Oracle recently upgraded their Virtual Compute Appliance (OVCA) to X4-2. It was launched earlier in 2013, with adoption accelerating. It’s particularly useful for consolidating non-workload specific applications into a single managed environment. Applications may be installed on Windows, Linux, or Solaris.
So the value of Converged Infrastructure over traditional infrastructure is:
More specifically the value of OVCA is:
OVCA may be seen as either an application platform or an infrastructure platform. Primarily it’s a virtualized infrastructure platform, but through the use of templates it may be seen as an application platform.
OVCA as IaaS:
OVCA as AaaS:
Balancing competing priorities between developers and IT (flexibility vs. standardization).
Oracles reference architecture for OVCA looks like this:
Oracle customers considering consolidation and virtualization clearly have the most to gain from an OVCA solution. However this is applicable to non-Oracle shops too. An organization with mostly Oracle applications may consider OVCA for infrastructure consolidation and integration, but they may have an IBM or Microsoft BI or Portal system that could also be consolidated onto the same hardware. That’s the beauty of this environment, many operating systems are supported, as are diverse workloads. Management is simplified and streamlined.
If your organization has a large number of Java or Database applications, then Exalogic or Exadata may be more appropriate. In my view this solution is ideal for either mid-sized organizations consolidating servers, or for departments within large organizations that want a single environment to host and mange all of their unique applications.
Thanks to Sharon Suchoval for pointing me to this. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, anyone close to Marketing knows that the digital migration has unleashed a sea of change in the Marketing Department and the CMO. The Oracle Social Spotlight has an article about 5 Things That Should Be Keeping CMO’s Up at Night. It’s a somewhat light hearted post on a potentially heavy topic. I’m not going to reveal everything but let me give you the five things. They are sufficiently crpytic to make you want to read the whole thing.
Seriously, Am I Going to Be in Charge of EVERYTHING Now?
What Do My Customers and Prospects Want From Us?
How Am I Going to Cope with Being a Media Company?
What Tech Am I Supposed to Invest In?
What If I Pursue a Strategy and Then Everything Changes?
Notice how at least 4 of the items above have almost nothing to do with the previous CMO job description. The CMO gets to develop a group that’s part content king, part quant, and part techie. All that’s on top of the creative and PR activities that remain a key part of marketing.
The enterprise marketing management space has been heating up for the past couple years. IBM, Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe, and Microsoft have all made one or more acquisitions here and it hasn’t stopped. Just a few days ago, IBM bought Silverpop, an Atlanta based cloud marketing automation player with customers in both the B2B and B2C space. This is in addition to IBM’s Unica and Xtify acquisitions. As IBM puts in in a Destination CRM article,
“Across the board, we’re seeing technology play more of a role in how the discipline of marketing is working. It used to be more creative; we’re seeing the need to blend the art of marketing with the science of marketing,” says IBM Smarter Commerce Strategy Director Jay Henderson.
I like the way Jay Henderson says it because the world of the marketer, especially the digital marketer has changed. It’s not just about the creative side of things. It’s now about the technical tools that enable more personalized interactions. For those of us that have laughed at the basic personalization we’ve seen these past 15 years, that’s a good thing.
So what will IBM do with three tools that seem to overlap each other? As IBM describes it:
Yes, there’s overlap between the features these three provide but the strengths IBM mentions can steer you towards the right product. Both Silverpop and Xtify are cloud based solutions.
I’ll leave you with one example of personalization that consumers are coming to expect.
Another one of Silverpop’s capabilities that appealed to IBM is its ability to create customer profiles based on behavioral attributes, allowing for enhanced personalization. If a financial services company sees a customer look at a college savings plan calculator, for example, it can trigger an email about a 529 savings plan. A B2B company can gauge the quality of a lead and send out appropriate email offers based on behavior such as a download of a whitepaper or if a customer viewed a Webinar.”While IBM has an army of assets in play for marketing, the reality is that you need mass personalization at scale to deliver on relevancy and context. Silverpop brings this and its ability to effectively keep identities in context, regardless of how that individual is engaging inside a brand and potentially with other brands,” Wang says.
I think every writer at one time or another has thought about how long is too long for a post, tweet or headline.
As I typed my headline into WordPress, it was kind enough to tell me that my headline is 59 of 65 characters. I never understood if WordPress thought 65 was the max or the ideal size for my headline.
