brand management

Speaker Spotlight: Frank Schneider – Multi-modal interface essential to mobile customer engagement

In another installment of Speaker Spotlight, we posed a couple of our frequently asked questions to speaker Frank Schneider, VP of Customer Experience Solutions at Creative Virtual USA. We’ve included his answers here. Be sure to see additional Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference.

Frank Schneider | Gilbane Conference

Speaker Spotlight: Frank Schneider

VP Customer Experience Solutions

Creative Virtual USA

 

Is there a “Marketing Technologist” role in your organization or in organizations you know of? Should there be? What should their responsibilities be?

As technology becomes the backbone of every organization, it forces the cross pollination of roles, especially now between marketing and IT. With a shift towards data-based marketing and new relationships forming between marketing, sales and customer service, the advent of the “Marketing Technologist” is real. This shift is fueling the need for marketing automation, sales enablement, content management, knowledge management and even translation. Marketing Technologists have emerged as the perfect conduit between platform adoption and management, and the traditionally non-technical roles of sales, marketing and customer service.

With customer service becoming the new marketing and marketing’s ability to directly influence the sales pipeline, Chief Marketing Technologists are sprouting up as the perfect solution to balance a variety of needs including marketing and CRM software, content marketing, social and mobile, data and analytics, web and app development, ad networks and customer engagement programs. From social media monitoring to SEO analysis to translation management and ecommerce, Marketing Technologists are fast becoming the “must have” in every organization that is competing in a global economy.

Do you think “web content management” should be the hub of digital experience management implementations? If so, should it have a new name to match an expanded role? If not, what should be at the center?

Content marketing is evolving to become the center of digital strategy. Consequently, every organization should endeavor to employ the new role of Chief Content Officer or some derivative thereof. Managing the ebb and flow of content and messaging via multiple channels has created the need for a more comprehensive content strategy across departments and media. Channel management between web, social, and mobile have not only created opportunities to deliver messaging, but an urgent need to provide fresh material for public consumption.

Organizations must take cues from traditional publications hiring copy editors, writers and reviews to constantly curate fresh content that furthers the company’s mission, corresponds to the marketing goals and satisfies the needs of their audience. However, you do need someone leading the charge – a person that understands the mission of the content team, rallies the resources and takes ownership of getting it done. Furthermore, they need the tools to get it done. Now more than ever, technology will play an ever increasing role in how content is aggregated, curated, manage and delivered.

What is the best overall strategy for delivering content to web, multiple mobile, and upcoming digital channels? What is the biggest challenge? Development and maintenance cost? Content control? Brand management? Technology expertise?

A proper macro level strategy for content delivery across multiple channels should be comprised of several key elements.

  1. Consistency. Whether it be call center agents looking for an answer or policy or a customer checking a web page, the right answer, right messaging, and proper branding should be pervasive and consistent, no matter the medium or device. Nuanced variable can be in play in regards to format, UI, and design, but at the end of the journey, customers need to feel that your content delivery allowed for a seamless experience.
  2.  Correct and Compliant. Along the lines of the first element, “correct” can mean many things. First, the item must incorporate content that is not just correct in regards to the answer from a company perspective, but answer precisely the question the customer has (in regards to what began the content search or inquiry). Furthermore, this correct answer must incorporate personalization factors; in other words, the answer must be particularly right for that customer or that profile of customer. Lastly, content must be compliant… from HIPPA, to SEC guidelines, to CPNI… content delivery must adhere to compliance guidelines will protecting the interests of both consumer and business.
  3. Automated and seamless. Content delivery across all channels must be deployed with a strategy towards, and enabled by technology and tools for, automated cross pollination and management of content. The idea of multi-channel strategy, that is, the ability to deliver in multiple channels (web, mobile/tablet, call center, IVR, social/community, branch), must mature from brainstorming strategy to refined omnichannel capability. An ominichannel content delivery system allows for authentic smart delivery of content, no matter the channel or modality.

