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July 27, 2017
amazon-whole-foods
Amazon's plan to buy Whole Foods Market has raised many new questions. If the company is successful in making the acquisition, and then successful in operating the business, it could transform the entire grocery industry. If we pull the camera back, we can see how success on the grocery side could foreshadow Amazon's success in many other parts of the retail environment. [More...]

July 27, 2017
sales-training
There are three key moments when salespeople can maximize the value in a customer relationship instead of allowing it to leak out, according to Corporate Visions, which announced a new sales skills program on Thursday. Those three turning points occur during deal negotiations, when securing customer renewals, and introducing strategic price increases, the company said. [More...]

July 26, 2017
facebook-news-instant-articles-paywall
Facebook last week confirmed its plan to launch a paywall for content providers, a move that could ease longstanding tensions with traditional publishers who objected to giving away their print stories for free. Campbell Brown, former CNN and NBC News journalist and current head of Facebook's news partnerships unit, announced the plan at a New York digital media forum. [More...]

July 26, 2017
Sage's Tuesday announcement of its agreement to buy Intacct prompts a multilayered look at the evolution of the cloud ERP space. Both companies are partners with Salesforce and have products based on the Salesforce platform. Each is a member of the AppExchange, and both are situated in the broad cloud ERP space, which has been receiving a lot of attention lately as the market seems to be moving en masse, albeit glacially, to the cloud. [More...]

July 25, 2017
ftc
The FTC reportedly is looking into Amazon's discount pricing practices in response to a complaint filed by Consumer Watchdog over the company's pending $14 billion purchase of the Whole Foods grocery chain. "Asking informal questions about issues potentially related to a corporate acquisition is a natural part of the FTC review process," observed Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. [More...]

July 25, 2017
Zoho has launched Zoho One, an all-in-one business suite comprised of more than 35 integrated Web applications and an equal number of mobile apps. The suite offers single sign-on with centralized administration and provisioning. Each user has one secure account and access to the entire suite. An admin panel enables and controls access, which simplifies provisioning, access and audit. [More...]

July 24, 2017
cybersecurity-government
Federal agencies already under the gun to modernize their information technology capabilities have a new set of standards to meet as a result of an executive order President Donald Trump issued this spring. The directive not only will affect agency managers in their IT operations and acquisition activities, but also will have a significant effect on IT vendors. [More...]

July 24, 2017
elon-musk
It's hard to believe that the founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX could have such reactionary views about AI. Elon Musk last weekend had some very un-Musk-like things to say about AI when he addressed the U.S. National Governors Association meeting in Providence, Rhode Island. "AI is a fundamental existential risk for human civilization, and I don't think people fully appreciate that," Musk said. [More...]

July 21, 2017
v2v-transportation-iot
You're probably tired of reading that the Internet of Things is the hottest thing going, and that IoT is a boon to technology and, simultaneously, a potential disaster for security and privacy. However, over the past few years, another IoT-related technology has been growing: vehicle to vehicle. V2V is a way for automobiles to communicate directly with other vehicles on the road. [More...]

July 21, 2017
marketing-spend
Retailers have been focusing on technologies to measure and assess customer response, and have been using the data they produce to drive e-commerce decisions, suggests a study of 136 enterprise retailers. Enterprise retailers with at least $500 million in annual revenues participated in the study, which was a joint effort of Adam Software, an Aprimo company; WBR Digital; and ChannelAdvisor. [More...]

July 20, 2017
b2b-marketing-advertising
Facebook on Wednesday launched "Discover Growth," a global ad campaign targeting B2B marketers. The 30-day U.S. ad campaign, which will target direct-response marketers as well as traditional brands, will run both on and off the Facebook platform. The on-platform campaign reportedly will consist of one ad per day on Facebook, Instagram and the Facebook Audience Network. [More...]

July 20, 2017
customer-service
Customers want fast service or support from knowledgeable people where, when and how they prefer to receive it, based on results of a study the CMO Council published Tuesday. Together with SAP Hybris, the CMO Council last year conducted an online survey of 2,000 respondents, equally divided between men and women. Fifty percent were in the U.S., and 25 percent each resided in Canada and Europe. [More...]

July 19, 2017
government-information-technology
The American Technology Council, which President Donald Trump established this spring by executive order, has four years to rebuild the federal government's information technology structure. A massive reboot of both hardware and software will be necessary to bring government computers up to modern standards. The effort will force many government agencies to shift years of floppy disk and other outdated storage technologies to the cloud. [More...]

July 19, 2017
customer-self-service
People concerned about automation killing jobs might look at Helpshift's strategy and similar automation approaches. By enabling businesses to build help or support into mobile apps, these new models are re-inventing support to get the job done. Sure, they provide automated support in lieu of conventional agents, but they do so at a level where it often can be uneconomic to position live agents. [More...]

July 18, 2017
net-neutrality
The Internet Association, which represents 40 leading technology companies -- including Facebook, Google, Amazon and others -- on Monday filed comments with the FCC, urging it to maintain Net neutrality regulations enacted during the Obama administration. The rules have created a level playing field that has helped fuel innovation in the broadband Internet space, according to IA. [More...]

July 17, 2017
customer-data-cloud
Verizon, the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., has confirmed that data belonging to about six million of its wireless customers was exposed after the information mistakenly was allowed to remain unprotected on an Amazon cloud server. The disclosure follows reports that an engineer at Nice Systems allowed the data of 14 million Verizon customers to reside on an Amazon Web Services S3 bucket. [More...]

July 17, 2017
artificial-intelligence-customer-service
DoNotPay, an AI-based chatbot app created to help fight parking tickets in the UK, now addresses roughly 1,000 consumer concerns and is available throughout the U.S. as well as across the pond. The app's creator, Stanford student Joshua Browder, announced the expansion last week. Powered by IBM Watson, DoNotPay has about 1,000 bots capable of tackling a variety of legal and service issues. [More...]

July 14, 2017
amazon-echo-dot
Amazon has hailed its third-annual Prime Day promotion as its single biggest global shopping event ever. Held earlier this week, it garnered an estimated $1 billion in sales, surpassing year-ago sales by 60 percent and beating the company's prior Black Friday and Cyber Monday records. More members joined Prime on this year's Prime Day than on any other single day in the company's history. [More...]

July 14, 2017
electronic-payments
As many as 80 percent of U.S. residents support frictionless payment methods and technologies, suggests a survey of 1,000 consumers Viewpost published this week. Among its other findings: Nearly 51 percent of survey participants were paid electronically through direct deposit, and 83 percent of respondents believed paper checks would be eliminated completely within the next 20 years. [More...]

July 13, 2017
Amazon Echo Show Alexa
Amazon recently launched its Echo Show, which brings a visual screen to its smart speaker device. I wonder whether we're ready to start living in what seems like a futuristic Star Trek world. The Echo Show experience is sort of like having a laptop sitting on your table -- one that uses AI, allows you to speak to it, speaks back to you, and shows you relevant things on its screen. [More...]

July 12, 2017
content-marketing
There are three key stages of implementing a content-based lead generation strategy -- content development, targeting and prospect nurturing -- that marketers should take into account. However, they often focus on one stage more than the others, missing out on opportunities for optimization. That is one of the findings of a new study from NetLine, a B2B content syndication lead generation network. [More...]

July 12, 2017
personalized-customer-self-service
"When you provide service, it can be either completely general, or contextual -- which means it's different for different demographics," said Nanorep CTO Amit Ben. "Personalized service means that you get to the most fine-grained resolution possible. It's self-service that can be catered and adjusted dynamically to each person experiencing that service." [More...]

July 12, 2017
microsoft-satya-nadella-inspire-2017-partner-conference
Microsoft has announced several new offerings aimed at strengthening its position in the cloud marketplace, including Microsoft 365 Enterprise and 365 Business, at its Inspire partner conference in Washington, D.C. Microsoft 365 Enterprise is designed to empower employees of large organizations to be creative and work together securely. Microsoft 365 Business targets SMBs with up to 300 employees. [More...]

July 11, 2017
cyberattack
Recent ransomware threats have escalated into a global crisis, and cybersecurity experts and government authorities have redoubled their investigative efforts. Of grave concern is the possibility that the recent Petya attack had more sinister motives than typical ransomware operations, and that state actors were involved behind the scenes. The Petya attack actually used ransomware as a cover. [More...]

July 11, 2017
Salesforce had a strong showing at its TrailheaDX developer conference, roughly quadrupling last year's attendance and flooding its developers with new technology. Over the last few years, the company has built out a multidimensional matrix of product offerings that include CRM components like SFA and customer service, but it has been careful to introduce back-end technology products as well. [More...]

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How do you feel about shopping for your next new phone?
I can't wait for the new iPhone.
I'm eagerly awaiting the Galaxy Note 8.
I enjoy shopping for a great bargain, not necessarily a new model.
I dislike the phone shopping experience -- it's too confusing.
Phones have become boring -- I wish I could get excited.
Switching phones is monumentally inconvenient and annoying.