Microsoft’s Big Bang: Everything CRM and ERP On One Platform

John Bruno

This week Microsoft announced a new offering (available in the Fall): Microsoft Dynamics 365. Sound familiar? It should. Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft Dynamics AX all come to mind, and this was not done by mistake. Microsoft is bringing together the capabilities from these products, their intelligence tools, and third party or internally-built apps from its newly launched AppSource. Microsoft will use Dynamics 365 to provide disaggregated applications that serve the functional needs formerly delivered through CRM and ERP suites (e.g. sales, service, marketing, operations, etc.) atop is a common application platform and data model.

So what is Microsoft looking to achieve with these changes? Well, business doesn’t end with a customer interaction, and delivering superior customer experiences doesn’t end at the front office. Front office and back office apps need to talk to one another to make sure companies are able to win, serve, and retain customers. Microsoft aims to: 

  • Give employees access to the right data and tools to perform their jobs. By utilizing a common data model, Dynamics 365 will show a consolidated view of the customer, inclusive of transactional data. This consolidated view delivered in the context of business apps will provide marketing, sales, and service professionals the appropriate context and functionality to serve their customers.
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Winning On The Battleground Of CX

Victor Milligan

The customer is changing market fundamentals...and customer experience (CX) is changing operating fundamentals.

In a recent webinar, key CX analysts Moira Dorsey, Harley Manning, and Blaise James tackled how CX is changing operating fundamentals with a deep dive on the state of CX and special attention to the real implications of CX.

There is broad market acceptance that winning on the basis of experience is a customer-led mandate. You can look at the reasons why from two different angles:

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Banks Have A Variety Of Islamic Banking Platforms To Choose From

Jost Hoppermann

The World Bank explains Islamic finance as “equity-based, asset-backed, ethical, sustainable, environmentally and socially responsible finance.” In previous Forrester research, we have described many of the core principles of Islamic banking: limitations on interest, certain contractual considerations, and the prevention of gambling — which limits many of the speculative aspects of financial services. These principles make the Islamic Banking sector worthy of consideration in itself; and the tools and technologies that support Islamic banking are important for any financial services firm operating in geographies with large Islamic populations. However, the market is relevant for other key reasons:

  • Islamic banking is of a significant size and continues to grow. For example, Islamic commercial banking hold totals assets of about US$1.1 trillion and has captured a 15% to 20% market share of total commercial banking in countries where Islamic banking exists (according to Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University in the UAE). Recent estimates predict growth rates of about 9% for the finance market and 10% for commercial banking — rates beyond the growth of many conventional banks (according to the Dubai Islamic Economic Development Centre andThomson Reuters).
     
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After Brexit, it's business as usual for most of Europe's public cloud workloads

Paul Miller

The flags of the European Union and the United Kingdom

(source: Wikimedia Commons)

Two weeks on, the result of the UK referendum on membership of the European Union (EU) continues to reverberate around the world. Forrester provided advice for clients needing to understand the business implications. Looking at the specific impact on public cloud deployments in Europe introduces a number of additional points. These are best considered in three separate contexts:

  • that of companies wishing to serve customers in the UK
  • that of companies wishing to serve customers in the remaining 27 EU member states (the EU27)
  • that of companies wishing to serve customers in the EU27 from a base in the UK.
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CMOs, Your Role Is Evolving . . . Are You Keeping Up?

Sheryl Pattek

I recently returned from an amazing vacation in the Galápago Islands where the impact of evolution is evident all around you. It was in the amazing Galápagos where Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution by means of natural selection. And it might surprise you to learn that a tiny bird called the Galápagos (or more commonly Darwin's) finch played a critical role in the formation of Darwin's theories. The diversity of the various finch species and how they evolved from a common ancestor to adapt to the different food types on each Galápagos island fascinated Darwin. Although these birds act and look pretty much alike (e.g., size, plumage, behavior), there are actually 14 species with a distinctive size and shape of their beak. Some are long and narrow to get at available food in deep cracks of volcanic rock, and some are wide and short to scoop up the moss on the flat rocks by the shoreline, along with everything in between. These birds were only able to survive the harsh and unique conditions on the Galápagos by evolving to their available food supply.

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Big Data Vendors See The Internet Of Things (IoT) Opportunity, Pivot Tech And Message To Compete

Paul Miller

Picture of a stream flowing over boulders.

(Source: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/pictures/90000/velka/waterfall-stream-over-boulders.jpg)

Open source big data technologies like Hadoop have done much to begin the transformation of analytics. We're moving from expensive and specialist analytics teams towards an environment in which processes, workflows, and decision-making throughout an organisation can - in theory at least - become usefully data-driven. Established providers of analytics, BI and data warehouse technologies liberally sprinkle Hadoop, Spark and other cool project names throughout their products, delivering real advantages and real cost-savings, as well as grabbing some of the Hadoop glow for themselves. Startups, often closely associated with shepherding one of the newer open source projects, also compete for mindshare and custom.

