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        Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

        Verint held its analyst conference recently, using the opportunity to flesh out how it is responding to the rapid developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and data-related technologies and to changes in the way enterprises consider the purchasing process for contact center-related tools. 

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, Customer Experience Management, Intelligent Self-Service

        Enterprises are embracing the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver improvements in productivity and efficiency. As they move from initial pilots and trial projects to deployment into production at scale, many are realizing the importance of agile and responsive data processes, as well as tools and platforms that facilitate data management, with the goal of improving trust in the data used to fuel analytics and AI. This has led to increased attention on the role of data...

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        Topics: data operations, Analytics & Data, AI and Machine Learning

        Until recently, dedicated consolidation software had been a sleepy category. First introduced in the 1980s as a tool designed to run on personal computers (freeing the accounting department from reliance on its IT department), offerings basically achieved feature and function parity by the next decade. The last major technology innovationmoving the software to the cloudbegan in the mid-2000s. Cloud-based software reduces the cost and complexity of ownership, making dedicated software a more...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Generative AI, Consolidate and Close Management

        The emergence of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) has significant implications at all levels of the technology stack, not least analytics and data products, which serve to support the development, training and deployment of GenAI models, and also stand to benefit from the advances in automation enabled by GenAI. The intersection of analytics and data and GenAI was a significant focus of the recent Google Cloud Next ’24 event. My colleague David Menninger has already outlined the key...

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        Topics: Analytics, AI, natural language processing, data platforms, Generative AI, AI and Machine Learning

        Rebalancing supply chains to improve resiliency has been a focus of enterprises with even moderately complex and long supply chains for the past four years. One aspect of this rebalancing is that it almost always involves higher costs. Volume discounts and bargaining power are reduced when more suppliers are used, or an alternate supplier may have higher factor costs and therefore must charge more. Logistics costs might increase, and when an enterprise moves from just-in-time to just-in-case...

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        Topics: Continuous Planning, Business Planning, Operations & Supply Chain, Continuous Supply Chain & ERP

        I recently wrote about the development, testing and deployment of data pipelines as a fundamental accelerator of data-driven strategies as well as the importance of data orchestration to accelerate analytics and artificial intelligence. As I explained in the recent Data Observability Buyers Guide, data observability software is also a critical aspect of data-driven decision-making. Data observability addresses one of the most significant impediments to generating value from data by providing an...

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        Topics: Analytics, data operations, Analytics & Data, Generative AI, AI and Machine Learning, Machine Learning Operations

        The technology landscape for enterprise IT faces a daunting challenge: complexity. As systems grow more intricate, organizations must actively seek ways to simplify the technology stack. This process, known as decomplexification, is crucial for enhancing efficiency, security and collaboration within an enterprise.

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        Topics: Cloud Computing, IT Service Management, Digital Technology, Digital Security, DevOps and Platforms, IoT and Edge Computing, Intelligent Automation, ITOps, IaC, CI/CD, SASE

        Oracle held an industry analyst summit recently where the focus was on artificial intelligence (AI) and embedded AI. At the event, Oracle demonstrated progress in adding useful AI-enabled capabilities to its business applications, especially in finance and accounting, supply chain, HR and revenue management. To put this into context, across the software industry, AI is already at work in many finance-focused applications that are currently available, albeit often in limited release. We are in...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Analytics, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Generative AI, AI and Machine Learning, Procure-to-Pay, Order-to-Cash, Consolidate and Close Management

        Today’s workforce places a high expectation on an enterprise’s commitment to fostering a fair and inclusive workplace. Numerous advances have been made in technology and employment regulations in the past few years, elevating the need and urgency for equitable and transparent operations relative to employee compensation. Technology plays a critical role in unlocking an enterprise’s ability to modernize its compensation practices and enact a system of processes designed to ensure a fair and...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Total Compensation Management, employee experience

        Value-added tax is a consumption tax levied at every point in a supply chainfrom production to final sale. It’s based on the difference between the cost of production and the selling price of a product or service, or the value added. Sales taxes are different in that they are generally collected only at the final point of sale to the ultimate consumer. Enterprises collect the value-added tax from customers when they sell goods or services and remit the collected VAT to the relevant national or...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Tax, tax compliance, digital finance, VAT, Order-to-Cash, Value-Added Tax, Sales Tax

        I previously wrote about the potential for rapid adoption of the data lakehouse concept as enterprises combined the benefits of data lakes based on low-cost cloud object storage with the structured data processing functionality normally associated with data warehousing. By layering support for table formats, metadata management and transactional updates and deletes as well as query engine and data orchestration functionality on top of low-cost storage of both structured and unstructured data,...

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        Topics: Analytics, data platforms, Analytics & Data

        Field service operations are not often discussed as part of enterprise customer experience planning, but there is a strong argument that they should be seen as an important factor driving how customers perceive brands. Like contact centers, field service teams are dealing with the advance of startling new technologies that can be expensive and disruptive. The flip side of disruption, though, is that it presents interesting opportunities for improving customer-related outcomes.

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, Customer Experience Management

        We’re quickly approaching the moment when it becomes clear that artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI (GenAI) will not be free. As that happens, we will discover who’s willing to pay how much and for what. After nearly 18 months of unlimited use-case fantasizing, it should be obvious that not all the potential applications of AI can be realized over the next three to five years because they fail a cost/benefit test. In theory, AI’s potential is almost limitless, but so far, little...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Analytics, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Generative AI, Procure-to-Pay, Order-to-Cash, Consolidate and Close Management

        The artificial intelligence (AI) market is exploding with activity, which is part of the reason we recently announced that we have dedicated an entire practice at Ventana Research to the topic. Large language models (LLMs) and generative AI (GenAI) have taken the AI world by storm. In fact, we assert that through 2026, one-half of all AI investments will be based on generative rather than predictive AI. My colleague Rob Kugel has written about how AI can improve productivity and benefit the...

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        Topics: AI, natural language processing, Analytics & Data, Generative AI, AI and Machine Learning

        The tax provision process is an essential part of the close process and a core responsibility of tax departments. This process estimates the amount of income tax an enterprise will have to pay tax authorities in the jurisdictions in which it operates. Tax accountants derive the number by adjusting the reported net income with a variety of permanent differences, such as expenses that are not deductible and temporary differences–for example, using allowable accelerated depreciation for tax...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance

        Many organizations have adopted DataOps to apply agile development, DevOps and lean manufacturing processes to the development, testing, deployment and orchestration of data integration and processing pipelines. The most likely ultimate outcome of these pipelines is the analytics reports and dashboards enterprises rely on to make business decisions.

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        Topics: Analytics, Analytics & Data, Data Intelligence

        If you search “for want of a nail” on your browser, you’ll discover the age-old wisdom that seemingly trivial things can have a far-reaching impact. It’s a parable for artificial intelligence used in business. Deconstruct the imagined big-picture impact of AI and there are thousands of minor tasks that soon will require little or no human involvement in the interstices of an end-to-end process. Humans will still be indispensable, but they won’t be doing predictably repetitive work....

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Order-to-Cash

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well software providers’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Digital Communications Ventana Research Buyers Guide is the distillation of a year of market and product research by Ventana Research.

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        Topics: Digital Business, Digital Communications

        There have been a multitude of potential use cases for artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI (GenAI) dreamed up over the past 18 months. ISG-Ventana Research describes AI as the development of systems and software capable of automating tasks that have previously required human intelligence. It encompasses machine learning (ML), deep learning and GenAI to deliver capabilities including predictions, recommendations, personalization, speech and visual recognition as well as translation...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, digital finance, Procure-to-Pay

        It has been a predominant buzzword for several years across all areas of human resources (HR), but artificial intelligence (AI) and learning and development (L&D) are finally beginning to integrate at scale, and it is one of the most transformative evolutions for the function of learning and development in the last 15 years. For a few years, we have been learning more about how AI will impact our daily personal lives, and more recently we have seen widespread evidence of how AI will impact our...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Learning Management, employee experience

        Analytics software is used by business analysts and decision-makers to facilitate the generation of insights from data. It encompasses business intelligence and decision intelligence software, including reports and dashboards as well as embedded analytics and the development of intelligent applications infused with the results of analytic processes. Analytics software enables enterprises to improve business outcomes by operating more efficiently, accelerating product development and enhancing...

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        Topics: Analytics, AI, Analytics & Data, Generative AI

        The importance of human resources technology in the workplace is growing at a phenomenal pace. While many HR applications like payroll, benefits management and human resource information systems have been perceived as critical, the new sense of criticality is more extensive than ever. HR technology is necessary to power the function of HR, but it also needs to serve as the leading example of how to engage, embrace and include all workers in the workplace experience and community. HR...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, employee experience

        I recently wrote about the development, testing and deployment of data pipelines as a fundamental accelerator of data-driven strategies. As I explained in the 2023 Data Orchestration Buyers Guide, today’s analytics environments require agile data pipelines that can traverse multiple data-processing locations and evolve with business needs.

