Given our shared presence in the Boston metro area, I’ve had numerous contacts and interactions with Kronos Incorporated in the past, but this fall was my very first attendance of the vendor’s annual user conference: KronosWorks 2010. That attendance was a worthwhile use of my time and a great learning experience about the company and its customers. As some background, here is Ventana Research’s report from the previous conference, KronosWorks 2009.
Kronos is the global leader in workforce management (WFM) solutions that enable organizations to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Tens of thousands of organizations in 60 countries — including more than half of the Fortune 1000 — use some or all of the following modules of the Kronos Workforce Central suite: time and attendance (T&A), scheduling, absence management, human resources (HR) and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics.
The conference’s official program started with an intriguing animated video with some startling statistics about what our working days and weeks have begun to look like. For example, 15 percent of people admit that they are addicted to e-mail – some confessed to checking their e-mail at the beach, weddings, and even at funerals.
Last Friday, Yellowfin launched version 5.1 of its BI product, reinforcing core product functionality (e.g., improving metadata management) as well as expanding functionality related to new technology trends such as social media and mobile technologies. With this release, the Australian company intends to reinforce its position in the BI market and provide its customers with improved BI features.
In a press release, Yellowfin’s CEO Glen Rabie mentioned that
Yellowfin 5.1 provides a crucial bridge between insight and action. It assists all end-users, including the executive team, to make the best possible use of the information gleaned from data analysis by providing a platform to discuss potential actions to be taken in response to that data analysis …
Looks like signals are clear for BI software vendors as to which technology trends will be important to address and cover during the coming year: mobile BI technologies will be emerging, and social media functionality for BI purposes will continue to be a strong tendency. Will Yellowfin’s next step be to head to the cloud?
I welcome your thoughts—leave a comment below, and I’ll respond as soon as I can.
Recently, Google launched a beta version of Cloud connect for Microsoft Office. The service will provide synchronization between Google Docs and Microsoft Office documents. What this means is that users will be able to sync documents automatically from Office to Google Docs, and access the doc from anywhere by clicking a URL. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series started with the fact that the ability to sense demand and become a demand-driven (responsive) business is more than just the catch phrase du jour: it has become a recipe for survival. Every sensible enterprise is on a quest to deliver on time and as quickly as necessary, with minimum inventory (and working capital), and the highest necessary utilization.
For a few decades, the providers of a multiplicity of by and large integrated manufacturing software solutions have been offering help for embattled manufacturers. From fully integrated business management systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) down to more focused modular plant-level solutions including Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) systems, manufacturers have been perplexed with how best to combine and deploy these options and islands of information.
The article concluded that ERP systems are good for planning and transactional accounting purposes, but not necessarily appropriate for scheduling and execution on the shop floor. Only those companies that have infinite (or lots of spare) capacity, low product mix, their customers’ tolerance for long order lead times, and low inventory holding costs could get by using ERP for scheduling.
In other words, not many manufacturers can be fully satisfied by ERP. The next logical question is whether Lean Manufacturing practices can alleviate the abovementioned ERP shortfalls.