Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

All Analyst Perspectives

The New UKG: HCM for Every Class of Worker

Posted by Steve Goldberg on May 6, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The joining forces of two sizable companies, in this case totaling over 12,000 employees, can be expected to elevate both business risk and business opportunity. The risk side of the ledger typically impacts employees and customers. Employees become distracted or have their productivity dip until they know exactly how they will be impacted and what is changing, or even leaving voluntarily. Similarly, a segment of existing and potential customers view a merger as a net positive down the road but face fear, uncertainty and doubt about when those benefits will be achieved. Delays can lead both employees and customers to hitch their wagons to other horses as it were.

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DataRobot Automates and Simplifies AI/ML

Posted by David Menninger on May 5, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Machine learning is valuable for organizations, but it can be hard to deploy. Our Machine Learning Dynamic Insights research identifies that not having enough skilled resources and difficulty building and maintaining ML systems are pressing challenges organizations face in applying ML. Traditional ML model development is resource-intensive, requiring significant domain knowledge and time to produce and compare dozens of models. And as the number of ML models grow, their management becomes difficult. By bringing automation to ML, organizations can reduce the time it takes to create production-ready ML models. AutoML can also enable organizations to make data science initiatives more accessible across the organization.

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SugarCRM Brings the Sweetness in AI Driven Sales

Posted by Stephen Hurrell on May 4, 2021 3:00:00 AM

As I have discussed in my Analyst Perspective, The Art of Sales, from the Inside Out, the challenges facing direct sales leaders are not going away. Declining quota attainment, lack of visibility into deal health and difficulty in forecasting quarterly sales remain a challenge for sales leaders, resulting in a continuing reduction in duration of tenure.

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The Voice of the Customer Is Really a Chorus of Voices

Posted by Keith Dawson on May 4, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a catch-all term that refers to the collection of customer feedback in various formats. Sometimes this feedback is in the form of quick surveys or reactions to questions like, "Did I resolve your issue today?" or "Would you recommend our service to a friend?" Alternatively, it can be derived from less specific but more numerous data signals that span multiple interactions or across a customer base. Most businesses make an effort to capture some customer feedback.

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FourQ Builds Confidence and Trust in Intercompany Financial Management

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 23, 2021 3:00:00 AM

FourQ is an intercompany financial management (IFM) Solution-as-a-Service provider. IFM is a discipline for structuring and handling transactions within a corporation and between its legal entities, and is designed to maximize staff efficiency and accounting accuracy while optimizing tax exposure, minimizing tax leakage and ensuring consistent tax and regulatory compliance. Today, IFM is an obscure topic, but I assert that by 2025, one-half of organizations with 10,000 or more employees will have implemented intercompany financial management to achieve tax, risk management and financial close benefits. Here’s why:

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Avaya: Adapting and Focused on CX, CCaaS Success

Posted by Keith Dawson on Apr 22, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Business phone systems and contact center platforms received renewed attention in 2020 as organizations acquired tools for agents working from home. That put the spotlight on vendors, like Avaya, that have feet in both worlds. Since both forms of communications technology are well-suited to the cloud, Avaya has developed its Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) portfolios in parallel. The effort has borne fruit, with significant product enhancements notched recently. Ventana Research asserts that by 2023, one-quarter of organizations will to UCaaS and CCaaS technologies to collaborate in the enterprise and with customers more effectively.

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The Benefits of AI in HCM: Practical Advice from a HR Veteran

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 21, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Many of us who have operated within the human resources profession or been involved in strategic initiatives aimed at placing the workforce at the center of competitive advantage (aka human capital management endeavors), thought we were at least conversational about predictive HCM tools. We were aware that industrial and organizational psychologists have, for decades, been creating skill- and personality-based assessments using predictive algorithms that stood up to rigorous testing, and how tools such as the Hogan or Myers-Briggs tests became industry standards.

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Incorta Streamlines Analytics with Direct Data Access

Posted by David Menninger on Apr 21, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The amount of data flowing into organizations is growing exponentially, creating a need to process more data more quickly than ever before. Our Data Preparation Benchmark Research shows that accessing and preparing data continues to be the most time-consuming part of making data available for analysis. This can potentially slow down the organizational functions which depend on the analysis results. Trying to get ahead of the backlog with incremental improvements to existing approaches and traditional technologies alone can be frustrating.

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Modern ERP Improves Organizational Performance

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 16, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The ERP system is at the core of nearly every organization’s record keeping and business process management. Its smooth and uninterrupted functioning is essential to an organization’s accounting and finance functions. In manufacturing and distribution, ERP manages inventory and logistics. Some organizations use it to handle human resources functions like tracking workers, payroll and related costs.

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Dataiku Streamlines AI/ML

Posted by David Menninger on Apr 14, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Organizations are becoming more and more data-driven and are looking for ways to accelerate the usage of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML). Developing and deploying AI/ML models can be complicated in many ways, often involving different tools and services to manage these solutions from end to end. Accessing and preparing data is the most common challenge organizations face in this process, and consequently, AI/ML vendors typically incorporate tools to address this part of the process. But there are many other steps in the process as well, such as coordinating the handoff between data scientists and IT or software engineers for deployment to production. This can potentially slow down the entire data-to-insights process. End-to-end platforms for AI offer the promise of simplifying these processes, allowing teams that work with data to improve organizational results.

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IBM Planning Analytics Makes Planning Easier for Business Unit Leaders

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 13, 2021 3:00:00 AM

IBM Planning Analytics, formerly known as TM1, is a comprehensive planning and analytics application designed to integrate and streamline an organization’s planning processes. It can support multiple planning use cases on a single platform, including financial, headcount, sales and demand planning. The software automates enterprise-wide data collection to make it repeatable and scalable across multiple users and departments. It supports sophisticated driver-based modeling that enables rapid what-if or scenario-based planning, while its built-in analytics provide deep business intelligence capabilities. This enables senior executives and managers to work interactively to immediately assess their current position and consider the impact of various options to address opportunities and issues rather than laboring through a lengthy process.

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Process Mining: Improve Execution and Operations with Analytics

Posted by David Menninger on Apr 12, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Process-mining software isn’t exactly new, but it’s also not widely known in the software technology market. The discipline has been around for at least a decade, but is generating more interest these days with both specialist vendors and major enterprise software vendors offering process-mining products and services. We assert that through 2022, 1 in 4 organizations will look to streamline their operations by exploring process mining.

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The Experience of Digital Commerce

Posted by Stephen Hurrell on Apr 9, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Digital commerce affects almost everyone’s lives. It is hard to remember a time when one could not sign on to a website like Amazon, order a product, pay for it and have it delivered to your front door within days, not weeks. Although catalogues have been around for a century or so, the digital-commerce revolution has changed the way we think about shopping for many of our everyday and special occasion products. Extend this to digital services, such as streaming videos or online games, and there is barely a sector that has not been touched by digital commerce. And, for organizations, it is an essential component of their revenue-management efforts that enables the digital transformation and monetization of goods and services.

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Trintech Speeds up Financial Close with Automation

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 9, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Organizations have long sought ways to achieve a fast but “clean” (accurate) financial close. The most widely accepted benchmark is to be able to close within one business week. Organizations that close within a business week are almost always more competent in how they manage the process and therefore use resources more efficiently. Also, organizations that close their books within six days after the end of the quarter are more likely to provide executives with timely information and respond to markets and competitors with greater agility. While there have been some improvements in efficiency from modern accounting systems, our research shows that one-half of organizations still take more than a business week to complete their quarterly close.

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Informatica Continues to Evolve Data Management Platform

Posted by David Menninger on Apr 8, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Organizations are accelerating their digital transformation and looking for innovative ways to engage with customers in this new digital era of data management. The goal is to understand how to manage the growing volume of data in real time, across all sources and platforms, and use it to inform, streamline and transform internal operations. Over the years, the adoption of cloud computing has gained momentum with more and more organizations trying to make use of applications, data, analytics and self-service business intelligence (BI) tools running on top of cloud-computing infrastructure in order to improve efficiency. However, cloud adoption means living with a mix of on-premises and multiple cloud-based systems in a hybrid computing environment. The challenge is to ensure that processes, applications and data can still be integrated across cloud and on-premises systems. Our research shows that organizations still have a significant requirement for on-premises data management but also have a growing requirement for cloud-based capabilities.

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A Virtual Audit Enables Savings Through Efficiency

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 5, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The challenges of the pandemic prevented auditors from visiting client offices, which led to widespread adoption of remote audit processes. Although there are outward similarities between a remote audit and a virtual audit, they aren’t the same. A remote audit uses technology to adapt the existing audit processes to an environment where in-person interactions are impossible. A virtual audit uses technology to redefine and streamline how auditors conduct an annual audit.

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2021 Analytics and Data Value Index: Market Observations and Perspective

Posted by David Menninger on Apr 2, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Having just completed the 2021 Ventana Research Value Index for Analytics and Data, I want to share some of my observations about how the market has advanced since our assessment two years ago. The analytics software market is quite mature and products from any of the vendors we assess can be used to effectively deliver information to help your organization improve its operations. However, it’s also interesting to see how much the market continues to advance and how much investment vendors continue to make.

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Streamlining Spending for Savings and Control

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 2, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Irked by the need to account for every penny of his college expenses, poet Robert Frost penned the lines:

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The Value Index for Analytics and Data Classifies and Rates Vendors

Posted by David Menninger on Apr 1, 2021 3:00:00 AM

I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Value Index research, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index: Analytics and Data 2021 is the distillation of a year of market and product research by Ventana Research. Drawing on our Benchmark Research, we apply a structured methodology built on evaluation categories that reflect the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal to analytics and data vendors supporting the spectrum of business intelligence. Using this methodology, we evaluated vendor submissions in seven categories: five relevant to the product experience ﹘ adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability ﹘ and two related to the customer experience ﹘ TCO/ROI and vendor validation.

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8x8 Shows Why CCaaS and UCaaS Should be Unified

Posted by Keith Dawson on Mar 30, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The pandemic accelerated several trends in the contact-center industry that were already underway, chiefly: moving infrastructure and software applications to the cloud, and rethinking the process of managing agents. One byproduct of these trends is a renewed look at the similarities between business-phone systems (also known as unified communications, or UC) and contact center systems (CC).

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Robotic Process Automation is a Core Finance Competency

Posted by Robert Kugel on Mar 30, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has emerged as a core digital technology for finance and accounting organizations. It can drive significant gains in productivity and efficiency by automating mechanical, repetitive accounting processes in a continuous, end-to-end fashion. RPA improves efficiency, ensures data integrity and enhances visibility into processes.

