Posts Tagged ‘enterprise architecture’

News Analysis: Kana Express 13 Addresses Omni-Channel Customer Service for Mid-Market

Just 14 months after announcing the acquisition of Trinicom, Kana has revealed the latest release of its cloud customer service suite for the mid-market, Kana Express.   Released on June 27, 2013, the new product reflects the company’s mission “To provide leading customer service solutions that empower our customers to create experiences that count, for their customers wherever they engage”.

Key features in the release include:

  • Advanced analytics and reporting. Kana Express features improved trend analysis, performance reporting, and forecasting.  Personalization has been improved and new reporting options include an easy to use custom dashboard designer.

    Point of View (POV):
    Analytics and reporting is often an after thought in design for mid-market solutions.  Key reports such as contact flux, cockpits, and customer monitors provide not only information, but insight into what the next best action could be.  The custom dashboard designer enables easy creation of visualizations and filtering of data by dimensions.
  • Anytime, anywhere, access. Improvements in access include mobile device usage, Section 508 disability compliance, and internationalization capabilities.  Support for 30 languages out of the box, user defined time zones, double-byte character sets, and international address validation add to a list of features supporting international business requirements .

    Point of View (POV):
    Prospects will most likely flock to the eye candy features of mobile support for device and screen readers.  However, the internationalization efforts close the gap between large expensive enterprise solutions and what mid-market solutions traditionally offered.  Constellation sees this as an immediate win for companies with an international footprint but not an international budget.
  • Improved browser based user experience. Kana Express supports Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari browsers.  Additional enhancements include support for live chat, contextual next best options, and real-time access to the knowledge base.

    Point of View (POV):
    Agents can tailor the new UI and personalize to their preferences, reducing click throughs and improving productivity.  One powerful feature is the ability to automatically present contextual knowledge such as a related topic, interaction history information, or external system data.

Figure 1. Kana Express Screenshots Show New User Experience and Improved Accessability


News Analysis: SAP Business Suite on HANA

Next Stop On The Road To HANA: SAP Business Suite

In a global announcement in Palo Alto, New York and Frankfurt, SAP’s top executives Dr. Vishal Sikka, Rob Enselin, Jim Haggeman Snabe, and legendary founder and chairman Dr. Hasso Plattner announced availability of SAP’s Business Suite powered by SAP HANA.  SAP has rewritten the Business Suite to work on SAP’s HANA platform and believes that customers will benefit for four reasons:

  • Smarter. The embedding of intelligence at the transactional level opens up new business models and process transformation.  SAP’s customer Derek Dyer, Director of Global SAP Services for Deere and Company, emphasized that SAP ERP powered by SAP HANA has “revolutionized” how products and services are introduced to the market, especially in the MRP world.  They see some transformational innovation as a result to faster MRP runs.

    Point of View (POV):
    Embedded intelligence has been a key failure in today’s existing transactional applications.  Customers have sought access to not only real time reporting, but also prediction.  The goal is to get to smarter decisions at all levels of the organization. Customers will benefit from embedded intelligence.  However, this will require people and technology training of the system to identify the patterns and algorithms required to serve up insight on demand.  This will require intelligence at every vertical and micro vertical business process.  Moreover, right-time requirements for in-context computing will turn out to be the surprise benefit as relevancy becomes more important through time, location, role, relationship, sentiment, and intent.  Relevancy and context provide the smartness that is missing in today’s systems.
  • Faster. SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA addresses the need for speed.  The in-memory columnar database reduces the input/output (I/O) time and allows for fast access to information.  The result – faster processing and faster scenario evaluation.  Fast transaction management times lead to faster decision making.

    The analytics and crunching capabilities is what’s driving organizations to seek faster speed.  Speed is the difference between a five day drug recall and a five minute drug recall.  Speed is the difference between a 30 day supply chain plan versus the ability to reroute 2 iPhones to your store in 30 seconds.  The impact is huge for customers if SAP does succeed.  SAP’s not the first to do this as Workday has already done this for HR and Finance.  However, for the entire SAP suite and given SAP’s market share, this is a big deal as this reduces the need for separate business intelligence systems.  The performance difference will create a huge competitive advantage for those who adopt versus those who do not.
  • Simpler. SAP Business Suite on HANA delivers consumer grade user experiences.  The goal is to embed live insight into business processes to drive immediate action.  Today, people expect consumer-grade user experiences and the power to translate their live insight into immediate action. Enzo Bertolini, CIO, Ferrero Group expects to improve the trade promotions and supply chain planning process through both better simulation and mobile access.

