Posts Tagged ‘social business software’

Event Report: The Evolution And Maturation of @Tibbr at #Tucon2013, the Tibco User Conference

tibbr Continues To Show Momentum In Customer Adoption And Addition Of Key Enterprise Social Features

On October 14th to 17th 2013, the Tibbr enterprise social crowd mingled with the core Tibco faithful at this year’s TUCON 2013 user conference in Las Vegas.  (An analysis of the broader Tibco announcements can be found from my colleague Holger Mueller).  While the Tibbr team continues to build synergies with the core Tibco offering in Big Data, Events, Integration, and BPM, the Tibbr team also made key announcements that include:

  • tibbr crosses the 6.5M users adoption mark. The team announced paid user growth from 1.2M to 6.5M in over a year.  Distribution partnerships with Amazon Web Services (AWS), KPN, and T-Systems highlight future opportunities for growth.

    POV:
    The team’s partnerships and geographic expansion in Latin America and EMEA have paid off. With an entry point of $12 per user per month, 6.5M users represents a sizable growth in subscriber base, even after enterprise wide discounting.  Given the virality of successful enterprise social networks (ESN), tibbr could prove to be a key cross-sell lead gen for the rest of Tibco’s products.
  • tibbr Files and partnership with Huddle. tibbr Files allows customers to integrate with existing content and file systems such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Huddle, and SharePoint.  Users can access tibbr to view conversations, work on files, and collaborate through the tibbr interface.  the tibbr team announced its partnership with Huddle at Tucon 2013.

    Point of View (POV):
    Customers have been clamoring for more out of the box integration options to unify content repositories.  The partnership with Huddle is crucial for organizations that rely on Huddle’s security mechanisms.  In tibbr, users retain their security, permissions, and versions when accessing Huddle’s files.
  • tibbr Tasks. tibbr Tasks provides social task management capabilities.  Users can create tasks in process, track and update tasks via social channels, and manage a visual portfolio of tasks across all project management tools.

    POV:
    Tasks are a key requirement for supporting Purposeful Collaboration as described by colleague Alan Lepofsky. Many customers have deployed tibbr to unify disparate business processes.  The addition of tasks embedded in enterprise social will improve collaboration at the business process level.
  • tibbr Pages. The new pages product allows users to publish content within and outside the organization.  Pages also retains tibbr security rules.

    POV:
    The tibbr team takes a stab at the proliferation of Microsoft SharePoint kudzu with its own application.  By enabling users to find, publish, and share, the tibbr team adds another key tool to enabling content creation and collaboration for users.

Figure 1. The Tucon 2013 Scene and New Tibbr App Screen Shots



<iframe align=center src=http://www.flickr.com/slideShow/index.gne?user_id=35408001@N04&set_id=72157636735160435&detail=yes frameBorder=”0″ scrolling=no width=”600″ height=”500″></iframe>

Source: 2013 R Wang and Insider Associates. All rights reserved.

The Bottom Line: tibbr Emerge As A Key Player For Enterprise Social

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Research Summary: Demystifying Social Business – Optimizing the Lead to Deal Process (Sales)

Forward And Commentary

Constellation Research pioneered the complete set of front office and back office use cases for social business in 2010. This report provides insight into a key mega-area — lead to deal use cases. This best practices research report offers insight into two of Constellation’s primary research themes, the Next-Generation Customer Experience and the Consumerization of Information Technology/The New C-Suite.

A. Introduction

Social business initiatives have gained acceptance as a key driver in business innovation. Since 2010, organizations have experimented and successfully deployed social business initiatives across a variety of business processes. In Constellation’s recent 2013 survey of 237 social business adopters, more than a majority (57.8 percent) of the market leaders and fast follower respondents had moved from experimentation to scaling social business initiatives to match demand. This trend signifies the successful growth of social business across a number of use cases.

