Perficient Digital Transformation Blog


Posts Tagged ‘Collaboration’

Customer obsession: The next wave of competitive advantage


Last week, I was fortunate to attend a presentation by Kyle McNabb, VP of Research Strategy at Forrester. He spoke about how empowered customers have given rise to a new era. “The device is not the problem, the problem is what we can do with the device,” he said.

McNabb continued to tell the audience about how the connected consumer is impacting the way we do business. Here are my notes from the session:

 by Record TV (1)

Early adoption is becoming cheaper and easier

Ten years ago, early adoption meant you were willing to spend $2-5,000 on a plasma TV. You were willing to invest your hard earned money knowing that it might not work out, but it might be fun for a while.

Now that early adopter cost is negligible. The cost of innovation and the cost of consumers to adopt it has erroded to zero. That is what is changing the fundamental dynamics of how we engage with brands.
“Technology is impacting every piece of our lives.”

This isn’t about technology. This is about people and how we are changing.

Forrester has 20 years of history about how people are changing.
This is what’s keeping CIOs and CMOs up at night:
  • 53% of consumers agree that price is more important than brand.
  • 74% of B2B buyers start their research online
  • 41% of showroomers end up buying at another retailer
  • 35% of US adults are interested in digital wallets
  • 14% of US adults track their fitness

Customer-obsession is the next wave of competitive advantage.

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11 Strategic Issues Facing CIOs in 2015

When we talk about digital transformation here at Perficient, we are often talking about big data, cloud, mobile and social.

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In a recent Forbes article titled “CIO Lessons Learned: My Approach To The Top 10 Strategic Issues Of 2015“, Mark Sunday of Oracle says, “the CIO must be adept at understanding and responding to business requirements, executing on technology projects, and supporting customers in new and better ways.”

We couldn’t agree more. Sunday then outlines 11 strategic issues that CIOs are facing in 2015, and digital transformation has a lot to do with them. I’ve summarized each of his 11 points here: Read the rest of this post »

G2 Crowd scores Salesforce Chatter top social collaboration tool

I saw the following tweet from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff:

Image of tweet from Marc Benioff

This was interesting enough for me to follow the link to see why Salesforce Chatter was rated the best social collaboration system.  Barry Levine at Venture Beat had a nice article about G2 Crowd’s grid on social collaboration.  Here are the first two paragraphs:

Salesforce’s Chatter is the social collaboration tool with the highest customer satisfaction.

That’s a key takeaway from G2 Crowd’s new Grid for Social Collaboration tools, the first Grid report for this category. It scored 14 business products based on G2 Crowd’s customary metrics of customer satisfaction and business presence, in this case based on over 325 reviews from business professionals.

This was really interesting to me.  G2 Crowd allows people to rate these systems and then translates those ratings into a 2×2 grid similar to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.  Venture Beat also mentions the 325 reviews used to generate the ratings.

While the G2 Crowd rating system looks good and in theory produces crowd-based results, when you dig a little deeper, you find that G2 ratings are really based on much smaller sample sizes. For example, here is the latest grid as of today:

G2-Social Collaboration

In looking at the Leaders Quadrant, you find that Chatter had 97 reviews and Microsoft Lync had only 11 reviews.  You can click on an icon to see the number of reviews:


I don’t dispute that Chatter is an excellent social collaboration tool and Salesforce should be proud to share these kinds of results.

However its hard to rank these tools on customer satisfaction alone from such small numbers of reviews. First, I imagine you could easily get 11 reviewers to enter lower scores for any product. Likewise, I’m sure you can ask 11 people to go rate a product very high.  I’m not suggesting anybody is doing this on the G2 Crowd site to impact the rankings, its just a possibility.

Second, and more importantly, assume that the total population of users for all these tools were 1,000,000 users.  That’s probably very low, but its a nice round number.  To have any confidence in our survey, we’d need a sample size of over 1,000 users responding to the G2 Crowd reviews. And that would be 1,000 random users.  With only 11 reviews or only 97 reviews, statistics tell us that we should not be very confident in the results.

The G2 Crowd information is interesting and it would be great if we could get the right number of reviewers to make the data statistically meaningful.  But, really, don’t rely on this information alone to make your purchasing decisions.  That’s why Gartner, Forrester and Perficient use a variety of factors when rating these systems.