Catch Up with Frank at Gilbane

Track T: Re-imagining the Future: Technology and the Postdigital Experience

T1: Are You Leveraging All the Mobile Technologies Required for Competitive Mobile Engagement?
“Come As You Are: Multi-Modal Interface is Essential to Mobile Customer Engagement”
Tuesday, December, 3: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Complete Program Conference Schedule Register Today

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Social Media: Creating a Voice and Personality for Your Brand

Gilbane Conference Workshop: Social Media: Creating a Voice and Personality for Your Brand

Instructor: AJ Gerritson, Founding Partner & Social Media Strategist, 451 Marketing
November 27th, 2012 at the InterContinental Boston Waterfront

For consumers, brand interaction on social media platforms is no longer the exception, it’s the expectation. In order to stay relevant, companies must develop digital tactics that boost the brand’s overall communications strategies and marketing campaigns. When utilized effectively, social media marketing enhances your brand’s voice and personality, making you more approachable and transparent to your target audience. But, how can your company devise a social media strategy that entices audiences and encourages interaction? Which platforms make sense for your brand? How can you monitor the effectiveness of a social media campaign?

In this interactive session, 451 Marketing founding Partner and Social Media Strategist, AJ Gerritson, will outline the major social media platforms, strategic approaches, best practices, time commitment, and measurement tools and techniques necessary as part of an effective social media strategy. Using industry statistics and case studies, AJ will teach attendees how to structure a successful social media strategy that can be easily integrated into your brand’s existing communications campaigns.

See the full pre-conference workshop schedule at Gilbane Boston, then Register.
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Just Published: Outsell Gilbane Study on Multilingual Marketing Content

Our 2011 report describing the current state of practice for globalizing multilingual marketing content is available now through March 31 exclusively through study sponsors  Across Systems, ADAM Software, Lionbridge, and SDL.

Multilingual Marketing Content: Growing International Business With Global Content Value Chains features a major update of the global content value chain, Gilbane’s framework for helping companies plan and manage their globalization practices. The new value chain adds core competencies to the existing functional view of multilingual content processes, and it clearly ties the value chain to business outcomes.

Study data includes top business goals and objectives and the investments that marketing and localization managers are making in programs and initiatives that support those goals. The analysis covers what marketing organizations can learn from product content groups, who are generally further along the content globalization maturity curve.

The report will be available directly from the Gilbane website starting April 1. In the meantime, please visit a sponsor site to access the study, and check this blog for research highlights and insights.

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Delivering a Global Customer Experience: An Interview with Jonckers Translation & Engineering

Third in a series of interviews with sponsors of Gilbane’s 2009 study on Multilingual Product Content: Transforming Traditional Practices into Global Content Value Chains.

We spoke with Kelli Kohout, global marketing manager for Jonckers Translation & Engineering.  Jonckers is a global provider of localization, translation, and multilingual testing services, with operations across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Kelli talked with us about Jonckers’ role in the global content value chain, why they supported the research, and what she found compelling about the results.

Gilbane: How does your company support the value chain for global product content? (i.e., what does your company do?) 

Kohout: Ultimately, Jonckers is helping clients develop content that earns understanding, adoption and loyalty from global customers.

Sometimes clients come to us with original content that will not localize well – in other words, that is not easy to turn into localized versions that achieve the desired response from audiences.  We provide best practices for improving the quality of their source content, asking additional questions regarding their organizations’ goals for their global clients, in order to improve the success of global adoption.  In doing so, we prove Jonckers’ philosophy that resulting translations can even improve on the source (in-country translators with longevity, institutional knowledge, up-to-date cultural knowledge, commitment).  We also help clients save time and money by delivering content that is flexible enough to be used for more than one purpose.

Gilbane: Why did you choose to sponsor the Gilbane research? 

Kohout: Our clients no longer compete solely on the basis of a better product or service – it’s about customer experience.  And in today’s economic environment, our clients are struggling with how to generate revenue by increasing innovation and global reach, which means increasing the amount and accessibility of multilingual content.  Simultaneously, they need to decrease expenses, like the costs associated with providing customer service.

This all points to the increasing need to localize effectively and efficiently.  Jonckers sponsored this study for the common good – the more we share trends, best practices and lessons learned, and the more we know what challenges our clients are facing, the more effective and valued localization services will be.

