Posts Tagged ‘Intacct’

Research Summary: Best Practices – The Case For Two-Tier ERP

Forward And Commentary

Legacy optimization remains a key component for funding future innovation.  Two-tier ERP emerges as one strategy to optimize existing systems while adding innovation.  The report capitalizes on the recent Software Insider survey of 235 companies looking at future strategies.

A. Introduction

Organizations continue to face an onslaught of business requirements that their existing ERP systems can no longer address.  Stuck in the past century, these ERP systems are expensive to run, difficult to upgrade, and impossible to modify for today’s fast changing requirements.  Two-tier ERP has emerged as a strategy to enable legacy optimization while reinvigorating the organization’s existing ERP systems.

B. Research Findings

Two-tier ERP refers to a business and technology strategy that enables organizations to keep existing ERP systems at the corporate level while empowering divisions or business units to innovate with a second ERP system.  Consequently, two-tier ERP deployments continue to gain favor.  Why? Organizations must optimize legacy systems while delivering on business value.  In fact, in a recent Constellation Research survey, 48% of respondents indicated that they are considering at two-tier ERP strategy (see Figure 1).  These results reflect a 27-point increase from 2009.

Figure 1.  Two-Tier ERP Growing In Popularity As A Key Strategy

While today’s two-tier strategies mostly involve on-premises solutions, cloud based solutions will gain favor over the next 18 to 24 months because of their rapid deployment capabilities, constant innovation qualities, and subscription pricing.  Organizations challenged by diverse lines of business, multiple localization requirements, or needs to phase in legacy system modernization will find a two-tier ERP strategy one that can reduce costs and provide better business value than a one-size-fits-all solution.  Whether SaaS, on-premises, or hybrid, a two-tier ERP strategy will reduce costs, meet new business requirements, and provide better business value. More…

Research Report: How The Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech Influence Enterprise Innovation

Most Enterprise Software Vendors Fail To Deliver Innovation

Despite hundreds of billions wasted on failed research and development projects, most market influencers would agree that enterprise software vendors have produced a dearth of innovation over the past decade.  Vendors often cite UI re-skins, major functionality additions, integration of acquisitions, technology re-platforms, and weak attempts at faking cloud computing as innovations.  In fact, let’s call it what it is.  Only a handful of enterprise software vendors have truly innovated.   Many enterprise software vendors are fast followers.  Most are innovation laggards living off fat maintenance revenue streams.  Ask any product strategist where they gain their inspiration and they will all cite advancements in consumer technology; and not peer enterprise competitors.

Innovative Enterprises Push Forward Mostly On Their Own

During this year’s Information Week 500 event, conversations with over 50 leading business technology leaders highlighted the growing gap in innovation.  These next gen leaders demonstrated how they were turning to consumer tech advancements to influence their custom development efforts; and/or seeking emerging vendors with innovative offerings.

For example, Bill Martin, the CIO of Royal Caribbean showed how design thinking coupled with real-time analytics and on-board mobility could improve the cruise experience on the largest ship ever built.  Shawn Kleim, Director of Development at WetSeal, provided proof points on mobility and social convergence in driving retail sales and eCommerce in the highly competitive teen apparel market.  Dave Bent, Senior VP of eBusiness services and CIO of United Stationers, proved how a company could deliver cloud services to partners and create competitive advantage across a value chain.

A number of CIO’s showcased how they were taking advantage of the cloud with SaaS apps and private clouds. Others discussed their efforts to optimize costs using third party maintenance to pay for innovation.  The common lessons learned – most did not expect to gain market advantage from their existing and legacy vendors.  Innovations came from the consumer tech side and next generation solution providers.  Consumer tech advancements influenced business driven technology advancements.

Software And Tech Vendors Rush To Incorporate The Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech

Ten elements drive key design points for next generation apps.  These design points showcase how advancements in consumer tech now permeate the enterprise.  Design thinking concepts drive dynamic user experiences, business process focus, and community connectedness.  Based on existing research, deep dives into major vendor road maps, and validation with clients, five pillars of consumer tech have emerged as the foundation for future inspiration in the enterprise (see Figure 1):

Figure 1.  Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech Will Influence Enterprise Software Throughout The Next Decade

More…

Polls And Surveys: Insider Insights™ – Customer Centric Cloud Agreements

Annual Evaluation On SaaS Satisfaction Begins This Fall

The Software Insider Insights™ solution evaluation and buyer comparison tool will launch this Fall.  The first report focuses on Customer Centric Cloud Agreements – Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).  This evaluation will:

  • Identify the leading seller/vendors delivering SaaS based applications that adhere to the spirit of the cloud
  • Evaluate seller/vendors performance against the latest provisions in the Customer Bill of Rights: Software as a Service (see Figure 1)
  • Recognize seller/vendors who deliver a customer centric approach to SaaS solutions.

Invited Vendors Represent Today’s SaaS Leaders

The 2010 Customer Centric Cloud Agreements- SaaS evaluation ranks the most popular vendors by inquiry and contract frequency.  The invited participants also qualified based on overall total number of subscribers.  The current list of evaluated vendors will include:

  • Ariba
  • Concur
  • Epicor Lite
  • FinancialForce
  • Intacct
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM OnDemand
  • NetSuite
  • Oracle Siebel OnDemand
  • Plex Systems
  • RightNow Technologies
  • Salesforce.com
  • SAP ByD
  • SuccessFactors
  • Taleo
  • Ultimate Software
  • Workday

Your POV: Your Input Makes The Difference

As part of the Insider Insights evaluation process, input from users will be incorporated into the evaluation process.  Please take the time to complete this short 10 question survey.  As an added incentive, 5 respondents will be randomly chosen on September 30th to win a free 30 minute advisory call with R “Ray” Wang to be used by 2010.

Share with us your input here:

Thursday’s Disruptive Tech Showcase: SnapLogic Tackles Cloud/SaaS Integration Challenges

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Demand For Complex Cloud/SaaS Based Integration Continues To Increase

Organizations face a deluge of data from more and more new sources, especially in the Cloud.  Existing integration solutions often require expensive custom coding that’s purpose built; but rigid and disposable.  A change in business objects or swap out of new solutions often require brand new investments in integration.  SnapLogic solves a key piece of the Cloud integration problem with modern, pluggable, and reusable pieces of code called Snaps.

Snaps represent an integration task or subtask frameworks of light weight services (a.k.a. SnAPI’s).   SnapFlows orchestrate Snaps to solve the end to end integration that maps back to end to end business process flows.  Through the DataFlow Platform’s open API’s, enterprises can connect a wide variety data sources including (see Figure 1):

  • Enterprise vendor API’s and ODBC
  • Web based REST and http
  • Cloud SOAP and WS*
  • Social Media RSS and atoms

Figure 1. SnapLogic DataFlow Server Provides A Data Integration Platform Through Open-Component APIs and RESTful ARchitecture.

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(Source: SnapLogic)

More…

Research Summary: Shape Your Apps Strategy To Reflect New SaaS Licensing And Pricing Trends

FORWARD AND COMMENTARY
“Shape Your Apps Strategy To Reflect New SaaS Licensing and Pricing Trends” represent the seventh report in an on-going series to provide clients with insight on how to better align their packaged apps strategies.  As more and more clients seek SaaS solutions as options to pipe in innovation and potentially control costs, clients should be aware of how to build a SaaS strategy that remains sustainable and prevents vendor-lock in.

Other documents as part of the ongoing series on packaged apps strategy include:

  1. Why You Need A Long-Term Apps Strategy
  2. Forrester’s Long-Term Packaged Applications Strategy Framework
  3. Does Your Apps Strategy Support Your Corporate Business Drivers?
  4. Packaged Apps Strategies Take A Back Seat At Most Enterprises
  5. The ROI Of Packaged Apps Instance Consolidation
  6. Five Steps To Building A Recession Proof Packaged Apps Strategy
  7. Shape Your Apps Strategy To Reflect New SaaS Licensing And Pricing Trends
  8. Third Party Apps Maintenance Rebounds
  9. Craft Your Negotiations Strategy To Reflect New Packaged Apps Licensing And Pricing Trends

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

A. Introduction

Recessionary forces drive applications professionals to seek new delivery models such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and other XaaS (X-as-a-Service) models. But with these options’ upfront benefits in choice, value, and predictability come new ownership risks that applications professionals and business stakeholders should explore. Forrester’s review of 11 vendors in SaaS enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and supply chain management (SCM) confirms that, motivated by heavy competition for new customers, these vendors remain vigilant in mitigating such end-user concerns. In fact, SaaS vendors continue to improve and refine subscription models for new buying scenarios beyond cost/user/month. Forrester recommends that all applications professionals include SaaS in their firm’s long-term packaged apps strategy and that they take five key actions to mitigate risk while avoiding lock-in.

B. Research Findings

The Recession Is Driving Increased SaaS Adoption 

Faced with impending IT budget cuts, increasing business demands, and the encumbrances of legacy packaged apps, enterprises are increasingly turning to true multi-tenant SaaS delivery options during the downturn.  SaaS adoption as part of a long-term apps strategy keeps growing because:

  • Subscription pricing reduces capital expenditures (capex).
  • SaaS enables more-rapid deployment.
  • Enterprises expect frequent updates with new functionality.
  • Business leaders drive more and more software decisions.
  • Vendor success generates buzz and increased interest.

Vendors Demonstrate Continued Evolution And Value of SaaS Pricing Models
Forrester analyzed the completed, work-in-progress, or ongoing initiatives for the latter half of 2008 for seven SaaS applications vendors. The software licensing and pricing trends Forrester found include refined pricing models, new bundling and unbundling options, and a focus on fixed-price implementations. Specific trends for these SaaS apps vendors include:

  • Amitive delivers a usage-based model to foster collaboration and community participation.
  • Intuit attaches a SaaS services model to on-premise QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions.
  • Intacct reduces the barrier of entry for SMBs while simplifying channel pricing.
  • NetSuite continues to expand vertical-edition bundling and flat-fee pricing for add-ons.
  • QuickArrow delivers choice with tiered and bundled user-based pricing models.
  • salesforce.com provides more value for existing license fees and more user tiers.
  • Workday maintains a simple subscription pricing model based on company size.

Recommendations – Adopt SaaS Benefits While Mitigating Risks In Your Long-Term Apps Strategy

Keep in mind that while cost/user/month SaaS pricing models may seem simple at first, factors such as connection points, storage, support, and module-based pricing can quickly add to their complexity. In addition, true multitenant SaaS models leave users without the software code should the vendor go bankrupt or the client choose to end its relationship with the vendor. While considering SaaS as part of a long-term apps strategy, enterprises should follow these simple suggestions to get the most out of SaaS and mitigate risk:

  • Balance pay-as-you-go month-to-month terms with long-term contracts.
  • Compare SaaS versus on-premise over an appropriate period.
  • Understand long-term ownership implications.
  • Seek more than just refunds for outages in service-level agreements.
  • Choose a financially viable SaaS vendor or seek a software escrow-like mechanism.

C. Report Links

Click on the link for the detailed report along with the “What It Means” and “Alternate View” for: Shape Your Apps Strategy To Reflect New SaaS Licensing And Pricing Trends. For media courtesy requests, please send me an email to rwang@forrester.com

Your POV.

Would love your feedback on the report.  You can post here or send me a private email to rwang0 at gmail dot com.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.