Data pipelines have been crucial for brands in a number of ways. In March, Hubspot talked about the shift towards incorporating big data into marketing pipelines in B2B campaigns.
“A modern B2B sales pipeline is a treasure trove of data to model and improve, providing insights that are critical to performance,” writes Hubspot author Dan Tyre.
However, it is important to use the right data pipelines to leverage these benefits. A number of new big data startups leverage these pipelines in interesting ways. Magento is one company that has created some very sophisticated data pipelines for its customers. We discussed it briefly in a previous article on data-driven ecommerce, but wanted to follow-up on some of its more recent breakthroughs.
Magento is a Pioneer in Data Pipeline Development for B2B Brands
Magento 2 as a system has gone a long way in pursuit of compiling a perfect suit for comfortable sales managing and shopping experience through data-driven insights. For 5 years of unstoppable growth, the platform has produced numerous tools that will make your business strive no matter its specialty. Whether you are a retailer or wholesaler, B2C or B2B service provider, Magento 2 has always been able to create the environment favorable for your future business by providing a great diversity of built-in tools.
Many brands have talked about the benefits of utilizing big data offshoots with Magento. GetApp referenced them in their article Big Data Apps Integrated with Magento Commerce.
It is important to understand the different Magento projects and the ways that they utilize new data technology. Surely, Magento 2 Open Source and Magento 2 Commerce/Cloud differ in toolsets. However, considering the specifics of each of the approaches, the gap seems reasonable. While one of the editions focuses on supporting merchants from the start and keeping the status you achieve through hard work. The other provides you with unique user-friendly functionalities so that you could constantly grow the quality of your offers.
As the service quality is the safest way to support longlasting relationships with your customer base, we always advise merchants to shoot for Magento 2 Commerce resources. Thus, you get to increase your presence and gain serious support from your clients. Moreover, you can grow even stronger if you decide to turn to additional third-party software. This is why it is such an excellent data pipeline project for ecommerce marketers.
Improved Import and Export, or unlimited opportunities for your B2B business growth
FireBear Improved Import and Export for Magento 2 is a universal helper for any B2B or B2C merchant. Developed to deliver flexible data transfers, the extension enables all kinds of data manipulation within a Magento 2 store. At the same time, it stays fully accessible to users with no programming skills or Magento 2 backend knowledge whatsoever.
As we’ve said above, the software’s primary goal is to make any data extraction or implementation process flexible to the maximum. The goal is achieved thanks to the ability to process all Magento 2 entities and transfer them with attention to the entity specifics. Apart from that, the tool enhances the native Magento 2 import and export and adds extra options in data sources and formats supported.
Improved Import and Export has a built-in mapping functionality that allows modifying all the Magento 2 attributes for you to use the software in various situations. Thus, you can turn to the tool in case you need:
- Regular database updates;
- Magento 2 migration;
- Cross-platform synchronization;
- Magento 2 and ERP/CRM integration;
- and many more.
Magento 2 B2B add-on of Improved Import and Export
If you aim at scaling up your B2C business or increasing the market expansion with B2B Firebear has multiple solutions in stock. One of them is the B2B add-on for Improved Import and Export.
The add-on is another enhancement for Magento 2 functionality set that requires no special knowledge from you. The B2B add-on works closely with the entities introduced in the official Magento 2 B2B extension and brings a new experience of administrating such elements.
The B2B add-on for Improved Import and Export allows managing the following Magento 2 B2B entities:
- Quotes and negotiable quotes;
- Requisition lists;
- Shared Catalogs.
The B2B add-on makes the routine in your B2B-oriented store automated. With the software, you get full control over your client data. Companies and companies’ roles, levels of permission, and other features unique to B2B entities can be managed with minimum time and efforts from your side. At the same time, you are able to provide personalized services of high quality by exploring quotes, requisition lists, and shared catalogs.
You can use the software to arrange a flawless Magento 2 B2B workflow with Improved Import and Export and the B2B add-on. Thanks to the wide connection possibilities provided by the extension and its expansion, you can go further with enhancing your business toolkit. Running a Magento 2 integration with one of ERP, CRM, or other professional software, you get to boost sales and increase the efficiency of your store with no extra investments apart from the ‘extension+add-on’ pack.
Magento is a Great Data Pipeline Platform for B2B Ecommerce
Data-driven insights are becoming more essential than ever in B2B ecommerce. And these are just glimpsing of what you can achieve with Improved Import and Export and its numerous big data tools and add-ons. Feel free to explore the whole range of business helpers by visiting the FireBear site.
How Can Technology Help Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic?
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues unfolding, technology solutions and government initiatives are multiplying to help monitor and control the virus’s journey. Their aid includes reducing the load on the health system and reinforcing the efforts of overworking and burned-out healthcare workers.
While smart technologies cannot replace or compensate public institution measures, they do play a crucial role in emergency responses. Let’s take a look at the promising use cases of how technology can help fight the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Technologies Used for Good
People tend to think of technology as a heartless machine, which is true, but only until it’s used for good. Just look at all the wonderful things we’ve managed to do with its help.
Telemedicine is gaining traction by offering remote patient monitoring and interactive remote doctor’s visits. At the same time, 3D printing and open-source solutions are facilitating the production of more affordable face masks, ventilators, and breathing filters as well as optimizing the supply of the medical equipment. Even more, the pandemic has driven scientists to desperate measures. They are now experimenting with gene editing, synthetic biology, and nanotechnology to develop and test vaccines faster than ever in the history of humanity.
Smart technologies like the Internet of things (IoT), big data, and artificial intelligence (AI) are being massively adopted to help track the disease spread and contagion, manage insurance payments, uphold medical supply chains, and enforce restrictive measures. Let’s go step by step to see how IoT, AI, big data, and mobile solutions are actually enhancing medical care.
IoT for Smart Patient Care Management and Home Automation
IoT has already found its use among healthcare providers. Today, connected patient imaging, health devices or applications, worker solutions, and ambulance programs are being adopted globally. But COVID-19 made the technology take on new applications to help the world combat the epidemic. Tracking quarantine, pre-screening and diagnosing, cleaning and disinfecting, innovative usage of drones, reducing in-home infections, are all “new normals” thanks to IoT.
For example, an American health technology company Kinsa creates smart thermometers that screen and aggregate people’s temperature and symptoms data in real-time. Having gathered data from over one million connected thermometers, Kinsa rolled out its US HealthWeather™ Map.
The map is updated daily, highlighting how severely the population is being affected by influenza-like illness (ILI). This real-time information helps health authorities see an increase. In fevers as early indicators of the community spread of COVID-19 to streamline the allocation of health resources. These areas are marked in the “Atypical” mode of the map.
To slow down the spread of COVID-19, a team of Seattle engineers created Immutouch, a smart wristband vibrating every time a person wearing it tries to touch their face.
Smart speakers, lights, and security systems are being used to open doors and switch on lights to reduce in-home infections. These gadgets allow people to avoid touching the surfaces of doorknobs, switches, mail, packages, or anything that could easily spread germs.
The Role of Big Data in Fighting Coronavirus
Tapping into big data is a must to develop real-time forecasts and arm healthcare professionals with a profound database to help with decision-making.
IBM Clinical Development system is an advanced Electronic Data Capture (EDC) platform that allows an accelerated delivery of medications to market and reduces the time and cost of clinical trials thanks to cognitive computing, patient data assets, and IoT. Additionally, the U.S. government had been in active talks with Facebook, Google, and others to determine how to use location data to glean insights for combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Could Mobile Apps be Used to Control the Pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic has become a game-changer for the healthcare continuum. Today’s mobile apps are on guard to help patients receive online therapy, at-home testing, conclude self-checks, and improve mental well-being. Thanks to smartphone apps, it is now possible to trace the virus’s journey and help limit its spread.
Apple COVID-19, for instance, was created in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the White House, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The application contains vital and relevant information from trusted sources on the coronavirus pandemic: hand hygiene practices, social distancing FAQs, quarantine guidelines, self-checking tutorials, tips on cleaning, and disinfecting surfaces. On top of that, it has a screening tool that advises people on what to do when a person has COVID-19 symptoms, has just returned from abroad, or has come in close contact with someone who might be infected with the disease.
Meanwhile, health authorities in Abu Dhabi have created the TraceCovid app for Bluetooth-enabled smartphones to minimize the spread of the disease. The service allows tracing individuals who have come into proximity with a person tested positive for COVID-19. Thanks to it, medical professionals сan react faster and render the necessary healthcare. Germany, in turn, is going to roll out a smartphone app, which will use Bluetooth to alert people if they are close to someone with the confirmed viral infection.
Telemedicine has also proved to be an efficient tool for flattening the curve. The Sheba Medical Centre, the largest Israeli hospital, launched a telehealth program for remote patient-monitoring to control the pandemic spread. Doctolib, a Franco-German company, Qare (France), Livi (Sweden), Push Doctor (the UK), Compugroup Medical (Germany) are offering virtual doctors too.
Using AI to Identify, Track and Forecast Outbreaks
Artificial intelligence-powered by natural language processing (NLP) and location monitoring is crucial for identifying, tracking, and scanning outbreaks, predicting hotspots and helping make better decisions.
For example, Microsoft collaborated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create an AI-based COVID-19 Assessment bot to treat patients more effectively and allocate limited resources. The bot, nicknamed Clara, can evaluate symptoms, advice on the next steps to take and track users who need urgent care the most.
The Canadian startup BlueDot has applied AI to spot and track the spread of COVID-19 and predict outbreaks, and the Japanese company Bespoke rolled out Bebot, an AI-powered chatbot that was developed specifically for travelers. This mobile app informs and assists them with coronavirus-related questions as they move about.
