In my last post, I steered B2B marketers away from building social
destinations focused on their products and services by suggesting they
participate in open, social networks before jumping on the community
bandwagon. I do think there is a place for B2B communities, but these
sites need to focus truly on the community first, not trying to sell a
firm’s wares. Case in point: ComplianceOnline.
I wrote up how you can can use ComplianceOnline's model to build an online community serving the needs of your firm in a recent report. I found that B2B marketers can learn how to build a successful B2B community by
following three key lessons: Gather the best content, encourage the
community to vet and contribute to it, and give members equal
opportunity to engage with potential buyers who visit.
We are all familiar with the story – mobility is hot and is taking root within firms of all sizes. Why? Mobility solutions improve employee productivity and efficiencies. However, the down economic environment has changed corporate priorities. It is no surprise that our data shows that cost cutting activities for telecom data center, and servers dominate initiatives for the next year. See the report: Demand Insights: Enterprise Mobility 2009 for more information.
But, there is another story. We found that nearly 35% of companies identify offering more mobility support including deploying mobile applications and mobile devices as a critical or high priority for their companies in the coming year. This is not shabby during these difficult economic times.
If you’ve been wondering why an infrastructure leader would acquire a developer framework, the answer is a bit more complex that what shows
on the surface — and a lot more strategic. As stated in the press release and in the blogs by VMware CTO Steve Herrod and SpringSource
CEO Rod Johnson, the acquisition
helps by, “creating a single, integrated, build-run-manage solution for the
data center, private clouds,
and public clouds.” For the developer they will be able to use SpringSource
tools to fully describe their application as a VMware vApp “a deployment blueprint that describes how the various
machine images, middleware, and management components fit together and then
we can take that blueprint and ‘make it so’ with a single click,” Johnson added
in his blog.
On a weekly basis, I get at least one inquiry request from either a vendor or an end-user company seeking industry averages for the cost of downtime. Vendors like to quote these statistics to grab your attention and to create a sense of urgency to buy their products or services. BC/DR planners and senior IT managers quote these statistics to create a sense of urgency with their own executives who are often loath to invest in BC/DR preparedness because they view it as a very expensive insurance policy.
BC/DR planners, senior IT managers and anyone else trying to build the business case for BC/DR should avoid the use of industry averages and other sensational statistics. While these statistics do grab attention, more often than not, they are misleading and inaccurate, and your executives will see through them. You'll hurt your business case in the end because you haven't done your homework and your execs will know it.
I saw a study recently that stated the cost of downtime for the insurance industry was $1,202,444 per hour. You might be tempted to grab this statistic and throw it into the next presentation to your C-level exec but what is this statistic really telling you? Do the demographics of the companies in the study match yours? Do you trust the accuracy of the data? Consider the following:
What is the definition of insurance industry in this case? Is it companies that focus solely on insurance or does it include companies that also provide financial advice and monetary instruments to their clients?
If I had a dollar for every time I heard “our salespeople lack the skills or ability to (insert any of the following: cross-sell, sell higher, sell to value, get ahead of the RFP)” I would be a very rich person.
On June 17, Forrester published my latest research on
how business buyers use social networking sites to inform purchase
decisions, the role these sites will play in future buying processes,
and three key ways for B2B marketers to tap into open, social network
Two key insights coming from this research:
discussion forums and online communities are poised to become the
online supplement for colleague interaction and the decision to join in
community activity depends mostly on the quality of the participants —
the discussion relevance, demonstrated experience, and shared
My BlackBerry battery died more quickly than usual yesterday as I received a wave of calls from reporterswondering about the denial of service (DoS) attacks against Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. It seems many people are not aware of the long and storied history of denial of service attacks and this is their first personal experience with DoS. These types of DoS attacks have been around since the creation of the public Internet. A 15 year old named Mafiaboy famously brought down many of the top Websites of the day at the beginning of this millennium using similar techniques.
An early 2009 Forrester interview with the CIO of a retail firm produced a great quote: “Our business execs have two views of IT: a big budget blob or their BlackBerry.” Now, maybe those retail business execs think of IT as a strategic budget blob, but it’s more likely that’s a shop with alignment issues. If that CIO’s business execs don’t see technology as enabling anything more than mobile email, then they really don’t get the power of technology and they’re not going to see the value in the IT department.
But alignment issues are not limited to shops where business execs don’t see value in technology. The whole IT-to-BT transition is about how the business is enthusiastically embracing technology – they’re just not bothering to go through the IT department to find it, deploy it, or use it. Today’s alignment problem is more about the gap between the business’s valuation of technology’s potential and their valuation of the IT department’s ability to deliver on that potential.