Posts Tagged ‘business solutions’

Event Report: Microsoft Convergence 2014 Day 1 Demonstrates Solid Momentum and Mindshare ( #CONV14 )

Microsoft Convergence Kicks Off In Atlanta

The annual Microsoft Convergence customer event kicked off on March 4th, 2014.  Far from the days of the Stampede in Fargo, North Dakota, the event shows how far the Microsoft Dynamics customers, partners, and products have progressed.  Over 12,000 attendees including customers, partners, staff, and prospects gathered in Atlanta, GA for the largest Microsoft Enterprise Applications conference.  The sold out event featured a volunteer program on Day 0 and a good number of partner meetings the weekend before.  Analysis from four key announcements on Day 1 include:

  • Microsoft Dynamics gaining momentum on the large enterprise and divisions of large enterprises. Key customers presenting in the opening keynote include Chobani, City Harvest Inc, Delta Airlines, Lotus F1 Team, New Belgium Brewery, and Weight Watchers.  These presenting customers share a key theme of customer centricity and a Microsoft enterprise backbone.  Moreover, many showcase the devices and services theme set by former CEO Steve Ballmer.

    Point of View (POV):
    Constellation sees a growing trend where organizations and brands move to Dynamics for both CRM and ERP.  The ability to integrate back to other Microsoft technologies such as SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure Services provides both a pull and a push.  As organizations think about consolidating vendors and moving to the cloud, the Microsoft Dynamics team provides some compelling options in manufacturing, retail, distribution, public sector, professional services, and travel and entertainment.  The launch of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Enterprise License at $200 per user per month show cases the move upmarket.
  • Dynamics CRM users gain key marketing and social capabilities. Microsoft announces the next release of Dynamics CRM in Q2 of 2014.  Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, which was formed from the Marketing Pilot acquisition , debuts to assist with campaign management.  The service and support offering gains new features such as Unified Service Desk along with closer integration to recently acquired Parature.  Newly launched Microsoft Social Listening launches at no additional charge for Dynamics CRM Online professional license holders.

    (POV):
    The rewrite of acquired entity Marketing Pilot provides some improvement to the original product.  Parity at the Exact Target and Hubspot level will take at least two to three more releases.  Release of unified service desk paired with Parature, provides a powerful combination in customer service and support.  Microsoft Social Listening finally provides customers with a social tool that has been sorely missing in the line up.  More importantly, in CRM and customer experience, the mobile access options have not forced customers onto Windows Phone and instead have provided native support of iOS and Android..
  • Dynamics ERP users prepare for new releases. Dynamics GP gets a release for Q1 2014 that includes identity management, workflow, and self service companion apps.  Dynamics NAV shoudl receive an update in Q4 2014.  More importantly, the team announced the availability of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 for May 1st 2014.  Key themes include mobile enablement, support for deployment on Windows Azure in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) layer, and an end to end apps and services framework.  .  The cross offering with the Windows Azure team is the Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services which improve implementation times and enable agile updates.

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Market Maker 1:1: Steve Miranda, Oracle Fusion Applications Update – The Inside Story

The Inside Story On Oracle Fusion Apps At The End of 2012


Constellation sat down with Steve Miranda, Oracle’s Executive Vice President of Oracle Applications Product Development to discuss the state of Oracle Fusion Apps in a no-holds barred honest conversation about what’s working, what’s not, and what to look forward to in 2013.

R “Ray” Wang (RW): Steve Miranda is Executive Vice President of Oracle Applications Product Development. He is responsible for leading all aspects of product strategy, product development, and product delivery for Oracle’s applications and related cloud services. This includes Oracle Fusion Applications and Oracle’s newest products for customer service and support, commerce, and talent management.

Mr. Miranda joined Oracle in 1992 and has held a variety of leadership positions within the development organization. In 2007 he was asked to lead the engineering of Oracle’s next-generation suite of software applications, Oracle Fusion Applications. Under Mr. Miranda’s leadership, Oracle has continually delivered on its promise to help its applications customers innovate and remain competitive while leveraging their existing IT investments and increasing the value of those investments with new Oracle products and services.

Prior to Oracle, Mr. Miranda worked at GE Aerospace. He holds degrees in mathematics and computational sciences from Stanford University.

 

CATCHING UP ON ORACLE FUSION APPLICATIONS TRACTION

(RW): As 2012 is coming to an end it is a good time to reflect on how Oracle Fusion Applications has been doing this year. It would seem that Oracle’s been quite quiet about Oracle Fusion Applications throughout the year. Is the product selling? What’s the state of the Oracle Fusion Applications product lines?

Steve Miranda(SM): Oracle Fusion Applications is doing very well. We’re actively selling the product. In fact, we already have over 400 customers on Oracle Fusion Applications. We’re doing better than Salesforce.com when they started. Keep in mind, we have a rich customer base looking for innovation.

RW: When you say “Oracle Fusion Applications is selling well”, is that the whole suite or components of Oracle Fusion Applications?

SM: We are actively selling the product. More than 400 customers are on Oracle Fusion Applications, that’s any part of Oracle Fusion Applications, not including RightNow, Taleo, Oracle Business Analytics, or Oracle Fusion Middleware. Two thirds of the customers have chosen to deploy in a SaaS model. Then the second largest deployment model but far below are on-premise and the rest are hosted in our managed services.

RW: Does “managed services” means they own their own license, right?

SM: That’s correct. What’s powerful about these deployments patterns is that customers are accessing innovation faster than before. We are at over 100 live customers and are averaging one go-live a day right now.

RW: I understand that Oracle deployed Oracle Fusion Applications internally? How was that experience in “drinking your own champagne”?

SM: Ray, that’s correct. We did drink our own champagne and we are now using Oracle Fusion CRM internally instead of Siebel.. We have a global single instance for the business. When we deployed, we started out with 2 instances to show case a co-existence approach and an end-to-end Oracle Fusion Applications approach. As of June 1, 2012, Oracle Fusion CRM was up around the world. All the territories, forecasting, quotas, sales force automation, and contacts are in Oracle Fusion CRM globally.

RW: Is it one instance now?

SM: Yes. We also went live w/ Oracle Fusion Financials Accounting Hub on the back end. We replaced Hyperion and Oracle E-Business Suite GL and also went live June 1, 2012. We’ve already done several month-end closes and we also have Oracle Fusion Talent Performance Management up live. Employees and managers are now doing goal setting and appraisals.

RW: To be honest with you Steve, we aren’t seeing Oracle much in head to head competitive new deals. We don’t see big press releases about new wins. Where are the customers? Who’s buying what and why?

SM: Well, first of all, many of our existing customers are coming to us about Oracle Fusion Applications. Second of all, and you may not believe this, we’re not focused on publicity, but rather we want to ensure customer success.. Each go-live is very important to us. In our first set of go-lives, we have 10,000 customers who want to talk to the first 10 go lives. We also don’t want to overwhelm our initial customers.

Let me give you some details and examples so you understand the breadth and depth of what the Fusion Apps base looks like and so there’s no confusion. Here’s a selected slice:

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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.

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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.
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Market Maker 1:1: #HRTechConf Preview w/ Bill Kutik

15 Years of HR Technology At The Industry’s Premier Event

The fifteenth annual HR Technology Conference and Exposition returns to McCormick Place in Chicago October 8th to 10th, 2012.  HR Tech is the industry’s longest running event looking at technologies that influence the Future of Work.

The Inside View With Bill Kutik – Future of Work Pioneer And Co-Chairman of HR Tech

Since 1990, Bill Kutik has been a Technology Columnist for Human Resource Executive® (and for HREOnline™ since 2006,), also serving as co-chairman of the magazine’s famous annual conference, HR Technology® Conference & Exhibition, since it began in 1998. In 2008, he started The Bill Kutik Radio Show®, a bi-weekly online talk show with industry leaders.

HR World named him one of “The Top 25 HR Influencers of 2007.” More recently, he was named a “Top 25 HR Digital Influencer 2009″ and a “Top 100 Influencer.”

For 20 years, he was consulting editor for Esther Dyson’s leading computer industry newsletter, Release 1.0. Previously he was the founding editor of the monthly magazine, Computers in HR Management; managing editor of Ziff-Davis’ Computer Industry Daily; and a reporter for The New York Times and The New York Daily News. He has also published articles in Newsweek, Washington Post, Institutional Investor, New York Magazine, Business Month, IHRIM Journal, Cruising World and Backpacker (where he was the founding editor).

We sat down with industry pioneer Bill Kutik for a preview of this year’s event:

1. Where do you see the new trends in HR tech going? What’s changed since last year? (Have we moved beyond Cloud, is everything social?)

Bill Kutik (BK): This year marks an inflection point in HR technology – perhaps in all of IT – the end of one era and the beginning of another, a generational shift in computing.

It happens every 10 – 15 years and remarkably HR has often been at the leading edge of change, either because corporations thought it didn’t matter if IT experiments failed there or because it’s the only department that touches every employee in the company.

Remember, PeopleSoft released the first packaged client/server application (for HR but the first for any function) in 1989, which started the death of the mainframe. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s claims aside, HR has been using hosted applications (perhaps not anyone’s version of true SaaS) for recruiting since 1998 and major web-based applications since 2000.

Now the combination of SaaS (Cloud Computing) plus Social in the Enterprise – companies using private collaborative software to get real work done – are marking a new era in computing.

These will be among the major topics this year at the HR Technology® Conference in Chicago, October 8-10.

2. Why the continued interest and investment by organizations in HR and related technologies?

BK: The main reason is the 50-year-long lie in large type in corporate annual reports is finally seen as true: “People are our most important asset.” People costs, even in manufacturing firms with huge capital investments, are more than 50 percent of the annual run-rate. Obviously closer to 90 percent in knowledge-based firms like consulting, law, accounting and software.

To succeed in 2012, organizations must have an effective people strategy aligned with their goals. They must identify the best players, assign them to the right work and keep them engaged. Technology doesn’t create this strategy – executives do – but they can’t properly execute their strategy without the right technology to enable it.

HR technology isn’t for HR anymore. The latest applications reaching mass adoption – such as the Talent Management suite – are now used almost exclusively by line managers and employees after HR has purchased the software and configured it properly.

3. Are 2012 HR technology budgets increasing compared to prior years?

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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.

Best Practices: Lessons Learned In What SMB’s Want From Their ERP Provider

Competition Intensifies For The Small And Medium Organization’s Software Budget

Software vendors such as Oracle and SAP can no longer rely on their large enterprise customers for double digit year-over-year growth.  In fact, their customers have not only reached a saturation point in being able to consume new solutions, but have also faced demands to cut their large maintenance bills.  With nowhere to go, enterprise apps vendors now turn to the small and medium sized market to drive their growth plans.  Consequently, billion to multi-billion dollar SMB stalwarts such as Infor, Microsoft, Sage, and Lawson are not standing still.  In fact, they seek opportunities to take market share from the industry leaders while fending off challenges from sub $500M SMB vendors such as Agresso, CDC Software, Deltek, Epicor, Exact, IFS, NetSuite, QAD, and Syspro.

Small And Medium-Sized Organizations Seek Enterprise Class Solutions Without The Resource Overhead

Globalization, regulatory compliance, and economic demands results in similar market pressures for all sizes of business.  Size no longer plays a relevant role in business requirements.  In fact, a recent survey of over 100 small and medium sized organizations, shows similar needs as large enterprises.  However, small and medium-sized organizations can not afford the resource overhead required to maintain large and complex software systems.  The 10 areas that drive vendor selection decisions include (see Figure 1):

Figure 1. Small and medium sized organizations seek enterprise class solutions without the resource overhead

screen-shot-2009-10-24-at-82008-am

The Bottom Line – Ten Lessons Learned Emerge From Recent Vendor Selection Trends

  • Invest in last mile industry focused solutions.Customers expect their vendor to speak their language.  Solutions that lack vertical fluency and limited industry customer referencability will be relegated to the ERP graveyard.
    Lessons learned: Demonstrate thought leadership in each vertical and lead industry discussions.  Focus on a handful of verticals.
  • Focus on rapid implementation and realization. Gone are the days of 12 to 18 month deployments.  Customers seek deployments times with less than 3 months.
    Lessons learned: Consider SaaS and OnDemand options.  Templates and productized roll-outs improve time to market but can’t compete with  SaaS solutions and onDemand offerings in demonstrating value to customers.
  • Expand the number of trusted partners and vendors. As SMB’s expand across the globe, they expect vendors to invest in trusted partners for both delivery and product footprint.  Customers expect partners to assist with localization in new geographies, extend vertical solutions, and integration.
    Lessons learned: Build partner ecosystems to geometrically expand reach while meeting customer needs.  No vendor can deliver on all customer needs.
  • Deploy easy to use reporting tools and BI. Value out of the box requires BI and reporting tools to be proactive and pervasive.  Users should have access to relevant and timely information along business processes.
    Lessons learned: Design reporting tools with the end in mind.   Start with the value of information and embed throughout the business process.
  • Reduce administrative complexity and ownership costs. SMB’s seek enterprise class capabilities sans the resource overhead of traditional large ERP products.  Business users need to be able to make changes and extend the system.  Ownership costs such as maintenance should deliver value or be reduced.
    Lessons learned: Design self-service administration capabilities from the get-go, not an afterthought.  Software maintenance needs to deliver value or be offered in tiers based on perceived value.
  • Apply Web 2.0 style usability. Solutions should not require extensive training.  New generations of work expect the simplicity and ease of use from consumer based web applications.
    Lessons learned: Invest in user experience and user interaction.  Design process flow based on role-based personas.
  • Improve stakeholder access. Employees, partners, and customers must gain access to key business information.   Value should not be locked away from users when disconnected.  Mobile remains a future growth area.
    Lessons learned: Allow information to be accessed by everyone, everywhere, and at anytime.  New stakeholders will need access so apps should be designed with bullet-proof role based security.
  • Embed Microsoft Office Integration. Ability to use productivity tools should be a given.  Customers seek the ability to seamlessly integrate.
    Lessons learned. Success requires the design Office integration to be both a user interface and gateway into applications.  Clunky interfaces into Microsoft fail in adoption.
  • Deliver worry free updates. Customers should be able to update and upgrade software without significant time spent testing integrations and taking down the system.
    Lessons learned. Design application management into the system design.  Consider the business impact of down time.
  • Provide financing options.  Customers now expect vendors to provide financing to facilitate license purchases.  In many cases, clients seek financing to preserve cash position and add additional services such as training and implementation.
    Lessons learned. Use financing as deal enabler to drive not only license growth, but also larger deal sizes.  Financing is a weapon.

Your POV

Prospects and customers – do these requirements ring true?  Vendors -where are you with your SMB strategy? Let us know how we can assist.  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. 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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