Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

Beqom Simplifies Compensation in Sophisticated Ways

Posted by Ventana Research on Jan 15, 2015 10:00:51 AM

It is more important than ever for businesses to attract and retain the best talent, and managing compensation effectively is an essential tool for doing so. Obviously companies must pay well to compete, but managing salary, merit pay, variable pay and incentives for employees, tracking their hiring anniversaries and conducting accurate performance appraisals make total compensation management a complex process. All of this must be managed within budget and policy guidelines. As organizations grow and require more employees, the challenges multiply and the difficulty increases. Our benchmark research finds that inconsistent execution is the top impediment to effective compensation management for nearly half (47%) of organizations. Software designed for this purpose can help.

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Topics: HCM, human resources, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Compensation, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Compensation, Customer Performance Management (CPM), finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), HR, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Talent Management, TCM, total compensation management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

The Future of Integrating ERP and Applications in the Cloud

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 30, 2014 9:23:41 PM

In recent years line-of-business applications including accounting, human resources, manufacturing, sales and customer service have appeared in the cloud. Cloud -based software as a service (SaaS) has replaced on-premises applications that were previously part of ERP and CRM environments. They have helped companies become more efficient but have also introduced interoperability challenges between business processes. Their advantage is that cloud software can be rented, configured and used within a day or week. The disadvantage is that they don’t always connect with one another seamlessly, as they used to and when managed by a third party there is limited connectivity to integrate them.

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Topics: ERP, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Order Management, Business Analytics, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Accounting, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM)

Research Agendas for 2014: Optimizing the Use of Technology for Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 8, 2014 7:50:02 AM

Greetings, everyone, and best wishes for a great start to 2014. In this new year, utilizing best practices and skills learned in 2013 will be critical for optimizing the use of efforts to support both business and IT. In 2013 many organizations made progress in balancing technology decisions across business and IT as the lines of business continued to take leading roles in investment and prioritization. Major investments were made in business applications using software as a service, business analytics and mobile computing applications. In some other areas of innovation, particularly big data and social collaboration, deployments are just beginning to happen and a significant amount of projects are in experimental and proof of concept than enterprise use.

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Topics: Big Data, Social Media, Analysts, Market Research, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, COO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Technology, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Anaplan Innovates Business Modeling and Planning

Posted by Mark Smith on May 29, 2013 11:07:43 AM

Anaplan’s software is designed to help organizations across finance, sales and operations improve accuracy, timeliness and collaboration in their business analytics and planning. I recently attended the company’s first user conference, Hub 2013, in San Francisco, which featured customer success stories and latest on product information. Anaplan has built its business on the subtleties of modeling and planning that are shared between sales, operations and finance departments, and it enables them to apply analytics to projections in revenue, sales, forecasting, territory planning, commissions, quotas and profitability – areas that are intertwined through many business processes. Anaplan’s team has more than decades of experience in the analytics and planning software markets that has led to its devised cloud-based, in-memory computing software.

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Topics: Big Data, Planning, Anaplan, FP&A, Modeling, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Sales Planning, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

SAP HANA is Technology Platform of Choice for SAP

Posted by Mark Smith on May 21, 2013 10:05:53 AM

At this year’s annual SAP user conference, SAPPHIRE, the technology giant showed advances in its cloud and in-memory computing efforts. It has completed the migration of its conventional application suite and portfolio of tools to operate on SAP HANA, its in-memory computing platform, and made improvements in its cloud computing environment, SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. The last time I analyzed SAP HANA was when it won our firm’s 2012 Overall IT Technology Innovation Award. Now HANA has been transitioned from just a database technology into a broad platform. SAP wisely consolidated its efforts previously known as SAP NetWeaver into SAP HANA. This resolves some confusion regarding HANA and NetWeaver in the cloud, which I assessed. The recently announced SAP HANA Platform now provides the enterprise class of HANA implementation in the cloud. It comes with a trial edition of the data and visual discovery technology now called SAP Lumira, whose price has been reduced to encourage adoption (and which I discuss more below). The use of in-memory databases for big data is accelerating: According to our technology innovation research, 22 percent of organizations are planning to use this technology over the next two years, and through 2015 it will have a higher growth rate than other approaches.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, SAP, Social Media, Teradata, Mobile Technology, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), HP, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, CMO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), SAP EPM, SAP HANA, SAP Lumira, SAPPHIRE, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Tagetik, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Oracle Aims To Simplify IT and Innovate Your Business

