Posts Tagged ‘software vendors’

Event Report: #AdobeSummit Celebrates Digital Marketing From Creative To Commerce

Market Leaders And Fast Followers Celebrate Over A Decade Of Digital Marketing Vision

In 2004, Omniture founder Josh James, an avid skier, held the first Summit atop the Snowbird Ski Resort for 270 early adopters and converted.  Fast forward eleven years to 2014, an estimated 5600+ customers, partners, influencers, and prospects gathered at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 25th to March 28th, 2014, in search of reinvention in digital marketing (see Figure 1).  Since that time, Adobe Summit has emerged as a must attend event for those looking at the entire digital experience from creative to commerce.  Despite the size, this year’s event remained equally intimate.  At almost every venue, restaurant, or session, attendees remarked on how easy it was to meet people and discover, connect, and engage on the future of digital marketing.

Figure 1. Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen Opening The General Session on the Need for Reinvention In Marketing

Source: Adobe

Adobe Summit 2014 Announcements Focus On Needs Versus Wants

New product enhancements, a new release, and a few key partnerships highlight advancements in Marketing Cloud which includes a number of organically developed products and acquisitions of Omniture, Day Software, Efficient Frontier, and Neolane.  Today, the Adobe Marketing Cloud includes Adobe Social, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Media Optimizer, and Adobe Campaign (see Figure 2).  This year’s announcements reflect a need to improve integration among the acquisitions and deliver core needs versus nice to have capabilities.  Main announcements from this year’s summit include:

Figure 2. The Six Components Of The Adobe Marketing Cloud

Source: Adobe

  • Adobe Marketing Cloud Core Services Improve Suite Value.  Adobe announced new cores services for Marketing Cloud.  These services include a key master marketing profile, shared assets, marketing mix planning, identity, contextual activation, tag management, integration, and collaboration.

    Point of view (POV):
    The core marketing services are much needed to bring not only the acquisitions together, but also future partner integrations.  The Master Marketing Profile allows marketers to aggregate profiles information from multiple sources.  Shared assets put the power of the Adobe Creative Suite to work allowing marketers to create once use everywhere.  Marketing mix planning enables marketers to tie together attribution, analytics, media planning and execution to analytics and campaign activation.  The new identity capabilities are a good start, but much more will be required to support commerce apps entering a digital business world where trust is the new currency and transparency must balance privacy.

Event Report: The Storify From #AdobeSummit

Market Leaders And Fast Followers Celebrate A Decade Of Digital Marketing Vision

In 2004, Omniture founder Josh James, an avid skier, held the first Summit atop the Snowbird Ski Resort for 270 early adopters and converted.  Fast forward eleven years to 2014, an estimated 7000 customers, partners, influencers, and prospects gathered at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah March 25th to March 28th, 2014 in search of reinvention in digital marketing (see Figure 1).  Since that time, Adobe Summit has emerged as a must attend event for those looking at the entire digital experience from creative to commerce.  Despite the size, this year’s event remained equally intimate.  At almost every venue, restaurant, or session, attendees remarked on how easy it was to meet people and discover, connect, and engage on the future of digital marketing.

Enclosed is the Storify of Tweets from #AdobeSummit:

Figure 1. Storify from #AdobeSummit


More…

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. More…

Personal Log: The Sad State of The Industry Analyst Business And The Need For A Code Of Ethics

Unchecked Bad Behavior Plagues Both Vendors And Analysts.

I’ve dreaded writing this post for a long time.  I normally think the best of everyone.  Yet, in the course of building our business at Constellation Research, I have to say I’ve seen everything that can go wrong with the industry analyst business.  I’m almost embarrassed to reveal the shady tactics on both the vendor and analyst side that perpetuate.  But for the sake of airing it all out so that we may have a better industry, I’d like to start the conversation and then invite those analysts and vendors who agree to come up with a solid code.  Once we have something, let’s take the pledge on cleaning up the profession.

Examples Abound And We Have Had To Say No.

To be clear, there is a massive self-interest in my putting this out there. Now some of you may still be asking why would I do this?  What’s in it for me?  I’ll be very transparent, we’ve built a business that has:

  1. Shrugged off writing white papers for hire;
  2. Avoided pay to play for content;
  3. Covered vendors who were not clients;
  4. Cancelled contracts when our objectivity would have been compromised;
  5. Rejected stock in start-ups in lieu of payment, even a few pre-IPO’s that would have made us millions;
  6. Fired clients who threatened to cancel our contracts despite our putting out factually accurate defensible research;
  7. Refused the pay for lead business;
  8. Turned down pay for quotes and refused to endorse vendors in quotes unless we had evaluated their products in a side by side comparison;
  9. Fired sales people who alluded to pay for play;
  10. Fired analysts who did not understand we were not a pay to play white paper shop even after repeatedly telling them this.

