Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Operational Risk Management Is a New Imperative

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 29, 2012 12:44:45 PM

Risk has always been an integral part of business, but our recent Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) benchmark research shows that companies deal with risk with varying degrees of effectiveness – especially operational risk. A majority of companies lag in their overall GRC maturity, as I covered in a recent blog post. Operational risk management should be of greater interest to executives today because they can have greater control of it than before. The expansion of IT systems to automate and support most business processes has made it easier than ever to measure, monitor and report on what’s going on in a company. It’s now practical to expand the scope of operational risk management and improve companies’ effectiveness in handling risk events when they occur.

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Topics: Performance Management, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Governance, GRC, Management, process, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, compliance, finance, Risk, financial risk management, operational risk

Mobile Customer Service: New Generation of Interaction Technology

Posted by Richard Snow on Jun 29, 2012 11:32:15 AM

Recently a flurry of vendors have announced new products that enable companies to build mobile customer service applications that I have analyzed, including Genesys, Interactive Intelligence, Jacada and NICE Systems. All are intended to respond to customer demands for self-service through mobile devices. At a recent customer engagement day, I gave a keynote address on the likely impact of mobile apps and social media on customer service, and I chaired three round-table discussions on the subject of mobile apps with senior customer service and contact center managers so I could gather their side of the story.

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Topics: Mobile, Social Media, Customer Experience Management, Social CRM, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Vendor(s)

Total Compensation Is Hot in Human Capital Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 29, 2012 11:17:56 AM

We have just released our 2012 Value Index for Total Compensation Management (TCM), in which we evaluate the competency and maturity of vendors and products. Our firm has been researching this category for many years, and our latest benchmark research in total compensation management found some improvement among applications in a field where many organizations still use outdated applications to manage an area with large financial and human capital impacts.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Human Capital Management, human resources, Peoplefluent, SuccessFactors, Operational Performance, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Oracle, Workforce Performance, ADP, Compensation, Excentive, HR, SumTotal Systems, TCM, total compensation management, Value Index

The Mandate for Social Collaboration in Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 28, 2012 12:32:15 PM

It is hard to avoid seeing the impact of social media on our daily work, from marketing and sales to customer service. Consumers and customers can interact on the Internet to share their experiences and opinions often and easily, but internally we in business are still operating in the era of electronic mail and phone calls. Fortunately, that archaic state is changing. A new generation of technologies called social collaboration has evolved from social media to adapt to business needs. These technologies include broadcasting like Twitter, posting to digital walls like Facebook, discussion forums and online communities, and chat-based interactions, all used in a secure manner by an organization’s workforce. Since social collaboration is about people interacting for a common purpose across processes, using it for human capital management makes a lot of sense.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, HCM, Human Capital Management, Social Collaboration, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, HR, Talent Management

IBM Encourages Adoption of Predictive Analytics

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 28, 2012 12:14:04 PM

Our benchmark research on business analytics finds that just 13 percent of companies overall and 11 percent of finance departments use predictive analytics. I think advanced analytics – especially predictive analytics – should play a larger role in managing organizations. Making it easier to create and consume advanced analytics would help organizations broaden their integration in business planning and execution. This was one of the points that SPSS, an IBM subsidiary that provides analytics, addressed at IBM’s recent analyst summit.

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Topics: Performance Management, Planning, Predictive Analytics, forecasting, Marketing, Modeling, Sales Forecasting, Analytics, IBM, Uncategorized, SPSS

Globoforce Engages Employees with Social Recognition

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 27, 2012 2:39:27 PM

The use of social collaboration to support human capital management is increasing as the need to engage talent becomes a higher priority in organizations. In particular, those that have a growing population of workers from the millennial generation see social media as a primary means of communication. Social collaboration is growing in acceptance – 58 percent of organizations now permit it, according to our benchmark research on social collaboration and human capital management (HCM). For many organizations, this opens up communication with employees that goes well beyond electronic mail.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Globoforce, Human Capital Management, human resources, Social Collaboration, Social Recognition, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance

Get Sales Applications That Make You Smarter and More Engaged

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 27, 2012 2:04:03 PM

It’s clear that sales organizations need to be efficient, but many are unaware of critical applications they could deploy to establish sales excellence. In my recent analysis, “Sales Organizations Need a Swift Technology Kick, I outlined why sales departments have to look beyond using sales force automation (SFA) and spreadsheets and examine dedicated applications for improving productivity and effectiveness. Our benchmark research in sales applications found a new set of application priorities in sales organizations that you should assess to determine how well your sales efforts match up to others’. Also, in most cases, we found the prioritization and needs of sales organizations are not aligned, resulting in wasted time and likely creating a lack of access to accurate information for sales management and operations.

