Posts Tagged ‘vendor events’

News Analysis: Salesforce 1 Signals Support For Digital Business at #DF13

Salesforce Seeks To Tackle Digital Business At Dreamforce

Over 125,000 virtual and physical registrants descend on San Francisco the week of November 17th for Dreamforce 13, a future of technology meets SXSW event.  One day in advance of the largest enterprise software event of its kind, Salesforce.com announces Salesforce 1 (see Figure 1).  The Salesforce 1 customer platform seeks to address a cadre of emerging digital business requirements that customer centric companies face.

Figure 1. Salesforce 1 Customer Platform Intends to Support The Internet Of Customers

Source: Salesforce.com

SalesForce 1 Reflects Much Needed Refresh Of Existing Platform

The new customer platform includes platform services, platform APIs, and the Apps created from the platform.  Salesforce 1 platform services includes refreshes in Force.com, updates in Heroku, and adds Exact Target Fuel.  As expected, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Exact Target Marketing Cloud, and Apps Exchange sit on top of the salesforce1.com platform (see Figure 2).

The key analysis of this release include:

  • Internet of Customers support. Salesforce includes social, mobile, cloud, and connected as the key components for The Internet of Things.  In order to meet the requirements of a third wave of computing that moves from Internet of Things to what Salesforce calls the Internet of Customers, the new platform is designed to support this customer centricity convergence.

    Point of View (POV):
    Constellation sees more than 50B connected devices and at least 150B connected endpoints by 2020.  The opportunity is huge.  While Salesforce.com addresses 3 out of the 5 key components of digital business, the vendor still needs to provide video/unified communications and big data/analytics.  Constellation believes the big data and analytics opportunity is critical to enhancing customer experiences, to benchmarking and brokering data servcies, and to buildoing new business models around big data and analytics.  Customers should encourage Salesforce.com to consider how to enable big data business models in digital business in the next iteration.  Meanwhile, most customers can wait until future releases for video and UC requirements to be met.
  • Next generation apps developer platform. The PaaS layer adds a mobile first orientation that enables a write once and deploy anywhere platform. Developers can now deploy to a range of social, mobile, and connected devices.  The platform services include 10X more API functionality.   Developers can build customer apps, wearable apps, product apps, and salesforce apps.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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Event Report: Microsoft Dynamics Convegence 2013 (#conv13)

Customer Success, Acquisition, And New Features Drive Day 1 Headlines

Almost 12,000 Microsoft faithful converged in New Orleans for the flagship Dynamics event.  Wayne Morris (@WayneMorrisOz), CVP kicked off the event reiterating the theme of “A World Ahead”. Meanwhile, Kirill Tatarinov (@KirillTatarinov), President of Microsoft Business Solutions Division, led the session with a series of impressive brands and compelling customer success stories.  Highlights from the day include:

  • Impressive Global 2000 customer wins. Kirill hinted at wins at SpaceX and followed with live customer presentations from ShockDoctor, Chobani, Weightwatchers, and Revlon.  Dennis Goetz (CFO) of Shock Doctor shared how they grew their business moving away from spreadsheets to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Maureen Hurley (VP of IT) and James McConeghy (CFO) explained how Chobani installed Microsoft Dynamics AX in their main New York plant in less than a year and then implemented Dynamics AX at a new plant in less than 27 days. Christine Butler (VP of CRM and Business Development, and Loic Vienne (VP of Systems) at WeightWatchers discussed how they put in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage with 500 million customer touch points a year.  David Giambruno (SVP and CIO) and Steven Berns (Executive VP and CFO) of Revlon, made the impressive move to consolidate 21 ERP systems into one on Microsoft Dynamics AX.

    Point of View (POV):
    The Microsoft Dynamics team has successfully moved up market from a previously SMB centric message.  The rise of global 2000 customers in the $500M to $5B revenue range shows the growing presence, success, and scalability of Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM.  Though the business is estimated to bring $1.4B in revenue, Microsoft Dynamics still represents a small fraction of Microsoft’s overall revenue ($73.72B 2012).  However, success in the Microsoft Dynamics business improves attach rates and cross-sells into Sharepoint, Office, SQL Server, and Azure.  Microsoft’s small investment in Dynamics reduces customer fragmentation and plays a key role in long-term growth.
  • Acquisition of Netbreeze for social analytics. The Netbreeze acquisition brings data mining, natural language processing (NLP), and text analysis to social signals such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, 6,000 online news websites, 500,000 message boards, and 18M blogs.   The system supports 28 different languages including Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Direct language translation beats translation back to one language.

    Point of View (POV):
    Netbreeze and Marketing Pilot address a growing need among the customer base for marketing automation and management.  Netbreeze is key to merging both the structured CRM information and the unstructured social signals.   As the CMO role continues to reclaim its technology destiny, we are moving away from transaction integrity and moving towards surfacing insights.  Netbreeze provides insight into marketing spend effectivity.
  • Announcement of Marketing Pilot 15.  MarketingPilot 15 adds improved user experience and analytics.  In addition, the long awaited connector to Microsoft Dynamics CRM arrives on March 2013.  International general availability is planned for later 2013.

    (POV):
    Marketing Pilot provides core marketing capabilities that were missing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.   Customers seeking an integrated marketing solution should consider Marketing Pilot.  However, the technology platform is dated.  For those customers seeking a cloud based approach, Silverpop, InfusionSoft, Aprimo, and Marketo may serve as better alternative today.  Compared to CMS marketing products like SiteCore or Adobe CQ, Marketing Pilot remains a distant second in features, but a top contender when cost is considered.
  • Windows Azure partner hosted offerings for ERP. Partner hosting for Dynamics GP 2013 and NAV 2013 will be available in June 2013.  Dynamics AX will see an Azure hosted version in 2014.

    (POV):
    Among the Dynamics ERP customers, partner hosting remains a popular option for dipping their toes into cloud ERP.  A key barrier to Azure hosting has been the performance issues with SQL Server for Azure.  Resolution of those issues will free Dynamics to deploy more of its capabilities in Azure.  The go forward architectural model for Dynamics AX resembles Dynamics CRM where a VM is assigned per tenant but all management is done by Microsoft.
  • New mobile applications for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.  New mobile apps will address key horizontal functions such as expense management, time tracking, and approvals.  The expense management offering will capture and reconcile expenses, time allows the completion of time sheets, and approvals allows managers to complete business requests.  Microsoft intends to support Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets, Windows Phone 8, Android phones, and iOS phone devices

    (POV):
    Customers are increasingly asking for a mobile experience.  The move to address mobility focuses on “in-between time” tasks that improve productivity for employees and bolsters offerings for services based industries and public sector.

 

Figure 1. Ongoing #Conv13 Flickr Stream

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The Bottom Line:  Progression In The Dynamics Product Line Results In A Competitive Alternative For Customers

On December 21, 2000, Microsoft announced the intention to acquire Great Plains.  In July 2002, Microsoft bought Navision A/S, the foundation of Dynamics NAV and AX.  Until 2007, Microsoft Business Solutions had struggled to find and grow beyond its SMB niche. Over the past seven years, the team has focused on deepening vertical capabilities, improved integration with Microsoft components, expanding partner programs, and making strategic acquisitions for product and technology features.  The process has been slow but steady but increased investment in Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM has paid off.

Fast forward to 2013, Microsoft now has a strong portfolio of solutions that Global 2000 organizations can deploy with confidence.  The MBS team is not afraid of tuck in acquisitions nor purchasing common IP from trusted partners.  The rearchitecture efforts and gradual hosted capabilities have helped move the product forward.  Consequently, customers and prospects seeking a newer architecture, Microsoft footprint, and deeper micro-vertical capabilities now consider the core Dynamics products for both ERP and CRM in short lists.  Key use cases include the consolidation of ERP, move to Two-Tier ERP, and primary CRM system of record.   However, customers should be cautioned that success will require selection of the right Microsoft Partner.  Selection of the right partner is never an easy process as many partners exist and validation of capabilities still remains a challenge for prospects and existing customers.

