The traditional Microsoft Dynamics Fall Analyst Event (FAE) 2012 started with a tour of the flagship Microsoft Store in an opulent mall in Bellevue, WA, where Windows 8 and Surface were all the rage. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series analyzed the runaway success and genesis of Microsoft SharePoint or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). The article outlined the main reasons for the collaborative product’s widespread use and then analyzed its evolution.
Part 2 talked about SharePoint’s typical proven use case scenarios as well as about the product’s shortcomings and points of concern. Due to its workflow management and document management system (DMS) capabilities companies often attempt to use SharePoint as a full-fledged business process management (BPM) platform, but how successfully?
Part 1 of this blog series analyzed the runaway success and genesis of Microsoft SharePoint or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). The article outlined the main reasons for the product’s widespread use and analyzed its evolution. So, what is it that SharePoint’s treasure trove of tools (a la “grandma’s attic”) can (and can’t) do for companies?
Notwithstanding Microsoft’s recent purchase of Skype, some pundits have started to question its relevance in the long term (in view of the ongoing consumer mobile devices and/or social media success of Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle, salesforce.com, etc.).
However, there are still many Microsoft products that are quite relevant. One of them is undoubtedly Microsoft SharePoint or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). Until the recent runaway success of the Kinect for Xbox 360 “gesturing entertainment platform” (which Microsoft hopes to deploy well beyond the juvenile games playing use, say, in harmful industrial environments), SharePoint was the product that reportedly grew the fastest to the US$ 1 billion mark in revenues (and it had been the fastest growing Microsoft technology for three straight years before the advent of Kinect). Read the rest of this entry »
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 positioned all four Microsoft Dynamics enterprise resource planning (ERP) product lines and concluded that Microsoft Dynamics AX [evaluate this product] has been selected as the ace in the Dynamics ERP lineup and a global “platform” player in selected industries. In other words, the product has been providing an industry-enabling layer upon which certified partners can build their sub-vertical solutions to cater to so-called long tail (sub-vertical) niches.
Part 2 went through the eight previous generations of the Microsoft Dynamics AX (formerly Axapta) product including the current Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 release. The final part of this blog series will peek into the product’s near future and analyze its traditional strengths and still outstanding weaknesses.
Part 1 of this blog series introduced Epicor Software Corporation’s set of tools called the Epicor Productivity Pyramid. The Pyramid enables one of Epicor’s main business strategies: to extend the value of several of its mature enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications by making enterprise data readily and easily available to all stakeholders.
My blog post then zoomed on to the Epicor Portal solution, a cross-platform querying tool that empowers business workers to find and share information within and across Epicor’s diverse line of business (LOB) applications. Epicor now provides the database schemas for most of its ERP applications to allow business workers (a.k.a. information workers and end-users) to easily create queries or views and communicate their findings.
In Why Some People Don’t Like PLM, Graham McCall said that some product lifecycle management (PLM) users’ reluctance to share knowledge with others is the obstacle toward higher acceptance of PLM. I thought his point made perfect sense, and my instant reaction was to ask myself: How can this problem be resolved? Ideally, a PLM system is a platform for people to work together. This means that knowledge sharing is mutually beneficial—by sharing knowledge with others, you also get hold of others’ knowledge. This sounds like an incentive for PLM users to share their knowledge, but when it comes to the real PLM environment in production, this is not always the case.
My thought stopped there for a while and then came back to me after I attended the Siemens Industry Software Analyst Conference because I felt things that I saw at the event were quite relevant to the cure I was looking for. 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 today’s business intelligence (BI) industry—despite the search for better, more suitable, and more advanced technology for BI applications—there is a special interest in finding the “true usability” of BI applications. This is to say, users want BI to be not only faster and better, but also easier. And finally, they want its use to be extended to a wide number of people: the search is on for a real mass use.
Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series went through the first three generations of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV product, which at the time was called Navision and was owned by the formerly independent namesake company. How has new parent Microsoft treated the product since acquiring it in 2002? Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series presented Microsoft’s official position on its recent notable change in business intelligence (BI) product strategy, whereby the company is breaking apart the business performance management (BPM) family of products. To that end, Microsoft will include the monitoring and analytic functionality within Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, while seriously backpedaling on (if not completely unplugging) the development of its nascent financial planning & consolidation application. Read the rest of this entry »
Tough times demand tough decisions and sacrifices even from seemingly untouchable corporations. Most of us were likely discouraged (if not necessarily disappointed or surprised) by Microsoft’s mid-January 2009 layoffs announcement, the first ever in the company’s illustrious (at least when it comes to financial performance) history.
Whether related to these layoffs or not (some will argue the former) one day after that shock came the news about Microsoft’s fundamental shift in its business intelligence (BI) product strategy. The giant has apparently carefully evaluated and then rethought its BI portfolio, breaking apart the business performance management (BPM) family of products. To that end, Microsoft will include the monitoring and analytic functionality within Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, while seriously backpedaling (if not completely unplugging) the development of its nascent financial planning & consolidation application.
My analyst relationship contacts within Microsoft sent me an elaborate email message at the time. They wanted to make me aware of a significant change in Microsoft’s strategy for delivering BI capabilities that the giant hopes will enhance its customers’ ability to experience truly Pervasive BI (PBI) within their existing investments. Read the rest of this entry »
Generally, I would venture to say any website that uses a little more interactive and dynamic technology (i.e. not just publishing “flat” HyperText Markup Language [HTML] pages) and supports some kind of online commerce, community, or other value-added activity that is enabled by the network would have Web 2.0 traits. But, is it still more buzzword than anything else, and is it being used to put “lipstick on a lot of pigs” even now?
Or, is Web 2.0 a genuine set of technologies that can even provide the “richness” of traditional desktop applications (read Microsoft Office) to the Web-based applications, without all the price and/or performance pitfalls/traps that are often associated with Office Business Applications (OBA)? At least we need to keep a close eye on how the next generation of office workers are using social networking sites/communities like Tagging, Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messenger (IM), etc., as they can give us a clue how effective collaboration should be driven into next generation of enterprise applications (of course, provided the security and privacy standards have been met). Read the rest of this entry »