Posts Tagged ‘Chief HR Officer’

Research Summary: Economic Trends Exacerbate Digital Business Disruption And Digital Transformation (The Futurist Framework Part 3)

Constellation Applies A Futurist Framework To Guide 2014 Outlook and Beyond

Constellation’s research team uses a tried and true futurist framework that looks at the political, economic, societal, technological, environmental and legislative (PESTEL) shifts ahead (see Figure 1). The PESTEL model is used to synthesize the major trends and provides guidance on how Constellation approaches its seven key business themes over the next 2 to 3 years in:

  1. Consumerization of Technology and the New C-Suite
  2. Data to Decisions
  3. Digital Marketing Transformation
  4. Future of Work
  5. Matrix Commerce
  6. Next-Generation Customer Experience
  7. Technology Optimization and Innovation

The strategic assumptions from Constellation’s 2014 PESTEL framework form the basis for the business theme-led research.  Over the next 36 months, research from each business theme will factor these trends into the overall research agenda.  The goal in 2014 is to help clients not only navigate, but also dominate digital disruption.

In part 1, the focus was on the technological trends.

In part 2, the focus is on societal trends.

Download the report snapshot

See the February 27, 2014 webinar

Figure 1. PESTEL Approach Provides a Futurist Framework For Business Themes and Planning


Economic Trends Exacerbate Digital Business Disruption

Still reeling from the impact of the global financial crisis of 2008, Western economies have printed their way out of shock by providing short-term liquidity. Of grave concern, inflation appears around the corner as high debt loads stunt growth. Meanwhile, China and the resource-rich regions such as Africa, the Middle East, Canada and Australia continue their export-led and infrastructure-fueled economic growth. Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRICs) as well as South Africa continue to grow their economies through direct foreign investment while Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey (the MINTs) emerge onto the global economic scene. Five economic trends shape the prioritization of investments in digital disruption (see Figure 2):

Figure 2. Economic Trends Exacerbate Digital Business Disruption More…

Research Summary: Five Societal Shifts Showcase The Digital Divide Ahead (The Futurist Framework Part 2)

Constellation Applies A Futurist Framework To Guide 2014 Outlook and Beyond

Constellation’s research team uses a tried and true futurist framework that looks at the political, economic, societal, technological, environmental and legislative (PESTEL) shifts ahead (see Figure 1). The PESTEL model is used to synthesize the major trends and provides guidance on how Constellation approaches its seven key business themes over the next 2 to 3 years in:

  1. Consumerization of Technology and the New C-Suite
  2. Data to Decisions
  3. Digital Marketing Transformation
  4. Future of Work
  5. Matrix Commerce
  6. Next-Generation Customer Experience
  7. Technology Optimization and Innovation

The strategic assumptions from Constellation’s 2014 PESTEL framework form the basis for the business theme-led research.  Over the next 36 months, research from each business theme will factor these trends into the overall research agenda.  The goal in 2014 is to help clients not only navigate, but also dominate digital disruption.

In part 1, the focus was on the technological trends.

In part 2, the focus is on societal.

Download the report snapshot

See the February 27, 2014 webinar

Figure 1. PESTEL Approach Provides a Futurist Framework For Business Themes and Planning

Societal (S) Shifts Showcase the Digital Divide Ahead

Generational shifts by age and by digital proficiency will show up in force in 2014. A generation of millennials no longer seeks the same objectives as previous generations.  Lack of upward mobility and opportunity sow the seeds for societal disruption.  Furthermore, a fear of government intrusion along with a need for government programs creates a bipolar view on the role of government.  Hence, organizations must adapt to an ever-changing array of future business models based on dynamic demographic and psycho-graphic preferences.  The following five broad societal movements shape how individuals behave and play a strong role in influencing business model adoption (see Figure 2):

Figure 2.  Societal Shifts Showcase the Digital Divide Ahead


  1. Access trumps ownership in a sharing economy. From car sharing in the late 1990s, to vacation rentals to collaborative financing, the sharing economy has been inching its way into the forefront of the consumer’s mind.  Since, thought leaders such as Rachel Botsman, Lisa Gansky and Anne-Sophie Novel, have been chronicling the forces, underlying trends and players behind the movement.  Key success factors in this new business model require the identification of underutilized assets, optimization of value through time slicing of access, trading on the goodwill and generosity of others and building a reputation economy.  A sharing economy model is not for every industry, yet this trend may affect how products and services companies shift their offerings and business models in the next three to five years.
  2. Five generations of customers and workers driven by digital proficiency, not age. When discussing the future of work, most people  immediately jump to the discussion of millennials, Generation Y, Generation X, Baby Boomers, post war, etc.  However, under a shift to digital business, the generations are defined differently.  This segmentation describes how proficient people are with digital technologies and digital culture.  The five generations include digital natives, digital immigrants, digital voyeurs, digital holdouts and the digital disengaged.
  3. More…

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.

    More…

News Analysis: FinancialForce.com ERP Arrives To Signal The Era Of Best Of Breed Cloud Suites

FinancialForce Debuts Its Full ERP Suite


On February 19th, San Francisco headquartered, FinancialForce.com announced the launch of its full suite of ERP offerings built on the Salesforce1 platform.  Backed by investments from UNIT4 and Salesforce.com, the cloud based vendor began as a single ledger financial management system built on the Salesforce.com Force.com platform.  The announcement and product launch shows how FinancialForce:

  • Delivers a full ERP suite on the Salesforce1 platform. The platform brings together a series of organic products and recent acquisitions in HR, supply chain, and project management (see Figure 1).  The December 2010 acquisition of Appirio’s professional services automation assets form the Professional Services Automation offering.  The 2013 acquisitions of Vana Workforce and Less Software brought the human capital management (HCM) and supply chain management (SCM) capabilities.

    Point of View (POV):
    The management team at FinacialForce.com was smart to bring in acquisitions built on the original Force.com platform.  Post merger integration was greatly simplified as the products shared a common architectural base.  More importantly, the acquired solutions were easily upgraded to the Salesforce1 platform to create an end to end ERP cloud based ERP suite.  Customers gain the full advantages of the Salesforce 1 platform and integration with the core Salesforce CRM offerings.
  • Demonstrates focus on long term growth and viability .  FinancialForce.com showed 80% year over year growth in revenue run-rate compared to 2012.  Headcount grew 62% year over year with over 260 global employees.  Furthermore, customers represent a global base with 27 countries and users in 45 countries.

    (POV):
    Cloud has gone mainstream and customers now expect their cloud companies to demonstrate viability.  The mergers and acquisitions required to build a full cloud ERP suite signal a maturity by FinancialForce.com and the market.  Early customers of the full suite provide positive references on both the synergies of the ERP offering and the flexibility of the Salesforce1 platform for extensibility.

Figure 1. FinancialForce.com Launches A Full Integrated ERP Suite

More…

Research Summary: Sneak Peaks From Constellation’s Futurist Framework And 2014 Outlook On Digital Disruption

Accelerated Pace of Change Creates the Perfect Storm for Dominating Digital Disruption

The 2014 trends are out. The big predictions have been made.  Yet what does it all mean as most organizations anticipate another unpredictable year?  Since 2000, 52 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500 have either gone bankrupt, been acquired or ceased to exist (Figure 1).  The pace of change has increased, competition has intensified and business models have been disrupted.  The only certainty is that change will accelerate.

Figure 1. Digital Disruption Has Demolished 52% of the Fortune 500 Since 2000


In fact, the digitalization of business is a key factor in this accelerated pace of change.  Information flows faster.  Most parties enjoy greater transparency, yet the digital divide makes transparency patchy.  Every node reacts more quickly.  The speed of execution as a differentiator has resulted in agility in delivering disrupting business models. Market leaders shift from selling products and services to promising outcomes and experiences.

Market leaders and fast followers want to know what trends will affect customer demand. How will these trends affect hiring decisions?  Are there new and emerging technologies that will power disruptive business models?  What factors will help organizations dominate digital disruption?  How does one stay safe in a world of digital exhaust?  What networks matter?  Who are my competitors, collaborators and co-innovators? How does one make sense of the disparate and often contradictory trends pointed out by experts, pundits and analysts?

Constellation Applies A Futurist Framework To Guide 2014 Outlook and Beyond

Constellation’s research team uses a tried and true futurist framework that looks at the political, economic, societal, technological, environmental and legislative (PESTEL) shifts ahead (see Figure 2). The PESTEL model is used to synthesize the major trends and provides guidance on how Constellation approaches its seven key business themes over the next 2 to 3 years in:

  1. Consumerization of Technology and the New C-Suite
  2. Data to Decisions
  3. Digital Marketing Transformation
  4. Future of Work
  5. Matrix Commerce
  6. Next-Generation Customer Experience
  7. Technology Optimization and Innovation

The strategic assumptions from Constellation’s 2014 PESTEL framework form the basis for the business theme-led research.  Over the next 36 months, research from each business theme will factor these trends into the overall research agenda.  The goal in 2014 is to help clients not only navigate, but also dominate digital disruption.

Download the report snapshot

Register for the Webinar February 27, 2014

More…

Trends: [VIDEO] The Digital Business Disruption Ahead Preview – NASSCOM India Leadership Forum (#NASSCOM_ILF)

A 10-Minute Preview Video Interview Of The Digital Business Disruption Ahead From The #NASSCOM_ILF Team

On January 17th, 2014, the NASSCOM team interviewed Constellation Research about the digital disruption ahead.  The short 10 minute video covers key topics including:

  • Convergence of the five pillars of digital business drive the current digital disruption. The end of social, mobile, analytics, cloud, and UC (i.e. SMAC) as you know it.
  • The new ecosystems of digital business bring new opportunities. From GE’s industrial internet to mass personalization at scale, to augmented humanity, Constellation sees a new future beyond the traditional software ecosystems.
  • Everyone vs Amazon is becoming a reality. Insights on why everyone is competing with Amazon not only in retail, but also in the cloud, physical distribution, and media.
  • Mergers and acquisitions in software signal a maturing industry category. Large enterprise software companies no longer innovate fast enough and have to purchase startups for IP and growth.
  • Mobile first and cloud first drive key success factors. Constellation sees the need to move to mobile first in order to innovate and move at the speed of digital business change.
  • Service providers must focus on a higher stack. IT services firms traditionally deliver operations, maintenance, and transfer.  However the value add and higher margins are in design and build.
  • Preview of the Constellation Futurist Framework. Using a PESTEL model, Constellation provides a sneak peak in some of the big 2014 futurist trends.

VIDEO: The Digital Business Disruption Previw

Source: NASSCOM

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The Bottom Line: The Shift To Digital Business Disruption Will Forever Transform The Service Provider Landscape

More…

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…

Trends: 10 Trends for #Cloud Computing in 2014 To Dominate #Digital Disruption [Slide Share]

Ten Trends For Cloud Computing In 2014 To Dominate Digital Disruption

Constellation’s cloud computing research falls under the Tech Optimization and Innovation business theme and throughout other areas where applications are applied.  The trends for 2014 cover across the entire cloud stack.

Holger Mueller, VP and Principal Analyst, covers the impact of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) as well as HR Technologies in the Future of Work.  R “Ray” Wang researches the impact of Cloud Computing on business strategy and the application landscape.

Below are the 2014 trends for Cloud Computing.  Join the Constellation experience as we set to help our clients dominate digital disruption.

<iframe src=”http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/29546510″ width=”600″ height=”400″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” style=”border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px” allowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”https://www.slideshare.net/rwang0/10-trends-for-cloud-computing-in-2014-to-dominate-digital-disruption” title=”10 Trends for #Cloud Computing in 2014 To Dominate Digital Disruption” target=”_blank”>10 Trends for #Cloud Computing in 2014 To Dominate Digital Disruption</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/rwang0″ target=”_blank”>R “Ray” Wang & Holger Mueller</a></strong> </div>

Your POV.

Do you have a cloud strategy?  Can you see how the cloud will help enable digital business disruption?   Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationR (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org.

Please let us know if you need help with your Cloud and Digital Business transformation efforts.  Here’s how we can assist:

  • Assessing cloud computing readiness
  • Developing your digital business strategy
  • Connecting with other pioneers
  • Sharing best practices
  • Vendor selection
  • Implementation partner selection
  • Providing contract negotiations and software licensing support
  • Demystifying software licensing
Resources

Reprints

Reprints can be purchased through Constellation Research, Inc. To request official reprints in PDF format, please contact Sales .

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 -2014 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

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

Age Is Not The Deciding Factor In Five Generations Of Workers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Event Report: Metaio’s #InsideAR Conference Hails The Future Of An Always On, Always Augmented Reality

Digital Business Arrives In The Always On Always Augmented World


On October 10th and 11th, 2013, over 800 attendees from more than 45 countries arrived at the Munich Olympic Park to share their passion and excitement about the latest augmented reality (AR) developments (see Figure 1).  Hosted by augmented reality pioneer Metaio, Inside AR 2013, has emerged as one of the world’s largest conferences dedicated to the business of AR.  The conference touched on key areas such as:

  • Wearable computing
  • Hardware advances
  • Applications and development
  • Global adoption
  • Future of digital business and AR
  • AR use cases from engineering to sales
  • Consumer AR
  • Future of print and packaging in AR
  • Public sector use cases

Figure 1. Full Flickr Stream Of InsideAR Including Demo Videos


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Source: Copyright © 2001 – 2013 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.

Augmented Reality Brings Contextual Experiences To Life

More…

Event Report: The Evolution And Maturation of @Tibbr at #Tucon2013, the Tibco User Conference

tibbr Continues To Show Momentum In Customer Adoption And Addition Of Key Enterprise Social Features

On October 14th to 17th 2013, the Tibbr enterprise social crowd mingled with the core Tibco faithful at this year’s TUCON 2013 user conference in Las Vegas.  (An analysis of the broader Tibco announcements can be found from my colleague Holger Mueller).  While the Tibbr team continues to build synergies with the core Tibco offering in Big Data, Events, Integration, and BPM, the Tibbr team also made key announcements that include:

  • tibbr crosses the 6.5M users adoption mark. The team announced paid user growth from 1.2M to 6.5M in over a year.  Distribution partnerships with Amazon Web Services (AWS), KPN, and T-Systems highlight future opportunities for growth.

    POV:
    The team’s partnerships and geographic expansion in Latin America and EMEA have paid off. With an entry point of $12 per user per month, 6.5M users represents a sizable growth in subscriber base, even after enterprise wide discounting.  Given the virality of successful enterprise social networks (ESN), tibbr could prove to be a key cross-sell lead gen for the rest of Tibco’s products.
  • tibbr Files and partnership with Huddle. tibbr Files allows customers to integrate with existing content and file systems such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Huddle, and SharePoint.  Users can access tibbr to view conversations, work on files, and collaborate through the tibbr interface.  the tibbr team announced its partnership with Huddle at Tucon 2013.

    Point of View (POV):
    Customers have been clamoring for more out of the box integration options to unify content repositories.  The partnership with Huddle is crucial for organizations that rely on Huddle’s security mechanisms.  In tibbr, users retain their security, permissions, and versions when accessing Huddle’s files.
  • tibbr Tasks. tibbr Tasks provides social task management capabilities.  Users can create tasks in process, track and update tasks via social channels, and manage a visual portfolio of tasks across all project management tools.

    POV:
    Tasks are a key requirement for supporting Purposeful Collaboration as described by colleague Alan Lepofsky. Many customers have deployed tibbr to unify disparate business processes.  The addition of tasks embedded in enterprise social will improve collaboration at the business process level.
  • tibbr Pages. The new pages product allows users to publish content within and outside the organization.  Pages also retains tibbr security rules.

    POV:
    The tibbr team takes a stab at the proliferation of Microsoft SharePoint kudzu with its own application.  By enabling users to find, publish, and share, the tibbr team adds another key tool to enabling content creation and collaboration for users.

Figure 1. The Tucon 2013 Scene and New Tibbr App Screen Shots



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Source: 2013 R Wang and Insider Associates. All rights reserved.

The Bottom Line: tibbr Emerge As A Key Player For Enterprise Social

More…

Event Report: Seven Trends From This Year’s Human Resources Technology Conference 2013 (#HRTechConf)

2013 Marks A Change Of Guard In The HR Technology Conference

Over 8,000 attendees gathered for the industry’s biggest and baddest event around human resources technology and the future of work at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.  This year marked a few key milestones:

  • Legendary HR icon, Bill Kutik steps down from the conference chair role but will still be very active
  • Steve Boese takes over as the new HR Tech conference chair
  • HR Tech category pioneer Naomi Bloom announced her transition to a new business model
  • A record 303 vendors versus 257 from last year
  • 20% increase in buyers at the event
  • HR tonight show with co-hosts Bill Kutik and Naomi Bloom was a hit with Leighanne Levensaler, Brian Sommer, Patricia Milligan, and John Sumser.
The Buying Cycle Is Back!
From the level of attendees, quality of questions in the booth, conversation in the hall, and the number of prospect conversations about technology selection, it’s obvious the conversation has turned from kicking the tires to can we buy by Q4.  Some observations and trends from speaking with hundreds of attendees at the event: