Nintex To Purchase Drawloop — Enters Emerging CCM Cloud Market

Craig Le Clair

Nintex is expanding into the emerging cloud-based workflow market — by acquiring Drawloop, an Irvine, California-based document generation provider: http://www.nintex.com/company/news-press/news-archive/2015/nintex-acquires-drawloop. Drawloop is one of the top 10 paid apps in the Salesforce AppExchange, with more than 1,000 customers, yet relative to the core customer communications management (CCM) market that has matured in a batch world driven by large-print service-bureau requirements, it is an effective but "light" solution. It gets high marks for usability, where less often means more. And you are fine if all data comes out of Salesforce, but what if you need to combine it with other data from core systems? What if you have 10,000 templates to manage, and what if you need to visualize complex data associations or have large batches of documents to deliver routinely? We will look harder at these questions during the next CCM Forrester Wave™, which will include Drawloop as well as Conga and perhaps other emerging cloud solutions. Overall, this is a strong acquisition that positions Nintex's BPM capability more securely in the Microsoft and Salesforce cloud ecosystems.

Syncplicity Gets Its Own Independence Day

Cheryl McKinnon

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for major players in the increasingly colliding enterprise content management (ECM) and enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) markets. Hot on the heels of the IBM-Box partnership, announced on June 24, 2015, today we see Syncplicity spin-out of EMC. Press release here. Skyview Capital LLC, a global private investment firm, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Syncplicity, although EMC will retain a financial interest in it.

 

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Engaging Customers In The World's Largest Mobile Market

Charlie Dai

Consumers and businesses around the globe have entered the mobile era, and technology management leaders are shifting their organizations’ business applications toward mobile. In order to effectively make this shift, mobile teams must change their practices to simultaneously improve agility and ensure a good customer experience. This is even more critical in China — a market with unique business scenarios, technology landscapes, and competitive environments.

I’ve recently published two reports focusing on using the mobile IDEA cycle for customer engagement, including part one and part two. In these reports, I assess the current state of mobile application development planning in China and highlight four key areas that enterprise architecture (EA) professionals should focus on in each stage, namely “Identify”, “Design”, “Engineer” and “Analyze”, to enable the success of the mobile IDEA cycle. I also provide examples of how to unleash the power of digital business by analyzing the strategic mobile practices of visionary Chinese firms and highlighting how they use systems of engagement. Some of the key takeaways:

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Red Hat Takes The Lead In Enterprise-Class Container Solutions — For Now

Charlie Dai

Red Hat held its 2015 summit last week in Boston. One of the most important announcements was the general availability of version 3 of OpenShift. After my discussion with Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat, as well as other executives, partners and, clients, I believe that Red Hat has made a strategic move and is taking the lead in enterprise-class container solutions for hybrid cloud enablement. This is because:

  • Red Hat has an early-mover advantage in platform refactoring.OpenShift and Cloud Foundry, two major open source PaaS platforms, both started refactoring with container technology last year. The developers of Cloud Foundry are still working hard to complete the platform’s framework after implementing Diego, the rewrite of its runtime. But OpenShift has already completed its commercial release, with two major replacements around containers: It replaced Gears, its original homegrown container model, with Docker and replaced Broker, its old orchestration engine, with Kubernetes.
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Disrupt Processes To Build Your Customer-Obsessed Operating Model

Clay Richardson

A few months ago, I had a horrible customer experience around test-driving a new luxury car. The company's marketing department invested a lot of money on different campaigns to get me to make an appointment for a test drive. They succeeded, But once I got to the showroom for the appointment, the experience was a complete 180-degree turn from the red-carpet marketing experience. In fact, I was told they were too busy for a test drive and they requested I come back in two weeks. Needless to say, the experience was a #BIGFAIL on the part of the carmaker.

We see this all too often. Disconnected business processes, fragmented customer communications, and poorly thought-out execution around critical customer experiences. This lack of focus on process coordination around customer experiences robs companies of potential revenue and brand value

Contrast this with the experience I had while visiting a Tesla Motors store recently. While I was in the store browsing different car models and speaking with a Tesla spokesperson, a steady stream of existing Tesla owners popped into the store to rave about how great the brand was and how much they loved driving their cars. 

It's easy to see that brands like Tesla run their companies from a customer-obsessed operating model. And at the heart of this customer-obsessed operating model is a relentless focus on calibrating business processes to deliver seamless, connected experiences at each step of the customer journey. This shift to customer-obsessed operating models requires BT organizations to disrupt existing processes and focus efforts to:

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“Big Data” Has Lost Its Zing – Businesses Want Insight And Action

Brian  Hopkins

I saw it coming last year. Big data isn’t what it used to be. Not because firms are disillusioned with the technology, but rather because the term is no longer helpful. With nearly two-thirds of firms having implemented or planning to implement some big data capability by the end of 2015, the wave has definitely hit. People have bought in.

