Posts Tagged ‘SaaS’

News Analysis: Gainsight Spring 2014 Release Targets Large Enterprises Making The Transition To #DigitalBiz

Customer Success Management Pioneer Adds Key Functionality For March 2014 Release

On March 18th, Mountain View, CA based Gainsight announced the Spring 2014 release of its customerssuccess management platform.  Led by CEO Nick Mehta, the cloud software vendor has received over $29M in funding from key investors such as Bain Capital, Battery Ventures, Capital Innovators, Cultivation Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, and Summit Partners.  In addition to the latest release, the company added two industry veterans Sherif Botros from SAP as Chief Data Scientist and Puja Ramani from Facebook as Director of Product Management and Analytics.

Five key features designed for the largest of enterprises were announced for the Gainsight Spring 2014 release and include:

  • Support for sponsor tracking with LinkedIn and InsideView. New feature takes contacts listed in a client’s CRM system and monitors status changes in InsideView and Linkedin.  Known as Gainsight Sponsor Tracking, the feature also adds relevant news, events, and CRM intelligence.  These additional, external data points factor into a holistic customer health score that includes usage, support, engagement, and and other relationship health metrics.

    Point of View (POV):
    A top root cause for churn is an executive sponsor’s departure.  The automated system serves as an early warning indicator when status changes for key contacts to help provide the advantage of time and insight when protecting renewals and future upsell.  The feature also locates potential advocate or customers to on board.
  • Delivery of a Salesforce1 mobile app .  The Gainsight Salesforce1 Mobile App integrates natively with Salesforce (see Figure 1).   The Gainsight offering allows users access on Android and iOS phones and tablets.  Alerts, tasks, customer health data, and survey feedback are integrated with Salesforce system data.

    (POV):
    Mobility tops this year’s list of key enabling digital technologies in almost every Constellation survey.   Customers can take advantage of in-between and wait times to update customer health and fill notes via the application.  Many existing customers expect that this feature will improve team productivity from 10 to 25%.

Figure 1. Gainsight Delivers a Native Integration To Salesforce1

  • Release of  Gainsight Success Snapshots. As a new data visualization publishing feature, the solution helps clients build and publish data filled presentations, executive updates, and QBR reports.  Users can populate presentations with customer queries or templated reports.

    (POV):
    Customers seek not only good reporting tools, but also consumer grade user experience and ease of use. Data visualization tools play a key role in effectively democratizing the data to decision process among stakeholders championing customer success.

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…

News Analysis: Zuora Raises $50M Series E Round, Rides #MatrixCommerce Wave

Zuora Rides The Wave In The Subscription Economy

On September 5th, 2013, Foster City, CA based Zuora, announced $50 million in Series E capital.  The announcement has significant ramifications not only for Zuora’s self proclaimed subscription economy category, but also the broader business theme of matrix commerce because Zuora:

  • Expanded the investor pool. Zuora successfully added Next World Capital, Northgate Capital and Vulcan Capital to existing investors.  Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Tenaya Capital, Workday founder and co-CEO Dave Duffield and Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com all contributed to the existing round.

    Point of View (POV):
    The quality of the investment round and the amount indicate significant affirmation that the subscription economy thesis carries a gravitas among the A-list of Silicon valley investors and angels.   With $132.5M in funds raised to date, Zuora is sitting on tremendous amounts of cash from fundraising.  While Zuora could wait well into 2014 for an additional round, the move to raise additional capital will provide Zuora with an advantage over any new entrants or potential direct competitors.  Buyers can expect Zuora to be around for quite some time.
  • Added new board members with deep experiences. CEO and founder Tien Zuo adds Abhishek Agrawal of Vulcan Capital and Craig Hanson of Next World Capital to the board.

    Point of View (POV):
    Craig Hanson  brings significant experience in mergers and acquisitions of late stage and public companies.  Successful acquisitions include MXLogic, LeftHand Networks, NexGen Storage, Nimsoft, PSS Systems, and SenSage.  Abhishek Agrawal brings deep consumer experience from his General Atlantic heritage including Alibaba Gropu, Bazaarvoice, Dice, Facebook, Gilt Groupe, and Network solutions.  Buyers can expect more expertise in supporting vertical markets.  Buyers can expect new partnerships and entry into new geographies.
  • Demonstrated continued growth in a new market category. Since 2007, Zuora’s core solution provides subscription commerce, billing, and finance solutions for pay-as-you-go pricing models.   The 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 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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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:

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Monday’s Musings: Understand The Four Organizational Personas Of Disruptive Tech Adoption

Pace of Innovation Exceeds Ability To Consume

Rapid innovation, flexible deployment options, and easy consumption models create favorable conditions for the proliferation of disruptive technology.  In fact, convergence in the five pillars of enterprise disruption (i.e. social, mobile, cloud, big data, and unified communications), has led to new innovations and opportunities to apply disruptive technologies to new business models.  New business models abound at the intersection of cloud and big data, social and mobile, social and unified communications, and cloud and mobile.

