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        Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

        LogiXML has been around for more than a decade, but has seen particularly robust growth in the past year. Recent announcements show the company with better than 100-percent year-over-year growth, driven by a 97 percent license renewal rate and new customer growth in SMB, departmental and OEM deployments. The 158-percent growth for the embedded analytics group for the fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis was particularly strong.

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        Topics: Sales Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Information Applications, agile, LogiXML

        Improving how employees and managers can improve talent management activities through changes in process, technology and better access to information is both a theme of my research agenda this year. It is also what the key technology vendors in this space have been focused on developing products to do.  Cornerstone OnDemand is one of those vendors that has been in the talent management space since 1999, when it launched its original CyberU learning management product, and now offers a broad...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Social Media, HCM, Learning, Performance, Recruiting, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Workforce Performance, Cornerstone OnDemand, HR

        The challenge with discussing big data analytics is in cutting through the ambiguity that surrounds the term. People often focus on the 3 Vs of big data – volume, variety and velocity – which provides a good lens for big data technology, but only gets us part of the way to understanding big data analytics, and provides even less guidance on how to take advantage of big data analytics to unlock business value.

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        Topics: Big Data, Microsoft, SAP, SAS, Excel, designed data, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IBM, Information Applications, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, SPSS

        Transera is an established contact center in the cloud vendor with in-depth interaction routing capabilities. During a recent briefing I learned that it has now supplemented these capabilities by launching a new product that it calls Adaptive Customer Engagement. Although it’s not entirely obvious from the name, the product uses big data analytics to analyze past customer interactions, profile customers, then use these insights to optimize current and future customer-facing activities such as...

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        Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Speech Analytics, Analytics, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Transera

        Big data involves interplay between different data management approaches and business intelligence and operational systems, which makes it imperative that all sources of business data be integrated efficiently and that organizations be able to easily adapt to new data types and sources. Our recent big data benchmark research confirmed that big data storage technologies continue to follow many approaches, including appliances, Hadoop, and in-memory and specialized DBMSes. With the variety,...

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        Topics: Big Data, Data Quality, Master Data Management, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Integration, Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence

        Cisco is without doubt best known as a supplier of networking systems. Its products have been used by companies large and small to build local and wide area networks. It has played in the contact center space as a provider of network and call management systems that sit between public networks and contact center agents to manage the delivery of interactions to the right extensions and provide agents with softphones so they can manage inbound and outbound calls. These systems were designed to...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Customer Experience, Logitech, Mobile Apps, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Cisco, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Unified Communications, Upstream Works, Social, Workforce Force Optimization

        I’ve been using electronic spreadsheets for more than 30 years. I consider this technology among the 20th century’s top five most important advances in business management. Spreadsheets have revolutionized every aspect of running any organization. A spreadsheet (specifically, VisiCalc) was the original “killer app” that made business people feel the necessity to buy a personal computer.

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Office of Finance, Reporting, enterprise spreadsheet, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Visualization, Workforce Performance, Risk, benchmark, Financial Performance Management

        LucidWorks addresses the growing volume of information now being stored in the enterprise and in big data with two products aimed at the enterprise with search technology. Though you may not be familiar with LucidWorks (previously known as Lucid Imagination), the company has for many years contributed to Apache Lucene, an open source search project, and commercialized and supported for it for business.

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        Topics: Big Data, MapR, Sales Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Cloudera, Customer & Contact Center, Hortonworks, Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Search, Strata+Hadoop

        Profit Velocity Solutions’ PV Accelerator is an analytic application designed to enable capital-intensive companies to consistently achieve substantially wider margins and higher return on assets (ROA). Companies in industries such as specialty chemicals, building materials, integrated steel mills and silicon chip fabrication (to name just four) routinely fail to make the right decisions about pricing, production and sales management because they use analytic methods that, from an economic...

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        Topics: Performance Management, Sales, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, PV Accelerator, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Price Optimization, Profit Velocity, Profitability, Software, S&OP

        Business intelligence software is supposed to help businesses access and analyze data and communicate analytics and metrics. I have witnessed improvements to BI software over the years, from mobile and collaboration to interactive discovery and visualization, and our Value Index for Business Intelligence finds a mature set of technology vendors and products. But even as these products mature in capabilities, the majority lack features that would make them easy to use.  Our recent research on ...

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        Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Mobile Technology, Natural Language, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Discovery

        Learning management software (LMS) has evolved over the past 25-plus years from a classroom scheduling tool that helped streamline instructor-led and classroom training to a rich, integrated enterprise application that delivers and tracks training across an entire organization. These applications are effective at enabling organizations to share knowledge and track the knowledge-sharing process. Typically they use a top-down model involving classic instructor-led training and online courseware....

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, HCM, LMS, Social Collaboration, Learning Management, Operational Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Information Management, Workforce Performance, HR, Talent Management

        Business analytics have become mainstream in most organizations. Our latest research in technology innovation found analytics was the top-ranked technology in 39 percent of organizations. To deepen the sophistication of their analytics, businesses can add geographic context and maps to business intelligence applications to create what we call location intelligence. Applications and tools with a geographic and spatial context can help deliver new and deeper insights to business. Information...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Geographic Information Systems, GIS, Location Analytics, Spatial Data Quality, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence

        One of the important lessons company executives should have learned over the past 15 years is that it’s dangerous not to do contingency planning, a subject that I’ve written about before. By this I mean real, think-outside-the-box contingency planning (not just extrapolating), which is especially important when doing long-range planning. The past decade or so has been punctuated by periods of elevated volatility in financial and product markets, and there’s a good probability it will occur...

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        Topics: Big Data, Planning, Office of Finance, Reporting, Budgeting, contingency, currency, driver-based, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Financial Performance Management, Integrated Business Planning

        My recent research into the contact center in the cloud shows the typical agent’s life is not an easy one. Agents are expected to handle more types of interactions that arrive through more communication channels as found in our research with inbound, email and outbound in use by more than 74 percent of organizations, meet an increasing number of performance metrics, and leave each caller feeling happy with the interaction. And they have to do this with a desktop that my research shows can only...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Customer Experience, Social CRM, LiveOps, Operational Performance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM, Workforce Force Optimization

        Managing data efficiently across the enterprise continues to be a large challenge for both business units and IT. Organizations need data supplied in a consistent format and timely manner to help manage their activities and processes, but some do not look beyond conventional approaches to improvement. Today’s large volumes of data make it more difficult to understand the relationships among data and the role of location-related data. Our 2012 benchmark research on information management found...

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        Topics: Master Data Management, Sales Performance, Social Media, MDM, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Data Governance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, DG

        Splunk’s innovated ability to access and use machine data for targeted operational insights can help improve IT and enhance business operational efficiency. Its work to capitalize on big data was part of my last analysis, while my colleague Tony Cosentino looked at its focus on search and operational analytics. Splunk also was a recipient of the 2012 Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award for IT Performance for Splunk Enterprise.

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        Topics: Big Data, Splunk, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Machine data, Operational Intelligence

        To mark the fourth anniversary of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) interactive data mandate, Columbia Business School (my alma mater) and its Center for Excellence in Accounting and Security Analysis (CEASA) published a review of the current state of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) that notes the manifold issues that plague this promising technology. From its perspective, three key issues hamper greater use of XBRL. The first is the high error rate in the tagging...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, extended close, US-GAAP, XBRL, Analytics, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), CFO, compliance, financial reporting, SEC, Digital Technology

        You would think that all organizations would want to maximize the value of every customer relationship, but my research over the last couple of years suggests otherwise. Three particular insights stick in my mind. My research into customer analytics shows that overall customer lifetime value ranked only sixth most important customer-related metric, compared to the highest-ranked, customer service costs, which was selected by 54 percent of respondents versus 31 percent for customer lifetime...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM

        IBM this week announced its pending acquisition of the Star Analytics product portfolio. Star Analytics is a privately held company that offers products designed to provide easy access to and integration with Oracle Hyperion data sources. While Star Analytics has a good product and solid references, it has lacked critical mass to support more effective sales and marketing efforts. Star Analytics’ strategic value to IBM lies in its ability to unlock data held in Oracle Essbase multidimensional...

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        Topics: Reporting, closing, Essbase, Hyperion, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Data Integration, Financial Performance, IBM, Information Management, Oracle, Financial Performance Management, Star Analytics, TM1

        MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor has a keen sense of where things are headed. He sees mobile and social as the two drivers of a world based largely in software. Last year I covered the announcements at the MicroStrategy events in Amsterdam and the vision Saylor put forth in his keynote speech. MicroStategy World 2013 last month finds the company delving into such diverse areas as identity management, marketing services and integrated point-of-sale applications. The uniting factor is mobile...

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        Topics: MicroStrategy, Mobile, Sales Performance, Social Media, Customer Experience, alert, Mobile Intelligence, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence

        Intradiem is a vendor that not many people have heard about, for the simple reason that it is actually Knowlagent, which recently announced a complete rebranding. The company says the new brand better reflects its product and service capabilities. Knowlagent was all about allowing companies to automatically manage how agents utilize their time in those often very short periods when they are not answering calls or carrying out other fixed tasks, such as taking a training course. The latest...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Customer Experience, Social CRM, Intradiem, Operational Performance, Analytics, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM

        Human capital analytics is an area increasingly under discussion in businesses today as the linkages between employee performance and company success become increasingly clear, as do the roles analytics can play in maximizing that success. This intensified interest in analytics coincides with major changes in the processes of hiring, engaging, retaining and optimizing talent in the enterprise. It also reflects the impact of technology innovations such as cloud computing, the business use of...

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        Topics: HCM, Human Capital Management, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Information Management, Workforce Performance, HR

        The electronic spreadsheet is among the top five most important advances in business management to come along in the last hundred years. It revolutionized almost all aspects of running an organization. It was the original “killer app” that made it necessary for people to go out and buy a personal computer. Yet our recent benchmark research project Spreadsheet Use in Today’s Enterprise confirmed advice we have been giving for the past decade: Spreadsheets are a fabulous tool but they have...

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        Topics: Office of Finance, Reporting, enterprise spreadsheet, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Visualization, Risk, benchmark, Financial Performance Management

        OnviSource is best known for its OnviCenter Product Suite, which includes what is commonly referred to as workforce optimization (recording, quality, monitoring, workforce management, analytics) plus a telephony platform that includes a soft, IP-based PBX, IVR and call routing. It is available on-premises or through the company’s cloud-based option, OnviCloud. Recently OnviSource added a further option, OnviLink, and announced enhancements to OnviTel, its telephony platform.

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Speech Analytics, Operational Performance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, OnviSource, Workforce Force Optimization

        IBM held its 20th annual IBM Connect conference (previously known as Lotusphere) as part of its IBM Social Business efforts at the end of January. The conference focuses on business and social collaboration technology, which our business technology innovation research found to be the second-ranked priority for business innovation. At the conference IBM made a series of significant announcements, including a new version of its social collaboration suite, IBM Connections, and the ability to use...

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        Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Human Capital Management, Kenexa, Learning, Performance, Recruiting, Smarter Analytics, Smarter Workforce, Social Business, Social Collaboration, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, IBM, Workforce Performance, Compensation

        NewVoiceMedia recently announced it has raised $20 million of investment funds to aid its expansion overseas, including offices in North America. The company was founded in the UK in 2000 and originally offered telephony and call management in the cloud. It now has a close partnership with Salesforce.com, which has allowed it to expand into a multichannel contact center in the cloud. During the last 12 years it has achieved considerable success, both financially and in acquiring prestigious...

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        Topics: Salesforce.com, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Social CRM, Mobile Apps, NewVoicemedia, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM

        Taxes – both indirect (sales or value added taxes, for example) and direct (income taxes) – are one the largest expense items on the corporate income statement. In recent years it has become common for large and even midsize companies to automate their indirect tax management process, but direct tax management has remained a bastion of manual processes built on a heap of desktop spreadsheets. In previous blog posts I discussed this issue and the role of the tax data warehouse as a necessary...

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        Topics: ERP, GRC, Office of Finance, audit, finance transformation, Tax, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Management, CFO, Vertex, FPM
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