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Showing posts from April, 2014

Leadership: attract & retain millennials or fail!

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This work by Marcelo Bernardes (@marcelobern) was originally posted on LinkedIn.
Over the next decade, many organizations are at risk as they fail to attract and retain the very professionals necessary to keep them "alive".

Here is why The workforce is changing:
"By 2025, millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce and by next year (2014), they will account for 36% of the American workforce." (Forbes) "Millennials want to work for organizations that support innovation. In fact, 78 percent of Millennials are influenced by how innovative a company is when deciding if they want to work there, but most say their current employer does not greatly encourage them to think creatively." (Deloitte Millennial Survey) So organizations will need to find ways to bridge any existing gaps with millennials, as those unable to cater to this millennial desire to innovate will struggle to attract and retain millennials, and may be unable to secure thei…

Will Customer Service Ever Be The New Marketing?

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This work by Marcelo Bernardes (@marcelobern) was originally posted on LinkedIn.
Industry experts have been touting this convergence for years, but will these practices ever fully integrate? What should you be doing today?
Customer Service and Marketing lines blur More and more, social media is becoming the primary mean by which users reach out to ask for companies to solve their problems and express their opinions about a brand. According to the 2012 American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer, 1 in 5 Americans have used social media to get a customer services response at least once in the last year (infographic).

The obvious challenge is that such interactions happen on a very public forum. So, every reply needs to be carefully crafted in a positive way, and in line with the company branding. Failure to do so, has lead to disastrous consequences, as in the cases of McDonald's, Tesco, and many others.
Social media represents a new dynamic in customer experience…

Cloud Integration (iPaaS) Analysis & Trends

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This work by Marcelo Bernardes (@marcelobern) was originally posted on LinkedIn.
From vendor fragmentation and acquisitions to open source, the activity level in the cloud-based integration market, is indication that we are about to experience deep changes, similar (or bigger) than those experienced when software as a services (SaaS) was introduced (Forbes).

Note: please check Wikipedia for details on what is cloud integration, also known as infrastructure platform as a service, or iPaaS.

This article is a short compilation of the cloud integration market, vendors, and trends.
iPaaS market The iPaaS customers can be segmented as follows:
Individual and start-up customers: these customers are cost sensitive, so vendors targeting this segment generally have a freemium (Wikipedia) business model, and their prices go up to USD100/month. Zapier, IFTTT, and Cloudpipes are examples of vendors in this group.Enterprise customers: these customers are looking for global footprint, scalability, and …

Why add start-ups to your investment portfolio?

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This work by Marcelo Bernardes (@marcelobern) was originally posted on LinkedIn.
I recently had an epiphany: I should review my investment portfolio to include start-ups. Let me share my rationale with you, so you can reach your own conclusions.
The Corporate Scenario: Proven Execution According to Steve Blank, "Every large company, ... is executing a proven business model". So, it should come as no surprise when large companies "... have a hard time with continuous and disruptive innovation.", continues Blank (Inc.). And my observation of large companies corroborates that seeking efficiencies and cost cutting, are here to stay.
Millennials Are Here! There is a lot of debate about millennials. Be it because of economic reasons (Entrepreneur), social reasons (infographic) or education reasons (CNBC), the reality is that millennials prefer to build their own businesses, rather than join existing companies, regardless of size.
"54 percent of Millennials say …

Establishing a Customer Base in Brazil: Avoid Common Pitfalls

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This work by Marcelo Bernardes (@marcelobern) was originally posted on LinkedIn.
During a casual conversation, I heard the tale of a technology company looking to establish a presence in Brazil, but failing. It turns out the company had decided to solely rely on a local partner to develop the market for them, and had little checks and balances to track the progress being made by the partner.

With all the interest in the Brazilian market over the past decade, I have heard similar tales too often. Like many others, I also learned the hard way, so let me share some of that learning in hopes it will increase your chances of success.
Some common challenges In order to avoid the most common mistakes, please consider this short list of suggested "homework" items which should be addressed prior to trying to establish an operation in Brazil (some of this rationale might even apply to other geographies as well):
Competitors and taxes: check if your main competitors have a l…

Cloud integration will change Professional Services

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This work by Marcelo Bernardes (@marcelobern) was originally posted on LinkedIn.
Since the mass adoption of cloud computing started, it has dramatically impacted Professional Services practices and their P&L. Now a new aspect of cloud computing, cloud integration - also known as Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), is poised to deepen this impact. Let me share with you why.

A Typical Professional Services Practice Because not all Professional Services organizations are the same, let us start by level setting on the roles a TSIA Level 2 Professional Services (PS) organization has traditionally been accountable for:
Consulting: either before a business solution is acquired, or after such solution is in operation, a PS team may be engaged to gather business needs and define the best architecture to address these needs.Project management: project managers are critical to coordinate the activities of all involved parties, and are likely part of the PS team.Subject matter e…

Non-techie? These cloud tools are for you!

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This work by Marcelo Bernardes (@marcelobern) was originally posted on LinkedIn.
While people working in the cloud computing arena understand the meaning and implication of iPaaS (infrastructure platform as a service), the vast majority of regular folks are yet to understand the power unleashed by the ability to connect cloud services.

Today, rather than going into technical details, let me give some real life examples of how you can use cloud integration to improve your life!
Cloud Integration in Action Some of the well-known players in the cloud integration space are Zapier and IFTTT. Rather than tell you how they work, let me share some examples of how I am using them to save me time and money.

Some months ago, I forgot to leave a faucet dripping during a frigid winter night. The next morning, I had to spend a couple hundred dollars to take care of the frozen pipes. To avoid this from happening again, I used decided to “ask” IFTTT to send me an SMS when The Weather Channel

Proof of Concept Best Practices

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This work by Marcelo Bernardes (@marcelobern) was originally posted on LinkedIn.
Are you seeing an increased demand for proofs of concept (POCs) from your potential customers? You are not alone. More customers want to know how the proposed components will fit in their overall solution, and they want to understand how the overall solution will address their business needs. POCs may be part of a competitive bid or RFP process, an internal compliance requirement, etc. Whatever the reason may be, developments like cloud computing seem to be leading customers to expect POCs to be an innate ability of all their vendors.

I had the opportunity to build and lead the team responsible for successfully delivering POCs to multiple Fortune100 companies. Over time, we were able to identify a set of best practices, the core principles of which, I would like to share with you:
Set proper customer expectations. I cannot stress this point enough. As obvious as it might be, having a consensu…