Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

Salesforce Brings Conversation and Customer Experience to the Forefront

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 16, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Dreamforce has become the largest enterprise software event for businesses in the United States, and it is evident why when looking at it this year. With over 170,000 business and IT professionals attending, Salesforce came to show off upcoming product announcements and innovations. This year's biggest focus was on Einstein Voice (a personalized and intelligent conversational assistant), integration with other platforms, and Salesforce Customer 360. The last of these is the start of an answer to a problem we have well documented; businesses struggle getting a full view of the customer and provide a frictionless response to issues and interactions. For the full breakdown of Dreamforce 2018, and my analysis of all the largest announcements, watch my hot take video.

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Topics: Customer Experience, digital technology, Digital Marketing, Marketing, Intelligent CX, Voice of the Customer, AI, Machine Learning, natural language processing, Robotic Process Automation, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SPM, CRM, Salesforce.com, Dreamforce

GDPR: Business or Technology Vendors Ready or Not?

Posted by Mark Smith on May 11, 2018 8:36:25 AM

We are have arrived at the May 25, 2018 date when the European Union’s General Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR) become enforceable, following what has been a two-year transition period. Companies were given this time to put in place reasonable measures and the systems necessary to support the legislation’s wide-ranging personal data privacy requirements, which apply to any organization with more than 250 employees that serves EU citizens. While this regulation will apply in the EU, it has implications for any organization in the world that provides services involving the personal data of any EU citizen.

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Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, data science, Internet of Things, Mobile, Big Data, Data Integration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Customer Experience, Billing and Recurring Revenue, Contact Center, Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, digital technology, collaboration for business, Cybersecurity, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Digital Commerce, mobile marketing, Sales

Beyond Digital Transformation: Effective Technology Innovation in 2018

Posted by Mark Smith on May 7, 2018 12:55:31 AM

Advancing the potential of any business requires continuous improvement in the processes and technology that support it. Many companies have embraced attempts at a digital transformation, and it’s become a goal to which organizational resources and budgets have been dedicated around the globe.

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Topics: Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, data science, Internet of Things, Mobile, Big Data, Data Integration, Data Governance, Data Preparation, Information Optimization, Machine Learning, Customer Experience, Billing and Recurring Revenue, Contact Center, Customer Analytics, Customer Engagement, Customer Service, Workforce Optimization, digital technology, collaboration for business, Cybersecurity, Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing, Mobile Technology, Wearable Computing, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Digital Commerce, Marketing Performance Management, Pricing and Promotion Management, Product Information Management, Office of Finance, Operations & Supply Chain, Sales

Ventana Research Unveils New Digital Marketing Mastery

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 17, 2016 12:21:03 AM

Today’s rapid changes in technology have left many companies behind in the digital transformation that is shaping the future of marketing, sales, commerce and client engagement. At Ventana Research we have seen this change coming, having been close observers and analysts of technological shifts for almost 15 years, providing continuous research and guidance to the technology industry. Now the leading edge is the digital point of engagement with customers through websites and social media. Earlier this year I wrote about mastering marketing mayhem in a meaningful, meticulous manner explaining how organizations can adapt to the new digital reality. Well, we are taking our own advice. Ventana Research spent the first half of 2016 reflecting on lessons learned and best practices from our research and advisory efforts. The result is our new community and website, www.ventanaresearch.com that we have announced and is available for everyone on the Internet. With it we strive to set an example of simplicity in engaging an audience in need of insights and education on technology applied to business.

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Topics: Customer Experience, digital technology, Mobile Technology, Marketing, Marketing Performance Management, Cloud Computing, Mobile

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

Is NetSuite Sweet for Customers?

Posted by Ventana Research on May 26, 2016 9:58:59 AM

It’s widely agreed that customer experience is now the most important dynamic for business. Any organization that wants to retain loyal and even vocal customers should do everything possible to ensure and maintain customer satisfaction. Software companies, especially those that promise to provide CRM and effective interactions across any channel at any time, should be good examples of embracing the methods they prescribe for using their products. But do they?

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Customer Experience, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), HCM, HR, HRMS, Human Capital, Human Capital Management, Marketing, NA14, NetSuite, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Social Media, TribeHR, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Zach Nelson

Can We Trust Salesforce for Business in the Cloud?

Posted by Mark Smith on May 14, 2016 9:30:47 AM

I have been meaning to write about Salesforce since its Dreamforce 2015 conference. Salesforce provides a platform, tools and applications for business and IT who claims to be the ‘no software’ company which as you will read is exactly what happened on May 10th. Heck, Salesforce is making a lot of advances on its platform, its applications and even with Analytics and the Internet of Things. These changes are at the center of what at our analyst firm calls digital business innovation. Much of what it’s doing is very good, but now I am questioning whether the company’s foundation of business processes and technology platform has reached a point at which it can’t grow any further without impacting its own customers’ operations and success. That may be a harsh statement, but I think my reasoning will become clear as you read this perspective.

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Topics: Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Customer Service, IOT, Marketing, NA14, Sales, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Salesforce.com

Datawatch Bolsters Data Preparation for all Information Assets

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 10, 2015 10:26:30 PM

The need for businesses to process and analyze data has grown in intensity along with the volumes of data they are amassing. Our benchmark research consistently shows that preparing data is the most widespread impediment to analytic and operational efficiency. In our recent research on data and analytics in the cloud, more than half (55%) of organizations said that preparing data for analysis is a major impediment, followed by other preparatory tasks: reviewing data for quality and consistency (48%) and waiting for data and information (28%). Organizations that want to apply analytics to make more effective decisions and take prompt actions need to find ways to shorten the work that comes before it. Conventional analytics and business intelligence tools are not designed for data preparation, but new software tools can enable business users independently or in concert with IT to perform the tasks needed.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Data Preparation, Datawatch, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Human Capital, Information Management (IM), Information Optimization, Marketing, Monarch, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Uncategorized, Business Intelligence

Product Information Management Trumps Master Data Management

Posted by Ventana Research on Nov 8, 2015 6:44:36 PM

Ventana Research defines product information management (PIM) as the practice of using information, applications and other technology to effectively support product-related processes across the customer, commerce and supply chain. As organizations increase the number and diversity of products and services they offer to customers and partners, they increasingly need to address limitations in the ways they manage and distribute product information, including related attributes and content that describes the pro­ducts. At the same time, compe­ti­tive pressures require them to be able to incorporate large amounts of new content – video and images, for example – quickly while ensuring that the information present­ed to customers is accurate, operational processes run uninterrupted and timely data is available for business analysis. In an en­vironment in which consumers, suppliers and partners use multiple channels to get to product information – including websites, kiosks, smart­phones and tablets – it is essential that the organization always be able to present complete and up-to-date product information to inspire interest and facilitate purchases.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Performance Management (BPM), CIO, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Governance, Information Management (IM), Information Optimization, Marketing, Master Data Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Product Information Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM)

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