SYS-CON Media
 Register Now!
Save $200
Register before October 17th to SAVE! ... and also receive a FREE copy of the Best-Selling AJAX Book, a $119 Value!
Untitled Document
2008 East
Platinum Sponsor
Untitled Document
2008 East Gold Sponsors
Untitled Document
2008 East Exhibitors
Untitled Document
2008 East Media Sponsors
Untitled Document
2008 Association Sponsor
SYS-CON Media
2007 West Sponsors
Goingtomeet.com Conference Directory
SYS-CON Media
2007 East Sponsors
Untitled Document
2008 SYS-CON Events

Can't Miss RSS Feed
Subscribe to the AJAXWorld.com RSS Feed & Get All The Conference News As It Happens!

2008: Decision Year for RIAs - October 20-22, 2008 San Jose


Web 2.0 and the Return of the Relationship
Look past the hype, and Web 2.0 is all about fundamentals that have always been important to financial services

Wikis. Blogs. Podcasts. Social networking sites. File sharing. User-generated content. These are just some of the hallmarks of the much-talked-about (but little understood) "Web 2.0."

As with any concept that gets a lot of buzz and attention, Web 2.0 is a catchphrase that marketers, luminaries, and business strategists seem compelled to drop into almost any discussion. The conventional wisdom is that if your business hasn't fully embraced Web 2.0 (whatever that entails), then it is falling woefully behind and missing out on lucrative opportunities. In response, many companies, including firms from across the spectrum of the financial services industry, have raced to set up corporate blogs, invite user-generated content, set up profiles on MySpace, open storefronts in "virtual world" Second Life, and take other steps to connect with their markets using Web 2.0 tools.

If a few relative "luddites" are watching this melee from the sidelines and scratching their heads, it's understandable. Sure, Web 2.0 sites and applications are fun and engaging, but are they really going to bring in business? Aside from being a new channel for advertising and brand-building, is a CEO blog or Second Life storefront really going to increase profits? Is it worth the trouble, or is it just another expense and distraction from tried-and-true business strategies?

There are a lot of different facets to Web 2.0, and thus many potential answers to these questions. While a dose of skepticism is prudent, there is much to recommend the strategic use of various elements of the Web 2.0 craze. Some Web 2.0 technologies are invaluable for corporate knowledge-sharing and collaboration, for example. And one need only consider the massive popularity of social networking sites to recognize that they are having a significant impact on the ways people interact and spend their time. Once you push past the hype and look at the ideas and tools that underlie the fads, there are some aspects of Web 2.0 that have strong potential for profitable use in financial services.

In fact, even for those who staunchly prefer "proven business fundamentals" to "new paradigms," there are compelling ways to use and understand the importance of Web 2.0. One of the most valuable and accessible ways to look at Web 2.0 is to think of it in the context of an age-old business fundamental: relationship-building.

Web 2.0 as the Relationship Medium
Social networking sites are among the most important-and popular-innovations of Web 2.0. On sites such as Facebook and MySpace, users set up profiles and "add" friends to their networks, sharing news, thoughts, photos, music, jokes, and just about anything else. On many social networking sites, users can see who each other's friends are, who they know in common, and details on how they know each other. Users can join virtual clubs and interest groups, form sub-groups of friends within their larger group of friends, and connect through networks based on geography, educational facility, place of work, and more.

Not surprisingly, these new modes of interaction have been wholeheartedly adopted by the tech-savvy younger generations. But if you think social networking sites are just for teenagers and college kids, think again. Stats from 2007 show that persons aged 35 and up accounted for 39% of Facebook's visitors-if you include those 25 and up, the number goes up to almost 51%.[1] And online networking is not restricted to the "social"; professional networks are rapidly gaining ground. Between October 2006 and October 2007, membership growth for LinkedIn, the most popular professional networking site, significantly outstripped that of Facebook,[2] suggesting that professionals-in droves-are beginning to see the relevance and value of these kinds of interactions to their business lives.

So what's at the root of all this interest in online networking? The answer's easy: relationships.

Networking has always been an important part of business life, an opportunity to cement and extend the relationships you already have and to establish new ones. Online networking transposes this experience into the wired business world we now operate in, where interacting and collaborating with those you may never even have met in person is a common phenomenon.

