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Posts Tagged ‘Collaboration’

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.

My 4 Days in the Desert with Adobe – Part 1

In mid-December, I attended the Adobe Worldwide Sales Conference in Las Vegas. It’s a time when Adobe invites its entire sales organization – along with Adobe’s key partners – to discuss the past year’s performance, celebrate the major sales successes, and layout the company’s sales and product strategies for the next year.

My 4 Days in the Desert with AdobeAs Forrester & Gartner’s leader in Web Content Management, Adobe certainly has much to discuss and no lack of thought leadership within the Digital Marketing arena. However, what I found truly compelling about the conference was the level of transparency Adobe provides to its partners. Partners have full access to all sales and product sessions and are very deeply engaged with the Adobe team. This level of accessibility allows for tremendous learning opportunities for partners like Perficient. Here’s a peek into the top three themes that I learned from my 4 days in the desert with Adobe.

  1. Adobe has cemented its place as a leader in digital content creation and marketing.
  2. As marketers we are tasked with creating compelling and personalized customer experiences each and every day.
  3. Adobe’s strategy, vision, and product platforms – Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud – have made it possible for businesses to deliver the digital experiences that marketers expect.

Adobe has created the market-leading, best-of-breed digital marketing platform while simultaneously helping their clients deliver a deep set of capabilities and engage their customers with “the right message, to the right channel, at the right time”. In the coming weeks, I’ll be continuing to blog about my Adobe experience and provide more details and context around these themes.

Successfully Piloting Social Business Software

Rob Novak and Mac Guidera presented tips on how to make a pilot in social software successful. First why pilot?  A pilot is critical to success because it provides for an experimental trial on a small scale for the future change that you anticipate.A well run pilot reduces the risk of large scale failure and improves chances of strategic success.  You only have to look at the roll out of the website in October 2012 to see how a large scale failure can happen.

What are key components of a pilot?  Pilots should have a defined scope, examples include:

  • a specific business unit
  • a class of employees
  • a region
  • a particular business process.

A pilot should also be short term, but each pilot has to determine the length of time based on several factors:

  • How big is the scope?
  • Are there technologies hurdles that must be overcome?
  • Is there sufficient hardware to start fast?
  • Are personnel available for training? Are these people willing and wanting to participate?
  • How long will it take so determine measurable results?

When conducting a pilot, you must have clear goals.  Goals will vary by company and what you want to pilot.  Little academic and real-life work has been focused on pilot goals, however Rob has identified some Goal Driven Software Development Processes that may be helpful in setting goals for a pilot.

Collaborative Goal Identification is one process.  This starts with a top-level goal and then drives down to sub-goals.

Goal, Question, Metric (GQM) is another approach developed by NASA and others.  Here you have a conceptual, operational and quantitative levels for goals.  Each of these goals have specific metrics.

IBM has a set of collaboration solutions patterns that focus on ROI and strategic process.  These Customer Experience Patternpatterns show how social can be used in the processes and provide a starting point for a pilot program.  Patterns are available for:

  • Customer Engagement (shown here)
  • Innovation
  • Recruiting & Onboarding
  • Supply Chain
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Workplace & Public Safetfy
  • Expertise & Knowledge.

Gaining executive support is always mentioned as critical for success, but nobody explains how to pursue executive support.  Here are some tips for help find the right executive:

  • Open Door Policy
  • Active involvement
  • Must be identified at the beginning
  • Must have same level of decision making influence as the individuals controlling the budget
  • Project should be linked to the executive sponsor’s area of expertise.

Here are some guiding principles for a pilot:

  • Select fertile ground since a pilot is an experiment, not proving what you already know
  • Pilot team is critical, both participants and sponsors
  • Design around business applications or benefits NOT tools
  • Define scope but encourage experimentation
  • Design pilot to learn lessons
  • Provide training and guidance
  • Create visibility
  • Monitor progress and cut or expand

Of course, you need to measure outcomes based on your goals.  During the pilot you want to have interim assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of particular aspects of the pilot.

