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Entries in Cloud Computing (48)

Thursday
Feb142013

Print to Cloud

Xerox's ConnectKey:

Printers nowdays can scan, email, and fax documents. So why not extend those capabilities to allow users to print documents to the cloud. That's the pitch that was made by Xerox on Wednesday. 

By using ConnectKey and 16 differnt other software programs, users would be able to link their printers to their DropBox, Google Drive, and Evernote accounts; in so doing allowing them to "print" to the cloud. 

 

That's not all, In June, Xerox is said to release App Studio: which is basically the business version of ConnectKey; a set of ConnectKey apps that run on multifunction devices that can be linked to ERP and CRM enterprise systems. 

Monday
Dec312012

Oracle Acquires Eloqua 

Oracle Corp has agreed to buy Eloqua, makers of cloud-based marketing automation software, for about $810 million as it seeks to expand its cloud presence. This attempt by Oracle to stifle competition with Salesforce has sparked a series of acquisitions by companies like IBM Inc's acquisition of Kenexa and SAP AG's purchase of SuccessFactors. Also, Oracle, which came late to cloud computing, purchased RightNow Technologies for $1.5 billion last year. 

"The acquisition of Eloqua will add a leading market automation solution to Oracle's strong Salesforce automation products and the recently acquired RightNow call center automation solution,.." said Nomura Equity Research analysts."...We would expect Oracle to continue to make acquisitions in this space, to bolster its Fusion Applications suite and respond to competitive pressure in the applications market from SAP and Salesforce.com" Nomura said.

It's important to note that Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison mocked cloud computing in 2008 as "complete gibberish".  Knowing Mr. Ellison though, I think he was mocking what marketeers were deeming cloud computing. He is a pretty smart guy in my opinion...

Monday
Dec102012

2013 Predictions On The Data Industry 

It has become a tradition that at the end of each year, predictions of what will happen the following year. I've been thinking about this and would like to share my top 3 predictions in the world of data!

  • Cloud is the New Norm: we’ve all seen how Salesforce.com seems to do no wrong and has absolutely eradicated on-premise/legacy systems in a lot of organizations.  However, the focus has been all but on IT governance.  Because businesses want to leverage IT and don’t want it to slow them down, Cloud has effectively fulfilled their needs. However, a gap in the IT governance has yet to be filled by the Cloud. 2013 will be the year for Salesforce to do just that!
  • “Social Media” Disillusions: Companies have expressed great emphasis on social media given how powerful a tool it has become. However, many companies need to re-evaluate their strategies and learn how to leverage it effectively. Recently, IBM has reported that Twitter has contributed absolutely ZERO of the Black Friday traffic! This all suggests that “social” will be short-lived.
  • The CMO Takes Over the CIO: I realize this is merely a prediction, but there’s no doubt that recent debates have emerged about the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) spending more time and money on Information Technology than the CIO (Chief Information Officer). This should not come as a surprise, IT buyers this decade have become much more intelligent than ever before.

This concludes my predictions for 2013, feel free to share yours in the comments below!

Monday
Aug202012

Salesforce Gets a Giant Contract  

 It’s been reported that Salesforce got its biggest contract ever last week. The news comes after the cloud pioneer signed a deal with State Farm which was valued at $140 million. "The unprecedented cluster of multi-year mega-deals for Salesforce.com likely signifies a changing of the guard in the enterprise software industry, as the disproportionate winner of the Cloud War exerts even greater industry-wide dominance. Our survey of large-enterprise CIOs crowned Salesforce.com the #1 Cloud provider, and we believe CIOs are now voting with their wallets." – Mark murphy, analyst at Piper Jaffray. 

 

 

Thursday
Jun072012

Major Improvements to DupeCatcher 

You guys know how much I love Symphonic Source's free deduplication tool, DupeCatcher, so it should come as no surprise to learn that I'm really excited about the major imrpovements they've just rolled out! Read more about DupeCatcher's improvements below:

From SFGate.com -


DupeCatcher (real-time duplicate prevention application) just got even better. With latest improvements, DupeCatcher is now more robust.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) June 06, 2012

Symphonic Source Inc., a leading provider of powerful and affordable salesforce.com data management software, today unveiled some major improvements to DupeCatcher, the company's real-time salesforce.com data deduplication tool.

