Posts Tagged ‘business process’

News Analysis: Rimini Street Vs Oracle Ruling Has No Negative Impact on Third Party Maintenance Rights

Recent Oracle vs Rimini Street Ruling Is About Customer Software License Rights Not Third Party Maintenance

On February 13th, 2014, the United States District Court , District of Nevada Judge Larry Hicks issued a partial summary judgment in the Oracle vs Rimini Street Case. Here’s the executive summary to key questions about the ruling*:

Is Third Party Maintenance still valid for Oracle products or anyone else? Yes.  Users should make sure this right is explicit in all future software deals.

Can a customer give a copy to a third party? Yes if you have this in your license agreement.   Users should negotiate this in  contracts to ensure this right exists and remains as part of the ownership experience.

Do you have to read every contract detail before a third party maintenance provider can host the software? Yes. If there are site restrictions  and if you want to host it in a vendor’s own data center.  Make sure you have the right to a site change or site license change.

Can copies of software from customers that are loaded onto the server that are identical to what another customer’s rights be used or reloaded. Yes, the software license goes to intellectual property not to the media.  Third party maintenance vendors can use the same instance in setting up their clients and this will drive down the cost.

Does this ruling impact other businesses? Yes.  If you have no site specific rights, you can’t have a third party outsource or host.  This could have major legal ramifications for Oracle and other vendor’s existing hosting and outsourcing businesses.

Four Customer Cases End In A Draw For Oracle and Rimini Street Based On Contract Law Technicalities

The ruling includes cases from four customers each with unique contract language:

  • City of Flint – US District Court rules In Oracle’s favor. “Based on the court’s ruling s above, none of Rimini’s asserted license provisions (Sections 1.2(b), 1.2( c), or 14.2) expressly authorize Rimini ’s copying of Oracle’ s copy righted PeopleSoft branded software a s a matter of law. Therefore, the court finds that Oracle is entitled to summary judgment on Rimini’s express license affirmative defense as it relates to the City of Flint, and the court shall grant Oracle ’s motion accordingly.

    Point of View (POV):
    The City of Flint’s PeopleSoft contracts were pre-Internet and did not allow for third parties to copy licenses onto other servers on their behalf.  In fact, the licenses only allowed for the City of Flint to provide “access to and use of the Software” to a third party.  The ruling makes sense and is based on how the license contract is written.
  • Pittsburgh Public Schools – US District Court rules In Oracle’s favor. “Based on the rulings above, the court finds that none of Rimini’s asserted license provisions (Sections 1.1, 1.2, or 10.2) expressly authorize Rimini’s copying of Oracle’s copy righted PeopleSoft branded software as a matter of law. Therefore, the court finds that Oracle is entitled to summary judgment on Rimini’s express license affirmative defense as it relates to the Pittsburgh Public Schools, and the court shall grant Oracle’s motion accordingly”.

    (POV):
    Despite Oracle granting the Pittsburgh Public Schools “a nonexclusive, nontransferable license to make and run copies of the Software, “the right to access and use the Software is a separate right from the right to copy or reproduce software”.  The ruling makes sense as with City of Flint based on the language in the original PeopleSoft contract.

Event Report: Infosys Global Analyst Summit – Awaiting The Post Infosys 3.0 Emergence

Infosys Puts Its Best Foot Forward

Constellation attended Infosys’ 2013 Global Analyst Summit from July 29th to July 30th in Boston.  Despite the below industry average growth of the previous year, conversations with key executives and top customers indicate an imminent shift.  In fact, Infosys has added 100+clients not including customers from Lodestone.  Retention is 98% for about 800 clients.  The client list includes more than half of the Fortune 500.  Repeat business is between 95 to 96%.  Most clients represent the top 5 or top 10 of each major industry.  All is not gloom and doom.

While Core Business Is Solid, Non-Body Count Growth Is the Long Term Challenge

CEO and Co-Founder

Infosys S.D. Shibulal

Consequently, Infosys faces a similar challenge all global IT services firms must overcome – remaining relevant with clients facing business model disruption and a rapid pace of change. In one-on-one conversations with:

  • S.D. Shibulal – Co-founder, Member of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
  • Vishnu Bhat – Vice President and Global Head, Cloud
  • Paul Gottsegen – Chief Marketing Officer
  • Sanjay Purohit – Senior Vice President and Head of Products, Platforms, & Solutions
  • Suketu Patel – VP, Head of Strategic Global Sourcing
  • and several key customers in banking, consumer packaged goods, healthcare, high tech, and retail

At the Global Analyst Summit and through client conversations over the past 6 months, Constellation gained insights in how Infosys is addressing their client’s challenges.  Both the Infosys executives and the clients recognize that Infosys must make significant market shift and take the lead in co-innovating and co-creating intellectual property.

