Posts Tagged ‘Cloud computing’

Will you shape the vision?

IT is like business engine, CIOs are accountable for critical part of business that is constantly changing and evolving. Contemporary CIOs should be capable of evolving leadership skills to not only match pace with the changes in technology and the pace at which organization can effectively manage these changes, but also proactively drive changes in business transformation.

Shape the Vision: CIO and his/her team can play a large role in shaping a vision of the firm as a place where passionate individuals want to connect with and learn from one another. CIO offices also have a significant responsibility to choose and deploy the IT that will help their firms realize the vision. Simply put, IT can no longer just be about numbers and algorithms; it has an opportunity to be a significant catalyst for passion and a tool for encouraging questing and connecting the innovation dots.

Ignite Passion: The range of technologies have emerged that can help foster a deeper sense of connection and purpose in employees, ignite latent worker passion and bring together disparate parts of the organization. But these new tools also necessitate a new way of thinking, a creative way to do things and a flexible way to work smartly.

Set Evolution: The emergence of the CIO coincided with the birth of the PC and end user computing. That role certainly matured as the Internet age unfolded. Now, it’s social, mobile, consumerization of IT, Big Data and a major shift in how IT services are delivered (cloud). These changes are inspiring spiritual conversations around the role of the CIO, these are all evolutionary and in some ways even predictable.


CRM Roundup for April 6

April 6, 2013 3 comments

Evolving Social CRM to Become CRM—Again By: Esteban Kolsky (@ekolsky)

With the constant conversations about Social CRM, Esteban points out a key understanding that’s finally sinking in – Social CRM is just regular CRM now. In adapting to the new abilities the “social” aspect of CRM provides, Esteban recommends four critical steps for effective CRM implementation. These include using each channel for its respective purpose, rethinking your strategy within the new capabilities of CRM, focusing on bottom-line metrics over “fluff” metrics like followers, and embracing the change.

Scribe Online Platform Updated with New Visual Interface By: Jason Gumpert

MSDynamicsWorld’s Jason Gumpert covers the newest version of our Scribe Online Platform, with a focus on the easy-to-use visual UI of Integration Services (IS). With IS, as Scribe’s VP of Product Management Betsy Bilhorn explains, “The concepts (of the customer data integration) are natural language based and easy to pick up if you have any level of technical background – for each record, if this, do that.” This opens up data integration to more users to enable better decision making, lower TCO, and faster realization of benefits.

CRM Winners and Losers By: Chuck Schaeffer (@cschaeffer)

For those in the market for a CRM system, this post analyzes the relative Buyer Consideration (aka popularity) of the top 15 CRM systems in Q1 of 2013. Not surprisingly, and MS Dynamics CRM hold top spots by a wide margin (72% and 51% of Buyer Consideration). For those interested in branching out from the two CRM titans, both Infusionsoft and Oracle RighNow are on the rise, but have a ways to go (19% and 5% of Buyer Consideration respectively).

Businesses Can Turn to Scribe for Integration in the Cloud Anytime By: Mark Smith (@marksmithvr)

In a week full of data integration news (see Mulesoft’s funding), Mark covered another important data integration update – Integration Services (IS) for our Scribe Online Platform. Ventana found that 44% of organizations spend the most analytics time on data-based tasks, meaning that increases in data efficiency and integration can hugely benefit these organizations. Like Jason Gumpert and others have noted, the visual UI of IS greatly simplifies the process of data integration, leading to better, cheaper access to customer data. As Mark puts it, “Scribe Online is a great step forward. Having software that can align business and IT is essential, as less than a fifth (19%) work together well for the information needs of an organization, according to our information management research.”

MuleSoft Rakes in More Moolah to Connect Your Applications to the World By: Barb Darrow (@gigabarb)

Barb covered this week’s announcement of Mulesoft’s $37 million funding round. The influx of cash into the data integration space is indicative of the massive wave of change coming and the importance of integrating CRM and other customer data systems – Mulesoft CEO Greg Schott estimates the value of connecting all enterprise applications at $500 billion. What’s interesting about these new funds is the fact that Mulesoft raised money from two competitors – Salesforce and SAP – underscoring the recognized need for CRM and cloud providers to connect their services using integration solutions like Mulesoft and Scribe.


Customer Experience Trend: Software as an Experience

January 28, 2013 Leave a comment

One of the big trends we are seeing in the world of customer experience is a focus on the experience of the software. The whole rise of Smart Phones is geared around this premise.

The initial rise of cloud-based software (a.k.a. SaaS, or software-as-a-service) focused on renting access to software instead of the historical approach of selling licenses. As cloud-based software expands, we’ll see these offerings cater more explicitly to the needs of customers.

How? More simple, highly-focused, specialized applications (like smartphone apps), more focus on quick initial usability, more sharing of best practices (usage, not technical), and customization based on behavioral analysis of users.

Tidbit: Net Promoter Scores for tech vendors are more correlated to customer experience than product performance.

When it comes to the cloud, there is a huge gap between the business and the CIO

January 26, 2013 Leave a comment

A recent survey on cloud adoption presents an interesting view of the perception gap between IT and business executives. Although the survey focuses on issues such as on-premise upgrades and availability of technical resources, the best stuff is buried in a single graphic.

Enterprise performance management vendor Host Analytics sponsored a survey (PDF download), by Dimensional Research, that describes certain drivers of cloud adoption.

According to the survey, the cloud alternative delivered better value–business: 80 percent; CIOs: 53 percent. Although the phrase “better value” is vague, most likely business people interpret this to mean “less expensive“. This makes sense because many business folks see cloud as a means to bypass IT and purchase computing at lower cost. On the other hand, the data indicates that CIOs recognize that software alone is only part of the overall cost equation for enterprise technology

The survey highlights several important points for CIOs to consider, including:

Business buyers don’t care about your IT agenda: As CIO, your technology focus includes a broad range of considerations that are of little direct interest to business executives. Most business folks don’t care about your infrastructure, staffing, and efficiency concerns. They want feature rich applications that meet their specific needs. And, they want those apps cheap.

Business buyers have a tactical view of technology procurement: Their concerns focus narrowly on solving specific problems, perhaps without a long-term or strategic view of technology. The clear implication: address their specific needs without adding your back office constraints heavily to the mix. Find a way to handle your own constraints without binding users into solutions that do not accomplish their goals.

Users need education on strategic cloud benefits: Based on the survey, we can conclude that users do not understand that cloud benefits go far beyond lower cost. Both IT departments and software vendors must do a better job educating users on the innovation and business process benefits of the cloud. And, dear CIO, I must delicately note that your staff may also need additional education in this area.

The power of mobile

January 19, 2013 Leave a comment

It is hard to imagine a world without mobile computing. It’s funny to think back to when getting excited about technology was considered nerdy. These days, almost everyone is keen on the latest in devices particularly those of the mobile variety. Problem is, now that we’ve got the digital world in our pockets, we’d like to keep it there. This makes things a little sticky for reluctant business leaders, as the consumerization of the enterprise continues to hit them on all sides.

Power of Mobile Infographic


Guest Blog: Vinay Bhagat – The Birth of TrustRadius

December 5, 2012 5 comments

TrustRadius is a business social network that helps professionals make make smarter enterprise technology decisions through sharing insights.These are Vinay Bhagat’s thoughts on the state of the industry, their favorite technologies and life at a start-up company.

The Birth of TrustRadius — Guest Blog by Vinay Bhagat, CEO TrustRadiusVinay Bhagat - Convio Founder

In 1999, I founded a SAAS – “software as a service” – company called Convio. Over the next decade, we scaled the company, went public in 2010, and were subsequently acquired in May 2012 for $325m. During that time, I realized:

It’s really hard to get reliable information on enterprise technology

As our company grew from a 2 person start-up to a 450 person company, we bought many enterprise systems. Tapping our personal network for insights on systems was a good start but had limitations. It was often difficult to find people who had used the same system in a similar context. Trusting vendors’ sales representatives also proved problematic. In one instance, we bought an expensive HR system, only to find that key features promised by the sales representative did not work as required, rendering the product useless in our context. The poor implementation and customer service experience also never surfaced in interviews with vendor supplied customer references. Coincidentally, this HR product was rated highly by a leading technology analyst because of the vendor’s strong market presence.

Vendors must embrace transparency

A common practice in the enterprise software industry is to “spin” a presentation to highlight a product’s best features and avoid disclosing its weaknesses. Demonstrations are framed to make products seem easier to use than they truly are. Questions about capabilities and features generally receive an unqualified “yes” versus a more truthful “it depends”. Vendor supplied customer references are only offered up late in the sales cycle and are frequently carefully prepped to say the right things. The world is however changing as more and more software is sold as “a service”, and a company’s reputation can spread rapidly through social media. As a “SAAS” or software as a service business, fees are not paid up front, but rather earned over time. If a sales representative ‘over sells’ your product, it comes back to haunt the vendor in the form of customer churn, poor profitability, and negative references – all of which can significantly curb growth. As the founder of a SAAS company, I strived to be candid about our product’s strengths and weaknesses, sometimes to the chagrin of some of our sales reps. Embracing transparency served us well, allowing us to establish a mostly positive reputation within our sector.

If a pizza joint gets 1000 reviews, why shouldn’t an enterprise product have some?

Many pundits talk about the “consumerization of the enterprise”. While it often refers to the use of social media or mobile devices in the enterprise, I believe it’s really more a shift towards consumer like experiences within the enterprise, coupled with business users driving the adoption of technology. As consumers, most of us rely heavily on peer reviews for many of the decisions we make – which restaurant to eat at, which movie to see, which hotel to stay at, which appliance to buy, which home contractor to hire. In my home town of Austin, one of the more popular pizza joints has over 1000 reviews. Yet, equivalent peer reviews are generally not available to aid critical business decisions like selecting enterprise technology.

I am not alone in these beliefs

Armed with these realizations, I started to talk to IT and business professionals about their software purchase and usage experiences. I learned that my experiences as a buyer of technology were not unique. I heard a strong desire for pragmatic insights from peers. Many software vendors also share my viewpoint that embracing transparency is the best long-run business strategy and frankly inevitable. From these insights, TrustRadius was born.

What is your cloud strategy?

October 15, 2012 5 comments

Where is the Cloud going over the next few years? Have you defined your strategy to move there yet?

According to Forrester‘s projection, the global market for cloud computing will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) will play the most dominant role and will be an estimated market of about $80 billion in 2015. SaaS will especially disrupt the customer relationship management (CRM), HR, and governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software markets in coming years, and it has already disrupted other software categories such as content management and ePurchasing solutions.

Clearly the cloud isn’t going away. Are you on board?

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