Five Challenges Social Media Will Bring to Business

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A recent survey conducted by Proofpoint found that 8% of companies had terminated employees due to social media usage (common causes including sharing sensitive information on a network). And while the statistic seems significant, it only underscores one of several upcoming challenges nearly every organization will face as changes in people, process and technology fueled by the collective movement we call social media begin to transform business. Here are a few challenges that every organization should be planning for right now:

1. Integration. Becoming a "social business" (meaning true participation as opposed to leveraging social media as a new form of marketing) can impact nearly every function of a business. Marketing, PR, communications--even supply chain and any function that deals with employees. So where does it live? Is it a department? Do organizations hire a "Chief Social Officer" much like they would a Chief Technology Officer? All organizations will eventually grapple with integrating social into their entire ecosystem adopting either centralized, distributed or hybrid approaches.

2. Governance. Many organizations now understand that anything that can and will be said about them on the internet will be. The good, the bad, the ugly. And this includes content produced not only from the general public, but also from internal constituents such as employees. Organizations will not only need to begin actively listening so that they are in the know, but they will need rules of engagement for how they deal with multiple types of scenarios from responding to a compliment to dealing with a detractor to following up with an employee who just posted something inappropriate or sensitive.

3. Culture. All organizations fall somewhere on a spectrum of being "open" or "closed" meaning that they are either more transparent with how they operate and collaborative or they hoard knowledge internally. Consider that it's probable that the Zappos purchase by Amazon had a good deal to do with their notoriously open culture. Likewise, even Apple, which can be notoriously secretive, is benefiting by leveraging a strategy that opened up their iPhone application ecosystem. Sure Apple has a great deal of control over it, but for the first time in history, they have legions of people developing applications that run on their hardware. Organizations have the potential to benefit from embracing customers and employees in new ways, but will have to manage it intelligently and with purpose.

4. Human Resources. In order to transform from a business to a social business, companies are going to have to upgrade their HR protocols, as well as legal. And it's likely to be a never-ending process as new technologies continually hit the scene. Before there was Twitter, companies scrambled to publish blogging guidelines for employees, now the wrong tweet or Facebook status can get you fired. Organizations will not only need to update guidelines but actually train their people who may be leveraging social technologies for work. Customer service in particular comes to mind.

5. Measurement & ROI. Every organization will continue to struggle with measuring results and reporting ROI. Philosophically, this question can be answered with another question: "what's the ROI of e-mail"? But it's a question that won't go away. New social constructs will be needed to measure social initiatives such as attention (the size or number of participants actively engaged) or authority (the amount of influence a participant has in the ecosystem). Because social business is enabled by technology, it is by definition measurable. However, tying it to realized revenue or savings becomes more of a challenge.

In order for business to transform into something that can function in a less formal, fast moving social space--it will need to do so at scale. These 5 issues are but a handful of the types of growing pains we'll see as this happens.

CRM Consulting Services from

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Choosing Salesforce CRM is a strategic business decision. Our CRM consulting services are designed to assure its successful execution through a sound CRM implementation strategy tailored to your business needs.

Whether you’re creating your first CRM system, replacing an existing one, or customizing your Salesforce CRM application, our experienced CRM consultants provide the strategic guidance and hands-on know-how you need.

The goal of Salesforce CRM consulting services is to help you think through and execute all four key phases of your CRM initiative: planning, implementing, driving adoption, and optimizing. Our CRM consulting services will help you create value from features and functionality you may not be able to leverage on your own, or might have considered beyond your reach.

CRM Consultants with the Right Expertise and Experience

Salesforce CRM consulting services follow a structured and iterative methodology, developed and refined over the course of thousands of successful deployments. Based on your individual goals and requirements, we supply you with a detailed CRM implementation strategy designed to enhance your performance, drive end-user adoption, and accelerate your return on investment.

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CRM Implementation Strategy and Configuration Services

Customers of all sizes and across all industries benefit from the speed and caliber of both our packaged and custom CRM consulting services. We offer CRM Solution Packages and QuickStart packages for deploying Salesforce CRM applications, Platform Packages to support custom development, and Expert Review services to support customers doing their own deployment or working with partners. Many of our CRM consulting services packages provide on-site assistance and training from CRM consultants who evaluate and tune new or existing implementations, and provide your executives with a dashboard that tracks your most critical business metrics.