And the opportunity is big. Hortonworks, for example, has described the global big data market as a $50 billion opportunity. But that pales into insignificance next to what Hortonworks (again) describes as a $1.7 trillion opportunity. Other companies and analysts have their own numbers, which do differ, but the step-change is clear and significant. Hadoop, and the vendors gravitating to that community, mostly address 'data at rest'; data that has already been collected from some process or interaction or query. The bigger opportunity relates to 'data in motion,' and to the internet of things that will be responsible for generating so much of this.

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Digital Transformation - Part 2: Culture And Organization

Dan Bieler

The most digitally aware managers are realizing that cultural and organizational transformation will dominate their agenda for years to come. Emerging business models will not function based on old organizational structures, traditional innovation approaches, and outdated management techniques.

In the late 1990s, many traditional businesses mentally leapfrogged by adding a “dotcom” to their name. Those old enough to remember those days, know that many businesses failed miserably in their efforts and still have not fully adjusted to IP realities.

Today we see a similar trend, with every business claiming to be a "digital" business. To me, this is a clear sign that we have crossed the zenith of digital hype. This period is a risky one. Just as the once mighty telcos were blown out of the water by the much more agile and flexible social media and big data players in the 2000s, I believe a majority of traditional businesses will succumb to the forces of successful digital businesses. Declarations of digital intentions, the creation of chief digital officers, or the allocation of digital budgets alone will not translate into digital success.

Most grand digital visions and strategic ambitions that have become the staple diet of corporate presentations mostly fall short of concrete plans for management innovation. It is not conceivable how traditional management techniques can deliver on promises of ongoing and inside-out-driven innovation as well as responding instantaneously to fast-changing customer demand. The creation of a work environment that stimulates employees’ self-initiative and creativity as well as passion for one's work must be the central building block for an agile, flexible, and experimental digital business.

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The Data Digest: Sports, Spectators, And Screen Time

Anjali Lai

Sports fans around the world are having a heyday: From the Copa America soccer tournament in the US to the European Champions Cup across the pond, and from live Wimbledon matches to the imminent Summer Olympic Games, there is no lack of global sports entertainment at this moment.

Sports teams have always brought people together as much as divided them — and in today’s age, technology amplifies the drama of fandom. Personal devices play a critical role in how people come together around sports, when fans watch the action unfold, and how they discuss the results.

For example, Forrester’s latest Consumer Technographics® survey data reveals that consumers worldwide have recently accessed sports applications on their mobile phones and tablets: 

Our previous research shows that consumers often prefer tablets for longer, more engaging, media-rich experiences — and in fact, Forrester’s mobile behavioral data indicates that consumers spend more time on sports apps when using their tablet rather than their mobile phone. However, technology doesn’t only enable sports enthusiasts to get into the game — oftentimes, it also allows more casual fans to multitask.

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After Brexit, Will Paris Become The New Startup Hub In Europe?

Thomas Husson

Paris will be the capital of technology innovation and startups for the next three days with more than 5,000 startups, 400 speakers, 30,000 attendees, and 100 top VCs attending Viva Technology Paris.

CEOs and CMOs of the largest French companies will attend and speak as well as Eric Schmidt from Alphabet/Google, John Chambers from Cisco, David Marcus and Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook, Tim Armstrong from AOL, Robin Li from Baidu, Yuanqing Yang from Lenovo, and many others.

Vendors will demonstrate lots of innovation, including Sony Playstation’s Virtual Reality, Tilt Brush and Jacquard by Google, and Facebook’s pop-up, not to mention numerous talks and roundtables on AR, VR, drones, robots, 3D printing, wearable tech, machine learning, and connected cities and homes.

Let’s face it: Until now, London was the primary digital hub attracting lots of startups, investor money, and digital talent. Following Brexit, Forrester expects digital and customer-facing talent to migrate out of the UK. Beyond company headquarters, there is a new competition between Paris, Berlin, Dublin, Amsterdam, and Barcelona, and many other cities to attract startups and R&D centers.

The timing is perfect for Viva Technology Paris to offer a unique opportunity to showcase France’s assets:

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Traditional Banks Are Catching Up To Third-Party Payment Platforms In China

Xiaofeng Wang

This is the second year that Forrester has evaluated the mobile banking services in China, and we’ve just published the results in our 2016 China Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark report. Compared with last year, we found that incumbent banks are close on the heels of top performer Alipay. Mobile banking teams can use these findings to benchmark their own mobile banking capabilities and identify areas for improvement.

To help mobile banking teams benchmark their mobile banking capabilities, identify critical mobile features, and plan for the future, we used our updated Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark methodology to evaluate the mobile banking services of six of the largest retail banks in China, including five traditional banks — Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), Bank of China (BOC), China Construction Bank (CCB), China Merchants Bank (CMB), and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) — and one nontraditional bank: Alipay.

The Chinese mobile banking services we reviewed achieved an average score of 59 out of 100, an improvement over last year's 55. Leading traditional banks like CMB and ICBC have made many improvements over the past year and narrowed the gap with leader Alipay. Overall, we found that:

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