Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Informatica Stays with Its Strengths in Data Integration

Posted by Ventana Research on Feb 27, 2011 11:49:11 AM

At Informatica’s recent industry analyst summit, Chris Boorman, the company’s chief marketing officer, opened the event by describing Informatica as expanding beyond its core offering in data integration in a broader sense. He compared this growth to Amazon expanding from being an online bookseller to offering computing resources via Amazon Web Services. I see it almost the opposite way. Informatica has always been in the data integration business. It has excelled at making this area of IT more relevant and more applicable to broader audiences. My colleague described their latest efforts to focus on line of business users in a recent post. My purpose here is to review some of the highlights of the company’s latest product releases.

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Topics: Application Migration, Sales Performance, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Data Integration, Informatica, Information Management, Workforce Performance

SAP Retrofits Business Intelligence and Information Management to meet IT and Business Needs

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 25, 2011 10:57:56 AM

SAP has reached a critical milestone in launching version 4 of its business intelligence (BI) and enterprise information management (EIM) product suite from its SAP BusinessObjects portfolio. These offerings, currently in final beta testing, will be released as a collection of software products by midyear.

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Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Social Media, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Business Technology, Chief Information Officer, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Financial Performance, Information Management, Information Technology, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance

Talent Technology Makes Generating Talent Efficient and Social

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 22, 2011 5:17:44 PM

The talent management software market has and continues to consolidate dramatically through acquisitions. The trend is to bring together processes and applications for hiring, onboarding, performance assessment, compensation, succession planning and analytics. As the race continues to attract customers and users by presenting the most integrated suite of applications, a new market segment has evolved in the shadows and is now taking the stage in talent management. Talent Technology, a vendor in this space, calls it talent generation; its function is to help companies identify the talent they require across all sources, broadcast job openings and promote the organization as an attractive workplace for the best talent. It relies on social media and Internet sites where jobs are posted. Doing this manually for one open position is easy, but Talent Technology’s just announced Talemetry Suite offers a unified and consistent method for recruiters and hiring managers to seek talent for any opening.

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Topics: Applicant Tracking System, Learning, Performance, Recruiting, Operational Performance, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Workforce Performance, Compensation, Hiring, Talent Generation, Talent Management, Workforce Analytics

Your Company Needs a Tax Technology Expert

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 21, 2011 2:05:39 PM

To manage taxes more intelligently  tax departments need to focus more on execution than compliance. I’ll confess that this observation is based on informal rather than rigorous research, so I’ll leave it up to individuals that work in these departments and in the finance function generally to consider whether this applies to their company.

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Topics: Tax, Business Performance, CFO, Corporate Finance, Financial Performance Management

The Diminishing Science of Research in Technology Analyst Firms

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 18, 2011 10:46:42 AM

The technology analyst industry has ended its barrage of exuberant predictions for the new year. After digesting all of these commentaries (some were a challenge, I admit), we need to stop our predicting and instead start a discussion about what all of us ought to be doing. From my perspective, that should be an annual statement of direction, what we here call the research agenda. I have decided it is time to remind all of us what this important activity is and why it is really important to see from industry analysts.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Analyst Relations, Market Research, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Business Technology, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Industry Analyst

The Business Technology Revolution in 2011

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 17, 2011 5:14:24 PM

The new year has brought a revolution in business technologies that allows enterprises to roll out new applications, processes and services in record time. What used to take a business six months to a year to develop and deploy – and not too long ago that was considered fast! – can now be done in a week or two, making enterprise application and business intelligence deployments of the recent past seem more like ancient history.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Analyst Relations, Market Research, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Intelligence, Business Technology, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Industry Analyst

Alcatel-Lucent Future Depends on Software

Posted by Richard Snow on Feb 16, 2011 5:10:09 PM

Recently I wrote that Genesys is transforming itself from a near-pure-play CTI/call routing vendor into an agent performance and customer experience management vendor. If you look at its parent company, Alcatel-Lucent, you can begin to understand why. Alcatel-Lucent has three basic businesses – voice networks, data networks and Genesys. Its 2010 results show that voice represents 48 percent of the business, data 21 percent and Genesys 31 percent; growth came from its data networks and Genesys units. Indeed, Genesys saved the day for the 2010 results with “a major turnaround” in the fourth quarter;  otherwise one suspects 2010 would have been flat at best. Genesys’ success came not from its traditional communications businesses but from its newer intelligent workload distribution (iWD), workforce management optimization (WFO) and analytics services.

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Topics: Customer Experience Management, Lucent, Operational Performance, Cloud Computing, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM

NICE Systems Reports Great Financial Results and Acquisition

Posted by Richard Snow on Feb 15, 2011 5:56:45 PM

NICE Systems has announced its financial results for 2010, and they make impressive reading in what many consider a difficult market, for contact center systems. I’m not prone to quoting financial figures, but with revenues up to US$695 million (from US$589 million) and non-GAAP profit and margin up to US$451.9 million and 65%, respectively (from US$371.1 million and 63.1%), it certainly seems NICE’s customers are in safe hands. The company also is generating lots of cash, so potential competitors and acquisition targets should beware; this is where the surprise mentioned in my title comes in.

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Topics: Customer Experience Management, NICE, Operational Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM

Kognitio Pablo Brings MDX to Data and Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Feb 14, 2011 3:39:15 PM

Kognitio announced the addition of MultiDimensional eXpressions (MDX) capabilities for its WX2 product line. John Thompson, CEO of U.S. operations, and Sean Jackson, VP of marketing, shared some of the details with me recently. I find the marriage of MDX and large-scale data both technically challenging and potentially valuable to the market.

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Topics: Data Warehousing, MDX, RDBMS, IT Performance, Business Intelligence, Data Management, Information Management, Kognitio, MPP

Jacada Withdraws Analytics While Market Heats Up

Posted by Richard Snow on Feb 11, 2011 2:06:39 PM

My latest research into contact center analytics shows how important it has become for companies to improve the way they monitor and assess the performance of their centers. In fact 41% said they could significantly improve the performance of their centers by using analytics, and 47% think they could improve somewhat. Their main requirements are to have more real-time operational analysis and metrics – that is, better insights into what is going on in their centers at the moment people need to know it and a more balanced set of metrics that mixes pure efficiency metrics (such as queue lengths and hold times) with effectiveness or outcome metrics such as first-call resolution, up-sales and customer retention rates; they also want capabilities that are simple to use but effective.

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Topics: Customer Experience Management, Jacada, Operational Performance, Cloud Computing, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM

Putting the “A” Back in FP&A (Financial Planning & Analysis)

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 10, 2011 4:32:45 PM

People who perform the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) function in the finance organization put together and update the budgets and forecasts. In many companies, the “A” portion of this activity gets short shrift. That’s because the mechanical process of pulling together and collating the data takes up so much time that very little remains for analysis. The result is that planning and budgeting is a less useful business tool than it could be. Improving FP&A can give executives and managers more insightful analytics and easier access to analytical tools that support more accurate and timely planning and budgeting.

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Topics: FP&A, Finance Analytics, Financial Applications, Business Performance, Financial Performance, CFO, finance, Integrated Business Planning

Genesys Expanding to Agent Performance Management

Posted by Richard Snow on Feb 10, 2011 3:01:34 PM

In the contact center market Genesys is synonymous with computer/telephony integration (CTI) and call routing. It was the first vendor to combine routing of calls to agents and using CTI to pop screens onto the agent’s desktop when the call was put through. Genesys has been adding products to its portfolio and now has expanded into what Ventana Research terms agent performance management (APM) and our benchmark research. Many vendors and other analyst firms use the term workforce optimization (WFO) to included applications such as call recording, quality monitoring, workforce management and agent-focused performance management and analytics. At Ventana Research we add call routing, training and coaching and compensation management to the standard WFO applications, hence APM. Our premise is that if you want to provide to customers the best possible experiences, you must do more than just have enough agents online to serve them; you also need to make sure that the call is routed to the right agent, that agents hone their skills to the highest level to resolve as many interactions as possible at the first attempt and that agents that achieve their goals are rewarded appropriately.

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Topics: Customer Experience Management, Genesys, Operational Performance, Cloud Computing, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM

Informatica Focuses Integration on Lines of Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 8, 2011 5:34:29 PM

At this year’s Informatica industry analyst conference (Twitter: #INFAAnalyst) to update the research and industry analyst community on its data integration and information infrastructure products. Looking back on my analysis of the company’s 2010 analyst summit, I see Informatica has made significant progress in gaining adoption of its products and influencing the new business technology landscape. Strong performance across the financial, product and customer dimensions helped it generate more than $650 million in revenue last year . In an economy in which the technology sector as a whole fell short of financial targets and customer growth goals, Informatica proved that it is possible to profit from an integrated set of technologies that help IT departments rationalize systems and achieve efficiencies in data management across databases and applications.

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Topics: Application Migration, Sales Performance, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Data Integration, Information Management, Workforce Performance

MicroStrategy Combines Actions with Business Intelligence and Mobility

Posted by Ventana Research on Feb 7, 2011 11:14:07 AM

Last week I attended MicroStrategy World 2011 in Las Vegas, the North American version of the business intelligence (BI) vendor’s annual user conference. The event was well attended, and the company claimed attendance was up 40% over last year. The purpose of the post is to recap the announcements made, highlight the areas where MicroStrategy is making investments and comment on the overall direction implied by these investments.

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Topics: Data Warehousing, MicroStrategy, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data Management, Information Management

Forecast: Sunshine, With Clouds

Posted by alanskay on Feb 7, 2011 10:43:36 AM

The sun is shining and the birds are singing here in the Bay Area; in other climes, they aren’t. In recent years, I’m pleased to report, I’ve been spared having to deal with weather challenges in getting to the office. That’s in part because snow, sleet and hail aren’t a normal part of our weather here, but also in part because our physical office is a less important part of our operations than has ever been the case, so I can more often do my work from home.

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Topics: Operational Performance, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Operational Intelligence, Business