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Posts Tagged ‘Software as a service’

The Wilson Nonprofit Report for May 9

The Wilson Nonprofit Report

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Is your nonprofit using TrustRadius to rate and review software yet? If a pizza joint gets 1000 reviews, why shouldn’t a nonprofit software product have some? That is the simple premise of TrustRadius.

I recently caught up with Vinay Bhagat, Founder of  Convio. As most of you know, his company was acquired last May and he has started a new company called TrustRadius. TrustRadius is a new business social network designed to help professionals share intelligence about enterprise technologies. As you know, it can be really difficult to get candid, robust intelligence on products so I think the idea has a lot of merit. Their initial focus is on business applications – mostly SAAS. They have just launched a public beta and are looking for professionals knowledgeable about different applications to participate. I just signed up for their private beta last fall and encourage you to join now that it is public.  To register and start reading or writing reviews, visit www.trustradius.com, click on Join.  More

Does your nonprofit have a LinkedIn strategy? Is your nonprofit a part of the LinkedIn phenomena? If not, it is time to have a discrete strategy for it’s use. It is evolving fast. Are you?  More

Are you saying pretty please? Dan Zarrella is a great thinker on social media. He mines massive amounts of data and bases his recommendations on hard science. This is relatively rare yet needed in the field of social media marketing, and so he’s well worth following.

He recently analyzed 2.7 million tweets and concluded the following that people retweet when they are asked nicely as part of the original tweet. Conclusion? If you have something you want people to spread, ask them – with a pretty please.  More

Collaboration gone wild? Is this what collaboration looks like in your organization?  More

Use your personal smartphone for work email? Your company might take it If you use your personal smartphone or tablet to read work email, your company may have to seize the device some day, and you may not get it back for months. Employees armed with a battery of smartphones and other gadgets they own are casually connecting to work email and other employer servers. It’s a less-than-ideal security arrangement that technology pros call BYOD — bring your own device.

Now, lawyers are warning there’s an unforeseen consequence of BYOD. If a company is involved in litigation — civil or criminal — personal cellphones that were used for work email or other company activity are liable to be confiscated and examined for evidence during discovery or investigation.  More

 

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Is your nonprofit using TrustRadius to rate and review software yet?

If a pizza joint gets 1000 reviews, why shouldn’t a nonprofit software product have some? That is the simple premise of TrustRadius.

I recently caught up with Vinay Bhagat, Founder of  Convio. As most of you know, his company was acquired last May and he has started a new company called TrustRadius. TrustRadius is a new business social network designed to help professionals share intelligence about enterprise technologies. As you know, it can be really difficult to get candid, robust intelligence on products so I think the idea has a lot of merit. Their initial focus is on business applications – mostly SAAS. They have just launched a public beta and are looking for professionals knowledgeable about different applications to participate. I just signed up for their private beta last fall and encourage you to join now that it is public.  To register and start reading or writing reviews, visit www.trustradius.com, click on Join.Vinay Bhagat - Convio Founder

I think this can be valuable for the nonprofit community. Finally some transparency.

Many pundits talk about the “consumerization of the enterprise”. While it often refers to the use of social media or mobile devices in the enterprise, I believe it’s really more a shift towards consumer like experiences within the enterprise, coupled with business users driving the adoption of technology. As consumers, most of us rely heavily on peer reviews for many of the decisions we make – which restaurant to eat at, which movie to see, which hotel to stay at, which appliance to buy, which home contractor to hire. In my home town of Austin, one of the more popular pizza joints has over 1000 reviews. Yet, equivalent peer reviews are generally not available to aid critical business decisions like selecting enterprise technology.

via Guest Blog: Vinay Bhagat – The Birth of TrustRadius | Business Technology Partner.

Are there risks to mobile CRM?

April 16, 2013 1 comment

There’s no stopping the mobile CRM revolution, but those who rush into it headlong with an eye only to the many benefits may be in for an unpleasant shock. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, mobile CRM is laden with risks, too — from getting on the wrong side of the customer to getting on the wrong side of the federal government. Then there are the myriad security concerns that go along with making sensitive company data accessible on a device that may be woefully insecure.

More here: The Hidden Risks of Mobile CRM, Part 1 | Mobile CRM | CRM Buyer.

Customer Experience Trend: Software as an Experience

January 28, 2013 Leave a comment

One of the big trends we are seeing in the world of customer experience is a focus on the experience of the software. The whole rise of Smart Phones is geared around this premise.

The initial rise of cloud-based software (a.k.a. SaaS, or software-as-a-service) focused on renting access to software instead of the historical approach of selling licenses. As cloud-based software expands, we’ll see these offerings cater more explicitly to the needs of customers.

How? More simple, highly-focused, specialized applications (like smartphone apps), more focus on quick initial usability, more sharing of best practices (usage, not technical), and customization based on behavioral analysis of users.

Tidbit: Net Promoter Scores for tech vendors are more correlated to customer experience than product performance.

Guest Blog: Vinay Bhagat – The Birth of TrustRadius

December 5, 2012 5 comments

TrustRadius is a business social network that helps professionals make make smarter enterprise technology decisions through sharing insights.These are Vinay Bhagat’s thoughts on the state of the industry, their favorite technologies and life at a start-up company.

The Birth of TrustRadius — Guest Blog by Vinay Bhagat, CEO TrustRadiusVinay Bhagat - Convio Founder

In 1999, I founded a SAAS – “software as a service” – company called Convio. Over the next decade, we scaled the company, went public in 2010, and were subsequently acquired in May 2012 for $325m. During that time, I realized:

It’s really hard to get reliable information on enterprise technology

As our company grew from a 2 person start-up to a 450 person company, we bought many enterprise systems. Tapping our personal network for insights on systems was a good start but had limitations. It was often difficult to find people who had used the same system in a similar context. Trusting vendors’ sales representatives also proved problematic. In one instance, we bought an expensive HR system, only to find that key features promised by the sales representative did not work as required, rendering the product useless in our context. The poor implementation and customer service experience also never surfaced in interviews with vendor supplied customer references. Coincidentally, this HR product was rated highly by a leading technology analyst because of the vendor’s strong market presence.

Vendors must embrace transparency

A common practice in the enterprise software industry is to “spin” a presentation to highlight a product’s best features and avoid disclosing its weaknesses. Demonstrations are framed to make products seem easier to use than they truly are. Questions about capabilities and features generally receive an unqualified “yes” versus a more truthful “it depends”. Vendor supplied customer references are only offered up late in the sales cycle and are frequently carefully prepped to say the right things. The world is however changing as more and more software is sold as “a service”, and a company’s reputation can spread rapidly through social media. As a “SAAS” or software as a service business, fees are not paid up front, but rather earned over time. If a sales representative ‘over sells’ your product, it comes back to haunt the vendor in the form of customer churn, poor profitability, and negative references – all of which can significantly curb growth. As the founder of a SAAS company, I strived to be candid about our product’s strengths and weaknesses, sometimes to the chagrin of some of our sales reps. Embracing transparency served us well, allowing us to establish a mostly positive reputation within our sector.

If a pizza joint gets 1000 reviews, why shouldn’t an enterprise product have some?

Many pundits talk about the “consumerization of the enterprise”. While it often refers to the use of social media or mobile devices in the enterprise, I believe it’s really more a shift towards consumer like experiences within the enterprise, coupled with business users driving the adoption of technology. As consumers, most of us rely heavily on peer reviews for many of the decisions we make – which restaurant to eat at, which movie to see, which hotel to stay at, which appliance to buy, which home contractor to hire. In my home town of Austin, one of the more popular pizza joints has over 1000 reviews. Yet, equivalent peer reviews are generally not available to aid critical business decisions like selecting enterprise technology.

I am not alone in these beliefs

Armed with these realizations, I started to talk to IT and business professionals about their software purchase and usage experiences. I learned that my experiences as a buyer of technology were not unique. I heard a strong desire for pragmatic insights from peers. Many software vendors also share my viewpoint that embracing transparency is the best long-run business strategy and frankly inevitable. From these insights, TrustRadius was born.

What is your cloud strategy?

October 15, 2012 5 comments

Where is the Cloud going over the next few years? Have you defined your strategy to move there yet?

According to Forrester‘s projection, the global market for cloud computing will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) will play the most dominant role and will be an estimated market of about $80 billion in 2015. SaaS will especially disrupt the customer relationship management (CRM), HR, and governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software markets in coming years, and it has already disrupted other software categories such as content management and ePurchasing solutions.

Clearly the cloud isn’t going away. Are you on board?

What is business technology?

We live in a world where simply trying to align technology with business units is becoming difficult or even impossible to achieve. Savvy business staff (via the Cloud) can select, fund and enable technology without IT.

Developing effective business strategy today requires us all to blend technology strategy and business strategy in the development stage of planning, not after the fact. Technology should be fundamental to all we do as we develop business strategy.

A slow but relentless revolution in which traditional technology management, historically delivered only by an IT organization, is changing to be pervasive technology use managed increasingly outside of IT’s direct control and measured by boosting business results. —Forrester Research

I think characterizing this as a “revolution” is right!!

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