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ECommerceTimes.com
February 23, 2018
One fundamental element of building a brand relationship with customers is consistency. Widely franchised companies like Starbucks compromise consistency, however. They employ several different business models instead of sticking to one. This approach confuses customers and hurts the master brand, since customers never really know what to expect. Because Starbucks uses different business models, depending on store locations, certain customers have become distrustful of the brand, which ultimately hurts the company. [More...]

February 23, 2018
net-neutrality
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday officially published its Net neutrality rollback order in the Federal Register, triggering a flurry of legal actions and Capitol Hill scrambling to stop it before it takes hold. The order, which goes into effect on April 23, reverses an Obama era rule requiring that broadband access be regarded as a utility. [More...]

February 22, 2018
artificial-intelligence
As beneficial as AI can be, it has its dark side, too. That dark side is the focus of a new 100-page report. AI will be used by threat actors to expand the scale and efficiency of their attacks, it predicts. They will employ it to compromise physical systems and to broaden their privacy invasion and social manipulation capabilities. Novel attacks are to be expected. [More...]

February 22, 2018
customer-loyalty
Disruptive innovations expose longstanding needs and signal that there's a solution at hand -- one that usually is less expensive than the status quo. The lower-cost aspect makes adoption inevitable and disruptive. Document management is like that. Decades ago, many enterprises found that the cost of capturing documents as electronic images vastly improved on costly file cabinet systems. [More...]

February 21, 2018
Google has launched its long-anticipated Google Pay app, which combines the features of the former Android Pay and Google Wallet into one platform, with new benefits designed to accelerate mobile payment use and retailer participation. The change, first announced last month, represents a bid to expand the use of Google's growing ecosystem to take on both Apple and Amazon in the e-commerce space. [More...]

February 21, 2018
customer-experience
Broken corporate processes have been contributing to negative customer experiences, a recent survey suggests. One thousand employees in U.S. companies with a workforce of 500 or more who work on a computer or mobile device for more than five hours a day responded to the online survey conducted by Nintex. Overall, 54 percent observed broken administrative processes within their organization. [More...]

February 20, 2018
government-telecom-contracts
The U.S. government has modernized telecom and supporting IT twice within the last 20 years -- but not without controversy, delays and costly project management. A third modernization currently is under way, under the direction of the federal GSA. The potential value of contracts issued to vendors under the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions program is $50 billion over 15 years. [More...]

February 20, 2018
customer-experience
Automation. Robots. Technology taking our jobs. I defy you to pick up a business magazine and avoid this topic -- it will be in there somewhere. Here's another theme you won't be able to avoid: the need to focus on the customer experience. These two trends are in tension much of the time. They don't have to be, but most businesses seem determined to focus on themselves instead of the customer. [More...]

February 16, 2018
e-commerce-website-security
Some small e-commerce website operators may think their relative obscurity offers protection, but the fact is that SMBs are especially vulnerable to cyberattacks and malware. "Very often small businesses don't feel vulnerable to cyberthreats because they assume cybercriminals prefer to launch attacks on large companies," said Stephanie Weagle, VP of Corero. [More...]

February 15, 2018
Google's Chrome Web browser has begun blocking some of the Net's most annoying types of ads. Chrome's built-in ad filter blocks ads based on standards devised by the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group whose membership roster includes Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and The Washington Post. The group aims to improve consumer experiences with advertising. [More...]

February 15, 2018
Nimble has released Nimble Mobile CRM 3.0, its contact and pipeline manager for mobile sales teams and professionals. Nimble Mobile CRM 3.0 unifies contacts from mobile, cloud-based and desktop records into one comprehensive relationship manager that surfaces the histories of conversations and provides social context. It is available for iOS now. An Android version will be released this spring. [More...]

February 14, 2018
platform-as-a-service
Oracle has demonstrated artificial intelligence and machine learning advances in the Oracle Cloud Platform at Oracle CloudWorld in New York. Autonomous capabilities for application development, mobile and bots, integration, analytics, security and system management are scheduled for availability in the first half of this year. Oracle announced a slew of new PaaS features and capabilities. [More...]

February 14, 2018
crm-trends
It's uncertain how the CRM market will look in six months, given the stock market, the economy and the tax bill. Initial indications are that more money will be available for various corporate activities, like hiring and rewarding employees and investments in products and business processes. If so, a decent amount of cash might find its way into various CRM company coffers. [More...]

February 14, 2018
blockchain-decentralized-id-microsoft-authenticator
Microsoft has announced a plan to use blockchain technology to develop decentralized identities, or DIDs. Microsoft formally joined the ID2020 Alliance last month as a founding member. The Alliance aims to develop a blockchain-based identity system for vulnerable populations -- one that can operate across various blockchains, cloud providers, government agencies and other organizations. [More...]

February 13, 2018
amazon-shipping
Amazon has been plotting its next big move to control its logistics chain, with a new service called "Shipping with Amazon" in the works and reportedly scheduled to launch within weeks. It initially will pick up goods from third-party sellers that already work with Amazon and deliver them to customers. The service eventually will expand to merchants that currently do not work with Amazon. [More...]

February 12, 2018
supply-chain-management-cloud
As Amazon sets consumer expectations for rapid delivery to the home, companies in nearly every industry have been recognizing that they must move to the cloud to keep pace. This means revamping their transportation and logistics systems to meet their customers' escalating delivery expectations. These rising demands have been fueling the growth of a new generation of cloud-based, SaaS solutions. [More...]

February 9, 2018
amazon-whole-foods-market-prime-deliveries
Amazon has begun offering same-day delivery of grocery items from Whole Foods Market to Prime members in four select markets. For a minimum order of $35, Prime members get free two-hour delivery between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. One-hour delivery is available for a $7.99 fee. Among the items customers can order for delivery are fresh produce, meat and seafood; flowers; and some alcoholic beverages. [More...]

February 8, 2018
customer-experience
Companies are run by people. Some do a great job of putting the customer first and growing, which ultimately rewards investors. Others don't. Some first focus on investors and numbers, simply not caring about or taking care of the customer. That approach can have a serious and long-term negative impact on the company. Following are several examples of what some companies are doing right and wrong. [More...]

February 7, 2018
cryptocurrency
Federal securities regulators and Senate Banking Committee members on Tuesday signaled that additional regulation may be necessary in the rapidly growing area of virtual currency. "The cryptocurrency and ICO markets, while new, have grown rapidly, gained greater prominence in the public conscience and attracted significant capital from retail investors," said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. [More...]

February 7, 2018
cloud-call-center
"We're seeing a digital transformation take place, where companies are moving their contact centers to the cloud," noted Dan Burkland, president of Five9. "There are two key criteria for a contact center -- there's the CRM and the contact center infrastructure, and those two really go hand-in-hand. You bring a call, chat, text or email into the center, and you have to look for an agent who's available and properly skilled to handle such an interaction." [More...]

February 6, 2018
supreme-court-online-sales-tax
The United States Supreme Court recently decided to revisit Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, which basically allowed states to collect taxes on online sales only from sellers that had a physical presence within their boundaries. Brick-and-mortar retailers for years have argued that the ruling puts them at a competitive disadvantage. At least 35 states have been urging a reconsideration of Quill. [More...]

February 5, 2018
blog
Blogging might seem a difficult task to many e-commerce retailers, but the effort you put into it likely will pay off. With some forethought and commitment, blogging can become part of your overall strategy for e-commerce success. If you're still on the fence, here are three reasons to consider getting started with a blog. First, it will improve your SEO. [More...]

February 5, 2018
document-management
The IT industry has been playing whack-a-mole since its inception. We've been applying sophisticated technology to our biggest business problems not once but repeatedly, as each new generation of technology offers and delivers order-of-magnitude improvements to our business processes. In some cases, we're on our fourth or fifth iteration of solutions. [More...]

February 2, 2018
podcasts
User engagement with podcasts has been steadily increasing, and many listeners actually prefer longer-format content, based on results of Apple's Podcast Analytics reported this week. The service, which Apple launched late last year, gives podcasters a way to track performance metrics including number of listeners, total time listened and time per device. [More...]

February 2, 2018
SAP has agreed to acquire Callidus Software for about $2.4 billion to improve back-office to front-office links. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 2018, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. SAP will get Callidus Software's CallidusCloud, which offers a full suite of sales performance management and configure-price-quote solutions. [More...]

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What do you think about Google's addition of an 'annoying ad' blocker to Chrome?
It's terrific -- I don't want people making money from harassing me.
It's not enough -- all ads are annoying.
It's dangerous industry dominance -- Google is already too powerful.
It's irrelevant to me -- I already use an ad blocker.
I'd rather put up with ads than pay for online content.
I don't use Chrome, but I'd like to see this in my browser.