7 minute read
“Our best prospects are right under our noses, but they’re scattered across the country, and we don’t know who they are until we trip over them! We need an engine that will identify our cherry prospects and serve them up in bulk.”
Our corporate services client was priming to take over a big chunk of the market dominated by a handful of conglomerates.
The sales executives knew the profile of their best targets: related companies — sharing some common ownership or management — operating in multiple states. They also knew the big guys weren’t pursuing these under-the-radar targets.
We needed to create a prospecting engine that would, on the back end, collect, warehouse and transform disparate data sets about the nation’s businesses into a common format; in the middle layer, let us suss out the company groups; and…
9 minute read
“We’re in the final stages of testing and anticipate your system will go live three weeks from today.”
After too many months and too much money, the tech company was finally reporting that it was just a few minor tweaks away from launching the shiny new, custom software system that would make life so much better for the partners of the high-powered venture capital firm.
One of the most influential companies in the industry, the firm enjoys a reputation for taking smart risks and returning big rewards for its investors. This time, it had invested heavily in its own future with a desperately needed upgrade to its portfolio management system.
Now it was time to take the system for a test ride. The entire company was excited to see what this thing could do.
And it did…nothing.
It failed its…
4 minute read
We are a society that thrives on our personal and mobile devices—they are no longer additions to our personas, but extensions of them. We are intimately connected to our personal technology. So it makes perfect sense that the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) movement has brought the relationship between personal technology and business technology full circle.
An enterprise BYOD program allows employees to bring their personal computing devices (Smartphones, tablets, etc.) to work in lieu of corporate issued or purchased devices or equipment. Employees sync these devices to their business networks, access company applications and systems via powerful cloud-enabled software, and thus hold the keys to productivity in a singular device.
“The rise of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is the single most radical shift in the economics of client computing for business since PCs invaded…
10 minute read
The call from the West Coast came in to our Baltimore office on a Monday afternoon. The caller (we’ll call her Lois) was on Day 3 of a total system shutdown. She was officially in crisis. Lois’s firm – a 24/7 public records research firm that earns much of its revenue from online transactions – had gone offline.
After agonizing through a second day of total shutdown, Lois had hit her breaking point. For some time she had been frustrated by her IT team’s lack of vision and responsiveness, but this shutdown was just too much. Lois fired her entire IT department on the spot, save one.
Now she had no system, one IT employee and no plan.
Lois knew she needed immediate help, so she called a trusted friend, a leading CEO in her industry. Her…
6 minute read
Managing data and analysis in the increasingly complex financial services landscape is more critical than ever. New legislation, increased compliance requirements and continued risk due to uncertain economic times have necessitated significant additional IT investment. Leaders in the financial services industry are under intense pressure to not only meet compliance and mitigate risk, but also to fully leverage IT investments and drive growth and profitability.
BI is Boss
At the center of managing critical data and its analysis is Business Intelligence (BI). Often referred to as any tool that can provide query-able access to business data by business users, technically BI is the actual query engine, and its value should not be underestimated.
Consider the many variables used to determine whether to buy or sell an investment: information about each company, financial data impacting the business, current or…
6 minute read
There’s no doubt that salespeople are grateful for technology assists. Remember having to memorize every client’s kid’s name and baseball average to make them feel special? Or toting around a bulky Rolodex that included everything you ever wanted to know about your client – including birthdays and favorite restaurants – on a 2” by 4” card? It’s hard to imagine how businesses functioned at all without the convenience and accessibility of technology.
Let’s welcome the newest member of the sales team: automation. Here to make business processes, including the sales cycle, that much more efficient, automated technology solutions have become critical players in the revenue game. Taking on the prospecting and lead nurturing processes, marketing automation engines move buyers down the sales funnel and spoon-feed high quality, ready to buy, prospects right into the open arms…
9 minute read
Big data, with all of its vastness and mystery – and confusion – is actually a remarkably straightforward concept: store everything for later analysis. Because once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. The end.
Ok…so there’s more to the big data story. And while the term big data is both overexposed and under-defined, defining it doesn’t really help solve business problems. (And we won’t even get into Big Data vs. big data, because who really cares except for data practitioners.)
But recounting a business success story that substantiates the notion that you should store every last iota of data – because you don’t know every pattern that might be found or explored – should shed some bright light on the awesomeness that is big data.
The Big Challenge
An online bookseller didn’t know its profit margin…
4 minute read
Technology enables change, and change drives success. We measure success in terms of change: increases, decreases, percentages, growth and trends. But how do we define change? Transformation? Innovation? Conversion? Shift? Transition?
Powerful data mining systems transform boring data into hidden treasures. Innovative data manipulation programs convert stagnant business relationships into rich prospect lists. And new computing platforms have shifted the technology paradigm from one of monolithic information systems living in giant metal boxes to well-connected business processes that float around in the cloud.
From App to Platform
Salesforce.com was founded as a CRM (customer relationship management) application hosted in the cloud. Since day one, however, the company recognized that in order to be successful, it couldn’t be just an application. Salesforce.com needed to create a whole new platform for business processing.
9 minute read
What’s the best approach for transitioning from physical records (paper and microfiche) to digital records for your organization? Should you just rip the bandage off and have it done all at once? Or should you build capacity into your systems, in Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) fashion, to transition incrementally, over a longer period of time?
Like the dolphins that left planet Earth – just in time – in the fourth book of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, the time has come for healthcare organizations to move away from physical and enter the digital records galaxy. But switching to computers from physical records is scary, and if not done properly, can be downright miserable.
When considering any legacy system upgrade – in this case the physical records are the legacy system – the criteria to weigh include cost, value,…
5 minute read
Data is a game changer. 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day – and the data comes in all shapes and sizes. Long gone is the notion that data is just for reporting, or collecting. Mix some innovative understanding of data with some good old-fashioned diligence, and voila – you’ve got a game changer.
In 1989, physicist Tim Berners-Lee had an idea to create a single information network that would enable his co-workers to share all the computer-stored data at his laboratory. He was frustrated that access to existing data was so difficult, as it was stored only on particular machines that required additional programming knowledge just to login. Berners-Lee envisioned a collaborative environment where people working together could design something in a common, shared space.
The very first website – ever…