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, sales analytics, Sales Forecasting, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, SFA

Keeping Big Data from Becoming Big GIGO

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 27, 2012 1:33:11 PM

Anyone who focuses on the practical uses of information technology, as I do, must consider the data aspects of adopting any new technology to achieve some business purpose. Reliable data must be readily available in the necessary form and format, or that shiny new IT bauble you want to deploy will fall short of expectations. Our research benchmarks cover a range of core business and IT processes, and they regularly demonstrate that data deficiencies are a root cause of issues organizations have in performing core functions; typically the larger the company, the more severe the data issues become.

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Topics: Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, GRC, IBM Business Analytics, Business Technology Innovation, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, CFO, finance

Pitney Bowes is Transforming Customer Communications

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 25, 2012 11:19:46 AM

Pitney Bowes (PB) opened its annual technology summit (Twitter: #TechSummit12) with a review of its organizational assets and its rich history of engineering hardware and systems for physical and now digital delivery of communications. The multibillion-dollar technology giant is transforming itself to address the digital needs of business for interaction with consumers. It also is working to transform how business communications and interactions work across all channels. Handling new media interactions using Facebook, Twitter, e-commerce and mobile technologies are critical to managing communications in a consistent manner and improving the customer experience.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Communications, Pitney Bowes, Portrait Software, Volly, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance

Social Dynamx Enables Social Customer Service

Posted by Richard Snow on Jun 25, 2012 10:58:01 AM

I hear a lot of talk about  the impact of social media on customer service and the contact center. My research into customer relationship maturity shows much of this is only talk. The research shows that while many companies have rushed to create a Twitter handle and a Facebook page and put video on YouTube, most are struggling to integrate social media into their customer service or more broadly their customer engagement strategy and processes.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Social Dynamx

IBM Advances Predictive Analytics for Decision Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 22, 2012 12:42:19 PM

At its Business Analytics Analyst Summit (Twitter: #IBMBAS12) this week, IBM unveiled its new release of analytics software for decision management. Over the last 25 years decision support systems have transformed into decision management, in which analytics, rules and optimization methods help organizations use information to guide optimal outcomes. IBM has experience and technology in these areas, most of it acquired, to apply to specific organizational needs in vertical industries. In addition, IBM has advanced its information management technologies to support big data and predictive analytics in operational environments. Its stream- and event-processing technology helps speed routing and analysis of information across business processes. Each of these are critical for supporting decision management technology needs for business processes.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, IBM, Workforce Performance, Business Process Management, Decision Management

Hortonworks Leads a Fast and Growing Herd of Hadoop

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 22, 2012 12:04:20 PM

Hadoop, the big-data technology, has transformed businesses’ ability to cost-effectively store and process large volumes of data for analysis. Numerous companies have invested in supporting Hadoop, and some produce commercial versions of the open source technology. At last year’s Hadoop Summit Hortonworks had just started to establish itself as one of these providers. Now, at the 2012 Hadoop Summit, with a new CEO, Rob Bearden, a new head of marketing, John Kreisa, and other hires, it is moving fast to advance its Hadoop momentum.

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Topics: BigData, Datameer, Apache, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Hadoop, Hortonworks, Information Applications, Teradata Aster

Planview Helps Direct Business and IT Portfolios to Optimal Outcomes

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 20, 2012 11:55:22 AM

Business has been getting smarter about using technology for analyzing processes and optimizing outcomes, but still has much room for improvement when it comes to operational management. Traditional project management has advanced to encompass financial and operational planning, including prioritization toward goals and expected outcomes, creating the concept of portfolio management. In essence, optimizing the use of people and processes associated with products and services along with supporting technology is what portfolio management is all about. Unfortunately, many organizations that use personal productivity tools do not realize that email, presentations and spreadsheets are not efficient or effective  tools for these purposes compared to adopting applications designed for them.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Portfolio Management, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, CFO

This Is Not Your Father’s Pitney Bowes

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 19, 2012 11:47:13 AM

On the first morning of the Pitney Bowes (PB) Insights 2012 User Conference in New Orleans I had the opportunity to meet with John O’Hara, president of Pitney Bowes Software, and his management team. Given the staid reputation of the company, I expected to encounter more formal behavior and a highly structured meeting format. Instead I met an engagingly curious and purposeful management team with a fresh perspective and a portfolio of products that puts the company in the middle of the business intelligence (BI) revolution towards enabling analytics and actions into business. PB has been able to use the income from its traditional postage business to acquire a variety of agile, fast-growing software companies. Its products now span customer analytics, unified communications, location intelligence, data quality and information management. Here are some observations on what I saw at the conference.

