Archive for November 2008
TJ Caveney, VP of Marketing and Sales at OMS SafeHarbor invites you to join him on Tuesday December 9th at 2:00pm Eastern Time for a presentation entitled Customer Self-Service: Electronic Software Distribution -The Competitive Edge.This presentation looks at the rationale behind empowering your customers to act independently and at ESD as the way of promoting self-service. It looks at the differences between the B2C and B2B markets. The presentation looks at the overall benefits to both the customer and the software vendor.
Sign-up today for the webinar on our website: www.o-ms.com/event_registry.php.
Here is a preview:
This presentation highlights how establishing a customer self-service center can help boost your company’s competitive edge through better customer support and reduced product delivery and support costs.
It starts out defining the base functionality that a customer self-service center should have and how the customer can be empowered to act when and how they feel it necessary while having their needs better serviced. The flip side is the company downloading support costs, streamlining distribution and reducing service calls. Standardization and process automation help to reduce manual intervention making more efficient use of your resources while providing more service to your customer. This allows your company to react in real time using structured processes to respond to adhoc customer support.
The presentation outlines the goals (both stated and intended) and discusses how a phased approach can provide tactical wins (cost reduction, customer support and streamlining) while addressing strategic goals such as increased sales (cross-selling, upselling and maintenance service attachment opportunities), marketing and business intelligence (market research, product mix/bundling and active users/customer profiles) and internal productivity gains and reduced time-to-market.
Finally it looks briefly at some of the base data elements that need to be serviced by various internal business systems. It touches on the challenges of unifying customers, products, orders and support into an automated and integrated information collective.
DRM news from the EU
France and the European Commission have fought another round in their battle over how to deal with online piracy. This time, the Council on Education, Youth and Culture blocked a French effort to write ‘three strikes’ style penalties into its conclusions on distributing online content.
More information/commentatry related to our RSS question a few weeks ago.
RSS is more than aggregation — it’s the new personalization: “A recent press release concerning ArnoldIT‘s Google monitoring service piqued my interest. It turns out to be a nicely formatted aggregation page for Google blogs. The most recent five blog entries (or titles therefrom) are grouped together by category. Google has over 70 different blogs (for everything from Gears and Gadgets to OpenSocial and Chrome). Keeping up with them all is nearly impossible. Hence the ArnoldIT aggregation service, dubbed ‘Overflight.’
While handy in its own right, Overflight is not available as an RSS feed. It also doesn’t seem to be searchable. So I decided to see if I could mash together my own version of Overflight (tailored to my own research needs), using Yahoo Pipes, the visual Web-app builder.
As it turns out, I was able to cobble together an Overflight workalike in a matter of 90 minutes or so (give or take a bag of microwave popcorn). I didn’t have time to aggregate all 70-something Google blogs, so I concentrated just on the twelve developer blogs that are of particular interest to me. My app is on the Pipes site as Google Developer Blogs Super-Feed, which you can subscribe to here.
With my super-feed, you can see the title, description, and content for the most recent 8 blog entries in all twelve Google developer blogs that I chose to aggregate (AJAX Search API, Gears, Gadgets, OpenSocial, Open Source, Mashup Editor, Web Toolkit, App Engine, Google Code, iGoogle, Desktop, and Data API blogs). That’s 96 entries total. Actually, it can be less than that if a blog is cross-categorized, since I included logic that removes duplicates.
A tool of this kind is obviously more useful if it allows searching. The keyword-search version is here. (It supports single words or exact phrases.) You’ll notice that after you perform a search, a header bar will appear above the results-list containing various links and buttons you can use to subscribe to (and/or syndicate) that particular search. In other words, you can search on ‘AJAX’ and then subscribe to the query as a feed; then you could search on ‘Google Docs’ and subscribe to that query as a feed. And so on.
Is Pipes the ideal way to build Web apps? Not necessarily. The list of things you can’t accomplish with Pipes is quite long, and the learning curve (for what you get) is somewhat steep. But it offers a glimpse (arguably) of how some Web apps will be built in the future.
What this exercise really shows, however, is the power of standards like RSS. This is a point worth emphasizing. As Web content becomes more granular, compositional, and personalizable (not to mention more perishable), subscribability becomes a design consideration. Users want to be able to opt into dynamic content. This is a theme I’ve seen emerge over the past year in the Web CMS world as well as in Enterprise Search, where it’s no longer enough just to let users save queries; they now need to be able to subscribe to their queries (or the content generated by them).
Bottom line? Feed-based delivery of content isn’t just about aggregation; it’s about empowering users — giving them the power to choose how they want to consume content. That’s a subtle distinction that’s driving a good deal of change in the content management industry right now, and it’s something we continue to watch carefully.”
Amazon just announced their formal entry into the CDN space.
Dan Raburn’s (see blogroll) comments on pricing pressure are below.
We started looking at it yesterday.
Why Amazon’s CDN Offering Is No Threat To Akamai, Limelight or CDN Pricing: “As expected, I’ve already read half a dozen posts this morning from those who are saying Amazon’s new CloudFront CDN offering is either going to challenge CDNs such as Akamai and Limelight for business or will force CDNs to cut…“