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Monday - September 25, 2017
When Salesforce unveiled sales forecasting with its artificial intelligence tool, Einstein, my immediate reaction was that it should have tried something easier -- like solving global warming. Really, a sales forecast that bears some resemblance to reality has been a grail quest for all of us for many years, and Salesforce is not the first software company to throw its hat in the ring. [More...]

Thursday - September 21, 2017
Social sales and marketing software provider Nimble and cloud services consultant NeoCloud have partnered to deliver a simple, affordable contact management and CRM package for Microsoft Office 365. NeoCloud has agreed to bundle Nimble CRM into all of its Office 365 deployments, beginning this month. Nimble CRM adds employees' individual connections to a shared team relationship manager. [More...]

Wednesday - September 20, 2017
oracle-cloud-computing
Oracle showed some very good numbers in its latest earnings report. As it begins its second year of aggressive cloud promotion, the company overall is showing significant year-over-year improvements, thanks to its turn to cloud infrastructure, applications and platforms. Yet when read right, the numbers announce the end of the beginning of the end as much as they announce the end of the beginning. [More...]

Tuesday - September 19, 2017
Insite Software has introduced the first fully configurable white label mobile app built for leading manufacturers and distributors, it said. The app supports everyone involved in the B2B e-commerce experience, from customers to channel partners, to field sales and support teams. Companies purchasing the app can tailor its functions to specific roles and responsibilities. [More...]

Monday - September 18, 2017
account-based-marketing
InsideView has released a new tool for business-to-business companies that have implemented account-based marketing. It is a fully redesigned version of InsideView Target, with the addition of ABM workflows and other enhancements. "Companies who want to [succeed] with ABM need to start with the right set of target accounts and people," said Joe Andrews, VP of product and solution marketing. [More...]

Friday - September 15, 2017
b2b-marketing-automation
Four Quadrant this week released its Marketing Automation Buyer's Checklist for companies seeking to purchase a B2B marketing automation platform, or MAP. The checklist has eight major categories for evaluation and more than 35 subcategories. It lists more than 100 questions buyers should ask to make an informed assessment of MAP vendors' offerings. [More...]

Friday - September 15, 2017
salesforce-einstein
Salesforce earlier this year introduced its Einstein Vision capability, an idea with a lot of promise but not a great deal of precedent. Who had applications that could see, and how would this be used? For decades, we've been content with scanning documents and analyzing them with OCR tools, or we've used bar codes and QR codes -- but it all came down to recognizing simple symbols. [More...]

Wednesday - September 13, 2017
Nimble has partnered with CircleBack, which offers an AI-powered contact capture and cleaning tool that updates contacts and scans business cards automatically. The CircleBack tool captures email signatures in Gmail and G Suite in real time, automatically adding new contacts to a user's list. The tool photographs or scans business cards and adds the information to contact lists as well. [More...]

Monday - September 11, 2017
oracle
Oracle will announce its Q1 revenue and profit numbers after market close on Wednesday. There's more than a little excitement about what might be revealed, specifically if the company can continue its rise, thanks to its cloud products. The anticipated answer is yes, but there's potential for a surprise. The company so far has been posting great numbers for its cloud products. [More...]

Wednesday - September 6, 2017
cpq
Many businesses still don't use configure, price, quote software in their routine sales processes. Maybe they don't need it, but for businesses that still cling to spreadsheet-based approaches to track things like price lists and product catalogs, chances are good that they're dealing with more overhead than they need to. Worse, they're wasting time and therefore money. [More...]

Tuesday - September 5, 2017
software-as-a-service-market
The enterprise SaaS market grew 31 percent year over year, totaling almost $15 billion in revenue in Q2 2017, according to Synergy Research. Collaboration was the highest growth segment. Microsoft is the clear leader in overall enterprise SaaS revenues, having overtaken Salesforce a year ago. Microsoft's acquisition last year of LinkedIn gave its SaaS operations a significant boost. [More...]

Thursday - August 31, 2017
retail-customer-experience
Brick-and-mortar retailers have been finding it difficult to offer pricing that's competitive with e-commerce sites, which have the advantage of massive scope and scale, according to a report Frost & Sullivan's Stratecast service released Wednesday. E-commerce will account for nearly 18 percent of the total retail market by 2025, the report projects. [More...]

Wednesday - August 30, 2017
omnichannel
Omnichannel support and communications are becoming essential for brands, as consumers' increasing use of mobile devices to make purchases and access content fuels their demand to be able to connect with companies when and how they want. However, brands lack the necessary expertise and infrastructure, and are turning to mobile network operators, or MNOs, to acquire omnichannel capabilities. [More...]

INSIGHTS
Ten Billion
Tuesday - August 29, 2017
Salesforce announced the partial attainment of one of its long-range goals in its Q2 earnings announcement last week: It eclipsed its goal of a $10 billion run rate. This will be followed by similar announcements over the next year -- first $10 billion year, etc. -- and why not? The company should celebrate. Second quarter revenue hit $2.56 billion, a 26 percent increase year over year. [More...]

Saturday - August 26, 2017
robot-customer-service
The customer service robot market will be worth $88 million by 2022, according to Tractica. Annual shipments are expected to increase from 2,730 units in 2016 to nearly 4,800 in 2022. The robots will be both humanoid and non-humanoid. However, telepresence robots, chatbots, and stationary customer interactive systems that don't have moving parts are not included in the count. [More...]

Thursday - August 24, 2017
channel-data-management
"Channel data management is about providing high-tech companies with all the data and information they need to effectively manage their distribution channels, sales and marketing," said Zyme CCO Ted Dimbero. "Traditionally, companies have relied on managing the channel fairly blindly. They may get monthly data, but a lot of the data is incomplete or too late to make important decisions." [More...]

Wednesday - August 23, 2017
customer-service-mobile-app
Consumers want mobile apps with good in-app customer support, suggest results of a recent survey. Radius Global Market Research conducted the online poll of adults in the United States this spring. Among the survey's findings: Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they would recommend an app if a customer support agent proactively contacted them while they were experiencing problems. [More...]

Monday - August 21, 2017
marketing-automation
B2B marketing automation has a long way to go, suggest the results of a recent survey of more than 350 marketing professionals in the United States and Europe. Act-On Software commissioned Econsultancy to conduct the research for its State of B2B Marketing report released last week. Only 51 percent of respondents said the CMO or equivalent took a keen interest in marketing automation. [More...]

Friday - August 18, 2017
As an industry, CRM continues to grow and shower benefits on its users. It's hard to imagine that some businesses still don't use some form of CRM, but recent data suggests there are still businesses buying their first CRM solutions or changing vendors. It's a compilation of data from all over, with some credible inputs from a number of sources, so it's worth taking a look. [More...]

Wednesday - August 16, 2017
omnichannel
The omnichannel approach has become a byword in customer service, but retailers need to do more to make it happen, based on a recent study. Researchers tested 57 metrics across desktop, mobile and in-store buying touchpoints to evaluate the end-to-end omnichannel experience at 30 popular and growing retailers. Here's the problem: E-commerce absolutely is killing brick-and-mortar stores. [More...]

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