Posts Tagged ‘B2B’

Event Report: #AdobeSummit Celebrates Digital Marketing From Creative To Commerce

Market Leaders And Fast Followers Celebrate Over A Decade Of Digital Marketing Vision

In 2004, Omniture founder Josh James, an avid skier, held the first Summit atop the Snowbird Ski Resort for 270 early adopters and converted.  Fast forward eleven years to 2014, an estimated 5600+ customers, partners, influencers, and prospects gathered at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 25th to March 28th, 2014, in search of reinvention in digital marketing (see Figure 1).  Since that time, Adobe Summit has emerged as a must attend event for those looking at the entire digital experience from creative to commerce.  Despite the size, this year’s event remained equally intimate.  At almost every venue, restaurant, or session, attendees remarked on how easy it was to meet people and discover, connect, and engage on the future of digital marketing.

Figure 1. Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen Opening The General Session on the Need for Reinvention In Marketing

Source: Adobe

Adobe Summit 2014 Announcements Focus On Needs Versus Wants

New product enhancements, a new release, and a few key partnerships highlight advancements in Marketing Cloud which includes a number of organically developed products and acquisitions of Omniture, Day Software, Efficient Frontier, and Neolane.  Today, the Adobe Marketing Cloud includes Adobe Social, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Media Optimizer, and Adobe Campaign (see Figure 2).  This year’s announcements reflect a need to improve integration among the acquisitions and deliver core needs versus nice to have capabilities.  Main announcements from this year’s summit include:

Figure 2. The Six Components Of The Adobe Marketing Cloud

Source: Adobe

  • Adobe Marketing Cloud Core Services Improve Suite Value.  Adobe announced new cores services for Marketing Cloud.  These services include a key master marketing profile, shared assets, marketing mix planning, identity, contextual activation, tag management, integration, and collaboration.

    Point of view (POV):
    The core marketing services are much needed to bring not only the acquisitions together, but also future partner integrations.  The Master Marketing Profile allows marketers to aggregate profiles information from multiple sources.  Shared assets put the power of the Adobe Creative Suite to work allowing marketers to create once use everywhere.  Marketing mix planning enables marketers to tie together attribution, analytics, media planning and execution to analytics and campaign activation.  The new identity capabilities are a good start, but much more will be required to support commerce apps entering a digital business world where trust is the new currency and transparency must balance privacy.

Event Report: The Storify From #AdobeSummit

Market Leaders And Fast Followers Celebrate A Decade Of Digital Marketing Vision

In 2004, Omniture founder Josh James, an avid skier, held the first Summit atop the Snowbird Ski Resort for 270 early adopters and converted.  Fast forward eleven years to 2014, an estimated 7000 customers, partners, influencers, and prospects gathered at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah March 25th to March 28th, 2014 in search of reinvention in digital marketing (see Figure 1).  Since that time, Adobe Summit has emerged as a must attend event for those looking at the entire digital experience from creative to commerce.  Despite the size, this year’s event remained equally intimate.  At almost every venue, restaurant, or session, attendees remarked on how easy it was to meet people and discover, connect, and engage on the future of digital marketing.

Enclosed is the Storify of Tweets from #AdobeSummit:

Figure 1. Storify from #AdobeSummit


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Event Report: #NRF14 Preview – Retail’s Big Show Hints At Lessons Learned In #MatrixCommerce

Retails Big Show Transformed For 2014

Over 29,000 people are expected to gather at the National Retail Federation’s big show (NRF) this Sunday, January 11th, 2014, in New York City.  #NRF14 brings the intersection of new retail business models, products, store concepts, technology, society, and culture together!

