Apps for CRM and Sales Management 101

Image by Mike Mozart, CC license Customer relationship management (CRM) and sales management are two fast-growing areas for software, with new applications frequently coming on the market as companies seek to know everything about their customers — what selling strategies work, which promotions produce the most sales lift, and how profitable their customers are. Companies […]


The FDA is Here. Can You Find Your Stuff?

Image: Al Drago/CQ Roll Call Via AP/Associated Press The FDA has appeared at one of your plants and would like to see your records showing how much of which products were manufactured using a particular lot of raw material, where those products were shipped, and to which customers they were sold. (Hint: you’re supposed to […]

software logos

A Confusing Market for Enterprise Software

Image by It’s getting harder to determine which software vendors have what capabilities. This is because: The number of technology startups has increased; Big software companies have been acquiring other firms to increase the breadth of their capabilities; Established firms are rapidly making changes to their suite of applications – adding capabilities so quickly […]

app2app integ

App to App Integration 101

Image: Diagram of the control panel in the cockpit of Apollo 13’s Lunar Module Aquarius, which circled the moon in April 1970, by Steve Jurvetson. CC license. Nearly all new applications you add to your enterprise will need some level of connectivity to your existing systems, as well as to systems outside your enterprise, and […]

Big Data

Big Data: Correlations, Not Cause-and-Effect

Image by Marcos Gasparutti, CC license In their recently published book, “Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think,” Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier say that big data will provide a lot of information that can be used to establish correlations, not necessarily precise cause and effect. But that might […]

SC 101

Supply Chain Software 101

Image: Balzac Fresh Food Distribution Center, by Walmart Few areas of the software market in the past ten years have been as hot as supply chain. Supply chains in many industries have been trying to cut costs out of distribution networks while reducing order lead time and inventories. They want solutions for modernizing what has […]

LinkedIn DV

What Is Data Visualization?

A data visualization of LinkedIn connections. Image by Luc Legay, CC license Frank Luntz is a professional pollster who uses the visualization of data to show the sentiments of viewers as they watch political ads. The technique uses a moving second-by-second graph to show when exactly during an ad viewers felt positive or negative toward […]


Five Smart Ways to Use Retail Store Data

Photo by Krystian Olszanski, CC license Great!  Your second biggest customer has agreed to collaborate with you to build the business through collaboration and data sharing, and you’ll be getting access to all of their point-of-sale data through a third party company.  Now what? Fortunately there are some very good POS analytical capabilities out there, but […]

data web large cropped1

What Causes EDI Failures? Data.

Image: r2hox; data.path Ryoji.Ikeda – 4 EDI has been for many years the work-horse for any sizable company that wants to efficiently conduct business with its trading partners (suppliers and customers).  But EDI has one annoying tendency: message failures; that is, a message (purchase order, invoice) that failed to reach its intended receiver.  No message, no […]

purchase order

Automate Your Paper Workflow

Image by Digital Strategy, CC license Although EDI has been around for 20 years, lots of companies still process orders and invoices manually; that is, they receive a written, faxed, or e-mailed purchase order or invoice, then  type it into whatever software they have for tracking and fulfilling orders and paying suppliers. If you  can’t […]