What online networking lacks in traditional face-to-face contact, it makes up for in immediacy and insight. Most of us have had the experience of meeting someone at a live event and failing to glean the person's role, relevance, or shared connections on the spot, thereby missing out on a valuable opportunity. With online networking, much of this information is available up front, instantly revealing shared associations and interests. LinkedIn, for example, allows users to see three degrees of separation, revealing the kinds of connections that can take months or years to become apparent under other circumstances.

From a business perspective, this information is golden. Companies can use this knowledge to find their way into deals using existing relationships, understand prospect and customer allegiances and influences, recruit individuals strategically, and find common ground with new and existing contacts, just to name a few potential applications. In a business such as financial services, where trust is paramount and relationship structures can be complex and hard to decipher, such information can prove invaluable.

CRM: Precursor ... and Successor?
A desire to learn more about contacts and their interrelationships is nothing new to the business world, and while Web 2.0 tools are finding new and exciting ways to collect and chart this information and enable individuals to interact, they are simply the latest in a long line of technologies and tools for doing so.

In the enterprise technology context, the systems that most closely match the kind of business value and function described in online networking tools above are customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. The customer relationship moniker is in some ways misleading, since CRM systems have always been equally geared toward gathering information not only about a firm's customers, with whom they already have relationships, but also about prospects, targets, partners, and other parties with whom the firm is looking to initiate or expand relationships. Understanding who knows whom and finding ways to capitalize on this knowledge has always been a key business goal for CRM implementations.

So are Web 2.0 tools the successors to CRM? Despite the buzz around them, it seems unlikely. Although some of their profiling and relationship-mapping functions overlap, at this stage it does not appear as though any Web 2.0 tool or combination thereof has the potential to satisfy the deep, broad business needs served by CRM systems-nor are they meant to. What seems more likely is that CRM vendors will absorb some of the best ideas from the Web 2.0 world into their systems. Working in the CRM space, we see a lot of exciting opportunities to integrate tools such as wikis and RSS feeds into the CRM framework to help facilitate collaboration and communication both internally and with customers and prospects.

Relationship Lessons from Web 2.0
Though Web 2.0 is unlikely to supplant or fundamentally change CRM's role for financial services companies, CRM and financial services companies alike have a lot they can learn from Web 2.0.

First, the high flexibility and configurability of many Web 2.0 tools point to the need to integrate this kind of personalization into both CRM systems and the customer experiences they help firms provide. The ability to adjust interfaces, configure personal portals, and create custom views and reports is paramount to CRM users, and it will become even more so as they continue to use more and more Web 2.0 tools that give them this level of control. The ability to aggregate different kinds of information of one's choice from internal and external sources-ticker information, market data, and news feeds, in addition to top contacts, tasks, appointments, and more-will be a key feature for CRM systems moving forward. At the same time, customer expectations for highly personalized and flexible interactions are on the rise-financial services firms need the level of customer knowledge to provide this degree of personalized experience, as well as the tools to offer customers diverse options for interacting with the firm.

Furthermore, the CRM and financial services industries can both learn from the wild popularity of social networking sites, blogs, and wikis-and the staggering amount of personal and professional data individuals share through these venues-that under the right circumstances, today's customers are remarkably willing to share data that can be of great value to businesses. Rather than thinking of data collection as a painful or cunning process of extraction, firms should look at what characterizes the conditions under which people are willing to openly share such information. What they are likely to find is that individuals' willingness to share personal data is related to three things: their perception of the value they receive in exchange, their degree of trust in the venue or platform, and their ability to control the situation. As such, financial services firms need to give more thought to how they can provide clear reciprocal value to their customers in exchange for their openness, build stronger relationships and more trustworthy reputations with them, and shift more control and choice into the customer's hands, truly becoming more "customer centric." All of these are objectives in which the company's CRM system-with or without the addition of some strategic Web 2.0 tools-can be of great value and assistance.

At the end of the day, the high popularity and strong relationship focus of many Web 2.0 technologies affirms the continuing importance of interaction and relationships in today's social and business environments. The time-honored adage that "it's who you know, not what you know" is as true today as ever, and Web 2.0 offers new ways for financial services firms to establish, build, maintain, and leverage relationships that can help further their business goals.

[1] Gonzalez, Nick. “Facebook Users Up 89% Over Last Year; Demographic Shift.” July 6, 2007. URL: http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/07/06/facebook-users-up-89-over-last-year-demographic-shift

[2] Nielsen Online, November 2007.