Reading through Zite (soon to be Flipboard) today, I came across this article by Kevan Lee at Fast Company: The Proven Ideal Length of Every Tweet, Facebook Post, and Headline Online. Mr. Lee did the research to find out best practices and here is what he came up with.
100 Characters. This is according to Twitter’s best practices. Twitter found that there was spike in retweets for tweets between 71 and 100 characters. So if you want your tweets sent around by others, don’t take up all 140 available characters and don’t send short tweets.
Remember seeing a Facebook post that takes up the entire screen? Unlike Twitter, the ideal Facebook post size is only 40 characters! What? You have so much more room to type in Facebook.
Jeff Bullas found that posts of 40 characters received 86% higher engagement. Since Bullas’ sample of Facebook posts of 40 characters was a small sample, Facebook suggests 80 characters or less is good too. At 80 characters, Bullas found those posts has 66% higher engagement.
On Google, you have a headline and the body of your message. If people only look at headlines, how long should they be? How about 60 characters or less! So maybe WordPress’ suggestion of 65 or less is not so bad. Why 60 for Google? Demian Farnworth found that more than 60 characters will likely split your headline into two lines in Google+. Mr. Farnworth says that if you can’t get your headline under 60 characters, then make sure your first sentence draws the reader in quickly.
So what about headlines in general. This blog post has a headline that WordPress suggested I limit to 65 characters or less. According to Mr. Lee, 6 words is the ideal length. Rats – his headline and my copy of it are both more than 6 words. This number comes from research done by KISSMetrics.
What about Blog Post Length?
According to WordPress my post is 367 words long right now. Mr. Lee says that my post is too short! The ideal post length – according to Medium – is 7 minutes. That is, people pay attention for about 7 minutes. Anything longer and they stop reading. It turns out that 7 minutes is about 1,600 words long, or about 4 times the size of this blog post.
I hope you enjoyed reading this since I kept it under 7 minutes. Have a look at all the links I included because they all have additional information that you may find interesting. If you made it this far into my post, tweet a link, post a message on Facebook or leave a comment to let me know what you think about ideal tweet, post and headline size.
IBM recently conducted a webinar titled “5 Key Strategies for Omni-Channel Marketing” in which they discussed the following strategies:
Within each of the overall strategies, IBM did a good job of providing details about how you go about implementing the strategies. I’ll briefly talk about each strategy below:
To collect data, you have to look at all the sources of data about customers and their behaviors to which you have access. Sometimes you will want to pull this data into a central datamart or data warehouse. Broadly, these sources can be broken down into:
Now that you have collected data (often massive amounts of data), it is time to analyze it by building out a customer profile. Sometimes this is called a 360 view of the customer. Data collected has to be converted into meaningful information about the customer to build this profile. Here are some of the profile information we want to analyze:
In the analysis phase, we want to discover or uncover insights about our customers. We can use this information to develop key segments and personas, so can target our customers with the right messages.
After developing segments and personas, it is time to decide how to allocate your marketing budget to reach the right audience. Here you want to plan how deliver a consistent message across the multiple channels you’ve identified in your customer profiles. At the same time, you may need to plan how to customize your message for the persona you are going after. Finally, you may need to develop marketing triggers to fire off a message at the right time for your audience.
If you’ve made it this far, you probably realize that you have to manage this data and these processes. Marketing automation tools are really helpful here as they can automate the process of getting your message at the right time (say cart abandonment) to the right persona or segment.
Undoubtably, optimizing this whole lifecycle is a major undertaking. The amount of data being collected about your customers can be overwhelming. Reacting to market events requires agility. It takes times to see and understand changes in your customers’ changing demographics or technographics. How quick was mobile adoption?
The good news is that major vendors like IBM have been developing marketing automation software over the past several years. To learn more about these 5 strategies, you can watch a video made from the webinar.
This just in, Liferay has a new SDK for custom mobile apps. They will release it to the public on April 2nd. Here’s the press release.
Liferay Releases SDK to Speed Up Custom Mobile App Development
New developer toolkit helps Liferay’s customers develop and manage sophisticated mobile apps
LOS ANGELES – (April 1, 2014) – Liferay, Inc., which makes open source portal software, is releasing a mobile software development kit today. The Mobile SDK is part of Liferay’s commitment to being a mobile-ready platform, which began with making responsive design work out of the box in Liferay Portal 6.2. The Mobile SDK takes the platform’s mobile capabilities a step further, making the unique benefits of Liferay Portal available to mobile app developers.