There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has become a real-life test for everyone. It has caused tremendous damage, but at the same time, it has forced tech innovators to roll out advanced solutions, and it seems that they don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
Healthcare providers across the globe are continually switching to smart technologies. So if you are in the smart technology niche, consider the current trends to steer your business in the right direction.
Chatbots and Intelligent Automation Solutions Paving the Way towards Seamless Business Continuity
Frequent business disruptions in the form of storms, pandemics, lockdowns, etc., pose risk to seamless operations and revenue generation in service industries. One day of operation disruption leads to losses worth millions. Semi-automation is not able to stop the cascading business effects of an unprecedented business disruption. Services such as banks, financial services, insurance, healthcare, information technology services, etc., cannot afford the risk of downtime. Chatbots powered by Intelligent Automation is that indispensable solution in the omni-channel customer interface that keeps the business moving 24×7 even in the face of a major business disruption such as long prevailing pandemic.
How do Intelligent Automation powered Chat-bots offer seamless business continuity?
Chatbots engage diverse skill sets such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML), in short Intelligent Automation, and offer a lifeline to the service industry businesses. Chatbots are located on the key pages of a business website or social media pages of the business, and can be accessed by customers and prospects round the clock in different international languages. They augment the services of the regular service desk and helps tide over most emergency situations.
Chatbots can handle complex queries and the functioning depends on training data set and the streamlined data in the CRM database. All chatbot interactions can be further cleaned and stored in the CRM and analysed. Based on these interactions at different stages of the customer journey, the chatbots can make intelligent suggestions to the customer during the subsequent customer interaction.
The chatbots offer tremendous business benefits. The responses are highly accurate and relevant and have a minuscule turnaround time. The on time responses right from order booking to bill payment while taking care of customer preference ensures high productivity and thereby generates high revenue even when a business executive is not able to interact directly with a customer.
Chatbot solution powered by Intelligent Automation is that indispensable tool in the omni-channel customer service desk of a service industry business. It helps to keep the business up and running even when customer executives are not able to interact directly with the customer due to unprecedented business disruptions. Chatbot solutions thereby enable businesses to stay up and functioning at all times in a 24x7x365 scenario.
Image Credit: https://www.freepik.com/yanalya
How Hazelcast hopes to make digital transformation mainstream
Commentary: Even as the coronavirus pandemic has hastened digital transformation efforts, success remains elusive for many companies. This one-stop shop to digital transformation might help.
It’s no secret that, as CircleCI CEO Jim Rose put it, “The pandemic has compressed the time[line]” for digital transformation. What is perhaps surprising is just how broad and deep that transformation is spreading. In an interview with Hazelcast chief product officer David Brimley, he stressed that while Fortune 500 e-commerce and finance companies have historically paid the bills for Hazelcast, provider of an open source in-memory data grid (IMDG), mid-sized enterprises “are coming to us and saying, we want to start digitizing and [adding digital] channels for our business.”
How they get there, and how fast, is the question.
SEE: Digital transformation road map (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
A one-stop shop to digital transformation
As keen as companies are to move workloads to the cloud to facilitate digital transformation, not all companies are alike in their readiness, Brimley said. In particular, these mid-sized enterprises may lack the personnel or other resources to push aggressively into the cloud, whatever their intentions. As such, he said, many companies are trying to figure out “the quickest way I can get the applications and hardware I’ve got today in my own data centers and add a digital channel on the top of it as quickly as I can.”
No PhD in Computer Geekery required.
SEE: Special report: Prepare for serverless computing (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
By pairing Hazelcast IMDG for distributed coordination and in-memory data storage with Hazelcast Jet for building streaming data pipelines, Brimley said, organizations can build digital integration hubs without having the technical chops of a Netflix or Facebook. “There are a lot of companies that can’t make head nor tail of this plethora of Cloud Native Computing Foundation products [Kubernetes, Envy, Fluentd, etc.], and they just want to stand up a Java process, have it clustered together, have some way of running their ‘microservices’ on this Java cluster, and off they go.”
Once, a company (and open source project) like Hazelcast would have had to pitch themselves to banks and credit card companies for low-latency, high-performance distributed systems; these were the types of organizations that valued IMDGs. Today, however, such concerns span a much broader range of companies, particularly with this crushing need to achieve digital transformation.
For Brimley and Hazelcast, they’re not pitching themselves as a database or any particular technology. Even the IMDG label might not fit particularly well. After all, the company isn’t positioning itself as about technology, per se, but rather about solving business problems; about how developers can use Hazelcast to capture “interesting new architectural patterns,” in Brimley’s words. It’s taking on the “I need to embrace an event-driven architecture crowd,” and not selling a data cache or, yes, not even an in-memory data grid.
Disclosure: I work for AWS, but these are my views and don’t reflect those of my employer.
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