Did I pack socks? Check. Toothbrush? Check. Business cards, phone charger, passport? Check, check, and check. Do I know what I need to do and what not to do to protect myself, my devices and the company’s data while I’m on the road and traveling for work? [awkward silence, crickets chirping]
S&R pros, how would employees and executives at your firm answer that last question? It’s an increasingly important one. Items like socks and toothbrushes can be replaced if lost or forgotten; the same can’t be said for your company’s intellectual property and sensitive information. As employees travel around the world for business and traverse through hostile countries (this includes the USA!), they present an additional point of vulnerability for your organization. Devices can be lost, stolen, or physically compromised. Employees can unwittingly connect to hostile networks, be subject to eavesdropping or wandering eyes in public areas. Employees can be targeted because they are an employee of your organization, or simply because they are a foreign business traveler.
So what to do? Rick Holland and I are conducting research now to produce a guide to security while traveling abroad. It’s going to provide guidance for S&R pros to better prepare your executives and employees for travel, including actions to take before, during, and after a trip. We’ll be looking at considerations for things like:
OPSEC. How to determine if employees are being targeted, the pros/cons of using burner equipment, the use of privacy screens on laptops, etc.
It's no surprise that our recent survey data shows that customers of all ages are increasingly using self-service channels (web, mobile, IVR) for a first point of contact for customer service. In fact, for the first time in the history of our survey, respondents reported using the FAQ pages on a company's website more often than speaking with an agent over the phone. Self-service gives you that "pain-free" experience that consumers want. Customers escalate the harder questions to a live agent - whether its chat, email or a phone agent - and these calls become opportunities to help build stronger relationships with your customers to garner their long-term loyalty.
What is comforting is that the 2015 survey results from Dimension Data is saying the same thing too. This report is based on responses from over 900 global contact center decision makers covering 12 industry verticals. Some of their key findings say that "Customers want a frictionless, easy, and immediate journey on channels of their choice. They want a connected omnichannel journey across channels. Complexity levels are intensifying as contact centers evolve into channel resolution hubs."
I recently joined Forrester as a senior analyst on the infrastructure and operations (I&O) team based out of New Delhi, India. I’m delighted to be a part of Forrester and have begun work on my first report, which will focus on cloud trends in Asia Pacific and put a regional spin on a report my colleague Lauren E. Nelson published in February titled Adoption Profile: Private Cloud in North America, Q3 2014. My new role will enable me to continue pursuing my passion for next-generation solutions like cloud computing, automation, and customer experience management and their ability to support business objectives.
As I reviewed data from Forrester’s Business Technographics® Global Infrastructure Survey, 2014 of business technology decision-makers in Australia, China, and India, I found causes to be concerned about the private cloud initiatives of the region’s large enterprises. A finer-grained analysis of the most senior executives from large enterprises (companies with 1,000 or more employees) in the survey found that nearly half (43%) of the private cloud deployments in AP will fail to meet business objectives, for the following reasons:
26% of private clouds will not offer self-service to developers.
17% of firms will discourage their developers from using public cloud.
I would like to welcome you to the "Modern Service Delivery" playbook. In this playbook, we are researching how you can take your tech operations team and transform it into a modern operations team. You know already that in the age of the customer, I&O must transform to support businesses by accelerating the speed of service delivery, enabling capacity when and where needed and improving customers and employee experience. You must buddy up with your application development team! Get used to a new way of working. That gets me to the point of this blog – CALMSS! Yes – you are reading this right. CALMSS is not just a scramble of words – it is a fine assessment of characteristics with the purpose of describing a methodology. The first acronym - CAMS (Culture, Automation, Measurement, Sharing) was coined by John Willis and Damon Edwards in 2010 in the first US based Devopsdays in Mountain View, California. Later on the “L” for lean was added by Jez Humble. We at Forrester have added an additional “S” for sourcing as we believe that DevOps must be supported with a solid sourcing strategy to extend the ecosystem. This then brings us to the arcronym of CALMSS.
After a great conversation with Patrick Debois – godfather of DevOps – we are working on a Forrester CALMSS research report (publishing April 2015) where we list what we think are the characteristics of each letter that supports measurement at individual, project, intra-company and inter-company levels. We will be focusing in our playbook on the project level so that you can measure and benchmark yourselves.
In the Tony Award-winning musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tevye, the father of five daughters, bemoaned the erosion of tradition where his daughters wanted to marry for love instead of cultural preservation. The cultural norm was to make use of a matchmaker to seek out mates that satisfied familial desires and goals on both sides. In similar fashion, more traditional queuing and routing schemes used in contact centers may get a customer to a qualified agent, but their style and approach may not produce the “magic moment” of a highly satisfying interaction.
Today, advances in processing power, software algorithms, and availability of consumer information have come together to allow for a more advanced method of matching agents with callers. Behavioral analytics applies models of behavioral styles, tracks successful matches that drive better interaction outcomes, and provides an ongoing feedback loop to tune the model for each enterprise. Case studies from Mattersight and Satmap, two vendors who specialize in this software, have demonstrated uplifts in revenues and positive impacts on handle time and customer satisfaction.
Satmap helped one of the largest telecommunications carriers in the United States boost sales conversion rates by 6%, driving $100 million in incremental revenue over a two-year period. The trial included alternating periods of turning Satmap on, and then off, to provide outcome comparisons.
CVS Caremark adopted Mattersight Predictive Behavioral Routing and was able to drive an 8.4% reduction in average talk time during their proof of concept trial. CVS is also using the data to better target training and coaching to agents.
On February 25, 2015, Google publicly announced its latest functionality and updates to the Android OS, titled "Android for Work" (AFW). Some of the new functionalities include secure work profiles, secure personal information management, and an enterprise app store through "Google Play for Work." These new changes in AFW will impact the businesses, the Android ecosystem, and the overall market in a far-reaching way. EMM vendors and enterprise EMM buyers must review these technology changes and understand how they will influence future product direction before making any purchases. It took just a few years for core MDM functionality to commoditize to a $0 price tag. I wonder how long until the advanced security components being folded into Android via AFW are also essentially free?
Cloud Data Protection (protecting data in SaaS, IaaS and PaaS workloads with a centralized and industrial strenght solution) remains a key priority of CIOs, CISOs and architects.
In this market overview report, we identified 17 key vendors in the CDP space (see the figure below) that provide data protection in SaaS, IaaS and PaaS environments. This report details trends and predictions in CDP and also our findings about how each vendor is approaching CDP and to help security and risk (S&R) professionals select the right partner for CDP.
All broadband is local. If the Internet pipe that reaches your home or small business is too slow (or too expensive), then all the net neutrality regulations in the land won't help citizens avoid the Netflix spinning wheel (or the logy load times of valuable Internet services for education, employment, communications, and banking).
Companies -- both technology leaders and marketing leaders -- should care about the quality of broadband to homes and small businesses. Why? Because your ability to deliver great digital customer experiences is hampered when broadband speeds are low.
I'm all in favor of a robust national discussion about net neutrality, particularly if the discussion balances market conditions for Internet services against market conditions for broadband providers, a challenge that begins with transparency and competition rather than controls. (See this for some ideas on the importance of transparency, market forces, and local competition.)
And I'm certainly massively in favor of Internet-driven "human rights, innovation, and progress" as Tim Berners-Lee espouses. But I am not convinced that over-regulating our country's Internet pipes will solve our spinning wheel problems. Ask yourself these questions:
Why did the Internet at home slow to a crawl during the Boston blizzards?
Why does Google invest some of its massive profits to provide 100 gigabit bandwidth to homes in Kansas City, Austin, and Provo, with 34 more cities coming?
I’m getting a lot calls from clients who are using “white box” and “bare metal” interchangeably when discussing network switches. It might not seem like a big deal, but it is when customers are trying to accomplish a certain task and are examining the wrong products or don’t see the full picture. This is especially true when it comes to assuming that the hardware cost of an Accton 5712 switch is significantly lower than the hardware cost of Broadcom-based switches from Arista, Cisco, or HP. The reality is that pundits are mixing up terms and products.
Fundamentally, they are not making an apples-to-apples comparison and therefore are setting up the wrong expectations for customers. Forrester’s research document The Myth Of White-Box Network Switches dissects the cost of the Accton Edge-Core 5712 (Broadcom Trident II ASIC) switch layered with Cumulus Linux OS and compares this combination against a generic vendor switch built on Broadcom II ASIC, such as Cisco Nexus 3172PQ. We built a model showing the cost of goods sold from the components up and found less than a 5% difference between the switch from the original design manufacturer and traditional network vendor. This holds true when comparing other Accton Edge-Core switches against other traditional vendor Broadcom Trident II switches. The real cost is in the software, global distribution channel, compatibility testing between hardware and software, and global support. “The Myth Of White-Box Network Switches” gets into a lot more detail regarding actual costs.
Enterprise architecture programs deal in change – that’s where EA provides value. And the businesses and government organizations they are part of are in the midst of a lot of change. Witness the accelerating turnover in the Fortune 1000, or how Apple is poised to be a powerhouse in electronic payments, or how healthcare is being transformed by new technologies and new entrants. Market dynamics and digitally-powered competitors are forcing organizations to find new ways to acquire and retain their customers. That means change, and change brings opportunity and risk. Successful firms navigate these changes better when they have the insights that a high-performance, business-focused enterprise architecture program provides.
For this year’s Enterprise Architecture Awards, sponsored by InfoWorld and Forrester Research with the Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Enterprise Architecture, we are seeking entries from EA leaders who have helped their business change. For example:
Helping their organization engage more agilely with their business and customer ecosystem
Translating high level business strategies into plans of change
Guiding a business’s digital transformation
Engaging with product, marketing, sales and customer experience initiatives to accelerate results
We’re also looking for EA programs who have transformed themselves to make their value easier to consume by the organization they are part of – for example, by:
Restructuring their operating model away from the traditional data, application and technology domains to the new competencies of digital customer experience architecture or digital operational excellence
Enabling more flexible architecture practices through architecture zoning or greater federation with other resources