Posts Tagged ‘Trip Report’

Monday’s Musings: Q1 2011 State of Social CRM and CRM From An EMEA Point Of View

Greeting from London!  It’s been a great surprise to enjoy the sunny and warm weather (by UK standards) as I readjust my body clock.  Thankfully, I’ve had a chance to catch up with a few new and old clients, several analysts, media moguls, and in real life meetups w/ close relationships (i.e. @grahamhill and @buchanla) built over Twitter.  Nothing beats in-person conversations and I’m thankful we could connect on the state of disruptive technologies such as Social CRM, CRM, Cloud optimization, gamification, and mobile enterprise.  A few trends from some great discussions and debates:

  • Social CRM (SCRM) adoption picking up in the UK for marketing and support/service. Conversations with Laurence Buchanan, CapGemini’s chief dude on CRM and Social CRM, indicated that clients are interested in SCRM for both an offensive and defensive strategy.  Offensive strategies focus on social media monitoring and marketing.  Defensive strategies mitigate risk in public relations disasters from support and service incidents.  Talking to a few utility and public sector prospects and clients, it became quite apparent that Laurence’s experiences proved out true.  A regulated industries CIO confided in me and said, “We’re doing this b/c we don’t want to end up as the top BBC story.”  Talks with a retail prospect focused on shifting marketing budgets to digital marketing.
  • Design thinking a key differentiator in successful SCRM adoption. Over some great Earl Grey and Matcha GreenTea latte’s, rockstar strategist and CRM guru, Graham Hill, discussed some of the key elements of successful implementations.  The introduction of services design thinking presents a key factor in success.  Success requires balancing the left brain and right brain points of view.  Moreover, his experiences from working at Toyota and other quality focused enterprises prove out why it’s better to get the design right the first time.  Good design embodies input in organizational culture, business processes, and of course technology.  One of the memorable quotes from the day stuck with me – “Consume as little technology as you need”.
  • The cloud will play a key role in social media monitoring. As media monitoring evolves from a highly paid, skilled craft to a high volume mathematical data crunching exercise, BPO offerings will emerge to address big data crunching.  Companies such as Wipro and Capgemini are already building such service lines.  Also, these Cloud BPO services such as CapGemini’s Immediate gain traction with clients who want a set of unified CRM and Social CRM services delivered in the cloud.  It’s also healthy to note that the EMEA clients have gained confidence in privacy controls and cloud security provisions by EMEA providers.
  • and Microsoft Dynamics CRM gaining traction in UK. In 29 conversations over the past 2 quarters, CRM discussions lead with and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. dominates the CRM replacement buy-side decisions among large enterprise CIO’s.  Meanwhile Microsoft Dynamics CRM leads discussions among net new buyers in small and medium sized businesses, public sector, and divisions of large enterprises with Microsoft centric IT shops.

Your POV.

Are you in EMEA and deploying Social CRM?  What’s working? What lessons have you learned?  Share your thoughts here or send a private email to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwaresinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity.

Please let us know if you need help with your Social CRM/ Social Business efforts.  Here’s how we can assist:

  • Assessing social business/social CRM readiness
  • Developing your social business/ social CRM  strategy
  • Vendor selection
  • Implementation partner selection
  • Connecting with other pioneers
  • Sharing best practices
  • Designing a next gen apps strategy
  • Providing contract negotiations and software licensing support
  • Demystifying software licensing

Resources And Related Research:


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

Event Report: Oracle Open World Day 1- The Word On The Street Report

Day 1 Brings 40,000 Oracle Faithful Into San Francisco For Red Stack Indoctrination

Oracle Open World Moscone WestRegistration at Moscone WestOracle BMW Racing Yacht Keynote hall at MosconeExadata display

(Source: R Wang & Software Insider POV, Copyright © 2009  All rights reserved.)

Interesting tidbits from Day 1 include:

  • Oracle tells SaaS providers they can use a new SaaS/Cloud computing model to purchase a limited number of Oracle products in a “pay as you grow” manner.
  • Attendees propagating rumors about Fusion Apps being announced on Wednesday in Larry’s keynote.
  • Customers discussing how Oracle now leads CRM sales with CRM OnDemand before any other on-premise product.
  • Dell confirmed to be selling products in the SMB channel.
  • EBS customers who have upgraded to 12.1 still having a tough time getting the new account and multi-org structures down right.  Many system integrators suggest that its best to do a reimplementation.
  • PeopleSoft customers buzzing about the new 9.1 release.
  • Oracle waiting for Sun deal to close to make next set of acquisition.  Charles Phillips tells partners, there’s more to buy.
  • The roving Rimini Street billboard is back!


Your POV.

We’ll be roving around asking some questions during Open World.  If you get a chance, let us know:

  • Which Oracle products do you use?
  • What release of Oracle DB are you on? When will you migrate?
  • Are you using Oracle BI Tools with non-Oracle data? or vice versa?
  • Do you use RAC? Do you use RAC? Do you know about Exadata and would you consider it?
  • When will you consider Fusion Apps?
  • Is the delay in Fusion Apps, affecting your timing for software upgrades?
  • Are recent maintenance price hikes having an impact?
  • When do you plan to adopt Fusion Middleware?
  • How much will Fusion cost you in reimplementations?

Feel free to post your comments here or send me an email at rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.

Event Report: Oracle Open World Day 1- Partner News

Oracle Gets More Serious About Meeting Partner Needs

OPN main stageCharles "Chuck" Phillips welcoming OPN attendeesAndrew McAfee presenting from his latest Enterprise 2.0 book2009 Oracle Open World Materials

(Source: R Wang & Software Insider POV, Copyright © 2009  All rights reserved.)

Oracle Open World kicked off today with major announcements that beef up the 21,000 member strong Oracle Partner program.   Throughout the day, Oracle executives kept reminding everyone that path to success would be specialization and that Oracle partners played a key role in driving revenue.  In fact, partners contributed to 59% of North American Revenue in fiscal year 2009.  Key takeaways include:

  • Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized Program.  Oracle revamps its program to create four partner levels including Oracle Remarketer, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.  Status must be earned across Oracle’s 35 apps, middleware, database, and industry solutions.  The higher the status, the more engagement Oracle will provide.

    POV: Partners and customers will benefit from a distinct status program.  OPN Specialized will force partners to invest in a few differentiated competencies.  With 3000 products, Oracle feels partners wlll need to go deep in order to win in the market place. However, forcing partners to stay specialized will leave them vulnerable as Oracle Consulting Services will still have capacity to provide a full service of solutions.  At least Oracle eases the transition by smartly decoupling education from certification.   Partners can opt to take the certification exam without having to take unnecessary training.   This should help some larger partners to keep their competencies.

  • Oracle Partner Business Center.  Oracle demonstrates its commitment to supporting customers by expanding the Partner Enablement 2.0 program.  Key features include a global Twitter support channel, 24/7 support in 24 different languages, and access to partner business consultants.  Access to support will be based on partner levels with Platinum partners receiving inbound call and e-mail assistance, support service request logging, pro-active outbound engagement including business and administrative support and priority renewal, and dedicated virtual account management and channels to assist with joint business plans and top priority renewals.

    POV:  Oracle’s putting its money where its mouth is.  No longer an all hat no cattle partner program, last year Oracle claims to have conducted 44,530 apps and 16,423 tech training sessions.  Partners expect the new business center to serve as a key enablement resource and a significant improvement over the patchwork program of previous years.

  • Oracle Exadata Partner Program.  Partners will be able to resell Exadata Storage servers and Sun Oracle Database machines starting December 1st, 2009.  Oracle will be providing enablement resources to expand the solution offering into verticals as well as key horizontals such as data warehousing and business intelligence. Oracle plans to provide training materials via a new Exadata Knowledge Zone that will include Guided Learning Paths.

    POV:  At the partner keynote, Charles Phillips reemphasized how Oracle will be the first company to go from apps to disk.  As Oracle attempts to attack TCO by owning the wh0le stack, expect its competitors to respond to this new stack play with more diversified partnerships among Oracle’s competitors.  Oracle’s strategy is brilliant but they will not be left to their own devices by its new competitors in hardware and software.

Your POV.

A few questions to partners:

  • Are you a partner with Oracle?
  • How do you feel about the changes to the partnership program?
  • As an acquired partner what do you think Oracle does well, poorly?
  • Are you a Sun Partner moving to Oracle?

Feel free to post your comments here or send me an email at rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.

Trip Report: India December 2008 – Sentiments From Bangalore

The "New" Bangalore Airport

(Photo: The “new” modern and spacious Bengaluru (BLR) airport.  Copyright © 2008 R Wang. All rights reserved.)

New airport symbolic of Bengaluru’s on-going transformation.

Arrival into Bangalore was quite a treat with mild 75 degree (25C) weather, less humidity, and a spanking new airport built by Zurich Airport, Siemens and India’s renown Larsen & Toubro for a price tag of $625 million.  The old airport was closer to downtown, but frankly not worthy of Bangalore’s world class info tech reputation.  The trade off – the Bengaluru International Airport is located in Devanahalli, 35km North of Bangalore city center It’s further away, and takes about an hour to get there.  Infrastructure is spotty from the newly built National Highway 7 (Bangalore-Hyderabad Highway) to MG road, there are some segments that seem like they are in perpetual construction.  On the way back, you feel the effects of the new Indian airport – great check-in flows, auto bag screening, real jetways to the planes (no more transfer buses), high end boutiques, western style food courts, and real air conditioning!

Leading services providers move to deliver differentiated IP.

