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 »
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 »
Change happens all the time—but why are changes in our personal lives similar to those in our professional lives? There are some major events that occur and change things forever. For an individual, such a change can be caused by marriage; for a company, by the selection of an ERP system. There is always a way out when relationships stop working (both between people and companies), but it can be painful—and stressful to go through. Read the rest of this entry »
Technology Evaluation Centers will be launching a buyer’s guide for enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for small businesses. Here’s a preview of the guide describing the idea behind it and what it can do for you.
Why an ERP Buyer’s Guide for Small Businesses?
My experience as a trainer and consultant in ERP showed that most small businesses have a very subjective, therefore inefficient manner of selecting ERP software. Read the rest of this entry »
We all are—except consultants who praise the importance of business processes, but sometimes don’t practice what they preach. Business processes can be simply good or bad habits that people follow mostly because it’s what they’ve always done rather than it being a way to work more efficiently. Read the rest of this entry »
Succession planning is about finding employees that can someday replace others who retire or decide to leave the company. In my opinion, there are two major factors that will have a great impact on the future of succession planning: the aging population; and rapidly-evolving technology. Read the rest of this entry »
A couple of weeks ago, I viewed a webinar about Sage SalesLogix v7.5.2. I usually see a few webinars every month but I particularly liked this one. The presenter—Jason Askelson, Director of Professional Services—did a very good job at showing the highlights of the new release, providing a comparison between the previous version and the new one, giving an overview of the mobile version, and of how to ensure a successful upgrade and/or migration.
Highlights of Version 7.5.2
Here are some of the options available in the new version:
• unicode support for fields (multiple languages can be used in the same screen)
• availability of updated technical documentation for the product
• enhanced e-mail attachment handling
• new Web client features for activities, calendaring, sales orders, and sales libraries Read the rest of this entry »
What is EAM?
As the acronym implies, EAM is used to manage assets in a company, which can be a module in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution or a standalone product. EAM is also known as computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), or computerized maintenance management information system (CIMMS), and it is a software package used to plan, control, and monitor assets from acquisition to obsolescence.
This happens either because customers did not want to pay for upgrades or customizations all year long, or vendors simply ignored their clients’ needs and requests. Christmas is the time of year when business software proves what it can really do because it’s used very close to its full potential , when sales and purchases are at a very high level. Read the rest of this entry »
In a previous blog post, I described how artificial intelligence (AI) can help human resources (HR) in the recruiting process. It is interesting to note that almost half of the people who took our poll would use AI—but not extensively.
Besides being used for recruiting purposes, AI is used more and more in workforce management. By combining business intelligence (BI) with HR processes, business performance management (BPM) for HR is created. Vendors call it workforce analytics—and Infohrm, Aruspex, and Vemo are among the three that specialize and offer really interesting products and services in this combined area of BI and HR. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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!).
We’ve all looked for a job at some point in our lives. We’ve gone to lots of interviews and answered silly questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Or “What was the most rewarding professional experience you’ve ever had?”
Why Are Those Interview Questions Silly? Read the rest of this entry »