Progress Software Builds Its Position An Enterprise Platform Provider

With its acquisition of BPM-software leader Savvion, Progress Software has taken a step closer to providing a full line of enterprise middleware. Progress has operated as a supermarket of middleware brands addressing mostly specialized needs, but now is creating broader enterprise application platforms out of its separate middleware brands [Figure 1.].

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Where Should Brian And Briana Porter Report?

Here is a follow-up to Connie’s blog discussing the role deep dive project (see Connie’s blog “Business Process Professionals Crave Business/IT Partnership, Process Frameworks, Skills Development And Peer to Peer Networking”). In her blog, Connie talked about specific responsibilities within the business process professional ranks. Altogether, she identified six sub-roles for business process professionals and gave them colorful titles: 1) “stakeholder;” 2) “change agent;” 3) “guru;” 4) “prodigy;” 5) “wannabe;” and 6) “operator.”

Connie and I are now working on a document, describing these roles in more detail. We are discussing their evolution in relation with the process maturity level of the organizations in which they act. To help business executives recruit and develop the right kind of individuals for the emerging roles — stakeholders, change agents, gurus and prodigies — we have developed also two synthetic “high-potential” candidate profiles for these roles and give them a name:

 

  • Brian Porter - has 15-20+ years experience in business and IT; holds a senior position within the business process ranks; has deep knowledge of one or more core business processes; is a great communicator and big picture thinker; and of course is familiar with Forrester and uses Forrester Waves to make smart technology choices.
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Pros and cons of using a vendor provided analytical data model in your BI implementation

The following question comes from many of our clients: what are some of the advantages and risks of implementing a vendor provided analytical logical data model at the start of any Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing or other Information Management initiatives? Some quick thoughts on pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Leverage vendor knowledge from prior experience and other customers
  • May fill in the gaps in enterprise domain knowledge
  • Best if your IT dept does not have experienced data modelers 
  • May sometimes serve as a project, initiative, solution accelerator
  • May sometimes break through a stalemate between stakeholders failing to agree on metrics, definitions

Cons

 

  • May sometimes require more customization effort, than building a model from scratch
  • May create difference of opinion arguments and potential road blocks from your own experienced data modelers
  • May reduce competitive advantage of business intelligence and analytics (since competitors may be using the same model)
  • Goes against “agile” BI principles that call for small, quick, tangible deliverables
  • Goes against top down performance management design and modeling best practices, where one does not start with a logical data model but rather
    • Defines departmental, line of business strategies  
    • Links goals and objectives needed to fulfill these strategies  
    • Defines metrics needed to measure the progress against goals and objectives  
    • Defines strategic, tactical and operational decisions that need to be made based on metrics
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Case Study #8: How to Use Twitter for Customer Service: Carphone WareHouse

Many of my clients have asked, "How should I use Twitter for customer service?" There are many applications that are adding Twitter as part of the contact center apps. But today I'd like to talk about the basics of using Twitter. I spoke with Anne Wood, the Head of Knowledge Management at Carphone Warehouse to learn about how they entered into Twitterland.

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Bad news for IT buyers: Oracle sues Rimini Street

January 26th, 2010 was a black day for the enterprise software business.Late yesterday, Oracle launched a lawsuit against independent support provider (ISP) Rimini Street, alleging 'massive theft' of its intellectual property. Industry analysts had been expecting something like this - Oracle is already suing Rimini Street's predecessor TomorrowNow and was clearly worried that a competitive market would force it to cut the price of its hugely profitable maintenance offering.

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Forrester Databyte: SCM Tool Adoption

Last week Dr. Dobb's published an article I penned in December on "What Developers Think". I won't rehash the thrust of that piece here other than to reaffirm the growing trend of technology populism in development shops - where tech-savvy workers make their own decisions about what technologies to use.

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Apple Tablet: A Should-Do List for Apple

In the last month the din of rumor and the clamor of speculation inspired by Apple’s expected announcement this week has risen in a crescendo that is about to peak. We’re all convinced this Wednesday’s “one other thing” will be some kind of magical tablet device. We all expect it will be a big deal. And in these past weeks we’ve witnessed a parade of writers, analysts, and consumers who have all published their “wish” or even “guess” (or, in some cases, “fantasy”) lists. But we have yet to see what we think really matters: an Apple “should” list that identifies the things Apple should do to ensure that its device is successful.

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BI In The Cloud? Yes, And On The Ground, Too

Slowly but surely, with lots of criticism and skepticism, the business intelligence (BI) software-as-a-service (SaaS) market is gaining ground. It's a road full of peril — at least two BI SaaS startups have failed this year — but what software market segment has not seen its share of failures? Although I do not see a stampede to replace traditional BI applications with SaaS alternatives in the near future, BI SaaS does have a few legitimate use cases even today, such as complementary BI, in coexistence with traditional BI, BI workspaces, and BI for small and some midsize businesses. 

In our latest BI SaaS research report we recommend the following structured approach to see if BI SaaS is right for you and if you are ready for BI SaaS:

  1. Map your BI requirements and IT culture to one of five BI SaaS use cases
  2. Evaluate and consider scenarios where BI SaaS may be a right or wrong fit for you
  3. Select the BI SaaS vendor that fits your business, technical, and operational requirements, including your tolerance for risk

First we identified 5 following BI SaaS use cases.

  1. Coexistence case: on-premises BI complemented with SaaS BI in enterprises
  2. SaaS-centric case in enterprises: main BI application in enterprises committed to SaaS
  3. SaaS-centric case in midmarket: main BI application in midsized businesses
  4. Elasticity case: BI for companies with strong variations in activity from season to season
  5. Power user flexibility case: BI workspaces are often considered necessary by power analysts
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Calling All Business Process Improvement Professionals!

If you've been following our recent blog posts, you'll know that Forrester has a lively business process management and Lean practice. To help us better understand the issues that business process improvement professionals face, we've fielded a very short (I promise) survey. Through it, we're trying to determine where business process improvement pros sit in the organization (IT, special business services group, or business domains), and who is driving business process initiatives in most organizations.

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Next Up For CIOs: "Smart Computing?"

I’ve met many CIOs, all with their own unique challenges and approaches to overcome them. But despite their differences, all CIOs ask me the same question: “what is the next big technology trend that I should look out for?”

It’s a tough question — not because there is a shortage of emerging tech trends out there. The tough part is whittling down all of trends to the really big ones — I mean the ones that could really change the way we do business. So all through 2009, my answer was: 1) consumerization of IT (what we at Forrester refer to as Groundswell), 2) lean IT, and 3) cloud computing. For those interested, you can still view the Three Tech Movements CIOs Should Know  webinar I did with colleagues Ted Schadler and John Rymer late last year.

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