DupeCatcher has quickly become a favorite for salesforce.com administrators and consultants around the world to flag/block duplicate records at the point-of-entry. DupeCatcher is a preventative deduplication tool that compliments Symphonic Source's main salesforce.com deduplication product Cloudingo (scans/cleans out the entire database).

Symphonic Source tools and services are used by more than 7,600 salesforce.com administrators worldwide to get rid of duplicate records and keep them out of salesforce.com.. Even though DupeCatcher is free, it is still 100% supported by Symphonic Source. Our support team is one of the best in the industry and that shines through in the DupeCatcher user reviews.

The latest improvements to DupeCatcher are centered around optimization with respect to large record sets inside Salesforce. In addition, the DupeCatcher team has made enhancements to error handling and reporting. We continue to get such great feedback from our users that we continue make improvements.

DupeCatcher focuses on the preventative aspect of duplicate data. This is one of the of the most important aspects of any data quality management plan. Cloudingo then works in conjunction with DupeCatcher to actually analyze and clean out the "dirty data" that already exists in the system. This allows system administrators and or marketing managers to not only understand their data but plan and set goals for the future.

"So much of what we do here at Symphonic Source is focused on the best practices of data quality management. We've taken our years of experience and created software to automate the steps that facilitate success and growth within a data-driven culture. Our team has a passion for data and we believe that corporate data is an organizational asset. Our customers share that passion. Anything we can do to both protect and enrich data will help our customers see and plan for the road ahead."

-Lars Nielsen, CEO, Symphonic Source.

About Symphonic Source
Symphonic Source provides powerful and affordable salesforce.com data management software to customers worldwide -- from Fortune 500 enterprises to small businesses and non-profits. We work extremely hard to stay as close to our customers as possible. Our customers are direct participants in shaping the future of our development efforts. As a company, our focus has always been on creating easy-to-use products.

Cloudingo and DupeCatcher are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symphonic Source, Inc.. Salesforce and AppExchange are registered trademarks of salesforce.com, Inc.. All other company and product names mentioned are used only for identification purposes and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

 

 

Tuesday
Aug162011

Dreamforce Jitters

You know that feeling when you sit down in front of your computer to write an article or a blog post when it hits you that the words just aren't going to come? Sometimes I can attribute that feeling to restlessness, sometimes to a lack of concentration... but rarely in my adult life have I been able to say that I have writers block out of pure excitement!

Dreamforce 2011 is exactly 2 WEEKS AWAY!

I feel like I'm 8 years old, trying to stay awake on Christmas Eve. Every time I check out the Dreamforce site it seems like the stream of 'industry visionaries, new keynotes, and global thought leaders' on the front page is widening into a river. It's so great to see how many people are as excited as I am. My Twitter has been blowing up with #Dreamforce and #DF11 hashtags. Salesforce MVP Garry Polmateer even went out of his way to produce a How-to video on keeping your accessories charged during the conference. (below)



Anyway, in case any of you are having as much trouble as I am staying calm in the ramp up to Dreamforce 2011, I wanted to share with you all my top 3 activities for killing time.

1. Constantly checking the Dreamforce App and Website

2. Watching YouTube clips of Metallica and Will.I.Am

3. Checking and rechecking my travel itinerary

I hope all of you are as excited as I am! See you at Dreamforce!

Friday
Aug122011

Data Quality: Case in Point

The motivation for this blog post is a case in point example, so I'm going to go ahead and give you the story first and I think you will understand immediately why I'm so frustrated. For the purpose of this exercise, I'm leaving out all names and identifying traits of the people involved. I'm sure that most of you have experienced a similar situation, so feel free to chip in with comments.

