Building an Effective Digital Asset Management Strategy

Posted by on June 24, 2019

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Many businesses are finding their digital assets just as important as their physical assets. Yet control over a digital asset can be far more nebulous. Digital assets must be warehoused, shared, monitored, and maintained. They need to be able to be tracked through a content strategy pipeline and analyzed for effectiveness. All of this requires a comprehensive Digital Asset Management (DAM) strategy.

Does Your Organization Need a DAM?

Any organization invested in content strategy and marketing needs a DAM strategy—even if that strategy is fairly light. A DAM controls all of the elements of media that are involved in a marketing or content strategy, from stock photos to video. Without a DAM, a brand cannot make effective use of its content.

DAM strategies have the following advantages:

  • Productivity improvements. By creating a centralized resource of digital assets, you can make it easier for these assets to be accessed and used.
  • Better ROI. DAM strategies make it easier to analyze the overall impact of each digital asset, thereby improving the revenue generation for the business.
  • Superior compliance. A DAM strategy will ensure that media and content is properly licensed and legally published.
  • Redundancy and scalability. As a company’s digital assets and content strategy grow, a DAM will ensure that assets remain controlled and secured.

Organizations may need Digital Asset Management strategies if they have found themselves growing their digital asset inventory, relying more upon their content strategy, or growing as a business.

How Can a DAM Solution Benefit a Business?

A DAM solution has specific use cases which benefit a business:

  • Connecting multiple archives of content assets. Rather than having to search through a file architecture or ask other employees for help, employees are able to look through a central repository for any content assets they need.
  • Performing widespread content analysis. Through a content management system or enterprise content management, data-driven analysis can be performed regarding the types of content being found most effective.
  • Growing marketing campaigns. When marketing strategies are being revised, a DAM solution provides the scalability necessary to scale the marketing campaigns up as desired.
  • Protecting multiple data assets. Through backup solutions, syncing, and redundancy, multiple versions of every data asset can be stored, preventing them from being overwritten or destroyed.

If the above issues are problems for your organization, it’s likely that you need a data asset management strategy.

How Can You Create a Digital Asset Management Strategy?

  • Inventory your existing digital assets. Your existing assets will need to be archived and ported into your new DAM solution.
  • Create new business processes for the consolidation and maintenance of assets. Employees will need to be trained on these new processes and policies.
  • Find the right technology. A DAM solution is driven by a content management, enterprise content management, or digital asset management solution.
  • Integrate your technology. If you’re using multiple DAM, ECM, or CMS solutions, they will need to be integrated to work seamlessly together.

What Technology is Best for a DAM Solution?

There are several technologies often used for DAM: CMS, ECM, and niche DAM solutions. Some organizations use one platform over the other. Other organizations use all of them together.

A content management system is a broad scope solution that’s designed to manage the organization’s content in a consolidated location. Many CMS solutions are client-facing rather than business-facing, making it easier to present content and digital assets to clients and follow a marketing strategy.

An enterprise content management system is a client-facing and business-facing architecture that also often functions as an intranet solution, allowing for easy access to a company’s internal data assets as well as publication of content.

A CMS and an ECM differ primarily in terms of scale. Many smaller or mid-sized businesses can operate solely with a content management system, while an ECM solution is a more robust solution that is used for larger businesses.

In addition to CMS and ECM solutions, there are niche DAM solutions which specialize in managing specific types of assets. As an example, a DAM solution may manage a company’s video assets specifically. A company that deals in a specific type of content may need a DAM utility in order to manage that content.

Key Takeaways

If your organization deals with content management, digital marketing, and digital assets, it’s likely that it does need a digital asset management strategy. A DAM can be quite lightweight and simple or more robust and complex depending on the organization’s needs. By finding the supporting technology, a company can secure and maintain its digital assets, while also improving productivity and providing for better marketing analysis.

Content is becoming one of the major assets for any organization, and the management and maintenance of this content has to be performed in an efficient and productive way. CMS, ECM, and DAM solutions make it easier for employees to interact with, share, and build content, while reducing the chances that this content could be lost, overwritten, or destroyed.

Stacks vs. Suites: Moving Away From Consolidation

Posted by on January 16, 2019

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It wasn’t long ago that businesses were focusing on consolidating all of their technology into single suite systems. Unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all product solution can rarely service all of an organization’s needs equally. While the simplicity of a single service is quite compelling, it cannot functionally compete with the customization, efficiency, and specialization of a well-integrated stack.

A Conventional Approach to Software Consolidation

Conventional approaches to software have recently tilted towards finding consolidated suites that can do everything for an organization. Enterprise resource planning, inventory management, customer relationship management, and other discrete and disparate products have been folded into singular systems for this reason.

The perceived advantages of this type of system are clear. A consolidated software system is seen as being easier to maintain as well as more cost-effective. From the software provider’s perspective, each vendor is able to capture more value for a customer. IT departments have preferred managing and maintaining a single system, and the belief has been that this type of system tends to be more secure as there are fewer opportunities for gaps.