I’ll be honest.  In order to uphold our integrity, we’ve lost a lot of business.  I’d estimate in the order of $2 to $3M a year.   Now, I am comforted in the fact that I do know we are not the only ones who have done so.  However, I have sadly discovered that this is few and far between in the business.  I am both shocked and disappointed.

Integrity of the Industry Is At Stake.
Now at times, competitors have laughed at us for doing so.  But, we have worked hard to uphold our code of ethics.  We have stayed objective. We have remained fiercely independent.  Talk to our sales folks.   They live it every day.  Talk to our analysts who wonder why they have to work harder.

We can continue doing this alone and have a differentiation in the market, but I think it’s time the industry takes a pledge to end this bad behavior.   It’s important for buyers to know that there is a professional code. Why? It’s critical to the survival of the industry analyst profession.

More…

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

More…

Tuesday’s Tip: Putting the Kibosh On ERP Vendor Sales Reps Who Troll For Indirect Access

Constellation Sees An Alarming Increase In Inquiries

Constellation has received an alarming increase in inquiries about an unethical vendor sales practice coined as “trolling for indirect access”. Indirect access is when a vendor claims that a client is accessing their perpetually licensed software in an unintentional manner or inappropriately licensed manner.

One vendor uses a definition of, “any individual or machine that accesses the computing capabilities of the software must be a licensed user”.

Another vendor sees it as “any time a system is accessed by a non-vendor system, a license is required to access that data”

In fact, a rash of inquiries over the past two quarters has raised the alarm bells among software customers.

Unethical Sales Leaders Endorse This Practice To Make Their Numbers

While this practice is nothing new, the pickup by vendors raises serious issues as to why this practice remains in their sales play books. Constellation identifies five reasons why vendors continue this practice:

  1. Open up dormant accounts. After pleasant introductions, new sales reps will use this technique to further deals.  Former sales reps agree this is a shake down for cash technique.
  2. Drive sales through fear of audits. Audits are used to start the discussion.  Unsuspecting customers who no longer have context about the original contract may fear breach of contract.
  3. Scare customers into making additional purchases. Threats are used to set expectations.  The vendorsoften waives the issue if the customer buys additional licenses as a “compromise”
  4. Force compliance into new licensing policies. Vendors use this as a way to drive conformity to new license models.  The move from concurrent usage to named users was one example.
  5. Meet territory sales goals. Unscrupulous sales managers suggest this technique to meet their numbers.  Sales reps are told they are defending the vendors license rights.

It All Starts With An Innocent Sales Call From A New Sales Rep

More…

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

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

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

Behind The Scenes On How The Cosmos Works

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Report Links

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

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

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

Your POV.

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

Reprints

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

Disclosure

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

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

 

News Analysis: New SAP Customers Face Maintenance Hike

SAP Plans A Standard Support Maintenance Fees Hike Of 5.5%For New Customers

For new customers, SAP announced its intent to raise its standard support maintenance fee from 18% to 19% effective July 15, 2013.  The standard support option was reintroduced in January 14, 2010, after much pressure from user groups.  A few key takeaways:

  • Price hike follows original plans. SAP has provided a six month advanced announcement to raise maintenance for new customers.  SAP has noted that “the adjustment does not apply to any existing maintenance contracts for SAP Standard Support closed before July 15, 2013″

    Point of View (POV):
    The announcement follows the original plan for existing customers to bring Standard Support in line with Enterprise Support by 2015 (see Figure 1).  SAP appears to be harmonizing the price increases for both existing and new customers.  While average support and service contracts are between 18 and 21% in the enterprise software world, SAP’s price increase will still keep it within the norm.
  • SAP raises maintenance rates under the guise of quality. SAP claims that the maintenance fee hike is related to “maintaining the same high level of quality support in the future.  Key features include access to support packages, new releases of standard support solutions, enhancement packages, technology updates, ABAP source code for SAP software applications, and software change management.  SAP also requires customers to use Solution Manager.

    (POV):
    SAP’s tried hard to justify the price increase by offering message handling, remote services, SAP Solution Manager Enterprise Edition, and access to SAP Service Marketplace as additional value added benefits.   Unfortunately, most customers find Solution Manager to be a mile wide and an inch deep, the remote services to be minorly useful, and the SAP Service Marketplace to be immature at best.   The result – customers are not getting much value for the price increase. (Fellow Constellation Analyst Frank Scavo provides a list of four questions every new SAP customer should ask.)

Figure 1. SAP Enterprise Support and SAP Standards Support Schedule circa 2010

screen-shot-2010-01-14-at-74603-am

The Bottom Line: SAP Wants To Eliminate Standard Support And Competitors to Solution Manager

More…

Monday’s Musings: Trends In The Top Software Insider Posts of 2012 (#softwareinsider)

Thank You For Your Support

SoftwareInsider.org generated almost 10 million page views in 2012 (see Figure 1).  This does not include syndication through Constellation Research, Forbes (discontinued in 2012), Enterprise Irregulars, Computerworld UK, and other great media partners.

Figure 1.  Software Insider Achieved 9.8M Page Views for 2012

Classic Posts Address The Key Fundamentals In The Disruptive Technology Shift

Four posts have made the all time favorite list and address the 5 consumer technology forces that influence enterprise software.

  1. Monday’s Musings: How The Five Consumer Tech Macro Pillars Influence Enterprise Software Innovation
  2. Research Report: The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM and The New Rules of Relationship Management
  3. Tuesday’s Tip: Understanding the Many Flavors of Cloud Computing
  4. Best Practices: Five Simple Rules for Social Business

2012 Top 40 Reflects A Broader Shift To Business Outcomes And Technology Adoption

Analyst Relations and the World of Influence - The top blog post of 2013 discussed the future of the industry analyst versus legacy analyst firms.

Consumerization of Technology and The New C-Suite – The impact of technology on the C-suite has never been greater.  As business strategy relies more on technology, CMOs, CFOs, and other line of business heads can expect to work more closely with the CIOs and CTOs.

More…

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

CATCHING UP ON ORACLE FUSION APPLICATIONS TRACTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RW: Is it one instance now?

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

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

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

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

More…

Event Report: Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2012 #wpc12

Microsoft Provides The Passion And Products For Partners To Compete In A Post PC Era

Microsoft kicked off its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Canada amidst 16,000 partners (See Figure 1).  Attendees caught the latest news and product announcements while sharing new business models and products for a post PC era.  Key announcements for Day 1 and Day 2 include:

  • Partners given back the relationship in Office 365. Partners gain a pre-paid payment option with Office 365. The service gives partners a mechanism to deliver “packaged services with a single invoice and manage the customer relationship”.

    Point of View (POV):
    Partners have been clamoring for the ability to manage the customer relationship in the cloud. Microsoft proves it’s allegiance to partners by providing Office365 Open and reasserts that Microsoft will not disintermediate the partner channel
  • Windows 8 RTM/GA dates confirmed. Corporate VP of Windows Tami Reller announced that Windows 8 is on track for an early August release to manufacturers (RTM) and generally available (GA) at the end of October. Enterprise customers will receive Windows 8 as early as August. The product is available in 109 languages and 231 markets. Consumers can expect to receive Windows 8 by software upgrades and device purchases by end of October.

    Point of View (POV):
    Windows 8 is the most tested release in Microsoft history. Reller showed demos from Acer, ASUS, HP, and Lenovo of upcoming tablets, Ultrabooks, PC’s, and hybrid tablets, highlighting the broad and deep offerings available this fall. Microsoft may have cracked the code in better release coordination with Windows 8. Unfortunately, with Windows 7 momentum strong at 630M worldwide, the conversion to Windows 8 may take a bit longer as users have just gotten used to 7.
  • Perceptive Pixel (PPI) acquisition highlights importance of touch. Kurt DelBene, President of the Office division announced the acquisition of PPI.  The company is best known for its 82″ collaborative multi-touch screen used by CNN during the 2008 elections.  While terms of the deal were not disclosed, the devices have dominated the high end at $80,000 a unit.  Perceptive’s founder Jeff Han was on stage with a trademark demo highlighting the collaborative and interactive features of the product.

    Point of View (POV):
    Should Microsoft succeed in driving down the cost of PPI’s flagship display technology, the Office division will have a focal point for discussion around the future of work.  PPI’s technologies have shown leadership in multi-touch user experiences and digital content display technologies.  Partners and customers can expect these innovations to quickly make their way into Windows Phone 8.

  • New apps take storm on Windows Phone 8. Attendees saw the power of integration with Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.  A lineup of new business apps include  Words with Friends, Draw Something, Audible, Chase and PayPal.  On the game front, new titles include Asphalt 7: Heat, N.O.V.A. 3: Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, and Batman: The Dark Knight Rises ”

    Point of View (POV):
    While not as robust as the Apple iStore, new titles and a growing developer ecosystem on multiple device types gives Windows Phone 8 a compelling chance.  With RIM and Nokia on life support, Microsoft has a shot to earn its place as a platform of choice.  The challenge – emphasize the interoperability between devices and prove the write once deliver any device mantra.  If Microsoft executes, Android will emerge as their number one competitor and appear as a messy platform when compared to Windows Phone 8.

  • ISV’s select Microsoft Dynamics as their core platform. Microsoft expands its presence as the core platform for several new independent software vendors.  Campus Management Corp., Cenium, Inc., Cincom Systems, Inc., PROS Pricing and Technosoft join the growing list of vendors building on the Dynamics platform.  Other notable members include Tyler Technologies and Ferranti Systems MECOM product.

    Point of View (POV):
    The move to open up the Dynamics platform is brilliant.  ISV’s with deep industry vertical capabilities can cut their development costs by up to 1/3.  Instead of focusing on building out the platform, the savings can go towards furthering the last-mile solution.  The catch – ISV’s become wedded to the success and failure of Microsoft Dynamics.

Figure 1. Scenes From WPC12

More…