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How to Select a WCM Service Provider

Join us at the Gilbane Conference in Boston December 1-3 and learn how your peers are building superior digital experiences for customers and employees. If you have a project coming up make sure you have the right service provider partners by attending this in-depth workshop.

Workshop D. How to Strategically Select a Service Provider Partner

Evaluating and selecting technology and service partners is intimidating. And without proper guidance, it’s easy to take the wrong path. This workshop focuses on selection readiness. It is designed to point your organization in the right direction before you even start the journey to either a roadmap and/or new solutions for web content and experience management. You will learn how to create a plan of action for getting your organization ready for a successful selection program – one that results in real business benefits as the direct result of partnering with the right service provider to help you set your customer experience path, and implement the right solutions. We explore the fundamentals of selection preparation, covering four key areas of readiness:

  • Articulating the business case
  • Identifying the stakeholder landscape
  • Managing requirements gatherings
  • Developing realistic budgets

We provide a step-by-step overview of an efficient, results-driven selection program, and we show you how to build a messaging and communications plan that will help you shape internal conversations about it. With this approach, you can set expectations, educate reluctant stakeholders, and get your company thinking about change management, which is often an afterthought but shouldn’t be. The selection process is all about aligning business goals with the “best-fit” partner for your organization’s needs. And finding that fit is about way more than just ticking the boxes of a procurement process checklist. Armed with the outcomes of this workshop, you will be ready to move forward with confidence and find the right service provide to partner with on your customer experience journey.

Instructor: Cathy McKnight, Partner and Principal Analyst, Digital Clarity Group
Tuesday, December, 1: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. • Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston

This workshop is included in the ConferencePlus package. Save $200 on the ConferencePlus and Conference Only options.

To get your Bluebill discount use priority code 200BB when registering online.

I would like my $200 registration discount – code 200BB

 

Are you keeping up with peers in managing content, customer, and employee experience?

Gilbane15

Learn and network with peers, industry insiders, and content, marketing, and technology experts and practitioners. Hear from:

Accenture Interactive ● McKesson ● The New York Times ● Marriott International ● SAS Institute ● Editorial Projects in Education ● Nielsen ● Jazz Aviation ● PBS ● Aon ● Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ● EMC ● Cornell ● Analog Devices ● Intel ● Port of Antwerp ● Blue Cross / Blue Shield of NC ● Apollo Education ● Harvard Business Publishing ● Wiley ● Amora Coffee ● Elsevier ● Adobe ● Plexxus ● chiefmartec.com ● ChiefDigitalOfficer.net, and 75 more speakers at the
Boston Fairmont Copley Plaza, December 1-3.

Subscribers, save $200 on conference registration—use priority code 200BB

Register Today!

Diamond sponsorBrightspot CMS

Platinum sponsorAdobe

Gold sponsorsHP Marketing OptimizationOracle

Learn more about the conference programscheduleworkshopsQuestions?

Gilbane Conference Opening Keynote Presentations

Wednesday, December 2, 8:30 am – Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston

Gilbane conference opening keynote

Moderator: Frank Gilbane, Founder, Bluebill Advisors, Gilbane Conference

Donna Tuths, Global Managing Director, Accenture Interactive, Accenture Digital
Global Marketers and Digital Transformation: What They are Doing and What They are Thinking

Scott Brinker, Founder, chiefmartec.com & Co-founder & CTO, ion interactive
Building an Infrastructure for Marketing Digital Transformation

Jon Marks, CTO and co-founder, Kaldor
Are Apps All They’re Cracked Up to Be? (Or Should We Just Embrace Mobile Web Instead?)

Scott Calderwood, Director, Digital Web Strategy, SAS Institute
Key Ingredients for Today’s Modern Web Experience

Michele J. Givens, Publisher and General Manager, Editorial Projects in Education, Inc.
Strategies for Improving Digital Outreach & Increasing Audience Engagement

The complete schedule, program and other details can be found at gilbaneconference.com.

Stay up-to-date between now and the conference with the Gilbane Advisor.

What is your experience using technology analyst firms?

