Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

Oracle Aims To Simplify IT and Innovate Your Business

Posted by Mark Smith on May 1, 2013 12:11:30 PM

I was recently at Oracle Analyst World which is the vendor’s annual gathering of technology industry analysts. Its executives and others in the products organization deliver the latest news on where the titan is focusing efforts to expand its technology and markets. This year, against the background of the consumer and business markets embracing mobile and cloud computing, Oracle is working to sound like a more friendly supplier that can help remove legacy issues and inefficiencies that plague CIOs and data centers. Oracle also used this forum to attract IT departments to the technology advances it has made across its deep and broad portfolio of products. Oracle has more than 3,900 software products and more than 3,000 software patents that indicate its significant investment in R&D. Now the company is beginning to release improved products more frequently, which most customers now expect from technology vendors.

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Topics: Big Data, Mobile, Social Media, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social Collaboration, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, COO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

IBM Provokes Social Collaboration and Smarter Workforce Revolution

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 31, 2013 4:05:26 PM

IBM held its 20th annual IBM Connect conference (previously known as Lotusphere) as part of its IBM Social Business efforts at the end of January. The conference focuses on business and social collaboration technology, which our business technology innovation research found to be the second-ranked priority for business innovation. At the conference IBM made a series of significant announcements, including a new version of its social collaboration suite, IBM Connections, and the ability to use the software on a cloud computing platform.

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Topics: Social Media, Human Capital Management, Kenexa, Learning, Performance, Recruiting, Smarter Analytics, Smarter Workforce, Social Business, Social Collaboration, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IBM, Compensation, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Technology Innovation in 2013 is a Business and IT Priority

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 29, 2013 10:35:02 AM

The proper use of technology enables businesses to be more efficient. Our recent research into technology for business innovation found that 56 percent indicate innovative technology is very important, yet only 9 percent are very satisfied with theirs, showing plenty of room for improvement. As we enter 2013, businesses have more choices than ever for technology to improve business and IT. Our firm has identified six key technologies that give organizations significant competitive advantages: big data, business analytics, business and social collaboration, cloud computing, mobile technology and social media. Our research agenda for 2013 is designed to help organizations assess and analyze these technologies and make the best possible decisions.

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Topics: Big Data, Social Media, Mobile Technology, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social Collaboration, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CMO, COO, CTO, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Happy New Year: Build on Foundation of Lessons Learned in 2012

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 4, 2013 2:10:51 PM

Happy New Year to all my readers and followers. I hope everyone has gotten some rest and is ready for a great 2013. 2012 was a busy year in which we saw a critical inflection point, where an elevated focus on new methods and innovative technological approaches such as big data, business analytics, business and social collaboration, cloud computing, mobile technology and social media become part of the mainstream business and IT dialogue. These technologies are beginning to be part of or embedded into enterprise software that will be available in 2013. This is a critical step forward that will help organizations become more efficient in their operations and use technology to its fullest. As we start the new year, I thought a reflection back on the some of the highlights from 2012 was in order.

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Topics: Big Data, Social Media, Sustainability, Market Research, Mobile Technology, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social Collaboration, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, CIO, Cloud Computing, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Technology, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Top Priorities for the Next Generation of Workforce Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 30, 2012 11:23:09 AM

Since the early ’80s, when I personally experienced the transition from written time cards to cards for swiping on a time clock at a grocery retailer I worked at, I have been interested in the software and technology of workforce management. That gives me a perspective not many analysts can match when it comes to transitioning to new technology to help organizations manage and engage workforces. Ventana Research recently completed benchmark research on next-generation workforce management, covering technologies for worker and manager environments and operations. While the research found only 10 percent of organizations at the highest level of overall maturity, which we call Innovative, we did find organizations beginning to deploy and use new workforce management technologies. While we did not distinguish in our research between hourly and salaried employees, the majority of organizations were time-clock-based organizations using technology to manage the nuances of scheduling and working with hourly-based workforces.

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Topics: Mobile Technology, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social Collaboration, Business Performance Management (BPM), Workforce Analytics, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Building Your Workforce Into a Strong Tribe

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 15, 2012 10:37:32 AM

TribeHR has brought to market an HR application suite that uses social collaboration to empower workers and managers to perform tasks that might once have been done mostly by HR professionals, or not done at all. The software-as-a-service-based TribeHR application helps businesses with fewer than 500 employees with recruiting, applicant tracking, onboarding, performance and goal setting, and time and vacation management – but with a twist. By using social collaboration as a foundation for its functionality, TribeHR takes advantage of knowledge sharing, the most valuable approach our human capital management benchmark research found for engaging the workforce.

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Topics: Performance Management, Applicant Tracking, Human Capital Management, human resources, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Recruiting, Social Collaboration, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Hiring, HR, TribeHR, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

SumTotal Systems HCM Portfolio Advances in a Mobile and Social World

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 12, 2012 12:29:53 PM

During its annual industry analyst summit this week, human capital management software vendor SumTotal Systems introduced new heads of finance, marketing and sales, and talked about expanding operations in Europe and Asia-Pacific – all part of a business growth strategy that I am sure the company’s private equity owner is expecting. While I wrote about the company earlier this year, SumTotal now says it has signed up 85 new customers so far in 2012 for its human capital management suite, and its 3,500 customers include brand names such as McAfee, American Express, US Airways and EastWest Bank. Customers United Airlines, POET and McCain Foods made presentations at the summit that illustrated why SumTotal is a relevant and strategic HCM provider.

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Topics: Social Media, Human Capital Management, Mobile Technology, Recruiting, Social Collaboration, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Talent Management, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

In HR Technology, Social and Mobile Are Hot and Becoming Business Necessity

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 10, 2012 12:23:06 PM

This week I’m at the 2012 HR Technology Conference (Twitter: #HRTechConf) where the scene is more than cool – it is hip. In the past several years technology for human resources – now more often called human capital management – has transformed from administrative software to applications anyone in the workforce can use to access information about their company, job, goals, performance, pay, benefits and even what they can do to advance in the organization. HR technology is embracing the six most important current technology trends, namely big data, business analytics, business collaboration, cloud computing, mobile technology and social media. At this year’s conference, the focus on business collaboration called social collaboration and mobile was front and center.

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Topics: Social Media, Human Capital Management, Mobile Technology, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social Collaboration, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), HR, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Talent Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

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

The Mandate for Social Collaboration in Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 28, 2012 12:32:09 PM

It is hard to avoid seeing the impact of social media on our daily work, from marketing and sales to customer service. Consumers and customers can interact on the Internet to share their experiences and opinions often and easily, but internally we in business are still operating in the era of electronic mail and phone calls. Fortunately, that archaic state is changing. A new generation of technologies called social collaboration has evolved from social media to adapt to business needs. These technologies include broadcasting like Twitter, posting to digital walls like Facebook, discussion forums and online communities, and chat-based interactions, all used in a secure manner by an organization’s workforce. Since social collaboration is about people interacting for a common purpose across processes, using it for human capital management makes a lot of sense.

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Topics: Social Media, HCM, Human Capital Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social Collaboration, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), HR, IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Talent Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)