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Topics: Mobile, Social Media, Customer, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Location Intelligence, InfoMgt; Location

SAS Expands Business Relevance in Using Analytics

Posted by Richard Snow on Jun 18, 2012 12:22:08 PM

After the SAS analyst event last year, I wrote that it is hard to keep track of everything SAS has to offer because it had so many products and developments in the pipeline. Back from this year’s event, I can report that 2011 was successful, its revenue and worldwide presence are up, and SAS continues to expand its channels to market. On top of everything I saw last year even more products and developments are in the pipeline, but the theme and focus remain the same: enabling business analytics.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience Management, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Management, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), 360-degree view of the Customer, Contact Center Analytics, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Vendor(s)

Why Our Benchmark Research Is Different and Matters

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 18, 2012 12:06:12 PM

We started Ventana Research a decade ago, with the objective of providing the highest quality in business-focused information technology research available. We were particularly interested in offering fact-based market research that would focus on the practical needs of getting the most value from technology in business and IT functions. Since then many of the observations we make and much of the advice we offer are grounded in our benchmark research. In a field that often blurs the distinction between fact and opinion, we stress the former. The quality of our research stems from the methodology and the processes we use in benchmarking organizations’ performance. We believe our approach makes our research highly credible and worthy of your attention.

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Topics: Research, close, Uncategorized, benchmark, S&OP

Enterprise Revolution of Predictive Analytics with Version 6

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 15, 2012 11:40:38 AM

In our benchmark research in predictive analytics we’ve uncovered some intriguing tools for taking advantage of big data in the enterprise. Revolution Analytics, which we analyzed earlier this year, this month introduced its 6.0 release. Revolution extends the open source statistical programming language R with capabilities you would expect out of enterprise software. The company has grown substantially over the last several years and has an impressive list of more than a hundred customers in both the private and public sectors. Revolution partners with database and data integration providers such as Talend and Informatica and business intelligence providers who want to connect to more advanced level of analytics. Revolution can operate across a range of big data architectures, including Hadoop, working with Cloudera and IBM as well as data warehouse appliances such as IBM Netezza and Teradata. This is a smart move, since predictive analytics is the second most important unavailable capability cited by big data deployments in to our benchmark research.

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Topics: Big Data, Linux, Predictive, Revolution, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Hadoop, Clouderea, Data Mining

Teradata Aster Standardizes Access to Hadoop with SQL-H

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 13, 2012 11:21:46 PM

Using Hadoop just got easier, thanks to Teradata’s introduction of SQL-H, a new query interface to analyze data from Hadoop.  Most Hadoop access methods require preprocessing and staging of data from the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) using technologies such as MapReduce. These approaches require new skills and technologies, introducing more time and costs for users, which offset the benefits of Hadoop, which according to our big data benchmark research include increasing the speed of analysis. Teradata has announced support for SQL-H not only for its own Aster Database 5.0, which it expects to release in the third quarter, but also supporting the commercial version of Hadoop through Hortonworks.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Teradata, Aster, SQL-H, Business Analytics, CIO, Customer & Contact Center, Hadoop, Hortonworks, Information Applications, Information Management, Data

Cognos Express Gives Midsize Companies Outsize Capabilities

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 8, 2012 12:27:36 PM

A main reason why desktop spreadsheets are pervasive in midsize companies (which we define as those with 100 to 1,000 employees) is that these organizations do not have the financial and manpower resources to implement and maintain traditional enterprise business intelligence and performance management systems. To address this gap in the market, several years ago IBM Cognos launched Express, a business intelligence and planning software package designed specifically for midsize companies as well as independent workgroups within larger corporations. It’s a package designed for easy (and relatively inexpensive) implementation and maintenance, often by channel partners.

