Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

Plumbing the Salesforce Clouds is Your Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 25, 2012 11:26:54 AM

Salesforce is a global software-as-a-service (SaaS) company to be reckoned with. The swarming crowds at its Dreamforce event last week were estimated to exceed 90,000. The company is rapidly growing an ecosystem that includes Sales, Service and Marketing Clouds; Force.com for building applications; and Data.com for storing data in the cloud centrally for use across Salesforce products. It is also focusing on social computing, as I outlined at the beginning of the event. Hundreds of Salesforce partners complement and in some cases compete with the company with a large range of applications and tools available on the Salesforce AppExchange.

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Topics: Big Data, Master Data Management, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Kapow Software, Operational Performance Management (OPM), SnapLogic, Zyme Solutions, Business Analytics, CIO, Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Informatica, Information Builders, Information Management, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Data, data integrity, database.com, IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM)

Sales Performance Management Is Red-Hot with Applications

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 19, 2012 1:07:21 PM

We have just released our 2012 Value Index for Sales Performance Management (SPM), in which we evaluate the competency and maturity of vendors and products. Our firm has been researching this software category for many years, and our latest benchmark research in sales performance management found many areas for improvement among sales applications in a field where many sales organizations still use outdated or insufficient applications to manage revenue generation and customer relationships.

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Topics: Microsoft, Sales, Salesforce.com, SAP, NICE, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Oracle, Business Performance Management (BPM), CallidusCloud, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Synygy, Varicent, Xactly

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), Apple, Business Technology, Chatter, Chief Information Officer, Cloud Computing, Information Management, Oracle, Business Applications, Business Performance Management (BPM), Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operation Officer, CRM, HR, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SalesCloud, ServiceCloud, SFA, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Talent Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Proposal Software Simplifies Key Aspects of Sales

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 25, 2011 11:39:48 PM

Sales proposals can determine whether a deal is booked or lost. In most organizations the process of creating and delivering a proposal is manual and one-off, with many potential places for mistakes. This lack of rigor and efficiency impairs many organizations’ ability to leverage their resources. Proposal Software helps sales organizations with an application called PMAPS that addresses sales management and operations. 

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Topics: Sales, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Marketing, Mobile Business, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Force Automation, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Business Performance Management (BPM), CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), DF11, Financial Performance Management (FPM), proposals, Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), sales pitch, SFA, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Salesforce Presents New Social Enterprise with Chatter, Mobility and Data

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 2, 2011 12:45:50 PM

At the Dreamforce conference, Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) CEO Marc Benioff unveiled the latest evolution of the company’s strategy and supporting technology for cloud computing and mobile technologies. Its aim is to enable businesses to engage with customers and prospects via social media channels – what Salesforce calls the “social enterprise” – and empower employee and customer social networks to operate individually and together. Note I did not mention CRM, which doesn’t have a role in this platform for basic interactions with prospects and customers and is accompanied by a large ecosystem of partners that provide dedicated marketing and contact center applications. As summarized in its announcement, Salesforce’s strategy is clearly different from that of others in the applications market, including Oracle and SAP, which have products for the cloud computing environment and have made strides into integrating collaboration and social media capabilities into their applications.

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Topics: Sales, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Sustainability, Marketing, Mobile Business, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Cloud, Sales Force Automation, social enterprise, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Chatter, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), DF11, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Service Cloud, SFA, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Get the Most from Dreamforce for Your Sales Force

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 30, 2011 12:31:04 PM

Salesforce.com’s 2011 Dreamforce conference is under way. If you’re in sales and you use the company’s application, here’s how to gain the most value from your time at the conference. 

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Topics: Sales, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Marketing, Marketo, Merced Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Qvidian, Revenue Performance, Sales Force Automation, Sales Operations, Zilliant, Zyme Solutions, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Callidus Software, Camelon Software, CFO, ChannelInsight, Cloud9, CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Varicent, Vendavo, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Xactly

Cloud9 Delivers Sales Forecasting

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 29, 2011 10:45:59 AM

If you want to hit the booking and revenue targets required to operate a business, you have to manage your sales forecast and pipeline. Optimally you should be able to monitor and act upon them any day of the week and make adjustments whenever you need to. Unfortunately, most organizations have to wait until they finish their manual efforts at the end of the month or quarter, or they miss critical changes in deals and behavior because they rely only on reporting from their sales force automation (SFA) software.  

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Topics: Sales, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Marketing, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Revenue Performance, Sales Force Automation, Sales Forecasting, Sales Operations, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Cloud9 Analytics, CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Callidus Muscles Up With ForceLogix – But Can It Step Up to the Plate?

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 31, 2010 12:25:57 PM

In a very quiet and very subtle move, Callidus Software  (NASDAQ: CALD) has offered to purchase the assets of ForceLogix for about $3.75 million. This sales applications software company provides sales coaching software to help sales managers realize the full value of their sales representatives. In 2010, Callidus Software entered into an OEM agreement to embed ForceLogix within a new offering called Sales Coaching; it clearly concluded that the opportunity to expose the application to further opportunities in its customer base was too important for ForceLogix to be allowed  to continue to operate independently, and so it used some of its stated cash position of almost $11 million at end of September. This step into a pre-sales and sales management application is a key move toward expanding its sales performance management position. I would guess that Callidus sees some significant revenue growth in 2011 and beyond for its purchase.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales Coaching, Sales Effectiveness, Sales Operations, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Callidus Software, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM)

The Headquarters Effect and Salesforce.com

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 24, 2010 11:38:41 AM

Wall Street has many leading indicators to work with, some serious – such as housing starts and the purchasing managers’ index – and some done a bit tongue-in-cheek. One of the latter is the Super Bowl Indicator, which says that if a team from the original National Football League wins the game, the market will be up for the year, but if an old American Football League team wins it, the market will be down. The amazing thing is that so far this heuristic has an accuracy rate better than 75%! On the other hand, over time some venerable weather vanes become unreliable. For example, the “hem line theory” (that stocks rise and fall with the direction of this aspect of women’s fashion) lost its (ahem) legs, partly because fashion these days is much more anarchic.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM)

The Secrets behind Salesforce.com’s Strategy

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 20, 2010 2:17:38 PM

If you missed the biggest cloud computing conference, salesforce.com’s Dreamforce 8, (Twitter: #DF10) you missed an opportunity for insights into where CEO Marc Benioff is leading his company. The mission of salesforce.com, inc., goes way beyond the sales force automation that made its name, as I just discussed. That should not be surprising if, as I have, you followed its announcements and partnerships over the years. Now, I admire the efforts of salesforce, and we are a customer, but someone needs to fully analyze the implications of its actions – or lack of them – in many areas. For one, my colleague already assessed its analytics and support of dashboards that has room for improvement.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, CIO, Cloud Computing, Business Intelligence (BI), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM)