Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Pricing, Planning and Performance Management Software Creates Business Value

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jul 30, 2013 10:41:48 AM

People who don’t spend much time analyzing the software market may have trouble understanding the differences between products in a given software category or the difference between two categories. This happens because vendors and commentators use the same words to describe different depths of functionality and degrees of comprehensiveness in one type of application. As well, there can be multiple categories of software that address the same general business issues but are designed for different specific uses. Not only is it worth the effort to sort through the labels and understand what does what best, but different categories of software that are sold and deployed separately can provide even greater value when used together.

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Topics: Performance Management, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Office of Finance, dashboard, PRO, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Financial Performance, CFO, Supply Chain, CEO, demand management, FPM, S&OP

Mercer Unifies Talent Management Practice and Announces Product Suite

Posted by stephanmillard on Jul 30, 2013 10:18:09 AM

Mercer is a global consulting company that has more than 19,000 employees in more than 40 countries. One of the company’s major consulting practices is talent management. My colleague Mark Smith assessed Mercer’s survey delivery product WIN for compensation management in September 2011. Mercer recently held an analyst day in Boston where speakers discussed the launch of a new internal group focused on talent management and a new talent management suite sold as part of its consulting services.

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Topics: MicroStrategy, Mercer, Towers Watson Talent Management, Analytics, Business Analytics, Workforce Performance, Compensation

BIRT Analytics Strives To Make Analytics Business Friendly

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 22, 2013 11:06:58 AM

Actuate recently announced BIRT Analytics Version 4.2, part of its portfolio of business intelligence software. The new release includes several techniques used by analytics professionals placed behind a user-friendly interface that does not require advanced knowledge of statistics. Beyond the techniques themselves, release 4.2 focuses on guiding users through processes such as campaign analytics and targeting.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Customer & Contact Center, Data Discovery

Enkata Optimizes Claims Processing

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 20, 2013 9:44:21 AM

Enkata used to focus its products on improving agent performance in the contact center. It has gradually expanded that focus to include improving the performance of workers in the back office, an effort that has culminated in a suite of products that help companies improve processing of healthcare claims.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Enkata, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Customer & Contact Center, Call Center, Contact Center, Desktop Analytics, Workforce Force Optimization

PivotLink Makes Attribution Modeling More Approachable

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 20, 2013 9:08:19 AM

PivotLink is a cloud-based provider of business intelligence and analytics that serves primarily retail companies. Its flagship product is Customer PerformanceMETRIX, which I covered in detail last year. Recently, the company released an important update to the product, adding attribution modeling, a type of advanced analytic that allows marketers to optimize spending across channels. For retailers these types of capabilities are particularly important. The explosion of purchase channels introduced by the Internet and competition from online retailers are forcing a more analytic approach to marketing as organizations try to decide where the marketing funds can be spent to best results. Our benchmark research into predictive analytics shows that achieving competitive advantage is the number-one reason for implementing predictive analytics, chosen by two-thirds (68%) of all companies and by even more retail organizations.

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Topics: Retail Analytics, Sales Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, PivotLink

Datameer 3.0 Introduces Advanced Big Data Analytics for Hadoop

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 17, 2013 1:37:35 AM

Datameer , a Hadoop-based analytics company, had a major presence at recent Hadoop Summit, led by CEO Stephan Groschupf’s keynote and panel appearance. Besides announcing its latest product release, which is an important advance for the company and its users, Datameer’s outspoken CEO put forth contrarian arguments about the current direction of some of the distributions in the Hadoop ecosystem.

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Topics: Big Data, Datameer, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Strata+Hadoop

Hadoop Summit and Hortonworks Promise To Make Big Data More Engaging

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 10, 2013 9:20:56 AM

Hadoop Summit is the biggest event on the West Coast centered on Hadoop, the open source technology for large-scale data processing. The conference organizers, Hortonworks, estimated that more than 2,400 people attended, which if true would be double-digit growth from last year. Growth on the supplier side was even larger, which indicates the opportunity this market represents. Held in Silicon Valley, the event attracts enterprise customers, industry innovators, thought leaders and venture capitalists. Many announcements were made – too many to cover here. But I want to comment on a few important ones and explain what they mean to the emerging Hadoop ecosystem and the broader market.