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Salesforce Service Cloud: Contact Center with Workforce Engagement

Posted by Keith Dawson on Mar 24, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The modern contact center relies heavily on software that enables agents to perform multiple complex tasks while simultaneously managing the customer-facing side of interactions. This has allowed CRM vendors to build tools, such as agent desktop interfaces, that control virtually all aspects of the service environment.

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The Mandate for Contact Center and Agent Management

Posted by Keith Dawson on Mar 22, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The ways in which consumers engage with organizations have changed. Long-established communication channels such as the telephone, email and company websites are still used, but many consumers now prefer to use text messages, online chat, social media, virtual agents and applications on their mobile devices to contact the company and address issues. As a result, organizations have had to add support for many new channels of customer engagement.

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Content Guru Brings CCaaS with Confidence to US

Posted by Keith Dawson on Mar 19, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Shifts in the market due to the pandemic have upended the contact center marketplace, accelerating the inevitable migration of infrastructure to the cloud and changing the way agents are managed. The pandemic also increased the dependence customers have on contact centers in the absence of in-store buying.

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Salesforce Sales Cloud: Evolving to Meet the 360 Needs of Sales

Posted by Stephen Hurrell on Mar 18, 2021 3:00:00 AM

There is no doubt that the pandemic has accelerated the existing need for new technology that can help sales professionals do their jobs well in this quickly evolving market. In addition, market trends are driving the need for functionality that is aimed at the front-line sales professional and the manager, highlighting the demand for tools that can help arrest the decline in quota attainment, as well as helping salespeople supplement their traditional focus on sales quotas with activities such as prospecting.

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Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing for Data and Analytics

Posted by David Menninger on Mar 17, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Organizations are increasingly using data as a strategic asset, which makes data services critical. Huge volumes of data need to be stored, managed, discovered and analyzed. Cloud computing and storage approaches provide enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in third-party data centers. The advent of data platforms previously discussed here are essential for organizations to effectively manage their data assets.

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Customer Data Platforms: Essential for Effective Customer Experience

Posted by Keith Dawson on Mar 16, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Since customer data platforms (CDP) emerged in the marketplace about five years ago, there has been debate about what roles they fill, especially within customer service organizations. They were originally developed by small software firms to provide marketing teams with a comprehensive view of customer records. Those records could be scattered throughout an organization, siloed by system and department. CDPs were an attempt to shortcut integration processes that are long, expensive and often custom-designed.

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Revenue Management: The Opportunity for Innovation and Optimization

Posted by Stephen Hurrell on Mar 15, 2021 3:00:00 AM

With modern enterprises adopting and expanding their digital business with subscription and usage business, organizations need to think beyond the primacy of sales as their source of business success. A sustained customer experience is key, representing an organizational and cultural shift from the traditional emphasis on new sales to an equally important focus on customer retention and upsell/cross-sell opportunities. This mindset is also important to organizations involved in digital commerce where the cost of customer acquisition and narrow margins means retaining customers for repeat purchases, which is vital to a sustainable business.

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The New Verint: Experiences and Engagement with Customers

Posted by Keith Dawson on Mar 12, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Verint has recently separated into two companies, one of which is a dedicated provider of software focused on customer engagement and will keep the Verint name. (The other is called Cognyte and focused on security analytics.)

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HR Technology in M&As: The Tipping Point Has Arrived

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Mar 9, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Simply defined, an “HR-M&A lifecycle” is the sequence of critical workforce and HR-related activities and decisions that span due diligence through business integration after an M&A event is announced. Until recently, these potentially game-changing events were not the province or focus of HR technology offerings. This is due in part to HCM systems that, historically, were designed primarily to automate and optimize typical HR/HCM processes and events that occur throughout the year, to better understand and drive employee engagement, productivity and retention, and to mitigate workforce-related compliance risks.

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The One HCM System Imperative to Put People First

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Mar 5, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Even the most casual observer of HR Technology trends and associated vendor marketing themes will have noticed that the notion of “putting people first” has become ubiquitous as a way for vendors to distinguish themselves. This has become a double-edged sword. Customers ultimately benefit from the intense competition to add functionality that supports this claim, resulting in richer and more robust offerings. The downside, as is the case when any core plank in vendor value propositions becomes ubiquitous, is that buyers are increasingly challenged by differentiating whose “people first” claims are more supported by product capabilities and plans. Also difficult to discern is which product will translate into tangible business improvements within their unique organizational context.

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SAP Service Cloud Bridges the Contact Center and the Back Office

Posted by Keith Dawson on Mar 4, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The contact center is still, for most businesses, where customer experience is designed, delivered and measured. And as we might expect, customer experience (CX) tools are migrating from where they started point solutions based on narrow functions into broader suites that encompass multi-departmental functions and reach across customer journeys. The goal is to provide more consistency across interactions, and to provide organizations with deeper insights into customer behavior along with control over the various moments of influence that occur along the lifecycle.

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Oracle and Sales Cloud has Priority on Engagement and AI

Posted by Stephen Hurrell on Mar 3, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The current pandemic has disrupted many of the traditional sales methods used by field-sales organizations to engage, and sell to, buyers. In an effort to provide help, many vendors have recently announced new features that focus less on the management of sales organizations and more on tools to help salespeople sell. This has been coupled with a renewed interest in using data to help with the science, alongside the art, of selling, as referenced in my AP: The Art and Science of Sales from the “Inside Out". Oracle has called this new emphasis “Responsive Selling,” with an aim to harness data and machine learning (ML) to aid sellers in this new, challenging environment.

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The Office of Finance Market Agenda for 2021: Accelerating Adoption of Digital Technology

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 28, 2021 5:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2021 market agenda for the Office of Finance, continuing the guidance we’ve offered since 2003 on the practical use of technology for the finance and accounting department. Our insights and best practices aim to enable organizations to operate with agility and resiliency, improving performance and delivering greater value as a strategic partner.

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The Potential of Marketing in 2021: The Market Agenda

Posted by Keith Dawson on Feb 27, 2021 5:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2021 market agenda in the expertise area of Marketing, continuing the guidance we have offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value from business technology and improve outcomes.

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The 2021 Human Capital Management Market Agenda: Enriching the Employee Experience

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Feb 26, 2021 4:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2021 research agenda for Human Capital Management, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for two decades to help organizations derive maximum value from workforce-related technology investments and initiatives. In crafting this research agenda, we focused on three critical themes top-of-mind for both HCM vendors and buyers: Organizational agility and resilience, worker productivity, and leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning as broadly as practical.

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The Operations and Supply Chain Market Agenda for 2021: Increasing Agility and Resilience of the Supply Chain

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 26, 2021 3:30:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2021 research agenda for Operations and Supply Chain, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations across industries derive optimal value from business technology and improve outcomes.

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Data in 2021: Ventana Research Market Agenda

Posted by David Menninger on Feb 26, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2021 Market Agenda for data, continuing the guidance we have offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value and improve business outcomes.

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The 2021 Market Agenda for Office of Sales: The Revolution for Revenue

Posted by Stephen Hurrell on Feb 25, 2021 12:30:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2021 research agenda for the Office of Sales, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations realize optimal value from applying technology to improve business outcomes. Chief sales and revenue officers are experts in their respective fields but may not have the guidance needed to employ technology effectively. As we look to 2021, we are focusing on the entire selling and buying journey and the applications that simplify interactions throughout the customer experience.

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The Digital Technology Market Agenda for 2021: Predictability in Unpredictable Times

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 25, 2021 12:00:00 AM

I’m proud to share Ventana Research’s 2021 market agenda for digital technology. Our focus in this agenda is to deliver expertise to help organizations prioritize technology investments that increase workforce effectiveness and organizational agility, ensuring ongoing operation during any type of disruption.

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Digital Business Market Agenda for 2021 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 24, 2021 4:00:00 AM

With the announcement of Ventana Research market agenda, a new expertise in Digital Business has been launched, I will outline the areas of focus that provide insights to organizations that can be used to optimize technology, increase agility and organizational readiness. We are proud to provide expertise on digital effectiveness through our research and insights on trends and best practices.

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The 2021 Market Agenda for Customer Experience: Achieving Excellence in Engagement

Posted by Keith Dawson on Feb 24, 2021 3:30:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2021 market agenda in the expertise area of Customer Experience. Most organizations have some degree of focus on managing how they interact with their customers, but it is often a disjointed and constrained process. Developing an effective customer experience has become an investment priority in recent years as organizations increasingly recognize the importance of good experiences to profitability, customer longevity and advocacy on behalf of brands.

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The 2021 Market Agenda for Analytics: Converting Data Into Insights

Posted by David Menninger on Feb 24, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2021 market agenda for Analytics, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value from technology investments to improve business outcomes.

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Profitability Management: A CFO Priority to Gain Competitive Advantage

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 22, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Profitability management produces a sustainable competitive advantage but by 2025 only one-third of companies will have implemented a profitability management initiative, explains Ventana Research SVP and Research Director Robert Kugel. This brief video shows why FP&A organizations must be part of a profitability management approach to pricing and costing.

Ventana_Research_Profitability_Management_Video_AP_Kugel

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The Ventana Research 2021 Market Agenda: How Digital Effectiveness Impacts Organizational Agility

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 17, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Ventana Research has announced its market agenda for 2021, continuing the tradition of transparency in our efforts to educate and guide the technology market but also our independence as we do not share our market agenda or analyst perspectives with any external party. Each year, we proudly formulate our market agenda that is not biased by clients or the technology industry, focusing on education rather than the prospect of consulting or software revenue. We review and refine our plan throughout the year to ensure we offer the expertise and insights organizations rely on to better understand – and navigate – the direction of the technology industry.

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Use Software for More Effective Tax Management

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 10, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The post-pandemic world will see much returned to normal, but there will also be change. For businesses that faced shutdowns, these changes will include higher taxes to pay for the costs of mitigating the economic impact, and the loss of tax revenue. In addition to imposing higher tax rates, some governments will strive to raise revenue by accelerating their adoption of digital technologies to enhance compliance. Taxes are the largest single expenditure for most corporations, both taxes on their income, and indirect forms of taxes such as value-added taxes (VAT) and sales and use taxes. Minimizing tax expense within the limits of the law must be a priority for CFOs.