A few big trends emerge based on conversations with our clients attending the event:

  1. Building out matrix commerce. Retail faces rapidly changing business models and new payment options that are often misunderstood and poorly integrated. Matrix commerce describes the fusing of demand signals and supply chains in an increasingly complex world of buyers seeking frictionless buying experiences. Channels move from multi-channel to total channels. As the world revolves around the buyer, channels, demand signals, supply chains, payment options, enablers, and big data will converge to create what Constellation coined in 2011 as Matrix Commerce. Matrix Commerce spans across disciplines as people, process, and technologies continue to transform today’s commerce models.  This shift to a buyer centric model will result in continued consolidation of retail technologies as stacks and ecosystems form around real buyer needs.  Lessons learned: There is no single end to end solution.  However, strong open standards and a focus on buyer centricity will help provide guide rails to success.
  2. Dealing with digital disruption. The convergence of the five forces of consumerization described in 2009 and 2010 serve as the five pillars of digital business.  Retailers recognize that they no longer sell products and services, as buyers seek experiences and outcomes. Market leaders and fast followers now democratize the data to decisions pathway to enable innovation at all levels More…

News Analysis: Sitecore Acquires Commerce Server In Quest Towards Customer Experience Management

Commerce Server Finds Its Logical Home

On Wednesday November 20th, 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark based Sitecore acquired Ottawa, Canada based commerceserver.net for an undisclosed price.  Originally known as the Microsoft Siteserver and Commerce Server 2000, the product was orphaned by Microsoft,  then Ascentium, the key development partner were given the rights to further develop and market the product.  Adding to the lore, Ascentium changed their name to SMITH in the Fall of 2012 and the product group was rebranded to commerceserver.net.

Sitecore’s acquisition continues a consolidation trend in the Matrix Commerce market where vendors are aggregating technologies to support a buyer centric approach to customer experience.  Constellation believes customers should pay attention because Sitecore:

  • Signals seriousness to deliver on end to end customer experience. Sitecore’s portfolio includes its core web content management offerings and an emerging set of digital marketing assets.  Commerce Server adds key B2C functionality for hard goods, digital goods, and web based services; B2B capabilities in trading communities and e-procurement; complex B2X scenarios; and personalized portals.

    Point of View (POV):
    Addition of commerceserver.net fills one key hole in Sitecore’s customer experience management portfolio.  Customers and prospects can expect additional acquisitions from the new management team.   In fact, the company has brought in heavy hitters such as a new CRO and CMO over the past 12 months.  Constellation believes that Sitecore is serious in completing key holes in the end to end customer experience story and moving up the stack to support a range of small to large enterprise customers.  In fact, Commerce Sever 10 scales up to support 220,000o orders/day on a 12 hour peak, 60 million user profiles, 10 million item catalogs, 100,000 catalogs and virtual catalogs, and hosting support for 100 active, 1000 provisioned.  Constellation believes the acquistion places Sitecore in the direct battle with Adobe, IBM, Oracle, and SAP for customer experience and commerce.
  • Ensures Commerce Server a friendly and natural home. Commerce Server brings its core Microsoft heritage.  Dependencies include Microsoft SQL Server, .NET,  Commerce Server Staging (CSS), and Component Object Model.  Commerce Server also plays well with other Microsoft server stack components including Biz Talk Server and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.  Sitecore’s software is built on a Microsoft.NET platform.  Deployable in Microsoft Azure, the core CMS can use Oracle or Microsoft for the database and content can be stored in either .NET or XML objects.

    (POV):
    Customers should find relief that the Commerce Server assets return back to a product centric company.  While SMITH (formerly known as Ascentium), a digital experience agency, served as a reasonable owner and even delivered the latest version 10 release, software cultures and services business models often clash.  Why? The research and development investment required to take products to market work against the resource utilization and project focus required for successful services.  Constellation will measure integration success by how well the team builds and accelerates the original major release plans (see Figure 1).
  • Gains critical ecosystem assets. Commerce Server brings 3000 customers and 25 partners around the world.  Partners range from 17 enterprise providers, hosting providers, training, ISV, and consultants. Key industries for Commerce Server include retail, manufacturing, and e-government.  Sitecore brings over 3000 customers, 1000 certified business partners in 50 countries, 8,000 certified developers, and 17,000 active members in the developer ecosystem.

    (POV):
    Prior to the acquisition, Commerce Server product holes included content management, search, analytics, campaign management, and other key customer experience management capabilities.  Sitecore fills many of these product gaps and adds a larger ecosystem.  Customers can expect significant cross-training among the partners as they integrate the Commerce Server assets into their portfolios.

Figure 1. The Pre SiteCore Acquisition Commerce Server Road Map More…

Monday’s Musings: The Chief Digital Officer In The Age Of Digital Business

Market Leaders and Fast Followers Prepare for Digital Business In 2014

Conversations at Constellation’s Connected Enterprise last week validate a larger trend in the market place.  The audience of 220+ early adopters with 75% representing line of business and 25% in IT highlighted the convergence of the five forces of consumerization described in 2009 and 2010.  This convergence of these five pillars of digital business now form the foundation of all future digital business strategy and drive customer experience, matrix commerce, future of work, data to decisions, consumerization of technology, and digital marketing (see Figure 1.).  In fact, market leaders and fast followers have embraced this strategic direction in their 2014 planning.

Figure 1. Convergence Of The Five Pillars Drive Digital Business Strategy

Emerging Trends In 2014 Digital Business Strategy Reflect The Shift To Digital Business

As Constellation works with leaders to define their 2014 business strategies, digital transformation plays a key role.  Many organizations will:

  1. Recognize that they no longer sell products and services, as buyers seek experiences and outcomes.
  2. Democratize the data to decisions pathway to enable innovation.
  3. Realize that B2B and B2C are dead. It’s a P2P and M2M world.
  4. Focus on context as right time relevancy beats real time information overload.
  5. Shift from engagement to personalization at scale.

(A full update will be posted in Harvard Business Review soon)

The Bottom Line: Organizations Can Expect The Rise Of Chief Digital Officers

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News Analysis: Avangate Acquired By Francisco Partners For Matrix Commerce Capabilities

Digital Distribution Leader Gains West Coast VC Backing

On October 7th, 2013, private equity firm, Francisco Partners acquired Avangate, a leader in digital commerce and subscription billing.  Avangate serves over 3,000 customers across more than 100 countries.  Avangate has experienced 70% year over year growth over the past six years.  The deal terms were not publicly disclosed and was led by My Le Nguyen.

Constellation sees this development significant for buyers and prospects because Avangate:

  • Gains critical west coast financial community backing. The acquisition of Francisco Partners supposedly includes a buy-out of existing investors.  My Le Ngueyn of Francisco Partners is also an investor and board member at GXS, EF Johnson Technologies, and WatchGuard Technologies.

    Point of View (POV):
    Avangate frees itself from the shackles of non-west coast investors who tend not to invest for high growth and lack the key networks of Silicon Valley based investors.  My Le is a rising star at Francisco and will help Avangate invest in future areas of growth.  The buy out of existing partners and shift to US-based ownership and technology ecosystem is critical to Avangate’s continued success trajectory.
  • Invests in key customer facing and product areas. Avangate provides what Constellation terms as a matrix commerce platform.  The product delivers a unfied online eCommerce, subscription billing, global payments, and reseller & affiliate management offering.  Avangate targets individual developers and large organizaitons such as FICO, Kaspersky, and Software AG.

    Point of View (POV):
    Constellation expects the management team to invest deeper in product development, sales, customer service, and marketing.  Recent customer successes requires Avangate to adequately support its growing vendor customer base with more engineering support, professional services, and product management resources.  Expect continued expansion of Avangate’s online commerce and subscription billing capabilities.
  • Expands geographically and through mergers. New investment round provides opportunities to grow in new digital commerce hot spots as well as fund additional technology and customer base acquisitions.

    Point of View (POV):
    Many opportunities exist in areas with high mobile penetration and digital commerce growth.  Avangate could build upon its international strength given its European founding to expand its presence more into India, Indonesia, and Latin America to support both vendors selling into, as well as exporting out of those rapidly growing markets.

The Bottom Line: Matrix Commerce Platforms Continue To Gain Traction With B2B and B2C Customers

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News Analysis: Zuora Raises $50M Series E Round, Rides #MatrixCommerce Wave

Zuora Rides The Wave In The Subscription Economy

On September 5th, 2013, Foster City, CA based Zuora, announced $50 million in Series E capital.  The announcement has significant ramifications not only for Zuora’s self proclaimed subscription economy category, but also the broader business theme of matrix commerce because Zuora:

  • Expanded the investor pool. Zuora successfully added Next World Capital, Northgate Capital and Vulcan Capital to existing investors.  Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Tenaya Capital, Workday founder and co-CEO Dave Duffield and Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com all contributed to the existing round.

    Point of View (POV):
    The quality of the investment round and the amount indicate significant affirmation that the subscription economy thesis carries a gravitas among the A-list of Silicon valley investors and angels.   With $132.5M in funds raised to date, Zuora is sitting on tremendous amounts of cash from fundraising.  While Zuora could wait well into 2014 for an additional round, the move to raise additional capital will provide Zuora with an advantage over any new entrants or potential direct competitors.  Buyers can expect Zuora to be around for quite some time.
  • Added new board members with deep experiences. CEO and founder Tien Zuo adds Abhishek Agrawal of Vulcan Capital and Craig Hanson of Next World Capital to the board.

    Point of View (POV):
    Craig Hanson  brings significant experience in mergers and acquisitions of late stage and public companies.  Successful acquisitions include MXLogic, LeftHand Networks, NexGen Storage, Nimsoft, PSS Systems, and SenSage.  Abhishek Agrawal brings deep consumer experience from his General Atlantic heritage including Alibaba Gropu, Bazaarvoice, Dice, Facebook, Gilt Groupe, and Network solutions.  Buyers can expect more expertise in supporting vertical markets.  Buyers can expect new partnerships and entry into new geographies.
  • Demonstrated continued growth in a new market category. Since 2007, Zuora’s core solution provides subscription commerce, billing, and finance solutions for pay-as-you-go pricing models.   The More…

Research Summary And Speaker Notes: The Identity Manifesto – Why Identity Is At The Heart of Digital Business

Forward And Commentary

Constellation Research keynoted at Ping Identity’s Cloud Identity Summit 2013 in July.  Gathered in front of the Identerati,  an Identity Manifesto was presented.  The research behind that manifesto has been summarized here in this summary.  The final big idea research report will offer insight into four of Constellation’s primary research themes, the Next-Generation Customer Experience, The Future of Work,  Matrix Commerce, and the Consumerization of IT and the new C-Suite.

A. Introduction

Identity often means many things to many people for good reasons. Traditional definitions of identity for the identity and access management professional have revolved around standards for authentication, access, authorization, and management.

B. Research Findings – Identity Expands Beyond Enterprise Despite Stuck in Massive Standards Hell

While standards such as SAML, Open ID, OAuth 2.0 address the technical side, the rise of consumer and enterprise social networks has spawned a consumer identity that reflects a digital ubiquity of the individual. Facebook, Google, and Twitter now dominate most social logins. Users expect their identity to be transportable from personal to work environments.

However, a limitation exists between personal and work worlds. In fact, the facets of one’s identity remain isolated and separated by not only our digital and analog presence, but also by our inability to deliver context across our worlds. Why? The lack of context separates our personal life from our work life and creates artificial barriers by role, relationship, and a host of other factors.

The reality – identity plays a multi-faceted role for each individual. The business implications of identity after authentication, authorization, access, and availability touch on commerce, work lives, personal lives, and engagement with each other. Without a more comprehensive view of identity, organization and individuals will continue to undermine the strategic role of identity in the context of business. Identity is a unifying factor in the current transformation to a digital world.

