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        Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

        At this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference (Twitter: #SAPPHIRENOW) SAP demonstrated its in-memory computing technology and applications. SAP’s High Performance Analytic Application (HANA), which I think of as a high-availability network appliance, is part of the technology industry movement to increase the performance and scalability across a range of applications, from analytics to transactions, to drive timely insights on data or real-time interactions across a business value chain that includes...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Workforce Performance, CFO, COO

        At its BlackBerry World conference earlier this month, RIM promoted its own tablet computer to challenge other providers’ tablet offerings. The BlackBerry PlayBook, which was unveiled at the beginning of 2011, addresses the growing demand for business mobility – a factor I noted as one of the five key business technology innovations of this year.

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Google, Playbook, RIM, Smart Phones, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Sybase. Mobile Industry, Tablets, Digital Technology

        At SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference (Twitter: #SAPPHIRENOW) this month, the company introduced a new portfolio of human capital management applications that will be available on many devices and added mobility options for users, including offerings for smartphones and tablets and cloud computing. This move beyond the traditional on-premises approach of SAP’s ERP Human Capital Management product suite is a critical step forward for SAP if it is to remain relevant for HR organizations.

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        Topics: Big Data, Performance Management, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Human Capital Management, Metrics, Mobile Applications, Business Technology Innovation, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Management, Workforce Performance, data mart, Talent Management, Workforce Analytics

        IBM Software recently held a user group conference called Vision 2011 that focused on its Clarity Systems acquisition’s users but also covered broader finance department topics. For me, the highlight of the show was the continued evolution and enrichment of the Clarity FSR external reporting application designed to automate the close-to-report cycle. This process is commonly referred to as “the last mile of finance,” a term coined by a now-defunct company, Movaris, and adopted by Gartner. If...

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        Topics: Big Data, Performance Management, Social Media, Sustainability, Human Capital Management, Metrics, Mobile Applications, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Workforce Performance, data mart, Talent Management, Workforce Analytics

        The Directors Club of the U.K. recently held its inaugural National Customer Show in London. The event was well attended and attracted sponsorship from some of the biggest vendors in the contact center industry; among them were platinum sponsors Interactive Intelligence and salesforce.com, and session sponsors Nexidia and SwordCiboodle. I noticed three common themes, covering very different aspects of managing the customer, and I’ll hit the highlights of each.

        Social Media

        These days you can’t...

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        Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Nexidia, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Interactive Intelligence, Text Analytics, Workforce Management, SwordCiboodle

        Last week I attended the IBM Big Data Symposium at the Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. The event was held in the auditorium where the recent Jeopardy shows featuring the computer called Watson took place and which still features the set used for the show – a fitting environment for IBM to put on another sort of “show” involving fast processing of lots of data. The same technology featured prominently in IBM’s big-data message, and the event was an orchestrated presentation...

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        Topics: Big Data, EMC, Business Intelligence, Cloudera, Greenplum, IBM, Information Applications, Information Management, InfoSphere, Strata+Hadoop

        To maintain a productive workforce, businesses need to be able to put information in front of users at every level, from executives to front-line managers. Mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets can provide analytics and business intelligence (BI), but so far this market niche has been dominated by publishing dashboards and reports that conform to the limits of mobile platforms. Analytics and BI software developers usually opt to publish charts and tables to Web pages on a...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Google, Smart Phones, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Mobility, Workforce Performance, Roambi, Sybase. Mobile Industry, Tablets, Digital Technology

        At the SAPPHIRE NOW conference this week, SAP released the production version of the cloud-based Sales OnDemand software that it unveiled earlier in the year. There has been a lot of the esoteric commentary of SAP Sales OnDemand from those that exclusively cover the IT industry. Unfortunately the majority of them have never worked in sales or held a quota that prevents a provide a deeper perspective on the relevance to the sales organization and what it can provide to existing SAP customers or...

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        Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, SAP, Sales Compensation, Sales Force Automation, Sales Forecasting, Operational Performance, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, CRM, Sales Performance Management, SFA

        Less than a week after attending ADP’s industry analyst day, I flew to Washington, D.C., to attend Mercer’s analyst forum, which gave me a chance to compare another human resources juggernaut. While ADP is known primarily for payroll and business process outsourcing, Mercer is known for HR consulting and benefits outsourcing. Mercer is not as big as ADP, with $3.5 billion in annual revenue and over 27,000 customers, most of which are large multinational and midmarket companies, servicing over...

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        Topics: Performance Management, Human Capital Management, Metrics, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Workforce Performance, Compensation, data mart, Talent Management, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Planning

        SAP announced the release of version 10 of its SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Solutions suite, an enhanced and updated set of applications and capabilities for executives and managers. In our Value Index assessment of financial performance management suites and my analysis of it last year, Ventana Research gave SAP’s offering the highest score, and this new release builds on that solid foundation that I already assessed in my blog. It has been several years since...

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        Topics: Planning, Sales Performance, SAP, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Forecast, Office of Finance, budget, Budgeting, XBRL, Operational Performance, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Management, Workforce Performance, CFO, agile, budgeting software, CEO, Corporate Finance, Financial Performance Management, Integrated Business Planning

        Workforce planning is a business process that done right ensures an organization of suitable access to talent to ensure future business success. At a Mercer analyst summit I attended recently, which I wrote about in “Mercer Promotes Possibility of the New Empowered Workforce,” one of the sponsor execs kept challenging the HR industry analyst community to do more research on workforce planning, since her company and its customers are spending more time and money on just that. 

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        Topics: Performance Management, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Human Capital Management, Metrics, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Compensation, data mart, Talent Management, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Planning

        At the SAPPHIRE NOW annual conference, (Twitter: #SAPPHIRENOW) the advantage of the mobile technology SAP gained through its acquisition of Sybase is becoming evident. In a blog before the conference I touched on the importance of mobility to the company’s future. From walking around, assessing keynotes and sessions and talking to companies using SAP, it seems that the big bet that SAP made on mobility is paying off.

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        Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Google, Smart Phones, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Mobility, Workforce Performance, Sybase. Mobile Industry, Tablets, Digital Technology

        It is no easy task to change the culture of a global technology company, especially one that has a very demanding customer base with high expectations for advancing its widespread product lines. This is the challenge that SAP faces as it transitions from a company of three-letter-acronym collections of applications including CRM, SCM and ERP to one that focuses on specific business processes and needs. (My colleague recently discussed the problems in forklift migrations of ERP.) This transition...

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

        Earlier this week EMC announced it will create its own distribution for Apache Hadoop.  Hadoop provides distributed computing capabilities that enable organizations to process very large amounts of data quickly. As I have written previously, the Hadoop market continues to grow and evolve. In fact, the rate of change may be accelerating. Let’s start with what EMC announced and then I’ll address what the announcement means for the market.

        EMC announced three new offerings, slated for the third...

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        Topics: Big Data, EMC, Social Media, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Cloudera, Customer & Contact Center, Greenplum, Information Applications, Information Management, Strata+Hadoop

        One thing became crystal clear while I was at ADP’s industry analyst day last week: The world is more connected than ever before, and this contributes to making the world more complex than ever before.

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        Topics: Big Data, Performance Management, Social Media, Human Capital Management, Metrics, Mobile Applications, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Compensation, data mart, Talent Management, Workforce Analytics

        Going into ADP’s industry analyst day, I was curious about where a 61-year-old “payroll” company fits in today’s market for human capital management. It certainly has a presence, with over 550,000 customers across multiple lines of business – HR, payroll, tax and benefits administration – and nearly $9 billion in revenue with three consecutive quarters of growth coming out of the worst recession since the Great Depression.  

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        Topics: Big Data, Performance Management, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Human Capital Management, Mobile Applications, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Workforce Performance, Compensation, Talent Management

        Recently Verint Witness Actionable Solutions announced the latest release of its Impact 360 Workforce Optimization software, which it calls the first  “fifth-generation” product in this space.

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        Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Workforce Performance, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Workforce Management, Verint

        The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant trifecta that devastated Japan has had a negative impact also on companies that embraced the concept of managing a lean supply chain – one that minimizes inventories at each stage. If news accounts are to be believed, there seem to be legions regretting that decision as disruptions caused by the disasters have a ripple impact, hampering manufacturers’ ability to deliver goods worldwide. But although current events are a wake-up call highlighting the...

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        Topics: Performance Management, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Human Capital Management, Marketing, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Workforce Performance, Supply Chain

        As part of our largest-ever research study on business analytics, which surveyed more than 2,600 organizations covering the maturity and competency of business, IT and vertical industries, we looked at how IT is applying analytics to support their own business activities. One of the things we found is that, charged with enabling business units to use information systems as effectively as possible, the IT department, like the shoemaker’s barefoot children in the old tale, typically stands last...

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        Topics: Predictive Analytics, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, IT Analytics, IT Service Management, ITIL, ITSM, IT Performance Management (ITPM)

        Unless you have been on a long vacation somewhere without newspapers, mobile phones or the Internet, you must have noticed all the buzz about social media – some of it factual and lots of it hype. Over a billion people use Facebook. There are many millions of tweets on Twitter every day, and YouTube has become the place to share videos, whether for a laugh, for a company’s brand awareness or for training courses. The key question for business is how much of this is useful for commerce and how...

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        Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, SAS, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Clarabridge, Genesys, ResponseTek, RightNow, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Information Applications, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

        Most people associate SAP with enterprise software: ERP, CRM and more recently with business analytics and business intelligence. The majority also see the company as committed to providing these as on-premises applications and having only begun its presence in cloud computing for business applications. But there’s more to the story, as I recently discovered. With its Business Communications Management (BCM) software SAP has quietly diversified into the contact center market, while at the same...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Social CRM, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Information Applications, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Unified Communications

        At this year’s user conference, it was clear that change is afoot at MarkLogic, whose technology platform enables users to access information more easily accessible within applications and devices. Last month the board of directors appointed a new CEO, Ken Bado, created the new position of chief marketing officer (CMO) and named a head of global services and alliances, all within three weeks. The Silicon Valley software company has been growing in the last several years but appears not fast...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, MarkLogic, Reporting, XML, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Content Management, Document Management, Information Platform, Search

        Consolidation in the human capital management software market is in full swing. Recently  Peopleclick Authoria acquired Aquire Solutions, and just this week Golden Gate Capital and Infor agreed to buy Lawson Software for about $2 billion, which my colleague Robert Kugel commented.

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        Topics: Performance Management, Sales Performance, Human Capital Management, Learning, Learning Management System, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, Compensation, Talent Management, Workforce Planning

        Golden Gate Capital and Infor (which is owned largely by Golden Gate Capital) will acquire Lawson Software for approximately $2 billion in a transaction that is expected to be completed sometime in this year’s third quarter. Lawson is the latest in a string of enterprise software acquisitions made or financed by Golden Gate that began almost a decade ago. Today, Infor is made up of legacy companies such as Baan, Comshare, ePiphany, Dun & Bradstreet Software, SSA, Sun Systems and Symix, to name...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, ERP, Human Capital Management, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Business Technology, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Oracle, Workforce Performance, CFO, Infor, Talent Management, Corporate Finance, Financial Performance Management

        Turning data into information for taking actions and making decisions has bedeviled businesses throughout the computer age. Many organizations have data in dozens of applications and legacy systems along with many reports in various business intelligence systems. The challenge is to get data from each of the reports and assemble it into contextualized views of information for particular business needs. In our benchmark research on what we call information applications, only 11 percent of...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Sustainability, Reporting, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Datawatch, Document Management

        Companies (especially in high technology) that sell through an indirect channel face a difficult challenge because global sales channels are complex, fragmented and changeable, with different business practices and customs than direct channels. Keeping track of which products have sold in and sold through which partners can be a difficult task. Unless a company is working with only a handful of channel partners, just collecting the data is time-consuming. Not only is the data complex, much of...

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        Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Human Capital Management, Zyme Solutions, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), channel, CRM

        Back in the old days (20 years ago or so) companies that wanted to expand or update their telephone systems had to do what was called a “forklift migration.” In other words, they had to remove big, heavy and very expensive boxes of electronics from an equipment room and replace them with newer big, heavy and very expensive boxes. The process of adding, deleting or changing people, offices and phone numbers was equally burdensome and costly. This all seems quaint now because digital telephony...

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        Topics: SAP, ERP, Office of Finance, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Oracle, Infor

        Twenty years ago, when I began consulting in the contact center industry, building a call center was a hard, resource-consuming task. Just to begin handling calls required purchasing lots of proprietary equipment, such as PBXs and automatic call distributors (ACDs), as well as software for computer/telephony integration (CTI) and business applications such as case management and CRM – and then spending a lot of time and effort integrating them. Lots of tasks were managed using spreadsheets, and...

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        Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, SAP, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, InContact, LiveOps, Operational Performance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Workforce Performance, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Interactive Intelligence, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Contactual
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        • Ventana Research’s Analyst Perspectives are fact-based analysis and guidance on business, industry and technology vendor trends. Each Analyst Perspective presents the view of the analyst who is an established subject matter expert on new developments, business and technology trends, findings from our research, or best practice insights.

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