Posts Tagged ‘SaaS strategies’

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…

Research Summary: Constellation Cosmos – Cloud Bill of Rights for SaaS Apps, Actian and Netsuite Achieve Epic Status

Constellation Certifies Vendors On How Well They Perform To The Cloud Bill Of Rights

The Enterprise Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights provides a tool for clients and vendors to change the tenor of contract negotiations from user subservience to an equal and collaborative long-term partnership.  This Constellation CosmosCertification for the Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights: SaaS Applications is intended to help buyers and prospective buyers of enterprise cloud applications identify the vendors that meet the spirit of the Cloud. The certification applies four of the six Cosmos categories and includes ownership experience, use case support, corporate vision and ecosystem feedback. Constellation rates vendors on a 0- to 5-point scale.  Constellation’s goal is to recognize vendors for honoring these rights upfront in their existing contract language and throughout the buyer and ownership experience.

Behind The Scenes On How The Cosmos Works

Constellation CosmosTM is Constellation’s flagship quantitative and qualitative product and solution comparison tool.  A typical Cosmos contains 50 to 150 exception-based criteria used to help buy-side clients with product and solution selection across the galaxy of choices.  The evaluation comprises of six major categories on a 0 to 5 point scale where Constellation evaluates key criteria in:
  1. Ownership experience. Criteria evaluated include assessments on vendor executive advocacy and accountability, timely and meaningful interactions, professional customer support, overall sales cycle and buying process, quality of product and service, and ongoing transparency.
  2. Solution offering. Criteria evaluated include assessments of functional requirements, technical requirements, architectural considerations, and deployment options pertinent to the category.
  3. Use case support. Criteria evaluated include assessments on the ability to support anywhere from 3 to 12 popular use cases requested by end user clients.  Use cases typically align with a business process. Considerations include geographical requirements, market size requirements, and industry requirements.
  4. Market execution. Criteria evaluated include assessments of the total number of live customers, total number of customers including prospects, total number of customers over 1B in revenue, funding raised to date (if a startup), total annual revenues, total number of external trained professional service staff, total number of internal trained professional service staff, number of updates per year, and geographic penetration
  5. Corporate vision. Criteria evaluated include assessments of the strength of management team, product direction, level of innovation, market leadership, community stewardship, and investment in R&D.
  6. Ecosystem feedback. Criteria evaluated include assessments of vendor-supplied references (at least 3), direct customer feedback from inquiries and interactions, and partner feedback.
The final ratings place solutions into 5 categories
  1. Epic. Composite scores typically above 4.25
  2. Stellar. Composite scores typically between 3.25 and 4.24
  3. Emerging. Composite scores typically between 2.25 and 3.24
  4. Nascent. Composite scores typically between 1.25 and 2.24
  5. Laggard. Composite scores typically between 0 and 1.24

The Constellation CosmosTM graphic is a three-dimensional visualization tool built from three axes:

  • Capability represents the X-axis. Capability includes the use case support and solution offering categories.
  • Strategy and execution drives the Y-axis. The score comprises of market execution and corporate vision.
  • Reputation forms the Z-axis. The scores come from the ownership experience and ecosystem feedback categories.
  • Weighted score defines the radius of the sphere. The scores are the composite from capability, strategy, and reputation.

 

Constellation updates Cosmos’ periodically as client demand dictates.  Some reports may be deprecated over time based on lack of market interest.  Constellation reserves the right to determine when reports are updated and in what manner.

NetSuite and Actian Corp Achieve Epic Status In the First Of Many Certifications Of Cloud Companies
For the Cloud Bill of Rights: SaaS Applications, the application and the vendor contract were evaluated on 61 criteria.  Constellation evaluated the vendors based on the experience of over 1500 software contract negotiations.

Netsuite provides an end-to-end cloud business application suite and was certified against the 61 criteria listed in Constellation’s Cloud Bill of Rights and the Constellation Cosmos methodology. Netsuite achieved a 4.48 weighted score and achieved the highest certification – Epic for its achievement in meeting the 61 requirements of the Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights category

Actian Corporation was certified against the 61 criteria listed in Constellation’s Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights and the Constellation Cosmos methodology.  Actian Corporation’s acquired Pervasive Software on April 11, 2013. Constellation evaluated Pervasive Software prior to the merger. The cloud based integration application known as Actian DataCloud and its contract were evaluated on 61 criteria in the Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights: SaaS Applications.. Actian DataCloud achieved a 4.77 weighted score and achieved the highest certification – Epic for its achievement in meeting the 61 requirements of the Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights category.

Report Links

Download a snapshot of the reports at the Constellation Research website:

Constellation Cosmos – Cloud Bill of Rights: Saas Apps Actian Corp.

Constellation Cosmos – Cloud Buyer’s Bill of Rights: SaaS Apps – Netsuite, Inc.

Your POV.

How’s contract negotiations with your Cloud Vendors? Let us know your experiences.  Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) com.

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, stay tuned for the full client list on the Constellation Research website.

Copyright © 2001 – 2013 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.

 

Market Maker 1:1: Steve Miranda, Oracle Fusion Applications Update – The Inside Story

The Inside Story On Oracle Fusion Apps At The End of 2012


Constellation sat down with Steve Miranda, Oracle’s Executive Vice President of Oracle Applications Product Development to discuss the state of Oracle Fusion Apps in a no-holds barred honest conversation about what’s working, what’s not, and what to look forward to in 2013.

R “Ray” Wang (RW): Steve Miranda is Executive Vice President of Oracle Applications Product Development. He is responsible for leading all aspects of product strategy, product development, and product delivery for Oracle’s applications and related cloud services. This includes Oracle Fusion Applications and Oracle’s newest products for customer service and support, commerce, and talent management.

Mr. Miranda joined Oracle in 1992 and has held a variety of leadership positions within the development organization. In 2007 he was asked to lead the engineering of Oracle’s next-generation suite of software applications, Oracle Fusion Applications. Under Mr. Miranda’s leadership, Oracle has continually delivered on its promise to help its applications customers innovate and remain competitive while leveraging their existing IT investments and increasing the value of those investments with new Oracle products and services.

Prior to Oracle, Mr. Miranda worked at GE Aerospace. He holds degrees in mathematics and computational sciences from Stanford University.

 

CATCHING UP ON ORACLE FUSION APPLICATIONS TRACTION

(RW): As 2012 is coming to an end it is a good time to reflect on how Oracle Fusion Applications has been doing this year. It would seem that Oracle’s been quite quiet about Oracle Fusion Applications throughout the year. Is the product selling? What’s the state of the Oracle Fusion Applications product lines?

Steve Miranda(SM): Oracle Fusion Applications is doing very well. We’re actively selling the product. In fact, we already have over 400 customers on Oracle Fusion Applications. We’re doing better than Salesforce.com when they started. Keep in mind, we have a rich customer base looking for innovation.

RW: When you say “Oracle Fusion Applications is selling well”, is that the whole suite or components of Oracle Fusion Applications?

SM: We are actively selling the product. More than 400 customers are on Oracle Fusion Applications, that’s any part of Oracle Fusion Applications, not including RightNow, Taleo, Oracle Business Analytics, or Oracle Fusion Middleware. Two thirds of the customers have chosen to deploy in a SaaS model. Then the second largest deployment model but far below are on-premise and the rest are hosted in our managed services.

RW: Does “managed services” means they own their own license, right?

SM: That’s correct. What’s powerful about these deployments patterns is that customers are accessing innovation faster than before. We are at over 100 live customers and are averaging one go-live a day right now.

RW: I understand that Oracle deployed Oracle Fusion Applications internally? How was that experience in “drinking your own champagne”?

SM: Ray, that’s correct. We did drink our own champagne and we are now using Oracle Fusion CRM internally instead of Siebel.. We have a global single instance for the business. When we deployed, we started out with 2 instances to show case a co-existence approach and an end-to-end Oracle Fusion Applications approach. As of June 1, 2012, Oracle Fusion CRM was up around the world. All the territories, forecasting, quotas, sales force automation, and contacts are in Oracle Fusion CRM globally.

RW: Is it one instance now?

SM: Yes. We also went live w/ Oracle Fusion Financials Accounting Hub on the back end. We replaced Hyperion and Oracle E-Business Suite GL and also went live June 1, 2012. We’ve already done several month-end closes and we also have Oracle Fusion Talent Performance Management up live. Employees and managers are now doing goal setting and appraisals.

RW: To be honest with you Steve, we aren’t seeing Oracle much in head to head competitive new deals. We don’t see big press releases about new wins. Where are the customers? Who’s buying what and why?

SM: Well, first of all, many of our existing customers are coming to us about Oracle Fusion Applications. Second of all, and you may not believe this, we’re not focused on publicity, but rather we want to ensure customer success.. Each go-live is very important to us. In our first set of go-lives, we have 10,000 customers who want to talk to the first 10 go lives. We also don’t want to overwhelm our initial customers.

Let me give you some details and examples so you understand the breadth and depth of what the Fusion Apps base looks like and so there’s no confusion. Here’s a selected slice:

More…

News Analysis: SnapLogic Snaps Up $20M In Series C Funding For Cloud Integration

Ignition Partners Injects $20M in Series C For Hot Cloud Integration Market

On September 19th,2012,  SnapLogic closed its Series C funding round.  The latest funding round:

  • Strengthens product offerings. SnapLogic offers an integration platform, integration server, integration design tool, and integration market place designed for the cloud world. With almost 100 Snaps in its appstore and almost 200 built to date, users can easily integrate best of breed cloud apps in thousands of combinations. The ecosystem includes free snaps such as Amazon EC2, Box, Clarizen, Facebook, Flickr, Four Square, Twitter, Yelp, and Zoho. Paid snaps include popular enterprise apps such as Coupa, Eloqua, Financial Force, MarkLogic, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, NetSuite, Oracle Peoplesoft, Parature, RightNow, Salesforce.com, SAP, and Zuora.

    (POV):
    Customers and prospects can expect SnapLogic to invest the new funds in engineering.  Key areas of focus include improving the user experience, easing the cost of ownership, and delivering improved SDKs. Expect Snaplogic to also improve the creation of plugins by enterprise customers.  Many customers have also built their own Snaps.
  • Opens up doors to the Igntion Partners network. Led by Ignition Partners and joined by Triangle Peak Partners, the Series C round complements Andreesen Horowitz existing investments of $10M in Series B and the Series A round of $4.8M with Andreesen Horowitz and Floodgate.

    Point of View (POV):
    Investment by Igntion opens up opportunities within the portfolio. Key synergies include companies such as Cloudera, DocuSign, Fireaps, mFoundry, Service Mesh, Visible, and Zenprise.  SnapLogic already works within several Andreesen Horowitz investments including TideMark.
  • Improves distribution. Success in the enterprise has focused around key industries such as telecom, technology, entertainment, financial services and retail.  SnapLogic has won many large accounts and sees continued growth in North America.

    (POV):
    Constellation expects SnapLogic to focus in on expanding their North American sales force and distribution channels.  EMEA growth will probably come from the more mature cloud markets in the UK over the next 12 months.

The Bottom Line: Best of Breed Cloud Hell Requires Next Generation Simple Integration Solutions

More…

News Analysis: KANA Enters MidMarket With Trinicom Acquisition

Acquisition Brings A Proven Multi-Channel Cloud Based Service Offering To The Growing Mid-market

Sunnyvale, CA based KANA announced on April 24, 2012 it’s acquisition of Netherlands based Trinicom, a multichannel, customer contact software provider serving over 200 companies in the BeNeLux market.   Trinicom’s flagship T5 all-in solutions addresses multichannel customer service through email response management, web self-service, call management, live chat, “letter, fax, and desk contact”, chat bot, and knowledge base.   The acquisition marks KANA’s entry and commitment to:

  • Addressing the under served mid-market. Trinicom brings enterprise class customer service and engagement tools to mid-sized businesses.  KANA states in its press release that “mid-sized organizations in both public and private sectors are increasingly seeking enabling technology to support emerging customer experience needs and to build, enhance, and extend relationships with customers.”  Why? Mid-market companies seek enterprise class solutions that don’t require the enterprise levels of staffing, support, and infrastructure.  Trinicom brings the expertise in sales, marketing, and support for the mid-market to the traditionally enterprise focused KANA management team.

    Point of View (POV):
    Trinicom suite of products for key service industries succeeds given its mid-market focus.  In general, these organizations have 20 to 200 customer service professionals.   Referenceable and successful customers come from banking, education, internet, insurers, non-profit, publishing and media, retail & eCommerce, telecom, travel & transport, and utilities (see Figure 1).  In fact, Trinicom delivers an end to end offering across social, web, and agent desktops.  Past clients expressed general satisfaction with go live times less than three months and on average within six to eight weeks.  Most clients praise the rich configuration tools which allow clients easy adaptation without expensive customization.
  • Gaining a SaaS based deployment option. KANA today offers on-premises and hosted deployment models for its enterprise customers. Trinicom brings its SaaS based technology and Cloud business model to KANA’s existing deployment options.  Trinicom’s SaaS operations in Northern Europe complement Kana’s global data center reach.

    Point of View (POV):
    KANA’s lack of a SaaS offering has led to some loss in deals as the market shifts to SaaS as the defacto standard.   The good news – the Trinicom acquisition gives KANA customers and prospects more choice in immediate deployment options. Subsequently, KANA gains a SaaS foundation for future offerings in both the mid-market and enterprise.
  • Expanding customer and revenue base. KANA currently serves 600 commercial and 250 public sector organizations. Trinicom adds key global capabilities and European market expertise.  For instance, Trinicom will expand KANA’s presence in the local public sector market in EMEA.

    Point of View (POV):
    The acquisition expands KANA’s customer and revenue base into the growing and profitable mid-market.  KANA gains an immediate opportunity to service the mid-market and effectively compete with eGain, Eptica, Moxie, and Parature.  More importantly, Trinicom opens up a lucrative mid-market public sector opportunity.

Figure 1. Trinicom Spans A Range Of  Service Verticals In The Mid-Market

More…

News Analysis: The Implications Of Oracle’s Acquisition Of Taleo

Catch my colleague Yvette Cameron’s point of view here. She covers Future of Work for Constellation Research, Inc.

Oracle Plays Catch Up With Public Cloud Ambitions

On February 9th, Oracle announced its intention to acquire Dublin, CA based Taleo for $1.9B.  Taleo is a cloud based talent management software provider with 5000 customers and 1400 employees.   Key take aways to consider:

  • Moves by SAP and Oracle intend to compete with next generation cloud HCM companies. Taleo provides recruiting and on boarding, performance management and goal setting, compensation, succession, and learning and development.  This complete suite tied to reporting and analytics is designed to streamline human resource operations and employee career management across retail and hospitality, travel, healthcare, media and entertainment, financial services, technology, and energy and mining.  Marquee customers include Starbucks, Starwood, Hyatt, JP Morgan Chase, HP, Dell, Conde’Nast, United, American Airlines, Tesora, Blue Cross blue Shield, and Sutter Health.to customers.

    Point of View (POV):
    Oracle sees advantages in acquiring a leading player in the talent management space .  For years, both Taleo and SuccessFactors ate into Oracle’s existing customer base for talent management.  Consequently, other cloud based HCM and HR Tech vendors such as Ceridian, CornerStone OnDemand, FairSail, Kinexa, UltimateSoftware, and Workday continue to attract line of business customers looking for innovations not being delivered by their core HCM providers (i.e. Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP).  More importantly, cloud computing if properly designed can improve the pace of innovation delivered to customers.
  • Oracle continues to buy its way into a public cloud. Oracle continues to react to buyer sentiment and preference for cloud based solutions with this second major acquisition in what they term the “public cloud” space.  Oracle purchased RightNow for $1.43B on October 24th to address its gaps in customer service solutions.  The Taleo purchase addresses a gap in Talent Management solutions that rival SAP plugged with its recent acquisition of Success Factors for $3.4B .

