Real Story Group Recent Real Story Group Blog Entries Copyright (c) 2015, Inc. All Rights Reserved. : Blogs en-us 07/01/2015 00:00:00 60 SharePoint Survivor Stories #sharepoint #DigitalWorkplace Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:29:00 +0000 I have already circled back to you about the dimming of SharePoint's dominance as the de facto platform for workplace collaboration. Now, I'm back with some survivor stories culled from the same survey. This is more animated and agitated because it is straight from the (customer) gut.

Text in the graphics is verbatim from customers responding in their own words about their SharePoint experiences.

May this Share-Pain-Point prove a wee bit therapeutic for you. Don't suffer in silence.

Webinar - State of ECM Technology: Customer Survey Results (July 22nd) #ecm #DigitalWorkplace Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:14:00 +0000 RSG conducted an online survey to obtain practitioners' perspectives on key enterprise content management (ECM) related themes, including common use cases, tools, vendors, implementation patterns, and challenges.

This webinar will review key survey findings:

  • Usage patterns
  • Satisfaction with the technology and vendors
  • Extent of usage of cloud and mobile
  • ECM Maturity Model

Register here

Webinar Details:

State of ECM Technology: Customer Survey Results

Date: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Time: 12:00-12:30 PM EST (16:00-16:30 UTC/GMT 17:00 BST)

I look forward to seeing you there.

Updated WCM evaluations include Drupal, Sitecore, Tridion, and more #cms #teamsite Wed, 24 Jun 2015 06:52:00 +0000 RSG has just released a significant update to our Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) vendor evaluations. That's version 22.5 for those of you keeping track.


Updates include:

  • HP-Autonomy TeamSite: still chugging along, but still not really worth your consideration, no matter what Gartner and Forrester say
  • SDL-Tridion: a venerable player still playing catch-up
  • Microsoft SharePoint: where even Redmond appears to be giving up the ghost on WCM
  • Sitecore: doubling down on its go-it-alone strategy
  • Drupal: still surprisingly complicated as the community awaits the next big release
  • Joomla!: stalling a bit as the community figures out which way to go

And changes...

With this latest edition, we add Crafter Software, built on the Alfresco open source repository. Crafter resembles Magnolia a bit, as a commercial, Java-based system, but customers will want to mind important architectural changes afoot.

In this release, we also drop Percussion, Salesforce, and Ektron as viable WCM players, though RSG subscribers can review the archived chapters.

See for yourself

If you're an RSG subscriber, check out all the new reviews right away.

Not sure if your employer subscribes to RSG research? Check here.

Not yet a subscriber? Download a sample evaluation, of HP-TeamSite/Livesite.


Liferay Partnering with Red Hat - Implications for the Portals Marketplace #portals #EntArch Tue, 23 Jun 2015 13:00:00 +0000 Liferay and Red Hat have entered into a partnership to combine Liferay Portal with Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP). JBoss EAP is Red Hat’s key middleware/application server. As of now, the partnership is limited to EAP but Liferay says it will gradually expand to include integration with other Red Hat middleware products.

What does it mean for Liferay and Red Hat?

First, a refresher.

Red Hat has its own Portal product called Enterprise Portal Platform (EPP). EPP is based on the GateIn project, which was a joint initiative between Red Hat JBoss and French vendor eXo. Since both JBoss EPP and eXo platform were based on GateIn, functionally, both were quite similar in terms of presentation functionality. However, Red Hat’s differentiator was its middleware expertise and as a result, Red Hat integrated the core GateIn project with other JBoss tools and technologies, tested, and certified them.

This announcement puts curtains on EPP. Red Hat has stopped offering new subscriptions to JBoss EPP. Unfortunately for them, the EPP was never very successful. If you subscribe to our Portals research, you know that It lacked many key features and its development was rather slow. Incidentally, eXo (Red Hat’s partner in the Portal project) has also moved away from being a horizontal Portal product. Going forward, I'd expect Red Hat to focus more on selling middleware licenses to Liferay customers.

For Liferay on the other hand, this announcement pretty much leaves them as the last major open source player standing. The Portals technology marketplace is shrinking, and while IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft still provide plausible offerings in this space, overall it's becoming an oligopoly.

What does it mean for customers?

For Red Hat customers who invested in EPP, this is bad news. Red Hat will support you until March 2018, but effectively this is a dead product and you should start looking at alternatives. It's a lesson, too, that "open source" does not always mean more stable or durable.

While Liferay will seem like a natural alternative, there are some others as well. You should also carefully evaluate if Portal technology is still the best alternative for building what you need to build.

For Liferay’s customers, this won’t have an impact in the short term. Liferay has always supported the JBoss application server (among others), so no big changes there. However, as Liferay and Red Hat gradually improve the integration, their joint customers will see benefits in terms of integration with JBoss operations network and other Red Hat tools.

