Posts Tagged ‘enterprise collaboration’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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Tuesday’s Tip: It’s Time To Consolidate Social Business Platforms

Greater Adoption In Social Business Signifies A Move To Consolidate Platforms

Constellation’s buy-side clients tend to fit in the market leader or fast follower categories when it comes to organizational personas of disruptive technology adoption.  Since 2010, respondents have progressed through the DEEPR framework and the latest results from 2012 indicate that most survey respondents have moved to Level 3 (see Figure 1).  Changes between 2010 and 2012 show the following top three priority shifts as users move from Level 2 (Experimentation) to Level 3 (Evangelization):

  • The top challenge among respondents is choosing the right platform (63.8%) among the many inside an organization.
  • Over half (56.8%) of the respondents have incorporated social into business models.
  • Respondents fostering internal collaboration (53.5%) now must worry about adoption challenges.

Figure 1. Respondents Shift to Level 3 in DEEPR Framework for Social Business Adoption

The Bottom Line.  Its Time To Scale The Technology While Pushing Ahead On Innovation

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News Analysis: IFS Acquires Metrix To Boost Mobility And Service Management

Mobility and Scheduling Play A Key Role In IFS Service Management Strategy

On May 23rd, IFS acquired Metrix, a service management and mobility vendor headquartered in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  IFS adds 90 customers with Metrix.  Key highlights of the acquisition include:

  • Expansion into new markets. Metrix Service Management provides a field service management and depot repair solution for high volume service industry segments.  Metrix succeeds in key industries such as Asset & Capital Equipment, Telco, High-Tech & Medical, and Defense.  Key brands among the 90 new customers include Ericsson, Motorola, Xerox, DHL and ITT to IFS’ portfolio.  Other key offerings include service contact center, service scheduling, contract management, warranty management, and service project management.

    Point of View (POV):
    Metrix’s products allows customers to automate mobile field service, streamline repair processes, improve customer service, and increase service profitability.  While, IFS pioneered service management for many areas including asset intensive industries, the Metrix acquisition opens up the profitable North American market.  Deployment modes in SaaS will allow IFS to quickly cross-sell to existing customers and bring in new prospects.  Along with a robust field service management solution, Metrix delivers a solid reverse logistics solution that encompasses service repair, returns management, warranty management, and service parts logistics. IFS could benefit from this in-house capability to expand current offerings.
  • Advancing into mobile apps. The Metrix solution provides a broad solution across the enterprise (see Figure 1).  Agents gain mobile reporting tools, assess customer satisfaction with in the field customer surveys, and optimize receiving and shipping management tasks.  Other mobile use cases include the ability to verify customer history and product warranties, track serialized part inventories and repair stock, and enjoy one-click customer calling and emailing.  The solution currently supports Windows and Android.  Metrix Mobile contains a development framework and a set of off-line applications for field service and maintenance that support Android, Microsoft Windows Mobile, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

    Point of View (POV):
    Metrix improves IFS’ capability in delivering both on-line and importantly off-line solutions.  Should IFS complete integration of Metrix to IFS applications, customers will gain the benefits of an integrated mobile application.  Lack of native iPhone support should not immediately impact the market, due to the lack of ruggedized devices on Apple. Long term, the lack of offline, store and forward capabilities for  iOS support creates a huge hole in the portfolio as iOS penetration increases across the enterprise at a geometric growth rate.  IFS does provide full online support of the iPad in the full suite of IFS applications.
  • Delivery of integrated scheduling with field service. Integration with 360 Scheduling delivers advanced resource optimization.  Metrix already had a partnership with 360 Scheduling.

    Point of View (POV):
    Integration with 360 Scheduling allows IFS and Metrix to take advantage of their proven algorithms that go beyond the legacy batch scheduling, business rule, optimization approaches.  Integration with Metrix enables customers to address planned and unplanned demand forecasting, skills gaps, location optimization, resource optimization, and profitability.

Figure 1. The Broad Range Of Mobile Scenarios Supported By IFS Applications More…

Tuesday’s Tip: Dealing With The Real Problem In Social Business Adoption – The People!

Social Business Adoption Dependent On Employee Adoption

Social business is more than a technology decision.  Many eager early adopters face challenges in adoption past the initial core team.  As we move from eager early adopters to ubiquitous usage, an examination of some organizations who have failed at internal social business reveals five common barriers to adoption:

  1. Poorly defined incentives. In the rush to convince everyone to work with each other, most organizations fail to design meaningful incentives for adoption.  The reality – most folks collaborate only when they need to, not when they are told to.
  2. Increase in actual effort. For many in the workforce, collaboration often means more work, not less work.  Connectedness results in more interactions, some less meaningful than others.  Increase in effort often shifts the status quo resulting in internal resistance.
  3. Lack of choice in user experience. Time and time, people want to use the tool they are most comfortable with.  For example, activity streams make sense for some folks who are used to high frequency, always on, information flows.  However, those accustomed to using email as a task list and structured approach to filing information will find discomfort with activity streams.
  4. Indifference to change. Inertia to do nothing often outweighs the calls for change.  The workforce often prefers to do things the way they always have been.  The workforce has seen many changes and at this point face change fatigue.
  5. Failure to communicate the urgency.  Business model shifts are not easy to communicate to the workforce.  Veteran employees often develop coping mechanisms that define the new change as a reincarnation of the old change without understanding the nuance or urgency.

Overcoming Barriers Of Adoption Require A Mix of New and Classical Change Management Techniques

Despite compelling benefits to achieve better collaboration among teams, improved engagement among the workforce, and faster speed of internal communication, adoption efforts require careful design.  As with any organizational change, it’s the people, stupid!  The five barriers can be countered with the following five strategies (see Figure 1.): More…

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

Forward And Commentary

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

A. Executive Summary

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

B. Research Findings

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

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

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News Analysis: Lithium Technologies Adds $53M in Financing

New Funding Shows Strength In Social Business Market And Lithium’s Business Model

Emeryville, California based Lithum Technologies announced today that it raised $53.4M in financing.  The lead round is from New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Other investors include SAP Ventures.

  • NEA leads the round with Peter Sonsini joining the board. Peter‘s been active with ecommerce play BeachMint, community platform BuzzMedia, ruby development player Engine Yard, and cloud player Eucalyptus.  Of note all “existing Lithium investors, including Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Emergence Capital, Greenspring Associates, Shasta Ventures and Tenaya Capital” participated in this D round.

    Point of View (POV):
    NEA’s traditionally gone in early and invested with visionary entrepreneurs.  However, this play fits along its second investment thesis for venture growth equity opportunities.  NEA’s track record bodes well for Lithium should they decide to go the IPO route.  More importantly, NEA provides Lithium with a vast network of resources for both sales, business development, and expansion.
  • Lithium’s executed well amidst an increasingly competitive landscape. Lithium has shown growth into key verticals including auto, consumer products, financial services, retail, technology, telecommunications, and travel and leisure.  Key wins and expansions include BskyB, McDonalds, Nestle, Nissan, SuccessFactors and Telstra.

    Point of View (POV):
    Expansion into key verticals, improvement in SaaS upgrade technology, and the addition of enterprise class executives such as Rob Tarkoff, Ed Van Siclen, and Jim Drill show a seriousness to take the company to the next level.  The social business sale is starting to expand beyond the CMO role and across other line of business executives.  As the sale touches across the enterprise, the new management team is better positioned  to address the needs of CIOs, CFO’s, and other line of business execs as well as agency and system integrator partners.  More importantly, Lithium can expect consolidation in the market and increased competition from Jive, Salesforce.com, IBM, and others to heat up.

The Bottom Line For Customers: New Financing Validates Your Investment With Lithium Technologies

The strength and size of the additional financing validates Lithium’s position in the market place and bodes well for both existing customers and prospects.  Lithium intends to expand its role in defining the social customer experience.  This round of additional financing enables Lithium to:

  • Support new social business use cases
  • Expand into new markets such as digital agency ecosystem and growing geographies
  • Invest in more research and development
  • Fund future acquisitions
  • Improve service delivery for existing customers

The market place is about to consolidate and the additional funding ensures stability at Lithium as well as reaffirms its position among the leaders in social customer experience and the broader category of social business.

