Posts Tagged ‘Cross Channel Commerce’

News Analysis: Sitecore Acquires Commerce Server In Quest Towards Customer Experience Management

Commerce Server Finds Its Logical Home

On Wednesday November 20th, 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark based Sitecore acquired Ottawa, Canada based for an undisclosed price.  Originally known as the Microsoft Siteserver and Commerce Server 2000, the product was orphaned by Microsoft,  then Ascentium, the key development partner were given the rights to further develop and market the product.  Adding to the lore, Ascentium changed their name to SMITH in the Fall of 2012 and the product group was rebranded to

Sitecore’s acquisition continues a consolidation trend in the Matrix Commerce market where vendors are aggregating technologies to support a buyer centric approach to customer experience.  Constellation believes customers should pay attention because Sitecore:

  • Signals seriousness to deliver on end to end customer experience. Sitecore’s portfolio includes its core web content management offerings and an emerging set of digital marketing assets.  Commerce Server adds key B2C functionality for hard goods, digital goods, and web based services; B2B capabilities in trading communities and e-procurement; complex B2X scenarios; and personalized portals.

    Point of View (POV):
    Addition of fills one key hole in Sitecore’s customer experience management portfolio.  Customers and prospects can expect additional acquisitions from the new management team.   In fact, the company has brought in heavy hitters such as a new CRO and CMO over the past 12 months.  Constellation believes that Sitecore is serious in completing key holes in the end to end customer experience story and moving up the stack to support a range of small to large enterprise customers.  In fact, Commerce Sever 10 scales up to support 220,000o orders/day on a 12 hour peak, 60 million user profiles, 10 million item catalogs, 100,000 catalogs and virtual catalogs, and hosting support for 100 active, 1000 provisioned.  Constellation believes the acquistion places Sitecore in the direct battle with Adobe, IBM, Oracle, and SAP for customer experience and commerce.
  • Ensures Commerce Server a friendly and natural home. Commerce Server brings its core Microsoft heritage.  Dependencies include Microsoft SQL Server, .NET,  Commerce Server Staging (CSS), and Component Object Model.  Commerce Server also plays well with other Microsoft server stack components including Biz Talk Server and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.  Sitecore’s software is built on a Microsoft.NET platform.  Deployable in Microsoft Azure, the core CMS can use Oracle or Microsoft for the database and content can be stored in either .NET or XML objects.

    Customers should find relief that the Commerce Server assets return back to a product centric company.  While SMITH (formerly known as Ascentium), a digital experience agency, served as a reasonable owner and even delivered the latest version 10 release, software cultures and services business models often clash.  Why? The research and development investment required to take products to market work against the resource utilization and project focus required for successful services.  Constellation will measure integration success by how well the team builds and accelerates the original major release plans (see Figure 1).
  • Gains critical ecosystem assets. Commerce Server brings 3000 customers and 25 partners around the world.  Partners range from 17 enterprise providers, hosting providers, training, ISV, and consultants. Key industries for Commerce Server include retail, manufacturing, and e-government.  Sitecore brings over 3000 customers, 1000 certified business partners in 50 countries, 8,000 certified developers, and 17,000 active members in the developer ecosystem.

    Prior to the acquisition, Commerce Server product holes included content management, search, analytics, campaign management, and other key customer experience management capabilities.  Sitecore fills many of these product gaps and adds a larger ecosystem.  Customers can expect significant cross-training among the partners as they integrate the Commerce Server assets into their portfolios.

Figure 1. The Pre SiteCore Acquisition Commerce Server Road Map More…

Monday’s Musings: 10 Mega Business Trends To Watch For In 2012

The Shift From Transaction To Engagement Ushers A New Era For Businesses.

As organizations enter the evolution from transactional systems to engagement systems, a shift is happening in business (see Figure 1).  Engagement requires a different design point and business model for success.  Engagement must account for sense and response, massive social scale, conversation, new user experiences, real-time, multichannel networks, and other factors.

Next generation C-suite leaders not only build for engagement, but also design for the next era of experiential systems which apply context to deliver agility and flexibility.  These shifts have massive impacts on the societal, technological, economical, environmental, and political landscapes.  In fact, these shifts to experiential systems drive the 10 mega business trends to watch for in 2012 and beyond (see Figure 2).  Of note, they can also be aligned with Constellation’s Business Hierarchy Of Needs prioritization framework (see Figure 3).

Figure 1. Move from Transaction To Personal Fulfillment Systems

  1. Regulation gets worse and more expensive. Public outrage at a slew of government policy failures, the public sector debt crises, and a global sentiment against big business around the world will drive an increase in regulations.  Despite promises by politicians around the world for less regulation, a barrage of hidden taxes continue to be imposed by government bodies around the world.  In fact, Americans pay up to $1 trillion every year in stealth regulatory taxes.  Regardless of political point of view, global adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and carbon trading proposals will also drive up costs.  Organizations must prepare for this continued regulatory assault as elected officials hope the passage of more regulations will result in their reelection.
    (Level 1: Regulatory Compliance – Business Hierarchy of Needs)
  2. Consumerization of IT must be enterprise class or businesses will fail. The recent Harvard Business Review post titled, “Coming to Terms with the Consumerization of IT” (CoIT), identifies six factors for the basis of balancing enterprise class requirements.  Businesses want IT to be simple, scalable, and sexy.  While the pendulum is definitively shifting towards business, Consumerization of IT requires enterprise class IT to ensure technologies to be safe, secure and sustainable. Success requires a natural equilibrium between business needs and IT requirements for key areas such as social, mobile, cloud, big data, and unified communications.  If IT is too strict, business fails. If business fails to have a level of discipline in technology adoption, IT can not keep up with the lack of standards and scale.
    (Level 2: Operational Efficiency – Business Hierarchy of Needs)
  3. Organizations who master data visualization gain the advantage of speed. New data visualization tools will improve internal and external communications.  The convergence of big data, unstructured social and mobile information, and machine to machine data will provide a treasure drove of data for business analytics.  However, the flood of data will result in poor signal to noise ratios.  Unfortunately, more data does not mean more information.  Consequently, data visualization will provide a key tool to efficiently communicate complex information to stakeholders such as employees, customers, partners and suppliers.  The systems change the future of work by allowing users to create, share, collaborate, and broadcast new visualizations models.  In this case, an image is worth an exabyte of data.
    (Level 2: Operational Efficiency – Business Hierarchy of Needs)
  4. More…

Vendor Event: Avangate SkyCommerce – Selling Software and SaaS solutions in a World of Many Channels, Many Models

Title: SkyCommerce: Selling Software and SaaS solutions in a World of Many Channels, Many Models
Start Date: 2011-12-08  11:30 am GMT
End Date: 2011-12-08   2:00 pm GMT
Location: The Hospital Club - 1st Floor Restaurant, 24 Endell St, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9HQ

Find Out the Latest Trends & Insights in Building Your Software Business

  • Who: eCommerce Managers, Marketing & Sales Managers, Channel Managers
  • Cost: Complimentary with accepted invitation or registration, lunch included

Selling Software and SaaS solutions in a World of Many Channels, Many Models

The software market today is driven by the rise of cloud computing, forcing independent software vendors (ISVs) to fight commoditization-driven margin pressure, expand to new channels and markets, and move to “frictionless” self-service transactions. These new delivery models have irrevocably altered how software is developed, distributed and consumed.

Featured Speaker:

R “Ray” Wang R “Ray” Wang

Principal Analyst and CEO
Constellation Research Group

R “Ray” Wang currently is a Principal Analyst and CEO at Constellation Research Group and the author of the popular enterprise software blog “A Software Insider’s Point of View“.  With viewership in the millions of page views a year, his blog provides insight into how disruptive technologies and new business models impact the enterprise.   Ray blogs at Forbes CIO Central and for Harvard Business Review.   In both 2009 and 2010, Ray was recognized by the prestigious Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) as the Analyst of the Year, and named a top Influential Leader in the CRM Magazine 2010 Market Awards.
Key Takeaways Why Attend
You will be provided an in-depth analysis to help you:

  • Better understand the rapidly changing nature of how software and SaaS solutions are being sold both online and through channels
  • Anticipate the evolution of your selling channels, still representing over 50% of how software is sold, and how to and optimize your channel revenue
  • Incorporate a broader perspective of eCommerce into your strategy. We’ll explore how to make the most of the disruptions being caused by the rapid change of how software is delivered and consumed
  • Learn what makes online commerce effective in your strategy and how to anticipate its future impact on your business
  • Learn online and channel concepts that you can apply at your company
  • Connect with other software and SaaS vendors who are building their business online
  • Enjoy a great lunch at a fantastic restaurant


Personal Log: Reflections On Constellation Research’s First Year

How It All Began (One Humble Analyst’s POV)

Time flies when you are having fun.  One year ago, we launched at the E20 Conference in Santa Clara.  Our mission – focus on the disruptive technologies of social, mobile, cloud, unified communications, and Government 2.0.

It does seem like just a few months ago, I was planning an exit from Altimeter Group.  It was a critical point in time for Altimeter as there were some differing opinions on the direction of the firm and four of the original partners sought new pastures.   During that change of management, I realized I didn’t want to build the next great social media consulting firm based on open research.  So, I went back to the post I wrote on July 24th, 2010 about the 7 tenets of the next generation research firm.  I reached out to other industry analysts, bloggers, and influencers to see who’d be interested.  I was hoping to find other like-minded folks who hoped to disrupt the industry analyst business.

As luck would have it, a number of fine folks were set to show up at Oracle Open World 2010 in September.  At Moscone Center, Paul Greenberg, Dennis Howlett, Esteban Kolsky, Maribel Lopez, Oliver Marks, Vinnie Mirchandani, Sameer Patel, Frank Scavo, Alan Silberberg, Brian Sommer, and I discussed the idea of starting a new analyst firm.  The conversations were intense and valuable in shaping the original structure of Constellation.  In fact, many of the ideas were battle tested from the experience of the Enterprise Irregulars and many other great independent firms before us including RedMonk and HFS Research.

After six weeks of planning, engaging in heated debates, and agonizing over the details, we went from concept to company with six analysts: Maribel Lopez, Oliver Marks, Sameer Patel, Frank Scavo, Alan Silberberg, and myself.   Staff wise, our former Executive Admin – Elaine Chan and our former VP of Sales – David Stanley, joined us.  On the board of advisors, we were fortunate to have Paul Greenberg, Dennis Howlett, Erin Kinkin, and Esteban Kolsky on the team.  Zoli Erdos has been helping us w/ curation on the Constellation website.  A few days later we added our 13th member, Elizabeth Herrell, who had retired from Forrester/GigaGroup.  Along the way, we’ve added some great team members and have added to our alumni ranks as well.

What We’ve Accomplished

Overall, it’s been a busy, exciting, and productive year. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for including:

  • 100 buy-side and sell-side clients around the globe
  • 31 team members including 13 research analysts and futurists, 5 sales professionals, 6 professional staff, and 7 industry recognized board of advisors (see Figure 1.)
  • 735 Open Research insightful blog posts, 25 premium research reports, 15 webinars
  • A website receiving 2.4 million page views per year. Q4 page views per day have averaged above 10,000.
  • Recognition by the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) as the New Analyst Firm of the Year in 2011.
  • Creation of the Constellation Supernova Awards – the industry’s first and largest recognition of innovators, pioneers, and teams who apply emerging and disruptive technology to drive business value
  • Production of Constellation Connected Enterprise – an innovation summit and best practices knowledge sharing retreat for business leaders with 102 attendees and 25 wonderful sponsors

Figure 1. The Constellation Research Team At Connected Enterprise 2011 In Scottsdale, AZ

(Photo: Ken Yeung)