News

Kanban Joins Experts at Frost & Sullivan MindXchange

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For three days starting July 11th, Kanban will be joined by fellow digital marketing experts at the Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange in Asheville, NC.  This intimate event brings together marketing executives and leading providers of marketing technology, software and services.  According to Frost & Sullivan, “it is where sparks fly among the best marketing minds from North American B2B companies. It is where great ideas are generated, and where they converge around a cross section of industries.”

Kanban is honored to be selected as a participant and facilitator at the event. Philip Wisniewski, EVP of Client Development, will moderate the MindShares session “SEO in a Global Business Environment” with panelists from Bank of America, Lenovo and Momentive (formerly General Electric Advanced Materials).

See the agenda or get in touch!

Insights, The Marketing Technology Office

Continuous Everything: The Modern and Agile Experience Delivery Model for Marketers

Brands are investing in digital experiences to compete for customers and revenue. Those digital customer experiences are made up of the latest features and functions delivered and deployed as part of a software development lifecycle. With so much at stake, these companies must minimize time to market and address their customers’ expectations more frequently than ever before, continuously.

As Forrester notes in their recent research, DevOps Makes Modern Service Delivery Modern, the required automation to quickly meet consumer demands must not introduce risk; “To meet this demand, developers are making use of Agile practices to create small, targeted releases. An increase in speed, however, must not result in software quality and production environment issues. Customers today expect reliability, quality, and a continuous stream of additional functionality.”

For leading brands, automated, rapid and no-risk releases require a collaborative focus by infrastructure, operations, application development and business leaders to organize into an agile and modern service delivery model. This organizational discipline is often referred to as “DevOps” (Development + Operations) and has given rise to concepts like “Continuous Deployment”, “Continuous Delivery” and “Continuous Integration”.

Behind the buzzwords and confusion around the definitions, your take-away should be simple; just about anything “continuous” is important to enable an agile marketing operation.

What is it? Continuous Delivery, Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment

Continuous Delivery is the practice of ensuring that code can be rapidly and safely moved (aka “delivered”) between development, testing and staging environments. Every application/code change is delivered to a “production-like” environment through rigorous automated testing. This system for testing code incrementally and frequently to ensure quality is referred to as Continuous Integration. The value lies in the practice of continually integrating changes, so the system can catch errors and failures while they’re still small and manageable. Your automated, continuous integration system provides a level of confidence that the application can be deployed to production (in theory with a push of a button) when the business is ready.

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Continuous Deployment is the next step in this model. Every change that passes the automated tests and is approved for “go live” is deployed to production automatically. Continuous Deployment should be the goal of most companies, however, few have their network, development, operations and business teams in sync to facilitate that level of agility. With modern tools like Docker, Tutum, Jenkins, Puppet and dozens of advancements in related domains like CDNs and front-side caching engines (ex. CloudFlare, NGINX, Varnish Plus), today’s DevOps teams have a lot of capabilities at their fingertips and are advancing these disciplines to realize the most common benefits:

Speed & Agility. Short time to market delights your customers with the latest features and functions. Business stakeholders seek the agility to meet market demands and compete for the customer’s attention.

Scope & Scale. Automation testing mitigates risks by testing every new iteration of your code, instead of testing once a day, or once a week. That limits the damage that can be done if something breaks. Testing incrementally also makes it easier to identify and remediate errors.

Governance & Quality. Fast changes, and lots of them, require organizational alignment. Automation, when designed correctly, facilitates communication and workflow across diverse teams. Automation eliminates — or at least vastly reduces — the opportunity for people to cause errors.

Let’s review some of the specific tools we have been working with to establish modern application delivery, integration and deployment processes. In the following example, we highlight the use of Hippo CMS with Docker and Tutum.

 

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News

Intelligent Content: The Underbelly of Effective CX @ ICC 2016

 

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This year’s Intelligent Content Conference (ICC) promises to be the most inspiring and informative event since its inception 8 years ago.  As the one content strategy event specifically designed for marketing practitioners, ICC 2016 will help you pave a path towards a format-free, modular and single-source approach to content creation and distribution.

This continued focus on content, structure, scale, technology, and ROI is precisely the reason Kanban has teamed up with partner Hippo CMS as joint Gold Sponsors of the ICC 2016 to be held in Las Vegas in March 7-9.

Kanban and Hippo CMS will also participate in a panel discussion, The Best Tools for Multi-Channel Publishing, moderated by the Content Wrangler Scott Abel.  Kanban’s CEO Josh Manton and Hippo’s CTO Arje Cahn will be joined by other notable industry experts, including Ann Rockley, Val Swisher, Robert Rose, Rahel Anne Bailie, Joe Pulizzi and Karen McGrane, throughout the 3-day event.

When: March 7-9, 2016
Where: The M Resort Spa and Casino
Event Website

Looking to save some money for your company? Use our discount code KANBAN100 to save $100 off your main event and all-access passes!

News

Gilbane 2015: Brinker, Marks and Intimacy

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The Gilbane Conference was held in Boston December 1-3.  As with prior years, some of the world’s foremost experts in content, technology and the customer experience gathered to share experiences and perspectives.

Some of the more notable keynotes included Scott Brinker of Chiefmartech.com and Jon Marks of Kaldor, the company behind the Pugpig publishing platform.

Scott Brinker covered a few topics that he details in his new book, Hacking Marketing.  He made a case for the convergence of marketing and software development functions, which when aligned, allows organizations to be more agile, shedding the classic waterfall SDLC.  He cited the use of Kanban swim lanes and boards to move development work through the process.  Scott also took some time to define customer experience as the intersection of media (how and where content appears), messages (what the content says) and mechanism (what the content does and how it behaves), suggesting that customer experience from a marketing perspective is the same as user experience from a product perspective. Finally, Brinker applied the concept of pace layering introduced by Stewart Brand in his book The Clock of the Long Now to digital transformation governance and architecture.  The systems and processes we utilize should be designed to facilitate layers changing at their own pace, Brinker concluded.

Jon Marks, co-founder of the PugPig publishing platform, delivered a rather entertaining look at the classic “apps vs mobile web” debate.  Set against the context of the 007 Bond movie series timeline dating back to the 60’s, Jon revisited his expectations for the death of the mobile app, which he jokingly predicted to be right around 2017.  He then went on to suggest exactly why that prediction was so far off, citing the power of mobile devices, the evolution of the mobile OS into a platform, and the blurring lines between apps and web.  Marks concluded that consumers will see less and less of a difference, so the merits of either approach will be tied to any organizations requirements around the user interface (ex. touch controls) and the ecosystem (ex. mobile pay). In the end, Jon noted, you’ll want a mobile web site AND quite possibly a native app.  How’s that for settling the debate?

Despite two days of strong speakers and an engaged audience that travelled from all over the US and beyond, Gilbane 2015 was a disappointment in one area, attendance.  By my own head count, this year’s event had less than 150 attendees. As probably the smallest event in the history of the Gilbane conference, we look towards 2016 optimistically in hopes of exchanging intimacy for vibrancy.

Insights, System Integration

Martech Integrations: Video Saved the Marketing Star

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Content and experience management systems sit at the core of any brand’s digital transformation strategy.  That core must then serve as the center point of integrations with the many peripheral systems enabling relevant, unique and engaging experiences.  Even the most advanced marketing suites must work effectively with external systems since most enterprise organizations have a mix of legacy and best-of-breed prior investments they expect to leverage.

The Connector Conundrum

For years, integrations between systems were the snake oil of yesteryear, plagued by over-promises and under-delivery.  According to Forrester’s 2015 Digital Experience Delivery Survey, ease of integration now tops the list of concerns when selecting technology vendors or products.

With integrations aplenty, smart technology buyers are looking for any advantage to ease integrations.  In response, many vendors and their implementation services partners have invested in libraries, marketplaces and other sources of pre-built connectors, sometime also referred to as modules, extensions, etc.

The vision for both buyers and sellers is that the challenge of integrations can be addressed by simply pulling an available connector off the shelf in plug-n-play fashion.  For example, salesforce.com claims to have over 2,800 such “productizations” in the AppExchange.

The trick to building these connectors is to balance flexibility with interoperability.  Meaning, the connector must not only integrate two distinct systems but should also allow for that integration to be configurable and extensible.  Let’s use a real example.

Video Saved the Marketing Star

Video is one of the hottest marketing topics today, and every brand is racing to create more effective video capabilities.  Say you use Brightcove as a cloud based video distribution platform.  You will want to access and possibly even manage those videos through your CMS.  So within your authoring interface, you would want to browse the videos stored in Brightcove, select the appropriate video or videos, add that video to your CMS component and publish that video and associated player within your web page.  You may even pass certain metadata and analytics through this connector, in both directions.

Now, let’s consider the very possible scenario where an organization may have more than one such provider.  It is likely that a brand may use a partner like Brightcove or Vimeo and say, Youtube.  So, is that one connector or two?  See where this is going?

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