sign up for a demo or speak to a salesperson. The timing at which you’re ready for all this content and/or engagement — and the specific type of content and messaging that will appeal to you — is bound to be different for you than anyone else currently researching this type of solution.

It’s crucial to acknowledge, respect, and adjust to these types of variations for prospective customers. To be competitive and elevate your brand above the crowd, today’s marketer needs to have the tools and business intelligence to be able to adapt to each prospect individually.

Every B2B buyer is different, so don’t treat them all the same.

The point is that, like consumers, B2B buyers are all unique. They come from different industries, they have different needs at each stage of their journey, and they have different content preferences. Rather than provide a one-size-fits-all experience that includes generic content and messages across channels — one that risks missing the mark for each individual — you can leverage real-time personalization instead. Real-time personalization helps you understand each of your prospects at the individual and the account level so you can provide them with the most relevant content to help guide them along their journey.

You may think that personalizing your digital channels, either to segments or to each individual, sounds too difficult. Yet statistics show that your buyers want — and even expect — some form of personalization. Infosys found that 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized to them. And that shouldn’t be surprising to most marketers, because a recent survey from Evergage and Researchscape International found that 88% of marketers believe that their prospects or customers expect a personalized experience.

Additionally, of those marketers who are currently using personalization, 88% are seeing a measurable lift — primarily in the areas of higher conversion rates, improved customer experience, and increased visitor engagement. Most are seeing a 1-10% improvement in their KPIs, while 10% are actually seeing improvements of 30% or more. So the majority of marketers understand the importance of personalization and see its benefits.

Yet Evergage found that only 21% of B2B marketers are very or extremely satisfied with their current personalization efforts, compared to 53% of B2C marketers. And, overall, 73% of marketers believe that personalization should be a greater priority in their organizations.

The new, empowered buyer.

It’s no secret that today’s empowered buyers demand a new level of customer focus. They have a heightened expectation for the brands they engage with to personally know and serve them. In fact, Gartner found that, by 2020, smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 15%.

Traditionally, buyers and customers have been forced through a few pre-defined paths created by marketers. While these paths added a level of personalization to the experience, the method has fallen short for both groups. Similar to how we’ve seen the evolution of mapping technology like Waze™ and Google Maps™, “pre-defined directions” have given way to more fluid recommended paths that take into account individual user behaviors and outside factors — in real time.

In order to consistently deliver more precise, more personalized engagement paths for brands and their buyers, we’ve introduced Adaptive Journeys to allow marketers to interact with their customers more effectively. By personalizing the buyer’s journey, marketers are able to deliver highly specific and tailored tracks.

“Every customer is unique, as is their path to purchase, and in today’s connected world it is more important than ever that brands adapt to how their customers want to be engaged,” said Andy MacMillan, CEO of Act-On Software. “Marketers at mid-sized organizations might think that this is unattainable, but we believe that companies of all sizes should be able to take advantage of the power of predictive technologies to accomplish this — and we’re simplifying how marketers can do this and making it possible with Adaptive Journeys.”

What does Adaptive Journeys mean in terms of the Act-On platform?

Adaptive Journeys is our vision for the future of marketing automation. We believe that your marketing automation platform should be able to recognize behaviors, preferences, and interests, and use that data to automatically adapt the message, the timing, and the delivery channel for more customized engagements. We’ve started on this journey within our product and have big plans to make this vision a reality.

What does that mean for you?

You’ll be able to deliver the best message.

  • Dynamically create lists of engaged contacts by any combination of factors, whether that data is brought in from the CRM, captured via web form, or behavior insights that Act-On tracks; these segments can automatically adapt as new information is provided. In the future, more data from additional sources can be leveraged to further personalize engagement efforts.
  • Ask additional, conditional follow-up questions; dynamically present, or hide, questions based on an individual’s responses.

At the perfect time.

  • Predict the best time to send a message to an intended recipient based on past behaviors and actions — the system will automatically send it during prescribed ‘optimal engagement window’ for increased open and click-throughs.
  • Go beyond conditional scoring rules, thresholds, and time windows — giving you the choice to automate scoring across different segments, industries, and buyers.

Through the ideal channel.  

  • Take advantage of machine learning to select the best channel (email, web, mobile, or social) across which to send a given message, based on the individual’s previous interactions with the brand.
  • Implement a more multi-channel marketing approach and be able to better adapt to your customers’ preferred channels across any online or offline channel — be it paid or owned media.

So what’s next?

The good news is that if you’re not currently personalizing your digital channels to your individual B2B buyers, it’s not too late to get started. Work with a real-time personalization platform like Evergage that can easily integrate with your existing martech stack. Centralizing behavioral and attribute data in such a solution will enable you to take action on your valuable data with personalized, relevant “in the moment” experiences. And use it alongside a powerful marketing automation platform like Act-On to deliver the best message to each customer or prospect, at the perfect time, through the ideal channel.