But that doesn’t mean we find many firms extolling the benefits they should be seeing by now; even early adopters still have problems across the customer lifecycle. Can your firm understand customers as individuals, not segments? Are analytics driving consistent, insightful experiences across channels? Does all that customer insight developed by marketing make a bit of difference to your contact center agents? If you're like most firms, the answer is, “Not yet, but we're working on it.”

What’s more, firms expect that big data will deliver the goods. In fact, about three in four leaders tell us that they expect big data analytics to help improve and optimize customer experiences. That's a huge expectation!

I think big data is going to be a big letdown when it comes to customer engagement and experience optimization.

Here's why – big data is about turning more data into insight. In fact, our latest data and analytics survey tells me that big data plans are still overwhelmingly an IT department thing. As such, they have fallen victim to supply side thinking – just furnish the data and the technology, “the business” will do the rest. Really?

Big data will not help you:

  • Ensure insights are tested for value against business outcomes.
  • Deliver insights at the point of decision in software.
  • Close the loop between actions, digital reactions, and learning.
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Content In The Cloud Is The Next Frontier: IBM And Box Partner To Transform Work

Cheryl McKinnon

Today, IBM and Box announced a partnership and integration strategy to “transform work in the cloud." This is an interesting move that further validates Forrester’s view that the ECM market is transforming — largely due to new, often customer-activated, use cases. We also see that the current horizontal collaboration market is shifting to better target specific work output, as opposed to more general-purpose knowledge-dissemination use cases.

 

What does this partnership mean for IBM, Box, and their partners and customers?

 

For Box, the company gets important access to the extensive IBM ecosystem: Global Services, developer communities via IBM’s Bluemix platform, and the IBM-Apple MobileFirst relationship, as well as engineering acceleration to fill gaps in its content collaboration offering in areas such as capture, case management, governance, and analytics, including Watson.

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A Travel Nightmare: How To Ignore Data, Remain Clueless, And Anger Your Customers

Brian  Hopkins

Firms are blowing opportunities to engender their customers’ lifelong loyalty. Here’s an example from my own recent experience:

As an analyst, I fly 100,000-plus miles with a preferred airline every year, and I’m a mobile mind-shifted consumer; therefore, I have made some assumptions that have led to an expectation. Assumption — weather delays are not a new phenomenon in travel; assumption — the technology to analyze data and communicate with passengers has been around for a while now, and my big airline that is bleeding money out of its ears should have invested in it; expectation — my airline is going to use my mobile device to understand and take care of me because I’m important to them.

Here’s a summary of how that turned out not to be the case and how my airline could have used systems of insight to handle a bad situation and secure my lifetime loyalty:

Data they had access to: Weather projections over Chicago.

  • Insight they should have had: My aircraft had a high probability of flying right into a bad system.
  • Action they could have taken: They could have rebooked me before I got on the plane.
  • What actually happened: I was stranded in Chicago when a tornado touched down at about the same time I did.
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OpenStack Is Moving To A New Stage

Charlie Dai

Unfortunately, visa issues prevented me from attending the OpenStack summit in Vancouver last week — despite submitting my application to the Canadian embassy in Beijing 40 days in advance! However after following extensive online discussions of the event and discussing it with vendors and peers, I would say that OpenStack is moving to a new phase, for two reasons:

  • The rise of containers is laying the foundation for the next level of enterprise readiness. Docker’s container technology has become a major factor in the evolution of OpenStack components. Docker drivers have been implemented for the key components of Nova and Heat for extended computing and orchestration capabilities, respectively. The Magnum project aiming at container services allows OpenStack to create clusters with Kubernetes (k8s) by Google and Swarm by Docker.com. The Murano project contributed by Mirantis aiming at application catalog services is also integrated with k8s.
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Cloud Foundry Is Evolving Toward Agility Via Container-Empowered Micro-services

Charlie Dai

The Cloud Foundry Foundation held its 2015 Summit recently in Santa Clara, attracting 1,500 application developers, operation experts, technical and business managers, service providers, and community contributors. After listening to the presentations and discussions, I believe that Cloud Foundry —one of the major platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings —is making a strategic shift from its traditional focus on application staging and execution to a new emphasis on micro-service composition. This is a key factor that will help companies gain the agility they need for both technology management and business transformation. Here’s what I learned:

  • Containers are critical for micro-service-based agility. Container based micro-services are getting momentum: IBM presented their latest Bluemix UI micro-services architecture; while SAP introduced their latest practice on Docker. Containers can encapsulate fine-grained business logic as micro-services for dynamic composition, which will greatly simplify development and deployment of applications, helping firms achieve continuous delivery to meet dynamic business requirements. This is why Forrester believes that the combination of containers and micro-services will prove irresistible for developers.
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