Your POV

Are you Microsoft Dynamics customer? Do you plan to invest more or less with them in 2013?  What do you think about their strategy?   Are you ready to consolidate on Microsoft? Add your comments to the blog or send us a comment at R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org or R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com

Please let us know if you need help with your apps strategy.  Sign up for a Constellation Academy Workshop or let us assist with:

  • Assessing readiness
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  • Vendor selection
  • Connecting with other pioneers

Resources and Related Research

Event Report: The Sentiment At Microsoft Convergence 2011

Friday’s Feature: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010

Research Report: Microsoft Partners – Before Adopting Azure, Understand the 12 Benefits And Risks

Monday’s Musings: The Hidden Value In SaaS Deployments

Trends: 2011 Cloud Computing Predictions For CIO’s And Business Technology Leaders

Research Summary: Best Practices – The Case For Two-Tier ERP

Tuesday’s Tip: When To Go With A Two-Tier ERP Strategy

Strategy: 5 Lessons Learned From A Decade Of Naught

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

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

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

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* Not responsible for any factual errors or omissions.  However, happy to correct any errors upon email receipt.

Copyright © 2001 – 2013 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.
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News Analysis: SAP Business Suite on HANA

Next Stop On The Road To HANA: SAP Business Suite

In a global announcement in Palo Alto, New York and Frankfurt, SAP’s top executives Dr. Vishal Sikka, Rob Enselin, Jim Haggeman Snabe, and legendary founder and chairman Dr. Hasso Plattner announced availability of SAP’s Business Suite powered by SAP HANA.  SAP has rewritten the Business Suite to work on SAP’s HANA platform and believes that customers will benefit for four reasons:

  • Smarter. The embedding of intelligence at the transactional level opens up new business models and process transformation.  SAP’s customer Derek Dyer, Director of Global SAP Services for Deere and Company, emphasized that SAP ERP powered by SAP HANA has “revolutionized” how products and services are introduced to the market, especially in the MRP world.  They see some transformational innovation as a result to faster MRP runs.

    Point of View (POV):
    Embedded intelligence has been a key failure in today’s existing transactional applications.  Customers have sought access to not only real time reporting, but also prediction.  The goal is to get to smarter decisions at all levels of the organization. Customers will benefit from embedded intelligence.  However, this will require people and technology training of the system to identify the patterns and algorithms required to serve up insight on demand.  This will require intelligence at every vertical and micro vertical business process.  Moreover, right-time requirements for in-context computing will turn out to be the surprise benefit as relevancy becomes more important through time, location, role, relationship, sentiment, and intent.  Relevancy and context provide the smartness that is missing in today’s systems.
  • Faster. SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA addresses the need for speed.  The in-memory columnar database reduces the input/output (I/O) time and allows for fast access to information.  The result – faster processing and faster scenario evaluation.  Fast transaction management times lead to faster decision making.

    (POV):
    The analytics and crunching capabilities is what’s driving organizations to seek faster speed.  Speed is the difference between a five day drug recall and a five minute drug recall.  Speed is the difference between a 30 day supply chain plan versus the ability to reroute 2 iPhones to your store in 30 seconds.  The impact is huge for customers if SAP does succeed.  SAP’s not the first to do this as Workday has already done this for HR and Finance.  However, for the entire SAP suite and given SAP’s market share, this is a big deal as this reduces the need for separate business intelligence systems.  The performance difference will create a huge competitive advantage for those who adopt versus those who do not.
  • Simpler. SAP Business Suite on HANA delivers consumer grade user experiences.  The goal is to embed live insight into business processes to drive immediate action.  Today, people expect consumer-grade user experiences and the power to translate their live insight into immediate action. Enzo Bertolini, CIO, Ferrero Group expects to improve the trade promotions and supply chain planning process through both better simulation and mobile access.

    (POV):
    SAP Business Suite on HANA provides SAP an opportunity to rethink how information is created, consumed, and shared.  The push to a design thinking focus within SAP has led to significant improvement of the user experience throughout their portfolio of products.  SAP Business Suite on HANA will be an opportunity to show case this new user experience.
  • Open. SAP plans to support database technology and vendor choice for its customers.  Many database partners have committed to work with SAP support in-memory optimizations and provide the necessary support to ensure that customers will succeed.  SAP is providing rapid deployment solutions, trained implementation consultants, and a comprehensive set of services to help clients make the migration to SAP HANA.

    (POV):
    SAP has the opportunity to drive down database costs and improve performance.  While the pricing model will be based on the percentage of application value, SAP must find a way to drive down overall costs if it is serious about improving adoption.  This licensing requirement must be addressed as it will emerge as the most significant barrier to adoption.

