Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

The Mastery of Marketing Performance Management

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 18, 2016 5:26:28 AM

Managing marketing performance is anything but simple. It requires establishing a unified approach to assess the outcomes of initiatives and projects and compare results with investments in marketing people and campaigns. In general, while performance management has been conducted effectively at the corporate levels, it has been a challenge for most lines of business, marketing departments included.

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Topics: Social Media, Marketing, Marketing Performance Management, Marketing Planning, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Uncategorized, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CMO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Demand Generation, Sales Performance Management (SPM)

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)

Teradata Brings In-Memory Computing and Data Discovery to Big Data

Posted by Mark Smith on May 8, 2013 11:19:41 PM

Teradata recently gave me a technology update and a peek into the future of its portfolio for big data, information management and business analytics at its annual technology influencer summit. The company continues to innovate and build upon its Teradata 14 releases and its new processing technology. Since my last analysis of Teradata’s big data strategy, it has embraced technologies like Hadoop with its Teradata Aster Appliance, which won our 2012 Technology Innovation Award in Big Data. Teradata is steadily extending beyond providing just big data technology to offer a range of analytic options and appliances through advances in Teradata Aster and its overall data and analytic architectures. One example is its data warehouse appliance business, which according to our benchmark research is one of the key technological approaches to big data; as well Teradata has advanced support with its own technology offering for in-memory databases, specialized databases and Hadoop in one integrated architecture. It is taking an enterprise management approach to these technologies through Teradata Viewpoint, which helps monitor and manage systems and support a more distributed computing architecture.

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Topics: Big Data, MicroStrategy, SAS, Tableau, Teradata, Customer Excellence, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, CIO, Cloud Computing, Hadoop, In-Memory Computing, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Business Intelligence (BI), CMO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Discovery, Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), Intelligent Memory, Teradata Aster, visual discovery

Technology Innovation in 2013 is a Business and IT Priority

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 29, 2013 10:35:02 AM

The proper use of technology enables businesses to be more efficient. Our recent research into technology for business innovation found that 56 percent indicate innovative technology is very important, yet only 9 percent are very satisfied with theirs, showing plenty of room for improvement. As we enter 2013, businesses have more choices than ever for technology to improve business and IT. Our firm has identified six key technologies that give organizations significant competitive advantages: big data, business analytics, business and social collaboration, cloud computing, mobile technology and social media. Our research agenda for 2013 is designed to help organizations assess and analyze these technologies and make the best possible decisions.

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Topics: Big Data, Social Media, Mobile Technology, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social Collaboration, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CMO, COO, CTO, 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)

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)

Social Media Stupidity in the Technology Industry

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 16, 2012 12:31:36 PM

If you follow my writing, you’ve seen blog posts with titles such as Industry Exposé: Technology Vendors Skew Analysts and Influencers and Industry Analyst Art or Fiction: Questionable Technology Predictions, so it should be no surprise I can’t resist an opportunity to talk about a little bit of insanity on the part of technology suppliers and industry analysts about social media.

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Topics: Social Media, Operational Performance Management (OPM), CIO, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Twitter, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CMO, COO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Industry Analyst, Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Technology Vendors, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Industry Exposé: Technology Vendors Skew Analysts and Influencers

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 5, 2012 12:06:01 PM

In my more than a decade of writing on the trends and direction of the technology industry, occasionally I have talked about the dark side of technology industry analysts. In that vein, I wrote about the diminishing science of research in technology analyst firms, which has impacted the quality of the analysis and advice given by analysts. It built on my previous post on Why Bad Research Could Jeopardize Your Business. Unfortunately, the ethics and morals in the technology analyst industry have not gotten a lot better since I wrote those pieces, especially when it comes to the objectivity and independence of the research. Now it is time to provide shed light on the financial bias of written research and blogs by industry analysts and the firms they represent and publish under in coverage and rating of technology vendors.

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

NICE to Acquire Merced Systems for Excellence in Customer Service and Sales

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 6, 2011 11:45:21 PM

NICE Systems last week announced an agreement to acquire Merced Systems, a provider of business applications for customer service and sales organizations. This acquisition slipped by with little fanfare, but it marks a significant milestone for NICE, a major provider of applications and technology for call centers and a player in their evolution into multichannel contact centers. Building on a good 2010, as my colleague Richard Snow noted, NICE expects to reach almost $800 million of revenue in 2011, which would make it one of the largest companies in its segment. NICE has made multiple acquisitions to build its software portfolio, including purchases of Actimize, CyberTech, eGlue and others mentioned below. It recently won our 2011 Ventana Research Leadership Award in the contact center category with its customer deployment at Alliance Data. NICE Systems plans to have Merced Systems as a foundation of its enterprise systems and a complement to its contact center workforce optimization offering. This purchase builds on its other acquisitions, including FizzBack recently and IEX and Performix in 2006, which helped NICE establish its customer service and back office agent performance management software. That area has not grown as quickly as NICE would like, mostly due to marketing that was not aggressive enough in attracting customers. NICE recently rebranded its NICE SmartCenter for helping agents, as Richard noted, and is leveraging its assets into the back office, which he also assessed. Our benchmark research on contact center technology found that companies’ priorities for future investments match up well with NICE Systems’ focuses on expanding customer service agent applications and analytics applications.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Marketing, Merced Systems, NICE, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Revenue Performance, sales analytics, Sales Compensation, Sales Force Automation, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, CFO, CMO, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Proposal Software Simplifies Key Aspects of Sales

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 25, 2011 11:39:48 PM

Sales proposals can determine whether a deal is booked or lost. In most organizations the process of creating and delivering a proposal is manual and one-off, with many potential places for mistakes. This lack of rigor and efficiency impairs many organizations’ ability to leverage their resources. Proposal Software helps sales organizations with an application called PMAPS that addresses sales management and operations. 

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Topics: Sales, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Marketing, Mobile Business, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Force Automation, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Business Performance Management (BPM), CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), DF11, Financial Performance Management (FPM), proposals, Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), sales pitch, SFA, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Salesforce Presents New Social Enterprise with Chatter, Mobility and Data

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 2, 2011 12:45:50 PM

At the Dreamforce conference, Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) CEO Marc Benioff unveiled the latest evolution of the company’s strategy and supporting technology for cloud computing and mobile technologies. Its aim is to enable businesses to engage with customers and prospects via social media channels – what Salesforce calls the “social enterprise” – and empower employee and customer social networks to operate individually and together. Note I did not mention CRM, which doesn’t have a role in this platform for basic interactions with prospects and customers and is accompanied by a large ecosystem of partners that provide dedicated marketing and contact center applications. As summarized in its announcement, Salesforce’s strategy is clearly different from that of others in the applications market, including Oracle and SAP, which have products for the cloud computing environment and have made strides into integrating collaboration and social media capabilities into their applications.

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Topics: Sales, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Sustainability, Marketing, Mobile Business, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Cloud, Sales Force Automation, social enterprise, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Chatter, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), DF11, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Service Cloud, SFA, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)