If you use analyst firms to inform your technology strategy you have a lot to choose from. Analyst firms come in all shapes and sizes and their individual strengths and weaknesses, especially in terms of technology expertise, is not constant. They have the same keeping-up-with-new-technology “whack-a-mole” problem everyone else has. Even worse, analyst firm business models leads to a “create-a-category” challenge, which is further complicated by the needs of their technology product customers who have their own ideas about product categories and trends.

Companies that can afford it wisely hedge their bets by working with multiple analyst firms. But whether you work with one or many choosing them can be intimidating. One useful tool is the annual Analyst Value Survey conducted by Kea Company. They have a detailed report you can buy, but they also publish useful findings and commentary in press releases and their blog.

The Analyst Value Survey (AVS) is the only public survey into how people value different analyst firms like Gartner, Forrester and dozens of mid-sized firms. The survey has been annually held since 2000.

Buyers of analyst services use the results of the AVS to see which firms are perceived as delivering the highest impact on their IT decision making.

Technology Providers use the AVS to improve and justify their prioritisation of relationships with analysts who impact their business.

Research Firms use the AVS to understand how they can deliver more value and overtake their competition.

See more information about their survey, or share your own experience by taking the survey now.

 

iOS / Web developer opportunity with MassChallenge startup

A startup I am advising in Boston is in this year’s MassChallenge accelerator program and looking for a developer to work mainly on their iOS app. The company is AutismSees, and the description of the job is below. If interested please respond to: autismsees@gmail.com

We are looking to hire a coder who is proficient in iOS as well as web development. (Java, HTML, CSS)

Podium

Is an app that allows practice of an interview or one on one conversation with real-time feedback and a score on the practice session based on voice recognition, eye / facial tracking software. Data and analytics are given to Autism Research on social and communication interactions. The app rewards users for practicing, and for increasing eye contact and successful body language during practice. Ability to export scored video interview to therapist, coach, mentor, or future employer.

Our mission is to enhance the social and occupational functioning of teens and young adults with technology that allows users to practice speaking, interviewing, and presenting to an audience.

We are entering Mass Challenge in Boston 2015 and also received the Ozy Genius Award for our development of the app this summer.

This person would ideally be someone who could integrate to our team and work alongside me as an Independent Service Provider (contracted basis) for equity in the company if we choose to hire them for the team at close of the summer.

The project is to develop an iOS app with integrated facial and eye tracking software (already in place from Visage in our product) based on designs our team is building. The app will allow users to stream questions from our Podium interface live on-screen of the application, with a start and stop time for each question. The user can select an audience on-screen to practice speaking to and receive feedback (in-app) based on the results of their speech timing, and the Visage Software.

The developer would need to work well with a team and with our Advisor for Technology Development at Tufts. He or She also needs to have a creative vision and passion for helping others – a desire to code something to help students around the world improve social and communication skills.

Final reminder! Gilbane Speaker proposals due

Gilbane15 Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston
Workshops: December 1 • Main conference: December 2-3

The deadline for proposals has been extended to: May 8, 2015

Speaker proposal instructions and form

The Gilbane Conference helps marketers, IT, and business managers integrate content strategies and technologies to produce superior customer experiences for all internal and external stakeholders.

Conference Tracks

Content, Marketing, and Customer Experience
Designed for marketers, marketing technologists, social marketers, content marketers, growth hackers, web and mobile content managers, strategists and technologists focused on customer experience and digital marketing.

Content, Collaboration and Employee Experience
Designed for content, information, technical, and business managers focused on enterprise social, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and back-end content applications.

Re-imagining the Future: Ubiquitous Computing and Digital Transformation
Designed for technology strategists, IT, and marketing / business executives focused on near-term and future software, content, and computing devices to support customer or employee experiences.

Digital Strategies for Publishing and Media
Designed for publishing and information product managers, marketers, technologists, and business or channel managers focused on the transition to digital products and managing digital assets.

Deadline for proposals: May 8, 2015

Submit your proposal to speak at Gilbane today

Four free activities at this week’s Gilbane Conference

Can’t make all three days of the Gilbane Conference? We’ve got plenty going on in the technology showcase too. Take advantage of our complimentary showcase pass and register onsite at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, 606 Congress Street, Boston – across the street from the Silver Line Way stop.

