Posts Tagged ‘Software as a Service’

News Analysis: Kana Express 13 Addresses Omni-Channel Customer Service for Mid-Market

Just 14 months after announcing the acquisition of Trinicom, Kana has revealed the latest release of its cloud customer service suite for the mid-market, Kana Express.   Released on June 27, 2013, the new product reflects the company’s mission “To provide leading customer service solutions that empower our customers to create experiences that count, for their customers wherever they engage”.

Key features in the release include:

  • Advanced analytics and reporting. Kana Express features improved trend analysis, performance reporting, and forecasting.  Personalization has been improved and new reporting options include an easy to use custom dashboard designer.

    Point of View (POV):
    Analytics and reporting is often an after thought in design for mid-market solutions.  Key reports such as contact flux, cockpits, and customer monitors provide not only information, but insight into what the next best action could be.  The custom dashboard designer enables easy creation of visualizations and filtering of data by dimensions.
  • Anytime, anywhere, access. Improvements in access include mobile device usage, Section 508 disability compliance, and internationalization capabilities.  Support for 30 languages out of the box, user defined time zones, double-byte character sets, and international address validation add to a list of features supporting international business requirements .

    Point of View (POV):
    Prospects will most likely flock to the eye candy features of mobile support for device and screen readers.  However, the internationalization efforts close the gap between large expensive enterprise solutions and what mid-market solutions traditionally offered.  Constellation sees this as an immediate win for companies with an international footprint but not an international budget.
  • Improved browser based user experience. Kana Express supports Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari browsers.  Additional enhancements include support for live chat, contextual next best options, and real-time access to the knowledge base.

    Point of View (POV):
    Agents can tailor the new UI and personalize to their preferences, reducing click throughs and improving productivity.  One powerful feature is the ability to automatically present contextual knowledge such as a related topic, interaction history information, or external system data.

Figure 1. Kana Express Screenshots Show New User Experience and Improved Accessability


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 can be purchased through Constellation Research, Inc. To request official reprints in PDF format, please contact sales (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com.


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.


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’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 Canvas provides a UI layer to run any other application within the 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 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.
  • 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 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


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


Research Summary: Best Practices – Three Simple Software Maintenance Strategies That Can Save You Millions

Forward And Commentary

Software ownership costs continue to escalate as vendors accelerate their efforts to capture support and maintenance revenues. Some vendors have gone to the extreme to eliminate third-party options for their customers. This best practices report examines three strategies to free up unnecessary costs to fund innovation and new projects.

A. Introduction

On average, IT budgets are down from 1-5 percent year-over-year, yet software support and maintenance costs continue to escalate ahead of inflation. Hence, continued pressure on IT budgets and a growing need for innovation projects have top business and technology leaders reexamining their software support and maintenance contracts for cost efficiencies.

Based on experience from over 1500 software contract negotiations, Constellation suggests three approaches to reduce the cost of software support and maintenance. Key strategies include third-party maintenance, shelfware reductions and unbundling maintenance contracts as part of every organization’s tech optimization strategy. Successful implementation can lead to savings from 10-25 percent of the IT budget, freeing up cash to fund innovation initiatives.

B. Research FindingsWhy Every Organization Should Consider Third-Party Maintenance, Shelfware Reductions and Unbundling Maintenance Contracts

Most organizations suffocate from the high and hidden cost of support and maintenance. On average, Constellation’s surveys reveal global IT budgets trending down from 1-5 percent year-over-year since 2008. Consumerization of IT, rapidly changing business models, and aging infrastructure have exposed the high cost of software support and maintenance. Because most organizations allocate from 60-85 percent of their budget to keeping the lights on, very little of the budget is left to spend on new projects (see Figure 1).

Organizations can unlock millions by considering third-party maintenance (3PM), reducing shelfware, and keeping support and maintenance contracts unbundled. Each strategy on its own creates opportunities to drive cost savings. All three strategies combined, provide a roadmap for funding innovation.

