Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

News Analysis: Vertical Solutions Extends Customer Experience And Field Service Footprint With Three Partnerships

Vertical Solutions Partnerships Showcase Why Complex Field Service Is A Critical Glue Between ERP and CRM In Improving Customer Experience


Announced March 4th, 2014 at the Microsoft Convergence event, Vertical Solutions, made three significant partnerships with Blue Horseshoe Solutions, Cincom, and Vidcie.  The Cincinnati, Ohio based customer experience software vendor provides cloud contact center and service management solutions that bridge the worlds of physical goods with customer experience.  The analysis of the three announcements show:

  • Where after market sales and service creates a strategic differentiator for Cincom. Cincom signed a reseller partnership with Vertical Solutions for integrated Field Service Management and Maintenance Repair Operations.  Cincom is a global Microsoft ISV for manufacturing. The partnership allows Cincom to resell VSI’s Service Lifecycle Management Solution with Cincom’s Business Suite for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

    Point of View (POV):
    In the current digital business transformation, manufacturers realize that product margins can no longer sustain growth.  While service revenues, warranty management, and installation can provide additional revenues, organizations must move from selling products to keeping brand promises.  Post sales service is a key component to ensuring that the brand promise is kept for manufacturers.
  • Why supply chain and post sales service should team up to improve customer experience in the Blue Horseshoe partnership. Blue Horseshoe provides a Supply Chain Suite for Microsoft Dynamics AX.  The partnership ties customer support, field service and mobile environments with logistics, supply chain, transportation management, advanced warehousing, and order completion.

    (POV):
    While the Blue Horseshoe solution provides a robust capability in supply chain, Vertical Solutions provides post sales and complex field service requirements.  These requirements enable customers to deliver on the complete order management cycle.  In speaking with several Blue Horseshoe and Microsoft Dynamics AX customers, they have a need to reduce warranty costs and improve customer satisfaction through improved first visit resolution programs.  Constellation believes that customers do not care what department resolves the issue, just that the issue is resolved across the continuum of customer engagement.
  • How video streaming can provide real-time access to experts through the Vidcie partnership. The partnership with Vidcie allows customers to integrate video streaming technology into the VSI enterprise Service Lifecycle Management solution VServiceManagement.  Vidcie is a Silicon Valley based hands free live streaming, mobile, and wearable technology provider.  Vidcie is More…

Quips: What the Google Motorola – Lenovo Deal Is Really About

Google Enters China Via Lenovo While Counter Balancing Samsung

On January 29th, 2014, Mountain View based Google announced it would sell it’s Motorola Mobility unit to Chinese based Lenovo for $2.91 in cash and stock.  The deal cuts across many spectrum including mobile OS, computing wars, and search.  Here’s 12 talking points:

Source: Not sure, but not mine

  1. Google keeps most of the 17,000 patents which it purchased for $12.5B.  This patent trove allows it to compete on Internet of Things (IoT), sensor analytical ecosystems, and other key mobile technologies.
  2. Google needs a counterweight to Samsung who’s been looking at swapping OS.
  3. Google now gains a China strategy.
  4. Google takes a 5.94% stake with a $750M investment in Lenovo
  5. Google has a less than 2% search market share in China as they pulled out in protest, but with Lenovo, they gain an ability to enter mobile search through Lenovo as a back door.
  6. Lenovo is a perfect mid and long-term competitor to Samsung
  7. Lenovo now has the key technology to launch into mobile and cut down the time to market by 3 to 5 years.
  8. Lenovo can build the end to end hardware platforms required for a full line of servers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.
  9. Lenovo gains a trusted partner on OS in Google Android and can plug into the ecosystem
  10. Microsoft continues to be isolated in market share and ecosystem and faces a distribution problem.
  11. Apple faces more pressure from Google through Lenovo and Samsung for OS operating share and from multiple price points.
  12. Dell faces more competition from Lenovo across all product lines given the acquisition of IBM’s mid range business.