Learn more about these industry-leading solutions at and

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Soccer Express scales omnichannel business with NetSuite unified cloud commerce platform

og image Soccer Express scales omnichannel business with NetSuite unified cloud commerce platform

Canada’s largest soccer store delivers personalized, digital-first shopping experiences

SAN MATEO, Calif.—May 31, 2017—Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit, one of the world’s leading providers of cloud-based financials / ERP, HR, Professional Services Automation (PSA) and omnichannel commerce software suites, today announced that Soccer Express, Canada’s largest distributor and retailer of soccer equipment and apparel, has implemented NetSuite’s unified cloud commerce platform to run its omnichannel sales spanning ecommerce and in-store point of sale (POS) across four stores, inventory management, order management and ERP. As a result of the implementation, Soccer Express has increased revenue by 25 percent.

Founded in Coquitlam, British Columbia in 1998, Soccer Express offers merchandise from global brands including Nike, Adidas and Puma. As the company experienced 30 percent year over year growth rates, Soccer Express realized its siloed, legacy Sage and Adobe systems could no longer support its business. The company required a scalable, flexible solution to manage the business and support its ecommerce expansion.

“Adopting a single solution that seamlessly unifies ecommerce with back-end business systems has given us the ability to scale and improve processes,” said Andrew Veer, Chief Operating Officer of Soccer Express. “By removing the burden of manual tasks, we’ve been able to take two employees previously dedicated to order entry and invoicing and move them to roles focused on better supporting our customers.”

Since going live with NetSuite in May, 2016, the customer experience has dramatically evolved. All customer information is captured in a single repository, providing a 360-degree view of all customer activity, including purchases, returns, exchanges, store visits and marketing campaigns. This allows customer service representatives to provide better service and information to customers. Similarly, when shoppers are in a Soccer Express retail store, sales associates can access the same information with NetSuite POS, which provides shoppers with a seamless experience across all sales channels.

The new website, running on SuiteCommerce Advanced, provides a fresh and engaging shopping experience, including the ability to customize merchandise with names and numbers as well as display tier quantity pricing based on volume. With its target audience of 13- to 24-year-olds, it was also critical for Soccer Express to support and optimize the mobile experience. Now, with a responsive design website, the company has seen a 24 percent growth in mobile users and 30 percent increase in sales.

The website caters to individual soccer enthusiasts as well as soccer clubs by offering customized, private club stores. Each club store has its own unique merchandise, pricing, and real-time inventory availability. Because club purchasing happens at the start of the season, it was critical for Soccer Express to have a platform that could scale to meet the traffic and order management spikes.

“We support more than 150 soccer clubs across Canada and we wanted our customers to feel like they were shopping on a local online store,” said Veer. “We now have a platform that can meet the demands of our business.”

With NetSuite’s unified cloud commerce platform, Soccer Express has gained the following benefits:

Optimized inventory management. With two distribution centers and four retail stores, Soccer Express has real-time insight into inventory across its entire enterprise. It can utilize inventory from across its stores to fulfill ecommerce orders as well as ship direct from suppliers.

Efficient order management. With a centralized order management system for orders from all channels, Soccer Express can process orders faster, satisfy customers and lower operational costs. Orders that used to take six days to ship now go out in 24 hours or less.

Improved communication. Customers receive updates on every stage of their order from processing to shipping and delivery. Customer service is now standardized and employees across the company have access to all order information to help improve the customer experience.

Unified cloud platform. Replacing Sage for its ERP and Adobe for ecommerce with a single cloud solution, Soccer Express has removed the hassles of having to manage upgrades, servers and dealing with version lock issues. The company gets automatic product updates and a platform that allows for easy customizations and integrations.

Experience NetSuite at IRCE 2017
NetSuite is empowering Soccer Express to transform its business. Merchants attending IRCE 2017 from June 6-9 at McCormick Place in Chicago will have the opportunity to see firsthand how NetSuite’s unified cloud commerce platform is enabling B2C and B2B businesses to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience as well as optimize business operations. To learn more and schedule a personal demo at NetSuite’s booth #701 please visit

About Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit
Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit provides a suite of cloud-based financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit

Follow Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle
The Oracle Cloud delivers hundreds of SaaS applications and enterprise-class PaaS and IaaS services to customers in more than 195 countries and territories while processing 55 billion transactions a day. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Closing The Gap: How To Leverage Tech To Engage A Remote Workforce

Last August, a woman arrived at a Reno, Nevada, hospital and told the attending doctors that she had recently returned from an extended trip to India, where she had broken her right thighbone two years ago. The woman, who was in her 70s, had subsequently developed an infection in her thigh and hip for which she was hospitalized in India several times. The Reno doctors recognized that the infection was serious—and the visit to India, where antibiotic-resistant bacteria runs rampant, raised red flags.