Successful Partner Communities with Salesforce

Zero Motorcycles needed a way to consolidate multiple partner-facing systems into a simplified user interface, track sales and monitor participation programs and automate workflows. As we’ve seen from other customers, partners had to login to multiple systems. Using Community Cloud, Zero was able to provide one interface for the partners to login into and get information and process leads and improve sales.

Zero’s original model was B2C, thinking that consumers would order electric motorcycles on the net. But that didn’t work out and Zero found out they needed dealerships to provide test rides and provide customer engagement. Read the rest of this post »

Google: Reasons Why Nobody Uses Your App, Your Site, Your…

I came across the article Google: Reasons Why Nobody Uses Your App in my favorite iPhone app Zite.  The article is about a presentation given by Tomer Sharon, a user researcher at Google, at Google’s I/O Conference. I embedded the video here for you to view.

Tomer identifies reasons why nobody uses your app.  I want to extend this to your web site, your portal, or whatever because these six reasons apply beyond an app.

I’ll summarize the reasons below, but there were two reasons that really caught my attention because they are spot on with my experience consulting with many, many companies over the past 18 years.

The first reason that caught my eye was “You didn’t test your riskiest assumption.”  Many times clients look to companies like Perficient to reduce risks in their projects.  We have deep expertise in a product they want to implement or build upon.  But we don’t always have expertise in the exact problem that is the riskiest.  When we don’t have that expertise, our value can be in how we approach the problem and how we draw on experience in similar areas.  However too often, clients don’t want to test their riskiest assumptions first, but instead, want to dive headlong into a large project.  Part of the reason is because they they can only get funding one time – so lets ask for the most we can get and then start moving.  Another reason for this is that spending on these kinds of projects – experimentations, proof of concepts (POC), etc – are viewed as wasting money.  But getting a solution to the trickiest part of your project early on is absolutely critical to overall success.

The second reason that caught my attention was “You listened to users instead of watching them.”  Companies have spent boat loads of money gathering requirements by asking users what they want in a system.  Users are more than willing to talk about what they would do with a new system.  But too often what a user says they will do doesn’t match what they really will do.  In the video, Tomar talks about a UK Research Project where the researchers asked people whether they washed their hands after using the restroom.  99% said of course they did.  When the researchers put equipment into the restroom to monitor hand washing, surprise, surprise, less than 80% actually washed their hands.  So when building systems, it is important to get something built quickly – a prototype or POC – and observe how people actually use the system.

Here are the reasons why people don’t use your app, your web site, or whatever. I encourage you to watch the video to get all the details.

  1. You didn’t understand the problem your were solving
  2. You asked your friends (or co-workers) what they thought
  3. You listened to users instead of watching them
  4. You didn’t test your riskiest assumption(s)
  5. You had a “Bob the Builder” mentality

Let me know what you think or if you have other advice.


Are you going to IBM’s Digital Experience Conference?

Next week (July 21, 2014), IBM’s yearly Digital Experience Conference will be in full swing.  In the past this conference has been called “Exceptional Web Experience” and “Portal” conference and the new name reflects not only the market changes taking place, but also IBM’s approach to the market.  The market is no longer a “Portal” market or even just a “Web” market.

experienceI think that “Digital” explains that we are focused on more than just the web.  We have to be just as concerned with other channels, such as mobile, kiosk, TV, game console, etc).  And “Experience” broadens the scope to include customer experience, employee experience, patient experience, member experience, and so on.  So Digital Experience is a good name for this conference.

The focus of the conference naturally is on IBM’s Digital Experience products like Customer Experience Suite, Employee Experience Suite, WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Content Manager and some Connections.  We expect to hear about all the new features and capabilities in the latest versions of these products.  Equally important, we will hear from IBM customers about their experience implementing and using these systems in real world scenarios.

Read the rest of this post »

Cool Tools by Gartner

Gartner analysts, Tom Austin and Mike Gotta, presented some cool tools, that have a social angle, primarily Virtual Personal Assistants (VPA)

Welltok – a virtual personal assistant for health care, see CafeWell as an initial application

  • – community for health and wellness
  • – provides advice to individuals

MindMeld – conversational application, connect through Facebook, conversational assistant – listens, finds, organizes, archives.

– advice to groups of people

GridSpace – meeting memo taker – preserve and analyze meetings

– who said what to whom in a meeting

HP in Context Analytics – auto-match searching based on text chat in MS Lync, later other IM’s and voice.

