Rob Garf is VP of Industry Strategy and Insights at Salesforce, the world’s #1 CRM platform.

Imagine this scenario: You've thought of a way to reinvent in-home air conditioning. You go through the process of sketching the idea and sharing details of what's going to make your invention a revolution in the product category. However, you're overwhelmed by what the next step could be. Do you have a marketing strategy? How much does it cost to make your idea a reality? Who do you connect with to help put this product in consumers' homes?

Bluestem Brands Inc. alleged in its lawsuit that Merkle, a database marketing firm, made various errors in creating and managing a database for Bluestem's Fingerhut and catalogs. The errors resulted in Bluestem sending "millions of catalog mailings" to "the wrong prospective customers," according to the lawsuit filed Jan. 17 in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. The incorrect mailings cost Bluestem more than $10 million in printing, mailing and other costs, the suit said.

Seattle-based Nordstrom Inc. plans to open Nordstrom Rack stores in Columbia, Md., and Washington, D.C. The new 40,750-sq.-ft. Columbia store will be located at Columbia Crossing shopping center. Slated to open in spring 2013, it will mark the company’s...

By now much of the digital world is familiar with "the cloud," which is the use of computing resources (e.g., hardware, software, infrastructure) delivered as a service over a network. The method of delivery allows data to be accessed from any device with an internet connection and web browser. The alternative — and traditionally the common model — is licensed, on-premise software, which is installed locally on the hardware and servers of the purchaser and managed internally.

Eugene-based Innovative Sports Inc. claims Columbia Sportswear "misappropriated" its technology to develop its line of Omni-Heat heated jackets. The model shown here was recalled last fall due to defects that caused it to overheat. Columbia has asked Lane County Circuit court to dismiss the claim. is asking the Lane County Circuit Court to dismiss a claim that it used technology from a Eugene company to produce its line of heated apparel products., a United Kingdom-based apparel trade news website, that the Washington County outdoor footwear and apparel brand (NASDAQ: COLM) is arguing that Innovative Sports doesn't have a

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