It’s a really noisy world we’re living in, and the social media universe is no exception. Even with the tightest security settings and minimal online presence/popularity, you are still subject to advertising, invites, recommendations, requests, etc., most of which are not very useful to you.
And things will only get worse: Twitter will start selling followers, Facebook launched Facebook Marketing Solutions to help brands and companies promote their products and services… this will create even more noise in the social media world. Read the rest of this entry »
About two years ago, Epicor Software Corporation launched its next-generation converged product Epicor 9 (a.k.a. Epicor ERP [evaluate this solution]), which was covered at great length in my 2009 series. Over 250 customers have thus far gone live on Epicor 9, with roughly 1,700 units shipped in 21 months.
If these numbers are not overly impressive to some, they are not too shabby either in light of the current sluggish economic milieu. Epicor has shipped more than 50,000 seats to over 50 countries and has Epicor 9 customers live in every region of the world. I believe there are not too many vendors that have had such success in this global downturn.
Meanwhile, the vendor also launched a later product release, Epicor 9.05, in early 2010. Epicor 9.05’s new features can be classified into the following three general categories:
I suspect that at the upcoming Epicor Perspectives 2010 user conference there will be much talk about the recently released Epicor Express [evaluate this solution], Epicor 9’s cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) edition, which is a true multi-tenant Software as a Service (SaaS) offering oriented to job shops and small manufacturers, with subscription pricing.
In addition, there will likely be some sneak previews of what is coming in the next Epicor 9 release (dubbed 9.1, I assume), especially in terms of the so-called Web 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0 social software enablement. But Epicor 9 is only the latter part of Epicor’s overall “Protect, Extend, and Converge” approach of incrementally catering to its existing client base on current individual product lines (without forcing a wholesale “big bang” upgrade). Read the rest of this entry »
In this good, bad, and arguably recovering economy, many companies are looking to their pricing strategies and practices as a way to improve profits without necessarily repelling customers. Pricing is an important component of an enterprise’s business processes and financial performance, since companies in many industries can face a variety of pricing problems such as unnecessary discounting and quoting prices below a break-even point.
Perhaps contrary to conventional wisdom, pricing has been acknowledged as the greatest lever to improving profit margins. In fact, pricing can be multiple times more effective than cutting costs according to the proverbial McKinsey study. Many believe that improving pricing is one of the most strategic and powerful ways for companies to improve their business and financial performance via, e.g., recovering costs of goods sold (COGS), shaping demand, speeding up quote time, and reducing invoicing errors.
Hot off the presses is news that IBM is set to acquire Netezza in a $1.7 billion deal: the giant is spending money like there’s no tomorrow, and playing out strategies in response to aggressive moves by other vendors in the data warehouse space. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with the folks at BIS as part of TEC’s Certification process. For BIS, the value-add of TEC Certification was clear—and all they had to do was complete a detailed questionnaire/request for information (RFI) and demonstrate certain solution-specific features and functions that I outlined for them in a demo script. I sat down for the three-hour session with Kivanç Sahin, from BIS’s Sales and Marketing Department and Dilek Eksi’s, BIS’S Senior Business Analyst. The following are my thoughts about BIS and the ProStaff solution. Read the rest of this entry »
In this day and age of news flying fast over the Internet and tweets reaching every nook and cranny of the world, it still took physical attendance at an overseas event for me to learn about a lesser-known successful software vendor. Namely, during my attendance of UNIT4’s user event in the UK in early 2010, I encountered PROACTIS as UNIT4’s exhibiting partner for spend management and e-procurement solutions.
PROACTIS Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of PROACTIS Holdings Plc, was founded in 1996 under the name Get Real Systems Ltd. The company’s first product release was called the Dream Suite and was launched in 1997. The next product’s generation was named PROACTIS 2 and launched in the late 1990s as a PowerBuilder-based client-server software suite.
Whether we realize it or not, we all have become more or less dependent on computers, the Internet, and many different and complex computer systems.
In both our business and personal lives, we widely take advantage of the immediate availability of all types of information and data, and in our day-to-day routine often do not even wonder whether we can actually rely on the data we obtain.