The Bottom Line: Google Gains A Key Partner With Sale Of Motorola To Lenovo

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News Analysis: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Acquires Parature For Customer Service Capabilities

Dynamics CRM Gains Key Technology and Team To Take Existing Customer Care Assets To Next Level


On January 7th, 2014, The Microsoft Dynamics CRM team announced a definitive agreement to acquire Herndon, VA based Parature for an undisclosed sum.  This acquisition is Microsoft Dynamic’s CRM’s largest to date. Parature is an East Coast software start-up success story founded in 2000 by five Cornell students including Duke Chung.  Originally named Cyracle Technologies, the company’s first product addressed the live chat market.  Current CEO, Ching-Ho Fung, the first angel behind Blackboard, provided the initial angel investment in 2001.  Parature’s key investors include Valhalla Partners, Sierra Ventures, and Accel Partners.  The acquisition is significant for both Parature and Microsoft Dynamics Customers because:

  • Parature fills in a key gap in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM offering. Microsoft CRM currently has a customer care offering that delivers core customer service with case management, universal queuing and routing, and light scheduling and field service.  Parature provides key self-service knowledge base software, core customer service,  live chat, mobile access, survey and feedback capabilities, social monitoring, and Facebook portal capabilities to the Microsoft service offering.

    Point of View (POV):
    Microsoft’s core strengths have come from the sales automation product and the tight integration with Office.  Since 2012, with the arrival of Corporate Vice President, Bob Stutz, the Dynamics CRM team has sought to round out the rest of the customer experience offering.   (Note: Bob Stutz was a key force in the development of Siebel CRM and SAP CRM.)  The acquisition of Marketing Pilot provided a key building block for marketing automation.  This acquisition of Parature adds to General Manager Jujhar Singh’s investments in customer care.  Dynamics CRM customers gain the knowledge base functionality in Parature, which is the crown jewel.  This knowledge base was recently rearchitected and one of the most modern in the industry.  Parature customers will gain greater investment in the customer service and support product line with deeper integrations to a full customer experience suite.
  • Parature adds 70 million end users to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM ecosystem. The company has built a strong foothold in key industries such as education, gaming, high-tech, non-profit associations, online media, public sector, and travel.  Major brands include Ask.com, Asure Software, ATRA, Brenau University, BuilderMT, CompTIA, e-MDs, EPA, Florida Atlantic University, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, IGN Entertainment, iWin, NASA SEWP, PlayFirst, SoftChalk, Threadless, Top Down Systems, TMA Resources, and Travel Lodge UK.

    (POV):
    Parature’s relentless focus on customer success has led to tremendous growth.  In 2013, Parature doubled its end user count from 35 million in 2011 to 70 million.  Microsoft’s team will More…

Trends: 10 Trends for #Cloud Computing in 2014 To Dominate #Digital Disruption [Slide Share]

Ten Trends For Cloud Computing In 2014 To Dominate Digital Disruption

Constellation’s cloud computing research falls under the Tech Optimization and Innovation business theme and throughout other areas where applications are applied.  The trends for 2014 cover across the entire cloud stack.

Holger Mueller, VP and Principal Analyst, covers the impact of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) as well as HR Technologies in the Future of Work.  R “Ray” Wang researches the impact of Cloud Computing on business strategy and the application landscape.

Below are the 2014 trends for Cloud Computing.  Join the Constellation experience as we set to help our clients dominate digital disruption.

<iframe src=”http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/29546510″ width=”600″ height=”400″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” style=”border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px” allowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”https://www.slideshare.net/rwang0/10-trends-for-cloud-computing-in-2014-to-dominate-digital-disruption” title=”10 Trends for #Cloud Computing in 2014 To Dominate Digital Disruption” target=”_blank”>10 Trends for #Cloud Computing in 2014 To Dominate Digital Disruption</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/rwang0″ target=”_blank”>R “Ray” Wang & Holger Mueller</a></strong> </div>

Your POV.

Do you have a cloud strategy?  Can you see how the cloud will help enable digital business disruption?   Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationR (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org.

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News Analysis: Acquisition Of Fiberlink Fills Key Gap In IBM’s One-Stop Mobile First Strategy

IBM Acquires Fiberlink (MaaS360) For Mobile Management And Security

On November 13th, Blue Bell, PA based Fiberlink Communications signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Armonk, NY based IBM for an undisclosed sum.  Fiberlink has over 3500 clients in key verticals such as financial, retail, public sector, education, and healthcare.  IBM expects to close the acquisition at year’s end.  The deal is significant to customers because:

  • IBM is committed to deliver one stop mobility via acquisitions and organic growth. IBM has made eight acquisitions in the last 18 months (see Figure 1).  In 2012, IBM acquired Emptoris, Worklight, and Tealeaf Mobile. Urban Code, The Now Factory, Xtify, Trusteer, and Fiberlink formed the 2013 acquisition list.  Along the way in 2012, IBM launched three mobile offerings: IBM Endpoint Manager for mobile devices, IBM Connections Mobile, and IBM Security Access Manager for Cloud and Mobile.  In 2013, IBM made the IBM Mobile First announcement along with the IBM Message Sight solution.

