Tag Archives: Insights

Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement View Usage Logger using Azure Functions and Application Insights

I recently received the same request from two customers, so I felt maybe it might be a good topic to discuss here so others can take advantage of it as well. The request was as follows: The customers wanted a way to track active usage of the Views in their system to find out which ones actually got used. They can use this information to deactivate unused Views, and consolidate their list of views for each entity to only the ones needed by their users.

In order to help accomplish this goal, I’m going to use an asynchronous Service Bus plugin registered on the Retrieve message for the SavedQuery entity. This will tell us every time we retrieve a view definition, which should only happen when a user clicks a view from a view picker or through advanced find. There will also be times when the view definition has already been retrieved and is cached locally, so we’ll essentially be tracking “cold loads” of Views, or the first time they are retrieved in a browser session per user.

This article will have a very similar alternative that I created for customers who prefer Log Analytics to Application Insights. The alternative uses a Logic App in Azure to grab the message from the Service Bus Queue and push the data to log analytics.

Summary

Goal:

Identify views with the most traffic/requests, so that other unused views can be deleted and highly used ones can be optimized.

Process:

  • Register Service Endpoint message on Retrieve of Saved Query entity in CRM. This will asynchronously post the execution context containing the view data to a Service Bus Queue/Topic, where it can be retrieved by a Logic App.
  • The Logic App will parse out the relevant data (Entity Name, View Name) from the execution context, and pass to an Azure Function which will insert it into an Application Insights Tenant where it is logged and can be reported on.

Prerequisites:

  • Service Bus Queue created in an Azure subscription, need the connection string for step 2b.

Details

Steps

  1. Create Service Bus Queue or Topic
  2. Register Service Endpoint in the CRM Plugin Registration Tool
    1. Register->New Service Endpoint
    2. Paste in a Connection string retrieved from the Azure Portal
    3. On the next screen, Change the Message type from .Net Binary to JSON, Enter the Queue or Topic Name
    4. Click OK
  3. Attach a message processing step to the new service endpoint in the Plugin Registration Tool
    1. Register->New Step
    2. In Message, enter Retrieve
    3. In Primary Entity, enter savedquery
    4. Change Execution Mode to Asynchronous
    5. Click Register
  4. Create an Azure Function App to help translate the JSON from the plugin
    1. In the Azure Portal, click New->Serverless Function App
    2. Give the App a unique name, Resource Group, Storage Account
    3. Click Create
    4. Click the +/Add button, add a new HTTPTrigger function
    5. Use this code for your function:

      #r “Newtonsoft.Json”

      using System.Net;

      using System;

      using Newtonsoft.Json;

      using System.Collections.Generic;

      using Microsoft.ApplicationInsights;

      private static TelemetryClient telemetry = new TelemetryClient();

      public static async Task<HttpResponseMessage> Run(HttpRequestMessage req, TraceWriter log)

      {

      dynamic data = await req.Content.ReadAsAsync<object>();

      log.Info(data.CorrelationId.ToString());

      ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

      //log as much additional information from CRM as we can for auditing

      //we can get CorrelationId, which ties directly back to the plugin

      //execution and is also useful for Microsoft support to have

      //UserId could also be helpful so you can tie a view retrieve directly

      //back to a user in case you want to find out why they use that particular view

      //giving a static Operation Name string will allow you to quickly filter

      //down results to this type of operation if your Application Insights instance is heavily used

      ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

      telemetry.Context.Operation.Id = data.CorrelationId.ToString();

      telemetry.Context.User.Id = data.UserId.ToString();

      telemetry.Context.Operation.Name = “View Accessed”;

      string target = data.Target.ToString();

      KeyValuePair<string,object>[] entity = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<KeyValuePair<string,object>[]>(target);

      List<KeyValuePair<string,object>> entList = entity.ToList<KeyValuePair<string,object>>();

      Dictionary<string,object> entDict = entList.ToDictionary(k=>k.Key,v=>v.Value);

      string newJson = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(entDict);

      telemetry.TrackEvent(entDict[“returnedtypecode”].ToString() + ” – ” + entDict[“name”].ToString());

      return req.CreateResponse(HttpStatusCode.OK, newJson);

      }

    6. Create a new file in your project by expanding View files on the right, click Add, name the file project.json
    7. Open project.json and add this code:

      {

      “frameworks”: {

      “net46″:{

      “dependencies”: {

      “Microsoft.ApplicationInsights”: “2.2.0”

