Posts Tagged ‘cloud integration’

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

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Monday’s Musings: NSA PRISM Scandal Hurts US Cloud Companies And Hastens The Return Of On-Premises Software

Non-US Based Organizations And Even Some US Organizations Will Not Tolerate Snooping In A Post PRISM World

Since the Edward Snowden PRISM revelations, Constellation has received a steady stream of inquiries on cloud strategy.   In fact, nervousness runs high among many non-US based companies using services from US based cloud companies across the cloud stack.  In early August 2013, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation put out its report “How Much Will PRISM Cost the U.S. Cloud Computing Industry” Assuming that 20% of current clients switch to a non US based provider,  the report estimates a loss of $22 to 35B by 2016.

Constellation agrees.  All signs point to an anti-US stance until the security issues is addressed.  The odds on the US government moving fast on this issue are as good as Major League Baseball players or Tour de France Cyclists honoring a performance enhancement drug use ban.  In fact, Constellation is aware of at least 50+ contracts that have been put on hold or cancelled in the past 30 days.  With the EU’s Nellie Kroes already sounding the alarm bells in a way she only can, cloud buyers have taken notice.

The Bottom Line: Clients Should Consider Alternatives To Pure Cloud Models And Encryption Technology

Interesting enough, fifteen years into the cloud revolution, talk has rekindled about building on-premises software in light of this scandal. Unfortunately, the last major on-premises software company to receive funding squandered it all in 2005 and retooled to the cloud. Furthermore, a few entrepreneurs are looking at VC funding to take some key systems back on-premises.

However customers do not have time to wait for new software to arrive in the on-premises deployment option.  In the meantime, a few near term strategies have emerged:

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News Analysis: Oracle’s Cloud Strategy – Revisionist History or Cloud Genius?

This is a joint post with my colleague Holger Mueller who looks at IaaS/PaaS and Future of Work technologies for Constellation Research.

At a press conference on June 24th, 2013 with Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer ,and Oracle’s President Mark Hurd announced a cloud partnership where Azure customers will be able to run Oracle Database (no version mentioned, but Constellation expects this to be 12c), Oracle Weblogic, and Java.

Oracle also announced availability of Oracle Linux for Azure customers. Constellation believes that the deployments of the Oracle 12c, Weblogic and Java stack pieces will be deployed on Oracle’s Linux.  Should this be true, the approach makes sense, as this is a tested and proven hardware and software combination. Further, Microsoft has already begun to run parts of Azure on Linux.

The partnership alliance poses significant implications for both vendors and more importantly customers moving to the cloud for three reasons:

  • Java comes to Azure, a sign of pax in the .NET vs Java wars. For Applications to run on Azure, they needed to be built in C# or compatible languages. Now, with the licensing of Java by Microsoft as part of this partnership, Java applications will run on Azure. This opens doors for Java applications on the Azure cloud, as well as general more portability for Java applications. And Azure becomes a friendly cloud for the 9 million+ Java developers out there. .

    Point Of View:
    Microsoft and Oracle strike a win-win here.  Microsoft gains more language derived potential for expanding Azure and Oracle adds a marquee cloud stack to support Java.  Given the substantial overlap of enterprise customers on both Microsoft and Oracle, customers will benefit from more cross cloud compatibility for Java while supporting Azure for IaaS.
  • Azure will run Oracle Weblogic and the Oracle Database. Microsoft will support Oracle Linux in Azure as the foundation to run the middleware and the database stack.  Though the press release and the press conference did not specify which Oracle database, Constellation speculates this is for Oracle Database 12c. In addition, Oracle announced license mobility for customers who want to run software on Azure and bring Oracle Linux to Azure..

    (POV):
    Interesting enough when Larry Ellison spilled the news for this announcement during the Q4 Oracle earnings call, this was not about the Oracle Database, but very specifically about Oracle 12c. It’s not clear why 12c is not specifically referenced in the press release – but with the ORacle 12c general availability slotted for June 25h, 2013, this moment may not have been the time to steal the thunder.  Of note, it is not only the database, but also the Weblogic application server which will be deployed on Azure. This comes as a surprise at first, but given the work Oracle has done to integrate the former BEA flagship product with 12c and Java – it was a question of taking whole technology building and avoiding too many interfaces. Why run Java apps through Biztalk to an Oracle database?  Constellation views this as a smart move by both companies, as it allows Azure customers to utilize more of the Oracle products, that are more and more entwined due to the Fusion and Exaxxx products.
  • The hypervisor is where Microsoft and Oracle draw a line in the sand. Oracle will support Microsoft’s hypervisor Hyper-V to be the demarcation line between higher level application code and the Oracle products that now run in Azure.  The combined offering will be running on Hyper-V, which creates some headaches for Oracle on the hypervisor level as Constellation predicted, and will be supported by Oracle support as running on Windows Azure. .