Wrike – as work is less routine, people self-organize work – realtime project co-ordination and work management platform. Social Task Management

Microsoft Office Graph – social queues and behaviors – precursor to virtual personal assistant, in Office 365 only.

  • – includes app and workload intelligence
  • – auto population of Office Graph
  • – Big Data analytics
  • – Semantic expressiveness
  • – Graph based search

Lots of power inside Office environment. Less so for departments less dependent on MS Office, i.e. Engineering with CAD, or Marketing with Adobe.

Sqwiggle – continuous spresence awareness across remote teams – making remote workers feel like they be log.

Highspot – influence, authority, relationships – manually tag information, search, and discover. Who do you follow, who follows you.  Highspot is here today, and it works, and is available in the cloud.

Cuff – personal security device that fits into an expanding line of jewelry. Pairs with you iPhone or Android phone, and with one press will alert loved ones when you need them. You can also send reminders, or notifications that you are trying to reach the person.

Interesting papers that may be worth a read:

  • Cool Vendors in Social Software and Collaboration. 2014 – Mike Gotta – G00262576.
  • Cool Vendors in Smart Machines, 2014 – Tom Austin – G00262488.

Case Study: Implementing Social-Based Collaboration

At the Gartner Portal conference, John Stepper, Managing Director at Deutsche Bank told his story of implementing a social network within a large German bank.

Most (large) companies are stuck in finding the right people and data

  • Early AdoptersEarly adopters – usually the same people
  • Little lasting change occurred
  • Introduced MyDB – Social Network – basically rebranded Jive OOTB
    • Modern Backplane – more appropriate than meetings and email in many circumstances
    • This pilot stuck and made a difference
    • Adoption is increasing
  • 7 Elements of an enterprise collaboration strategy
    • Platform
    • Commercial value community managers
    • management engagement
    • advocate network
    • center of excellence
    • individual benefits
  • Application to own organization is more important
  • Success looks different at different levels
    • what worked 2 years ago may not work now
  • 7 Questions
    • Can we do that? (What have our proposal, and business case, but there are plenty of people that are ready to say no! HR, Legal, Workers council)
      • Yes, we can.
      • Platform is opt-in. People chose to use the tool.
      • Ratings and private groups where turned off.
    • What if people do something stupid – people say something they shouldn’t?
      • e.g. @queendemetriax_ tweeted she was an islamic terrorist getting ready for a big event against American Airlines. She was a 14y/o girl and was arrested by the FBI.
      • No anonymity – Good policies – 1-click to flag content (rarely used)
    • What’s it worth?
      • Initial business case based on intranet spent – well under the true value
      • 50% emails
      • 30% meetings
      • learned helplessness
    • Will anyone use it?
      • Got budget for 12,000 people to use it once.
    • Is it official?
      • Is it for the unwashed? IT? Backoffice?
      • Is it for real work?
      • People thought it was “Facebook” – and said I’m not using that.
      • People wanted something official, with prestige. – Barak Obama.
    • Will businesses use it?
      • Content and convenience are the killer apps
    • What else can we do with it?
      • Other 6 dragons have been slain.
      • We can make work more fulfilling
      • People hate work – it’s dehumanizing


  • Working out loud
    • Bryce (Eli Lilly)
    • Using social platforms at work: something like OPENPediatrics.
  • “Without myDB, our project would be much more difficult”
  • “I’m happier”

Adobe Summit: Keynote with Yancey Strickler

Why do people support Kickstarter with over $1 billion pledge

  1. People are amazing
  2. Ideas are the future
  3. We are all capable of creating incredible things

You see a huge community of people who are trying to shape the world.  Here are a few things that have happened over the past five years.

Veronica Mars

It had a huge Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell tried to get it going on Kickstarter.  Ten hours later, they raised $2Million. They ultimately raised $6 Million.  Hollywood said no and fans said yes.


The first big smartwatch.  Raised $10 Million to create 100,000 smartwatches

The average project raises about $85,000.

  • First squirrel census
  • First civilian space suit
  • Open source geiger counter – from expensive to cheap.  It’s the largest citizen science project in the world
  • Bus sto pin Georgia
  • Human powered helicopter
  • A Delorean hovercraft
  • Skate park in Philadelphia
  • An Oscar winning film

62% of the Kickstarter money is from returning backers.   You support it because you get a copy when it’s made.  You support because you want it to be around.  The first translation of the Ilead by Alexander Pope came from 700 subscribers……one early example of Kickstarter.