    Point of View (POV):
    Mobile is the key onramp to digital business.  The average individual is no further than three feet from their devices and always on 14 to 15 hours a day.  Unfortunately, today’s mobile offerings often are piecemeal and incomplete.  IBM has made a strategic bet to provide the end to end mobile first life cycle.  IBM sees four key entry points for mobile: build, engage, transform, and optimize.  Worklight and Urban code addresses build.  IBM Connections Mobile, Tealeaf CX Mobile, and IBM Xtify enable human interaction for engage while IBM MessageSight enables machine to machine (M2M) communications.  Meanwhile, the Now Factory provides big data insights to support the transform entry point.  Emptoris Rivermine Telecom expense management, IBM Endpoint Manager, IBM Security Access Manager, Trusteer end point security, and IBM Urban Code release automation are part of the optimize entry point.
  • Mobile management is a critical function for successful BYOD and IBM’s Mobile First strategy. MaaS360 provides a cloud based mobility management platform and an on-premises version will be available shortly.  The solution is policy based to support a wide range of BYOD security and privacy requirements.  MaaS360 supports mobile device management (MDM), mobile content management, and mobile applicant management including containerization.

    More…

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

Commerce Server Finds Its Logical Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday’s Musings: NSA PRISM Scandal Hurts US Cloud Companies And Hastens The Return Of On-Premises Software

Non-US Based Organizations And Even Some US Organizations Will Not Tolerate Snooping In A Post PRISM World

Since the Edward Snowden PRISM revelations, Constellation has received a steady stream of inquiries on cloud strategy.   In fact, nervousness runs high among many non-US based companies using services from US based cloud companies across the cloud stack.  In early August 2013, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation put out its report “How Much Will PRISM Cost the U.S. Cloud Computing Industry” Assuming that 20% of current clients switch to a non US based provider,  the report estimates a loss of $22 to 35B by 2016.

Constellation agrees.  All signs point to an anti-US stance until the security issues is addressed.  The odds on the US government moving fast on this issue are as good as Major League Baseball players or Tour de France Cyclists honoring a performance enhancement drug use ban.  In fact, Constellation is aware of at least 50+ contracts that have been put on hold or cancelled in the past 30 days.  With the EU’s Nellie Kroes already sounding the alarm bells in a way she only can, cloud buyers have taken notice.

The Bottom Line: Clients Should Consider Alternatives To Pure Cloud Models And Encryption Technology

Interesting enough, fifteen years into the cloud revolution, talk has rekindled about building on-premises software in light of this scandal. Unfortunately, the last major on-premises software company to receive funding squandered it all in 2005 and retooled to the cloud. Furthermore, a few entrepreneurs are looking at VC funding to take some key systems back on-premises.

However customers do not have time to wait for new software to arrive in the on-premises deployment option.  In the meantime, a few near term strategies have emerged:

  1. More…

News Analysis: Oracle’s Cloud Disruption Webinar Recording

Oracle’s recent partnership announcements to supply Oracle technology to key cloud vendors such as Microsoft, NetSuite, and Salesforce.com create serious implications for the market. 

On June 28, 2013, Esteban Kolsky, Holger Mueller, and R “Ray” Wang discussed the implications  of Oracle’s recent partnerships for:

  • Salesforce customers
  • Microsoft customers
  • NetSuite customers
  • Oracle customers
  • Cloud competitors such as Amazon, Google, IBM, SAP, VMWare, and Workday

Join us at Constellation’s Connected Enterprise, October 30 - November 1, 2013

More…

News Analysis: Oracle’s Cloud Strategy – Revisionist History or Cloud Genius?

This is a joint post with my colleague Holger Mueller who looks at IaaS/PaaS and Future of Work technologies for Constellation Research.

At a press conference on June 24th, 2013 with Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer ,and Oracle’s President Mark Hurd announced a cloud partnership where Azure customers will be able to run Oracle Database (no version mentioned, but Constellation expects this to be 12c), Oracle Weblogic, and Java.

Oracle also announced availability of Oracle Linux for Azure customers. Constellation believes that the deployments of the Oracle 12c, Weblogic and Java stack pieces will be deployed on Oracle’s Linux.  Should this be true, the approach makes sense, as this is a tested and proven hardware and software combination. Further, Microsoft has already begun to run parts of Azure on Linux.

The partnership alliance poses significant implications for both vendors and more importantly customers moving to the cloud for three reasons:

  • Java comes to Azure, a sign of pax in the .NET vs Java wars. For Applications to run on Azure, they needed to be built in C# or compatible languages. Now, with the licensing of Java by Microsoft as part of this partnership, Java applications will run on Azure. This opens doors for Java applications on the Azure cloud, as well as general more portability for Java applications. And Azure becomes a friendly cloud for the 9 million+ Java developers out there. .

    Point Of View:
    Microsoft and Oracle strike a win-win here.  Microsoft gains more language derived potential for expanding Azure and Oracle adds a marquee cloud stack to support Java.  Given the substantial overlap of enterprise customers on both Microsoft and Oracle, customers will benefit from more cross cloud compatibility for Java while supporting Azure for IaaS.
  • Azure will run Oracle Weblogic and the Oracle Database. Microsoft will support Oracle Linux in Azure as the foundation to run the middleware and the database stack.  Though the press release and the press conference did not specify which Oracle database, Constellation speculates this is for Oracle Database 12c. In addition, Oracle announced license mobility for customers who want to run software on Azure and bring Oracle Linux to Azure..

    (POV):
    Interesting enough when Larry Ellison spilled the news for this announcement during the Q4 Oracle earnings call, this was not about the Oracle Database, but very specifically about Oracle 12c. It’s not clear why 12c is not specifically referenced in the press release – but with the ORacle 12c general availability slotted for June 25h, 2013, this moment may not have been the time to steal the thunder.  Of note, it is not only the database, but also the Weblogic application server which will be deployed on Azure. This comes as a surprise at first, but given the work Oracle has done to integrate the former BEA flagship product with 12c and Java – it was a question of taking whole technology building and avoiding too many interfaces. Why run Java apps through Biztalk to an Oracle database?  Constellation views this as a smart move by both companies, as it allows Azure customers to utilize more of the Oracle products, that are more and more entwined due to the Fusion and Exaxxx products.
  • The hypervisor is where Microsoft and Oracle draw a line in the sand. Oracle will support Microsoft’s hypervisor Hyper-V to be the demarcation line between higher level application code and the Oracle products that now run in Azure.  The combined offering will be running on Hyper-V, which creates some headaches for Oracle on the hypervisor level as Constellation predicted, and will be supported by Oracle support as running on Windows Azure. .

    (POV):
    This poses some engineering work for the Oracle hypervisor teams, but nothing impossible to achieve. And the benefits are tangible, Hyper-V built applications will now be able to run on the Oracle Database (12c, and on Oracle Linux). This will give a lot of performance critical (think Dynamics) applications that were limited by SQL Server scalability before, new breathing room.  Microsoft was able to protect higher level applications of its technology stack with this agreement and at the same time Oracle benefits from a whole ecosystem of Hyper-V compatible applications. The cost of supporting Hyper-V for Oracle, which is tangible, is however dwarfed by this additional market potential. And it gives Mircosoft an important leg up against VMware’s vSphere.  Constellation believes this has significant implications in the cloud stack wars among Amazon, Google, HP, IBM, and VMware.  In unusual candidness for these  Oracle listed the current and future deliverables for the alliance in an blog post here.

Why did this happen?

As previously mentioned, this would have been a very good April Fool’s headline – even back on April 1st 2013. So this alliance comes as a surprise pretty much to all industry observers, at least we have not seen anyone claiming to see this one coming.

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News Analysis: Mr. N R Narayana Murthy Returns To Infosys As Executive Chairman of the Board

Will There Be A Come Back For NRN and Infosys?

Infosys announced on June 1st, 2013, that Mr. N R Narayana Murthy (NRN), the legendary co-founder of Infosys who retired in August 2011 as Chairman Emeritus, has been appointed by the board as Executive Chairman and a director.  From the press release:

Mr. N R Narayana Murthy said, “This calling was sudden, unexpected, and most unusual. But, then, Infosys is my middle child. Therefore, I have put aside my plans-in-progress and accepted this responsibility. I am grateful to Mr. K V Kamath – the Chairman, the Board, and every Infoscion for giving me this opportunity. I intend to do my best to add value to the Company in this challenging situation.”

Mr. K V Kamath said, “The Board has taken this step keeping in mind the challenges that the technology industry and the Company faces and in the interest of all stakeholders, particularly shareholders large and small, who have asked for strengthening of the executive leadership during this challenging time. Murthy’s entrepreneurial and leadership record and the long experience he has had as a technology pioneer makes him eminently qualified to lead the company and provide strategic direction at this point in time.”

Key points from the announcement include:

  • Board seeks shareholder approval for five year term. Company shareholders must approve the appointment of Mr. Murthy as a director and Executive Chairman at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 15, 2013.  The current Chairman of the Board, Mr. K V Kamath would step down and remain on the board as a Lead Independent Director effective June 1, 2013.  Mr. Murthy will take a token annual compensation of one rupee.

    Point of View (POV):
    Most expect the confirmation to be swift and non-controversial.  Infosys seeks a stronger leadership team to address challenges in both its business model as well as direct competitors.  With Cognizant and TCS overtaking Infosys on many fronts, the selection of NRN comes at a very critical juncture.
  • New Chairman’s office group to be created. The new team is designed to provide a central war room to assess the situation, propose solutions, and drive impact on strategy.  At Mr. Murthy’s request, his son Dr. Rohan Murthy will serve as his executive assistant.

    (POV):
    Sensing the magnitude of the challenge, Mr. Murthy approach to put a tiger team together indicates a realization that Infosys must solve their predicament as a multi-disciplinary problem.  The appointment of his son, Dr. Rohan Murthy, as executive assistant provides Rohan with an interesting front row seat.

Bottom Line: Infosys Needs To Shake It Up For Transformational Change

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Executive Profiles: Kirill Tatarinov, President Microsoft Business Solutions

Welcome to our series of market maker 1:1 interviews with business leaders in the world of enterprise software  The interviews provide insightful points of view from a customer, industry, and vendor perspective.

Kirill Tatarinov, President of Microsoft Business Solutions (@KirillTatarinov)

Kirill Tatarinov is president of the Microsoft Business Solutions Division (MBS) with responsibility for MBS research, development, sales, marketing, and operations. MBS develops and markets a portfolio of Microsoft Dynamics products and services covering a broad range of functions including financial, customer relationship and supply chain management (ERP and CRM) that bring simplicity, value and agility to organizations of all sizes.

Prior to joining MBS in 2007, Tatarinov led the Management and Solutions Division at Microsoft, where he was in charge of the Microsoft Windows management technologies and products, including Microsoft System Center, Systems Management Server, Microsoft Operations Manager and Microsoft Application Center, as well as Windows Server solutions, including Microsoft Small Business Server.

Tatarinov joined Microsoft in 2002 with 15 years of experience in the software industry. Before joining Microsoft, Tatarinov was senior vice president and chief technology officer for BMC Software Inc. While at BMC he also had responsibility for corporate development and for Patrol Software business. Before that, Tatarinov was co-founder, chief architect, and head of R & D for Patrol Software, the developer of innovative software solutions for systems and network management acquired by BMC in 1994. Before co-founding Patrol Software, Tatarinov worked in several systems, networking and consulting companies in Russia, Israel and Australia.

In January 2002, Computerworld named Tatarinov one of the business world’s 2002 Premier 100 IT Leaders. This award honors individuals who have had a positive impact on their organizations through the use of technology.

Tatarinov grew up in Moscow, Russia, and holds a master’s diploma in systems engineering from Moscow University of Transport Engineering (MIIT) and an MBA from Houston Baptist University. He serves on the Seattle advisory council of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, whose mission is to help the world’s children.

Tatarinov lives in the Seattle area with his family. Outside work, he spends his time skiing and is a Level-1 ski instructor, certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America.

The Interview

Constellation sat down with Kirill Tartarinov in New Orleans, LA during the 2013 Microsoft Convergence Conference to discuss the changes since 2007 and to take a look forward for the Microsoft Dynamics product line.

1. Customers don’t always associate Microsoft with innovation in the enterprise side. What are some milestones that counter that perception Dynamics?

Kirill Tartarinov (KT): While our roots as a company have been on the consumer side, make no mistake, enterprise is hugely important for what we do. People overlook the fact that Microsoft has been providing mission-critical solutions for over 20 years. We achieved significant milestones across the entire product portfolio from Windows and SQL Server to Office, the Cloud both public and private, and Dynamics. We have seen significant innovation from consumer to the enterprise. Innovation that helps Microsoft serve as the trusted advisor between consumers and business customers. But as far as milestones, what is most important is what we see here at this event (Convergence). Convergence is a reflection of our success in the enterprise. Every single one of our customers and partners are proof points. It is their path, their story of how they are innovating using both our enterprise and consumer technologies and making them better at what they do. As we move forward, we see the complete power of Microsoft coming together in the enterprise across Windows Server, Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics.

We are in the business of transformation. We are privileged to wake up every day and get the chance to help businesses unlock their potential by uniting the tremendous innovation across Microsoft and delivering it to people in business in specific scenarios, really helping every person be the best at what they do and helping businesses succeed by uniting their people, processes, and technology with their customers. That’s our mission. It is our differentiator and something Microsoft is in a unique position to deliver.

2.Let’s take a look at over the past 6 years since  you joined MBS in 2007, what did you set out to achieve for across the division and across Microsoft?

(KT): There were three things I set out to achieve on behalf of our customers and the company. First, I set out to unite all MBS employees from Fargo to Hyderabad to Copenhagen to Moscow and Sao Paolo. Second, I had to turn Microsoft Dynamics into a profit engine for our shareholders and third, I had to create a sustainable, long-term growth strategy to ensure our prominence in the enterprise business applications long into the future.

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Event Report: Microsoft Dynamics Convegence 2013 (#conv13)

Customer Success, Acquisition, And New Features Drive Day 1 Headlines

Almost 12,000 Microsoft faithful converged in New Orleans for the flagship Dynamics event.  Wayne Morris (@WayneMorrisOz), CVP kicked off the event reiterating the theme of “A World Ahead”. Meanwhile, Kirill Tatarinov (@KirillTatarinov), President of Microsoft Business Solutions Division, led the session with a series of impressive brands and compelling customer success stories.  Highlights from the day include:

  • Impressive Global 2000 customer wins. Kirill hinted at wins at SpaceX and followed with live customer presentations from ShockDoctor, Chobani, Weightwatchers, and Revlon.  Dennis Goetz (CFO) of Shock Doctor shared how they grew their business moving away from spreadsheets to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Maureen Hurley (VP of IT) and James McConeghy (CFO) explained how Chobani installed Microsoft Dynamics AX in their main New York plant in less than a year and then implemented Dynamics AX at a new plant in less than 27 days. Christine Butler (VP of CRM and Business Development, and Loic Vienne (VP of Systems) at WeightWatchers discussed how they put in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage with 500 million customer touch points a year.  David Giambruno (SVP and CIO) and Steven Berns (Executive VP and CFO) of Revlon, made the impressive move to consolidate 21 ERP systems into one on Microsoft Dynamics AX.

    Point of View (POV):
    The Microsoft Dynamics team has successfully moved up market from a previously SMB centric message.  The rise of global 2000 customers in the $500M to $5B revenue range shows the growing presence, success, and scalability of Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM.  Though the business is estimated to bring $1.4B in revenue, Microsoft Dynamics still represents a small fraction of Microsoft’s overall revenue ($73.72B 2012).  However, success in the Microsoft Dynamics business improves attach rates and cross-sells into Sharepoint, Office, SQL Server, and Azure.  Microsoft’s small investment in Dynamics reduces customer fragmentation and plays a key role in long-term growth.
  • Acquisition of Netbreeze for social analytics. The Netbreeze acquisition brings data mining, natural language processing (NLP), and text analysis to social signals such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, 6,000 online news websites, 500,000 message boards, and 18M blogs.   The system supports 28 different languages including Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Direct language translation beats translation back to one language.

    Point of View (POV):
    Netbreeze and Marketing Pilot address a growing need among the customer base for marketing automation and management.  Netbreeze is key to merging both the structured CRM information and the unstructured social signals.   As the CMO role continues to reclaim its technology destiny, we are moving away from transaction integrity and moving towards surfacing insights.  Netbreeze provides insight into marketing spend effectivity.
  • Announcement of Marketing Pilot 15.  MarketingPilot 15 adds improved user experience and analytics.  In addition, the long awaited connector to Microsoft Dynamics CRM arrives on March 2013.  International general availability is planned for later 2013.

