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Yammer, Salesforce, and other Emerging Trends – “Technology Enabled Services – The Business Productivity Opportunity”

January 8, 2011

TechCrunch Purveyor of Silcon Vally slink has a great video piece up on why CRM startups are experiencing success and extreme growth. While being cautious about taking introspect from a VC is always a bit on the optimist wagon there are some great insights.

Technology Enabled Services – The Business Productivity Opportunity

  • Salesforce just hired a gaming VP for there product development organization (think about the implications of using a Sales / Organization automation tool with a point ranking for contributers)
  • The success oppertunits take longer for the SaaS B2B offering
  • IT is over a trillion dollars a year
  • Incumbent CRM vendors (on premise install base) are expanding there  customer base by purchasing other on premise customers (Oracle, SAP, Microsoft etc.)
  • SaaS vendors are  focused on selling to new markets, and are global (Small medium enterprise)
  • Sales & Marketing
    • Selling more pricey solutions remotely (with less sales involvement)
    • Business Freemium model allow customers to test products, and create an up selling experience for an existing happy customer (note that this not a new customer as with an on premise sell)
    • For margins to be reasonable the conversion rates in 10-15%  are needed,
    • Finally some Freemium models are using viral marketing (you send it etc), each use generates a possible new customer
  • Yammer vs. Salesforce
    • Yammer – Originally directed to a consumer market now with over 80% of fortune five’s
    • Jive –  Professional Salesforce, more B2B
    • Chatter – Most likely will grow organically through the Salesforce customer base
  • SalesForce – Service Cloud, CRM, Chatter are the 3 strongest platform strengths
  • Cloud Security & Privacy – Challanges exist but they will not last
  • Consolidation Trends- Large Incumbent ventures, Sucessful M&A and consolidation of market

All this leads to some really interesting questions.

  • When the incumbents challenge the SaaS products how will they differentiate there product offerings? vs. just making there products offered on a subscription?
  • How long does it take mature and adopt a enterprise SaaS offering, SalesForce seems to have take 5-7 years. (How long did it take Sieble?)
  • When offering a Freemium offering what is the right position to take for a traditional vendor ?

 

Technology Changes, Challenges, and Winners in 2011 – Part 3 of 3

January 6, 2011

This is the last post in a series of 3. Over the last few days I have provided some thoughts on how enterprise organizations can plan for 2011. In this post I take a look at the actual market capitalization available to the tech industry. This is based on an article I recently read by Forrester.

Synopsis

  • During 2010 the US tech sector grew about twice as fast as the US economy as a result 2011 outlook is similar
  • Uncertainty is greater in 2011 due to the following changes the end of economic stimulus programs and a politically divided US government unlikely to provide another boost to the economy.
  • Gartner/Forrester estimates that growth in the industry will be double that of the economy which is around 7-8%
  • The following contributes to these factors
    • Investments in cloud and Smart Computing & SaaS
    • Govt. IT will lag, though, as federal, state, and local governments struggle with high deficits
    • The computer renewal boom that helped the tech market in 2010 will slow
    • Software and IT consulting services will pick up the slack

As a result of the forecasts there are some items for technology vendors and tech. consumers alike to be aware of in 2011.   Tech purchases will be faced with the following possible landscapes

  • weak revenue growth  and potential for renewed recession
  • Versus the positives of good profits, ample cash sitting on balance sheets, and the attractions of new Smart Computing and cloud computing solutions.

Thinking  about all of this …

Increase your focus on industries that have high growth potentials. Both the economic outlook and prospects for tech spending will vary dramatically between different industries in 2011. Do your research to understand where growth will happen and where it will be a challenge.

Review your marketing and sales investment for 2011, reduce costs elsewhere. There seem to be enough challenges on the forefront that vendors should be prepared if the tech market under performs.

Cloud computing is the smart choice for SMB’s when it comes to Enterprise organization a careful ROI review will be needed.  Intelligent Infrastructure Computing offers opportunities for businesses to u to implement new technologies of awareness, analysis, and alternatives that can significantly improve their business.

 

Technology Changes, Challenges, and Winners in 2011 – Part 2 of 3

January 5, 2011

In this series I am examining the trends that are happening in 2011.  GigaOm recently posted an article on the companies that are winners in 2010

Here is a brief synopsis of what the article states

  • Google – Andriod is a success on the mobile platform, it doesn’t end there though. The move into the living room and further advancement into entertainment high lights Google’s push into the consumer market.
  • Apple – Innovative design and simple execution continue to be the hallmark of this company. Just as they jump started the smart phone revolution they created the tablet market with the Ipad.
  • Rovio – The company that created touchscreen games sold across a variety of different platforms, Apple and Android.
  • Primesense. The 3-D technology at the core of Microsoft’s new Kinect has had a significant impact on the market in 2010. Primesense will work to develop new interface types for 2011.
  • Amazon. With the e-book growth in 2011, Amazon will continue to extended its advantage and to find additional ways to innovate in the book publishing industry.

So what impact might this have on the Enterprise?