Infosys 3.0 Is Alive And Well And Part Of The Required DNA Transformation

More…

Event Report: 2013 Capgemini India Analyst & Advisor Day #CGAR2013

Capgemini India Plays A Key Role In The Global Delivery Model

Analyst and advisors gathered on February 12th, 2013 at Capgemini’s India headquarters located near the trendy and upmarket Powai suburbs of Mumbai.  Capgemini India’s CEO, Aruna Jayanthi welcomed guests with a perspective on Capgemini India’s progress.  With more than 40,000 people, the team plans to grow to 70,000 people in 3 years at almost a 20% CAGR year-over-year. Aruna sees the potential for up to 70% of Capgemini’s infrastructure services delivery to come from India.

As part of the non-linear growth plan, Capgemini intends to rely on a shared services model and platform between multiple delivery centres critical for scale and growth.  The good news – Capgemini India expects a reduction in the double digit wage inflation of the past 24 months.  Forecasts call for 5 to 9% for 2013.  Her three focus areas include growth, continued investments, and building end-to-end capability in India.

The analyst and advisor day was hosted in Capgemini’s Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE).  The ASE combines a patented methodology with a unique, open work environment to deliver large scale facilitated sessions geared at accelerating timelines, gaining alignment and mitigating risks.  ASE’s provide a safe and effective place for collaboration and innovation.

Under this year’s theme of transforming customer experience, sessions touched on nine key areas:

  1. Portfolio transformation. Capgemini India is playing a key role in aligning with the consulting team’s digital transformation efforts.  If successful, the team will gain synergies across consulting, infrastructure, and bpo as part of a broader portfolio transformation.  One example of a focus on IP creation and innovation is Sogetti’s product engineering capabilities delivered in Capgemini India for aerospace and defense. Product Engineering is a priority for Capgemini in 2013.  European service providers Altran, Alten, Safran will have some competition from Capgemini going forward.
  2. Digital utility transformation. With 80% of meters in EU to be converted to smart meters by 2020, Capgemini sees a role in guiding this shift from analog to digital for utilities.  The utilities segment is expected to grow 4% & related software services are expected to grow about 7-8%.  Despite a perceived slow growth in utilities, smart metering is the base for transformation.  Early investment by Capgemini will play a key role in growing out this industry as a shortage of energy production and an upgrade of legacy transmission and energy production technology drive future growth.
  3. All channel experience. Customer centricity is changing as businesses focus on an “All Channel” and “Affordable” value proposition.  The firm focuses in on digerati as a key target for digital transformation. Why? Digerati are 26% more profitable than their peers.  The shift to all channel is a key part of the move to digital transformation and customer experience strategy for clients.
  4. Demand driven supply chain. Demand driven concepts are not new, however, customers seek to improve their ability to deliver on perfect orders.  Organizations also seek to get as close to the consumer as possible.  Capgemini’s work at one client helped a stagnant retail gain achieve 23% increase in customer satisfaction and gain 96 basis points of margin.  Constellation sees this buyer centric shift to matrix commerce as a key trend for 2013.
  5. Tax and welfare. Global governments face a $2.4 trillion USD tax revenue every year.  Consequently, Capgemini’s efforts in tax and welfare focus on the fraud and compliance equation.  The Capgemini’s India team has over 400 employees in their center of excellence complementing 8,000 onsite personnel at clients.  The mission is to improve revenue and increase compliance.  Constellation expects this market to grow as big data technologies improve the ability to manage both structured and unstructured data sources.
  6. Global in house centers. The team shared a success story on the factory franchise approach for testing services at ANZ bank.  The global in house center provided a strong alternative to BOT or captive acquisition.  Capgemini intends to selectively grow this model over the next few years.  Constellation believes this approach is smart but will deliver low volume.
  7. Service integration. Opportunities exist to move operational responsibility for IT provisioning to Capgemini to drive cost savings.  The goal – manage sophisticated IT supplier frameworks.  If successful, service integration will prove to be the PMO account control model of the 2010′s.
  8. Mobile testing. Most organizations face a need for a comprehensive mobile QA strategy.  Building upon Neoload’s Neotys solution offering, Capgemini India opened a mobile testing CoE in Mumbai in December 2012.  The range of mobile testing opportunities has grown as the group seeks to expand from 250 to 1000 FTEs globally.  Constellation sees this as a bold move to jump into an emerging and growing market.
  9. Big data and analytics. As one of the earlier CoE’s, business information management (BIM) was launched in September 2010 as Customer BIM Experience showcase or (CUBE).  With the advent and hype of big data, the BIM team is now playing a key role in using BIM to improve customer experience.  Constellation sees the future with BIM and the support of big data business models.