For detailed evaluations of all the key vendors and their major weaknesses and strengths you can subscribe to our Enterprise Portals Technology research.

North Plains: Xinet in-depth evaluation #publishing #DAM Wed, 17 Jun 2015 10:19:00 +0000 Xinet was "work-in-progress" (WiP) DAM vendor focused on pre-press workflows in the print publishing industry when it was acquired by DAM suite vendor North Plains in 2012.

Today, Xinet remains one of the few DAM options truly applicable to pre-press scenarios. In the newly-released version 7.0 of our Digital & Media Asset Management research, our Xinet chapter has been updated to include more analysis around the product's technical specifications and feature sets, in addition to scenario mapping.

With the rise of omni-channel marketing, solutions like Xinet really serve as a single puzzle piece in what may be a multi-tool approach to complex personalized marketing, where print is but one destination among many.

We question whether North Plains' management and current architectural bent will lead Xinet towards supporting digital workflows more extensively, or if North Plains will leave that to the other products in their suite -- On Brand and Telescope.

The overlaps within North Plains' product suite remain extensive, and the vendor's still-evolving strategy has yet to play out.

Subscribers can access our analysis of all three North Plains offerings.

If you don't yet subscribe, you can check out our complimentary review of North Plains Telescope.

[Webinar] The Right Way to Select Web Content and Experience Management Technology #wcm #wcxm Mon, 15 Jun 2015 18:05:00 +0000[Webinar]-The-Right-Way-to-Select-Web-Content-and-Experience-Management-Technology? As you devise or refine your digital strategy plans for this year and next, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) foundation in place.

In some cases, this will mean selecting a new WCM system — either to begin from scratch, or to replace an existing system that no longer works well enough for you. If you’re considering a new web CMS, then join RSG Founder Tony Byrne for this fast-paced tutorial. This webinar will examine best practices for a successful WCM product selection, and reveal potential pitfalls to avoid, allowing you to learn from others' mistakes.

Based on our 15 years of industry experience, we've witnessed many successful implementations — as well as a few failed CMS selections. Tony will share the most important Dos and Don'ts, and examine the overall WCM marketplace to help you determine what tier might be the most appropriate for your business: upper-range platforms, simple products, or mid-range products or platforms. Then he'll guide you through specific steps to inform and prepare you for selecting the best-fitting CMS for your needs.

He'll conclude with the latest trends in the web content & experience management marketplace and preview where vendors are heading.

Register here

Webinar Details:

The Right Way to Select Web Content Management Technology

Date: Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Time: 12:00-12:30 PM EST (16:00-16:30 UTC/GMT 17:00 BST)

I look forward to seeing you there.

The Blurring of Enterprise Lines in DAM #DAM #trends Fri, 12 Jun 2015 09:34:00 +0000 To reflect the disruption that the cloud has caused in the DAM industry, we've changed the way we classify vendors in our Digital & Media Asset Management Report.

Re-Thinking "Enterprise"

Our previous dividing lines focused on the typical size and scale of the customers' DAM operations (big = "enterprise").  But now with even SMBs adopting cloud-based DAMs containing hundreds of thousands of assets numbering in the dozens of terabytes, deployment strategy has become more important than the rather arbitrary term "enterprise."

So version 7.0 of our research classifies vendors by how the systems are sold, and where their deployment focus lies.

Within the DAM industry there are a number of vendors for which DAM is one part of a larger pie (suite) of software products. Most of these vendors are household names, and their products are usually adopted by large companies alongside one or more of the vendor's other (not necessarily well-integrated) products.

Large Enterprise Suite Vendors - mostly deployed on-premise

- Adobe (Experience Manager)

- EMC (Documentum DAM)

- HP (MediaBin)

- OpenText (Media Management)

- Oracle (WebCenter Content)

Cloud vs. On Premise

We then move into two categories of vendors for whom DAM is their main focus, their main source of revenue, and the product for which they are best known. The two categories are separated by the vendor’s orientation towards mainly cloud or on-premise deployments. This is not to say that some vendors offer both options; the categorization simply speaks to which direction they lean.

It is also true that some vendors are entirely on-premise or cloud oriented. We expect that vendors will move from one "team" to the other over time, we also suspect that this movement will most commonly be towards the cloud.

You should treat these new categories as generalizations. Don’t assume that all the vendors you might consider for a certain delivery environment are found in one group, and there are vendors who do both and do both well, and still others who offer hybrid (cloud & on-premise, or private & public clouds), as well as standalone private cloud options as a mid-point between the two.

In order to disambiguate this for you, we have also added “Delivery Environment” as a new section of the technical specifications in the report -- be sure to check these out before you make any decisions.

