Personalization with Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journeys

In my latest Made Easy with CoreMedia video I show our new integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journeys. In case you are not familiar with Journeys, take a look:

Salesforce Journey Builder is a feature of the company’s Marketing Cloud that manages the customer life cycle: the progression of steps a customer goes through when considering, purchasing, using and maintaining loyalty to a brand

In this demonstration I show how you can personalize content to customers in various Marketing Cloud Journeys. This is great for extreme personlizations like abandoned cart content, birthdays and anniversaries, and much much more.

In this video I show how we use a Birthday Journey with a coupon banner to show to a user who is part of the “Birthday Journey with Coupon” journey.

We also show how you can use the CoreMedia studio to easily control multiple personalized banners for several different journeys. Putting this powerful personalization capability in the hand of editors with zero programming… awesome.

Becoming an IBM Cloud Developer, the easy way.

The IBM Cloud, previously know as IBM BlueMix, seems to be getting a lot of press lately. More and more of our commerce customers are asking about Watson and this development platform. The platform has been greatly expanded over the past few years and is now considered a first class cloud development platform. As outlined here, this has turned into $15 Billion of revenue for IBM and seems to be growing each quarter. The IBM Cloud is now ranked in the top 5 cloud platforms by Bob Evans, displacing Google and Oracle and Bob seems to hint it will probably be moving further up the list. It is no coincidence that one of the key elements to this platform is Watson and the cool API’s it brings to the table. I am seeing some amazing integrations being done into existing applications with some of these Watson API’s. But what is more interesting is the full life cycle development a team can do 100% in the cloud.


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IBM’s Processor Value Unit [PVU] licensing for Distributed Software

Image Courtesy of International Business Machines Corporation. Unauthorized use not permitted.WebSphere Commerce fits into the “Distributed Software” pricing model at IBM. This means you pay by processor type and how many cores that are active for the software. Essentially any “active” core the software is running on you have to pay the Processor Value Unit (PVU) for each of those cores. From the writing of this article the suggested retail price per 100 PVU’s is $119,000*. You can read more about that on the Passport Advantage site here. I specifically say active because there are some implementations that have active-passive fail over. You don’t pay for the “passive” part of that implementation until it becomes active. In an active-active implementation you would pay for both active instances. So if each active instance is 200 PVU’s, you would be required to license 400 PVU’s.

The primary reason I wanted to write about this is to save these links to some vital sites when wanting to know how much WebSphere Commerce cost or how many PVU’s are calculated for a specific processor or service (like Amazon Cloud).

The first link is the one I mentioned above. It is the product page for WebSphere Commerce. Here you can even launch into a PVU calculator where you can find out how many PVU’s for a specific hardware implementation may cost.

The next link is the Processor Value Unit [PVU] licensing for Distributed Software page where it looks like it gets updated pretty frequently. This is the place to go to get a quick summary of how many cores and PVU’s are for specific processors and hardware.

The last link is for anyone considering the Amazon Cloud. First I will say you may want to check out the Commerce On The Cloud offering by IBM prior to going to Amazon. However, if you want pricing for the Amazon Cloud you will enjoy this page: Licensing for Amazon Cloud.

 *Pricing:  Catalog prices are exclusive of tax and subject to change without notice. Passport Advantage customers will see their Relationship Suggested Volume Pricing during checkout. – link

Deploying Domino Apps into the cloud

Outside of the fact he spelled “customers” wrong in the quote below, Rick Whiting has a pretty nice article on cloud deployment.

Cutomers can deploy their Lotus Domino applications on SmartCloud Enterprise via the Lotus Domino Utility Server for LotusLive, including e-mail, social business and third-party applications, IBM said. Starting in the third quarter IBM will also offer its SAP Managed Application Services through SmartCloud.

Article: Eclipse Launches Orion, Browser-based Web Development Tool


“Orion is a brand new, browser-based open tool integration platform which is entirely focused on developing for the Web, in the Web,” Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation told “This is not Eclipse in a browser — it is a completely new codebase with a completely new metaphor for tool integration and workflow that matches the idioms of the Web rather than the desktop.”

Referenced article is here.

Mixing cloud and on premise with WildFire

A big topic in the industry is enterprises mixing cloud and on premise data and what should and should not be supported.    I don’t really have many business related cloud sites today but I am seeing more work related posts on most sites.  I do get a lot of good Lotus community information from Twitter and LinkedIn and now I am actually starting to see more and more stuff on Facebook that is work related.