Figure 1. Cap Gemini’s ASE Uniquely Creates Visual Story Telling Via Graphic Recorders

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

The Bottom Line: Capgemini India Taking Key Steps To Support Nonlinear Growth Opportunities

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News Analysis: Infosys Buys Lodestone for $350M

Global outsourcing and Bangalore Infotech bellwether Infosys (NASDAQ:INFY), announced its agreement to purchase Zurich-based Lodestone Management Consultancy for $350M.  A quick analysis of the news reveals:

  • Infosys strengthens its EMEA and SAP vertical presence. Lodestone brings 850 employees which 750 are front line delivery personnel. Lodestone’s 200 clients span industries such as life sciences, consumer goods, automotive, financial Services,  banking and industrial equipment. across a profitable and strategic SAP customer base.

    Point of View (POV):
    The Lodestone acquisition gives Infosys a profitable and strategic SAP customer base.  While some may say this acquisition, which has taken some time to complete, is a late response to the July 2009 HCL – Axon acquisition, Constellation believes this is part of a larger but more conservative approach to shore up Infosys’ EMEA strategy.  In the short term, the economics of EMEA will work against Infosys as Eurozone concerns amplify into 2013.  Long-term, the acquisition may prove itself out as Infosys gains a greater foothold through consolidation.  Constellation estimates $1B in revenues from SAP alone post merger.
  • Lodestone methodology and culture will transform Infosys. Lodestone brings it’s trademark IDEA methodology.  IDEA represents insight, design, execute, and achieve.  This approach aligns with Six Sigma standards and SAP ASAP to improve the quality of implementation outcomes.

    Point of View (POV):
    Infosys can gain from learning the IDEA approach in achieving business transformation across the project life cycle.  More importantly, Infosys gains deep local expertise in a wide range of SAP dominant industries.  Constellation believes the goal is to build out the Infosys 3.0. strategy, which is about expanding into management consulting and systems integration and away from outsourcing.

The Bottom Line: Traditional BPO Models Have Run Their Course and Traditional Outsourcers Must Act Quickly Or Suffer

With the growing backlash on outsourcing in the US elections spreading to continental Europe, traditional BPO models may no longer provide growth.  India’s info-tech giants must take the path to the next level and focus on IP innovation and creation (see Figure 1).   While these are new skill sets required to deliver the next generation of IT services, the shift will take time and a cultural revolution.  Can India’s infotech companies make the shift to a cloud meets subscription economy?  Will the shift from trusted advisor to innovation partner happen quickly enough?  Every global outsourcer faces these same questions amidst consumerization of IT, the rise of cloud computing, and oppression and domination by the mega software ecosystems.

Figure 1.  The Path From Body Shop Provider to High Value Creator

Your POV.

Are you ready for the new Infosys? Do you think they can make the shift from outsourcer to management consultancy?  Let us know your experiences.  Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) com.

Related Constellation Research

Wang, R. “Best Practices – Three Simple Software Maintenance Strategies That Can Save You Millions” Constellation Research, Inc. March 8, 2012

Scavo, Frank & Wang, R. “Big Idea: Constellation’s Business Value Framework” Constellation Research, Inc.  January 31, 2012.

Wang, R. “Best Practices: Why Every CIO Should Consider Third-Party Maintenance.” Constellation Research, Inc. August 7, 2012.

Wang, R. “Market Overview: The Market For SAP Optimization Options” Constellation Research, Inc. May 11, 2011.

Wang, R. “Best Practices: The Case for Two-Tier ERP Deployments” Constellation Research, Inc. February 28, 2011.

Reprints

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Disclosure

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 – 2012 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.
Contact the Sales team to purchase this report on a a la carte basis or join the Constellation Customer Experience!

Monday’s Musings: The New Engagement Platform Drives The Shift From Transactions

Convergence In The Five Forces Of Consumerization Of Technology Drives The Next Big Thing

Social has given us the tools to connect.  Mobile has given us the ability to interact any time and anywhere.  Cloud delivers access points to us with a rich array of content and information.  Big data provides us with the context and information to make decisions.  Unified communications and video transform how we share ideas.  This convergence of the five forces of consumerization drives the next shifts in technology.  The move from transaction to engagement and from engagement to experience is happening now.  The era of transactional apps rapidly makes way for the era of engagement.

If Business Value And Outcomes Are The Goal, Then We Need An Engagement Platform For The Enterprise

The arrival of engagement platforms does not signify time to throw out the transactional systems. In fact, those systems provide the foundation required for engagement.  The engagement layer exposes transactions and allow for deeper interaction and richer sources of information.  However, the transactional systems lack the ability to support engagement.