Pure-play Digital Asset Management: Primarily On-Premise 


- Canto: Cumulus

- celum

- censhare

- Chuckwalla

- Equilibrium: MediaRich for SharePoint

- Evolphin: Zoom

- Extensis: Portfolio

- FotoWare

- MediaBeacon: R3Volution

- MerlinOne

- North Plains: Telescope

- North Plains: Xinet

- WAVE: Media Bank

Pure-play Digital Asset Management: Primarily Cloud-Based

- Brandworkz

- Bright Interactive: Asset Bank

- Bynder

- NetXposure: NetX

- North Plains: On Brand

- PicturePark

- WebDAM

- Widen

- WoodWing: Elvis


Open Source

Another trend in recent years is the growing presence of open source vendors in the DAM industry. Sometimes customers will be in the market specifically for open source options. For this reason and due to the fact we have almost doubled the number of open source vendors covered, we have decided to separate out these vendors.

Similar to above, we advise that you not discount open source vendors without investigating their suitability in terms of delivery environment and other features you might be looking for. There are often multiple choices for hosted, SaaS, and other options available from open source vendors and their communities, so it might be the case that a commercial open source product is for you, even if you were in the market for something else.

Open Source Digital Asset Management Projects

- Duraspace: Fedora

- EnterMedia

- Nuxeo

- Razuna

- ResourceSpace

Broadcast Media Management

We have chosen to maintain the Broadcast Media Management category. These vendors are distinct from, but related to the DAM products covered, and in some cases Broadcast vendors compete with vendors in the other categories.

Unlike what we have seen in the DAM industry, there has been no significant change in vendors' market presence here. This is also true of Deployment options, with Broadcast vendors remaining to offer almost exclusively on-premise deployments.

Broadcast Media Management

- Avid: Interplay

- Cinegy: Workspace

- Dalet: Galaxy

- GlobeCast: Netia

- Harris Broadcast: Nuxeo

- Square Box Systems: CatDV

- TMD: Mediaflex

- Vizrt: Viz One

New Criteria

The changes outlined above come alongside a raft of new scoring metrics to further elucidate the strengths and weaknesses of the vendors that we cover. It is our aim to continue improving the methods by which we evaluate and compare vendors in order to make the process of finding the right one easier for you. Stay tuned for more details.

In the meantime, you can download a complimentary sample of the DAM evaluations (our review of North Plains: Telescope).

Should you consider IoT and Wearables in your Mobile Strategy? #IoT #Wearables Thu, 11 Jun 2015 08:35:00 +0000 First, let's acknowledge that "Mobile" and "Internet of Things” (or IoT) are very large and quite separate technology domains. However, the way current market is evolving, I see some overlap, as shown in the attached graphic (click to enlarge).

At the intersection of Mobile and IOT

Wearables to a large extent fall under the rubric of IoT-oriented, connected devices. However, some fall at the intersection of Mobile and IoT, and you'll want to consider them as part of your overall mobile strategy.

Consider for example devices that are linked to your mobile phone or tablet in some way. Smart watches, such as Apple Watch, are a prime example of this category since you use your mobile phone to provide content and services (e.g., GPS) to the watch. Other types of wearables, such as activity trackers, require an app on your mobile phone for initial configuration and setup.

Besides the ability to be able to deliver content and services to these devices, another example is the ability to push information from these devices back to your mobile phone. Analyzing data from your morning bike ride on your phone, or getting a notification on your mobile app as you check out an exhibit in a museum, represent a couple examples here.

Tool support for wearables?

So as you evaluate tools for enterprise mobility, you should consider what kind of support they provide for phone-connected wearable devices.

Start with what kinds of devices they support. As an example, IBM’s MobileFirst provides some support for Apple Watch and Android wearables. Many other mobile app development platforms also support some sort of content delivery to wearables.

Note however that most of these tools consider wearables as an extension of your mobile device. While that is a good way to quickly scale up your device-delivery capabilities, it could also become a major limitation if you wanted to support wearables more generally.

In our Enterprise Mobile Technology evaluations, we're increasingly examining the wearables dimension. Meanwhile, you can download a research sample here.

Selecting a host for your Wordpress or Drupal sites #cms #digitalmarketing Thu, 11 Jun 2015 08:26:00 +0000 Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) systems Drupal and WordPress are highly popular offerings — but they’re also highly targeted environments for attack. Both systems offer wide sets of plugins and modules to expand functionality, which further complicates security and operating considerations. The challenge for enterprise customers is creating a secure hosting environment while benefiting from the potential richness of a widely deployed platform.

Ensuring reliable, scalable, and secure access to your digital properties are the key motivators for considering a managed-hosting solution. Done correctly, managed hosting takes care of all the technical aspects of your server and application environment, allowing you to focus on sharing great content and experiences.

Numerous firms have sprung up offering managed plans tailored to WordPress and Drupal sites. However, the nature, quality, and extent of the services offered are as variable as the WCM systems themselves -- and require careful review.