When none of the 14 antibiotics the physicians used to treat the woman worked, they sent a sample of the bacterium to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for testing. The CDC confirmed the doctors’ worst fears: the woman had a class of microbe called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). Carbapenems are a powerful class of antibiotics used as last-resort treatment for multidrug-resistant infections. The CDC further found that, in this patient’s case, the pathogen was impervious to all 26 antibiotics approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In other words, there was no cure.

This is just the latest alarming development signaling the end of the road for antibiotics as we know them. In September, the woman died from septic shock, in which an infection takes over and shuts down the body’s systems, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Other antibiotic options, had they been available, might have saved the Nevada woman. But the solution to the larger problem won’t be a new drug. It will have to be an entirely new approach to the diagnosis of infectious disease, to the use of antibiotics, and to the monitoring of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)—all enabled by new technology.

sap Q217 digital double feature2 images2 Closing The Gap: How To Leverage Tech To Engage A Remote WorkforceBut that new technology is not being implemented fast enough to prevent what former CDC director Tom Frieden has nicknamed nightmare bacteria. And the nightmare is becoming scarier by the year. A 2014 British study calculated that 700,000 people die globally each year because of AMR. By 2050, the global cost of antibiotic resistance could grow to 10 million deaths and US$ 100 trillion a year, according to a 2014 estimate. And the rate of AMR is growing exponentially, thanks to the speed with which humans serving as hosts for these nasty bugs can move among healthcare facilities—or countries. In the United States, for example, CRE had been seen only in North Carolina in 2000; today it’s nationwide.

Abuse and overuse of antibiotics in healthcare and livestock production have enabled bacteria to both mutate and acquire resistant genes from other organisms, resulting in truly pan-drug resistant organisms. As ever-more powerful superbugs continue to proliferate, we are potentially facing the deadliest and most costly human-made catastrophe in modern times.

“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general for health security for the World Health Organization (WHO).

Even if new antibiotics could solve the problem, there are obstacles to their development. For one thing, antibiotics have complex molecular structures, which slows the discovery process. Further, they aren’t terribly lucrative for pharmaceutical manufacturers: public health concerns call for new antimicrobials to be financially accessible to patients and used conservatively precisely because of the AMR issue, which reduces the financial incentives to create new compounds. The last entirely new class of antibiotic was introduced 30 year ago. Finally, bacteria will develop resistance to new antibiotics as well if we don’t adopt new approaches to using them.

Technology can play the lead role in heading off this disaster. Vast amounts of data from multiple sources are required for better decision making at all points in the process, from tracking or predicting antibiotic-resistant disease outbreaks to speeding the potential discovery of new antibiotic compounds. However, microbes will quickly adapt and resist new medications, too, if we don’t also employ systems that help doctors diagnose and treat infection in a more targeted and judicious way.

Indeed, digital tools can help in all four actions that the CDC recommends for combating AMR: preventing infections and their spread, tracking resistance patterns, improving antibiotic use, and developing new diagnostics and treatment.

Meanwhile, individuals who understand both the complexities of AMR and the value of technologies like machine learning, human-computer interaction (HCI), and mobile applications are working to develop and advocate for solutions that could save millions of lives.

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Keeping an Eye Out for Outbreaks

Like others who are leading the fight against AMR, Dr. Steven Solomon has no illusions about the difficulty of the challenge. “It is the single most complex problem in all of medicine and public health—far outpacing the complexity and the difficulty of any other problem that we face,” says Solomon, who is a global health consultant and former director of the CDC’s Office of Antimicrobial Resistance.

Solomon wants to take the battle against AMR beyond the laboratory. In his view, surveillance—tracking and analyzing various data on AMR—is critical, particularly given how quickly and widely it spreads. But surveillance efforts are currently fraught with shortcomings. The available data is fragmented and often not comparable. Hospitals fail to collect the representative samples necessary for surveillance analytics, collecting data only on those patients who experience resistance and not on those who get better. Laboratories use a wide variety of testing methods, and reporting is not always consistent or complete.

Surveillance can serve as an early warning system. But weaknesses in these systems have caused public health officials to consistently underestimate the impact of AMR in loss of lives and financial costs. That’s why improving surveillance must be a top priority, says Solomon, who previously served as chair of the U.S. Federal Interagency Task Force on AMR and has been tracking the advance of AMR since he joined the U.S. Public Health Service in 1981.

A Collaborative Diagnosis

Ineffective surveillance has also contributed to huge growth in the use of antibiotics when they aren’t warranted. Strong patient demand and financial incentives for prescribing physicians are blamed for antibiotics abuse in China. India has become the largest consumer of antibiotics on the planet, in part because they are prescribed or sold for diarrheal diseases and upper respiratory infections for which they have limited value. And many countries allow individuals to purchase antibiotics over the counter, exacerbating misuse and overuse.