About Jason Rushforth
Jason Rushforth is Senior Vice President for CDC Software, responsible for North American CRM Sales, Worldwide Marketing, and Strategic Alliances. Previously, he was CDC Software's Global Vice President of Financial Services, responsible for the long-term global strategy of the financial services vertical of the company's Front Office solutions, which include Pivotal CRM, CDC Respond, CDC MarketFirst, and Saratoga CRM. Since 2000, Rushforth has played an instrumental role in the growth of the CDC Software's Front Office products. His deep industry knowledge has guided the company in the development of industry-specific tools for institutional asset management, mutual fund wholesaling, wealth management, capital markets, and commercial banking. As a visionary expert in the application market, especially in the CRM segment, he is known for his keynote speaking engagements for such events as the Wealth Management Forum and feature webcasts with Wall Street & Technology and TowerGroup, and he frequently contributes to industry articles in publications such as CRM Magazine, Financial Services Technology, CRM Advocate, Windows in Financial Services, and Commercial Lending Review.

Latest AJAXWorld RIA Stories
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicat...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even cod...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Busin...
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the ...
Untitled Document

Call 201 802-3020 or Click Here to Save $200!

Register Today and
Save $200

Your registrations includes: Golden Pass Delegates will receive full conference access on October 20-22, 2008 including: Lunch and Coffee Breaks, Collectible Bag and Archives of all sessions on DVD. Includes access to all Conference Sessions including the Technical Sessions, Exhibits, Keynotes, Vendor Technology Presentations, and Power Panels.


Sponsorship Opportunities

AJAXWorld offers the undisputed best platform to position your company as a leading vendor in the fast-emerging marketplace for AJAX and Enterprise Web 2.0.


Please call
(201)802-3020


Who Should Attend?

 CTOs & VPs of Engineering
 Directors of Technology
 Sr. User Interface Architects
 Front-End Engineers
 VCs & Industry Analysts
 Directors of Business Development
 Software Engineers
 Senior Architects
 Application Programmers & Software Developers
 Project Managers
 Web Programmers & Designers
 Companies & Organizations that need to stay in
  front of the latest Web technology

AJAXWorld Security Bootcamp

Introducing at AJAXWorld RIA Conference 2008 West the world's first-ever full, one-day immersive "AJAX Security Bootcamp" - led by one of the world's foremost AJAX security experts and teachers, HP's Billy Hoffman.

View the full one-day schedule



AJAXWorld 2008 West - Tracks

Track 01: Enterprise RIAs
Track 02: Frameworks & Toolkits
Track 03: Web 2.0 & Mashups
Track 04: Hot Topics
Track 05: The Future of the Web
Track 06: iPhone Developer Summit



Brought To You By:

AJAXWorld Magazine is the pre-eminent independent vendor-neutral resource for the fastest growing new segment of the software business: entirely Web-based applications and experiences.

Download the Latest Issue!

AJAXWorld Webcasts



SYS-CON EVENTS


AJAXWorld Keynotes & Power Panels

2008 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Can We Fix the Web? By Douglas Crockford - by Douglas Crockford
2008 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: 2008: The Year of the RIA - by Anthony Franco
2008 SYS-CON TV Power Panel: The Business Value of RIAs
2008 SYS-CON TV Power Panel: What Lies Beyond AJAX
2007 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Why Web 2.0 for the Enterprise Is Far More Than Just a Facelift - by Ted Farrell
2007 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Fueling the Next Generation Web: A Peek Behind the Green Curtain - by Bob Brewin
2007 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: AJAX in the Balance - by Joe Stagner

AJAXWorld Sessions on SYS-CON.TV

· Bill Scott - Yahoo! UI Library
· David Heinemeier Hansson - AJAX on Rails
· Jesse James Garrett - Elements of User Experience
· Dion Hinchcliffe - Real World AJAX
· Eric Miraglia - Open Source AJAX Development
· Paul Rademacher - Mashing Up Your Web Application
· Adam Sah - Google Gadgets
· Doug Crockford - An Introduction to JavaScript
· David Linthicum - Enterprise Web 2.0
· Patrick Grady - The Imagination & Experience Web

AJAXWorld...All The AJAX Rock Stars in One Spot!


Past Events Archive

SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2008 East
soa2008east.sys-con.com
Virtualization Conference & Expo 2008 East
virt2008east.sys-con.com
AJAXWorld 2008 Conference & Expo East
ajaxmar08.sys-con.com
SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2007 West
www.soaworld2007.com
Virtualization Conference & Expo 2007 West
virt2007west.sys-con.com
AJAXWorld 2007 Conference & Expo West
ajaxoct07.sys-con.com
SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2007 East
soa2007east.sys-con.com
Virtualization Conference & Expo 2007 East
virt2007east.sys-con.com
AJAXWorld 2007 Conference & Expo East
ajaxmarch07.sys-con.com
Other SYS-CON Events
events.sys-con.com

Join Over 10,000 Early AJAX Adopters
Who Have Attended AJAXWorld
• A&R Edelman
• Academic Enterprise
• Accoona Corp [2 delegates]
• Acxiom
• Adams Capital Management
• Adaptive Edge
• Adaptive Path
• Adobe Systems Incorporated [21 delegates]
• Adobe Systems Romania
• Ajax13
• All Risks, Ltd.
• alliance
• Alliance For Community Care
• AlphaDetail Inc
• Altera Corporation
• Amazon.com [6 delegates]
• Appeon Corporation [2 delegates]
• Apple Computer [5 delegates]
• Apress [3 delegates]
• Arkivio
• ASA
• Astute Solutions
• Avaya Inc [2 delegates]
• Avenda Systems
• Avenue A | Razorfish [3 delegates]
• Axcella, LLC [2 delegates]
• Aximsoft
• Azimyth
• Backbase USA Inc. [4 delegates]
• BAE Systems [2 delegates]
• Bank of America [2 delegates]
• Barkley Evergreen & Partners Interactive
• Bayview Financial [2 delegates]
• BEA Systems [3 delegates]
• Billeo
• BMC Software, Inc. [2 delegates]
• Borland Software Corporation
• Bradford Technologies, Inc [2 delegates]
• Brilliance
• Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. [2 delegates]
• Brookside Capital LLC
• Brulant
• Bungee Labs, Inc [6 delegates]
• Bureau of Labor Statistics
• BUZ Interactive
• Cadena Software
• Calix Networks
• Callidus Software [2 delegates]
• Cambia Security
• Carnegie Mellon West
• Cautella, Inc.
• CBSA
• Celequest [3 delegates]
• Change Vision, Inc.
• Charles E. Kenney, CPA
• Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. [8 delegates]

   read more...


ADVERTISE   |   MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS   |   FREE BREAKING-NEWSLETTERS!   |   SYS-CON.TV   |   BLOG-N-PLAY!   |   WEBCAST   |   EDUCATION   |   RESEARCH

.NET Developer's Journal - .NETDJ   |   ColdFusion Developer's Journal - CFDJ   |   Eclipse Developer's Journal - EDJ   |   Enterprise Open Source Magazine - EOS
Open Web Developer's Journal - OPEN WEB   |   iPhone Developer's Journal - iPHONE   |   Virtualization - Virtualization   |   Java Developer's Journal - JDJ   |   Linux.SYS-CON.com
PowerBuilder Developer's Journal - PBDJ   |   SEO / SEM Journal - SJ   |   SOAWorld Magazine - SOAWM   |   IT Solutions Guide - ITSG   |   Symbian Developer's Journal - SDJ
WebLogic Developer's Journal - WLDJ   |   WebSphere Journal - WJ   |   Wireless Business & Technology - WBT   |   XML-Journal - XMLJ   |   Internet Video - iTV
Flex Developer's Journal - Flex   |   AJAXWorld Magazine - AWM   |   Silverlight Developer's Journal - SLDJ   |   PHP.SYS-CON.com   |   Web 2.0 Journal - WEB2

SYS-CON MEDIA:   ABOUT US   |   CONTACT US   |   COMPANY NEWS   |   CAREERS   |   SITE MAP
SYS-CON EVENTS  |  AJAXWorld Conference & Expo  |  iPhone Developer Summit  |  OpenWeb Developer Summit  |  SOA World Conference & Expo  |  Virtualization Conference & Expo
INTERNATIONAL SITES:   India  |  U.K.  |  Canada  |  Germany  |  France  |  Australia  |  Italy  |  Spain  |  Netherlands  |  Brazil  |  Belgium
 Terms of Use & Our Privacy Statement     About Newsfeeds / Video Feeds
Copyright ©1994-2008 SYS-CON Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All marks are trademarks of SYS-CON Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of SYS-CON Publications, Inc. is prohibited.