Conversations with the leading firms highlighted continued advancement in the value chain.  These service providers have managed to rapidly transform themselves over the past 2 years.   The goal of achieving a trusted advisor status among clients remains in sight.  There were 4 key themes from my meetings with our vendor clients as well as customers visiting these Indian service providers:

  • New vendor focused centers of excellence show increased competency
  • Continued micro verticalization adds to industry credibility
  • Deeper specialization in industries, roles, geos, and market segments opens up new markets
  • Transition from selling to an IT user to earning a business leader’s trust reflects new buying patterns

As with conversations in Mumbai, there is a sense of slow-down, but this is relative to the growth rates of 50% Y-O-Y growth that some firms have enjoyed during the past 5 years.  Hiring continues and ranges from replacement only to “moderate” growth of 20%

The bottom line -service providers making the transition to solution providers

System integrators now have the power to deliver their IP via the Cloud, PaaS, SaaS, and other mechanisms.  The result – IP can be owned and distributed directly to customers.  The more this happens, the more customers will have choice beyond the large vendors.  If successful, innovation will thrive and customers will win as these solution centric ecosystems get built out.

Your POV.

What are you seeing in the India market? Is your services provider becoming more strategic?  Feel free to share with me your thoughts.  You can post here or send me a private email to

Copyright © 2008 R Wang. All rights reserved.

Trip Report: India December 2008 – Measuring the Mood in Mumbai

Mumbai traffic back to normal as motorists "deal" with the average tree in the middle of a new highway

(Photo: The “average” tree in the middle of a recently constructed Mumbai highway.  Copyright © 2008 R Wang. All rights reserved.)

Terrorist attacks impact business travellers but not locales and battle hardened road warriors

The trip to India was a tough decision to make.  After intense discussions with the family, I left for the airport just as the last terrorist was being surrounded by commandos and security forces.  It was hard to determine if things were going to be safe or remain chaotic.   News reports on CNN and the BBC seemed hyperbolic but it was hard to tell.

However, the flight over was a clear indication of what to expect.  Y-class on CO flight 48 was full and oversold as Indian nationals and Indian-Americans headed back to their beloved city , terrorism or no terrorism.  Meanwhile J-class was eerily empty with only 8 business class seats were occupied.  Most of these individuals were road warriors and media pro’s used to traveling to Africa, Indonesia, Israel, and other areas facing strife.  On the plane was the PBS News Hour’s Simon Marks covering India for another story but serendipity had him there to cover the Mumbai attacks.  Another good indicator was hotel occupancy rates.  The hotel I was at had about 24% occupancy as business travelers had cancelled.  Others were doing worse at 20% or less.

Mood among the tech community remains one of perseverance and anger

At the NASSCOM event on Tuesday morning in Mumbai,  I was expecting a poor turnout.  Instead, we had a full house.  The guests and hosts were delighted and surprised I had arrived as many foreign travelers had canceled their trips.  Despite the lack of foreign travelers, conversations with members of the tech community in Mumbai show a “nothing can stop u” spirit.  In general, the mood is of outrage at the terrorists.  Most individuals I spoke with saw the need to push forward and continue.  As I left from Mumbai, the mood on the plane to Bangalore was the same.

Trends show a different perspective on the economic crisis

Unlike the horror stories from China with over 100M factory workers returning to the country side, India’s economy is more diversified.  In the InfoTech market, there seems to be a strong sense of cautious optimism.  Some emerging trends from conversations with the InfoTech community include:

  • Most companies forecasting lower new hire plans. Unlike NA and EMEA where there are hiring freezes, Indian firms are predicting a slow down in hiring but not freezes and job cuts.
  • BPO and managed services firms expecting more business. Firms believe that initiatives to achieve operational efficiency will benefit them.
  • Large ISV’s continuing co development efforts with Indian based enterprises. Most of the SI’s I have spoken to continue with co-development efforts with IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP.
  • Expectation in the declining number of upgrade projects. System integrators confirm a slow down in the pace of upgrade projects.  Projects shift from upgrade to the optimization of existing landscapes.
  • Growing number of clients asking for third party maintenance. Triangulation among Forrester clients, system integrators, and user groups confirm a groundswell of companies asking their solution providers for options to reduce the cost of maintenance.  Vendors have been “quietly warned” by the large ISV’s that this would not make for a good partnership.

The bottom line – India remains optimistic despite worldwide downturn.

There is a sense of slow-down, but this is relative to the growth rates of 50% Y-O-Y growth that some firms have faced.  Given the talent pool and opportunity to provide cost savings to the rest of the world, many of the Indian firms are in a unique position to gain new business and take business away from other info tech companies.  So long these firms focus on aligning business drivers to operational efficiencies and regulatory compliance, they will continue to be in a good position to provide thought leadership and potentialy earn a seat as a trusted advisor.

Your POV.

What are you seeing in the India market?  Are these trends resonating with your observations?  Feel free to share with me your thoughts.  You can post here or send me a private email to

Copyright © 2008 R Wang. All rights reserved.