Tag Archives: Wave

Prepare For The Next Wave of Disruptive Supply Chain Tech

As digitization takes over supply chains globally, it’s creating a profound shift in how businesses operate: Just-in-time supply has become the norm, and the cost of supply chain operations continues to drop. At the same time, real-time data and analytics enable predictive modeling to eliminate product shortages and help businesses react to real-world conditions far more efficiently.

The revolution in supply chain management is far from over, though. In the coming years, expect to see an entirely new wave of technologies that will further reshape the way we manage supply chains. As that happens, though, businesses everywhere must prepare to integrate new technology and reorganize operations in ways they may not have anticipated. Here’s a look at some of the latest incoming disruptive supply chain technologies and how businesses will need to adapt to make room for them.

Autonomous vehicles in shipping

One thing all supply chains have in common is a reliance on shipping. It occurs at every level of the supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to feed production to delivering the finished product to the consumer. In recent decades, the explosion of e-commerce has put intense pressure on the global shipping industry. The crunch has forced some freight operators to raise fees or even turn away business for lack of capacity.

Fortunately, help is on the way. Autonomous vehicles may have gotten plenty of attention for their consumer applications, but they are also poised to forever change the freight industry. In fact, this is already happening: Since late last year, several autonomous vehicle developers have had functioning prototypes of autonomous freight carriers on the roads, including one that routinely delivers refrigerators from Texas to California (with supervision, of course). The technology will force businesses to consider investing in private autonomous freight fleets, which would change distribution methods worldwide.

Robotics in warehouse operations

Another part of the supply chain that is experiencing an influx of new technology is warehouse operations. SAP partner Fetch Robotics has been building a fleet of warehouse robotics options that integrate with human-staffed warehouse environments, and that’s just the beginning. Collaborative robots like Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer system are getting new AI upgrades to make them safer around humans, and they’re already in use in logistics operations for global shipper DHL.

As businesses integrate new robotics solutions into warehouses, they are certain to increase efficiency and lower costs. Robotics will also change the makeup of warehouse operations staff, eliminating low-level floor positions and placing a premium on maintenance and management staff. That means that businesses will need to either up-skill current employees or place greater emphasis on professional certifications in their recruiting efforts. The types of robotics and automation they integrate will determine the best certification for supply chain management required of their upper-level professional staff.

Blockchain in the supply chain

Of all of the technologies working their way into supply chain systems today, the blockchain holds the greatest potential for disruptive change. Modern supply chain systems rely on one very simple concept to achieve maximum effectiveness – fluidity. Making the most of supply chain resources requires the elimination of as many barriers between operational nodes as possible, and in the global economy, the choke points are often at international borders. Anything that can reduce time spent on international transit would benefit supply chain management, and it’s looking like blockchain may be the solution.

A comprehensive end-to-end blockchain tracking system would eliminate paperwork, speed the transfer of data across international lines, and reduce transit times for products of every type, all over the world. Shipping giant Maersk and IBM have already thrown their considerable weight behind a joint venture aimed at the creation of such a system, and it’s gaining traction. Overall, the blockchain will increase transparency and security and enhance the scalability of supply chain systems around the world. It also means, however, that businesses must grapple with the task of integrating these new blockchain systems into their existing supply chain management infrastructure.

Embracing change

These are just a few of the technologies on the verge of changing supply chain management. As with other disruptive technologies, the way global supply chain managers embrace and integrate the change will factor heavily into how painful its adoption will be. Overall, though, continuing innovation in this space promises to deliver unparalleled advantages for global businesses, dramatically cutting costs and boosting productivity. In a world that is more interconnected and interdependent than ever, this revolution can’t come too soon.

To learn more about the push for supply chain digitization, read Why It’s Time For Ruthless Digitization Of Procurement And Supply Chain.

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Digitalist Magazine

TIBCO Named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Data Virtualization, Q4 2017

forrester wave TIBCO Named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Data Virtualization, Q4 2017

Off to a roaring start after its November 1, 2017 acquisition, TIBCO Data Virtualization has been named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Data Virtualization, Q4 2017 by Forrester Research.