  1. Third-party maintenance (3PM) delivers the most immediate cost savings and opportunity for innovation. Third-party maintenance describes support and maintenance offerings delivered by non-OEM providers. These vendors can provide a range of options from basic break/fix to bug fixes, performance optimization, tax and regulatory updates, and customization support. Keep in mind, 3PM does not provide access to upgrades and future versions of the OEM’s product. One big driver is the lower cost of delivery, as much as half the cost of the original vendor’s pricing.  The report shows a survey of 268 respondents and why organizations choose 3PM and who the key vendors are.
  2. Reduction of shelfware remains a key pillar in legacy optimization strategies.  Shelfware (i.e. purchased software, not deployed, but incurring annual maintenance fees) is one of the biggest drains on operational expenses for enterprises. The simple definition of shelfware is software you buy and don’t use. For example, an organization that buys 1000 licenses of Vendor X’s latest ERP software and uses 905 licenses, becomes the proud owner of 95 licenses not being utilized. That’s 95 licenses of shelfware because the user will pay support and maintenance on the license whether or not they use the software or not.  The report details 4 successful and proven approaches.
  3. Unbundling maintenance contracts prevents future vendor mischief. About a decade back, vendors would offer support and maintenance as two separate line items on their contracts. Support would run about 5-10 percent of the license fee and so would maintenance. Keep in mind, average support and maintenance fees were under 15 percent back then. Unfortunately, many users have expressed a growing and concerning trend with support and maintenance contracts. Vendors concerns about support and maintenance contract retentions have led to new initiatives to consolidate contracts. At first glance, this may appear to be proactive and beneficial to customers, but the report details three rationales vendors provide and three strategies how to avoid bundling.

Figure 1. Visualizing the High Costs of Support And Maintenance

(Right-click to see full image)


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 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.

    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!


Executive Profiles: Disruptive Tech Leaders In Cloud Computing – Brad Smith, Intuit

Welcome to an on-going series of interviews with the people behind the technologies in Cloud Computing.  The interviews  provide insightful points of view from a customer, industry, and vendor perspective.  A full list of interviewees can be found here.

Brad Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Intuit


Brad Smith became Intuit’s president and chief executive officer in January 2008, culminating a five-year rise through the company where he successfully led several of its major businesses. Intuit is a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, financial institutions, consumers and accounting professionals, and is consistently ranked as one of the most-admired software companies and best places to work.

As the company marked its 25th anniversary in 2008, Smith celebrated the past while creating a strategic vision that recognizes important market shifts that will serve as growth catalysts for Intuit’s future. Among the most significant trends is the accelerating shift to a “connected services” world, where people and businesses increasingly go online to manage their lives, and abandon the traditional paper-based, human-produced, brick-and-mortar bound services of the past. Intuit is uniquely positioned to take advantage of these trends and help drive the shift to a connected services economy.

In the midst of this change, Intuit’s mission remains enduring: To be a premier innovative growth company that improves its customers’ financial lives so profoundly that they can’t imagine going back to the old way. The company’s strategy builds on this sense of purpose and foundation of success, while capitalizing on the current market shifts to accelerate Intuit’s business performance.

Before being named CEO, Smith was senior vice president and general manager of Intuit’s Small Business Division. Appointed to this position in May 2006, Smith was responsible for the company’s small business division which included the portfolio of QuickBooks, Quicken and Payroll products, serving 7 million small businesses. Before moving to the small business division, he led the company’s Consumer Tax Group in San Diego from March 2004 through May 2005. The group produces TurboTax, the nation’s leading consumer tax preparation software.

Smith joined the company in February 2003 as the vice president and general manager of Intuit’s Accountant Central and Developer Network in Plano, Texas. Previously, he was senior vice president of marketing and business development at ADP. Smith also held various sales, marketing and general management positions with Pepsi, Seven-Up and Advo, Inc.

Smith earned his master’s degree in management from Aquinas College in Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marshall University in West Virginia.