Your Showcase Pass includes access to:

  1. Opening Keynote Presentations – Tuesday 8:30 – 12:00
  2. All Product Labs – Tuesday & Wednesday
  3. Technology Showcase Area – Tuesday & Wednesday
  4. Sponsor Networking Reception – Tuesday 5:00 – 6:00

Showcase and conference registration is now open onsite Tuesday 8:00am – 6:00pm, and Wednesday 8:00am – 2:00pm.

Opening Keynotes – December 2: 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Moderator: Frank Gilbane, Founder, Gilbane Conferences, Bluebill Advisors

Brad Kagawa, VP Technology, Content Management Systems, The New York Times
How Multichannel Requirements Continue to Change Content Management, and What the New York Times is Doing to Keep Up
Dana Heger, Senior Program Manager & Product Owner, and Chris Anthony, Senior Program Manager of User Experience, Global Web Support, HP
How HP’s New Global Support Website Entered the 21st Century
Bill Gillis, CIO, Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization
A Huge Opportunity: Overcoming the Challenges of Health Care Information Integration

Industry Analyst Panel – December 2: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Moderator: Frank Gilbane, Founder, Gilbane Conferences, Bluebill Advisors

Melissa Webster, Program VP, Content & Digital Media Technologies, IDC
Tony Byrne, Founder, Real Story Group
Scott Liewehr, Partner and Principal Analyst, Digital Clarity Group
Matt Mullen, Senior Analyst, Social Business, 451 Research

Product Labs

The Product Labs are open to conference attendees and visitors to the technology showcase free of charge, and are moderated and presented by conference sponsors. While the presentations are meant to be educational, they are typically focused on product technologies or customer case studies. They provide a good opportunity to learn more about specific products or vendors. See the schedule here.

Exhibitors

The Technology Showcase provides attendees with a central meeting place and the ability to speak one-on-one with industry-leading exhibitors while learning more about their products and services. See the exhibitors here.

Showcase Hours:

Tuesday, December 2          10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Networking Reception         5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 3    10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

* You can also still register onsite for the full conference starting at 8:00am Tuesday *

See you there!

The Gilbane Conference Team

You have a special Bluebill discount …

to save $200 on the Conference and ConferencePlus and Conference Only options at this year’s Gilbane Conference. To get your Bluebill discount use priority code BB200 when registering online.

I would like my $200 registration discount – code BB200

Join us in Boston December 2-4 and learn how your peers are building next generation digital experiences for their customers and employees.

Hear from:

The New York Times • HP Global Web Support • Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization • Harvard Business Review • WGBH • Marriott International • American Institute of Architects • New Balance • SAP • FamilySearch • EY • MassMutual Financial • Hartville Pet Insurance • Builder Homesite • Thomas Publishing, Activision, and many more.

Learn more about the conference program.

Avoiding the Dangers of the Unmanaged Customer Experience

Put your consumer hat on for a moment. Think about the last time you booked travel, bought a holiday gift, ordered flowers, or applied for a new credit card. Online or offline – doesn’t matter. What’s notable about that experience? What do you remember about it? Something? Nothing?

In the midst of the market cacophony about customer experience, three facts define the fundamentals, once stripped of  hype:

  1. Every brand delivers an experience to customers and prospects, consciously or unconsciously. At Digital Clarity Group (DCG), we define experience as “the totality of interactions through all channels and touch points over the entire life of the relationship.” Experience happens by default. As consumers, we always remember the bad. We might remember the good. We mostly forget the vast majority of experience that’s just mediocre. Which is not great if you’re a brand spending lots of money to leave a good impression.
  2. Consciously managing the experience is the only way that a brand can bias the experience for the right business outcome. Consistently good experiences are not accidental. Only when experience is deliberately managed does it become repeatable, predictable, measurable, and capable of being improved and optimized.
  3. The business practice of holistically managing the customer experience across channels is new, and therefore hard and mysterious. One of the many reasons it’s hard is that you cannot just throw technology at it and get results. Today there is no such thing as an out-of-the-box solution for experience management. It’s mysterious because successful paths (by way of repeatable best practices) are still being cut by the pioneers.

If customer experience management (CEM) is hard, it is also not an option. As my DCG colleague Tim Walters notes, “…the mobile and social empowerment of consumers makes CEM an inescapable, compulsory, and essential initiative for virtually every company’s survival.”

