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Posts Tagged ‘Cloud Computing’

Video from Wharton San Diego Panel Discussion on Analytics

December 11, 2011 Comments off

Wanted to finally post the video from a panel discussion I hosted a few months back onto my site.  Great discussion and stellar panelists.  I will update this post on my key takeaways, as well as create a short form of the talk with highlights, but for now, here is the full-length, unproduced video.

It’s been a while since I have had time to do much on the blog- have been spending the last few months ramping up new clients and also working on a new initiative that I will be launching next year.   Stay tuned, there is more interesting and exciting stuff on the way…

Questions for Panelists at Tonight’s Forum on Data Mining and Predictive Analytics?

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

This evening, I will be moderating a panel on data mining and predictive analytics.  In preparation for this I have doing a bit of research and wanted to share a few observations that will anchor the agenda for the talk.

We are inundated with data.  It is driven the rapid changes in how we interact, communicate and function in a world that increasingly connected (both people and things) with the Internet.  The amount of data being collected is growing at an explosive rate. In 2010, data collected was equivalent to the cumulative of data generated in the previous 5000 years.  And the size of this data store is doubling every 2 years.

Consider the following:

  • Facebook has at least 30Petabytes of Data, 30B pieces of content shared/month
  • YouTube users upload 35 hours of video every minute
  • Twitter delivered 25B tweets in 2010
  • Zynga generates15 Terabytes of data every day

None of these companies mentioned above existed 7 years ago.

So we have companies that have far more data than ever before.  How does this create a new paradigm?  What are the ways in which commerce will be transformed?  We’ve had companies exploiting large data sets with tools and techniques that have been around for decades- so what’s different now?   Are we just dealing with more noise?

These are the topics that I hope we will gain some insight on in tonight’s discussion.

To get the discussion started tomorrow, I am highlighting three changes that I see.

#1) Data Availability-Exponential growth in data is available to everyone- companies and individuals alike. Whereas massive data sets were once the domain of well capitalized companies, now even startups and individuals can use them to find value.

#2) Tools-Data storage and processing infrastructure and tools are becoming increasingly powerful at fractions of the cost.  Open source software, collaboration platforms, cloud infrastructure provide mechanisms for not only collecting and storing the data, but also processing it at scale.

#3) Investment-Markets are rewarding companies on the promise that they will find value in the massive data sets that they create.  Have you checked out the valuation of Facebook, Twitter, or Zynga lately?  To be sure, these companies are achieving astonishing growth rates, but investors are placing their bets on new ways of monetizing the data streams that these and other companies collect and control.

I would be very interested in getting my readers’ ideas on what to ask our panelists.  I will try and incorporate suggestions into the flow of the discussion.  For those of you who will not be able to make the session I will be blogging on the key takeaways and insights in the days ahead.

Looking forward to seeing many of you this evening.

Publish or Perish- The New Paradigm for B2B Marketing? (Part 1 of 2)

May 21, 2011 2 comments

I caught up with a long time friend and CMO, Dario Priolo a few weeks back and got to discussing best practices with him on B2B sales/marketing for software.  He markets web-based learning and training solutions, and I think is really on top of innovation and cutting edge trends in this area so I value his opinion and approach to leveraging social media in the B2B space (check out his blog here).

While we talked about several themes, one of the most important ones that we kept coming back to was getting the organizations we work with to think like publishers.

Now if you are in the business of selling enterprise software or solutions, you may ask yourself, “what does publishing have to do with my business?”  The conclusion that Dario and I kept coming back to in our conversation- Everything.

Consider the following:

Prospects are educating themselves. 90+% of decision makers have done some sort of web research on existing solutions before they talk to anyone at a vendor.  Decision makers are armed with the information that you provide and with materials that are being created by your competitors.

Awareness marketing is the norm.  Given the self directed nature of the modern day buying process, it is imperative that the people looking for the solutions that you offer can not only find you with minimal effort, but also find information that is useful to them.  To do this, you must create relevant and timely content that is useful to a broad range of constituents.  In sum, you are creating for a variety of audiences and needs.

Product knowledge is now easier than ever to share.  The proliferation of social media tools and their integration with how we regularly communicate with one another means that your content will reach more people in the purchasing process.  Your information isn’t static and doesn’t remain in the hands of the one person that found you on the web.  How you present your product/service moves and makes its way to other stakeholders in the purchasing process that you cannot control.  Further, the opinions of your prospects and users are now a part of the dialogue.

SaaS changes everything.  In on-demand models, product knowledge is increasingly driven by trial.  Long term profitability is driven by retention.  The role of the content that you produce and manage extends far beyond getting a foot in the door.  It is a meaningful part of maintaining an ongoing relationship with trial and paying customers.

It is critical to think carefully about who your audience is, what content you produce, how you distribute it and how to ensure that these consumers of your information continue to pay for this content with their time.  In sum, B2B marketers of software and technology need to think like publishers. Sounds basic I know, but most of the B2B companies I see out there don’t do this very well.  Does yours?

Erasing the Stigma of Enterprise Software

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment

I read an interesting article last night (thanks to @JHaughwout) reporting that Andreessen Horowitz (Silicon Valley VC) is bulking up its capabilities in enterprise computing and solutions.  There were a couple of great points made in the piece:

1) many VCs have shied away from investments in enterprise solutions because

  • Sales cycles are long
  • IT purchasers are a difficult sell (are a pain)
  • The companies they fund compete with industry stalwarts such as IBM

2) there is a great divide between the quality and usability of B2C software and that of B2B solutions

Why is the elegance we find in consumer applications so blatantly missing on the enterprise side?  As the author of the article points out, our experience at home increasingly raises the bar for those who want to play in the enterprise side.  People will demand solutions at work that are as functional as those they use at home.  Companies who get this will not only be highly differentiated, but  will be able to bring a new set of evangelists and advocates for their solutions.

We believe that this “consumerization” of the enterprise space is a very important trend.  It is driven by the proliferation of Saas models, infrastructure on demand, outsourcing and increasingly efficient marketing and distribution methods.  Its why you will see more content from us on successful tactics used in B2C social media and how these can be applied to the B2B/enterprise world.

Through my experience with small enterprise software companies I have lived through the painful truth of the points above, but currents in the competitive structure of the enterprise software space that suggest that they may not be the status quo for long.

Link to the article:

http://read.bi/eyjCM8

SMBs Just Starting to Leverage the Power of the Cloud

January 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Adoption of cloud-based apps by SMB still in early stages. http://bit.ly/gm6R6w

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