Come on, admit it: you read your horoscope. Maybe not every morning. But you do read it, even if just for comic relief, or because it allows you to feel a surge of superiority before you head out the door to scrape your car or pummel your way onto public transport. Either way, reading your horoscope is a pleasant diversion.
But here’s a horoscope for the new year that provides you with more than just coffee-side chuckles. If you read between the lines, you’ll find useful tips about the software selection process, and links to valuable software evaluation resources.
Aries: Don’t just start that software selection process— finish it. But you’ve got to realize that sending out request for proposal (RFP) templates to the vendors on your shortlist, and creating a scripted demo may be more than you can handle alone, no matter how independent you are. Exercise your brilliant leadership skills: delegate to your nearest and dearest Libra.
The end of 2007, at least in the space that I cover, has certainly been “the most wonderful time of the year” for one vendor - NetSuite. True, prior to that, Deltek had a decent initial public offering (IPO) , and possibly even more important, a stellar Q3 2007 quarterly report thereafter.
However, on December 20, 2007 NetSuite Inc., a vendor of on-demand, integrated business management application suites for small and medium-sized businesses [evaluate this product], opened for trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “N” (NYSE: N) after its more than successful IPO in which it raised $161.2 million. Various bloggers have duly covered the well-orchestrated IPO Dutch auction proceedings, such as AccManPro, BloggingStocks and ZDnet to name only a few. Read the rest of this entry »
You may still be feeling a little woozy from showing 2007 out the door. Make sure you’re not caught off-guard by 2008, with the top 6 trends you should watch for in the year ahead.
1. ERP—The Technology Matures
Read the rest of this entry »
While the Part I of this topic focused on Consona Corporation (former M2M Holdings), this time the discussion continues with the recently minted Solarsoft entity, privately owned by Marlin Equity Partners. True, in Part I, besides Infor, I could have also mentioned as old news the renaming of Verticent ERP Plus (formerly PowerCerv [evaluate this product]) as part of the ASA International parent and SoftBrands (formerly Fourth Shift and AremisSoft), but these companies have not that candidly professed their appetite for more acquisitions.
In any case, in April 2007 Canada-based CMS Software merged with the United Kingdom (UK)-based XKO Software Limited, a provider of specialist enterprise software. CMS has been in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) business for over 20 years, and, naturally, it has always looked for ways to improve the services and products it delivers to its customers. As the market increasingly demands consistent local service delivered on a global basis, the company hoped to enhance its ability to meet that demand via the merger.
But, when CMS and XKO merged they knew that they would eventually need to find a new name for the combined business. Namely, both firms were relatively well known in their local markets but the names have lost their original meaning and communicated little to new customers in new markets. According to the letter sent to all customers and partners, putting together a six-letter acronym didn’t make sense, so the company held an internal contest and the name “Solarsoft” was chosen, as suggested by a member of the staff. Read the rest of this entry »
Petersen takes aim at key buzzwords in the CRM industry, and I thought it’d be worth summarizing his list of the worst offenders–and his thinking about why they belong in the trash can.
The launch of TEC’s blog has somewhat coincided with my visit to Belgrade, Serbia (what used to be Yugoslavia and then Serbia & Montenegro) for personal reasons. Those several days spent in my homeland in late October/early November (whereby I missed my beloved Boston Red Sox’ winning the MLB World Series ’07 Championship, darn it!) I at least used this time to also learn about the enterprise applications market in that region, and maybe even in the entire Balkan region. I have never seen any such market report from any other analyst house about this (possibly obscure) region, and I thought this topic might be of interest to our (curious) readers as well as to me. To be fair, I’ve seen other similar trip reports, such as this recent one about the Australian enterprise applications market. Read the rest of this entry »
Laws a’mercy, now that’s what you call a flame war.
Consulting firm, 180 Systems, posted a little note regarding an article we recently published on some parts of the evaluation and selection process that we promote. I’d recommend checking out the 180 site for additional information. In fact they have a brief list of steps that tend to be very similar to commonly recognized selection best-practices, and are in many ways, close to what we at TEC recommend (more on that later as we’re preparing to publish our internal guide). 180 Systems has a few perspectives to contribute on the subject and that’s why I’m surprised they didn’t say something more critically astute in their post, which I cited above. Read the rest of this entry »
A new year is upon us and with that, the word “resolution” comes to mind…
res-o-l-u-tion – [rez-uh-loo-shun n] - noun
1. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
2. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
3. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
4. the act or process of resolving or separating into constituent or elementary parts.
5. the resulting state.
6. a solution, accommodation, or settling of a problem, controversy, etc.
7. reduction to a simpler form; conversion.
Taken from: Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
“Well, there’s always next year…”
Some people call this time of year the “holiday season.” Others just call it winter. And then there are those of us who call it the “end-of-the-year-crunch”—that special time when it seems there are far too many things to do, and way too little time to get any of them done. Some things just can’t wait, like putting the snow tires on your car before the first big blizzard (too late now, for people in most parts of Canada). Other things can get put off indefinitely, even when you know they have to be done—whether for deadline or not.
One of those things that can get put off indefinitely just might be your enterprise’s software selection project.
You’ve already obtained executive approval for the acquisition of a new XYZ software solution. Maybe a projected deadline has even been set for its implementation. And you’ve recently found out that you’re the lucky chump delegated to take charge of what can often be a rather complex and time-consuming task.
But you have your usual responsibilities, so this software selection thing… well, there’s always next year to get a start on it…
Anyone who’s ever been involved in choosing enterprise software knows it’s not an easy job. It takes months of preparation that involves gathering information from various departments, mapping business processes, preparing a business case, interviewing stakeholders, and getting buy-in from executives and users on the project. And that’s only the beginning!
But whose job is it to do all of this anyway? It’s often assumed that someone in IT (a technical professional) will be responsible for it. Other assumed targets are the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Technical Officer (CTO), and sometimes even the Chief Financial Officer (CFO)—depending on the type of enterprise software that is required. But believe it or not, most often the person that is handed the title of software selection “Project Manager” or “Project Champion” is just an ordinary Joe—(or Jane to be politically correct)—a department manager or project coordinator who knows the organization’s business processes like the back of their hand. While he (or she) may not have any particular technical expertise, he may certainly be able to add value to the project by knowing the business. So, why not; who better to handle this type of job, than someone like that?
Which brings me to the point of my story… Read the rest of this entry »
Well, the ERP Graveyard blog might sometimes be slightly deceiving, since not all enterprise resource planning (ERP) products necessarily die there. Some of them might even be resurected under a different name and ownership.
To that end, Infor might even seem like old news today. It’s been five years since its formation (no pun intended here, given its subsequent acquisition of former Formation Systems, with the Infor Optima PLM product as a result). Also, many articles have meanwhile been written on our web site about Infor’s collection/arsenal of once all but deceased ERP products, such as:
However, 2007 has seen the emergence of two brand new names in the space — Consona Corporation and Solarsoft Business Solutions. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s the final point in a series of four aimed at identifying a “good” IT white paper (and providing helpful hints, should you need to write one). The previous points addressed the importance of the white paper’s introduction, of writing to a specific audience, and of proposing a viable solution. The final point, appropriately enough, considers key features of an effective conclusion.
4. All’s Well that Ends Well…
The first paragraph of the white paper is important, but no less so the conclusion. It should be “practical and memorable,” according to both Michael Stelzner and Ed Gandia, a technology copywriter. And for best effect, it should include a call to action: a clear (doesn’t hurt to say it again) statement that compels the reader to do grab that bull by the horns and make a decision.
I’m a bit swamped right now, but I thought I’d address a number of specific requests from your comments in Supply Chain Management 101 by pointing you to a bunch of other free resources on our sites:
Here is the third point in a series that looks at the key features to consider when writing an IT white paper… so that you not only get your reader’s interest, but keep it.
Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?
Identifying a problem isn’t enough, no matter how much “affinity” is established with the reader (see previous post and Michael Stelzner’s site). The proposed solution must be both practical and clearly stated.
Want to join the ranks of the hapless and the crushed?
Want to become an oft-cited statistic in software selection horror stories?
Here’s how, in 10 easy steps.
1. Fail to get user buy-in.
Users, bless their souls, just won’t use an application they don’t want to use. Especially if they feel it’s been foisted on Read the rest of this entry »