We had a pretty good idea recently (or so we thought) to look at the relationship between CIOs and their strategic vendor partners. The idea was to take a different perspective — ask the vendors for best practices and for not-so-great practices — hoping for examples that could be used to guide CIOs. So we made a list of likely strategic vendors for CIOs — the likes of HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP — and pushed a request out to multiple vendor analyst relations contacts.
I spent a day with Tandberg management last week and came away very impressed with some things I can't share and also some things that I can share. Tandberg has:
Great HD videoconferencing solutions in room-sized all the way down to Webcam. Yep, a Webcam image looks great in a telepresence room. These guys get telepresence and end point integration.
A management toolkit that works at enterprise scale. It's an appliance + video network management solution. This is based on the Codian products that Tandberg acquired. They call it "infrastructure" but I think of it as the NOC for video.
A commitment to video standards. Take note, Cisco: This will be CRITICAL to business adoption of video for partner collaboration.
A strong focus on interoperability among network protocols, end points, and video codecs. The Codian acquisition clearly gave them some serious engineering. The goal is to keep the old stuff in the mix as firms build on out their new stuff. It looked good in demo, anyway.
Strong financials, customer base, and growth. This company is well run and winning share in its market. That team will remain in place.
On Monday morning Xerox announced the
planned acquisition of ACS for approximately $6.4 billion. The acquisition will
be a big move for Xerox’s Ursula Burns, who just recently took over as CEO, and
it is indeed a “game-changer” for Xerox. Long known as a manufacturer of office
products such as copiers, Xerox has exhibited strong growth from its Global
Services business unit in recent years even as other parts of the organization
faced increasing levels of commoditization.This acquisition shows that Xerox is now dedicated to a services-driven transformation
of its business.
ACS is a $6.3B IT services company provider
of business process outsourcing (BPO), though it also offers system integration
and IT infrastructure outsourcing (BPO services represent 79% of the company’s
business). The company has exhibited decent
top-line growth in the last two fiscal years (5.9% and 6.7%, respectively), though
its BPO services performed better (7.4% in 2009, 10.9% in 2008). Xerox will no
doubt benefit from ACSs focus on two hot markets right now: healthcare and
BP&A Senior Analyst Clay Richardson interviews Tom Higgins, CIO with Territory Insurance Office, a commercial insurance and financial services firm based in Darwin, Australia. The discussion covers how TIO was able to deliver value to the business by delivering business process management in a cost effective way – without the usual bloat and excessive overhead associated with enterprise BPM initiatives.
We look forward to your questions and comments.
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You don’t need to be a scientist to boost your business with applied mathematics
On 22/9/09 SPSS Inc. announced a new certification process to confirm an individual’s expertise with some of their statistical solutions. “Look at this”, I thought “sophisticated software still requires experts to unfold the value they can provide”. Being a physicist by background, I like it how applied mathematics can improve business. However, not everyone sees beauty in algorithms or is interested in statistics.
Remember that great song... "Can't get no... Satisfaction..." Some how I think that is the national anthem of most customers. Why is it so freaking hard to get satisfaction?
I found out it's not really that hard if you have getsatisfaction.com In an interview with the company's CEO, Wendy Lea and her team, I learned a lot about how they are helping companies hear and respond to the voice of the customer...
GetSatisfaction is the brainchild of Thor Muller, Amy Muller and Lane Becker. They wanted to make a difference. They wanted to use software to enable a better world. There in the heart of South Park - they came up with a way to do that.
In our latest US and Global IT market forecast (http://www.forrester.com/go?docid=53305), Forrester stays steady with our June 2009 projections that the US tech market will start to recover from the downturn in Q4 2009, with the global tech market improving in 2010. However, the 2009 growth rate now shows a bigger decline than our earlier forecasts, for two reasons. First, cutbacks in capital investment, which had earlier been confined to computer and communications equipment, spread in the first half of 2009 to licensed software, causing big declines in this category of tech purchases. Second, upward revisions to US IT investment data in 2007 and 2008 by the US Department of Commerce raised the base periods for measuring 2009 growth, making the 2009 declines even greater than before. Thus, we now project a -9.3% decline in US tech purchases in 2009, compared to a 5.1% decline in our June forecast. But those revisions confirmed our position that a tech boom was starting to take shape in 2008, before being rudely interrupted by the September financial. The weak results in early 2009 also mean that the market will hit bottom sooner, setting a low base for year-over-year growth starting in Q4 2009 and into 2010.
The story is the same for the global outlook. 2009 now looks worse than our previous forecasts, but 2010 still looks like a year of solid recovery. One factor that will help reported vendor results (especially for US vendors) is the decline in the value of the US dollar against major currencies since March of 2009. The value of the dollar is now about where it was a year ago, so vendors will be able to report Q4 2009 revenues in US dollars that will be better than their currency-adjusted numbers.
Xerox may soon own ACS. A great move if you ask me - for tactical and strategic reasons. XGS -the services arm - has been making some "toe in the water" moves over the last few years towards BPO in markets such as E-Discovery, Mortgage Processing, and growing organically core processes such as invoice processing and customer on boarding. These made sense in the quest for higher value conversations with customers but did not have the juice to really transform the company into a services-led player of the 21st century or position the company to expand into cloud and SaaS offerings. This deal has the power to do just that -adding solutions, project and change management skills as well as a mature labor arbitrage infrastructure.