Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Making Payroll Management a Strategic Part of Human Capital Management

Posted by stephanmillard on Jan 30, 2013 10:23:55 AM

Managing payroll has long been viewed as an administrative task, time-consuming and focused on ensuring that everyone is paid correctly and on time. In fact, in the American Payroll Association’s most recent annual study, the main metrics tracked for payroll performance are payroll cost per employee, payroll processing accuracy rate and dollar value of overpayments – all of which focus only on cost or accuracy. So payroll management is rarely viewed as having any strategic value to the business and typically is assigned a low priority in finance, HR and payroll departments. The payroll process is elevated in importance only when errors are made that result in people being paid or taxes being withheld incorrectly.

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Topics: HCM, Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, IT Research, Cloud Computing, Information Applications, Workforce Performance, TCM

Enghouse Interactive Advances Multichannel Customer Interactions

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 30, 2013 10:16:38 AM

I recently wrote how Enghouse Interactive is building a portfolio of products to support contact center in the cloud. The foundation of all its products is the handling of interactions through a comprehensive set of communication channels. My research into the contact center in the cloud shows that after the adoption of CRM in the cloud, companies are most likely to adopt contact centers in the cloud because they support consumers that want to interact through more channels, and because of the increasing need to support distributed contact centers and the diverse location of employees handling interactions.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Enghouse interactive, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Unified Communications

Technology Innovation in 2013 is a Business and IT Priority

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 29, 2013 10:35:07 AM

The proper use of technology enables businesses to be more efficient. Our recent research into technology for business innovation found that 56 percent indicate innovative technology is very important, yet only 9 percent are very satisfied with theirs, showing plenty of room for improvement. As we enter 2013, businesses have more choices than ever for technology to improve business and IT. Our firm has identified six key technologies that give organizations significant competitive advantages: big data, business analytics, business and social collaboration, cloud computing, mobile technology and social media. Our research agenda for 2013 is designed to help organizations assess and analyze these technologies and make the best possible decisions.

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

The Spreadsheet and the Whale

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 29, 2013 9:06:29 AM

Banking giant JP Morgan raised eyebrows in 2012 when it revealed that it had lost a substantial amount of money because of poorly conceived trades it had made for its own account. The losses raised questions about the adequacy of its internal controls, and broader questions about the need for regulations to reduce systemic risk to the banking system. At the heart of the matter were the transactions made by “the London Whale,” the name given to a JP Morgan’s trading operation in the City by its counterparties because of the outsized bets it was making. Until that point, JP Morgan’s Central Investment Office had been profitable and apparently well controlled. In the wake of a discovery of the large losses racked up by “the Whale,” JP Morgan launched an internal investigation into how it happened, and released the findings of the task force established to review the losses and their causes [PDF document].

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, GRC, Office of Finance, error, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Information Management, Data, controls

Vertical Solutions Integrates Field Service and CRM

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 25, 2013 10:19:11 AM

I hadn’t come across Vertical Solutions until a recent briefing, from which I found that the company offers an interesting combination of field service management and CRM. Vertical Solutions has offices around the world, and its target market is companies with between 50 and 2,500+ users in the manufacturing, outsource contact center services, healthcare and residential services markets. It began with a focus on field service and has expanded to include CRM, or, as I would call it, customer experience management. If you track my blog you know I have reservations about labeling products as CRM or CXM, simply because both terms have come to mean different things to different people.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Mobile Apps, Self-service, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Vertical Solutions

HireVue Advances Recruiting for Developers with CodeVue

Posted by stephanmillard on Jan 25, 2013 10:03:52 AM

HireVue has announced the release of a new add-on module for its HireVue Digital Interview Platform. CodeVue is intended to improve the way organizations identify, screen and assess technical or developer positions. Potentially it will benefit companies that need to fill large numbers of technical positions that involve writing code, helping to automate a recruiting process that has been manual and inefficient.

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Topics: Social Media, Cloud Computing

Actuate Makes Big Play with BIRT Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Jan 25, 2013 9:50:35 AM

Actuate this week announced BIRT Analytics, and thereby puts itself firmly into supporting a range of business analytics needs from data discovery and visualization to a range of data mining and predictive capabilities that allows itself new avenues of growth. Actuate has long been a staple of large Business Intelligence deployments; in fact the company claims that ActuateOne delivers more insights to more people than all other BI applications combined. This is likely true, given that Actuate is embedded in major consumer applications across industries worldwide. This announcement builds and utilizes its advancements into big data that I already assessed last year that can help it further expand its technology value to business and IT.