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New Release Optimization with Salesforce CRM Consulting Services

Unlike traditional software, Salesforce CRM and the platform are Cloud-based: new and improved features are delivered frequently and automatically, without upgrade headaches. The best way to maximize the continual stream of innovations is to take advantage of’s CRM consulting services. Our CRM consultants have designed a New Release Optimization package that bundles expert guidance with new-features training. Highlights include a Discovery Workshop identifying new solutions for your most pressing needs, walk-through examples of new features in action inside your own Salesforce CRM environment, and a release-specific CRM implementation strategy, or roadmap, outlining further opportunities to leverage new features.

CRM Consulting Services for Data Migration and Quality Assurance

To get the greatest value from your investment in Salesforce CRM, your CRM implementation strategy needs to include a plan for consolidating and managing the
customer information that is typically spread out among various databases, formats, and data fields. This is where CRM consulting services can help. Doing the job right, and completely, is well worth it: assistance from our expert CRM can make the difference between an optimal, productive transition from your old systems, and something considerably less.

  • Data migration. In the real world, data migration doesn’t always find its way into a company’s overall CRM implementation strategy. Many customers engage our CRM consulting services after deployment, because multiple data sources are creating inefficiencies in their use of Salesforce CRM. Sales and customer support may be using different customer data, or worse, sales management might be working with information at odds with what sales reps are using in the field. For data management, our CRM consulting services begin with an analysis of your business drivers and processes. With this understanding, our CRM consultants then help you craft the appropriate strategy to migrate your data quickly, efficiently, and effectively, to optimize the value gained from your Salesforce CRM applications.
  • CRM consulting services to improve data integrity. Our CRM consulting services can help you solve the problem of inconsistent and duplicate data that impairs CRM success and hinders user adoption of CRM. When you enlist Salesforce CRM consulting services, you gain access to seasoned CRM consultants who specialize in data-integrity procedures and techniques. The process begins with a thorough assessment of your most critical customer data including leads, accounts, contacts, and opportunities. We then assist you in charting a data-specific CRM implementation strategy to boost information quality, drive user adoption, and ensure your success.

The Top 5 Business Intelligence Tool Vendors According to IDC:

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1- Business Objects

Business Objects continues its reign as the leading BI tools vendor. In 2006, the
company’s software revenue in this market reached $894 million. In 2006, Business
Objects experienced a slight slowdown in its BI tools license revenue growth. After
gaining half a percentage point in share in 2005, the company gave it up in 2006.
However, the latest information on the uptake of its Business Objects XI platform
suggests a pickup in growth in the latter part of 2006 and early 2007. Business
Objects is also making an aggressive push into the midmarket, where it targets
organizations with less than $1 billion in revenue. The company’s partner network is
one of its strongest assets, and this effort, which depends in large part on indirect
sales, is expected to contribute to the growth of Business Objects’ BI tools.

2 - SAS

SAS was again the second-largest BI tools vendor, with $679 million in software
revenue and a continued steady increase in market share to 11%. SAS had the
highest growth rate among the top 3 BI tools vendors and the third-highest growth
rate among the top 10 vendors. SAS still derives more revenue from its advanced
analytics tools, but its effort to revamp and more aggressively market its QRA tools
since 2004 has paid off, with QRA’s share of SAS’ total BI tools revenue increasing
from 37% in 2004 to 44% in 2006. As the leader in the advanced analytics market,
SAS holds 31% of that market segment.

3 - Cognos

Cognos maintained the third position in the BI tools market, with $622 million in
software revenue and a 10% growth rate in 2006. It is also one of only three vendors
with at least a 10% share in the BI tools market. Cognos has pursued a two-pronged
strategy of developing and marketing BI tools and financial performance management
applications, with recent expansion into other related performance management
markets such as workforce analytics. Nevertheless, BI tools remain Cognos’ largest
product line. In 2006, Cognos released several enhancements to its core BI platform.