With over 50 use cases identified in the survey, organizations now have defined entry points to begin social business initiatives. Consequently, many businesses can learn from the experience of market leaders and fast followers. Constellation has curated eight mega-use cases for social business that cover key business processes such as:

  • Campaign to lead
  • Lead to deal
  • Incident to resolution
  • Kick off to delivery
  • Concept to production
  • Sourcing to acceptance
  • Hire to retire
  • Invoice to payment

This report focuses on the lead to deal mega-use case, which includes both traditional business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) situations such as territory management, collaborative selling, partner selling, crowdsourced intelligence, matrix commerce, save the deal and steal the deal. These use cases should provide a starting point for mapping out the sales journey.

B. Research Findings – As Adoption Progresses, Seven Major Use Cases Emerge for Sales Processes
The recent 2013 survey of 237 global social business adopters shows 57.8 percent of the market leaders and fast follower respondents scaling social business initiatives to match demand (see Figure 1). This shift from choosing the right go-forward platform in 2012 highlights a move from Level 3 (Evangelization) to Level 4 (Pervasiveness).  This first wave of people has started to see the benefits of social business initiatives and intends to scale them out throughout their organizations and value networks.  They have succeeded by finding executive sponsors, measuring metrics that matter and aligning with business processes.

Figure 1. Social Business Adoption Moves From Platform Consolidation to Scale

(right click to view image)

Seven Key Use Cases Emerge in Lead to Deal

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Tuesday’s Tip: It’s Time To Consolidate Social Business Platforms

Greater Adoption In Social Business Signifies A Move To Consolidate Platforms

Constellation’s buy-side clients tend to fit in the market leader or fast follower categories when it comes to organizational personas of disruptive technology adoption.  Since 2010, respondents have progressed through the DEEPR framework and the latest results from 2012 indicate that most survey respondents have moved to Level 3 (see Figure 1).  Changes between 2010 and 2012 show the following top three priority shifts as users move from Level 2 (Experimentation) to Level 3 (Evangelization):

  • The top challenge among respondents is choosing the right platform (63.8%) among the many inside an organization.
  • Over half (56.8%) of the respondents have incorporated social into business models.
  • Respondents fostering internal collaboration (53.5%) now must worry about adoption challenges.

Figure 1. Respondents Shift to Level 3 in DEEPR Framework for Social Business Adoption

The Bottom Line.  Its Time To Scale The Technology While Pushing Ahead On Innovation

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News Analysis: Adobe Behances The Creative Class With $150M Community Acquisition

Behance Empowers The Creative Cloud To Make Ideas Happen

On December 20th, 2012, Silicon Valley based Adobe Systems announced the acquisition of Behance, a digital portfolio and community site for creative professionals.  Constellation sources estimate the purchase price north of $150M.  Founded in 2006, the SoHo, New York based company raised 6.5M in May 2012 from Union Square Ventures prior to the acquisition.  The acquisition expands two key areas for the Adobe Customer Experience set of offerings:

  • 1. Empowers the creative class through connetivity. CEO and Founder of Behance, Scott Belsky noted that, “The creative industry has always been plagued with inefficiency and disorganization. But when we come together, we can use connectivity and transparency to our advantage. The prospect of using Adobe’s reach to connect the entire creative community is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to empower the creative world.”

    Point of View (POV):
    Behance is LinkedIn meets Pinterest for the creative class.  Since 2006, this people to people (P2P) driven creative community showcases and celebrates over 3 million projects and 30 million images.  A host of curated galleries, smartly designed iPhone apps, online store, and rich developer API power the community platform.  Among the design community, Behance is the dominant independent resource to showcase past projects.
  • 2. Expands creative and design market leadership.  Adobe provides the creative tools for design through Creative Suite.  Behance focuses on discovery, inspiration, and collaboration.  Scott Belsky stated “If the tools we use to create are connected with how we showcase and discover creative work, we can help usher in a new era of idea exchange and collaborative creation.  It’s about time our tools integrated with the way we discover, inspire and collaborate. For too long, the creative world has struggled with a disconnected creative process. Creation should be inherently collaborative – and must evolve more frequently than typical software upgrade cycles.”

    (POV):
    At this point in time, Creative Cloud has not enabled public sharing between clients and teams.  Yet, Behance changes this approach and supports public sharing.  Users will expect Adobe to integrate Behance with Adobe’s Creative Cloud starting with easier content sharing from Creative Cloud and Adobe apps.  If Adobe successfully integrates the two products, customers will win as the synergies should lead to the empowerment and enablement of creative meritocracy.

The Bottom Line: Adobe Ups The Ante In The Battle For Customer Experience

Adobe, IBM, and Oracle are in a three way horse race to dominate the customer experience management space.  Today Behance acquisition widens Adobe’s lead in the creative tools and communities space.  As Adobe expands in the marketing and design side of customer experience equation, IBM and Oracle focus on the process automation, analytics, and traditional execution areas of marketing and commerce.  Fortunately for the vendors and unfortunately for most customers, one can not purchase a complete suite from within one vendor.  Hence, customers will be working with a patchwork of solutions in order to deliver end to end customer experience and digital marketing transformation for the foreseeable future.  Early adopters and fast followers will pave the way while cautious adopters will wait or vendors to acquire and integrate the suite.

Your POV.

How are you showcasing your creative portfolio?   Where do you look for design inspiration? Do you have an idea what tools are more effective than others?  Will you still stay with Behance post More…

News Analysis: Spigit Buys CrowdCast To Corner Innovation Life Cycle Market

On September 18, 2012, Pleasanton, CA based Spigit, a social innovation vendor acquired Crowdcast, a San Francisco based social business intelligence pioneer for an undisclosed sum.  Crowdcast Founder/CEO Mat Fogarty and Chief Scientist Leslie Fine will join Spigit’s executive team as part of the acquisition. Crowdcast is backed by Menlo Ventures and Alsop Louie Partners.

Spigit, which has raised over $26M to date, brings 1200+ worldwide customers that can benefit from the Crowdcast offering.  Key customers include MetLife, American Express, Walmart, GE, Pepsico, Nike, Merck, Sprint, Farmers Insurance, CapGemini, and Warner Brothers.  Crowdcast customers include SAP, Boeing, Hershey’s, iARPA, and Electronic Arts.

This acquisition signifies larger trends for customers in the crowdsourcing and innovation market who:

  • Seek the ability to move from crowd sourced data to actionable decisions. Founded in 2007, Crowdcast allows companies to crowd source organizational knowledge and intelligence from employees and partners to improve decision making.  Crowdcast tracks and rewards employees for their accuracy in predictions.  Meanwhile, Spigit Engage provides the key tools  to match social collaboration with traditional work flow. Spigit ICON supports ideation via a question and answer format. As part of the agreement, Spigit will add four Crowdcast patents to its patent portfolio.

    Point of View (POV):
    Spigit’s core customers expect to move beyond social collaboration and ideation in isolation.  Spigit’s integration with Sharepoint, Yammer, Jive, and Facebook will expand the reach of these solutions through partnerships.  In addition, Spigit’s core offerings, Engage and ICON, support the innovation process from concept to execution while Crowdcast delivers innovation from post execution to prediction.  Pairing these two powerful capabilities closes the loop from data to decisions.  With informed people and processes, organizations can seek follow-through to decisions and actions from crowd sourced data.  Should the combined entity achieve integration, customers will achieve this end to end capability.
  • Expect to transform innovation from art to discipline.  As part of the agreement, Spigit will add all of Crowdcast’s patents to its portfolio.  The combination allows customers to take traditionally qualitative approaches and craft repeatable and quantifiable results.

    More…

Event Report: The Tweet Stream From #DF12

Enjoy the tweet stream from #DF12.  It’s all in here.

The Storify Tweet Stream

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Trends: The Battle For CMO Mind Share

Marketing and Advertising Budgets Are The New Land Grab

Constellation Research, Inc. predicts that the global advertising market (paid search, display, and classified) will hit $125B by 2015.   While IT budgets continue to stay flat, marketing budgets are up.  Warc’s recent Global Marketing Index (GMI) entered positive territory in March 2012.  Consequently, the heat up in marketing and advertising market attracts not only start-ups, but also tech vendors looking to enter this lucrative market.

Solution Providers Rediscover The CMO Budget

In just less than 28 months, enterprise software vendors have bolstered their presence with Chief Marketing Officers mostly through acquisitions and partnerships.  The goal – capture budgets allocated for digital creation, marketing automation and revenue optimization, advertising, CRM and customer experience, analytics, and information brokering (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.  The Battle For The CMO Budget Comes From Six Fronts

Why the change? Marketing sits at the cross roads between the old analog world and the new shift to digital transformation.  With each big shift, organizations will change what technologies they invest in, who they decide to partner with, and how quickly they will make the shift.  This new battle for CMO mind share started when IBM purchased Unica for $480M in August 13, 2010 (Figure 2).  The frenzied activity by Adobe, Dell, Eloqua, Google, Hubspot, Kana, Marketo, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAS Institute reflect the desire to be top of mind among CMO budgets.

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Tuesday’s Tip: Why Context Matters – Forget Real-Time, Achieve Right-Time

The Real-Time Hype Is Filled With Flaws

The hype around big data, social media, and mobility has many folks imagining the real-time enterprise in the future of work, next generation customer experiences, matrix commerce, or the data to decisions journey.  While real-time theoretically leads to quicker information and faster response times, the reality requires closer examination for three reasons:

  1. Customers and employees only want engagement aligned with self interest.  Relevancy of information is required for customers and employees to respond.  Real-time interactions quickly evolve into noise.  Signal to noise ratios must be improved as garbage in will lead to massive garbage out.  In some cases, customers don’t want engagement. They just want the experience.
  2. No human can truly handle the volume and flow of real-time interactions. The proliferation of channels and data sources creates a data deluge.  Filtering is required in order to handle real-time.  Workers already inundated with email, sms, and chats, really just want to get work done, they don’t want to be bogged down with more interactions.
  3. Real time is not fast enough. Real-time is reactive not proactive.  Anticipation and prediction emerge as key requirements.  Reaction does not lead to a better customer experience or employee interaction.  Some customers want options to make the right decision.  The same customers may expect a system to remember a preference based on many factors including repetitive behavior.

Delivering Context Is The Secret To Right Time Success

Context provides the key ingredient in improving outcomes. Why? Context provides the relevancy required for not only anticipation, but also prediction.  For example, offering a premium channel upsell to an upset cable customer when their cable is down, may not be the wisest idea.  Unfortunately, this happens too often.  The customer is already upset that the issues have not been resolved and yet the company is still trying to sell instead of resolve an issue.  However, offering a free appetizer triggered by a location based service during the morning commute, may lead to higher sales as this is a right time anticipation of a dinner time offer .

The Bottom Line: Start With Seven Dimensions of Context Drivers.

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Tuesday’s Tip: Dealing With The Real Problem In Social Business Adoption – The People!

Social Business Adoption Dependent On Employee Adoption

Social business is more than a technology decision.  Many eager early adopters face challenges in adoption past the initial core team.  As we move from eager early adopters to ubiquitous usage, an examination of some organizations who have failed at internal social business reveals five common barriers to adoption:

  1. Poorly defined incentives. In the rush to convince everyone to work with each other, most organizations fail to design meaningful incentives for adoption.  The reality – most folks collaborate only when they need to, not when they are told to.
  2. Increase in actual effort. For many in the workforce, collaboration often means more work, not less work.  Connectedness results in more interactions, some less meaningful than others.  Increase in effort often shifts the status quo resulting in internal resistance.
  3. Lack of choice in user experience. Time and time, people want to use the tool they are most comfortable with.  For example, activity streams make sense for some folks who are used to high frequency, always on, information flows.  However, those accustomed to using email as a task list and structured approach to filing information will find discomfort with activity streams.
  4. Indifference to change. Inertia to do nothing often outweighs the calls for change.  The workforce often prefers to do things the way they always have been.  The workforce has seen many changes and at this point face change fatigue.
  5. Failure to communicate the urgency.  Business model shifts are not easy to communicate to the workforce.  Veteran employees often develop coping mechanisms that define the new change as a reincarnation of the old change without understanding the nuance or urgency.

Overcoming Barriers Of Adoption Require A Mix of New and Classical Change Management Techniques

Despite compelling benefits to achieve better collaboration among teams, improved engagement among the workforce, and faster speed of internal communication, adoption efforts require careful design.  As with any organizational change, it’s the people, stupid!  The five barriers can be countered with the following five strategies (see Figure 1.): More…

Monday’s Musing: Avoiding Social Media Fatigue Through Engagement

Social Media Moves From Ubiquitous Usage To Relevant Rationalization

Have we hit a social media plateau?  In recent client conversations on usage of social media, the trendsetters appear to be “socialed out”.   Most early adopters seem to be overwhelmed with their personal (Facebook, Google+), corporate (Yammer, Jive, Chatter, SharePoint), and professional (LinkedIn) social networks.  In fact, respondents feel that adding any additional network for anything social is quite overwhelming.  While early adopters are moving from ubiquitous usage to relevant rationalization, the majority remains in ubiquitous usage (see Figure 1).  Recent data on number of users at the Big 4 of social media show that we are in the middle of ubiquitous usage:

  • Facebook (901M users as of Feb 2012)
  • Twitter (500M users as of March 2012)
  • LinkedIn (161M users as of March 2012)
  • Google+ (100M users as of Feb 2012)

Early Adopters Facing Social Media Fatigue

As early adopters start rationalizing their networks, some are even pulling out.  From loss of interest in Google+, Empire Avenue, to even FaceBook, people have started to selectively choose networks to combat overload and social media fatigue.  The common theme – relevant rationalization by self-interest.   These trends parallel those for mail, phone, email, web and other disruptive technologies.  Going forward, users will move towards desensitization when the advertisers and companies abuse the channel by spamming users with an unwanted deluge of irrelevant offers.

The Bottom Line: Engage Users To Combat Fatal Fatigue In The Disruptive Tech Adoption Life Cycle

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Friday’s Features: Using Attensity Analyze 6.0 To Compare Customer Sentiment For @united @southwestair @virginamerica

A Travelers’ Tale of Two Airlines (@united vs @southwestair)

A hurried shower, followed by a hastily packed bag.  Then, the race to the taxi stand (Figure 1).  Should be easy to get a cab at 5:45 am in Las Vegas, right? Only the late night crew roll into a casino this late or early in the morning on a Tuesday.  Who’d be flying out so early?  So much for that theory.  A line forms 50 deep outside. Eveyone is half asleep, and headed to McCarran – Las Vegas airport from Caesar’s Palace at 5:30 am.  I figure Southwest 2286 takes off at 6:25 am, should be plenty of time.  I keep consoling myself.  At 5:50, I get into my cab. I instruct the driver not to take the freeway and to go local.

Figure 1. Just Another Day At The Las Vegas Taxi Stand

I get to the self-service kiosk to check in. I get the dreaded <DING!>.  I’m told my bag will be checked late and it could risk being sent on a later flight.  At 6:00, I’ve missed all normal cut-off windows.  Most airlines cut you off at 30 minutes prior and I am really late.  I’m ready to accept my fate.  I’m ready to be told to get on the next flight.  Strangely enough, the gate agent notices that I’m late and does everything to hurry me on-board.  She tells me that there is a chance my bag won’t make it but they’ll do their best.  She kindly reminds me check-in is 30 minutes prior and suggests I take another security entrance to improve my odds of passing through TSA in time.  She also lets me know that she’s told the gate agent I may be late.  I finally get through TSA and get to the gate with 2 minutes to spare.  The aircraft door isn’t closed. In fact, it’s open and waiting for me to board. I hop on, pass out, and arrive in San Jose.  In some modern day miracle, the bag also has arrived with me.  I thank the travel gods.

Flash back one week earlier, the same morning sequence occurs in Las Vegas.  This time with rental car in tow, I head to the rental car return center at 4:00am for a 5:30 am flight.  A staffing issue occurs with the “consolidated rental center transportation” and no buses arrive until 4:30 am.  I think to myself, I still have time.  I rush to catch United Airlines 479 to San Francisco.  The bus arrives at 4:45 am.  I rush to the kiosk and arrive for check-in at 4:47 am.  The kiosk tells me to see an agent. I wait another 3 minutes in the uber premium line (a.k.a. Global Services).   The agent looks at my ticket and tells me in a stern and disapproving voice, I have to wait for the next flight which is at 11:49 am.

I flash my Global Services card in a last ditch attempt for empathy.  The agent tells me that policy is policy.  United can’t check me in as I miss the cut-off.  She tells me that I should know better and come to the airport earlier.  The Las Vegas airport is so big, the bag would never get to the plane on time.  They won’t let me take off without my bag.   There’s no point in arguing at this point. I have a speech at 11:00 am to get to.  I rush over to the Southwest counter to find the next flight.  The agent asks me what’s wrong. I tell her I need to get on the 6:30 am.  She says, no problem.  I give her all the details and she issues me a ticket in 5 minutes.  I make it to the keynote but I’m very bitter about United and how they have treated me.  I was a happy Continental flyer before the merger, you can read all about it here.

Social Data Quantifies Qualitative Experiences – United Ranks Last Among The Three Carriers

By now, most folks have seen what happened when “United Breaks Guitars“, the tale of an awful customer experience for Dave Carroll who had his guitar broken.  When the airline failed to take responsibility, he took to the web.   With over 11.9M views as of this blog post, this social media epic fail epitomizes what happens when companies ignore their customers and shirk responsibility for resolving legitimate complaints.  But what happens when an airline completely chooses to ignore social media as a channel? Do customers go away? Do they just jump to another channel?  Are these social analytics tools reflective of the general customer base?

Using Attensity Analyze 6.0, a comparison was made among the three airlines.  We selected two best in class low cost carriers (i.e. Southwest Airlines and Virgin America) and United Airlines to answer this question (Figure 1).  Analyze 6.0 took 12,863 public comments from Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums (user forums, discussion forums, LinkedIn Answers, etc) YouTube videos, mainstream news and more to gather this data (see Figure 2).

Figure 1. Twitter Accounts For The Three Airlines

Figure 2.  Attensity’s Analyze 6.0 In Action With Feedback Analysis On Three Select Airlines More…

Event Report: Questions Every #SAPPHIRENOW Attendee Should Be Asking SAP

SAP’s In The Midst Of Massive Transformation

Just four years ago, nervous attendees dealt with a tumultuous global market entering financial crisis.  SAP’s management team decided to raise maintenance fees to shore up its margins amidst a drought of innovation.  Customers revolted en masse.  Policies changed due to user group and global influencer pressure.  Less than 18 months later, a defiant CEO resigned and a new management team resolved to improve relationships with key customers and address the lack of product innovation.

Fast forward to 2012, SAP’s acquired its way into innovation with BI/analytics (Business Objects), mobile (Sybase), cloud and HR (SuccessFactors), and a tiny bit of Social (SuccessFactors Cube Tree) (See Figure 1.).  SAP HANA serves as the foundation for the future product line.  SAP’s experimenting with consumer apps such as Recalls+.  Innovation in R&D shifts from the star building fortresses of Walldorf to agile tech hubs in TelAviv, Palo Alto, Vancouver, Bangalore, and Shanghai.  From the outside view, SAP’s placed long term bets in innovation on its road to 1B users.  The growth in market cap from €30.9B in 2008 to €57.8B (as of 5/11/2012) reflects this perception by the financial community.  Has SAP succeeded where other software vendors have failed during massive periods of transition?

Figure 1. SAP Covers Three Out Of Five Innovation Pillars In The Consumerization of IT

Customers Have Reason To Remain Cautious Of SAP’s Ability To Execute

From a customers point of view, the verdict remains mixed.  Loyal customers have seen a series of failures from SAP over the past decade as it attempts to make the shift and claim innovation.  Most industry observers would agree that SAP’s made significant investments in innovation.  However, the results of organic innovation have mostly failed from products to services.   A review of the past decade shows four proof points:

  1. Delays in the next, next, next, no make that the next version of R/3. For those waiting for the latest version of ERP, the core product will probably show up late to mid decade.  Maintenance plans call for end of support in 2020 which means SAP plans a product between now and 2018 at the latest.  Customers seeking deeper industry functionality now turn to system integrators who build the user exits and customizations required to continue business.  Meanwhile, the market for third party SAP products has never been stronger.  A string of SaaS vendors have emerged to address the “edge applications” in incentive comp, talent management, pricing, travel and expense, collaboration, and marketing automation that SAP previously ignored.  Some of these “edge vendors” such as Salesforce.com have emerged as billion dollar companies creating new markets.  Yet, after several product chiefs and a decade of trying, SAP applications still lack common data models (e.g. there are at least 8 in use), common interfaces, and common process models.   The much hailed enhancement packages delivering “timeless” software require slightly less work than previous upgrades but still require a lot of planning, testing, time, and money.
  2. Clearly a confusing cloudy cloud strategy awaiting partly sunny skies. Business by design still has not achieved the tens of thousands of customers by 2010 when it was announced.  At best, SAP has a bit over 1000 live customers.  Customers who use the ByD product have mostly expressed positive comments and have seen the benefits of the OnDemand based approach.  The distribution of the product to the masses and incentivization of sales execution remains challenging to a country club, shake-hands, relationship sales culture.  Meanwhile, a series of well designed, and compelling products from the SAP OnDemand for Large Enterprise initiatives remain under marketed, and in some cases late to market.  Timing could not have been worse as the SuccessFactors acquisition has clouded the cloud strategy.  Customers seek cost effective, heterogeneous, integration options from their on-premises core to the cloud options.  SAP still has to deliver on an integration framework customers find cost effective and can trust.
  3. Never so easy, NetWeaver remains hard to use, rigid at best. Various attempts at an SAP middleware have finally made headway. The solutions now include an ABAP version and a Java version.  Previous versions remained hard to use, complicated to maintain, and confusing for the developer ecosystem and the system integrators.  Recent UI improvements help IT leaders convince business customers that they can ease back into SAP.  Everything does look better in an iPad, including SAP.  Sybase’s mobile platform replaces a failed and feeble attempt at NetWeaver mobile.  Many customers begrudgingly use NetWeaver and something else.   That something else – well, it’s typically 1/2 or 1/4 the cost.
  4. Great new maintenance offerings, low user acceptance due to sales not service offering. SAP’s made considerable effort to improve its maintenance offerings with new programs and offers to lower the cost of ownership.  Each offer considers the lifecycle of ownership and shows great care and craft in creation.  While most customers show initial interest, the sales process attempts to tie maintenance offers into new professional service revenue instead of reducing the overall spend with SAP.  Because customers mostly see ERP now as a legacy infrastructure, CIO’s intend to drive cost out not invest more in.  Hence, many customers consider  a move to third party maintenance options and SAP optimization solutions.

The track record remains mixed.  Customers remain cautions.

What Clients Want From ERP Seems Confusing At First

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