Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

SAP’s Opens Road for HANA and Big Data at SAPPHIRE NOW

Posted by Ventana Research on May 26, 2011 4:21:24 PM

At this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference (Twitter: #SAPPHIRENOW) SAP demonstrated its in-memory computing technology and applications. SAP’s High Performance Analytic Application (HANA), which I think of as a high-availability network appliance, is part of the technology industry movement to increase the performance and scalability across a range of applications, from analytics to transactions, to drive timely insights on data or real-time interactions across a business value chain that includes everyone from customers to suppliers. As part of the in-memory computing initiative, SAP demonstrated its in-memory database, which uses a columnar data store that employs technology SAP acquired with the Sybase IQ product. As I noted before the conference, in-memory technology is part of a major new focus for this global business applications company.

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Topics: SAP, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Technology, 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)

SAP’s New Management and Products Faces the Future at SAPPHIRE NOW

Posted by Mark Smith on May 13, 2011 11:13:48 AM

It is no easy task to change the culture of a global technology company, especially one that has a very demanding customer base with high expectations for advancing its widespread product lines. This is the challenge that SAP faces as it transitions from a company of three-letter-acronym collections of applications including CRM, SCM and ERP to one that focuses on specific business processes and needs. (My colleague recently discussed the problems in forklift migrations of ERP.)  This transition is necessitated by the shift of purchasing power and influence for applications back to business after over a decade of IT control. This alone might not seem like a drastic change, but reframing its entire dialogue and sales approach is not simple for a company the size of SAP. It must continue to grow through new applications and substantive upgrades of existing ones and cannot rely just on maintenance fees from the installed base. Over the last several months we’ve kept an eye on SAP as it builds up of its annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference, investigating changes in products and management. I’d like to share some of our firm’s analysis with those of you who have invested with or are looking to invest in SAP.

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Topics: SAP, Social Media, Sustainability, Other, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Technology, 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), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

SAS Institute: The Multi-Billion Dollar Business Analytics Supplier

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 14, 2011 10:21:42 PM

The just-concluded SAS Institute analyst summit (Twitter: #SASSB) provided the annual update on the company’s performance, strategy, products and customers. My analysis of last year’s event talked about its continuation of its product roadmap to new customer acquisition and the broadening of its underlying platform, applications and vertical solutions. SAS is no small-time mover and shaker when it comes to the analytics industry; it extends from technology to tools and applications across industries, which adds up to $2.4 billion in revenue. SAS’s growth was worldwide, with Canada and Asia-Pacific delivering the largest percentage revenue growth and Europe, Middle East and Africa representing the largest revenue for the company at more than $1 billion in revenue; U.S. revenue came in slightly lower.

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Topics: SAS, Social Media, Fraud, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Technology, CIO, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Information Technology, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Risk, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

SAS Institute: The Multi-Billion Dollar Business Analytics Supplier

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 9, 2011 8:47:05 PM

The just-concluded SAS Institute analyst summit (Twitter: #SASSB) provided the annual update on the company’s performance, strategy, products and customers. My analysis of last year’s event talked about its continuation of its product roadmap to new customer acquisition and the broadening of its underlying platform, applications and vertical solutions. SAS is no small-time mover and shaker when it comes to the analytics industry; it extends from technology to tools and applications across industries, which adds up to $2.4 billion in revenue. SAS’s growth was worldwide, with Canada and Asia-Pacific delivering the largest percentage revenue growth and Europe, Middle East and Africa representing the largest revenue for the company at more than $1 billion in revenue; U.S. revenue came in slightly lower.

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Topics: SAS, Social Media, Fraud, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Technology, CIO, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Information Technology, Operational Intelligence, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Risk, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

SAP Retrofits Business Intelligence and Information Management to meet IT and Business Needs

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 25, 2011 12:43:48 AM

SAP has reached a critical milestone in launching version 4 of its business intelligence (BI) and enterprise information management (EIM) product suite from its SAP BusinessObjects portfolio. These offerings, currently in final beta testing, will be released as a collection of software products by midyear.

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Topics: SAP, Social Media, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Technology, CIO, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Technology, Operational Intelligence, Business Performance Management (BPM), 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)

The Diminishing Science of Research in Technology Analyst Firms

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 18, 2011 10:45:13 AM

The technology analyst industry has ended its barrage of exuberant predictions for the new year. After digesting all of these commentaries (some were a challenge, I admit), we need to stop our predicting and instead start a discussion about what all of us ought to be doing. From my perspective, that should be an annual statement of direction, what we here call the research agenda. I have decided it is time to remind all of us what this important activity is and why it is really important to see from industry analysts.

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Topics: Market Research, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Technology, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Business Performance Management (BPM), 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), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

The Business Technology Revolution in 2011

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 17, 2011 5:12:02 PM

The new year has brought a revolution in business technologies that allows enterprises to roll out new applications, processes and services in record time. What used to take a business six months to a year to develop and deploy – and not too long ago that was considered fast! – can now be done in a week or two, making enterprise application and business intelligence deployments of the recent past seem more like ancient history.

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Topics: Social Media, Market Research, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Technology, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Uncategorized, Business Performance Management (BPM), 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), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Social Media Ignorance in the IT Analyst Industry

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 17, 2011 2:51:54 PM

Social media, the newest channel of communication across the Internet, is increasingly being used to influence, but also to deliver advice and research. I wrote about this revolution last year (See: “The Social Media Revolution in Industry Analyst Community”), reporting on the transformation that is underway and the work of our firm along with Altimeter Group and dozens of other active industry analysts. While some industry analysts are aggressively engaged in social media, using Twitter and producing blogs, there are many more who apparently do not see any value in the time and energy it takes to engage these new channels. Although the larger IT analyst firms – GartnerForrester, and IDC – have provided channels for their analysts to blog, only  a small percentage of analysts at these firms actually use them. It is useful that IDCForrester, and Gartner have provided a library of their analysts on Twitter that includes their handles, as a review shows that their analysts appear to have viewed the channel as a novelty, giving it a shot in 2009 but doing little since. At least the Forrester listing groups its analysts into research areas; other firms apparently expect you to figure out the focus of their analysts on your own. These are good first steps, but they still don’t make it easy for those who wish to follow them on these channels; they still leave it to you, the reader, to make sense of the different social media identities of their analysts, to figure a Twitter handle from the blog post and visa versa.

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Topics: Social Media, Market Research, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Technology, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Business Performance Management (BPM), 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), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Microsoft Hopes for a Miracle with Windows Phone 7

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 28, 2010 3:26:14 PM

Mobile computing isn’t new anymore. The capabilities of smartphones, among other things, enable businesses to run applications across an enterprise and workers to collaborate across business and social networks. In this endeavor Microsoft was early to market with its Windows CE devices that provided e-mail and Web browsing to phones. For the first years it was a low-level battle among Microsoft, RIM Blackberry and Palm as well as Nokia devices that were used mostly in Europe. In the last few years Microsoft has fallen behind in hardware and software sophistication, and even last year’s introduction of the Windows Mobile operating system had major issues, lacking multitasking, cut-and-paste, search and other basics that are essential for a phone to be smart. Meanwhile Apple has had massive growth with its iPhone, and Google has deployed the Android operating system for multiple devices and is growing its position in market. When I wrote about this movement with Apple in 2009 Apple had had a successful first year and I personally had ditched my Windows phone after giving up on Microsoft’s inability to develop effective mobile software integrated with hardware.

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Topics: Microsoft, Mobile, Mobile Applications, Mobile Technology, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Mobility, Business Technology, CIO, Business Performance Management (BPM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Digital Technology