SAP Faces A Challenge of Adoption Not Because of Technology, But Because of Customer Vision

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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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Event Report: The Day 0 & Day 1 Tweet Stream From #OOW12

Enjoy the Day 0 and Day 1 Tweet stream.

The Storify Tweet Stream

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Event Report: The Tweet Stream From #DF12

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

The Storify Tweet Stream

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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 Salesforce.com’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 Force.com Canvas provides a UI layer to run any other application within the Salesforce.com 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 database.com 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.
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News Analysis: Informatica Launches MDM 9.5

New Product Addresses The Social, Mobile, Cloud, and Big Data World

The convergence of social, mobile, cloud, big data (analytics), and video/unified comms changes the playing field from transactional applications to engagement applications.  The result – a sea change of new data types from structured and unstructured sources.  With greater volumes of data, demand for information shifts from real time to right time inside and outside the enterprise.  Context by process, by roles, by location, and by any other segmentation requires a robust MDM solution to improve the return on #bigdata.  Unfortunately, many master data management solutions have not been designed to handle this new world of business led requirements.

Enter Informatica’s MDM 9.5 product launched May 15th, 2012 at Informatica World (#IW2012).  Some key features in 9.5 highlight the move to social, mobile, cloud, and industries:

  • Versioning – effective dates deliver timelines. The new product delivers effective dating to define and manage past, current, and future versions of a record.  Delivered at the base object level, relationships are automatically version-enabled.

    Point of View (POV):
    Future analysis of social and mobile data will require the ability to segment and correlate by time.  The solution can model hierarchies and entities by past, present and future. More importantly, versioning provides rich compliance information that will serve as a backbone for information governance of a wide variety of data types and sources..
  • Social MDM – Facebook apps connect to customer profiles. The new Facebook and MDM connectivity provides a social graph of the customer and friends of the customer. Users gain bi-directional connectivity.

    Point of View (POV):
    Connection to Facebook not only brings rich profile information, but also delivers key multichannel connections.  This linkage exposes and identifies common interests and relationships which build richer customer profiles.  Customers should work hard to drive data out of Facebook and not into Facebook, reducing the trading of privacy for convenience.

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

SAP’s In The Midst Of Massive Transformation

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

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

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

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

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

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

The track record remains mixed.  Customers remain cautions.

What Clients Want From ERP Seems Confusing At First

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Event Report: Lithium Network Conference 2012 #LiNC

Lithium Technologies Shows Continued Customer Momentum And Success In Social Marketing And Support
To the tune of over 500 customers and prospects, Lithium kicked off LiNC on May 2nd, 2012, at the always stunning Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco.  Compared to previous years, the audience was not only bigger, but also more experienced and energized.  Rob Tarkoff (CEO) and Lyle Fong (Founder & Chief Strategist) kicked off the event with company updates, product road map highlights, and customer progress made over the past year.
Adding to the energy, four compelling case studies graced the morning and highlighted Lithium’s strengths in two distinct and advanced externally focused social CRM (SCRM) use cases: social customer support and marketing.  The wide range of proud customers and brands included Chris Blandy, SVP of Digital Media, Fox; Mark Nichols, Director of Customer Support, Skype; Andrew Leary, EVP & GM, Ipsos; and Steve Young, Sr. Director of Technical Services, Cisco.  During the event, several key announcements were made including:
  • Launch of a new product, Lithium Response. In a top secret OEM partnership, the team unveiled Lithium Response™ a product that enables brands to increase customer satisfaction while reducing costs and improving efficiency in the call center.  Key features include easier processes to turn community conversations from unstructured information to entries into the Lithium Tribal Knowledge Base (TKB), peer-to-peer support and gamification incentives to drive self-service customer resolution, cost effective social-web support, blended contact center capabilities, and mobile enablement.  The product is generally available (GA) in Q3.

