Posts Tagged ‘business intelligence’

News Analysis: Gainsight Spring 2014 Release Targets Large Enterprises Making The Transition To #DigitalBiz

Customer Success Management Pioneer Adds Key Functionality For March 2014 Release

On March 18th, Mountain View, CA based Gainsight announced the Spring 2014 release of its customerssuccess management platform.  Led by CEO Nick Mehta, the cloud software vendor has received over $29M in funding from key investors such as Bain Capital, Battery Ventures, Capital Innovators, Cultivation Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, and Summit Partners.  In addition to the latest release, the company added two industry veterans Sherif Botros from SAP as Chief Data Scientist and Puja Ramani from Facebook as Director of Product Management and Analytics.

Five key features designed for the largest of enterprises were announced for the Gainsight Spring 2014 release and include:

  • Support for sponsor tracking with LinkedIn and InsideView. New feature takes contacts listed in a client’s CRM system and monitors status changes in InsideView and Linkedin.  Known as Gainsight Sponsor Tracking, the feature also adds relevant news, events, and CRM intelligence.  These additional, external data points factor into a holistic customer health score that includes usage, support, engagement, and and other relationship health metrics.

    Point of View (POV):
    A top root cause for churn is an executive sponsor’s departure.  The automated system serves as an early warning indicator when status changes for key contacts to help provide the advantage of time and insight when protecting renewals and future upsell.  The feature also locates potential advocate or customers to on board.
  • Delivery of a Salesforce1 mobile app .  The Gainsight Salesforce1 Mobile App integrates natively with Salesforce (see Figure 1).   The Gainsight offering allows users access on Android and iOS phones and tablets.  Alerts, tasks, customer health data, and survey feedback are integrated with Salesforce system data.

    (POV):
    Mobility tops this year’s list of key enabling digital technologies in almost every Constellation survey.   Customers can take advantage of in-between and wait times to update customer health and fill notes via the application.  Many existing customers expect that this feature will improve team productivity from 10 to 25%.

Figure 1. Gainsight Delivers a Native Integration To Salesforce1

  • Release of  Gainsight Success Snapshots. As a new data visualization publishing feature, the solution helps clients build and publish data filled presentations, executive updates, and QBR reports.  Users can populate presentations with customer queries or templated reports.

    (POV):
    Customers seek not only good reporting tools, but also consumer grade user experience and ease of use. Data visualization tools play a key role in effectively democratizing the data to decision process among stakeholders championing customer success.

News Analysis: New #IBMWatson Business Group Heralds The Commercialization Of Cognitive Computing. Ready For Augmented Humanity?

IBM Launches New Business Group In New York’s Silicon Alley

On January 9th, 2014, on top of 4 World Trade Place, IBM CEO Ginni Rommety and long time veteran, but newly minted, IBM Watson Group Senior Vice President Michael Rhodin, announced IBM’s commitment to putting an entire business unit around Watson (see Figure 1).  The arrival of Watson represents a culmination of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, dynamic learning, and hypothesis generation to take vast quantities of data to make better decisions.  The IBM Watson business unit is the tech giant’s multi-year $1 billion initiative to deliver cloud based cognitive computing products for industries such as healthcare, retail, financial services, advertising, travel, and hospitality.

Figure 1. IBM Watson Group’s, Senior VP Mike Rhodin With A Warm Welcome

Source: IBM

Three key insights emerge from the launch:

  • IBM is committed to creating a brand new category and ecosystem. Focused on cognitive computing, over 2000 professionals form the newest business unit at IBM headquartered in New York City’s Silicon Alley.  The Watson ecosystem launched on November 14th, 2013 has over 750 applicants and $100M in equity investment (see Figure 2).  The ecosystem includes the Watson Developer Cloud, Watson Content Store, and the Watson Talent Hub.  In addition, the new business group is headed by IBM veteran Mike Rhodin.  Mike is a senior and well rounded executive who led the software solutions group which included the Business Analytics, Smarter Cities, Smarter Commerce, and Social Business product lines.

    Point of View (POV):
    The ability to self learn enables continuously reprogramming.  Cognitive computing is more than a new category.  These advancements represents a new class of technology to enable human and machine guided decisions.  IBM’s commitment can be seen by the level of executive and the management team chosen to grow a brand new class of software, services, and apps.  Constellation believes that the IBM Watson team has put forth a wide range of innovative ecosystem partnerships across a diverse set of industries.  In fact, the client solutions center and design lab are key to clients experiencing how Watson can create disruptive business models and transform an industry.  Moreover, the establishment of a business incubator is key to attracting crucial talent, technology, and ecosystem to spark new ventures.

 

Figure 1. IBM Showcases The Entire Watson Family and Ecosystem

Source: IBM

  • IBM is putting considerable resources towards the commercialization of products and services. At the unveiling, IBM announced three new cloud-delivered Watson offerings to add to the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor launched on May 21, 2013.  IBM Watson Discovery Advisor uses cognitive intelligence to apply context on vast quantities of unstructured and structured data.  The goal -  identify patterns for research teams to advance their efforts in industries such as pharma, publishing, and education.  IBM Watson Analytics provides capabilities that allow users to verbally ask questions and receive high quality data visualizations and insights.  IBM Watson Explorer provides the toosl to find, extract, and deliver content regardless of format or data source.
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Event Report: #NRF14 Preview – Retail’s Big Show Hints At Lessons Learned In #MatrixCommerce

Retails Big Show Transformed For 2014

Over 29,000 people are expected to gather at the National Retail Federation’s big show (NRF) this Sunday, January 11th, 2014, in New York City.  #NRF14 brings the intersection of new retail business models, products, store concepts, technology, society, and culture together!

A few big trends emerge based on conversations with our clients attending the event:

  1. Building out matrix commerce. Retail faces rapidly changing business models and new payment options that are often misunderstood and poorly integrated. Matrix commerce describes the fusing of demand signals and supply chains in an increasingly complex world of buyers seeking frictionless buying experiences. Channels move from multi-channel to total channels. As the world revolves around the buyer, channels, demand signals, supply chains, payment options, enablers, and big data will converge to create what Constellation coined in 2011 as Matrix Commerce. Matrix Commerce spans across disciplines as people, process, and technologies continue to transform today’s commerce models.  This shift to a buyer centric model will result in continued consolidation of retail technologies as stacks and ecosystems form around real buyer needs.  Lessons learned: There is no single end to end solution.  However, strong open standards and a focus on buyer centricity will help provide guide rails to success.
  2. Dealing with digital disruption. The convergence of the five forces of consumerization described in 2009 and 2010 serve as the five pillars of digital business.  Retailers recognize that they no longer sell products and services, as buyers seek experiences and outcomes. Market leaders and fast followers now democratize the data to decisions pathway to enable innovation at all levels More…

News Analysis: Verint Announces Intent To Acquire Kana For $514M

Verint Adds to Vovici and Contact Center Assets To Expand Customer Engagement Offerings


On January 6th, Melville, NY based Verint® Systems announced a $514M intent to acquire Sunnyvale, CA, KANA Software.  Verint is a software vendor with a core in analytical software.  Verint’s core offerings provide enterprise intelligence and security intelligence.  The acquisition is significant in the market because:

  • Big data and analytics meet customer experience. Verint expects to expand its customer engagement optimization offering with the acquisition of Kana.  Verint’s core capabilites, Vovici’s voice of the customer assets, and Kana’s multichannel customer experience solutions allow customers to move from data to information to insight to action or decisions.

    Point of View (POV):
    Bringing intelligence into customer experience adds context and relevancy. This combination is a key step in moving from systems of engagement to systems of mass personalization at scale.  Constellation expects more acquisitions that combine the 5 pillars of digital business – social, mobile, cloud, big data and analytics, and unified communications.
  • Verint gains key customers and industries. Verint’s key customer base of 10,000 customers gets 900 new customers in six key industires.  Kana’s base includes a variety of marquee brands and public sector agencies in the mid market to enterprise space.  Business service customers include Hyatt, Starwood, USPS, and Priceline.com.  Communications and media customers include O2, Comcast, Cox, Quest, Talk Talk Group, Telekom Austria, Telus, Time Warner Cable,  Tracfone, Virgin Mobile, and Vodafone.  Financial services customers include Admiral, Bank Leumi, Capital One, Chase, Citigroup, Domestic and General HSBC, ING, Barclays,  Standard Bank, and VHI.  Retail and wholesale clients include American Greetings, Avon, Carglass, Conrad, Foot Locker, Hanes More…

