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.
This post is sponsored by The Business Value Exchange and HP Enterprise
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
As of 2014 we can state generally that busin... (more)
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? 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
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)
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
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)
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
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)
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
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 (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
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)
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.
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