Category Archives: CRM

Healthcare firms go for the hybrid cloud approach with compliance and connectivity key

Commentary by James Bourne, Editor-in-Chief, TechForge Media for Cloud Tech News
18 February 2019, 14:02 p.m.


It continues to be a hybrid cloud-dominated landscape – and according to new research one of the traditionally toughest industries in terms of cloud adoption is now seeing it as a priority.

A report from enterprise cloud provider Nutanix has found that in two years’ time, more than a third (37%) of healthcare organisations polled said they would deploy hybrid cloud. This represents a major increase from less than a fifth (19%) today.

The study, which polled more than 2,300 IT decision makers, including 345 global healthcare organisations, found more than a quarter (28%) of respondents saw security and compliance as the number one factor in choosing where to run workloads. It’s not entirely surprising. All data can be seen as equal, but healthcare is certainly an industry where the data which comes from it is more equal than others. Factor in compliance initiatives, particularly HIPAA, and it’s clear to see how vital the security message is.

Yet another key area is around IT spending. The survey found healthcare organisations were around 40% over budget when it came to public cloud spend, compared to a 35% average for other industries. Organisations polled who currently use public cloud spend around a quarter (26%) of their annual IT budget on it – a number which is expected to rise to 35% in two years.

Healthcare firms see ERP and CRM, analytics, containers and IoT – the latter being an evident one for connected medical devices – as important use cases for public cloud. The average penetration in healthcare is just above the global score. 88% of those polled said they see hybrid cloud to positively impact their businesses – yet skills are a major issue, behind only AI and machine learning as an area where healthcare firms are struggling for talent.

It is certainly an area where the largest vendors have been targeting in recent months. Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced in September a partnership with Accenture and Merck to build a cloud-based informatics research platform aiming to help life sciences organisations explore drug development. Google took the opportunity at healthcare conference HiMSS to launch a new cloud healthcare API, focusing on data types such as HL7, FHIR and DICOM.

Naturally, Nutanix is also in the business of helping healthcare organisations with their cloud migrations. Yet increased maturity across the industry will make for interesting reading. The healthcare IT stack of the future will require different workloads in different areas, with connectivity the key. More than half of those polled said ‘inter-cloud application mobility’ was essential going forward.

“Healthcare organisations especially need the flexibility, ease of management and security that the cloud delivers, and this need will only become more prominent as attacks on systems become more advanced, compliance regulations more stringent, and data storage needs more demanding,” said Chris Kozup, Nutanix SVP of global marketing. “As our findings predict, healthcare organisations are bullish on hybrid cloud growth for their core applications and will continue to see it as the ideal solution as we usher in the next era of healthcare.

“With the cloud giving way to new technologies and tools such as machine learning and automation, we expect to see positive changes leading to better healthcare solutions in the long run,” Kozup added.

Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

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What Will 2019 Bring for CRM?


January 1, 2019
By the Editors of CRM magazine

Technology entrepreneur and billionaire investor Elon Musk sounded the alarm again, telling Axios in late November that humans must merge with machines or risk becoming an endangered species. Luckily, most other people’s predictions about businesses and technology for the year ahead aren’t quite so ominous. What follows is just a sample of what some of your peers are thinking.

“As account-based marketing becomes more mainstream and more tools become available, larger marketing automation software vendors will roll ABM features into their platforms. Adoption of ABM will increase overall as more companies will turn to the tailored, personalized approach to their messaging due to the General Data Protection Regulation and other privacy regulations, which dampen the effectiveness of spray-and-pray demand-generation activities.”

Umberto Milletti, founder and CEO of InsideView

“The questions customer service representatives will receive in 2019 will be much more technical and difficult, since bots and self-service technologies can answer the simple questions. As a result, the role of the customer service representative will require a higher skill set. There will be a need for a universal customer service representative who has the whole package, with a willingness for development and lifelong learning.”

Fara Haron, CEO of Global BPS at Arvato

“In 2019, society will push for the demystification of AI and demand a better understanding of what technology is being built and greater transparency into how it is being used. Technology creators will have to embrace full transparency and responsibility to ensure privacy rights are respected and that the technology is being used in a valuable and ethical way.”

Joshua Feast, CEO and founder of Cogito 

“In the year ahead, we’ll see more brands commit to creating experiences that engage and excite people, understanding their target customers’ values and how their brand promise aligns to those values. Armed with that deep understanding of customer expectations, brands will be able to design integrated experiences that entertain, educate, and empower shoppers in a way that will keep them coming back.”

Dave Bruno, marketing director at Aptos 

“Contextual awareness will redefine the customer experience. As companies show no slowdown in collecting data from consumers, customers are increasingly expecting brands to use this data to create a more personalized, streamlined experience, demanding timely, proactive responses and suggestions. Providing insights based on a customer context and previous activity will become the new normal, and brands are only starting to scratch the surface of what is possible.”

—Philip Say, vice president of innovation product management at Sutherland Labs

“Within the next five years, we expect over half of back-end processes to be fully automated, and user analytics will be a key ingredient for intelligent automation. In the CRM space, [machine learning/artificial intelligence] algorithms will be augmented with real-time user data as a way to make applications more responsive to human interactions.”

Brian Berns, CEO of Knoa

“The conversational UX trend will continue, and voice command will play a larger role in how customers engage with enterprises. We will also see a wider adoption of machine learning applied to analytics in real time. This will all be part of an industry trend toward more holistic digital customer management.”

Audelia Boker, global vice president of marketing at Glassbox

“2019 will see companies finally learn the art of listening by developing a strategy that engages customers in the right way, at the right time, and on the right channel. Leveraging analytics, smart companies will monitor the entire customer journey across channels to ensure a consistent experience that drives loyalty.”

Rebecca Martin, chief marketing officer at Calabrio

“Companies will begin to treat customer support and communication as an integral part of the product, brand, and service. Companies are beginning to take notice that you can create a cult-like following if you take care of your customers and don’t treat customer support as a checkbox or a cost center. It’s long overdue.”

Anand Janefalkar, CEO and founder of UJET


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