      }

      }

      }

      }

    8. The above code will tell the Azure function to download a nuget package for Application Insights.
  5. Now we can start to test the functionality, to start, login to CRM, Navigate to an entity, change the view
    1. You can monitor the console in your Function App to see if any errors occur
  6. Start reviewing results in Application Insights
    1. In the Azure portal, find Azure Functions and choose the Function App you created for this exercise.
    2. Click Application Insights
      1. From here you can click Analytics (small button in the ribbon), then click the + new tab button
      2. Intellisense is very good so as you keep typing you can tab to complete your entries
      3. Here is a sample query to display the top views in order in a bar graph format:

      customEvents

      | where timestamp >= ago(30d)

      | project name

      | summarize count() by name

      | order by count_ desc nulls last

      | where count_ > 2

      | render barchart

    3. The first line is the “table” name if you were comparing this query to a SQL query
    4. The next lines all begin with a pipe (|) operator which is just syntax, after that more querying keywords are specified. “where” is just like SQL, specifying a filter clause
    5. |project col1,col2,col3 specifies the columns to retrieve, like a “select” in sql. Omitting the project line is fine to retrieve all columns
    6. Comment lines out with // to try omitting various lines
    7. Functions help with dynamic time operations, like the ago(30d) function to only look back 30 days of logs, you can also use “m” for minutes “h” for hours, “d” for days
    8. |where count_ > 2 tells the query to forget about the views that only have 1 or 2 views and filter these out
    9. |summarize is the group by operator equivalent. In summarize you can use aggregates like count() max() avg(), followed by the keyword “by” which specifies columns to group on.
    10. |render barchart makes the output a graphical format, omitting makes it a table.
    11. Here is a sample output:

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Dynamics CRM in the Field

5/17 Webinar: A look at the Common Data Service for Apps, Common Data Service for Analytics and Power BI Insights Apps

On March 21st the Business Applications Group announced a couple of new technologies: Common Data Service for Apps, Common Data Service for Analytics and Power BI Insights Apps.

In this demo heavy webinar Microsoft program managers, Charles Sterling and Matthew Roche, will take a tour of the Common Data Service for Apps, Common Data Service for Analytics and Power BI Insights Apps.  Demos to include creating PowerApps Canvas based application that put data into the Common Data Service, a Model Based PowerApps application that is built on top of the Common Data Service, creating a Common Data Service Analytics Data Pool with online Power Query, creating reports with Power BI Desktop against a Common Data Service Analytics Data Pool and finally showing how to get instant value from Common Data Service Analytics using Power BI Insight Apps.

When:  5/17/2018 10AM PST

Where: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lYcHgDllxE 

 5/17 Webinar: A look at the Common Data Service for Apps, Common Data Service for Analytics and Power BI Insights Apps

Presented by Mathew Roche and Charles Sterling

Matthew Roche is an experienced program manager, data architect, software developer, trainer and mentor with over two decades of experience in the Microsoft data platform and developer ecosystem. His current role as Senior Program Manager on the Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise team allows him to extend the features and influence the direction of Microsoft Business Intelligence, Data Governance, and Information Management products and services. 

Before joining Microsoft in 2008, Matthew was a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for SQL Server. Matthew holds a wide range of professional certifications including Microsoft Certified Trainer, Microsoft Certified Database Administrator, Microsoft Certified Solution Developer, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, Microsoft Certified Professional Developer, Microsoft Certified IT Professional and Oracle Certified Professional.

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Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Turning Data Into Insights: How Digitization Creates New Opportunities For The Telecommunications Industry

For nerds, the weeks right before finals are a Cinderella moment. Suddenly they’re stars. Pocket protectors are fashionable; people find their jokes a whole lot funnier; Dungeons & Dragons sounds cool.

Many CIOs are enjoying this kind of moment now, as companies everywhere face the business equivalent of a final exam for a vital class they have managed to mostly avoid so far: digital transformation.

But as always, there is a limit to nerdy magic. No matter how helpful CIOs try to be, their classmates still won’t pass if they don’t learn the material. With IT increasingly central to every business—from the customer experience to the offering to the business model itself—we all need to start thinking like CIOs.

Pass the digital transformation exam, and you probably have a bright future ahead. A recent SAP-Oxford Economics study of 3,100 organizations in a variety of industries across 17 countries found that the companies that have taken the lead in digital transformation earn higher profits and revenues and have more competitive differentiation than their peers. They also expect 23% more revenue growth from their digital initiatives over the next two years—an estimate 2.5 to 4 times larger than the average company’s.

But the market is grading on a steep curve: this same SAP-Oxford study found that only 3% have completed some degree of digital transformation across their organization. Other surveys also suggest that most companies won’t be graduating anytime soon: in one recent survey of 450 heads of digital transformation for enterprises in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany by technology company Couchbase, 90% agreed that most digital projects fail to meet expectations and deliver only incremental improvements. Worse: over half (54%) believe that organizations that don’t succeed with their transformation project will fail or be absorbed by a savvier competitor within four years.