    SAP Business Suite on HANA provides SAP an opportunity to rethink how information is created, consumed, and shared.  The push to a design thinking focus within SAP has led to significant improvement of the user experience throughout their portfolio of products.  SAP Business Suite on HANA will be an opportunity to show case this new user experience.
  • Open. SAP plans to support database technology and vendor choice for its customers.  Many database partners have committed to work with SAP support in-memory optimizations and provide the necessary support to ensure that customers will succeed.  SAP is providing rapid deployment solutions, trained implementation consultants, and a comprehensive set of services to help clients make the migration to SAP HANA.

    SAP has the opportunity to drive down database costs and improve performance.  While the pricing model will be based on the percentage of application value, SAP must find a way to drive down overall costs if it is serious about improving adoption.  This licensing requirement must be addressed as it will emerge as the most significant barrier to adoption.

SAP Faces A Challenge of Adoption Not Because of Technology, But Because of Customer Vision


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.



(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 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:


Event Report: Preview 2 – The Exclusive Market Maker 1:1 Keynote Interviews At Constellation’s Connected Enterprise 2012 (#CCE2012)

Think TED Meets Enterprise For The C-Suite – Constellation’s Connected Enterprise.

Constellation’s flagship event, Connected Enterprise 2012, starts November 9th to 11th, 2012.  This intimate innovation summit in Dana Point, CA ( is designed for senior business leaders who are attempting or successfully using disruptive technologies such as social business, cloud computing, mobile enterprise, big data and analytics, gamification, and unified communications/video to drive business value and transform business models.

Over 200 participants will enjoy this experiential 3-day, 2-night executive retreat that includes mind expanding keynotes from visionaries and futurists, interactive best practices panels, deep 1:1 20 minute interviews w/ market makers, rapid fire high energy new technology demos, The Constellation SuperNova Awards event, a golf outing, and an experiential companion program.

Join Us For Exclusive Market Maker 1:1 Keynote Interviews From The Industry’s Most Sought After Visionaires
Our theme for 2012 and 2013 centers on the “Art of the Possible”.  As part of the programming,  we have 4 exclusive keynote 1:1′s with market makers from Box, Microsoft, SAP, and Yammer.  I will have the privilege and honor of interviewing these market makers in a fast-paced but deep 20 minute format covering a wide range of issues including future vision, perspectives on enterprise innovation, and personal anecdotes.  These exclusive Market Maker 1:1 Keynote Interviews will be live streamed.  Here are the 2012 distinguished Market Maker 1:1 Keynotes:

Mike Ehrenberg, Microsoft Technical Fellow and Chief Software Architect for Microsoft Dynamics (November 9th at 4:15 pm PST)

Mike Ehrenberg is a Microsoft Technical Fellow, and chief technology officer (CTO) for Microsoft Business Solutions. He leads the work on long-term product strategy and on driving relationships between Microsoft Dynamics and the technology teams across Microsoft.

Ehrenberg joined Microsoft in 2003, after 25 years of business application development across banking and brokerage transaction systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) for process manufacturing, and supplier relationship management (SRM) solutions. At Olivetti, he led the development of one of the first commercial banking systems for Windows. As CTO at Marcam, Ehrenberg drove the development of the first ERP product for Windows NT, deeply architected for the Microsoft platform. At Frictionless Commerce, he led development of one of the first complete SRM solutions deployable by design either on-premises or in the cloud.

Ehrenberg, his family and golden retriever Lucy live in Seattle and love spending time cycling, skiing, watching and playing soccer and cheering on the Boston Red Sox.


Dr. Vishal Sikka, Chief Technology Officer, SAP AG (November 10th at 9:25 am PST)

Dr. Vishal Sikka is member of the Executive Board of SAP AG and the Global Managing Board, heading technology and innovation for the company. Sikka has responsibility for technology and platform products, including database and technology especially the industry break-through in-memory database – SAP HANA, as well as analytics, mobile, application platform and middleware. He drives emerging technologies and advanced development for the SAP next-generation technology platform, applications and tools. He also oversees key technology partnerships, customer co-innovation, and incubation of emerging businesses. He has global responsibility for the SAP Research organization, academic and government relations.

