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Business Process Improvement

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A few months ago, I wrote an article about the relationships between business intelligence platform vendors and their distribution networks, and where these relationships are headed. The key message in that article was that Value-Added Resellers (VARs) must understand that self-service business intelligence is where the market is headed – and adjust their business models accordingly. A company selling BI solutions based on another company’s BI platform will need to provide real added value to the customer in order to stay in business. In the not-too-distant future, this value will almost certainly come from industry-specific professional knowledge and experience (as opposed to purely technical expertise). More and more potential customers will no longer accept lengthy projects and, with the new software and technologies now emerging, it is no longer justifiable. W... (more)

Is Business Transformation a Dirty Word(s)?

This post is sponsored by The Business Value Exchange and HP Enterprise Services Let's pose the question: Is business transformation a dirty word? Okay it's words plural, but you get the point. To start with we must realize why we are asking the question. It's probably because the phraseis so prevalent at the moment. Every IT management guru worth his or her salt is keen to talk about "business transformation" almost as if it is some de facto standard around which all firms should now structure their central commercial strategies. But then, perhaps they should. Perhaps business transformation is that important. Strange then that business transformation has never been capitalized to Business Transformation and afforded the (BT) acronym... but this is mere folly in the wider world of business transformation, so what is it? As of 2014 we can state generally that busin... (more)

Data Backup and Business Continuity | @CloudExpo #DataCenter #Storage

The Distinction Between Data Backup and Business Continuity by Brandon Garcin Believe it or not, the first data backups were made on paper. Dating back as early as the 18th century, the "technology" was used in the form of paper tapes constructed from punch cards to control the functions of automated machinery such as textile looms. The concept of these cards was then further developed by IBM in the early days of data processing, where data input, storage and commands were captured using a series of hole punches. In 1956, IBM introduced the 350 disk storage unit - the first ever hard disk drive. It was 60 inches in length, stood nearly 70 inches tall and had a capacity of 5 million 6-bit characters - or 3.75 MB of data. And although less than 4 megabytes may not seem like much (a decent cell phone can today take a picture with a larger file size), the 350 unit represe... (more)

Why is a 90% failure rate ok?

Why is a 90% failure rate ok? is a post from: Sharon Drew Morgen The sales model builds in a 90% failure rate and we expect that! We build it right into the entire system: We hire 10X more sales people to get the results we seek, we expect and get 50% longer sales cycles than we could be having, we face objections because people are responding to the sales model itself, we lose clients we shouldn’t lose. And we consider all of this de rigour. What a waste – not only for sellers, but for buyers. This doesn’t need to happen. Sales is just an incomplete model that we’ve accepted as the way to place our products. It works only at the product decision end of the equation (vs. Buying Facilitation, my model that facilitates the internal decisions end of the equation), with no capability to guide buyers through their tangle of stuff’ that needs to get figured out before th... (more)

Cloud: What a Business Leader Must Know

In speaking with Service Providers, the conversation around cloud often moves away from the technical challenges of delivering a large-scale multi-tenant on-demand offering, and into business considerations such as the readiness of customers to consume cloud services and the prioritization of cloud services to be offered. Cisco is working with SPs and SP customers to assist in delivering successful offerings and advancing the cloud market. For SPs, it’s important to understand who the offering is being built for, what revenue opportunity is enabled, and what ultimately needs to be delivered in order to meet the demands of the customer. Customers of cloud need to understand how the cloud will impact their business. Concerns including policy compliance, end-to-end security, quality of service, and transitioning to (and from) the cloud will be need to be addressed. ... (more)

A Case for Business Intelligence

Everyone has heard the business maxim: you cannot manage what you cannot measure. No one seems to be given original credit for this quote, but chances are there are many frustrated Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) that have used it many times trying to get timely and actionable organizational insight. As organizations grow in scope and complexity, aggregating real-time data from numerous systems and converting that data to decision-ready information becomes increasingly challenging. When striving for Business Performance Improvement (BPI), Business Intelligence technology provides the necessary framework to gain the insight needed to lead to better decisions.  Below are five guidelines to identify an effective business intelligence solution to help companies turn data into wisdom by organizing and presenting it in easy to understa... (more)

How Cloud Computing Is Changing Business Commerce

Cloud computing is changing the rules of the game for many industries. Every day we hear compelling stories about how banks use cloud-based solutions to help customers pay bills online, health care institutions tap cloud networks to collaborate on medical care, and colleges leverage technology to create virtual classrooms. Cloud computing hasn't had a huge effect on business commerce. Despite billions spent on technologies to streamline the process, business commerce has been remarkably resilient to technological progress. Commerce collaboration between companies is still weighed down by paper-based processes and outmoded operating infrastructures. In fact, more than 80 percent of business-to-business commerce transactions are completed manually, and companies still send 85 percent of invoices and payments on paper. Things are changing. With increasing frequency, co... (more)

Quality Assurance: The Most Undervalued Piece of Devops

Software works the way it was designed because of a group of downtrodden, undervalued and unsung heroes. Often dismissively described as testers, these champions of precision can be more accurately termed Quality Assurance. They set the bar high and work hard to ensure that the software you buy is easy to use and efficient. Without their expertise you would encounter a lot of inaccessible, bug-ridden releases. QA is frequently undervalued by software developers. It is often seen as an unnecessary expense - a drain on time and resources. The truth is that finding and fixing bugs is an unrewarding task that demands a great deal of effort for very little palpable return. It's tough to calculate the cost of bugs in your finished product and even tougher to take your eye off spiraling costs and a slipping deadline. It's been 10 years since the U.S. Department of Commerc... (more)

Business Process Outsourcing and the Shared Services Center

Business process outsourcing (BPO) of shared services centers (SSC) is not really something new, but lately BPOs and SSCs have become particularly popular as discussion topics in large organizations with complex and simple business processes. In reality, the BPO function is nothing more than the contracting of specific business tasks, typically back office business tasks, to a 3rd party service provider. Companies like a payroll bureau and recruitment agencies have been effectively performing these kinds of services for decades. In the late 1990's improvements in computing technology, the internet and global communications allowed an explosion in outsourced customer services centers. This in turn led to an increased focus in businesses not just looking at the BPO function but also in the breaking down of traditional organizational processing silos and the creation ... (more)

Using Business Process Management and Workflow Automation

Organizations have started to see the value in discovering and harnessing the potential of the typically large amounts of information as well as data they generate and consume on a regular basis, all in ways that help their organizational goals and associated business models perform well and execute even better in the market place. Being able to integrate BPM as a strategic approach and discipline towards the enablement and transformation of a company's less efficient current-state process into a more progressive and efficient future-state of operations fosters an environment where the ability to integrate content with core business processes proves significant in progressively maximizing the value of your operational efficiencies while simultaneously minimizing cost, thereby delivering an overall Return on Investment (ROI) for the organization and its customers. T... (more)

The Agile PMO

Tom Jenkins, the newly appointed PMO manager convened his team. Xavier, Paula and Xing were eager to start work. Tom explained that the PMO rollout is a change process. He gave his team assignments around stakeholder analysis, mapping of communication requirements, and creation of the PMO newsletter. While the team was somewhat puzzled with these activities they moved to fulfill them. Working with the stakeholders, the team captured many complaints pertaining to the current way of work and gathered numerous requests for improvements. Eagerly awaiting their next meeting, which was held virtually through a videoconference, they prepared a list of proposed improvements. Xavier proposed to commence work on the work breakdown structure and the software development lifecycle. Paula suggested to update the risk register template and to implement a new tool for project sc... (more)