Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

About the Analyst

Mark Smith

Mark is responsible for the overall direction of Ventana Research and drives the global research agenda covering both business and technology areas. He defined the blueprint for Information Management and Performance Management as the linking together of people, processes, information and technology across organizations to drive effective results. Mark is an expert in technology for business from Performance Management, Business Intelligence, Analytics to Information Management across finance, operations and IT. Mark has held CMO, product development and research roles at companies such as SAP, META Group, Oracle and IRI Software. He has experience across major industries including banking, consumer products, food and beverage, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and retail and consumer services.

Recent Posts

Digital Business Market Agenda for 2023: Effectiveness and Engagement

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 25, 2023 3:00:00 AM

With Ventana Research’s 2023 Market Agenda, we continue the guidance we’ve offered for two decades to help organizations derive maximum value from digital business technology investments. Through our market research and expertise, we identify trends and best practices and share insights on how to achieve technological effectiveness, particularly in key processes and systems to engage the workforce.

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Topics: Performance Management, Business Continuity, Digital transformation, Digital Business, Digital Security, Digital Communications, Work Management, Experience Management, Governance & Risk, Sustainability & ESG

2023 Market Agenda: Digitalization Evolves for Business Revitalization

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 6, 2023 3:00:00 AM

Ventana Research has announced its market agenda for 2023, continuing a 20-year tradition of credibility and trust in our objective efforts to educate and guide the technology market. Our research and insights are backed by our expertise and independence, as we do not share our Market Agenda or our market research – including analyst and market perspectives – with any external party before it is published. We continuously refine our Market Agenda throughout the year to ensure we offer the expertise and insights organizations rely on to better assess and navigate the direction of the technology industry.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Office of Finance, Analytics, Data, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Digital Business, Office of Revenue

Pyramid Analytics Expands Decision Intelligence Across the Organization

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 30, 2022 3:00:00 AM

In today’s organization, the myriad of analytics and permutations of dashboards challenge workers’ ability to take contextual actions efficiently. Unfortunately, conventional wisdom for investing in analytics does not recognize the benefits of empowering the workforce to understand the situation, examine options and work together to make the best possible decision.

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Topics: business intelligence, Analytics, Data, Digital Technology, AI and Machine Learning, Digital Business, Analytics and Data, Analytic Data Platforms

Moovila Manages Work for Digital Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 29, 2022 3:00:00 AM

The management of work is a focal point for every organization that has people and resources directed to accomplish the smallest to largest of tasks. But many organizations are not easily able to manage complex activities because the details of how people are assigned and complete work are not as simple as they should be. Traditional project management methods and technologies have failed to work in an enterprise manner, so new approaches have emerged to meet today’s challenges. The essence of work management is to ensure the automation and intelligence afforded by the technology industry is infused in how organizations operate, as outlined in my perspective.

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Topics: Digital Business, Work Management

The Business and Technology Trends for 2023 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 13, 2022 3:00:00 AM

The technology industry has established itself as a pivotal force in its ability to help organizations become more intelligent and automated. But doing so has required a journey of epic proportions for most organizations that have had to endure a transition of competencies and skills that was, in many places, transitioned to consulting firms who were hired appropriately to manage changes. Unfortunately, this step led, in many cases, to an extended focus on digital transformation rather than the necessary modernization of business processes and technology. Through 2024, after concerted investment into digital transformation, one-half of organizations will require a new digital business and technology agenda for organizational resilience.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Office of Finance, Analytics, Data, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Digital Business, Office of Revenue

NICE Elevates Power of Customer Experiences

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 2, 2022 3:00:00 AM

Pressures to engage consumers through every interaction and provide a delightful customer experience are influencing advancements in business and technology. Organizations are challenged to manage friction points experienced by billions of consumers amid expanding digital channels. These issues must be addressed to engage and respond to customers every second of the day.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Contact Center, agent management, Digital Business

The Workforce Management Value Index Assesses Technology Vendors

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 7, 2022 3:00:00 AM

I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Value Index research, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index: Workforce Management 2022 is the distillation of a year of market and product research by Ventana Research. Drawing on our Benchmark Research, we apply a structured methodology built on evaluation categories that reflect the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal to workforce management vendors supporting the spectrum of these requirements. Using this methodology, we evaluated vendor submissions in seven categories: five relevant to the product experience ﹘ Adaptability, Capability, Manageability, Reliability and Usability ﹘ and two related to the customer experience ﹘ Total Cost of Ownership/Return on Investment and Vendor Validation.

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Topics: Human Capital Management, Learning Management, Talent Management, Workforce Management, Payroll Management, Total Compensation Management, employee experience

Workforce Management Software Brings Automation and Intelligence

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 3, 2022 3:00:00 AM

Workforce management processes and activities, a major focus of investment and optimization efforts for decades, have undergone a huge transformation in recent years. In our view, this is mostly a function of two significant trends: the explosion of technology innovation associated with the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and embedded analytics in many areas of a business including a range of human capital management processes and operations; and a major reframing of the employer/employee relationship stemming from the now universal emphasis on elevating the worker experience. This was becoming more of a strategic focus across most organizations before the pandemic, but the past two years has made delivering a great employee experience an essential part of operating a business. In the absence of this, employees tend to become disengaged, and many will leave. The same can be true of the customers serviced by those employees.

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Topics: Human Capital Management, Learning Management, Talent Management, Workforce Management, Payroll Management, Total Compensation Management, employee experience

Human Capital Management Market Agenda: Readiness and Resilience

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 1, 2022 3:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2022 Market Agenda for Human Capital Management, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for two decades to help organizations derive maximum potential from workforce- and people-related technology investments and initiatives. In crafting this Market Agenda, we focused on three critical themes top-of-mind for both HCM vendors and buyers: Organizational readiness, workforce resilience utilizing digital technology to increase retention, and advance worker skills for career development.

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Topics: Human Capital Management, Learning Management, Workforce Management, Payroll Management, Total Compensation Management, employee experience, candidate engagement

Digital Business Market Agenda for 2022: Resilience and Readiness

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 28, 2022 3:00:00 AM

With the announcement of Ventana Research’s 2022 Market Agenda, our expertise in Digital Business continues to advance the market need for effective investments into technology, and I will outline here the key areas of focus to provide insights to organizations that can increase their organizational resilience and workforce readiness. We are proud to provide expertise on ensuring technological effectiveness through our market research and experience in providing guidance on trends and best practices.

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Topics: Performance Management, Business Continuity, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Digital transformation, Digital Business, Digital Security, Digital Communications, Sustainability Management, Work Management, Experience Management

Ransomware Disaster for UKG & Customers: Business Continuity Required

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 27, 2022 3:00:00 AM

The necessity of business continuity came to a reality with the pandemic in early 2020, with the requirement to avoid the risk of interruption to the fundamentals of an organization. I outlined this challenge in my perspective, “The Business Continuity Imperative: The Workforce Experience and Human Capital Management in 2020 and Beyond.” Ensuring that software in cloud computing environments is continuously available should be a business continuity priority for your organization. In fact, your own chief information, risk and operations officers should ensure your organization has the level of reliability that you expect and pay for from your software as a service provider. And does your provider perform the level of investment and protection that you would expect to protect your organization? Do you ensure the level of preparation in business continuity has been done, and do you have a disaster recovery program you can institute in a moment’s notice? Can you operate your business if critical software is not available for more than a day, week, month or longer? Unfortunately, our assertion is that by 2025, after decades of digital transformation efforts, two-thirds of organizations will not resource business continuity as an investment priority to reduce operational risk in black swan events.

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Topics: Cybersecurity, Digital Business, Digital Security, Ransomware, UKG

Inkling Advances Digital Learning for Operational Effectiveness

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 26, 2022 3:00:00 AM

The necessity of learning is essential for every organization to realize the full potential of the workforce. But many organizations treat learning like training or academic instruction to ensure policy or compliance to a minimum level of work performance, instead of continuing career education and improving skills in the operational workflow. The context for where and how workers work is critical to ensure that on-the-job learning is possible. While traditional learning management systems (LMS) have advanced the authoring and curriculum for formalized training in a digital learning environment, the need to adapt learning to the operational requirements is essential for every organization. This context provides the opportunity for continuous skills development, which is essential to building organizational readiness and workforce resilience critical for everyday operations and business continuity. We assert that by 2024, learning management systems and learning experience platforms with embedded skill and job ontologies that recommend optimal learning paths will guide one-half of organizations to elevate employee engagement, retention and productivity.

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Topics: Human Capital Management, Learning, LMS, Digital Business, inkling, LXP

2022 Market Agenda: Digital Business Enables Organizational Resilience

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 24, 2022 3:00:00 AM

Ventana Research has announced its market agenda for 2022, continuing the tradition of reliability in our efforts to educate and guide the technology market. Our assessments are backed by our expertise and independence, as we do not share our market agenda or our research – including analyst and market perspectives or our Value Index – with any external party until it is published. We review and refine our market agenda throughout the year to ensure we offer the expertise and insights organizations rely on to better assess and navigate the direction of the technology industry.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Office of Finance, Analytics, Data, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Digital Business, Office of Revenue, Market Agenda

Digital Communication Platforms Enable Better Work and Customer Experiences

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 30, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The age of digital communication platforms is upon us. The need has never been greater for an open and secure platform that satisfies the demand for enterprise-grade business and technology requirements. Overcoming today’s technology challenges is possible with a next-generation cloud-based delivery model that is both extensible and reliable. Organizations considering a digital communication platform can take decisive steps to ensure digital communications for everyone — inside, outside, everywhere, anytime, any location and on any device.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Business Continuity, Contact Center, Digital transformation, Digital Business, Digital Communications, Experience Management

Maximize Workforce Value with Technology for Work Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 27, 2021 3:00:00 AM

To maximize the value of the workforce and the work conducted, organizations need to increase the effectiveness of workers assigned to critical, interrelated tasks. Doing so requires a commitment to planning the best use of workers and resources. Failing to do so can limit an organization’s ability to reach essential milestones and complete work related to business processes with customers, partners and across the supply chain.

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Topics: Business Continuity, Operations & Supply Chain, Digital transformation, Digital Business, Work Management

The Business of Work Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 25, 2021 3:00:00 AM

As the pace of digital innovation has accelerated, many organizations have found it harder to manage the portfolio of work conducted by the workforce to ensure timeliness and mitigate the risk of increased costs and resources. The challenges in managing the work related to project plans are not only to ensure the timeliness in performing and tracking the individual tasks and activities every single moment of the day, but also having the intelligence to adjust and guide all future work. The advent of work management is a systematic approach to prioritizing work and optimizing resources to perform at the desired levels. It requires dedicated applications designed to continuously monitor and streamline activities and processes in ways traditional spreadsheets and project management systems cannot. Ventana Research asserts by 2024, one-third of organizations will deem existing project management and work experiences ineffective to engage or motivate the workforce to be productive.

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Topics: Business Continuity, Operations & Supply Chain, Digital transformation, Digital Business, Work Management

The Digital Awakening of Business Process Intelligence

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 21, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The work environment today demands that your organization advances the efficiency to execute business processes for continuous operations to have a positive impact on business performance. The capability to be responsive to any range of minor to disruptive business events is required to support business continuity and level of organizational readiness to meet the needs of digital business. Ventana Research asserts that in 2025, one-quarter of organizations will remain digitally ineffective in achieving the business priorities for customer-, product- and people-related processes. It is essential to eliminate bottlenecks and become an organization that places action and decision-making at is center to optimize the execution of business processes.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, embedded analytics, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Contact Center, Data, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, Digital transformation, natural language processing, AI and Machine Learning, continuous supply chain, agent management, Digital Business, Experience Management, Field Service, Process Mining, Streaming Analytics

Strategic Planning for Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 12, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Strategic planning has always been difficult. But it is even more so in this age of rapid digital transformation and the pressure of business continuity, which has introduced disruptive changes. What’s needed, ironically, is a methodical approach to how an organization manages strategic planning to allow for beneficial disruption that is not avoidable, balancing finance and operations, engaging existing expertise and factoring in technology to ensure that new initiatives can be strategically aligned to the goals and aspirations of the organization. In essence, the essential foundation for performance management is planning that can ensure its alignment or optimization in order to reach strategic objectives.

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Topics: Performance Management, Business Continuity, Digital transformation, Digital Business, Digital Security, Digital Communications, Experience Management

Expert.ai Earns 2021 Digital Innovation Award for Digital Technology

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 7, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcase advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to the improved processes and performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations to advance business and IT.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Analytics, Internet of Things, Digital Technology, blockchain, natural language processing, Awards, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, extended reality

ConverSight.ai Earns 2021 Digital Innovation Award

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 2, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcase advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to the improved processes and performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations to advance business and IT.

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Topics: Continuous Planning, Analytics, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, continuous supply chain, work experience management

Moovila Earns Digital Business Innovation Award for 2021

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 26, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcase advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to the improved processes and performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations to advance business and IT.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Office of Finance, Operations & Supply Chain, Digital Business, Work Management

Innovit Named a Vendor with Merit in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 17, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Innovit MDM drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Data, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales

Viamedici Named a Vendor with Merit in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 13, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Viamedici EPIM drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Marketing, Data Governance, Data, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales, data operations

Contentserv is a Vendor with Merit in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 11, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Contentserv CS drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Marketing, Data Governance, Data, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales, data operations

Perfion Named a Vendor with Merit in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 9, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Perfion drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Marketing, Data Governance, Data, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales, data operations

Winshuttle is a Vendor with Merit in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 6, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Winshuttle EnterWorks drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Marketing, Data Governance, Data, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales, data operations

Palantir Earns Overall Digital Innovation Award for 2021

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 4, 2021 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcase advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to the improved processes and performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations to advance business and IT.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Office of Finance, Voice of the Customer, Continuous Planning, embedded analytics, Learning Management, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Information Management, Internet of Things, Business Planning, Contact Center, Data, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Workforce Management, Financial Performance Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Technology, Digital Marketing, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, Revenue, blockchain, natural language processing, data lakes, Total Compensation Management, robotic finance, Predictive Planning, employee experience, candidate engagement, Conversational Computing, Continuous Payroll, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, continuous supply chain, Subscription Management, agent management, extended reality, intelligent marketing, sales enablement, work experience management, lease and tax accounting, robotic automation

Oracle is a Vendor of Merit in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 2, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Oracle’s Product Lifecycle Management Cloud drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Continuous Planning, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, work experience management

inRiver is a Vendor of Assurance in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 30, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about inRiver PIM drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Marketing, Data Governance, Data, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales, data operations

IBM Named an Innovative Vendor in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 28, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about IBM Product Master drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Continuous Planning, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, work experience management

Bluestone PIM Named a Vendor of Assurance in the 2021 Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 26, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Bluestone PIM drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, work experience management

Stibo Systems is Innovative in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 23, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Stibo Systems Enterprise Platform drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Continuous Planning, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, work experience management

Riversand is Exemplary and a Leader in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 21, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Riversand PX 360 drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Marketing, Data Governance, Data, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales, data operations

Magnitude is Exemplary in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 19, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Magnitude Agility PIM drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Marketing, Data Governance, Data, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales, data operations

Salsify is Exemplary and a Leader in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 15, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Salsify ProductXM drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Marketing, Data Governance, Data, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales, data operations

Pimcore Named Exemplary and Overall Leader in 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 13, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Pimcore Platform drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Marketing, Data Governance, Data, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales, data operations

Akeneo Rated Exemplary Leader in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 12, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Akeneo Serenity drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Marketing, Data Governance, Data, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales, data operations

Informatica is Exemplary and Leader in the 2021 PIM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 9, 2021 3:00:00 AM

We are happy to share some insights about Informatica's Product 360 drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

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Topics: Marketing, Data Governance, Data, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales, data operations

The 2021 Product Information Management Value Index: 16 Vendors to Assess and Select

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 17, 2021 3:00:00 AM

I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Value Index research, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index: Product Information Management 2021 is the distillation of a year of market and product research by Ventana Research. Drawing on our Benchmark Research, we apply a structured methodology built on evaluation categories that reflect the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal to product information management software vendors supporting the spectrum of business intelligence. Using this methodology, we evaluated vendor submissions in seven categories: five relevant to the Product Experience ﹘ Adaptability, Capability, Manageability, Reliability and Usability ﹘ and two related to the Customer Experience ﹘ Total Cost of Ownership/Return on Investment and Vendor Validation.

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Topics: Sales, Marketing, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning

Reinventing Product Experiences Through Product Information Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 15, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Having just completed the 2021 Ventana Research Value Index for Product Information Management, I want to share some of my observations about how the market and category have advanced since our first examination over 15 years ago.

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Topics: Marketing, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, Office of Sales

The Digital Technology Market Agenda for 2021: Predictability in Unpredictable Times

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 25, 2021 12:00:00 AM

I’m proud to share Ventana Research’s 2021 market agenda for digital technology. Our focus in this agenda is to deliver expertise to help organizations prioritize technology investments that increase workforce effectiveness and organizational agility, ensuring ongoing operation during any type of disruption.

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Topics: Big Data, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Digital Technology, Robotic Process Automation, blockchain, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, mobile computing, extended reality

Digital Business Market Agenda for 2021 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 24, 2021 4:00:00 AM

With the announcement of Ventana Research market agenda, a new expertise in Digital Business has been launched, I will outline the areas of focus that provide insights to organizations that can be used to optimize technology, increase agility and organizational readiness. We are proud to provide expertise on digital effectiveness through our research and insights on trends and best practices.

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Topics: Performance Management, Governance, Business Continuity, Risk, Digital transformation, Digital Business, Digital Security, Digital Communications, Sustainability Management, Work Management, Experience Management

The Ventana Research 2021 Market Agenda: How Digital Effectiveness Impacts Organizational Agility

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 17, 2021 3:00:00 AM

Ventana Research has announced its market agenda for 2021, continuing the tradition of transparency in our efforts to educate and guide the technology market but also our independence as we do not share our market agenda or analyst perspectives with any external party. Each year, we proudly formulate our market agenda that is not biased by clients or the technology industry, focusing on education rather than the prospect of consulting or software revenue. We review and refine our plan throughout the year to ensure we offer the expertise and insights organizations rely on to better understand – and navigate – the direction of the technology industry.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Office of Finance, Analytics, Data, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Office of Sales, Digital Business

PTC Brings Innovation to Product Experiences

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 21, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Augmented reality (AR) is a critical component of digital technology. The role of AR is to virtualize the visualization and engagement of assets and products with information that can enhance the value of it for many purposes including manufacturing, marketing, sales and service. Consider how manufacturing and field service organizations are starting to use AR technology for hands-free call-up of service manuals using glasses so technicians can verify progress without looking away from their work.

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Topics: Sales, Business Continuity, Internet of Things, Business Planning, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Digital transformation, mobile computing, extended reality

Business Continuity: Establishing organizational readiness for business resilience

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 30, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Through 2021, one-half of organizations will realize that digital transformation (DX) investments have not met the organizational readiness requirements of business continuity, leading to a new focus on innovative digital technologies that more reliably sustain operations. Which processes does your organization need to prioritize most to operate continuously? Who are the organization’s stakeholders and champion coordinators that will be called upon when an incident arises? What business applications and technologies will help optimize your digital experiences? How can these approaches be applied to a long-term business strategy and planning process rather than a knee-jerk reaction to the unexpected?

These questions and more are addressed in this Ventana Research Analyst Perspective. Join Ventana Research CEO & Chief Research Officer Mark Smith for this brief video as he uncovers the current market situation and recommends three steps that organizations can take to plan for business resilience.

HubSpot Video
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Topics: Business Continuity, Business Planning, Digital transformation

Molecula Earns Ventana Research 13th Digital Innovation Award for Data

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 20, 2020 4:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and the performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Topics: Analytics, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Lake, Data Preparation, IOT, Data, Information Management (IM), Digital Technology, blockchain, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, extended reality

ShipChain Earns our 13th Digital Innovation Award for Operations and Supply Chain

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 17, 2020 2:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and the performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Topics: Continuous Planning, Data, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, blockchain, continuous supply chain

Oracle Day by Day earns our 13th Digital Innovation Award for Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 23, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and the performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Topics: embedded analytics, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Digital Technology, natural language processing, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing

Reltio Connected Customer 360 earns our 13th Digital Innovation Award for Marketing

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 21, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and the performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Digital Commerce

Varicent: Symon.AI earns our 13th Digital Innovation Award for Office of Sales

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 15, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and the performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Topics: Sales, Marketing, embedded analytics, Analytics, Sales Performance Management, Digital Technology, AI and Machine Learning, intelligent marketing, sales enablement

Talkdesk: CX Cloud earns our 13th Digital Innovation Award for Customer Experience

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 13, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy innovations in technology that advance business and IT.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, Contact Center, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Conversational Computing, collaborative computing, agent management

8x8: Open Communications Platform earns our 13th Digital Innovation Award for Digital Technology

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 9, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Analytics, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Data, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, blockchain, employee experience, candidate engagement, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, agent management, extended reality, business digital commerce, work experience management

ServiceNow: Now Platform earns our Overall Digital Innovation Award

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 6, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards showcases advances in the productivity and potential of business applications, as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency and productivity in the processes and the performance of an organization. Our goal is to recognize technology and vendors that have introduced noteworthy digital innovations that advance business and IT.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, Contact Center, Workforce Management, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, robotic finance, employee experience, continuous supply chain, agent management, work experience management

The Business Continuity Imperative: Price and Revenue Management for Resilience in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 2, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Economic dynamics and market pressures during a black-swan event can wreak havoc on efforts to effectively manage revenue operations and pricing for business continuity. For many organizations, environmental changes disrupt the methods by which these essential business processes are managed can be disrupted, damaging the revenue streams that create profitability. The array of pricing strategies and related promotional tactics across channels for configure, price and quote (CPQ), digital commerce and subscription management can challenge the best of organizations. Leadership must examine the agility of pricing management to determine if they have ability to make and manage changes to determine the effectiveness of decisions. This requires visibility into revenue operations and selling channels, which in turn requires programs, processes and technology designed to meet the needs of what is called price and revenue management (PRM).  

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Internet of Things, Data, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Workforce Management, Workforce Planning, Price and Revenue Management, Total Compensation Management, Conversational Computing

The Business Continuity Imperative: Experience Management across Business for Organizational Effectiveness in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 26, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Over the past several months, I have discussed a wide range of topics that organizations must consider and appropriately prioritize to maintain business continuity during periods of upheaval. But sometimes it’s important to take a step back and reflect on a critical and recurring theme: experiences. The array of experiences across the workforce and business processes both inside and outside of the organization are an essential part of an organization’s success. Leadership must give these experiences the attention they deserve, and this requires visibility into operations and the tools to measure effectiveness, especially during black-swan events. Fulfilling this objective requires the programs, processes and technology designed to meet the needs of what is called experience management (XM).

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Office of Finance, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Internet of Things, Data, Sales Performance Management, Workforce Management, Workforce Planning, Operations & Supply Chain, Total Compensation Management, Conversational Computing

The Business Continuity Imperative: The Continuous Planning Experience and Organizational Agility in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 19, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Business planning is an essential part of an organization’s focus on its future performance and overall potential because it ensures continuous operations, even in black-swan events. Planning across the entire organization needs to be a critical priority and leadership should give it the attention it deserves. In challenging times, a focus on execution tends to take hold — this is not unreasonable but in focusing on satisfying immediate customer and workforce needs and putting out fires, business leaders too often forget that forward-looking continuous planning is essential to achieving desired outcomes. Fulfilling this objective requires technology designed to meet these needs for every business process in the organization.  

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Topics: Sales, Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, Continuous Planning, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Internet of Things, Data, Sales Performance Management, Workforce Management, Financial Performance Management, Price and Revenue Management, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, Total Compensation Management, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing

The Business Continuity Imperative: The Workforce Experience and Human Capital Management in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 12, 2020 6:00:00 AM

The workforce is an essential part of an organization’s overall business potential because it ensures continuous operations, even in black-swan events. The workforce is the core of the organization and should get the attention it deserves. In challenging times, a “customer-first” mentality tends to take hold — this is not unreasonable but in focusing on satisfying customers and opportunities, business leaders too often forget that the workforce experience is essential to achieving desired results. Fulfilling this objective requires technology designed to meet these human capital management (HCM) objectives. An organization’s agility and ability to invest adequate time and resources into the workforce experience is essential to an organization’s sustainability and operational effectiveness.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, Voice of the Customer, Continuous Planning, Business Continuity, Analytics, Business Planning, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Management, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Robotic Process Automation, employee experience, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, agent management, People Analytics

The Business Continuity Imperative: Analytics and Data for Engaging Digital Experiences in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 5, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Analytics and data provide visibility into an organization’s past, present and potential performance. However, not all organizations are using analytics that provide timely insights — insights that not just reflect what happen but direct a successful course for the future. Demand for personalized and relevant insight only intensifies in a black-swan event. To maintain business continuity in times of pressure, it is critical that organizations not waste any time or resources when using analytics and data to optimize operations and decision-making. Just having an analytics and data-first mentality and operating in the cloud is insufficient for success, as those are just part of an effective data and analytics effort. Organizations also should include data science and machine learning that can provide an excellent digital experience; unfortunately, this is no simple task.

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Topics: business intelligence, embedded analytics, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Internet of Things, Data, Digital Technology, natural language processing, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning

The Business Continuity Imperative: The Digital Experience in Marketing for 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 28, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Marketing is inextricably linked to business success, and digital technology is essential to an organization’s overall marketing potential because it generates interest and brand awareness. In a black-swan event, the marketing department often is overwhelmed by short-term demands, so in these situations it’s of the essence that digital transformation gets the attention it deserves. In challenging times, a “putting-out-fires” mentality tends to take hold — this is not unreasonable but in focusing on satisfying the interest of the moment, business leaders too often forget that a consistent digital experience is essential to engaging consumers, the public and customers in a way that contributes to long-term success. Fulfilling this objective requires technology designed to deliver for marketing to meet this essential imperative. An organization’s agility and ability to invest adequate time and resources into marketing technology that enables a superior digital experience is essential for its sustainability and operational effectiveness.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Marketing, Office of Finance, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Data, Product Information Management, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Conversational Computing

Modernizing PIM for Product Experience Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 25, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Today’s businesses must manage a continually expanding array of data, content and digital assets as well as satisfy the demands of consumers for comprehensive product information. Addressing these challenges requires unified processes and automated systems and, most importantly, the ability to augment and enrich product information. Our earlier PIM research found that more than half (52%) of organizations have incompatible tools and almost half (48%) must cope with disparate forms of data. These are situations that lead to wasted time and inefficiency in checking for errors and reconciling data across systems.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Marketing, PIM, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Intelligent CX, product experience management, PXM

The Business Continuity Imperative: The Subscriber Experience and Subscription Management in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 14, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Subscriptions are the future of business. Subscribers are essential to an organization’s overall business potential because they generate recurring revenue. In a black-swan event, demand for a subscription may spike or dip, so in these situations it’s of the essence that subscriptions get the attention they deserve. In challenging times, a “subscriber-first” mentality tends to take hold — this is not unreasonable but in focusing on satisfying subscribers, business leaders too often forget that the subscription experience is essential to retaining them. Fulfilling this objective requires technology designed for subscriptions. An organization’s agility and ability to invest adequate time and resources into subscriptions is essential for its sustainability and operational effectiveness.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Marketing, Office of Finance, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Data, Product Information Management, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Subscription Billing, Conversational Computing, Subscription Management, Subscriber Experience

The Business Continuity Imperative: The Partner Experience and Channel Performance Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 10, 2020 5:50:52 PM

Partners play a key role in the revenue and growth of every organization. Whether channel selling is in assistance to internal sales or independent, what happens in partnering has ramifications that are simply too important to underestimate. The imperative to maintain business continuity with channel partners becomes painfully clear in a global pandemic, and that imperative demands that organizations cultivate partner excellence and channel performance. This effort should start with partner leadership and operations, with the objective of building channel relationships that can survive the test of time. Effective sales channel partnerships are built on mutual trust and a shared belief in the market opportunity, and recruiting and managing partners must be supported by effective processes and technology. The health of these relationships and the resulting revenue from the channel hinges on an effective partner experience, and this requires technology investments that enable leaders to not just manage channel performance, but help inspire it every single day.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Office of Finance, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Internet of Things, Data, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Conversational Computing, partner management, Partner Experience

The Business Continuity Imperative: The Product Experience for Buyer and Customer Delight in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on May 31, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Products and services are the foundation of every organization, regardless of its industry or size. Products are essential to an organization’s overall business health because they generate revenue and engage buyers and customers. In a black-swan event, demand for a product may spike or dip, so in these situations it’s of the essence that products get the attention they deserve as they are marketed, sold, serviced and enhanced with innovations. In challenging times, a “customer-first” mentality tends to take hold — this is not unreasonable but in a rush to satisfy customers, business leaders too often forget that the product experience is essential to fulfilling on the customer experience and satisfying customers and buyers. An organization’s agility and ability to invest adequate time and resources into products is essential for its sustainability and operational effectiveness.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Marketing, Office of Finance, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Data, Product Information Management, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Conversational Computing, product experience management

The Business Continuity Imperative: The Work Experience and Workforce Engagement Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on May 24, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The workforce is the center of any organization, no matter if the workforce consists of employees, contractors or what we call gig workers. It stands to reason that a black-swan event has an immediate impact on a workforce and thus an organization’s overall business health. In challenging times, a “family-first” mentality tends to take hold — a reality that, far too often, business leaders and HR organizations underestimate. But organizational readiness is essential for sustainability and operational effectiveness.

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Topics: Sales, Human Capital Management, Learning, Office of Finance, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Digital Technology, Digital Marketing, Operations & Supply Chain, Workforce Optimization, AI and Machine Learning

The Business Continuity Imperative: The Selling Experience and Sales Performance Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on May 17, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Sales plays a lead role in the revenue and growth of every organization. Whether the selling is direct or indirect, what happens in the sales department has ramifications that are perilous to underestimate. The imperative to maintain business continuity becomes painfully clear in a global pandemic, and that imperative demands that organizations cultivate sales excellence. This effort should start with leadership and engage sales operations, management and professionals with the objective of building customer relationships that can survive the test of time. The health of a sales organization hinges on an effective selling experience, and this requires technology investments that enable leaders to not just manage sales performance but help inspire it every single day.

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Sales Operations, Business Continuity, CFO, Sales Performance Management, sales enablement

The Business Continuity Imperative: The Supplier Relationship and Experience

Posted by Mark Smith on May 10, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Suppliers play a critical role in supporting the operations and processes of every organization. Whether direct or indirect, an organization’s relationship with its suppliers has ramifications that are perilous to underestimate. The imperative to maintain business continuity becomes painfully clear in a global pandemic, and that imperative demands that organizations cultivate excellent supplier relationships.  

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Office of Finance, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Internet of Things, Data, Digital Technology, Operations & Supply Chain, Conversational Computing

The Business Continuity Imperative: The Voice and Mission of Your Customer Experience

Posted by Mark Smith on May 3, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Supercharging the customer experience (CX) is more than just an opportunity. It’s essential for every organization that looks to optimize engagement at every moment of the customer journey. In times such as these, when business continuity is a top priority, organizations must address the customer experience, especially if it has not been a focal point of the executive team.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Office of Finance, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Information Management, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Data, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Intelligent CX, Conversational Computing

The Business Continuity Imperative: Digital Technology for Optimal Operations in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 26, 2020 3:00:00 AM

The imperative to infuse digital technology into your organization is not new, but it’s more essential than ever that organizations embrace digital transformation and business continuity to improve processes. I have recently written about the need for digital innovation in business continuity, outlining the steps every organization needs to take. These steps involve a close examination of the digital technology they can apply effectively for business continuity during a pandemic, natural disaster, cyber event or geopolitical situation.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, Analytics, Data, Digital Technology

The Business Continuity Imperative: Digital Innovation for Optimal Experiences in 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 19, 2020 3:00:00 AM

At Ventana Research we’re familiar with the need for digital transformation as we have been researching and providing education on this topic for almost two decades. And recent global challenges make even clearer the sea change at hand: digital innovation is essential for not only success, but survival. Business continuity during a pandemic, natural disaster, cyber event or geopolitical situation requires business and risk mitigation processes, but unfortunately very few organizations had been doing so. We are seeing how quickly organizations are going into survival mode, in how they operate and communicate to meet the expectations of the workforce, customers, stakeholders and potentially shareholders.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, HCM, Marketing, Office of Finance, Business Continuity, Analytics, Digital Technology

Embrace Your Customers and Buyers with Digital Value

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 2, 2020 3:11:58 PM

I would like to share some of my thoughts on COVID-19 and the challenges organizations are facing as they strive for business continuity and digital engagement with customers and buyers. As the global and US numbers get worse by the day, the pandemic is impacting life as we knew it and also leaves people (many in new forms of isolation) yearning for a bit of normalcy during these strange times.

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Topics: Sales, Marketing, Digital Technology, Digital Marketing, Digital Commerce

The Potential of Marketing in 2020: Ventana Research Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 27, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for marketing, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value from business technology and improve outcomes. Chief Marketing Officers are under pressure to spearhead technology investments that help better align marketing experiences with their brand and to optimize consumer demand for products and services. This challenge is frequently heightened by a lack of centralized data related to customers and products that can help an organization meet operational and analytics needs. Organizations need a marketing data platform that connects applications and services; however, a lack of data science skills has hampered the marketing organization’s full potential.

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Topics: Marketing, Voice of the Customer, Product Information Management, Digital Marketing, Digital Commerce, intelligent marketing

The Ventana Research Operations and the Supply Chain Agenda in 2020

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 26, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for operations and the supply chain, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations across industries derive optimal value from business technology and improve outcomes. Organizations must shift their focus on technology investments to include not just operational productivity but the efficiency of the processes that impact customers’ and workers’ experiences.

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Topics: Continuous Planning, Product Information Management, Price and Revenue Management, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain

The Revolution in Sales in 2020: Ventana Research Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 25, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for sales, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value from business technology and improve outcomes. Chief sales and revenue officers face an imperative to manage the sales organization but they don’t always have the guidance they need to embrace technology and gain the best possible outcomes. As we look forward to 2020 we’re focusing on the selling experience and the applications that simplify processes and tasks across the sales organization.

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Topics: Sales, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Commerce

The Imperative for Customer Experience in 2020: Ventana Research Agenda

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 19, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda in the area of the customer experience. For most organizations, a focus on the customer is not new, but maximizing successful customer interactions has recently become a major investment priority. The customer experience (CX) is an analytic framework that organizations can use to improve customer satisfaction, optimize revenue and achieve operational excellence. As we begin 2020 we are encouraging organizations to invest in a focus on the experiences of customers but also to balance it with focuses on the agent experience and experiences with products or services.

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The Ventana Research Digital Technology Agenda in 2020

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 13, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for digital technology, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value and improve business outcomes. While we have seen more than four decades of digital transformation in the systems and tools businesses rely on, recent years have yielded transformative approaches to technology that can finally actually change the way people and processes work, rather than just make traditional processes more efficient. 

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Topics: Analytics, Internet of Things, Data, Digital Technology, blockchain, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, extended reality

Incentive Solutions Shows Potential in Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 20, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Incentive Solutions drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Incentive Solutions and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Analytics, Contact Center, Data, Sales Performance Management, Financial Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, Subscription Management, agent management, intelligent sales

NICE is a Leader in Reliability for Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 18, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on NICE drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated NICE and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Mobile Technology, Office of Finance, Analytics, Contact Center, Data, Sales Performance Management, Financial Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, Subscription Management, agent management, intelligent sales

beqom is a Value Index Leader for Manageability in Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 16, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on beqom drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated beqom and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Analytics, Contact Center, Data, Sales Performance Management, Financial Performance Management, Digital Technology, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, Subscription Management, agent management, intelligent sales

SAP Provides Mature and Balanced Sales Performance Management Offering

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 13, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on SAP drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated SAP and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Analytics, Contact Center, Data, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, Subscription Management, agent management, intelligent sales

Optymyze Provides Robust Platform and Sales Performance Management Suite

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 11, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Optymyze drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Optymyze and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Analytics, Contact Center, Data, Sales Performance Management, Financial Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, Subscription Management, agent management, intelligent sales

Anaplan is a Value Index Leader for Validation in Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 9, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Anaplan drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Anaplan and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Analytics, Contact Center, Data, Sales Performance Management, Financial Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, Subscription Management, agent management, intelligent sales

Varicent is a Value Index Leader in Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 6, 2019 7:00:00 AM

With the backing of Great Hill Partners and Spectrum Equity, the company Varicent Software launched on Jan. 1st, purchasing IBM’s Sales Performance Management (SPM) assets and hiring employees from IBM’s SPM group. They will join a new team that includes Varicent’s original founders and key leadership.

This set of insights is drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated IBM, now Varicent, and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Analytics, Contact Center, Data, Sales Performance Management, Financial Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, Subscription Management, agent management, intelligent sales

Xactly Demonstrates Strong Performance in SPM Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 4, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Xactly drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Xactly and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Analytics, Contact Center, Data, Sales Performance Management, Financial Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, Subscription Management, agent management, intelligent sales

Oracle Leads Sales Performance Management Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 2, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on Oracle drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic assessment of how well vendor offerings address buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index on Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We evaluated Oracle and eight other vendors in seven categories, five product-related adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on sales performance management.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Contact Center, Data, Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, Subscription Management, agent management, intelligent sales

A 360-Degree View of the Customer Journey Can Provide Customer Experience Insights

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 7, 2019 7:00:00 AM

For interactions with customers to go well, organizations must manage an ever-increasing array of engagement channels. Our research finds that organizations expect to see interaction volumes increase on all channels, especially digital ones such as text-based messaging, chat, mobile and social apps. Unfortunately, the systems that manage these channels are typically disparate and uncoordinated and may not use the same underlying technology. This makes it difficult for organizations to coordinate customer interactions consistently and provide the best possible customer experience.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, business intelligence, embedded analytics, Analytics, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Information Management, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Data, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, blockchain, natural language processing, data lakes, Intelligent CX, AI and Machine Learning, Subscription Management, agent management, extended reality

Technology Really Does Matter for Customer Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 5, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Using customer analytics effectively involves several challenges. Organizations must make it a business priority, cultivate leadership and set a course for ensuring data and analytics are being processed and governed effectively. But effectiveness also requires technology that will assist in the effective operations and management of customers and help an organization achieve its goals.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, embedded analytics, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Information Management, Contact Center, Data, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, blockchain, natural language processing, data lakes, Intelligent CX, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, Subscription Management, agent management, extended reality

Identifying the Leaders in Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 31, 2019 7:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insights from our latest Value Index research, which rates how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). The Ventana Research Value Index: Sales Performance Management 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. Drawing on our benchmark research and expertise, this research-based index is the first such evaluation to assess the full business value of sales performance management software. You can learn more about our Value Index as an effective vendor selection and RFI/RFP tool here and participating vendors can learn more about how to use the Value Index here.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Analytics, Contact Center, Data, Sales Performance Management, Financial Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, Subscription Management, agent management, intelligent sales

Effective Customer Analytics Requires Comprehensive Data and Metrics

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 29, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Customer analytics have never been more important, but effectively creating and managing them is not easy. The data that’s required to achieve visibility into all customer activity involves many applications and systems and it’s a challenge to ensure the data used is accurate and consistent. Even once data is assembled, organizations often struggle to apply analytics to create the metrics that best represent an understanding of the past and, more importantly, the path to the future.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, embedded analytics, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Lake, Data Preparation, Information Management, Contact Center, Data, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, blockchain, natural language processing, Intelligent CX, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, Subscription Management, agent management, extended reality

The Science of Sales Performance Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 24, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Ensuring that the sales organization contributes as fully as possible to the success of the organization — to revenue, growth, prof itability and the overall customer experience — requires not only dedication but effective strategy and planning. A well-developed strategy and plan to utilize current and future sales talent is essential for the best possible sales performance. To carry out this mission, organizations need a set of coordinated sales-related activities, processes and systems that enable the sales organization, from leadership and operations to the manager and sellers, to operate in a coordinated and collaborative manner. We call this sales performance management.

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Topics: Sales, Customer Experience, Office of Finance, Analytics, Contact Center, Data, Sales Performance Management, Financial Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Predictive Planning, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, Subscription Management, agent management, intelligent sales

The Challenges in Customer Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 22, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Today’s intense competition requires that companies know as much as they can about their customers in order to anticipate their needs and deliver a superior customer experience. However, many organizations struggle to do this well. Implementing initiatives to improve customer value across any department or process involving customers requires both in-depth visibility into current operations and excellent metrics.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, business intelligence, embedded analytics, Analytics, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Data, Digital Commerce, blockchain, natural language processing, data lakes, Intelligent CX, Conversational Computing, AI and Machine Learning, collaborative computing, mobile computing, Subscription Management, agent management, extended reality

Gaining Dynamic Insights on Sales Planning

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 15, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Managing sales processes and resources without careful planning is a recipe for failure. Effectiveness in sales starts with planning that involves the full range of stakeholders. This planning should involve a systematic process, incorporate all relevant information and be supported by capable software designed for this purpose. Furthermore, everyone who participates in sales-related activities, including those dealing with quotas, territories and resources, should be providing input for the planning. Without broad participation the likelihood of less-than-optimal planning increases and anyone who is excluded may not fully buy into the plan and its execution.

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Topics: Sales, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Commerce, Subscription Management, intelligent sales

Dynamic Insights Research on Sales Analytics Guides Innovation, not Evolution

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 4, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Having effective analytics enables businesses to understand far better than ever before the data they’re collecting, and to do so in greater volumes and more forms. These new capabilities are especially relevant to sales organizations. When applied to sales data, analytics can help sales teams achieve quotas and forecast more consistently, as well as understand the impacts of incentives and maximize the potential of territories, all of which help improve sales performance. These benefits provide the foundation for a business case to adopt analytics tools that generate information to guide actions and decision-making for sales organizations.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Voice of the Customer, business intelligence, embedded analytics, Analytics, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Information Management, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Data, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, blockchain, natural language processing, data lakes, Intelligent CX, AI and Machine Learning, Subscription Management, agent management

AWS Lags in Connecting Contact Centers in Cloud Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 6, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on AWS drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated AWS and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud. 

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

8x8 Brings Good to Contact Center in the Cloud Market

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 3, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on 8x8 drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated 8x8 and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud. .

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

IFS brings Focus to CX with Contact Center in the Cloud

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 29, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on IFS-mplsystems drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated IFS-mplsystems and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

Altitude Brings Simplification to Customer Engagement for Contact Centers

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 26, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on Altitude drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated Altitude and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

Five9 Brings Balanced Value to Contact Center in the Cloud

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 21, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on Five9 drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated Five9 and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

RingCentral Brings SMB Value to Contact Centers

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 19, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on RingCentral drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated RingCentral and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

Content Guru Brings Manageable Contact Center in the Cloud

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 15, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on Content Guru drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated Content Guru and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

NewVoiceMedia Demonstrates its Validation in Contact Center in the Cloud

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 13, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on NewVoiceMedia drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated NewVoiceMedia and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, NewVoicemedia, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Value Index, Workforce Optimization

Serenova Simplifies Contact Center in the Cloud for Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 8, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on Serenova drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated Serenova and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

Genesys Brings a Pure Focus to Contact Center in the Cloud

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 5, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on Genesys drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated Genesys and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

Cisco Unified Contact Centers in Cloud Computing with BroadSoft

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 29, 2018 8:53:14 AM

I am happy to share some insight on BroadSoft drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated BroadSoft and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

Aspect Brings Great TCO and ROI for Contact Centers in the Cloud

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 25, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on Aspect Software drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated Aspect Software and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

NICE inContact Leads the Pack in Contact Center in Cloud Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 22, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insight on NICE inContact drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated NICE inContact and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

Salesforce Brings Conversation and Customer Experience to the Forefront

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 16, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Dreamforce has become the largest enterprise software event for businesses in the United States, and it is evident why when looking at it this year. With over 170,000 business and IT professionals attending, Salesforce came to show off upcoming product announcements and innovations. This year's biggest focus was on Einstein Voice (a personalized and intelligent conversational assistant), integration with other platforms, and Salesforce Customer 360. The last of these is the start of an answer to a problem we have well documented; businesses struggle getting a full view of the customer and provide a frictionless response to issues and interactions. For the full breakdown of Dreamforce 2018, and my analysis of all the largest announcements, watch my hot take video.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, Customer Experience, Machine Learning, Marketing, Voice of the Customer, CRM, Dreamforce, Sales Performance Management, SPM, Digital Technology, Digital Marketing, Robotic Process Automation, AI, natural language processing

2018 Value Index for Contact Center in the Cloud Vendor Ratings

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 15, 2018 6:00:00 AM

I am happy to share some insights gleaned from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. Drawing on our benchmark research, we utilize a structured research methodology with evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal to vendors in contact centers in the cloud. Using this methodology, we evaluated vendor submissions in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). This research-based index is the first such industry undertaking to assess the full business value of software designed for enabling a contact center in the cloud. You can learn more about our Value Index as an effective vendor selection and RFI/RFP tool at https://www.ventanaresearch.com/value-indexes/inclusion.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

Supercharging Customer Experiences Through Contact Centers in the Cloud

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 11, 2018 6:00:00 AM

An intensified focus on the customer is driving the trend toward enabling omnichannel support in contact centers, our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud has found. In my last analyst perspective I highlighted some key benefits of a contact center in the cloud. In this perspective, I want to elaborate on the finding that only about one-third (35%) of organizations participating in our benchmark research said their customers are satisfied with the way interactions are handled. Far more (47%) said their customers are only somewhat satisfied, which may not be good enough in a fiercely competitive marketplace. Not surprisingly, improving the customer's experience is the most common motivator (cited by 82%) for change in the technology being used.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

Embracing New Channels Through Contact Center and Cloud Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 8, 2018 6:00:00 AM

To remain competitive, organizations must deliver the best possible customer experience through all channels of engagement. One technological approach to accomplish this is to enable a contact center to handle all the channels through which customer interactions with the organization are routed and acted upon. The contact center continues to need to handle telephony, of course, as this remains a channel that carries a significant portion of interactions. But new channels continue to be added to the interaction mix. With the advent of cloud computing, enabling systems and technologies to be managed on the Internet rather than on the premises of an organization, contact centers can be established and interaction channels can be added and configured far more easily.

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Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Contact Center, Workforce Optimization

AI in Business: Hypocrisy and Opportunity

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 6, 2018 8:17:49 AM

We now are well beyond the year depicted in 2001: A Space Odyssey, a cinematic perspective on the future of artificial intelligence in which HAL 9000, a computer, is able to simulate human behavior and control machines. Anyone reviewing the past two years of marketing around AI in the business technology industry can be forgiven for believing that we have arrived at the futuristic state Stanley Kubrick imagined. We have not.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Mobile, Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Machine Learning, Mobile Technology, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Preparation, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Information Optimization, Digital Technology, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Cybersecurity, Billing and Recurring Revenue, Workforce Optimization, collaboration for business

GDPR: Business or Technology Vendors Ready or Not?

Posted by Mark Smith on May 11, 2018 8:37:05 AM

We are have arrived at the May 25, 2018 date when the European Union’s General Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR) become enforceable, following what has been a two-year transition period. Companies were given this time to put in place reasonable measures and the systems necessary to support the legislation’s wide-ranging personal data privacy requirements, which apply to any organization with more than 250 employees that serves EU citizens. While this regulation will apply in the EU, it has implications for any organization in the world that provides services involving the personal data of any EU citizen.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Mobile, Sales, Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Marketing, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Preparation, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Digital Technology, Digital Marketing, Digital Commerce, Cybersecurity, Billing and Recurring Revenue, collaboration for business, mobile marketing

Beyond Digital Transformation: Effective Technology Innovation in 2018

Posted by Mark Smith on May 7, 2018 12:56:06 AM

Advancing the potential of any business requires continuous improvement in the processes and technology that support it. Many companies have embraced attempts at a digital transformation, and it’s become a goal to which organizational resources and budgets have been dedicated around the globe.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Mobile, Sales, Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Machine Learning, Marketing, Marketing Performance Management, Mobile Technology, Office of Finance, Wearable Computing, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer Service, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Preparation, Internet of Things, Contact Center, Information Optimization, Product Information Management, Digital Technology, Digital Marketing, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Pricing and Promotion Management, Cybersecurity, Billing and Recurring Revenue, Workforce Optimization, collaboration for business, mobile marketing

Broken Analytics and BI? Natural Language and Notifications Can Help

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 15, 2017 11:43:55 PM

If we look at the focus of technology vendors for analytics and business intelligence or business applications providers deploying these capabilities in the last five years, we see that they have elevated the importance on the value of visualization and dashboards. These promotions might be understandable, but will they make business and the people using them more intelligent?

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Mobile, Machine Learning, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Information Optimization, Digital Technology, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing

Salesforce Fails Again in Customer Experience

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 14, 2017 2:02:59 AM

More than a year ago I wrote from personal experience about the challenges our firm encountered with Salesforce’s cloud computing systems and customer service and if we can trust them for business in the cloud. That perspective covered a range of issues that the behemoth cloud computing applications and platform company is facing regarding its service and technology. While Salesforce has shifted its customers like us and others to a different cloud computing environment, as it did in moving us off its #NA14 cloud computing instance, core challenges of its customer experience and billing processes persist. After the last customer experience incident, I contacted its executives about the need for operational improvement; it was clear in the dialogue that they saw some but not all of our experience as issues important to improving its customer processes. It was good to get some immediate attention, but my hope was to speak for all SMB companies in pointing out the importance of effective communications and escalating notifications and interactions when those customer moments go sour, so the customer isn’t forced to turn to social media to be heard. This was an area where Salesforce had significant room for improvement in customer engagement, reflecting a pattern we see in our benchmark research, which finds the most common challenges in almost half of organizations are integration of channels of engagement and managing activities as silos.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Office of Finance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Commerce, Sales and Operations Planning, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Sales Enablement and Execution, Machine Learning Digital Technology, Sales Planning and Analytics

Compensation Management Software Vendors Evaluated in Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on May 22, 2017 8:22:23 AM

Compensation and the processes and systems to support it are at the center of success in every organization, as I have noted recently. In our view, an investment in total compensa­tion management software is a strategic step toward advancing human capital management. Our benchmark research on this topic found some prog­ress in attitudes about mod­ern­izing compensation practices. Almost three-fourths (72%) of organizations said that it is important or very important to have a total compensation management system rather than a piecemeal approach. Moreover, nearly half (49%) told us they are confident or very confident that their organization currently manages its compensation processes effectively.

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Topics: Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, Learning Management, HRMS, Workforce Management, Work and Resource Management, ERP and Continuous Accounting, Payroll Optimization

Supercharge Sales Analytics with Digital Technologies

Posted by Mark Smith on May 12, 2017 8:44:07 AM

Our firm regularly explores the impacts of new technologies on business. Analytics is foremost among recently emerging technologies, which our benchmark research consistently confirms. In our research on next-generation sales analytics, fourth-fifths (82%) of participating organizations cited analytics as the most important technology trend for sales; however, several other technologies also are adding power and flexibility to the use of sales analytics.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Mobile Technology, Office of Finance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Commerce, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Sales Enablement and Execution, Machine Learning Digital Technology, Sales Planning and Analytics

Prepare and Wrangle Data for Sales Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on May 5, 2017 8:28:34 AM

The importance of analytics for sales organizations is clear and, as I pointed out in my recent analyst perspective on the next generation of sales analytics, these capabilities optimize revenue potential. However, utilizing sales analytics requires a set of data skills that most organizations still find challenging and are thus not fully prepared to support. The efficient access and preparation of data underlies any analytics processes, which must meet demanding needs that are not always automated. Our research into next generation sales analytics has found many impediments that must be addressed and is a critical part of our expertise agenda for sales organizations.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Machine Learning, Office of Finance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Sales and Operations Planning, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Sales Enablement and Execution, Sales Planning and Analytics

Effective Compensation Systems Transforms Human Capital Management

Posted by Mark Smith on May 2, 2017 1:52:01 AM

Compensation management is essential for any organization that values engaging and retaining its employees. It is a fundamental component of a range of personnel-related activities – recruiting and hiring, assessing performance, and career and succession planning. Determining and providing appropriate compensation, which may involve base pay, merit pay, variable pay and incentives or bonuses, is equally important for all members of the workforce – full- or part-time employees, contingent or on-demand workers and contractors. Incentives are an important part of compensation. Business areas such as call centers, sales forces and field service frequently tie incentive compensation to performance objectives. Whatever the particulars, the effectiveness of compensation directly relates to the core challenge faced by human resources departments: keeping employees productive, satisfied and motivated.

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Topics: Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, Learning Management, HRMS, Workforce Management, Work and Resource Management, ERP and Continuous Accounting, Payroll Optimization

New Generation of Sales Analytics Can Optimize Revenue Potential

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 27, 2017 11:22:52 AM

I have been following advances in sales analytics since the 1990s. Over the last five years, however, I have seen evolution, not innovation. In most cases the information that analytics provides is too complicated and not contextualized enough for sales people who are not analytics experts to understand, let alone take action on. As I pointed out in my 2017 research agenda on sales, analytics is essential for planning that improves the impacts of sales efforts and meets the goals of the organization.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Mobile Technology, Office of Finance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Commerce, Sales and Operations Planning, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Sales Enablement and Execution, Machine Learning Digital Technology, Sales Planning and Analytics

Cloudera Strengthens Big Data for Business and IT

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 30, 2017 12:56:45 AM

Cloudera provides database and enabling technology for the big data market and overall for data and information management. As my colleague David Menninger has written, the big data and information management technology markets are changing rapidly and require vendors to adapt to them. Cloudera has grown significantly over the last decade and now has approximately 1,000 customers and provides support and services in countries around the world. Its product and technology strategy is to provide a unified data management platform, Cloudera Enterprise, that can meet the data engineering and science needs for a range of analytic and operational database applications. Its primary focus is its Enterprise Data Hub, which as a data lake can handle organizations’ big data and analytical needs. As David Menninger asserts, the data lake is a safe way to invest in big data. It also helps shift the focus  away from the V’s (volume, velocity and variety) of big data to the A’s, which are analytics, awareness, anticipation and action.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Machine Learning, business intelligence, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Preparation, Internet of Things, Cognitive Computing, Information Optimization, Digital Technology

Optimizing the Business of Selling in 2017

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 20, 2017 9:22:16 AM

I am happy to provide my personal perspective on the potential of sales organizations, processes and technology to supercharge business activity in 2017. The sales processes of organizations – whether they involve digital commerce or direct or indirect physical selling – should be part of continuous optimization efforts to reach maximum results. To do this, the people leading and running sales processes must be able to use technology that supports their responsibilities and analyzes the crucial information coming into the business. For almost 15 years, we have advocated for sales applications and tools that are necessary to optimize sales effectiveness and improve the outcomes of their sales efforts. The available portfolio is much larger than sales force automation (SFA) and involves more than the continued use of CRM, which has clear limits in its ability to manage customer relationships. The applications on offer include many facets of sales:  coaching, compensation management, contract management, configure price quote (CPQ), forecasting, quota and territory management, planning and optimization, pricing and revenue optimization, and target or market intelligence. New applications designed for sales also enable digital effectiveness that can transform organizations. Let me provide my perspective on six topics that are shaping the way sales can and should operate in 2017, and which are part of our sales research agenda for the year.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Machine Learning, Mobile Technology, Office of Finance, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management, Digital Technology, Digital Commerce, Operations & Supply Chain, Sales and Operations Planning, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Sales Enablement and Execution, Sales Planning and Analytics

Leaders in Workforce Management Software for 2017

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 17, 2017 9:31:47 AM

Workforce management is a key topic of expertise for Ventana Research. We define workforce management as the set of activities and processes organizations use to manage their hourly and salaried workforce for maximum productivity. It involves not only scheduling, tracking and paying for time worked but also aligning that work to the tasks and objectives of the organization. Workforce management is a critical component of every company’s operations, human resources and overall human capital management processes, as I recently pointed out. It helps organizations manage their workforces efficiently in such areas as scheduling, time and attendance, absence tracking and clocking work time, and ensures compliance with regulations and efficient payroll processing. Thus effective support of workers, managers, management and the operations and administration of the total workforce is at the heart of workforce management.

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Topics: Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, Learning Management, HRMS, Workforce Management, Work and Resource Management, ERP and Continuous Accounting, Payroll Optimization

New Potential for Human Capital Management in 2017

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 13, 2017 7:59:59 AM

Human capital management (HCM) offers a prime opportunity for organizations and their human resource professionals to make employee-related processes effective in engaging and retaining the workforce. Manual administrative processes often hampered HR in focusing on the workplace experience and employee satisfaction. Modern HCM applications can help them manage members of the workforce as critical assets and make continuous investment in people-related processes, deriving insights on issue such as health and benefits through analytics applied to HR information. This year we will examine attitudes and changes in how organizations approach HCM through a new research endeavor using our latest research product. We will further deepen the knowledge across six essential aspects of HCM as discussed below and outlined in our HCM agenda for 2017.

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Topics: Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, Learning Management, HRMS, Workforce Management, Work and Resource Management, ERP and Continuous Accounting

Ventana Research Unveils New Digital Marketing Mastery

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 17, 2016 12:21:00 AM

Today’s rapid changes in technology have left many companies behind in the digital transformation that is shaping the future of marketing, sales, commerce and client engagement. At Ventana Research we have seen this change coming, having been close observers and analysts of technological shifts for almost 15 years, providing continuous research and guidance to the technology industry. Now the leading edge is the digital point of engagement with customers through websites and social media. Earlier this year I wrote about mastering marketing mayhem in a meaningful, meticulous manner explaining how organizations can adapt to the new digital reality. Well, we are taking our own advice. Ventana Research spent the first half of 2016 reflecting on lessons learned and best practices from our research and advisory efforts. The result is our new community and website, www.ventanaresearch.com that we have announced and is available for everyone on the Internet. With it we strive to set an example of simplicity in engaging an audience in need of insights and education on technology applied to business.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Marketing, Marketing Performance Management, Mobile Technology, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Digital Technology, Digital Marketing

Workday Works Wonders on Platform for HCM

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 24, 2015 9:31:36 PM

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a software category that includes an array of business applications that includes human resources and finance. Workday is a vendor at the center of a new generation of ERP. My colleague Robert Kugel recently covered that company’s advances in finance using cloud computing to operate its platform. And I recently attended Workday’s technology analyst summit, where I got a deeper view of the technology under its applications and its efforts to perfect its processing potential. The company’s platform can support a broad range of applications, and it is advancing its efforts in analytics, collaboration and business planning. Today, however, only Workday itself is allowed to build applications on the platform, a situation that contrasts with many other ERP providers that make theirs available to third-party software developers and consultants.

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Topics: HCM, Human Capital Management, Uncategorized, HR, Talent Management

Stibo Systems Continues to Advance PIM for Business and IT

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 20, 2015 6:42:30 PM

Stibo Systems has been providing product information management (PIM) software for decades. Its work has helped many organizations worldwide take control of their product information by developing a master definition that can be published across many channels from Web to digital to print. We recognized its work with customers Delta Faucet and Masco Corp. in our 2015 Ventana Research Leadership Award in Information Management. In 2014 Stibo Systems customer Brady Corp. won a similar award for Information Optimization. I have made it clear  that in our view, when it comes to use all kinds of product content and data in business processes, product information management trumps master data management. Delivering value to business with PIM is much different than managing data infrastructure with MDM. There has been much angst in varying industry analyst views on this market segment. We analyze and rate vendors more rigorously than analyst firms that look at them only through an IT lens. Our methodology and framework put business first and IT second, and that shapes how we score vendors in PIM, MDM and other aspects of the software industry.

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Topics: Master Data Management, Sales, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Customer Experience, MDM, Mobile Technology, PIM, Stibo Systems, Customer Performance, Operational Performance, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Information Management, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Optimization, Product Information Management

Domo Delivers on Managing Business Performance

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 18, 2015 12:00:35 AM

Over the last four years Domo, a new brand in cloud-based data and analytics software, has worked to enable its customers to understand, collaborate and act on data to achieve business results. Led by its founder and CEO, Josh James, the company has worked to deliver software that provides both a good user experience and business value. Recently, at its 2015 customer conference Domopalooza, the company presented itself and its products to the general public. I had a chance to meet with company executives, employees and customers and view its products at this high-energy event and entertainment that I have not seen in years.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Human Capital, Mobile Technology, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Domo, Risk & Compliance (GRC), SAB Miller

Informatica Navigates Carefully to Broader Data Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 16, 2015 1:16:15 AM

This has been a dramatic year for Informatica, a major provider of data integration software. In August it was acquired and taken private by Permira funds and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for about US$5.3 billion. This change was accompanied by shifts in its management. CEO Sohaib Abbasi became chairman and now has left, and many executives were replaced while Anil Chakravathy became CEO from being the Chief Product Officer. The new owners appear to have shifted the company’s strategic priorities to emphasize profitability with reduced headcount and return on the purchase investment. Despite these changes, during the past six months Informatica has made key product announcements that will impact its future and the future of data management.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Quality, Master Data Management, MDM, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Cloud Computing, Data Integration, Data Management, Data Preparation, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Informatica, Information Management, Business Performance Management (BPM), Information Optimization, Risk & Compliance (GRC)

Datawatch Bolsters Data Preparation for all Information Assets

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 10, 2015 10:20:09 PM

The need for businesses to process and analyze data has grown in intensity along with the volumes of data they are amassing. Our benchmark research consistently shows that preparing data is the most widespread impediment to analytic and operational efficiency. In our recent research on data and analytics in the cloud, more than half (55%) of organizations said that preparing data for analysis is a major impediment, followed by other preparatory tasks: reviewing data for quality and consistency (48%) and waiting for data and information (28%). Organizations that want to apply analytics to make more effective decisions and take prompt actions need to find ways to shorten the work that comes before it. Conventional analytics and business intelligence tools are not designed for data preparation, but new software tools can enable business users independently or in concert with IT to perform the tasks needed.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Human Capital, Marketing, Monarch, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Customer Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Data Preparation, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Management, Uncategorized, Business Performance Management (BPM), Datawatch, Information Optimization, Risk & Compliance (GRC)

Workforce Management for Human Capital Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 29, 2015 2:14:56 PM

Historically workforce management has been centered on tracking time and attendance, absences and leaves. Organizations view the time and attendance system as the top priority to integrate with the payroll system; in our payroll management benchmark research half (51%) of organizations called it very important. However, only one in five have integrated the two to streamline processes. So limited an administrative and operational focus does not contribute to improving worker productivity or manager efficiency. Moreover, such an approach can foster employee turnover and undermine worker satisfaction and loyalty. Our research analysis underscores that paying insufficient attention to the worker experience can degrade employees’ sense of accomplishment and in some situations also degrade the customer experience.

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Topics: Human Capital, Human Capital Management, Mobile Technology, Wearable Computing, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, HR, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Workforce Management

Big Data Research Agenda and Trends are Bolder in 2015

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 7, 2015 9:36:27 PM

Big data has become a big deal as the technology industry has invested tens of billions of dollars to create the next generation of databases and data processing. After the accompanying flood of new categories and marketing terminology from vendors, most in the IT community are now beginning to understand the potential of big data. Ventana Research thoroughly covered the evolving state of the big data and information optimization sector in 2014 and will continue this research in 2015 and beyond. As it progresses the importance of making big data systems interoperate with existing enterprise and information architecture along with digital transformation strategies becomes critical. Done properly companies can take advantage of big data innovations to optimize their established business processes and execute new business strategies. But just deploying big data and applying analytics to understand it is just the beginning. Innovative organizations must go beyond the usual exploratory and root-cause analyses through applied analytic discovery and other techniques. This of course requires them to develop competencies in information management for big data.

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Topics: Big Data, MapR, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, SAP, Supply Chain Performance, Human Capital, Marketing, Mulesoft, Paxata, SnapLogic, Splunk, Customer Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Cloudera, Financial Performance, Hortonworks, IBM, Informatica, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, Datawatch, Dell Boomi, Information Optimization, Savi, Sumo Logic, Tamr, Trifacta, Strata+Hadoop

Research Agenda: What Matters for Human Capital Management in 2015

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 5, 2015 7:43:42 PM

Managing investments in people and their performance is critical to every organization. It also is complicated. To support the various aspects of human capital management (HCM), organizations often use a variety of technology including systems for human resource management, talent management, workforce management and payroll management. Often these separate systems use their own information and are not well connected to each other. Today they are deployed both on-premises and in cloud computing environments, which further complicates integration. This situation disrupts processes and challenges HR departments and leaders to invest time and resources to correct it.

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Topics: Supply Chain Performance, HCM, Human Capital, Human Capital Management, Operational Performance, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, HRMS, Talent Management, Workforce Management

New Generation of Learning Management Systems Delivers Business Value

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 3, 2015 7:49:26 PM

As organizations look to improve the competency and skills of their workers, learning management system (LMS) technology can help improve their efforts. Our latest benchmark research in next-generation learning management systems finds a range of progress in this regard. Our Performance Index analysis places organizations almost evenly between the two lowest (51%) and the two highest (49%) of four levels of performance. The results differ by size of company as measured by number of employees. For example, only 8 percent of small companies reach the highest Innovative level of performance, compared to 26 percent of very large companies, the largest percentage of any size. Analyzed by industry, the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sector performs best: Two out of three (65%) are at the top two levels. We attribute this in part to the finance industry’s focus on processes and its need to comply with regulations and teach employees how to do so.

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Topics: HCM, Human Capital, Human Capital Management, LMS, Learning Management, Operational Performance, Business Performance, HR, Talent Management

The Future of Integrating ERP and Applications in the Cloud

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 30, 2014 9:22:43 PM

In recent years line-of-business applications including accounting, human resources, manufacturing, sales and customer service have appeared in the cloud. Cloud -based software as a service (SaaS) has replaced on-premises applications that were previously part of ERP and CRM environments. They have helped companies become more efficient but have also introduced interoperability challenges between business processes. Their advantage is that cloud software can be rented, configured and used within a day or week. The disadvantage is that they don’t always connect with one another seamlessly, as they used to and when managed by a third party there is limited connectivity to integrate them.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, ERP, Office of Finance, Order Management, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Financial Performance, CFO, SFA

Teradata Takes Bigger Approach to Big Data

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 17, 2014 9:17:43 AM

Teradata continues to expand its information management and analytics technology for big data to meet growing demand. My analysis last year discussed Teradata’s approach to big data in the context of its distributed computing and data architecture. I recently got an update on the company’s strategy and products at the annual Teradata analyst summit. Our big data analytics research finds that a broad approach to big data is wise: Three-quarters of organizations want analytics to access data from all sources and not just one specific to big data. This inclusive approach is what Teradata as designed its architectural and technological approach in managing the access, storage and use of data and analytics.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Teradata, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, NoSQL, Workforce Performance, JSON, UDA

Xactly Delivers New Inspiration for Sales to Maximize its Potential

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 9, 2014 11:22:16 AM

In an analyst perspective at the beginning of this year I wrote that sales organizations must step beyond conventional wisdom to generate the best outcomes. One such step is to invest in software that delivers immediate value to manage sales and be efficient in its operations. Our latest research on sales organizations finds that inconsistent execution (53%), scattered information (48%) and limited visibility (42%) are motivating investment to improve sales. At CompCloud, its annual conference, Xactly unveiled advances in its software to help improve the effectiveness and productivity of sales organizations. Spokespeople said the company’s sales compensation products have helped users manage US$10 billion in commissions in the past two years.

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Forecast, Sales Commission, Sales Compensation, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Insights, Quotas, Xactly

Informatica Unveils New Platform and Tools for Information Optimization

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 3, 2014 9:09:23 AM

At the Informatica World 2014 conference, the company known for its data integration software unveiled the Intelligent Data Platform. In the last three years Informatica has expanded beyond data integration and now has a broad software portfolio that facilitates information management within the enterprise and through cloud computing. The Intelligent Data Platform forms a framework for its portfolio. This expression of broad potential is important for Informatica, which has been slow to position its products as capable of more than data integration. A large part of the value it provides lies in what its products can do to help organizations strengthen their enterprise architectures for managing applications and data. We see Informatica’s sweet spot in facilitating efficient use of data for business and IT purposes; we call this information optimization.

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Topics: Big Data, Master Data Management, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Data Integration, Data Management, Financial Performance, Informatica, Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Information Optimization, Product Information Management, application

Pitney Bowes Brings New Software for Better Business Insights

Posted by Mark Smith on May 19, 2014 10:17:43 AM

I recently attended the 2014 global analyst summit in San Francisco hosted by Pitney Bowes, an old technology company (now in business for 94 years) that has a new focus in its software along with an entirely new executive team. These leaders unveiled a business and technology strategy meant to demonstrate the company’s commitment to software. For many years it has been known mostly for mail services and postage metering, but Pitney Bowes also has made investments in software that can help companies change their business processes by optimizing their information assets. Over the past few years the company has had its ups and downs as regards its corporate mission, as I wrote in 2012. Most of the turmoil was due to conflicting agendas from past management, but other factors were the company was not as clear in communicating the value of its combined software portfolio and not capitalizing on the demand in lines of business and IT for information management and analytics software.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Pitney Bowes, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence

Qvidian Helps Sales Optimize Execution

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 23, 2014 10:02:05 AM

Few sales organizations realize their full potential, partly because they don’t execute well. We urge organizations to move beyond conventional wisdom in how they think about executing sales processes and have placed methods for making improvement to sales execution at the center of our research on sales in 2014. In our recent research on sales forecasting almost half (44%) of sales organizations said they have impediments that are motivating management to consider further investment in sales technology, and the most common of those is inconsistent execution (for 53%). Many sales organizations don’t use training in a consistent manner and fail to automate processes to gain efficiency.

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Qvidian, Sales Coaching, Sales Force Automation, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, SFA

Successful Sales Forecasting Requires Dedicated Technology

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 23, 2014 9:44:36 AM

Sales forecasting is an essential process for most businesses. It helps guide the efforts not only of the sales function but also of finance, operations, manufacturing and customer service. Our recently released sales forecasting benchmark research reveals significant insights and best practices that can help companies optimize the effectiveness of this process. I recently wrote that most sales organizations need to make significant changes to the way they do sales forecasting. In that analyst perspective, I examined aspects of technology that can make sales forecasting a much more efficient process than it is in most organizations that use software not designed for sales forecasting.

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Sales Forecasting, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Information Applications, SFA

Equifax Delivers Insightful Analytics for Compliance with Affordable Care Act

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 9, 2014 2:56:14 AM

Pressure to comply with requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a looming challenge for most organizations today. Many go through numerous manual iterations such as running reports and compiling data into spreadsheets from benefits, payroll and HR systems to calculate whether their employees are eligible. As my colleague Stephan Millard explains in “Is Your Organization Technology Ready for the Affordable Care Act?”, the ACA applies to organizations with 50 or more full-time employees who work more than 30 hours a week; individuals not covered by an employer can get insurance through the government. There are a great many details for employers to address in the ACA, and most HR departments lack a smooth process and effective technology to generate the information to determine compliance.

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Topics: Equifax, Human Capital Analytics, Office of Finance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance

Technology Makes a Difference for Location Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 1, 2014 12:48:10 AM

Our latest benchmark research into the market for location analytics software finds significant demand for location-related technology that can improve business outcomes and generate relevant information for various types of users. (Location analytics is an extension of business analytics that can enhance the sophistication of data and processes by adding a geographic context.)  My last analyst perspective on this topic discussed the business value of insights based on geography and what organizations are doing to advance their efforts here. Our research also shows, however, that most still lack satisfaction and confidence in using the technology. Just 12 percent of all participants said they are very satisfied with the location information and analytics available in their organization. Further analysis shows that satisfaction increases with use of a dedicated application for location analytics: 71 percent of those are satisfied or very satisfied, substantially more than those using location analytics within a BI tool (22%); findings are similar for both B2B and B2C use. We find similar levels of confidence in the quality of location information: 15 percent of those using a dedicated application are very confident in their location analytics. Confidence in the reliability of such information is essential to more organizations adopting location analytics.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, GIS, Location Analytics, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Data

Cloudera Makes Hadoop a Big Player in Big Data

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 24, 2014 9:16:06 PM

I had the pleasure of attending Cloudera’s recent analyst summit. Presenters reviewed the work the company has done since its founding six years ago and outlined its plans to use Hadoop to further empower big data technology to support what I call information optimization. Cloudera’s executive team has the co-founders of Hadoop who worked at Facebook, Oracle and Yahoo when they developed and used Hadoop. Last year they brought in CEO Tom Reilly, who led successful organizations at ArcSight, HP and IBM. Cloudera now has more than 500 employees, 800 partners and 40,000 users trained in its commercial version of Hadoop. The Hadoop technology has brought to the market an integration of computing, memory and disk storage; Cloudera has expanded the capabilities of this open source software for its customers through unique extension and commercialization of open source for enterprise use. The importance of big data is undisputed now: For example, our latest research in big data analytics finds it to be very important in 47 percent of organizations. However, we also find that only 14 percent are very satisfied with their use of big data, so there is plenty of room for improvement. How well Cloudera moves forward this year and next will determine its ability to compete in big data over the next five years.

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Topics: Big Data, Teradata, Zoomdata, IT Performance, Business Intelligence, Cloudera, Hortonworks, IBM, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, Hive, Impala, Strata+Hadoop

Oracle Has Sunny Forecast for Cloud Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 20, 2014 9:35:10 AM

At Oracle’s recent cloud computing analyst summit in sunny Palm Springs, the company’s executive team insisted that it sees clear skies for its efforts in cloud computing. The summit was led by senior executive Thomas Kurian, who runs the entire product organization and reports directly to CEO Larry Ellison. He affirmed that Oracle intends to offer the full range of cloud computing – public, private and hybrid models – to its customers and partners. As one of the world’s largest software suppliers Oracle has much at stake to make its database and all tools and applications available in these cloud environments, including managed cloud services. Our business technology innovation research shows this is a smart bet. Cloud computing is important or very important to 57 percent of organizations, and more than half (55%) of cloud users have been using it for more than a year. I noted in 2013 that simplifying IT and innovating in business are key to its software strategy, and Oracle’s efforts since then have executed on this outline.

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Topics: Big Data, Database, Microsoft, SaaS, Sales Performance, Social Media, Software as a Service, Supply Chain Performance, Middleware, Oracle Cloud, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, IBM, Information Applications, Information Management, Oracle, Workforce Performance, Database as a Service, Verizon

SAS Unifies Big Data for Business and IT

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 12, 2014 6:45:02 AM

Many businesses are close to being overwhelmed by the unceasing growth of data they must process and analyze to find insights that can improve their operations and results. To manage this big data they find a rapidly expanding portfolio of technology products. A significant vendor in this market is SAS Institute. I recently attended the company’s annual analyst summit, Inside Intelligence 2014 (Twitter Hashtag #SASSB). SAS reported more than $3 billion in software revenue for 2013 and is known globally for its analytics software. Recently it has become a more significant presence in data management as well. SAS provides applications for various lines of business and industries in areas as diverse as fraud prevention, security, customer service and marketing. To accomplish this it applies analytics to what is now called big data, but the company has many decades of experience in dealing with large volumes of data. Recently SAS set a goal to be the vendor of choice for the analytic, data and visualization software needs for Hadoop. To achieve this aggressive goal the company will have to make significant further investments in not only its products but also marketing and sales. Our benchmark research on big data analytics shows that three out of four (76%) organizations view big data analytics as analyzing data from all sources, not just one, which sets the bar high for vendors seeking to win their business.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, SAS, Event Stream, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Customer & Contact Center, Data Management, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Discovery

Location Analytics Delivers Geographic Insights

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 3, 2014 8:54:44 PM

Adding geographic and location context to business information enables organizations to develop fuller understanding and optimize the activities of people that use the information. We call this location intelligence, and to achieve it requires location analytics, which focus on that context where the processing and presentation of geography and spatial aspects of data are utilized. Analysis of geographic information can provide business insights that help organizations make better business decisions. I have written about this new generation of location analytics previously and noted that it can provide fresh analytic perspectives on information collected and integrated from in-house applications and across the Internet.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Customer Analytics, GIS, Location Analytics, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance

The Sales Forecast Requires Commitment not Status Quo

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 27, 2014 8:03:39 AM

In today’s highly competitive sales environment, where success depends on meeting the specific needs of buyers, an accurate and timely sales forecast is a critical tool for optimizing business outcomes. I discussed this as part of our 2014 research agenda for sales, noting that linking the forecast to commissions, quotas and territories is a requirement for success. We recently completed new benchmark research on sales forecasting to ascertain the state of the processes and technology sales organizations use. This research continues to find less than adequate efforts by organizations to improve their sales forecasting process and insufficient information about the full revenue potential from accounts and customers.

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Sales Forecasting, Sales Operations, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, SFA

Wearable Computing is in Fashion and Ready for Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 26, 2014 7:28:40 AM

In the near future, technology will be something we wear or attach comfortably to our bodies. Wearable computers have been evolving for some time, and while that might seem futuristic to the uninformed, in the technology industry it is rapidly becoming real. This trend is important for businesses to note, as our business technology innovation research shows that it is very important to more than half (56%) of organizations to find methods to use technology innovation to support both business processes and their people. Mobile technology is the third-most important innovative technology, after analytics and collaboration, and innovators will use all three together. Many organizations focus on acquiring and retaining the best possible workforce, which after all is their most valuable asset.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, HCM, Human Capital Management, Wearable Computing, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Talent Management

Oracle Modernizes HR with Mobile and Wearable Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 22, 2014 6:43:00 AM

At Oracle’s first-ever HCM World conference, the technology company demonstrated its commitment to human resources customers, explaining its strategy for Modern HR in the Cloud, which is focused on meeting the needs of employees in a large, dispersed workforce. The conference was insightful both intellectually and practically in its discussions of how workforces are changing. Oracle also showed its commitment by having both President Mark Hurd and CEO Larry Ellison present keynotes. This was the first time both have addressed a conference other than the flagship Oracle OpenWorld. It is worth watching the replays of their talks, which reveal the company’s motivation and investment in human capital management (HCM). In developing its HCM products Oracle has in mind multigenerational workforces that require software that is adaptable to people, competencies and new technologies such as mobile devices and social collaboration and recognizes the imperative to access workforce information and analytics immediately. The rebranded Oracle HCM Cloud Service has gained significant momentum, as my colleague Stephan Millard pointed out in his recent analysis of Oracle’s HCM portfolio. Taking a global approach it supports users in 196 countries, 34 languages and multiple currencies and operates entirely in a cloud environment.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Human Capital Analytics, Human Capital Management, Recruiting, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Oracle, Workforce Performance, HR, Talent Management, Workforce Management

MicroStrategy Reveals New Generation of Analytics for Cloud and Mobile Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 18, 2014 8:19:04 AM

At its recent MicroStrategy World 2014 conference, the enterprise software company introduced a portfolio of products to make it easier to perform analytics and make them easier to access through the cloud and mobile forms of computing. These announcements accelerate MicroStrategy’s transition to approaching corporate business users of analytics from its past focus on business intelligence, which typically is purchased by IT. This is a subtle but strategic shift that recognizes where growth opportunities lie and that analytics must be available on any device at any time. MicroStrategy made it clear that advances in the cloud, mobility and big data were integral to its product releases last year and is continuing in this direction in 2014 with the products in its MicroStrategy 9.4 suite.

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Topics: MicroStrategy, Mobile, Social Media, Customer Engagement, Smart Phones, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Information Applications, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Tablets

The Challenge for Sales in 2014: Stepping Beyond Conventional Wisdom

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 31, 2014 8:45:34 AM

It should be no surprise for those who work in sales that increasing outcomes collectively is not always easy. Sales teams and individuals work under pressure to perform at high levels, selling more than they did in the previous period or more than the person who previously had responsibility for a territory. Today’s economic and competitive environments demand that everyone work not just faster but smarter in their sales efforts. To excel in this environment requires not just wise use of time but prioritization of the activities and tasks that contribute to achieving the quota and forecast. In the past, sales organizations often resisted adopting new technology, but it’s time for them to realize that tools are available to facilitate better sales performance. As I outlined in the overview of our business and technology research agenda for this year, the sales department has a ripe opportunity to get smarter in how it operates. This is the essential point of our research practice in sales applications and technology: Our methodical benchmark research examines applications and technology best practices and benefits for sales organizations, and we assess the vendors and products in this market through our Value Index ratings. We will start 2014 with the latest release of our Value Index on Sales Performance Management, which will help sales management evaluate products to assist in improving performance of the organization.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Sales Performance, Social Media, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Compensation, Sales Performance Management, SFA

Big Data Offers Business Opportunity for Information Optimization in 2014

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 27, 2014 9:09:29 AM

Businesses are always looking for ways to grow and to streamline their operations. These two goals can come into conflict because as organizations become larger it becomes more complicated to be agile and efficient. To help them understand and modify their processes, businesses can derive insights from analytics applied to their data. Today that data is available not only in the enterprise and cloud computing environments but also from the Internet. To collect, process and analyze it all is a challenge, one that an increasing number of organizations are meeting through the use of big data technologies. The resulting insights can help them make strategic business decisions such as where to focus efforts and how to engage with customers. At Ventana Research we have been working hard to understand the advancing technology that supports big data and its value through information optimization and bring clarity to the industry through our research and analysis of trends and products. There are many opinions about big data and fixation on the attributes of it through the V’s (volume, variety and velocity) and how to use it, often biased toward one technology or vendor; our research and analysis of the entire market cuts through the noise to provide not just facts but insights on best practices and methods to apply this technology to business problems.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, 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, Information Optimization

IBM Bets a Billion to Mobilize Watson Business Unit and Monetize Cognitive Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 13, 2014 8:04:28 AM

With much fanfare and a rarely seen introduction by CEO Ginni Rometty, IBM launched IBM Watson as a new business unit focused on cognitive computing technology and solutions, now being led by Senior Vice President Mike Rhodin. The announcement is summarized here:. Until now IBM Watson was important but had neither this stature in IBM’s organizational structure nor enough investment to support what the company proclaims is the third phase of computing. As IBM tells it, computing paradigms began with the century-old tabular computing, followed by the age of programmatic computing, in which IBM developed many products and advancements. The third phase is cognitive computing, an area in which the company has invested significantly to advance its technology. IBM has been on this journey for some time, long before the IBM Watson system beat humans on Jeopardy!. Its machine-learning efforts started with the IBM 704 and computer checkers in the 1950s, followed by decades of utilizing the computing power of the IBM 360 mainframe, the IBM AS/400, the IBM RS/6000 and even IBM XT computers in the 1980s. Now IBM Watson is focused on reaching the full potential of cognitive computing.

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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, Cognitive Computing, Discovery, Exploration, IBM Watson

Research Agendas for 2014: Optimizing the Use of Technology for Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 10, 2014 8:37:34 AM

Greetings, everyone, and best wishes for a great start to 2014. In this new year, utilizing best practices and skills learned in 2013 will be critical for optimizing the use of efforts to support both business and IT. In 2013 many organizations made progress in balancing technology decisions across business and IT as the lines of business continued to take leading roles in investment and prioritization. Major investments were made in business applications using software as a service, business analytics and mobile computing applications. In some other areas of innovation, particularly big data and social collaboration, deployments are just beginning to happen and a significant amount of projects are in experimental and proof of concept than enterprise use.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Market Research, 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, CFO, COO, Technology

Oracle Demonstrates Innovation in Human Capital Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 15, 2013 6:24:27 AM

The 2013 Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco was unique in several ways. Against the background of the America’s Cup yacht races on the bay, which Team Oracle won in an amazing comeback, this was the first year in which OpenWorld dedicated a separate track to the full aspects of human capital management (HCM). This emphasis helped to demonstrate Oracle’s increased commitment to HCM. That and several important innovations in the company’s Oracle HCM Cloud product suite led us to select Oracle as winner of this year’s Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award for HCM. (For some background, see my colleague Mark Smith’s assessment of Oracle at its analyst day last spring.)

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Gamifiacation, HCM, OpenWorld, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Oracle, Workforce Performance

Agility Provides Simplicity and Innovation in Product Information Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 31, 2013 2:04:54 AM

The need to be effective in the marketing, selling, manufacturing, distributing, and sourcing products requires more consistent and higher quality product information. This is where product information management (PIM) has great potential, and as I have attested is the responsibility of business to lead the process and technology improvements. Of course for PIM to be efficient IT needs to support business leadership to improve PIM and ensure access and integration of data and applications. One of the technology providers that help in this mission is Agility Multichannel, a software supplier that I have been tracking for many years and rated the highest level as a Hot Vendor in our 2012 Ventana Research Value Index for Product Information Management. In the scope of PIM its product has the ability to handle a broad range of channels of interaction for product information, from traditional print and electronic layout to email, portal, mobile and commerce interfaces across the life cycle of product information.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Operational Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Commerce, Product Information Management, Supply Chain

Ventana Research Technology Innovation Awards Are More Than Cool

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 31, 2013 1:34:18 AM

In the realm of technology that matters for business and IT, our firm as part of our responsibility continually assesses the latest technology and how it can impact organizations’ efficiency and effectiveness. Our benchmark research in technology innovation found that 87% of participants indicated the importance of increasing the organization’s value through technology innovation. Every year we take our knowledge from research and technology briefings to focus on our Technology Innovation Awards and determine the vendors and products that have the potential to drive change in the market, the competitiveness of an organization’s business and sometimes just how efficiently a company operates. Our firm believes that Innovation can come from any size technology vendor from the smallest to the largest that are measured on a spectrum of attributes that contribute to the specific impact of the technology.

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Topics: Big Data, Datameer, Mobile, Sales, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Customer, ESRI, Globoforce, GRC, HCM, Kronos, Kyriba, Location Analytics, Marketing, NetBase, Office of Finance, Overall Operational Leadership, Peoplefluent, Planview, SQLstream, VMWare, VPI, IT Analytics & Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Hortonworks, IBM, Informatica, Information Applications, Information Builders, Information Management, Information Technology, KXEN, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, Workforce Performance, Contact Center, Datawatch, Financial Management, Information Optimization, Johnson Controls Panoptix, Roambi, Service & Supply Chain, Upstream Works, Vertex, Xactly

Rationalizing the Tyranny of Visual Anarchy

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 28, 2013 9:41:50 AM

It has become evident from the advancements we’ve seen in the business analytics market that the use of visualization is now becoming mainstream. In my analysis of the market last year I wrote about the pathetic state of dashboards, where the assumption in the business intelligence software industry is that placing four to six charts or tables of data in a screen and publishing to business users can create business intelligence. That assumption has yet to be proven and is completely irrational, as presenting analytics in basic charts does little to provide context and a guide for taking actions and making decisions.

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Topics: IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Visualization

Cisco to Foster Smarter Network of Data by Acquiring Composite Software

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 23, 2013 1:04:54 AM

Cisco Systems has announced its intent to acquire Composite Software, which provides data virtualization to help IT departments interconnect data and systems; the purchase is scheduled to complete in early August. Cisco of course is known for its ability to interconnect just about anything with its networking technology; this acquisition will help it connect data better across networks. Over the last decade Composite had been refining the science of virtualizing data but had reached the peak of what it could do by itself, struggling to grow enough to meet the expectations of its investors, board of directors, employees, the market and visionary CEO Jim Green, who is well-known for his long commitment to improving data and technology architectures. According to press reports on the Internet, Cisco paid $180 million for Composite, which if true would be a good reward for people who have worked at Composite for some time and who were substantive shareholders.

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Topics: Big Data, Networking, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Data Management, Information Applications, Information Management, Cisco, Composite Software, Data, Data Virtualization, Information Optimization, Internet of Everything, Strata+Hadoop

Datawatch Acquires Panopticon for Big Data Discovery and Visualization across Business Processes

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 20, 2013 9:29:38 AM

Business analytics can help organizations use data to find insights that lead to new opportunities and address issues unrecognized before. One player in this market is Datawatch, known for its tools for information optimization and harvesting value from big data including content and documents. I assessed the company earlier this year, and recently our firm recognized its customers’ achievements with 2013 Ventana Research Leadership Awards for Information Optimization with Phelps County Regional Medical Center and Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) with The Fauquier Bank.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, SAP, Supply Chain Performance, GRC, Office of Finance, Panopticon, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, CEP, Datawatch, Discovery, Information Optimization, SAP HANA

Informatica Has New Vibe for Information Optimization

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 14, 2013 12:20:30 PM

Information management is important to every line of business that seeks to improve its business processes and decision-making. In response to pressure from those departments, CIOs and IT organizations must examine whether they have focused enough on the I for information and not just the T for technology, and if they have not, commit to taking this responsibility more seriously than in the past. Informatica is one vendor that realizes the potential of its information beyond just data integration, and this is reflected in its expanded product portfolio and position in the market over the last several years. Our firm has taken note of companies gaining value from using Informatica; we awarded our 2013 CIO Leadership Award to George Brenckle of UMass Memorial Health Care for his work to maximize the value of information assets through managing data innovatively. Informatica itself has enhanced its position by introducing its new brand and a new CMO and demonstrating commitment to change from its executive leadership team at the company’s recent 2013 user conference. The focus of the brand now is on helping business and IT find the full value of their information.

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Topics: Data Quality, Master Data Management, PowerCenter, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Data Integration, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Optimization, Vibe

Anaplan Innovates Business Modeling and Planning

Posted by Mark Smith on May 29, 2013 11:05:03 AM

Anaplan’s software is designed to help organizations across finance, sales and operations improve accuracy, timeliness and collaboration in their business analytics and planning. I recently attended the company’s first user conference, Hub 2013, in San Francisco, which featured customer success stories and latest on product information. Anaplan has built its business on the subtleties of modeling and planning that are shared between sales, operations and finance departments, and it enables them to apply analytics to projections in revenue, sales, forecasting, territory planning, commissions, quotas and profitability – areas that are intertwined through many business processes. Anaplan’s team has more than decades of experience in the analytics and planning software markets that has led to its devised cloud-based, in-memory computing software.

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Topics: Big Data, Planning, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, FP&A, Modeling, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance,