Posts Tagged ‘Tuesday’s Tip’

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

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

Greater Adoption In Social Business Signifies A Move To Consolidate Platforms

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday’s Tip: Focus On The Business Outcomes, Not Technology With Big Data

The Why Behind Big Data Starts By Asking What’s The Business Outcome

So organizations have lots of data.  New techniques have emerged to correlate big data.  Enamored by the potential of big data, leaders are now reinvesting in technologies to find hidden nuggets of insights with the business goals of:

  • Mitigating regulatory risks
  • Identifying operational efficiencies
  • Improving revenue growth
  • Creating market differentiation
  • Expanding the brand presence

These big data use cases often follow the business hierarchy of needs, which are based on concepts pioneered by Maslow (see Figure 1).  More importantly, a key question in big data has been to ask the right question.

Figure 1. The Business Hierarchy of Needs Drives Many Big Data Use Cases

An Information Flow Approach Moves The Discussion From Data To Decisions

Unfortunately, the problem is most organizations start by talking about outcomes and then get mired in the technologies to achieve these outcomes.  Big data technologies include advanced business analytics, application of existing technologies such as data warehousing and business intelligence.  In many cases, application of decision automation, semantic technology and collaborative tools are also needed. Yet, from Data to Decisions requires the integration of quite a few disciplines.

Data to decisions is about taking data sources, transforming them into useful information, gathering key insights, and then making the right decisions (see Figure 2).  Data sources, information, and orchestration belong in the realm of IT and hopefully will be delivered via the cloud.  Insight, decisions, and actions are line of business driven areas which deliver the most value add:

  • Data sources. Expect a mix of structured, semi-structured, and lots of unstructured.
  • Information and orchestration. The mix of information types include physical, virtual, machine, and contextual.
  • Insight. Information translated to insight considers performance, deduction, inference, and prediction.
  • Decisions and actions. The outcomes are driven from next best action, prevention, suggestion, and even no action.

Figure 2. The Flow From Data To Decisions

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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.

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Tuesday’s Tip: Act Now To Leave The Door Open For SAP Third Party Maintenance Options

The Real Deadline To Consider Third Party SAP Maintenance Is September 30th

In conversations with hundreds of SAP customers, many have not realized that they must act now in the next 30 to 45 days if they want to move off of SAP customer specific maintenance from extended maintenance for older products. Despite the support window ending in March 2013 for extended maintenance, SAP is requiring organizations to serve notice by September 30th, 2012 (see Figure 1). Key products impacted by this deadline include:

  • SAP ERP 2004 (ECC 5.0)
  • SAP NetWeaver 7.0
  • SAP CRM 6.0
  • SAP SCM 5.1
  • SAP SRM 6.0
  • SAP SRM 5.0
  • SAP CRM 5.0
  • SAP SCM 5.0
  • SAP Netweaver 2004
  • SAP SRM 4.0
  • SAP SCM 4.1
  • SAP R/3 Enterprise (4.7)
  • SAP R/3 4.6C

In past experiences, SAP has taken a hard line on the notification date and customers need to immediately take action should they wish to have the maximum support options available to them.

To be clear, those on SAP’s Business Suite 7 have a longer maintenance support window (see Figure 2.) Those products will be supported with mainstream maintenance until 2020.

Figure 1. SAP Maintenance Strategy and Support Time Lines For Older Releases (2010) Revised With 2012 Version

Figure 2. SAP Business Suite 7 Innovation Road Map Provides Longer Maintenance Until 2020

Customer Specific Maintenance Comes With Many Disadvantages

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

The Real-Time Hype Is Filled With Flaws

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

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

Delivering Context Is The Secret To Right Time Success

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

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

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

Social Business Adoption Dependent On Employee Adoption

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

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

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

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

Tuesday’s Tip: Three Quick Steps To Capture Social Customer Data

Organizations Must Overcome Four Fears To Master Social Customer Data

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been criss-crossing the country on a multi-city speaking tour talking about the strategic value of customer data. (In full discloure, the tour is sponsored by Informatica).  As we talk about the implications of social media and customer data, inevitably the audience raises four main concerns:

  1. Existing models outdated, but must be adjusted. How business is conducted does not reflect the shift to a social construct.  Existing systems rewarded management and control not engagement and influence. Organizations and business processes must support engagement and relationship applications.
  2. Organizations are no longer in control, and must build or reestablish relationships. Social opens up a can of worms.  Organizations who believe they are in control will quickly find out how little control they have.  Organizations must foster communities so that relationships can be nurtured.
  3. Volume of requests keep increasing, thus automation is the key to sanity. Those who experiment in social media often find out quickly they can not scale in a 1-to-1 fashion.  The empowerment of the individual means an increase in expectations in response and quality of service.  Automation tools must be put in place to manage, triage, and predict requests.
  4. Data deluge will kill the business, yet the data is the strategic asset. Huge amounts of information from unstructured sources such as comments, blogs, tweets, and video inundate existing systems.  Signal to noise ratios decrease with all the noise.  However, the relationships to the customer in orders, comments, products, services, interaction histories, and sentiment is more valuable than any other asset in the company.