Tuesday’s Tip: Understand The Five Generation Of Digital Workers And Customers

Age Is Not The Deciding Factor In Five Generations Of Workers

When discussing the future of work, most folks immediately jump to the discussion of millennials, generation Y, generation X, baby boomers, post war, etc.  However, the shift to digital business finds a different type of five generations.  This segmentation describes how digitally proficient people are with digital technologies and culture. Constellation sees five generations (see Figure 1):

  1. Digital natives – people who grew up with the internet, comfortable in engaging in all digital channels.
  2. Digital immigrants - people who have crossed the chasm to the digital world, forced into engagement in digital channels.
  3. Digital voyeurs – people who recognize the shift to digital, observing from an arms length distance.
  4. Digital holdouts – people who resist the shift to digital, ignoring the impact.
  5. Digital disengaged – people who give up on digital, obsessed with erasing digital exhaust.

Figure 1. Five Generations Of Workers With Different Expectations And Values

Source: R Wang, Insider Associates, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The Bottom Line: Build Journey Maps For The Five Generations Of Digital Workers

Where you work, when you work, how you work, what you work on, and why you work have been disrupted in this digital world.  These five generations of workers have different people centric values that More…

Event Report: Day 1 At Oracle Open World 2013: The Quest For Innovation #oow13

Past Oracle Open Worlds Have Disappointed Customers and Partners

Let’s be frank.  The past five years at Oracle Open World have disappointed even the faithful.   The over emphasis on hardware marketing and revisionist history on cloud adoption bored audiences.  The $1M paid advertorial keynotes had people walking out on the presenters 15 minutes into the speech.  Larry Ellison’s insistence on re-educating the crowd on his points subsumed the announcements on Fusion apps.   Even the cab drivers found the audience tired, the show even more tiring.

Oracle went from hot innovative must attend event to has been while most industry watchers, analysts, and media identified shows such as Box’s BoxWorks, Salesforce.com’s DreamForce, and Exact Target’s Connections as the innovation conferences in the enterprise.  These events such as Constellation’s Connected Enterprise, capture not only the spirit of innovation but also provide customers a vision to work towards.  Hence, most believe Open World could use much needed rejuvenation and a shot of innovation juju (see Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Oracle Open World Lights Up San Francisco From September 22nd to September 27th

“Next Slide Please”: Oracle Enters A Period Of Reinvention At #OOW13

Walking through the event on Saturday (Day 0) and today (Day 1), one will notice a slight change in the spirit of the event. While half the base is die hard Oracle Red Stack customers (i.e. those who grew up from database to middleware to apps), the good news is the other half of the Oracle customers who came in through acquisition (i.e. or some say by accident) are present in larger numbers.  These customers by acquisition sought best of breed, took more risks, and fought in some cases not to be on the Oracle Red Stack.

For Oracle to win the innovation battle, the company must win over the mind share of the Oracle customers by acquisition.  In fact, these customers represent the early adopters representing market leaders and fast followers while the core Oracle Red Stack is more cautious adopters and laggards (see Figure 2).  Market leaders and fast followers have key components required for successful building blocks of corporate IT and often have line of business leaders that push the envelope.  Oracle must tap into that spirit in order to move its base forward towards innovation.

Figure 2. Organizational DNA Determines Pace And Appetite For Disruptive Tech Adoption

Open World 2013 Attempts To Change The Tenor Of Oracle’s Outward Conversation

In the spirit of innovation, attendees can expect six distinct mega themes to emerge from this uber event catering to 60,000 physical attendees and potentially 100,000 online.

  1. More…

Polls and Surveys: Who’s Missing In Our 2013 #BigData landscape?

