Industry Insights

AI, eCommerce Vendors, Magnolia, Salesforce, More

Laura Myers

By Laura Myers

December 10, 2016

With all the buzz in the CMS industry, it can be hard to keep up with every article as it goes out. To help, I’ve done a roundup of all the articles we have put out this week, including an overview and commentary on the stories as they unfolded. 

Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) a Marketer's Crystal Ball?

Cathy McKnight, one of our monthly contributors, wrote an article on two of my favorite conversation topics, Artificial Intelligence and Marketing. Ever since studying the Philosophy of the Mind as an elective in college, it’s been one of those things I could discuss until all hours of the night, and to see its rise in business, and specifically the Marketing world, has been enjoyable. 

As a Marketer, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is getting to where we know the customer's desires before they do, so when they decide what they want or need, those who standout will already be there. In her article, Cathy pointed out some of the many big names in the technology world who are already making AI a reality, such as Salesforce’s Einstein, IBM’s Watson and OpenText’s Magellan to name a few. 

She brings forth the tangible process and what AI can bring to marketers but she emphasizes a point of contention on a lot of people’s minds, where should the human element end and the artificial begin? An interesting point to me was where she mentions the great minds that are warning us not to wholeheartedly trust AI too quickly, when some might think they above all else would be all for it. Theirs’ is a stance I never lose sight of, even amidst all of my unabashed interest around this topic. 

One of the things that stuck out to me from my class so long ago is the statement that “Intuition is the reason human beings are still in fighter jets, it’s one of the things a machine can’t replicate”. Same goes for the customer experience; machine learning and AI can afford us so much by way of data collection, interpretation and automation, but the final decisions affecting the human connection to a brand are far too important to entirely leave in the hands of a machine. 

Read the full article here. 

CMSC Reviews Six Top Enterprise eCommerce Platforms 

We at CMS-Connected, spend so much time evaluating and understanding platforms as their news and details pass across our desk, we felt it was time to synthesize their information down, to compare and contrast the key players in their space. Given that it’s the holiday season, and essentially, eCommerce platforms’ time in the sun, we thought we would start with the top 6 Enterprise eCommerce Platforms. Part I, examined the key features, pros, cons and pricing of Demandware, BigCommerce, and Shopify while Part II did the same for commercetools, SAP Hybris and Magento. 

For the sake of time, I will leave the details of each up to Venus Tamturk to explain in her very detailed and well-written articles, but I will attest to the fact it is a fairly complete account of each, specifying both the likeness and difference to each other on the list. Beyond that, she goes into how each can be applied to the business they would be the best fit for, and which types of businesses they wouldn’t suit very well. 

Even since the publication of Part I a little more than a week ago, both have generated great buzz within the industry, even spurring suggestions for some other lists we should do in the future. We listened, and are open to hearing from our audience if there is a particular comparison they are curious for or would like to see us expand on, so if you have a thought, please share it in the comments below and we will surely toss it in the ring for consideration. 

Read the full article here. 

Product Review: Meet Magnolia CORE 5.5 & Magnolia NOW

Early in the week, we decided to shed light on the two new products released last month by Magnolia, Magnolia NOW their cloud-hosted enterprise CMS solution and Magnolia CORE 5.5, a new version of their on-premise enterprise CMS.  

Magnolia CORE 5.5, their “strongest release to date”, seems to be aimed at being a beefed-up, yet simplified offering. It shows a nod to developers in making their lives a little easier, an overall improvement to user experience and includes better personalization capabilities than the previous version, to keep up with that massive trend in the industry as of late. 

Magnolia NOW, the new cloud offering, is built on top of Magnolia CORE but ventures to address three main pain points: time to market, deployment flexibility and dependence on IT. The article itself details how those items are being resolved but the overall conclusion is that yes, these new offerings are the strongest release, but there are still some areas for opportunity. 

Shortly after the article’s release, Magnolia was kind enough to take to social media and share the publication, and even put a positive perspective on our thorough review: 

Read the full article here. 

Salesforce to Offer Core Applications on AWS in 2017

Mid-week, Salesforce was in the news again, announcing the expansion of their global strategic alliance with Amazon Web Services, Inc. Why is this significant? The article answers the question from a few angles but the biggest result of the partnership will be the five new service integrations, as well as marking the first time core Salesforce applications will be available in the public cloud. 

From a user perspective, the five new service integrations will provide a better digital experience and hopefully help to streamline the decision-making process when it comes to the analysis of captured data. This brings to mind a recent statistic I came across, that less than 1% of data is ever analyzed out of the mass that is collected. Perhaps this new partnership will help to shift that percentage, but only time will tell. 

It is no doubt a win-win partnership for both parties involved, but the depth of those wins will be determined more effectively over the coming months and years. It can’t help but ignite the questions regarding the long-standing competition between Amazon and Oracle, however. "We have a hard time seeing how the growth of AWS will not do major damage to Oracle's database business for various reasons," Patrick Walravens of JMP Securities wrote in a report about the AWS conference.

Read the full article here. 

6 Enterprise Tech Trend Predictions for 2017 and Beyond

While most feel excitement over the holiday season, my enthusiasm always resides more heavily on the shifting of the calendar, a previous year ending and a new year, full of potential beginning. I enjoy looking at what trends were predicted for 2016, which came true and which fell flat as well as look forward to 2017 and anticipate what will come our way. 

Enterprise Technology trends seemed like a great place to start, so we took the top 6 and broke them down. Artificial Intelligence makes an appearance, as does Virtual Assistants, Virtual Reality, and Blockchain Technology. 

The IoT technology market seems to have the biggest growth prediction I saw, and Gartner has even listed the top 10 Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that should be on every organization's radar but, the recent rise in the Chat-based Enterprise Collaboration Platforms is what has peaked my interest most.

I am always interested in stories like Slack, where a platform can shake up a market enough that titans like Microsoft and Facebook are enticed to emulate the offering, by creating versions of their own. However, the jury is out on whether Slack’s full-page ad in the New York Times was a good move, addressed to Microsoft upon the announcement of their own chat app, especially because there could be a lot more platforms, similar to Slack, popping up in the next few years. 

Read the full article here. 

Web Content Management (WCM) Market's Drivers and Challenges

Lastly, we took a look at the Web Content Management Market’s Drivers and Challenges, as the significant recent growth is undeniable. Web-based activities, online marketing and the push for a seamless digital experience are seen as the main contributing factors. In addition, the demand is spanning a range of industry verticals with media and entertainment predicted to contribute the largest percentage of revenue in the next five years. 

The challenges seem to hinge on three factors, cost, time and choice.  Choosing a WCM solution is a very large undertaking and can be daunting if a business doesn’t know the right questions to ask, or identifiers to look for to best suit their needs. Knowing this, I recently had an interview with Mark Grannan, a senior analyst at Forrester, where he goes in depth on the tactical and strategic elements to consider when making the decision. The best part, you can find relevance in his information even if you’re in a new business to the market and don’t count yourself as tech-savvy. 

Read the full article here. 

All in all, this week in CMS-Connected news has been more evaluative than breaking, but poignant none the less as we dug into some common conversations resonating in the industry. 

Laura Myers

Laura Myers

A digital business, marketing and social media enthusiast, Laura thrives on asking unique, insightful questions to ignite conversation. At an event or remotely, she enjoys any opportunity to connect with like-minded people in the industry.

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