Forrester believes that enterprise data virtualization has become critical to every organization in overcoming growing data challenges by delivering faster access to connected data and support self-service and agile data-access capabilities for EA pros to drive new business initiatives.

According to the report, 56% of global technology decision makers claim they have already implemented, are implementing, or are expanding or upgrading their implementations of DV technology in 2017, up from 45% in 2016.

The analyst firm had the following to say about the TIBCO acquisition:

“We see this as a big opportunity for TIBCO to expand its data management and integration capabilities by integrating its existing in-memory, graph, analytics, data quality, and master data management with Cisco’s DV solution. This will help TIBCO deliver an end- to-end data and analytics platform to support new business use cases that require orchestration of silos in real time with self-service and automation capabilities.” —The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Data Virtualization, Q4 2017

Learn more about TIBCO Data Virtualization and download a complimentary copy of the report.

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The TIBCO Blog

Video: Syncsort CEO and CTO on Riding the Big Data Wave

Two members of Syncsort’s leadership team, CEO Josh Rogers and CTO Tendü Yoğurtçu appeared on SiliconANGLE TV’s theCUBE during Big Data NYC 2017 last week. Each discussed different aspects of Big Data challenges and how Syncsort is helping organizations to ride the Big Data Wave to meet key business objectives and stay competitive.

Key to Big Data Success

During his interview with Tendü Yoğurtçu, theCUBE host John Furrier quoted VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, who said in 2011, “If you are not out in front of that next Wave, you are driftwood.” John went on to say that that the key to being successful is to ride the waves and the big waves are coming in now with technologies like artificial intelligence and the scale of Big Data. He noted that Syncsort keeps adding capabilities to help customers do just that.

Josh and Tendu addressed different aspects of how Syncsort is meeting this challenge by helping make enterprise-wide data available for next generation analytics. Josh talked about Syncsort’s Big Iron to Big Data strategy and Tendu focused on what Syncsort is doing to so companies can trust data as it pours into data lakes from diverse enterprise sources.

blog TDWI Data Lake Checklist 1 Video: Syncsort CEO and CTO on Riding the Big Data Wave

More on the Big Iron to Big Data Challenge

Earlier in the week, Josh touched on the challenges customers are facing in accessing data from key legacy systems like mainframe in his appearance on theCUBE at Splunk .conf in Washington. At Big Data NYC, he gave additional detail about the requirements driving the Big Iron to Big Data market, and why Syncsort is a leader in the space.

Josh pointed out that large enterprises are investing heavily in next generation analytics technologies, including Hadoop and Spark, rapidly adopting new infrastructures to drive deeper analytics to answer bigger questions. He discussed how there are technology and cultural challenges in integrating new architectures with the legacy systems powering key applications and producing critical data, and why Syncsort has the competitive advantage in helping solve these challenges.

Syncsort CEO Josh Rogers appears on theCUBE during Big Data NYC 2017

More on Syncsort’s Acquisition and Partner Strategy

Josh points out that Syncsort’s overall Strategy is to identify specific use cases that are common and challenging for our customers and through organic development and acquisitions, deliver highly differentiated solutions to handle them. He also talks about how Syncsort partners closely with the emerging platform vendors in the Big Data space like Cloudera, Hortonworks, Splunk, Collibra and ASG, including real engineering work to integrate and add value to these platforms.

Riding the Big Data Lake

During her interview, Syncsort CTO, Tendü Yoğurtçu, PhD also talked about the value Syncsort brings to enterprises that are looking to bridge the gap between legacy platforms and modern data architectures. She focused on a key use case that has developed as organizations progress with modern data architectures and building next gen analytics platforms. “For the last couple of years, we’ve seen a trend to create Data Lakes for data as a service, enabling bigger insights from the data.”

Syncsort CTO Tendü Yoğurtçu appears on theCUBE during Big Data NYC 2017

Tendu continued that with large volumes of data coming into the data lake from diverse sources in many different formats across the global enterprise, every IT organization is looking to have trusted data in their data lake so it doesn’t become a data swamp. They need to access and integrate quality data in a trusted manner, whether on premise or in the cloud. Tendu revealed that Syncsort has just announced a solution, Trillium Quality for Big Data capability.

