With the belief that business intelligence (BI) applications are sometimes too hard to use, manage, and deploy, We Are Cloud, a software provider company based in France (Oh la la!), created BIME, a software-as-a- service (SaaS) BI application. BIME’s goal is to offer a powerful tool from the cloud to make BI easy. Yes, I am talking about a SaaS BI offering. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this series discussed the current upbeat state of affairs of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, as one of the three best-performing products within the entire Microsoft Corporation of late. In a nutshell, during 2009, the product grew notably and surpassed one million licensed users. Microsoft’s customer relationship management (CRM) offering has become attractive to companies of all sizes, in part due to its multiple deployment options (with bidirectional migration options due to the same code base).
Certainly, much more has to happen before there is truly a common feature set, a common look and feel, and a feasible option to move any company from one mode of deployment to another. The market will thus be keenly looking for referenceable customers from Microsoft who have done this migration even in one direction, let alone as a “round trip.”
The underlying technology developments mentioned in Part 1 have enabled rapid innovation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in many ways. Part 2 analyzed the following embodiments of rapid innovation: the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online offering, CRM Product Accelerators, and the so-called xRM (extended relationship management) framework. The xRM approach takes CRM one step further by targeting the management of all imaginable relationships, not just those with customers.
There was a time when school was the place for learning. Thirty-five years ago—when I was a young girl—children went to schools where the curriculum included such basic subjects as mathematics, reading, writing, and music and the forums available to us consisted of text books, encyclopedias, and newspapers.
The global introduction to the personal computer (PC)—as early as the mid 1980’s—gave us a whole new way of learning. Educational study suddenly stretched far beyond the walls of our schools and made its way into our homes (the PC) and communities (via the local library).
Today, the pace at which learning technology is evolving has changed the way in which educational content is created, delivered, and used in learning institutions, business, and society. Organizations and institutions are using newer channels for delivering these learning experiences through such means as on-line learning, learning on-demand (anyplace/anytime scenarios), virtual classrooms, and more. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this series analyzed the phenomenon of the rise of the service economy: the increasing importance of the service sector in industrialized economies. Especially in a sluggish market, service delivered after the initial sale of a product is what can truly differentiate competitors.
In fact, after-sale service is quite difficult to replicate. Thus, while durable (hard) goods orders decline and product-based margins diminish in maturing and commoditized industries, service margins remain healthy. When consumers or businesses focus more on maintaining what they have vs. purchasing a new product, after-sale service (or aftermarket) can have a substantial impact on any company’s revenue, profitability, and customer loyalty levels.
It is no longer breaking news to say that the US and the European Union (EU) are turning from product-based to service economies. The trend of the increasing importance of the service sector has only been accentuated by the recent (and perhaps still ongoing) subprime mortgage and financial system meltdowns, volatile stock markets, declining durable (hard) goods orders, dwindling physical product-based profit margins, and so on and so forth.
But one saving grace for these developed (the Group of Eight [G8] and beyond) countries’ economies could be the post-sale service or aftermarket business model offering services to fix (repair), maintain, and optimize products that are sold to installed bases. While durable goods orders decline and product-based margins diminish in maturing and commoditized industries, service margins remain very healthy. Thus, service businesses currently contribute about 70 percent of the world economy. Read the rest of this entry »
Buzzwords are annoying. High-pressure sales pitches are annoying. Your competitors are sort of annoying.
And ERP? Really annoying.
Part 1 of this series introduced the conundrum that retailers (especially those in the areas of fashion and apparel) encounter in the realms of design, sourcing, ordering, and delivery of private label and branded goods. The article also introduced TradeStone Software and its merchandise lifecycle management (MLM) solutions that enable a number of the world’s most successful retailers to bring innovative and profitable private-label products to market at ever higher speeds.
I am sure that after reading my previous blog post on manufacturing legacy systems many readers saw me as just another soldier of AS/400 system’s army of opponents and probably would not expect any future pro-System i/AS/400 publications. This is definitely not the case—I am not a legacy system opponent. The message I’ve been trying to deliver in my blog posts is that a well-thought out, balanced, and systematically formed business software portfolio is important even though the platform of the system isn’t necessarily the principal criteria for system replacement. Read the rest of this entry »
Customer relationship management (CRM) is not and cannot really be social, since social means “of, relating to, or occupied with matters affecting human welfare” (definition taken from The Free Dictionary). In my opinion, CRM does not really affect human welfare, since it brings advantages only to its users and to the customers of the companies using it.
In this blog post, I will explain why CRM is not social and why social CRM (SCRM) is nothing more than CRM using social media tools. Read the rest of this entry »
Technology is changing at a breakneck pace, and is there anyone out there who will debate me on that issue? The undeniable evidence that I am getting old is the fact that I got my engineering degree in the late 1980s. Imagine how much easier my studies would have been then had only the Internet, word processors, Wikipedia, presentation software, multimedia products, etc., been available?
The other day I saw a TV commercial where an oblivious “back to the future” dude in a crowded coffee shop was noisily typing away on an ancient typewriter and getting strange looks and grimaces from other patrons in the shop who were all using nifty smartphones and PC’s. Well, guess what, I had to type my final paper on a squeaky typewriter, make multiple photocopies of it, and have it bound into books for the final exam committee.
At least, I wasn’t doing anything that would have been considered archaic for the time.
I just want to make a quick point to address a popular software selection misconception. Here’s the misconception: Read the rest of this entry »
About two years ago, my colleague P.J. Jakovljevic wrote a blog post about SYSPRO, which started with the description of a very interesting strategy that the enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor used to target its customers: PragmaVision. By introducing this concept, SYSPRO was showing that their product addresses the needs of decision makers that are both visionary (ready to embrace new technology) and pragmatic (not willing to test new products and waiting for them to prove their strengths). Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this series analyzed two white papers entitled “Customer Relationship Management: The Winning Strategy in a Challenging Economy” and “Maximizing CRM Effectiveness During Lean Times” and authored by Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Oracle CRM, respectively. The blog post made the case for forward-looking enterprises to leverage customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to help them both weather the ongoing storm and prepare for the inevitable turnaround.
In addition to several macroeconomic trends that seem to be helping CRM solutions prove their worth, the post also analyzed the recent technological enablers that are making CRM offerings more affordable, flexible, and easy to use. In addition to concluding the technical discussion and trends, Part 2 then introduced five main CRM strategies that companies can employ to survive and thrive during uncertain economic conditions, starting with the focus on existing customers. Part 3 concludes this series by analyzing the remaining four CRM strategies. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently, Rob Barry summarized some important points on the topic of delivering business process management (BPM) through the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model (see Choosing Business Process Management: SaaS BPM or On-premise BPM? According to this article, although managing business process in the cloud is in an early stage, this delivery model is becoming more noticeable. After reading this, I felt that it would be interesting to know business users’ attitudes toward the SaaS model while selecting BPM solutions. Luckily, I was able to look into BPM selection projects recorded in our BPM Evaluation Center and found that over 16 percent of BPM seekers, in 2009, were willing to acquire BPM capabilities through subscription or leasing agreements.
Part 1 of this blog series discussed the current upbeat state of affairs of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, as one of the three best-performing products within the entire Microsoft Corporation of late. In a nutshell, during 2009 the product grew significantly and surpassed its one millionth user. Microsoft’s customer relationship management (CRM) offering has become attractive to companies of all sizes, in part because it offers multiple deployment options (with bidirectional migration options due to the same code base).
The underlying technology developments mentioned in Part 1 have enabled the rapid innovation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in many ways. The first illustration of the rapid innovation is the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online offering, which was launched in April 2008 and has since had four feature pack releases (or service updates).