Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

Top Ten Best Practices Learned from 2011 Technology Market Chaos and Stupidity

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 30, 2011 4:31:46 PM

While we will wait until January to publish our recommendations for the new year, we can digest the lessons learned in 2011 within the technology markets and with Ventana Research right now. That’s appropriate, since we at Ventana Research are committed to helping you with solid information and education. We help thousands of organizations make a better, faster, safer, smarter and more cost-effective environment for leveraging technology to its fullest extent. Our benchmark research worldwide across thousands of organizations of all sizes and vertical industries has found there is a lot more room for improvement than most realize or are addressing.

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Topics: Social Media, Sustainability, Market Research, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, 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, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Salesforce.com looking for a Successful Rypple in Human Capital Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 20, 2011 12:51:51 PM

Salesforce.com made a surprising announcement of its agreement to acquire Rypple, a software company that defines its product as a social goals application. I call this a surprise because although Salesforce has been extending its reach beyond sales and customer service to IT in providing a platform, tools and a database for building applications and storing data in the cloud, until now it has not entered directly into other lines of business. After its annual Dreamforce conference last summer, I analyzed the company’s strategy and products. Now I want to consider what this acquisition means for Salesforce and the human capital management market.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, SAP, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Technology, Chatter, CIO, Cloud Computing, Information Management, Oracle, Business Applications, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, COO, CRM, HR, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SalesCloud, Service Cloud, SFA, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Talent Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), digital technology

SAP Aims to be More Cloudy and Mobile in 2012 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 19, 2011 3:37:44 PM

I attended the annual SAP Influencer Summit (Twitter #SAPSummit), at which executives from SAP meet with analysts and customers from around the world to discuss the company’s direction. Pointing out that in 2012 SAP will reach its 40th anniversary of operations, chief communications officer Hubertus Kulpus and chief marketing officer Jonathan Becher kicked off the summit, then passed the microphones to co-CEO Jim Hagemann-Snabe and CTO Vishal Sikka for overviews of the business and technology strategies. They presented a well-rehearsed dialogue on SAP’s definition of its software business as being in two areas, the “system of record” and “system of engagement”; the first term describes its transactional applications and the second its portfolio of business analytics.

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Topics: Mobile, Sales, SAP, Social Media, Sustainability, Human Capital Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Smart Phones, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Business Applications, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, COO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), HR, Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Sybase, Tablets, Talent Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), digital technology

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, Customer Feedback Management, Marketing, Merced Systems, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Revenue Performance, Sales Compensation, Sales Force Automation, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 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)

SAP Spends Big on SuccessFactors for Cloud Computing and Talent Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 5, 2011 12:14:01 PM

In a move to invigorate adoption of its cloud computing and talent management applications, SAP has announced its intent to acquire SuccessFactors – a deal valued at US$3.4 billion . SAP’s years of development and business efforts have produced only mediocre results in customer growth and revenue in cloud computing for human capital management comparably to its expectations and others in the market. In a teleconference SAP and SuccessFactors executives hyped the potential of the combined organizations. SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott said that it will become a “Cloud Powerhouse” and a “Unbeatable Force” and “will become the number-one cloud computing HCM solution in the cloud – period.” This may overstate the case: SuccessFactors is unproven as a power in cloud computing beyond the appeal of its own applications for human capital and HR. It can’t compare, for example, to the reach of Salesforce.com and its Force.com and application ecosystems like that in salesmarketing and other people-related application areas nor provide a platform and tools supporting collaboration and mobility.

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Topics: SAP, Human Capital Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Mobility, Oracle, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), HRMS, Infor, SumTotal Systems, Talent Management, Taleo, Workday, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)