The Bottom Line For Technology Vendors: Expect Consolidation Across The Vendor Landscape In 2012

Activity around social business deals have accelerated in the last three months. Jive’s IPO has provided this market category with a catalyst for continued investment.  More importantly, key fundamentals such as increasing customer adoption, continued market share gains by start-ups and pure-play vendors, and interest by established software vendors indicate the beginning of a mergers and acquisition cycle in 2012.  Technology vendors can expect deals and partnerships as each of the Social Business software categories: Customer engagement, SCRM/ External Communities, Enterprise 2.0/Internal Collaboration, and Social Middleware combine to address the 43 use cases of social business.  The market can expect the following combinations:

  • Established CRM vendors to add social offerings
  • Social middleware vendors to move up the stack
  • Consolidation of SCRM players with Enterprise 2.0 communities
  • Expansion of SCRM vendors into other CRM areas

 

Figure 1. Expect Consolidation Across The Vendor Landscape In Social Business For 2012

 

Your POV.

Are you ready for Social Business? If you are a Lithium customer, what do you think?  Got a question?  Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) com.

Please let us know if you need help with your Social CRM/ Social Business efforts.  Here’s how we can assist:

  • Assessing social business/social CRM readiness
  • Developing your social business/ social CRM  strategy
  • Vendor selection
  • Implementation partner selection
  • Connecting with other pioneers
  • Sharing best practices
  • Designing a next gen apps strategy
  • Providing contract negotiations and software licensing support
  • Demystifying software licensing

Related Research:

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, see the full client list on the Constellation Research website.

Copyright © 2012 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.

Executive Profiles: Disruptive Tech Leaders In Social Business – Rob Tarkoff
, Lithium Technologies

Welcome to an on-going series of interviews with the people behind the technologies in Social Business.  The interviews  provide insightful points of view from a customer, industry, and vendor perspective.  A full list of interviewees can be found here.

Rob Tarkoff, President and CEO Lithium Technologies


Biography

Rob Tarkoff is president and CEO of Lithium Technologies, the leader in Social Customer Solutions.

Before assuming the CEO role at Lithium, based in Emeryville, Calif., Rob was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Adobe Systems’ Digital Enterprise Solutions business unit that had annual revenue in excess of $1 billion. Rob pioneered Adobe’s Customer Experience Management strategy, and was responsible for the core Acrobat, Adobe Connect Web conferencing, Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform, and customer experience management offerings. He oversaw the Web content management and digital asset management solutions gained through Adobe’s acquisition of Day Software. Rob also led Adobe’s worldwide enterprise solution partnerships, including system integration partners and strategic ISVs.

Before Adobe, Rob held several executive positions at EMC Corporation, Documentum, Inc. and Commerce One.

The Interview

1. Tell me in 2 minutes or less why Social Computing is changing the world for your customers.

Rob Tarkoff (RT): Social computing is changing the way marketers and line of business executives interact with their customers. It’s not another channel. It’s a philosophy. It’s a key way that customers experience brand.

The larger question is: “How do you design, build, deploy and manage an effective solution in the midst of massive evolution?” And, unfortunately, there is no common interpretation of social. Some get it fundamentally wrong when they view this only as a channel. Some are enlightened with a new philosophy to serve their customers.

Today, we face an expectations-gap between the consumer world and business environment. Employees and customers yearn to experience software and offerings as social and community based, whether it’s shopping, gaming, or internal collaboration.

What’s interesting is there is a generational gap here. People are very interested in including their reference peer group in everything they are doing with recommendations and experience sharing. A slightly older demographic may see the value of social, yet have not implemented that into everything they do. They see it as a major advantage, but may not fundamentally know how they want to engage with the ongoing experience

Meanwhile, the 40 to 50 year old demographic is engaged. They have to think about social the same way they think about rich media. For this group, social media is a rich media. This medium provides new ways to interact and experience. They expect these paradigms to be designed into everything.

