Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Making Back Office Apps Fun

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 17, 2012 11:14:11 AM

Business software is beginning to undergo a design revolution comparable to the seismic shift from the green screen to the graphical user interface (GUI) that began in the mid-1980s. Three forces are at work. One is the retirement of large numbers of members of the baby-boom generation and the rise of a generation that grew up with computers and computer games from a young age. Also, software and technology vendors have been recognizing the need to “consumerize” business applications as mobile device interactions, gestures and other newer user interface (UI) conventions, and are incorporating these innovations in their stodgy products. I commented on this in my assessment of Tidemark early this year. A third factor, “gamification” is all the rage in business consulting circles. The idea is to engage younger employees more completely by transforming dull, routine chores into more entertaining pursuits. I join with those skeptical of just how fun one can make clerical tasks. But software can – and should – be made less tedious (and therefore more productive), especially for a new generation of users.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Supply Chain Performance, OpenWorld, Operational Performance, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Oracle, Workforce Performance, Dreamforce, finance, Tidemark, Business, design, development, GUI

Salesforce Helps Midsize Company Dreams Come True

Posted by Robert Kugel on Sep 21, 2012 11:42:53 AM

I cover the meat-and-potatoes aspects of corporate computing. I also pay attention to the special needs of midsize companies (by our definition, those with between 100 and 999 employees), which are unlike those of either small business or large corporations. After attending this year’s Dreamforce conference, Salesforce.com’s annual user meeting held this week in San Francisco, I can appreciate how difficult it is for executives and people who work in back office functions to cut through the technology hoopla to find the utterly practical (but certainly not dull) reasons why the cloud can help them run their businesses better. In fact, cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings can give midsize companies a leg up in ways that on-premises alternatives can’t. Here are four big ones that top my list.

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Social Media, ERP, Office of Finance, CRM customer service, SMB, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Dreamforce, finance, Security, FPM

Are You Dreaming Social? Salesforce Is!

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 18, 2012 10:46:36 AM

The annual Salesforce.com Dreamforce conference (Twitter: #DF12), just underway, may be the largest software conference ever, with attendance, physically and on the Internet, expected to be 90,000. Certainly, as one of the largest software events of 2012, this conference will be heavily covered via social media, while under the roof of the Moscone Center and surrounding hotels Salesforce will be demonstrating the power of using social media concepts in the enterprise and combining those concepts with collaboration software. Salesforce, which has become a cloud computing and software–as-a-service force in the industry, is publicizing its new efforts in marketing and in work applications. Once a conference for marketing and sales professionals, Dreamforce is now a technology and IT event that interests many IT organizations that are examining how renting software on the Internet can help their efforts and support their business priorities more efficiently than purchasing it.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Supply Chain Performance, Research, SFDC, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Dreamforce