Big Data Vendors Seek To Move From Data To Decisions

The move from Data to Decisions examines the enablement of data-driven decisions across the entire organization.  Holistic, data-informed decisions require a multi-diciplinary approach that incorporates performance monitoring with traditional business intelligence technologies. Gather key insights from your data, transform insights into actionable information, and then make the right decisions (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. The Shift From Data To Decisions

Source: Constellation Research, Inc. (right click to see the expanded image)

Four Sub Categories Emerge In The Big Data Landscape

Little shortage of solutions and vendors exists in the burgeoning big data  market. At last count, Constellation found 200+ vendors claiming to provide solutions.  As part of our research, we’re looking at big data in 4 sub categories (Figure 2):

  • Data sources. Information providers, structured data, content management, and unstructured data.
  • Information and orchestration. Acquisition tools, BI Appliances and VLDW, No SQL/New SQL, and governance.
  • Insight. Analytics and BI Visualization Tools.
  • Decisions and actions. Decision management, BPM, and CEP.

Figure 2. The Big Data Solutions Landscape

Source: Constellation Research, Inc. (right click to see the expanded image)

Your Help Requested

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Although we work closely with many mega software vendors, we want you to trust us. For the full disclosure policy, stay tuned for the full client list on the Constellation Research website.

* Not responsible for any factual errors or omissions.  However, happy to correct any errors upon email receipt.

Copyright © 2001 -2013 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.
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Event Report: Informatica Analyst Day Reveals A Growth Strategy

Informatica Sets The Stage For A New Chapter In Its History


Informatica held its annual industry analyst day February 26th to 27th, 2013 at the Rosewood Sandhill in Menlo Park.  The event showcased Informatica’s go-forward strategy and road map for growth over the next three years. Key highlights include:

  • Capturing a $6.5B market opportunity in license and subscription revenues. Marge Breya, Informatica’s new CMO, set the stage with a vision of how Informatica is poised to capture a $6.5B addressable market.  Key use cases include analytics, operational integration, cloud integration, master data management, and data governance.  Achieving these results will require $3.6B in installed base plays, $1,9B in new logo plays, and $1B in geographic expansion. Key markets for geographic expansion include replacing hand coding in Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, and Russia.

    Point of View (POV):
    Constellation estimates a $300B enterprise software market for 2013 with $130B in applications and $170B in infrastructure software.  Informatica intends to go after a $6.5B addressable market that includes analytics, cloud data integration, operational data integration, master data management, and messaging.  Success will require an expansion in focus from the traditional IT leaders and developer buyers to the emerging needs of business leaders.
  • Supporting a world of Hybrid IT.  Juan Carlos Soto, SVP & GM for Informatica Cloud, discussed how clients now see Hybrid IT as the new norm.  In fact, cloud based adoption has shifted from line of business (LOB) owned to IT led adoption of cloud over the past three years.  Soto sees three pillars of success that include delivery of a platform for hybrid IT, cloud services for all, and Informatica inside.  Key features for 2013 include data masking, process automation, integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX, integration with NetSuite, integration with Workday, integration with Oracle CRM On Demand, integration with Amazon RedShift, and integration with Ultimate Software (which was announced March 13th).

    (POV):
    In a world of Hybrid IT, Constellation expects integration to be a core requirement for success. Consumerization of IT has led to a proliferation of mobile and cloud endpoints that require sophisticated data integration capabilities among all possible connections, data flows, business processes, and access.  Informatica’s success depends on its ability to attract the cloud integration decision makers and users for basic cloud integration for enterprise and those seeking more complicated enterprise cloud integration use cases.  The platform for a Hybrid IT play via a Virtual Data Machine (VDM) has the most potential for success in creating new business models.  Informatica Inside will succeed so long Informatica is seen as “the Switzerland” for integration in cloud stacks and solutions.
  • Providing the integration and quality requirements for a big data world. Ash Kulkarni, SVP & GM for Data Integration and Data Quality, addressed the analytical integration, operational integration, and data governance strategy.  Informatica’s themes for next generation data integration include agility in development, flexibility for deployment, and confidence in management.  New features in analytical data integration include built-in data virtualization, complex event processing, support for decision making, and big data integration for Hadoop customers.  The data governance features include improved inference for data domain discovery, automated enterprise data discovery, business friendly glossaries with rich metadata lineage, streamlined workflow and task management, data masking, visual exception auditing, audit data retention policies for production and legacy apps archiving,
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Tuesday’s Tip: Focus On The Business Outcomes, Not Technology With Big Data

