Perficient IBM blog


IBM Commerce Solutions & the Customer Journey


The age of the connected consumer has rapidly changed many industries (especially retail) as their demands and expectations evolve and rise to the highest of standards. Retail organizations know that connected consumers use the power of information to drive prices down, demand a high level of service and expect personalized experiences. In order to obtain those personalized experiences, consumers have to be willing to share personal information and we find that more often than now they are willing to do so. Recent studies show that 85% of consumers purchase products/brands that allow them to engage and control the when, how, and where the interaction takes place.

Retailers need to be utilizing and analyzing complex data to understand customer expectations and service responses as well as insights to exceed the expectations of their consumers in all channels and creating a personalized, seamless experience. Consumer engagement requires a combination of campaign planning, marketing operations and execution. This combination powered by analytics will not only enable engagement but engagement that is meaningful, driving consumers to purchase and increase loyalty conversion. Read the rest of this post »

Writeprint Analysis Using IBM SPSS Statistics and Modeler

shutterstock_122786062_350_ibmpostWriteprint or forensic linguistics analytics as it is often termed is used to analyze unstructured text data to determine authorship.  Different variations of writeprint analysis has been used for hundreds of years analyzing the different books of the Bible to determine their authorship.  The works of Shakespeare have also been extensively studied to determine if Shakespeare was the true author.  Currently, this type of analytics is often used by law enforcement and national security agencies.  An offshoot of forensic linguistics is to analyze social media postings to determine the age and gender of the poster based upon the content that they have posted.

There is very little “out-of-the-box” software to do forensic linguistics.  This is mainly due to the business rules inherent to the analysis are specific to the problem that is being analyzed and often to do not translate very easily into other use cases.  IBM SPSS does not offer an “out-of-the-box” solution however using the powerful text string functions built into SPSS Statistics and SPSS Modeler along with SPSS text analytics it is possible to construct a writeprint solution.

The core to this analysis is the development of the business rules.  If you are analyzing emails for example this could be the number of paragraphs, number of sentences in the paragraph, number of words in a sentence, the length of the words, etc.  If you are looking at chat room usage or phone text messages it could be the number of posts since a particular word occurred and the order of the word within the message.  Potentially there can be dozens of these rules generating hundreds of variables. Read the rest of this post »

Posted in Business Analytics

Digital Transformation with IBM Bluemix

shutterstock_120338179_350Every day at Perficient, we help clients develop new ways of interacting with customers, build contextual understanding in their decision making, and create new ways of business operations as a Smarter Process Practice.

In this article, I am going to describe a couple of data-related challenges businesses are facing as they embark on their digital transformation journeys and provide a cost-effective technology recommendation to address these challenges.


One challenge within Digital Transformation is non-traditional data, referred to as unstructured data. Some estimates predict that that 80 to 90 percent of all data in any organization is unstructured. The following are a few of the causes of the generation of unstructured data.

Application Development Revolution
The first is a result of a revolution in application development. Application developers are building large amounts of connected applications which are running on numerous devices such as cellphones, tablets, RFIDs, sensors, thermostats, and security cameras. This revolution in application development has resulted in an explosion in the amounts of data being collected. For example, it is expected that the number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass 2 billion in 2016. Customers expect an integrated experience across all of their devices, whether in physical stores, shopping online, and when talking with customer service on the phone. The business problem has become how to identify technology solutions that meet the business demands to build a unified customer experience and extract useful information in order to engage customers or build better products. Read the rest of this post »

Interaction with MQ is advanced through MQ service

MQ Service is the interaction between the IBM Integration Bus and WebSphere MQ applications.

This MQ Service editor helps to discover queues that existing Queue Managers define, and then use these queues to define a WSDL file to use with the IBM MQ Service definition specification.

The following steps demonstrate the creation of MQ service. The message exchange pattern in MQ service has an option to select the service type:

• One-Way Operation
• Request-Response Operation

MQ Service Select Resources – Based on the Message Exchange Pattern type the queues are selected.


MQ Service summary –Displays the overall structure of the service interface.


One-Way Operation is configured with two distinct queues that is selected with the help of MQ Service.


Posted in News, WMB

Discovering Insights in Customer Data for Personalization

DTPersonalizeDataEarlier this summer we looked at how retail organizations were
leveraging vast quantities of customer data and advanced analytics
to personalize customer experiences, meeting the increasing demands of the marketplace, and ultimately preventing churn. The story of an ever-expanding landscape of customer data is well known, but extracting value from that data continues to be a challenge for most organizations.

We’re seeing a great set of solutions emerging from our partners to help tackle these customer data challenges, including IBM’s Predictive Customer Intelligence platform, which integrates critical elements of predictive analytics, marketing campaign automation and customer experience.

According to Forrester’s TechRadar, organizations are looking to implement advanced analytics solutions that address challenges with personalization and customer experience in the following ways:

  • Granular individual consumer information: Provide a deeper understanding of a customer’s attitudes and behaviors on a personal level.
  • Novel customer engagement: Meet the cross-channel demands of customers that expect immediate and consistent interaction with your brand.
  • Competitive and relevant offers: Actively monitor product offerings and pricing in relation to the competition.

Read the rest of this post »

How is Digital Disruption affecting the Retail Industry?

Digital Disruption

It has been 15 years since the introduction of eCommerce and mobile shopping is well underway with mainstream consumers. With fast changing behaviors and high demands of consumers, retailers are utilizing technology to help satisfy their customers, however, they are still trying to figure out how to best use technology while providing a superior customer experience.  They continue to struggle with the adoption of digital tools both online and in-store, integrating systems and inventory for a seamless experience.

When we think about what we want as consumers, as customers and our expectations of service, they are in some way shaped by what technology is available and developed. Michael Klein, Director for Adobe Marketing Cloud, states:

“Its almost a constant testing ground with the consumer of what is available from a technology perspective and how fast we can think: What is the value proposition for the consumer, who is now very much in control of the brand and shopping experience?”

A recent study forecasted that the retail industry will be the third most affected by digital disruption.  Retailers have been facing challenges with eCommerce, omnichannel and mobile capabilities for years so it is no surprise that they would be amongst one of the top affected by digital disruption.

Digital Retail 1

Many industries see technology as a huge expense versus an investment, with retail being on top. But not all retailers are getting lost in the details, many do see the bigger picture and are willing to make the investment to adapt to their ever changing consumer. Target is amongst those successful retailers that see digital engagement as crucial to incremental profits and sales both in-store and online. Target has already made significant investments in cybersecurity and technology after their breach but their current CEO says that they plan to invest another $1 billion to enhance even further their digital capabilities.

Read the rest of this post »

MCommerce in the B2B World

B2B MCommerce

Digital Transformation is changing how B2B companies conduct business causing them to rethink what their customers value most and reorganize business models to take advantage of what could give them a competitive edge. Successful leaders in the industry have been using technology for a long time to help improve efficiency and productivity, optimize supply chains, enter new markets, etc. But what is causing them to rethink the way they do business now is customer expectations and buying behavior.   Every customer is also a consumer, and the way the consumers purchase items in the B2C world is causing them to demand the same service and options when purchasing from a B2B seller. We know that 75% of B2B buyers prefer the convenience of purchasing from a website vs a sales representative, and a lot of B2B companies have recognized that and are starting to change the way they do business.

3/4 of global B2B sellers say that websites, mobile sites and apps have become their primary marketing tactics

2/3 use mobile marketing help increase brand awareness

40% PERSONALIZE their mobile web content with known interests of their customers Read the rest of this post »

Posted in News

Websphere Cast Iron Hypervisor Virtual Appliance – Login issue

While setting up the Websphere Cast Iron virtual appliance, it’s a common issue that password for “admin” is unknown (or the provided password would not work). And there is no information anywhere on how to reset the password before logging into the virtual appliance. I have gone through this issue and figured out a way to reset the password. Please find attached the instructions document on how to reset the password for “admin”.



Posted in News

IBM makes life easier for enterprise Mac users

Apple and IBMThe decades-old conflict between PCs and Apple’s Macs softened a little more this week when IBM unveiled new services that further simplify integration of Macs into cloud-based enterprise environments.

IBM and Apple have had a working relationship for years, but thanks to an expansion of IBM’s MobileFirst Managed Mobility Services portfolio, designed specifically to support Macs, Apple-branded devices can now more easily join networks without onerous configuration and setup, thus simplifying network and email access and application downloads.

This means companies can order Macs directly and start using them in the workplace right away. The expansion also paves a firmer path for “bring your own device” settings (BYOD) so employees can network using their own Macs via SaaS products or client data centers. Either way, IBM clients will experience reduced costs as well as fewer hassles.

IBM was providing similar services on a custom basis for various clients, but with this MobileFirst expansion those services become standard.

If this level of standardization sounds like a no-brainer, consider that Apple’s share of the tech market was rather small – around 10 percent – before the iPhone debuted in 2007 and helped spark the rush toward tech mobility. Since then, as IBM noted in its news release on the MobileFirst expansion, Mac sales have outpaced PC sales nearly every year.

“Ease of adoption and use are at the foundation of every Apple product, and as these devices are used more in the workplace, people expect the same experience they enjoy with Apple technology in their personal use,” Richard Patterson, general manager, Infrastructure Services, IBM Global Technology Services, said in the release.

According to the market research firm IDC, Mac sales rose 16.1 percent year-over-year in the quarter that ended June 30 at the same time PC sales declined. 11.8 percent.

Cognos TM1 Training in Denver on August 17 to 20

shutterstock_128406338_350Hopefully many of you have enjoyed my many Cognos TM1 blog posts. Now some of you may be new to TM1 or a novice or an expert at the product. Regardless of your skill level, training is always important to stay up to date with new product changes.

With that said, Perficient’s IBM Business Analytics group will be hosting comprehensive training sessions during the week of August 17th-20th in our Denver, Colorado office.  The following TM1 training course is an intermediate instructor-led course. This offering will teach modelers how to build a complete model in TM1 mainly using the Performance Modeler tool. Through a series of lectures and hands-on exercises, students will learn how to create and customize dimensions and cubes, import and link data, and build and maintain applications.

If you are interested in attending our TM1 training event in Denver, CO, please visit our Perficient Contact Page and in the comments section please add, “Cognos TM1 Training in Denver, CO on August 17-20 2015”, else you can DM me on Twitter at @XxCLEvansxX for further details. Read the rest of this post »