Friday, November 30, 2007

DMA Offers Web Analytics Report

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has published a Web Analytics Report, based on detailed input from 130 marketing organizations, to identify which elements of Web analytics to employ for specific business goals, such as:

* increasing sales
* improving customer loyalty
* monitoring Web site usability

The report is divided into two sections:

* Part 1 provides a comprehensive overview of Web analytics purposes, challenges, usage, and effectiveness in the field of direct marketing. It covers such specific aspects of direct marketing as using Web analytics to design and evaluate online and off-line marketing campaigns and increase channel integration
* Part 2 focuses on how to use Web analytics specifically to increase conversions

The Web Analytics Report provides four major categories of information:

* Popularity: The percentage of respondents who currently use a particular Web analytics practice and can rate its effectiveness a.k.a. How popular are Web analytics practices?
* Effectiveness ratings: How marketers perceive each Web analytics tool and practice in terms of its impact on the overall ROI a.k.a. How is this affecting my bottom line?
* Expertise: Information about the popularity and effectiveness segmented by respondents’ level of expertise (beginner, intermediate, expert) a.k.a. Who are we really asking?
* Insights from the Expert: Dave Rhee (Wandering Dave of Ox2) a Web analytics expert, gives commentary throughout the book to help interpret and decipher the data provided a.k.a. "Lessons from the veteran direct marketer"

Eugenia Steingold, Senior Research Manager for the DMA, notes that the Web Analytics Report looks in-depth at over 20 specific metrics and tools, including:

* hit reports
* browsing patterns
* online order volumes
* conversion rates
* internal search results

Steingold points out that both standalone and CRM-oriented Web analytics vendors deliver the goods from a functionality perspective, but that many companies are neglecting to incorporate these Web metrics into their sales and marketing strategies. "A lot of SVPs don't look at data as often as they should," Steingold points out. "You need the right people to collect and analyze data. You need to develop decision-making sensibilities so that you can adjust sales and marketing campaigns in response to real-time trends."

List Price: $445.00
DMA Member Price: $245.00

Thursday, November 29, 2007

IBM, Mainsoft Facilitate .NET Integration

Developers using Microsoft's .NET Framework technology and SharePoint can now readily integrate their .NET applications with IBM's Java-based portal technology, after IBM agreed, in a global reseller deal, to sell Mainsoft Corp.'s .NET Extensions solution with the IBM WebSphere Portal solution.

IBM WebSphere Portal lets users create composite or "mashup" applications in service-oriented architectures and enables organizational performance monitoring, self-service applications, document access and team collaboration.

"Portal-to-portal interoperability is going to become increasingly important," said Yaacov Cohen, Mainsoft's CEO and president. "With a service-oriented architecture you want to connect all of your systems together, and you want to deliver your composite applications -- coming from different platforms."

Mainsoft's technology can integrate a number of Microsoft .NET technologies:

* Windows SharePoint services
* Microsoft Office document libraries
* SQL Server Reports
* .NET-based applications

Mainsoft, an advanced IBM business partner, provides solutions that help organizations with mixed .NET and Java environments. The company's solutions are certified as "Optimized for Visual Studio" and have been validated as "Ready for WebSphere Software."

Mainsoft Portal Edition solution is a plug-in to the Visual Studio development environment. It has a cross-compiler that compiles .NET code into Java bite code. The solution makes it easier for developers with a background in C# and Visual Basic to integrate ASP.NET on WebSphere Portal.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

JunctionBI 4.2 Adds Customer Predictive Analytics

Junction Solutions has announced the release of Version 4.2 of JunctionBI, its Business Intelligence platform, which offers:
• Historical Sales Analytics
• Customer Predictive Analytics
• Customer Profiling
• Customer Retention
• RFM (Recency, Frequency, and Monetary) Scoring
• Inventory Movement
• Unique Person Identification
• Direct Marketing List Pull
• Campaign Matchback
• Customer Lifetime Value

Developed using the Microsoft Business Intelligence Platform (including Microsoft SQL Server 2005), JunctionBI can run against virtually any type of source database including Junction Solutions’ own Retail and Consumer Goods applications. Information is presented using common Microsoft tools such as SharePoint Portal, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (SSRS) and Dundas Visualization.

At the heart of JunctionBI is a multi-dimensional Kimball-style data warehouse designed to cleanse, enhance, and store data to facilitate rapid, flexible access. Reports and queries can be initiated by users from anywhere in the organization using desktop or web browser interfaces. Information can also be generated on a scheduled basis and 'broadcast' to users or individuals as required. The JunctionBI system can be customized to meet unique business rules without costly alterations to the underlying data schema or architecture.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

DMA Slams NY Sales Tax Ploy

New York Governor Spitzer’s Department of Taxation and Finance has issued a new regulation that requires out-of-state marketers to begin collecting state sales tax on deliveries made into New York based merely on a link to their website.

In response, Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Executive Vice President for Government Affairs & Corporate Responsibility Steven K. Berry issued the following statement:

"It is unfortunate and particularly ill-timed to impose a legally questionable tax collection responsibility just as companies are headed into the all-important holiday season. This is an overreach of authority that will harm consumers and merchants both in New York and nationwide. Businesses depend on a robust fourth quarter to meet payrolls and operating expenses. The last thing businesses or consumers need is uncertainty in the marketplace.

"We are very disappointed that Governor Spitzer and the New York Department of Taxation and Finance have just put forward a new directive attempting to require out-of-state sellers to collect sales tax on deliveries into New York State. This directive goes against the US Supreme Court’s landmark Quill decision, and thus would not survive legal scrutiny."

Monday, November 12, 2007

IBM to Buy Cognos

A month after SAP announced it was buying Business Objects, IBM has now announced it will acquire Cognos for $4.9 billion, or $58 a share.

The two companies already had an alliance where they served customers such as the New York City Police Department and Canadian Tire Corp., according to a statement today.

IBM said the all-cash deal was subject to shareholder approval and should close in the first quarter of 2008.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Junction Solutions Centers on Retail

Following the lead of other major direct commerce order management solutions, Junction Solutions has moved closer to the retail channel in announcing the release of Version 4.2 of its newly branded "Junction Solutions for Retail" packaged software suite.

This release, containing over 70 new features, extends Junction Solutions’s cross-channel retail enterprise functionality to encompass eCommerce and in-store POS systems within a single corporate data source built upon Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Junction Solutions announced earlier this year the acquisitions of both and ISS Retail, which expanded its capabilities to run eCommerce and in-store/POS operations. The former catalog and direct marketing JunctionMCR product, built on Microsoft Dynamics AX, has been expanded to become a hub for cross-channel retailing. Accordingly, the product has been renamed to JunctionRES – Retail Enterprise Solution.

All together, the Junction Solutions for Retail solution provides cross-channel retailers and vertically oriented retailers/manufacturers a comprehensive retail enterprise solution (or “Retail ERP”).

The focus of Junction Solutions’s 4.2 software development team was integration of the data and store, eCommerce, and direct marketing business processes, enabling merchants to operate and provide a seamless, cross-channel shopping experience.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

HighJump Offers SME Solution

According to SupplyChainBrain, HighJump Software, a 3M company, has released a warehouse-management system (WMS) aimed specifically at small and mid-sized companies. Known as HighJump Warehouse Advantage-45, it is designed to be fully implemented within 45 business days.

The software is built on the same technology that supports HighJump's Warehouse Advantage suite for large companies. Like its predecessor, the new version is intended to help customers achieve tracking and visibility of inbound orders, accurate receiving, directed put-away, and rapid picking, shipping and replenishment. Implementations will be structured by a detailed "playbook," directing daily activity and issuing instructions according to each individual's role and responsibility.

A flexible pricing structure includes both license and subscription-based options. Companies can purchase only the functionality they need, then add more complex features and modules over time, according to HighJump.
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