SAP held a carefully orchestrated product launch event for Business Suite 7 in its global marketing headquarters in New York on February 4, 2009. I had the privilege to attend this event, along with a cadre of other industry analysts, investment analysts, press, and industry influencers, as well as key partners and customers. The 2 hour program featured presentations from senior SAP executives, a product demonstration, and a Q&A session that included CIOs from 3 large SAP customers – IBM, Roche and Colgate-Palmolive.
I recently read an article about how journalists are having to change, and change fast. The gist of the article (sorry but I can't remember where I read it) is that the good old days of writing on deadline and having 24 hours or 12 hours to get your story done are dead and gone. Or as Kathleen Parker recently wrote in The Washington Post "Let me be the first in the new year to declare that the mainstream media are dead" (January 2, 2009). She added "The mainstream media aren't really dead, of course. The industry has merely transmogrified, splintered into a billion little reflections of its former self. One-fifth of the world's nearly 7 billion people are now Web-capable -- all reporting, opining, interacting, twittering, digging and blogging."
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Synchronized release strategy improves upgrade experience. Product
families in the Business Suite now use the same "Switch Framework",
which allows clients to upgrade 4 categories of enhancements that
include usability, horizontal features, vertical features, and
composite apps/web services. This provides one upgrade strategy for
all products and brings all the releases into synch. Some clients have
stated that this helped with reducing the pain of some upgrades.POV: The
movement to synchronize all releases is a good start. System
integrators have traditionally bore the burden of integrating and
synchronizing the various product families. Going forward, customers
will expect usage of a common data model via a revamped MDM approach.
The economic outlook isn't all gloom and doom. Bright spots remain in some substantial IT growth sectors--most important, in the sprawling business intelligence (BI) market.
In the past month, we've seen solid financials--in some cases, record growth and profitability numbers--from leading BI vendors, including SAP (Business Objects), IBM (Cognos), and privately held SAS Institute. Oracle and Microsoft also seem to be doing fairly well with BI-related revenues. Even vendors that only participate in BI environments as a provider of data warehousing (DW) solutions (e.g., Sybase) or data integration (DI) middleware (e.g., Informatica) are reporting outstanding financials all the way through year-end 2008. That includes the period just passed when the world economy began to spiral wildly out of control.
4/5ths of IT execs say they are re-assessing their IT organization with the intent of finding ways to run leaner. Many of these firms will use a consultancy with a practice in re-engineering IT organizations. And a number of these firms are asking me what they should look out for when they evaluate these consultancies. Why are they asking me this? First, these re-engineering projects cost a lot, 2nd, clients aren’t expert in how to evaluate who’s strong and who’s weak, and 3rd, our clients have one shot at getting these re-structure projects right, and don’t want to pick the wrong firm.
I ask them to drill down three levels into the methodology boxes and arrows charts that they bring to their sales calls.
In 2003, customer data hub (CDI), product information management,
and master data management (MDM) vendors strived to differentiate
themselves by architectural style. Each approach had its advantages
and disadvantages. A religion about styles emerged overnight along
with a hard core following. Here's a quick recap (see Figure 1):
Figure 1. The Three Architectural Styles of Master Data Management