Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

Oracle Modernizes HR with Mobile and Wearable Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 22, 2014 6:43:03 AM

At Oracle’s first-ever HCM World conference, the technology company demonstrated its commitment to human resources customers, explaining its strategy for Modern HR in the Cloud, which is focused on meeting the needs of employees in a large, dispersed workforce. The conference was insightful both intellectually and practically in its discussions of how workforces are changing. Oracle also showed its commitment by having both President Mark Hurd and CEO Larry Ellison present keynotes. This was the first time both have addressed a conference other than the flagship Oracle OpenWorld. It is worth watching the replays of their talks, which reveal the company’s motivation and investment in human capital management (HCM). In developing its HCM products Oracle has in mind multigenerational workforces that require software that is adaptable to people, competencies and new technologies such as mobile devices and social collaboration and recognizes the imperative to access workforce information and analytics immediately. The rebranded Oracle HCM Cloud Service has gained significant momentum, as my colleague Stephan Millard pointed out in his recent analysis of Oracle’s HCM portfolio. Taking a global approach it supports users in 196 countries, 34 languages and multiple currencies and operates entirely in a cloud environment.

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Topics: Big Data, Social Media, Human Capital Analytics, Human Capital Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Recruiting, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Oracle, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), HR, Information Applications (IA), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Talent Management, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

MicroStrategy Reveals New Generation of Analytics for Cloud and Mobile Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 18, 2014 8:18:32 AM

At its recent MicroStrategy World 2014 conference, the enterprise software company introduced a portfolio of products to make it easier to perform analytics and make them easier to access through the cloud and mobile forms of computing. These announcements accelerate MicroStrategy’s transition to approaching corporate business users of analytics from its past focus on business intelligence, which typically is purchased by IT. This is a subtle but strategic shift that recognizes where growth opportunities lie and that analytics must be available on any device at any time. MicroStrategy made it clear that advances in the cloud, mobility and big data were integral to its product releases last year and is continuing in this direction in 2014 with the products in its MicroStrategy 9.4 suite.

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Topics: Big Data, MicroStrategy, Mobile, Social Media, Customer Engagement, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Smart Phones, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Business Performance Management (BPM), Information Applications (IA), Tablets

The Challenge for Sales in 2014: Stepping Beyond Conventional Wisdom

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 31, 2014 8:46:26 AM

It should be no surprise for those who work in sales that increasing outcomes collectively is not always easy. Sales teams and individuals work under pressure to perform at high levels, selling more than they did in the previous period or more than the person who previously had responsibility for a territory. Today’s economic and competitive environments demand that everyone work not just faster but smarter in their sales efforts. To excel in this environment requires not just wise use of time but prioritization of the activities and tasks that contribute to achieving the quota and forecast. In the past, sales organizations often resisted adopting new technology, but it’s time for them to realize that tools are available to facilitate better sales performance. As I outlined in the overview of our business and technology research agenda for this year, the sales department has a ripe opportunity to get smarter in how it operates. This is the essential point of our research practice in sales applications and technology: Our methodical benchmark research examines applications and technology best practices and benefits for sales organizations, and we assess the vendors and products in this market through our Value Index ratings. We will start 2014 with the latest release of our Value Index on Sales Performance Management, which will help sales management evaluate products to assist in improving performance of the organization.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales, Social Media, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Business Performance Management (BPM), Compensation, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA

Big Data Offers Business Opportunity for Information Optimization in 2014

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 27, 2014 9:10:32 AM

Businesses are always looking for ways to grow and to streamline their operations. These two goals can come into conflict because as organizations become larger it becomes more complicated to be agile and efficient. To help them understand and modify their processes, businesses can derive insights from analytics applied to their data. Today that data is available not only in the enterprise and cloud computing environments but also from the Internet. To collect, process and analyze it all is a challenge, one that an increasing number of organizations are meeting through the use of big data technologies. The resulting insights can help them make strategic business decisions such as where to focus efforts and how to engage with customers. At Ventana Research we have been working hard to understand the advancing technology that supports big data and its value through information optimization and bring clarity to the industry through our research and analysis of trends and products. There are many opinions about big data and fixation on the attributes of it through the V’s (volume, variety and velocity) and how to use it, often biased toward one technology or vendor; our research and analysis of the entire market cuts through the noise to provide not just facts but insights on best practices and methods to apply this technology to business problems.

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

IBM Bets a Billion to Mobilize Watson Business Unit and Monetize Cognitive Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 13, 2014 8:04:48 AM

With much fanfare and a rarely seen introduction by CEO Ginni Rometty, IBM launched IBM Watson as a new business unit focused on cognitive computing technology and solutions, now being led by Senior Vice President Mike Rhodin. The announcement is summarized here:. Until now IBM Watson was important but had neither this stature in IBM’s organizational structure nor enough investment to support what the company proclaims is the third phase of computing. As IBM tells it, computing paradigms began with the century-old tabular computing, followed by the age of programmatic computing, in which IBM developed many products and advancements. The third phase is cognitive computing, an area in which the company has invested significantly to advance its technology. IBM has been on this journey for some time, long before the IBM Watson system beat humans on Jeopardy!. Its machine-learning efforts started with the IBM 704 and computer checkers in the 1950s, followed by decades of utilizing the computing power of the IBM 360 mainframe, the IBM AS/400, the IBM RS/6000 and even IBM XT computers in the 1980s. Now IBM Watson is focused on reaching the full potential of cognitive computing.

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

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, Market Research, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, 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)

Ventana Research Technology Innovation Awards Are More Than Cool

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 31, 2013 1:33:58 AM

In the realm of technology that matters for business and IT, our firm as part of our responsibility continually assesses the latest technology and how it can impact organizations’ efficiency and effectiveness. Our benchmark research in technology innovation found that 87% of participants indicated the importance of increasing the organization’s value through technology innovation. Every year we take our knowledge from research and technology briefings to focus on our Technology Innovation Awards and determine the vendors and products that have the potential to drive change in the market, the competitiveness of an organization’s business and sometimes just how efficiently a company operates. Our firm believes that Innovation can come from any size technology vendor from the smallest to the largest that are measured on a spectrum of attributes that contribute to the specific impact of the technology.

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Topics: Big Data, Datameer, Mobile, Sales, Social Media, Sustainability, Customer, ESRI, Globoforce, GRC, HCM, Kronos, Kyriba, Location Analytics, Marketing, NetBase, Office of Finance, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Overall Operational Leadership, Peoplefluent, Planview, SQLstream, VMWare, VPI, IT Analytics & Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, CIO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Hortonworks, IBM, Informatica, Information Builders, Information Management, Information Technology, KXEN, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, Business Performance Management (BPM), Contact Center, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Datawatch, Financial Management, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), Information Optimization, IT Performance Management (ITPM), Johnson Controls Panoptix, Roambi, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Service & Supply Chain, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Upstream Works, Vertex, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Xactly

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, Business Intelligence, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), HP, 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 Intelligence, Business Mobility, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, 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, Mobile Technology, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Operations, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Cloudera, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), 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)