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Tuesday’s Tip: 10 SaaS/Cloud Strategies For Legacy Apps Environments

Legacy Apps Customers Seek Practical Advice

Organizations determining when and how to make the move to SaaS and Cloud face realistic challenges in gaining buy-in and realizing the apparent and hidden benefits of SaaS/Cloud.  In a recent survey of over 300 companies, 73 respondents who were wary of SaaS/Cloud were asked to list the top 3 reasons they did not plan to deploy a SaaS/Cloud solution in the next 12 months (see Figure 1).  The top 3 reasons related to legacy environments, org structure, and governance include:

  • Legacy apps CIO’s. CIO’s vested in protecting the existing investments may often proceed with caution for SaaS and Cloud solutions.  In some cases, sunk cost mentality takes hold and the goal of being 100% pure with a single vendor clouds the vision to meet needed business requirements.
  • Burden of legacy apps. Legacy apps maintenance and upkeep represents a key barrier to SaaS and Cloud adoption.  Organizations often remain complacent about maintenance and upgrades, preferring to avoid substantial changes and risk.   Becuase the money and resources to support legacy apps consume most of the budget, organizations have little funds for innovation and experimentation.  Eventually, business decision makers procure SaaS/Cloud solutions to by-pass IT.
  • No IT team buy in.  Many constrained IT teams have not taken the time to understand the requirements to support SaaS and Cloud apps in a hybrid mode.  SaaS requires organizations to revisit SOA strategies, integration requirements, and master data management.  Business leaders and decision makers often overlook these dependencies at the organization’s long term expense.

Figure 1.  Legacy Issues Hamper SaaS/Cloud Adoption


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Tuesday’s Tip: Applying The Five Stages Of Adoption Towards SCRM Projects

Social CRM Faces Initial Adoption Hurdles From Management

In 1969, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced the “Five Stages of Grief” in her book, On Death and Dying. These five stages can be summed up as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  When applied to disruptive technology adoption by organizations, the “Five Stages” framework provides clear insight in anticipating how likely an organization is ready to embrace change.  Recent conversations with line of business operations managers about Social CRM identify both lack of awareness and high levels of internal resistance towards adoption.  In a recent phone and in-person survey of 31 front office operations owners (i.e. sales executives, support executives, and COO’s) about their attitudes on Social CRM, 67.7% (i.e. 21/31) expressed denial, 16.1% (i.e. 5/31) felt anger, and 9.6% (i.e. 3/31) experienced bargaining, 3.2% (i.e. 1/31)  encountered depression, and 3.2% (i.e. 1/31) achieved acceptance (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Most Front Office Executives Live In Denial About SCRM


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Tuesday’s Tip: How To Evaluate Tech Projects For Business Value

Today’s Evaluation Frameworks Miss The Point

Business leaders seek clarity in understanding which technology solutions drive the most business value.  Today’s frameworks often focus on a combination of:

  • Features – ability to execute, current offering, product depth, etc
  • Direction – vision, strategy, corporate leadership, etc.

Unfortunately, the intersection of features and direction only addresses potential.  Clients continue to express how potential alone no longer provides enough justification in vendor selection or understanding the overall adoption strategy.

Next Gen Evaluation Frameworks Must Start With Business Value

Business leaders seek returns on investment.  IT leaders strive to reduce cost of delivery.  ROI alone may not answer the question as business value needs to be expressed and compared.  Business impact remains the goal in building out new frameworks.  In addition, the cost of technologies must be factored.   As a result, key questions in vendor selection often include:

  • Will this product provide an ROI?
  • Where will the organization realize a business impact?
  • How do various solutions compare in delivering business value?

Organizations Must Balance Business Impact And Cost Of Technology Delivery

Based on conversations with 113 end user clients and vendors, there appears to be a market demand in building out a new framework that compares how (see Figure 1):

  • Business impact extends across the value chain. Business impact extends into 3 levels of maturity from internal to external (i.e. department, cross enterprise, and business value chain).  The greater the penetration of the solution, the greater the business value.
  • Cost of technology delivery measures against percentage of revenue. Both scaling and return on investment reduce the cost of delivery.  Reference data provided via customer references and case studies will provide key data points by industry, size, and geo.

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