“I’m excited that we’re thinking about how to bring our customers into the mobile revolution—and it really is a revolution, impacting every aspect of the way we do business and behave as a society,” said Bryan Cheung, Liferay’s CEO. “I think developers are going to love the Mobile SDK, because people are so hungry for the kind of immediacy that you only get from your smartphone. Anything that helps you make mobile apps more quickly with more relevant functionality is going to add a lot of value.”
There are three key reasons to use the SDK when building mobile apps:
For example, a company whose CRM is already integrated with Liferay will find it much easier with the Mobile SDK to create a mobile app that browses customer records, and each sales rep will have personalized access to their customers. Mobile apps designed by retail companies for their customers could take advantage of shopping catalog integration to quickly develop a native mobile e-commerce app, and enhance the experience with the phone’s camera and location services.
Long-term, Liferay hopes its portal can be used as a central hub that aggregates data and interactions from mobile devices to help companies understand the needs and preferences of their customers and employees. Of course, to help address privacy issues, Liferay will consider how companies can give more control of personal information to the users of the mobile apps they create.
“We’re making mobile a priority,” said Michael Young, CTO, Liferay. “Our customers want this for a lot of the same reasons they chose Liferay: they don’t want to keep re-writing the same code for several mobile apps, and they want to consolidate integration points behind a single system. The solutions we’ve come up with for making websites and portals easier to develop cross over well to mobile app development.”
The Liferay Mobile SDK is available as an Eclipse plugin that can be installed into Liferay Developer Studio, Liferay IDE, or a developer’s own Eclipse environment. The Mobile SDK is also available for download at github.com/liferay/liferay-mobile-sdk/releases.
Get a free demo of the Mobile SDK by signing up for the webinar at http://discover.liferay.com/liferay-live-11apr2014
For more information about the Mobile SDK, visit www.liferay.com/community/liferay-projects/liferay-mobile-sdk.
Liferay, Inc. is a leading provider of enterprise open source portal and collaboration software products, servicing Fortune 500 companies worldwide. Clients include Allianz, Carrefour, Cisco Systems, Danone, Lufthansa Flight Training, Rolex, Siemens, Société Générale, Toyota and the United Nations. Liferay offers Enterprise Subscriptions, which provide access to emergency fixes, software updates, 24/7 support SLAs, and subscription-only features. Liferay also offers professional services and training to ensure successful deployments for its customers.
Liferay, Liferay Portal, and the Liferay logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Liferay, Inc., in the United States and other countries.
Matthew Rawding, a Consulting Manager with Adobe. talked about how to use Adobe Campaign to create an integrated customer profile. So what is an integrated customer profile?
An integrated customer profile is a main pillar of Adobe Campaign. Also included in Campaign are targeted segmentation, visual campaign orchestration, cross-channel execution, real time interaction management, and operational reporting.
The goal is to build the most comprehensive view of a customer possible based on the following sets of data.
A key message here is: The more you can gather and manage data, the fewer guesses you have to make as a marketer.
Adobe Campaign provides a way to collect and manage all this data about customers. This allows you to market directly to customers by knowing this much about each customer.
You want to have conversations with customers, not just communications. This means listening to what the customers are saying through explicit and implicit data. In Campaign, you can use this data to target specific customers and target the specific communications methods they prefer. Workflows all you to split a campaign across devices, so if one person prefers email they get an email, while another customer that prefers phone, gets a phone call.
Data aggregation is important. You can load all data into one DB. Or you can map datasources based on common keys. Or you can use a hybrid model of collecting data in one place and mapping that data to sources that can’t be collected.
Matthew provided a 9-point checklist for building an integrated customer profile. The first 5 steps are all about planning.
The process above is iterative. You periodically have to go through iterations of some or all of the steps.
In Adobe Campaign, they have a very recipient oriented data model. This data includes data from delivery logs, tracking logs, proposition logs, survey logs and sales transactions. There is often a need to include loyalty data, but you can map this data into the Campaign.
Campaign also includes a data loading workflow which automates the importation of data. This sounds like a typical ETL process.
De-duplication is an important and complicated part of the process. De-duplication rules need to be created and monitored. Campaigns uses a score-based matching system to do de-duping. This allows you to assign a base rule followed by the scoring rules. Scoring rule allows you to add weights to specific conditions. Totaled together, the base match and score rule results indicated a matched record. Campaign calls this an Enrichment activity in the workflow.
