Tag Archives: Software

CRM Software Blog Members Contribute to New White Paper

You’ve done your research and learned about the benefits of moving your business processes to the Cloud: increased flexibility, mobility and opportunity.  Now you’re ready to take the plunge. There’s just one more step to take before you start. To prepare you for a successful transition we asked members of our ERP/CRM/Cloud Software Blogs to contribute their own experiences to a new white paper: 7 Pitfalls to Avoid as You Transition Business Software to the Cloud

We asked contributors to give us real-life examples of pitfalls they have encountered when transitioning their clients to the Cloud. Better yet, we asked them for advice on how these problems can be avoided in the first place. Learn from these examples and make your own transition to the Cloud hassle free.

Of the twenty expert contributors to the white paper, eight are valued members of the CRM Software Blog:

AKA Enterprise Solutions

Beringer Technology Group

BroadPoint Technologies

C5 Insight

CRM Dynamics

FIELDBOSS

JourneyTEAM

Thanks to all our members who helped to make this white paper a valuable resource.

Download the white paper, 7 Pitfalls to Avoid as You Transition Business Software to the Cloud

By CRM Software Blog writer www.crmsoftwareblog.com

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

G2 Crowd Names NetSuite Leader in Nonprofit Accounting Software

og logo g2crowd 927f448fdce49f503b83e2c47067d218a9d6236a86875b3842cfe596eceabb2a G2 Crowd Names NetSuite Leader in Nonprofit Accounting Software

G2 Crowd Names NetSuite Leader in Nonprofit Accounting Software

Posted by Morgan Carey, Nonprofit Industry Marketing Lead

Following on a strong list of industry awards, NetSuite has been named a leader in Nonprofit Accounting based on peer-to-peer reviews. NetSuite offers a true nonprofit accounting solution, including fund & grant accounting, automated FASB reporting, and simplified financial segmentation.

NetSuite’s nonprofit customers include Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Brightpoint Health, Idaho Farm Bureau and San Francisco SPCA, leveraging cloud ERP to manage their operations and focus on their social missions. This accolade, driven by actual users providing reviews about the products they use to run their organizations, solidifies NetSuite’s position as the industry leading solution for nonprofits looking to grow their social impact.

G2 Crowd is a leading peer-to-peer review platform for business software. Their research reports and vendor comparisons are based on user ratings and social data.

 G2 Crowd Names NetSuite Leader in Nonprofit Accounting Software

About G2 Crowd, Inc.

G2 Crowd, the world’s leading business solution review platform, leverages more than 360,000 user reviews to drive better purchasing decisions. Business professionals, buyers, investors, and analysts use the site to compare and select the best software and services based on peer reviews and synthesized social data. Every month, nearly one million people visit G2 Crowd’s site to gain unique insights. G2 Crowd aims to bring authenticity and transparency to the business marketplace.

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The NetSuite Blog

7 Pitfalls to Avoid as You Transition Business Software to the Cloud

Today, more and more organizations are moving their business processes to the Cloud, and for good reason.  There is no doubt that the cloud provides real benefits. Still, transitioning represents change, and for the change to be successful, your move to the cloud should be approached with eyes wide open.

We asked members of the CRM Software blog who have had years of experience helping businesses transfer successfully to the Cloud to identify for us some of the cautions and important lessons they have learned along the way. The result is a new white paper:

7 Pitfalls to Avoid as You Transition Business Software to the Cloud

Any major change will have its challenges, so to help you steer clear of potential problems, we’ve collected stories based on the real experiences of companies like yours that have made the change. For each of the seven pitfalls, we identify the best ways to avoid them and make your move to the cloud smoother and easier.

You’ll read about a field services company that believed that moving to the cloud would provide a simple way to solve the challenge of coordinating employees and resources across a large geographic territory. It would have if they had avoided pitfall #5.

You’ll also read about an auto parts distributor who compromised the security of one its biggest retailer by not paying attention to pitfall #7. How can you avoid making the same costly mistake?

Learn from these experiences and five more in the white paper, 7 Pitfalls to Avoid as You Transition Business Software to the Cloud.

Download the white paper here: www.crmsoftwareblog,com/pitfalls

A qualified technology partner like those listed at the bottom of the white paper can help you make the right choices and avoid the potential pitfalls as you move to the cloud.