    (POV):
    This poses some engineering work for the Oracle hypervisor teams, but nothing impossible to achieve. And the benefits are tangible, Hyper-V built applications will now be able to run on the Oracle Database (12c, and on Oracle Linux). This will give a lot of performance critical (think Dynamics) applications that were limited by SQL Server scalability before, new breathing room.  Microsoft was able to protect higher level applications of its technology stack with this agreement and at the same time Oracle benefits from a whole ecosystem of Hyper-V compatible applications. The cost of supporting Hyper-V for Oracle, which is tangible, is however dwarfed by this additional market potential. And it gives Mircosoft an important leg up against VMware’s vSphere.  Constellation believes this has significant implications in the cloud stack wars among Amazon, Google, HP, IBM, and VMware.  In unusual candidness for these  Oracle listed the current and future deliverables for the alliance in an blog post here.

Why did this happen?

As previously mentioned, this would have been a very good April Fool’s headline – even back on April 1st 2013. So this alliance comes as a surprise pretty much to all industry observers, at least we have not seen anyone claiming to see this one coming.

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News Analysis: The Vibe On Informatica’s Virtual Data Machine

Informatica Launches Vibe, A Virtual Data Machine For New Business Models

At Informatica World 2013 in Las Vegas, Informatica announced the Vibe Virtual Data Machine (VDM).  The VDM consists of 4 parts and an SDK (see Figure 1):

  1. Transformation library contains pre-built libraries for actions such as combine, transform, cleans, match and mask.
  2. Optimizer enables effective resource usage and efficient run-time.
  3. Executor is the run-time execution engine.
  4. Connectors provide access to multiple upstream and down stream data source.
  5. Vibe SDK enables a partner ecosystem.

Figure 1. Inside Vibe, the Virtual Data Machine

Source: Informatica

The VDM release is significant because Vibe:

Research Summary: Constellation Cosmos – Cloud Bill of Rights for SaaS Apps, Actian and Netsuite Achieve Epic Status

Constellation Certifies Vendors On How Well They Perform To The Cloud Bill Of Rights

The Enterprise Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights provides a tool for clients and vendors to change the tenor of contract negotiations from user subservience to an equal and collaborative long-term partnership.  This Constellation CosmosCertification for the Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights: SaaS Applications is intended to help buyers and prospective buyers of enterprise cloud applications identify the vendors that meet the spirit of the Cloud. The certification applies four of the six Cosmos categories and includes ownership experience, use case support, corporate vision and ecosystem feedback. Constellation rates vendors on a 0- to 5-point scale.  Constellation’s goal is to recognize vendors for honoring these rights upfront in their existing contract language and throughout the buyer and ownership experience.

Behind The Scenes On How The Cosmos Works

Constellation CosmosTM is Constellation’s flagship quantitative and qualitative product and solution comparison tool.  A typical Cosmos contains 50 to 150 exception-based criteria used to help buy-side clients with product and solution selection across the galaxy of choices.  The evaluation comprises of six major categories on a 0 to 5 point scale where Constellation evaluates key criteria in:
  1. Ownership experience. Criteria evaluated include assessments on vendor executive advocacy and accountability, timely and meaningful interactions, professional customer support, overall sales cycle and buying process, quality of product and service, and ongoing transparency.
  2. Solution offering. Criteria evaluated include assessments of functional requirements, technical requirements, architectural considerations, and deployment options pertinent to the category.
  3. Use case support. Criteria evaluated include assessments on the ability to support anywhere from 3 to 12 popular use cases requested by end user clients.  Use cases typically align with a business process. Considerations include geographical requirements, market size requirements, and industry requirements.
  4. Market execution. Criteria evaluated include assessments of the total number of live customers, total number of customers including prospects, total number of customers over 1B in revenue, funding raised to date (if a startup), total annual revenues, total number of external trained professional service staff, total number of internal trained professional service staff, number of updates per year, and geographic penetration
  5. Corporate vision. Criteria evaluated include assessments of the strength of management team, product direction, level of innovation, market leadership, community stewardship, and investment in R&D.
  6. Ecosystem feedback. Criteria evaluated include assessments of vendor-supplied references (at least 3), direct customer feedback from inquiries and interactions, and partner feedback.
The final ratings place solutions into 5 categories
  1. Epic. Composite scores typically above 4.25
  2. Stellar. Composite scores typically between 3.25 and 4.24
  3. Emerging. Composite scores typically between 2.25 and 3.24
  4. Nascent. Composite scores typically between 1.25 and 2.24
  5. Laggard. Composite scores typically between 0 and 1.24