Companies that are making the grade understand that unlike earlier technical advances, digital transformation doesn’t just support the business, it’s the future of the business. That’s why 60% of digital leading companies have entrusted the leadership of their transformation to their CIO, and that’s why experts say businesspeople must do more than have a vague understanding of the technology. They must also master a way of thinking and looking at business challenges that is unfamiliar to most people outside the IT department.

In other words, if you don’t think like a CIO yet, now is a very good time to learn.

However, given that you probably don’t have a spare 15 years to learn what your CIO knows, we asked the experts what makes CIO thinking distinctive. Here are the top eight mind hacks.

1. Think in Systems

Q118 Feature3 img1 Jump Turning Data Into Insights: How Digitization Creates New Opportunities For The Telecommunications IndustryA lot of businesspeople are used to seeing their organization as a series of loosely joined silos. But in the world of digital business, everything is part of a larger system.

CIOs have known for a long time that smart processes win. Whether they were installing enterprise resource planning systems or working with the business to imagine the customer’s journey, they always had to think in holistic ways that crossed traditional departmental, functional, and operational boundaries.

Unlike other business leaders, CIOs spend their careers looking across systems. Why did our supply chain go down? How can we support this new business initiative beyond a single department or function? Now supported by end-to-end process methodologies such as design thinking, good CIOs have developed a way of looking at the company that can lead to radical simplifications that can reduce cost and improve performance at the same time.

They are also used to thinking beyond temporal boundaries. “This idea that the power of technology doubles every two years means that as you’re planning ahead you can’t think in terms of a linear process, you have to think in terms of huge jumps,” says Jay Ferro, CIO of TransPerfect, a New York–based global translation firm.

No wonder the SAP-Oxford transformation study found that one of the values transformational leaders shared was a tendency to look beyond silos and view the digital transformation as a company-wide initiative.

This will come in handy because in digital transformation, not only do business processes evolve but the company’s entire value proposition changes, says Jeanne Ross, principal research scientist at the Center for Information Systems Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “It either already has or it’s going to, because digital technologies make things possible that weren’t possible before,” she explains.

2. Work in Diverse Teams

When it comes to large projects, CIOs have always needed input from a diverse collection of businesspeople to be successful. The best have developed ways to convince and cajole reluctant participants to come to the table. They seek out technology enthusiasts in the business and those who are respected by their peers to help build passion and commitment among the halfhearted.

Digital transformation amps up the urgency for building diverse teams even further. “A small, focused group simply won’t have the same breadth of perspective as a team that includes a salesperson and a service person and a development person, as well as an IT person,” says Ross.

At Lenovo, the global technology giant, many of these cross-functional teams become so used to working together that it’s hard to tell where each member originally belonged: “You can’t tell who is business or IT; you can’t tell who is product, IT, or design,” says the company’s CIO, Arthur Hu.

One interesting corollary of this trend toward broader teamwork is that talent is a priority among digital leaders: they spend more on training their employees and partners than ordinary companies, as well as on hiring the people they need, according to the SAP-Oxford Economics survey. They’re also already being rewarded for their faith in their teams: 71% of leaders say that their successful digital transformation has made it easier for them to attract and retain talent, and 64% say that their employees are now more engaged than they were before the transformation.

3. Become a Consultant

Good CIOs have long needed to be internal consultants to the business. Ever since technology moved out of the glasshouse and onto employees’ desks, CIOs have not only needed a deep understanding of the goals of a given project but also to make sure that the project didn’t stray from those goals, even after the businesspeople who had ordered the project went back to their day jobs. “Businesspeople didn’t really need to get into the details of what IT was really doing,” recalls Ferro. “They just had a set of demands and said, ‘Hey, IT, go do that.’”

But that was then. Now software has become so integral to the business that nobody can afford to walk away. Businesspeople must join the ranks of the IT consultants. “If you’re building a house, you don’t just disappear for six months and come back and go, ‘Oh, it looks pretty good,’” says Ferro. “You’re on that work site constantly and all of a sudden you’re looking at something, going, ‘Well, that looked really good on the blueprint, not sure it makes sense in reality. Let’s move that over six feet.’ Or, ‘I don’t know if I like that anymore.’ It’s really not much different in application development or for IT or technical projects, where on paper it looked really good and three weeks in, in that second sprint, you’re going, ‘Oh, now that I look at it, that’s really stupid.’”

4. Learn Horizontal Leadership

CIOs have always needed the ability to educate and influence other leaders that they don’t directly control. For major IT projects to be successful, they need other leaders to contribute budget, time, and resources from multiple areas of the business.

It’s a kind of horizontal leadership that will become critical for businesspeople to acquire in digital transformation. “The leadership role becomes one much more of coaching others across the organization—encouraging people to be creative, making sure everybody knows how to use data well,” Ross says.

In this team-based environment, having all the answers becomes less important. “It used to be that the best business executives and leaders had the best answers. Today that is no longer the case,” observes Gary Cokins, a technology consultant who focuses on analytics-based performance management. “Increasingly, it’s the executives and leaders who ask the best questions. There is too much volatility and uncertainty for them to rely on their intuition or past experiences.”

Many experts expect this trend to continue as the confluence of automation and data keeps chipping away at the organizational pyramid. “Hierarchical, command-and-control leadership will become obsolete,” says Edward Hess, professor of business administration and Batten executive-in-residence at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. “Flatter, distributive leadership via teams will become the dominant structure.”

Q118 Feature3 img3 rock Turning Data Into Insights: How Digitization Creates New Opportunities For The Telecommunications Industry5. Understand Process Design

When business processes were simpler, IT could analyze the process and improve it without input from the business. But today many processes are triggered on the fly by the customer, making a seamless customer experience more difficult to build without the benefit of a larger, multifunctional team. In a highly digitalized organization like Amazon, which releases thousands of new software programs each year, IT can no longer do it all.

While businesspeople aren’t expected to start coding, their involvement in process design is crucial. One of the techniques that many organizations have adopted to help IT and businesspeople visualize business processes together is design thinking (for more on design thinking techniques, see “A Cult of Creation“).

Customers aren’t the only ones who benefit from better processes. Among the 100 companies the SAP-Oxford Economics researchers have identified as digital leaders, two-thirds say that they are making their employees’ lives easier by eliminating process roadblocks that interfere with their ability to do their jobs. Ninety percent of leaders surveyed expect to see value from these projects in the next two years alone.

6. Learn to Keep Learning

The ability to learn and keep learning has been a part of IT from the start. Since the first mainframes in the 1950s, technologists have understood that they need to keep reinventing themselves and their skills to adapt to the changes around them.

Now that’s starting to become part of other job descriptions too. Many companies are investing in teaching their employees new digital skills. One South American auto products company, for example, has created a custom-education institute that trained 20,000 employees and partner-employees in 2016. In addition to training current staff, many leading digital companies are also hiring new employees and creating new roles, such as a chief robotics officer, to support their digital transformation efforts.

Nicolas van Zeebroeck, professor of information systems and digital business innovation at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management at the Free University of Brussels, says that he expects the ability to learn quickly will remain crucial. “If I had to think of one critical skill,” he explains, “I would have to say it’s the ability to learn and keep learning—the ability to challenge the status quo and question what you take for granted.”

7. Fail Smarter

Traditionally, CIOs tended to be good at thinking through tests that would allow the company to experiment with new technology without risking the entire network.

This is another unfamiliar skill that smart managers are trying to pick up. “There’s a lot of trial and error in the best companies right now,” notes MIT’s Ross. But there’s a catch, she adds. “Most companies aren’t designed for trial and error—they’re trying to avoid an error,” she says.

Q118 Feature3 img4 fail Turning Data Into Insights: How Digitization Creates New Opportunities For The Telecommunications IndustryTo learn how to do it better, take your lead from IT, where many people have already learned to work in small, innovative teams that use agile development principles, advises Ross.

For example, business managers must learn how to think in terms of a minimum viable product: build a simple version of what you have in mind, test it, and if it works start building. You don’t build the whole thing at once anymore.… It’s really important to build things incrementally,” Ross says.

Flexibility and the ability to capitalize on accidental discoveries during experimentation are more important than having a concrete project plan, says Ross. At Spotify, the music service, and CarMax, the used-car retailer, change is driven not from the center but from small teams that have developed something new. “The thing you have to get comfortable with is not having the formalized plan that we would have traditionally relied on, because as soon as you insist on that, you limit your ability to keep learning,” Ross warns.

8. Understand the True Cost—and Speed—of Data

Gut instincts have never had much to do with being a CIO; now they should have less to do with being an ordinary manager as well, as data becomes more important.

As part of that calculation, businesspeople must have the ability to analyze the value of the data that they seek. “You’ll need to apply a pinch of knowledge salt to your data,” advises Solvay’s van Zeebroeck. “What really matters is the ability not just to tap into data but to see what is behind the data. Is it a fair representation? Is it impartial?”

Increasingly, businesspeople will need to do their analysis in real time, just as CIOs have always had to manage live systems and processes. Moving toward real-time reports and away from paper-based decisions increases accuracy and effectiveness—and leaves less time for long meetings and PowerPoint presentations (let us all rejoice).

Not Every CIO Is Ready

Of course, not all CIOs are ready for these changes. Just as high school has a lot of false positives—genius nerds who turn out to be merely nearsighted—so there are many CIOs who aren’t good role models for transformation.

Success as a CIO these days requires more than delivering near-perfect uptime, says Lenovo’s Hu. You need to be able to understand the business as well. Some CIOs simply don’t have all the business skills that are needed to succeed in the transformation. Others lack the internal clout: a 2016 KPMG study found that only 34% of CIOs report directly to the CEO.

This lack of a strategic perspective is holding back digital transformation at many organizations. They approach digital transformation as a cool, one-off project: we’re going to put this new mobile app in place and we’re done. But that’s not a systematic approach; it’s an island of innovation that doesn’t join up with the other islands of innovation. In the longer term, this kind of development creates more problems than it fixes.

Such organizations are not building in the capacity for change; they’re trying to get away with just doing it once rather than thinking about how they’re going to use digitalization as a means to constantly experiment and become a better company over the long term.

Q118 Feature3 img6 CIOready Turning Data Into Insights: How Digitization Creates New Opportunities For The Telecommunications IndustryAs a result, in some companies, the most interesting tech developments are happening despite IT, not because of it. “There’s an alarming digital divide within many companies. Marketers are developing nimble software to give customers an engaging, personalized experience, while IT departments remain focused on the legacy infrastructure. The front and back ends aren’t working together, resulting in appealing web sites and apps that don’t quite deliver,” writes George Colony, founder, chairman, and CEO of Forrester Research, in the MIT Sloan Management Review.

Thanks to cloud computing and easier development tools, many departments are developing on their own, without IT’s support. These days, anybody with a credit card can do it.

Traditionally, IT departments looked askance at these kinds of do-it-yourself shadow IT programs, but that’s changing. Ferro, for one, says that it’s better to look at those teams not as rogue groups but as people who are trying to help. “It’s less about ‘Hey, something’s escaped,’ and more about ‘No, we just actually grew our capacity and grew our ability to innovate,’” he explains.

“I don’t like the term ‘shadow IT,’” agrees Lenovo’s Hu. “I think it’s an artifact of a very traditional CIO team. If you think of it as shadow IT, you’re out of step with reality,” he says.

The reality today is that a company needs both a strong IT department and strong digital capacities outside its IT department. If the relationship is good, the CIO and IT become valuable allies in helping businesspeople add digital capabilities without disrupting or duplicating existing IT infrastructure.

If a company already has strong digital capacities, it should be able to move forward quickly, according to Ross. But many companies are still playing catch-up and aren’t even ready to begin transforming, as the SAP-Oxford Economics survey shows.

For enterprises where business and IT are unable to get their collective act together, Ross predicts that the next few years will be rough. “I think these companies ought to panic,” she says. D!


About the Authors

Thomas Saueressig is Chief Information Officer at SAP.

Timo Elliott is an Innovation Evangelist at SAP.

Sam Yen is Chief Design Officer at SAP and Managing Director of SAP Labs.

Bennett Voyles is a Berlin-based business writer.

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Digitalist Magazine

March into Madness Armed with Data Insights

iStock 608524308 e1521565179660 March into Madness Armed with Data Insights

Since over 17 million ESPN brackets are already … less than perfect… it’s likely you aren’t overly pleased with how your predictions turned out. Next time, why not put analytics in the game to give your lineup a boost? Get insights into all of your pressing bracket questions, from upset odds to repeating champions, using TIBCO Spotfire.

(See how the TIBCO Spotfire Bracket did!)

With the rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and incredibly intelligent and visually appealing analytics dashboards, data scientists are becoming just as excited about the NCAA tournament as basketball diehards!

With TIBCO software, you can have the incredibly quick actionable insight of Michael Porter Jr., the visibility of Ben Simmons into the unknown, and self-service ability like Jalen Brunson.   Starting with the data itself, everyone knows that data preparation is necessary before analysis can begin. Often times you need to see the data before you notice it needs adjusting. Why toggle back and forth between multiple applications slowing your analysis to a crawl, and possibly introducing errors? Spotfire data wrangling functions permit users to adjust data without having to leave your analysis.

Using Spotfire you can mashup data from multiple sources. Already have a good game-focused dataset? What about adding location data on top of it? For example, how much of a factor does distance away from the hometown affect the odds of winning? Use Spotfire Map Charts to give compelling visual insights into game locations vs the home location of the college.

Don’t know where to start? You don’t need to be an analytics expert. Grab a data set and let the Spotfire wizard recommended visualizations.

Get ready for the insanity now. Download a free trial of TIBCO Spotfire, watch our tutorial videos, and find a few public datasets to get started. Let the madness begin!

