With the heady days of summer vacation upon us, it may be tempting to slack off and lose hours in Reddit or Facebook and risk being branded dead weight by the few prairie dogs still lurking in the office (and oh yes, they’ll be watching). Use your quiet hours to study up on some of that exciting new technology that has the potential to help you stand out on the team when annual review time comes around again – and yes, it’s coming soon. Do these count as training hours toward your department’s KPIs? Possibly.

Here are some of the great pieces of on-demand content that we’ve got loaded up in the VentureBeat vaults.

Marketing Automation Systems: The top marketing automation point solutions

This expert roundtable discussion offers a free CMO guide to marketing automation, as well as a 50% discount code to purchase the marketing automation VB Insight report. It’s hard to describe marketing automation to lay-people because it’s like trying to describe the wind with only one adjective — it means a lot of different things to different people and different industries. Regardless of the marketing automation picture you deploy, the objective is the same — identifying, qualifying, converting, and growing customers. For some marketing teams, it’s everything they do.

While marketing automation has grown as a whole, adoption is still surprisingly low — below 5% in many verticals. That means that there’s a lot of room for ambitious companies to start making some action and dominating their industry.

“It’s become mission critical,” said Jory Des Jardins, senior vice president of strategic alliances at SheKnows Media/BlogHer and a speaker on the roundtable. “I’m not sure we were aware of how mission critical it was. When we first launched our network, Blogher, we were very active in engaging our publishers but we would never guarantee a result. Now it would be a mistake to not guarantee or benchmark or try to create some outcome for the brand. That is an expectation that has shifted dramatically.”

“It’s not just a spray and pray mentality that was prevalent ten years ago, ” said Des Jardins.

Watch this expert roundtable discussion on demand for free by following this link. There’s also links to three substantial blog posts from the webinar’s sponsor Autopilot, such as “7 steps to getting started with marketing automation” and “10 lead nurturing strategies and their KPIs” to study up and get ahead in this diverse landscape.

Speakers:

  • Andrew Jones, VB Insight analyst; VentureBeat
  • Jory Des Jardins, Senior Vice President, Strategic Global Alliances; SheKnows Media /BlogHer
  • Britta Meyer, Chief Marketing Officer; WageWorks

Mobile marketing automation – a multi-part series

Mobile is taking over as the pre-eminent way companies connect with customers.  For sales. For service. For feedback. For support. For … everything.

In just 8 years, smartphones have taken over the world. In just 3.5 years, smartphone media consumption has overtaken television. In just 5 years, we have been talking on our phones the same amount, but our data usage has skyrocketed more than 3400%. Mobile commerce has jumped 123% just in the first quarter of this year. It’s happening. It’s happening right now.

We’re taking a hard look at how mobile is the new normal. Your customers expect it. Business demands it. Mobile marketing automation is only used by 1.5% of businesses today — and those businesses are making a killing because they understand the unique relationships we have grown to expect with our mobile devices.

We have a host of free online content to dig into this fascinating world. Each expert roundtable is kicked off with a slice of our Mobile Marketing Automation report with author John Koetsier, VP of Research here at VentureBeat. Then he sits down with industry experts from leading mobile marketing automation users at companies like MixBook, Yummly and AEG Worldwide to have a frank and open discussion about the state of mobile marketing automation technology today.

Listen to Part 4 with John Koetsier; Ian Woods, Chief Engagement Officer, IM; and Brian Witlin, COO and Mobile, Yummly.

Listen to Part 3 with John Koetsier; Gregg Colvin, Former COO, UM Worldwide; and Scott Carlis, VP Digital, Social Media and Marketing, AEG Global Partnership

Listen to Part 2 with John Koetsier;Andrew Laffoon, CEO & Co-Founder of Mixbook; and Erik Tarui, VP Marketing and CRM, textPlus.

Listen to Part 1 with John Koetsier and Jen Kavanagh, EVP, General Manager (US) of Beamly

 

Internet of Everything: Is your company ready for machine intelligence?

By attending this webinar on demand, you can scoop up Qualcomm’s white papers on “Bringing Cognitive Technologies to Life” and “Security and privacy vision” along with the report deck and on demand webinar content.

We are on the verge of a new era of smart connected things, where devices and machines are much more intuitive, simplifying and enriching our daily lives. As smart devices pack more powerful processors and sensors, they will become more aware of our preferences and surroundings, anticipate our needs, and provide us with relevant information at the right time. As machines of the future begin to see and hear in 3D through computer vision and perceive and understand through machine learning, new worlds of possibilities open. Cars, machines, robots, and other smart devices will become autonomous, anticipating outcomes far faster and more accurately.

“We hear a lot of buzzwords in the industry — augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, smart cities — all of this is through the intelligent use of that data,” says Jim McGregor, principal analyst and founder of TIRIAS Research.

“It’s almost unlimited how we use the data — that extends to almost every potential vertical industry we can think of. Machine learning has the potential to drastically change healthcare, for example,” McGregor said in the presentation. “Imagine if you could take those massive databases of medical imaging that we have stored around the world and combine it with the diagnoses and the results – whether those were accurate or inaccurate diagnoses – imagine what you could do with a real-time image after scanning an individual.”

“You could literally double that time frame by applying an intelligent layer with analytics off of the IOT stream,” says Chris Clayton, Senior Vice President, Business Development at Coldlight and a speaker in the presentation. “Machine learning tells us how long it takes to service the product, how much it costs to service it, and the combination of factors for when that piece of equipment fails. And when you provide a way to accurately and confidently lower the cost of producing goods and services, you generate new revenue opportunities, the proliferation of more products, and more services at lower prices points.”

“Machine learning is the next step and has the potential to change everything we do,” says McGregor during the presentation.

In this webinar, we dig into how industry leaders are using cognitive technologies, such as machine learning, computer vision, and always-on sensing to reshape industries, including transportation, healthcare, banking and retail. Can your business keep up with the disruption that will be caused by these technologies? How can device intelligence add value to your organization? How can you balance the benefits of device intelligence with associated risks?

Check it out.

Speakers:

  • Maged Zaki, Director of Technical Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
  • Jim McGregor, Principal analyst and founder, TIRIAS Research
  • Russ Fadel, President and General Manager; ThingWorx
  • Chris Clayton, Senior vice president, business development; ColdLight

Mixed Methodologies Pt II: Building successful outcomes

When is a team not a team? When it fails to support the organizational goals of the business. The danger, of course, is when the team fully believes that it’s doing its job – but the rest of the company seems to be pushing back. That’s the trouble spot that experts David Linthicum and Rick Morrow discuss on our most recent discussion of mixing Agile and other methodologies like Scrum, Kanban, and Waterfall into the application development cycle.

“The agile teams need to understand what the goals of the organization are,” says Nick McCleery, Agile project manager at Workfront, “and that they don’t have the option to prioritize their work however they want.”

“Agile and Waterfall, they have pros and cons each. I have some clients who move to Agile too quickly and find that it’s very difficult to schedule and it’s a very chaotic project management infrastructure. Also clients that are stuck in the Waterfall methodology and find that it’s too restrictive and there’s too many dependencies so it’s not as efficient,” says David Linthicum.

“I think we always focus too much on Agile when we have this discussion, but the thing to look at is that we get lost in the tools and the mechanics and we’re not looking at the culture and the philosophy behind it. Agile is at its heart a set of philosophies around how we treat our customers, how we communicate internally, and how we interact with each other on our executive team,” says Rich Morrow, principal engineer at Quicloud and featured speaker on the presentation.

With your free registration, you’ll also receive the report “A Manager’s Guide to Mixing Agile and Waterfall” by webinar sponsor Workfront.

Speakers:

David Linthicum – Senior Vice President; Cloud Technology Partners
Rich Morrow – Principal Engineer; quicloud
Nick McCleery – Agile project manager; Workfront