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

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

Salesforce Analytics Cloud Delivers Wave of Elegant Dashboards

Posted by Ventana Research on Nov 5, 2014 8:25:12 AM

At this year's Dreamforce more than 140,000 people gathered in San Francisco to share the excitement about the use of technology for business. Salesforce.com’s annual conference has reached megashow status, which is a mixed blessing: Dreamforce remains social in its design, but it has become impersonal due to its size. In any case Salesforce had plenty to show off. The company has continued to enhance its cloud-based business applications for sales and customer service, and in the last year it has added marketing through acquisitions. It also has advanced the attraction of its cloud computing platform; even IT departments see its approach as a simple way to use and build applications, especially mobile ones which the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets have made critical to business. Cloud computing is becoming the defacto approach for new applications and software for business and now IT, and its importance continues to grow: Our benchmark research on business technology innovation shows that it is important or very important to more than half (57%) of organizations. At Dreamforce, Salesforce announced Salesforce1 Lightning (available in 2015), a way to assemble mobile applications that can operate across platforms. Salesforce makes the technical details of the mobile platform transparent and facilitates assembly of mobile applications.

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Topics: Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Operational Performance Management (OPM), Sales, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Business Intelligence, Salesforce.com

Qvidian Helps Sales Optimize Execution

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 23, 2014 10:02:20 AM

Few sales organizations realize their full potential, partly because they don’t execute well. We urge organizations to move beyond conventional wisdom in how they think about executing sales processes and have placed methods for making improvement to sales execution at the center of our research on sales in 2014. In our recent research on sales forecasting almost half (44%) of sales organizations said they have impediments that are motivating management to consider further investment in sales technology, and the most common of those is inconsistent execution (for 53%). Many sales organizations don’t use training in a consistent manner and fail to automate processes to gain efficiency.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Qvidian, Sales Coaching, Sales Force Automation, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Sales, Salesforce.com

Informatica Establishes Order from Information Chaos

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 11, 2013 4:06:35 PM

I recently attended the annual Informatica analyst summit to get the latest on that company’s strategy and plans. The data integration provider offers a portfolio of information management software that supports today’s big data and information optimization needs. Informatica is busy making changes in its presentation to the market and its marketing and sales efforts. New executives, including new CMO Marge Breya, are working to communicate what is possible with Informatica’s product portfolio, and it’s more than just data integration.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, CEP, Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Management, Data Quality, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Informatica, Informatica Cloud, Information Management, Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Location Intelligence, Master Data Management, MDM, Operational Intelligence, Strata+Hadoop, Business Intelligence, Salesforce.com

SnapLogic is Making Big Data Integration as a Service a Hadoop Reality

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 1, 2013 10:11:12 AM

SnapLogic, a provider of data integration in the cloud, this week announced Big Data-as-a-Service to address businesses’ needs to integrate and process data across Hadoop big data environments. As our research agenda for 2013 outlines, dealing with data in the cloud is very important to organizations. At the same time, businesses need to be able to integrate their big data with all their technology assets, as I pointed out recently.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Cloudera, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Data Integration, Information Applications (IA), Information Management, Information Management (IM), Operational Performance Management (OPM), R, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SnapLogic, Big Data, Salesforce.com

Oracle Fusion for CRM and HCM Ready with a Mobile Tap

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 4, 2012 12:10:20 PM

I attended Oracle’s annual OpenWorld conference this week. The company claims it holds the world’s largest technology conference, with 50,000 attendees and a million people viewing sessions online. It was a great opportunity to get close to the Oracle Fusion Applications, which the company presented as proven and ready, with customers using them on-premises and in private and public cloud computing usage methods. In keynotes from executives Larry Ellison, Mark Hurd and Thomas Kurian and application-focused sessions with executives Steve Miranda and Chris Leone, Oracle repeated the message that Fusion Applications are not just for cloud computing and web services but are also accessible through mobile technology called Oracle Fusion Tap that operates natively on the Apple iPad. The company left no confusion about its applications’ readiness for cloud and mobile computing, and provided insight into future advancements.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance Management (BPM), Cloud Computing, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Information Management (IM), Mobile Technology, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Oracle, Sales, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SAP, SFA, Social Collaboration, Social Media, Workday, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Business Intelligence, Salesforce.com

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

Salesforce Struggles to Deliver on the Dream of Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 21, 2012 12:35:51 PM

I was at the Salesforce.com Dreamforce conference this week to hear about the latest advancements from the cloud computing software giant. Salesforce has helped revolutionize cloud computing for business, and its social media and collaborative technologies help advance business processes in sales, customer service and improve the interactions between employees, partners and customers. Salesforce has made great advancements in cloud, social and mobile technology, as I have assessed and my colleague did too.

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Topics: Analytics, Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance Management (BPM), Cloud Computing, Cloud9 Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Domo, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Gooddata, InetSoft, Information Applications (IA), Information Builder iway, Information Management (IM), Operational Intelligence, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Predictive Analytics, QlikView, Roambi, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SnapLogic, Social Media, Salesforce.com, KXEN

Are You Dreaming Social? Salesforce Is!

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 18, 2012 10:47:07 AM

The annual Salesforce.com Dreamforce conference (Twitter: #DF12), just underway, may be the largest software conference ever, with attendance, physically and on the Internet, expected to be 90,000. Certainly, as one of the largest software events of 2012, this conference will be heavily covered via social media, while under the roof of the Moscone Center and surrounding hotels Salesforce will be demonstrating the power of using social media concepts in the enterprise and combining those concepts with collaboration software. Salesforce, which has become a cloud computing and software–as-a-service force in the industry, is publicizing its new efforts in marketing and in work applications. Once a conference for marketing and sales professionals, Dreamforce is now a technology and IT event that interests many IT organizations that are examining how renting software on the Internet can help their efforts and support their business priorities more efficiently than purchasing it.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance Management (BPM), Cloud Computing, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Dreamforce, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), Operational Intelligence, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Research, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFDC, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Business Intelligence, Salesforce.com