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

Marketing Planning Improves Performance

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 27, 2016 3:01:25 AM

As global business increases competitive pressures, marketing departments face new challenges. They must anticipate and respond to frequently changing customer preferences and produce effective programs and campaigns to attract them. In the online world where customers can jump instantly from one company to another, Marketing must develop new ways to catch and hold their attention. Doing this well requires systematic, flexible planning that begins with the CMO and engages the entire department to utilize the full portfolio of resources and act as one to serve their mission.

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Topics: Financial Performance Management (FPM), Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Uncategorized, CMO

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

Next Generation of Product Information Management Empowers Digital Business

Posted by Ventana Research on May 24, 2016 9:22:34 AM

Organizations in all industries face various difficulties in managing product information. The most serious is providing complete, engaging information to consumers and customers on the internet. Newly developed products, mergers and acquisitions, changes to pricing and promotions in online commerce spur business growth, but these factors also increase the amount and complexity of product-related data and content. In addition the digital economy offers a new generation of services that are sold by subscription and packaged in various options and price points. As well, global diversification of suppliers, customers and business partners forces organizations to manage data quality and consistency in multiple locations, currencies and languages.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), Cloud Computing, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Management (IM), Information Optimization, Operational Performance Management (OPM), PIM, Product Information Management, Sales, Market, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Uncategorized

Mr. President and Department of Labor: Move Aside; Let Employees Work and Learn

Posted by Ventana Research on May 21, 2016 1:33:19 PM

Through a federal rule referred to as “Overtime Rule” and part of Title 29 regulations was issued on May 18th, 2016 by the Department of Labor (DOL), the Obama administration now mandates that unless they meet criteria for exemption, employees paid less than $47,476 ($22.825 per hour) are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours per week. The rule change, which goes into effective on December 1, 2016, is intended to apply to executive, administrative and professional employees; it has exemptions for teachers, lawyers and other specific jobs and industries.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Contingent Labor, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Department of Labor, Final Rule, Financial Performance Management (FPM), FLSA, Governance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Human Capital, Human Capital Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Overtime Rule, Part 541, POTUS, President Obama, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Uncategorized, Wage and Labor, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Workforce Planning

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

Digital Business Innovation and Enterprise Messaging Work Well Together

Posted by Ventana Research on May 11, 2016 8:30:52 AM

Organizations are facing a digital transformation, as I have written, that is rapidly changing the applications and services that businesses use to operate and deliver information. This new digital generation addresses the expectations of consumers and business partners for information and service in real time. One example of it is enterprise messaging. Recently I wrote about the shift to this technology and the challenges it poses for organizations that lack sufficient skills. However, new messaging appliances and virtualized messaging can carry some of this burden. By interconnecting them, organizations can be more confident in their ability to support the range of information and applications that operate in real time, not only for people but on devices and machines.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance Management (BPM), Cloud Computing, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Enterprise messaging, Internet of Things, IoT, mid, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Management (IM), Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Social Media, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Uncategorized

Zuora Enables Subscriptions to Engage Customers for Revenue Results

Posted by Ventana Research on Apr 28, 2016 10:26:07 AM

As the global economy transforms into a world of digital services that cross industries, including those that provide value-added services for physical products, managing the complications that arise from digital browsing, selection and purchasing of goods, as well as activation, billing and servicing of accounts, becomes a challenge. Organizations have to not just engage customers but provide satisfying experiences that keep them coming back. Our benchmark research on next-generation customer engagement shows that improving the customer experience is the most widespread impetus to improve engagement, for almost three-quarters (74%) of organizations. Few however have established business processes and applications that support these efforts, which today involve marketing, sales, customer service, operations and accounting departments. We also find that some of the largest suppliers of cloud computing software provide the worst experiences when it comes to billing for and changing existing subscriptions.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Subscription, Recurring Revenue, Zuora, Uncategorized

Docebo Innovates Learning Management Systems for Employees and Customers

Posted by Ventana Research on Apr 14, 2016 8:29:15 AM

The learning management system (LMS) offers opportunity for organizations to progressively enhance the effectiveness of their workforce. An advanced LMS can be more than a digital version of an organization’s training programs for specific jobs or to achieve compliance with policies and regulations. It can provide dynamic yet informal learning that business units can create, deploy and sustain through their own efforts. Last year I outlined the benefits of this new generation of learning management systems.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance Management (BPM), Cloud Computing, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Human Capital, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Uncategorized, LMS