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Topics: data scientists, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Operational Intelligence, Data Discovery, commodity model, Quinterian

Verint Announces Real-Time Personalized Guidance

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 24, 2013 10:05:02 AM

Recently Verint announced a new development in its workforce optimization suite Impact 360 Workforce Optimization that it calls Personalized Guidance. It aims to improve the customer experience by prompting anyone handling customer interactions with what they should do next. The principle is simple and logical: Analyze all the data you can so you understand the customer and context of the interaction, identify best next action, and prompt the person handling the interaction with this action so the customer receives a response best related to the interaction. Ideally, customers are happier and more interactions are resolved at the first attempt. The software also closes the loop and feeds information back to all other related lines of business so people there can also take appropriate action, which might mean changing a process, improving a product or updating a use guide, for example.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Analytics, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Verint, Workforce Force Optimization

Companies Miss the Point of Voice of the Customer (VOC)

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 22, 2013 7:55:57 AM

The majority of companies think it is important to collect customer feedback, according to my recent research into customer feedback management, and they put that feedback to an average of five uses, the top five of which are to improve customer service (75%), to develop customer experience and interaction processes (54%), to identify agent training needs (54%), to improve products (50%) and to create a customer service strategy (49%).

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

SAP Business Analytics Strategy Built on SAP HANA and Delivers Better Business Intelligence

Posted by Ventana Research on Jan 22, 2013 7:25:41 AM

SAP just released strong preliminary quarterly and annual revenue growth, which in many ways can be attributed to a strong strategic vision around the HANA in-memory platform and strong execution throughout the organization. Akin to flying an airplane while simultaneously fixing it, SAP’s bold move to HANA may at some point see the company continuing to fly when other companies are forced to ground parts of their fleets.

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, SAP, Supply Chain Performance, Business Objects, Business Objects predictive analytics, Crystal reports, Operational Performance, Visi, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, IBM, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, cognos insight, SAP predictive analytics, Sybase IQ

The Rationale and Agenda for Why Human Capital Management in 2013

Posted by stephanmillard on Jan 18, 2013 12:10:49 AM

Human capital is most organizations’ largest investment and one of their largest differentiators against the competition. So it follows that those that take advantage of the compelling, game-changing technology now available in human capital management (HCM) will place themselves at a competitive advantage.

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Topics: Big Data, Social Media, HCM, Human Capital Management, Learning, Office of Finance, Social Collaboration, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, CFO, Compensation, finance, HR, Talent Management, Workforce Management

Cisco Finesse Provides Innovative Agent Desktop

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 17, 2013 9:10:00 AM

My recent benchmark into the unified customer service agent desktop shows how critical the agent desktop is to improving agent satisfaction, meeting key customer-related metrics and enhancing the customer experience. The typical agent desktop contains multiple systems that allow agents access to multiple communication channels, business applications, messages and performance dashboards. The result is that the desktop is cluttered with systems, frustrating agents, driving up average interaction handling times, and impacting the customer experience as agents search for the information to resolve interactions. The research shows a direct correlation between implementing a unified or smart agent desktop and agent satisfaction, with the direct result that more satisfied agents are twice as likely to meet key metrics such as customer satisfaction, net promoter and customer effort.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Cisco, Contact Center, CRM, Upstream Works, Workforce Force Optimization

The Secrets to Big Data and Information Optimization Revealed in 2013 Research Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 17, 2013 8:03:49 AM

Managing the access, storage and use of data effectively can provide businesses a competitive advantage. Last year I outlined what the big deal is in big data, as the initial focus on the volume, velocity and variety of data – what my colleague Tony Cosentino calls the three V’s – is only one small piece of how organizations should evaluate this technology. The more balanced approach is to include what he calls the three W’s – the what, so what and now what, which shifts the focus to an outcome-based view that can handle the time–to-value urgency found in business. Big data analytics can help assess the volume of data, while the velocity of data that is potentially in-motion is best handled by what we call operational intelligence. Beyond these, techniques and technology such as predictive analytics and visual discovery facilitate extracting more value from big data. Along with a wide variety of data, these tools help organizations focus on optimizing information assets. We will soon conduct benchmark research into information optimization to determine how organizations are dealing with their information today and what steps they are taking to improve. In-memory computing will surely be one of those steps, as it can significantly improve the time-to-insight equation.

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Topics: Big Data, Master Data Management, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, MDM, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Product Information Management

Best Practices and Benefits from Using a Customer Service Agent Desktop

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 17, 2013 7:30:40 AM

My research into the customer service agent desktop shows that most centers expect a lot of their contact center agents: more than half (59%) handle between two and five different services (such as general queries, complaints and sales) and 14 percent handle seven or more. Nearly half (49%) are expected to handle between six and 15 calls per hour, and as well as calls, the majority (75%) are expected to handle other forms of interactions, with most handling between one and five per hour. To achieve these goals most agents (65%) have to access an average of three or four different business applications, as well as multiple communication channels and dashboards. To make matters worse, a minority (28%) still have to use multiple desktops to access these systems, and the majority (62%) have to sign into each system independently. It is therefore not surprising that only a third (35%) of respondents believe their agents are satisfied with their roles.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

The Big Deal is in the 2013 Business Analytics Research Agenda

Posted by Ventana Research on Jan 16, 2013 4:53:04 AM

Did you catch all the big data analogies people used in 2012? There were many, like the refinement of oil analogy, or the spinning straw into gold analogy, and less useful but more entertaining ones, like big data is like a box of chocolates, or big data is like The Matrix (because “there’s no way Keanu Reeves learns Kung Fu in five seconds without using big data”).  I tend to like the water analogy, which I’ll use here to have a little fun and to briefly describe how I see the business analytics market in 2013.

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

Joining Ventana Research to Inspire Human Capital Management

Posted by stephanmillard on Jan 16, 2013 4:24:24 AM

Hi; pleased to meet you!  I’m tremendously excited to be joining the team here at Ventana Research, and I’m looking forward to adding my experience, observations and opinions to this team of very talented industry analysts!  Let me start by telling you a little about my background, and then why a chose to come to work here and what I will be covering at Ventana Research.

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Topics: Social Media, Human Capital Management, Market Research, Office of Finance, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Information Management, Workforce Performance, HR, Talent Management, Workforce Management

2013 Direction of Technology for Customer and Contact Management

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 16, 2013 4:16:26 AM

At the beginning of 2012 Ventana Research predicted that six major technologies would have an impact on the provision and supply of IT systems, and that these would bring about innovation in the way organizations support their business. Each of the six – business and social collaboration, mobile, analytics, cloud computing, social media and big data – has affected how organizations engage with their customers, but I don’t believe the full impact has yet been fully realized. Indeed, in some areas, their impact will accelerate.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Mobile Apps, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Force Optimization

The Business of Sales and Marketing – Our Research Agenda for 2013

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 15, 2013 9:56:54 AM

Most organizations see improving the effectiveness of sales as a way to increase productivity. Those organizations that take advantage of the latest sales applications and technology are finding themselves with a competitive advantage, but many organizations lack the time and resources to assess and deploy appropriate platforms. That’s a shame, since most sales organizations have plenty to improve in their selling, forecasting, incentives and planning according to our latest research on sales performance management. We found a high demand even for many of the basics; for instance, many organizations still use personal spreadsheets or outdated applications that are costly to manage. At the same time, marketing organizations are investing heavily to be more revenue- and sales-focused to ensure they maintain relevance and contribute to their organizations’ performance and profitability. Both sales and marketing have fixated on specific processes and how they can work better together.

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Marketing, PIM, Sales Compensation, Sales Forecasting, Operational Performance, Business Performance, Financial Performance, CPQ, CRM, Product Information Management, SFA

SAP Announces Business Suite on HANA

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 11, 2013 11:32:34 AM

For the past couple of years I’ve been pointing to the importance of in-memory computing to the future of business applications. It’s an integral part of Ventana Research’s business and finance research agenda for 2013, and it’s one of the core technologies that senior executives should have an appreciation for because it can transform all core business processes, especially those that are analytic in nature.

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Topics: Mobile, Predictive Analytics, Real-time, Sales Performance, SAP, Supply Chain Performance, ERP, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, In-memory, Workforce Performance, CRM, finance, Social, Business Suite, Financial Performance Management, HANA

Customer and Contact Center Management Research Agenda for 2013

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 11, 2013 10:26:26 AM

Despite the recession, 2012 was a busy year in the contact center, customer service and customer experience markets. Ventana Research completed four benchmark research studies into customer relationship maturity, contact center in the cloud, customer feedback management and agent desktop. Overall these show that organizations are slowly maturing in the processes, people, information and technology they use to support customer-facing activities. However, they also show many of the old issues have not gone away, and companies have still have lots to do in order to meet customer expectations and deliver on business goals.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Mobile Apps, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Force Optimization

Office of Finance Research Agenda for 2013

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 10, 2013 9:02:32 AM

Businesses always see a lag between when technology makes some advance possible and when a majority of companies actually adopt it. There’s even a longer lag between the emergence of an advance in a business process or technique and the time it takes to become mainstream. When we write our research agendas at the top of each year, we have to strike a balance between focusing on the new and different, which is still many years away from general acceptance, and the mainstream, which has been anticipated for so long that it almost seems passé. Our research agenda for office of finance to support business for 2013, which I just finalized, is once again an attempt to balance the leading edge and the mainstream with an eye to practical solutions.

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Topics: Big Data, Planning, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Governance, GRC, Office of Finance, Budgeting, close, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), In-memory, Workforce Performance, CFO, Risk, CEO, Financial Performance Management, FPM

NICE Systems Addresses Fraud in Contact Centers

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 9, 2013 11:14:54 AM

Back in 2007 when NICE Systems acquired Actimize I wondered how long it would be before someone figured out how to use the company’s fraud detection systems in contact centers. The answer is now, as NICE Systems announces its Contact Center Fraud Prevention system.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, NICE Systems, Speech Analytics, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM

Verint Advances Integration and Interactivity for Workforce Optimization

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 8, 2013 11:17:08 AM

In early 2012 I wrote a blog post about how Verint was overcoming some of its product integration issues by using an information-driven approach that allows users to drill down from key performance metrics into underlying application data. The latest version of its Impact 360 Workforce Optimization suite extends this approach and supports a flow of data between applications and workflows that enables cross-application processes. The suite of products includes interaction recording, workforce management, agent quality monitoring, eLearning and coaching, enterprise and customer feedback management, performance management, and desktop, process, text and speech analytics. The latest release is designed to make these operate seamless so that companies can manage processes related to handling customer interactions.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Verint, Workforce Force Optimization

Revolution Analytics Rides R Language into Mainstream Business

Posted by Ventana Research on Jan 8, 2013 11:06:08 AM

Revolution Analytics is a commercial provider of software and services related to enterprise implementations of the open source language R. At its base level, R is a programming language built by statisticians for statistical analysis, data mining and predictive analytics. In a broader sense, it is data analysis software used by data scientists to access data, develop and perform statistical modeling and visualize data. The R community has a growing user base of more than two million worldwide, and more than 4,000 available applications cover specific problem domains across industries. Both the R Project and Revolution Analytics have significant momentum in the enterprise and in academia.

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Topics: Big Data, SAS, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, SPSS

Customer Service Presents Major Challenges

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 7, 2013 11:33:45 AM

In today’s competitive markets, many organizations recognize that customer service represents an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition. However, our research into the agent desktop shows that providing excellent customer service is a real challenge in many areas, starting with managing the channels of communication required to offer customers a choice in how they interact with the company. My research into customer and contact centers shows that over the last 18 months, companies now support an average of five channels, including advanced channels such as chat, text messaging, video calls and social media. This presents a challenge for companies because these channels are often supported by different lines of business and the information delivered through them is not consistent. The net result is that customers don’t get a consistent experience across channels and so will often skip across channels until they get the result they are seeking. This situation is further aggravated because organizations are still most often organized into silos, with each line of business pursuing its own goals, objectives and metrics. This means customers get a different experience and different information depending on which line of business they are dealing with, and often are met with statements such as “that is not my responsibility” and “I can’t help because I don’t have the information.”

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Topics: Sales Performance, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM

Happy New Year: Build on Foundation of Lessons Learned in 2012

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 5, 2013 10:01:34 AM

Happy New Year to all my readers and followers. I hope everyone has gotten some rest and is ready for a great 2013. 2012 was a busy year in which we saw a critical inflection point, where an elevated focus on new methods and innovative technological approaches such as big data, business analytics, business and social collaboration, cloud computing, mobile technology and social media become part of the mainstream business and IT dialogue. These technologies are beginning to be part of or embedded into enterprise software that will be available in 2013. This is a critical step forward that will help organizations become more efficient in their operations and use technology to its fullest. As we start the new year, I thought a reflection back on the some of the highlights from 2012 was in order.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Market Research, Mobile Technology, Social Collaboration, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Technology

Best Practice Customer-Related Metrics

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 4, 2013 11:39:27 AM

Customers have always been important to companies, but what are the best metrics to measure the success of customer-related activities, and how well companies meet customer expectations?