We also hope this study will raise awareness of some important localization best practices that will make companies more successful.  For instance, we see clients beginning to realize the importance of involving localization planning early in the product development lifecycle, but there’s still room for improvement there.  When localization is an afterthought, the outcome is not as good, there are extra costs, and bigger picture timelines can be adversely affected.

Similarly, more clients are recognizing the value of integrating the localization effort more closely with other functions.  As the study points out, there are more cross-functional champions within organizations who understand the big picture and have the mindshare with executives.  These champions can advocate for the needs of the localization function and help demonstrate its value.

Gilbane: What, in your opinion, is the most relevant/compelling/interesting result reported in the study?

Kohout: We’re seeing an increase in our clients’ global business objectives, but the study confirms that – on the whole – we’re still in the early stages of understanding the global content value chain.  For example, one of the top corporate objectives related to localization is customer satisfaction, which is important, but few are fully utilizing localization to manage their brand globally.  So there’s still room to evolve.  In addition, there’s a focus on generating revenues from emerging markets, but very few have yet tapped the potential from established geographies.

For insights into customer experience as a new basis for competitive advantage, see “Content Utility as the Value Proposition” on page 15 of the report.  You can also learn how Jonckers contributed to Adobe’s effort to build a globalization infrastructure that improves customer satisfaction, raises quality, and saves costs.  Download the study for free.

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New Content Globalization Case Study: Philips

All businesses are facing serious disruptions from shifting global economies, technical advancements, and the need for strong, consistently branded online multinational presence. Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands has found a way to respond to these challenges without jeopardizing its ongoing business.

A world leader in the consumer lifestyle, healthcare, and lighting industries, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity.” With 50,000 products, 1,800 logos, a website present in 57 countries and translated in 35+ target languages, and 500 consumer marketing managers in the Consumer Lifestyle sector, Philips’ global brand management strategy requires an adaptive system of people, process, and technology to provide a unifying influence.

This case study tells the story of how Philips has met and is keeping pace with changing and often disruptive business environments by evolving operations and communications touchpoints in a just-in-time approach that maximizes global opportunity based on consumer need.

Download the Philips story here:

Borderless Brand Management: The Philips Strategy for Global Expansion

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Second Life Gets an International Life: An Interview with Danica Brinton of Linden Lab

At the recent Worldware Conference in Santa Clara, California, I was delighted to learn about how a high-tech company was achieving great success in internationalizing their software through crowdsourcing. The story gets more interesting. This was not back-room software plumbing but an innovative application, none other than Second Life, a virtual world and a social-networking MMORG (Massive Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Game).  Launched by Linden Lab in 2003, Second Life enables its users, called residents, to interoperate with a virtual world  through software called a Second Life Viewer. Residents can socialize, participate in group activities, and create and trade virtual property.  According to Google, there are over 9 million residents currently on Second Life.

I attended the presentation, “Brave New (Virtual) World,” and had an opportunity to catch up with Danica Brinton, Director of International Strategies and Localization at Linden Lab.  Here’s what she had to say.

Kadie:  When did Linden Lab realize the importance of internationalization?

Brinton: Around the middle of 2008, Linden Lab realized some discrepancies between U.S. and international business.  While 60% of the residents and twice the new registrations were from outside the U.S., revenue and retention numbers, while still healthy, indicated a gap in the localized  user experience.

Kadie: What happened when you entered the scene?

Brinton: I joined the company in June.  When I checked things out, I was stunned.  I discovered that we were paying $40,000 per quarter to LSPs.  What were we getting?  The viewer was translated only partially into 3 languages, and was nearly incomprehensible.  The website was translated partially into 2 key languages.  In both cases there were a lot of localization bugs.  On the flip side, hundreds of wiki-based Help pages were translated quite well into 8 languages, which was pretty darn good.  An interesting trend…

Kadie: So what did you do?

Brinton: Although we were a small company, when I showed my management the opportunity they were very supportive…but with limited funding.  So we had to get creative.  We enlisted the help of power users to translate the application and website.  To ensure quality control, we set up a repeatable localization framework, with translation, editing, testing, and end user review.  We established a tier system of resident translators, drawing on our super-users.   We built and acquired localization tools to manage translation memories and the localization process, and installed a locale-based ROI calculator to manage costs.  Finally, we hired 3 in-house linguists.  So you can see, it was a hybrid of crowdsourcing from the Second Life community on the one hand, and our in-house linguists and contracted translation agencies on the other.

Kadie: How did you divide up the work?

Brinton:  Who did what depended on the language tier.  Let’s look at the viewer, for example.  For tier-1 languages, we developed the glossary, did the translation, and collaborated with the Second Life community on the editing, QA, and some of the glossary.  For tier-2 languages, the Second Life community did nearly everything.

Kadie: What kind of results did you achieve?

Brinton: Less than a year later, I can truthfully say that we achieved some dramatic results.  We now translate the viewer and the website into 10 languages, and expect to reach 16 in May.  The active residents from outside the U.S. grew to 64% of the user base, and new registrations are now more than 2.5 times the U.S.  Even better, international revenues have surpassed U.S. domestic revenues.  Between the Viewer, the website, and the knowledge base, we now regularly localize over 150,000 words per language.

Kadie: What’s next for localization at Linden Lab?

Brinton: Strangely enough, past is prologue.  This new localization program is helping to increase customer satisfaction and bolster an affinity group.  You can even say that community-driven translation is building brand advocacy.  Some of the elite power users are evolving into business partners.  Localization is not only supporting our business, it’s helping to grow it.

The Content Globalization practice at the Gilbane Group closely follows and  blogs on the role of multilingual communication in social networking (see interview with Plaxo).

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What’s Your Elevator Pitch?

First, Happy New Year from the Content Globalization team & hope your holiday season included rest and relaxation. Now back to it!

I’m not big on once a year resolutions; I like ongoing “continuations” better – i.e. keep doing what works and throw out what doesn’t. In terms of our education mission, what worked best in 2008 is exactly what we set out to do via our inaugural mandate — talk to practitioners, CIOs, strategists and fellow analysts about our view of the “globalization mandate” and understand how it fits into the “field view.” So in terms of “continuations,” we’re increasing this commitment — because it works.

Our 2008 experiences throughout corporate consulting gigs and Gilbane conferences underscore a simple truth — when folks share, communities gather, and corporate operational champions for multilingual communications band together, “things” happen. And our “thing” is solidifying industry awareness that content is a vital part of web experience, customer satisfaction, and multinational expansion programs. The monolingual “one size fits all” approach? Doesn’t work.

So what’s with my elevator pitch title? It’s an ongoing conversation we’re having with our community about making the business case for content globalization strategies that are funded, valued, measured and successful. Basically, the elevator pitch for multilingual communications in five minutes or less. Here’s one of our favorites, courtesy David Lee from 3M:
content matters.png

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On Multilingual Communications and Open Source: An Interview with Jahia’s Emmanuel Garcin