The Interview

1. Tell me in 2 minutes or less why Cloud Computing is changing the world for your customers

Brad Smith (BS):

Ray this plays in our favor. We see the old paper-based, human produced bricks and mortar economy quickly shifting to connected services. As you get more devices in people’s hand and the digital generation coming of age growing up with PlayStations, iPods, and iPads, the shift is inevitable. People are going online to manage their lives. Here are some interesting anecdotes:

Historically our challenge with small businesses was getting them out of a shoe box. Now you have more and more of small businesses starting up. They see opportunities to save time and money. We have one million customers on SaaS solutions in small business. Customers gain a tremendous win. They get better value in terms of the ability to discover additional products and services, and they get anytime access online or with a mobile device. Overall, they gain a higher lifetime value for their customers.

Take the tax business, 75% of the filings are online. The fastest growing product for us is Intuit Online Payroll. Everything is happening in the mobile phone. Our customers preference is that they want data in the cloud, and they want to have proof that it’s secure. They want to, and can get access to multiple devices, anytime and anywhere. This is transforming our customers and their lives.

2. What makes cloud computing disruptive?

(BS): This is where I’ll give you 3 anchor points:

1. From a social perspective cloud allows a massive base of users and employees to get involved to create the value. I’ll talk about Brainstorm.  Two of our newer employees, Tad and Vlad, identified that we had a problem. Employees had lots of great ideas but they didn’t necessarily go anywhere because people didn’t know about them. So they invented a tool called Brainstorm. It’s a tool for employees to log ideas, comment on ideas, find ideas to work on, and mobilize teams to implement. We now can answer each other’s questions. Brainstorm allows us to collaborate in 60 cities. This used to happen only in a conference room. Since its launch, employee contribution has fueled more than 5,500 ideas which have materialized into nearly 250 new products or features that have been launched in the commercial market.

2. From a mobility point of view, here’s what’s opening up our eyes. Six billion people in the world and two billion have access on the PC but guess what? Five billion are walking around with a phone. This is crossing the digital divide. We’ve got a whole new set of services for people who didn’t have access. For years we’ve had a vision since Scott bought TurboTax – the 10 minute tax return. Now, 60% of Americans can use their iPhone, take a picture of their W-2, and in the 1040 EZ we can pull the info off the picture and pull it into the return. This is SnapTax. Isn’t that amazing? Mobile also allows us to use sensory capability and GPS for helping someone find the right deal. Take a picture of a receipt and it’s loaded in QuickBooks. We now redefine how data is entered for the customer.

3. From a global view, it’s so much easier to take a service to multiple countries and localize the offering to meet a customer’s needs. Cloud enables both social contribution and user contribution. Cloud makes it easier for us to provide services a customer wants. Mobile, tablet, and iPad can easily access the data in the cloud.

Cloud is changing business models, reaching a broader array of customers and enabling them to participate in the process.

3. What is the next big thing in Cloud Computing?

(BS): Ray, cloud computing is about putting the power of data at the center. Two key components drive the next big thing – privacy and security of that data. You have to trust and earn the trust of the customer to do things that benefit them. Companies like LinkedIn and Facebook are trying to learn how and what the right way to use this kind of information. The first point is ensuring the stewardship of the data.

The second point is how do you use this data to create more customer value? One example is what we’ve done for the QuickBooks franchise- in particular; QuickBooks Online trends for small businesses. A four person florist in Boston can now compare their cost of goods and see whether or not they have a better or worse performance with a similar business in another city. It can be lonely as a small business owner without having someone to talk to. One powerful way to improve customer value is to take the data, aggregate it, and anonymize it. One of the big things we’re focusing on right now is, can we get to a unique and common identity so that we can find all this information for you and we can know who you are and all the different pieces of your life and treat it with the right privacy.

4. What are you doing that’s disruptive for Cloud Computing?


Tuesday’s Tip: Five Cloud/SaaS Contract Negotiation Tips For 2012

Business Leaders Often Poorly Prepared For Cloud/SaaS Contract Negotiations

Business leaders often take great care in building their Cloud and SaaS strategy, only to have many of the benefits of flexibility and agility hampered by overlooking details in their cloud contracts.   In conversations with over 200 cloud customers in 2011, key reasons include:

  • A common belief that SaaS and Cloud contracts are simple
  • Lack of software contract negotiations and procurement experience
  • Failure to review previous departmental contracts now in renewal mode
  • Limited access to SaaS and Cloud contract expertise

Avoid These Common Mistakes In Cloud Contracts

While SaaS/Cloud contracts are considerably less complicated, buyers should remember that even Cloud/SaaS software contracts still require some careful planning.  Lessons learned from over 1200 software contract negotiations highlight five common mistakes made in cloud contracts.

  1. Blindly including support costs with the contract. While Cloud/SaaS contracts automatically bundle maintenance and updates into the subscriptions, customers often do not realize that they do not have to buy support.  In fact, vendors are not allowed to require customers to buy support with subscription.  Avoid going for the highest level support upon initial contract signing.  This option can always be added at a later date.
  2. Failure to negotiate flex up provisions. Most contracts begin with a small number of users in a departmental setting.  However as usage grow, most enterprises just add additional users without securing upfront discounts potentially leaving 1000′s of dollars on the table.  In contracts, remember to secure discounts for 2x, 3x, and 4x, your initial usage.
  3. Forgetting to negotiate flex down. As with securing discounts for adding usage, the true test of elasticity occurs when companies flex down usage.  Negotiate the ability to reduce usage by 10%, 20%, and 30% without incurring penalties.
  4. Paying upfront without a discount. While many Cloud/SaaS vendors prefer annual agreements and annual payment upfront, savvy Cloud/SaaS buyers prefer to pay in more frequent cycles such as monthly and quarterly.  Should a Cloud/SaaS provider seek upfront payment, negotiate a discount commensurate to your hurdle rate.
  5. Not trading refrenceability for success. Customers often jump at the ability to serve as a referenceable client without ensuring that the software has been deployed.  Agree to serve as a reference only after the software has been deployed.  One common strategy, trade referenceability for prioritization of key features into the next release.

As Cloud/SaaS contracts emerge as the norm, buyers should keep abreast of other changes.  Stay tuned for the 2012 Cloud/SaaS Customer Bill of Rights to be published Q1 2012.

Your POV.

Need help with your software contract?  Contact us throughout the vendor selection process.  We can help with a quick contract review or even the complete vendor selection.  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.

How can we assist?

Buyers, do you need help with your apps strategy and vendor management strategy?  Trying to figure out how to infuse innovation into your tech strategy? Ready to put the expertise of over 1200 software contract negotiations to work?  Give us a call!

Please let us know if you need help with your next gen apps strategy efforts. Here’s how we can help:

  • Providing contract negotiations and software licensing support
  • Evaluating SaaS/Cloud options
  • Assessing apps strategies (e.g. single instance, two-tier ERP, upgrade, custom dev, packaged deployments”
  • Designing innovation into end to end processes and systems
  • Comparing SaaS/Cloud integration strategies
  • Assisting with legacy ERP migration
  • Engaging in an SCRM strategy
  • Planning upgrades and migration
  • Performing vendor selection

Related Resources And Links

20100419 Tuesday’s Tip: Dealing With Pesky Software Licensing Audits

20090714 Research Summary: An Enterprise Software Licensee’s Bill of Rights, V2

20101214 Tuesday’s Tip: Dealing With Vendor Offers To Cancel Shelfware And Replace With New Licenses

20100308 Monday’s Musings: Decoupling Support From Maintenance – What Apps Vendors Can Learn From Microsoft Dynamics

20100222 Monday’s Musings: Why Users Should Preserve Their Third Party Maintenance Rights

20100104 News Analysis: SAP Revives Two-Tier Maintenance Options

20090210 Tuesday’s Tip: Software Licensing and Pricing – Do Not Give Away Your Third Party Maintenance And Access Rights

20090709 Tuesday’s Tip: Do Not Bundle Your Support and Maintenance Contracts!

20091222 Tuesday’s Tip: 10 Cloud And SaaS Apps Strategies For 2010

20091208 Tuesday’s Tip: 2010 Apps Strategies Should Start With Business Value

20091102 Best Practices: Lessons Learned In What SMB’s Want From Their ERP Provider

20091006 Tuesday’s Tip: Why Free Software Ain’t Really Free

20090504 News Analysis: Oracle Waives Fees On Extended Support Offerings

20080909 Trends: What Customers Want From Maintenance And Support

20080215 Software Licensing and Pricing: Stop the Anti-Competitive Maintenance Fee Madness

20090405 Monday’s Musings: Total Account Value, True Cost of Ownership, And Software Vendor Business Models

20090324 Tuesday’s Tips: Five Simple Steps To Reduce Your Software Maintenance Costs

20090223 Monday’s Musings: Five Programs Some Vendors Have Implemented To Help Clients In An Economic Recession

20091012 Research Report: Customer Bill of Rights – Software-as-a Service

20090910 Tuesday’s Tip: Note To Self – Start Renegotiating Your Q4 Software Maintenance Contracts Now!

20090721 Tuesday’s Tip: 3 Approaches To Return Shelfware

20090127 Tuesday’s Tip: Software Licensing and Pricing – Now’s The Time To Remove “Gag Rule” Clauses In Your Software Contracts


Reprints can be purchased through Constellation Research, Inc. To request official reprints in PDF format, please contact sales (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com.


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 © 2012 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.

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
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!


    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.

    Executive Profiles: Disruptive Tech Leaders In Cloud Computing – Oscar Rodriguez, Extreme Networks

    Welcome to an on-going series of interviews with the people behind the technologies in Social Business.  The interviews  provide insightful points of view from a customer, industry, and vendor perspective.  A full list of interviewees can be found here.

    Oscar Rodriguez, CEO of Extreme Networks


    Oscar Rodriguez has served as President and CEO of Extreme Networks® since August 2010, providing strategic leadership for the company as it delivers high-performance Ethernet network solutions and services to enterprises, data center hosting companies and carriers. Oscar is an industry veteran with more than 20 years of executive leadership experience spanning sales, marketing and operations.

    Prior to Extreme Networks, Oscar served as the CEO of Movius Interactive Corporation, a messaging, collaboration and mobile media solutions company. Prior to Movius, he served as Chief Marketing Officer for Alcatel-Lucent’s Enterprise Business Group. Prior to that, he served as CEO and President of Riverstone Networks, a network company focused on Metro Ethernet switching. Oscar also served as President of both the Enterprise Solutions division and the Intelligent Internet division at Nortel Networks. Oscar serves on the Board of Directors for EXAR Corporation, a Silicon Valley semiconductor company.

    Oscar is on the Dean’s Board of Advisors for the College of Engineering at the University of Central Florida. He holds a B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Central Florida, and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    The Interview

    1. Tell me in 2 minutes or less why Cloud Computing is changing the world for your customers

    Oscar Rodriguez (OR): I’ve been in the network and computing industry for 25 years, and in my view, prior to the cloud, you had to buy all the hardware yourself, roll things up into the server, build your own data center, and figure out disaster recovery. Then you had to add your own capex and operating budget, staff up the team, and provision for more capacity. It’s insane. The cloud removes all these headaches.

    Moreover, a large cloud provider can provide cost savings and lets a service provider amortize many tenants over months. Like traditional service providers in telecom, it’ll be very inexpensive for the large and medium enterprise to get extra network capacity in peak times. Not only do you get this with the cloud, but you also get opportunities to own less and turn capex to opex. You also limit the types of experts you need to have on staff. We’re turning the world upside down!

    2. What makes cloud computing disruptive?

    (OR): What is disruptive about the cloud is the close linkage it has with today’s increasingly mobile world. Take Netflix video being 49% of Internet traffic, delivered either to TVs over wireless or a laptop by someone at an airport. There is Apple iCloud too. All this is evidence that Computing is going out in the cloud. Users at the same time are mobile and can access their information and entertainment more flexibly.

    What all this means is the capability to truly get access to information no matter where you are, with security considered. In the past you had to put a VPN in place and if you ran off the cell phone’s VPN browser, it was cumbersome. This limited users as to how, when, and where their information was accessible. Most of the time, the constraints were based on the type of device you were carrying. The client side of client/server app created limitations.

    However, the Cloud is pretty much available wherever you are. You only need a broadband connection, wired or wireless. Cloud services, such as Virtual Desktop (VDI), are turned on its head. Adding to it, iPads and competing tablets are on the market and have introduced a whole new breed of apps, opening even more windows of opportunity.

    What it means is that it doesn’t matter if you have personal or business devices. You can enable a personal device to access networks and services with security and full control of the IT department. You don’t dictate the device anymore, but you dictate the environment. The result is that all these things now make us more mobile.

    When you look at where we are at Extreme Networks with our vision, we promote a world where mobility is more than just wireless. The network should be a key part of where people can move around. For instance, in the consumer space, you could be on vacation but easily access your work network with your iPad. Professional and consumer life allows for this blending. With the cloud, blending doesn’t mean you are tethered by a device.

    The improved economics enable cloud services to amortize infrastructure over many users, with consumer devices accessing the enterprise, end-users owning the device as ‘prosumers,’ and the ability to provide these services regardless of device, is where we’ve evolved to. Now users can access corporate resources as they need to and they can use a collection of cloud services coming about as well.

    3. What is the next big thing in Cloud Computing?

    (OR): I think this is fundamentally a disruptive situation. With Cloud computing, Disaster Recovery of information and resources that are easily available to consumers is really the next big thing.

    I’m old enough to have used 3730 terminals and punch cards. Those were captive resources back then. You basically could only run a few applications. Apps were dictated by infrastructure ownership. A new service like iCloud is the tip of the iceberg.

    With the network, we are enabling the content provider, or the business provider, access to information and services. Disaster Recovery like this usually sounds like an enterprise business thing, but imagine that in a disaster, such as the recent hurricane in New York, your personal, legal, and financial information can be provided post-disaster very easily and predictably.

    The Cloud reinvents how people store their information and where it’s available to them, and you can make sure it’s secure and safe.

    4. What are you doing that’s disruptive for Cloud Computing?

    (OR): Extreme Networks is an infrastructure vendor. We really make the Cloud happen because we create the data and communications networks. This is our 15th year as a company and we’ve been public over 10 years. The space is catching up to what we are espousing – it’s really collapsing everything into Ethernet and IP. And the virtualized environment needs a virtualized network.

    Today we create much faster networks addressing a range of customers, from the more specialized facilities such as cloud hosting companies all the way to really large data centers of the enterprise. Just as the cloud is more efficient, our network uses less people to operate it due to simplicity. We make sure the network is intelligent, and that it adjusts itself automatically, either inside a cloud data center, or in multiple data centers.

    We make sure the customer has a network fabric that allows for interoperability, and that is open and provides control and visibility as virtual machines are moving from one data server to another. This is all in lockstep with what our end-users are demanding to improve their networks in the face of cloud computing.

    Many are coming to watch videos on the cloud. More and more virtual machines are being served. As these are served up, the network has to react and adjust itself on its own. It needs to be automatic, virtualized, and also to have the physical characteristics. Extreme Networks enables the first two.

    5. Where do you see technology convergence with Cloud?

    (OR): Virtualization, with storage and switching, is an important inflection point. Before HyperV, we had banks of servers storing data, but very inefficiently. You almost grew customers with every data center. Now with the virtualized cloud model, you can balance CPU cycles. Storage is virtualized so every server is working harder.

    The other inflection point is mobility. It changes how we work. We sell network gear, and we know people are doing this. No longer do we just have plug in wired ports. Mobility is about you being able to have anywhere access to information. We see an environment where we have to make mobility seamless. The network should recognize the users and help them with accessing resources regardless of how they connect. When the network recognizes one person, it recognizes each one of us with different attributes and levels of access.

    Just as importantly, our vision includes that the network, from the edge to the data center, through features like QoS, bandwidth shaping, and policy, should know what your preferences and needs are for mobility and cloud services. Security and access to services will all go with a user into the cloud no matter where you are on the planet.

    6. if you weren’t focused on Cloud Computing what other disruptive technology would you have pursued?

    (OR): I think one of the things that’s a coming disruptor is the concept of machines becoming aware – the Internet of Things (IOT). Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication will take off. There are more machines than humans. Smart grid is a subset of this. Eventually in the consumer space, this type of communication and volume in network connectivity will outstrip what’s happening today. Even though it’s still nascent, we should pay attention to it.

    7. What’s your favorite science fiction gadget of all time?

    (OR): I have to say the Star Trek Transporter.   Not only do you avoid the security line, it’s disruptive on travel.

    Your POV

    What do you think? Got a question for Oscar?  Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) com.

    Additional interviews will be added and updated!  To be considered for the series, please reach out to Elaine (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com.


    Reprints can be purchased through Constellation Research, Inc. To request official reprints in PDF format, please contact sales (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com.


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

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


    Executive Profiles: Disruptive Tech Leaders In Cloud Computing – Sudhakar “Rama” Ramakrishna, Polycom

    Welcome to an on-going series of interviews with the people behind the technologies in Cloud Computing.  The interviews  provide insightful points of view from a customer, industry, and vendor perspective.  A full list of interviewees can be found here.

    Sudhakar Ramakrishna, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Unified Communications Solutions, and Chief Development Officer, Polycom


    Ramakrishna joined Polycom in 2010 as senior vice president and general manager of unified communications solutions, and chief development officer. Ramakrishna was promoted to executive vice president in February 2011. He is responsible for defining and delivering best in class unified communication products and solutions and driving revenue growth and profitability.

    Ramakrishna brings a wealth of strategy and execution experience to Polycom. Before Polycom, Ramakrishna was Corporate VP and GM for Wireless Broadband Access Solutions and Software Operations at Motorola. Ramakrishna was instrumental in scaling the 4G (WiMAX and LTE) and Software business, and led large multi-function teams of more than 2300 employees, and businesses across the globe. Previously, Ramakrishna held senior management roles at Stoke Networks, 3Com, U.S. Robotics and other companies.

    Ramakrishna has extensive experience working with enterprise and carrier/operator customers. His areas of technology focus include wireless, MoIP/IP telephony, data networking, security, and IP convergence-related technologies and services. Ramakrishna has significant experience in organization development, strategic planning and execution, incubating and scaling new businesses, and was involved in strategic partnerships with Huawei, Siemens, and several mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.

    Ramakrishna earned a Master’s of Science degree in Computer Science from Kansas State University. He received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Ramakrishna holds and has filed several patents in the areas of IP telephony, soft switching and load balancing.

    1.  Tell me in 2 minutes or less why Cloud Computing is changing the world for your customers

    Sudhakar “Rama” Ramakrishna (SR): The cloud helps separates the core from the chore. Customers for whom IT is not their core business can save enormous time, energy, and resources by leveraging Cloud based infrastructure and solutions. With cloud computing becoming more and more accessible, it allows enterprises to divest themselves from the infrastructure build outs and focus on what they do best; i.e., their core business. By freeing up precious resources, customers can invest more effectively in their core business and drive improved business results and growth.

    2.  What makes cloud computing disruptive?

    (SR): The key disruptions come from two areas: 1) The superior economics and 2) The velocity of innovation and application deployment. The underpinnings of cloud computing are not new. However, this is now the right time to make it happen. Why? Bandwidth is faster, cheaper and more ubiquitous AND the security issues and barriers to adoption have been eliminated. Companies are leveraging “Cloud Platforms” to develop innovative applications in a variety of fields in a scalable, secure, and economic fashion.

    Cloud based solutions are also accelerating the adoption of Unified Communications (UC). Our customers are eager to deploy UC in the cloud. Service providers can drive and monetize assets more effectively in the cloud.

    3.  What is the next big thing in Cloud Computing?

    (SR): Cloud will evolve to include more applications and create more effective ways for people to communicate, collaborate, and be productive – all while leveraging superior economies of scale. Cloud solutions can be deployed in a variety of configurations – Private, Public, and Hybrid. In addition to delivery models in the cloud, companies will evolve in how they adopt the cloud. We can expect better B2B and B2B communications where Cloud solutions are delivered to enable Unified Communications in a secure, scalable, interoperable, and cost effective manner. I also believe that Cloud computing platforms will foster a new breed of application developers that work across organization and geographic boundaries to greatly increase the speed of innovation and bring new services to market.

    4.  What are you doing that’s disruptive for Cloud Computing?

    (SR): As we address the needs of new segments such as SMB, we are enabling cloud through service provider partners. Our Polycom RealPresence Platform supports carrier-grade UC with the reliability, universal bridging, and massive scalability required for cloud-delivery. This platform delivers the industry’s only universal bridging software that supports up to 75,000 device registrations and 25,000 concurrent sessions. This platform will enable the roll-out of ‘video-as-a-service’ offerings to SMB and enterprise customers.

    We are also focused on driving interoperability as service providers roll out video cloud services. In June, we announced with 14 major service providers – including Verizon, AT&T, Airtel, Telefonica, and BT – the Open Visual Communications Consortium, to bring together a diverse set of architectures and standards. We can then leverage these standards to improve integration and interoperability to avoid technology islands, and make video conferencing as easy as making a phone call, across all devices and networks. This will drive significant adoption and help us drive faster innovation. We are serving as the catalyst that brings all of these service providers together. How quickly we can accomplish this is a testament to the importance and impact of the cloud. Polycom and the OVCC organization expect to begin bringing open video exchange cloud services to market as early as mid-2012.

    5.  Where do you see technology convergence with Cloud?

    (SR): Ray, I see tremendous possibilities. The web and various versions of mobile technologies will be more ubiquitous. One of our recent innovations is to integrate our UC applications to a wide range of mobile devices. We are actively serving the need for users to Bring Their Own Devices (BYOD) to enterprise settings – CIOs are increasingly enabling applications on devices of their users’ choice, which drives improved user satisfaction, lowered costs and greater productivity! Via our device and cloud innovations, we are extending the boundaries of the enterprise and giving users more choices to communicate, collaborate, and be more productive regardless of their location! Our RealPresence Platform, which is Cloud ready, enables us to do so.

    6.  If you weren’t focused on Cloud Computing what other disruptive technology would you have pursued?

    (SR): Ray, if I were not working in the technology field, I’d be studying real time behavioral economics. In an increasingly converged world where there is almost no information asymmetry, I’ve been wondering how macro and micro economic theories change and how they impact human behavior. In this context, how might traditional economics change or be relevant? What do we need to learn and do to make effective decisions in this world?

    7.  What’s your favorite science fiction gadget of all time?

    (SR): Teleportation of course. Like others, I am a big Star Trek fan. I grew up watching and reading about StarTrek. It’s hard not to like any of the gadgets from the PADD (personal access display device) to the communicator. Just think of the impact – taking an idea and making it real, more importantly, taking an idea that is fictional and making it real!!

    Your POV

    What do you think? Got a question for Rama?  Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) com.

    Additional interviews will be added and updated!  To be considered for the series, please reach out to Elaine (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com.


    Reprints can be purchased through Constellation Research, Inc. To request official reprints in PDF format, please contact sales (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com.


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

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