    (POV):
    Marketing Pilot provides core marketing capabilities that were missing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.   Customers seeking an integrated marketing solution should consider Marketing Pilot.  However, the technology platform is dated.  For those customers seeking a cloud based approach, Silverpop, InfusionSoft, Aprimo, and Marketo may serve as better alternative today.  Compared to CMS marketing products like SiteCore or Adobe CQ, Marketing Pilot remains a distant second in features, but a top contender when cost is considered.
  • Windows Azure partner hosted offerings for ERP. Partner hosting for Dynamics GP 2013 and NAV 2013 will be available in June 2013.  Dynamics AX will see an Azure hosted version in 2014.

    (POV):
    Among the Dynamics ERP customers, partner hosting remains a popular option for dipping their toes into cloud ERP.  A key barrier to Azure hosting has been the performance issues with SQL Server for Azure.  Resolution of those issues will free Dynamics to deploy more of its capabilities in Azure.  The go forward architectural model for Dynamics AX resembles Dynamics CRM where a VM is assigned per tenant but all management is done by Microsoft.
  • New mobile applications for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.  New mobile apps will address key horizontal functions such as expense management, time tracking, and approvals.  The expense management offering will capture and reconcile expenses, time allows the completion of time sheets, and approvals allows managers to complete business requests.  Microsoft intends to support Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets, Windows Phone 8, Android phones, and iOS phone devices

    (POV):
    Customers are increasingly asking for a mobile experience.  The move to address mobility focuses on “in-between time” tasks that improve productivity for employees and bolsters offerings for services based industries and public sector.

 

Figure 1. Ongoing #Conv13 Flickr Stream

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The Bottom Line:  Progression In The Dynamics Product Line Results In A Competitive Alternative For Customers

On December 21, 2000, Microsoft announced the intention to acquire Great Plains.  In July 2002, Microsoft bought Navision A/S, the foundation of Dynamics NAV and AX.  Until 2007, Microsoft Business Solutions had struggled to find and grow beyond its SMB niche. Over the past seven years, the team has focused on deepening vertical capabilities, improved integration with Microsoft components, expanding partner programs, and making strategic acquisitions for product and technology features.  The process has been slow but steady but increased investment in Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM has paid off.

Fast forward to 2013, Microsoft now has a strong portfolio of solutions that Global 2000 organizations can deploy with confidence.  The MBS team is not afraid of tuck in acquisitions nor purchasing common IP from trusted partners.  The rearchitecture efforts and gradual hosted capabilities have helped move the product forward.  Consequently, customers and prospects seeking a newer architecture, Microsoft footprint, and deeper micro-vertical capabilities now consider the core Dynamics products for both ERP and CRM in short lists.  Key use cases include the consolidation of ERP, move to Two-Tier ERP, and primary CRM system of record.   However, customers should be cautioned that success will require selection of the right Microsoft Partner.  Selection of the right partner is never an easy process as many partners exist and validation of capabilities still remains a challenge for prospects and existing customers.

Your POV

Are you Microsoft Dynamics customer? Do you plan to invest more or less with them in 2013?  What do you think about their strategy?   Are you ready to consolidate on Microsoft? Add your comments to the blog or send us a comment at R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org or R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com

Please let us know if you need help with your apps strategy.  Sign up for a Constellation Academy Workshop or let us assist with:

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Resources and Related Research

Event Report: The Sentiment At Microsoft Convergence 2011

Friday’s Feature: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010

Research Report: Microsoft Partners – Before Adopting Azure, Understand the 12 Benefits And Risks

Monday’s Musings: The Hidden Value In SaaS Deployments

Trends: 2011 Cloud Computing Predictions For CIO’s And Business Technology Leaders

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

Tuesday’s Tip: When To Go With A Two-Tier ERP Strategy

Strategy: 5 Lessons Learned From A Decade Of Naught

Tuesday’s Tip: 10 Cloud And SaaS Apps Strategies For 2010

Tuesday’s Tip: 2010 Apps Strategies Should Start With Business Value

Best Practices: Lessons Learned In What SMB’s Want From Their ERP Provider

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