Lightwell Business Technology Blog

The Lightwell Business Technology Blog

Articles and Resources Focused on Ecommerce, Supply Chain Management, B2B Integration and Collaboration, Managed File Transfer and More

Gartner's top tech trends for 2015: Where do you stand?

Posted on Mon, Nov 24, 2014

It's important to understand where IT trends are headed, so that companies can adequately prepare themselves for the road ahead, as well as seek out ways in which they can be an early adopter of some competitive-balance-shifting phenomenon. It's getting more and more critical as omni-channel commerce occupies a larger role in supply chains, especially as one survey recently found that just 5 percent of retail companies have successfully implemented an omni-channel commerce strategy. To take a look at what's coming up, we turn to Gartner, which recently unveiled its list for the top 10 "strategic technology" trends for 2015.

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Tags: e-commerce, omni-channel

What the 2014 holiday shopping season has in store for retailers: Top 3 predictions

Posted on Fri, Nov 21, 2014

The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching - in some cases, retailers have already begun offering special merchandise and discounts just for this time of year. It is during the next two months or so that many merchants make the bulk of their profits for the year, and thus focus a great deal of effort on making the next few weeks count.

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Tags: e-commerce, supply chain management, order management

Tapping into the $100 billion holiday retail market with omnichannel commerce

Posted on Tue, Nov 18, 2014

The holidays, as everyone knows, are the retail industry's version of the World Series. At no other time in the year are companies more competitive and consumers more invested than during those crucial few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's where money and reputations are made (or lost), a time when an organization gets to see firsthand if its most impressive initiatives are able to stand up to the increased traffic and attention. 

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Tags: e-commerce, omni-channel, order management

How managed file transfer solutions erase compliance blind spots

Posted on Thu, Nov 13, 2014

Compliance continues to be a source of blind spots for even the most forward-thinking organizations, especially in the healthcare industry. From compliance officers to the C-suite and regular employees, people continue to feel the pressure of complying with industry regulations and federal governance for safe-guarding critical data. It can be exceedingly difficult to feel like you've actually gotten to a point where you know compliance - as well as security - can be totally assured. Maybe you're not even there yet. Maybe it feels like your organization will never get to that point. And because compliance issues affect all data-users - which means most employees - in the entire company, getting so many people on board can seem like an eternal uphill battle. This is can be especially hard in the healthcare industry, where the focus tends to stay on patient care and technological development, not information protection. That doesn't have to change - just the methods of keeping data safe do.

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Tags: Managed Services, managed file transfer

Omni-channel commerce: Fulfilling high expectations

Posted on Tue, Nov 11, 2014

The rise of the customer-centricity is certainly a trend that every e-commerce company has had to deal with, probably in multiple ways. As a development, though, it's not all that surprising - with more resources available all the time to browse, shop, compare and make decisions, it's no surprise that customers are more empowered than ever before. 

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Tags: e-commerce, omni-channel, order management

Omni-channel commerce: Digital and in-store, rolled into one

Posted on Fri, Nov 07, 2014

The challenge with omni-channel commerce is giving customers a platform that provides an optimal level of service, no matter where they are, what device they're using or how they're interacting with the company. In practice, this means making brick-and-mortar stores more like digital shops, giving them the flexibility, research capacity and purchasing options that have been the hallmark of the online experience. It also increasingly means giving digital stores more amenities of their physical-world equivalents, with expert customer service and quick turnarounds offering consumers the advantages of going to a store without leaving their couch.

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Tags: e-commerce, Smarter Commerce, omni-channel

Omni-channel commerce: 24-hour shopping crowd

Posted on Mon, Nov 03, 2014

With the holiday shopping season almost upon us, it's time for the yearly speculation on what retailers are preparing to do to woo customers. Over the last few years, we've seen a shift from a focus on discounts and deals to approaches that concentrate on availability. Much was made of last year's decision by many retailers to stretch Black Friday hours well into Thanksgiving Day, and whether you're praising the companies for the decision to give customers more choice or lamenting the intrusion of the shopping world on a family day, it's safe to say that hours aren't likely to contract anytime soon. 

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Tags: e-commerce, omni-channel, multi-channel retail

Alleviating supply chain costs with managed services

Posted on Fri, Oct 31, 2014

Supply chains are costly to operate - there's no way around that. The sheer number of stakeholders, connections, processes and objectives necessitates a resource-intensive enterprise. The difference, of course, is how effective businesses are at directing their resources, personnel and time at their supply chain efforts, and whether they're bottom line can be kept stable, and even growing, in the face of evolving challenges. It's a constant balancing act, and many enterprises live in something like perpetual anxiety, with the knowledge that an unplanned data leak, security compromise, objective failure or external force - like the weather - could derail their best-laid plans and batter the bottom line.

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'Backoff' malware illustrates growing data security headaches in supply chains

Posted on Mon, Oct 27, 2014

Cybersecurity continues to be a major issue all along the supply chain - and the reality is, the problems it can cause are only going to get murkier in terms of responsibility. As newer, more powerful strains of malware quickly worm through a point of access and hit components all along a network, it's difficult to determine where culpability lies. It's hard to figure out how to fix issues, and harder still to develop an end-to-end solution that reduces vulnerabilities and prevents problems. Of course, it's not helpful when companies point fingers. But as businesses grow more exasperated and the number of compromised enterprises - and customers - continues to mount, it's important to prioritize solutions.

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Tags: supply chain management, data security

What a cool summer and bees can teach us about order management

Posted on Thu, Oct 23, 2014

We often think about the supply chain as a system, with its many parts (hopefully) comprising a fully functional whole. These system parts are usually workers, tools and processes that enable supply chains to get rolling. Any interruption or problem in one of these system components can end up affecting the performance of the others. What we may think about less often is the fact there is another system - the earth's ecosystem - that impacts supply chains as well. Most industries deal with changes in the weather or in the environment to a certain extent, but because supply chains are so large, any strange behavior or prolonged change from the normal can be magnified in its impact. 

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Tags: supply chain management, order management

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