Recently, we had an opportunity to catch up with Emmanuel Garcin, Vice President at Jahia, a Swiss-based vendor of open source solutions for web content and portal management. Jahia is a sponsor of Multilingual Communications as a Business Imperative,” a report released by Gilbane’s Globalization practice in July.
KK: What have been the biggest roadblocks to companies in demonstrating value for multilingual communications initiatives?
EG: We’ve found that web content management systems often need to be customized – in a big way – before they can be integrated with authoring tools, translation management systems, and other enterprise applications. This can result in big-ticket licensing and implementation costs as well as IT departments that become concerned with “overloading computing platforms. Open source technologies can help with these obstacles, but companies are often challenged to adopt and rollout new business models that go hand in hand with the open source context.
KK: What is the “tipping point” that compels companies to move forward with your solution as part of the infrastructure for multilingual communications
EG: The key business driver is a burning need to broadcast both local and global messages for brand management. We also have customers that must address language-based government regulations. Since there are three official languages in Switzerland, Jahia’s Swiss origins naturally focused us on the implementation of adequate business logic to provide flexible language management tools to accommodate this need. Other customers have a need to mix languages when they publish a particular country or regional site. One example is a large international institution that publishes in over a hundred languages who found that Jahia provided the vitamins (enterprise & portal capabilities) and the painkiller (globalization capabilities) needed to implement its content globalization strategy.
KK: What do you do to educate, prepare, and enable customers to be successful? EG: There’s a lot of back and forth. Companies often want to shape new solutions around existing business rules, but they also need to plan intelligently about how they’re going to communicate globally, and determine which processes should continue to evolve. We educate and train organizations on how to get the best results and can help with planning, installation, and configuration. At the end of the day, it’s all about technical details. Companies want to manage content in any language, decide for themselves which languages are mandatory and which are optional, and even publish web sites that mix languages on the same screen. In addition, they want to give their customers the ability to select a new language through a simple, easy-to-use interface.
We spend a lot of time communicating a vision of successful web communication. We talk about how content repositories are the new databases, that all content should be dynamic, and how successful enterprise applications need to be function and feature-rich. We make sure companies are fully aware of industry trends that affect global communication practices and common standards, such as JSR-170/283.
KK: What have been your customers’ best practices in building a global content value chain?
EG: You can’t overlook the significance of having a globalization strategy in the first place! Examples of success that I’m familiar with include a large international agency, a GPS vendor, and a global glass manufacturer. The most successful companies are equally concerned about which solutions for multilingual communications they choose, and how they roll them out; about a single source of content, along with information that is customized or added to meet regional needs. They have a globalization strategy that strikes the right balance between centralized and regional content management.
What is most important, however, is to define how that strategy relates to business needs. A good example of this is a pan-European government agency that we work with. A particular document may be mandatory for certain countries and languages but irrelevant for others. To address this challenge, they prepare source content in a single language, deliver translations up to 25 languages, and publish local language sites with different, additional or custom content for a variety of regions and countries.

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On Global Brand Management: An Interview with Translation.com’s Candy Moss

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Candy Moss, Creative Director with Translations.com, to discuss the importance of multilingual global brand management as a success criterion for global organizations.

LC: What role does a creative team play within Translations.com?
CM: Our Creative Team operates as a resource to our corporate clients’ marketing and advertising teams. Our Multicultural Marketing Department provides cross-cultural branding research, copy transcreation, and image consulting services as part of Translations.com’s core service offering.
LC: What is your background?
CM: 20 years in multicultural marketing consulting, with a background in content and creative design; my experience at Translations.com has increased my expertise in Hispanic markets in the U.S. as well as global markets considerably.
LC: How large is the Creative Team and what kinds of tasks are they involved with?
CM: We have close to 20 full time staff across multiple, global production centers. We also contract copy writers, graphic designers, and linguists. Our tasks include researching the impact of brand names, package design, website layout and content; any elements that impact of the global products nuances such as tone, style, design, content, format, color and illustrations.
LC: So that means your team does both transadaptation and transcreation work, correct? For global branding projects, which skill set is needed most?
CM: Both are important. However, adapting marketing messages has more to do preserving the concept (of the message) and changing the execution than with word for word translations. The example on “The Lighter Side” of our Web site demonstrates the challenge of dealing with the intricacies of culture.
LC: What kinds of research does the creative team rely on?
CM: We have extensive qualitative data based on 10 years of proprietary research. We develop customized survey tools based on each client’s needs. Once we get feedback from the target market, we work closely with the client’s creative team. This is also essential because they are the subject matter experts in their company’s product, positioning goals, and target customers. Generally, we function as an extension of a company’s brand champion team: the advertising agency is, in my experience, the group that is the first to recognize the need for our services. In the end, we team up with the agency and the company’s internal staff, serving as a general resource to the group.
LC: What are some of the best practices you have seen in global branding efforts?
CM: Understanding the need for due diligence in obtaining, understanding, and incorporating the voice of the local customer. And then, having the skills to distinguish between individual opinions and reactions to those of the larger culture. Overall? Understand your goals: why are you making these localization efforts and how effectively do they convey your company’s goals.
LC: And the worst?
CM: The idea that one person can assume what a culture will or will not bear. You really have to be open minded so that you are receptive to what impact a phrase or image will have in each cultural setting. A single line of copy or image can have a lasting impact — you want to do everything you can to be sure that impact is positive. Even after 20 years in the industry, and evaluating more survey responses than I can count, I learn something new every day.
LC: What is your advice for those striving to communicate the importance of the local in globalization?
CM: Ask your team to put themselves in the target market’s shoes. If that market receives only x percentage of localized content, the perception may be that they are only as important as the effort put into communicating with them. In terms of marketing and global branding efforts, think of the effort put into the taglines or slogans in the source language, usually English. When adapting the message to a different culture, give the effort the same level of respect.

