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The Language Around Cloud (And Other Things That Drive Solution Architects Crazy)

I am often reminded of a specific parable whenever someone drops the words 'cloud', 'private cloud', 'hybrid cloud' or 'SaaS'. It's the one about the blind men and an elephant, who describe the animal based on which part of its anatomy they feel, then come to blows because they assume the others are being dishonest. 

In: Insurance
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Data Lake Query Quality

Many organizations established, or are presently establishing data lakes as a cost effective means of provisioning operational intelligence query and analytics capabilities directly to the field personnel who need them the most, understand the data the best, and are the most capable of actioning insights gleaned.  Sounds like an ideal arrangement.  

In: Insurance
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Quantitative or Qualitative - What Are Your User Adoption Results?

High user adoption rates reflect that your company's software investments are being appropriately leveraged, and ideally show that users are engaging with the system. To determine the effectiveness of the software at your company, you need to know your user adoption rates.

In: Insurance
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Querying the Data Lake

The Apache Open Source contributions to Hadoop are numerous and cover a broad portion of a reference architecture. It has been some time since we considered foundational low cost storage and in-place query capabilities. And as we saw in the "Data Lakes" blog posting, many organizations utilized this foundational offering.

In: Insurance
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Deciphering Vendor Speak, Part 2: ‘Improve the Customer Experience’

Vendors have a similar language when it comes to describing the benefits of their solutions but that doesn’t mean you’ll get the same results with every solution. Whether you’re looking for CRM, customer engagement, business process management, or a customer insights platform, it’s worth your while to ask each vendor how their solutions deliver on their promises.

In: Insurance
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NexJ CDAi at Neo4j GraphConnect New York 2017

This year, we were invited by Neo4j, one of our key development partners, to attend GraphConnect, their annual global gathering. This was the first year Neo4J held GraphConnect in New York, so NexJ was especially grateful to not only participate in this inaugural event, but to be one of the partner exhibitors as well. The gathering extended the reach of Neo4j, offering something for everyone, including developers, data scientists, big data architects, and business analysts looking to reveal new connections in their analysis.

In: Insurance
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It’s All About the Customer

I know, I know… I’m always talking about how it’s the age of the customer and how everything revolves around the customer. Guess what? I don’t just talk about it, I live by it too. Last week, it was my privilege to host our 2017 Client Day here in Toronto. We were joined by senior business and IT leaders from many of our customers from across the globe, across the country, and down the street. 

In: Insurance
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Omni-channel to Omni-digital: The New Normal

PwC's 2017 Digital Banking Consumer Survey summary, "(Don't) take it to the bank: What customers want in the digital age," proposes a new segment of consumers they've called "omni-digital." They define omni-digital customers as those who "don't use physical channels like branches or call centers to interact with their financial institutions." 

In: Insurance
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Investing in Data Insights

In today's financial services and insurance markets, you have access to massive amounts of information from multiple sources about your customers. The Internet of Things has led to an exponential increase in data types and sources, and assembling that information into usable insights can provide powerful knowledge about your potential or existing customers. 

In: Insurance
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Looking Around - Seeing The Benefits of Our Approach To Enterprise Development

Sometimes when you step back you can really appreciate things that may have become routine. I did this recently with our enterprise-first development approach. As usual, we are busy adding capabilities to our products that will make our client’s solutions even more valuable and I’ve been almost too close to it. 

In: Insurance
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Sunsetting an Obsolete System

So when a system stops receiving support or development, it affects the health of the entire company. It can become expensive to maintain, difficult to upgrade, or so obsolete it risks pulling the company behind the competition. When people can't or aren't using the system, or when the system isn't able to provide the functionality that's needed, the organization must replace it.

In: Insurance
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Hadoop Data Lake

In this blog series, we’ll explore the concepts that make up the Semantic Data Lake. We’ll begin with an introduction to Hadoop – what is it and why was it developed? Techniques traditionally applied when mastering complicated organizational reference data such as customers often require centralization to enforce standardization. 

In: Insurance
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Beyond the Brochure - Why Project Success Begins with the Proof of Concept

You’ve seen the demo and read the brochure. You’ve read a dozen RFP responses, and expertly managed conflicting requirements and competing stakeholder expectations. You’ve short-listed the vendors, and authored a business case that you can be proud of. 

In: Insurance
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AI and the Rise of the Bots

It’s still a little hard to get used to. For a number of years this would be the week I would make my way to the Big Apple, the financial services mecca of North America, to attend #CRMEvolution. The event used to take place in a hotel right in Times Square. There was always a flurry of activity all around.

In: Insurance
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Choosing The Right Vendor: Don’t Limit Your Analysis to Functionality

At NexJ, we take great pride in being a responsive vendor. This is a big part of our value proposition – our desire to be a strategic partner who contributes to our clients’ success. If you’re making a software purchase, I strongly recommend you factor vendor responsiveness into the decision making process. It’s an invaluable intangible. So what exactly do I mean by ‘responsive vendor’?

In: Insurance
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Financial Services Innovation and Insights

It’s 3:45 a.m. and my alarm is screaming at me to wake up. I reach for my phone to stop the blasphemous racket. By instinct, I manage to shut it off but the noise keeps blaring. I realize that I had set the alarm on my tablet as well. Good thing too, because that's the alarm that brought me to my senses. As someone predisposed to staying up late rather than waking early, the hour is more familiar for being the end of a day than the start of one.

In: Insurance
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Transforming a Contact Center into a Customer Engagement Center

In my recent blog, Customer-Centric Digital Transformation, I discussed the strategy for ensuring the customer is at the center of digital transformation. Today, I’d like to discuss one particular channel, the Contact Center. 

In: Insurance
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Chatting with Developers: Agile Development Practises

I'm not a developer. I don't work with code, and though I use computers every day, I don't understand what's running in the background. But that's okay, because I'm a writer instead. So I spend a lot of time asking developers about their process and trying to understand how they do what they do and why. Fortunately for me, they tend to be very patient people.

In: Insurance
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