The Why Behind Big Data Starts By Asking What’s The Business Outcome

So organizations have lots of data.  New techniques have emerged to correlate big data.  Enamored by the potential of big data, leaders are now reinvesting in technologies to find hidden nuggets of insights with the business goals of:

  • Mitigating regulatory risks
  • Identifying operational efficiencies
  • Improving revenue growth
  • Creating market differentiation
  • Expanding the brand presence

These big data use cases often follow the business hierarchy of needs, which are based on concepts pioneered by Maslow (see Figure 1).  More importantly, a key question in big data has been to ask the right question.

Figure 1. The Business Hierarchy of Needs Drives Many Big Data Use Cases

An Information Flow Approach Moves The Discussion From Data To Decisions

Unfortunately, the problem is most organizations start by talking about outcomes and then get mired in the technologies to achieve these outcomes.  Big data technologies include advanced business analytics, application of existing technologies such as data warehousing and business intelligence.  In many cases, application of decision automation, semantic technology and collaborative tools are also needed. Yet, from Data to Decisions requires the integration of quite a few disciplines.

Data to decisions is about taking data sources, transforming them into useful information, gathering key insights, and then making the right decisions (see Figure 2).  Data sources, information, and orchestration belong in the realm of IT and hopefully will be delivered via the cloud.  Insight, decisions, and actions are line of business driven areas which deliver the most value add:

  • Data sources. Expect a mix of structured, semi-structured, and lots of unstructured.
  • Information and orchestration. The mix of information types include physical, virtual, machine, and contextual.
  • Insight. Information translated to insight considers performance, deduction, inference, and prediction.
  • Decisions and actions. The outcomes are driven from next best action, prevention, suggestion, and even no action.

Figure 2. The Flow From Data To Decisions

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Event Report: #InforSummit Reveals More Than A Redesigned Infor

Changes at Infor More Than Cosmetic

Analysts and tech watchers gathered on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2013, for Infor Summit, a progress check on Infor, the third largest independent applications vendor in the market.  While many customers may not have heard of Infor, most have heard of the brands it has acquired over the last 20 years.  These venerable brands include Baan, BPCS, Epiphany, Hansen, Intentia, Lawson, MAPICS, NXTrend, SoftBrands, and Syteline.   Since industry veteran Charles ‘Chuck’ Phillips took over Infor, the software vendor has grown revenue from $2.2B to $2.8B.  More impressive, for the past 5 quarters, Infor demonstrated double digit license revenue growth.  Infor is now the third largest private firm in Business Insider’s Digital List witha $16B valuation.  The management team emphasized three key tenets of the Infor strategy:

  • Focus on microverticals. With over 2151 possible market micro verticals, Infor intends to go deeper than the 21 sectors often classified as verticals.  For example, in the wholesale distribution sector, Infor supports micro verticals such as electrical, building materials (BMAT), industrial supply, heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC), and auto.  For the auto sector, micro verticals include interiors, fixing elements, and  plastics and moldings.

    Point of View (POV):
    Infor’s strategy to go deep on micro verticals comes at a time when SAP and Oracle are no longer substantially investing R&D in deep vertical functionality.  By going deeper and more specialized in micro vertical industries, Infor can differentiate on features and functionality desired by customers.  Infor’s hired over 800 developers since Charles Phillips joined.  The delivery and support of micro verticals is accomplished as Infor’s support folks are co-located with the developers and many key folks are still in their original on-shore development centers.  With 4000 developers just focused on apps, Infor has the economies of scale to focus on micro verticals.
  • Investment in internet architecture. Infor’s design principles begin with architecting software for the internet and embracing a world of heterogeneous apps.  Support for the Open Applications Group Integration Specification (OAGIS) standards allows Infor to standardize on a canonical business language for information integration.  Infor requires its legacy applications to communicate with each other via XML as the common alphabet for identifying business processes and for defining business messages.   Infor has made significant technology investments including updates to the core technology framework Infor ION, the mobility framework Infor Motion, social software platform with Mingle, and analytics via Infor BI.  Infor currently generates $100M in cloud revenues.

