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Mobile commerce expected to increase during holiday season

ICYMI: Dynatrace released its holiday shopping survey, which revealed mobile performance will be a key retailer strategy; Cisco, IBM were named leaders in smart city technology market.

Dynatrace released its 2014 Mobile Holiday Shopping Survey and the results prove that mobile commerce and user experience will need to be part of retailers' holiday shopping strategies. The survey reveals that more people will shop online than they will in stores. Slightly less than 40% of all mobile users and 50% of millennials say they will use their devices to purchase goods rather than travel to brick-and-mortar stores. Roughly 26% of smartphone and tablet owners say they will make online purchases while they are physically in a store shopping. For millennials, 41% will make online purchases while shopping in stores.

The Dynatrace survey also shed light on what retailers need to do to encourage online shopping and the exchange of movile commerce, particularly in how mobile apps are designed and displayed. In stores, if the shelves are messy and a customer can't find what he or she wants, he or she may choose to shop elsewhere. In the same way, if a mobile website or application fails to load within three seconds, almost 50% of people surveyed said they would abandon the site and shop elsewhere.

The idea of perform or perish is apparent because poor user experience will not only affect store sales, but it also has the potential to hurt brand reputation. "Using social media to complain about poor online shopping experiences is a growing platform for disappointed smartphone/tablet owners. Millennials are leading the way, with 44% likely to jump on social media to air their frustrations, and the rest aren't far behind," the survey's authors noted.

Cisco releases security analytics framework to open source

Cisco has made its security and data analytics framework available through open source.

The OpenSOC platform envelopes full-packet capture indexing, storage, data enrichment, real-time search and telemetry aggregation, said Pablo Salazar, Cisco's security solutions manager. It relies on various Hadoop elements, including Storm, Kafka and Elasticsearch, which make it possible to use big data analysis to pinpoint and respond to advanced security threats.

OpenSOC is built upon the same foundation as Cisco's Managed Threat Defense (MTD), which the vendor rolled out earlier this spring. MTD is a fully managed offering, consisting of a Hadoop 2.0 cluster that's based on two-rack Cisco Unified Computing System hardware comprised of 30 servers. Data from the cluster travel to Cisco's security operation centers (SOCs) where engineers assess potential threats.

OpenSOC, by contrast, is MTD minus the hardware, and minus the use of Cisco's security centers.

"People want to consume security in different ways, and there are many of our customers who are looking for our assistance in terms of operationalizing their security by taking over those duties and responsibilities from them," Salazar said. OpenSOC, on the other hand, is geared to DIY shops.

"These are organizations living in a post [security incident and event management] world, so when we looked at the platform we created [for MTD], we said we have something here that can help those customers as well," Salazar said.

Salazar said the sheer number of security breaches -- more than 2 million records are stolen every day according to the Breach Level Index --illustrates the need for analytic tools based on big data to detect threats and malicious attacks.

"It's an evolving process," Salazar said about the tools now being developed to address the shifting threat landscape. "Is there any one single silver bullet that will solve these problems? No. OpenSOC is a piece of it, and we are looking at it as a piece to tie things together. Organizations will see the value in the analytics within OpenSOC," he said. As the software community develops new anomaly detection tools and applications for the framework, "it will just get better."

Hadoop Splice Machine offers affordable RDBMS

Splice Machine has announced the general availability of Version 1.0 of its Hadoop relational database management system (RDBMS). The platform is designed to build real-time, scalable, enterprise-grade applications at a cost that's affordable to more users.

Splice Machine released the Hadoop RDBMS as a public beta last May and worked with more than 20 charter customers to test the product. Last spring Bruce Rogers, chief insights writer for Forbes magazine, wrote, "Splice Machine will provide customers with a next-generation database platform that combines the scale-out technology of Hadoop, the distributed real-time computing power of HBase, and the full features of an RDBMS, including ANSI, SQL, and ACID transactions."

Cloudera Inc., which rolled out Hadoop RDBMS, said it's using the software to help customers become more efficient and flexible, according to Tim Stevens, vice president of business and corporate development. "Splice Machine's Hadoop RDBMS complements the analytic capabilities of a Cloudera enterprise data hub and enables our customers with greater efficiency and flexibility for handling all types of workloads."

Cisco, IBM lead strategy and execution in smart city market

IBM and Cisco have been named leaders in Navigant Research's Smart City Suppliers Leaderboard. The leaderboard examines vendors' strategies and gives an objective assessment of how they are doing in the smart city market. By 2023, Navigant says the smart city market will be worth $27 billion. Navigant bases its research on 10 criteria: vision, go-to-market strategy, partners, product strategy, geographic reach, market share, sales and marketing, product performance and features, product integration, and staying power.

Navigant's Research Director Eric Woods says, "Cities are seeking partners and suppliers to collaborate on ambitious programs for sustainability, innovation in public services, and economic development that depend on significant technology investments."

Among the competition is Schneider Electric, whichaccording to the Leaderboard, leads the group of contenders to IBM and Cisco and has significantly increased the pace of its smart city strategy. Microsoft made the biggest jump in the ratings from the 2013 Smart City Leaderboard, thanks to the launch of its CityNext program.

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Do you plan on doing most of your holiday shopping via your smart phone/tablet?
I will do/have done some (I'm ahead of the game!) but I do still find that the mobile shopping experience is not optimal in all cases, especially if I'm researching a number of different products across sites. For that, my laptop browser still works best. 
Especially when it comes to Cyber Monday, my laptop browser still works better than using a smartphone / tablet. Just by navigating several different pages, it makes my life so much easier.