Be a Successful Social Business in a Highly Regulated Industry

Just because you are in a highly regulated industry doesn’t mean you can’t also be highly social.  You just have to be more careful about how you do it.

At IBM Connect, TD Ameritrade and IBM shared how they made became a social business despite all the regulations and compliance issues.  TD Ameritrade used IBM Connections as the basis of their social business platform, but they also integrated back end systems, gamification, and micro applications.Be a Successful Social business in a Highly Regulated Industry

The first major decision was to figure out their Mobile access strategy.  TDA heavily used mobile devices and needed to address security and authentication strategies for the new social platform.

A second big decision was to figure out how to implement metrics.  Compliance tracking was a big question and has to be addressed early on.  TDA also wanted to measure the success of the program, so figuring out which metrics were most important was a critical task.

Setting up user profiles was another major decision.  Where is profile data stored, what data should appear in the profile, which should be editable and how to sync profile data are all key questions.

Some results that TDA shared:

  • Launched in May 2013
  • Now (January 2014) over 50% of employees engage in social on a daily basis, even though the social platform is not part of the intranet
  • 1000 communities have been built and 85-90% of those are business based communities. 65% are hard business use, 25% are soft business use and 10% are non-work related.
  • About to release a mobile version

TDA had to overcome lots of perceived risks to start with a social platform:

  • Why disrupt our business?
  • Cultural shift?
  • Creating more channels?  Its not about creating more channels, but creating the right channel.
  • Non-business use?
  • Increased managerial duties?
  • More governance and compliance issues?
  • Productivity Drain?

How to get beyond compliance:

  • Partner with Compliance/Legal/Risk Management early on and make them an ally in the effort
  • Leverage monitoring and archiving tools which helps compliance
  • Create simple, practical governance that is based on your organization and includes cross departmental representatives
  • Create rules of the road – don’t post illegal activity, no posts about trades, no client info, no personally identifiable information (PII) etc.

Everyone wants to know about moderation.  At TDA, they do not moderate posts before they get put out.  Everything is moderated by the communities after posts are available.  In one year, they have only had 3 posts that had to be removed.

TDA used several tools to manage compliance and eDiscovery which helped ensure they were meeting state and federal regulations.

  • Everything is using SSL to ensure messages are encrypted
  • Real Time keyword flagging and notification (Actiance Vantage)
  • Uses Global Relay worm device to grab all messages going through the cloud, which aids with eDiscovery
  • Passive moderation is done by employees (crowd sourcing) when they see something inappropriate




Dreamforce: Move Marketing from a Cost Center to a Profit Center

Well Dreamforce 13 was a whirlwind and I’m glad to be home.  The final session I attended was delivered by Sungard’s VP of Marketing, Christine Nurnberger.  While the title of the session  said something about Marketing Metrics and ROI, it really was about how Ms Nurnberger transformed Sungard’s marketing efforts over the last 18 months.  While I was hoping to learn what metrics she used and how she calculated their ROI, I took away more important information than that.

My first takeaway was the need to change marketing from a cost center to a profit center.  At many companies where marketing is viewed as a cost center, the marketing department is usually under budgetary pressures and sometimes their efforts don’t show clear business value.

At Sungard, they decided to transform marketing by making marketing own a portion of the overall sales or revenue quota.  Individual marketers then had a stake in the sales process because they had compensation tied to those revenue quotas.  With this change to more of a profit center, marketers became much more involved in making sure their efforts had a direct impact on sales.

Because of the new emphasis on revenue, the marketing team developed new performance indicators to measure their impact on revenue and service level agreements with sales to ensure the two groups were in sync.

My second takeaway was the process she outlined for the transformation from a less effective, cost center based department to a higher performing, profit center focus:

  • Dig in and fully assess the current processes and be honest with the evaluation
  • Own up to what’s wrong, not only internally in marketing, but to the other stakeholders in the organization
  • Clearly communicate what will be fixed
  • Bring on qualified partners to provided needed expertise both in technology and content creation
  • Effectively monitor and report on results

The results: pipeline increased 132%, marketing revenue up 30%, and they saw a 30% increase in deal size.   I’d say those are impressive numbers.