    (POV):
    The overall support for OAGIS standards allows Infor’s legacy apps to communicate with newer applications and avoid duplicate creation of common components.  This standardization marks the culmination of the original work initiated by Soma Somasundaram, EVP Global Product Development in 2010.  With Infor ION in place, Infor now has an integrative fabric using loosely coupled architecture.  Customers can run legacy apps and also take advantage of new products and solutions.  Moreover, this enables Infor a platform for rapid integration of future acquisitions.  Customers should pay close attention to see what acquired product families have been enabled to take advantage of Infor Ion and what upgrade paths should be made to take advantage of future innovation.  Expect Infor to nudge customers to the cloud as the margins are higher and the pace of innovation is faster.
  • Creation of a consumer design experience. Infor took advantage of their New York City location to hire designers focused on user experience.  As part of this transformation, they created their own internal agency called Hook & Loop.  Marc Scibelli, VP of Hook & Loop is in charge of the 40 person team behind the design thinking transformation.  From mobile apps to branding, Hook & Loop provides the creative services for Infor (see Figure 1).

    Point of View (POV):
    Duncan Angove, President at Infor’s talk about Beauty as a Competence reflected the deep transformation throughout the organization.  Infor’s new user experience was first revealed to customers at the 2012 Inforum customer conference.   Users will notice a stark difference between the new apps and the old apps.  When apps begin with user design instead of engineering, the end users benefit.  Customers can expect to see the difference in the new apps but will have to wait for the old apps to catch up.

Figure 1. Flickr Feed Scenes From The Infor Summit

<iframe align=center src=http://www.flickr.com/slideShow/index.gne?user_id=35408001@N04&set_id=72157632767067526&detail=yes frameBorder=”0″ scrolling=no width=”600″ height=”500″></iframe>

Photos: R Wang & Insider Associates, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Market Momentum Shows A Shift In Customer Preferences For Outcomes Not Technology

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Market Maker 1:1: Beyond #BigData, The Shift To Decision Management w/ James Taylor (@jamet123)

From Data to Decisions – The Shift To Decision Management

Organizations have faced a constant technology arms race to achieve basic levels of decision management.  From data warehousing, to data marts, to reporting tools to BI, and now Big Data, organizations and leaders have been inundated with technology fads.  While the the latest buzz in technology may come and go, Constellation Research believes organizations seek a path from data to information to insight to action.  This path from Data to Decisions drives the science and discipline behind decision management.

Consequently, decision management in the data to decisions world examines the necessary tools, steps and methods for deriving insight from data and acting on it.  These tools are useful creating informed people and processes, but the continuation and follow-through to decisions and actions demands a robust set of performance monitoring and management practices. Those are the table stakes.  In many cases, application of decision automation, semantic technology and collaborative tools are also needed.   Data 2 decisions is about moving from insight to action and moving to fact based decisions making at all levels of the organization.

I sat down with James Taylor, a thought leader in this space to hear his insights on the latest trends.

The Inside View With James Taylor – One of The Leaders In Decision Management Systems


R “Ray” Wang (RW): James is the CEO and a Principal Consultant of Decision Management Solutions. He is the leading expert in how to use business rules and analytic technology to build Decision Management Systems. James is passionate about using Decision Management Systems to help companies improve decision making and develop an agile, analytic and adaptive business. He provides strategic consulting to companies of all sizes, working with clients in all sectors to adopt decision making technology. James has spent the last 20 years developing approaches, tools, and platforms that others can use to build more effective information systems. He has led Decision Management efforts for leading companies in insurance, banking, health management and telecommunications.

James is the author of “Decision Management Systems: A practical guide to using business rules and predictive analytics” (IBM Press, 2011). He previously wrote Smart (Enough) Systems: How to Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating Hidden Decisions (Prentice Hall) with Neil Raden, and has contributed chapters on Decision Management to multiple books including “Applying Real-World BPM in an SAP Environment”, “The Decision Model”, “The Business Rules Revolution: Doing Business The Right Way” and “Business Intelligence Implementation: Issues and Perspectives” as well as many articles to magazines.

In addition to strategy and implementation consulting, James delivers webinars, workshops and training. He is a regular keynote speaker at conferences around the world such as the Decision Management Summit, Business Rules Forum, Predictive Analytics World and IBM’s Business Analytics Forum.

James was previously a Vice President at Fair Isaac Corporation where he developed and refined the concept of decision management. The best known proponent of the approach, James helped create the emerging Decision Management market and is a passionate advocate of decision management. He understands how companies buy and use these technologies and he has helped companies successfully adopt these technologies and apply them in the context of Business Process Management and Business Intelligence initiatives.

1. I noticed that you are tying Decision Management to the Customer Relationships? What are some basic principles that someone knew to this space should know about?

James Taylor (JT): Historically Decision Management got applied primarily in risk and fraud but the energy recently has shifted to customer decisions. Decision Management works best on high volume, repeatable decisions. For most organizations, decisions about customers are the ones they take most often. Focusing on how to manage these decisions offers companies tremendous value in becoming more customer-centric and improving their customer engagement and relationships. At the end of the day your customer relationships are driven by their reaction to the decisions you make about them. Developing systems to manage these decisions that are agile enough to change when that is necessary, that embed analytics to improve these decisions, and that are adaptive so they can improve over time is a critical need for better customer relationships. Managing customer decisions is not the only thing you can do with Decision Management, just a great place to start to unlock customer value and drive the customer journey.

2. What’s been the big shift in the journey from Data to Decisions?

(JT): I think there have been three big shifts. The first is an increase in the use of more advanced analytics. Where reporting and perhaps dashboards used to be the primary way to use data, now more organizations are using data mining, predictive analytics and advanced visualization techniques. We see a tremendous growth in these more advanced analytics. Second we also see a focus on operations and operational decisions, with more organizations trying to improve decision-making at the front-line of their organization – where they interact with customers and their supply chain – not just in their back office. Finally we are beginning to see organizations becoming explicit about the decisions involved. Instead of just putting data out there, summarizing it and perhaps visualizing it and hoping that someone will be able to make better decisions, organizations are explicitly identifying the decisions that they need to improve. Then they are building the right kind of decision support or decision management system to ensure that decision gets done right. This last topic is a personal interest and one of the most exciting sessions for me is the hands-on session where folks will actually get to do some decision modeling.

3. Where are we with this fad and hype around #bigdata? Is this just the beginning or will we morph?

More…

Trends: The Battle For CMO Mind Share

Marketing and Advertising Budgets Are The New Land Grab

Constellation Research, Inc. predicts that the global advertising market (paid search, display, and classified) will hit $125B by 2015.   While IT budgets continue to stay flat, marketing budgets are up.  Warc’s recent Global Marketing Index (GMI) entered positive territory in March 2012.  Consequently, the heat up in marketing and advertising market attracts not only start-ups, but also tech vendors looking to enter this lucrative market.

Solution Providers Rediscover The CMO Budget

In just less than 28 months, enterprise software vendors have bolstered their presence with Chief Marketing Officers mostly through acquisitions and partnerships.  The goal – capture budgets allocated for digital creation, marketing automation and revenue optimization, advertising, CRM and customer experience, analytics, and information brokering (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.  The Battle For The CMO Budget Comes From Six Fronts

Why the change? Marketing sits at the cross roads between the old analog world and the new shift to digital transformation.  With each big shift, organizations will change what technologies they invest in, who they decide to partner with, and how quickly they will make the shift.  This new battle for CMO mind share started when IBM purchased Unica for $480M in August 13, 2010 (Figure 2).  The frenzied activity by Adobe, Dell, Eloqua, Google, Hubspot, Kana, Marketo, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAS Institute reflect the desire to be top of mind among CMO budgets.

More…