The Corrupting Influence of Metrics

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There is, every year, it seems, a bigger focus and greater reliance upon metrics.  Metrics can, of course, provide a much-needed focal point for management objectives, and provide valuable performance feedback.  One of the continuing issues with metrics is the  ’gaming” behavior that metrics can drive.  Metrics inadvertently become the end, rather than a measure of the means.   Stories abound of unintended consequences.   What we see time and time again is a corrupting effect of metrics on what the metrics are purporting to measure.  Has our mad rush to quantify and measure everything resulted in the unintended consequences becoming the rule rather than the exception?

Continue reading “The Corrupting Influence of Metrics” on Bob Eastman’s blog, Netting it Out.

Enterprise 2.0 Boston 2012 Keynotes, Part 1: Social Media and Mobility

Nathan Bricklin, Wells Fargo
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Enterprise 2.0 Boston 2012 Day 2 kicked off with a series of very strong social media keynotes: Wells Fargo‘s Nathan Bricklin, Nike‘s Richard Foo, American Airlines’ Phillip Easter, FedEx’s Bryan Barringer, and Lithium Technologies’ Michael Wu.

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A Conversation with Calyptus Consulting’s George Harris

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Cross-posted from the Calyptus Consulting Group (CCG) Blog, with permission:

The Calyptus Consulting team has been deployed far and wide over the past several months, during which time new members have joined the Calyptus team. So when we recently had a chance to sit down as a team and catch our collective breaths, we took the opportunity to have a conversation with George Harris, C.P.M., CPCM, Calyptus Consulting’s President, and to pose some questions that we thought would be of interest.

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How To Use a Technology Analyst Firm

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SMB Research has intended for some time to provide some ideas around how to use a technology analyst firm.  This is a difficult task because the analyst firm industry has many flavors, business and revenue models, services, and deliverables.  Analysts are often lumped in with consultants and consulting, and, for many, even the lines between analysts, consultants and resellers, VARS and MSPs (managed service providers) are blurry.  There are many streams of discussions on the internet and elsewhere about the different analyst firm models, business and revenue models, and the issues around bias and transparency, among other things.  We will not make even a pretense of trying to sort all of this out for you here.  (You can give us a call, if you like.)   What we can do for you as a start is offer some insights on what a technology analyst firm is, and how to use a technology analyst firm like SMB Research.

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CRM and How SMBs Can Utilize It

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Larger enterprises have deployed CRM suites for years. As the focus of SMB Research LLC represents companies with less than 1, 000 employees we wanted to see exactly how these SMBs were using CRM. Over the last few weeks we spoke to some CRM vendors including SugarCRM, Sage Software, Results Software. These are just 3 of hundreds of vendors and they serve as a few examples of what is available and has been deployed at hundreds of SMBs.

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Sustainability Strategies for the SMB / SME

MangoLogo
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 Mango NetworksLisa Lillelund provided a timely and engaging presentation at the North Shore Technology Council‘s (NSTC) North Shore Technology Council  first Wednesday of the month Sustainability Forum at the Cleantech InnoVenture Center in Lynn.  Mango Networks describes itself as “a Sustainability, Clean Energy, and Environmental Communications Company..[who] advises companies, universities, schools, clean tech start-ups, and resorts…[and advocates] for environmentally friendlier business and living practices through our consulting projects, articles, Mango Networkspresentations, and educational events.’   Ms. Lillelund’s message to the assembled audience reflected Mango’s mission to educate on what sustainability is, and what we can all be doing about sustainability in our businesses and our lives.

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Social Media from the Legal Perspective

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We hear so often about Social Media from the technological or strategic viewpoint that I was not quite sure what to expect from the GSMI’s (Global Strategic Management Institute‘s) event, “Social Media: Legal Risks & Strategy”.   While many of us are understandably excited about the promise and the opportunity of social media, the legal aspects are ignored at our own peril.

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5 Ways SMBs Can Better Influence Technology Vendors

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It has been a year since SMB Research posted “SMBs: Get Influence Working with Large Vendors; 7 Guidelines to Ease the Process”.  As we have been working with a number of end users in 2010 and in early 2011, we are updating and refreshing this with some new insights and recommendations.

While it is undoubtedly true that small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) cannot avail themselves of all of the price breaks and other advantages of larger enterprises who have bigger IT and capex budgets, there are steps you can take to “look” big and be treated with the respect and amount of attention that you deserve: [Read more...]

10 Best Practices For a Better Website

SMB Research
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Have you read enough pieces yet on what makes a great website?

You have probably seen quite a few articles and posts addressing this.  We here at SMB Research know we have seen a lot of material. (SMB Research includes at least one fairly good article on SMB Research’s Top 20 Favorite Reads of 2010.)

Many of these articles seem to take a cookie-cutter approach:  it should go without saying at this point that a website needs to have good navigation, and that a website needs a “Call to Action”.

We think there are a number of other critical website features and best practices that get too little attention.

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SMB Research’s Top 20 Favorite Reads of 2010

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What was the best SMB or technology-related piece you read this past year?

When we at SMB Research started talking a few weeks ago about what we thought were some of the most interesting and valuable articles from 2010, we realized that once again this year there has been a great deal of very good (however you define this) research and writing.  If you struggle to find the time to read to read everything that deserves your attention, we share your pain.

To help you out, SMB Research decided to take a look back at some of what has been written and published this past year, and to identify some of our favorite reads.

SMB Research’s Top 20 Favorite Reads, 2010:
(in chronological order)

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Great Learnings from Boston’s Small Business of the Year Awards

Joe Harold - Sagamore Plumbing & Heating
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SMB Research was very pleased to be able to attend the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s 26th Annual Small Business of the Year Awards yesterday (Oct 14, 2010) at the Colonnade Hotel.  Emceed by WBZ Radio’s co-Anchor of “WBZ Morning News” Ed Walsh, the event itself was flawlessly put together and efficiently executed, for a very enjoyable event. [Read more...]

Vendors: Are You Trying to Hide from Prospects and Industry Influencers?

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In our research work at SMB Research, LLC we are continually researching, analyzing, profiling and/or reaching out to software, hardware, technology, and professional service vendors.  People, you are often not making this as easy as it could be!  You are putting unnecessary speed bumps in the way. [Read more...]

2010 IT Planning for Small-to-Medium Business

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SMB Research just completed a survey for 2010 IT Planning for Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs).  

An Introduction to Supply Chain Management from ASU

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If you are new to the world of supply chain management, there is no dearth of sources and resources for you to tap into to learn what supply chain management is, and what it means for you.  There are also no dearth of sources to find out where these resources are.

Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey school of Business, long renowned for its supply chain management program, has just put out the first in a series of 12 video modules on supply chain management.  (Which I would not have perhaps noticed but for ReliablePlant.) [Read more...]

CRM for Small-to-Medium Business: A Selection in Process

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SMB Research has a great interest in Customer Relationship Management (CRM).   After all, we focus on the technology research needs of Small-to-Medium business.  Features that allow companies to know their customers better is what drives Small and Medium business to be able to grow and thrive.   Competition can be fierce for Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMB’s) and having the ability better know ones customer is essential.  So how does CRM allow companies to know their customer better? [Read more...]