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Identity Management Scalability and APIs Support Explosive Mobile App Growth

Posted by Ishan Kumar on 6/26/15 9:48 AM

In the age of digital disruption, the new battleground for market leadership has shifted from price and product quality to customer experience. To deliver the convenient, high value experiences that customers have come to expect, businesses must consistently innovate and be able to roll out new services and apps quickly. 

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are a key part of helping companies shorten time-to-market and meet increasing demands for more apps across the entire organization. By providing ready access to reusable services that embed key standards and best practices, APIs allow developers to quickly build apps without recreating code again and again. And in the case of customer-facing apps, identity data is the key enabler behind that app’s functionality. As a result, incorporating identity management services is crucial to customer-facing app development.

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Topics: mobile apps, identity and access management

How to Reach Customers in the Moment of Decision

Posted by Dave Malcolm on 6/25/15 9:42 AM

Anders Ekman is President of Data Mentors, a provider of data quality, data management, business intelligence, and Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions. Previously, Anders was Executive Vice President of MRM Worldwide, serving as Eastern Region head and Chief Growth Officer. While at MRM, Anders drove the company’s evolution by bringing data-driven innovation to clients such as the U.S. Army, MasterCard and Kohl’s. Anders has also served as a Senior Vice President at Digitas, building CRM infrastructure and marketing success for the firm’s largest clients, including GM and AT&T Wireless.

UnboundID: One of your offerings to customers is data as a service. Can you explain how this works and where it’s most useful?

Ekman: DaaS is an emerging part of the marketing ecosystem and it’s ultimately about generating new lead sources. In the world of data, the acquisition and use of data is antiquated. Lists are already old when companies buy them. Building predictive models is another antique method. The new method is to reach people in the moment. We see DaaS as made up of a few components: first, sourcing across the Web. We have 200 relationships for data mining to see who is showing in-market activity in the moment. Second, structure the data and merge it with existing customer data to gain a profile of this new customer. Third is delivery. The data has to get into the marketer’s systems in real time so they can react to it quickly. Fourth is to analyze results.

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Topics: data

3 Ways Identity Management Helps Telecom Thrive

Posted by Bjorn Aannestad on 6/23/15 8:15 AM

Our digital behavior is shifting to mobile devices, a trend that is driving explosive growth in mobile usage. Today there are more than 3.7 billion unique mobile users worldwide, and that number is climbing. While this is exciting news for the telecommunications sector, it can also be challenging as telecom providers strive to deliver fast, seamless mobile service to a rapidly expanding customer base.

The demands are intensifying with more mobile users, more use cases and more mobile apps. Immediate response times for messaging, video streaming and app functionality are an ingrained customer expectation. Plus telecom providers have to meet the performance and uptime terms of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and comply with 3GPP specifications, the standard for mobile systems beyond 3G.

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Topics: telecommunications, identity and access management

New Questions Raised As Companies Like Allstate Consider Monetizing Customer Data

Posted by Steve Shoaff, UnboundID CEO on 6/19/15 9:30 AM

Few industries today remain untouched by disruptive technology. As companies start recognizing that their traditional business models are being challenged in the digital world, many are evaluating new ways to extract value from their existing assets. This includes evaluating new opportunities to maximize the value of their customer data such as using it for direct financial gain.

An example can be seen in Allstate Corp.’s recent announcement that improved telematics technology, devices that record information about driving distance, speed and braking habits, could help them boost revenue by selling anonymous customer driving data. Allstate Chairman and CEO Tom Wilson is preparing for a future of safer, autonomous vehicles—a future that may limit the demand for traditional auto insurance. However, Allstate also recognizes that the information they collect on customer driving habits through Drivewise, a program in which drivers install a telematics device in their car to earn lower insurance rates for safe driving, could be valuable to advertisers who want to know when and where people are on the road.

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Jeff Bullas: Mobile Trends Driving Marketing Strategy, Personalization

Posted by Keri LeBlanc on 6/17/15 10:30 AM

Jeff Bullas is a blogger, author and speaker who works with companies and executives on digital and social media marketing strategies.

UnboundID: Describe the trend of push to pull marketing and why it’s important now?

Bullas: Pull marketing is also known as inbound or content marketing. It's about attracting attention and engagement with your potential customers. The reason it's important is because the social web has changed the way we engage with brands and how we buy from them. Sixty percent of the buying journey is done through online research before the customer picks up the phone or even sends an email. That is why educating and engaging with content has become so important. But to be more responsive to customers requires a shift at the top. And this is a generational shift. Unless the CEO gets it, it’s really hard to turn the ship. Beyond leadership, companies must use all the tools at their disposal such as marketing automation, which should help deliver the right message at the right time. Personalized marketing is just now starting to become a reality and companies are grappling with the challenges of adapting to mobile.

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Deliver Consistent Customer Experiences, Even During Seasonal Traffic Spikes

Posted by Keri LeBlanc on 6/11/15 10:00 AM

As most organizations know, delivering great customer experiences doesn’t just happen.  It requires a thorough strategy to get it right, particularly in the digital world where customers engage with brands over multiple channels and apps. And for businesses that have seasonal surges of sales and activity, such as financial tax preparation organizations in April or retailers with an increase in traffic during the holidays, ensuring every customer has a positive experience—every time, all the time—is even more difficult.

Technology is playing a growing role in the customer experience delivery equation. Tools such as marketing automation, customer relationship management systems and online and mobile apps are enabling customer engagement in richer ways we’ve never been able to achieve before now. But there is one common denominator that can make or break the success of these systems; it’s customer identity management.

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Steve Signoff: Removing the Barriers to Omnichannel Marketing

Posted by Michael Tarbet, VP of Sales on 6/9/15 11:40 AM

Steve Signoff is the Chief Operating Officer at Tangerine Lab, a consultancy focused on customer experience and brand experience design. Signoff has more than 20 years of experience in telecommunications at One Communications and Sprint. At One Communications, he served as chief sales and marketing officer and he also held a variety of executive leadership positions including VP of Marketing at Sprint. 

UnboundID: Recently you wrote about the challenges with omnichannel marketing. The first step is to get rid of data silos. This is no easy task – can you explain the challenges here and what’s needed to do this?

Signoff: It’s not easy. Bringing data into a centralized place where internal and external resources can access it is critical. You can’t skimp on resources to collect and to manage the data. But wherever you go with the technology, it starts with developing a business strategy at the leadership level, which then evolves to a customer experience strategy. It’s also important to avoid simply merging all your data and placing it in a data warehouse. First, find out what are the business questions that you want to answer, and that will point to the data that you need to gather and store. Those questions could be: when does a customer become aware of the brand, and what triggers the target customer to move from consideration to a purchase. Then price sensitivity, quality sensitivity and image sensitivity are what marketers want to understand as relates to the buying trigger. Then the organization needs to look at what data they have or is easily accessible and what data do they still need to collect.

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Modernizing to a Web Scale LDAP Directory Server Helps Meet Changing IAM Demands

Posted by Ishan Kumar on 6/5/15 10:14 AM

The scope and scale of identity and access management (IAM) is rapidly changing. While its purpose of managing internal employee, retiree and partner identities has remained the same, the demands placed on IAM have dramatically increased. Businesses are implementing a diverse range of new, modern apps to improve productivity. Many organizations are moving to virtualized infrastructures or to the cloud. At the same time, IT teams are under relentless pressure to contain costs while improving security. Plus, the workforce has come to expect the same convenient access and continuous system uptime they experience with consumer-facing technologies.

It’s a lot. And legacy IAM systems simply weren’t built to handle these scale, performance and security demands. If we take a brief look at the history of LDAP directory servers, it’s not hard to see why. From 1995 to 2005, the industry underwent a period of investment and innovation as major companies developed directory servers purpose-built for enterprise employee identity management, but in 2006, these companies shifted their focus from developing new technologies to releasing patches for existing systems.

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Would You Choose to Live Without a Smoke Detector or Fire Alarm?

Posted by Steve Shoaff, UnboundID CEO on 6/2/15 1:25 PM

For the record, I’m a bit of a smoke detector nut. I’m one of those folks who actually tests and changes the batteries twice a year. That ear piercing blast of noise provides me with a sense of security, not just in the case of fire. Home security systems that chime when a door or window opens give me even more peace of mind, particularly when our children were young. Its also good to know that many alert systems will automatically call the police, fire department, or EMS if you don’t intervene.

We don’t think twice about these notification systems. In fact, we would scoff at any alarm system that didn’t notify us in real time about urgent events. You probably wouldn’t choose to live without a smoke detector or fire alarm, so why don’t we care more about notifications in our digital lives?

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Could the FTC’s Involvement in Radio Shack’s Customer Data Sale Change How You Manage Data?

Posted by Steve Shoaff, UnboundID CEO on 5/28/15 10:21 AM

The idea that customer data is increasing in value as a business asset is not new, but the recent auction of bankrupt retailer Radio Shack’s assets points to yet another indicator of its increasing value. Amidst concerns around the sale of the company’s customer databases involving millions of customer profiles, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is weighing in on the transaction. The FTC’s involvement not only validates customer identity data as a highly valuable asset, but also introduces critical restrictions on how it can be sold even in bankruptcy, introducing new implications for data management and the on-going privacy of this data.

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