VMware, usually known for virtualization software, has come out of left field with a shrewd move purchasing app dev. company SpringSource, which is likely to be paired up with part of their VCloud and VSphere offerings as part of their ongoing construction of a new kind of operating system. A move like this suggests VMware is hoping to increase visibility and earn additional OS-relevance.
Hear more about VMware's new acquisition in the podcast featuring myself and fellow Forrester Analysts Mike Gualtieri and Jeffrey Hammond — download at the link below.
Go to a baseball game and look around. Do the fans all look like you? Do they want what you want or think how you think or feel the way you feel about stuff? Nope. Baseball fans are diverse, unique, different, special. They have only one thing in common: They like baseball.
It's the same at work. Your workforce is just as diverse, unique, different, special. They have only one thing in common: They work for the same organization.
It's a simple but profound observation: Most people aren't like you. You can't apply your own thinking or feeling to them. For example, they don't necessarily like technology. They might avoid technology because it scares or mystifies them. They could stick with what they know until someone forces them to switch.
Need proof? Half of all information workers are pessimistic about technology. Only 1 in 4 uses instant messaging. 62% aren't fully satisfied with their word processor.
On the other hand, the other half of information workers are optimistic about technology. And some employees are wildly enthusiastic about technology. They bring their own smartphones to work -- and use them to work from every location. They use social network sites for work. They spends hours each day in love with their work devices and tools.
But which employees are enthusiastic and which are reluctant users of technology? After all, they aren't all in one job function or business group. The list of questions goes on:
How can you be sure your software licenses aren't money wasted?
A common diagnosis of many troubled app dev shops is that they don't understand the business well enough. The result is developers build applications that don't quite satisify the business needs, are hard to change, have poor user experiences, are not delivered on time, or any combination of the above. Despite all the silver bullets over the years such as formal methodologies, new roles, tools, and technologies, app dev shops remain largely afflicted. According to a survey I conducted last year, application developers concur that a common characteristic of great application developers is that they have a deep understanding of the business domain. Understanding the business does not mean you read the docs. It means you know the business in your bones.
I recently completed a report comparing the movements and trends in IT budgets across different countries across the Asia Pacific region. The general finding of the report was that although IT budgets are down on average, there is a chasm appearing between the "haves and have nots" for IT spend. In summary, while the average decrease in IT budget decrease is around 5%, of those companies getting an increased IT budget, their spend increased by between 15-20% on average, and for those receiving an IT budget cut, the decrease was often around 20%. The decisive factor on the direction of the IT budget was often the level of exposure to the global financial crisis. Those with a high level have seen the highest budget cuts, those with low levels of exposure (or those profiting from the crisis) are seeing increases or flat IT budgets.
But as is often the case with statistics, they do not tell the entire story. What is becoming clear is that even those companies with increased IT budgets are looking to decrease their IT spend in as many areas as possible. Much of the interest in the region in cloud computing has actually come from the public sector - one of the sectors that has been relatively sheltered from the slowdown in IT spend. Virtualisation is on the agenda for nearly all companies, as they look to make better use of the hardware that they already have.
Mike Gualtieri and I had a surprising argument about developer downloads with several vendors as we compiled our Forrester Wave: Complex Event Processing (CEP) Platforms, Q3 2009. Developers consistently tell us they want unrestricted platform downloads -- no time bombs, no forced contacts with the vendor's sales staff, no limited-function versions. The vendors in question disputed our insistence on valuing download policies that had no such limits.
We thought in this era of open source, everyone understood this point about developer downloads. Downloads are a great way to encourage developers to learn your product's ins, outs, values, and issues. But developers learn at their own pace, not on your schedule. Developers need your whole product because they will follow a variety of paths to knowledge, not just the paths that make sense to you. And developers don't want to listen to a sales rep's pitch on the wonders of your software.
The First Case Study in the Series About How to Deploy Customer Service Social Media!
When I published the ROI of customer service social media, everyone had asked me - who is doing social media and what are they doing. To help those who haven't started down the social media path, I put together the 5 Best Practices of customer service social media. That doc is chocked full of ideas you can use today. And to provide more details on how companies have accomplished their goals for social media, I also decided to publish a bunch of case studies! ACT! is the first of many! I hope it helps you to get a better idea of how valuable social media is and its bottom-line affects!
Who is Sage and What Did They Want to Accomplish With Social Media?
The Second Case Study on Customer Service Social Media: How To and The Results...
This is the second case studies in the series on Customer Service Social Media Best Practices! You might be wondering what I meant my ownership. In organizational change management language... there are three stages of project success - awareness, buy-in and ownership. Here ownership doesn't me "owning" like it's mine - not yours. It means taking 100% responsibility for leading and faciliating solid, genuine, collaborative relationships with the whole company to further the whole company's succcess. Here's more details on how Lenovo accomplished their social media goals!
Why Did Lenovo Consider Social Media?
When Lenovo acquired the IBM PC computing division, they realized customers were talking about their products on 3rd party forums like notebookreview.com and thinkpads.com. They felt left out of these important customer conversations. To remedy that, they took ownership and lead the customer social media interactions.
Overview: As more and more customers are using social media to interact — or worse yet to trash a brand because of poor customer service interactions — customer service professionals need to understand how best to lead and deploy social media for their department as well as their firm.
In building the ROI model for customer service social media, I talked with 20 companies that have deployed social media and the result was five best practices. While there are many things to consider, these best practices provide a framework to begin engaging customers in social media, to determine an ROI and transform the customer experience.
Agenda: Forrester's interviews with savvy executives found that smart companies use five emerging best practices:
As consumers are rapidly adopting social media to voice their disdain about companies, many of my clients are wondering how best to harness the power of the "cloud" to transform those customer experiences. In developing the ROI of Customer Service Social Media, I interviewed a lot of end-user companies. I used that information to look for trends for benefits, costs and risks.