For a more extensive exploration of specific considerations when choosing a hosting provider, as well as a survey of some key players in the space, see the Real Story Group advisory paper: “Choosing a Managed Hosting Environment for Drupal or WordPress.”

Advisory Paper Table of Contents: 

  • Key Takeaways
  • Types of Hosting
  • General Hosting Considerations
  • Specific Drupal and WordPress Considerations
  • Survey of Drupal Hosting Options
  • Survey of WordPress Hosting Options
  • Concluding Advice

RSG WCM and Social-Collaboration stream subscribers can download the briefing here.


IBM renames Worklight and tightens WCM integration #cms #mobile Tue, 09 Jun 2015 10:46:00 +0000 IBM’s mobile offering has seen many name changes in recent past. IBM acquired Worklight in 2012 and initially kept the name. Big Blue then renamed it IBM Worklight Foundation in 2014 before recently doing away with the Worklight moniker altogether. It's now "IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation."

Functionally, though, not much has changed. What you get is mainly a platform for building hybrid mobile apps based on Apache’s Cordova hybrid container. There’s support for other types of apps — notably mobile web and native apps, but conditions apply.

More recently, however, IBM has improved integration with their "Digital Experience" suite. What this really means is closer integration between IBM’s WCM and Mobile capabilities. So you can now create content in WCM and make it available, via services, to your mobile apps created using MobileFirst. In addition, there is a new interface/content authoring portlet for creating mobile content (an improvement, since current authoring portlets have major usability issues).

This is a useful capability and something I have discussed earlier, for example in this post.

So if you are already an IBM customer — meaning you have invested in IBM WebSphere Portal and WCM and have entitlements for MobileFirst — this is good news for you. But remember that while this combined solution can target a lot of scenarios, it remains a complex set of platforms. For most of you, it will constitute too many repositories, servers, and integration points, and you will need serious IBM talent to manage the setup. Also, for a lot of mobile scenarios, IBM WCM will probably be overkill. Fortunately, there are simpler WCM alternatives that you can consider.

We take a closer look at IBM’s MobileFirst in our Enterprise Mobile Technology evaluations. Mean while, you can download a sample here.

Digital and Media Asset Management research updates: updated criteria and vendors - Adobe, Xinet, OpenText, and more #DAM #Adobe Mon, 08 Jun 2015 15:38:00 +0000 RSG has released a major new edition of our Digital & Media Asset Management research, which includes more than 50 pages of new analysis and product evaluations.

New Evaluation Criteria

In particular, we've added two new sets of vendor rating criteria:

  1. Industry vertical experience
  2. Ability to deliver in each of five different deployment models -- On Premise, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid, and SaaS.

Confused about where your assets should be hosted, or the software deployed? We help you sort though the options in this latest edition of our research.

Updated Vendor Critiques

We've also updated the product evaluations for Adobe Experience Manager Assets, EMC's Documentum DAM, OpenText Media Manager, Bynder, MediaBeacon, HP's MediaBin, Extensis Portfolio, celum, Equilibrium's MediaRich, and Picturepark.

We've also added new chapters for North Plains' Xinet and Oracle.

Subscribers can access the new research here.

Not yet a subscriber?  Download a complimentary sample.


London Technology Week starting June 15th #mobile #interop Mon, 08 Jun 2015 12:26:00 +0000 Next week Real Story Group will be participating at London Technology Week, and specifically, I'll be speaking on Evaluating Mobile Technology for the Enterprise

Please join me at the session, or let us know if you'd like to meet up some other time during this premier event.

Industry analyst research is invaluable in social-collaboration software selection #DigitalWorkplace #cio Thu, 04 Jun 2015 13:13:00 +0000 Let me warn you upfront that this article may appear to be self-serving. Alas, my (main) motive here is not to promote the value of our research. I am writing this in response to a question we get asked all the time: do you have any data to prove the ROI of your research / advice.

So, I dug into the data from our most recent industry survey on enterprise social-collaboration technology.

In the survey, we asked customers to rate how satisfied they are with

  • the social-collaboration software products they are using (based on functionality and features) and
  • the vendors of these products (based on their responsiveness and support)

In a separate question, we also asked customers about the different inputs that went into their technology selection process.

Here is what we found: Customers who used industry analyst research in their technology selection process were more satisfied with their software products and vendors than those who did not.

Figure 1: Customers using industry analyst research to inform social-collaboration software selection are more satisfied with their products and vendors. Click the image to enlarge.

Could these results be due to chance? Some basic data science (ANOVA / tests of group means, in case you are interested) indeed confirms that the results are statistically significant -- i.e., not just due to random chance. There you go.

I suspect you intuitively understand the cause and effect here.  Expert knowledge about the products/vendors, in-depth understanding about their strengths and weaknesses, the experiences of other customers who used those products -- all get reflected in industry analyst research such as RSG's.

This can help you choose the best-fit software for your requirements and avoid expensive mistakes down the road. Such customers are naturally more satisfied than those who ended with products that don't work as advertised or simply prove to be a mis-match. Time and again, we hear this from our blue-chip customers anecdotally.

Now, there's also quantitative evidence about the impact of analyst research more generally.  I'm certainly happy to be part of your success.

How can you distinguish among .NET WCM vendors? #cms #trends Wed, 03 Jun 2015 17:12:00 +0000 If you take a quick look at the raft of .NET-based Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) technology vendors, their feature sets will look remarkably similar. You might be tempted to conclude that which vendor you select won't make a difference. In reality the tools are actually quite different. So how do you tell them apart?

Checking all the boxes

Let's examine the .NET players RSG evaluates in our Web CMS Report: Sitecore, Microsoft, Ektron (soon departing), EPiServer, DotNetNuke/Evoq, Ingeniux, Kentico, Telerik, Umbraco, and (the partly .NET) SDL-Tridion.

If you simply make a feature matrix, nearly all of these players will check nearly all the boxes: segmentation, content repurposing, microsite management, campaigns, marketing platform integration, and so on.

Look Deeper

When you start looking deeper, some significant differences emerge. Here are some of the dimensions we track in our evaluation research.

  • Licensing model
  • Geographic footprint
  • Breadth and profile of integrator partner network
  • Community vibrancy
  • Long-term TCO
  • Cloudability
  • Ease of use for non-expert employees
  • Third-party module ecosystem
  • Platform vs. best-of-breed architectural assumptions
  • Extent of transition from Web Forms to MVC (this is a big one, folks)
  • Fealty to core .NET functions (pros and cons here)
  • Scalability of the entitlement model
  • Approach to configuration management
  • Degree of architectural decoupling and separation of concerns
  • Page-based versus componentized information models
  • Support for deep taxonomies
  • Effectiveness of the bundled search engine
  • And so on...

Note that the pricier options are not always "better" at these things. In fact, it's difficult to generalize on the list above, except that you should try to isolate the factors that are really important to you.

Beyond .NET

I hope that you would never default to a technology platform (like .NET, Java, or PHP) as your primary filter. Always consider crossing the technology aisle if you can find better business fit or value.

And when you do, look well beyond superficial "features." Take a scenario-based approach -- like you'll find in our ShortList Generator application -- to figure out the best fit for your organization.

When IT and Business Think Differently About Social-Collaboration #DigitalWorkplace #EntArch Thu, 28 May 2015 05:26:00 +0000 Many employee- and customer-facing digital projects can prove very difficult to pull off, but to paraphrase Tolstoy, each is hard in its own way. Partly it relates to how different "silos" in the organization perceive the key challenges.  The two main protagonists in this drama, Business and IT, are very often not on the same page.

But is there is a way for enterprise leaders to pin-point how and where this Business-IT gap shows up?

Consider the Case of Social-Collaboration

Consider social-collaboration technology, where an analysis of the challenges faced by large organizations provides some useful insights about the Business-IT chasm.

RSG's 2014 survey of Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software (get summary here) found that customer satisfaction with social-collaboration technology remains middling and enterprises have not yet achieved a high degree of maturity in leveraging this technology.


Figure 1: Main challenges faced in Social-Collaboration projects, as seen by Business and IT (Click image for full-size version of the chart).

As you can see from the above chart, Business and IT perceive that their social-collaboration initiatives face different challenges. Along with executive buy-in, business stakeholders consider insufficient staffing, training, and lack of best practices to be their main challenges. Apart from executive buy-in, IT stakeholders tend to perceive a very different set of challenges: lack of user adoption, insufficient governance, and funding shortages.

Among the list of main challenges, only "executive buy-in" appears on both sides of the aisle. 

Figure 2: Executive Buy-in is the only common challenge cited by Business and IT.

Some of This Is Normal

Some tension here is to be expected and maybe even welcomed -- a bit.  IT and Business stakeholders have different jobs so you might expect they bring distinct sets of concerns to digital projects.

However, different stakeholders prioritizing separate challenges may indicate teams pursuing different goals and divergent paths to maturity. They may be trying to solve localized or departmental problems, rather than pursuing enterprise-wide objectives.

Do you experiences similar alignment challenges? Talk to us - we can help untangle complex enterprise social-collaboration initiatives.


Last chance to benchmark your ECM systems #Cloud #ecm Fri, 22 May 2015 12:28:00 +0000 We are currently conducting a customer survey on Enterprise Content Management and related aspects such as Document Management and Cloud-File Sharing & Sync (CFSS), including questions about cloud and mobile in an ECM context.

I'm pleased to report we're getting some very interesting insights from customers. If you want a copy of the final summary results, you need to participate -- but you'll want to do so right now, since the survey closes Tuesday, 26 May.

Meanwhile, here are some interesting (provisional) findings.

Traditional File Shares and Email still rule the roost

Okay, to be honest, a high prevalence of traditional file shares and email systems for document management wasn’t totally unexpected. However, such a high percentage is noteworthy -- even within organizations that have implemented more formal ECM systems.

      (Click to enlarge.)


Usability a major concern

Customers can use this survey to benchmark their own implementation against the ECM Maturity Model, a model that RSG co-created with other industry colleagues. Usability is one of several dimensions to compare yourself with peers. More than 50% of respondents found the usability of their systems lacking. How does your situation compare?

  (Click to enlarge.)

How to get the final results yourself

This is just a small sliver of the findings you can expect from the study, and doubtless the data will change when all the entries get tallied. FYI, we're seeing some really interesting trends on mobile and cloud, too.

If you are a customer of ECM technology and have not yet completed the survey, you can still participate (before Tuesday!) and receive a summary of the final findings. Here is the link to the survey.

[Webinar] Digital Workplace at Scale: A Checklist for Large, Global Organizations #DigitalWorkplace #EntArch Thu, 21 May 2015 15:07:00 +0000[Webinar]-Digital-Workplace-at-Scale:-A-Checklist-for-Large-Global-Organizations? If you manage the intranet or digital workplace for a large enterprise, you know that scalability matters — a lot.

Yet "scale" is a tricky concept in technology. In the world of packaged applications — the kind that we evaluate — people talk about scale when referencing very different things, such as feature breadth and scenario diversity (scope), functional depth and richness (complexity), and transaction volumes and traffic intensity (usage).

Since all of these meanings are relevant, notions of scale can become vague, generic, and take on a marketing-speak quality.

You don't want that.

Join RSG Founder Tony Byrne for a scalability checklist for large, global organizations. Designed to align both business and IT leaders, this checklist will help you address the unique problems of super-sized enterprises that vendors often neglect.

Register here

Webinar Details:

Registration: Digital Workplace at Scale: A Checklist for Large, Global Organizations 

Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Time: 12:00-12:30 PM EST (16:00-16:30 UTC/GMT 17:00 BST)

I look forward to seeing you there.

What does the future hold for Jive Software and its customers? #e20 #sharepoint Tue, 19 May 2015 11:57:00 +0000 As our Enterprise Collaboration & Social Software research subscribers know, Jive Software is a major player in the enterprise collaboration software space. During the “Enterprise 2.0” mania of the last decade, Jive was structured and valued as a high-growth play — both before and after its splashy IPO.

However, the company is now experiencing decelerated revenue and customer growth. This along with the continued lack of profits is leading to a significant reduction in its market capitalization.

Figure 1:  From a peak of $1.7 billion in April 2012, Jive's market cap has declined to about $400 million at the beginning of May 2015. Source: YChart

Without concurrent cost reductions, this performance plateau calls into question Jive’s path-to-profitability and therefore its future viability as an independent company.

  • What does this mean for Jive and the enterprise collaboration software market as a whole?
  • What are the implications for current and future customers of Jive (most of whom, btw, seem quite happy with the platform)?

We just released a detailed 12-page paper that analyzes the strategic choices confronting Jive and makes specific recommendations for current and prospective customers.

As a bonus you also get our analysis of the desirability of different suitors for Jive Software in any M&A overtures - but from the perspective of enterprise customers, using our hand-crafted Suitorbility analysis.

Figure 2:  RSG Analysis of motivation to acquire Jive and impact on customer for different suitors, along with some wild cards. (Click to enlarge.)

This briefing is available to our Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software research subscribers for immediate download. If you are not a subscriber, you can purchase it for $895.


Mind the Overhead in Digital Marketing Suites #digitalmarketing #EntArch Mon, 18 May 2015 07:30:00 +0000 When a vendor acquires another product and puts (vendors will say "integrate") that tool within an existing “suite,” it usually comes with a key side effect: overlapping features across multiple products within the suite. You've probably seen this phenomenon before in the Portals, ECM and other marketplaces. More recently, this issue is surfacing in a big way in the Digital Marketing marketplace.

Multiple acquisitions add overlapping features

As an example, Salesforce has acquired many tools that are now packaged as part of their "Marketing Cloud." Additionally, Salesforce also created some of its own applications, such as Social Studio, which exposes functionality from those acquired tools, thus further increasing your options. So analytics is available across Radian 6, Buddy Media, and Social Studio. Similarly, publishing can be done from Buddy Media as well as Social Studio. Similarly, you'll find features for engagement in Social Studio, Buddy Media as well as in Radian 6.

Implications for your team

Salesforce and other suite vendors will argue that these are not overlaps. They’ll say multiple products target different use cases and therefore give you the ability to target a broader set of opportunities.

