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Akamai's 8th Annual Customer Conference is approaching quickly and we have some great industry speakers joining us to share how they are overcoming some of the toughest challenges in Commerce. 

Speakers from Norwegian Cruise Lines, Crocs, Mary Kay and Guitar Center, among many others will share ideas, best practices and tactics to improve customer experience and increase key performance metrics as we address key trends shaping the industry.

Mobile is Feeding My #FreeBrady Obsession

As a New Englander and avid Patriots fan, I have been obsessed with watching everything #FreeBrady related.  I can't get enough.  Short of reading the entire 243-page Wells report - Snooze - I want to watch everything that is going on with deflategate in order to support my favorite QB against all the haters out there.  

Holiday season in July?

Has Amazon's Prime Day officially kicked-off the holiday selling period? Probably not, but its success does suggest people are ready for a discount, which means retailers should prepare for a busy holiday season. So what can retailers expect in the coming weeks and months?

Here are four trends retailers need to consider when planning for the holidays:

1. Consumer confidence is rising

Consumers seem increasingly willing to shop. The National Retail Federation (NRF) 2015 Holiday Planning Playbook has consumer confidence climbing in parallel with some of the lowest gas prices seen in six years. All signs are pointing to a strong holiday selling period.

This month we'll release the Q2 2015 State of the Internet Security Report. Tomorrow, we'll begin previewing sections of that report in this blog.

But before we begin, a look back at the previous quarter's report is in order. Such a review will better position readers to digest the new report and do some comparing and contrasting. Every report highlights a new trend, but we also see things that don't change much from one quarter to the next. The challenge is in finding activity that bucks normal trends.
I was ready for a relaxing vacation on the Mexican Riviera Maya where the warm waters and cool drinks would provide the backdrop for a great week.  Making the Internet fast, reliable and secure every day is demanding work so I was happy to temporarily leave my thoughts about Akamai at home, spend quality time with family, and sneak in a book that I've been wanting to read for a while.

Last night I watched an On Demand episode of The American Experience titled Blackout, which recounted the 1977 power failure in New York City and its lasting impact on city due to widespread looting and destruction. With the power completely out, the operators at Con Ed got to work restoring power using a manual that was last updated after another massive blackout - in 1965.

Future Stores Follow Up Part 2

Late last month I attended the Future Stores 2015 conference in Seattle. If you haven't heard of Future Stores before, here's some brief background: it's held by Worldwide Business Research and brings together retail, omni-channel, customer web experience, and IT execs to focus on in-store innovation and how to bridge the digital and physical retail environments. As Chief Strategist of Commerce at Akamai, I was excited to learn how future-thinking stores are innovating and better understand how Akamai fits into the picture. This is the second follow post that I'm doing to recap some of the highlights I heard at the conference. My first post highlighted how Macy's Go was personalizing and streamlining the omnichannel shopping experience.

Mobile Browser Usage in Q1 2015

In June 2012, Akamai launched the Akamai Internet Observatory (IO) destination site that highlights browser usage across desktop and other connected devices. The data presented in the full Q1 2015 State of the Internet ReporBe and this blog post are derived from the Akamai IO site.

Mobile Connectivity in Q1 2015

The Q1 2015 State of the Internet Report records usage from: smartphones, tablets, computers, and any other device that connects to the Akamai Intelligent Platform via a mobile network provider. Usage is then aggregated at a country/region level. To qualify for inclusion in the report (and this blog post), a minimum of 25,000 unique IP addresses from a country/region are required to connect to Akamai's network. In total, 62 countries/regions qualified for inclusion in the first quarter of 2015, up from 50 qualifying countries/regions in the previous quarter.

Situational Performance in Q1 2015

In June 2013, Akamai announced the latest release of Ion. Ion is designed to meet the unique challenges of optimizing the desktop and mobile Web experience. One feature of Ion is a capability known as Real User Monitoring (RUM). RUM takes performance measurements from real Web users to provide developers with insights into performance across a multitude of devices and networks. Ideally, RUM is used in tandem with synthetic testing to generate a comprehensive picture of a user's Web experience to help developers best calibrate their applications.
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