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        Topics: Analytics, data operations, data platforms, Analytics & Data, Generative AI, AI and Machine Learning, Data Intelligence

        As a business application tech analyst, I tend to focus more on B2B than B2C and the differences between the two. So, when it comes to digital commerce, I am interested in the differences from a process or functional point of view and therefore the potential digital commerce application or platform needs required to support B2B commerce. With more B2B enterprises looking to provide access in a timely manner and when and where the customer chooses, digital commerce is a growing part of the...

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        Topics: Digital Commerce, Revenue Management, Office of Revenue

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well software providers’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Workforce Management Suites Buyers Guide is the distillation of a year of market and product research by Ventana Research. 

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Workforce Management

        I previously explained how master data management helps provide trust in data, making it one of the most significant aspects of an enterprise’s strategic approach to data management. More recently, I discussed how it has a role to play in accelerating data democratization as part of data intelligence initiatives. Along with data quality, MDM enables organizations to ensure data is accurate, complete and consistent to fulfill operational business objectives. While it is an established and mature...

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        Topics: Product Information Management, Operations & Supply Chain, Sustainability Management, Analytics & Data, Data Intelligence

        Sage Intacct recently held its annual user conference, and while there were plenty of product announcements and roadmap presentations, my focus here is on the artificial intelligence elements. AI–both predictive and generative–is the most important capability and differentiator in software aimed at finance and accounting departments. Ventana Research asserts that by 2027, almost all vendors of ERP software will incorporate AI to reduce workloads, speed processes and decrease errors.

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Consolidate/Close/Report

        I recently attended the Salesforce Trailblazer DX event to learn more about Salesforce’s artificial intelligence products and strategy. Fueled by generative AI, awareness and investment in AI seems to be exploding. ISG research shows that enterprises plan to nearly triple the portion of budgets allocated to AI over the next two years. This doesn’t come as a big surprise when you look at the outcomes enterprises are achieving: Of those that have invested in AI, more than 8 in 10 (84%) have had...

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        Topics: AI, natural language processing, Generative AI, Computer Vision, Model Building and Large Language Models, Deep Learning, Machine Learning Operations

        Enterprises are increasingly recognizing the need to streamline operations for efficiency, agility and innovation. This has led to various “operations” or “Ops” initiatives, each focusing on a specific aspect of enterprise IT. From software development and data analytics to IT and cloud management, these Ops groups are transforming the way enterprises operate and compete.

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        Topics: Analytics, Cloud Computing, Digital Technology, data operations, digital finance, Digital Security, Observability, Analytic Operations, DevOps and Platforms, ITOps, CloudOps, Machine Learning Operations, MLOps, SecOps, ProjectOps, AIOps, NetOps, DevSecOps, SecFinOps

        I wrote recently about the role that data intelligence has in enabling enterprises to facilitate data democratization and the delivery of data as a product. Data intelligence provides a holistic view of how, when, and why data is produced and consumed across an enterprise, and by whom. This information can be used by data teams toensure business users and data analysts are provided with self-service access to data that is pertinent to their roles and requirements. Delivering data as a product...

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        Topics: Analytics, Data Ops, data operations, data platforms, Analytics & Data, AI and Machine Learning, GenAI, Data Intelligence

        Data and analytics have become increasingly important to all aspects of business. The modern data and analytics stack includes many components, which creates challenges for enterprises and software providers alike. As my colleague Matt Aslett points out, a better term might be modern data and analytics smorgasbord. There are arguments for and against using an assortment of tools versus a consolidated platform. For example, purchasing, integrating and deploying a variety of tools can be complex....

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        Topics: Analytics, AI, data operations, Analytics & Data, Generative AI, Data Intelligence

        The development, testing and deployment of data pipelines is a fundamental accelerator of data-driven strategies, enabling enterprises to extract data from the operational applications and data platforms designed to run the business and load, integrate and transform it into the analytic data platforms and tools used to analyze the business. As I explained in our recent Data Pipelines Buyers Guide, data pipelines are essential to generating intelligence from data. Healthy data pipelines are...

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        Topics: Analytics, data operations, data platforms, Analytics & Data, Generative AI, AI and Machine Learning, Data Intelligence

        As enterprises seek to increase data-driven decision-making, many are investing in strategic data democratization initiatives to provide business users and data analysts with self-service access to data across the enterprise. Such access has long been a goal of many enterprises, but few have achieved it. Only 15% of participants in Ventana Research’s Analytics and Data Benchmark Research say their organization is very comfortable allowing business users to work with data that has not been...

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        Topics: Analytics, data operations, Analytics & Data, AI and Machine Learning, Data Intelligence, Data Products, Data Democratization

        Smart manufacturing is a strategic operating approach that aligns advanced manufacturing technology with system and process design principles to promote adaptability. It is a digital, event-driven, collaborative orchestration of physical and digital processes designed to increase productivity, efficiency, adaptability and resilience. These systems use technologies to coordinate the planning and execution of even disparate operations within factories and across an entire manufacturing supply...

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        Topics: Continuous Planning, S&OP, Operations & Supply Chain, supply chain management, Manufacturing, Continuous Supply Chain & ERP, Smart Manufacturing

        In the technology industry, 2023 will be remembered as the year of generative artificial intelligence. Yes, the world was made aware of GenAI when ChatGPT was publicly launched in November of 2022, but few knew the impact it would have at that point in time. Since then, GenAI has taken the world by storm, with vendors applying the technology to make it easier to ask questions about data, write code (including SQL), prepare data for analyses, document data pipelines and use software products...

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        Topics: Artificial intelligence, Analytics & Data, Generative AI, AI and Machine Learning, Model Building and Large Language Models

        The workforce of today has been very clear with their needs, wants and expectations. They need to feel seen, valued, heard, included and empowered. They want to work in an organization that feels like a community and aligns with their personal value systems. Importantly, they expect access to technology and to be developed and supported as they navigate their careers.

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Learning Management

        Artificial intelligence seems poised to change everything, although naturally a great deal of attention tends to be paid to the cool things it makes possible. AI can also make the humdrum less tedious and even transform the dullest of back-office operations into something more meaningful. For example, AI can take accounts receivable automation to the next level. 

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        Topics: Office of Finance, AI, digital finance, AI and Machine Learning, Order-to-Cash

        The next phase of buying for contact centers and adjoining service/customer experience (CX) teams is going to be heavily influenced by how vendors develop tightly integrated ecosystems and define use cases and benefits across enterprise personas. There are more people involved in the work of delivering customer service, and a broader technology landscape from which buyers can choose their software applications. Platforms now function well beyond the communications needs of the contact center,...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, agent management, Customer Experience Management

        By the year 2025, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the generational makeup of our workforce will be:

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, employee experience

        Is your organization prepared for the increasingly sophisticated and pervasive cyber threats that are challenging enterprise CIOs and IT leaders? Our previous analyst perspective underscored the importance of protecting digital assets and driving business growth with Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM) — a proactive approach to identifying and managing cyber threats. In this perspective, we delve into the crucial business and technology considerations that enterprises must weigh when...

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        Topics: Digital Technology, Digital Security, Security Posture, Threat Management, Threat Landscape, SOC, Continuous Threat Exposure Management, CTEM

        Contact centers have collected customer feedback almost as long as there have been telephones. The simple binary question "Did I provide you with good service today," or some variation is a common feature of agent scripts that contact center leadership uses to produce snap assessments of agent performance. Today’s analytic approaches are becoming more common, producing more insightful and nuanced pictures of what customers want, raising the question of whether enterprises understand how best to...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, Customer Feedback

        Much development and marketing resource is being directed at technology that supports tracking and managing the customer experience (CX) and identifying prospects. All of this is good for business and highlights some of the exciting potential for artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI (GenAI) to really accelerate the basic need of matching buyers and sellers to create more efficient markets for the benefit of all. But part of the B2B customer experience also revolves around quality and...

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        Topics: Revenue Management, Sales Engagement, Office of Revenue

        Interest in artificial intelligence (AI) is exploding driven in large part by the widespread interest in generative AI. ISG’s AI Buyer Behavior Survey reported that more than 6 in 10 participants have at least one AI application in production. However, despite the ease with which individuals can use AI as a result of natural language processing, creating and managing AI models is still a challenge. First, there is a shortage of skills. Second, the process itself involves many parts, each of...

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        Topics: Data Science, AI, Analytics & Data, AI and Machine Learning, Model Building and Large Language Models, Machine Learning Operations, MLOps

        Cloud computing has had an enormous impact on the analytics and data industry in recent decades, with the on-demand provisioning of computational resources providing new opportunities for enterprises to lower costs and increase efficiency. Two-thirds of participants in Ventana Research’s Data Lakes Dynamic Insightsresearch are using a cloud-based environment as the primary data platform for analytics. 

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        Topics: Analytics, AI, data platforms, Analytics & Data, Generative AI, AI and Machine Learning, Data Intelligence

        Zoho recently held its annual analyst day to communicate its strategy, objectives and product roadmap. The privately held company, headquartered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, has an unconventional approach to the software market. Its self-described corporate philosophy emphasizes making bold moves that challenge assumptions. Its design engineering approach stresses simplicity and cost while aiming to provide easy-to-use software with sufficient capabilities to improve personal and...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Voice of the Customer, Digital Commerce, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Customer Experience Management, Generative AI, Procure-to-Pay, Order-to-Cash

        It is well known that data integration, transformation and preparation represent a significant proportion of the time and effort required in any analytics project. Traditionally, operational data platforms are designed to store, manage, and process data to support worker-, customer- and partner-facing operational applications, and data is then extracted, transformed, and loaded (or “ETLed”) into a separate analytic data platform, which is designed to store, manage, process, and analyze data....

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        Topics: Analytics & Data, Data Intelligence

        Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and pervasive, posing a major challenge for CIOs and IT leaders. To protect their digital assets and drive business growth, they need a new approach to security: Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM). CTEM software continuously monitors and manages the enterprise’s exposure to cyber risks, enabling a swift and effective response to any security incident. In this analyst perspective, we will explore how CTEM software works, why it is essential...

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        Topics: Digital Technology, Digital Security, Security Posture, Threat Management, Threat Landscape, SOC, Continuous Threat Exposure Management, CTEM

        After a year of near-constant AI chatter, the broad strokes of how the technology will roll out in business over the next three to five years are coming into place. It’s almost trite but worth repeating that artificial intelligence will drive a substantial boost in productivity as it’s adopted. Rather than making large swathes of jobs obsolete, it will take the robotic work out of those job descriptions, enabling people to focus on tasks with a greater economic return. 

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, AI, digital finance, Generative AI, Procure-to-Pay, Order-to-Cash, Consolidate and Close Management

        The first wave of discussions around artificial intelligence (AI) in the contact center was focused on providing software buyers with a general understanding of what the technology could do. Now the conversations are becoming more specific, focused and direct. Buyers are more aware of the spectrum of available use cases and appear to be exploring how to map new tools to the particular business problems they face. Contact center buyers are approaching new technology deployments (or enhancements...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, AI, natural language processing, agent management, Intelligent Self-Service, Generative AI, Computer Vision

        With a year of AI-everywhere-all-the-time chatter now in the rearview mirror, finance and accounting department executives appear to be in a state of apprehension and well-tuned skepticism about the impact this technology will have on their organization. There are solid reasons to believe that the next few years will be transformative, making it important for departments to adopt a fast-follower approach to artificial intelligence. Rather than being a laggard, leaders must be ready to take...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Procure-to-Pay, Order-to-Cash, Consolidate and Close Management

        I have previously written about the impact of intelligent operational applications on the requirements for data platforms. Intelligent applications are used to run the business but also deliver personalization, recommendations and other features generated by machine learning and artificial intelligence. As such, they require a combination of operational and analytic processing functionality. The emergence of these intelligent applications does not eradicate the need for separate analysis of...

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        Topics: Analytics, Artificial intelligence, data platforms, Analytics & Data, Generative AI, AI and Machine Learning

        We live in an era of uncertainty, not unpredictability. Managing in uncertain times is always difficult, but tools are available to improve the odds for success by making it easier and faster to plan for contingencies and scenarios. Software makes it possible to manage ahead of any future event, connecting the tactical trees to the strategic forest. The purpose of planning is not just to create a plan: Enterprises spend time thinking ahead because it enables leadership teams, executives and...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Continuous Planning, Data Management, Business Planning, data operations, digital finance, AI and Machine Learning

        Unstructured data has been a significant factor in data lakes and analytics for some time. Twelve years ago, nearly a third of enterprises were working with large amounts of unstructured data. As I’ve pointed out previously, unstructured data is really a misnomer. The data is structured; it's just not structured into rows and columns that fit neatly into a relational table like much of the other information enterprises process. Consequently, it requires different skills, different technology...

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        Topics: Artificial intelligence, Analytics & Data, AI and Machine Learning, Computer Vision

        Digitally transforming finance operations has been a priority since 2020. For purchasing and the procure-to-pay cycle, software can streamline processes, shorten process times, reduce unnecessary costs, provide greater visibility into cash flows, increase control and improve results. Digitizing operations helps attract and retain the best talent because professionals spend less time on mechanical, repetitive tasks. For all these reasons, beginning this year, Ventana Research’s Office of Finance...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Continuous Planning, Business Planning, digital finance, supplier relationship management, Continuous Supply Chain & ERP, Generative AI, Procure-to-Pay

        The migration of on-premises applications to the cloud has become more than just a technological shift; it’s a strategic imperative for enterprises. This transition, driven by the need for competitiveness, agility and responsiveness in a rapidly evolving business environment that operates at the speed of digital, is not a simple task. It requires a careful balance between the technology roadmap and the strategic business objectives of the organization.

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        Topics: Cloud Computing, Digital Technology, CloudOps, Migration

        The increasing importance of intelligent operational applications driven by artificial intelligence (AI) is blurring the lines that have traditionally divided the requirements between operational and analytic data platforms. Operational data platforms have traditionally been deployed to support applications targeted at business users and decision-makers to run the business, with analytic data platforms typically supporting applications used by data and business analysts to analyze the business.

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        Topics: embedded analytics, Cloud Computing, Analytics & Data, operational data platforms, Analytic Data Platforms, AI and Machine Learning

        We’ve been saying for years that natural language processing (NLP) and natural language analytics would greatly expand access to analytics. However, prior to the explosion of generative AI (GenAI), software providers had struggled to bring robust natural language capabilities to market. It required considerable manual effort. Many analytics providers had introduced natural language capabilities, but they didn’t really resonate with enterprise requirements. They required significant effort to...

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        Topics: business intelligence, Artificial intelligence, natural language processing, Analytics & Data, AI and Machine Learning, GenAI

        Revenue and sales performance used to be the preserve of a few software providers as many enterprises made do with in-house solutions, often built on the ubiquitous spreadsheet. But increasingly managing revenue and sales performance is becoming too complex as business models are changing in response to customer behavior.

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        Topics: Office of Revenue, Revenue Performance Management

        Ventana Research recently announced its 2024 Market Agenda for Human Capital Management, continuing the guidance we have offered for two decades to help enterprises derive maximum potential from workforce- and people-related technology investments and initiatives. In crafting this Market Agenda, we focused on essential themes that are critical for HR organizations and for the software providers supporting them. The transformative nature of AI has not just begun to bring intelligence to HCM; it...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Learning Management, Talent Management, Workforce Management, Payroll Management, Total Compensation Management, employee experience

        We are going through an analytics revolution in and around contact centers. There is more data to analyze and better tools to conduct the analysis. One important advancement is assessing customer sentiment and using it to predict (and influence) behavior. Enterprises are using customer experience programs to identify and act upon hidden "moments of leverage" where customers may be inclined or primed to make a purchase. To do that effectively, enterprises need insight into how the customer...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, Customer Experience Management, Intelligent Self-Service

        I am excited to announce that I have joined Ventana Research and ISG to lead coverage of the Human Capital Management technology practice, including Continuous Payroll, Employee Experience, Learning Management, Talent Management, Total Compensation Management and Workforce Management. 

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        Topics: Human Capital Management

        I have previously written about thefunctional evolutionandemerging use casesfor NoSQL databases, a category of non-relational databases that first emerged 15 or so years ago and are now well established as potential alternatives to relational databases. NoSQL is a term used to describe a variety of databases that fall into four primary functional categories: key-value stores, wide-column stores, document-oriented databases and graph databases. Each is worthy of further exploration, which is...

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        Topics: Data, data operations

        With Ventana Research’s 2024 Digital Business Market Agenda, we continue the guidance we have offered for two decades to help enterprises derive maximum value from digital business technology investments. Through our market research and expertise, we identify trends and best practices and share insights on how to achieve technological effectiveness, particularly in key processes and systems to engage the workforce.

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        Topics: Performance Management, Digital Business, Digital Communications, Work Management, Experience Management, Sustainability & ESG, Generative AI, Digital Applications, Digital Operations, Digital Intelligence

        Sales and revenue operations teams have for the most part traditionally relied on CRMs for information relating to leads and opportunities. For inside sales (sometimes referred to as high-velocity sales) as well as field sales, relevant product, pricing and customer have been loaded or entered into the CRM to be accessed via reports, dashboards or spreadsheets. For inside sales teams, dialers with prioritized seek lists were an additional need. Yet traditional CRM software providers were...

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        Topics: CRM, Sales Engagement, Office of Revenue

        Ventana Research recently announced its 2024 Market Agenda in the expertise area of Marketing, continuing the guidance we have offered for nearly two decades to help enterprises derive optimal value from business technology and improve outcomes. 

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        Topics: Marketing, Marketing Performance Management, Digital Marketing, intelligent marketing, product experience management, Digital Experience Platform, Customer Data Platforms

        Ventana Research recently announced its 2024 Market Agenda for Artificial Intelligence, continuing the guidance we have offered for two decades to help enterprises derive optimal value from technology and improve business outcomes.

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        Topics: Artificial intelligence, natural language processing, Generative AI, Computer Vision, Model Building and Large Language Models, Deep Learning

        Ventana Research recently announced its 2024 Market Agenda for Digital Technology. This agenda is designed to provide expertise to enterprises across various industries, helping them prioritize technology investments that enhance workforce effectiveness, customer engagement and enterprise agility. Digital Technology is especially important for CIO and Chief Digital Officers looking to rationalize and modernize their IT portfolio. Our expertise will see a significant expansion on this topic in...

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        Topics: Business Continuity, Cloud Computing, IT Service Management, Digital Technology, Digital Security, Observability, DevOps and Platforms, IoT and Edge Computing, Intelligent Automation, ITOps

        The speed of innovation and transformation has picked up considerably in the 2020s, thanks to the confluence of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and the pandemic. Modern consumers have wildly different expectations than their predecessors when it comes to service delivery, whether that means a preference for digital channels and self-service or a willingness to do their own troubleshooting and research. As a result, buying an operating platform for a contact center is not a simple...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, agent management, Intelligent Self-Service

        In recent years, many enterprises have migrated data platform workloads from on-premises infrastructure to cloud environments, attracted by the promised benefits of greater agility and lower costs. The scale of cloud data platform adoption is illustrated by Ventana Research’s Data Lakes Dynamic Insights research: For two-thirds (66%) of participants, the primary data platform used for analytics is cloud based. As the quantity and importance of the data platform workloads deployed in the cloud...

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        Topics: business intelligence, Cloud Computing, data operations, robotic automation, Analytics & Data, Analytic Data Platforms, AI and Machine Learning

        Ventana Research recently announced its 2024 research agenda for the Office of Revenue, continuing the guidance we have offered for nearly two decades to help enterprises across industries derive optimal value and improved outcomes from business technology. Chief Sales and Revenue Officers face an imperative to manage their sales and revenue organizations, but they do not always have the guidance they need to embrace technology. As we look forward to 2024, we are focusing on the entire selling...

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        Topics: Digital Commerce, Subscription Management, partner management, Revenue Management, Sales Engagement, Office of Revenue, Revenue Performance Management

        Ventana Research recently announced its 2024 market agenda for Operations and Supply Chain, continuing the guidance we have offered for more than two decades to help enterprises across industries derive optimal value and improved outcomes from business technology.

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        Topics: Continuous Planning, Product Information Management, Operations & Supply Chain, Sustainability Management, supplier relationship management, Property Technology, Continuous Supply Chain & ERP

        Ventana Research recently announced its 2024 Market Agenda for Analytics and Data, continuing the guidance we have offered for two decades to help enterprises derive optimal value and improve business outcomes.

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        Topics: embedded analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Governance, Data Management, natural language processing, data operations, Process Mining, Streaming Analytics, Analytics & Data, Streaming Data & Events, operational data platforms, Analytic Data Platforms, AI and Machine Learning

        Ventana Research recently announced its Market Agenda in the expertise area of Customer Experience. CX has emerged as a way for enterprises to demonstrate value and stand out in the marketplace. The technology underlying modern CX is transitioning from tools that are based on communication to those centered on data analysis and process automation. No technology has had as dramatic impact as quickly as Generative AI, which has upended the industry. It allows enterprises to build great...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Self-service, Analytics, Contact Center, agent management, Customer Experience Management, Field Service, AI and Machine Learning

        Since a majority of today’s workforce wasn’t around in the 1990s, it’s worth noting that “business process reengineering” was all the rage. The purpose was to review, restructure and redesign core business processes to achieve substantial improvements in market and customer responsiveness, productivity, cycle times and quality. One reason for its popularity (beyond being a money spinner for consultants) was the promised ability for the newly available enterprise resource planning systems to be...

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        Topics: Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Continuous Supply Chain & ERP

        Imagine a world where artificial intelligence (AI) seamlessly integrates into every facet of your business, only to subtly distort your data and skew your insights. This is the emerging challenge of AI hallucinations, a phenomenon where AI models perceive patterns or objects that do not exist or are beyond human detection.

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        Topics: Digital Technology, AI and Machine Learning

        Ventana Research recently announced its 2024 Market Agenda for the Office of Finance, continuing the guidance we have provided since 2004 on the practical use of technology for the finance and accounting department. Our insights and best practices aim to enable enterprises to operate with agility and resiliency, improving performance and delivering greater value as a strategic partner.

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Consolidate/Close/Report

        Ventana Research has announced its market agenda for 2024, continuing a 20-year tradition of credibility and trust in our objective efforts to educate and guide the technology industry. Our research and insights are backed by our expertise and independence, and we do not share our Market Agenda or our market research, including analyst and market perspectives, with any external party before it is published. We continuously refine our Market Agenda throughout the year to ensure we offer the...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Office of Finance, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, AI, Digital Business, Analytics & Data, Office of Revenue

        I recently published an Analyst Perspective on how the rise of omnichannel buyer engagement coupled with subscription pricing is increasing the complexity in achieving corporate targets. An example is the software provider who implemented a new self-service capability to speed fulfillment for existing customers by enabling the direct purchase of additional licenses without assistance from the assigned salesperson. But the desired outcome of faster fulfillment wasn’t realized. The initiative did...

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        Topics: Revenue Management, Office of Revenue

        Discussion about potential deployment locations for analytics and data workloads is often based on the assumption that, for enterprise workloads, there is a binary choice between on-premises data centers and public cloud. However, the low-latency performance or sovereignty characteristics of a significant and growing proportion of workloads make them better suited to data and analytics processing where data is generated rather than a centralized on-premises or public cloud environment. ...

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        Topics: Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Data, Digital Technology, Analytics & Data, operational data platforms, Analytic Data Platforms, AI and Machine Learning

        Sales and operations planning (S&OP) is trending toward becoming more strategic in product-centric companies through the end of the decade. The purpose of S&OP has grown in importance. Since the mid-teens, the trade and economic environment has become less benign and more unpredictable, forcing many enterprises to redesign their supply chains for resiliency while still surmounting the dual challenges of remaining cost competitive and achieving financial targets. Over the past decade, there have...

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        Topics: Continuous Planning, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, digital finance, Sustainability Management, AI and Machine Learning

        Every contact center agent represents an incredible investment in time and money even before that person starts working with customers. The costs associated with the labor force — and the need to continually replace agents who leave — have long forced managers to use technology to optimize performance and processes. Much of the technology that was developed decades ago is still relevant and in use for quality management and workforce efficiency. Advances in related areas like artificial...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, agent management

        As articulated in Ventana Research’s Data Platforms Buyer’s Guide and DataOps Buyer’s Guide research, the combination of cloud computing and advanced analytics has lowered the cost of storing and processing large volumes of data, accelerating the emergence of new data platform and data operations products that enable organizations to gain operational efficiency and competitive advantage. The right combination of data platform and data management products is essential to ensure that the right...

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        Topics: Data Management, Data, Digital Technology, data operations, Analytics & Data, operational data platforms, Analytic Data Platforms

        In the evolving landscape of business operations, intelligent automation has emerged as a key driver of productivity, operational efficiency and workforce satisfaction. Each facet of an organization perceives the value of automation through the lens of its unique objectives and goals. In a previous perspective, I shared the reasons why enterprise organizations are leaning towards automating business and technology workflows, highlighting three pivotal business and technology trends that are...

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        Topics: Digital Technology, robotic automation

        The recent launch of the AI Alliance, a coalition of more than 50 corporations and research institutions engaged in artificial intelligence (AI) development (including AMD, CERN, Cornell University, Dell Technologies, IBM, Intel, Linux Foundation, Meta, NASA, Oracle, ServiceNow and Sony Group), aims to achieve the following objectives:

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Revenue, Lease and Tax Accounting, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Consolidate/Close/Report, Continuous Supply Chain & ERP

        The phrase ‘big data’ may have largely gone out of fashion, but the concept of storing and processing all relevant data continues to be important for enterprises seeking to be more data-driven. Doing so requires analytic data platforms capable of storing and processing data in multiple formats and data models. This will be an important focus for the forthcoming Data Platforms Buyer’s Guide 2024. 

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        Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Management, Data, Digital Technology, data operations, Analytics & Data, AI and Machine Learning

        The pandemic laid bare the tenuous relationship between many contact centers and their agents. The abrupt shift to remote work was just one component of the changes still under way. The past four years have also seen enterprises reckoning with questions about how to hire, what to pay their employees, what skills are needed and how an avalanche of new technology will change their operations. 

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, Knowledge Management, agent management, Intelligent Self-Service, Generative AI, GenAI

        I have a phrase I like to use when describing the changing nature of sales: Not all revenue and sales dollars look the same. This is in reference to the changing nature of both how in addition to traditional offerings, organizations are now selling subscription and usage-based products and services through multiple channels. These customer-driven shifts in the approach to buying and selling are also altering the economics of the B2B and B2B business models. 

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        Topics: Office of Revenue, Revenue Performance Management

        Ensuring digital effectiveness requires insights into how enterprises can provide the best outcomes through people, processes and technologies. Armed with those insights, business and technology investments can effectively innovate and streamline organizational processes.

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        Topics: Digital Technology, robotic automation, AI and Machine Learning

        Billtrust software manages the full accounts receivable (A/R) cycle, from invoicing to payments, to increase the productivity of the A/R staff while providing customers with a better experience and reducing frictions in their order-to-pay motions. The company’s unified A/R software supports credit application automation, invoice delivery, collections, cash application, payment management and a business payments network (BPN).

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        Topics: Office of Finance, digital finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments

        I recently discussed how fashion has a surprisingly significant role to play in the data market as various architectural approaches to data storage and processing take turns enjoying a phase in the limelight. Pendulum swing is a theory of fashion that describes the periodic movement of trends between two extremes, such as short and long hemlines or skinny and baggy/flared trousers. Pendulum swing theory is similarly a factor in data technology trends, with an example being the oscillation...

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        Topics: Analytics, Cloud Computing, Data Management, Data, Digital Technology, data operations, Analytics & Data, AI and Machine Learning

        It often takes longer to adopt new technology in the customer service delivery environment than in other business areas. In fact, service operations are among the most efficient and well-organized processes (despite what consumers might think). Because both the processes and the technology that drive them are deeply engrained in many companies, many people resist large-scale transformation projects because of their disruption and the uncertainty of outcomes. 

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, agent management, Customer Experience Management, Field Service, Intelligent Self-Service

        Doing more by doing less means using artificial intelligence and related technologies to make financial planning and analysis organizations more productive. By eliminating low-value and unproductive work, AI enables FP&A teams to free up considerable time for more useful and consequential forecasting, planning, budgeting, analysis and reporting. 

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Continuous Planning, Business Planning, digital finance

        I previously described how Oracle had positioned its database portfolio to address any and all data platform requirements. The caveat to that statement at the time was that any organization wanting to take advantage of the company’s flagship Oracle Autonomous Database could only do so using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) cloud computing service, their own datacenter or a hybrid cloud environment. The widespread popularity of Oracle Database and the advanced automation capabilities delivered...

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        Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data Management, Data, Digital Technology, Analytics & Data, operational data platforms, Analytic Data Platforms, AI and Machine Learning

        We conducted our recent Smart Financial Close Dynamic Insights Research in part to assess to what extent the substantial disruptions of the pandemic have impacted the accounting close. When office lockdowns began in the first quarter of 2020, many finance departments were challenged to conduct the quarterly close remotely without face-to-face interactions. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission was so concerned that corporations would be unable to meet filing deadlines...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Financial Performance Management, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Smart Financial Close

        insightsoftware offers a portfolio of software designed mainly for the office of finance to handle reporting, budgeting and planning, consolidation and close management, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, as well as compliance. The company’s applications directly address a core issue confronting many finance department executives today: Productivity. The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics reported that 17% of accountants retired or resigned in the 2020-22 period, cutting the available...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Analytic Data Platforms, Revenue, Lease and Tax Accounting, Consolidate/Close/Report

        Verint’s November analyst conference was an opportunity to flesh out the strategies unveiled earlier in the year on AI deployment and on “Open CCaaS,” a moniker describing how contact centers are provisioned going forward. The company displayed notable progress, particularly in rolling out AI bots for numerous real-world applications. 

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, bots, agent management, Customer Experience Management, Intelligent Self-Service, Open CCaaS

        There are stark reminders that all is not well in business-to-business sales and marketing land. Many organizations struggle to hit revenue targets, and individuals consistently fail to hit their quotas. Various reasons are put forward, but the more convincing argument is that buyer behavior has transformed over the years, requiring changes to the traditional way of engaging with B2B prospects and customers. Even Jon Miller, co-founder of Marketo, has acknowledged that the process on which he...

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        Topics: Revenue Management, Sales Engagement, Office of Revenue

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The 2023 Global Payroll Buyers Guide 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 Human Capital Management vendors supporting the spectrum of...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Payroll Management, Global Payroll

        Board offers a platform that enables financial planning and analysis (FP&A) groups to forecast, plan, budget, analyze and report, using a consistent set of data from across the business to speed these processes, improve forecast and planning accuracy, and accelerate analysis and reporting. Board was categorized as an Exemplary Vendor in our Ventana Research Business Planning Value Index, with leading in Manageability and Reliability.  

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Continuous Planning, Business Planning, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, digital finance

        I recently articulated some of the reasons why IT teams can fail to deliver on the business requirements for data and analytics projects. This is an age-old and multifaceted problem that is not easily solved. Organizations have a role to play in alleviating the issue by ensuring that their business processes and project planning support a collaborative approach in which business and IT professionals work together. Data and analytics product vendors can also help by delivering products that are...

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        Topics: Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data Management, Data, Digital Technology, Analytics & Data, AI and Machine Learning

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Global Payroll research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. 

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Payroll Management, Domestic Payroll

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The 2023 Domestic Payroll Buyers Guide 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 Human Capital Management vendors supporting the spectrum of...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Payroll Management, Domestic Payroll

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Domestic Payroll research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. 

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Payroll Management, Domestic Payroll

        The emphasis on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues has been growing for some time. I participated in the development of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) as a software industry expert more than a decade ago. The rise of ESG’s profile in corporate reporting is the latest evolution of “responsible investing,” a topic that goes back centuries in the west. The modern era of responsible investing took form in the United States beginning in the 1960s and then...

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        Topics: Governance, Office of Finance, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, ESG, Environmental, Inclusion

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The 2023 Payroll Management Buyers Guide 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 Human Capital Management vendors supporting the spectrum...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Payroll Management

        For at least five years, it has been clear that innovation in technology for communication and business processes is accelerating. This year, that trend has been especially notable with the explosive emergence of artificial intelligence in the contact center software market. But what tends to get lost in the excitement around innovation is what sits downstream of the development process: the impact of new technology on how buyers organize the processes and the disruption that new technology...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, agent management, Customer Experience Management, Field Service, CCaaS, Intelligent Self-Service, Telephony, ACD

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Payroll Management research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. 

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Payroll Management

        I previously wrote about how document-database providers have added support for ACID transactions and the SQL query language, making their products increasingly suitable for use as replacements for applications that previously depended on relational databases. Adoption of non-relational NoSQL databases is by no means reliant on displacing incumbent relational databases, and initial adoption is often driven by differentiating capabilities, such as developer agility and application flexibility....

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        Topics: Data, operational data platforms

        SuiteWorld, the annual user conference from Oracle NetSuite, focused on three topics: artificial intelligence, a reimagination of the role NetSuite can play in managing an organization and emphasizing the value to existing customers of using more of what NetSuite has to offer.

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Consolidate/Close/Report

        I have previously written about the functional evolution and emerging use cases for NoSQL databases, a category of non-relational databases that first emerged 15 or so years ago and are now well established as potential alternatives to relational databases. NoSQL is a term used to describe a variety of databases that fall into four primary functional categories: key-value stores, wide-column stores, document-oriented databases and graph databases. Each is worthy of further exploration, which is...

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        Topics: Cloud Computing, Data, Digital Technology, Analytics & Data, operational data platforms

        I previously wrote about the challenge facing distributed SQL database providers to avoid becoming pigeonholed as only being suitable for a niche set of requirements. Factors including performance, reliability, security and scalability provide a focal point for new vendors to differentiate from established providers and get a foot in the door with customer accounts. Expanding and retaining those accounts is not necessarily easy, however, especially as general-purpose data platform providers...

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        Topics: Analytics, Cloud Computing, Data, Digital Technology, Analytics & Data, Streaming Data & Events, Analytic Data Platforms, AI and Machine Learning

        Because artificial intelligence is top-of-mind, Workday spent a great deal of time on the topic at its recent Workday Rising annual user group meeting in San Francisco. It was front and center in the general sessions, in the announcements made at the event and in the product roadmaps.

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, AI and Machine Learning

        Alteryx was founded in 1997 and initially focused on analyzing demographic and geographically organized data. In 2006, the company released its eponymous product that established its direction for what the product is today. In 2017, it went public in an IPO on the NYSE. At the time of the IPO, Alteryx was focusing much of its marketing efforts on the data preparation market, particularly to support Tableau. Throughout this time though, Alteryx offered much more than data preparation. As a...

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        Topics: business intelligence, Analytics, data operations, Analytics & Data, AI and Machine Learning, Analytic Operations

        I previously discussed the trust and accuracy limitations of large language models, suggesting that data and analytics vendors provide guidance about potentially inaccurate results and the risks of creating a misplaced level of trust. In the months that have followed, we are seeing some clarity from these vendors about the approaches organizations can take to increase trust and accuracy when developing applications that incorporate generative AI, including fine-tuning and prompt engineering. It...

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        Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data, Digital Technology, natural language processing, Analytics & Data, operational data platforms, Analytic Data Platforms, AI and Machine Learning

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. TheVentana Research 2023 Data Observability Buyers Guide 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 data vendors supporting the spectrum of...

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        Topics: Data, data operations, Data Observability

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Data Observability research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. 

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        Topics: Data, data operations, Data Observability

        NICE held its annual Analyst Summit this month in the magnificent high-altitude mountains of Peru, a fantastic environment in which to hear top executives share insights into the changing company and industry. NICE has been very successful in navigating the industry transition from voice-centric interactions to a digital-first posture. Consumer behavior is one of the underlying causes of this shift, forcing many organizations to rethink customer experience strategies.

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, agent management, Customer Experience Management, Intelligent Self-Service

        In my past perspectives, I’ve written about the evolution from data at rest to data in motion and the fact that you can’t rely on dashboards for real-time analytics. Organizations are becoming more and more event-driven and operating based on streaming data. As well, analytics are becoming more and more intertwined with operations. More than one-fifth of organizations (22%) describe their analytics workloads as real time in our Data and Analytics Benchmark Research and nearly half (47%) of...

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        Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data, Digital Technology, Streaming Analytics, Analytics & Data, Streaming Data & Events

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research 2023 Data Orchestration Buyers Guide 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 data vendors supporting the spectrum of...

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        Topics: Data, data operations, Data Orchestration

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Data Orchestration research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. 

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        Topics: Data, data operations, Data Orchestration

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research 2023 Data Pipelines Buyers Guide 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 Data vendors supporting the spectrum of Data...

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        Topics: Data, data operations, Data Pipelines

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research 2023 Business Planning Buyers Guide 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 Office of Finance vendors supporting the...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Data Pipelines research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. 

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        Topics: Data, data operations, Data Pipelines

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Business Planning research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. 

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research 2023 DataOps Buyers Guide 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 Data vendors supporting the spectrum of DataOps....

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        Topics: Data, Data Ops, data operations

        I previously described how Databricks had positioned its Lakehouse Platform as the basis for data engineering, data science and data warehousing. The lakehouse design pattern provides a flexible environment for storing and processing data from multiple enterprise applications and workloads for multiple use cases. I assert that by 2025, 8 in 10 current data lake adopters will invest in data lakehouse architecture to improve the business value generated from the accumulated data.

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        Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Governance, Data Management, Data, Digital Technology, Analytics & Data, Analytic Data Platforms, AI and Machine Learning

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research 2023 Mobile Analytics Buyers Guide 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 vendors supporting the spectrum...

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        Topics: Analytics, Mobile Analytics, Analytics & Data

        Human resources has long been stereotyped as the department that relies on intuition and experience in decision-making. Enterprises have evolved to understand the importance of their workforce to achieving business outcomes and not just as a line item in the expense column of a balance sheet, earning HR executives a seat in Lin Manuel Miranda’s eponymous “room where it happens.” In doing so, those very executives must be armed with the data that ties worker performance to business outcomes;...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Workforce Management, Total Compensation Management

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for DataOps research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. 

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        Topics: Data, Data Ops, data operations

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Mobile Analytics research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. 

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        Topics: Analytics, Mobile Analytics, Analytics & Data

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research 2023 Collaborative Analytics Buyers Guide 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 vendors supporting the...

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        Topics: Analytics, Collaborative Analytics, Analytics & Data

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Collaborative Analytics research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. 

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        Topics: Analytics, Collaborative Analytics, Analytics & Data

        The environment around customer experience is being disrupted by a series of technical and organizational shifts ranging from artificial intelligence to work-from-home to deep customer analytics. When times change, it’s helpful for people to have a framework to organize their thinking and actions. I believe there are two dominant frameworks used to organize business approaches to customers. One is rooted in the efficiency of the contact center (let’s call it “CC thinking”), and the more...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, agent management, Customer Experience Management, Intelligent Self-Service

        When my father entered the workforce in the 1950s, his path was relatively clear. He graduated high school, went to work in his chosen trade, did a stint in the Navy Reserves, and continued in the same or adjacent career until he retired. The same was true for my uncle, who chose to go to college but joined a firm working in his field, worked hard to be promoted, and changed companies one time before retiring as an executive. But the nature of work and job-hunting has undergone a radical...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Talent Management

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research 2023 Embedded Analytics Buyers Guide 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 vendors supporting the spectrum...

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        Topics: embedded analytics, Analytics

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Embedded Analytics research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. 

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        Topics: embedded analytics, Analytics

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research 2023 Augmented Analytics Buyers Guide 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...

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        Topics: Analytics, AI and Machine Learning, Augmented Analytics

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Augmented Analytics research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. 

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        Topics: Analytics, AI and Machine Learning, Augmented Analytics

        In today’s rapidly evolving digital security landscape, organizations face the challenge of maintaining robust network security resilience. Chief information officers battling increasingly sophisticated cyber threats and the growing complexity of enterprise networks must enhance network security posture with advanced technologies to stay ahead of potential threats. One such technology is DDI – the integration of DNS, DHCP and IPAM.

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        Topics: Digital Business, Digital Security, Resilience, DDI, DNS, DHCP, IPAM, Security Posture

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research 2023 Analytics and Data Buyers Guide 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 vendors supporting the spectrum...

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        Topics: Analytics, Analytics & Data

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Analytics and Data research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced.

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        Topics: Analytics, Analytics & Data

        Network security resilience is the ability to withstand and recover from cyber-attacks. To achieve this, organizations need to use DDI technology. DDI stands for DNS, DHCP and IPAM. These are three services that help devices connect and communicate on a network.

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        Topics: Digital Business, Digital Security, DDI, DNS, DHCP, IPAM

        The data platforms market may appear to have little or nothing to do with haute couture, but it is one of the data sectors most strongly influenced by the fickle finger of fashion. In recent years, various architectural approaches to data storage and processing have enjoyed a phase in the limelight, including data warehouse, data mart, data hub, data lake, cloud data warehouse, object storage, data lakehouse, data fabric and data mesh. These approaches are often heralded as the next big thing,...

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        Topics: Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data Management, Data, Digital Technology, data operations, Analytics & Data, Streaming Data & Events, operational data platforms, Analytic Data Platforms, AI and Machine Learning

        The acquisition of Splunk by Cisco marks a significant milestone in the digital security industry. This strategic move combines the strengths of two industry leaders, offering a suite of products and services underpinned by artificial intelligence technologies. However, like any major business decision, it comes with challenges and potential risks. Ventana Research presents an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with this acquisition, offering valuable...

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        Topics: Digital Business, Digital Security, Observability

        Despite a focus on being data-driven, many organizations find that data and analytics projects fail to deliver on expectations. These initiatives can underwhelm for many reasons, because success requires a delicate balance of people, processes, information and technology. Small deviations from perfection in any of those factors can send projects off the rails.

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        Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Management, Data, Digital Technology, data operations, AI and Machine Learning

        Customer relationship management systems have been around since Tom Siebel created one while working at Oracle in the late ‘80s and then monetized it founding Siebel Systems that eventually was bought by Oracle. When Salesforce launched its “No Software” slogan in the early 2000s, CRM moved to the cloud, but the concept was still based on a object model centered around an opportunity that represented a potential sale. The user interface allowed entry of data to the opportunity, along with...

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        Topics: Revenue Management, Sales Engagement, Office of Revenue

        In the realm of business process and workflow management, few names stand as tall as ServiceNow. After gaining traction for its cloud-based platform designed to help organizations manage and track IT service requests, the brand has grown into a behemoth, offering a wide range of services aimed at automating and optimizing business processes. Yet, in recent years, there’s been a notable and significant addition to the company's portfolio as it moved firmly into the realm of human capital...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Workforce Management, employee experience

        Organizations are continuously combining data from diverse and siloed sources for analytical, artificial intelligence and machine learning projects. As the volume of data grows, it becomes challenging for organizations to manage and keep current to extract valuable insights in a timely manner.

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        Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, AI and Machine Learning, Data Analytics

        I have written before about the rising popularity of the data fabric approach for managing and governing data spread across distributed environments comprised of multiple data centers, systems and applications. I assert that by 2025, more than 6 in 10 organizations will adopt data fabric technologies to facilitate the management and processing of data across multiple data platforms and cloud environments. The data fabric approach is also proving attractive to vendors, including Microsoft, as a...

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        Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data Management, Data, Digital Technology, Analytics & Data, Analytic Data Platforms, AI and Machine Learning

        Software supply chain digital security is a hot topic, especially after cyberattacks on SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline and Kaseya. These attacks have exposed the vulnerabilities and risks that exist in the software products and services that organizations rely on for their daily operations. How can organizations protect themselves from these threats and ensure the quality and integrity of software products? One possible approach is to adopt a software bill of materials (SBOM).

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        Topics: Digital Business, Digital Security

        At one point, analytics and business intelligence were considered non-mission critical activities. One of the primary concerns in designing analytics systems was to ensure they didn’t interfere with or draw computing resources away from operational systems. But today, analytical systems are integral to many aspects of operations. More than 9 in 10 participants in our Analytics and Data Benchmark Research reported analytics had improved activities and processes. However, most analytics and BI...

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        Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Management, Data, Digital Technology, data operations, Analytics & Data

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research 2023 Contact Centers Buyers Guide 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 Customer Experience vendors supporting the...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Contact Centers research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced. In this modern, digital age of customer experience, the journey of engagement across every channel and device must be orchestrated effectively. Organizations, no matter the industry, have inbound and outbound interactions and rely on contact centers to fulfill operational and revenue objectives. The utilization of cloud computing has enabled a new generation...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research 2023 Agent Management Buyers Guide 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 Customer Experience vendors supporting the...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, agent management

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Agent Management research enables me to provide observations about how the market has advanced.

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        Topics: Customer Experience, agent management

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research 2023 Contact Center Suites Buyers Guide 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 Customer Experience vendors supporting...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center

        In accounting terms, working capital includes current assets (short-term items such as cash, money due from customers and inventory) and current liabilities (typically payments due to suppliers and loan amounts that must be repaid within one year). Working capital management is a prime function of the finance organization, designed to balance often-conflicting objectives related to revenue, liquidity, risk and profitability. The basics of working capital management date back to ancient clay...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, CFO, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Accounts Payable, Treasury, Accounts Receivable, Working Capital

        The 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Contact Center Suites research enables me to share some of my observations about how the market has advanced.

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center

        Organizations today have an ever-increasing appetite for platforms that improve the speed and efficiency of data analytics and business intelligence (BI). The ability to quickly process data enables organizations to make well-informed decisions in real time. This agile approach to data processing is crucial for staying ahead in today's competitive landscape. With the rising need for data-driven insights, organizations face the difficulty of dealing with massive volumes of distributed business...

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        Topics: Data Management, Data, data operations, Analytic Data Platforms, Direct Data Mapping

        I recently wrote about the various technologies used by organizations to process and analyze data in real time. I explained that while the terms streaming data and events and streaming analytics are often used interchangeably, they are separate disciplines that make use of common underlying concepts and technologies such as events, event brokers and event-driven architecture. Confluent’s acquisition of Immerok earlier this year provided a reminder of this fact. Confluent is one of the most...

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        Topics: Analytics, Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data, Digital Technology, Streaming Analytics, Streaming Data & Events

        Data is one of the most valuable assets an organization owns, and a robust data backup and recovery system is foundational to protecting it. Weak data protection efforts jeopardize resilience and business continuity. With data residing in multiple places – including on-premises servers and public and private cloud environments – it is difficult to ensure that all data is backed up and recoverable in the event of a disaster.

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        Topics: Business Continuity, Cloud Computing, Digital Business, Digital Security, Resilience, Backup, Recovery, Multi-Cloud

        Governance, risk management and compliance are essential tactics for a successful organization. Effective GRC practices help organizations achieve business objectives, mitigate risks and ensure compliance with laws and regulations. As a chief information officer or IT leader, it is important to evaluate new technologies and determine their impact on the business, including whether they fit within the scope of current GRC programs and processes.

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        Topics: Data Governance, Digital Business, Digital Security, Governance & Risk, AI and Machine Learning

        This title plays on the now-ancient meme from the 1990s: “On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” which pointed to a challenge of anonymity posed by new technology. In this case, though, I’m using it to highlight an opportunity that generative artificial intelligence presents in streamlining routine business functions that require some level of individual skill and experience to handle. Ordinary contracts are just one example of work products that require humans to create, edit, analyze,...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Digital Technology, digital finance, AI & Machine Learning, robotic automation, Generative AI

        If I had a magic wand, I would want to add scenario evaluation to all business intelligence tools on the market. I have previously written about the need to make intelligent decisions with decision intelligence. The data and analytics markets have evolved so that organizations have far greater capabilities to utilize data in decision-making processes. While there is some convergence around the concept of decision intelligence, there are still several “islands” of decision-making. Analyzing...

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        Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Planning, Digital Technology, Analytics & Data

        The world of human capital management (HCM) technology, and tech in general, is buzzing with excitement over the potential of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI). Startups, especially, are releasing software at seemingly breakneck speed, and larger vendors, specifically the platform providers, have been releasing their own net-new or enhanced features and functionality. We’ve all read that GenAI, and the practical application of large language models (LLMs), are the technological...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, AI and Machine Learning

        Given the ever-expanding digital footprint of most businesses today, visibility into the performance of distributed systems has become a necessity. There are more data sources and data storage locations than ever before. As organizations continue to expand their data presence and scale their systems and tools, digital security is of greater importance in the architecture and operations. Monitoring is a fundamental enabler of digital security that provides real-time detection of cyber threats...

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        Topics: Digital Business, Digital Security

        Over the past three years, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (or PCAOB, sometimes pronounced “peekaboo”) has found an increasing prevalence of auditing deficiencies in its inspections of accounting firms. PCAOB was established as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 in the wake of several major accounting scandals. The agency acts as the auditor of auditors with the objective of being a neutral arbiter of the quality of these inspections. It recently indicated that approximately...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, audit, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, virtual audit, Consolidate/Close/Report

        In recent years, the corporate landscape has witnessed a notable shift towards prioritizing employee experience. Organizations have recognized that a content and engaged workforce translates to higher productivity, reduced turnover and improved profitability, as I previously wrote about. Consequently, companies have invested considerable resources in creating a positive work environment and enhancing the overall experience of their employees. While this emphasis on employee experience is...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Recruiting, Talent Management, employee experience, Talent Acquisition, Candidate Experience

        The current market landscape of data and analytics is undergoing rapid evolution, presenting organizations with a wide array of challenges and opportunities. As data sources and warehouses steadily migrate to the cloud, a significant number of organizations still depend on conventional tools. This reliance on legacy systems hinders the seamless accessibility and adoption of analytics and business intelligence within business processes. Organizations are increasingly turning to embedded...

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        Topics: embedded analytics, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Streaming Analytics, AI & Machine Learning

        A century ago, the big breakthrough in telephones was the ability to dial your party’s number directly. Dialing became necessary when enough people had telephones to require a shift from people-assisted to fully automated connections. But direct dialing was only a local option – you still needed an operator to make long-distance calls. In the 1920s, commenting on their forecast for the expected growth of long-distance calling, the analysts at Bell Laboratories concluded that by midcentury, the...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Analytics, Business Planning, AI & Machine Learning

        A lot of conversations around contact centers deal with automation, particularly how to balance the way humans and automated systems work together. Self-service, the front end of the customer interaction, is where practitioners get a first taste of the marvels of increasingly advanced automation. As customer expectations ramped up and labor became more costly during the pandemic, deflecting interactions away from agents took on new urgency. We continue to see impressive advances in automated...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Self-service, automation, Contact Center, Knowledge Management, agent management, Customer Experience Management, Intelligent Self-Service, Conversational AI

        Having worked at a start-up during the first wave of artificial intelligence (AI) that was predicted to revolutionize sales in the mid-2010s, I guess I am a natural skeptic when it comes to new claims about how AI will change sales forever. In the mid-2010s, vendors were using machine learning (ML) models trained on sets of historical opportunity data that represented closed won and closed lost deals. The ML models were looking for correlation and patterns to see whether they could predict...

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        Topics: Digital Commerce, Sales Engagement, Office of Revenue

        Talent acquisition remains a focal point for most organizations in this dynamic and highly competitive corporate environment. Unfortunately, the pivotal process of offboarding often takes a back seat. An efficient employment separation process plays a key role in enhancing the employee experience, protecting the company's reputation and mitigating potential legal and financial risks associated with employee separation. One solution that effectively addresses these complexities is Onwards HR, a...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Talent Management

        Enterprise organizations remain vulnerable to a host of security attacks. Cyberattacks are often associated with techniques that have never been seen before, which lead to data breaches if not quickly detected and remediated. However, one of the most common vulnerabilities for an organization is phishing. Phishing lures people to give up confidential information by clicking on a link or opening a file in an email from what appears to be a trusted source but is actually a bad actor....

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        Topics: Digital Business, Digital Security

        Real-time business is a modern phenomenon, and business transformation has accelerated many business events in recent years. However, the execution of business events has always occurred in real time. Rather, it is the processing of the data related to business events that has accelerated instead of the event itself.

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        Topics: Analytics, Data, Streaming Analytics, Streaming Data & Events

        I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Buyers Guide, a research and assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Revenue Performance Management Ventana Research Buyers Guide: 2023 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 Revenue...

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        Topics: Office of Revenue, Revenue Performance Management

        It is a mark of the rapid, current pace of development in artificial intelligence (AI) that machine learning (ML) models, until recently considered state of the art, are now routinely being referred to by developers and vendors as “traditional.” Generative AI, and large language models (LLMs) in particular, have taken the AI world by storm in the past year, automating and accelerating the development of content, including text, digital images, audio and video, as well as computer programs and...

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        Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data, Digital Technology, natural language processing, AI & Machine Learning, Analytics & Data, Analytic Data Platforms

        Having just completed the 2023 Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Revenue Performance Management, I want to share some of my observations about how the market has advanced since our assessment one year ago. 

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        Topics: Office of Revenue, Revenue Performance Management

        As I have previously explained, we expect an increased demand for intelligent operational applications infused with the results of analytic processes, such as personalization and artificial intelligence-driven recommendations. These systems rely on the analysis of data in the operational data platform to accelerate worker decision-making or improve customer experience.

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        Topics: Analytics, Data, Digital Technology, Streaming Analytics, AI & Machine Learning, Analytics & Data, Streaming Data & Events, operational data platforms

        We added purchasing, sourcing and payments to our core Office of Finance focus areas this year to reflect new and important opportunities to use technology to gain effectiveness through greater efficiency. Technology continues to lubricate the wheels of commerce, aided by a financial services sector that is constantly innovating, responding to market-driven opportunities to reduce costs, increase demand or lower risk. Ventana Research asserts that, in many cases, technology makes new forms or...

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        Topics: Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Continuous Supply Chain & ERP

        The role of the chief information officer has evolved from managing IT to maximizing technology for business value. Many organizations launch digital transformation programs to identify and deliver the desired value but discover that digital transformation is a complex, lengthy process. Budgets and resources can be quickly exhausted with little to show for the investment. Yet business objectives remain.

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        Topics: Digital Technology, Work Management, Customer Experience Management, robotic automation

        In a relatively short time, customer data platforms (CDPs) have become default components of the contact center tech stack. This is an important development for contact center practitioners because it reflects the fact that customer data is essential to maintaining productive customer relationships. It also provides an on-ramp for organizations to establish a sensible data strategy if they have not done so already.

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, Customer Experience Management

        The six costliest words in managing a finance department are, “we’ve always done it this way.” Closing the books is the process of finalizing and summarizing the financial activities of a business for a specific accounting period (typically a month, quarter, or fiscal year). It involves completing various tasks to ensure that all revenue, expense, and other financial transactions are properly recorded, accounts are balanced, and financial statements are prepared. Accounting processes are...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, AI & Machine Learning, Revenue, Lease and Tax Accounting, Consolidate/Close/Report

        While I do not have an MBA, I have a very academic degree in economics and three decades of experience in different facets of business. Why is this important or relevant? Well, an entire industry has sprung up to promote the latest business ideas, the adoption of which will, supposedly, if not guarantee success, improve the probability of success in any endeavor. And while some of these ideas have merit, many fall in the “interesting but so what” category.

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        Topics: Digital Commerce, Office of Revenue

        For decades, most organizations thought of onboarding as a basic housekeeping item, akin to filling out tax withholding paperwork, having a picture taken for a badge, getting a uniform or signing for a handbook. In reality, true onboarding encompasses much more. It’s considerably more strategic than tactical, including all processes required to successfully integrate a new employee into an organization.

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Talent Management, employee experience

        I have previously written about the functional evolution and emerging use cases for NoSQL databases, a category of non-relational databases that first emerged 15 or so years ago and are now well established as potential alternatives to relational databases. NoSQL is a term used to describe a variety of databases that fall into four primary functional categories: key-value stores, wide-column stores, document-oriented databases and graph databases. Each is worthy of further exploration, which is...

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        Topics: Data, operational data platforms

        Intelligent automation is a powerful tool that can help the CIO and IT leaders optimize business processes and outcomes while reducing costs, risks and errors. Automation takes many forms, each with its own applications, benefits and limitations. In a previous perspective, I shared how technology helps organizations automate processes and enhance workflow efficiency. This perspective explains the various types of automation enabled by artificial intelligence technologies and their applications...

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        Topics: Digital Technology, AI & Machine Learning, robotic automation

        As we celebrate the first half of what seems to be the year of generative artificial intelligence, with an apparently unlimited discussion of use cases and bogeymen, my attention is turning to the very mundane question of costs. Specifically, how costs incurred – through investment and operation – will be distributed along the value chain and how this will affect the demand for AI ‒ by whom and for what purpose. It’s a question that needs asking even though, at this stage in the market’s...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Continuous Planning, Business Planning, Enterprise Resource Planning, natural language processing, digital finance, AI & Machine Learning, Consolidate/Close/Report, Continuous Supply Chain & ERP

        Automation uses technology to perform tasks or functions that would otherwise require human intervention or effort. Automation has existed for decades, and it takes many forms. It handles routine tasks, freeing time for knowledge workers to perform other activities that require creativity, subjectivity or empathy. Automation can also improve the quality, efficiency and consistency of business processes as well as enhance customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

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        Topics: Digital Technology, AI & Machine Learning, robotic automation

        The publication of Ventana Research’s 2023 Operational Data Platforms Value Index earlier this year highlighted the importance of incorporating analytic processing into operational applications to deliver personalization and recommendations for workers, partners and customers. This importance is being accelerated by interest in generative AI, especially large language models. The emergence of intelligent applications has impacted the requirements for operational data platforms with the need to...

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        Topics: Analytics, Cloud Computing, Data, Digital Technology, AI & Machine Learning, Analytics & Data, operational data platforms, Analytic Data Platforms

        Increasing threats and challenges from cyberattacks, data breaches and other incidents have made digital security a critical concern for organizations. These dangers have devastating consequences, including financial loss, reputational damage, legal liabilities and operational disruption. Adopting effective and efficient digital security strategies is key to protecting data, assets and customers from risk.

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        Topics: Digital Business, Digital Security

        I recently attended Sage Software’s Partner Summit. Implementation partners account for most of the sales and implementation of finance and accounting applications designed for small and midsize businesses, so they are important to the success of the software vendor. These events are designed to inform partners of product enhancements and the product and technology roadmap as well as provide a perspective on market conditions and trends.

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Business Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, digital finance, AI & Machine Learning, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Consolidate/Close/Report

        Perhaps no human capital management-related topic has been more widely examined in recent years than the struggle to find and retain top talent. Software has flooded the market to address the challenge from every angle — automated sourcing and stack ranking of candidates; artificial intelligence-powered employee sentiment analysis for identifying and reducing the risk of attrition; and internal skills gap identification with connected learning opportunities to help organizations quantify what...

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        Topics: Human Capital Management, Talent Management

        Verint came to its Engage customer conference in June with the goal of changing the industry’s conversation around Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS). The industry commonly considers CCaaS to be equivalent to cloud-based voice routing, an old and perhaps outdated way of thinking about provisioning contact centers. Verint wants to flip the narrative: voice routing is not special enough anymore to warrant being the core around which buying decisions are made. In Verint’s telling, CCaaS is more...

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, agent management, Customer Experience Management, Intelligent Self-Service

        Despite best intentions, many organizations still struggle with some fundamental aspects of data processing and analytics. Taking data from operational applications and making it available for analysis is a first step, but data management remains a perennial challenge. Data movement and transformation difficulties can lead to delays and data quality problems that prevent organizations from generating value from data. The inability to govern and integrate data from multiple data sources prevents...

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        Topics: Cloud Computing, Data Management, Data, Digital Technology, data operations, Analytics & Data

        Since acquiring InContact in 2016, NICE has moved far from its roots in call recording and contact center quality optimization. That acquisition birthed what was effectively a hybrid that married cloud contact center operations (CCaaS) with a focus on advanced customer experience (CX) analytics. NICE held its annual customer event, Interactions 2023, in June in New York, gathering end users to hear the company talk about its work in these areas and its efforts to use new AI technologies for CX.

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        Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, agent management, Customer Experience Management, Intelligent Self-Service

        Cloud computing has emerged as the catalyst for a shift from digital transformation to digital modernization. This technology offers many advantages, including heightened agility, cost reduction, improved collaboration, enhanced security and accelerated innovation. Hybrid and multi-cloud strategies offer distinctive strengths that enable organizations to optimize the IT infrastructure necessary for digital transformation and modernization efforts.

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        Topics: Cloud Computing, Digital Technology

        Maintaining data quality and trust is a perennial data management challenge, often preventing organizations from operating at the speed of business. Recent years have seen the emergence of data observability as a category of DataOps focused on monitoring the quality and reliability of data used for analytics and governance projects and associated data pipelines. There is clear overlap with data quality, which is more established as both a discipline and product category for improving trust in...

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        Topics: Data Management, Data, data operations

        Organizations increasingly rely on real-time analytics to make informed decisions and stay competitive in today’s data-driven business landscape. As the complexity of data grows with the continuous addition of diverse sources, customers and workers alike expect real-time responsiveness. Accelerated query performance is crucial to process and extract valuable insights from data in a timely manner. Traditional analytics applications are often insufficient for managing the scale, velocity and...

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        Topics: Data Management, Data, data operations, Streaming Data & Events, Analytic Data Platforms

        A lot has changed in business over the past ten years. The rise of e-commerce and omnichannel buying and engagement, the increasing digitization of the economy and the broader adoption of pricing and revenue models such as subscription and usage. And these are all having an impact on how business leaders need to think about their organizations.

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        Topics: Payroll Management, Total Compensation Management, Office of Revenue, Revenue Performance Management
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