4 - Microsoft

Microsoft had another strong year in the BI tools market, with the highest growth rate
(28%) among the top 10 vendors. IDC’s revenue allocation for Microsoft in this market
differs somewhat from other vendors in that its BI tools revenue is not only made up
of standalone software that the company acquired with its 2006 purchase of
ProClarity Software but also includes what IDC calls embedded BI tools that are
bundled with Microsoft SQL Server. These database-embedded tools include SQL
Server Analysis Services and Reporting Services. As part of its broader business
analytics offerings, Microsoft also includes SQL Server Integration Services within
SQL Server. Its other related tools that the company positions within the business
analytics stack include Microsoft Excel, with specific Excel 2007 features for BI, and
Performance Point Server, a set of performance management applications to be
released in the second half of 2007.

Microsoft’s growth in the BI tools market can be attributed to focused sales and
marketing efforts in recent years, accompanied by both internal R&D and
acquisitions. While, in the past, Microsoft considered BI to be functionality that helps
to sell databases and enhance its partners’ more extensive BI capabilities, the
company has since identified BI as a market worth pursuing directly.

5 - Hyperion

Hyperion maintained its fifth position in the market, with a 5.2% market share and a
12.3% growth rate. Since releasing its latest BI platform, which incorporates the best
of the Hyperion and former Brio components (in addition to certain new performance
enhancements), the company has improved its standing in the BI tools market.
Hyperion’s other major product line includes financial performance and strategy
management applications, where company has been the market leader for years.
In March 2007, Oracle announced its plans to acquire Hyperion. IDC sees the event
as a positive development for both Oracle and former Hyperion clients.

Business Intelligence Tools

Filed under: by: Art Style and Design

The most common tools used for business intelligence are as follows. They are listed in the following order: Increasing cost, increasing functionality, increasing business intelligence complexity, and decreasing number of total users.


Take a guess what's the most common business intelligence tool? You might be surprised to find out it's Microsoft Excel. There are several reasons for this:

1. It's relatively cheap.

2. It's commonly used. You can easily send an Excel sheet to another person without worrying whether the recipient knows how to read the numbers.

3. It has most of the functionalities users need to display data.

In fact, it is still so popular that all third-party reporting / OLAP tools have an "export to Excel" functionality. Even for home-built solutions, the ability to export numbers to Excel usually needs to be built.

Excel is best used for business operations reporting and goals tracking.

Reporting tool

In this discussion, I am including both custom-built reporting tools and the commercial reporting tools together. They provide some flexibility in terms of the ability for each user to create, schedule, and run their own reports. The Reporting Tool Selection selection discusses how one should select an OLAP tool.

Business operations reporting and dashboard are the most common applications for a reporting tool.

OLAP tool

OLAP tools are usually used by advanced users. They make it easy for users to look at the data from multiple dimensions. The OLAP Tool Selection selection discusses how one should select an OLAP tool.

OLAP tools are used for multidimensional analysis.

Data mining tool

Data mining tools are usually only by very specialized users, and in an organization, even large ones, there are usually only a handful of users using data mining tools.

Data mining tools are used for finding correlation among different factors.

The Two Most Important Management Secrets: The Pygmalion and Galatea Effects

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The Pygmalion Effect: The Power of the Supervisor's Expectations
By Susan M. Heathfield,

Your expectations of people and their expectations of themselves are the key factors in how well people perform at work. Known as the Pygmalion effect and the Galatea effect, respectively, the power of expectations cannot be overestimated. These are the fundamental principles you can apply to performance expectations and potential performance improvement at work.

You can summarize the Pygmalion effect, often known as the power of expectations, by considering:

  • Every supervisor has expectations of the people who report to him.
  • Supervisors communicate these expectations consciously or unconsciously.
  • People pick up on, or consciously or unconsciously read, these expectations from their supervisor.
  • People perform in ways that are consistent with the expectations they have picked up on from the supervisor.

The Pygmalion effect was described by J. Sterling Livingston in the September/October, 1988 Harvard Business Review. "The way managers treat their subordinates is subtly influenced by what they expect of them," Livingston said in his article, Pygmalion in Management.

The Pygmalion effect enables staff to excel in response to the manager’s message that they are capable of success and expected to succeed. The Pygmalion effect can also undermine staff performance when the subtle communication from the manager tells them the opposite. These cues are often subtle. As an example, the supervisor fails to praise a staff person's performance as frequently as he praises others. The supervisor talks less to a particular employee.

Livingston went on to say about the supervisor, "If he is unskilled, he leaves scars on the careers of the young men (and women), cuts deeply into their self-esteem and distorts their image of themselves as human beings. But if he is skillful and has high expectations of his subordinates, their self-confidence will grow, their capabilities will develop and their productivity will be high. More often than he realizes, the manager is Pygmalion."

Can you imagine how performance will improve if your supervisors communicate positive thoughts about people to people? If the supervisor actually believes that every employee has the ability to make a positive contribution at work, the telegraphing of that message, either consciously or unconsciously, will positively affect employee performance.

And, the effect of the supervisor gets even better than this. When the supervisor holds positive expectations about people, she helps individuals improve their self-concept and thus, self-esteem. People believe they can succeed and contribute and their performance rises to the level of their own expectations.

ARIS Express - First Free Modeling Software from Market Leader for Business Process Management

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ARIS Express product logo

ARIS Express - The First Free Modeling Software from the Market Leader for Business Process Management for everybody.

With ARIS Express, IDS Scheer is offering the world’s first free business process modeling software. ARIS Express is the perfect tool for starting with Business Process Management. It’s easy to install and allows intuitive and fast process modeling. So everyone can get started and no BPM expertise is needed.

Your benefits

  • ARIS Express is free of charge
  • Perfect tool for occasional users and beginners in Business Process Management
  • Intuitive user interface – modelers can work productively from the start
  • Models for organizational structures, processes, application systems, data, and more
  • Study with free training material available in ARIS Community
  • All results can be re-used and enhanced in professional ARIS Platform products

MSc Business Systems Analysis and Design

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Systems Analyst, IT Consultant, and Systems Integrator.

This course offers an optional internship: six months of professional IT industry experience as part of your postgraduate degree.

The British Computer Society recognises this course for exemption from the BCS Certificate, Diploma and Diploma Project.

This course is designed to produce hybrid IT/business professionals who understand the role IT systems play in supporting organisations and management and can ensure that IT systems can fulfil their intended role.

On graduation, you will have specialist knowledge ranging from business systems requirements analysis and design, software systems engineering, and data modelling, to IT strategy, project management and business engineering with ERP solutions.

Practical work is emphasised throughout, to develop understanding and skills, which are strengthened by the interactive teamwork approach.

The course has an excellent track record in producing highly employable graduates in roles such as systems analysis and IT consultancy. The course is also excellent preparation for doctoral (PhD) study.

- skills in business awareness, design and consultancy to facilitate the alignment of IT systems and services to business objectives;
- the specialist understanding of theoretical principles in business systems analysis and design;
- technical skills, through practical laboratory work, to enable you to apply your knowledge of IT and how it affects business competitiveness.

For the current list of modules, visit the School of Informatics website at

Students successfully completing eight modules and the dissertation will be awarded 180 credits and a master’s level qualification. Modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and examination.

The usual minimum entry requirement is a good second-class honours degree from a UK university, a recognised equivalent from an accredited overseas institution or an equivalent professional qualification. Applicants should have good professional English. For students whose first language is not English, an IELTS score of 6.5 or TOEFL score of 600 (250 computer-based version) is required. Previous academic and commercial experience will also be considered.

The School of Informatics offers a number of scholarships for well-qualified full-time home and overseas candidates.

The School of Informatics is at the forefront of international excellence and leadership in education and research for the information and computing professions. In the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) over 85% of the School’s academic staff were ranked at 4 or 5, indicating research of international and national excellence in almost all areas.

We are one of the few universities in the UK where every module on our Informatics postgraduate courses is supported by the University’s online learning environment.

The University houses over 700 Windows and 90 Linux workstations, and the labs offer a wide variety of programming environments. In addition, the School of Informatics provides additional labs and file servers with applications specific to our postgraduate courses. Students also benefit from the School’s dedicated Technical Support Team.

Several subject-specific libraries and specialist collections complement the extensive stock held by the modern and well-equipped main University Library at Northampton Square, and a wide range of online resources is available, many of which are accessible from off-site.

City University’s central London location is well served by public transport. All the University’s buildings are easily accessible by underground (tube), buses and rail services.