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Business leader, best-selling author and Hall of Fame speaker Scott McKain joined Ulitzer with his blog syndication at http://mckainviewpoint.ulitzer.com. Scott McKain is the Co-founder and Principal of The Value Added Institute, a think-tank that examines the role of the customer experience in creating significant advances in the level of client loyalty. He is Vice Chairman of Obsidian Enterprises, a dynamic holding company with 19 companies in diverse industries, that was named one of the "fastest-growing companies" in America, and is also Vice Chairman of Durham Capital Corporation. Scott's new book, "The Collapse of Distinction: Stand Out and Move Up While Your Competition Fails" has already reached the #1 spot on Amazon.com's list of Customer Service Bestsellers! He is the author of two #1 additional business bestsellers (Amazon.com & 800-CEO-READ): "What Custo... (more)

DDN Plans to Roll Out Massive Digital Signage Network with 7-11

Digital Signage Journal There's a press release making the rounds today about a company called DDN - who you will have never heard of - announcing plans to roll out with convenience store giant 7-11. The deal between the the world's biggest c-store operator and Digital Display Networks, Inc. would create one of the bigger digital out of home networks, anywhere, if it gets out to more than 6,200 stores in the United States and Canada, reaching an estimated 190 million monthly viewers. The programming will have national and local entertainment news and weather, and a blend of house, vendor and third party ad spots running on two screens, with audio, in each store. Well, that constantly repeating audio loop will make working at a 7-11 just THAT much more pleasant, won't it? Ugh. This is a deal that has been around for all of this year, and I know the NYC-based guy cha... (more)

Contrary Opinion: CRM is a Hoax

I have a pet peeve concerning two things I’ve been meaning to write about lately, namely CRM and multi-tenancy. I recently read an excellent article referencing both concepts and thought itmight be a good stepping stone to a quick blog post. In his article Don’t Get Conned – The many disguises worn by software-as-a-service, Matt Wallach discusses CRM software and the concept of SaaS multi-tenancy. Matt’s business is life sciences, and he discusses the state of CRM software for his industry. His argument is along the lines of “be wary of on-premise wolves in SaaS sheep clothing”. The wolves, in this case, areon-premise CRM vendors who simply throw servers over a wall and call it a SaaSday. The sheep (aka the good guys) are those genuine SaaS vendors riding a multi-tenant architecture. He then proceeds to define what multi-tenancy means using the well-known “neighbor... (more)

Understanding Cloud Taxonomies and Security

XML Security at Cloud Expo OWASP AppSec DC 2009 had a compelling session that defined cloud taxonomies and the security implications associated with the cloud computing. The three taxonomies that have become part of our vernacular are: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Set of virtualized components that can be assembled to build a application.  Amazon EC2, Rackspace, Opsource, and GoGrid are examples of IaaS where you can rent "virtual" hardware and software as a "pay-as-you-go" services.  If you need 5 Linux servers running MySQL Database for 3 months, you'd subscribe to an IaaS provider and using their REST or Web service-based API (or command line if you're too cool) to provision, de-provision and monitor your instance. Platform as a Service (PaaS): A runtime environment for application developer to deploy their applications in their desired programming environm... (more)

Web 2.0 and the Return of the Relationship

Wikis. Blogs. Podcasts. Social networking sites. File sharing. User-generated content. These are just some of the hallmarks of the much-talked-about (but little understood) "Web 2.0." As with any concept that gets a lot of buzz and attention, Web 2.0 is a catchphrase that marketers, luminaries, and business strategists seem compelled to drop into almost any discussion. The conventional wisdom is that if your business hasn't fully embraced Web 2.0 (whatever that entails), then it is falling woefully behind and missing out on lucrative opportunities. In response, many companies, including firms from across the spectrum of the financial services industry, have raced to set up corporate blogs, invite user-generated content, set up profiles on MySpace, open storefronts in "virtual world" Second Life, and take other steps to connect with their markets using Web 2.0 tools... (more)

Six Tips on How to Implement a Successful Channel Strategy

The goal for any company is to create value for their customers. Selling through the channel can be an important sales strategy for any vendor if harnessed and prioritized correctly. While this approach can drive additional revenue and open up new sales opportunities, working in the channel can pose unique challenges as well. Creating a symbiotic relationship between the vendor and reseller is crucial. In order to put a solid channel strategy in place, there needs to be tight integration between each of the channel partners, VARs, systems integrators, distributors, and vendors. To move that forward, here are six tips that vendors should adhere to in order to develop a fruitful union: 1. Build the right foundation Vendor and channel partners alike must bring something new and different to the table. For instance, the vendor may have the rapport and technology the cus... (more)

Is the PR Business Extinct? Yes

http://twitter.com/fuatkircaali The short answer is yes. In our estimation, roughly 70% of today's PR firms with their traditional public relations and communications business structures will not survive the fast-approaching social media avalanche. The remaining 30% that need to reinvent their position real fast in their newly morphed industry will prosper, compared to where they were and what they were doing before. For publicly traded companies, current rules dictate that information can be made public by a press release or by a telephone conference call but not simply on a website. Ninety percent of today's PR firms are still in business simply because of this single rule. For the first time three years ago, in 2006, Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz asked the SEC to change this rule. Well, the new White House is already posting the President's weekly address... (more)

Jitterbit 3.0 Betas

Jitterbit, the open source house that has taken on large-scale enterprise-grade data and application integration - problems like connecting on-premise and cloud applications and data - is pushing on to Jitterbit 3.0, a major release of its solution. The new version, when it gets here - it's in beta right now - although some beta sites are reportedly already in production - will support high-volume transactions, expand connectivity options, and add new management tools and features for multi-user environments. Jitterbit claims adoption by 5,000 organizations because of its out-of-the-box integration and drag-and-drop "no coding" approach. But only 100 of them pay for it including places like NASA, BP, Dow Jones and Continental Airlines. It's supposed to cut project delivery time by up to 80% over proprietary alternatives like Informatica or TIBCO. The company says ... (more)

NetSuite To Buy QuickArrow

NetSuite, the Salesforce.com rival that Larry Ellison owns most of, is buying QuickArrow Inc, an Austin-based maker of cloud computing software for professional services businesses. It's paying $20 million cash. QuickArrow will be integrated into NetSuite's OpenAir business. NetSuite claims the combination will create North America's leading professional services automation (PSA) software company with more than 80,000 subscribers and a customer base that includes Symantec, Salesforce.com, Thompson Reuters, Genesys, Informatica, Proxicom, Siemens and Software AG. The acquisition is meant to advance NetSuite's creation of a next-generation cloud computing application suite for services-based companies. Last October it unveiled NetSuite Services Resource Planning (SRP), said to be the first cloud-based solution for managing a professional services business from marketing t... (more)

Business Martial Arts Lesson – Nail Your Foot to the Floor

    This is Lesson No. 7 of a Continuing Series on How Martial Arts Skills can be Applied to Business Keep your energy centered – In Hapkido, one of your main thoughts is to stay centered on your energy. In the word Hapkido itself is the word "ki" which is your vital energy. Your ki or energy plus your natural body weight is difficult to for an unskilled opponent to overcome if you are trained on how to use it properly. When an opponent drives at you with uncontrolled energy or sometimes rage, you simple "nail your foot to the floor" thus centering your energy around your rotating hips, grab his un-centered energy and take them where you want them to go. Once you control their energy, you control everything. That’s why you will see people half the size of the opponent throw the heavier opponent with ease. Staying centered concentrates your energy while not stayin... (more)

CDC Software Plans Cloud Computing Initiatives

CDC Software Corporation, a global provider of enterprise software applications and services, today announced that it is expanding its advanced technology research team at the Hong Kong Science Park to develop future cloud computing technology for the next generation of its enterprise solutions. C.K. Wong, Ph.D., vice chairman of the board of directors of CDC Software and CEO of iASPEC Technologies and Services, will be directing this team. Sean Yu, chairman of CDC Software operations in China and vice president of the company’s product engineering operations in Shanghai and Nanjing, will be supporting Mr. Wong and his team in Hong Kong. CDC Software also expects to leverage its technology partnerships with platform companies, such as Microsoft, in its future research and development initiatives with cloud computing. “We are delighted to launch our cloud computing... (more)