Quote: Empathy is a primary economic driver, Adam Smith

Quote: A successful Kickstarter project should benefit it’s backers as much as it’s creator

The creators of the Pebble watch shared the experience as they had to expand their supply chain.  This came to supporters of the project.

Double Fine Adventure

The first blockbuster video game. They raised over $1 Million in just a few hours.  It was deeply collaborative because supporters saw the painful game development process.   The end result was Broken Age.

Cosmonaut project

This is an example of the sharing on how it was made.

My 4 days in the Desert with Adobe — Part 2

As I mentioned in my last blog post, the time I spent in the desert with Adobe at the sales conference was incredibly valuable. As the best of breed digital platform, three key themes resonated with me and want to take the opportunity to delve a little deeper into the benefits of the adobe partnership and how it impacts the work we do for clients.

My 4 Days in the Desert with Adobe - Part 2One of the first things I learned is that Adobe has grown tremendously over the past few years and has really cemented its place as the leader in digital content creation and marketing. What was made equally clear is that Adobe’s stable of world-class partners has been instrumental to Adobe’s success. In fact, joint engagements between Adobe and its partners were brought up numerous times as examples of customer successes. This was true across verticals (e.g., Retail, Media, and Financial) and Adobe solutions (Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Marketing Cloud). Based on what I saw at the Worldwide Sales Conference, I expect Adobe will continue to engage with its digital agency and systems integration partners throughout 2014 and well into the future.

The second theme centered on the tremendous growth of digital marketing and the importance of creating a compelling and personalized customer experience. Marketers know that every interaction between a business and a customer is a marketing opportunity and a chance to drive revenue. The challenge is that customers control how, when and where they will interact with companies. In fact, customers use a multitude of channels (web, mobile, social, video) and devices (tablet, phone, computer) to engage with businesses. This creates a significant challenge for marketers to determine how and when to engage clients within each of these channels and provide a compelling reason for the customer to take the next step forward in the sales cycle. Adobe’s response to this was clear: Brands interested in driving significant revenue through digital channels must deliver the right message, to the right channel, at the right time. Creating this type of customer engagement requires a well-defined strategy and an enterprise-grade platform with deep solutions capabilities.

The final theme– which ran throughout the duration of the conference – was that Adobe’s strategy, vision, and product platforms – Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud – have made it possible for businesses to deliver the digital experiences that clients expect. First, I want to segue to a little history lesson that provides context to Adobe’s approach to digital marketing.

Adobe has a deep heritage in digital content creation solutions (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, etc). Legions of digital marketers have been using Adobe’s creative products to generate extremely rich and engaging digital content for many years. The challenge for those marketers was twofold: how to manage all of that content and how to get that content to their customers. Thus, the strategy and vision of Marketing Cloud was born.

The vision for Marketing Cloud was to provide marketers with one location to manage, publish, and analyze the content they were creating. The first strategic step towards the creation of Marketing Cloud was focused on organic product development and/or acquisition of market-leading content management, analytics, mobile, social, customer segmentation, media optimization, and marketing campaign orchestration solutions. The second step of the process involved seamless interoperability between the Marketing Cloud systems and the creation of a Touch Interface to manage everything. This provided marketers with a singular and actionable view of the customer and a singular interface for the management of all marketing processes and activities. The final step for Adobe was to integrate the full suite of solutions from Creative Cloud to Marketing Cloud. This created a unified content creation, management, and publishing system that covered the full marketing lifecycle. Adobe’s strategy and subsequent cloud-based platforms provide end-to-end solutions for creative and digital marketers. By having the right tools in place, marketers can deliver on their vision: to provide the right message, to the right person at the right time.

This conference offered an outstanding opportunity to learn more about Adobe’s business, their solutions offerings, and also engage with key members of teams. I came away from the conference with a fuller understanding of Adobe’s sales and product strategies along with their key value propositions and differentiators from others in their space. I’m excited to see how Adobe’s latest acquisition of Neolane – now Adobe Campaign – will help to orchestrate successful online and offline marketing campaigns designed to drive increased revenue for our clients. Based on the Adobe Campaign sessions I attended and the conversations I’ve had with clients since then, I anticipate tremendous success for this solution.