The problem is I am now seeing things I don’t consider “work related” show in my Notes client.  This could be bad if I happen to have this open in a meeting and someone posts something that is not appropriate.  I have to decide if Facebook is going to stay or not.  It would be great to have WildFire be able to block certain posts from a specific person or service.  Maybe that is a feature request ISW??

Now, I have our internal IBM Connections site added to the list so it will be interesting to see the value that brings.  I have to save this is very cool to see the communications come to me in a real time manner.

Once again, great job ISW!

Facebook changes…again…

I like how Facebook just changes its UI somewhat randomly.  I am sure they announce this stuff somewhere but from a casual users perspective its pretty annoying.  I log on to FB tonight and notice the “Share” field is now gone and I have to click an option of what I want to share:

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So is this how the cloud works?  Will applications in the cloud “just change” one day when a user logs in?  I wonder how this would fly in real enterprises.  I know when I worked at a large company in IT there had to be all kinds of training, warnings, etc that a new version was coming.  This just seems to easy to frustrate the average employee.

One key thing that may distinguish cloud based applications from on premise custom applications is that they are so intuitive it doesn’t even matter if the stuff changes.  Unfortunately FB has not been so intuitive.  I remember several changes totally frustrated me in the past.  This one change is minor but its funny how I immediately noticed it because I could just click in a field and start typing!

Node.js is getting some momentum

Tonight I am messing around on the net looking for all I can find about Node.js.  I like JavaScript for a lot of reasons but I would never have thought it to be a server side scripting language.  The Node.js stuff is pretty amazing however.  They use the CommJS package system, which is very similar to Dojo’s but in my opinion much better because it forces a one-to-one modular approach between class and file.  I started messing around with it and it seems very fast; but I certainly am no benchmark expert in this area.

I then saw a cloud based service that supports Facebook called Joyent.  These guys built an entire cloud based application offering based on server side JavaScript.  It appears from a few posts their server is based on SpiderMonkey and not NodeJS but there is talk they will be moving to NodeJS.

In short, I think I like this idea and concept.  If you can remove the complexity of creating complex servlets/php/rails based applications using a common language like JavaScript it can only be a good thing right?  It also seems that because it does support many platforms and some key threading techniques out of the box it might be a viable approach.

Node is tested on Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris. It also runs on Windows/Cygwin, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD.

Node tells the operating system (through epoll, kqueue, /dev/poll, or select) that it should be notified when a new connection is made, and then it goes to sleep. If someone new connects, then it executes the callback. Each connection is only a small heap allocation. – nodejs

The Cloud, is it a platform or just more of the same?

I have been digging into the various “cloud” offerings on the net and trying to see if there is a common ground in this space and as usual it appears the usual players are making bets on their “cloud” offerings. When you start seeing sites like, LinkedIn, Facebook, or API’s like Microsofts Azure, all using different technologies to provide applications within “their cloud” it quickly shows people are off in their own camps.   I have been reading up on the DeltaCloud (Many clouds. One API. No problem) which is attempting to solve this disparity with a wrapper approach. As long as you have a particular clouds “module” installed on the server, your code can connect to and participate in that cloud. The API’s seem to be very basic out of the gate but I think the direction is worth watching.  Amazon has a huge web presence and companies like Eucalyptus have even standardized on its API’s for their own back-end so it makes me wonder if there will be camps but not many camps in the end.

Using the same application programming interfaces (APIs) that Amazon deploys for its Amazon Web Services (AWS), Eucalyptus allows users to set up their own private clouds and move workloads among internal servers, or to and from AWS. The software is available both as free, open-source code and as a paid version. – PC World

Do we need the same for collaboration?  Open Social (Many sites, one API – sound familiar?) is suppose to fix that but it isn’t totally adopted by all players either.

A common API means you have less to learn to build for multiple websites. OpenSocial is currently being developed by a broad set of members of the web community. The ultimate goal is for any social website to be able to implement the API and host 3rd party social applications. – OpenSocial

If we really want a true cloud then there is going to have to be some level of common API, data model, and interfaces across the players otherwise developers and IT will be needed for the integration points.  As more and more stuff moves to the cloud you may see more and more job openings for “ developer” or “OpenSocial developer” or “AWS experience a plus”.

I think this is a frontier of opportunity for any IT person or developer – which is one of the reasons I love this industry.  It is forever changing and challenging.