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The TIBCO Blog

Insights from the Hackathon at TIBCO Energy Forum 2017

Today’s booming competitive landscape demands that to create a value analytics added solution, a company must invest on multiple levels:

  • Find a BI tool that is fit for the problem and tech ecosystem
  • Train a team to work within the paradigm of the tool
  • Define their domain specific problems as analytic questions
  • Apply the team’s skills and tool capabilities to answer the analytic question

Often, companies will achieve 2-3 out of the above 4 and fail to reap the full benefit of their investments. At the TIBCO Energy Forum 2017 Hackathon we set about to address this by allowing the format to be flexible.

The 2-hour guided hackathon was designed to address common analytic use cases in the energy sector and how TIBCO Spotfire could be leveraged to gain insight. We saw registrations from more than 130 Spotfire enthusiasts of all skill levels. They could choose to compete in the guided hackathon or follow along and explore the energy sector problems they found most relevant in the areas of machine learning, geoanalytics, data exploration, production data analysis, and integrating social media insights into their applications.

solution screen Insights from the Hackathon at TIBCO Energy Forum 2017

Participant entry and comments for “Points in Polygons” problem, which asked analysts to programmatically match the Wells to their regional properties.

The TIBCO tech team was excited to evaluate the participant entries and discover how they had transformed data and leveraged data functions to customize dashboards, identify unique patterns through visualizations, and bridge the gap between knowing the product and using it effectively to solve the business problem.

We at TIBCO recognize that building an ecosystem where consumers are able to develop on and contribute to the platform benefits the entire community. To this effect, we encourage you to try the Spotfire hackathon exercises and send in your entries, questions, and feedback to drspotfire@tibco.com.

Resource Links

  • TIBCO Energy Solutions contains datasheets, case studies, solutions and other resources specific to the Energy Sector.
  • TIBCO Community Exchange contains under category “Analytics” reusable components and data functions that can be downloaded and then added to your dxp file.
  • TIBCO Answers page is a question and answer forum for TIBCO Products. Spotfire questions can be asked under Analytics or Spotfire tags.
  • Dr Spotfire will feature online training and Q&A sessions biweekly for both new Spotfire users and existing Spotfire users.

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The TIBCO Blog

FREE Training on Insights for Dynamics 365

FREE Training – Microsoft Insights for Dynamics 365 powered by InsideView Technologies, Inc.  

Jan 18, 2018 1:00 PM Eastern Time 

Microsoft Insights powered by InsideView is included in most Microsoft CRM/Dynamics 365 subscriptions and is one of the most powerful tools in the system.  Join us for a free training webinar on how to get the most out of Insights for Dynamics 365. Guest speaker Jeff Brenot from InsideView will co-present.

Topics for the training session – 

-Update Lead, Account and Contact records with just a single click

-Add new contacts to Accounts

-Place Accounts on your watchlist to be notified automatically when new information is released about them

-View ownership and family tree information -View posts your leads, customers, suppliers, and competitors publish on social media

-Build and import lists of precisely targeted prospects based on a wide variety of criteria: demographics, firmographics, business triggers, and common connections

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

IDC Insights: Selecting the Right ERP System Critical to Support Future Growth

Posted by Mickey North Rizza, IDC Program Vice President, Enterprise Applications and Digital Commerce

Digital Transformation (DX) is fundamentally changing businesses, allowing them to transform their decision making, which is enhancing their business outcomes significantly. Digital transformation is an enterprise wide, board-level, strategic reality for companies wishing to remain relevant or maintain or enhance their leadership position in the digital economy. Digitally transformed businesses have a repeatable set of practices and disciplines used to leverage new business, 3rd Platform technology, innovation accelerators and operating models to disrupt businesses, customers, and markets in pursuit of business performance and growth. DX is driving businesses to rethink their technology strategy and that includes moving beyond their legacy back office ERP systems. New sources of innovation and creativity to enhance experiences and financial outcomes are paving the way for enterprises to move towards SaaS and cloud-enabled ERP software.

Why move to SaaS and cloud-enabled ERP systems?

Years of spreadsheet jockeying and little visibility make it hard for small and midsized businesses to grow quickly. Larger midmarket businesses have invested in legacy systems that are customized heavily, meaning that every upgrade is a costly and painful process, not to mention the sunk costs in hardware and maintenance. Midmarket businesses looking to grow and move beyond these issues are rethinking their ERP system strategy, seriously considering SaaS and cloud-enabled ERP systems.

Businesses of all sizes undergoing digital transformation have turned their focus to SaaS and cloud-enabled software because they need flexible, agile ERP systems that are configurable, continuously updated, quick to implement and scalable. Small and midmarket businesses are finding that most SaaS and cloud-enabled ERP systems are now within their means, allowing them to quickly expand and grow into new regions around the globe.

How do I select the right SaaS and cloud-enabled ERP system?

Fortunately for ERP buyers there is a massive amount of information surrounding ERP solutions, but synthesizing it can be quite complex. Organizations require significant research to fully understand what they will be buying. So many buyers are quickly scanning the internet, finding a list of ERP vendors and reaching out to them, before they even issue an RFP. This leads to massive confusion and uncertainty.

One sure method for finding the right ERP vendor is an IDC MarketScape document on ERP. IDC publishes IDC MarketScapes for multitudes of applications across the technology spectrum. Midmarket ERP buyers can utilize the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-enabled Midmarket ERP Vendor Assessment, 2017. The document is thorough, following a rigorous research methodology that looks at vendor offerings, their go-to-market strategy and their business. IDC MarketScapes include a representative list of midmarket ERP technology vendors. Vendors were then surveyed and further investigated to ensure that their ERP systems qualified as SaaS or cloud enabled and were already serving mid-market clients. Fifteen vendors actively participated in the research with a total of 52 references contacted and interviewed. Discussions with references included the systems utilized and their perception of the vendor and software in terms of technical support, account management, marketing message, level of value delivered versus price paid, ease of integration, user interface and ROI. In addition, references also provided areas of improvement and their future business requirements.

The document is an excellent way for the IT buyer to look at the market, understand the market and vendors, determine the field of vendors to include in an RFP, and for the selection process. The IDC MarketScape figure quickly displays the field of vendors so that Leaders, Major Players, Contenders and Participants are outlined based on their strategies and capabilities. The segments are:

Leaders: Vendors strong in both strategies and capabilities.

Major Players: Show strength in most areas of strategies and capabilities.

Contenders: Have many strengths but are often limited in some areas such as geography, industries, or specific product features.

Participants: Are often new entrants, or fading stars with few exceptional capabilities or strategies.

The vendor profiles provide a guide to the IT Buyer on who the vendor is, the strengths and challenges for each vendor and many times include reference comments. Finally, a recommendation is provided for the IT Buyer on when they should consider a particular vendor. The IDC MarketScape document is a guide for vendor inclusion in your selection process and also a must have reference document that answers many of your questions on the vendors in the market.

To learn more, read about NetSuite’s place in the MarketScape for Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-enabled Midmarket ERP applications 2017 and watch a webcast with NetSuite and IDC on how to select the right ERP vendor.

About the Author

 IDC Insights: Selecting the Right ERP System Critical to Support Future GrowthMickey North Rizza is program vice president for IDC’s Enterprise Applications and Digital Commerce research practice. She leads a team of analysts responsible for IDC’s coverage of the next generation of enterprise applications including ERP, financial applications, procurement, supply chain automation project and portfolio management, enterprise asset management, services resource planning (SRP) and related project-based solutions software and the digital commerce business network. In her role, Mickey and the team advises clients on ERP and i-ERP systems and associated applications, and digital commerce with a focus on the key trends, opportunities, innovation and the IT and Business Buyer concerns and requirements.

Posted on Mon, January 8, 2018
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From Insights to Action with the Power Apps custom visual

Power BI makes it possible for anyone to explore data and find insights to make better business decisions. But often, the insight itself isn’t the end result – instead, an action needs to be taken.  It could be identifying an underperforming sales region and initiating a targeted promotion to get it on track.  Or it might be identifying suspicious sensor readings from manufacturing devices and creating a work order to investigate.

With the new PowerApps custom visual for Power BI, taking action has never been easier or more integrated.  PowerApps makes it easy to build automated workflows that connect to software and services you already use.  Now, with our custom visual, you can use Power BI to find an insight, then trigger a PowerApps app right from within your report.  The custom visual eliminates manual, error-prone data entry so people across your organization can take action in one click.  If you’ve previously used the capability of embedding a PowerApp inside a Power BI dashboard tile, the custom visual takes it a step further.  It allows context about the current data being shown in a report to be passed through to your app, so you can prefill fields or lookup additional information.

Working%20Report From Insights to Action with the Power Apps custom visual

Check out the PowerApps team blog for more details on getting started.

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At Splunk .conf 2017: New Ways to Gain Business Insights and Meet Compliance Requirements from Mobile, Web and Mainframe Data

More and more organizations are looking for ways to access Mainframe data and make it available for business intelligence in next-generation analytics platforms. Splunk’s advanced visualization and analytics platform is a very popular target for diverse sources of enterprise-wide data, including mainframe. Syncsort designed Ironstream to provide total visibility into the z/OS environment by delivering mainframe machine data to Splunk® Enterprise and other Splunk platforms to provide unmatched analysis supporting IT Operations Analytics, Security Information & Event Management, and IT Service Intelligence.

To address current initiatives that are key to many of our customers, yesterday at Splunk .conf, Syncsort announced a new addition and a new partnership to its innovative Ironstream® solution that enables collection of log data from SMF, RMF, Syslog and other z/OS sources, and forwards that data in real time to the Splunk® Enterprise analytics platform.

How to Gain Visibility into Business Services Across Mobile, Web and Mainframe Platforms

Our new product offering is Ironstream® Transaction Tracing, which enables IT staff with minimal mainframe knowledge to get deep insight into how web-based and mobile transactions impact the mainframe, with unprecedented granularity that enables them to quickly identify and solve service problems and improve customer satisfaction.

Highlights of Transaction Tracing include:

  • Expanding Visibility into the Total End-user Experience: Tracks transactions initiated on and off the mainframe – including mobile and web platforms – and feeds data in real-time to Splunk Enterprise to take advantage of its advanced analytics and visualization.
  • Providing Deeper Visibility into Mainframe Impact: Provides critical information on overall transaction response time, with the ability to drill-down into transaction details including time spent, and resources consumed, on CICS and Db2 on z/OS.
  • Supporting Business Service Management Initiatives: Enables transaction problem isolation and resolution for long-running transactions, to meet SLAs, improving application performance and end-user experience.
  • Support for Splunk IT Service Intelligence: Allows Splunk® IT Service Intelligence users to drill-down to see added detail for transactions that hit key mainframe resources and proactively respond to slow growing problems within CICS and Db2 that might impact business critical SLAs.

Carahsoft Partners with Syncsort to Address Compliance for the Public Sector

Another key use case that mainframe data is needed to address is compliance. Yesterday, we also announced we have forged a distribution partnership with Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider™ Carahsoft. Carahsoft’s network of specialized resellers will market and sell Syncsort Ironstream® to deliver real-time mainframe machine data to Splunk® Enterprise, helping government agencies meet regulatory requirements.

This new partnership will allow federal, state and local agencies to get a handle on all enterprise data, including mainframe, required to meet compliance needs. The combination of Ironstream and Splunk® Enterprise also provides a way to get valuable insights to support their ITOA, Enterprise Security and IT Service Intelligence initiatives. The distribution agreement makes Ironstream a formal part of the solution set for Carahsoft resellers.

blog banner eBook Ironstream case studies 1 At Splunk .conf 2017: New Ways to Gain Business Insights and Meet Compliance Requirements from Mobile, Web and Mainframe Data

Syncsort and Carahsoft, and their expert government resellers will work together to provide a complete solution that helps agencies comply with strict regulations, such as IRS publication 1075 tax information security requirements, and save money by improving operations and preventing erroneous or fraudulent payments.

To learn more about the new Ironstream product and our partnership with Carahsoft, listen to Syncsort CEO, Josh Rogers’ appearance on theCUBE at 2:30 PM ET today. And, if you’re at Splunk .conf this week, stop by the Syncsort booth #T1 to see a live demo of Transaction Tracing!

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Engagement Insights Easily Delivers Marketing Metrics You Care About

blog title engagement insights 351x200 Engagement Insights Easily Delivers Marketing Metrics You Care About

The modern marketer is flooded with data. Website data. Pipeline data. Email data. Social  Media data. Views. Likes. Comments. Clicks. Cart abandonment. Conversions. There are vanity metrics, marketing metrics, and business metrics.

It can be – and often is – overwhelming. As Act-On blogger Pam Neely recently reported, “53% of marketing executives feel ‘overwhelmed’ by the amount of data produced by their marketing technologies.”

At Act-On, we believe marketers should quickly be able to access the key engagement analytics they and the executive team care about. That’s why we’ve developed Engagement Insights, an easy-to-use templated approach to measuring marketing performance using tools you’re already using – Google Sheets or Excel.

Now, Act-On customers can gain real-time insight on how their audience is engaging with them. And those insights should not only be actionable and easily shareable with key stakeholders throughout your organization, but also drive optimization and improvements for your marketing programs.

With Act-On’s Engagement Insights – powered by Data Studio – marketers will be able to quickly have visibility into what they care about:

  • Email & Message: Measure key metrics across all email campaigns including number sent, opened and click thru rates
  • Forms: Know exactly what forms are converting visitors into leads and see trends over time
  • Landing Pages: Better understand what campaign landing pages are performing best, as well as see the engagement trends over time
  • Content Assets: Focus future activities by learning exactly what your audience is engaging with on your website, as well as when they are engaging

At Act-On, our mission is to empower marketers to do the best work of their careers. With Engagement Insights, we’re giving marketers the cypher to find meaningful signals from all the data being collected.

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