Who’s caught between the proverbial rock and hard place? Chief marketing officers, digital marketers, customer experience champions, LOB owners, newly-minted data scientists, marketing technologies, IT – yep, everyone who feels the pressure that customers are putting on them for higher-quality, more meaningful engagement. They want to move forward, know they need to move forward. But they are frequently overwhelmed by identifying the right starting point for CEM.

In DCG’s work with our enterprise clients, we see another obstacle that presents an even bigger risk. It’s not just that getting started can be overwhelming – it’s also that too many companies are responding to contemporary CEM challenges with legacy practices, processes, and technologies that are misaligned with the new world order imposed by empowered consumers. Doing more of the same, just bigger, faster, better, is a sure path to obsolescence. It’s time for fundamental change.

When we engage in a selection or roadmap development project with an enterprise client, we are typically supporting the manager or team who needs to enable that change in collective thinking about experience management. We often start by helping them write the script for the conversations with stakeholders. A number of the issues addressed in those scripts are distilled in our paper entitled The CEM Imperative: Customer Experience in the Age of the Empowered Consumer. What’s at risk if you don’t take action now? What’s the business case for investing in capabilities and competencies for experience management? If no single CEM solution exists today, how will you build and deploy a platform and toolset for experience management? The CEM Imperative provides insights that can help you start to formulate answers to these and related questions. You can also use it as a call-to-action for senior managers and executives who are hesitating. As DCG author Tim Walters writes:

“CEM is not vendor hype, because it is a response to the desires and expectations of today’s extremely demanding and fickle consumers. CEM is not a back-burner consideration because, as … innumerable studies prove, engaging consumers with superior experiences is a matter of life or death for any firm that cares about having customers.”

Presumably your organization cares about having customers. If that’s the case, then addressing the risk of unmanaged – or mismanaged – experience must be a top strategic goal moving forward.

Download your copy
The CEM Imperative: Customer Experience in the Age of the Empowered Consumer

 

The future of watches

Apple watch image - copyright Apple“The future of watches” title is a bit grand for this brief post, but this is somewhat of a companion piece to The future of tablets and the context of both is the evolution of computing devices. In the case of tablets we are still figuring out their role in the ecosystem after many years and over four since the initial iPad, the first breakthrough tablet. It will also take some time, and development, to see where smartwatches fit in, but it is now a much more interesting question.

The Apple watch announcement stumped many commentators who needed extra time to digest it. A reasonable reaction given neither product nor platform are done yet. This makes it a bit difficult for technology, market, or financial analysts to answer questions like what the Apple watch is really for, whether it is a new product category, will it be another breakthrough product for Apple, how it will change the mix of Apple revenue, do I actually need or want one.

Communication has been the killer app for computing at least since the Web and is why smartphones are the current king of the hill. Smartwatches are the most likely next-in-line competition to smartphones, certainly more so than tablets or glasses, before we enter the world of implants, stick-ons, or other fashion accessory choices. Smartwatches with phone functionality could surpass smartphones as the planet’s most popular personal computer: easier to carry around, potentially cheaper.

Apple would not be investing so heavily if they didn’t expect smartwatches to overtake or at least approximate the success of smartphones. They are betting large on the watch becoming a general purpose computer in the same way the iPhone has.

Or, they are reaching even further…

It doesn’t make sense for Apple to invest much in accessories, or niche markets. Even fitness is not interesting enough in itself. However, fitness is a great way to enter into the much larger healthcare opportunity, which in turn provides an environment to learn about new user experience technology and the complex device integration and data sharing necessary for it, and other complicated applications of general purpose computing. The iPhone would also benefit. This path also has the advantage of providing cover.

Also see:

Rich ruminating… Ben Evans: Ways to think about watches.

Working through what the Apple watch is about… Ben Thompson: What I Got Wrong About Apple Watch and Why Now for Apple Watch

Compared to other smartwatches… Rachel Metz:  Is This the Smart Watch You’ve Been Looking For?

Review from a watch industry analyst… Ariel Adams: Apple Watch Hands-On: The Wristwatch Just Caught Up To The 21st Century

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