After you have the de-duplication rules, you can also set Merge rules to the system which data fields to keep from which duplicate record.
Scott Smith presented a session on video analytics. Analytics regarding video has been rough to achieve. There have been few standards and the complexity has been high.
Abode has introduced a Video Heartbeat Tracking library where they hope to simplify implementation of video analytics. They also want to introduce stability into process and help you understand more about your video usage. This is becoming more and more important as video consumption moves from traditional TV to all of our connected devices.
Challenges we all face:
Heartbeat – what is it. Heartbeat is a ping that lets us know you are still watching a video. Adobe Analytics now has a video heartbeat tracking capability. Data contained in a heart beat includes: environment, event info, asset information, stream information and user information. There is also milestone tracking which Heartbeat is the new method.
During playback, a heartbeat is sent every 10 seconds. These go to a pre-aggregation layer. When the video is complete or abandoned, final time spent and completion metrics are sent to Adobe Analytics. By going to 10 seconds, you get improved granularity of time spent tracking and you can also get real-time data.
How does this affect Ad tracking? Ads are tracked the same way – through the Heartbeat. Adobe is working with Ad servers to ingest meta data from those servers. New metrics that are available include impressions, duplicate views, bounce rate, average ads per video and time spend on ads. These metrics help you optimize your ad recipe. If you have a pre-roll, you can use the analytics to determine the effect on viewing the content based on the pre-roll ad time.
How does this help with Standardization? First the 10 sec heartbeat becomes a standard. Adobe is defining a set of reserved variables so everyone has access to the same data. There are 7 core video variables and 7 ad variables. You can then add custom variables on top of these (for which you have to pay additional money).
With these standards, Adobe will also be able to show benchmarks. By taking out customer specific data, the standardization allows Adobe to compare video analytics across industries, content type, etc.
Adobe is also including real-time reporting for video. You can pick a few measures and within Adobe Analytics see trends as they happen in real-time. Later this year, Adobe is going to report on live events and video on demand.
Pricing in the past has been based on the number of server calls. Adobe is moving to a stream-based pricing model. So you pay one price for a stream. In the stream you can track ads as well as content for the same price. To estimate the cost, all you need is to estimate the number of streams you want to track.
Marc Blinder, Director of Social Marketing at Adobe and Jon Beeston, Director of New Product Innovation at Adobe presented on the trend of search and social convering. Twitter is a great example of that where we share but also search.
Theme: Search and Social platforms are converging – which means successful marketers musth have one unified team with one set of data.
Key takeaways from this session
Paid, owned, and earned are converging. Look at facebook where you can have your owned pages, people who like you and you also buy ads. They might even be on the same page. Google search results even shows paid and owned assets together, especially with Google + and it’s continuing growth.
Quote: “There’s no free lunch”
Quote: It could be argued from a consumer point of view that the better the search engine is the fewer advertisement you will need. (Google)
Note that they followed that with a picture of a Google results page with TONS of ads.
You need to evolve your approach.
The ultimate aim is to get to the right mix of search, ads, email, and social media. Doing that depends on how well you converge it all.
I recently blogged about Google’s Bigger, Cheaper Cloud and now it looks like Amazon has responded. CRN has an article about Amazon’s announcement of 10%-40% cuts for M1, M2, C1 and CC2 instances. Amazon didn’t make much reference to Google and they have cut prices a number of times although the timing is suspect.
Amazon’s EC2 M3 instances are dropping 38 percent, while C3 instances are being cut by 30 percent. All of these EC2 figures are for instances running Linux, but Jassy said there will be a “comparable decrease” for Windows instances.
Amazon is lowering Simple Storage Service (S3) pricing by an average of 51 percent, with cuts ranging from 35 percent to 65 percent depending on the tier of service, Jassy said.
Other cloud price cuts are coming for Amazon’s Relational Database Service (28 percent on average), ElastiCache (34 percent on average), and Elastic MapReduce, AWS’ Hadoop service (27 percent to 61 percent depending on instance type).
AWS is able to make these price drops through economies of scale, as more people are adopting its cloud to replace or supplement their traditional data centers, Kevin RisonChu, director of systems and infrastructure at Digitaria, a San Diego, Calif.-based AWS partner, told CRN.
Hit the original article for more in depth information.