The Importance of Software Process Improvement – It’s the journey, not just the destination.

All great endeavors start with a question. In this case it’s the same question every business asks at some point regardless of their industry or position they occupy. How do we get better at what we do? This is as true for a software company as the business down the street that makes canoes. The question usually comes up when they realize that they’ve been too focused on delivery and think “Could we be doing this better, faster, cheaper…using less wood?”

This is where the concept of Software Process Improvement (SPI) comes in. In every industry that uses computers (aka: all of them) there is a need for SPI. Granted, a business has to focus on delivery (and rightly so) but the need for improving internal processes should not be ancillary concern that always comes in last place.

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Searchandising – What we can learn about site search from Brick and Mortar

Have you ever walked into a store only to realize that there is no rhyme or reason to its organization or layout?

Just last weekend I was trying to find a dress (last minute of course) for a friend’s wedding. The first store I entered was disorganized and there was no one to assist me. Frustrated, I moved on to the next store and, because of their layout and personal assistance, found what I was looking for very quickly.

Just as brick and mortar stores usually put a lot of thought into designing their stores to organize and showcase products in the best possible manner, online stores need to do the same. Creating a positive user experience during the site search process is a key to success online. Today, more than 30% of online shoppers utilize the site search box on an eCommerce website. Also, all online consumers are used to the ease, speed, and relevance of Google search and expect similar robustness during their online shopping activities.

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Informatica PIM

PIM: A backbone for eCommerce!

In the world of eCommerce, especially in the last few years, I’ve grown to appreciate the importance of data. Every project, every implementation, and every site we have launched has proven time and again that it is most important to maintain the quality of data and to structure it well, so that it can be loaded on the front end efficiently.

There have been templates, formats, and processes used that have helped project teams analyze and organize data for the purpose of their eCommerce implementation. One such term that has created its name in the industry is PIM – Product Information Management. This refers to processes and technologies focused centrally on managing information about products with a focus on the data required to market and sell the products through one or more distribution channels. A central set of product data can be used to feed consistent, accurate and up-to-date information to multiple output media such as web sites, print catalogs, ERP systems, and electronic data feeds to trading partners. (Ref: Wikipedia)

What is PIM?

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Interactive B2B Video

What Makes B2B eCommerce Unique?

As a marketer for B2B companies for over 20 years, I can tell you that marketing and selling in B2B is different than B2C. Yes, you are still selling to people, but there are a number of strategic, marketing and technical requirements that are unique to B2B – especially when selling online. At Zeon Solutions, B2B is our niche. Each client we’ve worked with has their own unique set of requirements, but we’ve noticed that they share some commonalities too. Many of these commonalities are beginning to be considered best practices and are being recognized by leading industry analysts.  The Forrester Wave: B2B Commerce Suites, Q4 2013 report by Peter Sheldon and Andy Hoar mentioned a number of common feature sets unique to B2B eCommerce – a worthy read if you can get your hands on a copy.

B2B eCommerce has been evolving quickly and companies are looking to implement features and functionality that can help them:

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A Zeonaut’s Guide to the eCommerce Universe: An IRCE Retrospective.

As Program Managers at Zeon Solutions, we are your guides through the eCommerce Universe. This online universe, like in real life, is infinite and ever-changing; something truly extraordinary to behold in all of its diversity.

Fellow Program Manager, Dan Kaho and I attended this year’s IRCE. It was enlightening. It reaffirmed our necessity in the journey and it enhanced our perspective. Here are some of the takeaways:

Point A: Getting Started

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