Don't know where your customers and assets are? Then you don't know where your business is going.

Rowan Curran

Business decision-makers take note: location-based context is critical for the future of application experiences and customer engagement. Understanding the location of customers and assets lets companies get closer to their customers and assets to drive better decisions (just to name a few: choosing the a site for a brick-and-mortar location, picking what offer to send to a customer, guiding passengers through airports, deciding where to focus your next marketing campaign, or pushing a greeting and sign-in to a patient as soon as she enters a hospital). The flood of spatial data generated by ubiquitous mobile and proliferating IoT devices offers developers new opportunities for user engagement, but choosing the right tools and services to ingest, analyze, and act upon this information can be vexing.

From comprehensive spatial analysis systems to decomposed location services solving specific problems, the landscape of spatial analysis vendors and offerings can be overwhelming and confusing. In our new report, Vendor Landscape: Spatial Analysis And Location Intelligence, Q2 2016, Forrester breaks down the market into six cohorts to help application developers, analysts, and business decision-makers choose the right technologies for their enterprise. Check out the full report at Forrester.com for more details and to view capabilities of dozens of vendors in these cohorts:

  1. Dedicated spatial analysis software platform providers
  2. Advanced analytics platform vendors
  3. BI vendors with spatial capabilities
  4. Spatial infrastructure and software vendors
  5. Location intelligence services providers
  6. Horizontal and vertical spatial solutions providers
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Key Takeaways From Informatica World 2016: Informatica Pivots From A Data Company To A Business Insights Company

Nasry Angel

Informatica World wrapped up in San Francisco last week where almost 3,000 customers and partners gathered in the Moscone West conference center for four days packed with executive keynotes, customer and partner presentations. Based on my time there it’s clear that:

Informatica is pivoting to cater to a business audience. They recognize the business and their requirements have gained greater influence over technology purchasing decisions and are responding accordingly. Heralding what they call the age of data 3.0 they now want to leverage their leadership position in data management to build industry solutions on top of their data integration, data quality and data management tools. MDM solutions like MDM-Customer 360, MDM-Product 360, and MDM-Supplier 360 take aim at delivering mission critical insights to the business user. Their expanded partnership with Tableau will also continue to expose them to business audiences.

Promising new executives have their work cut out for them. Informatica has a 20 year track record of success in data management. But they are going in a new direction that is largely uncharted territory for them. Lou Attanasio, is the newly minted Chief Sales Officer who will need to transform an organization accustomed to speaking with IT to one that appeals to a business audience which will require a new sales model, training, and specialized sales talent that can speak to the client in terms of business value while also covering the technology at the right altitude. Jim Davis, who joined earlier this year as CMO from SAS, is leading the charge in positioning Informatica as not just a data management tool but a platform that is embracing cloud, mobile, social, big data, IoT and security.

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US Government: Huawei Should Be Your Digital Business Partner, Not Your Enemy

Charlie Dai

Huawei Technologies started out nearly 30 years ago as a small private company with 14 employees and 140,000 yuan in capital. By 2015, its total revenue exceeded $60 billion. Huawei is already a global company, but its globalization journey has been a difficult one since the very beginning. Despite its continuous business growth in other regions, Huawei has faced critical censorship in the US since Day One — and last week the US government put Huawei under the microscope yet again.

National security is important, but using “national security” as an excuse for allowing unfair competition will only harm customers. It’s time for the governments of both countries to trust each other more. I’ve recently published a report focusing on Huawei’s continuous progress toward becoming a key enabler of digital transformation in the telco and enterprise spaces. Some of the key takeaways:

  • Huawei has holistic strategies for digital transformation. Huawei’s broad vision of digital strategy — which focuses on cloud enablement and readiness, partner enablement, and open source co-creation — has helped the firm sustain strong business growth in the telco and enterprise markets. For example, its partnerships with T-Systems on the Open Telekom Cloud in Germany and with Telefónica on public cloud in the Americas have helped carriers in local markets give cloud users on-demand, all-online, self-service experiences.
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Digital Transformation Europe Forum 2016: Q&A With Fergus Boyd, VP, Digital And IT, Yotel

Laura Koetzle

This week, Forrester’s European Digital Transformation Europe Forum 2016 kicks off in London at the Lancaster on June 8-9. Myself and Forum co-host Benjamin Ensor are very excited about the program that we have been able to put together across the two days. Our list of industry speakers is impressive, and includes Blake Cahill, Global Head of Digital and Social Marketing, at Philips, Toby Wright, Chief Technology Officer, at Telegraph Media Group, Nina Jones, Global Owner Experience Director, at Jaguar Landrover, and Dr. Horst J. Kayser, Chief Strategy Officer, at Siemens AG.

On day one, we will also be hearing from Fergus Boyd, Vice President, Digital and IT at Yotel. Fergus is responsible for this start-up affordable luxury hotel brand’s digital strategy and services (web, mobile, social), IT innovation, and all back-end and guest-facing technology. He is a serial digital entrepreneur and technology transformation agent and led award-winning IT, eCommerce, and innovation initiatives at Virgin Atlantic and British Airways (BA).  

In the run-up to the Forum, we asked Fergus to answer a number of questions on how Yotel uses digital to differentiate itself in the hospitality and accommodation market. His answers are a must-read for other tech management and digital business leaders facing similar challenges. I look forward to hearing Fergus’ presentation, “From Raw Fish To Moving Beds,” this Wednesday. Come and join us by registering today!

Q. How does Yotel use digital (web, mobile, social) to differentiate itself as a startup hotel brand?

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{Salesforce + Demandware}: DX Reactions and Predictions

Mark Grannan

Salesforce made its largest acquisition ever yesterday, acquiring Demandware for $2.8B.

 

Reaction:

At first glance these two software vendors compliment each other well because there is so little redundancy -- Demandware filling a commerce gap in the Salesforce portfolio. However, it’s more complicated than that. From the DX platform angle, Salesforce is acquiring a competitor.

 

On paper, calling these two competitors is an apples and oranges comparison:

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Digital Transformation Mumbai 2016 - Guest Q&A with Paul Cobban, DBS Bank

Ashutosh Sharma

In my earlier blog post, I talked about why you should attend this year's Digital Transformation Mumbai 2016 Forum. With the event just around the corner, I'm very much looking forward to the various sessions that we have in store that will help India's most senior business leaders understand Forrester's research on the customer-obsessed operating model, which will provide a blueprint for organizations on their digital transformation journey.

As I prepared for my role as Forum Chair, I spoke to Paul Cobban, Chief Operating Officer, Technology and Operations at DBS Bank, about his views on the need to be customer-obsessed and what DBS is doing to digitally transform themselves.

I hope to see you at the St Regis Mumbai in less than 2 weeks – register here! In the meantime, here's a sneak peek of what to expect from Paul's session at the Forum.

Q: How has the age of the customer impacted the financial services industry? How have you seen consumer needs evolve?

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It's About Time That Salesforce Fixed Its Gaping Commerce Hole

Kate Leggett

Salesforce announced today their intent to acquire Demandware for $2.8 billion – its largest acquisition to date. This move adds commerce to its CRM portfolio. It's an acquisition long due, with the question of why it took Salesforce so long to fill their gaping hole in CRM functionality – commerce functionality that its formidable CRM competitors such as Oracle and SAP already have - and that Microsoft sorely lacks.

Demandware offers an enterprise cloud commerce suite (digital commerce, order management, point-of-sale, store operations), and together, in conjunction with other Salesforce clouds – marketing, sales, service, communities, analytics and IoT – allows companies to support the end-to-end customer journey which include scenarios like asking a product question during an online purchasing process, or purchase a purchase a product or service during an online customer service interaction.

The positives of this acquisitions are:

  • It's a software category with a bright future. The market for B2C commerce suite technology is mature, yet it is growing, and set to exceed more than $2.1 billion in the US alone by 2019. This acquisition allows Salesforce to tap into a growing market, and coupled with their IoT cloud, allows them to also explore personal, high touch retail experiences.
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It’s Risky Doing Digital Half-way

John Wargo

I attended a software-related conference recently; I’m not going to say which one as this is about something I observed at the conference, not about the conference itself. Being a software conference, the conference organizers did a lot of the expected digital stuff: registration, reminder emails and conference check-in. Up to the end of the registration process, everything I did with respect to the conference was handled electronically. The first time I went analog was after I picked up my geek badge (conference credentials) from the printer and went over to a human who handed me my badge holder, backpack and requisite stack of sponsor advertisements.

I dutifully loaded the conference app and proceeded to manage my interaction with the event (session schedule, location of special events and so on) through the app. When attending conference keynotes and sessions of interest, I carried my smartphone and tablet, nothing more, and that’s when it got interesting.

One of the things the conference gave me during registration was a pen. I’m a digital guy; I didn’t have any reason to use a pen, so I dropped it on the desk in my hotel room and carried on. As I approached any conference session, the gatekeeper outside the session would try to hand me an evaluation form. Yes, a paper evaluation form. This is what started me thinking about what happens when you only do digital half-way.

Being digital is like jumping out of an airplane: Once you’re out that door, there’s no getting back in the plane.

In this case, the conference had an app, so I expected to do session evaluations in the app. At each session, I politely informed the gatekeeper that I didn’t have a pen, so I couldn’t do the evaluation. They got to know me and eventually started letting me know they’d have a pen for me the next time, but never seemed to come up with one.

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Customer-Obsessed Businesses Driving Infrastructure Transformation

Robert Stroud

Customers today are hyper-connected and their connectivity is rewriting the rules of business. Access to mobility, social networks, wearable devices, connected cars and hotels managed by robots are rapidly changing the behaviors of how customers engage and purchase. Think how you watch a film, shop or order a taxi.

The disruptive power in the hands of newly tech-savvy customers is forcing every business to evolve into a digital business or perish.

Infrastructure is at the center of the Digital Transformation

The digital transformation requires that organizations evolve their underlying technology infrastructure investments to fuel a business technology (BT) agenda, with technology designed to win, serve, and retain customers. Infrastructure – whether it is managed internally or hidden behind some cloud service – is a big part of the digital in digital business. I&O leaders can no longer simply focus on the same old approach to infrastructure. Internal business operations, or systems of record will remain important, but the emphasis must shift more to systems powering the newer digital customer experience

We are all aware that software is at the center of transitioning every successful business today. This software focus fueled a rapid expansion of cloud services and many argue that there is no longer a necessity to own hardware. This has turned the infrastructure world upside down. Hardware speeds and feeds no longer dominate infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals' criteria. In some use cases, qualities like the fastest packet-processing chip or largest disk capacity are critical, but they matter less to many of the systems of engagement in the BT agenda. As you design your BT services, be aware of which solution is right for optimizing the customer experience.

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Established Chinese cloud providers hope to succeed in Europe's public cloud market

Paul Miller

When we think about the public cloud, the list of credible providers can sometimes seem rather short.

(The Great Wall of China. Source: Paul Miller)

In North America, Europe, and elsewhere, the same few names tend to dominate. But not in China. There, big local brands continue to command impressive market share. And now they're looking to expand into new territories, including Europe.

Huawei hardware and Huawei's distribution of the OpenStack open source cloud platform power T-Systems' Open Telekom Cloud. This was launched, with some fanfare, at CeBIT in Hannover. 

Alibaba Cloud, which leads the Chinese public cloud market, is also coming to Europe this year.

In my latest report, I take a look at what both Alibaba and Huawei bring to Europe's public cloud market, and ask whether they can repeat their domestic success in this market.

TL;DR - it would be unwise to discount either of them.