It’s a Christmas Miracle! Softlayer enables business partners to create integrations in a snap

Santa has come early for IBM Business Partners!

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I remember the days when I worked at Key Services and any time we wanted to try out new software it had to go through all kinds of approval processes because it was expensive. Usually it would require approval for a server and then the man hours to go through the installation and configuration process. Needless to say it was very costly to try out new things or even prototype things on new platforms.

What if I told the IBM Partners they can get going on the latest and greatest for under $200 a month? Well you can. In my previous post (Is your solution Ready for Smarter Commerce?) was the entry point to start building widgets and integrations into the Smarter Commerce platform. If you select the developer option and then WebSphere Commerce you get presented with two options:Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 8.06.48 AM

 

If you select option two you could get a fully configured WebSphere Commerce instance up and running in minutes! Just look at all of the different areas you can provide solutions for:

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My top 10 videos on YouTube this year!

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It is that time to reflect on the past year and this year I am starting with my YouTube channel. In case you missed any of these blockbuster hits you can watch them now!

This year I had over 32,000 views (up over 10,000 views from last yearThank You) on my YouTube channel and gained over 150 new followers. This is the first year where I had five videos over 5 minutes long in top ten. I still stand by the YouTube law that videos over 3 minutes rarely get fully watched but in the end content is king – so maybe I did something right with those 5. I gained 3% in audience retention from last year.

Only two of the top 10 videos were actually published this year (Editing and Saving CSS with Google Chrome and Data Load Utility in WebSphere Commerce Introduction) a 57 second video and a 14 minute video.

Most of my views believe it or not still come from external search (mostly Google) or YouTube search, accounting for almost 50% of my traffic sources.

Traffic source – Top 5 Views
External website 8,097 (25%)
YouTube search 7,301 (23%)
Unknown – embedded player 5,213 (16%)
Unknown – direct 3,861 (12%)
YouTube suggested video 3,191 (9.9%)

Before we get to the list let’s look at some demographics:

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The United States and India are by far by largest viewership.

Geography Views
United States 10,305 (32%)
India 5,385 (17%)
United Kingdom 2,458 (7.6%)
Germany 1,790 (5.5%)
Canada 1,221 (3.8%)

I actually started published videos and content at my night-time so it is available to the east in their morning, I have already started seeing shifts in views – it will be interesting next year to see if it made any difference.

So here are the 2014 Top 10 videos:

Video Views
Quick Tip – Eclipse Auto-Complete 1,581 (4.9%)
eSpots and Precision Marketing with WebSphere Commerce 1,554 (4.8%)
Quick Tip: Getting The XPath In Google Chrome 1,498 (4.6%)
Aurora – the WebSphere Commerce Starter Store 1,359 (4.2%)
WebSphere Commerce – Extended Sites Part I 1,272 (3.9%)
Searchandizing with WebSphere Commerce 1,073 (3.3%)
Debug JavaScript and HTML in a UIWebView on an iOS Device 1,006 (3.1%)
Editing and Saving CSS with Google Chrome 978 (3.0%)
Data Load Utility in WebSphere Commerce Introduction 977 (3.0%)
IBM Digital Marketing Optimization (Coremetrics) Integration With WebSphere Commerce Part 1 965 (3.0%)

WebSphere Commerce is now on the Request for Enhancements site!

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Yes, this news is actually about 9 months late but I am realizing not many customers know about this so I figured I would re-announce it today. This is the place where you can vote on features and even submit new ideas for features and get them voted on. And it is not just WebSphere Commerce but all the products in the B2B & Commerce portfolio.

B2B & Commerce RFE Community

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Coding Commerce: Showing the shopper which items they already purchased

Do you shop on a specific site and would like to see what products you have previously purchased in the shopping experience? I have seen some implementations of a “My Closet” where its a specific page on the site that shows what products you have already purchased. What I think would be really cool is if you could get that information on the product page or product listings or even both.

So let’s look at the WebSphere Commerce Aurora site, here is what the men’s shirts category entry page looks like:

mens-shirts

 

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Is your solution Ready for Smarter Commerce?

Business Partner Ready for Smarter Commerce

Earlier this year IBM announced a partnership with over 16 new partners who have created integrations with the IBM Commerce platform. That number is now up to an astounding 35 partners in less than a year later! You can check out the total partner list here. IBM has a very easy process to get started in this space and get your solution into the certified partner list. Click the picture below to get started:

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Coding Commerce: Extending the Price display widget for consumable products

Commerce systems are getting more and more advanced and specifically in the B2B space you are seeing more and more information about products on the product page or even in product listings. We see things like color swatches, likes, ratings, reviews, etc in the B2C world but in the B2B world its all about value. This little change to WebSphere Commerce (and I mean little, a few lines of JSP code) should spice up your site to show the value of your consumable products. Here is a picture of a somewhat normal looking product display search result. We will be enhancing this with the price per page based on the contract price of the customer:

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I present to you a pattern. A pattern you can use across all consumable products in your catalog. The pattern is generic and can be applied to any product simply by assigning an attribute. Let’s start with an example, a printer cartridge. Most printer cartridges, especially high-end business printers, come with a max number of page the cartridge should be good for, like 500, 1000, 10,000, or 20,000 pages. From a business perspective it would be good to know how much you are paying per page so a product listing like this might just do the trick:

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Thank you for a great 2014!

Over the years I have had interactions with many of you and I wanted to say thank you for reading my blog!

I am attempting to gauge the value of my blog by getting some reader feedback. So if you have time please write a short email back to me (no need to reply to all) and let me know what value you have gotten from my blog or videos on YouTube.

What I am looking for is any value what so ever, here are some things to consider:

  • It helped me with a problem I had at my job or at customer XXX
  • It helped educate me on a particular technology or feature
  • It helped me on a school or work assignment
  • It helped me close business at customer XXX
  • It helped my marriage or significant relationship

It is up to you if you want to name customers or companies – the more information the better, I will leave that up to your discretion. I promise this information will not be made public.

Sincerely,

Bob Balfe