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Topics: ERP, Reporting, Budgeting, planning. Forecasting, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Dashboards, IBM, Uncategorized, CFO, finance, Financial Performance Management, scorecards

SuccessFactors Connects People with New Applications

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 8, 2012 12:17:11 PM

I attended SuccessConnect (Twitter: #sconnect), the annual SuccessFactors conference, to hear the latest from this talent management applications company. A lot has changed for the formerly independent company since it acquired Plateau less than a year ago and Jobs2Web. In turn, earlier this year SAP acquired SuccessFactors to expand its cloud computing business. Its recently outlined expansion as part of SAP’s overall cloud computing strategy is beginning to take shape.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, HCM, Human Capital Management, Performance, Recruiting, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, HR

New Generation of Big-Data Analytics with 1010data

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 8, 2012 11:17:50 AM

At first I thought 1010data just developed a faster data warehouse technology to be used with business intelligence tools. After a recent briefing, however, I learned  that it provides much more than a data warehouse; the product is a large-scale analytics server that empowers business analysts to work on big data, conducting for, example, market basket analysis or correlations of customer and product information. The software lets organizations retain and analyze more data and increase the speed of analysis, which our benchmark research on big data found to be the top two benefits of the technology for more than 70 percent of organizations.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Warehouse, Sales Performance, 1010data, Predictive, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management

Vitria Aims To Boost Adoption of Operational Intelligence

Posted by Richard Snow on Jun 8, 2012 10:01:12 AM

Ventana Research was the first analyst firm to cover operational intelligence, and a while back I wrote how the products of Vitria support proactive customer service by using event data to anticipate likely impacts of operation issues on customer service. Our research into the use of analytics shows that while more mature companies have begun to adopt OI, they are mainly early adopters. In an effort to speed up adoption, Vitria has developed what it calls operational intelligence apps and it has opened up a trial program for companies to explore how they can help improve their operations using these new applications.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Vitria, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Information Applications, Operational Intelligence, 360-degree view of the Customer, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

Talemetry Finds and Verifies Candidates Better than Others

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 7, 2012 11:07:46 AM

Talent Technology software finds and verifies candidates for hire in organizations that use it, as I discussed in my analysis last year. The company’s newly announced product Talemetry Verify provides candidate screening and assessment to help recruiters and job seekers.

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Topics: Operational Performance, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Workforce Performance

Companies Are Lagging in GRC Maturity

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 7, 2012 10:51:45 AM

Ventana Research recently completed benchmark research on governance, risk and compliance (GRC), three business activities that are naturally linked. Although managing them requires separate and sometimes very different processes, on the whole these activities affect each other: Effective corporate governance ensures compliances with laws, regulations and company policies, and without governance, there’s no way to control risk. Separately or considered together, managing governance, risk and compliance is increasingly important.

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Topics: Governance, GRC, Management, process, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Management, Workforce Performance, compliance, Risk, financial risk management, operational risk

Information Builders Advances Business Analytics and Big Data

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 6, 2012 1:14:50 PM

More than 1,000 people attended the 32nd annual Information Builders Summit conference this week to learn about the company’s advances in big data, business analytics, cloud computing, mobile technology and social media, which CEO and founder Gerald Cohen announced and demonstrated during his keynote address. With WebFOCUS version 8, Information Builders has made significant strides in a range of technology areas to support analytics and visualization since my analysis after last year’s conference.

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Topics: Big Data, Mobile, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Search

Jacada Supports Mobile Customer Service

Posted by Richard Snow on Jun 5, 2012 9:13:52 AM

Jacada pioneered what I call a smart agent desktop when in 1990 it created the tools that allow companies to develop a desktop application that follows the process of handling a call, hides applications behind a simple-to-use interface and automates access and updating of systems. This smart agent desktop enables agents to answer calls more efficiently and effectively and to focus on the customer. The product includes tools that allow developers to map the process of handling different call types, build the user interface to match those processes, interface with applications and report on various aspects of how calls are handled.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Jacada, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

Glad to be Part of the Ventana Research Team

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 1, 2012 9:14:16 AM

Hello! I’m excited to be the newest member of the Ventana Research leadership team to bring research insights and education to the business analytics and technology industry. I’d like to start by telling you a bit about who I am, why I’ve chosen to join this company and what I hope to contribute.

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Topics: Social Media, Market Research, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence