Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

Callidus Muscles Up With ForceLogix – But Can It Step Up to the Plate?

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 31, 2010 12:25:57 PM

In a very quiet and very subtle move, Callidus Software  (NASDAQ: CALD) has offered to purchase the assets of ForceLogix for about $3.75 million. This sales applications software company provides sales coaching software to help sales managers realize the full value of their sales representatives. In 2010, Callidus Software entered into an OEM agreement to embed ForceLogix within a new offering called Sales Coaching; it clearly concluded that the opportunity to expose the application to further opportunities in its customer base was too important for ForceLogix to be allowed  to continue to operate independently, and so it used some of its stated cash position of almost $11 million at end of September. This step into a pre-sales and sales management application is a key move toward expanding its sales performance management position. I would guess that Callidus sees some significant revenue growth in 2011 and beyond for its purchase.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Coaching, Sales Effectiveness, Sales Operations, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Callidus Software, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM)

The Headquarters Effect and Salesforce.com

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 24, 2010 11:38:41 AM

Wall Street has many leading indicators to work with, some serious – such as housing starts and the purchasing managers’ index – and some done a bit tongue-in-cheek. One of the latter is the Super Bowl Indicator, which says that if a team from the original National Football League wins the game, the market will be up for the year, but if an old American Football League team wins it, the market will be down. The amazing thing is that so far this heuristic has an accuracy rate better than 75%! On the other hand, over time some venerable weather vanes become unreliable. For example, the “hem line theory” (that stocks rise and fall with the direction of this aspect of women’s fashion) lost its (ahem) legs, partly because fashion these days is much more anarchic.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM)

The Secrets behind Salesforce.com’s Strategy

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 20, 2010 2:17:38 PM

If you missed the biggest cloud computing conference, salesforce.com’s Dreamforce 8, (Twitter: #DF10) you missed an opportunity for insights into where CEO Marc Benioff is leading his company. The mission of salesforce.com, inc., goes way beyond the sales force automation that made its name, as I just discussed. That should not be surprising if, as I have, you followed its announcements and partnerships over the years. Now, I admire the efforts of salesforce, and we are a customer, but someone needs to fully analyze the implications of its actions – or lack of them – in many areas. For one, my colleague already assessed its analytics and support of dashboards that has room for improvement.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, CIO, Cloud Computing, Business Intelligence (BI), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM)

Can Your Sales Force Trust Salesforce.com?

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 17, 2010 12:00:12 PM

At the 2010 Dreamforce conference (Twitter #df10) in San Francisco, about 18,000 people gathered to learn about the latest in salesforce.com’s applications and technology. Attendees from sales organizations might have been looking for some depth on the next generation of applications to support their sales processes or what the vendor will do to help sales managers manage, sales reps sell products and sales operations support it all. Certainly it’s reasonable for a sales force automation (SFA) customer to expect that.

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Topics: Sales, Salesforce.com, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Sales Performance Management (SPM)

SAP Energizes CRM with Analytics and Interactions, But Will It Work?

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 14, 2010 11:28:36 AM

At the SAP Global Influencer Summit (Twitter #SAPSummit) that I just assessed the company addressed, among many other things, its SAP CRM vision and recent advances. SAP has shifted its focus from standard customer relationship management (CRM) to the customer lines of business where professionals increasingly see that the enterprise customer experience should span channels and processes in marketing, sales and customer service. SAP now is focusing on specializing its applications for a customer-focused set of business processes, which can be differentiated in its vertical industry solutions more than its horizontal CRM applications. This industry approach makes sense for SAP, which has not been able to tap into the new energy and applications in marketing, sales and service but is aware of multichannel customer requirements. Let’s start by looking about what SAP is focusing on in the customer lines of business.

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Topics: SAP, Customer Experience Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Chief Information Officer, Enterprise Software, Business Performance Management (BPM), CRM

SAP Elevates Technology Strategy for Enterprise Software and Solutions

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 13, 2010 4:46:29 PM

At this year’s Influencer Summit (Twitter: #SAPSummit) SAP’s executive leadership team summarized the company’s progress in 2010 and described its plans for the coming year in a range of technologies. The event led off with co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe discussing by video from Germany the business and technology areas in which SAP expects growth in 2011. Jim focused SAP’s efforts in on-premises and on-demand delivery, mobility and in-memory computing, which are important to a new generation of products the company is bringing to market. He asserted that SAP does not need to acquire a lot more technology to innovate and grow its portfolio. While I thought the apologetic attitude about being late in updating SAP’s on-premise applications was unnecessary, the emphasis on its growth and technology was well communicated.

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Topics: SAP, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Chief Information Officer, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Business Intelligence (BI)

IBM Struts Its Software Solutions and Middleware Stuff

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 7, 2010 6:48:30 AM

This month at its annual global analyst summit, IBM Connect 2010 (Twitter: #Connect10), IBM updated its direction and strategy for enterprise software. The company’s group executive in charge of software and systems, Steve Mills, discussed the business, its success in 2010 and organizational changes in naming Senior VP Mike Rhodin to manage the solutions group (which includes Analytics, Lotus and Industry Solutions) and Senior VP Robert LeBlanc to manage the middleware group (WebSphere, Information Management, Rational and Tivoli). This change occurred as Mills takes responsibility for the systems group and brings more focus to IBM’s growing portfolio from acquisitions in the software and middleware areas. In an open discussion Mills also talked about advances in analytics, cloud computing, collaboration and mobility technologies that use business intelligence in the IBM Cognos portfolio (See: “Cognos 10 Breaks Down Barriers To Business Intelligence and Analytics“) and in information management technologies grouped in IBM InfoSphere (See: “IBM Makes InfoSphere Information Server a Force in IT”). Steve outlined the importance of the technology investments in each area and the growth of the IBM portfolio which is quite substantive.

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Topics: Data Warehousing, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IBM, Operational Intelligence, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

HP Gives Up on Business Intelligence and Analytics Markets

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 5, 2010 10:38:43 PM

No one has seemed to notice that in the last several months, Hewlett-Packard has quietly made changes to its participation in the enterprise software market; this will significantly change HP’s value for CIOs and IT organizations in regards to business intelligence (BI) technologies.

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Topics: Data Warehousing, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Software, HP, Business Intelligence (BI), HP Neoview, Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM)