The recently held Epicor Insights 2012 user conference was the very first one to combine former Epicor and Activant customers. Reportedly, there were 4,000 attendees, including 3,000 customers and 400 vendor partners.
Over the past several years, salesforce.com’s annual user conference Dreamforce has become a highly anticipated and entertaining end-of-the-year fixture for enterprise applications market observers. Well, Dreamforce 2011 was somewhat different as it took place in late August and early September 2011, but the vibrant feel of the event was no different. Indeed, in these prolonged times of bad economic news with businesses and government cutting spending across the board, one could again enjoy the unusually high attendance (45,000, for what it’s worth) and upbeat and “never a dull moment” atmosphere of the multi-day event, courtesy of salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff and his executive team.
While Dreamforce 2009 was mostly about the continued growth of the vendor and the unveiling of Salesforce Chatter, the company’s quickly maturing social platform and collaboration cloud (covered in my mid-2010 blog series), the overall Dreamforce 2010 theme was cloud proliferation as well as salesforce.com’s further diversification and expansion in new frontiers (see my blog series for more details).
Dreamforce 2011 continued with the cloud proliferation theme (with new clouds such as Data.com and Heroku for Java), in addition to the theme of continued growth: salesforce.com is the first cloud company to exceed US$2.1.billion run rate and over 100,000 customers (ironically knocking on the door of the “evil empires” elite club). There have also been some acquisitions since Dreamforce 2010, most notably DimDim and Radian6. Post-Dreamforce 2011, salesforce.com has already acquired Assistly, a customer service social software startup in the lower end of the market.
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 »
Part 1 of this blog series talked about my attendance of Dreamforce 2010, salesforce.com’s annual user conference, which has over the past several years become a highly anticipated and entertaining end-of-the-year fixture for enterprise applications market observers. My post concluded that while Dreamforce 2009 was mostly about continued growth of the cloud computing trailblazer and unveiling of Salesforce Chatter, the company’s nascent social platform and collaboration cloud (as duly covered by my blog series), the overall Dreamforce 2010 theme was cloud proliferation (and salesforce.com’s further diversification).
In his blog post, Louis Columbus states that at the center of Dreamforce 2010 was the transformation of salesforce.com into an enterprise cloud platform provider, starting with endorsing open application programming interfaces (APIs) including REST (Representational State Transfer), which its developer community had reportedly been requesting for over a year. Moreover, after realizing the proprietary nature of its Force.com cloud platform (and its Apex code), salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and his co-founder Parker Harris have recently decided to decouple Force.com into a more open application layer, for platform as a service (PaaS) purposes and a database layer for providing infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
Dreamforce, salesforce.com’s annual user conference, has over the past several years become a highly anticipated and entertaining end-of-the-year fixture for the enterprise applications market observers (surprisingly, Dreamforce 2011 will take place in late August, and let’s see how that new timing will feel). Namely, in these prolonged times of bad economic news and businesses recoiling across the board, one could always enjoy the unusually high attendance and upbeat and “never a dull moment” atmosphere of the multi-day event, courtesy of salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff and his executive team.
While Dreamforce 2009 was mostly about the continued growth of the vendor and the unveiling of Salesforce Chatter, the company’s nascent social platform and collaboration cloud (as duly covered by my blog series), the overall Dreamforce 2010 theme was the cloud proliferation (and salesforce.com’s further diversification). Needless to say, this was in addition to the theme of continued growth.
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.
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 »
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 and global “platform” player in selected industries in the Dynamics ERP lineup. 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 the so-called long- tail niches.
In Part 1 of this blog series I admitted to being a late adopter of a sort, in part for not immediately jumping onto the social media bandwagon. In particular, my initial reaction to Salesforce Chatter (a.k.a. Collaboration Cloud) was tepid when it was introduced at the Dreamforce 2009 conference.
However, a few months have passed and this period has helped salesforce.com craft the much clearer cloud computing evolution message that was analyzed in Part 2. The article then also went on to explain my change of heart and discussed Salesforce Chatter’s current state of affairs (in terms of the current number of beta users and third-party solutions).
Salesforce Chatter became generally available (GA) as of June 22, 2010. Salesforce.com is even entertaining the idea that Chatter could be a general enterprise platform on its own. One Chatter-based application was recently announced by FinancialForce.com and is called Chatterbox.
Chatterbox comes within the FinancialForce Accounting product but the idea is to also sell it to accounting departments as standalone. For more information on the product, see the company’s press release (PR), a related blog post from WebCPA, and the product’s dedicated Web page.
The final part of this blog series will explain many design principles and possible use of Chatter and Chatterbox from my dialogue with Jeremy Roche, FinancialForce.com CEO and President, and UNIT4 CODA chairman.
In Part 1 of this blog series I admitted to being a late adopter of a sort, in part for not immediately jumping onto the social media bandwagon. In particular, my initial reaction to Salesforce Chatter (a.k.a. Collaboration Cloud) was tepid. To be frank, Marc Benioff, salesforce.com’s flamboyant and engaging CEO, gave an atypically incoherent and dry keynote speech when he introduced Chatter at the Dreamforce 2009 conference.
However, a few months have passed and this period has helped salesforce.com craft a much clearer message. In addition, Chatter has reportedly been used within salesforce.com’s own organization (as the largest beta site/tester), which has given the vendor much more time and experience to improve and tweak the product.
Part 1 of this blog series outlined Epicor 9 (a.k.a., Epicor ERP [evaluate this product]), Epicor Software’s next-generation converged product suite. A similar feat is yet to be accomplished even by mighty Oracle within Oracle Fusion Applications.
The article also discussed Epicor’s accompanying “protect, extend, and converge” strategy for providing customers with a migration path choice at their own timetable and convenience. The article then went on to dig deeper and explain a number of enabling technologies and concepts within Epicor 9, starting with Epicor BPM (Business Process Management).
Part 2 then analyzed the major enabling concepts and technologies within the product, such as Epicor ICE (Internet Component Environment) 2.0 Business Architecture, which is based on Epicor TrueSOA™ and includes the Epicor Everywhere Framework™. The article also dug deeper into the suite’s built-in business intelligence (BI) and enterprise performance management (EPM) capabilities.
Part 3 of this blog series analyzes further unconventional and nifty tools and technologies within Epicor 9, and concludes the series with some insights into the product’s future enhancements. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series established that by offloading non-essential and non-value-adding routine tasks to third-party business process outsourcing (BPO) specialists, many human resource (HR) and payroll managers are now able to focus more on strategic and more important tasks of managing talent and human capital of the company. The discussion then went into the possible liberation of chief financial officers (CFOs) and controllers from their daily grind mindless chores. Read the rest of this entry »