Posts Tagged ‘Jeremiah Owyang’

Personal Log: Altimeter Group’s One Year Anniversary – Thank You!

Thank You To Our Clients, Peers, Alliance Partners, Readers, Friends, And Followers

One year ago today, Charlene, Deb, Jeremiah, and I announced the transformation of Altimeter Group from a single analyst firm to a partner model.  As the founding partners, we set course on four areas of focus: Innovation, Customer, Leadership, and Enterprise.  Our goal — advise our clients on how to adopt and navigate the chaotic world of emerging and disruptive technologies.

Despite starting in the midst of an epic recession, we each brought with us a precious handful of clients who believed in us, our work, and our ability to advise them.  Our VP of Business Development and Sales, David Stanley, took a chance on us without a salary.  Our friends at V3, helped us navigate the crazy world of PO’s and procurement organizations. Over the first 3 months, we built our firm one client at a time.  With continual trust and encouragement, our clients drove our growth in 2009.

Based on our original strategy and strong input from our clients, we added Alan Webber, Lora Cecere, Michael Gartenberg, and Marcia Conner to our founding year partner roster.  They expanded our coverage to include public sector, supply chain strategies, mobile and personal technologies, and enterprise 2.0 collaboration.  Along the way, we added nine extraordinary founding year staff members in sales, research, consulting, and in our back office.  We moved from the original Hangar to the current Hangar 2.0 to account for the growth.

It’s been quite a ride in a year and I can not say this enough, “Thank you to our 100+ clients!  Thank you to our peers, alliance partners, readers, friends and followers!  Without you, we wouldn’t be here today!”


News Analysis: Microsoft’s Office Web Apps Is “Me Too” To Google Docs –Yet Gives Enterprise Options for Collaboration and Security

This post was collaboratively written on a wiki by Jeremiah Owyang, who maintains a focus on Customer Strategy and R “Ray” Wang, who maintains a focus on Enterprise Strategy. Together, we’re covering the convergence of the emerging technology, this analysis is also cross-posted on Jeremiah’s blog.

Microsoft responds to Google- Zoho Threat
Microsoft gets serious about collaboration using the web and its office products. On the consumer side, it’s just catching up to Google Docs, Zoho, and whatever collaboration start-up emerges. On the enterprise side, this could give internal teams real-time collaboration tools –and close security gaps through an on-premise solution. Regardless, IT must develop a collaboration strategy or run the risk of being blind-sided by business units developing it without them.

Microsoft Office Now Web-Based
Enterprises seek unified solutions for web-based applications that complement their desktop productivity tools. Today’s tools often do not work seamlessly across on-premise, on-demand, mobile, and disconnected scenarios. The delivery of Microsoft Desktop Apps just under a year after the October 28th, 2008 PDC announcement in LA puts Microsoft back in contention among corporate user who have been actively piloting alternative solutions from Google, Zoho, and others. Microsoft Office Web apps includes web-based versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote. In addition, Microsoft delivers an online document management system with permissions called SkyDrive, which is advertising supported. These set of features are available to both consumers who have Windows Live accounts as well as to enterprises who have purchased the Office Volume License, who can install an on-premise version on internal serves for intranet usage.

Ray’s Take For the CIO
Enterprises will benefit from a familiar solution that delivers enterprise security and collaboration. For intranet deployments and mobile, there are three key use cases that standout:

  1. Secured experience behind the firewall. Microsoft delivers an on-premise install that does not expose corporate data to consumer products such as Google docs.
  2. Improved real-time collaboration. Consumer teams can now use these light weight web-based tools for near-real time collaboration. Apparently, this is Microsoft’s first real time collaboration tool, as we know Microsoft Sharepoint often acts more like an asynchronous DMS and CMS.
  3. Lighter mobile footprint. Browser based docs give the mobile warrior less resource limitations on laptops or other mobile devices.

Jeremiah’s Take For the CMO
CMOs should be aware of the broad ranging changes of consumer behavior, but should recognize this is just catch up to Google docs which has beginnings as far back as 2006. Despite this “me too” there’s a few distinguishing points that make this announcement stand out:

  1. Gives consumers the option over Google Docs. Consumers and certainly stakeholders in B2B prefer the no-nonsence experience of corporate issued Microsoft office. The upside for Microsoft is the spreadsheets appear to have more features than Google sheets, although some of the advanced functionality of web-based excel is not available. As a result, users will have to use the desktop client to perform advanced features like pivot tables.
  2. May have better performance –attracting consumers. Microsoft makes claims its service will be faster than the somewhat slow Google docs products, which we believe as we’ve noticed latency in real-time collaboration in Google Docs. (which we’re using for this blog post)
  3. Microsoft’s big footprint will accelerate adoption. A research survey conducted over a year ago suggests that Google Docs was used by just a 1% of the US consumer base, and Microsoft Word had over 51% adoption. Expect Microsoft’s large footprint in enterprise combined with over 375 million users of Hotmail and Live to push these web based apps to the mainstream –expect integration into other MS web products

IT Must Develop A Collaboration Strategy –Or Business Units Will Do It Without You
Enterprise IT must develop a collaboration program, as the advent of consumer collaboration tools will quickly outpace ITs ability to play catch up. As employees continue to create collaborative workspace in the public web, data can become mishandled, not accounted for, or orphaned. To avoid these risks, we recommend that:

  1. Enterprises should take inventory of the vast teams using consumer based collaboration tools, evaluate their usage and decide if an enterprise solution should be available for internal collaboration features.
  2. IT leadership shouldn’t shut down the firewall and block third-party collaboration tools, as work is often being done at the edges of the company with business units working with partners, customers, and prospects. Instead, focus on providing secure tools within the enterprise for collaboration, then roll-out proper awareness campaigns, training, and ongoing support for company supported technologies.
  3. IT departments should be proactive resources to business units and provide them with the right tools, training, and resources. IT departments that are reactive or clamp down on business units needs for collaboration will find employees finding work-arounds on consumer collaboration tools.
  4. Enterprises will want to reevaluate how Microsoft Web Apps work within existing volume licensing agreements and enterprise agreements, especially as many have considered alternatives during contract negotiations.

Below are screenshots provided by Microsoft to us of the web-based applications: Word, Powerpoint, OneNote and Excel. It’s not clear if the infamous “Clippy 2.0” will re-emerge –we hope not

Microsoft Word Web AppMicrosoft PowerPoint Web AppMicrosoft OneNote Web AppMicrosoft Excel Web App

Your POV

Ready to consider Microsoft?  Still attracted to Google from a cost perspective.  We’d love to hear your comments and views.   Reach me direct at r at altimetergroup dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.

News Analysis: Jive and Radian6 Partner – Great For Business, But Could Fragment IT Systems

This post was collaboratively written on a wiki with my colleague Jeremiah Owyang whose focus is on customer strategy which encompasses social technologies. Together, we’re covering convergence of the emerging and incumbent technology system.  This entry is also cross-posted on his blog.

Jive Offers Brand Monitoring Using Radian 6 -Empowering Companies To Quickly Respond
Jive Software made an announcement that they’re now incorporating listening service Radian 6 into their community platform suite, they dub it Jive Market Engagement. This gives internal teams that manage brands, topics, or influencers to discuss, manage, and assign tasks to follow up with real world -and real-time market events. An example? A company selling headache relief medicine can quickly be alerted to conversations with mommy bloggers in the social sphere, discuss in an internal, private community powered by Jive, then decide on how to quickly take action before it escalates.

Currently, companies are doing this in a mish-mash of manual efforts using scraped together RSS feeds, Google alerts, and Twitter clients. The benefits of this partnership? Companies can now become more organized around the real-time web, develop a process to quickly respond and therefore be more reactive to customers. Yet, despite the automation upside to brand and customer management, this causes yet another disparate pool of customer data that IT departments will have to splice together -potentially giving customers a fragmented view. Companies should nod to this latest trend of social business software converging with existing company systems and develop an information strategy (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Companies can monitor and manage the discussions in their marketplace in Jive Market Engagement

Screenshot: Jive Market Engagement

(Source: Jive)

Macro Market Forces Foster New Trends In Adoption And Risk
Despite this announcement, there are greater trends at play that impact both business and IT side, be aware that:

  1. Diverse systems converging, resulting in greater speed but more complexity
    The push to improve customer intimacy, move to a proactive customer experience, and convergence of Web 2.0 with enterprise class social business apps, drives new models and solutions. We’re tracking this living breathing reef and see social software, CRM, brand monitoring, email, and mobile quickly converging.
  2. More “CRM” features being deployed, without involving the CIO
    Jive’s offering is really a customer relationship module in disguise, yet because of the web based offering, marketing can implement this pseudo-CRM solution without involving IT. We continue to see technology adopted from business units -often at the frustration of not getting on the IT road map during budget tightening times.
  3. Greater exposure to risk, as more siloed customer information fragments enterprise systems
    Being responsive to customers is ideal, but in the long run, it’s not truly effective if you can’t integrate it with your sales, service, or marketing systems. In the end, fragmenting customer data will result in disjointed user experiences for customers as separate departments will have disparate data for each customer.

Jeremiah (business side) and Ray (IT side) come from completely two different worlds’ speaking two different languages. Yet they both know that these new technologies are going to force IT and Marketing to quickly come together. Expect to see more joint-blog posts merging these two groups together, because customers don’t care what department you’re in -they just want their problems solved.

The Bottom Line – Ray’s Take For The CIO
Expect a proliferation of social media monitoring solutions to emerge with a tie back to CRM, eCommerce, project based solutions, and collaboration software. Disparate sources will create fractured customer experiences.  The single 360 degree view wil be assembled and reassembled.

  1. Find tools to aggregate these new channels and sources. Consider how these new social business software platforms will integrate back into data warehouses or customer interaction histories.
  2. Focus on data integration skill sets as process, data,meta data across hybrid deployment models. Data will be coming from a greater number of sources.  Data integration and master data management will play a role here.

