Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

Kronos Takes Tablets and Tasks to Workforces

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 14, 2012 9:03:28 AM

Workforce management software vendor Kronos released its financial results at its 15th annual KronosWorks conference (#KronosWorks12) this week. As a private company Kronos had $870 million in revenue for its 2012 fiscal year ending in September, making Kronos one of the largest software and technology companies in the world. Our benchmark research into next-generation workforce management finds the most important technology priorities are collaboration (70%), analytics (68%) and mobility (43%). Kronos addresses these trends with its portfolio of workforce management applications.

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Topics: Mobile Technology, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Tablets, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Management, 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)

WorkForce Software Focuses on Effective and Efficient Workforces

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 27, 2012 9:20:17 AM

Our research agenda for 2012 in human capital management outlined the importance of workforce management for all organizations. One provider, WorkForce Software, provides systems that support scheduling, time and attendance, leave and absence and fatigue management. As I noted in my last analysis on WorkForce Software, the company’s focus on the fatigue aspect of workforce management, especially in white-collar environments such as transportation, utilities and healthcare, has provided them both recognition and growth. I attended the company’s first technology analyst summit this week to get a deeper view into the company and its products and see how it is shaping up in light of our research on the key applications providers in this market.

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Topics: Big Data, SAP, Social Media, Sustainability, mobile workforce, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Other, SuccessFactors, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, 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), HTML5, Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Time & Attendance, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), workforce software

NICE Transforms Customer Experience through Mobile and Interaction Intelligence

Posted by Mark Smith on May 3, 2012 1:06:15 PM

I attended NICE Systems’ annual Interactions (Twitter #Interaction2012) conference in Nashville to get the latest from this growing global software business that focuses on customer-centric applications. If you have not heard of NICE you might not be primarily involved in managing and interacting with customers, the area in which NICE has been growing organically and by acquiring technology providers that complement its existing portfolio. As we discussed in recent analyses, and NICE acquired Merced Systems for its sales- and service-centric performance management applications and Fizzback for customer feedback management software. Both have helped it become a more strategically focused software business. NICE Systems targets enterprise contact centers as well as financial risk, compliance and security. NICE makes its applications available not just on-premises but also in software as a service and hosted environments.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Operational Intelligence, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Business Intelligence (BI), Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Interactive Intelligence, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

NICE to Acquire Merced Systems for Excellence in Customer Service and Sales

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 6, 2011 11:45:21 PM

NICE Systems last week announced an agreement to acquire Merced Systems, a provider of business applications for customer service and sales organizations. This acquisition slipped by with little fanfare, but it marks a significant milestone for NICE, a major provider of applications and technology for call centers and a player in their evolution into multichannel contact centers. Building on a good 2010, as my colleague Richard Snow noted, NICE expects to reach almost $800 million of revenue in 2011, which would make it one of the largest companies in its segment. NICE has made multiple acquisitions to build its software portfolio, including purchases of Actimize, CyberTech, eGlue and others mentioned below. It recently won our 2011 Ventana Research Leadership Award in the contact center category with its customer deployment at Alliance Data. NICE Systems plans to have Merced Systems as a foundation of its enterprise systems and a complement to its contact center workforce optimization offering. This purchase builds on its other acquisitions, including FizzBack recently and IEX and Performix in 2006, which helped NICE establish its customer service and back office agent performance management software. That area has not grown as quickly as NICE would like, mostly due to marketing that was not aggressive enough in attracting customers. NICE recently rebranded its NICE SmartCenter for helping agents, as Richard noted, and is leveraging its assets into the back office, which he also assessed. Our benchmark research on contact center technology found that companies’ priorities for future investments match up well with NICE Systems’ focuses on expanding customer service agent applications and analytics applications.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Marketing, Merced Systems, NICE, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Revenue Performance, sales analytics, Sales Compensation, Sales Force Automation, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, CFO, CMO, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

SAP Spends Big on SuccessFactors for Cloud Computing and Talent Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 5, 2011 12:14:01 PM

In a move to invigorate adoption of its cloud computing and talent management applications, SAP has announced its intent to acquire SuccessFactors – a deal valued at US$3.4 billion . SAP’s years of development and business efforts have produced only mediocre results in customer growth and revenue in cloud computing for human capital management comparably to its expectations and others in the market. In a teleconference SAP and SuccessFactors executives hyped the potential of the combined organizations. SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott said that it will become a “Cloud Powerhouse” and a “Unbeatable Force” and “will become the number-one cloud computing HCM solution in the cloud – period.” This may overstate the case: SuccessFactors is unproven as a power in cloud computing beyond the appeal of its own applications for human capital and HR. It can’t compare, for example, to the reach of Salesforce.com and its Force.com and application ecosystems like that in salesmarketing and other people-related application areas nor provide a platform and tools supporting collaboration and mobility.

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Topics: SAP, Human Capital Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Mobility, Oracle, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), HRMS, Infor, SumTotal Systems, Talent Management, Taleo, Workday, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Kronos Puts Workers and Managers in Touch

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 11, 2011 12:43:23 PM

At its 2011 KronosWorks annual user conference, the workforce management application provider advanced its agenda with the introduction of new applications to further its global presence. From my visit, and from looking back at my analysis of its 2010conference, it seems the company’s focus is to simplify management of an hourly workforce.

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Topics: Human Capital Management, Kronos, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance Management (FPM), HRMS, Talent Management, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

SumTotal Systems Optimizes The Use of Human Capital

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 11, 2011 11:58:22 AM

I just attended the first-ever analyst summit (Twitter #SumAS11) of SumTotal Systems to learn more about the company’s people and products since my in-depth analysis from earlier in the year. This key player in the business applications market offers a portfolio of applications in HRMS, workforce management and talent management, pieced together over several years with financing from its owner, Vista Equity Partners. This has been a busy year, as SumTotal acquired GeoLearning, Accero and CyberShift to gain entry into the expense and workforce management application markets.

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Topics: SAP, Human Capital Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Oracle, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), HRMS, Infor, SumTotal Systems, Talent Management, Workday, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Kronos Goes Usability and Mobility in New Releases

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 26, 2010 6:07:48 PM

At its annual user conference in Las Vegas, Kronos unveiled the next stage of its approach to workforce management to its customers and partners, showing an aggressively confident posture after completing its fiscal year 2010 with revenue increased 9 percent to $741 million. Kronos is the largest provider of workforce management systems for time and attendance, scheduling, absence tracking, hiring and workforce analytics. Kronos offers the software in several delivery options: through conventional licensing and deployment on-premises, as a managed, hosted service and now software as a service (SaaS). Kronos has made progress since my in-depth analysis last year of its roadmap for its workforce management applications.

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Topics: Human Capital, Human Resources Management, Kronos, Mobile Applications, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Compensation, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Talent Management, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Kronos Goes Usability and Mobility in New Releases

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 26, 2010 7:47:13 AM

At its annual user conference in Las Vegas, Kronos unveiled the next stage of its approach to workforce management to its customers and partners, showing an aggressively confident posture after completing its fiscal year 2010 with revenue increased 9 percent to $741 million. Kronos is the largest provider of workforce management systems for time and attendance, scheduling, absence tracking, hiring and workforce analytics. Kronos offers the software in several delivery options: through conventional licensing and deployment on-premises, as a managed, hosted service and now software as a service (SaaS). Kronos has made progress since my in-depth analysis last year of its roadmap for its workforce management applications.

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Topics: Kronos, Learning, Performance, Cloud Computing, Compensation, Talent Management, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)