In addition, Sikka has been chief technology officer (CTO) of SAP since 2007, responsible for the overall technology, architecture and product standards across the entire SAP product portfolio. Sikka is the author of “Timeless Software,” which underpins the SAP architecture and innovation strategy.

Sikka holds a doctorate in computer science from Stanford University in California, and his experience includes research in artificial intelligence, programming models and automatic programming, and information management and integration – at Stanford, at Xerox Palo Alto Labs, and as founder of two startup companies.

Adam Pisoni, Co-Founder, CTO, and Board Member of Yammer, Inc. (November 10th a 10:40 to 11:00 am PST)

Adam oversees engineering and software development at Yammer as Chief Technology Officer. He is considered a pioneer of the Enterprise Social Network (ESN) category and a visionary in organizational design and transformation.  Adam has played a pivotal role in
shaping Yammer’s iterative and data-driven design approach to product development, which is optimized for rapid innovation, usability and end user adoption. His leadership has helped Yammer achieve remarkable growth and global recognition for its rapidly-evolving
cloud service.

Adam has dedicated his career to building Internet companies. Prior to Yammer, he worked at Geni – a genealogy website, where the idea for Yammer was originally conceived. Before Geni, Adam worked at Shopzilla, and helped lead the company to its eventual sale to Scripps Networks.
Adam also co-founded and served as CTO of CNation, a web development consultancy with clients such as CBS MarketWatch,, Fox Interactive, Nissan of Japan and Honda. Cnation’s work for Honda earned them the 1997 Clio award for interactive design.

Aaron Levie, Co Founder and CEO

Aaron Levie is the CEO and co-founder of Box, which he originally created as a college business project with the goal of helping people easily access their information from any location. Box was launched from Aaron’s dorm room in 2005 with the help of CFO Dylan Smith. He is the visionary behind Box’s product and platform strategy, which is focused on incorporating the best of traditional content management with the most effective elements of social business software. He has spoken about content and collaboration tools at events such as Fortune Brainstorm Tech, Web 2.0, Dreamforce, Accenture Global Summit, South by Southwest, and Svase.

Aaron studied business at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California before taking a leave of absence.

Come Join Us At CCE2012

Register for the event

Check out the full schedule:


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!

Event Report: Preview 1 – The Keynotes At Constellation’s Connected Enterprise 2012 (#CCE2012)

Think TED Meets Enterprise For The C-Suite

We are almost 30 days away from Constellation’s flagship event -Connected Enterprise 2012!  This event from November 9th to 11th, 2012, celebrates innovation in the enterprise and the impact of disruptive technologies on business.  Our theme for 2012 and 2013 centers on the “Art of the Possible”.

This intimate innovation summit in Dana Point, CA ( is designed for senior business leaders who are attempting or successfully using disruptive technologies such as social business, cloud computing, mobile enterprise, big data and analytics, gamification, and unified communications/video to drive business value and transform business models.

Over 200 participants will enjoy this experiential 3-day, 2-night executive retreat that includes mind expanding keynotes from visionaries and futurists, interactive best practices panels, deep 1:1 20 minute interviews w/ market makers, rapid fire high energy new technology demos, The Constellation SuperNova Awards event, a golf outing, and an experiential companion program.

Building on the success of our event in 2011 and input from clients and attendees, this year’s themes align with our research themes:

  • The Future of Work
  • Next Generation Customer Experience
  • The Shift From Data To Decisions
  • Digital Marketing Transformation
  • Matrix Commerce
  • Technology Optimization and Innovation
  • The New C-Suite and Consumerization of IT

Learn From Thought Leaders At #CCE2012

Come hear from the world’s top thinkers.  We’ve assembled a wide range of experts who will touch on the key issues of our time.  Join us for an interactive Q&A session with:

Dr. Janice Presser, CEO and Principal of The Gabriel Institute. In 1984, two behavioral scientists – Dr. Janice Presser and Dr. Jack Gerber – set out to find an answer to the question “What really happens when people ‘team’ together?” Twenty-five years of research and testing, including nine years of software development, produced technology engineered to identify and organize the ways in which people interact in teams.  When you register for CCE 2012, you will have the opportunity to experience Teamability for yourself. Join Dr. Janice as she shares with you the new ‘metrics of teaming’ that emerge from this new technology, and the ways in which Teamability will play a critical role in the Future of Work. An interactive Q&A session with Dr. Presser and Mark Talaba, EVP and a Principal of The Gabriel Institute, will follow. Also check them out on IndieGogo as they crowd fund their next breakthrough.
Love Goel, CEO of GVG Capital and “Father of Multi-Channel Retail”. Love will dynamically describe the convergence of disruptive technologies and how this has created a seismic powershift.  Why? For the first time in human history, buyers of products and services have better information than purveyors at the point of purchase — eviscerating old business models and market leaders. Learn how innovative companies are exploiting this powershift to transform the consumer experience and their industries from banking to retail, and healthcare to media.
Tom Kelley, General Manager and Co-Founder of IDEO Design. Tom will be keynoting our SuperNova Awards ceremony speaking on key ingredients in the recipe for innovation and how Design Thinking and innovation go hand in hand.Tom’s presentation will highlight the meta-lessons his firm IDEO has learned from working with its B2B and B2C clients on thousands of innovation programs. He will describe how companies of all kinds can achieve renewed energy and improved agility by creating an environment in which creative problem solving contributes to innovation and growth
Linda Rottenberg, “Miss Davos”, Co-Founder and CEO of Endeavor Global. As the global landscape shifts, including the rise of growth markets, so does the role of managers within organizations. Linda will outline practical ways to cultivate a leadership style that spells success in the new global economy. Using inspirational examples, Rottenberg will explain: using chaos as a catalyst; designing products and services to be locally relevant; scaling teams (including decentralized ones) in a unified way; building trust in business relationships; and fostering “psychic equity” within a team or company to ensure shared goals.  Attendees  will also come away with practical tips for adopting an entrepreneurial mindset needed to succeed in the new “Innovation Generation.”
Michael Mandelbaum, Co-Author w/ Tom Friedman  “That Used to Be Us”. Michael will speak based on the ideas presented in Michael Mandelbaum and Thomas Friedman’s bestselling book, That Used to Be Us. Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offers both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. He will analyze the four challenges we face—globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption—and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world.
Anne Lise Kjaer, Futurist and Visionary Thinker of Kjaer Global. Kjaer’s presentation delivers insights into some of the key drivers shaping the mindsets of tomorrow’s people and highlight what marketers should consider to remain relevant and successful. Kjaer will look at how society and consumer will change in the age where social capital, people engagement and transparency sets the agenda for the 21st century businesses.

Part 2: Market Maker 1:1′s From The Industry’s Most Sought After Leaders

In our second preview, we’ll talk about the Market Maker 1:1′s we’ll be having with Aaron Levie of Box, Adam Pisoni of Yammer, Mike Ehrenberg of Microsoft, and Vishal Sikka of SAP.

Come Join Us At CCE2012

Register for the event

Check out the full schedule:


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!

Research Summary: Best Practices – Three Simple Software Maintenance Strategies That Can Save You Millions

Forward And Commentary

Software ownership costs continue to escalate as vendors accelerate their efforts to capture support and maintenance revenues. Some vendors have gone to the extreme to eliminate third-party options for their customers. This best practices report examines three strategies to free up unnecessary costs to fund innovation and new projects.

A. Introduction

On average, IT budgets are down from 1-5 percent year-over-year, yet software support and maintenance costs continue to escalate ahead of inflation. Hence, continued pressure on IT budgets and a growing need for innovation projects have top business and technology leaders reexamining their software support and maintenance contracts for cost efficiencies.

Based on experience from over 1500 software contract negotiations, Constellation suggests three approaches to reduce the cost of software support and maintenance. Key strategies include third-party maintenance, shelfware reductions and unbundling maintenance contracts as part of every organization’s tech optimization strategy. Successful implementation can lead to savings from 10-25 percent of the IT budget, freeing up cash to fund innovation initiatives.

B. Research FindingsWhy Every Organization Should Consider Third-Party Maintenance, Shelfware Reductions and Unbundling Maintenance Contracts

Most organizations suffocate from the high and hidden cost of support and maintenance. On average, Constellation’s surveys reveal global IT budgets trending down from 1-5 percent year-over-year since 2008. Consumerization of IT, rapidly changing business models, and aging infrastructure have exposed the high cost of software support and maintenance. Because most organizations allocate from 60-85 percent of their budget to keeping the lights on, very little of the budget is left to spend on new projects (see Figure 1).

Organizations can unlock millions by considering third-party maintenance (3PM), reducing shelfware, and keeping support and maintenance contracts unbundled. Each strategy on its own creates opportunities to drive cost savings. All three strategies combined, provide a roadmap for funding innovation.

  1. Third-party maintenance (3PM) delivers the most immediate cost savings and opportunity for innovation. Third-party maintenance describes support and maintenance offerings delivered by non-OEM providers. These vendors can provide a range of options from basic break/fix to bug fixes, performance optimization, tax and regulatory updates, and customization support. Keep in mind, 3PM does not provide access to upgrades and future versions of the OEM’s product. One big driver is the lower cost of delivery, as much as half the cost of the original vendor’s pricing.  The report shows a survey of 268 respondents and why organizations choose 3PM and who the key vendors are.
  2. Reduction of shelfware remains a key pillar in legacy optimization strategies.  Shelfware (i.e. purchased software, not deployed, but incurring annual maintenance fees) is one of the biggest drains on operational expenses for enterprises. The simple definition of shelfware is software you buy and don’t use. For example, an organization that buys 1000 licenses of Vendor X’s latest ERP software and uses 905 licenses, becomes the proud owner of 95 licenses not being utilized. That’s 95 licenses of shelfware because the user will pay support and maintenance on the license whether or not they use the software or not.  The report details 4 successful and proven approaches.
  3. Unbundling maintenance contracts prevents future vendor mischief. About a decade back, vendors would offer support and maintenance as two separate line items on their contracts. Support would run about 5-10 percent of the license fee and so would maintenance. Keep in mind, average support and maintenance fees were under 15 percent back then. Unfortunately, many users have expressed a growing and concerning trend with support and maintenance contracts. Vendors concerns about support and maintenance contract retentions have led to new initiatives to consolidate contracts. At first glance, this may appear to be proactive and beneficial to customers, but the report details three rationales vendors provide and three strategies how to avoid bundling.

Figure 1. Visualizing the High Costs of Support And Maintenance

(Right-click to see full image)


Vendor Event: Workday Predict And Prepare 2011

Title: Workday Predict And Prepare 2011
Start Date:
2011-12-07  11:00 am PST
End Date:
2011-12-07   12:00 pm PST
Webinar Link

For the fourth year in a row, join the country’s top IT, HR and Talent Management analysts and consultants for their predictions of next year’s critical trends, plus their advice on how you should prepare for them.
Their predictions include

  • SaaS becomes mainstream, and IT’s job becomes integrations
  • Companies will “rip and replace” legacy systems even faster than before
  • Self-service will become social, mobile and more gamified
  • Talent Management as a separate software category will disappear
  • Mobile will soon become employees’ first contact with enterprise software
  • Companies will do Master Data clean up in order to do Analytics
  • Sponsored by Workday, Predict and Prepare features Knowledge Infusion CEO Jason Averbook, HR technology guru Naomi Lee Bloom, and R “Ray” Wang, Principal Analyst and CEO of Constellation Research.

    Their roundtable is moderated by Bill Kutik, host of The Bill Kutik Radio Show® and Firing Line with Bill Kutik, technology columnist for Human Resource Executive® and co-chair of the magazine’s 15th Annual HR Technology® Conference & Exposition.

    Your questions will be addressed throughout the discussion.

    Register here!


    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 © 2011 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.

    Press Release: Mobile Device Management and Veteran Infrastructure Analyst Charles Brett Joins Constellation Research, Inc.

    Madrid, Spain – August 1, 2011
    9:30 AM (GMT -5:00) Pacific Standard Time

    Constellation Research Inc, a next generation research analyst and advisory firm helping clients achieve business value from emerging and disruptive technologies, announced today that Charles Brett has joined as a Vice-President & Principal Analyst. With over 25 years of industry experience, Charles has been a consultant, industry analyst and author covering in most areas involving software infrastructure, middleware and enterprise architecture. At Constellation he will start by focusing on Mobile App Management in the Enterprise (and application development) looking at how smart devices can be used in business and the issues associated. He will also cover virtualization, CEP/EP, and other infrastructure/ integration/middleware issues.

    For 25+ years Charles Brett has focused on applying common sense to the application of technologies, especially software ones, in organizations of all sizes around the world. Though concentrating at Constellation on MDM (Mobile Device Management) he has previously consulted and worked with users and vendors on high performance, low cost processing (including organization-specific cloud-like computing), event processing/complex event processing (especially when combined with GPS), enterprise architecture (including automating the discovery and management of applications), plus integration of diverse systems, virtualization and how to cut costs and electronic publishing. He has an ongoing interest in automated metering for the electricity, gas and water industries. Specific sectors of interest and experience finance (especially systems supporting wholesale finance), telecommunications and energy (and its conservation).


    Monday’s Musings: Real Time Versus Right Time And The Dawn Of Engagement Apps

    Different Flavors Of Real-Time Result In Significant Implications.

    Many pundits, research insight folks, bloggers, and hand wavers keep talking about the need for real time in social business, analytics, mobile, and other disruptive technologies.  Given the volume of data, bandwidth constraints, and magnitude of business processes to be supported, is the notion of real time even possible?  It’s been the holy grail of many technology suppliers to state they are delivering information or reacting in “real-time”.

    While researching the issue, I rediscovered a classic post from event processing researcher Dr. Opher Etzion, from IBM Labs Haifa.  The central thesis from this 2007 classic post is that real-time is quite valuable in the context of “the damage caused when missing a deadline”.  When you look at that from a business value perspective, his approach leads to four types of real-time (see Figure 1):

    1. Soft real-time: there is a sense to react after the deadline, but the utility decreases (maybe fast) and at some point gets to zero – no use to do it at that point, but no damage.
    2. Firm real-time: The utility go immediately to zero when the deadline is missed – no use to do it after the deadline, but no damage.
    3. Hard essential: Missing the deadline – the utility function goes to a constant negative value; there is a constant penalty.
    4. Hard critical: Missing the deadline – the utility function goes immediately to “minus infinity”, means: a catastrophe will happen.

    Figure 1. Four Types Of Real-Time And their Implications Of Missing A Deadline

    Source: Dr. Opher Etzion


    The Shift From Real-Time To Right-Time Prioritizes Events By Business Value

    A deeper examination of the four types shows that business value can easily be quantified in the hard essential and hard critical types as these result in penalties and disasters when real-time is not achieved.  In the case of firm real-time, the lack of timely response results in a wasted and non-valiant effort.

    Consequently, organizations must prioritize business processes for real-time by business value achieved and potentially lost.  Essentially, this prioritization results in the notion of right time delivery of information. Moreover, right time increases in value as a concept when gauged against reactiveness versus proaactiveness.

    As we break down business processes by interactions, an emerging class of applications move beyond transactions.  In fact, these applications must quickly determine right time actions at the point of engagement that follow 4 distinct types (see Figure 2):

    1. Proactive value added anticipation: the heart of engagement applications, anticipation allows for proactive response.  Examples include offers, suggestions, actions based on context drivers.  Context drivers could include location, presence, time, proximity, relationships, previous purchase behaviour, etc..
    2. Mission critical reactions: where most “real-time” use cases tend to fit, this type addresses deadlines, commitments, and regulations.  Examples include response times, regulatory requirements, alerts, threshold triggers, and service level agreements.
    3. Nice things to do: reminders with minimal impact but provide proactive engagement.   Examples include status updates, background information suggestions, and non-critical notifications.
    4. Timeless responses: where useless information resides in an abyss.  Examples include log reports, short action items, nice to know information from activity streams.


    Tuesday’s Tip: Three Quick Steps To Capture Social Customer Data

    Organizations Must Overcome Four Fears To Master Social Customer Data

    Over the past few weeks, I’ve been criss-crossing the country on a multi-city speaking tour talking about the strategic value of customer data. (In full discloure, the tour is sponsored by Informatica).  As we talk about the implications of social media and customer data, inevitably the audience raises four main concerns:

    1. Existing models outdated, but must be adjusted. How business is conducted does not reflect the shift to a social construct.  Existing systems rewarded management and control not engagement and influence. Organizations and business processes must support engagement and relationship applications.
    2. Organizations are no longer in control, and must build or reestablish relationships. Social opens up a can of worms.  Organizations who believe they are in control will quickly find out how little control they have.  Organizations must foster communities so that relationships can be nurtured.
    3. Volume of requests keep increasing, thus automation is the key to sanity. Those who experiment in social media often find out quickly they can not scale in a 1-to-1 fashion.  The empowerment of the individual means an increase in expectations in response and quality of service.  Automation tools must be put in place to manage, triage, and predict requests.
    4. Data deluge will kill the business, yet the data is the strategic asset. Huge amounts of information from unstructured sources such as comments, blogs, tweets, and video inundate existing systems.  Signal to noise ratios decrease with all the noise.  However, the relationships to the customer in orders, comments, products, services, interaction histories, and sentiment is more valuable than any other asset in the company.


    Monday’s Musings: Using MDM To Build A Complete Customer View In A Social Era

    Customers Have Evolved… Has Your Organization?

    Right now customers and prospects probably ignore your organization’s marketing messages because mass marketing campaigns lack relevancy. Right now most customers answer each other’s questions because your customer service and support agents lack the authority or knowledge to resolve issues. Right now prospects ask each other what they think about a company’s product or service because most organization’s sales professionals lack credibility.

    Consequently, organizations face immense challenges in influencing prospects and customers as three forces drive the changing dynamics in customer engagement (see Figure 1).

    1. Trust not financial performance is the new social currency. Trust drives influence, engagement, and relationships. People and organizations must earn trust through their actions across their relationships. Trust can be expended to gain influence, create engagement, and foster relationships. Trust can be taken away through lack of credibility, bad behavior, and dishonesty.
    2. Increase in social media adoption moves beyond fad. Social media adoption is a cultural shift not a fad. The growing preference for engagement through social channels drives new relationship models. Social has moved beyond the tipping point. How social evolves and permeate our lives is the question.
    3. Failure of CRM efforts to engage and influence. Traditional CRM focused on management versus engagement. CRM initiatives barely addressed customers and mostly ignored relationships. Projects focused on manager convenience instead of employee empowerment. More importantly, systems supported transactions not relationships.

    Figure 1. Three Forces Drive The Changing Dynamics In Customer Engagement

    Organizations Must Address Their Data Challenges To Gain A Strategic Advantage


    Best Practices: Applying The Seven Deadly Sins To Successful Gamification

    The Seven Deadly Sins Draws On The Dark Arts

    Conversations with game designers and gamification experts over the past month highlight how important design should appeal to the human spirit.  Intrigue, reward, status, community, and challenge drive 5 key areas of engagement.  However, some of the masters of gamfication have revealed some dark arts that touch on connecting with human psychology to engage (see Figure 1).  One approach is applying the seven deadly sins.  Strategies on adopting the seven sins can be summarized as:

    Figure 1.  Applying The Seven Deadly Sins To Gamification

    1. Lust appeals to lack of self control and attraction. Engage the user through intrigue.  Find what attracts the user through incentives.
    2. Gluttony refers to excess, over-consumption, and over-indulgence. Focus on the desire to accumulate, acquire, and contribute.
    3. Greed calls on the desire for power, status, and wealth. Use non monetary incentives such as immediate recognition to drive engagement.  Provide scarcity in rewards.
    4. Sloth attracts laziness, indifference, and complacency. Keep designing the system to be uber convenient for the user.  Privacy falls aside when convenience wins out.
    5. Wrath calls out anger, impatience, revenge, and rage. Draw on the desire for immediacy.  Reward for rapidity.
    6. Envy fuels a need to desire what others have. Highlight the success of others.  Improve transparency on the spoils and rewards.
    7. Pride draws out vanity and narcissism. Foster healthy competition.  Incentivize the pursuit of excellence.