We’ve recently introduced two related frameworks to help today’s business leaders to succeed in today’s highly competitive and volatile economic environment:
-Measuring And Aligning Business Performance. In order to anticipate and adapt to the rapid changes organizations face, they must articulate and execute a performance-focused strategy that provides relative context (how’s business relative to the competition) and the “critical few” relevant metrics that indicate financial and operational health.
-Forrester's Framework for Process-Driven Organizations. At the same time, as organizations face aggressive growth and customer expectations, a “graying workforce” that puts process knowledge at risk, and increased commoditization of products and services, they must adopt a process-driven strategy to differentiate themselves and innovate to compete.
Informatica today announced its planned acquisition of Identity Systems, a software company offering advanced entity resolution and matching capabilities, with a specialization in cross-language matching.
Informatica acquires Identity Systems from Nokia for approximately $85 million.Nokia purchased Identity Systems as part of its acquisition of Intellisync in early 2006 and Identity Systems has operated as a wholly-owned — and more important — autonomous — subsidiary of Nokia ever since. Not surprisingly, Nokia didn't see identity resolution and matching as part of its core mobile phone strategy and I expect the folks at Identity Systems will be happy with this change of ownership.
Ever since I was an investment banker at JPMorgan supporting their Software M&A team, I was predicting that the future of products and services in enterprise applications is inseparable. Significant portion of our team M&A advice to product vendors was to beef up their services portfolios and vice versa. These were my thoughts then, that are still very valid today:
CXO engagement. It's much easier to approach a C-level executive during a strategy initiative, which traditionally is the realm of strategic advisory and management consulting firms. The earlier you get your foot in the door with a CXO, the higher are the chances he/she will also consider your products. Hence, ability to influence downstream decisions for procuring products and services decreases in the latter phases of any initiative.
Successful execution. Strong PMO (Project Management Office) capabilities such as methodology, certifications, track record, etc and ultimately successful product/project delivery are key to application vendor success.
Service-oriented architecture (SOA). Large enterprise IT, convinced that no single off-the-shelf solution suite is ever good enough for them, are seriously considering component (services) based architectures, which is causing vendors to move into dynamic (or otherwise known as composite) apps middleware and services to prevent marginalization.
Bucking the ‘hardware is a commodity’ trend seen widely in the storage industry these days, emerging vendor Xiotech recently announced their Emprise line of storage arrays based on a modular component called Intelligent Storage Element (ISE), housing drives in sealed DataPacs designed to dampen vibration, prolong lifespan, and reduce the incidence of “no fault errors.”
Today Google and Salesforce.com announced another step in their ongoing flirtatious relationship. Salesforce.com will now bundle Google business applications into its on-line CRM offering. Salesforce will also begin to distribute Google applications backed by Salesforce support. It's always interesting when these two make an announcement for two reasons: First, they are both 100% committed to cloud computing and they think about the future of the industry in very similar terms. Second, it is fundamentally interesting to conjecture about the potential of a Salesforce acquisition. Note the rumor mill cranking up on this topic a few weeks ago when Oracle arranged for a $2B line of credit.
Now, Marc Benioff has stated early, often and loudly that Saleforce.com is not an acquisition target and has every intention of becoming the next major software infrastructure vendor. Fair enough. Salesforce.com has done all the right things to do just that. They've invested heavily in an infrastructure and built a reputation that represents a significant barrier to entry to anyone that wants to horn in on their territory. Salesforce.com has a significant history of securely and reliably delivering mission critical enterprise applications in the cloud. Raise your hand if you can make that claim. Not a lot of hands.
On April 10, 2008, IBM announced its intent to acquire FilesX, a small startup that offers server-based replication and continuous data protection technology. The acquisition will become part of the Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) family of products.
This acquisition will help IBM Tivoli fill a gap in their current portfolio of offerings for data protection. The vendor currently offers Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM), which is one of the leading enterprise-class backup software applications, and Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files, a product mostly used to protect PCs. In addition to traditional backup to tape or disk, TSM can also manage Microsoft Virtual Snapshots (VSS) and its own IBM storage-based snapshot technology in support of instant restore or snapshot assisted backup. But the company didn’t really have an offering for customers who wanted something that was better than backup but not as expensive as storage-based replication, this is where FilesX comes in. With FilesX, IBM can now address the recovery requirements of small enterprises that can’t afford storage-based replication. They can also meet the recovery requirements of large enterprises that want to protect more servers within their company with a more affordable replication offering as well as servers at the remote office.
We're doing podcasts at Forrester now, and I'm the internal resource for how to get them done. Here's what we've learned so far:
Post new podcasts on a regular basis. Decide on a schedule — twice a week, every week, every two weeks and stick to it. Listeners look forward to new material on a consistent basis. Consistency helps you gain and maintain an audience.
Name your podcast. Consider a contest to identify a good name. At Forrester we are still working on a name. Any ideas? In the meantime, you can name the podcast after your company like we have — Forrester Podcasts.
Identify upbeat music. Start and end each podcast with three-to-five seconds of music. Use the same music each time to give your podcast an identity, like NPR's All Things Considered. Do you have in-house musicians who might enjoy creating your theme music?
Keep podcasts short. Six-to-twelve minute podcasts are ideal. If the topic takes longer, break it into two or more podcasts and let listeners know this podcast is the first of a two- or three-part series.
Plan a podcast format that fits the topic. Vary the format depending on the topic and the presenter but keep the music and podcast name consistent. Here are some formats we've tried:
If you're an analyst, one of the nice things about having a blog is that you can provide out-of-band commentary on, or elaboration of, points raised in your formally published reports. That way, you don't need to clutter up the body or endnotes of the published reports with digressive — albeit important — discussions.
This present post elaborates on the discussion of enterprise data warehouses (EDW) in my latest research report: "Appliance Power: Crunching Data Warehousing Workloads Faster And Cheaper Than Ever." As I was writing this document, it occurred to me that a formal, nuanced definition of EDW was important — but not within the proper scope of that particular report.
News emerged Friday regarding EMC’s acquisition of data protection reporting software maker WysDM . The move is not entirely surprising due to several years of partnering arrangements between the two companies. WysDM, the New York City based independent software vendor, brings significant enterprise credibility gleaned from a Wall Street pedigree, with several founders coming not from Silicon Valley, but from the technology organizations of major investment banks. WysDM offers a strong portfolio of backup and primary data reporting tools — an area that is sorely lacking in most data centers today. With all storage environments growing at a significant pace, companies need to know how much data resides in what store, what the backup and replication scheme is for each piece of data, and must have the ability to measure the performance of all of the elements of a complex data storage environment.