  • Smart: Phones, Tablets and Internet Connected Devices alike users will no longer be satisfied with Blackberry bricks. If IT doesn’t innovate  the user community will, each Enterprise should be prepared for this and have an engagement strategy.
  • Design and Simplicity: contain to be the products that people are fanatical about, the take away here is the focus on simplified UI’s and best of breed applications will continue. The headache of system consolidations could evaporate, if “as a service” infrastructure and platforms are correctly implemented.
  • Its entertainment, as the consumer industry provides strategy, business and IT leaders will be involved with not just logical solutions but entertaining ones. Remember that old web dashboard, put it on an Ipad and make it interactive. Think about internal incentives to have more usage of existing applications (jigsaw is a good sample of this)
  • Interface will change in this decade, while most companies are still mouse and keyboard, people tactile input, and just plain gesture should be a consideration for the right user community.
  • Traditional industries are changing, Publishing, Media, and Music are all being forced into a digital shift. What is the total enterprise printing cost currently? How many print outs are disposed of? Is there an ROI business case to move to another format, by the end of 2011 there will be solution providers.

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Technology Changes, Challenges, and Winners in 2011 – Part 1 of 3

January 4, 2011

Some thoughts on what the 2011 will hold in mind for the enterprise from the perspective of the consumer

According to Tech Crunch there seems to be 7 neat things to be on the prowl for in 2011, this list seems entirely consumer facing but there are enterprise technology impacts as well.

  1. Web Video On Your TV – TV meet the internet, internet meet the streaming video.
  2. Social Q&A site – Lets all answer together
  3. Mobile Social Photo Apps – Sharing your media
  4. Mobile Wallets & Payments – Pay from your phone
  5. Context-Aware Apps
  6. Open Places Database – facilitate the a common repository between apps
  7. The Streaming Cloud – All media is moving to a steaming platform

Thinking about these trends it means that the following can also be assumed.

  • Business users will grow fed up with carrying around many devices – 2 mobile phones (work and personal) 1 Laptop and some kind of tablet
    • Consolidation of these devices on to a common platform is in the cards, how will the organization cope?
  • Everywhere access for all files and documents that pertain to a user, streaming these (insert your S/I/PaaS standard here) is a reality
    • Technology from Citrix (and many others) continues to enable anywhere working.
  • Extremely intense growth in the mobile device and portable device arena will only quicken the move away from the PC  ruled work place.
    • Geo, Mobile and Photo apps are driving this new adoption of hardware, the business impacts for this are starting to emerge, real time updates (Ala SalesForce Chatter) mobile posting via any smart phone etc
  • The need for a common set of referenced open data stores, the next frontier will be how these many apps choose to share store and analyze data
    • The enterprise will face a million leaks from the Google spreadsheet to the  unsecured RSS feed, strong referenced data store such as AWS, Google, and others are creating will provide the framework for the growing interrelated web of applications

An update on sucess factors from the field

April 29, 2010

I feel a bit like Jane Godall, with “observations from the field”, I’ve been busy with lots of project work and practical implementation challenges. I’ve been focused on helping to large clients, implement an enterprise CRM application. Along the way there been lots of challenges, everything a project manager fears seems to have come to fruition. The following are just some observations that I jotted down reflecting on the challenges I faced.
Keep in mind this is from the perspective of a project manager implementing an enterprise software package.
• Understand what the scope of work says and what the client needs, often times there is a substantial gap between the scope creation and the commencement of work. Larger organizations usually have fairly dynamic business needs for fundraising. As a result implementing a CRM focused application around his processes is often difficult to scope. I’ve found that it’s in my best interest to always check with the project manager and business unit to ensure for delivering what is needed for current business practices.
• Business processes people and process often are the most likely to change during an implementation. Focusing on the inputs and outputs of the processes really helps to clarify what’s needed from the software application might be implementing. Of course this is only possible if you’re maintaining a solid relationship with the project manager business analyst and business unit.
• Like most customers expectations are usually high, there should always be an opportunity monthly at minimum to lay client expectations on the table. During this time Explorer upcoming tasks, reviews deliverables, budget and expense. For those of you familiar with the iron triangle this is the best time to make sure that the sides are not giving way.
• At the end of the day, and a project manager knows that the relationships you build your team and the client’s team ultimately lead to success. If you have trouble here it’s time to seek help from your executive sponsor.

Shifting the focus of ServiceXen, whats ahead

March 29, 2009

Its not often that I get to explore a new problem space, the non-profit and related philanthropy domains are my new focus. As many of you know I have previously helped to run various non-profits here in Atlanta. I have played roles from volunteering all the way up to senior leadership.  These organizations include EAKC, GATechCore, Hands on Atlanta, Feed the hungry, Habitat for Humanity, and many others.  As for the systems space I have spent many years implementing popular CRMs and SFA’s (read the blog for questions about what that means.)

So whats the point of all this? Its a shift in focus and strategy alignment for the blog.  That’s right! we are taking our own advice and identifying what change is needed.

So the new areas of focus for the blog are below keep in mind that we will be taking a look at the Non-Profit domain:

  • Providing guidance on how organizations identify and set measurable goals
  • Aligning the goals set for the organizations to process and procedures that are actionable
  • Helping organizations to understand there priorities and how they align with there objectives
  • Combining tools, people and process to achive a more productive and effective mix, helping organizations to focus on there causes.

So why the change? Keep on reading to learn more…

Taking a brake ….

February 10, 2009

you may have noticed that there haven’t been any posts lately. I am taking a short hiatus until the summer begins. Please keep checking back for more information.