Posted by Mark Smith on May 1, 2013 12:11:30 PM

I was recently at Oracle Analyst World which is the vendor’s annual gathering of technology industry analysts. Its executives and others in the products organization deliver the latest news on where the titan is focusing efforts to expand its technology and markets. This year, against the background of the consumer and business markets embracing mobile and cloud computing, Oracle is working to sound like a more friendly supplier that can help remove legacy issues and inefficiencies that plague CIOs and data centers. Oracle also used this forum to attract IT departments to the technology advances it has made across its deep and broad portfolio of products. Oracle has more than 3,900 software products and more than 3,000 software patents that indicate its significant investment in R&D. Now the company is beginning to release improved products more frequently, which most customers now expect from technology vendors.

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Topics: Big Data, Mobile, Social Media, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social Collaboration, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, COO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Tidemark Leads New Wave of Innovation in Planning and Performance Excellence

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 29, 2013 11:36:35 AM

Organizations succeed through continuous planning to achieve high levels of performance. For most organizations planning is not an easy process to conduct. Planning software is typically designed for only a few people in the process, such as analysts, or organizations might use spreadsheets, which are not designed for business planning across an organization. Most technologies only allow you to examine the past and not plan for the future. For decades organizations have tried to focus planning on driving better results through higher participation, but they have usually failed, as technology has not advanced enough to support this business need.

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Topics: Big Data, forecasting, Mobile Technology, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Operations, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Cloudera, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Box.net, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), Business Planning, CFO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Tidemark, Workday, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Equifax Workforce Solutions for Human Capital Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 14, 2012 11:58:44 AM

Businesses need to simplify HR and compliance processes to save time and reduce risk. Talx, which helps employers address concerns in hiring, pay and compliance, has now assumed the name of its parent company and become Equifax Workforce Solutions [PDF]. HR and finance professionals should recognize the parent company’s brand from its work in the consumer credit industry. The company hopes these professionals will see that Equifax Workforce Solutions offers a better approach to governance, risk and compliance. According to our research, 79 percent of organizations want a better method to identify and manage risks faster.

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Topics: Equifax, eThority, GRC, I9, Operational Performance Management (OPM), payroll, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), CFO, Compensation, compliance, finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Hiring, HR, TALX, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Workforce Solutions

A Decade of Research at Ventana Research

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 16, 2012 1:47:44 PM

I’m happy to say that Ventana Research celebrated its tenth anniversary at our recent Business Technology Innovation Summit in San Jose at the Tech Museum. This location was fitting, since at the event we introduced and presented our first-ever Technology Innovation Awards and seventh annual Leadership Awards. If you did not get a chance to attend, we have the live webstream available for replay at no cost; thanks to Splunk for sponsoring this to let everyone enjoy the sessions.

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Topics: Big Data, SAP, Social Media, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Peoplefluent, Planview, Research, Splunk, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, CIO, Cloud Computing, IBM, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), Ceridian, CFO, CMO, COO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Datawatch, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Saba, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Technology, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Planview Helps Direct Business and IT Portfolios to Optimal Outcomes

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 20, 2012 11:55:26 AM

Business has been getting smarter about using technology for analyzing processes and optimizing outcomes, but still has much room for improvement when it comes to operational management. Traditional project management has advanced to encompass financial and operational planning, including prioritization toward goals and expected outcomes, creating the concept of portfolio management. In essence, optimizing the use of people and processes associated with products and services along with supporting technology is what portfolio management is all about. Unfortunately, many organizations that use personal productivity tools do not realize that email, presentations and spreadsheets are not efficient or effective  tools for these purposes compared to adopting applications designed for them.

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Topics: Operational Performance Management (OPM), Portfolio Management, Analytics, Business Analytics, CIO, Cloud Computing, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)