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The SDL/Idiom Impact: “Huge” or “Blip”?

As the initial dust settles on the announcement of SDL’s acquisition of Idiom, we noticed a couple of interesting trends — some anticipated, some surprising, and some just plain troubling.

Expected trends? A steady outcry from the translation community, bemoaning the loss of the “Switzerland” of translation technology. A logical assessment, given that Idiom built an enviable brand as a pure technology provider and posed no threat to neither Language Service Providers (LSP) nor ECM players. OTOH, the neutrality factor left the status quo in place, leaving room for translation and content management players to handle integration needs as partnerships and in some cases, fairly loose integrations. Also expected? Fear-driven reactions inevitable to consolidation in any software segment, summed up by the “what now” debate.

Our take? Consolidation happens. The ECM market has demonstrated it for over 10 years — the Search and BPMS market are well on their way. The platform players, i.e., the Microsoft, Oracle and IBM’s of the world, have eaten more than their share, by some analyst accounts. So, consolidation happens. It is not really “what now?” that’s the most important question; rather it is “what’s next?” Consolidation is not always positive; it’s disruptive, no doubt about it. In addition, technology mergers and acquisitions are notorious for the length of time they take to strategically integrate what’s purchased. Some never do. Others have a plan from the get-go.

However, there’s room for upstream opportunity and technology metamorphosis within disruption, both of which the translation industry is in need of. By all accounts, this industry is overdue for major change, requiring innovation from technology, service providers, pricing, and from our perspective, “the corporate champions,” currently struggling to raise the visibility of globalization as an enterprise priority. We’re not ready to predict that this acquisition will bring positive changes to any of these elements. That’s for the new product roadmap to lay out — and our advice to SDL/Idiom would be to tackle this sooner rather than later.

At the end of the day however, our take hardly matters.

Whose does? Well, THE BUYER, silly. In terms of translation as part of the global content value chain, the documentation world is ripe and I dare say ready, for innovation based on solid knowledge of single sourcing and multichannel strategies. Add the ferocious uptake of DITA over the past 2 years, and you have a situation where a language can be an output rather than an overdue afterthought. Over on the “other side of the house,” marketing is still trying to prove the value of geographically-targeted web sites as critical to brand and new revenue. Though these audiences may currently search for different solutions to their problems, they are today’s buyers of translation and localization technologies.

Surprising trends? A lack of concern about tomorrow’s buyer. You know, the corporate champions who already view globalization as an enterprise mandate, but can’t justify an enterprise cost yet. The technology industry would be wise to “get ready,” so to speak and by some accounts, they are. According to the BDO Seidman 2008 Technology Outlook Survey, 73% of CFOs at leading U.S. technology businesses expect to post increased sales revenue in 2008 over 2007. Over 39% cited consumer demand for innovative personal technology as the greatest growth driver, closely followed by 32% who cited international expansion as the main driver. Promising, yes. But what about the corporate CIO’s? Many corporate champions we talk to still describe cultures that perceive translation and localization as the “black box” at the end of a larger process.

Troubling trends? The lack of response from the large US-based ECM vendors. It would not have been surprising for us — and we dare say more “savvy” than surprising — to see an ECM or WCM best-of-breed pick up Idiom. Perhaps SDL understands that value, in light of the Tridion acquisition as well as the Trisoft investment. We’ve been on the integration bandwagon for some time; there’s opportunity to squelch the ad-hoc, siloed approaches to content and translation management as the norm. Trouble is, the “conversation” has yet to rise to a level where a departmental challenge transforms to an enterprise initiative.

Consolidation happens. It doesn’t mean the end of a market, but its reshaping. From our perspective, the time is right for vendors and users alike to collaboratively define the transformation.

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