Dreamforce: Marketing Technology Landscape

Brian Andersen (LUMA Partners) and Robin Bordoli (Marketo) gave a great presentation on the Marketing Technology Landscape.  This area is to broad to get into details in one hour, so they presented an overview of the market and then suggested the following three tactics to cope with the vast amount of change going on:

  • Accept that buyers are in control – it used to be that the buyers contacted the seller well in advance of a sale and the sales team took over to convert that buyer into a customer.   Now buyers are waiting until way into the process, so marketers have to have several touch points with potential buyers to move them into and through the sales funnel.
  • Measure Marketing Spend by Revenue Impact – marketers are under pressure to justify their budgets and struggle with matching marketing efforts to business impact.  Robin suggested the best thing for marketers to do is really track and measure their efforts all the way to revenue generation.  Naturally Marketo has tools to help with this.
  • Take an ecosystem perspective – there is no one solution that is going to address all your needs, despite what many vendors will tell you.  There is also no silver bullet.  If you look at the Marketing LUMAscape chart created by LUMA, you will get a sense for the eco system.

To me the marketing technology area is fascinating.  There are so many players and big players have been buying up cool companies to expand their presence.  The portal, content and social technologies that we work with and blog about at Perficient are well represented in this ecosystem.

Thank You IFTTT for Making Our Lives Easier

I am enamored with IFTTT (pronounced as IFT).  IFTTT is like that parent or spouse that does things for you.  If you are sitting on the couch, you can call out, “Can you turn the lights off?” and that person will do it for you.  You want a sandwich?  “Honey can you get me sandwich?” and whoosh there it is.  IFTTT is like that.

You haven’t heard of IFTTT? It is an internet service that you lets you connect systems together to do something for you using the simple logic of “If … then do …”.


As shown in the diagram here, IFTTT consists of recipes that take a trigger and then performs an action. As an example, say you create a blog post like I’m doing right now. Every time you create a new article you also send a tweet to your followers.  As a recipe that can be written as “If I post a new blog entry, then tweet it with a link.’  Here is how that looks in IFTTT:


When I create a new blog post, I have IFTTT automatically create a new entry in Yammer, Chatter, LinkedIn and Twitter to get the message out.  This is also really useful when I schedule an article to post on a particular day in the future.  I don’t have to remember to go Yammer and Chatter to post the new entry – IFTTT takes care of it at that time.  Too bad it can’t deliver me a sandwich – maybe the IFTTT can hook up with Jimmy John’s to deliver a sandwich when I tweet “I’m hungry”.

The power of IFTTT comes in the number of systems that can be a trigger and the number of systems that can be an action.  The more systems that can be connected together, the more powerful this tool becomes.  At the same time, the more these triggers and actions are open, the better.

In these two aspects IFTTT is diong a great job.  The list of systems that can be interconnected is already long and growing by the day.  While many of the systems are social based systems, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. there are quite a few other systems in the list, including email, SMS, RSS, a clock, etc.  A good example includes the Hue lightbulbs from Philips.  These lightbulbs connect to your wireless network and can be controlled remotely. There are recipes to turn on the lights at dusk, change the color when its raining (Purple Rain!) and more.  The one I liked blinks the light when you receive an email from a specific person.  Today I see there are 400 recipes dealing with Hue.

IFTTT has also made the recipes open, so you can create your own recipes, keep them personal or share them, and use recipes that other people have shared.  Recipes use standard notation to grab data from the underlying system.  For example, in my If WordPress Then Twitter recipe, I tell Twitter to use the title of my post and the url to my blog as part of the tweet.  At the same time, you can customize recipes based on your needs by adding your own text or including additional predefined tags.

Finally IFTTT has mobile versions that work with your iOS and Android devices.  You can use these mobile apps to IFTTT pictures you take, take actions on contacts and more.

Here are a few recipes that I think are pretty useful:

Want to save email attachments outside of email?  This one copies email attachments to Dropbox automatically.Email to Dropbox


iOS Contact to Linked In  When you create a new contact in iOS (iPhone, iPad), invite that person to connect through LinkedIn


Copy Dropbox files to SkyDrive for your intranet.Dopbox to SkyDrive



Let me know your favorite IFTTT recipes.

Community done right: Eloqua Topliners for marketing

Marketing automation is a hot topic today, but can be very confusing.  There have been a lot of entrants to the market in the last few years, with lots of features coming online daily.  In addition, marketing tools rarely stand alone and need to be integrated into your website, your portal, your social communities and other systems.  If you are interested in digital marketing, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of content and vast number of products available to you.

One excellent marketing automation system is Oracle Eloqua.  Eloqua provides many, many features for marketers, including campaign management, targeting, tracking, etc.  Eloqua also has app store with hundreds of applications that can add on to Eloqua or enable Eloqua to integrate with other systems.  Even if you are working just with Eloqua, it can be daunting to understand all that you can do in this area.

This is where a Community can come to your rescue.  Traditional in-person communities are all about sharing experiences, tips, techniques and best practices.  But getting masses of people together is hard and happens infrequently.  Online communities are supposed to solve that problem, but often online communities tend to be confusing to navigate and don’t have enough content to truly help out.

Topliners, a community for Eloqua users,  is an excellent example of an online community.  When you go to Topliners, you are immediately presented with five main tabs: Imagine It, See It, Do It, Code It and Know It.  These tabs make it pretty clear what content is available in the community; its not just about posting and responding to comments.  You understand that you will be able to get help with ideas, execution, and knowledge.

Topliners navigation

Topliners navigation

This community is not just about how to use Eloqua, either.  For example, on the main page you can see how to get started with the community by asking marketing strategy questions, which jumps you into the Imagine It section.  If you are not sure about what rookie mistakes to avoid, someone started a topic on that.  If you want help with figuring out the best way to score leads, there are many people who have responded to that topic.  These are not necessarily Eloqua topics, but marketing topics in general.

Of course, this is an Eloqua community, so there are plenty of how-to’s specific to Eloqua, including videos, code samples, etc.  Eloqua recently moved their app store to Topliners to provide a more seamless experience.  So while you are looking for advice and viewing help videos, why not explore the app store to see what else is available for Eloqua?  And Oracle wants to sell you more Eloqua, so there are bits of marketing there too, but not too much.

If you are looking at building a community for your product, your services, and your business, take a look at Topliners and learn from their example.  I suspect that Topliners is helping Eloqua expand and gain customers.


Partnering with social business and portal leader, Liferay

Organizations are beginning to realize the true cost of losses in productivity and efficiency due to gaps in collaboration and communication. As a result, portals, collaboration tools and social business enablers are taking center stage in enterprise technology. Intranets are connecting employees, giving them easy access to documents and information, and enabling them to collaborate virtually and more easily on content development and information sharing.

Our portals experts have been busier than ever in recent years, but they’re about to get even busier putting together collaboration and portal solutions for clients across the country.

We are pleased to announce that Perficient has executed a partnership agreement with Liferay to become a Liferay Authorized Gold Service Partner.

“Portals, collaboration tools and social business enablers are taking center stage in enterprise technology.”

Liferay Portal was created in 2000 and is a leader in open source portal development. Liferay intranets have become very popular for their social business features, including blogs that can be commented on, search engine friendly platform, forums, tag clouds, comment threads and much more. Liferay is also known for its workflow features that are organized around teams and workgroups.

Their scalable and flexible enterprise solutions are unrivaled in the industry and will be a great benefit to Perficient clients in industries as diverse as transportation, technology and healthcare.

Liferay has a strong community with roughly 4 million downloads and 350,000-500,000 worldwide deployments. This track-record with real world performance with marquee clients will translate well to Perficient clients across many different industries.

Whether you are looking for self-service portals, knowledge sharing workspaces, dynamic web 2.0 websites or revenue-generating social networks, Liferay has the business solution.

Liferay was named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals, and it looks like Liferay made a nice run for leader position. We are looking forward to a strong partnership that will experience rapid growth moving forward.

For more information on Liferay’s offerings, click here.

Check out some of our blog posts about Liferay over the past year: