Archive for July 2011
On Tricia Duryee’s All Things D blog post, “What Wal-Mart Has in Store for Social Commerce”

By Paul Lavery, Director, Solutions Enablement – Supply Chain Axway

Walmart is sending a signal to the marketplace as it gets into social commerce, a signal that indicates how consumers are going to leverage interactive media, particularly social media.

Human-to-human file and data exchange has grown exponentially among business interaction networks, and email drove that growth. Email has become the common medium and platform for exchanging files between humans (i.e., ad hoc file transfer). But an explosion of social media environments and ecosystems has complicated these exchanges, despite the fact this new arena has not yet been commercialized in a more traditional way, like retailing.

Walmart is the largest retailer in the world, by a wide margin. And now, in order to plug the company into consumer behavioral patterns, they’ve taken the step of putting the platform into @WalmartLabs, which will, according to an April 2011 press release, “create technologies and businesses around social and mobile commerce that will support Walmart’s global multi-channel strategy, which integrates the shopping experience between bricks and mortar stores and e-commerce.” This new capability enables them to leverage the multiple mediums consumers use to price-check, price-compare and view what friends and family members are shopping for and/or recommending.

By taking this kind of platform approach, Walmart is now able to connect interactions well beyond their portal. They’re actually integrating that portal into mobile devices and, more importantly, they can now view consumer preferences through social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

This is creating a much more complex environment for exchanging information like pricing data, product specs and product comparisons, shunting data and information that affect the shopping and purchasing decisions of large communities. And in light of the numerous security requirements related to personal information and consumer commerce, it’s extremely important that retailers – as well as any manufacturers connected to this kind of offering – focus on security and automation.

Axway is uniquely positioned to facilitate this scenario in two ways. One, we offer the most comprehensive ability to manage and secure the exchange of all that data, including ad hoc transfers via email or over mobile devices. And two, we provide granular visibility into data movement – how all those files are travelling, and to whom they are going. These capabilities enable any enterprise to enter the realm of consumers leveraging social media – with the same agility as the largest retailer in the world.

On Brian Prentice’s Gartner blog post, “Welcome iCloud – Now Prepare to Meet Your Enterprise IT Detractors”

By Paul French, VP, Product & Solutions Marketing, Axway

What a novel idea! Actually allowing people to take control of their own use of technology to drive their own productivity! People have been doing this for a long time already, of course – they started taking their laptops to work the moment wireless 3G cards became available; they started taking their iPhones to work years ago; and they started taking their iPads to work in 2010. And finally enterprises are starting to realize, “Wow! We should probably get with the program and provide additional management capabilities and policy guidelines for these technologies, since just saying no isn’t an option.” Because the bottom line is that if you simply forbid the device, simply insist that your people turn them off, they will continue to look for other ways to get their work done. Instead, the enterprise needs to recognize the incremental value in adapting to the cloud and providing people a pathway from their device into enterprise systems – which means surrounding that pathway with the appropriate security and policy management measures. Fortunately, there’s plenty of ways to do that. If you empower people to use their solutions of choice, they’ll be happier and more productive, and ultimately you — the enterprise — will save money.