The Constellation CosmosTM graphic is a three-dimensional visualization tool built from three axes:

  • Capability represents the X-axis. Capability includes the use case support and solution offering categories.
  • Strategy and execution drives the Y-axis. The score comprises of market execution and corporate vision.
  • Reputation forms the Z-axis. The scores come from the ownership experience and ecosystem feedback categories.
  • Weighted score defines the radius of the sphere. The scores are the composite from capability, strategy, and reputation.

 

Constellation updates Cosmos’ periodically as client demand dictates.  Some reports may be deprecated over time based on lack of market interest.  Constellation reserves the right to determine when reports are updated and in what manner.

NetSuite and Actian Corp Achieve Epic Status In the First Of Many Certifications Of Cloud Companies
For the Cloud Bill of Rights: SaaS Applications, the application and the vendor contract were evaluated on 61 criteria.  Constellation evaluated the vendors based on the experience of over 1500 software contract negotiations.

Netsuite provides an end-to-end cloud business application suite and was certified against the 61 criteria listed in Constellation’s Cloud Bill of Rights and the Constellation Cosmos methodology. Netsuite achieved a 4.48 weighted score and achieved the highest certification – Epic for its achievement in meeting the 61 requirements of the Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights category

Actian Corporation was certified against the 61 criteria listed in Constellation’s Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights and the Constellation Cosmos methodology.  Actian Corporation’s acquired Pervasive Software on April 11, 2013. Constellation evaluated Pervasive Software prior to the merger. The cloud based integration application known as Actian DataCloud and its contract were evaluated on 61 criteria in the Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights: SaaS Applications.. Actian DataCloud achieved a 4.77 weighted score and achieved the highest certification – Epic for its achievement in meeting the 61 requirements of the Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights category.

Report Links

Download a snapshot of the reports at the Constellation Research website:

Constellation Cosmos – Cloud Bill of Rights: Saas Apps Actian Corp.

Constellation Cosmos – Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights: SaaS Apps – Netsuite, Inc.

Your POV.

How’s contract negotiations with your Cloud Vendors? 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.

Reprints

Reprints can be purchased through Constellation Research, Inc. To request official reprints in PDF format, please contact sales (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com.

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.

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

 

Event Report: Customers Very Happy At Ultimate Connections 2013 (#ulticonnect)

Partnership Announcements Enhance Ultimate Software’s Offerings


Amidst a crowd of 1500 customers, partners, and attendees, Ultimate Software held their annual gathering from March 12th to March 15th, 2013 in Las Vegas.  Geared towards the medium sized to enterprise markets, Ultimate Software has steadily taken market share from ADP for payroll and expanded out into operational and strategic human capital management (HCM) capabilities.  New mobile access, generation 4 cloud architecture, and timeline features for employee’s highlight Ultimate’s growing ambitions and customer requirements.

At the event, Ultimate announced two strategic partnerships that bode well for customers and prospects facing an increasing level of customer complexity and growing need for global capabilities:

  • Celergo partnership adds global payroll capabilities to internationalization efforts. Celergo’s founder and CEO, Michele Honomichl, and Adam Rogers announced on stage global payroll services support for 110 countries and the ability to process payroll in over 150 countries.  In addition, Ultimate’s Spring and Fall 2013 release of the flagship UltiPro includes support for 28 country specific localizations such as Australia, Brazil, China, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, and Thailand.  Other key features include, global compensation management, localized compliance for data and employee privacy rules, and additional language translations.

    Point of View (POV):
    Ultimate’s customers operate in 144 countries.  As organizations follow the growth overseas, the global payroll connector and Celergo partnership gives mid market and enterprise customers a competitive option as they expand their presence abroad and usage of UltiPro.  These proactive steps to address global capabilities now, provide a key differentiation among potential competitors and places Ultimate Software in a potential position of international expansion.
  • Informatica partnership paves the way for future cloud partnerships.  At the conference, Informatica announced a self-service solution for HCM data connections.  Built on top of UltiPro Carrier Network (UCN), customers have access to over 100 packaged connectors to benefits carriers and third party solutions.

    (POV):
    Customers and prospects do not want to worry about integration of their employee records or people management solutions with medical, dental, vision, and other benefits providers.  In the long term, customers seek worry free integration platforms to third party applications, cloud ecosystems, and mobile ecosystems.  The partnership with Informatica solves the needs of complex integration scenarios and Ultimate customers do not pay for the integration tool.  However, customers who are looking for a lower cost integration solution for non-UCN endpoints may want to consider more cost-effective offerings for more point to point integration scenarios.

More…

Event Report: Informatica Analyst Day Reveals A Growth Strategy

Informatica Sets The Stage For A New Chapter In Its History


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

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

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

    (POV):
    In a world of Hybrid IT, Constellation expects integration to be a core requirement for success. Consumerization of IT has led to a proliferation of mobile and cloud endpoints that require sophisticated data integration capabilities among all possible connections, data flows, business processes, and access.  Informatica’s success depends on its ability to attract the cloud integration decision makers and users for basic cloud integration for enterprise and those seeking more complicated enterprise cloud integration use cases.  The platform for a Hybrid IT play via a Virtual Data Machine (VDM) has the most potential for success in creating new business models.  Informatica Inside will succeed so long Informatica is seen as “the Switzerland” for integration in cloud stacks and solutions.
  • Providing the integration and quality requirements for a big data world. Ash Kulkarni, SVP & GM for Data Integration and Data Quality, addressed the analytical integration, operational integration, and data governance strategy.  Informatica’s themes for next generation data integration include agility in development, flexibility for deployment, and confidence in management.  New features in analytical data integration include built-in data virtualization, complex event processing, support for decision making, and big data integration for Hadoop customers.  The data governance features include improved inference for data domain discovery, automated enterprise data discovery, business friendly glossaries with rich metadata lineage, streamlined workflow and task management, data masking, visual exception auditing, audit data retention policies for production and legacy apps archiving,
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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: SnapLogic Snaps Up $20M In Series C Funding For Cloud Integration

Ignition Partners Injects $20M in Series C For Hot Cloud Integration Market

On September 19th,2012,  SnapLogic closed its Series C funding round.  The latest funding round:

  • Strengthens product offerings. SnapLogic offers an integration platform, integration server, integration design tool, and integration market place designed for the cloud world. With almost 100 Snaps in its appstore and almost 200 built to date, users can easily integrate best of breed cloud apps in thousands of combinations. The ecosystem includes free snaps such as Amazon EC2, Box, Clarizen, Facebook, Flickr, Four Square, Twitter, Yelp, and Zoho. Paid snaps include popular enterprise apps such as Coupa, Eloqua, Financial Force, MarkLogic, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, NetSuite, Oracle Peoplesoft, Parature, RightNow, Salesforce.com, SAP, and Zuora.

    (POV):
    Customers and prospects can expect SnapLogic to invest the new funds in engineering.  Key areas of focus include improving the user experience, easing the cost of ownership, and delivering improved SDKs. Expect Snaplogic to also improve the creation of plugins by enterprise customers.  Many customers have also built their own Snaps.
  • Opens up doors to the Igntion Partners network. Led by Ignition Partners and joined by Triangle Peak Partners, the Series C round complements Andreesen Horowitz existing investments of $10M in Series B and the Series A round of $4.8M with Andreesen Horowitz and Floodgate.

    Point of View (POV):
    Investment by Igntion opens up opportunities within the portfolio. Key synergies include companies such as Cloudera, DocuSign, Fireaps, mFoundry, Service Mesh, Visible, and Zenprise.  SnapLogic already works within several Andreesen Horowitz investments including TideMark.
  • Improves distribution. Success in the enterprise has focused around key industries such as telecom, technology, entertainment, financial services and retail.  SnapLogic has won many large accounts and sees continued growth in North America.

    (POV):
    Constellation expects SnapLogic to focus in on expanding their North American sales force and distribution channels.  EMEA growth will probably come from the more mature cloud markets in the UK over the next 12 months.

The Bottom Line: Best of Breed Cloud Hell Requires Next Generation Simple Integration Solutions

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Event Report: CRM Evolution 2012 #CRME12

CRM Continues To Evolve In A World Of Engagement


The CRM industry’s major non-vendor customer focused event kicked off at the Marriott Marquis in New York from August 13th to 15th.  Conversations with prospects and practitioners at the event highlighted a few emerging trends:

  • Shift from transaction to engagement. CRM traditionally focused mostly on the management, a bit on the customer, and very little on the relationship.  Major shifts in engagement strategy reflect a move towards two way conversations, unstructured information, and influence models.
  • B2B and B2C are dead. The notion of forced fit silos to represent a customer no longer applies. The world is rapidly move to people to people models and new systems must reflect this.
  • The rise of customer experiences. Prior to the coining of the CRM term, front office was the term which defined marketing, service, eCommerce, and sales force automation.  The move back to integrated customer experiences reflects a renewed interest in all the front office touch points and all the support in the back office required to support the customer experience.
  • SaaS/Cloud Best of Breed hell is a real issue. Rapid and random deployment of best of breed solutions versus mature suites results in some basic architectural deficiencies.  These deficiencies result in inefficiencies that impact the delivery of customer experience as  process, data, and meta data integration increase in complexity and cost.

The Bottom Line: Customers must focus on delivering a single source of truth in the fundamentals

Customers making the shift to next generation customer experiences realize that the basic laws of physics must not be violated.  Regardless of where key components reside, a single source of truth must be delivered to support next generation customer experiences.  This requires a strong blue print and engagement platform that delivers:

  1. Listening and intent
  2. Interaction history
  3. Master data management (customer master)
  4. Business process management
  5. Complex event processing
  6. Security and identity management
  7. Integration

Your POV.

Are you ready for the new shift to front office? What are you doing to deliver an integrated customer experience?  Add your comments to the blog or send us a comment at R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org or R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com

Please let us know if you need help with your business strategy efforts.  Here’s how we can assist:

  • Assessing social business/digital marketing readiness
  • Developing your social business/digital marketing  strategy
  • Designing a data to decisions strategy
  • Create a new vision of the future of work
  • Deliver a new customer experience and engagement strategy
  • Crafting a new matrix commerce strategy

Related Research:

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

Friday’s Features: Using Attensity Analyze 6.0 To Compare Customer Sentiment For @united @southwestair @virginamerica

A Travelers’ Tale of Two Airlines (@united vs @southwestair)

A hurried shower, followed by a hastily packed bag.  Then, the race to the taxi stand (Figure 1).  Should be easy to get a cab at 5:45 am in Las Vegas, right? Only the late night crew roll into a casino this late or early in the morning on a Tuesday.  Who’d be flying out so early?  So much for that theory.  A line forms 50 deep outside. Eveyone is half asleep, and headed to McCarran – Las Vegas airport from Caesar’s Palace at 5:30 am.  I figure Southwest 2286 takes off at 6:25 am, should be plenty of time.  I keep consoling myself.  At 5:50, I get into my cab. I instruct the driver not to take the freeway and to go local.

Figure 1. Just Another Day At The Las Vegas Taxi Stand

I get to the self-service kiosk to check in. I get the dreaded <DING!>.  I’m told my bag will be checked late and it could risk being sent on a later flight.  At 6:00, I’ve missed all normal cut-off windows.  Most airlines cut you off at 30 minutes prior and I am really late.  I’m ready to accept my fate.  I’m ready to be told to get on the next flight.  Strangely enough, the gate agent notices that I’m late and does everything to hurry me on-board.  She tells me that there is a chance my bag won’t make it but they’ll do their best.  She kindly reminds me check-in is 30 minutes prior and suggests I take another security entrance to improve my odds of passing through TSA in time.  She also lets me know that she’s told the gate agent I may be late.  I finally get through TSA and get to the gate with 2 minutes to spare.  The aircraft door isn’t closed. In fact, it’s open and waiting for me to board. I hop on, pass out, and arrive in San Jose.  In some modern day miracle, the bag also has arrived with me.  I thank the travel gods.

Flash back one week earlier, the same morning sequence occurs in Las Vegas.  This time with rental car in tow, I head to the rental car return center at 4:00am for a 5:30 am flight.  A staffing issue occurs with the “consolidated rental center transportation” and no buses arrive until 4:30 am.  I think to myself, I still have time.  I rush to catch United Airlines 479 to San Francisco.  The bus arrives at 4:45 am.  I rush to the kiosk and arrive for check-in at 4:47 am.  The kiosk tells me to see an agent. I wait another 3 minutes in the uber premium line (a.k.a. Global Services).   The agent looks at my ticket and tells me in a stern and disapproving voice, I have to wait for the next flight which is at 11:49 am.

I flash my Global Services card in a last ditch attempt for empathy.  The agent tells me that policy is policy.  United can’t check me in as I miss the cut-off.  She tells me that I should know better and come to the airport earlier.  The Las Vegas airport is so big, the bag would never get to the plane on time.  They won’t let me take off without my bag.   There’s no point in arguing at this point. I have a speech at 11:00 am to get to.  I rush over to the Southwest counter to find the next flight.  The agent asks me what’s wrong. I tell her I need to get on the 6:30 am.  She says, no problem.  I give her all the details and she issues me a ticket in 5 minutes.  I make it to the keynote but I’m very bitter about United and how they have treated me.  I was a happy Continental flyer before the merger, you can read all about it here.

Social Data Quantifies Qualitative Experiences – United Ranks Last Among The Three Carriers

By now, most folks have seen what happened when “United Breaks Guitars“, the tale of an awful customer experience for Dave Carroll who had his guitar broken.  When the airline failed to take responsibility, he took to the web.   With over 11.9M views as of this blog post, this social media epic fail epitomizes what happens when companies ignore their customers and shirk responsibility for resolving legitimate complaints.  But what happens when an airline completely chooses to ignore social media as a channel? Do customers go away? Do they just jump to another channel?  Are these social analytics tools reflective of the general customer base?

Using Attensity Analyze 6.0, a comparison was made among the three airlines.  We selected two best in class low cost carriers (i.e. Southwest Airlines and Virgin America) and United Airlines to answer this question (Figure 1).  Analyze 6.0 took 12,863 public comments from Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums (user forums, discussion forums, LinkedIn Answers, etc) YouTube videos, mainstream news and more to gather this data (see Figure 2).

Figure 1. Twitter Accounts For The Three Airlines

Figure 2.  Attensity’s Analyze 6.0 In Action With Feedback Analysis On Three Select Airlines More…

News Analysis: Informatica Launches MDM 9.5

New Product Addresses The Social, Mobile, Cloud, and Big Data World

The convergence of social, mobile, cloud, big data (analytics), and video/unified comms changes the playing field from transactional applications to engagement applications.  The result – a sea change of new data types from structured and unstructured sources.  With greater volumes of data, demand for information shifts from real time to right time inside and outside the enterprise.  Context by process, by roles, by location, and by any other segmentation requires a robust MDM solution to improve the return on #bigdata.  Unfortunately, many master data management solutions have not been designed to handle this new world of business led requirements.

Enter Informatica’s MDM 9.5 product launched May 15th, 2012 at Informatica World (#IW2012).  Some key features in 9.5 highlight the move to social, mobile, cloud, and industries:

  • Versioning – effective dates deliver timelines. The new product delivers effective dating to define and manage past, current, and future versions of a record.  Delivered at the base object level, relationships are automatically version-enabled.

    Point of View (POV):
    Future analysis of social and mobile data will require the ability to segment and correlate by time.  The solution can model hierarchies and entities by past, present and future. More importantly, versioning provides rich compliance information that will serve as a backbone for information governance of a wide variety of data types and sources..
  • Social MDM – Facebook apps connect to customer profiles. The new Facebook and MDM connectivity provides a social graph of the customer and friends of the customer. Users gain bi-directional connectivity.

    Point of View (POV):
    Connection to Facebook not only brings rich profile information, but also delivers key multichannel connections.  This linkage exposes and identifies common interests and relationships which build richer customer profiles.  Customers should work hard to drive data out of Facebook and not into Facebook, reducing the trading of privacy for convenience.