Whether based on cards or mobile apps, single-brand restaurant loyalty programs have lots of appeal. In this article for Restaurant Technology magazine (see the PDF copy), I write about what some of the leading chains are doing with digital loyalty programs (such as this screenshot from POSiq’s CRM system shown above) and how they benefit their sales and marketing programs.
A/B testing is like many things that can be vexing about the Web: a simple concept can turn into a complex programming project. But while the idea is simple — producing two (or more) different web pages for your site and instrument them to see which one drives more traffic or more sales – getting it to work can be fraught with politics and the actual implementation details.
Why bother? Mainly because there is almost nothing else that you can do that can have such a big effect. Just by changing the text size or button color you can generate a 50% increase in clickthrough rates.
You can read more about A/B tests in this article for ITworld and also view an accompanying slideshow that illustrates how to improve your own Web pages with four interesting examples, such as the one above showing three different versions of the Sur La Table website.
If you haven’t yet gotten into mapping your data, now might be a good time to take a closer look at the technologies available. While maps have been around for thousands of years, the digital kind are a more recent innovation and more of a communications language, to visually display content and get context. Plus, they are universally recognized by everyone.
In this article for ITworld and the accompanying slideshow of maps, I talk about six trends that businesses can capitalize on with using these tools.
The days of having separate, dedicated networks for video, voice, storage, and general data applications are behind us. In the past, many IT departments had separate groups to manage voice and data, with separate wiring and infrastructures. They even used different vocabularies.
Many companies have been tempted by the notion that everything should be managed in one big happy converged infrastructure, with everything running through the same switches and wires.
To read why that may not be such a great idea, see my story posted in ArsTechnica today.
While we all have too many passwords to deal with, few of us have the proper tools for promoting better password hygiene in our day-to-day working lives. Despite the variety of consumer-oriented products available, finding an enterprise password management product or tool can be quite difficult.
In this piece for SearchSecurity, we’ll briefly examine the landscape of password management offerings and highlight the benefits and drawbacks of today’s tools in an enterprise context.
Microsoft Office has split into two distinct personalities, Office 2013 (which you get via a CD) and Office 365 (that comes via the browser and the cloud). The two share several common features and will make it easier for federal government users to collaborate without having to serially email documents back and forth. There is also tighter integration into your Microsoft account for reading emails and adding contacts and calendar entries.
For more on my review of MS Office Pro Plus 2013, read it in FedTech Magazine’s latest issue here.
Understanding customers’ online behavior can be vexing: there’s been no other time in history when we could collect so much customer data, and yet know so little about who actually visits our Websites. Over the years, large data warehouses have been built to address this question, but often seeing what your customers are doing (such as the decisions they’re making as they shop your online storefront) isn’t really captured in the warehouse.
In my story today for Slash/BI, I talk about ways you can link datasets together, track persistent data across multiple Websites, and look at “useless” data are all ways to milk more out of your infrastructure.
At the annual Strangeloop tech conference in St. Louis, several women presenters gave important lessons that all developers can use on how to become better coders – and successful team members. The conference had dozens of sessions on advanced programming languages along with tutorials given by some of the leading open source authors from around the world – and many of them, I’m happy to say, were women, including Jen Myers who is pictured here.
You can read the rest of my post on Smartbear here.
Almost every IT product out there – especially when you get to the enterprise level — includes some form of compliance module or report. Some of them are useful, some not so much. Whether they’re helpful or not, compliance is a tricky issue you’ve got to be familiar with. Among other things, you have to undertake some careful thought about what you are actually complying with, and for whom.
In this article for Dice, I talking about navigating these issues, and some of the products that can help.
In 1990, I started a publication that eventually employed more than 35 people, hiring writers, lab and art directors, publishing designers and editors from around the country. At the time it was a radical notion to get the best people to work for me by collaborating from remote locations.
Since then, teleworking has taken off. David Clemons is one of the co-authors of the book “Managing the Mobile Workforce: Leading, Building, and Sustaining Virtual Teams” and calculates that in 2011 there were more than one billion worldwide mobile workers. And nearly 75 percent of the U.S. workforce is also mobile, if not working remotely part of the time.
You can read more about this in my post for Mendix’ blog here.