    Point of View (POV):
    These defensive plays indicate a realization that Cloud delivery emerges as the predominant option for applications. Based on Oracle’s current road map, one can expects Oracle to acquire its way into many other edge applications not listed on its Public Cloud road map (see Figure 1).  Some other applications could include social business solutions, expense management, learning solutions, pricing management, identity management, and mobile device management.   However,  Oracle’s public cloud acquisition strategy so far lacks a key requirement – a choice for multi-tenant architected solutions.  While both RightNow and Taleo have some modules that are multi-tenant, in most instances, these applications have been delivered in single tenancy or in multi-instance. Multi-tenant solutions will provide clients with the most efficient upgrade path and lowest long-term cost structure.  The lack of a public strategy to address this issue remains a significant concern for customers and industry observers.

Figure 1. Oracle’s Vision For A Public Cloud

Source: Oracle Corporation

 

  • Seats matter most in a world of CoIT. Oracle hopes to gain massive cloud scale through Taleo’s 74 million transactions per day and 240 million candidates on Taleo Talent Exchange.  The sheer number of users is massive.

    POV:
    Unlike CRM or ERP, the play for HR is all about acquiring the biggest base of users – employees.  With consumerization of IT (CoIT) in full swing, the goal is to grab as many users upfront and then over time cross-sell them into other edge applications which converge between enterprise and consumer.  Why?  The new strategy among the enterprise apps vendors is land and expand. The largest active user bases will win the war of attrition.

The Bottom Line for Customers: Goodbye On-Premises, Hello Cloud World!

More…

News Analysis: SAP Buys SuccessFactors for $3.4B Signals SAP’s Commitment To Cloud, HCM, and Social

SuccessFactors Acquisition Puts SAP In Direct Competition With Workday And Taleo

SAP (NYSE:SAP) announced its $3.4B acquisition of SuccessFactors (NYSE: SFSF) as it seeks to bolster its position in the Cloud and more importantly in the rapidly growing strategic HCM market.  Based in San Mateo, CA, USA, SuccessFactors brings over 15 million subscription users from 3,500 customers in 168 countries.  The company has 1450 employees and has been one of the SaaS/Cloud darlings of the industry.  When completed, SuccessFactors will remain an independent entity renamed, SuccessFactors, an SAP company.  Lars Dalgaard, Founder and CEO, SuccessFactors will lead the cloud business for SAP.  A quick analysis of the news reveals:

  • SAP seeking a comprehensive and complementary HCM solution. SAP believes the combination of SuccessFactors and SAP will create a comprehensive HCM solution, marrying strength in enterprise applications with people-focused cloud applications. Today, SAP serves the market with a comprehensive and international Core HR and payroll.  Other on-premise offerings include talent management, workforce analytics, and shared services delivery. Key offerings from SuccessFactors include areas such as talent management, recruiting management, goal management, performance reviews, and business execution.  Further, SAP believes the core SFSF offerings will be an attractive to more than 500 million employees of SAP customers .  SAP has 15,000 HCM deployments (not customers) that could benefit from one-stop shopping.

    Point of View (POV):
    While the core offerings provided a solid approach, these applications remained in the systems of transaction world and lacked many of the newer requirements for systems of engagement.  In fact, many customers left SAP to go to SuccessFactors to accelerate innovation in the talent space. The rise of Taleo, Workday, and Ultimate Software comes from the lack of general innovation in the HCM space by legacy vendors such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP.  Cloud computing provided the opportunity to deliver rapid innovation to customers.  Consequently, existing customers will welcome the move while best of breed purists will have to overcome the surprise and determine how innovative they expect SAP to become in HCM.
  • SuccessFactors’ provides SAP with massive cross-sell opportunities. SAP believes the core SFSF offerings will be an attractive to more than 500 million employees of SAP customers .  SAP has 15,000 HCM deployments (not customers) that could potentially go for one-stop shopping from SAP.

    Point of View (POV):
    SAP sees the acquisition as a great cross-sell opportunity for other cloud apps and analytics.  Other opportunities include CRM, Collaboration, Travel, and Procurement in the cloud.  In the past two years, Success Factors has made the shift to focus on business performance execution and provides a real time decision making platform.  While customers can acquire a solution from one vendor, the integration of the various cloud platforms may prove to be a challenge.  However, from a financial play, Co-CEO, Bill McDermott sees this as an easy way to meet his 2015 target of €20billion and move towards the 35% margin he seeks to bring shareholders.

Vendor Event: Workday Predict And Prepare 2011

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

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

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

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

    Your questions will be addressed throughout the discussion.

    Register here!

    Disclosure

    Although we work closely with many mega software vendors, we want you to trust us. For the full disclosure policy, stay tuned for the full client list on the Constellation Research website.

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

    Event Report: Dell’s Annual Analyst Conference Highlights Enterprise Software Future

    Annual Analyst Conference Highlights The New Dell Strategy

    Dell held their annual analyst conference at The W Austin from May 3rd to May 4th, 2011.  The event featured multiple sessions including:

    • Services and Solutions For The Vitual Era
    • Data Center and Information Management – Trends & Business Issues – moderated by Brad Anderson Senior Vice President of Enterprise Solutions
    • A Side of Dell You May Not Know – moderated by Karen Quintos, Senior Vice President and CMO
    • CEO Perspective
    • Extending Dell’s Enterprise Solutions & Services – moderated by Michael Dell (@michaeldell)
    • Solutions Services Strategy Update

     

    Figure 1. Flickr Feeds From Dell Annual Analyst Conference 2011

     

    (Tag your images with #softwareinsider or #rwang0 to include into the feed)

    Big themes at the event focused around the consumerization of IT (CoIT).  Dell’s revamped strategy responds to big trends such as the adoption of social media, changing workplace norms, proliferation of devices, and consumption of IT by end users.  Key messages from a software point of view across the consumer, SMB, mid-sized, and large enterprise markets highlighted a:

    • Dedication to BRIC and emerging markets. BRIC markets sustained market share and grew revenue at 17% during the downturn.  In fact, Dell held a #1 market share in India and #3 in China and Brazil.

      Point of View (POV):
      Emerging markets play well into the Dell mid-market heritage.  More importantly, developed markets have mostly tapped out.  Double digit growth will come to technology firms who master the international markets.
    • Investment in cloud computing. Initial strategies address the IT buyer, developers and end users. Dell intends to attack the related services market with remote infrastructure management outsourcing(RIMO), cloud services, and transformation consulting.  On the apps side, SaaS, cloud re-platforming, and cloud migration play big roles in future strategy.

      POV:
      While discussions around cloud focus mostly on the infrastructure layers, private conversations paint a picture of investment in Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and SaaS applications. Expect Dell to make more investments to bring solutions to market via the cloud.
    • Commitment to open solutions. Dell plans to ensure that all its acquired products and existing solutions maintain an open architecture.  Part of the strategy includes support for heterogeneous environments, virtual integration, and minimized technology lock-in.

      POV:
      Dell claims that moving from proprietary to open systems, organizations can go from 300 servers per admin to 6000 severs per admin.  Storage savings shift from $2.20 per GB/month to $0.40 per GB/month. However, delivering open systems will require a lot of engineering investment among competitors not seeking to stay open.
    • Upsell into software. Strong channel and direct success in the hardware market opens up opportunities to sell systems management (Kace), cloud integration (Boomi), data management (Compellent and EqualLogic), and security software (Secureworks).

      POV:
      Dell’s direct channels have proven that they can drop product into pipe and be successful.  For example, KACE grew revenues 400% since acquisition.   Long term, Dell must learn a software culture to be successful.  Not too many hardware vendors have made this transition.

    More…

    Event Report: The Sentiment At Microsoft Convergence 2011

    Refresh Cycle Reflects Bullish Outlook By Partners and Customers

    Microsoft Convergence kicked off over the weekend in Atlanta, GA at the Georgia World Congress Center.  With an anticipated increase in attendance, many new product announcements, and a technology refresh cycle in play, attendees seemed upbeat.  The event kicked off in true tradition including the must attend Randy and Andy (IBIS, Inc) welcome party.  Anticipated cloud announcements, new features, and industry extensions dominate discussions among partners.  Through a survey of over 60 customers, we found the following observations:

    • Customers expect to upgrade ERP and CRM in 12 to 18 months. Good news for Microsoft partners.  Most ERP and CRM customers plan to upgrade within the next 12 to 18 months (see Figure 2).  Many plan to upgrade ERP (18.0%) and CRM (13.1%) in the next 6 to 12 months.
    • Cloud adoption remains partly cloudy. While there are numerous benefits to cloud adoption for clients,  34.4% of ERP customers showed no interest.  Most CRM customers expected to make the shift to the cloud (see Figure 3).  As for the shift to office in the cloud, 18.0% planned to make the shift 24 months from now.
    • Attendees seek to leverage Microsoft investment. Informal conversations highlighted interest in mobile development, greater sharepoint adoption, and interest in Power Pivot.  Most customers felt Microsoft had turned the corner and began to innovate as of the Windows 7 launch.
    • Large customer prospects explore Two Tier ERP. In speaking with 13 divisions of large enterprises at the event, most attended to explore the option of adding Microsoft Dynamics ERP into their subsidiaries.  Eight of the ten companies ran SAP while three ran Oracle, and another two ran custom legacy systems.  Surveyed prospects believe that Two-tier ERP strategies will dominate future apps strategy.

    Figure 1.  Flickr Feeds From Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2011

    (Tag your images with #softwareinsider or #rwang0 to include into the feed)

    Figure 2. Most Microsoft Dynamics Customers Plan To Upgrade ERP & CRM In 12 to 18 Months

    (Right click image to expand)

    More…

    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)

    More…

    Research Report: Constellation’s Research Outlook For 2011

    Organizations Seek Measurable Results In Disruptive Tech, Next Gen Business, And Legacy Optimization Projects For 2011

    Credits: Hugh MacLeod

    Enterprise leaders seek pragmatic, creative, and disruptive solutions that achieve both profitability and market differentiation.  Cutting through the hype and buzz of the latest consumer tech innovations and disruptive technologies, Constellation Research expects business value to reemerge as the common operating principle that resonates among leading marketing, technology, operations, human resource, and finance executives.  As a result, Constellation expects organizations to face three main challenges: (see Figure 1.):

    • Navigating disruptive technologies. Innovative leaders must quickly assess which disruptive technologies show promise for their organizations.  The link back to business strategy will drive what to adopt, when to adopt, why to adopt, and how to adopt.  Expect leading organizations to reinvest in research budgets and internal processes that inform, disseminate, and prepare their organizations for an increasing pace in technology adoption.
    • Designing next generation business models. Disruptive technologies on their own will not provide the market leading advantages required for success. Leaders must identify where these technologies can create differentiation through new business models, grow new profit pools via new experiences, and deliver market efficiencies that save money and time.  Organizations will also have to learn how to fail fast, and move on to the next set of emerging ideas.
    • Funding innovation through legacy optimization. Leaders can expect budgets to remain from flat to incremental growth in 2011. As a result, much of the disruptive technology and next generation business models must be funded through optimizing existing investments. Leaders not only must reduce the cost of existing investments, but also, leverage existing infrastructure to achieve the greatest amount of business value.

    More…