Posts Tagged ‘business technology’

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.
    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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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:

More…

Event Report: IFS World Conference 2012 – Innovations Abound Beyond ERP (#IFSWoCo2012)

Key Themes Include Mobility, User Experience, and Innovation

Over 1100 IFS customers convened October 15th to 17th, 2012 in Gothenburg Sweden for the IFS World Conference.  The conference brought together the world of projects, service and asset, manufacturing, and supply chain.  The conference highlighted the:


  • Massive move to mobile. IFS continued their push into their mobile apps portfolio with seven touch apps.  Martin Gunnarsson director of research and development, discussed how the mobile solution addresses three personas: casual, professional, and transactional. IFS Time Tracker addresses project time and attendance reporting, confirmation, etc.  IFS Trip Tracker simplifies travel expense reporting.  IFS Sales Companion helps sales professionals manage their accounts, tasks and opportunities. IFS Quick Reports provide the ability to create and view ad-hoc reports on a mobile device.  IFS Quick Facts enables fast keyword search of any object in IFS Applications.  IFS Flight Log allows the management of platform operational data in the aerospace and defense industry.  IFS Support Companion delivers interaction with IFS support centers.

    Point of view (POV):
    The move to mobile continues the user experience emphasis of IFS.  These new Touch Apps address specific work processes and allow for quick to complete tasks.  By calling on services running inside IFS Cloud, users gain direct access without having to talk to the ERP back end.  IFS should be lauded for support of the three key mobile apps ecosystems: Google Play Store, Apple App Store and Windows Marketplace.  pushing out to public apps stores provides customers with an easy and frictionless experience.  Customers and prospects can expect more touch apps to address areas in CRM, HR, reporting, search, and projects in 2013.
  • Launch customers on IFS Applications 8. Customers on hand at the conference provided upfront honesty of the migration to IFS Applications 8Early adopters, Remmele Engineering, Portsmouth Aviation, VBG Group, Bright Point, and Teracom shared insights on their move to IFS Applications 8.  Some customers moved from IFS 2003, others from IFS 7.5.  Right now 40% of the customer base has made the move to 7.5 or 8.  IFS has 34000 users are live or implementing and expect 25 customers by year end to be live on IFS applications 8.

    (POV):
    The different release paths, industries, and use cases reinforced the marketing messages that the move to IFS Applications 8 was worth the trouble.  Customers cite the user experience, business intelligence, and the move to mobility as the key reasons for the shift.  Regulatory compliance and new industry specific features also played a significant role. More…

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…

Monday’s Musing: Avoiding Social Media Fatigue Through Engagement

Social Media Moves From Ubiquitous Usage To Relevant Rationalization

Have we hit a social media plateau?  In recent client conversations on usage of social media, the trendsetters appear to be “socialed out”.   Most early adopters seem to be overwhelmed with their personal (Facebook, Google+), corporate (Yammer, Jive, Chatter, SharePoint), and professional (LinkedIn) social networks.  In fact, respondents feel that adding any additional network for anything social is quite overwhelming.  While early adopters are moving from ubiquitous usage to relevant rationalization, the majority remains in ubiquitous usage (see Figure 1).  Recent data on number of users at the Big 4 of social media show that we are in the middle of ubiquitous usage:

  • Facebook (901M users as of Feb 2012)
  • Twitter (500M users as of March 2012)
  • LinkedIn (161M users as of March 2012)
  • Google+ (100M users as of Feb 2012)

Early Adopters Facing Social Media Fatigue

As early adopters start rationalizing their networks, some are even pulling out.  From loss of interest in Google+, Empire Avenue, to even FaceBook, people have started to selectively choose networks to combat overload and social media fatigue.  The common theme – relevant rationalization by self-interest.   These trends parallel those for mail, phone, email, web and other disruptive technologies.  Going forward, users will move towards desensitization when the advertisers and companies abuse the channel by spamming users with an unwanted deluge of irrelevant offers.

The Bottom Line: Engage Users To Combat Fatal Fatigue In The Disruptive Tech Adoption Life Cycle

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Event Report: Questions Every #SAPPHIRENOW Attendee Should Be Asking SAP

SAP’s In The Midst Of Massive Transformation

Just four years ago, nervous attendees dealt with a tumultuous global market entering financial crisis.  SAP’s management team decided to raise maintenance fees to shore up its margins amidst a drought of innovation.  Customers revolted en masse.  Policies changed due to user group and global influencer pressure.  Less than 18 months later, a defiant CEO resigned and a new management team resolved to improve relationships with key customers and address the lack of product innovation.

Fast forward to 2012, SAP’s acquired its way into innovation with BI/analytics (Business Objects), mobile (Sybase), cloud and HR (SuccessFactors), and a tiny bit of Social (SuccessFactors Cube Tree) (See Figure 1.).  SAP HANA serves as the foundation for the future product line.  SAP’s experimenting with consumer apps such as Recalls+.  Innovation in R&D shifts from the star building fortresses of Walldorf to agile tech hubs in TelAviv, Palo Alto, Vancouver, Bangalore, and Shanghai.  From the outside view, SAP’s placed long term bets in innovation on its road to 1B users.  The growth in market cap from €30.9B in 2008 to €57.8B (as of 5/11/2012) reflects this perception by the financial community.  Has SAP succeeded where other software vendors have failed during massive periods of transition?

Figure 1. SAP Covers Three Out Of Five Innovation Pillars In The Consumerization of IT

Customers Have Reason To Remain Cautious Of SAP’s Ability To Execute

From a customers point of view, the verdict remains mixed.  Loyal customers have seen a series of failures from SAP over the past decade as it attempts to make the shift and claim innovation.  Most industry observers would agree that SAP’s made significant investments in innovation.  However, the results of organic innovation have mostly failed from products to services.   A review of the past decade shows four proof points:

  1. Delays in the next, next, next, no make that the next version of R/3. For those waiting for the latest version of ERP, the core product will probably show up late to mid decade.  Maintenance plans call for end of support in 2020 which means SAP plans a product between now and 2018 at the latest.  Customers seeking deeper industry functionality now turn to system integrators who build the user exits and customizations required to continue business.  Meanwhile, the market for third party SAP products has never been stronger.  A string of SaaS vendors have emerged to address the “edge applications” in incentive comp, talent management, pricing, travel and expense, collaboration, and marketing automation that SAP previously ignored.  Some of these “edge vendors” such as Salesforce.com have emerged as billion dollar companies creating new markets.  Yet, after several product chiefs and a decade of trying, SAP applications still lack common data models (e.g. there are at least 8 in use), common interfaces, and common process models.   The much hailed enhancement packages delivering “timeless” software require slightly less work than previous upgrades but still require a lot of planning, testing, time, and money.
  2. Clearly a confusing cloudy cloud strategy awaiting partly sunny skies. Business by design still has not achieved the tens of thousands of customers by 2010 when it was announced.  At best, SAP has a bit over 1000 live customers.  Customers who use the ByD product have mostly expressed positive comments and have seen the benefits of the OnDemand based approach.  The distribution of the product to the masses and incentivization of sales execution remains challenging to a country club, shake-hands, relationship sales culture.  Meanwhile, a series of well designed, and compelling products from the SAP OnDemand for Large Enterprise initiatives remain under marketed, and in some cases late to market.  Timing could not have been worse as the SuccessFactors acquisition has clouded the cloud strategy.  Customers seek cost effective, heterogeneous, integration options from their on-premises core to the cloud options.  SAP still has to deliver on an integration framework customers find cost effective and can trust.
  3. Never so easy, NetWeaver remains hard to use, rigid at best. Various attempts at an SAP middleware have finally made headway. The solutions now include an ABAP version and a Java version.  Previous versions remained hard to use, complicated to maintain, and confusing for the developer ecosystem and the system integrators.  Recent UI improvements help IT leaders convince business customers that they can ease back into SAP.  Everything does look better in an iPad, including SAP.  Sybase’s mobile platform replaces a failed and feeble attempt at NetWeaver mobile.  Many customers begrudgingly use NetWeaver and something else.   That something else – well, it’s typically 1/2 or 1/4 the cost.
  4. Great new maintenance offerings, low user acceptance due to sales not service offering. SAP’s made considerable effort to improve its maintenance offerings with new programs and offers to lower the cost of ownership.  Each offer considers the lifecycle of ownership and shows great care and craft in creation.  While most customers show initial interest, the sales process attempts to tie maintenance offers into new professional service revenue instead of reducing the overall spend with SAP.  Because customers mostly see ERP now as a legacy infrastructure, CIO’s intend to drive cost out not invest more in.  Hence, many customers consider  a move to third party maintenance options and SAP optimization solutions.

The track record remains mixed.  Customers remain cautions.

What Clients Want From ERP Seems Confusing At First

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Monday’s Musings: Why Are Innovative CIO’s Betting Less On Cloud And Virtualization?

Innovative CIO’s Betting On Disruptive Technologies That Impact Enterprise Business Value

In the Four Personas of the Next Gen CIO published March 3, 2012, four personas of the CIO were identified: Chief Infrastructure Officer, Chief Integration Officer, Chief Intelligence Officer, and Chief Innovation Officer (see Figure 1).  This research of 79 progressive CIO’s identified the key projects for each of the personas.  As part of the survey, respondents were asked what key disruptive technologies would make an impact in the enterprise in the next year.

Figure 1. The Four Personas Of The Next Generation CIO

Source: Constellation Research, Inc.

In Constellation’s latest update (to be published May 2012), 105 innovative CIOs participated in the survey.  The results indicate a shift away from cloud  (56.4%-2012) and virtualization (29.6% – 2012) to mobile (60.2%-2012) and big data and analytics (48.7%-2012) (see Figure 2).  Despite being the top projects in 2011, the drop in priority of virtualization (51.9%-2011) and cloud (69.6%-2011) doesn’t reflect the lack of interest.  In fact, these projects have matured and innovative CIOs have now prioritized the next wave of innovation.

More…

Quark Summary: What CFOs Need to Know About SaaS and Cloud Integration

Forward And Commentary

This document addresses many questions asked by CFO’s about cloud deployments and the top integration questions often asked by CFO’s responsible for key business initiatives that involve technology.

A. Executive Summary

Organizations have escalated their adoption of cloud computing and SaaS applications in the past 3 years. As part of the broader trend in consumerization of IT (CoIT), business leaders have slowly tipped the balance of power in determining technology acquisition. However, the proliferation of adoption has led to organizational chaos in data, process and meta data integration as users adopt and deploy the cloud in silos without considering the implications of organizational silos and services oriented architecture (SOA).  As cloud integration emerges as an enterprise-wide issue, CFOs must get acquainted with the cost-value equation of cloud and SaaS applications. Why? Cloud integration emerges as a key competency for successful organizations seeking to innovate while maximizing returns on investment. Consequently, CFOs should understand ten key points on why they must master cloud integration.

B. Research Findings

The rapid adoption of cloud computing by business leaders unfortunately creates a bespoke environment technically known as “best of breed cloud hell.” With so many disparate systems in a loosely federated model, data rapidly becomes siloed, business processes easily become fragmented, and coordination across functional fiefdoms quickly becomes difficult.  Consequently, cloud integration emerges as a key enabler in reducing the costs and improving the benefits of cloud computing. Recent conversations with 22 CFOs addressed these ten key questions:

  1. What is cloud integration?
  2. Why is cloud integration a growing competency for the CFO?
  3. Is cloud integration more or less expensive?
  4. Which integration approach is best in the long run?
  5. How does cloud integration mitigate project risk?
  6. What’s the business value for cloud integration?
  7. Will bring your own device (BYOD) policies require cloud integration?
  8. How can I support social media?
  9. Do big data and cloud integration go hand in hand?
  10. What kind of projects make sense for cloud integration?

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Monday’s Musings: Beyond The Three V’s of Big Data – Viscosity and Virality

Revisiting the Three V’s of Big Data

It’s time to revisit that original post from July 4th, 2011 post on the the Three V’s of big data.  Here’s the recap:

Traditionally, big data describes data that’s too large for existing systems to process.  Over the past three years, experts and gurus in the space have added additional characteristics to define big data.   As big data enters the mainstream language, it’s time to revisit the definition (see Figure 1.)

  1. Volume. This original characteristic describes the relative size of data to the processing capability. Today a large number may be 10 terabytes.  In 12 months 50 terabytes may constitute big data if we follow Moore’s Law.  Overcoming the volume issue requires technologies that store vast amounts of data in a scalable fashion and provide distributed approaches to querying or finding that data.  Two options exist today: Apache Hadoop based solutions and massively parallel processing databases such as CalPont, EMC GreenPlum, EXASOL, HP Vertica, IBM Netezza,  Kognitio, ParAccel, and Teradata Kickfire
  2. Velocity. Velocity describes the frequency at which data is generated, captured, and shared. The growth in sensor data from devices, and web based click stream analysis now create requirements for greater real-time use cases.  The velocity of large data streams power the ability to parse text, detect sentiment, and identify new patterns.  Real-time offers in a world of engagement, require fast matching and immediate feedback loops so promotions align with geo location data, customer purchase history, and current sentiment.  Key technologies that address velocity include streaming processing and complex event processing.  NoSQL databases are used when relational approaches no longer make sense.  In addition, the use of in-memory data bases (IMDB), columnar databases, and key value stores help improve retrieval of pre-calculated data.
  3. Variety A proliferation of data types from social, machine to machine, and mobile sources add new data types to traditional transactional data.  Data no longer fits into neat, easy to consume structures. New types include content, geo-spatial, hardware data points, location based, log data, machine data, metrics, mobile, physical data points, process, RFID’s, search, sentiment, streaming data, social, text, and web.  The addition of unstructured data such as speech, text, and language increasingly complicate the ability to categorize data.  Some technologies that deal with unstructured data include data mining, text analytics, and noisy text analytics.

Figure 1. The Three V’s of Big Data

Contextual Scenarios Require Two More V’s

In an age where we shift from transactions to engagement and then to experience, the forces of social, mobile, cloud, and unified communications add  two more big data characteristics that should be considered when seeking insights.  These characteristics highlight the importance and complexity required to solve context in big data. More…

Research Summary: Best Practices: Consolidated CRM Deployments Drive Paths to Modernization And Social CRM (SCRM)

Forward And Commentary

As with any maturing product category, CRM applications have evolved over time from point applications to best of breed solutions to end-to-end suites. This report examines some common styles of modernization as CRM emerges from the systems of transaction era to the systems of engagement era and beyond.

A. Introduction

With the average CRM deployment nearing the end of their useful life, over 85 percent of line of business executives and CIOs intend to upgrade their CRM systems in the next 24 months.  Why? Customer expectations and a slew of innovative solutions have changed the delivery of customer centricity. Key factors include the need to adopt disruptive technologies, complete the customer view, and achieve business value.

Constellation’s latest survey of over 200 CRM decision makers highlights a trend to consolidate the CRM core as organizations chart four paths to CRM modernization.  The four paths – stay with status quo, move to shiny new CRM, consolidate and augment, and modernize and surround with best-of-breed – represent pragmatic approaches to achieve customer centricity.

Regardless of approach, Constellation recommends that executives approach CRM modernization with a lens that accounts for including tangibles, intangibles and contingencies in the calculations of business value. Using the Constellation Business Value Framework, organizations can quickly compare the four paths of CRM modernization and determine the most appropriate path.

B. Research FindingsBest Practices Indicate That a Consolidated Core Is the First Step to Modernization

Among 203 respondents, the majority (85.7 percent) intends to make significant efforts to modernize their CRM efforts in the next 24 months (see Figure 1.). The four paths to modernization include:

  1. Stay with status quo (14.3 percent). Organizations may choose to continue business as usual. The catalysts for change include major events such as new business models, merger and acquisition, or regulatory requirements. Status quo includes keeping the system as is. Most organizations in this category have either really good adoption or overbought and barely take advantage of existing capabilities. Backers of the status quo scenario find little business value justification and line of business support in making any changes. Many line of business executives and CIOs gain peace of mind knowing that their CRM landscape remains consolidated on one or two platforms and can deliver the power of an integrated core.
  2. Move to shiny new CRM (21.2 percent). Organizations may choose to stay with their existing vendor to avoid any mass changes in training, adoption and implementation costs. Another popular option will be to do a full out rip and replace. The financial wonks will weigh the cost of a reimplementation against the cost of doing nothing – status quo and making an upgrade with an existing vendor. CIO-led organizations will want the power of an integrated core and minimize point solutions.
  3. Consolidate CRM and augment with best-of-breed (37.9 percent). Organizations may choose to consolidate their CRM environment and surround with best-of-breed applications. SaaS applications and CRM point solutions now play a key role in enabling extensibility to CRM customers. Augmentation with third-party solutions with an integrated core not only ensures that business users gain critical functionality, but also provides users with leverage in future contract negotiations. With CMOs and line of business executives in the front office taking back IT budgets, expect CIOs to argue for consolidation of the core as a call for sanity in overall IT strategy.
  4. Upgrade CRM and surround with best-of-breed (26.6 percent). CRM deployments typically run a five to seven-year life cycle. With the last big set of implementations in the 2004 to 2005 era, almost 50 percent of organizations plan an upgrade. Many line of business executives want to upgrade their core CRM system and then modernize their integrated core by adding best-of-breed apps on top of CRM. This option resonates best with line-of-business-led organizations and those with rapidly changing business models and dynamic businesses.

Figure 1.  Get To SCRM By Taking The Four Paths To CRM Optimization

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News Analysis: The Implications Of Oracle’s Acquisition Of Taleo

Catch my colleague Yvette Cameron’s point of view here. She covers Future of Work for Constellation Research, Inc.

Oracle Plays Catch Up With Public Cloud Ambitions

On February 9th, Oracle announced its intention to acquire Dublin, CA based Taleo for $1.9B.  Taleo is a cloud based talent management software provider with 5000 customers and 1400 employees.   Key take aways to consider:

  • Moves by SAP and Oracle intend to compete with next generation cloud HCM companies. Taleo provides recruiting and on boarding, performance management and goal setting, compensation, succession, and learning and development.  This complete suite tied to reporting and analytics is designed to streamline human resource operations and employee career management across retail and hospitality, travel, healthcare, media and entertainment, financial services, technology, and energy and mining.  Marquee customers include Starbucks, Starwood, Hyatt, JP Morgan Chase, HP, Dell, Conde’Nast, United, American Airlines, Tesora, Blue Cross blue Shield, and Sutter Health.to customers.

    Point of View (POV):
    Oracle sees advantages in acquiring a leading player in the talent management space .  For years, both Taleo and SuccessFactors ate into Oracle’s existing customer base for talent management.  Consequently, other cloud based HCM and HR Tech vendors such as Ceridian, CornerStone OnDemand, FairSail, Kinexa, UltimateSoftware, and Workday continue to attract line of business customers looking for innovations not being delivered by their core HCM providers (i.e. Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP).  More importantly, cloud computing if properly designed can improve the pace of innovation delivered to customers.
  • Oracle continues to buy its way into a public cloud. Oracle continues to react to buyer sentiment and preference for cloud based solutions with this second major acquisition in what they term the “public cloud” space.  Oracle purchased RightNow for $1.43B on October 24th to address its gaps in customer service solutions.  The Taleo purchase addresses a gap in Talent Management solutions that rival SAP plugged with its recent acquisition of Success Factors for $3.4B .

    Point of View (POV):
    These defensive plays indicate a realization that Cloud delivery emerges as the predominant option for applications. Based on Oracle’s current road map, one can expects Oracle to acquire its way into many other edge applications not listed on its Public Cloud road map (see Figure 1).  Some other applications could include social business solutions, expense management, learning solutions, pricing management, identity management, and mobile device management.   However,  Oracle’s public cloud acquisition strategy so far lacks a key requirement – a choice for multi-tenant architected solutions.  While both RightNow and Taleo have some modules that are multi-tenant, in most instances, these applications have been delivered in single tenancy or in multi-instance. Multi-tenant solutions will provide clients with the most efficient upgrade path and lowest long-term cost structure.  The lack of a public strategy to address this issue remains a significant concern for customers and industry observers.

Figure 1. Oracle’s Vision For A Public Cloud

Source: Oracle Corporation

 

  • Seats matter most in a world of CoIT. Oracle hopes to gain massive cloud scale through Taleo’s 74 million transactions per day and 240 million candidates on Taleo Talent Exchange.  The sheer number of users is massive.

    POV:
    Unlike CRM or ERP, the play for HR is all about acquiring the biggest base of users – employees.  With consumerization of IT (CoIT) in full swing, the goal is to grab as many users upfront and then over time cross-sell them into other edge applications which converge between enterprise and consumer.  Why?  The new strategy among the enterprise apps vendors is land and expand. The largest active user bases will win the war of attrition.

The Bottom Line for Customers: Goodbye On-Premises, Hello Cloud World!

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