Tag Archives: Needs

“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.

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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.•

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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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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.

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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.

11SEO 361x414 15 Cheat Sheets Every Successful Digital Marketer Needs

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.

12 CRO 383x414 15 Cheat Sheets Every Successful Digital Marketer Needs

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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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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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.

blog banner MFSurvey2017 State of the Mainframe: What Every Business Needs to Know About Big Iron and Big Data

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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The Crash Course in Mobile Content Every Marketer Needs Now

You know how real estate people like to say, “location, location, location”? It’s time digital marketers started saying “mobile, mobile, mobile.”

Here’s why:

  • There’s more traffic on the Internet from mobile devices than from desktops. And that’s been true since 2014.

There’s a slew of stats to verify mobile’s rising dominance, but I think you get the idea. Here’s the problem, though: B2Bers aren’t keeping pace.

According to Regalix’s State of B2B Content Marketing 2016 report, only 11% of B2B marketers have a strategy exclusively for mobile content.

This is actually down from last year, when 21% of respondents said they had a strategy.

Unfortunately, it shows. Content on mobile devices tends to get less engagement than content on a desktop, especially for B2B technology marketers.

A problem, but even more of an opportunity

Okay, so we’ve got a disconnect here. But this is more of an opportunity than a disaster. Sure, we’re not serving our mobile users as well as we could be. And there are more of them every day – they now actually outnumber the people who are viewing our content on desktops.

So it’s time to adapt. We’re very close to the end of the year right now, and you’re probably shifting through your priorities and assigning budget accordingly. Here’s your reminder that mobile deserves a top priority, and that it’s something you need to do to move the needle.

Benchmark where you stand with mobile

A lot of us may feel like we’re behind on mobile content, but really what matters is how you compare to your competitors. Here are a few of the key findings from another Regalix report, the “State of B2B Mobile Marketing” to show you where you stand:

  • Only 51% of B2B organizations are investing in mobile marketing.

If you’re putting in even a dribble of budget to this, you’re in the top half of mobile adopters. And, seriously – even a little counts. According to that same Regalix report, 73% of B2B marketers allocate less than 10% to mobile marketing.

This is downright weird given that almost half of them say mobile marketing will be “very important” to their organization’s growth in the next three years. (And again, this is an opportunity for you.)

  • 65% of marketers say they have a “mobile website,” which I suspect means they have a mobile-friendly website.

If your site passes muster with Google’s Mobile-Friendliness tool, you’ve already passed the next big hurdle. And remember: Being mobile-friendly helps your search engine rankings, too. A lot.

  • Only 45% of B2Bers say their emails are mobile friendly.

We’ve written about how critical a good mobile experience is for email marketing before, so I won’t dig too deep into it here.

Just understand: More than half of the people who are seeing your emails are seeing them on mobile devices. They expect those emails to look good, be easy to click, and to load instantly.

Fall short on any of that and your results will suffer. But get it right… and you’ve got yourself an edge.

  • You’re using mobile-friendly landing pages.

Sadly, only half of your peers are using mobile-friendly landing pages. (Guys, really? How much are you spending to drive traffic to those pages?)

  • You’re personalizing the content you show mobile users.

This one is beyond the basics, so I can see how adoption could fall off. Adding personalization (more than simply dropping in first names) can be a challenge. But we’ve got software now that makes this easier and easier.

How context, simplicity, and mobile content work together

Let’s shift from personalizing content to “contextualizing” it. This tactic is particularly important with mobile, but it’s a concept that can seem murky at times. This slide from the Content Marketing Institute’s webinar, “Making Mobile Moments Matter”, explains it well:

Context matters more in mobile marketing because of the nature of the device people are using. The screen space is small, so it’s easier to feel lost in a sea of content and options. Also because of the screen size, tasks like clicking, filling out forms, or navigating are harder, too.

If you still want the experience to be positive, mobile messaging needs to be trimmed down and streamlined. Same goes for navigation and even some functionality.

So how do you do this? Ask yourself questions like this:

  • Who is visiting your site? I.e., define your buyer personas.
  • Why are they visiting your site? You must address these needs if visitors are to have a positive experience. You need to make it easy for them.
  • What do you want them to know? What key topics and points does your content need to cover?
  • What do you want them to do? What specific calls to action do you need to make, and how do those actions move people to the next step of their journey and your sales funnel?

Want to know more about this phase of developing a mobile content strategy? See our recorded webinar, “How to Create a Mobile-Friendly Customer Journey”.

How to format and present content for optimal mobile engagement

Once you’ve done the work outlined above, you’ll be a long way towards making your mobile users’ experience far better. But there’s still more you can do. Here are some formatting and content creation tips for mobile content:

  • Try to develop content that is “modular” and that has a well-defined content hierarchy.

Some marketers have had success with “collapsible content”. This is content that can expand and contract almost like an accordion based on what the user is interested in.

For example, imagine a list of bullet points. Each point is hyperlinked, so if a user clicks on it, it opens up with a few more sentences of description. But if a user doesn’t interact with it, the content stays compact, not “distracting” the user with details they aren’t interested in.

pic7 The Crash Course in Mobile Content Every Marketer Needs Now

A very simple example of collapsible content.

If you’re interested in this, check out a Whiteboard Friday presentation Moz did last year about writing for the Web and “hypotext.” They’ve even got a plugin to help you set up your own collapsible content.

  • Tighten up your messaging. Or, as it’s been said before, “Omit needless words.” Shorter is better with mobile. Just be sure to preserve the meaning and the force of your words.
  • Try to use shorter headlines than you might use for desktops.
  • Use short paragraphs of no more than 3-5 lines.
  • Use subheaders. They help people scan copy, improve SEO, and give readers’ eyes a rest.
  • Use bullet points. For all the reasons you use subheaders.
  • Use images. People are particularly drawn to images on mobile devices. To make images work even better, show them at full column width, “minify” them (reduce their file size so they load fast), and use keywords in the filenames.
  • Spend extra time crafting the first few sentences of any piece of content. These often end up being the “teaser” copy for the piece … so those sentences are nearly as important as the headline.
  • Use a body font that’s 12 points or larger.
  • Write as if you were drafting a PowerPoint presentation or a billboard – not a printed book.
  • Simplify the navigation as much as possible.
  • Make links and any buttons or calls to action BIG. Big enough to overcome the “fat fingers” effect.
  • Simplify your forms and be sure they render properly on mobile devices. Forms are a hassle on almost any screen, but on tiny screens, they’re even worse. See our ebook, “Frictionless Forms” for more information.
  • Make it fast. Really fast. Speed matters on mobile. Even a two-second load time is enough to cause people to bail.
  • Use video. We’ve written about how important video marketing is for B2Bers, but that’s not the whole story. Video is also inherently mobile friendly. According to Bit.ly’s The Ultimate Guide To Mobile Content Marketing, “When it comes to creating mobile content marketing, video is the number one area for marketers to focus on in 2016.” Want to see a B2B company that has a great mobile video experience? Check out GE.

Think outside the website

For those of us still in a desktop-first mindset, all those last pieces of advice probably applies to web pages. But that’s only one of the mobile formats available. Now that our audiences are using apps, messaging apps, SMS, and so many other content “containers,” it’s time for us to use them, too.

Here are a few of the options:

Consider an app

Apps are big and getting bigger. And they’re built into the DNA of the mobile experience. In fact, half of all time spent on smartphones is now spent on apps.

Consider messaging apps, too

Is it possible there are apps that are used more than the big social media apps? Seems crazy, but it’s true. Messaging apps have silently taken over a massive chunk of Internet activity.

Google’s answer boxes (aka “Rich Answers”)

These are the blocks of content that have recently started appearing at the top of search results. They are inherently mobile-friendly, but desktop users can see them, too.

Want to know more? See our blog post about answer boxes and how to get your content to appear in them.

Push notifications and SMS

Whether it’s a text message or a push notification, it’s another way to communicate with your audience. I’ve even been seeing prompts to accept these push notifications on some marketing blogs lately.

pic10 The Crash Course in Mobile Content Every Marketer Needs Now

Freelance writer Kristi Hines has added a prompt to sign up for push notifications on her blog.

Social media is a mobile content format, too.

Worried your content isn’t getting enough shares? Most of us are. Mobile to the rescue: People tend to share content more often on mobile devices. All the more reason to make those social sharing buttons big and clickable. They might just get used.

Why no mention of Instagram here? Because it’s nearly a pure-mobile platform. 98% of Instagram users are on mobile devices.

Conclusion

It’s pointless to say the Internet is going mobile. It’s already gone mobile. So has much of business on the Web, including content marketing. It’s time we all caught up.

What do you think?

How deeply does mobile fit into your content marketing strategy? Is it a top priority for your work next year? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Why Your Call Center Needs OnContact CRM Software

gettyimages 485452545 Why Your Call Center Needs OnContact CRM Software

In order for a call center to be truly effective, it needs a lot of organizational measures in place. Calls need to be handled efficiently and fully, records need to be kept accurately, resources need to be deployed quickly, call center representatives need to stay busy and held accountable, etc. To accomplish all of this, why not rely on one comprehensive, centralized software solution? That’s where OnContact CRM by WorkWise comes in. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your call center can’t afford to miss out on all of the solutions this software package has to offer.

We integrate with CTI switches

If you run a call center, you probably also need to rely on CTI switches for incoming calls and hands-free communication. Well, you’re in luck! OnContact integrates seamlessly with a plethora of the most popular CTI switches. Click-to-call and click-to-answer functionality is crucial in high-functioning call centers, as it increases the likelihood for resolving customer issues on the first contact. With CTI integration, we’re putting innovation at the forefront of your contact center to improve customer service.

Computer-integrated screen pops

Keeping with the trend of technology and software innovation, we’d like to introduce you to another helpful tool included in our contact center solution: alerts and screen pops. When working in a call center, the last thing you need to worry about is missing an alert because you have to scroll through a multitude of screens and dashboards. OnContact’s offering gives you the ability to have integrated screen pops appear on your computer, so you don’t have to waste time sorting through screens. The alert is right there in front of you, saving time and giving your call center representatives peace of mind.

Additionally, you’re able to make immediate changes to any call scripts that your representatives rely on while handling calls. With real-time updates and changes, you’ll always be equipped with the most up-to-date information and resources available to you.

Intelligent call scripting

Call scripting needs to go beyond simple text boxes. That’s why our call center software provides HTML capabilities as well, including images, links, and more. Call agents can also save notes and other reminders via the customer relationship management application while handling calls.

Customization

Just like the rest of the OnContact CRM software solution, contact center is totally customizable to fit your business’s unique needs and demands. Our experts will work with you to ensure that the product is working the way your business requires it to. We do this because we believe that software products should always work FOR the customer, and not the other way around.

It’s included with our CRM

You can’t have a quality contact center software package unless it’s 100% integrated with your customer relationship management solution. Fortunately, our call center package is included with the price of OnContact CRM. No upcharges, no additional fees. You’ll be able to access all of your customer financial and historical information directly within the contact center application, without having to search through numerous screens and software solutions. And since it’s integrated with OnContact, you don’t have to go through numerous support service teams. We’ll take care of it all for you, from call center to marketing automation and more.

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OnContact CRM