The Failings of a Consolidated Approach

While consolidated approaches work effectively in theory, in practice they have often led to a “Jack of all trades, master of none” situation. When a single tool is not sufficient for a company’s day-to-day operations, they find themselves adding tools regardless. Once these tools are added, the company has already begun to create a stack — they just have not acknowledged the stack in a way that it can be properly integrated or maintained.

Using a consolidated approach can ultimately lead to an organization using a variety of tools that are ill-suited to their organization’s use, while pursuing a more simplified system. Ultimately this leads to issues in efficiency, and prompts many employees, customers, and vendors to self-service their IT needs and install their own sets of tools.

Developing a Digital Experience Stack

Organizations are now increasingly moving away from a consolidated approach and towards building a well-integrated stack. A well-integrated stack creates a custom workflow for an organization with the tools that the organization needs, but there are challenges present. In order to work effectively, the components of the stack must be fully explored, and the whole system has to be designed to work well together.

Enterprise content management (ECM) solutions and portals become exceptionally important when building out a digital experience stack, as they create central hubs through which the organization can manage its communications and authentication.

When creating a digital experience stack, the organization can no longer rely upon a consolidated system to funnel users into an easy-to-use experience. Instead, it must use a central hub in order to consolidate the information users need.

With the right solution, a digital experience stack can still provide an experience to the user that appears to be consolidated and well-integrated, while delivering a customized and effective experience.

Shifting an Organization from Suite to Stack

Shifting an organization’s infrastructure can appear to be a daunting task, and many organizations find themselves working with managed partners or experts in order to facilitate this shift. When it comes to a switch from a suite-based infrastructure to a stack-based infrastructure, an organization may begin by identifying its current pain points and the solution that it needs.

Developing out a DX stack is like building an ecosystem. An organization can start with its most basic tools such as its accounting, inventory management, and employee portals, building out the tools that it needs to be integrated with its infrastructure. However, it’s vital for the purposes of the user experience that all of these systems be properly integrated together.

Correct integration creates a seamless experience on the user’s behalf, with data being shared and synced from system to system, a singular location for files and documents, and an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. From an IT standpoint, an integrated DX stack must be easy to manage and maintain, with as much automated as possible.

Ultimately, many organizations have found themselves dissatisfied with their consolidated suites, as consolidated suites provide a one-size-fits-all solution that rarely has the advantages of distinct and discrete tools.

By building their own DX stacks, organizations can improve user experience and utility, gaining the best solutions for each task. However, they also need to be conscientious about the increased needs of a DX stack, in terms of integration, management, and maintenance.

Using Data & Analytics to Deliver Better Customer Experiences

Posted by on December 18, 2018

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Customer experiences have evolved through a combination of data and analytics that provide insight and information to make better decisions, stronger engagement and enriched interactions. This requires finding new ways to assess customer needs, pinpoint their preferences and embrace changing trends. The key is to use data in the smartest ways for the best ROI.

According to a report from Forbes Insights and SAS, data analytics have helped deliver superior customer experiences across the board. This explains the shift in many organizations who now make data and analytics a top priority to gain competitive advantages in improving customer experiences. One of the main factors in accomplishing this has to be a focus on aligning people, technology and processes across the entire organization. This includes key departments aligned to deliver these customer experiences, such as production, information technology and purchasing.

How should data be used for better customer experiences?

There should be an integrated approach using both data and analytics to have the greatest impact. Every area of the organization who touches the customer at one point or another must be involved. This helps spot customer behaviors and preferences which open opportunities for the organization. This adds value, indicating purchase sequences, the best times to release new products, when to send discount offers, how customers interact with the brand, and other useful information. This information should be visible throughout the organization to ensure everyone works together for the best results.

Advantages of using data

There are three main advantages for using data to improve the customer experience:

Reduction of customer churn

One of the main obstacles organizations face when addressing customer experience is churn. When customers are not engaged, they may or not return. Businesses use predictive analytics to anticipate at-risk customers, giving them an opportunity to enhance the customer experience in hopes of retaining their business. This data also helps focus on retention efforts for those customers who have been identified as “on the fence” and have a likelihood of staying with the right engagement tactics.

Increase selling opportunities

Many businesses thrive on cross and upselling. When running campaigns, data is used to identify potential customers that will act on these offers. This helps optimize spending by focusing on a select group who show the most promise instead of using those dollars across the entire customer base.

Customize product recommendations

Customers love a personalized experience. This includes SMS offers, email and other tactics used. According to Forrester Research, an average of 10-30% of sales can be attributed to product recommendations. Analytics are used to examine customer behaviors, comparing these findings to data extracted from other customers. The result is customized product recommendations based on viable data in a real-time setting which enhances the customer experience, increasing sales.

Data use for enhanced customer experiences must continue to be a collaborative effort across the organization to realize the best gains. With each department using the data to specifically address their point of contact with each customer, experiences will become more enriched, engaged and value-added with each interaction.

Enhancing a Digital Workplace through the Cloud

Posted by on November 30, 2018

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A digital workplace can be a challenge to manage — but there are some excellent tools that can help. By enhancing your digital workplace through cloud-based technologies, you can improve upon the collaboration and communication of your employees, make your workplace more accessible, and even ensure that your employees are being as productive as possible.

Cloud Collaboration and Communication Suites

Perhaps the most significant challenge when it comes to creating a digital workplace is communicating with colleagues. This is especially true in situations where some employees work through a digital workplace but others are in office. This type of setup can easily lead to a feeling of alienation (on the part of the remote workers) or a feeling of resentment (on the part of those in office). But it can be successfully resolved through the use of cloud-based collaboration and communication suites.

Accessible from anywhere, these suites give employees versatile methods of communication that are designed to facilitate conversation. Employees can choose to use internal messaging systems, instant messaging, or often even voice or video calling, giving them a wide toolset to get the information they need. Further, by logging conversations and communication, cloud-based suites also give employees a one-stop, consolidated system where they can access their information and their files.

Connecting to Mobile Devices through the Internet of Things

A digital workplace requires that employees work with a substantial number of different devices, often through the “Internet of Things” (IoT). Cloud-based platforms offer a unified form of technology that can be used on a multitude of different devices, through browser-based software and native apps. In this way, employees are able to leverage IoT technology such as smartphones, tablets, and similar devices, while still remaining connected to the organization’s system and (perhaps most importantly) keeping the company’s data secure.

IoT has created some security concerns for many organizations, but it’s also for the most part an unavoidable evolution of the modern workplace. For employees who work within a digital landscape, IoT becomes even more vital. Through IoT devices and appropriate cloud-based management, anywhere can become an office as long as there is a smartphone available. These suites ensure that data is appropriately encrypted when transferred so that organizations don’t need to worry about the safety and security of the homes of their employees.

Perhaps most important, they also ensure that employees access their data through a secured framework rather than keeping local data on their devices. When data is local, a company could lose extremely sensitive data through something as simple as a lost phone or flash drive. As long as data is accessed through a cloud solution, the data can still be controlled by the organization at any time.

Better Analytics With Big Data and Machine Learning

Though the cloud doesn’t necessarily have a premium on big data or machine learning, these twin technologies are most useful using the resources that cloud computing provides. In fact, it can be prohibitively expensive to engage in any type of big data or machine learning processing without cloud computing services. Digital workplaces require the crunching of substantial numbers of data, as otherwise it can be impossible for a company to truly determine which employees are engaging in the most substantial achievements.

Through big data and associated algorithms, the top performing employees can be isolated and the performance of other employees can be enhanced. Though the human element can occasionally be lost through a digital workplace, big data can make it easier to continuously and closely manage employees.

By using data to build a rewards and recognition system, big data can be additionally used to create a more effective and meaningful environment for employees. This is an environment that will be able to reduce its churn and keep its best talent.

A digital workplace is not only commonplace today; it’s rapidly becoming more popular and may soon supplant the traditional workplace. Employers who want to get on board and begin benefiting from digital workplaces will also need to become very familiar with the cloud and cloud-based technology.

Why Your Business Needs Enterprise Content Management

Posted by on August 28, 2018

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Having the right business solution that will drive operations makes a difference in productivity and efficiency. As content continues to remain an integral part of an organization’s communication, marketing and sales strategy, learning how to properly manage this content is key.

Getting Down to Basics – Enterprise Content Management in a Nutshell

Enterprise content management (ECM) collects and organizes information that will be used by a specific audience. It combines a number of elements, such as methods, strategies and tools that capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver information to keep the organization running.

What are these elements, and how do they affect enterprise content management?

The following elements are needed for smooth processes. Let’s break it down:

  • Capturing information requires entering your content into the main system.
  • Management of this information is crucial, as it determines what can be found and used by the person who needs it.
  • Storing this information requires finding the right place within the system. Finding the right system and solution is key.
  • Preserving this information for long-term use makes a difference. It’s archiving and protecting information so it will be available whenever it is needed within the organization.
  • Delivering is putting the information into people’s hands when they need it.

Defining the structure of this content helps determine how it should be compartmentalized. There are a number of sources where content can be derived from, and proper management of these sources can protect your organization now and in the future. There are three types of content: structured, unstructured and semi-structured. This is how they differ:

Structured content

Structured content is well defined and is processed by computers, databases and is a factor in line-of-business solutions. It is comprised of independent parts that can be pulled together in a number of ways to get information needed for a particular purpose. Examples of structured content would be the different fields of a blog post, like the author name, title of the blog post, organization where the author is from, description of the post, meta data, and so forth. This information can then be used in a CMS. These elements are independent of one another, but can be used together.

Unstructured content

This type of content does not have a structure that is fully defined, and is read mostly by humans. Most of this information is produced by office applications such as presentation and word processing programs.

Semi-structured content

This information is between the other two types of content, and includes data that is processed by a computer, but have their own layouts, such as purchase orders, invoices and receipts.

Enterprise content management helps do business better. There are 5 top elements of ECM:

Digitally capturing documents

This includes documents that are created, captured, stored or shared through scanning, content that is already digital, filing and categorizing documents automatically, and electric forms. ECM helps capture these documents in a digital repository to eliminate challenges occurring from using paper.

Storing documents in a digital repository

ECM systems are used to store documents that are critical to business operations while being able to view or make edits, view metadata, and organize those documents in a structure that works. Additional features and benefits include duplicating existing file structures, making full-text searchable scanned and electronic files, direct documents where to go automatically when imported, preview content and navigate through thumbnails of documents. You can also save any changes you make with document check in and out.

The metadata system allows users to build document templates that can be used across documents and folders; create document fields that are reusable to note key document information, including the author and approval time; connect any related documents with attachments through document links; sign and validate documents with digital signatures; and track, display and compare various versions of documents.

Retrieve documents, regardless of location or device

An ECM will help you with finding documents with full-text search, identifying specific elements, words, or other identifiers, and use preset search options once the records have been securely stored. You can conduct a search identifying metadata, annotations or entry names to find the information you need.

Enterprise search helps increase efficiency, cutting down on the time needed to find information, answer requests and more. The need for manual tagging is removed, and users have visual images to quickly find documents without going through numerous files and folders. Users will be able to have the right information at the right time to make better decisions that impact the bottom line.

Automate processes

Some ECM systems have digital automation features that will help eliminate manual tasks to get better results within the organization. An automated process will help the document move through the system, acquiring all the necessary signatures and review needed. You will also be able to identify where any breakdown occurs.

Securing documents

ECM systems can help strengthen compliance risk and optimize records management, from the processes to protections. It can provide restrictive access to content, monitor who uses the system, creates documents, changes passwords, and protect sensitive data.

Integration

Although ECM systems were initially designed to capture, store, and manage content for administrative or financial purposes, it has evolved to include workflows, case management, business process management and enterprise search. ECM’s are often integrated with Web Content Management (WCM) systems or portals to create cohesive digital experience solutions ranging from corporate websites to intranets, social communities, customer portals, and more.

With a system in place like this, your organization will be able to run smoothly and efficiently. Enterprise content management is a viable solution for streamlining processes to focus on business productivity and growth, now and in the future.

Why You Should Consider Migrating from IBM Cloud to AWS

Posted by on August 08, 2018

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) currently has 33% of the market share for cloud-based solutions – well ahead of any other cloud services provider. IBM Cloud trails behind at 8% adoption, despite entering into the market nearly half a decade ago. AWS has become the standard and leader for global cloud-based services for a number of reasons, which we will outline below. In this article, we’ll outline why you should consider a migration to AWS, what the principle differences are in AWS technology, and the challenges you might encounter during migration.

What Are the Advantages to Amazon Web Services?

AWS claims the vast majority of the cloud-based market, despite competition from major players such as Microsoft, Google, and IBM. What makes AWS the cloud services provider of choice? Having entered into the market early on and supporting many major technologies, AWS has the following benefits:

  • Cost. When comparing the pricing of six different scenarios, AWS came in middle-of-the-road for nearly every one — not bad for the most advanced cloud-based technology. Comparatively, IBM Cloud was the most expensive service for five out of six scenarios. In general, AWS is going to be one of the most cost-effective solutions available.
  • Trust. Many of the largest sites on the Internet are run through AWS, showing that the organization’s services are more than substantial for even the largest applications in the world. Reddit, Netflix, and Etsy are among some of the major platforms that are run through AWS.
  • Scalability. Amazon’s services originated out of its own need to support its ever-growing catalog of applications and technologies. This has created a system that is as scalable as it is reliable, as it was necessary to support Amazon’s tremendous growth as a major eCommerce marketplace. Small businesses and large enterprises can have their growth supported through AWS.
  • History. AWS was first launched in 2006; long before many of the other cloud-based services came into existence. Comparatively, IBM Cloud services did not enter into the market until IBM purchased SoftLayer in 2013. AWS has achieved quite a lot of traction and growth within the market space, which other companies may find it difficult to compete with.
  • User experience. In public comparison, users rated AWS 4.4 with a 79% willingness to recommend. IBM was rated at 3.8 with a 51% willingness to recommend. Areas in which IBM cloud fell short included enterprise integration, developer services, scaling, technical support, and ease of deployment.

Ultimately, AWS represents one of the most advanced, reliable, and scalable cloud-based environments available. Not only is it cost-effective, but it provides superior customer service and user experience.

 AWS vs. IBM Cloud: The Technological Differences

Though they both provide roughly similar services on an enterprise level, the technologies that drive these services differ. Among the most important differences:

  • Artificial intelligence. Amazon provides a suite of artificially intelligent, machine learning systems, including Lex, Polly, Rekognition, and Machine Learning. IBM’s artificial intelligence suite is driven by Watson. Lex and Polly are designed to make natural language emulation and voice language emulation easier.
  • Internet of Things. Amazon provides both an IoT Platform and Greengrass, a software platform that makes it easy to run local data caching, messaging, and computation, making implementing IoT devices easier.
  • Storage and Computation. Amazon’s computational strength and storage are primarily run by its EC2 and S3 systems, which are the same systems that have been leveraged to support its largest applications.
  • Databases. Amazon’s database solutions are focused on DynamoDB, whereas IBM Cloud’s solutions are focused on MongoDB.
  • Analytics. Analytics on Amazon are provided through Athena, EMR, and Kinesis, whereas IBM Cloud’s analytics are provided by their in-house Analytics Services and Cloudera Hosting.

In general, Amazon has a far larger developer toolset available than IBM Cloud. IBM Cloud’s technology is quite advanced in some ways — such as deep data analytics and artificial intelligence. However, Amazon makes it easier to use its services and resources.

Challenges and Considerations When Migrating from IBM Cloud to AWS€‹

Cloud data migration is always complex, regardless of the platforms involved. A cloud data migration will encompass multiple steps and pre-planning efforts. A few of the core challenges include:

  • Managing the migration without downtime. Often, systems will need to be run simultaneously until a “switch over” can occur. A migration may also be done in planned stages, to avoid having to migrate the entirety of the system at once.
  • Ensuring the fidelity of the data transferred. Permissions, metadata, and access control lists may not always be able to be transferred with complete fidelity. This could lead to serious productivity and security issues. Data needs to be verified completely to ensure that this data has been preserved.
  • Utilizing the services that AWS provides. As AWS provides multiple applications and services that IBM Cloud does not, an organization must plan ahead to begin leveraging these utilities once their migration has been completed. Otherwise, they may not get the full advantages of the migration.
  • Transferring data quickly and effectively. For larger systems, there is the practical issue of moving as much data as possible quickly. In an IBM Cloud to AWS transfer, both services will need to communicate with each other to migrate over data and services.

Amazon provides a number of cloud data migration tools, which are intended to streamline this process. These services include AWS Direct Connect, AWS Snowball, and Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration. Nevertheless, it’s often a good idea to involve an expert partner.

Is a migration from IBM Cloud to Amazon Web Services right for your organization? AWS can help your organization reduce its cloud-based expenses, while also providing best-in-class technologies ranging from database storage to artificial intelligence. If you want to expand your organization’s cloud capabilities without sacrificing user experience and reliability, AWS may be the right solution.

Engaging Your Audience With Enterprise Video

Posted by on July 18, 2018

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When using video in a corporate setting, one of the most important elements to successfully engage the audience is having a strong connection. What does that mean? Setting the stage to help the audience feel comfortable with your content. Establishing an emotional connection from the beginning is key, and knowing your audience makes that happen.

Technology has advanced to the point where using video within the business setting is a must. It serves as a viable means of communication, but has a number of advantages that help seamlessly connect a business across the globe. Why use video? Here are a few reasons:

  • Convenience – With video, businesses no longer have to worry about flying in employees for meetings. Video conferencing can engage a meeting of one, twenty or fifty no matter where they are in the world. This also works well for remote workers or contractors.
  • Builds trust – Being able to see someone speaking to you makes a difference. There’s something about face-to-face interaction that helps both parties feel more confident in the information being presented and keeps transparency at the forefront of the organization.
  • Reinforces engagement – Live video encourages engagement. People usually interact and comment more in real time stream activity.
  • Creates order – Having the ability to stream video allows you to set things up how you want. It helps create accessibility for employees (ex: watching a huge announcement on the company intranet).

According to livestream.com, 81% of audiences watched more live video in 2016 than 2015. Additionally, live video is more appealing to brand audiences. 80% would rather watch live video than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts. For businesses, this is key, as 56% of the most-watched live content is breaking news, and behind-the-scenes access is a draw for 87% of audiences.

Companies are also expanding their in-house learning options with video, offering ways to build and retain the talent they already have. For example, implementing a video e-learning system comes with many benefits at a small cost. A strong internet connection, good camera and platform for streaming is all that is needed. For companies who adopt this type of video engagement, it is very cost-effective, and can be tailored to meet your budgetary needs.

What are some common ways of leveraging video in your business?

For a business, video can assist across the company. Here are a few areas where video could make a significant difference:

  • Customer Service – Being able to live stream customer service assistance with the click of a button helps consumers and employees feel at home. In an e-learning capacity, having the ability to ask questions and get answers to issues you don’t understand is invaluable. It also enhances your brand.
  • Announcements – Have big news affecting the organization? Live stream it. This opens up real time engagement and allows everyone across the organization to find out first-hand news at the same time.
  • Demonstrations – What better way to debut a new product to your team? No matter the location, or what role they play, they will be able to get this information and remain on the same page as everyone else.
  • Live events – This is perfect for important corporate events that not all employees can participate in person, such as an awards ceremony. Employees can participate through a live stream of the event or watch it on-demand later, maximizing employee participation and engagement.
  • Behind the scenes – Have your employees ever wondered what goes on in other departments? Video is a great way to introduce the entire organization to other areas of the organization they may never have a chance to visit. For large companies, this is very effective.

Implementing enterprise video capabilities throughout the organization is not only smart, but allows the company to grow in areas while keeping audiences engaged and costs low. Rivet Logic has partnered with Crafter Software and AWS Elemental Media Services to power a Video Center solution for organizations who understand the advantages of using video as part of their communications strategy.

Why 50 Percent of Companies Haven’t Started Using Big Data

Posted by on June 04, 2018

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Nearly every organization today understands the importance of big data. But while large volumes of data may be collected, many businesses are finding themselves unable or unwilling to create a complete data strategy. Businesses are proving to be hesitant to fully transition over to a data-driven approach. It may require a shift in company culture and more motivation from the top for businesses to truly commit to new data analysis processes.

What Is Big Data Being Used For?

Studies by Dell revealed that organizations utilizing data were able to grow 50% faster than their peers. But how is this growth being achieved? Big data is being used for marketing efforts, decision making, and process optimization. Through big data, companies are able to make more intelligent decisions faster — and are able to leverage their resources more effectively.

  • Marketing efforts. 41% of organizations using big data are using it to improve their marketing efforts. 37% of companies are optimizing their marketing strategies in general while 37% are focusing on social media campaigning. Big data is an easy way to identify purchasing and engagement patterns in their customers. Through big data, companies can better score leads and identify the customers that are most valuable.
  • Risk-based decision making. 30% of big data strategies are situated around risk-based decision making. Organizations are able to model potential scenarios to identify the highest risk situations — and, thus, make educated decisions. This may not be enough; more data and less intuition could ultimately lead to better decision making.
  • Business process management. Through data-driven business processes, companies are able to reduce their expenses. 49.2% of Fortune 1000 executives reported that they have started big data analysis for business processes and seen value developed through their strategies.

But there’s another statistic that’s important from this Dell study –39% of the organizations that established a big data plan were not certain what the benefits of their big data strategy actually were. And this is why many companies are not using big data.

Why Are Organizations Failing to Turn to Big Data?

Nearly every organization is now collecting data, but most are failing to actually use the data that they collect. Many of these companies are currently satisfied with the data that they are collecting and the fact that this data will be useful, but they haven’t developed a strategy or invested in a platform that they can use to make use of it.

Despite the tremendous advantages of big data, only 49% of large businesses are currently looking towards big data implementation. This is compared to 21% of small businesses and 19% to 26% of mid-sized businesses. Interestingly, businesses with 50 to 249 employees were far more likely to implement a big data plan than businesses with 250 to 999 employees.

Businesses are struggling to transition their decision-making from a more instinctive and gut-driven process to a more objective and data-driven process. It can be difficult for executives to yield power to a purely statistical and analytical process and this can cause some hesitation. Further, businesses may be afraid to invest in big data technology without a clear idea of its benefits.

Every business is different and consequently requires a different data model. There are very few businesses for which a “one size fits all” data strategy would be effective. Because of this, businesses are forced to develop their own big data strategy from scratch. This can also feel overwhelming to businesses, especially those that are not otherwise highly technical.

Businesses may also be frightened to further engage in data-related pursuits as security becomes more of a question. Ransomware, data breaches, and other similar attacks have made many businesses more conscientious about data and data storage. This may slow efforts to invest in new data-related platforms. Businesses that already have a data platform may feel that they aren’t getting the most out of their software and may be discouraged.

Though businesses may not be transitioning towards big data as quickly as they should, most businesses are aware that they need to be considering it. It’s simply a matter of implementation. Businesses that are interested in implementing data-driven solutions but not sure how should consider consulting with a professional services firm to determine a strategy and approach that will leverage data in a way that delivers most business value, through technology that aligns with their business goals.

How a Digital Workplace Empowers Employees and Trends to Watch For

Posted by on April 25, 2018

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You could say that the digital working place began with telephones, intercoms, and voice recording gadgets. The benefits were in speed of communications, efficiency and lightening the labor load for the people in the organization. As office computer technology revolutionized process, the digital workplace is, in turn, revolutionizing office technology.

Many revolutions began and strengthened when people “voted with their feet” and abandoned repressive, archaic systems. The digital workplace has a component of that, because we are in an age where employees have walked away from the confines of the workplace.