I received an email two days ago from the sales director at my company. He went into detail about a conflict that came to his attention early in the week with two sales representatives, who I'm going to call Tom and Jerry. Tom made a phone call to a customer that he had made initial contact with two months ago and had entered into our Salesforce database. He was confused when the customer told him that he had just talked to a rep at our company named Jerry, and had actually decided to go ahead and buy one of our products.

At this point, Tom was both frustrated and irritated. He had embarrassed himself in front of a customer and lost out on his commission. He immediately went to the sales director with his complaint, who immediately emailed me. So I was left with a problem: how had Tom and Jerry both been assigned the same customer by the Salesforce system?

I found my answer fairly quickly. Every weekend, our Salesforce account does a mass import from our internal database containing all of our customer information. At some point, the customer in question had his phone number changed. When the system did it's weekly import, instead of recognizing that the number had changed, it went ahead and created a completely new account under the duplicate information with a different phone number. Tom was assigned 'Original Customer' and Jerry was assigned 'New Customer' and I ended up with a two-salesperson pileup.

I know that I've shared a lot of my thoughts on data quality with you before, but I don't think it can be emphasized enough. Without maintaining strict protocols for data import as well as entry, conflicts like this can arise fairly easily.

Thursday
Aug112011

Steps Toward Cleaner Databases

One of the most consistent problems I face in my work is getting members of our sales team to fully and accurately fill out the required fields on Salesforce.com. This lack of attention to detail has left entries into our database in a patchy condition at best. Some accounts are fully filled out, but nothing is a bigger bane on the efficiency of our sales team than a partially completely lead form.

However, by taking a two simple steps as a Salesforce Admin, you can start to really cut down on the amount of incomplete data that is entered into the system.

1. Be sure that you have set up all fields appropriately for the lead form. If you plan on transferring the information from the lead form over to the account page, be sure that the fields on both pages match up.

2. Next, set up validation rules. By creating efficient validation rules, you can make sure that the user enters in the required data before they are allowed to save the record or change the status of the lead.

Important things to consider: When you are creating the validation rules for the lead forms, think carefully about which fields you want to be required. For example, if the salesperson makes initial contact over the phone, it makes sense to require that the telephone number field is filled in. You have to be careful though, because validation rules prevent the user from saving the information without all of the required fields filled in. What information is it likely that the sales rep can acquire over the phone? What is unlikely?

Hope this helps! If you aren't already, Follow Me On Twitter!

Tuesday
Aug092011

#DF11 So close, yet so far

We are exactly 20 days away from Dreamforce 2011- or as it's being referred to all over Twitter, Salesforce Christmas. All anyone needs to do to stir up some personal excitement for the conference is visit Dreamforce.com. The lineup is incredible; Marc Benioff, Eric Schmidt, and many other CEO's and higher ups from notable companies. Metallica and Will.I.Am are also going to perform. Tons of folks are going to get certified for Salesforce, developers and admins will network, and unmeasurable amounts of learning will take place. All of this excitement is geared toward celebrating Salesforce and Cloud Computing.

I wish I could do it all. I look at the agenda, the speakers, the workshops, and the random activities and I literally wish I could be in a million places at once. Unfortunately, with around 40,000 people attending the conference, it's impossible to hit all of the events. However, I'm doing my best to be as organized as possible so I can maximize my Dreamforce '11 experience.

Here are four of the sessions I'm planning to attend:

  • Building Your Brand with Jenna Baze, Mike Gerholdt, and Nick Westergaard - 8/30 from 10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

 

  • 7 Habits of Highly Successful Admins with Mike Gerholdt, Thomas Martin, and Jeff Grosse - 8/30 from 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

 

  • Best Practices for Clean Data - 8/31 from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

 

  • Data Does Not Have to Be a Dirty Word - 8/31 from 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

 
I'm also really excited to have the opportunity to walk the Cloud Expo floor and check out all the new products that I'm sure will be debuting at the conference. My favorite part of the conference every year is seeing all of the new features, apps, and innovations all come together at once. I can't wait!