2. What makes social computing disruptive?

(RT): The major disruption is the change in the power balance. Consumers have the power because they can quickly amplify their experience with admiration for a brand they love or rally their connections to hear their injustice. Companies are responding as much as they are leading. We now have the customer-network effect.

With social on everyone’s mind, company authenticity gains in importance. You can’t hide stuff in a social world because everything you do is on Twitter and Facebook. The major disruption is people have all the power and expect to use the power to surface whether or not a company is authentic.

Is a company doing what it says it’s doing? Are they true to the core of what they are about?

People are more willing to tweet or post on Facebook about a bad experience than call a company to tell them they had a bad interaction. This makes the way companies must respond to customers very different. And, you need to build this competency into your call centers and at every customer touch point.

Now, the only way to differentiate yourself and experience is through service and customers experience. Some may some say this is a major challenge, but those who have embraced can make the social customer experience an opportunity to differentiate, accelerate sales, and build brand advocacy.

3. What is the next big thing in Social Business software?

(RT): We have spent years uncovering what makes communities so powerful. Today, we are working on helping business executives understand the business impact. There are a lot of start-ups and un-proven technologies in the market creating confusion. At Lithium, we’re interested in understanding the effect of communities on people’s loyalties. What makes a community tick? What makes them sustainable? What makes a visitor return? Tell their friends? These are critical aspects for business executives to understand and core to social business software.

Interactions must be much more interactive and dynamic. I can’t stress enough how important it is that companies focus on the health of their communities, guiding them to create, encourage and reward brand advocates.

Social business software also helps drive down customer service costs. But this really is so much bigger than containing costs. We’re changing the competitive dynamics across entire industries.

4. What are you doing that’s disruptive for Social Computing?

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Research Summary: Introducing The 43 Use Cases For Social Business (Social Enterprise)

The Social Business (Social Enterprise) Moves Beyond The 18 Use Cases Of Social CRM

As social media adoption continues to move from mainstream to pervasive ubiquity, enterprises will begin to benefit from these advancements in the consumerization of IT (CoIT).  Just 18 months ago, early adopters identified 18 Use Cases for Social CRM (SCRM).  These ground breaking use cases showed enterprises how to bring social into existing CRM processes.

Consequently, the market has moved on beyond just marketing, service, and support use cases.  In the latest Software Insider “State of Social Business” survey, 103 respondents identified 25 additional use cases that spanned across key enterprise business processes that impact eight key functional areas, from external facing to internal facing (see Figure 1):

  1. Public relations/ marketing (PR/MA).  Key impacted business process: Campaign to lead
  2. Sales (SFA).  Key impacted business process: Lead to deal
  3. Service and support (CSS).  Key impacted business process: Incident to resolution
  4. Projects (PBS).  Key impacted business process: Kickoff to delivery
  5. Innovation/ product life cycle management (PLM). Key impacted business process: Concept to production
  6. Supply chain (SCM). Key impacted business process: Sourcing to acceptance
  7. Human capital management (HCM). Key impacted business process: Hire to retire
  8. Finance. Key impacted business process: Invoice to payment

Figure 1. Constellation Defines 43 Social Business/ Social Enterprise Use Cases and 24 Key Analytics

(Hint: right click to expand and view the full image)

Early Adopters Identify HCM And Projects As The Next Growth Area For Social Business

Survey respondents chose their top 3 internal collaboration and external engagement social business use cases (see Figure 2).  Not surprisingly, service/support use cases led the pack with Reactive support-External (68.9%) and Support escalation and resolution – External (64.1%).  Lead generation – External in the PR Marketing category rounded out the top 3 at (63.1%).  Meanwhile, Projects and HCM gain traction among the top 5 use cases. Respondents report an increase in adoption of Projects Workspaces- Internal (36.9%) such as wiki’s and similar internal collaboration tools.  Meanwhile, HCM Recruiting – External (34.0%) emerged as the fifth most utilized use case.

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Monday’s Musings: A Working Vendor Landscape For Social Business

Confusion Persists In The Social Business Market

As with any new disruptive technology, the social business solution landscape faces a dynamic, confusing, and converging market. As vendors seek to grab mind share and market share, customers and prospects remain confused as to what are the right business problems to address with social business. However, rampant confusion among users hampers efforts to solve business issues. Three key factors accelerate this level of confusion:

  1. Early adopter market. Constantly changing conditions force customers to alter original plans as executive sponsorship fluctuates from intense to pensive and back to intense in short cycles. Projects remain secretive for competitive advantage reasons. Consequently, prospects lack strong case studies to build off of despite peer groups, adoption networks. Prospects seek metrics that matter and relevant use cases.
  2. Consumerization of IT. With increased social media penetration, success in consumer grade products highlight the potential for enterprise adoption. However, most enterprise class products remain one to two generations behind in achieving similar capabilities. As business users gravitate towards simple, scalable, and sexy attributes; IT departments seek to rein in shadow IT efforts with safety, security, and sustainability requirements.
  3. Marketing mayhem. Fast paced markets always generate hype in marketing messages. Hence, legacy collaboration, community platform, CRM, unified communications, integration platform, and office productivity vendors seek to reposition themselves and address the emerging and trendy social business use cases customers seek.

Social Business Vendors Converge Towards Business Value Sweet Spot

The vendor landscape for social business market represents a diverse and broad collection of solutions.  Vendors approach the market from multiple heritage points, technologies, and markets.  Four key criteria cut across two axes (see Figure 1):

  1. External facing vs internal facing.  External facing includes customers, partners, and suppliers.  Internal facing include employees and trusted networks within the corporate firewall.
  2. Platforms and infrastructure vs purpose built solutions.  Platforms and infrastructure referred to core technology solutions.  Purpose built solutions address specific applications.

Figure 1. Social Business Vendors Converge Towards Business Value Sweet Spot (Working Draft)

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Product Review: Google+, Consumerization of IT, and Crossing The Chasm For Enterprise Social Business

Timing of Google+ Bodes Well For Enterprise Users And Google

Lately, one could say Google’s been a bit absent from the social business party.  The premature launch of Google Wave exposed a canvas looking for a masterpiece painting.  Failing fast and learning from the Google Wave lesson, Google’s latest offering, Google+ shows promise in bringing similar disruptive technology concepts to market, yet packaged in easier to adopt metaphors such as activity streams, walls, hangouts, and circles (see Figure 1).

As part of Google’s aspirations to deliver enterprise offerings, it’s flagship Google Apps continues to gain traction in enterprises despite a market position that places the product between a very strong pro-sumer play and an almost enterprise app.  The good news – a constant stream of incremental changes shows an evolution to an enterprise class offering built from a strong consumer bent.  As of this posting, Google Apps isn’t integrated with G+, but Google’s enterprise ambitions have been strengthened with the new offering.

Figure 1.  Logging Into Google+

Convergence And Shift To A P2P World Enables GooglePlus To Go After Both Consumers And Enterprises

Google+ launch comes at an exciting time of convergence among the mega trends for the decade: social business, mobile enterprise, cloud computing, and unified communications.  The five pillars of Consumerization of IT (CoIT) fall in Google’s favor as consumer users rapidly seek to bring these innovations into their enterprises.  Subsequently, Google+ already takes advantage of Google’s assets to:

  • Unify the communications channels. Enterprises spend millions trying to get their fragmented communications systems to work, let alone integrate.  Google+ takes chats, emails, tweets, voice, mobile, and video and rolls it all up neatly into one offering.  More importantly, it works off of one login and its integrated.  Key video features such as Hangouts allow for impromptu video con calls without the hassle of most other video conferencing systems.
  • Provide an initial alternative to Facebook for the enterprise offerings. Procurement managers and line of business buyers face Cloud/SaaS best of breed hell as a flurry of purpose built solutions attack the enterprise IT landscape.  Should Google stream line convergent offerings for the enterprise, it will be poised to dethrone many incumbents.  Google can only succeed if they can match functional parity over the next 12 to 18 months.  Keep in mind, the long-term goal goes beyond Facebook for the enterprise.
  • Aggregate the user’s social sphere. Facing near term social networking overload, enterprise users can’t possibly fathom another social networking service.  Aggregation by a major player makes sense from a market position and user convenience. Google’s initial list allows users to notate key services in their profiles through connected accounts from Facebook, Yahoo!, Flickr, LinkedIn, Quaora, Twitter, Yelp, Hotmail, and Plaxo (see Figure 2). A quick look into the codes shows that these connection services potentially can support a Microsoft Outlook email, an SAP feed, or Salesforce.com Chatter stream and may potentially support direct integrations in future road maps.

Figure 2.  Google+ Delivers Social Sphere Aggregation With Ease

Adding Connections on GooglePlus

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Product Review: Inside SAP’s Line-of-Business OnDemand Strategy

SAP’s Sales OnDemand Strategy Reveals A Longer Term Product And Cloud Strategy

In an exclusive briefing on February 24th with SAP’s Executive Vice President of Line Of Business Applications, John Wookey, he provided fresh insight into the new product design and Cloud philosophy at SAP.  This pre-CeBit announcement coincided with the SAP Analyst Day in Boston.  A few take-aways from the briefing reveal:

  • An investment in design thinking behind future Line-of-Business products. With consumer technologies entering the enterprise at a blistering pace, it’s become obvious that today’s enterprise apps only support a small percentage of the work people must accomplish on a daily basis.  SAP’s Line Of Business apps team starts with a design thinking approach.  The initial objectives leverage SAP’s rich history of process excellence, focus on people empowerment, and align with business objectives to achieve a clear purpose.etc.

    Point of View (POV):
    The software industry has taken note in how Design Schools around the world solve problems in user experience and adoption.  SAP’s design thinking process reflects the classical 7 phases of define, research, ideation, prototype, objectives, implement, and learn.  Pairing a design thinking approach and agile development methodologies has led to an understanding of what tasks people need to get done and how to quickly create iterations.   The result – more intuitive user experiences and new product releases every 6 months.  More time is spent on upfront design not engineering.  If successful, Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe will have shown how his focus on agile will pay off across the development organizations.

  • Solutions such as Sales On Demand (Sales OD) that empower people to be effective. From the beginning, the product begins with collaboration through the use of activity streams (i.e. Facebook, Twitter like user experience).  Team collaboration is enhanced with access to key content, analytics, and even competitor information (see Figure 1).  Design points focus on delivering the right content, to the right people, at the right time, on the right form factor.  Analytics provide self-service reports (see Figure 2).  Sales effectiveness concepts build around the 4Cs (i.e. the right context, right contacts, right content, and the right contract).

    POV:
    Sales Force Automation (SFA) solutions in the past failed to address the needs of the Sales Professional and the customer.  As with most customer relationship management solutions, they covered the “M” in CRM and ignored the customer (C) and the relationship (R). SAP’s Sales On Demand product is different as it addresses the key issues in helping sales professional receive relevant information and collaborate with their networks in an intuitive manner.  Users will be surprised that this is an SAP application. Despite only delivering 20% of the full SAP CRM suite Sales application capability, the 20% provided delivers 80% of the key capabilities to support sales person effectiveness.

Figure 1.  Activity Streams (Feeds) Deliver A Intuitive And Collaborative User Experience

(Source: SAP)

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Best Practices: Applying Social Business Challenges To Social Business Maturity Models

Early Adopters Cross Through Five Phases Of Social Business Maturity

Interviews with over 100 early adopters of social business (i.e. social crm, E2.0, social media marketing, etc.) reveal 5 phases of social business maturity (see Figure 1):

  1. Discovery. A few individuals begin the process of discovering new tools.  Individuals identify consumer tech innovations that impact enterprise business processes.
  2. Experimentation. Small teams experiment with new tools.  They fail fast on experiments, learn, and move on.
  3. Evangelization. Small department leaders seek repeatable processes and begin test pilots of technology.  Momentum begins to build for projects.
  4. Formalization. Successful evangelization leads to enterprise wide acceptance.  Processes become repeatable and predictable
  5. Realization. With a successful project at hand, the enterprise seeks to expand the usage to ecosystem stakeholders.  Suppliers, partners, and customers are brought into the fold.

Figure 1. Software Insider’s 5 Phase Social Business Maturity Model


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