Unfortunately, most organizations are awash with discovering, evaluating, and consuming disruptive technologies.  Despite IT budgets going down from 3 to 5% year over year, technology spending is up 18 to 20%.  Why?  Amidst constrained budgets, resources, and time limits, executives are willing to invest in disruptive technology to improve business outcomes.  Consequently, successful adoption is the key challenge in consuming this torrent of innovation.  This rapid pace of change and inability to consume innovation detract organizations from the realization of business value.

Organizations Fall Into Four Personas Of  Disruptive Technology Adoption

A common truism in the industry is “Culture trumps technology”.  As organizations apply methodologies such as Constellation’s DEEPR Framework in improving adoption, leaders must first determine which of the four personas best fits their organization’s appetite for consuming and innovating with disruptive technologies.

The personas of disruptive technology adoption assess organizational culture in two key axes (see Figure 1).  The first is how incremental or transformational an organization looks at applying disruptive technology to business models.  The second assesses how proactive or reactive an organization is in carrying out new initiatives.  Based on these dimensions, the four personas include:

  1. Market leaders. Market leaders prefer to drive transformational innovation.  They look at technologies as enablers in disrupting business models.  They see competitive differentiation in delivering outcomes to customers. Market leaders accept failure as part of the innovation process.  They fail fast and move on.
  2. Fast followers. Fast followers prefer to react to the success of market leaders and their experiments.  When they sense success, they tend to jump in.  Fast followers do not like to fail and rapidly apply lessons learned from market leaders into their road maps.  Fast followers tend to deliver scale in the markets as a counter balance to arriving later in the market.
  3. Cautious adopters. Cautious adopters proactively deliver incremental innovation.  They tend to take a more measured approach and spend more time studying how they can improve an existing success than creating a transformational change.  Cautious adopters often come from regulated industries where security and safety are paramount objectives.
  4. Laggards. Laggards tend to procrastinate on applying innovations to their business models.  They prefer not be bothered by trends and will only react when the trends have moved beyond mainstream.  They see value in waiting as prices will drop over time as success rates increase over time.  Laggards enjoy waiting.

During the interviews and discussions with the 2012 Constellation SuperNova award participants, key questions emerged in the decision process on whether to adopt or pass on a disruptive technologies.  These questions aligned well with the four personas of disruptive technology adoption.

Figure 1.  Organizations Should Understand Which Persona Of Disruptive Tech Adoption Describes Them Best

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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

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Event Report: Dreamforce X (#DF12) Emerges As The South By Southwest (#SXSW) For The Enterprise

Dreamforce Represents The Mecca For The “Art Of The Possible” In The Enterprise

Whether Salesforce.com’s flagship conference at Moscone Center was the most attended conference (~48,000) or the most registered for event (~90,000), matters not.  When examined in context of the magnitude of what was accomplished, the impact of this 10th annual event transcends attendance numbers.  Business folks and the converted IT brethren converged on the week of  September 18th, 2012, to see what the future could be inside the enterprise.  They left with inspiration and the gospel of what was possible, as told by those before them.  The event represented the intersection of where aspiration meets innovation for the enterprise.

Key takeaways from interviews with over 100 attendees reflect the following trends:

  • Attendee sentiment signals the return of the front office.  Prior to the coining of the CRM term, front office was the term which defined marketing, service, eCommerce, and sales force automation.  The move back to integrated customer experiences reflects a renewed interest in all the front office touch points and all the support in the back office required to support the customer experience.  Attendees walked in with questions about how to integrate their legacy ERP and expose their transactional systems into the front office.
  • Customers seek knowledge and case studies on business transformation. Delegations arrived to see how they could change their business.  Most came with both business and IT to learn from the best practices of others.  Almost every customer case study session was packed and common questions revolved around, “How did you do that?”
  • Product announcements and pre-announcements bring the enterprise closer to the consumer experience. Pre-announcement of Salesforce Identity for Winter 2013 will provide users with Facebook-like single sign on and identity management services.  The availability of the Touch Platform services will provide a write once, deploy anywhere touch based mobile UI Experience.  The pre-announcement of the Force.com Canvas provides a UI layer to run any other application within the Salesforce.com environment.  The App Exchange Checkout delivers out of the box billing for developers and improves the users app store experience.  Geolocation capabilities in the pilot of database.com in the Winter 2013 release will improve mobile experiences.  Chatter communities pilot in Fall of 2012 and pre-announcement addresses the issue of multiple group management.
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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

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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!

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