Recently, you released a report covering the best software selection tactics for small businesses. Can you give us an overview of the key findings, and how the research was conducted?
We found that SMBs should be checking vendor references and having their attorney review all agreements. These two tactics had a positive impact on both the outcome of a software selection project and buyer satisfaction. With the advent of sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and the like, buyers have become accustomed to using customer opinions to help make important purchasing decisions. Our research confirms that this is just as true among SMBs evaluating software.
Our research also showed that the majority of buyers are involving end-users in their selection process—a tactic we found to be ineffective. Buyers who involve end-users are more likely to report high levels of dissatisfaction in their software selection search. I’d attribute this outcome to companies being a victim of having too many cooks in the kitchen. While it’s necessary to understand how the software will be used day-to-day, involving end-users could take the project in
As companies grow in size, there is a tendency to lose the efficiency they had as lean, mean startups. Applying the fundamental principles of a startup to enterprises of all sizes keep them ahead of the competition in a demanding marketplace.
In 2011, Eric Ries developed the “lean startup” methodology, a way of launching and developing a business or product as efficiently as possible to reduce the risk of failure. It keeps enterprises focused on key processes to increase customer value, and reduces waste to a minimum.
1. Entrepreneurship is management
To react quickly in the product development lifecycle, it is imperative for an enterprise to empower everyone to communicate and collaborate, from the front-desk, to the top echelons. Senior management must be confident enough to be willing to cede control, and allow individual teams to feel empowered in the development process, therefore improving speed and efficiency.
2. Validated learning
Every step in the development process is measured to determine its efficiency or validity. Each subsequent step is adjusted based on the previous step, to refine and finetune for even more efficient subsequent steps. As a result, the agile backlog
one. Enlist And Maintain Continuous Executive Support And Participation
Engage not only your “technology” executives (your CIO, CTO, and CMIO), but also your CFO, COO, and CNO. Given that an enterprise RTLS solution can—and should—touch so many strategic operational processes across your organization, you will want to keep your executive team highly involved. With strong vision and support from the “top,” you will be able to ensure that your people and your processes can leverage the full advantages of an enterprise RTLS solution. How do you to get buy-in from the C-level team? Show them the numbers: expected hard-dollar savings, revenue and reimbursement opportunities, and predicted improvements in quality, compliance, and patient satisfaction.
Two. Understand That RTLS Is About Enterprise-Wide Process Transformation (not just asset tracking)
If your organization is using (or planning to use) an RTLS solution to find equipment faster (asset tracking), you are missing out on the tremendous opportunity of RTLS to achieve transformational process improvement. While it’s true that the “L” in RTLS stands for “Location,” it turns out that just knowing the real-time location of a piece
Biologists looking for a move up the ladder or their first job would do well to consider working with the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is responsible for protecting public health by ensuring the safety of drugs – for people and animals, biological products, medical devices, food supply, cosmetics, tobacco products and products emitting radiation. Furthermore, it is also involved in processing medical innovations and in the nation’s counter terrorism strategy, by ensuring the security of the food supply and public health threats.
Working as a biologist within the FDA is certainly a diverse role. Other benefits include alternative work schedules, child care tuition, employee assistance programme, subsidies for commuting, flexible workplaces and voluntary leave.
FDA biologists work in the Washington DC headquarters and other FDA facilities around the USA. The organisation is currently looking to fill 1,300 medical and science positions, with biologists’ duties including evaluating data to determine how safe and effective a medical product is, screening out medical products which could be a hazard to public health, researching the preparation, preservation and safety of bloods and studying
The need for enterprise training programs is being felt across industries today. With the technological innovations advancing with stellar speed, companies are giving enhanced importance to the issue and investing in the latest software solutions to make the training sessions even more effective. If you are assigned with the duty to organize a similar training program at your workplace and you are in the lookout for the most competent solution within best prices, then opt for the enterprise training solution.
However, investing in a technology based solution though makes your administrative work a lot simpler. However, that does not guarantee you a full round success for your training program; in order to ensure that, you need to follow certain steps. Here are the top five tips that you can implement to make your enterprise training program a sure-shot success:
Automate your back-end processes:
Automating the back-end processes of training management makes your work a lot easier and enables you to focus on tasks that are crucial for program designing. On availing the enterprise training registration software, you can do this in the most effective manner. The solution is Cloud based; so it is reasonably priced. It handles registrations, payment management, email communications, waitlist
What are social enterprises? Are they the answer to success during this economic crisis? These seven top tips will guide you through the social enterprise journey from both an employee and employer’s point of view.
1. What is a social enterprise?
It is a business or service with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested in the community. A social enterprise is owned by its employees, has a clear social purpose and trades goods or services. Greenwich Leisure Limited is a well known example.
2. Defining the business case
Key to any successful change or new service delivery model is the development of a robust business case. This should include the following: vision, mission, services to be provided, stakeholder engagement, partnership, costs, feasibility study, business operating model, associated risks, governance, timescales and implementation.
3. Accessing resources
It is anticipated that the Big Society Bank will provide some funding for social enterprises from April 2011 and other funding is available from national and regional organisations. However, competition is fierce and social entrepreneurs often resort to private loan arrangements which can be high interest and risky.
4. Procurement issues
It is not yet clear what impact Government policy will have on procurement rules as they
Tip #1 – Define your LMS Business Case
Any wise “training as a business” (extended enterprise) LMS buyer knows all the questions and answers about their business case. You don’t buy a business LMS without knowing how you are going to achieve much more benefit than the cost of the LMS and overall program. Business cases for an extended enterprise LMSs are usually pretty easy to develop. Answer the following questions and you will have the start of yours.
Who are your intended LMS audiences? Is it your channel, partners, members, customers, prospects, employees, students, general public or all? Some LMSs are generalists that do it all (more expensive) and others specialize in an audience type or business function (less expensive).
What are the measurable success criteria? Are you trying to drive content sales, channel sales, # of channel partners, customer renewals, customer satisfaction, product rollouts or global expansion? What percentage increase or decrease in your metrics constitute success? Do you have a plan in place to measure current metrics and future metrics to determine the return on investment gain of your learning technology efforts?
Do you have budget yet? It is really important to know your budget status internally and shop realistically. There
If you would like your staff to be more enterprising then you need to factor these tips for enterprise development:
1. Listen to their ideas?The more they feel listened to the more they will be willing to share new, enterprising ideas with you.
2. Develop an awareness of the business needs in your staff?The more your staff understand what is necessary to be more businesslike for your organisation the easier it is for them to find enterprising solutions.
3. Provide space to think?Staff who are so busy doing?will often not take time to consider if they are doing things the best way.
4. Offer support to new ideas?However good a new idea is offer support to think it through and work out if it has potential. Staff will often see for themselves if something isn’t worth pursuing but if they feel you block ideas from the start they are unlikely to offer up new ideas in the future.
5. Avoid blame?When ideas don’t work out just accept it and move on. Blame and blaming will sabotage future idea development so take time to consider what did work and use those ideas to move forward.
Always Validate that a URL Matches the Site You Want to Visit
Often hackers and cyber-criminals will replace one character for a domain name or URL with something that looks similar, but the site isn’t the one you wanted to visit. Then, when you click on the “buy” link or any other interactive script, your computer will get owned. Always take the time to make sure that dollar.com isn’t do11ar.com; the 2 seconds you spend when visiting a site can be the difference between being hacked and having a merry Christmas. —Chase Cunningham, cyber-threat intelligence lead, Armor
Check to See That a Real Person Actually Sent You an Offer
For instance, many PCs are already hacked and have malware that is sending malicious content. Your neighbor might have you in his/her address book, and when the time of year comes around for Black Friday deals, for example, the malware will send malicious links to everyone in that address book. If you get that link and think, “Hey, it’s my neighbor; they are cool,” and click on it without validating they actually sent it, you might also get infected. —Chase Cunningham, cyber-threat intelligence lead, Armor
Beware of Scams
To mitigate phishing, ignore links in emails and
1. Enterprise doesn’t have any set prices. That rate you got when you called in was either the full retail rate, or the first number that popped into the agent’s head. There are three main categories of rentals: personal (retail), corporate, and insurance, but on every single contract that goes out the agent manually types out how much you pay per day and he has authority to make it pretty much whatever he thinks you should pay. When an employee makes a reservation it’s critical to key in the rate quoted so the branch knows what to charge the customer when she comes in otherwise nobody would know what to charge. A good branch manager trains his employees to adjust the price as needed to keep the lot sitting tight, that means making some way-too-cheap deals when there are too many cars around. It also means someone walking in saying they need a car no matter the price, that customer might get charged twice what he would have paid just asking for a car.
2. By now everyone knows that you don’t need that extra rental insurance but just like service contracts at Best Buy, you can negotiate the daily rate
1. Make sure you do your market research
You need to audit potential export territories to consider which ones are most compatible with your product and where the local competition does not rule you out – then stick to the one you decide to target. Taking your product overseas will involve all sorts of logistical and legal hoops – so make each territory work before you start expanding to others, otherwise you can quickly be drowned in administrative and (language and legal) compliance issues.
2. Will your product go down well?
Make sure you have great products that are appropriate for the territory both physically and culturally. With chocolate, for example, we were very conscious that taste in chocolate varies from country to country. Our recipe matches tastes in Northern Europe and America more than it does in Continental Europe, and our product needs to be sold in places where it is possible to keep it from getting too hot or too cold. We need to consider if we’ll do well in a place where dairy products are still not commonly eaten. Other thoughts to consider: might your product break any taboos? Is it called something rude in another language? Is the fact
1. Getting into an agile state of mind
Large enterprises, especially those maintaining legacy projects, got used to their various teams working in silos. Development and QA were separate organizations. Developers “completed” their tasks, then passed them on to QA for testing. There was a real disparity between the development team’s definition of “done” and the QA team’s definition of “done.”
To successfully scale agile for enterprises, this mindset needs to change from “I need to finish my user stories,” to “We, (development and QA) as a team, need to finish our user stories together.” Looking at the WIP as an example, it means that if there are 15 user stories in the WIP, developers haven’t completed their task until QA has finished theirs. Developers must accept that the user stories they’re working on aren’t “done” until they’ve been approved by QA.
2. Managing legacy projects with long release cycles
Legacy projects can have long lead times between each delivery, which doesn’t fit well with the agile spirit of fast sprints and releases. The trouble is that in legacy work, there isn’t always a customer breathing down corporate’s neck, demanding fast and frequent releases. It’s easy to put stuff on hold and ignore the
1. Find a partner you trust
A 2012 Lieberman Software survey found that 86 percent of IT professionals chose to keep their most sensitive data on premises rather than in the cloud, and 88 percent believed that some of their cloud-hosted data could be lost, corrupted, or accessed by unauthorized individuals. That perception has to change.
To ensure your data is in safe hands, look for a partner with a strong framework around security and data sovereignty. It’s vital to find a cloud provider with deep domain expertise and a proven ability to execute. Look for a differentiated portfolio, one that shows a depth and breadth of capabilities. An organization with a long-term vision and a clear, tightly integrated roadmap and release plan can assuage security concerns.
2. Go with a tightly integrated and dispersed platform
Your provider should have a solid track record when it comes to release stability, because you want the latest releases working in your environment quickly, without any disruption to the business. Ideally, there should be a balance between location and compute workload. Good global coverage can spread compute loads closer to where users are actually located. Avoid centralized, single-location offerings.
3. Consider economies of scale
One of the major advantages
1. Understand and build intelligence of your customers’ DNA
At the point of engagement, you need to know your customers, and what they are trying to do, often across multiple communications channels, and who within your organisation is best placed to help them achieve it. That’s where the ability to track digital DNA and accurately interpret it is so important.
You need to have captured and recorded previous interactions with each customer and use these to quickly analyse behaviour patterns and likely preferences and route individual interactions to the point of contact best suited to address or resolve their query – no matter what the interaction channel.
You also increasingly need to need to deliver omni-channel service to customers to meet their growing need for a vast breadth of service offerings from traditional voice right through to newly assimilated social media and webchat tools.
In doing so, you may need to switch the focus from reactive to proactive, deploying big data analytics techniques to leverage the DNA you have gathered about customers. The aim might be to take advantage of up-sell and cross-sell options, for example, or to simply step in to offer additional proactive engagement to complement a self-service approach the customer is
1. Don’t treat enterprise service management as an IT project
Enterprise service management requires organizational change as much as technology change. It’s also a business project rather than a technology project. And taking a truly cross-business approach will help to ensure that the project progresses in the optimal order, ideally fixing the biggest issues or delivering the biggest benefits first.
Also, try to remember that enterprise service management isn’t just about implementing ITSM processes and technology outside of IT; that instead it’s ultimately about improving other business function service delivery and the service experience.
2. Allow for the differences
Recognize that some business functions will be more “excited” about enterprise service management than others. It might be that they better understand the opportunity of enterprise service management or it might be that this initiative is a lower priority for the “less excited” business functions. Either way, ensure that the less-excited groups don’t get marginalized and are involved in the business-wide decisions that will ultimately affect them. If you get the feeling that the enterprise service management initiative is becoming all IT-push and very little enterprise-pull, revisit the justification planning work and ensure that the initiative has been truly bought into.
