TechnoPolitics Podcast: Why Mobile App Developers Are Smiling

Mike Gualtieri

Forrester InfographicJobs. Jobs. Jobs. Unfortunately, the average unemployment rate remains at 8.2%. Not so for mobile app developers. They are in high demand. We created the Why Mobile App Developers Are Smiling infographic to tell the story. In this episode of TechnoPolitics, Jeffrey S. HammondMichael Facemire, and I discuss:

  • The inspiration behind this infographic. (Hint: we love developers.)
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The Future Of Digital Customer Experience Is More Than Mobile

John R. Rymer

Stephen Powers and I wrote this research together. The full report is available to Forrester clients at this link. The research is part of Forrester’s playbook to advise application development and delivery professionals on how to support their organization’s digital customer experience strategies.

Today’s rush to reach customers on their smartphones and tablets is just the beginning of an explosion of software-fueled digital touchpoints. Smartphones, tablets, eReaders, games, smart TV, goggles . . . there’s no end in sight. As Internet-connected devices spread and people adopt them, companies can reach and engage with their customers wherever they are and in new ways not possible through brick-and-mortar stores, television advertising, and catalogs. Each of these digital touchpoints enables continuous relationships between enterprise and customer.

But digital touchpoints cannot be islands. Customers expect a unified, consistent experience across the several touchpoints they use when engaging your firm. The vast majority of companies don’t yet have the design disciplines, technologies, and organizations to support unified digital experiences. Application development and delivery (AD&D) pros can and should help lead the search for the right practices, talents, and technologies to create unified customer experiences.

Key research takeaways:

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The Future Of Microsoft .NET: New Options, New Choices, New Risks

John R. Rymer

Jeffrey S. Hammond and I wrote this research together. The full report is available to Forrester clients at this link.

One Microsoft platform era is ending, and another is beginning. The .NET era as we’ve known it is winding down. .NET doesn’t go away — it becomes Microsoft’s preferred server environment for a broader platform that also includes Windows 8 clients, the Windows Runtime (WinRT) application programming interface (API), and the Windows Azure cloud environment. This collection of technologies will define the new platform era — Forrester calls the set the new Windows platform. Why is Microsoft making a big change now? The answer is simple: Mobile devices from Apple and based on Google’s Android threaten Microsoft’s “Wintel” client franchise. Microsoft must introduce major change to its platform to keep up with advances in client hardware and device acquisition as well as an evolution in the very nature of software applications.

Microsoft has endeavored to make introduction of its new platform technologies evolutionary, and application development and delivery (AD&D) pros won’t face a forced march to the new technologies. But few AD&D leaders yet see the big picture of the new Windows platform, much less understand its implications for their .NET strategies. Our research report advises clients on how Windows 8, WinRT, Windows Azure, and .NET Framework 4.5 can help them develop and support mobile and cloud applications, create new styles of web and desktop applications, and deliver solutions faster, all while minimizing the disruptions to their current .NET activities.

Key research findings:

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Delivering A Unified Digital Experience

Kyle McNabb

Every day our clients flood us with inquiries on what to do about mobile and social software and smartphone and tablet adoption—not just as it pertains to their customers but to their employees too. Many firms seem to be scrambling to develop their mobile application strategy, spinning up new teams or working with outside agencies in a rush to introduce their own “killer app” or deploy some mobile capability on their CRM platforms. Smartphones and tablets are just the beginning of an explosion of digital touchpoints we will use to engage with each other, commercial enterprises, and public sector institutions. Gaming platforms, smart TVs, goggles, “magical mirrors”—there’s no end in sight.

 
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What Does R Integration Really Mean For BI Platforms?

Boris Evelson

I just received yet another call from a reporter asking me to comment on yet another BI vendor announcing R integration. All leading BI vendors are embedding/integrating with R these days, so I was not sure what was really new in the announcement. I guess the real question is the level of integration. For example:

  • Since R is a scripting language, does a BI vendor provide point-and-click GUI to generate R code?
  • Can R routines leverage and take advantage of all of the BI metadata (data structures, definitions, etc.) without having to redefine it again just for R?
  • How easily can the output from R calculations (scores, rankings) be embedded in the BI reports and dashboards? Do the new scores just become automagically available for BI reports, or does somebody need to add them to BI data stores and metadata?
  • Can the BI vendor import/export R models based on PMML?
  • Is it a general R integration, or are there prebuilt vertical (industry specific) or domain (finance, HR, supply chain, risk, etc) metrics as part of a solution?
  • What server are R models executed in? Reporting server? Database server? Their own server?
  • Then there's the whole business of model design, management, and execution, which is usually the realm of advanced analytics platforms. How much of these capabilities does the BI vendor provide?

Did I get that right? Any other features/capabilities that really distinguish one BI/R integration from another? Really interested in hearing your comments.

The 4 P's Of Customer Service

Kate Leggett

We all know the 4 P’s of marketing – product, price, placement, promotion – that dictate the success of your marketing initiative. But, what about customer service? To me, 4 different P’s apply, which are:

  • Pain – Or more specifically, lack of pain. Customers want effortless service from the touchpoint (web, tablet, in person, etc.) and communication channel of their choice (ex. voice, chat, email, social). They want to receive an accurate, relevant, and complete answer to their question upon first contact with a company. They want to be able to start a conversation on one touchpoint or channel and continue it on another without having to repeat themselves. Forrester data backs this up: 66% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good service. 45% of US online adults will abandon their online purchase if they can't find a quick answer to their question.
  • Personalization – Customers don’t want a “one size fits all” service experience. They want the interaction to be tailored to the products and services that they have purchased, to their specific customer tier, to their past interaction history, and to their specific issue at hand.
  • Productivity – Customer service organizations must pragmatically walk the balance between customer satisfaction and cost. A customer service experience has to be reliable and efficient. This is a service experience that gets positive customer satisfaction ratings and that can also be delivered at a cost that makes sense to the business.
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TechnoPolitics Podcast: Can Apple Mac Attack The Enterprise?

Mike Gualtieri

Bring Your Mac To Work?

Are you or someone you know a Mac lover but brutally forced to use a PC at work? Don't fret or give up yet. Many firms such as Genentech are saying "no" to PCs and "yes" to Macs. And other firms  are instituting BYOC (bring your own computer) programs that allow Mac followers to worship at work. Is this a trend that has legs, or have we entered the post-PC era where it doesn't really matter what hunk of hardware employees use?

Macs have less than a 10% share in enterprises. But, Senior Analyst and Forrester's resident Mac-whisperer Dave Johnson says that is changing and changing fast as a result of increasing BYOC programs and smaller firms that standardize on Macs. 

Listen to Dave's authoritative, balanced analysis in this episode of TechnoPolitics to find out if Macs can make it in the enterprise.

Podcast Listening Options

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The Customer Service Market Keeps Consolidating: Consona And CDC Software Merge

Kate Leggett

Or perhaps I need to title this blog "Another One Bites The Dust" as this is just one more merger in the multitude of mergers and acquisitions that are happening  in the customer service space.

On August 7, CSC Software merged with Consona Corporation to form a new entity called Aptean (see the press release about the news here). There have been no details communicated about the go-forward plan for both companies’ products, but here are my views about their respective CRM assets.

Consona, founded in 1986, has its roots in ERP. Over the years, it has acquired a number of ERP solutions, which include DTR, Cimnet Systems, AXIS, Encompix, Intuitive, Relevant, and SupplyWorks - which have good strengths in a variety of vertical markets. More recently, it has acquired an open-source, SaaS-based ERP software vendor, Compiere. In 2006, it made a foray into the CRM market by acquiring Onyx CRM and then KNOVA for knowledge management (2007) and SupportSoft (2009), a support automation vendor. Its recent CRM focus has been on customer support automation application for the high-tech vertical, as there is good synergy between CRM, support automation, and knowledge management for this user base.

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TechnoPolitics Podcast: Microsoft Windows 8 - Bold Move Or Catch Up

Mike Gualtieri

Forrester TechnoPolitics guest Frank GillettMicrosoft is faced with its biggest challenge ever - to stay relevant in a post-PC era. Is Windows 8 the answer, a first step on the path, or will it fall flat? Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Frank Gillett's expert analysis reveals all. Frank is a member of Forrester's Business Technology Futures team. His current focus is on the dynamic between consumer and business technology markets, the future of back-end and end user hardware in the post-PC era, and a new and emerging software platform - the personal cloud. 

Podcast Listening Options

Click here to download Forrester TechnoPolitics MP3 file

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Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Embarking On A Big Data Journey

Boris Evelson

Do you think you are ready to tackle Big Data because you are pushing the limits of your data Volume, Velocity, Variety and Variability? Take a deep breath (and maybe a cold shower) before you plunge full speed ahead into unchartered territories and murky waters of Big Data. Now that you are calm, cool and collected, ask yourself the following key questions:

  • What’s the business use case? What are some of the business pain points, challenges and opportunities you are trying to address with Big Data? Are your business users coming to you with such requests or are you in the doomed-for-failure realm of technology looking for a solution?
  • Are you sure it’s not just BI 101Once you identify specific business requirements, ask whether Big Data is really the answer you are looking for. In the majority of my Big Data client inquiries, after a few probing questions I typically find out that it's really BI 101: data governance, data integration, data modeling and architecture, org structures, responsibilities, budgets, priorities, etc. Not Big Data.
  • Why can’t your current environment handle it? Next comes another sanity check. If you are still thinking you are dealing with Big Data challenges, are you sure you need to do something different, technology-wise? Are you really sure your existing ETL/DW/BI/Advanced Analytics environment can't address the pain points in question? Would just adding another node, another server, more memory (if these are all within your acceptable budget ranges) do the trick?
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