For more Big Data news and trends, be sure to check out our Strata Data Conference recap: Truth and Consequences: Strata NYC Focuses on Promise and Potential Pitfalls of AI and Machine Learning

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Syncsort + Trillium Software Blog

TIBCO Named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Streaming Analytics, Q3 2017

forrester wave blog TIBCO Named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Streaming Analytics, Q3 2017

Forrester has named TIBCO a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Streaming Analytics, Q3 2017 among thirteen vendors that were evaluated. For the Strategy category, we received a 4.9 out of a possible 5 points.

TIBCO StreamBase is also recognized for “[unifying] real-time analytics” with a “full-featured streaming analytics solution that integrates with applications to automate actions and also offers Live DataMart to create a real-time visual command center.”

Today’s organizations don’t just want streaming analytics or analytics at rest—they want the ability to operationalize analytics insights and the ability to capture streams, both the raw input and resulting predictions and streaming analytics to analyze and generate new insights, which they then operationalize. Streaming analytics customers will be more successful—and more satisfied in the long term—doing the full analytics round trip, and TIBCO has the tools to do it.

Learn more about TIBCO StreamBase here.

Download a complimentary copy of the report here.

TIBCO is focused on insights. Not the garden variety insights that lay dormant and unactionable on someone’s desk. Rather, TIBCO focuses on perishable insights that companies must act upon immediately to retain customers, remove friction from business processes, and prevent logistics chains from stopping cold. —Excerpt from The Forrester Wave: Streaming Analytics, Q3 2017

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The TIBCO Blog

How a new wave of machine learning will impact today’s enterprise

 How a new wave of machine learning will impact today’s enterprise

Advances in deep learning and other machine learning algorithms are currently causing a tectonic shift in the technology landscape. Technology behemoths like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Salesforce are engaged in an artificial intelligence (AI) arms race, gobbling up machine learning talent and startups at an alarming pace. They are building AI technology war chests in an effort to develop an insurmountable competitive advantage.

Today, you can watch a 30-minute deep learning tutorial online, spin up a 10-node cluster over the weekend to experiment, and shut it down on Monday when you’re done – all for the cost of a few hundred bucks. Betting big on an AI future, cloud providers are investing resources to simplify and promote machine learning to win new cloud customers. This has led to an unprecedented level of accessibility that is breeding grassroots innovation in AI. A comparable technology democratization occurred with the internet in the 1990s and, if AI innovation follows a similar trajectory, the world will be a very interesting place in five years.

First, advances in computing technology (GPU chips and cloud computing, in particular) are enabling engineers to solve problems in ways that weren’t possible before. For example, chipmaker NVIDIA has been ramping up production of GPU processors designed specifically to accelerate machine learning, and cloud providers like Microsoft and Google have been using them in their machine learning services.

These advances have a broader impact than just the development of faster, cheaper processors, however. The low cost of computation and the ease of accessing cloud-managed clusters have democratized AI in a way we’ve never seen before. In the past, building a computer cluster to train a deep neural network would have required access to capital or a university research facility. You would have also needed someone with a PhD in mathematics to understand the academic research papers on subjects like convolutional neural networks.

Although everybody points to improvements in CPU/GPU as the primary driver of AI innovation, this is only half the equation. Advances in AI algorithms in the mid-1980s broke the spell of the AI winter of the 1970s. The work of deep learning pioneers like Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun solved some of the critical shortcomings that plagued earlier algorithms. In many ways, algorithms like Hinton’s backpropagation opened the floodgates for future algorithmic innovations, albeit these improvements happened at a slower, academic pace. DeepMind’s AlphaGo program, for example, combined deep learning with reinforcement learning to enable a computer that beat the world’s highest-ranked Go player in 2017 – a full 20 years later.

Historically, AI has been defined by the ability of a computer to pass the Turing test, which meant the public wasn’t going to be happy with AI until they had a walking, talking robot. Anything less was considered a failure. We’re still far away from creating this kind of general AI, but we’re already solving some types of advanced problems with machine learning, a subset of AI proper. Rather than focus on general intelligence, machine learning algorithms work by improving their ability to perform specific tasks using data. Problems that used to be the exclusive domain of humans – computer vision, speech recognition, autonomous movement – are being solved today by machine learning algorithms.

In fact, machine learning has become such a huge area of focus and, for all practical purposes, the term machine learning has become synonymous with AI. Ultimately this is a good thing. The more consumers and companies start associating the term AI with real-world applications of machine learning like self-driving cars, the more they realize that AI is a real thing. It’s here to stay, and it holds the promise of reshaping the technology landscape over the next several years.

Enterprises should take advantage by aligning their cloud and technology stacks with providers who are leaders in AI. The gap between the AI haves and have-nots will continue to widen, so picking the right technology providers is critical. For example, a non-AI powered CRM system might allow your sales team to find prospective customers based on the last time they were contacted, helping sales reps search for potentially fruitful leads. But an AI-powered CRM system, in contrast, could proactively feed leads to sales reps in real time using algorithms designed to maximize the likelihood of a sale, based on breaking information about the customer, their company, and the sales rep herself. Choosing the right CRM vendor in this case could have a direct and significant impact on revenue.

This year will, if it hasn’t already, bring the realization that if we don’t develop strong in-house machine learning capabilities now, we’ll end up on the wrong side of the future of technology. However, rather than hire teams of AI innovators like the first wave of AI tech giants have done, today’s technology companies must build their AI capabilities using out-of-the-box machine learning tools from AI-focused platform providers like Microsoft and Google.

The increasing demand for AI-driven technology, combined with the dearth of machine learning talent in the labor pool, will force the democratization of data science. Indeed, Google and Microsoft are betting the farm on this trend, which is why they’re making such huge investments in machine learning education and easy-to-use AI tools.

Jake Bennett is CTO of Seattle-based agency POP.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

The SaaS Tidal Wave is Coming. Are You Ready?

rsz integration 1 The SaaS Tidal Wave is Coming. Are You Ready?

With the explosion of SaaS apps, problems of sharing information, moving data between apps, and achieving visibility into business transactions are becoming more prevalent. Add in the fact that many of SaaS apps are now outside the company’s firewall, and it poses even more integration difficulties. Organizations now have less control over their applications in terms of monitoring, version control, and security―functions that have now moved to the purview of the SaaS vendor.

The tidal wave of SaaS application adoption threatens to overwhelm a company’s ability to integrate SaaS apps into the rest of its infrastructure. As of 2016, 64 percent of companies already use cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) and 78 percent are expected to purchase new SaaS solutions in 2017. With the tidal wave of SaaS app adoption, a company’s information is now being spread across multiple applications with little to no communication between them.

On top of it all, the traditional tools for integration will not necessarily solve today’s integration problems. They are either too costly, take too much time to implement, or are no longer relevant in a cloud hybrid world.

How does a company prepare for the SaaS tidal wave?

So, how can a company anticipate the SaaS tidal wave and integrate all of their applications that are in the cloud, on-premises, and in hybrid scenarios?

They need iPaaS. iPaaS or “integration platform as a service” allows companies to easily string apps together so that information can move efficiently among applications, whether external or internal. And, because iPaaS is hosted in the cloud, users don’t have to worry about the infrastructure or integration platform. They use the tool just as they do any other SaaS offering. For example, with Salesforce, users simply log in to perform their tasks. They don’t care about where or how it’s running. An iPaaS solution is similar: users log in to the solution, create connections between systems that share information, and let the iPaaS solution manage that created connection.

Benefits of being prepared

If you are on the IT side of your company, endorse iPaaS adoption as a means to lighten your workload, maintain standards and security, and move some responsibility to the business.

If you are on the business side, iPaaS will give you more control over timing, cost, and function. With a good iPaaS solution, you can solve business problems faster, and you save the business money because cost and time to implementation is lower. For example, what the iPaaS user can do in a matter of weeks, we believe might have taken 10 programmers, $ 1 million, and six months before.

And, iPaaS is pretty much a “self-service” system, so business users don’t have to wait for IT, and IT can have the freedom to focus on more complex projects. It’s a win-win for both sides.

For more information on addressing your integration challenges, check out the CITO Research Whitepaper: Putting It Back Together: Solving the SaaS Integration Problem.

Sign-up for a free 30-day trial of TIBCO’s cloud integration solution: TIBCO Cloud Integration.

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The TIBCO Blog

Act-On’s a Leader in the Forrester Wave™ and What That Means to You

blog title acton forrester l2r 2016 351x200 Act On’s a Leader in the Forrester Wave™ and What That Means to You

“… What Act-On might miss in depth, it reaches in breadth,” writes author Lori Wizdo, Principal Analyst for Forrester Research in the report. “Act-On’s vision has grown from its initial goal of providing a ‘demand gen engine’ to enabling marketing’s new role as the architect of multichannel engagement across the life cycle.”

When Act-On was listed in Forrester’s 2014 report, our founder Raghu Raghavan called it an “amazing milestone” for the company. Even more impressive, in my estimate, is the consistency needed to achieve that type of ranking over several years.

“Our standing in this year’s report confirms what we’ve always known: an investment in product is an investment in customer success. We’re grateful to be the only privately-owned company named a Leader, and we’re thrilled to be the platform that mid-market CMOs count on to execute their brand, demand, and customer marketing programs, as they embrace their expanded role in the buyer’s journey,” said Act-On CEO Andy MacMillan.

Companies included in the Forrester Wave™ were evaluated across 36 criteria, broken out into three high-level categories – Current Offering, Strategy, and Market Presence. Those scores then helped determine the Forrester Wave™ rankings of the 11 vendors invited to participate.

Act-On was noted for its corporate and product strategies, and for marketplace reach. Interviewed customers praised Act-On for its “ease of deployment, ongoing resource requirements, and ‘above and beyond’ customer support.”

We could stop and pat ourselves on the back for quite a while about this (and you may have seen us doing so in our individual LinkedIn or Facebook streams), but what does it all mean to you as a marketer?


So, what’s in it for you? Well, we all know that B2B marketers are more sophisticated than ever. They’re requiring more functionality from a marketing automation system that will allow them to manage engagement across multiple channels – email, web, and social – for the entire time they’re engaged with their prospects and customers.

It’s no longer just about connecting to a CRM or offering lead gen on steroids. It is about revenue accountability. It is about analytics, and about predictive analytics. It is about being a better content marketer. It is about personalizing experiences in a much different way for the individual, as well as the larger account (yeah, I am talking about Account-Based Marketing).

And fewer and fewer CMO’s have the resources to train just one person to become the martech “tech.” To be successful in today’s world, anyone from the marketing team should be able to jump into their platform and easily create a landing page or email, plan an automated campaign, publish a social post or schedule a social campaign, gate a new eBook or demo video, or provide the executive team a report on the results.

“It is becoming more important in a lot of companies that these tools are ones the everyday marketer can use, just like we learned to use Word and PowerPoint and graphics tools,” said Adam Mertz, Act-On’s senior director of product marketing. “These are just the tools that we need to learn how to use today to be successful. And they need to be accessible tools.”

Mid-market companies, in industries ranging from technology to manufacturing, are increasingly adopting marketing automation as they begin to understand that it takes both a great product and a great marketing effort to achieve your goals. For those companies – for your company – the Forrester Wave™ rankings are an independent, third-party validator that can help sort, filter, and prioritize the vendor options that best addresses their/your needs.

What is L2RM and What is the Evaluation Process?

The Forrester Wave™ research process is rigorous, objective, and transparent.

A lead-to-revenue management (L2RM) platform is a Forrester term. It includes everything a company does on a marketing automation platform to attract the right kind of targeted traffic to their website, nurture that traffic into leads, and then convert those leads into marketing qualified leads, and then into sales qualified leads. They also looked at how those platforms build and manage post-sale relationships and drive customer lifetime value.