Also, recognize and accommodate inter-team
1. Align EFM with your core business: Specify the goals you want to achieve through outsourcing.
Many companies’ initial motivation to outsource is simply to understand what’s in their portfolio and how they can run it more effectively. Effectiveness can relate to sustainability, safety, compliance, uptime, productivity, quality and/ or cost – among many other things. Whatever your motivation, it’s important to understand what’s driving it so you can design your outsourcing model and contracts accordingly.
2. Get stakeholder support: Engage people at all levels of the organization.
Lack of buy-in is one of the most common contributors to failed outsourcing: make sure you’ve got broad support early in the process. You also need to make sure those charged with delivering and managing the contract are committed to seeing it through and can stay focused, determined in the face of resistance.
3. Gather quality baseline data: Know where you’re starting from to measure how far you go.
A solid foundation of baseline data will help you clarify scope, cost, service levels, and required resources along with the best potential suppliers. Quality data puts you in a position to determine the certainty of the commercial proposition, the simplicity and speed of implementing change,
1. Take a Survey of Employee Devices
Targeting your test efforts to types of devices used by employees saves time and money, and also results in a higher quality app. A device survey should answer questions regarding vital features, such as the following:
Device Type/Screen Size: Apps need to display and function properly across all supported screen sizes. In some cases, smartphones and tablets may require separate UIs since they tend to be used differently.
Operating System: Android and iOS are the two major operating systems in the market today, but pay attention to which version employees have (ie. Jelly Bean vs. KitKat) to help narrow your test efforts.
Device Model/Brand: Differences between processors, RAM, and storage can have an impact on how enterprise applications perform.
Location: App features can work differently (or not at all) in certain parts of the world. If you’re dealing with employees scattered across the globe, localization testing is a must.
2. Keep Up-To-Date on Consumer Trends
While targeted testing should certainly remain a priority, that’s not to say you should ignore consumer trends. Surveys suggest that the average consumer updates his or her smartphone every 18 to 20 months, so keep an eye on the big releases
Can mobile app gamification really turn mundane, everyday work into productive engagement within the enterprise? Yes, but only if done right.
Gamification almost always works in the short term but it takes thoughtful and strategic design to make it work over a long period of time. Ultimately, leaving your company with short-term productivity gains rather than long-term benefits. But when executed properly, gamification can motivate your sales team, boost employee collaboration, engage service and support teams and accelerate employee development.
Just follow our four tips for executing a successful enterprise app gamification strategy:
Know Your User
You must first identify what motivates your employees. No amount of gamification can motivate a user to do something they don’t want to do. Successful app gamification strategy taps into a workforce’s intrinsic motivators.
Is your work culture driven by autonomy, mastery, purpose progress or social interaction? Understanding these intrinsic motivators impact your organization is crucially important to unlocking potential across all employees, all job titles and all departments. Tapping into the right motivators will also lead to a more productive and pleasing work environment.
Identify Your Mission
What employee behaviors are you trying to drive through your mobile app? Large, all-encompassing goals such as “collaboration”
1. Do it at the right time.
Sometimes, timing is everything. Scaling up too early can mean the collapse of a company while doing it too late can mean lots of missed opportunities. Ideally, a social enterprise that pursues growth more aggressively should already have proven that its business model works.
Both social entrepreneurs agree one sign that it’s time to scale up is if there is an increased market demand for their product or service. Scaling up will allow the enterprise to fill the gaps in its operations, increasing its potential for positive social impact.
2. Have a clear company ethos and a solid team.
Growing businesses face all sorts of challenges, but those with a clear sense of purpose — as well as a passionate team backing it up — have a better chance of not only surviving, but thriving.
“You need to know how you want to do business, what are the core values that guide you and how you want to bring the business forward,” Lim said. “You have to have a strong core or management team that will act as a steering committee to ensure that the rest of the team will be able to adapt [to] the changes.”
1. Create as much automation as possible
Companies run on CRMs, ELPs or another type of messaging application. This is one of the first applications they will want to deploy in the cloud, but to get one of them automatically up in just a few clicks is difficult.
Organisations can either hire an outside expert, who will take around three or days to get the project up and running, or outsource to a third-party company to help with the process.
2. Use the right dependencies
In the cloud, no application ever runs by itself – it’s always dependent on something. Everything is connected. Because of this, it’s important to make sure the application is pointing to a database. It’s also important to point it to the correct database so if things change or move you can reference back to those same dependencies and databases.
3. Manage the operation
Once everything is fully deployed, it’s important to back it all up. You don’t want to lose any data, so make sure this is one of the first things you do. Again, you have options when deciding how to do this. You could hire an application expert, but 80% of the tasks are basic. Many