In fact, organizations around the world struggle with building the right engagement strategy for their customers and employees.  While crafting the right strategy should be designed prior to any technology selection, once completed, the technology to support the strategy does not exist out of the box from ANY solution provider.  Unfortunately, the technologies to achieve engagement remain disparate and hodge podge.   Many solution providers seek to achieve the engagement layer from different heritages:

  • Pure play social solutions morph to engagement apps.  Vendors such as Broadvision, Jive, Moxie, Lithium, Tibco, and Yammer have delivered many elements of the engagement layer.  These horizontal offerings provide an opportunity to assimilate disparate offerings across multiple processes and roles.  The challenge is finding the tools that support consistent integration at the process, meta data, and data layer.  Gamification vendors such as Badgeville, Bunchball, BigDoor, Crowdtwist, and Gigya play a key role in delivering outcomes and influencing behavior through engagement.  Platforms such as Atlasian, Box, GoodData, and Tidemark open the door to a new era of engagement apps.
  • Legacy transactional systems in transition to engagement. Major ERP and CRM vendors seek to address engagement with “social” and “mobile” features.  While many of the vendors have the components for engagement, the struggle will be to embed a sense and respond design point into both the interaction layer and process flows.  Salesforce embraces the social enterprise and uses Chatter as its entry point in creating engagement.  SAP attempts this with its CubeTree/SuccessFactors acquisition in Project Robus.  Oracle attacks this problem through a customer experience suite.  Microsoft acquired Yammer to create this layer inside Office and its Business Solutions portfolio. IBM embraces social business with a series of acquisitions and product enhancements to its IBM Connections product.  More importantly, IBM has built and acquired a portfolio of software solutions that sit on top of the legacy transactional systems, delivering high value and high impact.
  • Consumer offerings could enter the enterprise. With consumerization of IT increasing, platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter provide a rich engagement platform that could be adopted in the enterprise.  Meanwhile, solutions providers such as Adobe blend consumer with enterprise as they provide the tools for engagement on the web and in mobile.  The challenge is dealing with societal norms between work and personal information.  The challenge is meeting enterprise class requirements for safety, security, and sustainability.
  • Vertically integrated prosumer platforms already deliver engagement. Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft have the unique capability of delivering an end to end solution from hardware, consumer device, operating system, database, applications, and partner ecosystem.  Engagement platforms form the basis of future business models as consumer and enterprise blend into prosumers.  The challenge is meeting the disparate needs of enterprise and consumer.
  • Marketing and advertising networks provide rich profiles and targeting.  The ad networks are moving fast to shift engagement and offers.  While daily deal sites play one role, companies like Glam Networks also now deliver key components for ad targeting and optimization that compete with Google, Apple, Yahoo, and other media properties.   Marketing automation platforms such as
    Eloqua, Hubspot, InfusionSoft, Marketo, NeoLane, Pardot, and Parature already have may key components.  The challenge is engendering trust among the users or consumers to share more information in exchange for deemed value.

Figure 1. Technologies Will Evolve  From Transactions to P2P

The Engagement Platform Requires Nine Main Technology Components

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…

Monday’s Musings: Putting An End To The Conflict Of Interest Among Some Sourcing Advisors

Many Services Firms Seek Unfair Advantages With Market Makers

Service providers continue to battle it out in the über competitive market for large annual multi-million dollar contracts.  Market makers who serve as sourcing advisors, (i.e. management consultants, analysts, or vendor specialists) often influence the outcome of large sourcing contracts and system integration projects.  Consequently, more and more service providers seek to influence sourcing advisors.

Now let’s be honest, influence through consulting engagements around positioning, competitive intelligence, and go-to-market strategy is nothing new.  Most firms make it transparent to the buyer who they work with.  However, in the past few months, we’ve uncovered several new techniques that cross the line on both objectivity and transparency.  These approaches include both formal and informal contractual guarantees across three major areas:

  • Number of blog posts or written research about a vendor. Sourcing advisors commit to writing certain amounts of research in exchange for a contract with the service provider.  In some cases, the research may require editorial approval by the service provider.
  • Number of invitations to bidders conferences. Sourcing advisors commit to inviting the contracted service provider to a short listed group of candidates.  Some contracts even include a tiered scale for greater payouts based on the number of invitations to deals.
  • Kick backs and referral fees for closed business. Sourcing advisors collect a financial reward for recommending a buyer to a service provider.  Fees work similar to referral models with alliance partners.

The Bottom Line:  Ask These Five Questions Before You Engage With Your Sourcing Advisor

More…

Monday’s Musings: Next Generation CIO’s Face 11 Skill Shifts In A Disruptive World

The Era Of CIO Dictatorships Ends With 2009

Less than 5 years ago, the mighty CIO controlled his or her organization’s destiny by shepherding multi-million dollar projects and ruling with a fist. Business leaders had to pay homage to the IT team and they hated it.  The economic crisis, advent of the cloud and SaaS, and the massive number of IT failures have rapidly changed the role of the CIO.  Saddled with the burden of maintaining legacy projects and faced with a shortage in budget and resources, businesses now move around the IT team as they must meet a flurry of business requirements.  CIO’s have lost a lot of control in guiding how technology is used in the enterprise because the world of consumer tech has out innovated enterprise class technologies.

CIO’s And Their Organizations Challenged By The Pace Of Change In The 2010′s

Similar to this past decade, organizations will face massive amounts of change in the next decade.  While change is nothing new to CIO’s and their organizations, the velocity of change has increased – to a point where the rate of obsolescence outpaces the rate of change.  Conversations with over 200 CIO’s this year reveal an anxiety in remaining nimble, cutting costs, and just keeping up with change.  CIO’s must rapidly respond to disruptive forces in the market, workforce dynamics, business models, and pace of technology adoption (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.  Four areas of change responsible for major disruptions in today’s organizations

screen-shot-2009-12-21-at-112559-am

(Source: R Wang & Insider Associates, LLC)

The Bottom Line – The CIO Role Shifts To Match Next Gen Enterprise Requirements

What’s the role of the CIO in this next gen enterprise?  Well, next gen CIO’s must help organizations navigate complexity while realizing the benefits of a solid business technology strategy.   While the immediate focus may be on hot topics such as security and risk, third party maintenance, cloud and SaaS, and email replacement and unified communications, there are significant transformations across 11 broader skill sets (see Figure 2.)  Next Gen CIO’s must begin the process of transforming themselves and organizations in 2010 to meet the demands of the decade, anticipating the disruptive business models, technologies, and processes to come.

Figure 2. Eleven Skill Shifts For The Next Gen CIO

screen-shot-2010-01-19-at-74323-am

(Source: R Wang & Insider Associates, LLC)

In This Series

Your POV

What skill shifts are you seeing in your work as a CIO?  Do these shifts resonate? Do you have a different point of view? Please post or send on to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity.

Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday’s Tip: 10 Cloud and SaaS Apps Strategies For 2010

Keep In Mind Basic Rules Still Apply Regardless Of Deployment Option

The proliferation of SaaS solutions provides organizations with a myriad of sorely needed point and disruptive solutions.  Good news – business users can rapidly procure and deploy, while innovating with minimal budget and IT team constraints.  Bad news – users must depend more on their SLA guarantees and deal with a potential integration nightmare of hundreds if not thousands of potential SaaS apps.  Though the 7 key benefits of SaaS outweigh most downside risks, organizations must design their SaaS apps strategies with the same rigor as any apps strategy.  Just because deployment options have changed, this does not mean basic apps strategy is thrown out the window.  Concepts such as SOA, business process orchestration, and enterprise architecture will be more important than ever.  Here are 10 strategies to consider as organizations take SaaS mainstream:

  1. Begin with the business process and desired business value. Understand the desired business value and outcome.  Map back the key performance indicators (KPI’s) to the business processes. Identify what processes will be covered by the SaaS solution.  Determine overlaps and hand-offs between on-premise and SaaS to SaaS that are required to measure the desired KPI’s.
  2. Engage stakeholders early and often. Today’s apps strategies must constantly evolve. Change is happening so fast that line of business leads and IT leaders must collaborate in real time.  The result – an ever changing list of requirements.  While SaaS allows business leaders to make go-it-alone decisions, success will require close collaboration on short term and long term requirements, dependencies, and strategy.
  3. Bet on future suites, SaaS platforms or PaaS (Platform-as-a-service). Winners and losers will emerge in this wave of Cloud computing.  Vendors such as Netsuite, Workday, Zoho, Epicor, and SAP have built or will be building suites.  They provide safe bets as more and more functionality will be rolled into their offerings. Concurrently, organizations should also choose vendors who bring a vibrant and rich ecosystem to the table because those vendors will win in the market.  Salesforce.com and NetSuite already provide users with a platform to build on apps.  Other vendors such as as Google Apps Engine, Microsoft Azure, IBM, and Zoho provide rich developer communities.  Partner and customers will drive innovation which is why platform adoption (i.e. today’s middleware) makes a difference.
  4. Augment with best of breeds, but avoid best of breed hell. No one platform can provide every solution, but choose wisely.  Best of breeds provide deep vertical capabilities and rich last mile solutions.  However, no one wants to manage hundreds of vendor relationships.  Create frameworks that allow business users to work with vendors which support open standards, integrate well with your existing integration strategies, and follow the bill of rights.   Reduction in the number of vendors will become a priority in 2010 going on into 2011.
  5. Assume hybrid will be the rule not the exception. Prepare for hybrid deployments throughout the decade.  Despite the benefits of SaaS and broad adoption in 2010, legacy apps will not go away.  Just count the number of mainframe and client-server apps still in use today.  Many on-premise apps will take time to migrate to SaaS. In some cases, legal requirements will prevent data from being stored off-site.  Software plus services offerings from companies such as Infor, Lawson, Microsoft Dynamics, and SAP may become the norm in 2010 as companies seek private and public cloud solutions.
  6. Design with good architecture. Keep your enterprise architects (EA’s) or hire some more.  Inevitably, more and more SaaS solutions will enter the organization.  EA’s will proactively plan for new scenarios and account for future business requirements.  Organizations should keep some rigor in terms of standards for solution adoption while accounting for the need to rapidly innovate.  Business leaders will need some frameworks on which solutions to adopt.
  7. Choose the right integration strategy for the right time. SaaS integration strategies will evolve based on the organization’s SaaS adoption maturity.  The first set of solutions will probably require point to point integration of data.  Over time, users often migrate to centralized integration services that account for process.  Some will go full enterprise service bus (ESB) and look at business process orchestration as well.  Consider solutions from CastIron, Boomi, Pervasive Software, Informatica, and SnapLogic.  Going forward customer data integration and master data management will be more important than ever.
  8. Minimize long-term storage costs with archiving. Storage represents a significant long term SaaS cost.  Savvy clients can reduce the cost of SaaS storage with a myriad of technologies such as EMC, IBM Optim, and RainStor.  By archiving, organizations will experience faster transaction times, maintain compliance, and reduce storage fees.
  9. Hedge risk with SaaS escrows. Most SaaS vendors will require 5 to 7 years to achieve profitability.  End users often demand software escrows in the on-premise world when they are concerned about vendor viability, takeover threats, and other related breaches to performance or service level agreements.  Software escrows vendors serve as the trusted third party independent organization which holds a copy of the software code.  This often includes user data, source code, documentation and any application executables. SaaS escrows work in a similar way.  Vendors such as EscrowTech, InnovaSafe, Iron Mountain, NCC Group. and OpSource can provide such services.
  10. Protect your rights. Client – vendor relationships in SaaS are perpetual.  Organizations have one shot to get the contract right and begin the relationship with the right tenor.  Apply best practices from The Customer Bill of Rights: SaaS. Work with vendors to find the right balance in approach.

The Bottom Line For Customers – Build Frameworks That Support Easy Line Of Business Adoption

The broad adoption and trajectory of SaaS solutions requires organizations to rapidly replace edicts and 5 year plans with guidelines and policy frameworks.  The goal – enable anyone in the organization to procure a SaaS solution that meets key guidelines and standards.  The result – flexibility, security, and scalability that allows solutions to be used on-demand and in concert with existing applications.

Your POV.

As you work out your SaaS apps strategies, drop us a line and let us know how you are deploying, what challenges you’ve faced, and what successes have you achieved.  We’re happy to weigh in.  Feel free to post your comments here or send me an email at rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday’s Tip: 2010 Apps Strategies Should Start With Business Value

Begin Apps Strategy Projects With Bite-Sized Entry Points

Complexity often plagues today’s apps strategies.  With tight budgets, limited resources, and little time, organizations need to find bite-sized entry points. The need to meet ever changing complex business requirements requires a four-step, basic (A,B,C,D) approach:
  1. Align your business requirements with the hierarchy of business needs. Every project and initiative can be placed into one of the five stages.  Use the organizational hierarchy of needs to classify and prioritize the importance of each project.  With a clear sense of how the priorities stack up, you can begin crafting your apps strategy around organizational readiness, business process optimization, technology strategy, and vendor ecosystems.
  2. Base decisions on the identification of 3 major types of business processes. As organizations begin that process of documenting business processes, they must differentiate among the 3 major types of business processes.  In key flows such as order to cash, hire to retire, incident to resolution, procure to pay, etc, remember to categorize key processes into three buckets: mission critical, commoditized, and innovative.
  3. Choose your entry points to business value. It makes no sense to boil the ocean.  Clients often start with departmental and work there way to cross-departmental initiatives.  Advanced customers focus on external entry points such as customers and partners.  Keep in mind processes cross functional fiefdoms but you do have to start somewhere. (see Figure 1.)
  4. Define the metrics that matter. Begin with the end in mind.  This Coveyism always rings true in transformational activities.  Metrics should be aligned with your entry points.  Quantify the baseline and determine the effort.  Adjust your ROI targets to align resources with efforts to move the needle.  The goal – drive business value. (see Figure 2.)
Figure 1. Choose Your Entry Points To Business Value

     (Copyright © 2009 by R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.)

(Copyright © 2009 by R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.)

Figure 2. Define The Metrics That Matter
Copyright © 2009 by R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC.  All rights reserved.)

(Copyright © 2009 by R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.)

The Bottom Line – Sketch The Big Picture, But Paint By Number

With the pace of adoption much slower than the pace of technology innovation, organizations will have to complete small tactical projects that build out the larger picture.  Apps strategies should include tactical road maps that achieve strategic goals.  Don’t hesitate to plan ahead and build in flexibility.  Plans will change, so apps strategies must take an “agile” approach.   Iterate every 6 months as business needs change and new disruptive technologies emerge.  Keep focused on the goal in mind – business value.

Your POV

Have you planned your 2010 strategy?  Which entry points have you prioritized?  How are you defining business value?  Got a scoop or something to share? Please post or send on to r at softwareinsider dot org or rwang0 at gmail dot com and we’ll keep your anonymity.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

Monday’s Musings: SaaS, SOA, Integration and How To Make A Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich In The Cloud

Rapid SaaS Adoption Will Lead To A Repeat Of 1990′s Best Of Breed Integration Challenges

The proliferation and rapid adoption of SaaS solutions stems from 7 key benefits: richer user experience, rapid implementation, frequent cycles of innovation, minimal upgrade hassles, always on deployment, subscription pricing, and scalability (see Figure 1). Despite these benefits, organizations head full circle towards the same best of breed dilemma they faced in the late 1990′s.  In that era, organizations sought innovation from more nimble and agile competitors.  The result – a concerted effort to deploy a number of on-premise, point solutions.  Willing to sacrifice not having a single instance for functionality, they invested heavily in integration.  Almost a decade later, organizations will encounter similar challenges with harmonizing a plethora of SaaS entry points in the next 2 to 3 years. Given the growing number of SaaS solutions at cost-effective price points and easy adoption, today’s organizations face problems in a geometrically larger scale.

Figure 1. Seven Benefits of SaaS Deployments

screen-shot-2009-11-08-at-22936-pm

Modeling How To Make A Peanut Butter And Jelly Provides Key Insights Into The Integration Challenge

Today’s integration challenges move beyond data integration to include process level and meta-data requirements that span across a range of business processes and relevant key performance indicators (KPI’s).  As more solutions are added, organizations will want to model their end to end business processes as web services and support synchronous and asynchronous communication protocols across hybrid deployments.   Organizations can expect canonical data models play a key role in harmonizing business objects.  To put this in real world terms, imagine describing how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich using a hodgepodge of solutions.  Let’s take a look:

Example 1:  Modeling in a .NET application

  1. Bread: take 2 slices of bread
  2. Peanut butter: spread peanut butter on one slice
  3. Jelly: spread jelly on the other slice
  4. Assembly: put the bread together
  5. Assembly: slice down the middle
  6. Delivery: serve on plate

Example 2:  Modeling in Force.com

  1. Bread: take 2 slices of bread
  2. Bread: determine whether or not to toast the bread
  3. Peanut butter: choose chunky or creamy
  4. Peanut butter: spread peanut butter on one slice
  5. Jelly: choose type of jelly
  6. Jelly: spread jelly on the other slice
  7. Assembly: put the bread together
  8. Assembly: determine if the slices is in half or diagonal
  9. Assembly: slice down the middle
  10. Delivery: choose type of plate (e.g. paper or plastic)
  11. Deliver: serve on plate

Example 3:  Modeling in NetWeaver

  1. Bread: take 2 slices of bread
  2. Bread: determine if the bread is organic or not
  3. Bread: determine whether or not to toast the bread
  4. Bread: determine how light or dark the bread should be toasted
  5. Peanut butter: determine if the peanut butter is organic or not
  6. Peanut butter: choose chunky or creamy
  7. Peanut butter: spread peanut butter on one slice
  8. Peanut butter: determine thickness of spread
  9. Jelly: choose type of jelly
  10. Jelly: determine if the jelly is organic or not
  11. Jelly: spread jelly on one slice
  12. Jelly: determine thickness of spread
  13. Assembly: put the bread together
  14. Assembly: determine whether you want the crust or not
  15. Assembly: determine how to slice the bread (e.g. diagonal, half, 4 cubes, etc.)
  16. Delivery: choose type of plate (e.g. paper or plastic)
  17. Delivery: determine garnishes with the sandwich
  18. Delivery: serve on plate

In these examples, notice how they granularity of processes become deeper and deeper within more complex solutions.  How would you take the peanut butter web service from the .NET example and harmonize this with the NetWeaver example?  Now take this real-life example at a hypothetical global pharma:

  • SAP financials (on-premise)
  • Oracle JD Edwards manufacturing (on-premise)
  • Salesforce.com CRM (SaaS)
  • Workday HR and Payroll (SaaS)
  • Concur Expense Management (SaaS)
  • Xactly Incentive Comp (SaaS)
  • NetSuite OpenAir Project Management (SaaS)
  • Ariba Spend Management (SaaS)
  • Gmail and Google Docs(SaaS)
  • Jive Community Platforms (SaaS)
  • SocialText (SaaS)
  • WebEx (SaaS)

Recommendations

As organizations consider SaaS adoption they must put into place an integration framework to support the competing forces of innovation and harmonization.  These integration frameworks must consider not only data, but also process, metadata, and business intelligence.  Key suggestions include:

  • Begin with the end in mind. Identify the key performance indicators.  Determine how to measure business value
  • Understand your key business processes. Classify your business processes into 3 buckets: commoditized, mission critical, and innovative.  This way you’ll know which processes can be put into an outsource, shared service, or internal ownership.
  • Map the granularity of the business processes.  Group similar processes across different solutions and understand the levels of granularity.  Identify points for harmonization.
  • Determine the data integration requirements. Identify the key business objects associated with the business process.  Ensure that the right data arrives to the right process at the right time for the right person.  Map key meta data to process and business objects.  Build out your canonical data models.
  • Build loose frameworks for evaluation of SaaS solutions. Give line of business teams guidelines to determine how SaaS solutions fit into existing processes.  Use this to jump start integration and proactively identify integration challenges.
  • Determine approach and SaaS adoption policies. In some cases, point to point will make more sense. In others, greater levels of integration and control may be required.  Avoid a one-size fits all methodology in setting up policies.  Consider the business case first and foremost.

The Bottom Line – SOA’s Not Dead And Integration Is Key To Successful Hybrid Deployments

Given these scenarios, CIO’s and line of business apps will need to rely on stronger enterprise architecture and integration in hybrid deployments.  In fact, au contraire on the death of SOA!  Introduction of next generation social enterprise apps will only accelerate the need for good architecture and services design. Expect solutions from Boomi, Cast Iron, Informatica, Pervasive, SnapLogic, and Talend to play a key role going forward.

Your POV

Where are you with your SaaS deployment strategy?  Have you considered SaaS integration tools? What are you using and why?  Do these issues resonate with you?   Who owns the larger integration problem in your organization? Let us know how we can assist or please post or send on your comments to rwang0 (at) gmail (dot) com or r (at) altimetergroup (dot) com and we’ll keep your anonymity.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang & Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

Monday’s Musings: 10 Essential Elements For Social Enterprise Apps

Convergent trends fuel the push for new business solutions and platforms

The future of enterprise software is evolving from web-based apps, business process platforms, and service-enabled products; to a new class of more connected, social, and collaborative business software solutions.  This transformation comes from advances in the Web 2.0 world and a growing realization that business solutions must reflect how people actually perform work.  These trends point to a convergence and expansion of 10 mega themes:

  1. Evolution versus revolution
  2. Top down versus bottom up
  3. Reactive versus proactive
  4. Transactional versus behavioral
  5. Strategic versus tactical
  6. Horizontal versus vertical
  7. Individual versus community
  8. Company versus customer
  9. B2B versus B2C
  10. Data generation versus data analysis

Future business solutions and platforms will expand beyond Enterprise 2.0 and the knowledge worker

After much digestion of what’s happening in the various Enterprise 2.0 models, (e.g. Dion Hinchcliffe’s FLATNESSES mnemonic) and studying the Social CRM market, (e.g. CRM Magazine’s June 2009Social Media Maturity Model”), what’s next for business solutions or enterprise apps appears to be something bigger than usability, collaboration, social media, mobility, and technologies for the knowledge worker.  Enterprise 2.0. as defined by Andrew McAfee in his April 2006 MIT Sloan Management Review, touches on a world of emergent, free-form, collaboration that bring such Web 2.0 tools to the enterprise.  This definition provides a solid basis for building on key concepts in this emerging class of software solutions and platforms.  In fact, this new category moves beyond today’s Enterprise 2.0 definition and most certainly beyond the three letter acronym world of ERP, CRM, HCM, PBS, SCM, etc.

Ten elements define this next generation of enterprise business software solutions

Recent conversations with software vendors, industry luminaries, and customers highlight 10 elements required for future solutions (see Figure 1.).  These elements include dynamic user experiences, business process focus, and community connectedness across 10 elements:

  1. Role-based design. Software designed around how users perform work including applicable security models.
  2. Consistent experience across channels & deployment options. Software that is agnostic to where or how that software is deployed and accessed.
  3. Contextual & relevant delivery of information. Software which understands what information to provide users at a point in time
  4. Configurable & adaptive. Software that can be modified to meet changing conditions.
  5. Outcome-focused & results-oriented. Software that tracks key metrics across an end to end process.
  6. Proactive, predictive, & actionable. Software that anticipates requests and supports decision making.
  7. Engaging for all stakeholders. Software that opens up the system to new types of users, collaborators, networks, and communities.
  8. Pervasive & natural collaboration. Software that embeds knowledge worker skills into existing work flows.
  9. Self-learning & self-aware. Software that tracks preferences and identifies patterns for future correlation.
  10. Secure & safe. Software that meets security and disaster recovery thresholds.

Figure 1. 10 Elements Of Social Enterprise Business Solutions and Platforms

Source: Software Insider’s Point of View – 10 Elements Of Social Enterprise Business Solutions and Platforms
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