During Forrester’s research, they required vendors to complete very detailed questionnaires, provide comprehensive product demonstrations, and then schedule executive presentations where the vendor’s management team shared their vision and product roadmaps. Forrester performed in-depth interviews with reference customers, as well as conducted customer surveys.

They asked about a vendor’s support for different marketing and organizational strategies. They asked questions about how the platform integrates with CRM systems. They looked at:

  • The breadth and depth that vendors offer in reporting, analytics, and alerting to improve and measure marketing effectiveness
  • Marketing planning and management
  • The tools provided in a platform to manage the business of running marketing.

If you read my post from last week, I mention that sometimes a vendor will say they are a B2B platform, but are really offering B2C solutions. Well, Forrester evaluates all the vendors from the lens of a B2B marketer (and to some extent those B2C marketers that operate like B2B marketers, and have that kind of long lead nurturing and lead scoring outlook).

Vendors get a score between zero and five. And there are specific reasons as to why a vendor scored a zero, a one, a two, a three, a four, or a five. Any company can purchase the report, download it, and then look at the spreadsheet with all scoring data and gain an understanding as to why Act-On scored a five or four on a particular topic, as well as look at other vendor scores.

Act-On’s Leader Highlights

At Act-On, we believe your marketing automation platform should support your whole marketing lifecycle – building your brand, driving demand, and expanding customer relationships.

Here’s how we did on Brand, Demand, and Expand:

  • Brand: Act-On scored higher on inbound support then other vendors that coined the term inbound
  • Demand: The report also places a lot of importance on middle of funnel capabilities (the demand side, that includes lead nurturing, lead scoring and so forth). And Act-On has had this focus since its start
  • Demand: Act-On also scored very high on integration with CRM systems
  • Expand: Act-On received high score for usability, which includes many factors including having a clean user interface, and good UI design. It also included our Act-On Anywhere capability

Additionally, Act-On scored very highly in terms of corporate strategy.

Forrester looked at:

  • How much commitment did a vendor have to B2B marketing as a market
  • B2B marketers as a market
  • How the vendor saw technology transforming the process of B2B marketing in the future
  • Product strategy (how strong are the features that are available and also those in the pipeline, and how good is the supporting architecture)
  • Industry strategy, and to what extent a vendor is coming out with specific capabilities for specific industries

And our negative scores weren’t always negative. Forrester evaluated capabilities that would be featured via a suite of products, or marketing ecosystem, that were submitted for evaluation, such as those offered by larger vendors that were ranked alongside or ahead of Act-On. However, sometimes more is not better, more is just more. And often you might have to buy more than one product to get all the functionality evaluated in the rankings. So, in this case, scoring low by offering our customers flexibility is not a bad thing (at least in our opinion).

So, join us for a polite golf clap for this is accomplishment. However, we’re jumping back into work at building a great product so that our customers – you – can continue doing the best work of your career.

P.S. If you’re not already a customer, please sign up for one of our upcoming live demos and see what all the fuss is about!

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Act-On Marketing Action Blog

TIBCO Named a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Insight Platform Suites, Q4 2016

rsz insight platform graphics 880x440 2 TIBCO Named a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Insight Platform Suites, Q4 2016

TIBCO received the highest score for its Current Offering among seven vendors that were evaluated in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Insight Platform Suites, Q4 2016. Forrester cited positive customer feedback, and also noted that TIBCO had good customer reference ratings relative to other participants, especially in areas like:

  • Analytics tools
  • Superior insight execution
  • Runtime components

Announced earlier this month, the TIBCO Insight Platform builds closed-loop systems of insight to help users at all levels uncover insights and take action for business optimization in real time.

Read The Forrester Wave™: Insight Platform report today and register for The TIBCO Insight Platform—Actions with Analytics live webinar to discuss how this new industry category makes it easy to translate analytics-derived insight into action.

“TIBCO focuses on real-time insight execution coupled with leading streaming and agile BI components. Their platform features deep integration between streaming, visual, and predictive analytics that will only get better next year. Its open source, fast insights framework can help developers rapidly build solutions”

*Excerpt from The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Insight Platform Suites, Q4 2016

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The TIBCO Blog

GW150914 gravitational wave detection incident analysis

 GW150914 gravitational wave detection incident analysis

I’m analyzing the data from LIGO project, about first detection of gravitational waves. In one of the many threads here, someone said when I want to do an ASD of the strain I should use PeriodogramArray (where 1/dt=4096.):

PeriodogramArray[data, Round[1/dt], 1, HannWindow]

I used it, but the resulting density is much less than in the original tutorial. The order of magnitude of the density I’ve got is about ten to -43… What could be the reason of that? Someone else did the signal processing of those data?


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Recent Questions – Mathematica Stack Exchange

Enabling New Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring 2016 Wave contains some exciting features that you will want to start using right away.

In past releases, features were either already accessible once the new version was configured, or they were manually installed. However, many of the new features in this release have been moved to the Office 365 administrative area. This post reviews the process of enabling the key features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring 2016 Wave.

The New Enhanced Office 365 Admin User Experience

While this is being written, Microsoft is rolling out a new admin portal for Office 365 and it will take several months to complete. If your version of Office 365 has not been updated, it will be soon. Regardless of the User Interface you are using, the features remain the same.

Figure1 Spring Wave User Experience 400x222 Enabling New Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Figure 1. The current Office 365 user interface will be phased out.

Figure 2 Spring Wave Navigation 400x222 Enabling New Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Figure 2. Accessing new features is the same regardless of interface.

How to Enable Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Begin by logging into the Office 365 home screen (https://portal.office.com/Home) using Admin privileges.

NOTE: It is best to avoid performing these tasks in your production environment the first time. Use a Sandbox instance and test these features there first, or activate a 30-day free trial of Microsoft CRM and Office 365 (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/free-crm-trial.aspx) and try them there.

Next, use the left navigation screen and scroll to ADMIN > CRM (old UI) or Admin Centers > CRM (new UI).

Figure 3 Spring Wave Old Admin UI 261x400 Enabling New Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Figure 3. From the Admin menu (old UI), select CRM.

Figure 4 Spring Wave New Admin UI 253x400 Enabling New Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Figure 4. From the Admin Centers menu (new UI), select CRM.

A new browser window opens that shows your CRM instances.

Figure 5 Spring Wave CRM Admin Center 400x222 Enabling New Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Figure 5. CRM Online Administration Center window.

Next, click the icon to the right of the word “Solutions”. This will show all the available solutions that can be installed for your instance of CRM.

Figure 6 Spring Wave Solution List 400x222 Enabling New Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Figure 6. Example: Available solutions for a CRM instance.

Click on a line to see a description of that solution. Click on a name to highlight it and then click the INSTALL icon to enable it.

The list will contain several available solutions, some that are still in preview mode, such as:

  • Company News Timelines – Shows the latest news on company records in smartphone or tablet apps.
  • Office 365 Groups – Collaborate with team members (similar to Yammer)
  • Fantasy Sales Team – A sales-focused feature with gamification that enables sales teams to run more engaging and higher performing sales contests.
  • Voice of the Customer – Use customer surveys to gain valuable feedback from your customers about your products or services.

Guided User Experience in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016

The Guided User Experience offers guided help tailored to your role within the organization with step-by-step instruction through specific tasks you use with CRM.

This feature is already enabled, however, the solution needs to be installed. If you do not see it, click on the ? icon (question mark icon) in the upper right corner of the web page. This is the Help icon.

By clicking on the Help icon, a side panel appears with options for the Guided User Experience.

Figure 7 Spring Wave Help Side Panel 400x222 Enabling New Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Figure 7. To see the Guided User Experience, click on the Help icon.

Clicking on a specific Learning Path or Guided Task will automatically take you to the appropriate place for your role and step through the process for you.

Figure 8 Spring Wave Boost Sales Learning Path 400x222 Enabling New Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave

Figure 8. The “Boost Sales” learning path in the Guided User Experience.

To learn about the top new features available in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring 2016 Wave and how they can help you deliver an exceptional customer experience, view our free recorded webinar, The Top 8 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring 2016 Wave Capabilities for Enhancing Customer Experience.

by AKA Green Beacon

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CRM Software Blog