Even where this is true, you the customer will have to spend considerable amount of resources just to understand these overlaps and educate your colleagues on when to use what tool.

Again to take the example of Salesforce, Both Radian6 and Buddy Media provide features for social media analytics. Radian6 is a general-purpose social media monitoring and intelligence tool and provides broad capabilities for social media analytics. Buddy Media on the other hand, provides capabilities for monitoring to your own social presence, like your Facebook page, Twitter account, and so forth. The difference lies in focus; Radian6 is for broad social media, while Buddy Media is for your own specific social pages. Are those two different people in your enterprise?

This is just one example. With digital marketing suites from Oracle, Adobe, IBM, and others your team may also need to master multiple products -- many of which do very similar things -- to get the most benefit. You'll find this brings extra overhead to your processes, when you have to not only train people how to use different products, but then also educate them on the often subtle differences of doing similar tasks from different places.

In RSG's Marketing Automation and Social Technology report, we pay special attention to the suite vendors and call out these differences in greater detail. If you're already an RSG subscriber and would like to discuss this in more detail, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

[Webinar] Making Sense of the Mobile Tool Landscape #mobile #tech Sun, 17 May 2015 20:32:00 +0000[Webinar]-Making-Sense-of-the-Mobile-Tool-Landscape? As the enterprise mobility marketplace matures, smart customers have started to think beyond device management and apps to consider the employee and customer experience. In order to do this however, customers need to consider specialized tools that help with mobile initiatives rather than relying on their incumbent tools (including WCM, portal, and appserver platforms).

Join my colleague Theresa Regli for an overview of the platforms that support enterprise mobile initiatives. This webinar will take our usual tough, critical approach, helping you sort myth from reality in this increasingly essential technology segment.

You will gain an understanding of:

- Business scenarios against which enterprise mobility tools can be evaluated
- The marketplace and key players
- How to evaluate and select the right vendor to meet your requirements

Register here

Webinar Details:

Registration: Making Sense of the ECM Tool Landscape 

Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Time: 11:00-11:30 PM EST (15:00-15:30 UTC/GMT 16:00 BST)

I look forward to seeing you there.

Is your social media monitoring software emotionally intelligent? #socialmediamonitoring #socialmedia Thu, 14 May 2015 14:52:00 +0000 In a relatively short span of time, Social Media Monitoring and Intelligence capabilities have become a useful part of the marketer's toolkit. We evaluate several specialist and larger marketing technology vendors in our Marketing Automation and Social Technology research.

From Listening to Sentiment Analysis

Social listening tools offer you the ability to mine vast streams of conversations on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, and surface several insights that you can potentially use in customer support, product design, marketing communications, and competitive intelligence.

Monitoring tools rely on a mix of statistical methods and natural language processing techniques to try to understand the sentiment of a single post or a tweet and usually classify them into three types: positive, negative, and neutral. At the aggregate level, this could reflect consumer sentiment towards your brand, and many tools assign a numerical score to indicate the strength or intensity of that sentiment.

As I note here, you need to exercise caution in any interpretations because of certain inherent software limitations as well the complexity of the human communication process. Social media monitoring, like all other metrics, is best used in conjunction with other analytics, and is often best employed as starting point for further investigation.

Specific Refinements

After several years of enterprise experimentation, we are now starting to see some refinements in these tools.  Given that the accuracy of sentiment classification is not going to be 100%, most tools now offer you the ability to override the automatic classification.

Of course, it won't be humanly possible to sift through the fire hose, tweet by tweet -- so you have to prioritize. Tools can help you zero-in on the influencers or people who seem to be shaping sentiments (usually by virtue of their large online following). Some tools offer multiple-language support. Some tools are tailored for specific industries and contexts (e.g., sports events) which have their tongues and terms. Many of these refinements are actually efforts to improve the accuracy of the predicted sentiment.

Consult our research for a deep-dive of the functionality and vendor comparisons.

...And Now to Emotional Intelligence

While the average sentiment score has it's uses, it's a rudimentary rendition of the vast range of human feelings and emotions. Anger, fear, and sadness are lumped under a negative score while emotions such as joy and trust get classified as positive. If you knew the specific emotional state of the consumer, you could perhaps take more sophisticated and accurate approaches. This is what I call the emotionally intelligent social monitoring tool.

When you combine psychology research with the bread-and-butter social listening techniques like NLP and statistics, you can get to emotion detection. It's early days but we are starting to see the emergence of such emotion tools. Adobe Social -- in an experimental release -- tries to classify content into eight emotional categories: Joy, Admiration, Fear, Surprise, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Anticipation.

Figure 1: Emotion widget in Adobe Social. Image Source:

In addition to the "beta" nature of such tools, there are a few other caveats. 

For example, when content gets classified into a far greater number of categories (i.e., 8 emotions), each segment will have a smaller amount of data and potentially reduce the accuracy of classification. And even then, some critics contend that important emotions such as "Pride" are missing from the core emotions. 

Having said that, if you are an early-adopter marketer, you can begin to experiment and figure out differentiating use cases.

[Webinar] Making Sense of the ECM Tool Landscape #ecm #Cloud Mon, 11 May 2015 12:14:00 +0000[Webinar]-Making-Sense-of-the-ECM-Tool-Landscape? The enterprise content management (ECM) marketplace is evolving rapidly. This marketplace actually encompasses two broad categories of tools:

  1. Emerging cloud-based file sharing and sync services that let you get up and running relatively quickly
  2. Traditional ECM and document management tools, although relatively complex, still work best for more sophisticated use cases

With nearly two-dozen players, how do you make sense of this marketplace?

In this webinar, we'll look at the overall ECM and cloud file sharing arena and provide a framework to evaluate this marketplace based on your own needs. We'll guide you through specific steps to select the best-fitting tools for your enterprise.

In a fast-paced session led by RSG research director Apoorv Durga, you will gain an understanding of:

  • ECM concepts — including business services, technology services, and vendor intangibles
  • Business scenarios against which ECM tools can be evaluated
  • The marketplace and key players
  • How to evaluate and select the right vendor to meet your requirements

Register here

Webinar Details:


Registration: Making Sense of the ECM Tool Landscape

Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Time: 12:00-12:30 PM EST (16:00-16:30 UTC/GMT)

I look forward to seeing you there.

P.S. Our research is based on feedback by end users and practitioners in the space. We invite you to participate in a survey on ECM and Cloud File Sharing that should take 5-10 minutes to complete. The results of this survey will be compiled into a detailed report and you will have access to that advisory paper.


New Reference Models for Your Digital Workplace #DigitalWorkplace #KMers Wed, 06 May 2015 12:51:00 +0000 The term "Digital Workplace" has become quite popular, and although some old hands view the term with cynicism, at RSG we are quite bullish on the concept.

Here's our definition: your digital workplace is the collection of digital systems that your colleagues use to get work done. And the foundational problem with employee digital experience today is that these systems reflect primarily how the enterprise wants that work to get done.

Many of our enterprise subscribers recognize that they need to reverse this equation and focus on employee experience "on the glass."

However, this quest gets hampered by a lack of practical frameworks that assess current state, analyze the environment from multiple vantage points, and help charter a custom roadmap.

So today we're sharing a couple of reference models with our subscribers.

1) A more traditional, architectural reference model that describes a layered inventory of digital workplace systems, to form a baseline for further analysis of functional, integration, and security needs

2) A complementary approach that examines the efficacy and usability of enterprise systems from the perspective of the employee -- tying systems analysis more closely to business value via the pursuit of employee effectiveness, engagement, and satisfaction

Subscribers can download the briefing,"Reference Models to Chart the Future of Your Digital Workplace," straight away.

If your firm is not a subscriber (and maybe it is, already), peruse this information to learn more about RSG research.


Google's affirmative action is a wake-up call for your enterprise mobile strategy #mobile #google Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:03:00 +0000 There is a joke in the world of search:

Q: What's the difference between the Google Search Algorithm and the Almighty? 

A: The Algorithm, mysterious though are its ways, is not arbitrary.

Suffice to say that it is not surprising that when that leviathan is updated, the levee can easily break and upend the order of things.

I am of course referring to the recent update to Google's search algorithms, which will now give preference to mobile-friendly webpages when the search is performed on a mobile device. As we all know from personal experience, the order of Google search results is paramount - if your business/brand/site does not show up in the first few results pages, it is virtually non-existent for millions of customers. 

Of course, this change has been announced in advance and does not apply to web searches conducted on desktop computers and  real-intent-behind-the-query considerations are not ignored in favor of mobile-friendliness.

But in a world of choice and where consumer interactions are increasingly initiated on the smartphone, being pushed back in Google results pages can be highly detrimental to your bottom line. In short, while this is an affirmative action for businesses that have mobile-friendly websites, it's a big kick in the behind for those that have been ignoring mobile.

Not just small businesses but surprisingly, many big brands also have been caught napping. Before it's too late and (mobile)  consumer loyalties shift away to your competition, mobile-enable your digital estates. My advice is that don't just stop at making your websites mobile friendly but use this as an opportunity to craft a longer-term mobility strategy for your organization. Also, make sure that your mobility strategy is not only for your customers and marketplace but also encompasses your employees and the digital workplace.

Competence in crafting superior mobile experiences for your customers and employees is turning out to be the killer-app for competitive differentiation. But it requires that you think and approach your mobility projects differently than your regular IT projects or even your early mobility projects centered around mobile device management or simplistic app management practices. 

There's no app for that but our enterprise mobile technology research has got the bases covered when it comes to identifying best practices and picking the products and tools you'll need to help you on this journey.