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Topics: Big Data, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Strata+Hadoop

Salesforce.com Is Full of Surprises

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 10, 2013 8:58:13 AM

Anyone who follows salesforce.com is used to surprises, but over the last couple of months the company has come up with some that go beyond the usual. It rebranded the recent user conference in London as a customer company event. This follows from changing its messaging to urge every company to become a customer company not a social company. The event itself was everything we have come to expect, using an array of customer case studies to show how salesforce.com’s products help companies innovate and be successful, and a large partner and product showcase to prove how many products and partners salesforce now has. The real surprises were tucked away in meetings arranged for the many analysts present.

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Social Media, Customer Experience, Social CRM, Voice of the Customer, Mobile Apps, Self-service, Operational Performance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Information Applications, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM

Making Treasury More Strategic

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jul 10, 2013 8:43:57 AM

Along with other aspects of the finance organization, there’s increasing emphasis on having the treasury function play more of a strategic role in the organization. Typically, Treasury is charged with keeping track of and managing cash. Especially in larger organizations, this can be complicated because of multiple bank accounts, complex financing requirements and many methods of receiving and making payments; the complexity deepens when more than one currency is used across multiple jurisdictions, which also can pose regulatory issues. Treasury’s primary directive is to ensure that all funds are accounted for and that there is sufficient cash on hand each day to meet operating requirements. To accomplish this, finance professionals must perform key analytic tasks accurately to produce a clear picture of cash inflows and cash requirements. Analysis often is challenging because these numbers are constantly changing and because the process of collecting, analyzing and reporting all the data can be excessively time-consuming if done manually. This is a situation perfectly suited for dedicated applications that automatically manage the data needed to orchestrate treasury processes and provide analysis to inform decisions. Yet our benchmark research finds that more than half (56%) of companies with more than 1,000 employees either use spreadsheets exclusively or employ them heavily in conjunction with a treasury application.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Office of Finance, Controller, credit, debt, Analytics, Business Performance, Financial Performance, CFO, cash management, Financial Performance Management

Peoplefluent Innovates with Video and Collaboration and also Unifies Recruiting

Posted by stephanmillard on Jul 4, 2013 2:25:10 AM

To strengthen its position in both core talent management and the social form of it, Peoplefluent has purchased a video collaboration platform and enhanced its existing recruiting products. My colleague Mark Smith wrote about Peoplefluent’s evolution toward a social talent management platform with its acquisition of Socialtext. In addition, our firm selected Peoplefluent’s customer Citrix for the 2013 Technology Innovation Award; it provides a practical example of how to use mobile technologies to create a succession planning solution for senior managers who are often traveling and need to work on processes like this wherever they may be. This case also is an instance of customers partnering with their vendors to achieve mutual goals.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Experience, HCM, Peoplefluent, Recruiting, Business Collaboration, Collaboration, Workforce Performance

IBM Improving the Science to Apply Business Analytics for Better Customer Engagement

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 4, 2013 2:08:26 AM

I recently wrote how IBM is making customer analytics smarter. Since then IBM has run events in North America and Europe to demonstrate how it is continuing these efforts and expanding into other areas. Outside of the customer space you can read how my colleagues assess its efforts: Mark Smith discusses HRRobert Kugel sees its impact on business overall, and Tony Cosentino addresses it in IT. Our research My focus remains the customer and I have learned more about what IBM is doing in social media, identity reconciliation, visualization, mobile apps and big data.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Mobile Apps, Self-service, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, IBM, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, IBM Watson, Text Analytics

Roambi Means Mobile Business in the Cloud

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 4, 2013 1:43:08 AM

Roambi, a supplier of mobile analytics and visualization software, announced the release of a cloud-based version of its product, which allows the company to move beyond the on-premises approach where it is established and into the hands of more business users. Roambi Business enables users to automate data import, create models and refresh data on demand. Furthermore, the company announced a North America Partner Program along with the cloud release. This will encourage ISVs and solution partners to develop for the new product. The move to the cloud is a big one for the company, giving access to a new market in which companies need to deliver business intelligence (BI) to their increasingly mobile workforces.

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Topics: Mobile, Sales Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Operational Intelligence, Roambi