So, many people want the convenience of working outside the brick-and-mortar traditional workplace, while at the same time maintaining the social and professional interaction, which makes us human.

This article describes the components and benefits of the digital working place, its challenges, and how a modern social intranet addresses those challenges.

Components of the digital workplace

The digital workplace puts the employee first and meets the following needs:

  • A seamless experience across employees’ personal devices as well as company owned
  • The avoidance of  IT configuration hassles
  • A secure divide between their personal and work-related data and to know that “Big Brother” is not watching
  • Availability of favorite new and legacy computer applications when needed without concern on how the applications get to the end-user

Challenges in adopting a digital workplace

The challenges in adopting the digital workplace, though by no means insurmountable, are inherent in its 3 key drivers:

1. The cloud:  The digital workplace cannot—excuse the pun—get off the ground without cloud-based technology. The cloud brings a new set of challenges and a decision process centered around myriad issues of security and effects on customers, to name just two. Complete adoption of a digital workplace plan must include cloud strategies that range from total cloud to a hybrid approach.

2. Mobile access: The digital workplace is connected through the tools employees use, and those tools must adhere to what managers need most: an easier way for employees to do what managers want them to do without shadow-IT workarounds. This challenge also brings up issues of device management as well as how everything works across the computer keyboard or smartphone spectrum.

3. A consensus on apps: Business apps today comprise a veritable embarrassment of riches, without the previous shrink-wrapped exorbitant costs. Employees head for the dark side of shadow-IT because doing so makes their job easier. Assessing and adapting to those workarounds are a great way to build a stronger foundation for the digital workplace.

How does the digital workplace empower employees?

The simple answer is that the digital workplace gives employees secure, unfettered, and remote access to what they need to do their job. The complicated answer focuses on the modern integrated IT solution: The digital workplace relies on strict policies, identity management, the cloud, and mobile technologies. Remote access must be secure but enable users to move across devices and from different locations. Digital workplaces can fuel business transformation.

Here are 3 examples of how enterprises can benefit from their digital workplace:

1. Financial services can improve customer service and bank operations. Financial counselors can gain secure access on tablet applications to the data they need. IT teams can remotely manage branch ATMs.

2. Retail organizations can better manage customer engagement. Employees and associates have timely product and inventory information at their fingertips. They can serve a customer from anywhere in the store via secure smartphone or company device.

3. Healthcare organizations can improve patient outcomes. Caregivers can gain access to secure patient information. They can view X-rays and patient health charts from any location, regardless of devices.

What’s ahead in 2018

Writing for CMSWire, David Roe points out that “the digital workplace conversation has made it clear we are talking about more than just a collection of technologies or apps designed to collectively improve productivity in organizations.” What digitization means in the workplace is that it is an ongoing process “with a great deal yet to be done.”

Roe describes some common digital workplace themes, which took shape in 2017 and will likely grow in prominence over the next 12 months. Highlights:

Hackers will be more active than ever

Cybersecurity threats will be compounded by the growth of remote workers and connected devices. Roe predicts 2018 “will see a spike in sophisticated cyber attacks” with a variety of unusual breaching vectors.

Workers will want the best digital tools

Technology restraints and limitations in workplace apps “could be deal-breakers when it comes to hiring and retaining staff.” Organizations will need to overcome problems of inaccessible or poor enterprise software usability. They will need to overcome the lack of integration or collaboration offered in their legacy or existing digital workplace tools.

Artificial intelligence will continue to rule

AI will continue to be invisible but pervasive. Beyond 2018, the author cites one technology guru as predicting that AI will become so fully integrated in our workplace lives “that the boundary between artificial intelligence and human intelligence will become indistinguishable.”

The Cloud will be more prominent

Workers will become ever more dependent on cloud storage. The advantages are quick information access as well as better security control. Workers need real-time data and reports for insight. They do not want to wait for a manager or the IT to produce that data.

Likewise, the cloud now minimizes security risks inherent in laptop or desktop computers. Cloud app providers “will build more native logging and audit features to help security professionals monitor and control user activity at the source.” That approach frees administrators to enforce local protocols, rather than using third-party tools.

A different paradigm of information collaboration

A workforce dominated by millennials is “on the horizon.” The internet and the resulting mobility are enabling a new paradigm. As video calling is becoming the norm for millennial customers, “video conferencing will become ubiquitous in business.”

Roe predicts that video conferencing will bridge the gap between remote teams, vendors and customers “creating stronger bonds between stakeholders.”

How the modern social intranet addresses those challenges

As discussed above, a digital workplace is about empowering the workforce to be more efficient and productive where they are. Today’s workforce is increasingly more mobile and global and no longer confined to a typical in-office workday. Employees crave the ability to work from anywhere.

A modern social intranet solution is the key part of the digital workplace strategy. It provides a means to maximize the value of employees and engage them through a virtual workspace. By connecting everyone in the organization through a single destination, a social intranet provides all the tools employees need to do their job. It also provides a platform for communication, knowledge flow and engagement.

Join us at the Digital Workplace Experience Conference in Chicago, June 18-20

Rivet Logic will partner with Liferay to showcase a collaborative digital workplace solution from June 18-20, 2018, at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago. The event will highlight the following Digital Workplace Experience Tracks:

  • Leadership, Strategy and Digital Workplace Culture
  • Employee Experience Practices
  • Digital Workplace Platforms
  • The Intelligent Workplace
  • Digital Experience Measurement and Optimization

Why You Should Use a CMS for Building and Managing Your Responsive Mobile Website

Posted by on March 08, 2018

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Imagine this scenario: one of your long-term customers pulls out his smartphone and types in your company’s website address. He wants to double-check the hours of operation as well as confirm service offerings. While this process should be simple — and he is expecting that it will be — it isn’t. The website is there, but the website’s graphics and written content (which work just fine on a PC), are jumbled together while viewed on a smartphone. The website also struggles to load completely. The customer is put-off (or maybe even annoyed), and your company’s image is on the line. The customer has to call in to confirm your business hours and services, which eats up valuable time for both customer service and the customer.

If the website had been responsive, though, it would have taken the customer a handful of seconds to look up the information, and the customer service agent would be free to move onto the next caller. If every other customer is calling because he or she wasn’t able to locate valuable company information on a smartphone or tablet, it could end up costing your company a lot of time and money in the long run.

But one thing could change all of that: a responsive (mobile-friendly) website designed with a CMS. Responsive websites are an easier and more cost effective alternative for businesses, small and large alike. It saves time and money because there will be fewer customer service calls and less time spent creating new web pages and tweaking native mobile apps. If you have an online inventory, it will also help streamline upload times and inventory management.

CMS Platforms Simplify the Responsive Design Process

A responsive website is designed to adapt to differing screen sizes and mobile platforms. This means it can recognize the screen size and mobile device your customer is using and respond to it, showing them different content based on what their device can handle. There are two ways you can build a responsive mobile website: by having a website developer custom-design it for you, or by using a CMS (Content Management System), which would do most of the legwork for you.

Modern CMS platforms allow you (or a website administrator) to not only design and build a responsive website, but to quickly and efficiently manage it. While it might take a website designer two or three hours to make a new webpage for your website — depending on how involved the webpage is, of course — it could take that same designer under one-quarter of the time to make it while using a CMS.

CMS’s have a GUI (Graphic User Interface), which facilitates quick and easy upload and creation of written content, graphics and photos, forms, blog posts, design elements, and more. While most of the time spent hand-coding goes into formatting (i.e. figuring out how and where to put certain elements and how to make them look presentable), a CMS allows the designer to format an element in mere minutes. CMS platforms pre-load most formatting and design elements, allowing the designer to simply click a few formatting buttons or options and upload as many images as needed. Those elements are automatically formatted to “fit into” the smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other device your customer is viewing it on. Designing and managing a mobile website has never been easier.

Using a CMS for Native Mobile Apps

A CMS can also be used for native mobile apps. Native mobile apps that are created and managed with a CMS offer the most reliable, mobile-friendly experience out there. Having the ability to change the functionality, design or content of a native mobile app can be done with ease through the CMS. Native apps designed with a CMS also make editing or tying in gestures, the camera, microphone, and other mobile-based functionalities more streamlined.

CMS Platforms Can Raise SEO Rankings, Too

If you can imagine that CMS’s simplify the management of a responsive website, you might also imagine that it makes Search Engine Optimization (SEO) easier and more impactful. It’s true: a CMS can not only simplify your SEO strategy, but it can actually raise your rankings. There are a lot of variables when it comes to SEO — page load time, user experience, keyword usage, how many “quality” webpages you have on your website — but you can boost your website ranking just by using a responsive CMS platform.

According to Google, a responsive website performs better in search rankings because it provides a better overall experience than a website that isn’t mobile friendly. And because a CMS has a better chance of providing a tried-and-true user experience that is (typically) free of coding errors, the user experience will stay the same across all new webpages, and your rankings will go up as a result. Using a CMS for a responsive mobile website makes SEO not only more foolproof, but it can allow your web designer to quickly optimize each and every element of every webpage on your site. Optimizing your company’s website for search rankings should be at the top of your mobile marketing strategy, and using an open-source CMS can help you get there quickly and more effectively.

Choosing the “Right” Open Source CMS

Now that you’ve decided that a CMS is the way to go, how do you choose the right one? Taking the time to research which CMS is best for your company’s needs is critical, but doing some research on which CMS is best for efficiency and a good mobile strategy is also important.

Rivet Logic offers industry-leading design and consulting experience in several CMS platforms, two of which are Liferay and Crafter CMS. Reach out to us for responsive website design insight, troubleshooting, consulting, and more. We can help you turn your company’s website into a mobile superstar.