Aftermarket Business

Innovation on Display

About this product:

The winners of the New Products Showcase Awards were announced during the New Products Breakfast held at the 2011 SEMA Show.

The event recognizes the most cutting-edge automotive products either on the market or about to hit the market. Nearly 2,000 new products were submitted this year for consideration.

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Protecting Far-Flung Company Data

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As significant numbers of businesses migrate to outside-the-enterprise services, such as cloud computing and social media, legal experts say they should consult with their attorneys to ensure that far-flung data is protected, trackable and accessible. Indeed, data generated by cloud computing is especially rife with risk, given that data is stored offsite and under the control of a third-party vendor—a vendor who may not be as awestruck over the importance of a company’s crown data jewels as its officers are.

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Finding Profit in Clean Data

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As the co-founder and current chairman of SEMA’s Business Technology Committee (BTC), Bob Moore is also a tireless advocate for the use of standardized data and building a shared data system. He has been working in the automotive aftermarket since 1976 and is a partner with Jerry McCabe in J&B Service, a consulting company that specializes in the automotive specialty-equipment market.

Moore is a member of the SEMA Board of Directors, serves on its executive committee and serves as a volunteer for a variety of industry organizations. He spent some time with SEMA News recently to discuss progress the association is making with respect to business technology.

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Solutions That Deliver

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Marketers looking for an extremely robust tool to monitor social media should take a close look at offerings from Crimson Hexagon, evolve24 and NetBase, according to market research firm Forrester, a company with a longstanding reputation for objective market analysis. All three social media dashboards “excel in their data processing abilities,” said Zach Hofer-Shall, a Forrester analyst.

“Social media is changing the way companies learn from and understand their consumers,” said Patricia Gottesman, Crimson Hexagon’s chief executive officer. “Crimson Hexagon is dedicated to helping our customers harness the strategic value of social media and use this data to make meaningful business decisions.”

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9 Current and Emerging Trends and Tools

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Business technology is in a constant state of evolution, and it can be a maddening chore to try to keep up. It seems that every innovation begets an even newer version only a few weeks later. In some cases, the latest gizmo is only a marginal improvement on what went before, but there are significant trends and tools that simply cannot be ignored. In some very tangible instances, a company can be left behind while its competitors employ technological tools to expand and improve.

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Re-Tooling Your Online Reviews Strategy

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New free tools from Google, Bing and Twitter are making it virtually effortless for companies to solicit a positive review from a satisfied customer and then instantly redistribute that review to the customer’s online social circles. The technology—essentially a recommendation button that is clicked to indicate an endorsement—can be added to any company webpage or product page in a matter of seconds.

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