    Point of View (POV):
    The OEM’d product comes from a little-known but powerful solution from a privately held, purpose-built social customer care platform.  The product maximizes agent efficiency via categorization, prioritization and queuing, and routing.  The system is smart enough to guide customers to self service by replying with relevant links to community content.  This platform has been battled test with complicated communication service provider (CSP) environments.  Adapted for the Lithium platform, customer can expect a rigorous enterprise class solution that lives up to Lithium’s standards.  Lithium Response™ also takes advantage of Lithium’s access to the Twitter fire hose.  The movement to address multi-channel customer support puts Lithium in unique league with vendors such as Genesys Labs, Kana, and Moxie Software, who can blend contact center and social support.
  • Delivers new release of social marketing. Building on customer feedback, the new Lithium Social Marketing Solution™ focuses on improving engagement.   New features include support for rich media interactions, ad hoc groups, streaming conversations, and a new ratings and reviews module.  A partnership with Shoutlet provides Facebook and Twitter campaign management.  Social engagement is updated to include photo sharing, inline-conversations, groups spaces, and adoption of commons social logins.  The new ratings and reviews module allows community driven content to be included via widgets.  New development tools on iOS improve customer experience in the mobile interface of choice.  The product is now generally available (GA).

    Point of View (POV):
    Customers showed significant interest in the new social marketing solution features.  The ability to improve ratings and reviews is much needed as this has become table steaks in communities and product catalogs.  What’s impressive is the new line of partnerships that align with Lithium’s core strategy.  Instead of building their own content publishing platform for campaigns, Lithium takes advantage of Shoutlet ability to place various types of content easily into the conversation. Partnerships with VMWare’s Socialcast unit allows Lithium’s Social Marketing Solution™ to integrate with internally focused collaboration tools to expedite the concept to product introduction process.
  • Begins concerted global expansion. Lithium announced new APAC headquarters in Singapore which add to its Sydney APAC presence.  Lithium also has a strong presence in EMEA with operations in Paris, Zurich, and London.

    Point of View (POV):
    As the market consolidates through attrition and acquisition, Lithium’s push to get more feet on the ground around the globe is much welcomed by customers.  Lithium needs to expand fast and put its $53M in funding to work to acquire long-term customers in expansion markets.
  • Ups the ante in partnerships and alliances. New partnerships with Ipsos and Geoffrey Moore provide access to market research.  Agency relationships include Sapient Nitro and Acquity group.  Lithium adds software partners such as Shoutlet and VM Ware.  Lithium’s approach is to find a small number but committed set of alliances and partnerships.

    Point of View (POV):
    Lithium’s partnership and alliance program traditionally was the weakest among the major SCRM players.  The addition of Ed Van Siclen, SVP of Global Alliances and BD, brings enterprise class partnerships to the Lithium’s arsenal.  As SCRM matures, key partnerships with major system integrators must be prioritized as well as carefully crafted agency relationships.  Software partnerships back to transactional systems such as ERP, CRM, and master data management will be key to long term success and enterprise adoption.  More importantly, continued alliances with other engagement applications will keep the innovation engine alive for existing customers as they focus on improving engagement.

More…

Vendor Event: Why Does Everyone Need Analytics?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
10:00 am Pacific
1:00 pm Eastern

Presenters
Ray Wang
Principal Analyst and Chief Executive Officer
Constellation Research, Inc.

Patrick Morrissey
Vice President
Tidemark

Jennifer Maddox
Director of Product Marketing
Tidemark

Why the Move from Transaction to Experience Requires Better Analytics

Business leaders seek better insights for smarter decision-making. Unfortunately, today’s traditional intelligence tools were designed for two-dimensional transactional systems. As data from consumer trends such as mobile, social, cloud, big data, and video make their way into the enterprise, organizations seek new tools to discern insight from these new engagement and experiential systems.

In fact, leaders seek more than just reporting and dashboards, they expect to make real decisions. A recent Constellation Research survey identified key expectations from business analytics to include: supporting business strategy and planning; optimizing costs across the value chain; identifying hidden patterns and relationships in big data; providing context for relevant engagement; and predicting demand in networks.

The shift from transaction to engagement to experience depends on better business analytics.  Success requires that new business analytical tools support the information supply chain as data moves from a cacophony of upstream data sources to new and innovative downstream modes of consumption.

Why Does Everyone Need Analytics?  Because work—as we know it—soon won’t be as we know it.

Think real time. Connect finance and operations together with plans, forecasts, budgets, and a global view of the business so that everyone can see what they need, the way they need it.

Think mobile. Manage your business anywhere with a swipe of your finger from an iPad or mobile device by updating plans, doing real-time analysis, and collaboration.

Excel who? Think analytics for all.

Come join us for an interactive discussion and webinar! Register today!