Pearson, a global education company, has selected Cameleon Software’s Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) solution as part of a business transformation initiative aimed at enhancing the customer experience. Anticipating the growing need for customized and personalized services, as well as the shift from paper to digital content, Pearson adapted its business processes to the market changes and, as part of its strategy, implemented a CPQ solution. Read the rest of this entry »
Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services selects WebFOCUS
Industry tags: cross-industry
“To solve its reporting requirements, Oklahoma DHS has selected Information Builders’ WebFOCUS business intelligence platform. With massive reporting requirements, the state government institution will rely on (among other things) a reporting application for child support services and a compliance reporting system for its child welfare department. The reporting solution will be used by an estimated 6,000 users or more, and it’s a clear case of BI being put to good use.”—Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst
Peugeot Netherlands selects QlikView’s Business Discovery Platform
Industry tags: cross-industry
“By using QlikView’s proof-of-concept method (i.e., “seeing is believing,”), QlikView partner OnLine Zuid was able to enable Peugeot Netherlands to view, experiment with, and ultimately select QlikView Business Discovery Platform for data analysis related to Peugeot’s vehicles and parts. QlikView continues to increase its global presence within large corporations.”—Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst
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 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.
One of the major takeaway messages from salesforce.com’s recent Dreamforce 2010 conference was the company’s diversification within the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) space. Namely, during their keynote presentations, the company’s executives admitted publicly to the Force.com platform’s proprietary nature (i.e., the non-mainstream Apex language), which made them decide recently to decouple the application development layer from the database layer in the cloud (the latter called database.com).
The application layer has been further broken down into several cloud-based application building flavors. To that end, there are the following application development environments that cater to different user constituencies and developer language preferences:
Part 1 of this series introduced SuccessFactors, a public provider of software as a service (SaaS) talent management solutions. My post first analyzed the vendor’s evolution from its traditional People Performance realm to the seemingly more opportune Business Execution (BizX) province.
Then, I talked about SuccessFactors’ multiple product editions to satisfy companies of all size and detailed the two core modules of the SuccessFactors BizX suite of applications: Performance Management and Goal Management. These core modules serve as the foundation for the BizX application suite, as visibility into employee performance and organizational goals are the necessary basis for other activities, such as recruiting, learning & development, compensation, and succession planning.
Part 1 of this blog series talked about my recent reunion with Cameleon Software (formerly Access Commerce) a provider of on-demand and on-premises configure, price, and quote (CPQ)/quote-to-order (Q2O) solutions. Prior to analyzing the recent events at Cameleon, Part 1 first established the need and market drivers for such software solutions.
I then analyzed how Cameleon helps product managers and marketers during the design phase of new product and service offerings, with the focus on being amenable to business (vs. power IT) users in these departments. Part 2 continues with the analyses of how Cameleon helps the sales process (often via multiple channels) and a discussion of recent developments at Cameleon.
Every June over past several years, after the high season for traveling to major vendor events subsides, and before everyone takes their summer vacations, a group of selected enterprise applications analysts have become accustomed to attending the JRocket Marketing Grape Escape(TM) event. “Grape Escape” is a signature event that showcases the intimate analyst relationships (AR) and event expertise that JRocket Marketing’s president and founder Judith Rothrock delivers to her enterprise software vendors’ client base. Read the rest of this entry »
Both the “old” Deltek (pre-2005) and “new” Deltek (from 2005 on) have not been strangers to acquisitions, but these were largely well thought-out and appetizing (“nip in”) purchases of smaller companies that had either an attractive piece of technology or install base (or both). However, in early June 2010, immediately after its Insight 2010 user conference, Deltek announced its intent to acquire Maconomy A/S, a Denmark-based provider of solutions to the professional services market. On July 6, Deltek announced the completion of its tender offer to acquire the European enterprise resourceplanning (ERP) provider.
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.
Let me start this blog series with one disclaimer: I am not an early adopter and I do not easily fall for any vendor’s slick marketing. At a recent large user conference, a vendor’s staffer asked me why I wasn’t already using an iPad tablet computer.
That question cracked me up, since I still use an Apple’s discontinued iBook notebook (besides the fact that I might only start using the latest tablet bestseller when it begins to feature computer multi-tasking, an USB flash drive port, and a CD/DVD drive). My laptop computer seems quite ancient now, but it still works and seems indestructible like a Volkswagen Beetle, in spite of all the abuses it has endured at airports, airplanes, and cafes for years.
With all this personal background laid out, I now have to admit that for all these years I have also cast a skeptical eye on Salesforce.com. Sure, the company has been growing admirably for all that time while even achieving modest profits, but I have also been aware of it constantly announcing (i.e., creating buzz about) new concepts and products well before they were generally available (GA). Salesforce.com would then have to actually deliver on these products’ hyped promises, which would be another opportunity for buzz creation (in a “we told you so” manner).
Part 1 of this series started with my invitation by UNIT4 (formerly Unit 4 Agresso), the second-largest business applications provider in continental Europe, to attend its UK 2010 user conference. Frankly, I was a bit skeptical about what new and exciting I might see and hear about at this event in light of the vendor’s analyst tour in Boston in late 2009.
My post then talked about another important development that preceded both the UK user conference and the Boston analyst tour (but which was not the topic of either gathering). Namely, in the fall of 2009, UNIT4’s on-demand venture, CODA 2go, evolved into FinancialForce.com, backed by both UNIT4 and Salesforce.com. The spin-off joint venture combines CODA’s 30 years of designing and building financial applications with Salesforce.com’s cloud computing development platform, Force.com.
The creation of the new entity and expanded relationship with Salesforce.com avails FinancialForce.com (and indirectly UNIT4) of many practical go-to-market and operating benefits, from branding and lead-generation to Salesforce.com providing hosting and the first-line customer support for the new offering (so that clients only have one number to call).
In 2009, I attended two Gartner Summit events: the Gartner Business Process Management (BPM) Summit in March in San Diego; and Gartner Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Summit in September in Scottsdale. I not only saw a number of same vendors at both events, but both events also had many similar themes, such as customer service, workflow automation, business processes, collaboration, customer retention, social media, key performance indicators (KPIs)/performance metrics, and so on and so forth.
It might be indicative that BPM and CRM are quite converging disciplines in that Gartner found enough synergy to host its CRM and BPM summits back-to-back in Washington, D.C. in late 2008 (events I did not attend). While BPM vendors are beginning to offer more CRM capabilities, CRM vendors are “returning the favor” with BPM features (e.g., workflow and business rules engines).
This process (no pun intended) may have begun several years ago. Namely, in 2005, the former Onyx Corporation (acquired by Consona Coporation in 2006 and meanwhile renamed into Consona Customer Management), began shifting its focus from highly contested and commoditized CRM applications toward more adaptive BPM-enabled applications via the former Onyx Process Manager in 2005. Consona’s CRM division does not sell its BPM module outside its CRM offering, but is proud to talk about its product’s adaptability due to native BPM features.
Both software categories also grew (CRM about 5 percent and BPM about 10 percent) in 2009, in contrast to a decline in most other enterprise applications. When money is tight, shrewd businesses look for ways to do more with less, and BPM seems to hold the promise of improving the customer’s experience. As companies cite business processes affected by CRM as their top challenge, CRM vendors have moved from focusing on pure technology to enabling processes, and BPM capabilities have taken a greater role in CRM suites. This convergence leads me to quote Forrest Gump: “We goes together like peas and carrots.”