Frustrated with all the hype and buzzwords that software vendors throw around? You’re not alone. TEC senior copywriter Larry Blitz and managing editor David Clark take a (mostly tongue-in-cheek) look at software providers’ major language crimes. And what you can do about it. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently around the office we’ve been talking about the increasing role of women in most areas of information technology (IT). I’ve had the pleasure to know and work with excellent database administrators (DBAs) and application programmers, as well as IT managers and executives—both women and men. Of course, as a business intelligence (BI) analyst I quickly got hooked on the idea of developing a data-based perspective of the role women play in the BI space: What are women working on in the BI space? Do any patterns emerge in terms of whether they are doing data visualization, coding, data warehouses, etc.? Read the rest of this entry »
In the early and mid-2000s, I had a fairly close relationship with Exact Americas (at that time called Exact North America). As a result, there were two in-depth TEC article series on the vendor from 2004 and 2006. At the time of the first series, the avant-garde collaborative Exact e-Synergy platform was introduced to the local market (meanwhile, the product has been renamed Exact Synergy). At the time of the second series, the Exact Software parent launched its global ERP offering Exact Globe, while its American division acquired Vanguard Business Analytics, which is now the Exact Business Analytics (EBA) offering.
In 2007, Exact Holding N.V. reorganized its regional structure, and Middleton, Massachusetts (US) is now the headquarters for the Americas (North, South, and Central) region. The other regional divisions within Exact are now Exact Benelux (as Exact has a great number of customers to manage within these countries, where it owns a significant market share) and Exact EMEA (the rest of Europe) and Asia-Pacific. In 2007 Exact also finalized its purchase of Longview Solutions in Canada, which is the corporate performance management (CPM) division.
The Balanced Scorecard is one of the most popular methodologies for measuring business performance, with a view to enhancing it. First made popular in the early 1990s, this performance management framework was intended as a tool to provide managers with a more complete and “balanced” view of their organization’s performance by including nonfinancial metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) in their assessments. Despite this excellent approach to the state of an organization—previously viewed from a purely financial perspective—some organizations are still struggling to achieve success with this method. Many of the problems seem to stem from the balancing part of the evaluation. Well, maybe it’s OK to keep your scorecard a little off balance. Read the rest of this entry »
Editor’s note, December 19, 2012: According to the vendor, the product discussed below did not become available.
Exact Software has recently released a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) offering in the cloud. Headquartered in the Netherlands and with offices in North America serving 100,000 customers worldwide, Exact offers two global ERP products (Globe and Synergy), as well as other local products (Macola, MAX and JobBOSS for the Americas, Exact Financials for the Netherlands, etc.). The company exclusively markets its products for small to medium businesses (SMBs) spanning many industry segments, with a focus on manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, and professional services.
Having just had the opportunity to discuss the new offering with the product manager for the Macola line, Michael McPherson, I recap that conversation below. Read the rest of this entry »
Many experts are talking and writing about how collaboration can improve the relationship between a company and its customers, but most of them assume that employees collaborate naturally and are willing to work together for the success of the company.
This is not always the case. Read the rest of this entry »
Not as well known as the JRocket Marketing Grape Escape but still highly effective (and entertaining), the analyst road show organized by Judith Rothrock every year in December brings together C-level executives from SYSPRO and UNIT4 and analysts from the most important firms in the field, including Technology Evaluation Centers.
I had briefings with both SYSPRO and UNIT4. They highlighted some of their accomplishments for 2011, and made some interesting announcements. Here’s a summary of the conversations I had with the two vendors: Read the rest of this entry »
For me, the third week of December 2011 was a week of revelations of sorts in the realm of enterprise applications. Amid all the IT punditry/buzzword talk throughout the year about cloud computing, analytics, mobility, social, and in-memory, there were two concrete announcements in mid-December from two vendors that gave me pause. Both vendor product announcements are still far away from their commercial use in earnest, but their visionary nature is what had impressed the usually skeptical analyst in me (to the point of being accused of Drinking the Kool-Aid).
First, at SAP’s Influencers Summit 2011 in Boston, I learned that the much-publicized SAP HANA offering is not merely an in-memory server blade appliance for quick analytics and data crunching. Rather, it is the underpinning of SAP’s future architecture, both on-premise and in the cloud, and it is a general-purpose database in its own right. Look for an in-depth article on this topic, and you can read this 2011 review article by TEC’s analysts in the meantime.
Another revelation took place during UNIT4’s winter Boston tour in the very same week.
Research for one of my projects led me to ask both software vendors and customers about the factors most important to software users in the selection of a business intelligence (BI) solution. Two topics resounded: the use of BI tools to improve data management and business performance management. Consumers are continuously looking for innovative ways to move, store, and improve the quality of their data as well as to ways to capture the most valuable information for improved decision making and business performance.
TEC’s in-depth 2011 article not only described the opportunities inherent in the business to business (B2B) pricing software market, but also ascertained that the value of this budding software category has yet to become universally known and appreciated. Sensing the opportunity, LeveragePoint is the latest market newcomer with a fresh approach to deal pricing negotiations.
Part 1 of this blog series discussed the genesis of ProfitKey International, one of the longest-standing enterprise resource planning (ERP) providers for small to midsize discrete manufacturers that has never been merged with another peer product. After the protracted bankruptcy saga of its former parent company, HALO Technology Holdings, ProfitKey was recently bought out by Phoenix Asset Management, and is now keen on starting a new chapter.
Part 1 of this blog series introduced Needham, Massachusetts, United States (US)-based Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC, NASDAQ: PMTC), which is an over $1 billion (USD) large software company that develops, markets, and supports product development software solutions and related services. The article analyzed the company’s genesis from its inception in 1985 until the mid-2000s.
Part 2 then analyzed the more recent acquisitions of the products that have meanwhile been turned into integrated modules for the idea concept and product design phases of the product lifecycle within PTC Windchill 10.0, which started shipping in April 2011 (see TEC’s certification report on the product here). The article established that the product lifecycle management (PLM) arena, also referred to as “Enterprise Solutions,” and the realm of computer-aided technologies (CAx), referred to as “Desktop Solutions,” are two distinct markets that present different growth opportunities for the vendor.
Part 2 concluded with an analysis of the PTC Windchill PLM suite [evaluate this product], which is one of PTC’s main product lines and growth engines. Part 3 analyzed the current state of affairs of PTC’s desktop solutions (including the novel PTC Creo suite of applications, as another growth engine) and the company’s competitive positioning.
The final part of this blog post series will conclude with my discussion with PTC’s executives about recent events and the company’s current state of affairs. In the meantime, I attended the company’s PlanetPTC 2011 user conference in June 2011, and here is the blog post series with my impressions and observations.