Google Analytics Suffers Outage
Last week Google Analytics customers reported service outages that affected some for more than 24 hours. Worse, Google issued no official comment until Tuesday. As "Web Analytics Report" readers know, Google's official support partners fare no better than users, and in this case received no communications on the outage. As a free service, perhaps the offering is not supposed to be enterprise-class, but let's compare marketing hype to real functionality.
How Customers Should Prepare for Vendor Demos
Tony Byrne has provided some advice to vendors regarding product demos. Those ten points make essential reading for vendors and customers alike, but there is another perspective. Since I have personally sat in on those demos both as a buyers' advisor and as a vendor (system integrator), I need to add three points that customers should keep in mind when asking vendors to demonstrate their products:
Why Are Customers Frustrated With Web Analytics?
I spoke to customers and vendors at the recent Emetrics Summit to find some answers. Customers generally underestimated the level of effort required of them -- for example the tagging required to collect "basic" data, such as downloads of PDFs, Excel and Word files. Not understanding the need to develop a process for data collection, page tagging, and analysis, customers often assume that once the Web analytics solution is in place, it will run itself.
Crossing Channels: Q&A With Best Buy's Matt Smith
As Senior Director, Customer Insight at Best Buy, Matt Smith oversees Web analytics, one-to-one marketing, the Reward Zone customer-loyalty program, market-share measurement, in-store test-and-measurement and an analytics research and development team that serves multiple operating groups. Smith explains the retailer's move into cross-channel analysis, which he says is essential to transitioning from customer acquisition to relationship building.
Service Innovation: Survival of the Savviest
On May 30, a bunch of very smart people from a variety of industry and academic settings will gather in Santa Clara, Calif., to discuss service innovation in the technology industry, at a symposium organized by the recently formed Service Research Innovation Initiative (SRII). Service innovation is an idea whose time has come. The service sector now accounts for 75 percent to 80 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.
Customer Insight: Complete the Picture With Cross-Channel Analysis
Are you looking at store-, contact center- and Web-based transactions in isolation? Employing cross-channel analysis, Best Buy learned that best customers are typically multi-channel customers, and it's now personalizing marketing messages with a complete view of customer behavior. Here's a look at the cross-channel trend and its implications for technology choices and operational decisions.
Ten Steps to a Successful Vendor Demo
I've been attending a lot of vendor demonstrations on behalf of clients recently. These are in-person demos, typically following a tight script, after a set of vendors has been selected following written proposals. More often than not, the demos don't turn out very well. Sometimes the customer is ill-prepared. But more frequently, the vendor just flubs it. Demos are important for vetting finalists for any proof-of-concept, and customers could really benefit from better ones.
On the Inxight and ClearForest Text Analytics Deals
Buying Inxight is a smart move for Business Objects. Folding the capability to extract information from text into their technology stack is a natural next step for the company. This acquisition affirms the text-BI/integrated-analytics strategy being pursued by other vendors, notable Attensity, Clarabridge, Intelligent Results, SAS and SPSS. It also follows the precedent of data-integrator Informatica's late 2006 purchase of text-analytics vendor Itemfield.
IBM Eases Content Classification
IBM this week announced self-learning content classification software designed to automatically categorize large volumes of information. The offerings are intended to help organizations find content and understand whether it's important and how it should be handled. The software is particularly aimed at classifying content that is unmanaged so it can be more easily found and retrieved.
EMC Bows 'Transactional Content Management'
Transactional document management (high-volume throughput of relatively static documents) has long been dominated by IBM and FileNet. EMC this week announced that it, too, wants to compete in this lucrative market. Hence as part of its forthcoming Documentum D6 release, they have announced "TCM" (Transactional Content Management). For now, TCM is essentially a user interface module for high-volume scenarios…
On BI Bake Offs and Vaporware
At TDWI in Boston last week, attendees of the course "Evaluating BI Toolsets" got to see Business Objects, MicroStrategy, and Oracle demo head-to-head… Some of the questions from attendees during the course made me think of vaporware. Vendors love to put out press releases well in advance of product release dates. This is smart marketing as it takes time to build awareness… but in some cases, confusion on dates seems purposeful to me, leading buyers to think it's all vaporware.
LANDesk Delivers Virtual Applications
The company's new product lets IT administrators distribute software remotely, or stream it, without the need to test every new application for conflicts.
Appian Upgrade Makes BPM More Accessible
Appian Enterprise 5.6 adds Ajax-powered interfaces, real-time analytics, Microsoft Office plug-ins and RSS capabilities to make it easier to access and control business processes.
Business Objects Deal Advances BI-Search Combo
Business Objects announced this morning its intent to acquire Inxight Software, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company specializing in search technology including federated search, entity extraction, natural-language processing, text analytics and data visualization software. The deal, if closed as planned in July, will advance Business Objects' efforts to gain "streamlined access to unstructured information such as e-mail, documents, notes fields and Web content."
Facebook Opens Its Platform
The company is giving developers greater access to Facebook's user networks and better tools to monetize the Facebook audience.
Put to the Test: WebTrends Analytics 8
The granddaddy in the Web analytics space, WebTrends has more customers and more data collection and deployment options than its competitors. The vendor's software- and SaaS-based offerings are robust and well supported, but they're also complex and potentially expensive. Here are a few cautions and caveats to keep in mind when navigating the 'dizzying array' of reporting and licensing options.
SAP Improves Outlook on Performance Management
SAP has decided to retool its financial performance management offering. Why? The reason is the business software giant's announced acquisition of OutlookSoft… OutlookSoft comes with a strong Microsoft-based technology approach and capabilities for budgeting, planning, consolidation, reporting and analysis. If it can harness these, SAP has the potential to be a significant player for financial performance management.
Opinion: Enterprise Search Is This Year's Hot Topic For Business Intelligence
Will enterprise search become part of the business intelligence sector of enterprise IT? Plenty of analysts and experts said 'yes' at last week's Enterprise Search Summit, yet many practitioners have yet to forge a real search strategy. Here's a bit of advice on how to make the most of current investments and how to choose a new search platform.
Data 'Switzerland' Stretches Out
Informatica's goal is to be the hub that brings together structured and unstructured data and lets it flow easily across enterprise boundaries… Its stature as the biggest "Switzerland" in the data integration tool market makes it a welcome systems integrator partner. With IBM owning the former Ascential Software products… Informatica's nonaligned status has strong appeal.
Prepare for the Combination of BI and Search
Want a single interface to all information in the enterprise? That's what 83 percent of survey respondents said they want from the combination of business intelligence and search, but better access alone won't justify an investment. Customer information integration and specific revenue-enhancing goals should be a cornerstone of your plans. Here are eight steps every organization should take before jumping on the BI-search combination bandwagon.