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How to Take Advantage of AI/ML Today

Posted by David Menninger on Feb 8, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The industry is making huge strides with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). There is more data available to analyze. Analytics vendors have made it easier to build and deploy models, and AI/ML is being embedded into many types of applications. Organizations are realizing the value that AI/ML provides and there are now millions of professionals with AI or ML in their title or job description. AI/ML is even being used to make many aspects of itself easier. Organizations that want to build and deploy their own AI/ML models need to be realistic about the capabilities that are available today. As a practical matter, organizations should anticipate that a robust AI/ML deployment in the current environment requires a set of specialized skills and operational processes, including data operations (dataops) and ML operations (MLops). Collaboration across these disciplines and processes is also required.

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BlackLine Matches Receivables for Continuous Accounting

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 5, 2021 3:00:00 AM

BlackLine recently held its first virtual user conference, Beyond the Black, where it detailed numerous additions and enhancements to its applications. Of note was the launch of BlackLine Cash Application, an accounts receivable (AR) processing software based on software originally developed by recently acquired Rimilia. The new application fits the company's product strategy of providing accounting departments with software that automates time-consuming repetitive tasks and substantially reduces the amount of detail that individuals must handle in performing core processes.

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Continuous Planning is Optimized with AI and External Data

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 1, 2021 3:00:00 AM

In the context of planning, budgeting and benchmarking, external data includes information about the world outside an organization such as economic and market statistics, competitors and customers. Today, a comprehensive set of external data is a “nice to have” item in most organizations, but that’s likely to change. External data is necessary for useful and accurate business-focused planning and budgeting, and for performance benchmarking. It is also essential for the effective applications of artificial intelligence (AI) to these functions.

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The Opportunity for CX is Beyond Your Contact Center

Posted by Keith Dawson on Jan 26, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The contact center has long represented the starting point for customer experience initiatives. Now, however, most organizations are finding that they need to invest beyond this singular point of engagement. When organizations look at customer experience holistically, they see the need to incorporate the perspectives of people in other departments and channels of customer engagement. These diverse new points of view come with an interest in deploying CX technology that also meets their needs. As a result, organizations are looking at not just vendors traditionally in the contact center space but those that operate across the entire customer journey, and shifting some of the existing contact center budgets to tools that fill multiple roles.

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Introducing Precisely for Data Integrity

Posted by David Menninger on Jan 25, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Data is becoming more valuable and more important to organizations. At the same time, organizations have become more disciplined about the data on which they rely to ensure it is robust, accurate and governed properly. Without data integrity, organizations cannot trust the information produced by their data processes, and will be discouraged from using that data, resulting in inefficiencies and reduced effectiveness.

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Cloudera Consolidates Its Data Platform

Posted by David Menninger on Jan 22, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Organizations are dealing with exponentially increasing data that ranges broadly from customer-generated information, financial transactions, edge-generated data and even operational IT server logs. A combination of complex data lake and data warehouse capabilities are required to leverage this data. Our research shows that nearly three-quarters of organizations deploy both data lakes and data warehouses but are using a variety of approaches which can be cumbersome. A single platform that can provide both capabilities will help address organizations’ requirements.

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Tableau and Salesforce bring New Look to Business Analytics

Posted by David Menninger on Jan 20, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Businesses are transforming their organizations, building a data culture and deploying sophisticated analytics more broadly than ever. However, the process of using data and analytics is not always easy. The necessary tools are often separate, but our research shows organizations prefer an integrated environment. In our Data Preparation Benchmark Research, we found that 41% of participants use Analytics and Business Intelligence tools for data preparation.

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Snowflake Builds on Its Success

Posted by David Menninger on Jan 15, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Traditional on-premises data processing solutions have led to a hugely complex and expensive set of data silos where IT spends more time managing the infrastructure than extracting value from the data. Big data architectures have attempted to solve the problem with large pools of cost-effective storage, but in doing so have often created on-premises management and administration challenges. These challenges of acquiring, installing and maintaining large clusters of computing resources gave rise to cloud-based implementations as an alternative. Public cloud is becoming the new center for data as organizations migrate from static on-premises IT architectures to global, dynamic and multi-cloud architectures.

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Emerging Data Platforms Tackle Big Challenges

Posted by David Menninger on Jan 14, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Organizations are always looking to improve their ability to use data and AI to gain meaningful and actionable insights into their operations, services and customer needs. But unlocking value from data requires multiple analytics workloads, data science tools and machine learning algorithms to run against the same diverse data sets. Organizations still struggle with limited data visibility and insufficient insights, which are often caused by a multitude of reasons such as analytic workloads running independently, data spread across multiple data centers, data governance, etc. In our ongoing benchmark research project, we are researching the ways in which organizations work with big data and the challenges they face.

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The Necessity of Sales Performance Management

Posted by Stephen Hurrell on Jan 6, 2021 4:00:00 AM

True leadership is the ability to motivate sales organizations to perform at their best. But the demand to do so requires the support of an orchestrated process and tools designed to help sales teams work in a directed manner that can help attain quotas through compensation plans. To manage quotas and resources and optimize sales compensation, everyone in the sales organization, from managers to selling professionals, needs unified and planful sales leadership and operations.

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People Analytics: A New Generation of Workforce Insights

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Dec 28, 2020 3:00:00 AM

People analytics is a specific focus in Human Capital Management (HCM) that enables organizations to have data-driven insights that optimize the impact and value of the workforce. These analytics are essential for addressing a broad scope of HCM objectives, but while reducing compliance risks and highlighting demographic trends have dominated the people analytics landscape for decades, various technology-related advances have paved the way for these data insights to become more actionable, capable of addressing strategic issues such as improving organizational agility and employee productivity.

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Intelligent Virtual Agents Are an Imperative for Digital Self-Service

Posted by Keith Dawson on Dec 22, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The pandemic has raised the stakes for self-service in every part of the customer journey. In 2020, the customer service industry underwent a shock to its collective system by pulling up stakes and moving agents to remote work. At the same time, consumers moved away from in-person interactions in stores and branches. This systemic disruption has led to longer call wait times and tougher interactions because collaborating and accessing company data systems from outside the office is difficult.

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PTC Brings Innovation to Product Experiences

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 21, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Augmented reality (AR) is a critical component of digital technology. The role of AR is to virtualize the visualization and engagement of assets and products with information that can enhance the value of it for many purposes including manufacturing, marketing, sales and service. Consider how manufacturing and field service organizations are starting to use AR technology for hands-free call-up of service manuals using glasses so technicians can verify progress without looking away from their work.

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Make Accounts Receivable Pay

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 14, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Can you imagine a more arcane and boring topic than accounts receivable? Unless you are the CFO, controller, chief accounting officer or treasurer of an organization, maybe not. Anecdotally, as it’s part of the trend to the digital transformation of all things in the department, there appears to be greater interest in this area of the Office of Finance. With populations locked down and the accounting staff unable to work in an office, the need to operate virtually has accelerated the application of technology to finance and accounting departments, which has been long overdue.

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Teradata Vantage CX: The Real Customer Data Platform

Posted by Keith Dawson on Dec 8, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Teradata is not a name that is commonly associated with the customer experience marketplace, but that is likely to change as customer experience (CX) practitioners wrestle with the problems created by the multiple streams of data thrown off by the many applications and customer touchpoints they have to manage. Teradata’s Vantage CX is a tool for ingesting and managing customer information at great scale, combining the functions of a modern CDP with the analytics that makes customer data actionable.

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Business Continuity: Establishing organizational readiness for business resilience

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 30, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Through 2021, one-half of organizations will realize that digital transformation (DX) investments have not met the organizational readiness requirements of business continuity, leading to a new focus on innovative digital technologies that more reliably sustain operations. Which processes does your organization need to prioritize most to operate continuously? Who are the organization’s stakeholders and champion coordinators that will be called upon when an incident arises? What business applications and technologies will help optimize your digital experiences? How can these approaches be applied to a long-term business strategy and planning process rather than a knee-jerk reaction to the unexpected?

These questions and more are addressed in this Ventana Research Analyst Perspective. Join Ventana Research CEO & Chief Research Officer Mark Smith for this brief video as he uncovers the current market situation and recommends three steps that organizations can take to plan for business resilience.

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Profitability Management is a CFO Imperative

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 27, 2020 3:00:00 AM

One of the oddities of corporate management is that, as a rule, nobody oversees managing profitability. CEOs are accountable for meeting company-wide financial targets and assign responsibility for achieving profitability levels to business unit owners across and down an organization. Sales quotas designed to achieve revenue goals are put in place, and budget owners have cost and margin objectives. But setting profitability objectives is not the same as managing profitability.

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The Art and Science of Sales from the “Inside Out"

Posted by Stephen Hurrell on Nov 25, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Although historically there has been a hard divide between what are colloquially called “Inside and Field Sales,” changes over the last 10 years have narrowed the distinction. The pandemic has only accelerated the path to unifying sales activities commonly performed to engage buyers and customers. Characterized by a very disciplined and controlled endeavor, inside sales teams have been heavier users of technology. This has enabled more productive engagement including emails and calls, as well as provided techniques such as gamification to set competitive internal dynamics that help motivate sales professionals.

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Molecula Earns Ventana Research 13th Digital Innovation Award for Data

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 20, 2020 4:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and the performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Creating Mutual and Lasting Value with Total Compensation Management

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Nov 20, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Determining and providing the appropriate compensation for each person — whether it involves base pay, variable pay such as commissions or bonuses or longer-term incentives in the form of cash or equity or other rewards — is critical to being able to attract and retain productive members of the workforce, whether full- or part-time employees, contingent workers or contractors. The complexities of compensation often prove to be a core challenge for human resources departments as they strive to keep the organization productive, satisfied and motivated while ensuring equitable and defensible pay practices across the entire workforce. In today’s age where workers can get an online crowdsourced compensation benchmark for their role, managers and HR must be prepared to respond to comparison questions.

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ShipChain Earns our 13th Digital Innovation Award for Operations and Supply Chain

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 17, 2020 2:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and the performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Diving Deeper into the Data Lake

Posted by David Menninger on Nov 13, 2020 2:00:00 AM

A data lake is a centralized repository designed to house big data in structured, semi-structured and unstructured form. I have been covering the data lake topic for several years and encourage you to check out an earlier perspective called Data Lakes: Safe Way to Swim in Big Data? for background. Our data lake research has uncovered some points to consider in your efforts, and I’d like to offer a deeper dive into our findings.