By CRM Software Blog, www.crmsoftwareblog.com

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

CRM Tops Software Sales Charts Worldwide

Worldwide customer relationship management software revenues totaled US$ 39.5 billion in 2017, eclipsing database management systems, the former market leader.

DBMS had worldwide revenues of $ 36.8 billion last year, and it “has been the biggest software segment for years, noted Julian Poulter, research director at Gartner.

CRM software will be the fastest-growing software market in 2018, with a growth rate of 16 percent, Gartner predicted.

Among the CRM sales drivers:

  • Lead management
  • Voice of the customer
  • Field service management

Field service management, or FSM, is “driven by mobile technology and the IoT,” Poulter told CRM Buyer.

Despite many new entrants to the CRM market, the major vendors offering CRM suites covering sales, commerce and service have been showing stronger than average growth and are successful at cross-selling additional modules to existing customers, Gartner found.

However, “none of the three Gartner Magic Quadrant leaders for CRM and lead management — Marketo, Oracle and Salesforce — have a CRM and lead management application that’s designed to work together from the get-go,”
X2CRM CEO David Buchanan pointed out, noting that X2CRM delivers that functionality.

Meanwhile, compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is expected to increase the cost of CRM, as well as infosec and customer experience management, over the next three years, Gartner warned. The deadline for GDPR compliance is May 25.

Breaking Down Gartner’s Findings

“Lead Management integrates business process and technology to close the loop between marketing and direct or indirect sales channels, and to drive higher-value opportunities through improved demand creation, execution and opportunity management,” Poulter said.

Voice of the Customer solutions are offered by a variety of organizations with differing breadths, focuses and capabilities, he noted. A comprehensive VoC solution “integrates collection, analysis, distribution and action into a single interconnected platform to understand customer experience and sentiment.”

Marketing automation software also deals with lead management, and “many of the vendors we cover in LM would also be seen as MA vendors,” Poulter said. However, MA also includes more demand generation — ad tech and data management platforms — and more multichannel campaign management functionality.

“Lead management and marketing automation have to go together, and they have to be totally integrated and designed in with CRM,” X2Engine’s Buchanan told CRM Buyer.

They “have to share one database, one overall design, and one workflow process, or companies will be left with two databases which have about 70 percent of the same data,” he said.

The Threat of GDPR

More than 50 percent of 235 multinational organizations surveyed for the 2nd Annual GDPR Readiness Report, which AvePoint and the Center for Information Policy Leadership jointly released last month, have committed additional funds — ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $ 50 million — for GDPR compliance.

However, 60 percent did not have procedures in place to identify and tag data, and 77 percent did not use automated software tools to track the full life cycle of personal data they held.

That could mean trouble ahead, because “the support team must be prepared to quickly and easily respond to customer requests to have a copy of their personal data or have that data forgotten,” noted Abinash Tripathy, CSO of
Helpshift.

Tips for CRM Vendors

CRM vendors must recognize the need to differentiate on customer experience, Poulter said. They also should recognize the enhanced expectations of both customers and employees, and build software accordingly.

“Invest in the cloud,” Poulter advised, and “be clear on positioning and messaging. It’s a rapidly growing and changing market.”

Businesses must use the insights, guidance and recommendations provided by artificial intelligence and machine learning, Poulter suggested. They also must use modern mobile interfaces, build a single 360-degree view of customers, remove silos of data, and ensure integration between CRM and CX functionalities.

“The future is around vendors who provide a single solution that includes CRM, marketing automation and lead management,” X2Engine’s Buchanan said, “built on a common database and common cloud and workflow that can span all three areas.”
end enn CRM Tops Software Sales Charts Worldwide


Richard%20Adhikari CRM Tops Software Sales Charts WorldwideRichard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology.
Email Richard.

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CRM Buyer

Budgeting for CRM Software? Start Here.

CRM Blog Budgeting for CRM Software? Start Here.

Is your organization in the market for a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution? And have you been charged with rounding up some figures to present for budgeting? Well, good news, we can help with that. Knowing up front the total cost of the software, maintenance, and ongoing costs can be very helpful during your budgeting phase.

The CRM Software Blog has developed the Quick Quote Wizard, a tool that is designed to quickly and easily generate an estimate for Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM. Here’s how it works:

On the right-hand side of each page on the CRM Software Blog, you’ll see an orange bar labeled “Request Instant Quote Dynamics 365/CRM.” Click on that bar, and you’ll be taken to the brief online form. Fill in your contact information and the number of user licenses you require, and you will receive an instant, automated Microsoft Dynamics 365 Quick Quote outlining software, maintenance and estimated service costs for an entire project for either Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online.

It couldn’t be easier, and your quote will be sent within minutes directly to the email address you provided.

Your contact information will be forwarded to just one of our CRM Software Blog members in your area. They can help with any questions you have about the software, and if you choose to work with them, they can firm up the price and schedule the work. If you choose not to proceed, or would rather work with another partner, you’re under no obligation. The Quick Quote estimate is a service we provide for our readers, so they can have an idea if Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online is the right solution for their organization.

The Quick Quote Wizard is fast, and it’s easy. Why not try it today?

By CRM Software Blog writer, crmsoftwareblog.com

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

It’s time to regulate: The U.S. must make software companies liable for breaches

 It’s time to regulate: The U.S. must make software companies liable for breaches

The software industry has failed to sufficiently protect the public from data theft and misuse. It’s time for the U.S. government to get serious about regulation.

Last year, multiple U.S. government agencies established guidelines for improved cybersecurity hygiene. In May, the White House claimed “known but unmitigated vulnerabilities are among the highest cybersecurity risks faced by executive departments and agencies.” The same month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advised industry constituents to create a software bill of materials to better understand if they were shipping products with known security vulnerabilities.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission also reported that “outdated software undermines security,” recommending organizations “prioritize patches by severity” and employ a reasonable process to update and patch open source and third-party software in order to reduce the risk of a compromise. Similar guidelines have been offered recently by the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Underwriters Laboratory, and the Department of Homeland Security.

While each of these policies provide sound recommendations, breaches continue at a record pace, providing evidence that, left to its own devices, industry is guilty of poor cybersecurity hygiene. Just as poor hygiene spreads disease across vast populations, poor cybersecurity hygiene inflicts digital casualties across our finance, healthcare, defense, energy, and automotive industries.

In Europe, regulators have taken significant strides to improve cybersecurity and data privacy practices, passing laws to hold organizations liable for poor cyber hygiene practices. In May 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect. Article 32 of the GDPR states that organizations must “implement appropriate technical and organizational measures” to “ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability, and resilience of processing systems and services.” When combined with Article 25, which mandates that data protection measures be implemented “by design and by default,” it’s clear security must become ingrained in every element of IT and software development practices. Those failing to follow these rules and who subsequently experience a breach could be fined up to €20 million, or 4 percent of global annual turnover – the greater of the two.

Individual nations are also taking action. Just last month, both French legislators and the UK government announced tougher guidelines for IoT device manufacturers. The UK specifically demanded that security be built into smart devices from the very beginning and that software be automatically updated. The UK also released its National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021, declaring organizations “ultimately liable for the security of their data and systems” and subsequently issuing fines for gross negligence.

Similarly, in an effort to put more teeth into U.S. policies through regulation, Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced a bipartisan bill in August called the “Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017.”

A large percentage of breaches today take advantage of weaknesses in software applications, much of which are preventable through automated security practices. My firm put together a report on the software supply chain in 2017, and we found that 80-90 percent of modern applications are assembled from open source and third-party components and that development teams with suboptimal hygiene inevitably use open source components with critical vulnerabilities. Last year, 5.5 percent (1 in 18) components downloaded from internet-based open source repositories contained known security vulnerabilities. We also found that organizations with automated hygiene practices reduced the presence of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in their applications by 69 percent.

Today millions of Americans suffer from breach fatigue. They see breaches as an inevitable side effect of using software connected to the internet. Our policy makers cannot accept the status quo as inevitable. It’s time for them to act.

Derek Weeks is Vice President at Sonatype.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

Software Performance Issues? It Might be Your Architecture.

Here at Sisense we support high-availability, multi-server deployments for scalability and flexibility. In fact, these deployments are ready to go, out of the box and are common at most of our customer’s sites.

While this type of deployment meets the performance demands of most customers, we recently had a large customer come to us wanting to get even more out of their system. We decided to customize a solution using out of the box Sisense capabilities to meet their specific requirements.

Here’s what we did.

Step 1: Investigate

If we take a look at a common architecture schema with a high availability environment, you may find, for example, a database layer, a build layer with one build node, a query and web layer with two query nodes and two web nodes, and a load balancer. Just like the image below:

scen1HA Software Performance Issues? It Might be Your Architecture.

In an environment like this, an end user sends a request through the load balancer to one of the two web nodes, with no discretion to which they are using. By default, the web nodes then run the query on one of the two query nodes and return the response to the request to the end user.

It’s important to keep in mind that each query node stores every query in the machine’s memory. So, let’s say that each of the query nodes has 500GB of RAM. Once the node gets to a predetermined threshold of RAM space left, the server automatically starts to clean up the queries to free up available RAM.

Which software stack is right for you? Find out with our ultimate comparison guide.

Step 2: Brainstorm

Therein lies our question: Why is there lag time in answering a query if the query nodes clear their cache once RAM reaches a maximum capacity? How can we reduce frequency without purchasing more RAM space?

started by mapping and roughly measuring the dashboards and how much RAM was utilized when queried. Because both of the query nodes have ~500GB of RAM in our example, I wanted to understand how much of it will be utilized and how often the cleaning process will occur. For example:

Dashoard Number Type Capacity
1 Customer Churn 100 GB
2 Finance 50 GB
3 Sales 35 GB
4 Help Desk Tickets 100 GB
5 Executive 50 GB
6 Leads Analysis 60 GB
7 Lead Generation 400 GB
8 Customer Satisfaction 200 GB
TOTAL CAPACITY 995 GB

After listing out the dashboards and realizing that the total capacity is less than 1TB, I needed to look at the actual functionality of the different nodes. Each web node has the same metadata and each query node has the same ElastiCube (Sisense’s super-fast data stores). So, when one end user asks a question and it’s directed to query node A, the answer gets “stored” there. However, if another end user asks the same question and it gets directed to query node B, it will be “stored” there too.

Ah-ha! This is not efficient. We’re storing the same answers twice on two different query nodes. This means, for example, that 5GB RAM query can take up a total of 10GB when stored on both query nodes. Moreover, this expedites the time interval for when the RAM will have to be flushed. Let’s try and reconfigure the architecture to fix it and find out.

Step 3: Test and Expand

To eliminate having the same queries saved on both query nodes’ RAM, I needed to create a structure that told the web nodes which query node to use based on which dashboard was being used.

If we use the example list of dashboards from above, I made sure that if dashboard 1, 3, 4, 6, and 8 were being used, the queries should be sent to query node A. If dashboards 2, 5, or 7 were being used, then the question should be sent to query node B. This means breaking the ElastiCube set and directing each dashboard to a dedicated query node. Doing so would eliminate our redundancy on the query layer.

For reliability purposes, if one of the query nodes is down, we want to have a fallback option that ensures all queries will succeed, even at the expense of performance. The solution was creating new ElastiCube sets like this:

Set 1: The cube on query node A is default, the cube on query node B is the fallback.

Set 2: The cube on query node B is default, the cube on query node A is the fallback.

The fallback cube does not participate in the ElastiCube Set round-robin routing and is not typically used. The fallback cube is only used when none of the other cubes in the set are available.

Now, specific queries are always routed to the same caches. Because the queries are not duplicated in both caches the available RAM across both caches is better utilized to store a larger amount of queries.

After testing this architecture and ensuring it works for all scenarios with two query nodes we expanded the capabilities to allow more than two query nodes if needed. Success!

So, What’s The Big Deal?

To put it simply: the ability to boost performance without having to add additional hardware reduces total cost of ownership. Most people can meet their performance demands with a standard high-availability set up. But for those who can’t, and who have the abilities to manage this new solution, this is an exciting discovery.

banner blog 3 Software Performance Issues? It Might be Your Architecture.

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Blog – Sisense

Data as a Feature: The New Differentiator for Software Builders

iStock 639637200 e1517933445411 Data as a Feature: The New Differentiator for Software Builders

It is a great time to be alive if you are a technology consumer. The era of “there’s an app for that” has quickly evolved into the era of “there are 10 apps for that”, meaning users have more choice than ever over which applications they adopt. Lower barriers to developing and providing an application have lowered the common denominator for software builders.

With an influx of new applications, product managers are having to find creative new ways to differentiate their offerings from the pack. User experience has proven to be one of the new differentiators and, in many in cases, is perceived as more important to users than core features and capabilities. In the new era of software, the best applications—the ones that stick—are those that pair great user experience with the powerful potential that lies within data. The best applications treat data as a feature of their product or service.

What exactly is “data as a feature”? It is the act and process of treating data as a core component of an application in a way that delivers value to the end user. One of the primary drivers for any product manager is to build a product that helps users achieve a goal or set of goals. When designed and packaged in the right way, data is a potent asset that allows users to reach goals and appreciate the full value of an application.

Need proof? Look at consumer applications like Mint.com and Strava—two of the most successful apps in their respective domains. Mint.com took the traditionally difficult task of deciphering financial information and made it easy for virtually any user to intelligently manage their finances. Strava accomplished the same feat in the world of personal fitness by allowing users to train smarter and reach cycling and running goals. Both applications provide highly visual interfaces that allow users of any competency to intuitively interact with data. Having these data experiences within the context of the application allows users to not only consume helpful insights, but act on those insights at the point of consumption.

And although data as a feature started in consumer products, business applications are capitalizing on the same practice as well. The HR & Finance application, Workday, uses thoughtfully designed charts and visualizations to give its non-technical, non-analyst users the power to make data-driven decisions around recruiting and workforce management.

Software product managers are a rare breed. Not many people have the creative vision, technical chops, and pragmatic decision-making skills that come with the job of product management. To meet demands of the next generation of application users, product managers must employ all of these weapons and look for new ways to differentiate their products from an increasingly crowded market. With a surplus of data at our disposal, many software builders are unknowingly sitting on gold mines of untapped data that can be unlocked for their users. By treating data as a feature, product managers can make stickier applications by helping users reach goals faster and more confidently with data.

 
To explore the concept of data as a feature and learn key considerations around embedded analytics, download the complimentary new O’Reilly eBook, Data as a Feature: A Guide for Product Managers.

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The TIBCO Blog

G2 Crowd Names NetSuite a Leader in PSA Software

By Jack Bryant, Services Industry Marketing Lead

Tally up one more for NetSuite. After garnering most of the accolades from independent analysts at the end of 2017, NetSuite has started the year off strong by being named a Leader in the G2 PSA Winter 2018 Report.

G2 Crowd is a leading peer-to-peer review platform for business software. Their research reports and vendor comparisons are based on user ratings and social data.

NetSuite%20PSA%20Infographic%20Final 2 G2 Crowd Names NetSuite a Leader in PSA Software

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The NetSuite Blog

Sequoia China leads $40 million round in DataVisor’s fraud detection software

 Sequoia China leads $40 million round in DataVisor’s fraud detection software

DataVisor, which provides fraud detection software, announced today that it has raised $ 40 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital China. Existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and GSR Ventures also joined.

The software analyzes client data and uses machine learning to identify fraudulent transactions, spam and abuse, identity theft, application fraud, insider abuse, money laundering, and more. It is sold on a subscription basis and can be deployed either on the cloud or in a private datacenter.

The Mountain View, California-based startup uses a technique known as unsupervised machine learning to detect those fraudulent transactions. Unsupervised learning aims to detect patterns within data without first being provided a set of labels for how to categorize that information.

Cofounders Yinglian Xie and Fang Yu spent several years working on computer security at Microsoft Research before founding DataVisor in December 2013.

They shared that the startup has more than 30 customers globally, including Alibaba Group, Cheetah Mobile, Pinterest, Tokopedia, and Yelp.

In this day and age of digital transactions and cloud-based data, cybersecurity is a big concern for companies around the world. Other startups trying to tackle this issue include Feedzai and Sift Science.

To date, DataVisor has raised a total of $ 54.5 million in disclosed funding. The Series B amount led by Genesis Capital is undisclosed.

DataVisor will use the fresh injection of capital to increase sales and marketing efforts, hire more engineers, and build out product lines to address new use cases.

Rock Wang, managing director at Sequoia China, will join DataVisor’s board of directors. Sequoia Capital’s China arm, which was founded in 2005, is reportedly raising up to 15 billion yuan ($ 2.37 billion) in its fifth fund to invest in local startups. It is also actively tapping potential Chinese investors for Sequoia Capital’s next big global fund.

Legendary Sequoia partner Michael Moritz certainly seems to admire China’s entrepreneurial zeal, something he made quite clear in a recent op-ed he wrote in the Financial Times. The piece has stirred quite a debate in Silicon Valley.

DataVisor currently has 75 employees across its Mountain View headquarters and offices in Shanghai and Beijing.

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Big Data – VentureBeat