The Bottom Line – Jeremiah’s Take For The CMO
Marketers should continue to be responsive to the real-time web, but quickly develop processes that involve other customer touchpoints such as support, service, and product development into the mix

  1. Don’t limit your responses to the corporate communication team and brand monitoring team -cascade this information quickly. While the discussions that will be had in Jive’s community platform will help to aid the customer triage problem, be sure to tie the process and data back to other customer facing teams. Remember, customers don’t care which department you are in.
  2. Use imported social data to create topic based aggregations. Looking forward, use the data that brand monitoring companies are unearthing and turn your product pages into trusted aggregations of conversations -not just static product pitches. Learn how future webpages will be more like collections of customer conversations.

Your POV

How are marketing teams and enterprise strategy teams working with each other to coordinate these investments?  Have you experienced this convergence?  What are your lessons learned?   Do you need help with choosing the right tools?  Post your comment here or reach me direct at r at altimetergroup dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.  Put the power of expert apps strategy and vendor selection advice to work or just drop us a line.

Related Resources

  • Jive has a slide show with details on the announcement, we’ve uploaded it here.
  • CRM launches social features (we also collaborated on that piece)
  • Lithium also launched features into it’s platform that allow workflow of social content -similar concepts
  • We like Oliver Mark’s take on how this makes true impacts to business and the real world, he cites how media events can now be tracked -and managed from the toolset.
  • Read Write Web gives more color to the story and gives examples of how other companies are managing this.
  • This conceptual slideshow demonstrates how the emerging and incumbent systems are quickly merging on the “Reef”. (a more Web 2.0 emerging tech view)

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.

Trends: What Are The Emerging Technologies And The Future Of Business?

Thanks to the 799 registrants and 458 attendees who participated in today’s webinar on The Future of Business.  There’s so much to cover across leadership, innovation, customer, and enterprise as we enter a more social, connected business world.   The key thing we learned today was just how interested everyone is about these converging trends that shape the future of business.  To succeed, we’ll have to move beyond interest and towards action.  For those who missed out, here are today’s slides:

The Future Of Business by Altimeter Group

View more presentations from Charlene Li.

Your POV

Keep the dialogue going.  Check out the #futurebiz tweets.  What do you see are the key trends?   When do you think we’ll get there? Post your comment here or reach me direct at r at altimetergroup dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.

Personal Log: Altimeter Group – Helping Organizations Bridge The Technology Obsolescence Gap

Altimeter Group Logo

Emerging Technologies Alter The Approach To Enterprise Strategies
The proliferation of and access to emerging technologies by the business user challenges organizations to rethink their enterprise technology strategy.  Consumer technologies have proven to be not only more innovative and collaborative, but also quite accessible and equally reliable when compared to existing enterprise tools.  The result – IT departments no longer reign supreme in determining technology strategy and adoption.  In fact, business leaders and individuals increasingly play a greater, if not decisive, role in driving the selection and cultural adoption of technology.  Consequently, enterprise strategies must be crafted to manage disparate systems, technologies, and deployment options across the organization.

… But The Rate of Technology Obsolescence Outpaces The Pace Of Technology Adoption

Organizations face massive levels of change across challenging macro-economic conditions, emerging workplace dynamics, new business models, and slow pace of technology adoption.  Unfortunately, they must respond to these changes while being saddled with the burdens of last century’s technology.  Without actionable application strategies in the transition to social enterprise apps, many organizations face obsolescence.  How do we get from where we are today to where we want to be?

Enterprise Strategies Must Begin With The End In Mind
To take a Coveyism, its important to define the objectives before you begin.  As the enterprise strategist at Altimeter I’ll be assisting our clients with:

  • Adopting technology strategies driven by business need;
  • Building dynamic user experiences;
  • Crafting strategies to transform business processes;
  • Delivering a connected community; and
  • Eliminating burdensome cost structures to fund innovation

These advisory projects will include but not be limited to:

  • Technology strategy reviews
  • Vendor selection
  • Independent verification and validation (IV&V)
  • Vendor management strategies

Succeed With A Holistic Approach Beyond Just Enterprise Strategy

As I assist our clients with these enterprise strategies, its important to think of these in the context of a holistic approach (see Figure 1).  Your organization’s overall strategy should also address the challenges and success strategies in leadership, customer, and innovation required for success.  I’ll be joined by 3 other partners including our founding partner, Charlene Li, who will focus on the culture and structures required to guide these emerging technologies in the organization.  Deb Schultz, a pioneer in bringing innovation concepts to life, will be leading our labs program at “The Hangar”. Meanwhile, my former Forrester colleague, Jeremiah Owyang will be focusing on customer strategy of emerging technologies.

Figure 1. Altimeter Group’s Four Practice Areas

Join The Altimeter Open House Webinar On The Future of Business
Find out more about how the Altimeter Group can serve as your resource at our upcoming Open House Webinar.  Details below:

Date:                           Thursday, September 10th, 2009
Time:                          10 am Pacific Time (GMT – 8:00)
Registration link:

Related blog posts:

Your POV

What are your top concerns about your enterprise strategy?  Will you have the tools to get from today’s enterprise technologies to an emerging world of Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 business solutions.  Let us know what you think.  Post your comment here or reach me direct at r at altimetergroup dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.