Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Systems, 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