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Jon Seals

Monday, 17 October 2016 00:00

LANDESK Expands Ransomware Protection

Latest release extends multi-layered endpoint protection, strengthens organisation’s core areas of defense


BRACKNELL, UK – Building on a multi-layered approach to defend against ransomware, LANDESK today announced new capabilities to its LANDESK® Security Suite. With a growing number of ransomware threats menacing enterprises, the latest additions aid in closing security gaps across the entire organisation-a strategy that’s recognized as the best way to battle ransomware.


Ransomware is an imminent threat to organisations and shows no signs of slowing down. According to the FBI, criminals have already collected $209 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2016, and that number could exceed $1 billion by year-end. And while the average ransom is still relatively small - between $200 and $5000 - the price is going up.


“The good news is, accepting the inevitable doesn’t mean accepting defeat,” said LANDESK Chief Security Officer Philip Richards. “While ransomware poses a very real threat to organisations and their systems, by taking a sophisticated, multi-dimensional defense to protect against it, organisations can mitigate the negative effects.” Cyber watchdogs like US-CERT and the Center for Internet Security (CIS) agree.


LANDESK Security Suite offers the recommended multi-layered endpoint protection, without disrupting productivity or business operations. With this latest release, LANDESK has expanded its suite in all three critical areas of defense: detection, prevention and remediation. “The LANDESK Security Suite provides a much needed solution that tackles how to respond to ransomware attacks, protect data and devices, and in the worse-case scenario, minimise impact should a security breach occur,” continued Richards.


Detection. No organisation wants to fall victim to malware threats its AV vendor identified and tagged. Still, even with strong protection, it’s important to account for today’s highly dynamic malware, which can transform itself before or after an attack. The Verizon 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 70 to 90 percent of malware samples are unique to a single organisation. That’s why LANDESK Security Suite enhances AV detection with active and passive discovery technologies, visibility across the network and actionable data. In this new release, IT can display information about the applications on each endpoint and act instantly on suspicious and malicious apps.


Prevention. Realistically, ransomware will get in. When that happens, the goal is to minimize the chances it can execute. LANDESK Security Suite offers a range of industry-recommended preventive measures, including, but not limited to, application, device, and connection control and automated application and OS patching.

With compromised websites regularly exploiting known vulnerabilities in software, patching internet-facing applications is particularly critical. That said, it can be time-consuming and applied inconsistently, and may break critical business applications as it seeks to repair others. Even seasoned experts like US-CERT sometimes fail to apply patches as necessary. With that in mind, Security Suite simplifies patch management with best practices, automated processes, fast deployment and no impact on users. In this release, the new Installed Patch Report provides an additional tool for timely, effective patching-offering easy access to data on installed patches and those that still must be applied.


Additionally, Security Suite can now help keep ransomware and other malware from modifying the master boot record and rendering the system useless.


Remediation. Detection and prevention are crucial, and in many cases highly effective, but organisations still need a plan in case ransomware executes on the network. Realistically, all it takes is one user who clicks the wrong link or downloads a malicious attachment in email to fall victim to an attack. Luckily, LANDESK Security Suite adds to the final piece of the protection puzzle. This latest release tackles the most widespread form of ransomware, which encrypts files and hides the critical decryption key before demanding ransom. Security Suite detects any attempt to encrypt files on the local machine, stops the encryption process, and notifies all other computers on the network so the ransomware cannot be unleashed on other users-effectively thwarting the attack.


For more information regarding LANDESK Security Suite, visit http://www.landesk.com/products/security-suite/



LANDESK is the global authority on user-centered IT. By integrating and automating IT tasks, LANDESK helps organisations balance rapidly evolving user requirements with the need to secure critical assets and data. LANDESK is headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, and has offices all over the world. To learn more, visit www.landesk.com.

Copyright © 2016, LANDESK. All rights reserved.

New version of FreeStor finally removes the barrier of cloud adoption for performance data 

MELVILLE, N.Y. — FalconStor® Software Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC), a 16-year innovator of software-defined storage solutions, today announced FreeStor® for the hybrid cloud. Building on its heterogeneous storage platform, it has enabled enterprises and cloud service providers (CSPs) to utilize the performance and reliability benefits of block-based enterprise storage within a hybrid model at public cloud prices. 

“The Data Center for enterprises and CSPs is facing many challenges. Costs are out of control, moving data is becoming costlier and users require common tools to avoid vendor lock-in,” said Roy Illsley, Principal Analyst, Ovum.  “A new flexible approach is needed. Organizations need to have the freedom to choose the most appropriate storage platform that meets their pricing and performance level needs, whether that is on- premises, in the cloud or both (using a hybrid model).  The new functionality that has been incorporated into FreeStor, offers users the ability to intelligently create a hybrid cloud that few other vendors can match.”

New benefits of FreeStor’s intelligent approach to flexible data management include: 

• Simple, Fair Pricing - organizations now only pay for licensing of their primary instance of data, not the total amount of storage consumed.
• Cloud Enablement – enable users to add public cloud storage in order to create a hybrid solution that can be managed through a single pane of glass. 
• Secure Multi-tenancy – integration with Active Directory or LDAP for authorization, access and audit compliance providing trustworthy security at all levels of an organization’s installation.
• Enhanced Analytics – enabling core-to-edge decision-making abilities while providing information for proactive management of SLAs. 
• Unified Client Management – overcome business disruption with easy, templated agent   deployment, simplified configuration and updates, and intelligent analytics from core-to-edge.  
• Performance Optimization – Improved support for NVMe unlocking new levels of I/O and latency. The addition of Linux 7 compliance together with enhanced, patented application acceleration, workload portability both on-premises and in the cloud, and faster zero-downtime configurations. 

“Storage is a vital component of any cloud infrastructure whether it’s private, public or hybrid. All organizations, including CSPs, need to unlock on-premises enterprise storage to support their cloud journey and create the data centers of the future,” said Gary Quinn, President, and CEO of FalconStor. “The launch of FreeStor for the hybrid cloud combines simple, more fair pricing models, flexible management tools, analytics and unrivaled performance to build out cloud storage infrastructures.  These enhancements will enable IT to migrate and move workloads to the most cost-effective destination and ultimately achieve the goals of the business.”  

Here’s what others are saying about FreeStor:
“FreeStor just works. Without it we would have struggled. It gives me the confidence to get things done. When something happens, FalconStor’s solution fixes the problem quickly and efficiently.  To protect our customers, we always have three online copies of their data, this is only possible because with FreeStor we only have to pay for the primary copy, there are no fees for the second, third or more copies” - Brian Meredith, Managing Director, BlueChip

“FreeStor helps us to provide infrastructure services that support our business to provide the highest levels of availability and data security. It allows us to support the business by driving faster and lower-cost launches of new products and services.” - Sandor Orban, Technical Lead Infrastructure Services, Sunrise Communications AG

“FreeStor is the first real entry, in my opinion, into the service provider realm…FreeStor is an integral part of the Xterity brand, it’s the only DR solution we offer…We feel that it’s a unique fit and allows us to address a unique market need.” - Scott Harris, Vice President of Services, Egenera

“FreeStor is a storage solution for a hybrid world” – Lynda Stadtmueller, Vice President Cloud Services, Frost & Sullivan

FreeStor for the cloud is currently available through FalconStor’s PartnerChoice resellers as well as direct.  For more information or to schedule a demonstration, interested parties can call 631-773-5859 or email salesinfo@falconstor.com.

About FalconStor
FalconStor® Software Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is a leading software-defined storage company offering a converged data services software platform that is hardware agnostic.  Our open, integrated flagship solution, FreeStor®, reduces vendor lock-in and gives enterprises the freedom to choose the applications and hardware components that make the best sense for their business.  We empower organizations to modernize their data center with the right performance, in the right location, all while protecting existing investments.  FalconStor’s mission is to maximize data availability and system uptime to ensure nonstop business productivity while simplifying data management to reduce operational costs.  Our award-winning solutions are available and supported worldwide by OEMs as well as leading service providers, system integrators, resellers and FalconStor.  The Company is headquartered in Melville, N.Y. with offices throughout Europe and the Asia Pacific region. For more information, visit falconstor.com or call 1-866-NOW-FALC (866-669-3252).

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FalconStor, FalconStor Software, FreeStor, and Intelligent Abstraction are trademarks or registered trademarks of FalconStor Software, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other company and product names contained herein may be trademarks of their respective holders.

“Eclipse is the market-leader for legal software solutions and it was clear that Brabners could benefit from a huge ROI with the Proclaim Case Management system. The conveyancing process is managed entirely from the desktop application, including one-click property searches, meaning our Residential Conveyancing team can increase the volume of work as well as profitability per case.”


Jon Taylor, Software Developer at Brabners

Brabners is a full service law firm operating from offices across the North West. With clients ranging from PLCs and SMEs to private clients and public sector bodies, the team brings an in-depth knowledge and a wealth of experience to a range of matters within the legal sector.


The firm’s global reach has meant rapid expansion in recent years, enabling a greater range of services and a proactive approach to providing commercially realistic solutions to legal problems.


The challenge

The team’s work was entirely paper-based, resulting in a slow and inefficient process. Additionally, fee earners were working on cases individually, producing inconsistent approaches to work, and ultimately resulting in compliance issues.


Essentially, Brabners needed to standardise client inception and matter management across the department.


The solution

Working in conjunction with Eclipse, Brabners developed a bespoke case management system for its Residential Conveyancing team - specifically for Plot Sales work - enabling high-level automation and speedier case progression.


Additionally, the firm opted for Proclaim’s integration with PALI (Property and Land Information), an online conveyancing search provider, facilitating one-click searches from the Proclaim desktop, saving hours of data entry.


The results

Repetition is inherent within Plot Sales as document packs are often identical for groups of properties under a specific development or developer. Since implementation, Brabners has seen significant reductions to administrative overheads by utilising Proclaim to automate the majority of case stages, including document production. This has meant fee earners can focus on the legal aspect of their work, whilst increasing overall profitability and case volumes.


Additionally, Brabners is currently in the process of implementing Eclipse’s online case tracking tool, FileView. Linked to the Plot Sales case type, developers will be able to log in securely and view real-time information as and when they need to, providing a convenient and modernised approach to case updates, eliminating continuous interruptions for fee earners.


Due to the success of the Plot Sales software, Brabners is looking to work with Eclipse again to develop a similar case type for the Social Housing department, enabling automatic matter creation and maximised matter management efficiency.


Case Study highlights:

  • Bespoke Plot Sales case type
  • Comprehensive integration with PALI
  • Standardised client inception and matter management

·         Real-time client updates via Eclipse’s FileView tool

According to new research published by CTERA Networks, while enterprises continue to migrate workloads to the cloud at a rapid pace, protection of cloud-based servers and applications has not fully evolved to meet enterprise requirements for business continuity and data availability.

CTERA’s new eBook, ‘Game of Clouds’, showcases the findings of CTERA’s inaugural cloud backup survey, and presents a deep look at the state of enterprise cloud data protection. A CTERA-commissioned study was conducted by independent research firm Vanson Bourne to examine the data protection strategies of 400 IT decision makers and IT specialists in organizations using the cloud for application deployment at US, German and French organizations. The study analyzes the benefits and pitfalls of current backup strategies, offers key considerations for organizations moving to the cloud, and looks at the impact of poor backup practices on business continuity.



Friday, 14 October 2016 00:00

The State of IT Resilience: survey results

Axcient has published the results of a survey of more than 500 IT professionals at VMworld 2016 aimed at identifying the biggest challenges in building resilience for virtualized IT environments.

The survey found that IT professionals are burdened by IT bloat and sluggish recovery times following a crisis. Notably, 72 percent of respondents indicated that they are using three or more solutions for data protection and disaster recovery. Similarly, nearly 80 percent of respondents stated that, following a catastrophic event, it would take anywhere from more than an hour to several days to get their systems fully up and running again.

"This survey confirms what we already know—IT teams are bogged down with redundant silos of infrastructure and multiple copies of data, and when disaster strikes, they simply don't have the ability to react quickly enough to meet today's IT resilience standards," said Axcient CEO Justin Moore.

Today’s IT leaders are constantly asked to find new ways to deliver higher levels of service at lower cost and with fewer resources. Legacy hardware and software products for non-production workloads stand in the way, as the hub-and-spoke model of legacy infrastructure creates redundant silos for each workload. This not only increases complexity and cost, but drastically limits IT organizations’ ability to quickly respond to incidents, outages and security breaches.

Nearly half of all survey respondents indicated that they would like to see more orchestration in VMware.

Other results from the State of IT Resilience survey include:

  • When asked to rank in order of importance, respondents ranked the following strategic initiatives from most to least important to their business: disaster recovery, data protection, public cloud integration, testing and development, analytics and BI, and finally archiving and compliance / long-term retention.
  • More than 70 percent of respondents indicated having four or more copies of their production data that is being used for other use cases such as data protection and dev/test.
  • More than 40 percent of respondents would like to see better orchestration services offered in VMware.

View the complete survey results (registration required).

Eleven weeks after acquiring web defense software maker Blue Coat Inc., Symantec’s still-integrating leadership laid out a vision for working closely with channel partners to dominate the cybersecurity market.

The merger that became official on Aug. 1, created a firm with more than 3,000 engineers, 385,000 worldwide customers, 175 million endpoints and $4.65 billion in annual revenue.

A company news release at the time described the new entity as “the industry’s largest pure play cybersecurity company.”

During an opening keynote at this week’s Symantec Partner Engage 2016 event in Los Angeles, CEO Greg Clark told principals from hundreds of channel firms that the new Symantec has the financial and technological wherewithal to become a top player in the space.



Solutions provide full auditability for employers, consultants, and trusted advisors

NEW ORLEANS--()--ACA compliance is a sneakily hard undertaking for the millions of employers that, for the first time, will have to fulfill and file accurate forms to employees and the IRS by January 31, or be subject to a multitude of costly penalties. The complexity of ACA regulation and the nuances of the reporting obligations make it impossible for most companies to achieve compliance by forcing them to draw from disparate employee payroll and benefits data sources.

SyncStream Closes Gap Between Payroll, Benefits and ACA with New ACA Compliance and Reporting Solutions @SyncStream

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That ends today with the introduction of SyncStream’s newly designed ACA compliance and reporting solutions that will allow employers, their trusted advisors, and consultants to meet compliance requirements through a guided workflow that marries employer data with ACA analytics to achieve ACA compliance and provide the assurance of auditability.

The new solutions are powered by more than 100 data verification rules that allow users to understand and normalize required data, ensuring greater accuracy and ease. SyncStream’s solutions are designed according to business logic rules that root out inconsistencies and errors before they occur, producing forms that are not only accurate and compliant, but auditable.

“With more than 20,000 pages of regulation, the ACA is easily one the most onerous compliance challenges since the introduction of ERISA,” said Arthur Tacchino, Chief Innovation Officer at SyncStream and creator and architect of their new solutions. “For all purposes, 2015 was the preseason for ACA compliance. You had to play, but the outcome had little impact on employers due to the IRS’s ‘good faith effort’ standard and leniency in the first reporting year. Now the real season has begun, and the risks are higher and the penalties greater. But most companies can’t fathom the complexity and nuances of these requirements. We have in essence created a foolproof workflow that prompts, informs, and alerts users to the correct and accurate way to comply.”

In an independent review by a leading professional services provider, SyncStream’s solutions generated ACA forms with more than 98 percent accuracy, with the remaining 2 percent open to interpretation. The new version includes all the functionality needed to meet ACA filing requirements:

  • Provides employee tracking and ACA full-time status determination, eliminating guesswork and inaccuracy
  • Generates the 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C to meet IRS requirements, making sense of the 88 possible code combinations on lines 14 and 16 of the 1095-C that could be applied to each employee every month
  • Populates IRS indicator codes based on business logic, preventing costly mistakes
  • Assures accurate and timely filing through certified integration with the IRS electronic filing system
  • Supports users with a guided, interactive solution workflow
  • Intelligently normalizes employer data into ACA-compliant language
  • Supplies the documentation needed to address and demonstrate compliance under IRS inquiry

“We spent the preseason refining the solutions by working with more than 40 partners to understand their points of pain in the ACA compliance process,” said Cindy Heine, President of SyncStream. “We applied our findings to build the world’s first intelligent, intuitive solution that once and for all simplifies the compliance process, ensuring accuracy and eliminating risk.”

For more information on SyncStream’s solutions, visit www.sync-stream.com.

About SyncStream

We are the ACA compliance people. SyncStream builds intelligent, intuitive solutions that help employers and their trusted advisors comply with more than 20,000 pages of IRS ACA regulation.

A woman-owned business, SyncStream is the result of some 100 combined years of employee benefits, health care, legal, regulatory, education, and technology experience, and has successfully fulfilled over 1 million employee forms and served more than 10,000 customers with well over 90 percent accuracy. Visit www.sync-stream.com for more information.

Cybersecurity leader emphasizes importance of educating organizations on effective phishing protection

RESTON, Va.--()--LookingGlass Cyber Solutions, a leader in threat intelligence driven security, announces their co-sponsorship of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and co-partnership with the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG). This month, LookingGlass will focus on educating individuals and organizations on how to effectively prevent, detect, respond and recover from phishing attacks. LookingGlass believes that learning about common scams will empower individuals and organizations to protect themselves online.

“The theme of this year’s NCSAM is Cybersecurity is our Shared Responsibility. LookingGlass wants individuals, employees and organizations to know that they can be a part of the phishing solution if they simply learn, stop, think and verify before they click”

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Although it has been around for years, phishing is still one of the most common and effective online scams. The explosive rise of mobile devices, mobile applications, and social media networks has given phishers new vectors to exploit, along with access to volumes of personal data that can be used in more targeted attacks. The fact that phishing attacks are still so common highlights their efficacy and reinforces the need to implement comprehensive phishing education and response plans to protect organizations.

As a NCSAM Champion and avid supporter of the APWG, LookingGlass will release weekly blogs, a phishing protection white paper outlining steps to effectively protect organizations from attacks, and an end of month webcast to wrap up this month of learning. Phishing attacks target both large and small businesses alike, and have been credited with causing some of the largest data breaches. The goal of every organization should be to prevent or minimize the impact of phishing attacks, which can initially be achieved by the development and implementation of a comprehensive protection and response plan.

“The theme of this year’s NCSAM is Cybersecurity is our Shared Responsibility. LookingGlass wants individuals, employees and organizations to know that they can be a part of the phishing solution if they simply learn, stop, think and verify before they click,” said Robin Witty, Vice President of Marketing, LookingGlass Cyber Solutions.

LookingGlass recommends that an effective phishing protection plan should focus on four primary areas: Prevention, Detection, Response, and Recovery. LookingGlass delivers a range of threat intelligence driven security solutions to address phishing which include Detection and Analysis Services, Response and Take Down Services, Phishing URL Data Feed, Dynamic Threat Defense solution that integrates threat intelligence with a protocol-specific firewall to stop malware and spear-phishing attacks, and a Protected Site Seal which alerts when someone attempts to copy an organization’s website for malicious purposes.

Phishing is pervasive. Attacks continue to grow each year as they are becoming more sophisticated and better able to hide from detection. LookingGlass encourages organizations to examine their company’s readiness and devise a solid plan to combat the problem of phishing.

For more information about LookingGlass’ phishing solutions, visit https://www.lookingglasscyber.com/solutions/phishing/.

About LookingGlass Cyber Solutions

LookingGlass Cyber Solutions delivers comprehensive threat intelligence-driven security through a scalable solution portfolio of machine readable threat intelligence (MRTI), a threat intelligence management platform with 100+ data sources transformed into global Internet and threat intelligence, network-based threat mitigation, and threat intelligence services. By addressing risks across structured Indicators of Compromise (IoCs), unstructured and open source data (OSINT), and internal network telemetry, customers gain unprecedented understanding into threats that may impact their business including cyber, physical assets, and third party partners. Prioritized, relevant and timely insights enable customers to operationalize threat intelligence in an effective and efficient way throughout the threat lifecycle. For more information, visit http://www.lookingglasscyber.com/.

New Red Hat Mobile Application Platform deployment options help enterprises deliver mobile-centric solutions which are defined by cloud native, microservices-based, and agile approaches

RALEIGH, N.C.--()--Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the release of Red Hat Mobile Application Platform as a fully containerized offering designed to run in any public cloud, private cloud or on-premise infrastructure that supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Together with Red Hat's existing SaaS-based mobile app platform, enterprises now have a wider set of deployment options to integrate, manage, and scale their mobile app initiatives to meet their business objectives.

#RedHat Expands Mobile Vision to Support Containerized Mobile App Development

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The move to a fully containerized platform, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, based on docker-format containers and Kubernetes, is part of Red Hat's strategy to provide a single, integrated platform for modern application development that is cloud native, mobile-centric, microservices-based, and API-driven. This new generation of app development tools also support DevOps and agile processes to help businesses innovate and respond to the ever-changing needs of the digital enterprise.

Deployment of Red Hat Mobile Application Platform on OpenShift provides a common platform to support mobile workloads running alongside traditional enterprise applications that need to be moved to the cloud. With the new option for a fully supported on-premise deployment capability, customers can meet their specific management, regulatory and policy requirements for their mobile solutions.

In keeping with its commitment to open source, Red Hat also announced the availability of workforce management (WFM) modules as a tech preview, based on the open source FeedHenry RainCatcher community project. These JavaScript and Node.js-based modules can help speed the creation of customized mobile workforce management solutions that automate, optimize and simplify field workforce processes. Using the modules, organizations can compose mobile apps more quickly and easily to drive greater efficiency in field workforce operations.

Supporting Quotes

Cathal McGloin, vice president, Mobile Platforms, Red Hat

“The pursuit of digital transformation is giving rise to a new mobile enterprise, where application development is increasingly defined by emerging architectures, processes and platforms that can deliver greater business agility. Red Hat offers organizations a powerful stack, based on these modern technologies, to develop, integrate, deploy, and manage mobile applications alongside traditional workloads running in this portable cloud-agnostic containerized environment.”

Jeffrey Hammond and Michael Facemire, The Future of Mobile Experience Development, August 2016 Forrester Report

“Modern applications are complex, multi-tiered, and omnichannel. They arrive faster, scale up and down as necessary, and create value quicker than traditional applications. And developers often compose, rather than code, them. Development leaders must embrace modern application development techniques to achieve long-term success building mobile experiences.”

Additional Resources

Connect with Red Hat

About Red Hat, Inc.

Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to provide reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As a connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT. Learn more at http://www.redhat.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: risks related to the ability of the Company to compete effectively; the ability to deliver and stimulate demand for new products and technological innovations on a timely basis; delays or reductions in information technology spending; the integration of acquisitions and the ability to market successfully acquired technologies and products; fluctuations in exchange rates; the effects of industry consolidation; uncertainty and adverse results in litigation and related settlements; the inability to adequately protect Company intellectual property and the potential for infringement or breach of license claims of or relating to third party intellectual property; risks related to data and information security vulnerabilities; the ability to meet financial and operational challenges encountered in our international operations; ineffective management of, and control over, the Company's growth and international operations; and changes in and a dependence on key personnel, as well as other factors contained in our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q (copies of which may be accessed through the Securities and Exchange Commission's website at http://www.sec.gov), including those found therein under the captions "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations". In addition to these factors, actual future performance, outcomes, and results may differ materially because of more general factors including (without limitation) general industry and market conditions and growth rates, economic and political conditions, governmental and public policy changes and the impact of natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. The forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release and these views could change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

Red Hat, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Shadowman logo, Feed Henry and OpenShift are trademarks or registered trademarks of Red Hat, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries.

NEW YORK--()--New research from Accenture Interactive indicates that offering personalized experiences will translate to higher sales if businesses remove unintended barriers consumers report. While most consumers welcome personalized offerings, many complain of having received irrelevant recommendations and experienced an overwhelming choice of options when visiting brands and retailers’ websites.

“The next stage is managed personalization, where companies transition to an operating model in a similar fashion to what they’ve created for content management or ecommerce operations”

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The Ups and Downs of Personalization

According to Accenture Interactive’s new Personalization Pulse Check, a survey among more than 1,500 consumers aged 18 to 60 across the United States and United Kingdom, consumers have a positive attitude towards personalized offerings and services. This includes:

  • Being recognized – more than one in two consumers (56%) are more likely to shop at a retailer in store or online that recognizes them by name.
  • Being offered relevant recommendations – three in five (58%) are more likely to make a purchase when a retailer recommends options for them based on their past purchases or preferences.
  • Being remembered – two in three (65%) are more likely to shop at a retailer in store or online that knows their purchase history.

A full 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from retailers that provide any of these three services.

Despite their openness to personalization, many consumers are disappointed with the experiences they receive, such as:

  • A glut of options – two in five (39%) have left a business’ website and made a purchase elsewhere, because they were overwhelmed by too many options.
  • Irrelevant recommendations – just one in two (50%) reported ever making a purchase recommended to them on a retailer’s website.

“Brands today have a responsibility to make it easy for customers to engage, buy and consume what they want, how and when they want,” said Jeriad Zoghby, global personalization lead at Accenture Interactive. “The availability of data and digital technology today allows for a deeper level of personalization needed to dynamically curate experiences to each individual and context, across marketing, shopping, and services interactions. Yet many brands are still grappling with delivering upon customers’ desire for more personalized experiences. They create unintended barriers, for example, when onsite search delivers irrelevant results or landing pages don’t match known customer intent or profiles. In an era when your brand is the experience, it’s imperative that retailers deliver the ultimate user-friendly and tailored experiences or risk sacrificing sales and loyalty.”

Most Companies Are Still Experimenting with Personalization

According to Zoghby, many customers are finding personalized experiences lacking because most companies are still in the experimental stages. Based on his market observations, the vast majority of businesses are in stages 1 and 2 of a 5-stage personalization maturity model, meaning they practice personalization minimally or selectively and base their campaigns and experiences on expert judgment, simplistic business rules and simple testing of web page or email experiences to see which one performs better (A/B testing).

“The next stage is managed personalization, where companies transition to an operating model in a similar fashion to what they’ve created for content management or ecommerce operations,” Zoghby said. “It includes having dedicated teams and well-defined processes and governance to ensure that personalization is applied consistently across all customer experiences.”

According to the survey, video streaming is among the more sophisticated industries regarding personalization. It demonstrates particularly high rate of customer satisfaction when it comes to the use of personal data for a better personalized experience. Two in three respondents (66%) reported services, such as Netflix and Hulu, use their data to recommend products and videos they might like.

Consumers Expect Transparency and Control of their Data

More than anything, personalization depends on data. The survey found that 70% of consumers are generally comfortable with retailers, news sites, streaming services and service providers collecting personal data if they are transparent about how they use it. Three in four (75%) are generally comfortable with companies collecting personal data if they can control how it is used. Four in five (80%) are comfortable with their data being collected if a company offers either of these two options.

About Accenture

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 384,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

Accenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, helps the world’s leading brands drive superior marketing performance across the full multichannel customer experience. Accenture Interactive offers integrated, industrialized and industry-driven digital transformation and marketing solutions. It was recently named by Ad Age as the world’s largest and fastest-growing digital agency. To learn more follow us @Accenture Social and visit www.accenture.com/interactive.