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Feedback Management, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Business Analytics, Customer & Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

2013 Vendor to Watch – Salesforce.com

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 3, 2013 11:35:23 AM

It’s hard to believe that Salesforce.com was launched only 14 years ago. It has since grown into a multi-billion-dollar company that has changed the way companies source software. Back in the early days its two primary messages were “the end of on-premises software” and “a new era of CRM in the cloud.” Today the first message seems to have softened somewhat, with its own website talking about products and applications, and of course many companies still use traditional on-premise applications. As my research shows, companies are not so concerned about the specifics of “SaaS,” “hosted” or “cloud” but are more focused on usability, functionality, security, scalability, integration, performance and of course cost. They are also increasingly concerned about finding the skills necessary to deploy and operate the applications they need to support their businesses. When you add these all up, off-premises really comes into its own. My research into the contact center in the cloud shows that CRM leads the way in adoption in the cloud, with communications in the cloud (systems to manage the delivery of multichannel customer interactions) following closely behind.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Social CRM, Voice of the Customer, Mobile Apps, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM

Like Big Data, Operational Intelligence is Evolving to Deliver Right Time Value

Posted by Ventana Research on Jan 2, 2013 11:32:12 AM

Ventana Research has been researching and advocating operational intelligence for the past 10 years, but not always with that name. From the use of events and analytics in business process management and the need for hourly and daily operational business intelligence, but its alignment with traditional BI architecture didn’t allow for a seamless system, so a few years later the discussion started to focus around business process management and the ability of companies to monitor and analyze BPM on top of their enterprise applications. Business activity monitoring became the vogue term, but that term did not denote the action orientation necessary to accurately describe this emerging area. Ventana Research had already defined a category of technology and approaches that allow both monitoring and management of operational activities and systems along with taking action on critical events. Today, Ventana Research defines Operational Intelligence as a set of event-centered information and analytics processes operating across the organization that enable people to take effective actions and make better decisions.

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Topics: Big Data, SOA, Supply Chain Performance, business activity monitoring, business process monitoring, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Complex Event Processing, Customer & Contact Center, Operational Intelligence, Service Cloud

California Blue Shield Foundation Uses FinancialForce to Improve Finance Effectiveness

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 2, 2013 11:23:02 AM

As I’ve noted before, it’s common for CFOs of companies that are transitioning from being a small to a midsize business (that is, when they grow past about 100 employees) to find that the entry-level accounting package that they have been using no longer fits their needs. This software may be inexpensive to purchase and easy to use but it lacks many of the customization and business process management capabilities that become increasingly important as organizations grow. The transition from such an application is especially difficult when it involves an on-premises system, because the up-front and ongoing costs of implementing and using these can be daunting. Usually, the shortcomings start off as minor annoyances for companies that have between 100 and 500 employees and grow over time, and usually the pain increases with the number of employees and the volume and complexity of the underlying business. Yet because of the cost, finance executives usually don’t want to migrate to a new system until their old software threatens the orderly management of the business or becomes an overwhelming burden on finance operations. For that reason, increasingly we are finding companies choosing to migrate to a cloud-based ERP system sooner in their evolution because it is usually a more affordable and easier transition than using on-premises software.

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Topics: Planning, Salesforce.com, ERP, Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, Reporting, close, closing, Operational Performance, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, Financial Performance Management, FinancialForce.com

Linking Customer Feedback and Business Benefits

Posted by Richard Snow on Jan 2, 2013 11:11:45 AM

Many organizations collect customer feedback, but my recent research into customer feedback management shows that most have yet to take advantage of modern techniques. The research shows that companies on average use approximately four methods. The most popular remain email and online surveys, listening to call recordings and outbound phone calls. Newer techniques such as reviewing social media posts, social media forums, mobile apps and mobile text-based conversations remain the domain of early adopters and innovative companies. The same can be said of how companies analyze customer feedback, with by far the most common method being manual. Only the most mature companies having adopted specialized analytics tools that automate the process, thus making it more efficient, letting them use bigger samples of customer input, and making the outputs more reliable and consistent.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Text Analytics