In the United States, antibiotics are improperly prescribed 50% of the time, according to CDC estimates. One study of adult patients visiting U.S. doctors to treat respiratory problems found that more than two-thirds of antibiotics were prescribed for conditions that were not infections at all or for infections caused by viruses—for which an antibiotic would do nothing. That’s 27 million courses of antibiotics wasted a year—just for respiratory problems—in the United States alone.

And even in countries where there are national guidelines for prescribing antibiotics, those guidelines aren’t always followed. A study published in medical journal Family Practice showed that Swedish doctors, both those trained in Sweden and those trained abroad, inconsistently followed rules for prescribing antibiotics.

Solomon strongly believes that, worldwide, doctors need to expand their use of technology in their offices or at the bedside to guide them through a more rational approach to antibiotic use. Doctors have traditionally been reluctant to adopt digital technologies, but Solomon thinks that the AMR crisis could change that. New digital tools could help doctors and hospitals integrate guidelines for optimal antibiotic prescribing into their everyday treatment routines.

“Human-computer interactions are critical, as the amount of information available on antibiotic resistance far exceeds the ability of humans to process it,” says Solomon. “It offers the possibility of greatly enhancing the utility of computer-assisted physician order entry (CPOE), combined with clinical decision support.” Healthcare facilities could embed relevant information and protocols at the point of care, guiding the physician through diagnosis and prescription and, as a byproduct, facilitating the collection and reporting of antibiotic use.

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Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s antibiotic stewardship division has deployed a software program that gathers information from electronic medical records, order entries, computerized laboratory and pathology reports, and more. The system measures baseline antimicrobial use, dosing, duration, costs, and use patterns. It also analyzes bacteria and trends in their susceptibilities and helps with clinical decision making and prescription choices. The goal, says Dr. David Haslam, who heads the program, is to decrease the use of “big gun” super antibiotics in favor of more targeted treatment.

While this approach is not yet widespread, there is consensus that incorporating such clinical-decision support into electronic health records will help improve quality of care, contain costs, and reduce overtreatment in healthcare overall—not just in AMR. A 2013 randomized clinical trial finds that doctors who used decision-support tools were significantly less likely to order antibiotics than those in the control group and prescribed 50% fewer broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Putting mobile devices into doctors’ hands could also help them accept decision support, believes Solomon. Last summer, Scotland’s National Health Service developed an antimicrobial companion app to give practitioners nationwide mobile access to clinical guidance, as well as an audit tool to support boards in gathering data for local and national use.

“The immediacy and the consistency of the input to physicians at the time of ordering antibiotics may significantly help address the problem of overprescribing in ways that less-immediate interventions have failed to do,” Solomon says. In addition, handheld devices with so-called lab-on-a-chip  technology could be used to test clinical specimens at the bedside and transmit the data across cellular or satellite networks in areas where infrastructure is more limited.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can also become invaluable technology collaborators to help doctors more precisely diagnose and treat infection. In such a system, “the physician and the AI program are really ‘co-prescribing,’” says Solomon. “The AI can handle so much more information than the physician and make recommendations that can incorporate more input on the type of infection, the patient’s physiologic status and history, and resistance patterns of recent isolates in that ward, in that hospital, and in the community.”

Speed Is Everything

Growing bacteria in a dish has never appealed to Dr. James Davis, a computational biologist with joint appointments at Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago Computation Institute. The first of a growing breed of computational biologists, Davis chose a PhD advisor in 2004 who was steeped in bioinformatics technology “because you could see that things were starting to change,” he says. He was one of the first in his microbiology department to submit a completely “dry” dissertation—that is, one that was all digital with nothing grown in a lab.

Upon graduation, Davis wanted to see if it was possible to predict whether an organism would be susceptible or resistant to a given antibiotic, leading him to explore the potential of machine learning to predict AMR.

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As the availability of cheap computing power has gone up and the cost of genome sequencing has gone down, it has become possible to sequence a pathogen sample in order to detect its AMR resistance mechanisms. This could allow doctors to identify the nature of an infection in minutes instead of hours or days, says Davis.

Davis is part of a team creating a giant database of bacterial genomes with AMR metadata for the Pathosystems Resource Integration Center (PATRIC), funded by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to collect data on priority pathogens, such as tuberculosis and gonorrhea.

Because the current inability to identify microbes quickly is one of the biggest roadblocks to making an accurate diagnosis, the team’s work is critically important. The standard method for identifying drug resistance is to take a sample from a wound, blood, or urine and expose the resident bacteria to various antibiotics. If the bacterial colony continues to divide and thrive despite the presence of a normally effective drug, it indicates resistance. The process typically takes between 16 and 20 hours, itself an inordinate amount of time in matters of life and death. For certain strains of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis, though, such testing can take a week. While physicians are waiting for test results, they often prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics or make a best guess about what drug will work based on their knowledge of what’s happening in their hospital, “and in the meantime, you either get better,” says Davis, “or you don’t.”

At PATRIC, researchers are using machine-learning classifiers to identify regions of the genome involved in antibiotic resistance that could form the foundation for a “laboratory free” process for predicting resistance. Being able to identify the genetic mechanisms of AMR and predict the behavior of bacterial pathogens without petri dishes could inform clinical decision making and improve reaction time. Thus far, the researchers have developed machine-learning classifiers for identifying antibiotic resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii (a big player in hospital-acquired infection), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (a.k.a. MRSA, a worldwide problem), and Streptococcus pneumoniae (a leading cause of bacterial meningitis), with accuracies ranging from 88% to 99%.

Houston Methodist Hospital, which uses the PATRIC database, is researching multidrug-resistant bacteria, specifically MRSA. Not only does resistance increase the cost of care, but people with MRSA are 64% more likely to die than people with a nonresistant form of the infection, according to WHO. Houston Methodist is investigating the molecular genetic causes of drug resistance in MRSA in order to identify new treatment approaches and help develop novel antimicrobial agents.

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The Hunt for a New Class of Antibiotics

There are antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and then there’s Clostridium difficile—a.k.a. C. difficile—a bacterium that attacks the intestines even in young and healthy patients in hospitals after the use of antibiotics.

It is because of C. difficile that Dr. L. Clifford McDonald jumped into the AMR fight. The epidemiologist was finishing his work analyzing the spread of SARS in Toronto hospitals in 2004 when he turned his attention to C. difficile, convinced that the bacteria would become more common and more deadly. He was right, and today he’s at the forefront of treating the infection and preventing the spread of AMR as senior advisor for science and integrity in the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. “[AMR] is an area that we’re funding heavily…insofar as the CDC budget can fund anything heavily,” says McDonald, whose group has awarded $ 14 million in contracts for innovative anti-AMR approaches.

Developing new antibiotics is a major part of the AMR battle. The majority of new antibiotics developed in recent years have been variations of existing drug classes. It’s been three decades since the last new class of antibiotics was introduced. Less than 5% of venture capital in pharmaceutical R&D is focused on antimicrobial development. A 2008 study found that less than 10% of the 167 antibiotics in development at the time had a new “mechanism of action” to deal with multidrug resistance. “The low-hanging fruit [of antibiotic development] has been picked,” noted a WHO report.

Researchers will have to dig much deeper to develop novel medicines. Machine learning could help drug developers sort through much larger data sets and go about the capital-intensive drug development process in a more prescriptive fashion, synthesizing those molecules most likely to have an impact.

McDonald believes that it will become easier to find new antibiotics if we gain a better understanding of the communities of bacteria living in each of us—as many as 1,000 different types of microbes live in our intestines, for example. Disruption to those microbial communities—our “microbiome”—can herald AMR. McDonald says that Big Data and machine learning will be needed to unlock our microbiomes, and that’s where much of the medical community’s investment is going.

He predicts that within five years, hospitals will take fecal samples or skin swabs and sequence the microorganisms in them as a kind of pulse check on antibiotic resistance. “Just doing the bioinformatics to sort out what’s there and the types of antibiotic resistance that might be in that microbiome is a Big Data challenge,” McDonald says. “The only way to make sense of it, going forward, will be advanced analytic techniques, which will no doubt include machine learning.”

Reducing Resistance on the Farm

Bringing information closer to where it’s needed could also help reduce agriculture’s contribution to the antibiotic resistance problem. Antibiotics are widely given to livestock to promote growth or prevent disease. In the United States, more kilograms of antibiotics are administered to animals than to people, according to data from the FDA.

One company has developed a rapid, on-farm diagnostics tool to provide livestock producers with more accurate disease detection to make more informed management and treatment decisions, which it says has demonstrated a 47% to 59% reduction in antibiotic usage. Such systems, combined with pressure or regulations to reduce antibiotic use in meat production, could also help turn the AMR tide.

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Breaking Down Data Silos Is the First Step

Adding to the complexity of the fight against AMR is the structure and culture of the global healthcare system itself. Historically, healthcare has been a siloed industry, notorious for its scattered approach focused on transactions rather than healthy outcomes or the true value of treatment. There’s no definitive data on the impact of AMR worldwide; the best we can do is infer estimates from the information that does exist.

The biggest issue is the availability of good data to share through mobile solutions, to drive HCI clinical-decision support tools, and to feed supercomputers and machine-learning platforms. “We have a fragmented healthcare delivery system and therefore we have fragmented information. Getting these sources of data all into one place and then enabling them all to talk to each other has been problematic,” McDonald says.

Collecting, integrating, and sharing AMR-related data on a national and ultimately global scale will be necessary to better understand the issue. HCI and mobile tools can help doctors, hospitals, and public health authorities collect more information while advanced analytics, machine learning, and in-memory computing can enable them to analyze that data in close to real time. As a result, we’ll better understand patterns of resistance from the bedside to the community and up to national and international levels, says Solomon. The good news is that new technology capabilities like AI and new potential streams of data are coming online as an era of data sharing in healthcare is beginning to dawn, adds McDonald.

The ideal goal is a digitally enabled virtuous cycle of information and treatment that could save millions of dollars, lives, and perhaps even civilization if we can get there. D!

Read more thought provoking articles in the latest issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly.

About the Authors:

Dr. David Delaney is Chief Medical Officer for SAP.

Joseph Miles is Global Vice President, Life Sciences, for SAP.

Walt Ellenberger is Senior Director Business Development, Healthcare Transformation and Innovation, for SAP.

Saravana Chandran is Senior Director, Advanced Analytics, for SAP.

Stephanie Overby is an independent writer and editor focused on the intersection of business and technology.


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Alipay Hong Kong Taxi Payments Could Be Its Killer App

It’s one country, two systems for Alipay as it focuses on retail payments in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, with a separate mobile app from the one it uses on the mainland.

Alipay announced the launch of its Hong Kong version e-wallet Alipay HK, which is the first time for this Internet payment service provider to launch an overseas version app.

Alipay started providing services in Hong Kong in 2007. In August 2016, they gained a third-party payment license issued by Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Alipay Hong Kong company is one of the first batch of payment license owners. Now Alipay HK has finally been launched after a few months of preparation.

With the launch of Alipay HK, Hong Kong users will be able to use Alipay services by binding their credit cards of Hong Kong local banks or balance recharges, and they can use Hong Kong dollars to complete payment directly. Alipay HK provides three major services, including code-scanning payment, vendor offers, and stamp collection.

Alipay HK will gradually launch more functions like mobile phone fee recharges; payment for water, electricity, and gas bills; online transfers; taxi payment; and insurance payments.

The taxi payments are of special significance. Currently the Octopus payment card in Hong Kong is ubiquitous and can be used for both public transportation and retail payments. But Octopus cannot be used for paying of taxi trips. Octopus had a small, brief test of taxi payments a few years ago, but it failed to launch the service in Hong Kong. If Alipay could overcome the taxi payment obstacle, it could grab a new, underserved market.

For global expansion, Alipay’s parent company Ant Financial has realized e-wallet cooperation with partners in India, Thailand, South Korea, Philippines, and Indonesia. With the launch of Alipay HK, Ant Financial’s services now reach six overseas countries and regions.

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Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365

00 guest 300x225 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365

One of the exciting new features introduced as part of Dynamics 365 is the ability to create custom apps using App Designer. In today’s blog, we’ll show you exactly how to take advantage of this cool enhancement. With that in mind, here are step-by-step instructions for creating a custom app that we’ll call TestApp:

Go to Settings -> Application -> My Apps.

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Click the + CREATE APP button in the upper-right corner, as shown below:

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In the “App Designer” pop-up window, enter the details for your desired app. These include the app’s Name and Unique Name, which are both required, as well as Description, Icon, and App URL Suffix, which are all optional.

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Once you’ve added the information in Step 3, click Next to reveal the “Components” window. As you can see in the screenshot below, for our TestApp, the App Designer has the following components:

– Entities
– Dashboards
– Business Process Flows

– Forms
– Views
– Charts

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Next, you need to configure the “Site Map.” To do this, click on Site Map.

053017 2026 Creatingcus5 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365

This will navigate you to the screen shown below, where you will be able to configure the Area, Group, and Subarea.

053017 2026 Creatingcus6 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365

Click the Area button, and provide the details, as shown below. Do the same for the Group button and the Subarea button (also shown below).

053017 2026 Creatingcus7 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365053017 2026 Creatingcus8 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365053017 2026 Creatingcus9 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365

In this example, we named our Area, “Demo,” and added two Subareas, “Accounts” and “Contacts.” TestApp now looks like this:

053017 2026 Creatingcus10 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365

Next, for each entity, we add the Forms, Views, and Charts, as shown below:

053017 2026 Creatingcus11 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365

Click Validate to check for dependencies. This button is displayed in the top-right corner of App Designer.

053017 2026 Creatingcus12 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365

If there are any missing dependencies for these entities, they are shown with the orange-colored validation icon along with the total number of dependencies. In our example below, “Forms” has 18 dependencies in the “Account” entity and 15 dependencies in the “Contact” entity.

053017 2026 Creatingcus13 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365

The specific dependencies are displayed in the window on the right side of the screen, as shown below. To fix the outstanding dependencies, simply click the Add Dependencies button. Then, click Save and Publish.

053017 2026 Creatingcus14 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365

Navigate to TestApp as shown below.

053017 2026 Creatingcus15 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365

And here it is, in all its newly-created glory!

053017 2026 Creatingcus16 Creating Custom Apps using App Designer in Dynamics 365

We hope you found this helpful. For more information on creating custom apps, please check out our PO TV WEBCAST: The Beginner’s Guide to PowerApps. It’s chock-full of useful information. Happy CRM’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

StreamSets raises $20 million to help companies manage big data

 StreamSets raises $20 million to help companies manage big data

StreamSets, which provides software to manage various sets of data from a single control panel, today announced funding of $ 20 million in a round co-led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Battery Ventures. Existing investor Accel also joined.

“You can think of StreamSets as ‘air traffic control’ for data in motion,” wrote StreamSets’ cofounder and CEO Girish Pancha, in an email to VentureBeat. “It helps companies design data feeds into their applications and then monitor the quality and timeliness of the data continually.”

A company can feed Internet of Things (IoT) sensor data from factory, farm, or construction equipment into an app that predicts failure of machinery, for example. Or it can feed network and systems log information into a cybersecurity analytics engine to detect an advanced attack using machine learning.

“We’re the ones moving the data, so we convert it into a standard record format,” wrote Pancha. “This means we can monitor both the dataflow and the contents of the data.”

Pancha is an industry veteran in data integration and the former chief product officer of Informatica, which went private in 2015. His cofounder, Arvind Prabhakar, worked with him at Informatica before joining Cloudera in 2010 as engineering lead.

Pancha says the company has several dozen customers, including Cox Automotive, Cisco Systems, and Lithium Technologies, who subscribe annually for StreamSets’ software and services.

Since its founding in 2014, StreamSets has raised a total of $ 33 million. Today’s cash injection will be used to further develop the product and expand in North America and in Europe, where the startup just opened its London office.

Based in San Francisco, StreamSets currently has more than 40 employees.

Sign up for Funding Daily: Get the latest news in your inbox every weekday.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

Webinar Wednesday: Data Storytelling

Important stories about complex industries such as oil & gas can be difficult to tell. Thankfully, they often are also very rich in data – data which can be used to interactively illustrate the story for readers, making it more engaging and meaningful. Come hear how data visualization and industries expert Dallas Salazar, collaborating with Power BI MVP Greg Deckler, recently used data and Power BI to draw readers into a complicated story and leave them wanting more.

 Webinar Wednesday: Data Storytelling

Experienced and aspiring data storytellers, you won’t want to miss the chance to learn:

  • How to find or create the right visualization to bring your data-driven story to life.
  • Why Power BI is a great tool for creating data visuals to help tell complex stories.
  • The process of using a SandDance custom visual to tell a complicated oil & gas industry story.
  • What resources are available to continue learning about Power BI to tell your data-driven stories.

Subscribe and join live!
When: 5/31/2017 10:00 a.m. PT

About the presenters

Corina Radovanovich works on the Microsoft Communications team. She gets excited about telling stories with and about data.

Dallas Salazar is highly regarded for the data-driven articles he publishes at Seeking Alpha. He is also owner / CEO of an Austin-based enterprise consulting firm that specializes in private company lifecycle management, up to and including taking companies public, and in helping consult publicly traded companies ranging in market cap from $ 100 million to $ 500 million. Dallas has a specialization in deal flow management and is often the referring and closing source of joint ventures and broader M&A.

Greg Deckler is a Director at Fusion Alliance and the Solution Director of Cloud Services, as well as a Microsoft MVP for Data Platform. With over twenty years of experience, Greg excels at assisting Fortune 500 firms with global systems by delivering professional services related to data and business intelligence, enterprise collaboration, web architecture and design, business process improvement/automation, enterprise architecture, identity management, application development, core infrastructure design and optimization, and project management.

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Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Building a Sales Team by the Numbers

I don’t know why more subscription vendors don’t do this. Subscription companies collect mountains of data from their customers, and analyzing the aggregations can deliver profound insights virtually for free. Yet too often subscribers are reluctant to let their data be stripped of identifying characteristics and used for research. Too bad, because there’s gold in that big data.

sales subscription data Building a Sales Team by the Numbers

One subscription provider that isn’t afraid to do the analysis or to ask its customers to contribute to generating new knowledge is Xactly, the sales incentive compensation ninjas. For many years the company has captured data about sales performance and provided concrete information to its subscribers about things like attainment vs. quota and how they compare with peers.

One of the early findings they released was that women sales reps were more loyal and were better at delivering on-quota performance — yet they were paid a little less. Sad.

The Most Fertile Ground

Xactly has been doing this kind of analysis because it has the data, and because its customers understand the value of seeing how they compare to the averages. Good on them. The most recent data to come out of Xactly involves understanding the nuances of different cities as places to plant your next sales office. That might sound a little in the weeds, but I guarantee you every sales VP thinks about it at some point.

The data concretely shows that cities on the West coast and in the South have a lot to offer, while some of the big cities of the North and East are surprisingly… different. Conventional wisdom says that you simply must have an office in New York or Boston and Chicago — yet these cities have some of the lowest average staff attainment rates: New York 60 percent, Boston 54 percent and Chicago 46 percent.

Interestingly, turnover in those markets is very low relative to other places, with New York at 16 percent; Boston, 19 percent; and Chicago 24 percent. Compare those cities to a place like Austin, with turnover at only 20 percent but attainment at 75 percent — and Austin isn’t alone.

The West coast has some of the most productive cities — but Denver, at 83 percent attainment, takes the cake.

Xactly also tracks things like the cost per square foot for real estate, which you’ll need to plug into your cost calculation when aiming to open a new office — but what does this all mean? How do you analyze this?

Understanding the Data

It would be easy to say that sales reps in the Northeast are terrible, and the people on the West coast have it all together — but maybe not. It takes more than meets the eye to analyze this.

First, everyone wants an office in the big cities, especially in the Northeast where there are loads of big corporate headquarters — a condition one of my sales managers once described as “target rich” — so the region attracts sales managers and their people. However, if everyone has the same idea, it drives up competition to the point where no one really wins, which is one interpretation of the data.

Second, variable pay is a much larger share of compensation in the East than the West — for instance, just topping US$ 47K in New York but only $ 8.8K in Seattle. This leads me to wonder about turnover. It’s 41 percent in Seattle and only 16 percent in New York.

Do people leave more readily in Seattle because there’s never much on the table? Or, flipping it around, are companies more reluctant to fire people in the Northeast because they’re all taking a serious draw against commissions? Fire people, and say good-bye to the recoverable draw.

You can understand a lot from a few charts — but as a manager, you need to make the right calls when hiring and expanding. A compensation plan has to be competitive for the market the office serves, or you’ll risk not being able to hire good people because their perception will be that another offer that is more in line with local norms is better.

Real Costs of Real Estate

The least-expensive cities for real estate costs per square foot are Atlanta at $ 23.51, Denver at $ 25.80 and Chicago at $ 30.13. So, at the end of the day, you find yourself calculating quota attainment vs. real estate costs vs. fixed and variable costs per rep.

At some point, you need to factor all of it into the actual cost of a rep, and play that against expected revenues. You still won’t be done, because as good as those numbers are, they are all largely extraneous to most businesses.

You need to understand where your customers are, and how they like or expect to be treated — and for that, there’s a big overlay of experience and industry clustering. So, as good as this information is, we need to take it as a first cut when determining where to situate the next sales office.

What’s great is that with this information and more to come, we can begin to rely less on gut instinct, and manage better by the numbers.
end enn Building a Sales Team by the Numbers

Denis%20Pombriant Building a Sales Team by the NumbersDenis Pombriant is a well-known CRM industry researcher, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You Can’t Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for the Customer, is also available there. He can be reached at

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CRM Buyer

TIBCO CMO Thomas Been Named Marketing Executive of the Year

TIBCO Software is so proud to announce that its chief marketing officer, Thomas Been, has earned the prestigious PR World Awards for Marketing Executive of the Year. The coveted annual PR World Awards program encompasses the world’s best in recognizing public relations, marketing, corporate communications, investor relations, and business development professionals, teams, departments, and achievements from every major industry in the world. Organizations from all over the world are eligible to submit nominations, including public and private, for-profit and non-profit, largest to smallest and new start-ups.

As CMO, Thomas successfully drives TIBCO’s company-wide marketing initiatives with measurable results—streamlining processes, improving metric accuracy, augmenting leads, and increasing conversion rates. Under Thomas’ leadership, the TIBCO marketing department has implemented an improved content engagement platform and embraced a new lead management process, enabling Thomas’ team to increase customer engagement and conversion. Furthermore, Thomas’ contributions to TIBCO’s marketing strategy have been recognized as best practice, as other companies reach out to TIBCO for guidance on adopting the same tools and methodologies.

“We’re delighted to see Thomas recognized with this esteemed industry award,” said Murray D. Rode, chief executive officer, TIBCO. “It’s a well-deserved achievement that serves as a testament to his forward-thinking and innovative approach to digital marketing, as well as his outstanding leadership, which has delivered tangible results, including an expanded pipeline and more than double the revenue generated from marketing programs.”

Winners will be honored in San Francisco on Monday, June 26, during the annual 2017 SVUS Red Carpet Awards Ceremony Dinner.

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The TIBCO Blog