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June, 2014

  • Using Mobile Technology to Drive Offline Sales Conversions

    In the past year, it's become increasingly clear that mobile is a top priority at large enterprises and small businesses alike. A recent American Marketing Association webinar with Ensighten's Director of Product Marketing, Karen Wood, and senior product manager Jeremy Woska, noted that by 2018, mobile will make up 53% of e-commerce. It's space your customers are living in, so your business needs to live there too.

  • Understanding the Public, Private, and Hybrid Clouds: What They Mean and How They Work

    Finding the cloud solution that matches your business needs doesn’t have to be difficult. Understanding the differences between private and public cloud solutions—and the benefits of combining them in a hybrid model—can help clarify a complicated and potentially confusing landscape. 

  • Finding Clarity in Content Marketing: Skype & Microsoft Office's Adventures in Publishing

    Suddenly it seems like every brand is a digital content publisher or, at least, believes it should become one. “Brand as publisher” is a mantra of the social media age and the once obscure term of “content marketing” now rings through the halls of companies and the agencies that support them.

    But not every brand is the next Red Bull and viral hits like Oreo’s 2013 Super Bowl “Lights Out” tweet are few and far between. Publishing is not just hard work; it requires consistently solid content, distribution and the ability to land timely stories. To achieve and maintain these essential ingredients, successful publishers must establish a well-honed process.

  • The Value of Small: Why Small Data Matters Just As Much As Big Data

    In a world of big data, it's easy to forget about small data: those lower volume, more focused data sets. Using these smaller data sets can be just as relevant for your business as the insights gleaned from analyzing big data. For many of your business's day-to-day challenges, the insights gleaned from small data—or specifically the right data—are enough. 

  • How to Simplify Self-Publishing with the Right Technology

    Many people talk about writing a children’s book, but few actually follow through. And of those who do complete one, fewer still find an audience for their work. Even the majority of children’s books backed by large publishers never catch on.

  • Universal Translation: With Skype and Bing, It’s No Longer Science Fiction

    Are language barriers a thing of the past? Is there a way to avoid unreliable translation in international business meetings?  This sci-fi future is now one step closer. When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced last week that near-real time translation software is coming from Skype as a Windows 8 beta app by the end of 2014, the futurists at Microsoft for Work did a backflip of joy: software that can translate any major language to any other, almost immediately, performed by software algorithm. 

  • 3 Business Fails From Hollywood Films—And How To Avoid Them

    Hollywood is big business. Summertime is a competition between studios where the biggest explosions and craziest plots (now in 3D!) equal enormous profits. What about business in movies? Turns out, there are some awful business decisions being made not by the studios but by the characters in their films. To get you ready for a summer of superheroes and things going pew-pew-pew, here’s a look at 3 of the all-time worst business decisions made in films. Don’t forget the popcorn!

  • The Cyber 2025 Model: Predicting the Impact of the Internet Over the Next 10 Years

    As the digital world expands, its need for careful governance grows. Policies need to be established that foster a secure and innovative space without restricting growth. As the world settles in to a digital reality, your business has the power to inform the policy that governs it—here’s how and why you should care. 

  • A Healthier At-Work Lifestyle: Benefits of Workplace Wellness

    The US Department of Health and Human Services says 59% of employees do not get adequate exercise, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sites that 75% of healthcare costs come from chronic diseases—the most preventable type of diseases. Exercising while working, or during a break from work, can give you more energy, reduce stress, and can help prevent you—and your employees—from catching the latest bug, meaning less sick days and healthcare expenditures. 

  • The keystone of sustainable design—INTEGRATION

    From home automation to solar roadways to smart cities—sustainable design is making its mark on our built environment. To realize significant returns on sustainability depends on how well integrated these designs are with one another. The key to integration lies in data, and data starts with you. Here’s how the Internet of Your Things is helping to build a more sustainable world.

  • Contagious Content: 3 Secrets to Going Viral

    Content marketing is one of the best ways for your business to engage with your customers. It can improve your site's search ranking, increase visibility and loyalty, and if it's great content, can lead to sharing. And when content is shared to the point it goes viral, the result can be free publicity, name recognition, and brand building. The rise of sites that specialize in viral media offers important lessons for businesses looking to create their own sharable content.

  • IT Innovation Starts in the Cloud

    The cloud is often seen as a direct threat to IT jobs because it automates those rote, mundane tasks that make up the majority of an IT pro’s workday. The reality is that the cloud will not displace active IT pros; rather, it will create more IT jobs, according to the IDC. For IT pros, the cloud simply means a change in the way they work, not an elimination of work. Here’s what the data says about the evolution of IT and what the move to the cloud means for the IT crowd.

  • Develop Flexible Leadership Skills for Better Business Relationships

    Multicultural, multigenerational teams are as part of today’s workplace as the morning coffee routine. It's why the need-to-have skill of flexing is so important, say executive coaches and global leadership strategists Jane Hyun and Audrey S. Lee. The two define flexing as the art of switching leadership styles to more effectively lead people who are different from you. It's fluent leaders, or those who can flex, that get the best out of diverse teams.

  • Four Mysteries Big Data Could Solve, but Shouldn't

    Proper analysis of big data can solve for many things: predicting customer behavior, streamlining supply lines, and creating highly targeted offers that drive sales. As computing power and analytic prowess grows, problems once considered "unsolvable" will quickly become mundane (though fundamental to remaining competitive for businesses).

    But some problems—not business problems, but real-world challenges—are more fun if they're unsolved. Data analysis is so powerful it can solve for these old mysteries—but should it?

  • How to Have a Conversation with 80 Million Fans: Xbox PR


    The global Xbox community is so large that it could be its own nation. With 80 million Xbox 360 consoles sold since 2005 and five million Xbox One consoles shipped in its first six months, there are more Xbox owners in the world than people in Germany.

  • Simon Sinek: Why Team Leadership is Like Parenting, from Leaders Eat Last

    For Sinek, good leaders are defined by four things: people must always come first, honesty is essential, allowing others to fail is critical, and the best analogy for good leadership is parenting.

  • The Perks of Pioneering New Technology

    Pioneers in technology are frequently disrupting our belief in what’s possible and, with Internet access expanding all over the world, news of innovation is spreading faster. History has shown that it pays to take certain, calculated risks when adopting new technology. Like those who first headed west into the uncharted frontier, the greatest opportunities lay in seizing the pioneer spirit—but some Americans aren’t there. Here’s what you stand to lose by hanging back on innovation. 

  • Rajiv Narang: Leadership and Innovation Requires Seeing Business Challenges in an Entirely New Way

    Rajiv Narang, founder of Erehwon Innovation Consulting in Bangalore, India, helps companies and organizations around the world see their markets and goals differently—a process he refers to as “shifting orbits”—which is the basis of true market innovation. We recently had the opportunity to attend his recent presentation for Microsoft Research, where Narang outlined his approach: whether you’re an individual, group, or enterprise organization, true innovation requires that you fundamentally change the way you approach not just solutions, but the questions themselves.

  • How to Maneuver in the Fast Lane of Cloud Migration

    For new companies and companies that are just beginning to grow, it’s easy to either build systems in the cloud or move operations to the cloud as the company grows. For a well-established, global business, migration is trickier but well worth the effort. Here’s how your business can quickly migrate to the cloud without compromising continuity of business.