Turning a Product or Service into a Solution: the Value Add of a Reseller

There is quite a bit of chatter on the web and among IT resellers about how opportunities to serve business customers are diminishing, yet business adoption of cloud computing, managed services, and mobile technologies is growing tremendously. It seems that use of technology is increasing, but the opportunity for “traditional” IT resellers and channel partners to make money by selling IT-related products and services is diminishing. This is not new, and is simply a finer form of the problem that has been revealing itself for years. In order to provide value, suppliers must provide businesses with solutions to business problems rather than just trying to sell them products and services with a hefty profit margin.

Discovering Julia

Super Bowl weekend was especially dreary in Chicagoland, the victim of a polar vortex winter for the ages. Between the Friday night/Saturday morning snowfall and the bitter cold that followed, my wife and I were pretty much confined to our suburban home for two days, canceling plans with friends in the city. But I resolved while snow-blowing that I wouldn’t let the elements win, that I’d at least have a productive, if unexciting, weekend. And so it was I decided to watch sports on TV throughout– college basketball all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon, climaxing in the Super Bowl Sunday evening – at the same time starting to learn some new analytics software on my computer.

Security and Users: Change is the Only Constant

Managing user accounts and access to business IT assets is challenging, particularly as cloud and social computing models introduce new wrinkles in security and identity management. Information has become “mobile” along with the users accessing it, yet management of user behavior is even more complicated that trying to manage a digital resource.

If you look at the history of security breaches, you’ll find that many of them started with a user making a mistake – like losing a laptop or clicking on a phishing email, downloading bad software, or forgetting to report an employee termination to the IT dept – something which inadvertently created a vulnerability that could be exploited. It’s tough to stop breaches because there are so many possible ways for them to happen.

ERP Implementation Success Factors – Takeaways from Clash of the Titans

How long should ERP implementations take? How much do they cost? How long does it take to recoup these costs? How long does it take to realize the benefits of the new system? These are the magic questions asked by thousands of companies around the globe.

With so much money at stake — after all, some ERP implementations can cost millions of dollars — the timing of such a technology project is critical.

The answer, as you might expect, is that it depends on many different factors.

PNC Goes Digital First in Marketing to the Tech Savvy

PNC is going after tech-savvy customers with a digital-first money management marketing campaign called #BeTheBoss. The campaign turns traditional brand approaches to marketing on its ear, said Tom Kunz, senior vice president of digital at PNC.

The campaign starts with learning about customers and prospects. The bank has an audience management platform on its Web site that tracks non-personally identifiable information about visitors and develops segments. It adds in data about online shopping habits from various sources and combines it with financial information like investments and credit information and creates a demand management capability.

The bank then goes to online sites, publishers it calls them, and it can articulate what messages it plans to deliver to specific segments. Then it uses response data to see how the campaigns impact business.

What Benefits Do CFOs Gain From Best-In-Class BI Tools?

To survive in today’s fast-changing business landscape, companies must develop exceptional skills in financial planning for the future. But constant economic uncertainty is making accurate forecasting more difficult than ever. Fortunately, planning, budgeting and forecasting can be successful with the right business intelligence (BI) tools. Powerful BI tools can decentralize the organization, optimize workflows and…

Big Data And Mobile Tech To Solve Public Problems Globally

Public agencies, NGOs and non-profit IT organizations are exploring ways to use technology for something other than getting consumers to buy more stuff.

Big data and innovative uses of mobile technology are hot items in the international public sector, according to a story in today’s FT.

The UN’s Global Pulse is using a network of innovation labs to see how data tracking human behavior might improve responses to poverty, disease and humanitarian crises. Sarah Murray who wrote the article, said a trawl of online job sites at the UN and other agencies brings up a lot of openings for information officers, data warehouse experts and data analysts.