News recap: Verizon plans 100G optical metro network

In telecom news, Verizon announced plans to build a 100 Gbps optical metro network with equipment from Cisco and Ciena, while the FCC proposed a spectrum-sharing plan for broadband providers.
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Everything is normal – until its not

I have been doing a lot of thinking about normality recently. It seems that we take the idea of normality for granted. Perhaps it is because of this focus that I have started hearing comments involving normality all around me: “that looks normal”, “this weather is not normal”, “we normally sell more of these”, etc. We use it almost flippantly in our day-to-day conversations like it is common knowledge; but is it?

 

We humans, and most animals for that matter, have an innate ability to group things together into what we consider normal. Our brains are constantly trying to establish a pattern of the myriad of things that are going on around us. Unconsciously we use past historic observations to put into context what we are experiencing currently. I suspect that this is somehow linked to our evolution where we had to be able to scan the horizon for danger and immediately react to it.   Imagine where we would be if every time we looked at the horizon was a new experience – the marauding hoard charging our way would just normal because did not have the historical basis to draw from.

 

Oddly enough this is where we find our automated systems these days – no knowledge of normality and unable to react should something suddenly be abnormal. We automate a system or system interaction (such as BPM) and start watching it. Over time we establish what we think is normal for the system; it normally completes in about 30 minutes, it takes about 5 days, etc. Our brains, while great at establishing what it thinks is normal, are generalists.   We will round to the most advantageous measure and then take an action if we see that what we are watching starts to behave badly. I believe that this is what caused the evolution of Business Intelligence (BI) suites. Reports could be run that would show precise numbers and even create a compelling graph of to show historical norms.

 

Unfortunately BI reporting only solves a part of the visibility problem. Instead of looking at your whole business BI reporting focuses on specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). While important, BI reporting looks at what has happened in the past and only at very specific KPIs. By looking at only a few past historical KPIs you may well miss very important things that are happening at the moment. Imagine if our ancestors had not scanned the horizon looking for approaching danger but instead looked at a report of changes in the scenery. By the time they established that there was danger approaching the misusing hoard would have been upon them.

 

Imagine the possibility if, instead of looking at reports, a system could automatically establish normal behavior for any part of your business. Much like the human brain, such a system could constantly look at the real-time environment and compare it to what has happened in the past and then alert you when something is abnormal. Instead of having someone call and complain that “the payment processing system is slow today”, such a system could proactively alert you that it is slower than normal because Step XYZ of the Payment Processing process is “responding slower than normal and has been trending that way for 30 minutes”.   You would be able to respond immediately to the issue before it becomes a problem – proactivity instead of reactivity.   Such a system would combine the best of BI reporting with the best of real-time alerting. Is such a system out of the realm of reality? It turns out it is not.

 

Our webMethods Optimize product does exactly what was described above; it automatically learns normal behavior for a vast number of KPI’s and alerts when anything of interest is acting abnormality. It can tell you within seconds that a process step is slower than normal, or that sales of part ABC is lower than normal a region so that you can take immediate action. In future blog posts I will explore normality and webMethods Optimize in more detail. For now I encourage you to look at our website for information on this groundbreaking technology and reach out to me I you have any questions or comments.

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New Oracle Marketing Cloud Innovations Help Marketers Deliver More Relevant Customer Experiences Across Channels

New Oracle Marketing Cloud Innovations Help Marketers Deliver More Relevant Customer Experiences Across Channels

New features help marketers target their ideal customers, adapt to real-time behavior and leverage innovations in marketing technology as they happen

MODERN MARKETING EXPERIENCE – LAS VEGAS – April 1, 2015 – To better connect marketers with their individual customers and orchestrate real-time, personalized experiences, Oracle today extended the Oracle Marketing Cloud with the addition of three new innovations: Oracle ID Graph, Rapid Retargeter, and AppCloud Connect. The latest innovations give marketers a more holistic view of their customers and adapt to relevant, real-time interactions across channels. These enhancements also make it easier to tap into the innovations of the marketing ecosystem to connect marketing data, applications, and media from a variety of vendors in one place.

Marketers today struggle to connect the vast amount of data created as customers move from channel to channel, engaging with brands, products, and services both online and offline. In fact, according to recent studies, 85 percent of chief marketing officers (CMOs) say leveraging data from multiple sources is proving to be a significant challenge. Only 12 percent of marketers believe their marketing is agile enough to drive adequate business results. To further complicate how marketers interact with customers, many current campaign and journey tools create linear paths that aren’t dynamic enough to keep pace with the unpredictable way that people engage with brands in the real world.

The Oracle ID Graph helps marketers connect identities across disparate marketing channels and devices to one person. Powered by the Oracle Marketing Cloud and Oracle Data Cloud, the Oracle ID Graph seamlessly pulls together the many IDs across marketing channels and devices that comprise a given person, enabling marketers to tie their interactions to an actionable customer profile. This ID enables the marketer to orchestrate a relevant, personalized experience for each individual across marketing channels.

The new Rapid Retargeter feature enables marketers to go one step further. Part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud’s cross-channel marketing solution for consumers, Oracle B2C Cross-Channel Marketing, Rapid Retargeter enables marketers to adapt customer interactions as they happen and then immediately deliver the most relevant and timely message. For example, after abandoning an online shopping cart, a customer may receive an email reminder of the cart’s contents or see a display-advertising campaign to reinforce the marketer’s brand during that phase of product consideration. Unlike many retargeting tools that are siloed in one channel and have inherent latency in reaching customers, Rapid Retargeter enables the marketer to orchestrate all marketing channels and retarget the customer almost instantly.

“Today’s marketers are struggling to orchestrate effective, real-time customer experiences due to difficulties connecting behaviors to individual customers, limited visibility of real-time customer interactions, and IT integration issues,” said John Stetic, group vice president, Product Development, Oracle Marketing Cloud. “Oracle Marketing Cloud addresses these challenges and transforms the way marketers connect with customers by delivering a comprehensive set of capabilities that bring together an advanced view of the customer, including real-time customer interactions, for more relevant and effective marketing campaigns.”

Extending its commitment to provide the most integrated and open marketing platform, Oracle has also created AppCloud Connect, a set of APIs and open frameworks that enable organizations and marketing technology vendors to leverage apps and media within the context of Oracle Marketing Cloud. With the ability to connect data, apps, and media, marketers can take advantage of the current marketing technology they use today provided by hundreds of marketing and CRM vendors. They can also integrate with other existing Oracle Customer Experience Cloud (Oracle CX Cloud) applications such as Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, and Oracle Commerce.

Key Benefits

The latest updates to the Oracle Marketing Cloud provide:

Ability to target individual customers, not segments: Moving beyond legacy data warehouse and CRM approaches to customer data, Oracle Marketing Cloud connects disparate behaviors that occur across offline and digital channels to one individual person – all while making it actionable for targeting and cross-channel orchestration.
Complete and actionable audience data: With pre-loaded third-party data from Oracle Data Cloud alongside proprietary data the marketer owns, Oracle Marketing Cloud customers can access and target approximately one billion customer profiles with rich audience data and attributes.
Self-directed, real-time experience for customers: Departing from traditional journey tools that have major lag times for delivering the right experience or message, Oracle Marketing Cloud’s cross-channel solutions leverage real-time events to help marketers to deliver relevant customer experiences.
Open platform to leverage marketing ecosystem: With a rich ecosystem of integrations provided by hundreds of data, apps and media providers, Oracle Marketing Cloud helps marketers leverage the technology they have today and the innovations of tomorrow just when they need them.
Scale across entire customer experience: As part of Oracle CX Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud seamlessly integrates with sales, service and commerce applications to help organizations create consistent, connected, and personalized brand experiences across all channels and devices.

Additional Information

Learn more about Oracle Marketing Cloud by following us on Twitter and Facebook and reading our Modern Marketing Blog.
Learn more about Oracle Data Cloud.
Learn more about Oracle Customer Experience (CX), including Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, Oracle Commerce and Oracle Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

About Oracle

Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

###

Danielle Cormier-Smith
Oracle

+1.610.766.3463
danielle.cormier@oracle.com

Simon Jones
Blanc & Otus
+1.415.856.5155
sjones@blancandotus.com

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Oracle Extends Integrations Between Marketing, Web, and Commerce Solutions To Help Marketers Enhance the Customer Experience

Oracle Extends Integrations Between Marketing, Web, and Commerce Solutions To Help Marketers Enhance the Customer Experience

Latest integrations help marketers increase efficiencies, drive revenue and orchestrate personalized customer experiences

MODERN MARKETING EXPERIENCE – LAS VEGAS – April 1, 2015 – To help marketers deliver more personalized and engaging customer experiences across digital channels, Oracle today announced the integration of Oracle Marketing Cloud’s cross-channel marketing solution with Oracle Commerce and Oracle WebCenter Sites. The integrations help marketers increase conversions and drive revenue through cross-channel marketing efforts by enabling personalized customer experiences to be seamlessly orchestrated across digital channels.

Without integrating the technology used for marketing, web, and commerce, marketers often struggle to deliver personalized and engaging customer experiences across channels. For example, email messages generated from a commerce site or website might differ than a display ad being delivered across paid media. To further complicate digital marketing programs, many marketing teams operate in silos and work with external agencies on a daily basis, which makes it difficult for assets and content to be easily shared, and leads to inconsistent customer experiences.

The integrations between Oracle Marketing Cloud and Oracle Commerce and Oracle WebCenter Sites enable marketers to bridge messaging and profile information between their marketing, web, and commerce experiences. Marketers can create consistent customer profiles that scale and deliver a truly cohesive, personalized experience across channels. By unifying the relationship between platforms, people and processes that power the customer experience, the integration enables marketers to create consistent messaging and branding. As a result, marketers are able to meet the increasing demands of both the boardroom and the customer by enhancing the customer experience, while simultaneously driving higher conversion rates, average order values, revenue, and margins.

“Disparate marketing systems and organizational silos make it very difficult for marketers to orchestrate engaging and personalized customer experiences across channels,” said John Stetic, group vice president, Product Development, Oracle Marketing Cloud. “Oracle is uniquely positioned to address this challenge by combining leading marketing, web experience management, and commerce solutions. These integrations not only help marketers increase efficiencies, but also drive revenue and enhance the customer experience.”

The integrations between Oracle Marketing Cloud’s Cross-Channel Marketing Solution and Oracle Commerce and Oracle WebCenter Sites further expand one of the industry’s most comprehensive marketing technology ecosystems. The Oracle marketing ecosystem includes more than 200 best-of-breed apps for marketers to connect Oracle Marketing Cloud to other marketing systems through the Oracle Marketing AppCloud, as well as more than 300 data integrations through the Oracle Data Management Platform Partner Program. In addition, it allows organizations to seamlessly integrate with other existing Oracle Customer Experience Cloud (Oracle CX Cloud) applications such as Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, as well as other third-party CRM and customer database systems.

Additional Information

Learn more about Oracle Marketing Cloud by following us on Twitter and Facebook and reading our Modern Marketing Blog.
Learn more about Oracle Commerce and Oracle WebCenter Sites.

About Oracle

Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

###

Danielle Cormier-Smith
Oracle

+1.610.766.3463
danielle.cormier@oracle.com

Simon Jones
Blanc & Otus
+1.415.856.5155
sjones@blancandotus.com

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Oracle Helps Marketers Leverage Data Trapped in Different Marketing Systems

Oracle Helps Marketers Leverage Data Trapped in Different Marketing Systems

New capabilities within Oracle Marketing Cloud’s Data Management Platform enable marketers to maximize data from marketing automation and web analytics platforms

MODERN MARKETING EXPERIENCE – LAS VEGAS – April 1, 2015 – To help marketers unlock the value of marketing data, Oracle today announced two new capabilities within Oracle Marketing Cloud’s Data Management Platform: Lookalike Modeling for Cross-Channel Marketing Automation customers and OnDemand On-Board. The new innovations enable marketers to pull together data sitting in web analytics, email marketing and marketing automation tools and transform it into audience data for targeting.

Modern marketers have access to more data than ever before, but this data is often stored in email, cross-channel, and marketing automation solutions or locked inside another marketing system, making it difficult for marketers to use that data to effectively target audiences or maximize the impact of campaigns. In fact, according to Forrester Research, 85 percent of analytics and measurement professionals cite managing data and ensuring data quality from a variety of sources as their top challenge that prevents their organization from making better use of customer analytics(1).

The latest additions to Oracle Marketing Cloud’s Data Management Platform address this challenge by helping marketers connect audience data from across disparate marketing solutions to enhance targeting. With the new Lookalike Modeling capabilities, the Oracle Data Management Platform will make it simple for Oracle Cross-Channel Marketing customers to transfer audience data into the Oracle Data Management Platform. There marketers can then take advantage of Oracle Data Management Platform’s self-learning algorithm and automated workflow to identify an audience that looks just like their ideal customers, pulling from an audience pool of nearly one billion profiles.

The new OnDemand On-Board capabilities help marketers make web analytics data more actionable by allowing them to import data from their web analytics platforms and surface it as audience data within the Oracle Data Management Platform. Marketers can then classify and categorize audience data from their web analytics platforms using a simple taxonomy so that it can be combined with other proprietary and third-party data they have inside the data management platform. By taking pre-existing web analytics data and pushing it into the data management platform directly, marketers can avoid long integration cycles and improve their conversion rates.

“To meet ever increasing customer expectations, marketers need to take a more integrated approach to managing audience data that allows the customer experience to be carefully orchestrated across paid, owned, and earned media channels,” says John Stetic, group vice president of products, Oracle Marketing Cloud. “With the addition of Lookalike Modeling and OnDemand On-Board, we are introducing innovative new capabilities to our data management platform that will help marketers break down traditional silos and connect the relevant data they need to create great customer experiences.”

Additional Information

Learn more about Oracle Marketing Cloud by following us on Twitter and Facebook and reading our Modern Marketing Blog.
Learn more about Oracle Marketing Cloud’s Data Management Platform.

1. The State Of Customer Analytics: Majority Of Firms Lack Sophistication, Forrester Research, Inc., December 5, 2014.

About Oracle

Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit oracle.com.

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

###

Danielle Cormier-Smith
Oracle

+1.610.766.3463
danielle.cormier@oracle.com

Simon Jones
Blanc & Otus
+1.415.856.5155
sjones@blancandotus.com

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University clusters Scale Computing HC3 boxes to eliminate sprawl

The "desktop support guy" at Auburn University learns about storage by implementing a four-node hyper-converged cluster to eliminate storage silos.
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ASHRAE will urge lower humidity

This year’s ASHRAE guidelines will extend the safe limits for data centers
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Alcatel-Lucent switch gateway boosts virtual, physical network speed

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise has introduced a switch gateway in its latest high-density OmniSwitch that improves data throughput between virtualized applications and a VXLAN.
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Thingalytics Chapter 1: It’s All About Me

Thingalytics_Ch-01_Twitter_880x440“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” John Wannamaker, advertising and marketing pioneer

Advertising is all about the audience; if you get the audience wrong, you are wasting ad money. Today, advertising and marketing are evolving to become highly targeted, deeply personal experiences that not only draw in the right audience, but also offer them a customized experience. It is all about “me” these days.

We have all heard of (and may be a part of) the “me” generation, dubbed by author Tom Wolfe to describe self-involved American Baby Boomers who spent their youth trying to “find themselves.”

The trend pointed to a new breed of consumer, one that would not take “no” for an answer when it came to variety of goods and instant gratification. The birth of businesses that could offer near-immediate fulfillment – such as Amazon for books, on-demand television and social media via the Internet – were just the beginning of this trend.

Mobile technology from cell phones and tablets or wearable devices now affords us instant gratification. Because we have this technology at our fingertips, we are becoming increasingly demanding. Today waiting even 24 hours to order an item online is too long! We want it all, we want it now and we don’t want to spend a lot of time searching for it.

These mobile devices and applications create a wellspring of fast Big Data that in turn helps firms to refine and enhance their offerings for mobile users. The trick is to use this data properly. This new generation of applications empowers retailers, telecommunications providers, banks, hotels and other companies to tailor a user’s every experience.

By explicitly embracing the opportunities created by mobility – including tracking/location – and by personalizing the customers’ experience, a business can make customers feel that they are receiving special treatment.

In my book, I use real-life examples to illustrate this principle:

  • Turkish mobile carrier Turkcell designed mobile location-aware promotion apps that can make informed and relevant offers in exactly the right place and at exactly the right time to exactly the right customer.
  • DBS, Singapore’s largest bank and one of the leading regional banks in Asia, launched some revolutionary mobile services to offer customers carefully targeted and relevant cross-sell and up-sell offers, both while they are shopping and after they have purchased items with their credit cards.
  • A smart hotel chain is providing a better customer experience by being able to identify and better assist people who stay frequently, determining where they are in their hotels and evaluating the kind of experience they are having using “inside” location-tracking technologies.
  • A major supermarket chain is experimenting with a system that incorporates cameras and digital signage in multiple stores to track customers and personalize their experience.

Location-awareness, combined with a hunger for real-time, is creating new opportunities for retailers. Using Thingalytics, combined with mobile technology, you can create a new wave of applications that embrace the impatience of the “me” generation. Targeting the right customer with informed and relevant offers in exactly the right place at exactly the right time is exactly the way forward!

You can order Thingalytics the book here. Happy reading!

The post Thingalytics Chapter 1: It’s All About Me appeared first on Reality Check.

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HP sues Autonomy execs, Lynch and Hussain countersue

HP demands $5.1 billion for bad accounting; Mike Lynch wants £100 million for damage to his reputation
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