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Value-Based Planning Improves Corporate Performance

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 6, 2020 2:00:00 AM

In preparing this research note I took the precaution of searching “value-based planning” to see what came up. Over the years, the term has been used in several contexts each with different shadings. By my definition it’s an approach to planning and budgeting that maximizes the long-term value of an organization by considering all its objectives – not just the financial targets. Value-based planning is a more effective management tool for executives because it defines objectives in terms of resources used and outcomes achieved, not just the financial outcome. Value-based planning is only possible when it is fully supported by the senior leadership team and only feasible using software that can integrate operational planning and financial budgeting.

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Fundamental Change is Coming to ERP Systems

Posted by Robert Kugel on Oct 30, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are central to nearly every organization’s management of operational and financial business processes. They are essential to the smooth functioning of an organization’s record keeping, accounting and finance tasks. In manufacturing and distribution, ERP manages inventory and logistics. Some ERP software vendors incorporate an extended set of capabilities that include managing human resources as well as supply chains and logistics. In the 2020s, technology will drive fundamental change in how ERP systems operate and how companies use the software.

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Why Collaboration Matters in Analytic Processes

Posted by David Menninger on Oct 29, 2020 4:00:00 AM

Every organization performing analytics with multiple employees needs to collaborate. They should be collaborating in the analytics process and in communicating the results of those analyses. As I continue my evaluation of analytics and data vendors, I have to admit some disappointment at the level of collaborative capabilities some analytics vendors provide. To be fair, the level of capabilities vary widely, but I expected collaborative capabilities to be more uniformly available as a standard feature in analytics technologies by now. I had anticipated that three-quarters of analytics vendors would include collaboration capabilities. More than half the vendors I have evaluated support some comments and discussion in their products, only a few have incorporated social recognition and wall posting as part of their collaborative capabilities. So, what impact does a lack of analytics collaboration have on organizations undergoing digital transformation?

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Oracle Day by Day earns our 13th Digital Innovation Award for Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 23, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and the performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Trends in Contact Center Market for 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Keith Dawson on Oct 22, 2020 3:00:00 AM

This has been a dramatic year for contact centers. The underlying technology has been changing for some time, but that change is now accelerating because of the urgent operational shifts forced by the pandemic. When you can’t gather dozens or hundreds of people into a single, open-plan site, you must look at alternative models for staffing and interaction handling. You must also work harder to create positive customer experiences across multiple contact channels.

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Reltio Connected Customer 360 earns our 13th Digital Innovation Award for Marketing

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 21, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and the performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Varicent: Symon.AI earns our 13th Digital Innovation Award for Office of Sales

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 15, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and the performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Talkdesk: CX Cloud earns our 13th Digital Innovation Award for Customer Experience

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 13, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy innovations in technology that advance business and IT.

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8x8: Open Communications Platform earns our 13th Digital Innovation Award for Digital Technology

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 9, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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DataOps: Managing the Process and Technology

Posted by David Menninger on Oct 7, 2020 3:00:00 AM

For decades, data integration was a rigid process. Data was processed in batches once a month, once a week or once a day. Organizations needed to make sure those processes were completed successfully—and reliably—so they had the data necessary to make informed business decisions. The result was battle-tested integrations that could withstand the test of time.

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ServiceNow: Now Platform earns our Overall Digital Innovation Award

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 6, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and the performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Evaluating Analytics and BI Software Vendors’ Capabilities

Posted by David Menninger on Oct 5, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Ventana Research has been evaluating analytics and business intelligence (BI) software for a long time—almost 20 years. Our methodology for these assessments is referred to as a Value Index. We use weightings derived from our benchmark research about how you, as buyers of these technologies, value and evaluate vendors. You can view our 2019 Value Index results here. I am in the process of completing the 2020 evaluation now.

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Sustainable Sourcing and Supply Chains

Posted by Robert Kugel on Oct 2, 2020 3:00:00 AM

A couple of years ago, I started talking about a “New Era of Trade.” Its starting point was the world financial crisis in 2007, but the evidence that we were experiencing a shift only became obvious years later. I think “new era” is a better description of what’s going on than calling these bilateral ructions a “trade war.” I avoid that latter term because I believe it should apply to an environment that truly merits such a description, one similar to the period from the late 1920s and well into the 1930s when escalating tariffs, export taxes and competitive currency devaluations caused world trade volume to plummet by two-thirds. Until 2020, world trade growth had only been slowing, not declining.

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Why I Joined Ventana Research

Posted by Keith Dawson on Oct 1, 2020 3:00:00 AM

It’s very exciting to embark on a new chapter of one’s career, so I am thrilled to be joining Ventana Research to lead the practice of expertise in customer experience (CX). Some who know me might remember that I’ve been in this industry since a much younger version of me edited Call Center Magazine in the 1990s and 2000s. Others might have crossed paths in my role at several industry analyst firms. I’ve been around for quite a while, invigorate and help CX emerge as a competitive differentiator in the industry, watching successive waves of technological and operational changes wash over this industry. So what’s special about this moment, for the CX industry, for Ventana Research and for myself?

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Zuora and Subscription Management: Suite and Platform to Address Digital Business

Posted by Stephen Hurrell on Sep 28, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The last decade has seen exponential growth amongst subscription-based business models. Pioneered in the B2C market with cloud-based SaaS offerings, the last decade has seen exponential growth in the share of the economy that is now subscription based. Increasingly, this modern business model is permeating throughout more traditional style industries and companies. But regardless of whether a company is natively subscription based, or is transitioning, maintaining this growth requires organizations to foster long-term relationships with customers and deliver products and services that get better over time.

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DADs Address the Mother of All Data Problems

Posted by Robert Kugel on Sep 25, 2020 3:00:00 AM

An important recent development in software designed for the Office of Finance is the addition of what we’re calling a data aggregation device (DAD) for analytical applications. A DAD automates the collection of data from disparate sources using, for example, application programming interfaces (APIs) and robotic process automation (RPA). With a DAD, users of the analytical application have immediate access to a much broader data set; one that incorporates operational as well as financial data from internal and external sources. The larger data set enables a much more expansive set of analyses than has been feasible in the past because the process of acquiring the data is automated, and the data aggregation is handled in a controlled manner. This control means that data in the system is authoritative, accurate, consistent, complete and secure. The difference between a DAD and a finance data mart is that the former is prebuilt for the specific application, and therefore eliminates this source of implementation costs and offers faster time to value.

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Updating FP&A’s Mission - A New Approach for the 2020s

Posted by Robert Kugel on Sep 14, 2020 3:00:00 AM

In this Analyst Perspective from Robert Kugel, learn how FP&A can redefine its mission to achieve the long-stated goal of making it more of a strategic partner with the rest of the organization. This means fully adopting integrated business planning, a high participation, collaborative, action-oriented approach to planning and budgeting built on frequent, short planning sprints. Short planning cycles enable companies to achieve greater agility in responding to market or competitive changes, and in the face of a very uncertain future, companies have been discovering the value of rapid planning and budgeting cycles. Watch the video to learn more.

Redefining FPA Mission AP Video FINAL

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Subscription and Usage Management Technology Needs for the Modern Economy

Posted by Stephen Hurrell on Sep 11, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Subscription-based business models have seen exponential growth over the last decade. The growth of this recurring revenue business model, where a subscriber commits to repeatedly pay for a good or device for a fixed or indefinite timeline, has been caused by the shift from the one-time selling of physical products to selling digital services on a subscription basis. The first phase of this transformation was led by “digitally native” organizations, typically B2C, that have only ever offered services via subscription. Although a large market in its own right, it is still dwarfed by businesses selling physical products. But this market is also changing, as more and more traditional organizations transition some or all of their revenue to the subscription economy. Ventana Research asserts that through 2023, fewer than half of organizations will have the correct technology in place to support such a transition. This Analyst Perspective looks at some of the key implications of this transition and what it means for technology choices as companies move toward a subscription management approach to overseeing the subscribers and usage of their products and services.

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Compensation Management in Today’s Operating Environment

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Sep 9, 2020 3:00:00 AM

This analyst perspective (presentation) covers how Compensation Management, related enabling technologies and data strategies continue to evolve, particularly in the context of prominent business issues facing all organizations today.

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Scenario Planning is a Strategic Imperative

Posted by Robert Kugel on Aug 28, 2020 3:00:00 AM

A great deal has changed in how finance and accounting departments operate since the start of 2020. To cope with unprecedented conditions, many departments have found that significant changes to their processes and operating methods are not only possible, they’re necessary. With workers unable to be in office, organizations have learned how to work virtually using videoconferencing, and adopted a variety of new software that make it possible to work under any conditions. Software that automates the close, for instance, smooths the execution of processes by managing hand-offs, reviews and approvals even when face-to-face interaction isn’t feasible.

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Why I Joined Ventana Research to Lead Office of Sales

Posted by Stephen Hurrell on Aug 21, 2020 3:00:00 AM

I’m very excited to announce to my network as well as the ever-expanding Ventana Research community that I’m now directing Ventana Research’s Office of Sales practice. The focus is to guide and educate sales and business professionals on the selling applications and technology including digital commerce, price and revenue management, product information management, sales enablement, sales performance management and subscription management. While these are the main topics of our Office of Sales practice, my decades of experience in analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and planning are part of what I bring to the firm to help advance the science of selling.

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OneStream Wins Our Innovation Award in Office of Finance with Analytic Blend

Posted by Robert Kugel on Aug 13, 2020 3:00:00 AM

One of the challenges of being a practically minded technology analyst is squaring the importance of “the next big thing” with the reality of what most organizations are doing. For decades it’s been the case that “the next big thing” in the world of information technology is easily several years ahead of where most organizations are in their use of technology. And before most organizations can realize the benefit of some whiz-bang technology, they frequently need to address a range of more mundane issues, such as data availability and accuracy, employee training and corporate culture, among other impediments. Sometimes, though, advanced technology works to uncomplicate things for organizations.

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Cegid Learning Management Provides Good Tools for Business Case

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Aug 7, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Cegid drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management.

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D2L’s Learning Management System: Good Investment and Satisfied Customers

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Aug 6, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on D2L drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management.

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SumTotal Systems’ Learning Management Product Excels in TCO/ROI

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Aug 5, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on SumTotal Systems drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management.

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Workday is a Leader in Usability for Learning Management Systems

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Aug 4, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Workday drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management.

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Skillsoft’s Percipio: A Value Index Leader in Customer Assurance

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Aug 3, 2020 9:47:15 AM

Here are some insights on Skillsoft drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: Price and Revenue Management for Resilience in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 2, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Economic dynamics and market pressures during a black-swan event can wreak havoc on efforts to effectively manage revenue operations and pricing for business continuity. For many organizations, environmental changes disrupt the methods by which these essential business processes are managed can be disrupted, damaging the revenue streams that create profitability. The array of pricing strategies and related promotional tactics across channels for configure, price and quote (CPQ), digital commerce and subscription management can challenge the best of organizations. Leadership must examine the agility of pricing management to determine if they have ability to make and manage changes to determine the effectiveness of decisions. This requires visibility into revenue operations and selling channels, which in turn requires programs, processes and technology designed to meet the needs of what is called price and revenue management (PRM).  

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Infor’s Learning Management System Advances Capabilities

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Jul 31, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Infor drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management.

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Docebo’s Learning Management System: A Leader in Customer Assurance

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Jul 30, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Docebo drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management.

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PeopleFluent’s Learning Management System Excels in TCO/ROI and Manageability

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Jul 29, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on PeopleFluent drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management.

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Oracle Offers a Robust Learning Management System

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Jul 28, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Oracle drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management.

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SAP SuccessFactors Is a Leader in Learning Management Systems

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Jul 27, 2020 10:49:34 AM

Here are some insights on SAP SuccessFactors drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: Experience Management across Business for Organizational Effectiveness in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 26, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Over the past several months, I have discussed a wide range of topics that organizations must consider and appropriately prioritize to maintain business continuity during periods of upheaval. But sometimes it’s important to take a step back and reflect on a critical and recurring theme: experiences. The array of experiences across the workforce and business processes both inside and outside of the organization are an essential part of an organization’s success. Leadership must give these experiences the attention they deserve, and this requires visibility into operations and the tools to measure effectiveness, especially during black-swan events. Fulfilling this objective requires the programs, processes and technology designed to meet the needs of what is called experience management (XM).

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Saba, Now Part of Cornerstone, Ranks as Learning Management Systems Value Index Leader

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Jul 24, 2020 7:31:19 AM

Here are some insights on Saba drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management.

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Cornerstone OnDemand Takes Top Spot as LMS Value Index Leader

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Jul 23, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Cornerstone OnDemand drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management. 

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The Vendor and Product Landscape for Learning Management Systems

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Jul 21, 2020 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insights from our latest Value Index research, which rates how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ performance requirements in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). The Ventana Research Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020 (LMS) is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. Drawing on our benchmark research and expertise, this research-based index is the first such evaluation to assess the full business value of learning management software.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: The Continuous Planning Experience and Organizational Agility in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 19, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Business planning is an essential part of an organization’s focus on its future performance and overall potential because it ensures continuous operations, even in black-swan events. Planning across the entire organization needs to be a critical priority and leadership should give it the attention it deserves. In challenging times, a focus on execution tends to take hold — this is not unreasonable but in focusing on satisfying immediate customer and workforce needs and putting out fires, business leaders too often forget that forward-looking continuous planning is essential to achieving desired outcomes. Fulfilling this objective requires technology designed to meet these needs for every business process in the organization.  

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The Steady Pace of Digital Innovation in Learning Management Systems

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Jul 17, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Over the last two decades, the learning management system (LMS) technology market has evolved more dramatically than any other HR or HCM technology area, and for good reason. Organizations use learning applications across every department every day, thus these systems are an integral part of any organization concerned about productivity, organizational agility and operational excellence. These technologies enable organizations to demonstrate their investment in people, as LMS not only facilitate regulatory compliance and other forms of cost avoidance but also can improve internal mobility, career growth and the employee experience. This in turn tends to improve employee productivity, retention and engagement.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: The Workforce Experience and Human Capital Management in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 12, 2020 6:00:00 AM

The workforce is an essential part of an organization’s overall business potential because it ensures continuous operations, even in black-swan events. The workforce is the core of the organization and should get the attention it deserves. In challenging times, a “customer-first” mentality tends to take hold — this is not unreasonable but in focusing on satisfying customers and opportunities, business leaders too often forget that the workforce experience is essential to achieving desired results. Fulfilling this objective requires technology designed to meet these human capital management (HCM) objectives. An organization’s agility and ability to invest adequate time and resources into the workforce experience is essential to an organization’s sustainability and operational effectiveness.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: Analytics and Data for Engaging Digital Experiences in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 5, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Analytics and data provide visibility into an organization’s past, present and potential performance. However, not all organizations are using analytics that provide timely insights — insights that not just reflect what happen but direct a successful course for the future. Demand for personalized and relevant insight only intensifies in a black-swan event. To maintain business continuity in times of pressure, it is critical that organizations not waste any time or resources when using analytics and data to optimize operations and decision-making. Just having an analytics and data-first mentality and operating in the cloud is insufficient for success, as those are just part of an effective data and analytics effort. Organizations also should include data science and machine learning that can provide an excellent digital experience; unfortunately, this is no simple task.

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Workiva Chains Liberates FP&A

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jul 4, 2020 7:30:00 AM

Workiva recently introduced Chains, a visual workflow tool for the Workiva platform. Individuals use Chains to create and manage linear sequences of tasks that they otherwise would have to execute manually, for example, automatically updating a report with the most current dataset. Chains is like old-style Excel macros in its simplicity; users configure sequences with a drag-and-drop visual interface. There’s nothing to code and it’s easy to follow the sequence and the logic that drives the process. Organizations can take a modular approach to building chains, enabling users to string together a sequence of them. Such an approach makes it possible to standardize process execution and maintaining shorter chains is usually simpler than longer ones.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: The Digital Experience in Marketing for 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 28, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Marketing is inextricably linked to business success, and digital technology is essential to an organization’s overall marketing potential because it generates interest and brand awareness. In a black-swan event, the marketing department often is overwhelmed by short-term demands, so in these situations it’s of the essence that digital transformation gets the attention it deserves. In challenging times, a “putting-out-fires” mentality tends to take hold — this is not unreasonable but in focusing on satisfying the interest of the moment, business leaders too often forget that a consistent digital experience is essential to engaging consumers, the public and customers in a way that contributes to long-term success. Fulfilling this objective requires technology designed to deliver for marketing to meet this essential imperative. An organization’s agility and ability to invest adequate time and resources into marketing technology that enables a superior digital experience is essential for its sustainability and operational effectiveness.

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2020 Reporting: Improving Visibility, Transparency and Perspective

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 26, 2020 6:00:00 AM

FP&A and business analysts can make reporting more effective by reimagining how, what and when their company does its reporting. They should provide the users of their reports the information they want in a form they want it. They should be thinking about how they can make reporting more effective by rethinking how data is presented, how interactive it is, and what visualizations are used. Rethinking how to combine narratives, data, charts and graphics to everyday communications. How to add audio and video where it’s appropriate. Reimagine reporting to make it a more effective form of communications designed to improve a company’s performance.

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Modernizing PIM for Product Experience Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 25, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Today’s businesses must manage a continually expanding array of data, content and digital assets as well as satisfy the demands of consumers for comprehensive product information. Addressing these challenges requires unified processes and automated systems and, most importantly, the ability to augment and enrich product information. Our earlier PIM research found that more than half (52%) of organizations have incompatible tools and almost half (48%) must cope with disparate forms of data. These are situations that lead to wasted time and inefficiency in checking for errors and reconciling data across systems.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: The Agent and Customer with Contact Centers in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 21, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Contact centers play a substantial role in an organization’s success. The customer journey is engaged here, at each moment of interaction. Agents, whether human or machine-driven, are intrinsic to the customer experience and the value of the contact center. Customers are essential to an organizations’ overall business potential because they generate revenue. In a black-swan event, demand for customer service may spike or dip, so in these situations it’s of the essence that agents get the attention they deserve. In challenging times, a “customer-first” mentality tends to take hold — this is natural, but in focusing on satisfying customers, business leaders too often forget that the agent experience is essential to effective customer engagement. Fulfilling this objective requires contact center technology designed for this purpose. An organization’s agility and ability to invest adequate time and resources into agents is essential for its sustainability and contact center effectiveness.

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The Corporate Tax Management Software Imperative

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 19, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Recent events are forcing corporations to adopt dedicated software for tax provision, transfer pricing and tax analysis. The fiscal damage that the global pandemic is inflicting on countries is likely to result in a more aggressive tax enforcement environment. This will further pressure organizations to establish centralized control and oversight in managing income taxes in corporations. This will also require visibility into tax processes by senior executives, especially for the CFO. Dedicated software for managing tax processes provides greater control and visibility compared to desktop spreadsheets. Our Office of Finance benchmark research finds that 62% of organizations that use a dedicated tax provision application say they can effectively control tax risks compared to 33% of those that use spreadsheets.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: The Subscriber Experience and Subscription Management in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 14, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Subscriptions are the future of business. Subscribers are essential to an organization’s overall business potential because they generate recurring revenue. In a black-swan event, demand for a subscription may spike or dip, so in these situations it’s of the essence that subscriptions get the attention they deserve. In challenging times, a “subscriber-first” mentality tends to take hold — this is not unreasonable but in focusing on satisfying subscribers, business leaders too often forget that the subscription experience is essential to retaining them. Fulfilling this objective requires technology designed for subscriptions. An organization’s agility and ability to invest adequate time and resources into subscriptions is essential for its sustainability and operational effectiveness.

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The New World of Engaging Candidates

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Jun 13, 2020 6:00:00 AM

In this video I discuss strategies for effectively engaging candidates to win the war for talent, particularly “passive talent,” or those who are not seeking a new opportunity because they are likely well cared for where they are. Even in economic downturns, candidate engagement is essential for success. I also include some recommendations for assessing and optimizing a candidate engagement program and pitfalls to avoid.

AP Candidate Engagement 2020

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The Business Continuity Imperative: The Partner Experience and Channel Performance Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 10, 2020 5:50:52 PM

Partners play a key role in the revenue and growth of every organization. Whether channel selling is in assistance to internal sales or independent, what happens in partnering has ramifications that are simply too important to underestimate. The imperative to maintain business continuity with channel partners becomes painfully clear in a global pandemic, and that imperative demands that organizations cultivate partner excellence and channel performance. This effort should start with partner leadership and operations, with the objective of building channel relationships that can survive the test of time. Effective sales channel partnerships are built on mutual trust and a shared belief in the market opportunity, and recruiting and managing partners must be supported by effective processes and technology. The health of these relationships and the resulting revenue from the channel hinges on an effective partner experience, and this requires technology investments that enable leaders to not just manage channel performance, but help inspire it every single day.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: The Product Experience for Buyer and Customer Delight in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on May 31, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Products and services are the foundation of every organization, regardless of its industry or size. Products are essential to an organization’s overall business health because they generate revenue and engage buyers and customers. In a black-swan event, demand for a product may spike or dip, so in these situations it’s of the essence that products get the attention they deserve as they are marketed, sold, serviced and enhanced with innovations. In challenging times, a “customer-first” mentality tends to take hold — this is not unreasonable but in a rush to satisfy customers, business leaders too often forget that the product experience is essential to fulfilling on the customer experience and satisfying customers and buyers. An organization’s agility and ability to invest adequate time and resources into products is essential for its sustainability and operational effectiveness.

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Move Finance to the Cloud

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 29, 2020 10:29:16 AM

In a recent note on virtualizing the close, I observed that finance and accounting organizations that can operate in a virtual mode are better able to adapt to changing circumstances and overcome obstacles. Having systems that people can readily access remotely to collaborate and execute processes virtually makes it easier for departments to meet their commitments with confidence. The core technology underpinning the ability to work in a virtual mode is the cloud. That’s because the cloud eliminates the constraints of having to be in a specific place at a specific time; work gets done when it needs to be done.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: The Work Experience and Workforce Engagement Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on May 24, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The workforce is the center of any organization, no matter if the workforce consists of employees, contractors or what we call gig workers. It stands to reason that a black-swan event has an immediate impact on a workforce and thus an organization’s overall business health. In challenging times, a “family-first” mentality tends to take hold — a reality that, far too often, business leaders and HR organizations underestimate. But organizational readiness is essential for sustainability and operational effectiveness.

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The Central Ledger: Restructuring Accounting with Technology

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 22, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Sometimes it takes a while for technology to fundamentally change how work is done. That’s because several innovations usually have to come together before a transformation can occur. For instance, Karl Benz created the first practical motorcar in 1885, but consumers would have to wait until the 1920s for the modern automobile. Computerized accounting systems originated in the 1950s but it’s only now that technologies have evolved and come together to fundamentally change how work is done.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: The Selling Experience and Sales Performance Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on May 17, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Sales plays a lead role in the revenue and growth of every organization. Whether the selling is direct or indirect, what happens in the sales department has ramifications that are perilous to underestimate. The imperative to maintain business continuity becomes painfully clear in a global pandemic, and that imperative demands that organizations cultivate sales excellence. This effort should start with leadership and engage sales operations, management and professionals with the objective of building customer relationships that can survive the test of time. The health of a sales organization hinges on an effective selling experience, and this requires technology investments that enable leaders to not just manage sales performance but help inspire it every single day.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: The Supplier Relationship and Experience

Posted by Mark Smith on May 10, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Suppliers play a critical role in supporting the operations and processes of every organization. Whether direct or indirect, an organization’s relationship with its suppliers has ramifications that are perilous to underestimate. The imperative to maintain business continuity becomes painfully clear in a global pandemic, and that imperative demands that organizations cultivate excellent supplier relationships.  

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Data Lakes Meet Data Warehouses

Posted by David Menninger on May 7, 2020 3:00:00 AM

In this analyst perspective, Dave Menninger takes a look at data lakes. He explains the term “data lake,” describes common use cases and shares his views on some of the latest market trends. He explores the relationship between data warehouses and data lakes and share some of Ventana Research’s findings on the subject. He also provides an assessment of the risks organizations face in working with data lakes and offers recommendations for maximizing the potential of data.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: The Voice and Mission of Your Customer Experience

Posted by Mark Smith on May 3, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Supercharging the customer experience (CX) is more than just an opportunity. It’s essential for every organization that looks to optimize engagement at every moment of the customer journey. In times such as these, when business continuity is a top priority, organizations must address the customer experience, especially if it has not been a focal point of the executive team.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: Digital Technology for Optimal Operations in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 26, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The imperative to infuse digital technology into your organization is not new, but it’s more essential than ever that organizations embrace digital transformation and business continuity to improve processes. I have recently written about the need for digital innovation in business continuity, outlining the steps every organization needs to take. These steps involve a close examination of the digital technology they can apply effectively for business continuity during a pandemic, natural disaster, cyber event or geopolitical situation.

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Virtualizing the Close

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 24, 2020 4:36:41 PM

The global pandemic crisis was, in effect, an unrehearsed stress test measuring the resiliency of the department. The crisis highlighted the importance of sustaining confidence in the accuracy and control of accounting processes, not just efficiency. Virtualizing the close means using technology to substantially reduce the amount of manual processing and paper involved needed to complete the accounting close. Finance and accounting organizations that can operate in a virtual mode are better able to adapt to circumstances and overcome obstacles. Having systems that can be readily accessed remotely and having the ability to collaborate and execute processes virtually makes it easier for departments to meet their commitments with confidence.

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A Superior Employee Experience

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 23, 2020 11:31:50 AM

The employee experience is about more than just the technology an organization uses. While it’s certainly important that an organization provide convenient and efficient systems, the employee experience is much broader than this. People want to feel valued, productive and that they are doing meaningful work; people desire a line of sight into career growth and how the organization supports it and they want to be treated fairly.

Ventana Research AP The Employee Experience 2020

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Uncovering Trends in Data Governance

Posted by David Menninger on Apr 23, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Effectively managing data privacy and security is a high-stakes matter. When an organization doesn’t get it right, it often becomes front-page news and occasionally becomes a subject of litigation. Yet organizations face an equally challenging imperative to ensure that business users have easy access to the data they need. Depending on how they are implemented, data governance policies can inhibit access to data, making it harder to find and utilize the data assets of an organization.

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Ultimate Software Finishes Strong in Validation for Compensation

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 20, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Ultimate Software drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well total compensation management vendors’ offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Total Compensation Management 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Ultimate Software and six other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on total compensation.

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The Business Continuity Imperative: Digital Innovation for Optimal Experiences in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 19, 2020 3:00:00 AM

At Ventana Research we’re familiar with the need for digital transformation as we have been researching and providing education on this topic for almost two decades. And recent global challenges make even clearer the sea change at hand: digital innovation is essential for not only success, but survival. Business continuity during a pandemic, natural disaster, cyber event or geopolitical situation requires business and risk mitigation processes, but unfortunately very few organizations had been doing so. We are seeing how quickly organizations are going into survival mode, in how they operate and communicate to meet the expectations of the workforce, customers, stakeholders and potentially shareholders.

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The Bottom Line Is the Bottom Line

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 17, 2020 5:39:15 PM

The Chief Financial Officer can enable her or his finance department play a more strategic role in company operations by adopting what I call profitability management. In the interest of time I’ve made this a very high-level description that’s intended to be just an introduction to the topic. Profitability management is a cross-functional effort. It integrates finance and sales to achieve an optimal balance of revenue and margin objectives. It’s an analytics-based approach designed achieve higher sales and fatter margins. Why should the CFO drive a profitability management initiative? The main reason is that it will improve the company’s profitability and competitiveness. The bottom line is the bottom line.

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SAP SuccessFactors is a Product Leader in Total Compensation Management Value Index

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 17, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on SAP SuccessFactors drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well total compensation management vendors’ offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Total Compensation Management 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated SAP SuccessFactors and six other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on total compensation.

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ADP Provides a Reliable Total Compensation Management Offering

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 16, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on ADP drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well total compensation management vendors’ offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Total Compensation Management 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated ADP and six other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on total compensation.

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beqom Offers Strong Total Compensation Management Product

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 15, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on beqom drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well total compensation management vendors’ offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Total Compensation Management 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated beqom and six other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on total compensation.

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Rating CFO Performance in Audit Costs

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 14, 2020 10:30:00 AM

For decades I’ve heard people talk about cutting audit costs to reduce administrative overhead but based on my observations, I was skeptical — mostly because, until recently, the documented success stories haven’t been about going from good to great so much as going from awful to average. That’s changing. I recently wrote about a company that had set out to cut its external auditor’s fees. The benefits it had accrued are significant, including a reduction in staff time devoted to the audit. I also explained why cutting audit fees wouldn’t be easily duplicated in every company.

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PeopleFluent Is a Value Index Leader in Total Compensation Management

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 14, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on PeopleFluent drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well total compensation management vendors’ offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Total Compensation Management 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated PeopleFluent and six other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on total compensation.

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You Can’t Plan on AI and ML

Posted by David Menninger on Apr 13, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are all the rage right now. Our Machine Learning Dynamic Insights research shows that organizations are using these techniques to achieve a competitive advantage and improve both customer experiences and their bottom line. One type of analysis an organization can perform using AI and ML is predictive analytics. Organizations also need to plan their operations to predict the amount of cash they will need, inventory levels and staffing requirements. Unfortunately, while planning begins with predictions, organizations can’t plan with AI and ML. Let me explain what I mean.

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Workday Excels in Total Compensation Management Value Index

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 13, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Workday drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well total compensation management vendors’ offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Total Compensation Management 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Workday and six other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on total compensation.

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Oracle Leads Total Compensation Management Value Index

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 10, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Oracle drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well total compensation vendors’ offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Total Compensation Management 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Oracle and six other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on total compensation.

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Identifying the Leaders in Total Compensation Management

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 9, 2020 3:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insights from our latest Value Index research, which rates how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ performance requirements in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). The Ventana Research Value Index on Total Compensation Management 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. Drawing on our benchmark research and expertise, this research-based index is the first such evaluation to assess the full business value of total compensation management software. You can learn more about our Value Index as an effective vendor selection and RFI/RFP tool here and participating vendors can learn more about how to use the Value Index here.

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The Evolution in Total Compensation Management

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 8, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Compensation management is a critical part of human capital and talent management processes. Organizations must determine and provide the appropriate compensation for each person — whether it involves base pay, short or long-term incentives, cash or equity-based compensation — to attract and retain productive members of the workforce. However, the complexities of compensation can make it difficult for human resources departments to keep employees productive, satisfied and motivated.

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Fortune Favors the Prepared

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 7, 2020 5:20:14 PM

I like Louis Pasteur’s observation that “fortune favors the prepared mind.” So-called black swan events happen regularly and can have a very negative effect on a business. Of course, risk is inherent in any commercial undertaking; organizations don’t succeed by being overly cautious and reckless ones usually fail after awhile. Those that are consistently successful are ones that manage risk intelligently. That is, they correctly identify vulnerabilities, avoid the decisions and situations where risks outweigh the benefits, insure the risks that are economically insurable and quickly mitigate the impact of negative events. They are resilient in the face of change because they are adaptable.

Ventana Research Analyst Perspective Video Fortune Favors the Prepared 2020

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Payroll Software Value Index: Paychex Appears Poised for Growth

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 7, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Paychex drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well payroll software vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Payroll Software 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Paychex and seven other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on payroll software.

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Workday is Reliable and Adaptable to Payroll Needs

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 6, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Workday drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well payroll software vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Payroll Software 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Workday and seven other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on payroll software.

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Kronos a Leader in Customer Assurance in Payroll Software Value Index

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 3, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Kronos drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well payroll software vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Payroll Software 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Kronos and seven other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on payroll software.

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Embrace Your Customers and Buyers with Digital Value

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 2, 2020 3:11:58 PM

I would like to share some of my thoughts on COVID-19 and the challenges organizations are facing as they strive for business continuity and digital engagement with customers and buyers. As the global and US numbers get worse by the day, the pandemic is impacting life as we knew it and also leaves people (many in new forms of isolation) yearning for a bit of normalcy during these strange times.

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Fortune Favors the Prepared

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 2, 2020 1:43:50 PM

I like Louis Pasteur’s observation that “fortune favors the prepared mind.” So-called black swan events happen regularly and can have a very negative effect on a business. Of course, risk is inherent in any commercial undertaking; organizations don’t succeed by being overly cautious and reckless ones usually fail after awhile. Those that are consistently successful are ones that manage risk intelligently. That is, they correctly identify vulnerabilities, avoid the decisions and situations where risks outweigh the benefits, insure the risks that are economically insurable and quickly mitigate the impact of negative events. They are resilient in the face of change because they are adaptable.

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SAP SuccessFactors is a Payroll Value Index Leader in Manageability and Usability

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 2, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on SAP SuccessFactors drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well payroll software vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Payroll Software 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated SAP SuccessFactors and seven other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on payroll software.

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Make Automating Finance and Accounting a Priority

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 1, 2020 11:15:00 AM

We find in our recent Change in the Office of Finance benchmark research an indication of the value of using automation to execute finance department functions. Our findings reveal an increase in the use of automation by finance organizations over the past five years and a concomitant improvement in performance. For example, 46 percent of companies close their monthly books within four business days compared to 29 percent in our earlier research. Yet the glass is only half full. Finance organizations continue to be laggards in adopting technology that measurably improves effectiveness.

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Ultimate Software is a Value Index Leader in Payroll Software

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Apr 1, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Ultimate Software drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well payroll software vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Payroll Software 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Ultimate Software Group and seven other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on payroll software.

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Oracle’s Payroll Software is a Ventana Research Value Index Leader

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Mar 31, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Oracle drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well payroll software vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Payroll Software 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Oracle and seven other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on payroll software.

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Five Modern Data Architecture Trends

Posted by David Menninger on Mar 30, 2020 11:30:00 AM

I was recently asked to identify key modern data architecture trends. Data architectures have changed significantly to accommodate larger volumes of data as well as new types of data such as streaming and unstructured data. Here are some of the trends I see continuing to impact data architectures.

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Ceridian’s Dayforce is a Product Leader in Payroll Software Value Index

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Mar 27, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Ceridian drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well payroll software vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Payroll Software 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Ceridian and seven other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on payroll software.

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ADP is a Leader in Ventana Research Payroll Software Value Index

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Mar 26, 2020 3:00:00 AM

ADP, a longtime leader in the payroll software market, ranks first overall in this Value Index evaluation. The vendor is a Value Index Leader in the aggregated Product categories thanks to a robust set of capabilities and payroll coverage in more than 100 countries. It manages more HCM-related customer data in the cloud than any HCM vendor and offers valuable analytics for benchmarking and machine learning. The company’s acquisition of Celergo last year expanded its global footprint and it continues to broaden its partner ecosystem.

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Ventana Research Unveils the Leaders in Payroll Software

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Mar 24, 2020 3:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insights from our latest Value Index research, which rates how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ performance requirements in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). The Ventana Research Value Index on Payroll Software 2020 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. Drawing on our benchmark research and expertise, this research-based index is the first such evaluation to assess the full business value of payroll software. You can learn more about our Value Index as an effective vendor selection and RFI/RFP tool here and participating vendors can learn more about how to use the Value Index here.

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The Employee Life Cycle Is Dead, or it Should Be

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Mar 23, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Many decision-makers in HR believe the main function of an HCM system is to track and report on the sequence of events that form an employee life cycle. However, this perspective is misguided because it’s centered on transactions rather than experiences.

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The State of the Payroll Software Market

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Mar 20, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The payroll preparation process has long been a labor-intensive set of administrative tasks designed to ensure that everyone is paid correctly and on time. This historically has been a transaction- and compliance-centered function that involves manual adjustments, reconciliations and answering routine questions. However, things are changing. With the help of new digital technologies and delivery models, the payroll function today is delivering new value to the business through data-driven decision support and the facilitation of a better employee experience.

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Workday Does Source-to-Pay

Posted by Robert Kugel on Mar 19, 2020 12:15:00 PM

In late February I attended Spark, the Scout annual user group meeting. This was the third and likely the last such meeting, as Scout was recently acquired by Workday. Scout’s users represent a new breed of purchasing managers and executives looking to change the role of the purchasing department. This change is critical for businesses. Saving money is the essential job of sourcing and purchasing departments. But departments can go far beyond that, helping support product and go-to-market strategies that are more complex and innovative. To empower this change, the bulk of conference content included experience-driven advice from practitioners who are pioneering the evolution of sourcing and procurement.

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MicroStrategy World 2020

Posted by David Menninger on Mar 18, 2020 3:00:00 AM

MicroStrategy recently held its annual user conference, which focused on the theme of the “Intelligent Enterprise.” HyperIntelligence, an innovative product for delivering analytics throughout organizations that they introduced a year ago, was the star of the event. The company announced enhancements to HyperIntelligence and the latest version of its flagship platform, MicroStrategy 2020, as well as a new two-tiered education and certification program.

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Cornerstone OnDemand Acquires Saba

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Mar 15, 2020 8:35:25 AM

On February 24th Cornerstone OnDemand announced their plan to acquire rival Saba Software for approximately $1.4 billion in cash and stock. Each of the enterprise software companies went to market about twenty years ago with learning management solutions and over time broadened their product portfolios with other talent management offerings including performance management and talent acquisition. The combined company will serve more than 75 million users in about 7,000 organizations around the world and projects annual cloud subscription revenue of roughly $800 million.

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Three Essentials for a Digital Office of Finance

Posted by Robert Kugel on Mar 3, 2020 6:00:00 AM

One of the objectives of our recent Change in the Office of Finance benchmark research was to assess the technological capabilities of finance and accounting departments. The research confirms that today we are on the verge of a major technology-led shift. Technology that’s already available can have a greater impact on how the finance department operates over the next 10 years than it has over the past 50. Advances in columnar databases, in-memory processing and artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as a relentless reduction in the cost of computing resources, will make it possible to substantially redefine how work gets done in the department.  

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Kronos and Ultimate Software Announce Merger

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Feb 27, 2020 2:52:45 PM

On February 20th Kronos Incorporated and Ultimate Software  announced their agreement to merge in an all-stock deal. The companies’ boards have approved the deal, which is expected to close in late March. This union will create one of the world’s largest cloud software entities, one that company representatives are valuing at $22 billion. Aron Ain, long-time Kronos CEO who has overseen Kronos’ journey from Time and Attendance systems purveyor to well-rounded WFM market leader with innovative HCM capabilities, will be at the helm. Ultimate’s UltiPro HCM and Employee Experience products and Kronos’ Workforce Dimensions and Workforce Ready solutions will for some time be the focus of integration and continuing go-to-market efforts.

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The Potential of Marketing in 2020: Ventana Research Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 27, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for marketing, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value from business technology and improve outcomes. Chief Marketing Officers are under pressure to spearhead technology investments that help better align marketing experiences with their brand and to optimize consumer demand for products and services. This challenge is frequently heightened by a lack of centralized data related to customers and products that can help an organization meet operational and analytics needs. Organizations need a marketing data platform that connects applications and services; however, a lack of data science skills has hampered the marketing organization’s full potential.

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The Ventana Research Operations and the Supply Chain Agenda in 2020

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 26, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for operations and the supply chain, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations across industries derive optimal value from business technology and improve outcomes. Organizations must shift their focus on technology investments to include not just operational productivity but the efficiency of the processes that impact customers’ and workers’ experiences.

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The Revolution in Sales in 2020: Ventana Research Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 25, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for sales, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value from business technology and improve outcomes. Chief sales and revenue officers face an imperative to manage the sales organization but they don’t always have the guidance they need to embrace technology and gain the best possible outcomes. As we look forward to 2020 we’re focusing on the selling experience and the applications that simplify processes and tasks across the sales organization.

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The Next-Generation CFO

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 24, 2020 6:00:00 AM

I was invited to sit on a panel at CFO 3.0 events held in San Francisco and New York hosted by Sage Intacct. This event is about the evolution of the role that started with the archetypal CFO 1.0, the green-eye-shade-wearing bean counter. Lacking usable technology, he or she was limited to keeping the books in good order and simply reporting what just happened. Today’s CFO 2.0 relies on technology developed over the past two decades as well as the broader perception of the role, catalyzed by technology that provides deeper analysis to explain what happened and why. At the next 3.0 level, CFOs will lead an organization that can provide guidance to executives and managers so they can better shape the company’s future, providing insights through rich scenario planning.

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Data in 2020: Ventana Research Agenda

Posted by David Menninger on Feb 21, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for data, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value and improve business outcomes. Data volumes continue to grow while data latency requirements continue to shrink. Meanwhile, virtually every organization is confronting a need for good data governance. 

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Human Capital Management in 2020: Ventana Research Agenda

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Feb 20, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for human capital management, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value from business technology and improve outcomes. A major consideration in crafting this HCM research agenda is balance. HR and business leaders must achieve a meaningful balance in supporting the needs, interests and goals of the enterprise and its workforce. And HR and HCM managers require research to enable them to balance investments in operational excellence with investments that deliver strategic value. To help, we craft our research agenda using our analysts’ expertise on business trends and related systems requirements as well as our knowledge of technology vendors and products.

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The Imperative for Customer Experience in 2020: Ventana Research Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 19, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda in the area of the customer experience. For most organizations, a focus on the customer is not new, but maximizing successful customer interactions has recently become a major investment priority. The customer experience (CX) is an analytic framework that organizations can use to improve customer satisfaction, optimize revenue and achieve operational excellence. As we begin 2020 we are encouraging organizations to invest in a focus on the experiences of customers but also to balance it with focuses on the agent experience and experiences with products or services.

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Analytics in 2020: Ventana Research Agenda

Posted by David Menninger on Feb 18, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for analytics, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value from their technology investments and improve business outcomes.

It’s been exciting to follow the emergence of innovative capabilities in the analytics market, but for businesses it can be challenging to stay on top of all these changes. To help, we craft our research agenda using our firm’s knowledge of technology vendors and products and our experience with and expertise on business requirements.

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The Office of Finance in 2020: Ventana Research Agenda

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 14, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for the Office of Finance, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades on the practical use of technology for the finance and accounting department to help these organizations derive greater value and improve their performance. For decades organizations have discussed transforming Finance from a backward-looking “bean counter” to a more strategic advisory role — yet little has changed. One important reason is that the department is a technology laggard. Our recent Office of Finance benchmark research finds that half (49%) of organizations are at the lowest level of performance in utilizing technology. We also find a meaningful correlation between that level of performance and how well a department performs core processes.

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The Ventana Research Digital Technology Agenda in 2020

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 13, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for digital technology, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value and improve business outcomes. While we have seen more than four decades of digital transformation in the systems and tools businesses rely on, recent years have yielded transformative approaches to technology that can finally actually change the way people and processes work, rather than just make traditional processes more efficient. 

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The Office of Finance is a Numbers Factory

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 4, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Yes, it’s an easy metaphor, but a worthwhile one to consider. For the Office of Finance, figures are its raw material. They are transformed and assembled into financial statements, forecasts and reports. Like a factory, there are blueprints (accounting standards, models and forms) that show how the parts are to be pieced together. There’s quality control in the form of internal audit. And there are final inspections — external audits — to ensure the end product has been assembled properly.

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Host Analytics Becomes Planful

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 29, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Host Analytics recently announced it will now go by the name Planful. The change formally signifies a new chapter in an evolution that began with the company’s acquisition by Vector Capital a year ago and the accession of a new CEO, Grant Halloran. Planful executives say the new name better represents its focus, which is on what Ventana Research calls continuous planning, as well as its focus on the associated processes of forecasting, analysis, consolidation and reporting. 

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Harnessing Cognitive Assets: A Hallmark of Agile Organizations

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Jan 23, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Organizations universally desire the business outcome of improved organizational agility — in other words, the ability to quickly and effectively identify and respond to business risks and opportunities, typically through workforce-related actions. Being agile requires that an organization be adept at two things: harnessing cognitive assets, the knowledge and ideas that comprise the intellectual capital of a workforce, and deploying and using technologies that channel those assets where they will have the greatest impact.

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Blockchains Pose Problems of Persistence and Trust

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 15, 2020 6:00:00 AM

I’ve written before about blockchain’s significant potential. A lot of the current discussion on the topic centers on cryptocurrencies and financial trading platforms, both of which are already in operation. However, my focus is on its applicability to business generally, especially in B2B commerce, where I believe there is significant potential for it to serve as a universal data connector. There’s also a great deal of potential for blockchain to provide individuals with greater power in managing their identity and greasing the wheels of trade. That noted, those designing and planning to implement commerce-related blockchains must address fundamental issues if blockchain technology is to achieve its potential.

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Price Optimization: Cover Your Bases

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 13, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Pricing is an eternally vexing issue in business. Over the years, organizations have used different strategies to establish prices for their products, depending on custom, the nature of the business and the degree of competitiveness in the market. The most straightforward approaches to price setting are a cost-plus calculation (cost plus some mark-up) and follow-the-leader (charge what competitors are charging). More recently, demand-based pricing has achieved a following as technology has made this approach more workable. It’s a method that uses buyer demand, based on an estimate of the good’s or service’s perceived value to the buyer, as the central element in setting price.

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Kinaxis Opens Its Concurrent Planning Platform

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 27, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Kinaxis recently held its annual user conference, Kinexions, which focuses on helping the company’s customers improve their execution of supply chain and sales and operations planning (S&OP). Its RapidResponse software handles S&OP, demand, supply, inventory and capacity planning. S&OP is a function sorely in need of improvement: Our research finds that only 22 percent of companies perform it well or very well.

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Sage Intacct Looks to the Future of Finance

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 23, 2019 12:00:00 PM

Sage Intacct recently hosted its annual user group meeting, Advantage, and earlier this year met with industry analysts. Both meetings shed light on how the company is addressing two key opportunities. One is building a robust offering to address rapidly evolving technology requirements for the Office of Finance. The other is broadening the scope of its offering to address the financial management and administration needs of its customers.

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Incentive Solutions Shows Potential in Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 20, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Incentive Solutions drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Incentive Solutions and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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NICE is a Leader in Reliability for Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 18, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on NICE drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated NICE and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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beqom is a Value Index Leader for Manageability in Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 16, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on beqom drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated beqom and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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SAP Provides Mature and Balanced Sales Performance Management Offering

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 13, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on SAP drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated SAP and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Optymyze Provides Robust Platform and Sales Performance Management Suite

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 11, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Optymyze drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Optymyze and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Anaplan is a Value Index Leader for Validation in Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 9, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Anaplan drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Anaplan and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Varicent is a Value Index Leader in Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 6, 2019 7:00:00 AM

With the backing of Great Hill Partners and Spectrum Equity, the company Varicent Software launched on Jan. 1st, purchasing IBM’s Sales Performance Management (SPM) assets and hiring employees from IBM’s SPM group. They will join a new team that includes Varicent’s original founders and key leadership.

This set of insights is drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated IBM, now Varicent, and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Xactly Demonstrates Strong Performance in SPM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 4, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Xactly drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Xactly and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Cutting Audit Costs Significantly? It’s Actually Possible

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 3, 2019 7:00:00 AM

For years I’ve viewed with skepticism the claim that one technology or another will reduce audit costs. For one, there’s rarely a silver bullet. An array of moving parts drive audit fees. For example, the complexity of the corporation, accounting data management and the audit staff’s familiarity with the industry and the company all affect the time auditors must spend. Also, most of the time I’ve found that achieving significant savings was not the result of going from good to great, but from fixing deep-seated issues. If a company’s books and accounting practices are a mess, it can achieve considerable savings simply by cleaning up its act. In this circumstance, technology can play a part of a broader initiative that addresses the people, process and data management elements that are behind the mess.

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Oracle Leads Sales Performance Management Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 2, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Oracle drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Oracle and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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CFOs in Midsize Companies Face Challenges

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 25, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently published benchmark research findings on the Office of Finance, many of which show a trend in the right direction. Organizations are closing the books sooner; financial planning and analysis has improved; and companies are more frequently establishing Finance IT groups to manage the increasingly technological requirements for effectiveness.

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A 360-Degree View of the Customer Journey Can Provide Customer Experience Insights

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 7, 2019 7:00:00 AM

For interactions with customers to go well, organizations must manage an ever-increasing array of engagement channels. Our research finds that organizations expect to see interaction volumes increase on all channels, especially digital ones such as text-based messaging, chat, mobile and social apps. Unfortunately, the systems that manage these channels are typically disparate and uncoordinated and may not use the same underlying technology. This makes it difficult for organizations to coordinate customer interactions consistently and provide the best possible customer experience.

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FP&A Performance Is Improving, But …

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 6, 2019 7:00:00 AM

The financial planning and analysis (FP&A) group is the linchpin of any transformation effort in the Office of Finance. Our recently completed Office of Finance benchmark research was conducted against the backdrop of the idea that finance organizations must play a more strategic role in the management of the modern organization. This transformation envisions a finance department that’s more of a partner to the rest of the company — one that is less focused on “bean counting,” instead directing its resources and energy to providing more insightful analytics, facilitating transactions of value and communicating actionable data analyses that enable managers to make better decisions more consistently. The research uncovered advances in how corporations handle analytics as well as budgeting and planning. Yet the research also indicates that there is much left to be done in most companies.

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Technology Really Does Matter for Customer Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 5, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Using customer analytics effectively involves several challenges. Organizations must make it a business priority, cultivate leadership and set a course for ensuring data and analytics are being processed and governed effectively. But effectiveness also requires technology that will assist in the effective operations and management of customers and help an organization achieve its goals.

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Identifying the Leaders in Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 31, 2019 7:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insights from our latest Value Index research, which rates how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). The Ventana Research Value Index: Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. Drawing on our benchmark research and expertise, this research-based index is the first such evaluation to assess the full business value of sales performance management software. You can learn more about our Value Index as an effective vendor selection and RFI/RFP tool here and participating vendors can learn more about how to use the Value Index here.

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Achieve Fatter Margins with Dynamic CPQ

Posted by Robert Kugel on Oct 30, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Configure, price and quote (CPQ) software has been around for decades. Lately, I’ve been using the term “Dynamic CPQ” to apply to a variant of this software category that explicitly aims to produce a quote that optimizes the trade-off between the profitability of a deal and the probability of closing a sale. Dynamic CPQ software is a hybrid of price and revenue optimization (PRO) software and CPQ, providing companies with the ability to better execute their market share and pricing strategies. It’s designed especially for business-to-business (B2B) relationships that involve sales agents in the pricing process.

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Effective Customer Analytics Requires Comprehensive Data and Metrics

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 29, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Customer analytics have never been more important, but effectively creating and managing them is not easy. The data that’s required to achieve visibility into all customer activity involves many applications and systems and it’s a challenge to ensure the data used is accurate and consistent. Even once data is assembled, organizations often struggle to apply analytics to create the metrics that best represent an understanding of the past and, more importantly, the path to the future.

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The Science of Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 24, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Ensuring that the sales organization contributes as fully as possible to the success of the organization — to revenue, growth, prof itability and the overall customer experience — requires not only dedication but effective strategy and planning. A well-developed strategy and plan to utilize current and future sales talent is essential for the best possible sales performance. To carry out this mission, organizations need a set of coordinated sales-related activities, processes and systems that enable the sales organization, from leadership and operations to the manager and sellers, to operate in a coordinated and collaborative manner. We call this sales performance management.

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The Challenges in Customer Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 22, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Today’s intense competition requires that companies know as much as they can about their customers in order to anticipate their needs and deliver a superior customer experience. However, many organizations struggle to do this well. Implementing initiatives to improve customer value across any department or process involving customers requires both in-depth visibility into current operations and excellent metrics.

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