Tag Archives: Needs

10 Things about LinkedIn Sales Navigator a CRM Admin Needs to Know

LinkedIn Sales Navigator 300x225 10 Things about LinkedIn Sales Navigator a CRM Admin Needs to Know

In this blog, we will review the 10 things a CRM Admin needs to know about LinkedIn Sales Navigator and walk through some settings.

If you would like to learn more about the LinkedIn Sales widget, please check out this link: LinkedIn for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Widget – Overview. We recommend that you review the Microsoft Dynamics 2016 and Office 365 Installation Guide as well. If you are unfamiliar with the LinkedIn CRM Sales Widget, below is a very brief illustration because we are going to talk about Sales Navigator today!

The LinkedIn for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Widget works with the Accounts, Leads, Contacts and Opportunity entities. The widget allows a user to see a LinkedIn Member Profile and Company Profile as sections on the entity form. How does it work? Well, while creating a Lead, the widget lets the user search LinkedIn.com directly from the Entity form and users can view information from LinkedIn.com about the Lead’s LinkedIn Member Profile. Below are a couple of screen shots.

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If you want to know more about the LinkedIn Sales Widget, please see our video Dynamics 365 In Focus: LinkedIn Sales Navigator and read our blog How Microsoft’s Acquisition of LinkedIn is Revolutionizing the Sales Game for Dynamics 365 Users.

So, what is the Sales Navigator CRM sync about for a CRM Admin?

The Sales Navigator Admin CRM sync allows CRM Admins to:

  • Connect to an Online D365 Organization
  • Auto sync all seat holders in CRM
  • Set a Business Process Stage where Accounts and Leads from CRM will be imported to Sales Navigator
  • Allow Sales Navigator to size and group a won Opportunity
  • Enable Sales Navigator data to sync back to your CRM
  • Sales Navigator data items as Activities in CRM
  • CRM Data sync Statistics
  • Copy InMail Messages to CRM

Now let’s break down the Sales Navigator CRM Settings!

Sales Navigator Administration Settings

1. System Requirements:

  • Microsoft Dynamics Administrator User with CRM Admin security role
  • CRM Instances: Dynamics 2016 online or on premise and/or Dynamics 365 Online
  • Integration user account for CRM sync
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator Enterprise Edition
  • Assumption that the LinkedIn Sales widget is successfully installed

2. Connect to CRM and then enter subdomain for the Dynamics 365 online instance, this will be followed by a request for credentials. The recommendation is to use a service account for these credentials. The reason is that when LinkedIn Activities (InMail, Messages etc.) are copied to Dynamics 365 these LinkedIn Activities are “Completed by” the CRM Admin for the Sales Navigator account versus the record Owner.

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3. Confirmation of Connection to Dynamics 365 and the date of the last sync with Dynamics 365.

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Below are the other configurable settings:

4. Auto Sync CRM allows Accounts and Leads to be automatically imported to Sales Navigator

5. Use Business Process Stage to import Accounts and Leads into Sales Navigator. The drop-down menu allows for five optionset values. The first is “Not Sure” the remaining four values are the Dynamic Out-of-the-Box business process stage names, 1-Qualify, 2- Develop, 3-Propose, 4-Close.

6. Storing the value for a won Opportunity allows Sales Navigator to size and identify the profile of deals. There are two available values for this option set, “Not Sure” and “Amount”

7. Sales Navigator syncs back to CRM. These data items become Activities in CRM. Below is a sample InMail message created in Sales Navigator with the copy to CRM feature enabled. The third view is this same message showing as an Activity item in Dynamics 365, how cool!

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8. Sales Navigator data items as Activities in CRM. Users can create LinkedIn messages while working in Dynamics 365.

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9. Sales Navigator Sync Statistics can be viewed by clicking on the View details link of the connected Dynamics instance. The table of CRM Data Sync Statistics shows stats for records the Accounts, Contacts and Leads entities.

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10. The Admin sub menu item “Seat Management” allows enabling of the CRM Sync feature for a Sales Navigator Seat (aka Dynamics 366 User).

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Pretty great stuff, huh? We hope this has provided relevant information about the Linkedin Sales Navigator from the CRM Administrator’s perspective. In review, we connected and configured Sales Navigator settings, showed the sync with CRM Activities, the CRM Data Sync Statistics and enabling CRM sync at the seat level. For more information about the LinkedIn Dynamics Sales Navigator see these tutorials.

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

3 Things About Machine Learning Every Marketer Needs to Know

20180117 bnr data nodes shop 351x200 3 Things About Machine Learning Every Marketer Needs to Know

TL;DR: Machine Learning 101: 3 Things Marketers Need to Know

Got data?

I bet you do.

Mountains of data, in fact. Terabytes of data. Libraries worth of data. With more streaming in every hour of every day.

We marketers love our data, but, let’s face it … we probably only use a fraction of the data we collect.

It’s not that we don’t want to use more of it. We do.

It would be fantastic, for example, to follow each and every customer around, to see everything they read, how long they read it for, where they clicked next. You might even want to drop a cookie on their computer and see all the other websites they went to. You could survey them, too, and send them personal messages on social media. Test when is the best time to send them messages, and which channel they respond to best.

Then, with all that wonderful knowledge, you could hole up in your office and design a complete soup-to-nuts marketing strategy just for them.

I’m not talking about something like account-based marketing, where your work is for one big target company. I’m talking about a totally personalized, hand-crafted marketing strategy and execution for every single possible prospect your company could have.

Just think of it: thousands of completely personalized marketing plans. Tens of thousands of personalized messages. Hundreds of thousands of hours poring over the data, studying exactly how each and every single prospect behaves.

That’d be great, right?

Well, if you had unlimited time and unlimited resources, maybe. If you never had to sleep, and had no family and no life … and the assurance that you’d live to be at least 312.

Otherwise … forget it.

Being able to focus that closely and to process every little bit of data we have about our prospects and customers is laughable. Delusional.

We are not machines.

At the most, we only have enough resources to segment our audiences. We have to create personas and buyers journeys based on our best guesses (informed by the data, of course).

But what if machines could do all that?

What if a well-trained algorithm could follow each one of your prospects around and could recommend the perfect piece of content and send it to them at the perfect time, in the channel they’d be most likely to respond to it in? And what if the algorithm could even predict the perfect time for your ace salesperson to finally give them a call?

That’s what machine learning can do.

Here’s what you need to know about it (at least for starters).

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence.

At its simplest definition, machine learning is nothing more than “using data to answer questions.” Hat tip to thank Google’s superb video series on machine learning for that definition.

It’s a specific type ‒ or discipline, if you will ‒ of artificial intelligence. One of its strengths is that a machine learning algorithm’s accuracy can improve over time. It can “learn.” So. while a program that can play chess might be considered artificial intelligence, a program that can learn to play chess, and ping pong, and any other game, would be an example of machine learning.

More complicated machine learning systems are often called “deep learning.” So, for the game example, deep learning systems are set up to use multiple levels – called “neural nets” ‒ to do their processing.

Here’s a Venn diagram to help understand:

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Act-On Blog

“There Needs To Be Real Consequences”

zuckerberg54321 “There Needs To Be Real Consequences”

I was critical last month of a line in a Nick Bilton article I otherwise liked. The Vanity Fair “Hive” writer offered this assessment of Mark Zuckerberg: “His skills and experience have put him in a rare position to remedy so much of what ails us.” I don’t think that’s so, and even if it were, the Facebook co-founder, multi-billionaire and perhaps Presidential aspirant wouldn’t likely be suited for the role. Despite his stated goal to divest himself of nearly his entire fortune to causes bettering humanity, Zuck has been from the start a morally dubious person who knowingly rose to prominence on the back of a company dedicated to mass surveillance, surreptitious “social experiments” and profiting from neo-Nazi social networking. The dishonest narrative about Facebook being a means of improving the world makes the reality worse. The company has always been about the accumulation of money and power.

It’s not that there’s no hope for Zuckerberg. There have been few bigger assholes than Bill Gates during his Microsoft heyday, and now the sweater-clad 2.0 version is actually eradicating diseases. (Truth be told, however, several people I’ve met who work for the Gates Foundation still don’t have great things to say about him as a boss.) But the social network CEO’s nation-wide “listening tour” and photo-ops in cow pastures and on shrimp boats aren’t convincing evidence he’s learned from mistakes, nor was his recent “Building Global Community” manifesto, which essentially just promised more of the same. Like many Facebook users, Zuckerberg seems to be presenting an image of what he’d like people to see rather than what’s really there. 

In the two excerpts below, Bilton takes a more skeptical look at Facebook in wake of this week’s anti-Semitic advertising scandal, and Matt Haig of the Guardianargues that social media is an unhappiness-making machine.


From Bilton:

Since the election (and even leading up to it), it’s become abundantly clear that social media presented itself as a profoundly useful tool for the Russians, extremists, and possiblyeven people within the Trump campaign, to potentially disfigure our electoral process. Before Trump co-opted the term “fake news” to describe entirely accurate, if unfavorable, stories about him, real fake news was being created and proliferated at scale. Algorithms on Facebook didn’t work to try to stop this from happening, but rather to ensure that these fake stories landed right on the digital doorsteps of the people who might find them most interesting, and who might change their votes as a result of that content. Twitter’s problem with political bots has existed for as long as I can remember. Earlier this year,a data researcher noticedthat there were hundreds of Twitter accounts ending with a string of eight numbers (like @DavidJo52951945) that only tweeted about hot-button political topics, all of which followed each other. This might seem harmless on some level, but these accounts had been disseminating incredibly divisive (and oftentimes fake) stories about Brexit, Ukraine, and Syria, plus anti-immigration articles from outlets like Breitbart and excessively schismatic articles from the Daily Mail. The researcher also found that these accounts only tweetedbetween 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Moscow time, and only during the week—almost as if it were someone’s job in Russia to do so. The accounts have tens of thousands of followers, and the suspected propagandists behind themstoked the flames of dissentby creating far-left bots which would go after Trump and his supporters.

I don’t actually see these issues as massive problems within themselves. Of course people are going to try to manipulate these technologies. The larger issue, however, is that these enormous, profoundly wealthy companies aren’t doing enough to stop them, and are not being held accountable. (Twitter andFacebookhave attempted to crackdown on trolls in some ways since the election.) Curiously, Wall Street, which still remains oddly buoyant in the Trump era (it’s amazing what the rich will sacrifice for tax reform) is not chastising Silicon Valley for the extensive role it played in the mess we find ourselves in today. Facebook is worth $ 491 billion, despite months’ worth of news stories indicating it allowed Russian accounts to buy and target pages and adson its network during the election, which estimates say could have reached 70 million Americans. Twitter’s stock, while bumpy, has barely moved since news definitively broke about all of the“fake Americans”that Russia created and operated on the social network during the election. (Here’s a fun game: go look at Donald Trump’s latest followers on Twitter and see how long it takes you to find a real human being who has recently joined and followed him. Most accounts have names like @N4wapWLVHmeYKAq and @Aiana37481266.)

Earlier this week, Sam Biddle argued on The Intercept that Mark Zuckerberg should be forced to go before Congress about the role Facebook played in Russia’s propaganda efforts. “Zuckerberg should publicly testify under oath before Congress on his company’s capabilities to influence the political process, be it Russian meddling or anything else,” Biddle wrote. “If the company is as powerful as it promises advertisers, it should be held accountable.” There are also reports that there is now a “red-hot” focus on social media by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election. But in both of these instances, there needs to be real consequences. It doesn’t take 20,000 employees to see the apathy and neglect these platforms have played, and continue to play, in the attacks against democracy by the people who want to see it fall.•


From Haig:

Even the internet activist and former Google employee Wael Ghonim – one of the initiators of the Arab spring and one-time poster boy for internet-inspired revolution – who once saw social media as a social cure – now saw it as a negative force. In his eyes it went from being a place for crowdsourcing and sharing, during the initial wave of demonstrations against the Egyptian regime, to a fractious battleground full of “echo chambers” and “hate speech”: “The same tool that united us to topple dictators eventually tore us apart.” Ghonim saw social media polarising people into angry opposing camps – army supporters and Islamists – leaving centrists such as himself stuck in the middle, powerless.

And this isn’t just politics. It’s health too. A survey conducted by the Royal Society of Public Health asked 1,500 young people to keep track of their moods while on the five most popular social media sites. Instagram and Snapchat came out worst, often inspiring feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and self-loathing. And according to another survey carried out by the youth charity Plan International UK, half of girls and two-fifths of boys have been the victims of online bullying.

The evidence is growing that social media can be a health risk, particularly for young people who now have all the normal pressures of youth (fitting in, looking good, being popular) being exploited by the multibillion-dollar companies that own the platforms they spend much of their lives on.

Kurt Vonnegut said: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful who we pretend to be.” This seems especially true now we have reached a new stage of marketing where we are not just consumers, but also the thing consumed.•

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After Dumping Its Mobile Business, Baidu Needs To Innovate Again

What does Baidu’s sale of its mobile business portend for its ability to integrate businesses?

At the end of March 2017, the Chinese search engine company told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it sold its mobile gaming business. Two companies took over Baidu’s gaming business for CNY1.2 billion. Baidu has also renamed its gaming business to “Duokoo Game” and separated it for independent operation.

In July 2013, Baidu announced the full acquisition of 91 Wireless for USD1.9 billion, which was reportedly the largest acquisition in Chinese Internet history at that time. 91 Wireless is mainly engaged in mobile Internet application distribution and its core assets include 91 Mobile Assistant, Android app store, 91 mobile open platform, PandaReader, and a mobile gaming portal.

After acquiring 91 Wireless, Baidu’s mobile business did not see much improvement. In 2014, Baidu integrated its Duokoo mobile game business with 91 Wireless game business to formally establish a Baidu-branded mobile game division.

Baidu has taken heat in the past year for not being nimble enough on its investments and acquisitions. It has been outpaced by rivals Tencent and Alibaba in gaining footholds in nascent sectors like artificial intelligence, and only recently has named new executives to run a revamped investment strategy for the company.

Ultimately, Baidu’s future rests in how it has developed in a vacuum in the past. Because of protectionist policies, Baidu has not had competition, especially from foreign rivals like Google. And without competition, its services have not had to be the best. For example its search engine routinely does not deliver highly relevant results. And because its services have not had to be the best, its staff perhaps have not been trained to exceed expectations.

For Baidu to continue to do well in new sectors like AI, it should revamp its internal structure and “be hungry” in order to reach new heights.

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Solution Spotlight: Managing Patient Needs with a CRM Portal [VIDEO]

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PowerObjects worked with Brighton and Sussex University Hospital to develop a digital solution for the Virtual Fraction Clinic. The Virtual Fracture Clinic streamlines rehabilitation plans for patient fractures using a Dynamics 365 portal. In this Solution Spotlight, hear from Pavlos on this example of digitizing the healthcare system.

Thanks for watching the Solution Spotlight!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

Experience your data with Power BI Germany and meet your compliance and regulatory needs

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Last January, Microsoft announced the availability of Power BI Germany, a powerful SaaS business analytics service delivered through live, interactive dashboards and reports. While this is the same experience that millions of subscribers are enjoying today across the globe, Power BI Germany delivers this through a unique data trustee and data residency model in Germany to address the needs of the most regulated customers in Germany, the European Union (EU), and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Power BI Germany modern BI capabilities are delivered from German datacenters, with customer data stored at rest exclusively in Germany, and strict customer data access and control measures via a unique data trustee model governed under German law. The data trustee, T-Systems International GmbH, an independent German company and subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, controls all access to customer data by anyone other than the customer and their users. Power BI Germany helps organizations adhere to strict EU data protection regulations and gives them additional choice of how and where their data is processed.

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With Power BI, you can see all of your data through a single pane of glass. Live Power BI dashboards and reports show visualizations and KPIs from data residing both on-premises and in the cloud, providing a consolidated view across your business regardless of where your data lives.

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Power BI also provides two companion applications. The first is Power BI Desktop, a visual data exploration and reporting desktop tool. With Power BI Desktop, you can visually explore your data with a freeform drag-and-drop canvas, a broad range of modern data visualizations, and an easy-to-use report authoring experience for publishing content. There are also native interactive mobile apps for Windows, iOS, and Android, providing secure access and viewing of live Power BI dashboards and reports from any device.

In September 2016 Azure became the first cloud service available from the new Microsoft datacenters in Frankfurt/Main and Magdeburg, Germany. Power BI Germany further increases Microsoft’s investment in Germany. Additionally, Office 365 Germany, is also now generally available from the Microsoft Cloud Germany. Finally, later in the first half of this year, Dynamics 365 will reach general availability in Germany.

You can learn more about Power BI Germany in our FAQ article, including feature parity, useful URLs and admin configuration. You can also sign up for a free 30 day/25 licenses trial today at our Power BI Germany home page.

Other resources

· Website

· Power BI Germany FAQ

· Microsoft Cloud Deutschland (MCD)

· Microsoft Trust Center

· Microsoft National Clouds

· Power BI YouTube Channel

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15 Cheat Sheets Every Successful Digital Marketer Needs

It’s not easy being a digital marketer today. You need to know and do everything from content strategy to writing and editing, SEO, social media marketing, analytics, and so much more.

So how do you stay on top of it all?

(I’ve developed my own cheat sheet for content marketing ROI – because that’s the biggest challenge I hear from marketers today.)

But here are 15 cheat sheets from some amazing sources that will make your life easier and help you get the results you want from your digital marketing efforts.

1. The anatomy of the perfect blog post

How do you create the blog posts that will get your audience’s attention and stand out from the sea of content out there on the Web? This infographic gives you the blueprint for writing a great blog post, everything from the headline to intro, main copy, visual elements, and social sharing.

1 Anatomy Perfect Blog Post 15 Cheat Sheets Every Successful Digital Marketer Needs

2. The periodic table of content marketing

This periodic table highlights the eight areas that are key to your content marketing success. You’ll find everything from content marketing goals to content formats, types, topics, and metrics you need to track to deliver great content your customers will love.

2The Periodic Table of Content Marketing 15 Cheat Sheets Every Successful Digital Marketer Needs

3. The Web developer’s SEO cheat sheet

For SEO newbies and experts, this cheat sheet from Moz includes all the SEO best practices you’ll want to know to keep your websites’ SEO and search-friendly, including HTML elements, social metadata, URL, and hyperlinking tips.

4. Everything you need to be a social media rock star

This handy infographic shows you everything you need to know about image sizing for your social media profiles, keyboard shortcuts, and best days and time of day to post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram, to help you get the most out of your social media marketing efforts.

5. The ultimate inbound marketing checklist

This eBook-like cheat sheet walks through all the key components of a successful inbound marketing campaign and how you can go about accomplishing each, everything from blogging to social media, lead generation, email marketing, marketing automation, and analytics.

6. The ultimate list of blog post ideas

Running out of topic ideas for your next blog? This comprehensive infographic shares over 50 content topics and types that will surely fire up your inspiration today and help you create quality, valuable content to keep your audience coming back for more.

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7. A 50-point checklist for creating the ultimate landing page

Don’t think your landing pages are delivering the results you want to see? Here’s a checklist you can use to make sure you’re not missing any of the key 50 elements that will help you build a remarkable landing page that converts.

8. The ultimate 101 list of copywriting awesomeness

Creating compelling content is no easy job. This cheat sheet covers 101 writing do’s and don’ts to help you write great content that engages and converts.

9. Content distribution strategies for blogs of all sizes

Creating valuable content is only half the battle. If you can’t get your content in front of your target audience, you’re not going to get the traffic and conversions you’d like to see from your blogging efforts. This checklist from Buffer shares 11 effective strategies they’ve learned from content promotion experts to help you get your content out there and make sure it is seen by as many of your target customers as possible.

10. The ideal length of everything online

Wondering what the optimal length is for your social media and Web content? SumAll and Buffer pulled together this amazing infographic that summarizes the ideal length for your Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ posts and more.

10Ideal Length Online 382x414 15 Cheat Sheets Every Successful Digital Marketer Needs

11. The ultimate SEO checklist

This infographic from SEO & digital marketing agency LeapFroggr is a must-have for any digital marketer’s toolbox. It includes practical SEO tips and best practices you can implement – everything from market and competitor research to on-page and off-page SEO – to ensure your great content and websites are getting searched and seen by your target audience.

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12. A complete conversion rate optimization checklist

How do you make sure your Web pages are attracting and converting your target audience? Here’s a helpful checklist that walks you through the six essential steps to successful conversion rate optimization so your target visitors are taking the action you want them to take.

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13. Google Analytics metrics and dimensions cheat sheet

If you’re new to Google Analytics or need a refresher, here’s a great cheat sheet that provides a comprehensive overview of all the Google Analytics metrics and dimensions you’ll want to be tracking to measure and improve the ways customers engage and interact with your website.

13 Google Analytics 1024x338 15 Cheat Sheets Every Successful Digital Marketer Needs

14. SEO best practices for blog posts

Totally new to SEO but want to optimize your blogs for SEO and search ranking right away? This infographic offers six important SEO best practices you can implement today, with a checklist you can hang on your wall as a quick reference for future blog posts you’re creating.

15. The ultimate Google Algorithm cheat sheet

With Google constantly updating its algorithms, it’s hard to stay up-to-date with it all. This comprehensive article from Neil Patel helps you understand some of the key ranking factors that will impact your website ranking in search results.

What other cheat sheets and resources do you use to improve your digital marketing efforts? Please share your ideas below!

To meet customer expectations, social media must move outside the marketing department. Learn How to Weave Social Media Into the Fabric of the Business.


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Digitalist Magazine

7 Recruiting AI Terms Every Recruiter Needs To Know

277357 l srgb s gl 300x200 7 Recruiting AI Terms Every Recruiter Needs To Know“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs

As a part of the last wave of Millennials joining the workforce, I have been inspired by Jobs’ definition of innovation. For years, Millennials like me have been told that we need to be faster, better, and smarter than our peers. With this thought in mind and the endless possibilities of the Internet, it’s easy to see that the digital economy is here, and it is defining my generation.

Lately we’ve all read articles proclaiming that “the digital economy and the economy are becoming one in the same. The lines are being blurred.” While this may be true, Millennials do not see this distinction. To us, it’s just the economy. Everything we do happens in the abstract digital economy – we shop digitally, get our news digitally, communicate digitally, and we take pictures digitally. In fact, the things that we don’t do digitally are few and far between.

Millennial disruption: How to get our attention in the digital economy

In this fast-moving, highly technical era, innovation and technology are ubiquitous, forcing companies to deliver immediate value to consumers. This principle is ingrained in us – it’s stark reality. One day, a brand is a world leader, promising incredible change. Then just a few weeks later, it disappears. Millennials view leaders of the emerging (digital) economy as scrappy, agile, and comfortable making decisions that disrupt the norm, and that may or may not pan out.

What does it take to earn the attention of Millennials? Here are three things you should consider:

1. Millennials appreciate innovations that reinvent product delivery and service to make life better and simpler.

Uber, Vimeo, ASOS, and Apple are some of the most successful disruptors in the current digital economy. Why? They took an already mature market and used technology to make valuable connections with their Millennial customers. These companies did not invent a new product – they reinvented the way business is done within the economy. They knew what their consumers wanted before they realized it.

Millennials thrive on these companies. In fact, we seek them out and expect them to create rapid, digital changes to our daily lives. We want to use the products they developed. We adapt quickly to the changes powered by their new ideas or technologies. With that being said, it’s not astonishing that Millennials feel the need to connect regularly and digitally.

2. It’s not technology that captures us – it’s the simplicity that technology enables.

Recently, McKinsey & Company revealed that “CEOs expect 15%–50% of their companies’ future earnings to come from disruptive technology.” Considering this statistic, it may come as a surprise to these executives that buzzwords – including cloud, diversity, innovation, the Internet of Things, and future of work – does not resonate with us. Sure, we were raised on these terms, but it’s such a part of our culture that we do not think about it. We expect companies to deeply embed this technology now.

What we really crave is technology-enabled simplicity in every aspect of our lives. If something is too complicated to navigate, most of us stop using the product. And why not? It does not add value if we cannot use it immediately.

Many experts claim that this is unique to Millennials, but it truly isn’t. It might just be more obvious and prevalent with us. Some might translate our never-ending desire for simplicity into laziness. Yet striving to make daily activities simpler with the use of technology has been seen throughout history. Millennials just happen to be the first generation to be completely reliant on technology, simplicity, and digitally powered “personal” connections.

3. Millennials keep an eye on where and how the next technology revolution will begin.

Within the next few years Millennials will be the largest generation in the workforce. As a result, the onslaught of coverage on the evolution of technology will most likely be phased out. While the history of technology is significant for our predecessors, this not an overly important story for Millennials because we have not seen the technology evolution ourselves. For us, the digital revolution is a fact of life.

Companies like SAP, Amazon, and Apple did not invent the wheel. Rather, they were able to create a new digital future. For a company to be successful, senior leaders must demonstrate a talent for R&D genius as well as fortune-telling. They need to develop easy-to-use, brilliantly designed products, market them effectively to the masses, and maintain their product elite. It’s not easy, but the companies that upend an entire industry are successfully balancing these tasks.

Disruption can happen anywhere and at any time. Get ready!

Across every industry, big players are threatened — not only by well-known competitors, but by small teams sitting in a garage drafting new ideas that could turn the market upside down. In reality, anyone, anywhere, at any time can cause disruption and bring an idea to life.

Take my employer SAP, for example. With the creation of SAP S/4HANA, we are disrupting the tech market as we help our customers engage in digital transformation. By removing data warehousing and enabling real-time operations, companies are reimagining their future. Organizations such as La Trobe University, the NFL, and Adidas have made it easy to understand and conceptualize the effects using data in real time. But only time will tell whether Millennials will ever realize how much disruption was needed to get where we are today.

Find out how SAP Services & Support you can minimize the impact of disruption and maximize the success of your business. Read SAP S/4HANA customer success stories, visit the SAP Services HUB, or visit the customer testimonial page on SAP.com.


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Digitalist Magazine

Data integration framework needs more horsepower to handle big data

TTlogo 379x201 Data integration framework needs more horsepower to handle big data

In many organizations, the rubber is meeting the road on the need for an upgraded data integration framework that incorporates big data platforms. And you could easily hit some potholes on the journey — or worse, end up in a ditch.

For starters, big data architectures typically include a combination of internal systems and external data sources. They also add various types of unstructured and semi-structured data, in addition to structured transaction data. Hadoop data lakes and NoSQL databases pose different integration challenges compared to traditional data warehouses. The growing adoption of stream processing tools puts pressure on IT teams to rev up the data integration process to real-time speeds.

That nets out to a lot of added demands — and new investments. In a 2016 Magic Quadrant report, Gartner said the need to blend existing IT infrastructure with big data systems, cloud platforms and other emerging technologies is ratcheting up the number of data integration initiatives getting the green light from corporate executives.

TDWI analyst Philip Russom made a similar point in a December 2015 report on modernizing a data integration framework. Without broader integration capabilities, “organizations cannot satisfy new and future requirements for big data, analytics and real-time operations,” Russom wrote.

But there’s still work to be done. Gartner analyst Merv Adrian said in an October 2016 blog post that ingesting data into data lakes had been a big discussion topic with user clients at the company’s annual Symposium/ITxpo conference that same month. Much of the focus, he added, was on finding data integration tools to help in “managing and documenting the process better.”

This handbook offers advice on navigating the new demands to help your organization polish up its data integration framework — and stay out of the big data integration breakdown lane.

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State of the Mainframe: What Every Business Needs to Know About Big Iron and Big Data

Big Iron’s Critical Role in Big Data Analytics, Operational Intelligence, Security and Compliance

Since the introduction of the IBM System/360 in the mid-1960s, mainframes have played an important role in information processing in many global organizations. By the 1990’s client server technologies emerged and the proliferation of UNIX, Windows, and Linux servers exploded in many organizations. These platforms were perceived to be cheaper and easier to deploy and maintain, leading to many false predictions of the “death of the mainframe.” Fast forward to 2017 – the mainframe didn’t die, and IBM z Systems are still playing a significant, albeit evolving, role within most large organizations.

We recently completed our State of the Mainframe annual survey of IT professionals to take the mainframe pulse and determine the general health of mainframes within organizations. Respondents were from a wide range of IT disciplines including executives, architects, system programmers, application analysts, database administrators, operations managers, and security professionals.

Some results were expected, and some were a bit surprising.

  • On the expected side: The IBM z/OS mainframe isn’t going away in the near term. (Maybe that’s still a shock to some open systems folks!) Big Iron’s z/OS mainframes are still the predominant platform for performing large-scale transaction processing on mission-critical applications – but organizations struggle to maintain mainframe expertise.
  • On the surprising side: “Big Data” analytics for operational intelligence and to meet security & compliance requirements is on the rise for mainframes. As part of this analytics wave, organizations are focused on accessing and leveraging mainframe logs, SMF, and other z/OS information sources for correlation with data from open systems using analytics platforms such as Hadoop and Splunk. The mainframe is no longer the isolated “black box,” and its ability to integrate with distributed platforms, both for multi-platform application support and for enterprise-wide analytics, is key for many organizations.

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4 Key Trends to Watch for in 2017

Four key trends in how organizations will be leveraging Big Iron data as a critical component of enterprise-wide business intelligence to support operational analytics as well as security and compliance initiatives reflect the vital role of mainframe data and the necessity for integrating it with distributed data within analytics platforms and technologies:

  1. Organizations will move Big Iron application and log data to next-generation Big Data analytics platforms.

    60% of respondents indicated that they plan to move mainframe data off-platform for analytics. A growing number of large organizations are now looking to leverage modern data architectures like Hadoop, Spark and Splunk to analyze mainframe application and log data at scale and at the speed of business.

  2. Security and compliance mandates will be key drivers for technology evaluations and mainframe data analytics.

    66% of respondents ranked the ability to do Big Data analytics for operations and/or security across the entire enterprise as important. Big Iron hosts some of the most sensitive business and operations information for large enterprises. For this reason, mainframe application and log data are also emerging as critical data sources for security and compliance initiatives, which were ranked as the top initiatives for IT executives and IT organizations.

  3. Technologies that enhance and monitor data movement between platforms will rise in importance.

    62% of respondents don’t feel they are able to effectively track data in motion. Organizations are looking for tools to monitor data movement across a variety of platforms and let them know what data is being moved, by whom, when and where.

  4. Big Data analytics for operational intelligence, security and compliance will continue to grow and emerge as a critical project in many organizations.

    48.6% of respondents indicate it is desirable for their organization to have access to log, SMF or other data on the mainframe for correlation with distributed data in Big Data and analytics platforms (Splunk, Hadoop, etc.). This reflects an emerging trend in how Big Iron’s z/OS operational data can be used on advanced analytics platforms to gain valuable business insights, driven by the limitations of the static nature of the display capabilities of existing mainframe tools.

For more information and details on our mainframe survey, read our eBook.

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