A few months ago, when Siemens PLM Software unveiled its High Definition Product Lifecycle Management (HD-PLM) technology, designers and product developers in aerospace, automotive, and other similar industries were probably excited about this new offering as they saw the opportunity to enhance their decision making.
I was also excited, and saw HD-PLM as a sign that PLM vendors were starting to pay more attention to the user experience (as discussed in a previous blog post). The topic I’d like to discuss in this post is this: Will HD-PLM be beneficial to the fashion industry? After all, the fashion industry seems very different from industries requiring heavy engineering work. Read the rest of this entry »
My recent blog series entitled “Integrated Workforce Management (WFM) Platforms: Fact or Fiction?” established that WFM systems have evolved from point solutions (i.e., time and attendance [T&A], workforce scheduling, absence management, human resources [HR], payroll, etc.) into unified solutions with a common user interface (UI), integrated WFM modules, and centralized management. For virtually for every kind of business, the benefits of WFM platforms should come from a holistic view of labor demand, optimized schedules based on specific labor policies and constraints, and the fact that accuracy often matters more than efficiency.
The next evolutionary step in the enterprise applications realm (WFM systems included) is to leverage Web 2.0 and Rich Internet Application (RIA) tools as well as ubiquitous mobile devices and information to bring informed decision-making to the business user. Persona-based UI development is repeatedly cited as a concept and undertaking of late. The aim is to present data that is specifically relevant to the logged-in user, with presentation methods that are rapidly understood. Read the rest of this entry »
TEC’s research analysts are currently putting together a calendar of enterprise software buyer’s guides for 2011. Our Buyer Guides and State of the Market Reports provide a wealth of analyst insight into various types of enterprise software, and include sections on the state of the marketplace, vendor case studies, solution overviews, and a technology directory of hundreds of software products. With all this information in one place, you’ll learn about the many challenges businesses like yours face, as well as getting an overview of the latest solutions on the market. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series talked about my impressions following an upbeat and constructive business update meeting at Emptoris’ headquarters. Under its new investors’ wing, with a new customer-focused CEO, and with the former Click Commerce’s contract and service management (CSM) business as a new major capability, Emptoris has charted a new course recently.
Part 1 of this blog series analyzed the current upbeat state of affairs of IFS, a public business software company (listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange) founded in 1983 with its headquarters in Linkoping, Sweden. The company develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications™, an integrated and component-based extended enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite built on service oriented architecture (SOA) technology [evaluate this product].
The article analyzed the vendor’s recent strategic moves as well as the reasons for its prosperity in an otherwise depressed environment. The revenue ratio has been an impressive 35 percent coming from existing customers vs. a whopping 65 percent coming from new customers.
However, 2009 was unusual because there was more selling to the installed base and there was the attraction of migrating to IFS Applications 7.5 with the new user interface (UI) called IFS Enterprise Explorer (IEE), so these figures moved more towards a 40/60 ratio in that year.
If you have decided to use social customer relationship management (SCRM) to sell your products or services, you should be ready to adapt to what your customers consider SCRM to be, not vice versa.
As I mentioned in my post Social CRM is Dead, Long Live Social Media Flavored CRM, I see the “social” in SCRM as being related to human welfare and not only to social media. Therefore, SCRM should not only allow me to use social media when interacting with companies and brands, but it should also allow both companies and their customers (potential or existing) to have a positive impact on human welfare. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series talked about my attendance of the JDA FOCUS 2010 conference on the heels of the recent merger between JDA Software (NASDAQ: JDAS) and i2 Technologies. The article first discussed the different geneses and cultures of the two merging parties.
One major outcome of the conference was JDA’s unveiled plan to converge most of its existing and acquired product sets. To that end, JDA pledged several key commitments to its customers, starting with that the company would continue to support all of its products.
Good news is scarce these days across the board, and I am always keen on reporting on rare bullish enterprise applications businesses, especially if the company is in my neck of woods. Recently, I had an upbeat and constructive business update meeting in person at Emptoris’ headquarters.
The Burlington, Massachusetts, US-based company was founded in 1999 as a strategic sourcing software company, pioneering the use of optimization in strategic sourcing of both direct and indirect materials.