Gartner seems to be in the news a lot lately. First, they announced they will acquire AMR and now we find out that a vendor is suing them for not being included in the Magic Quadrant.
I wasn’t surprised to find out that the name of the website where the news was published is techdirt. Another interesting post on the same website caught my attention: five years ago, a woman sued a telecom company because a driver talking on his cell phone caused an accident. The lawsuit was considered ridiculous, and it’s not out of solidarity with our fellow analysts, but I think the one against Gartner is also ridiculous.
P.S. For those interested, you can buy techdirt’s silence for $100,000,000. I guess the big software vendors could afford that…
2009 has been a hard one for all of us. All companies, big or small, in all industries, have been more or less affected by the economic downturn. And even though some people think that the recovery has already started and next year will be better, we all know that it cannot be much better. Not to mention that we might have to get through the second wave of the crisis. In both cases, a full recovery is not likely to happen next year.
Under these circumstances, it seems more important than ever to have a good plan for the next year–in other words, a strategy. One definition of a strategy is “a plan of action … intended to accomplish a goal.” Since all companies have goals, they should also have a strategy that defines how they intend to accomplish those goals. The ultimate goal for a company is profit, but the key is how you intend to get it: find more customers, sell more to the same customers, reduce costs, increase margins, etc.
And when I say a plan, I’m not talking about some ideas in the heads of a couple of managers that they don’t share with others (sometimes because they’re not very clear about the ideas themselves). A strategy is a set of actions that should take into account, as much as is possible, the present and the future state of the market.
A strategy should also include clearly defined activities that are aimed at making the company perform better, with backup activities if the initial ones prove to be ineffective. It should have well-defined milestones and involve as many of the company’s employees as possible. Finally, it should be transparent, so everyone knows about it and how he or she can contribute.
There are many other things to say about strategy and I will probably write another blog post on the topic. What I would like now is to know if your company has a strategy for 2010 and what you think about it. Please use the poll to vote or the comment field to share your thoughts with us.
How you select new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software will greatly affect your company’s future and should not be taken lightly. Therefore, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises or failure, you should start thinking about change management at the same moment that you start considering replacing your old or buying new ERP software. Do not wait until there’s no turning back. Remember: prevention is better than a cure.
This is the first of a series of four blog posts in which I intend to describe how change management can affect a company’s ERP software selection project.
The joke “If … Made Toasters” (here is one of many variations) has been circulating and evolving on the Web for quite a long time. The first time I read it was at least 10 years ago, but once in a while I still receive it in my inbox. Since we’re always looking for something different, I’m taking the initiative and starting a new topic in a similar pattern—how do people in different regions select software? Read the rest of this entry »
The blogosphere and other media outlets might still be raving about major announcements at Oracle OpenWorld 2009, such as the one about Oracle’s professed strategy of “gently” and thoughtfully assimilating Sun Microsystems. The impending merger (subject to somewhat more difficulty than previously expected, due to regulatory hurdles in Europe) should make Oracle not only the world’s largest business software company, but also a major hardware player. References to Apple Computer and its ability to successfully design and offer both hardware and software were cited several times during the event.
Basically all other major highlights from the “ginormous” user event revolved around Oracle’s “complete, open, and integrated” product strategy across the board. Some of these highlights would be the Specialized Oracle Partner Network (OPN) Program for 25,000 OPN partners, or the quite anticipated Larry Ellison’s explanation of the upcoming first generation of Oracle Fusion Applications.
Still, my special interest at this overwhelming multi-day event (with over 40,000 attendees, it likely made San Francisco residents feel sort of besieged) was about Oracle’s continued efforts to become more attractive and appetizing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). My recent blog post featured Oracle’s VAD Remarketer program targeted at the low-end of the market. The current figures are over 1,200 recruited Remarketers and over 2,000 placed orders for the (primarily technology infrastructure) products that fall under the ORACLE 1-CLICK ORDERING program since its launch over three years ago.
Now that Gartner is acquiring AMR, we cannot help but wonder what will be the next acquisition or merger in the business software research field. There are not so many companies doing business software research and analysis, so the number of permutations is quite low. Let’s look at some of them and what the end result would be.
Gartner acquires Aberdeen and launches The Magic Axis (Magic Quadrant + Aberdeen Axis). If they decide to acquire Forrester, that would be the Magic Wave (Magic Quadrant + Forrester Wave). Aberdeen and Forrester will probably not merge or acquire one another because the Axis Wave simply doesn’t sound right.
To avoid any COMMfusion, ITI and ITTI could merge and form ITTTI. After US President Obama’s visit to China, Maverick China Research and the Yankee Group might merge, forming the strongest analyst firm in the world, which will slowly acquire all competitors.
And finally, firms like Big Picture, Creative Strategies, Objective Analysis, and Customer Incorporated are likely to be the next preys since almost every research firm needs to see more of the big picture, use some creative strategies and objective analysis, and incorporate customers (in other words, make profit!).
Making a decision related to your own business or the company you work for is not simple: modern business models have too much information to be analyzed by one person without the right tools. Examples of frequent but complex decisions include developing new business models, broadening investments on technology, expanding the number of stores, or even deciding whether it’s the right time to downsize the company.
Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series talked about my attendance of the APICS 2009 International Conference in Toronto, Canada in early October. I attended only a few education sessions, as my conference visit focused more on exploring the expo floor and talking to the exhibitors. My overwhelming impression from the conference’s expo floor was that the main value propositions this year revolved around the various flavors of demand management, most notably sales and operations planning (S&OP). This made me think about the reasons for the concept’s (and accompanying software solutions’) renaissance in light of its existence of a few decades.
While Part 2 zoomed on traditional S&OP shortcomings, Part 3 of this blog series will analyze the key success factors of deploying S&OP solutions and approaches. But before that, let me first go further into what has lately changed to enable the revival of customer interest in this practice.
Indeed, why is S&OP more popular these days, given that the concept has been around for decades? Is it the combination of the economy (i.e., business folks’ awareness and the “wake-up call” to get serious and on the same page in today’s increased demand volatility, global networks with supply risks and uncertainty, increased product proliferation and shrinking product life cycles, globalization-based virtualization, etc.) and some favorable technical developments (i.e., analytics, information visualization tools, etc.)?