Infor recently held its annual Inforum user group meeting, along with a series of sessions with analysts. The $2 billion business software company has products in the major categories of ERP (including enterprise financial management), human capital management, customer relationship management and performance management among others.
Topics: Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, CFO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, ERP, Financial Performance, FinancialForce, HANA, HCM, HR, Human Capital, Infor, Kenandy, Microsoft, Mobile, Operational Performance, Plex, Professional Services Automation, PSA, SaaS, Sage Software, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Supply Chain Performance, Unit4, Workday, Workforce Performance, Office of Finance, Sales
Like most vendors of on-premises ERP and financial management software, in moving to the cloud Oracle has focused on developing for existing and potential customers the option of multitenant software as a service (SaaS). (I’m using the term “ERP” in its most expansive sense, to include such systems employed by all types of companies for accounting and financial management rather than only systems that are used by manufacturing and distribution companies.) Oracle’s ERP Cloud Service includes Fusion Financials as well as planning and budgeting, risk and controls management, procurement and sourcing, inventory and cost management, product master data management, and project portfolio management. Although to date our benchmark research has consistently found that a large majority of finance departments do not prefer to deploy software in the cloud, we also observe the balance shifting in this direction. SaaS vendors that address finance department requirements have demonstrated faster revenue growth than those that offer products only on-premises. Like other vendors Oracle must establish itself as a credible vendor of cloud ERP and financial management services to be well positioned as market demand shifts further in that direction. The company made sizable investments in acquiring ERP and financial management software in the 2000s (notably PeopleSoft – which included JD Edwards – and Hyperion), and the investments have paid off as many companies have opted to keep their existing systems (and continue to pay maintenance) rather than replace them. Our Office of Finance benchmark research finds that over the past decade the average age of ERP systems in use has increased to 6.4 years from 5.1 years. The longevity of these systems is partly the result of the slow pace of innovation in underlying technologies used for business computing. Even so, modest year-by-year changes are adding up to make replacement a more attractive option while negative attitudes toward the cloud are dissipating. To retain its installed base, it’s important for any established vendor to have solid customer references and the ability to make sales of cloud products as demand for ERP and financial management software in the cloud increases.
Topics: Analytics, Business Performance, CFO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, ERP, Financial Performance, FinancialForce, HANA, HCM, HR, Human Capital, Infor, Kenandy, Microsoft, Mobile, Operational Performance, Plex, Professional Services Automation, PSA, SaaS, Sage Software, Salesforce.com, Unit4, Workday, Office of Finance, Sales
The keynote theme at this year’s Sapphire conference in Orlando was Simple. Top executives from SAP, a software company associated with complexity, stated and restated that its future direction is to simplify all aspects of its products and the ways customers interact with them and the company itself. SAP’s longstanding and commendable aspiration to thoroughness in its software will be giving way to an emphasis on elegance in its engineering. This objective is more than admirable – SAP’s future competitiveness depends on it. Changing the fundamental architecture of SAP’s offerings – already well under way with HANA – is absolutely necessary. The design underpinnings in SAP’s ERP applications, for example, have been shaped by technology limitations that have disappeared, as Dr. Hasso Plattner, one of the company’s founders, pointed out in his keynote. However, the relevant issue facing SAP and the software market is how far the company can progress toward this goal and how fast.
Topics: Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, CFO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, ERP, Financial Performance, FinancialForce, HANA, HCM, HR, Human Capital, Infor, Kenandy, Microsoft, Mobile, Operational Performance, Plex, Professional Services Automation, PSA, SaaS, Sage Software, Salesforce.com, Supply Chain Performance, Unit4, Workday, Office of Finance, Sales
SAP recently presented its analytics and business intelligence roadmap and new innovations to about 1,700 customers and partners using SAP BusinessObjects at its SAP Insider event (#BI2014). SAP has one of the largest presences in business intelligence due to its installed base of SAP BusinessObjects customers. The company intends to defend its current position in the established business intelligence (BI) market while expanding in the areas of databases, discovery analytics and advanced analytics. As I discussed a year ago, SAP faces an innovator’s dilemma in parts of its portfolio, but it is working aggressively to get ahead of competitors.
Topics: Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Objects, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, HANA, IT Performance, KXEN, Lumira, Operational Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, SAP, SAP insider, Analytics
A recent news release by Robert Half, a staffing company that specializes in accounting and finance personnel, covered what it sees as the most important attributes required for auditors in the 21st century. “7 Attributes of Highly Effective Internal Auditors” covers the people dimension of the profession and focuses on the non-technical requirements of the role, including relationship-building, teamwork, and diversity. No doubt these skills are a must for just about anybody working in a modern (Western) corporation. For me, though, the most important quality on the list is at the bottom: continuous learning. That’s because the role of internal and external auditors will be transformed radically by big data, in-memory processing and other advances in information technology that will make enterprise automated fraud discovery and mitigation a reality before the end of this decade.
Topics: Analytics, audit, Business Analytics, Business Performance, compliance, Financial Performance, Fraud, Governance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), GRC, HANA, Infor, Oversight Systems, Risk, Office of Finance