Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Building a Better Business Case for Buying Software

Posted by Robert Kugel on Feb 27, 2014 8:59:51 AM

When it comes to making a business case for software investments, many people fail to recognize that the case itself is just one part of what amounts to an internal sales and marketing effort that they must perform well to be successful. Focusing only on the numbers and assumptions in a spreadsheet is not enough. Making a successful business case requires an understanding of the audience’s perspective and motivations. Since the individuals who will review the business case may not be sufficiently aware of the issues that are behind it and their seriousness, it may be necessary to begin an awareness-building program before presenting the business case. And because the benefits of software investments can be difficult to quantify, executive sponsors are useful in achieving acceptance of these calculations. Unfortunately, many business cases founder because proponents do not realize the importance of taking a sales and marketing approach.

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Topics: Analytics, budgeting and planning, Business Performance, business plan, capital spending, CFO, CRM, Customer & Contact Center, ERP, Financial Performance, Financial Performance Management, FPM, Operational Performance, Planning, Research, ROI, Sales Performance, SCM, Software, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance, Office of Finance

A Decade of Research at Ventana Research

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 18, 2012 6:16:32 AM

I’m happy to say that Ventana Research celebrated its tenth anniversary at our recent Business Technology Innovation Summit in San Jose at the Tech Museum. This location was fitting, since at the event we introduced and presented our first-ever Technology Innovation Awards and seventh annual Leadership Awards. If you did not get a chance to attend, we have the live webstream available for replay at no cost; thanks to Splunk for sponsoring this to let everyone enjoy the sessions.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Ceridian, CFO, CIO, Cloud Computing, CMO, COO, Customer & Contact Center, Datawatch, Financial Performance, IBM, Information Applications, Information Management, IT Performance, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Operational Performance, Peoplefluent, Planview, Research, Saba, Sales Performance, SAP, Social Media, Splunk, Supply Chain Performance, Technology, Workforce Performance

Industry Analyst Art or Fiction: Questionable Technology Predictions

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 8, 2012 11:17:53 AM

I recently wrote about how technology vendors attempt to skew analysts’ and influencers’ research from the edit and review cycles controlled in financial contracts to payment for placed blogs as independent analysis published on the Internet. It is unfortunate that we have to deal with this level of bias. Clearly it is critical for business and IT to identify trusted sources of research and insight that can help determine technology direction. Businesses need not just data but insights from experienced advisors who can provide information with depth and meaning. Unfortunately, a recent pronouncement or prediction from one analyst firm throws a bad light on technology analysts in general.

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Topics: CIO, Customer & Contact Center, Gartner, Research, Sales Performance, Technology Spending, CMO

Industry Exposé: Technology Vendors Skew Analysts and Influencers

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 5, 2012 12:05:58 PM

In my more than a decade of writing on the trends and direction of the technology industry, occasionally I have talked about the dark side of technology industry analysts. In that vein, I wrote about the diminishing science of research in technology analyst firms, which has impacted the quality of the analysis and advice given by analysts. It built on my previous post on Why Bad Research Could Jeopardize Your Business. Unfortunately, the ethics and morals in the technology analyst industry have not gotten a lot better since I wrote those pieces, especially when it comes to the objectivity and independence of the research. Now it is time to provide shed light on the financial bias of written research and blogs by industry analysts and the firms they represent and publish under in coverage and rating of technology vendors.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, CMO, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Industry Analyst, Influencers, Information Applications, Information Management, IT Performance, Location Intelligence, Market Research, Operational Intelligence, Operational Performance, Research, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Technology Vendors, Workforce Performance, Analytics, Big Data

Are You Dreaming Social? Salesforce Is!

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

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