The Identity Manifesto Relates Identity To Work, Life, And Society

Identity plays a central role in the future of business and is a unifying point. The seven points in the identity manifesto set the stage on the future of identity (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Seven Point in The Future of Identity – The Identity Manifesto


The Bottom Line: Herald The Reputation Economy – Identity All Comes Down To Trust and Transparency

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Event Report: CRM Evolution 2012 #CRME12

CRM Continues To Evolve In A World Of Engagement


The CRM industry’s major non-vendor customer focused event kicked off at the Marriott Marquis in New York from August 13th to 15th.  Conversations with prospects and practitioners at the event highlighted a few emerging trends:

  • Shift from transaction to engagement. CRM traditionally focused mostly on the management, a bit on the customer, and very little on the relationship.  Major shifts in engagement strategy reflect a move towards two way conversations, unstructured information, and influence models.
  • B2B and B2C are dead. The notion of forced fit silos to represent a customer no longer applies. The world is rapidly move to people to people models and new systems must reflect this.
  • The rise of customer experiences. Prior to the coining of the CRM term, front office was the term which defined marketing, service, eCommerce, and sales force automation.  The move back to integrated customer experiences reflects a renewed interest in all the front office touch points and all the support in the back office required to support the customer experience.
  • SaaS/Cloud Best of Breed hell is a real issue. Rapid and random deployment of best of breed solutions versus mature suites results in some basic architectural deficiencies.  These deficiencies result in inefficiencies that impact the delivery of customer experience as  process, data, and meta data integration increase in complexity and cost.

The Bottom Line: Customers must focus on delivering a single source of truth in the fundamentals

Customers making the shift to next generation customer experiences realize that the basic laws of physics must not be violated.  Regardless of where key components reside, a single source of truth must be delivered to support next generation customer experiences.  This requires a strong blue print and engagement platform that delivers:

  1. Listening and intent
  2. Interaction history
  3. Master data management (customer master)
  4. Business process management
  5. Complex event processing
  6. Security and identity management
  7. Integration

Your POV.

Are you ready for the new shift to front office? What are you doing to deliver an integrated customer experience?  Add your comments to the blog or send us a comment at R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org or R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com

Please let us know if you need help with your business strategy efforts.  Here’s how we can assist:

  • Assessing social business/digital marketing readiness
  • Developing your social business/digital marketing  strategy
  • Designing a data to decisions strategy
  • Create a new vision of the future of work
  • Deliver a new customer experience and engagement strategy
  • Crafting a new matrix commerce strategy

Related Research:

Reprints

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Disclosure

Although we work closely with many mega software vendors, we want you to trust us. For the full disclosure policy, stay tuned for the full client list on the Constellation Research website.

* Not responsible for any factual errors or omissions.  However, happy to correct any errors upon email receipt.

Copyright © 2001 – 2012 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.
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Trends: The Battle For CMO Mind Share

Marketing and Advertising Budgets Are The New Land Grab

Constellation Research, Inc. predicts that the global advertising market (paid search, display, and classified) will hit $125B by 2015.   While IT budgets continue to stay flat, marketing budgets are up.  Warc’s recent Global Marketing Index (GMI) entered positive territory in March 2012.  Consequently, the heat up in marketing and advertising market attracts not only start-ups, but also tech vendors looking to enter this lucrative market.

Solution Providers Rediscover The CMO Budget

In just less than 28 months, enterprise software vendors have bolstered their presence with Chief Marketing Officers mostly through acquisitions and partnerships.  The goal – capture budgets allocated for digital creation, marketing automation and revenue optimization, advertising, CRM and customer experience, analytics, and information brokering (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.  The Battle For The CMO Budget Comes From Six Fronts

Why the change? Marketing sits at the cross roads between the old analog world and the new shift to digital transformation.  With each big shift, organizations will change what technologies they invest in, who they decide to partner with, and how quickly they will make the shift.  This new battle for CMO mind share started when IBM purchased Unica for $480M in August 13, 2010 (Figure 2).  The frenzied activity by Adobe, Dell, Eloqua, Google, Hubspot, Kana, Marketo, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAS Institute reflect the desire to be top of mind among CMO budgets.

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Quark Summary: What Every CMO Needs To Know About The Six C’s Of Customer Engagement

Forward And Commentary

CMO’s seeking to avoid the desensitization that comes with the adoption of new media will want to quickly deploy the Six C’s of Customer Engagement.

A. Introduction

Social media effectiveness for brands and enterprises will rapidly mirror the trends that email and web sites experienced during the late 1990′s to early 2000′s.  In fact, social media adoption has passed ubiquitous usage and has mostly begun the process of relevant deployment.  Avoidance of  Phase 4 Desensitization can be avoided by applying the Six C’s of Engagement (Figure 1.)

B. Research Findings

Recent early adopter surveys identify five key phases of social media adoption:

  • Phase 1: Eager early adopters. Users eagerly experimented in the newness of the medium.   Early adopters attempt to apply the medium to everything.
  • Phase 2: Ubiquitous usage. Rapid adoption put the medium in the hands of the masses.  Adoption exceeds 50 million users.
  • Phase 3: Relevant deployment. Brands and enterprises apply the medium to the right business use cases and processes.
  • Phase 4: Desensitization and fatigue. Inundated with marketing, bombarded with irrelevant content, and tired of the newness of the medium, customers begin tuning out.
  • Phase 5: Rejuvenation. Maturation of the medium ushers an improved era of engagement apply the Six C’s of Engagement.

The Six C’s Of Customer Engagement provide strategies to overcome desensitization and fatigue

  1. Community. Location for engagement.
  2. Content. Topics that drive engagement.
  3. Context. Relevance that create engagement.
  4. Catalysts. Events or actions that facilitate engagement.
  5. Currencies. Monetary and non-monetary exchange of value behind engagement.
  6. Cadence. The frequency of interaction

Figure 1. The Six C’s of Customer Engagement Overcomes Desensitization And Fatigue

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Monday’s Musings: Why Customers And Prospects Expect Clearer Rules About Content Marketing

Original Mission Improves Engagement Through Relevancy

Content marketing re-emerges as a hot topic and trend in improving engagement with existing customers and prospects.  Marketers can improve the likelihood of engagement through the creation and sharing of relevant information.  Typical delivery formats include advertorials, emails, branded websites, white papers, webinars, podcasts, and field marketing events.  Content marketers believe that educating a customers with high quality information will improve the likelihood of a sale due to brand association with expertise and thought leadership.  Content marketing is a powerful and effective approach when done well.

Many Marketers Will Abuse The Model As Marketer Objectivity Standards Go By The Way Side

As with all techniques, content marketing has the potential to improve brand relevancy and conversion.  However, when applied to social media, there is greater room for abuse.  Why? The speed of social media and the lack of rules creates a confluence of forces leading many content marketers to quickly blur the limits of objectivity.  How? By placing biased marketing content and associating with a known, objective, and trusted brand.  It’s happening with paid blogs, paid tweets, purchasing Facebook likes, thinly veiled advertorials in trusted magazine brands, and biased white papers disguised as objective research.

Though many will claim that a new generation could care less about objectivity, selling out on standards will create short term gain at a more punishing long term loss of trust.  In today’s social businesses, trust is the new social currency.  Without trust based on our actions, we destroy the basis for engagement and relationships.  In fact the newness and pureness of social media is what draws users to engage.  If marketers deafen the channel with the equivalent of ‘junk mail”, spam, and telemarketing in the guise of content marketing, the recipients will hit another level of social overload and disengagement.

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