If you are anything like us at Forrester, you probably got swept up in all the media coverage of the Bloom Box -- the clean energy fuel cell that is supposedly going to save us from all our energy woes. The technology is certainly impressive and will hopefully lead to significantly lower energy bills and carbon emissions down the road. And a number of Fortune 100 companies have bought into the Bloom Box, including eBay, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, FedEx, and Wal-Mart.
But is the Bloom Box suitable for the data center? No, for now. And here are two major reasons why…
We all struggle with complexity of designing, building and maintaining BI apps. Why? Among many other reasons, the simplest one is that there's just too many components involved. Just to name a few
Data modeling (star schemas, cubes)
Delivery (portals, schedulers, emails, etc)
For years there were many attempts to automate some of these steps via metadata. So rather than than coding source to target SQL transformations or DDL for DW generation vendors came up with, what I know call "1st generation" metadata driven BI tools, such as
ETL tools where metadata auto-generated SQL scripts for data extraction, loading and transformation
BI tools where metadata auto-generated SQL for queries
Data modeling tools where metadata auto-generated logical data models and DDL for physical data models
But, the "2nd generation" metadata driven BI apps (note apps vs tools now) do much more. For example, they:
Use metadata to generate multi vendor apps (like BalancedInsight, Kalido and BIReady do), and having a single place where changes can be made
Use metadata to generate all three (ETL SQL, BI SQL, DW DDL, like Cognos, Wherescape, BIReady do), and having a single place where changes to all 3 can be made
Using metadata to generate report layouts (like Cognos does)
I attended SAP Insider’s five-part conference -- covering Logistics & Supply Chain Management, PLM, Manufacturing, CRM, and Procurement & Materials Management -- and got a chance to catch up with both SAP PLM customers and the SAP executive team on the latest SAP PLM strategy and roadmap. Since 2008, the SAP PLM team has been positioning their myriad stable of PLM software offerings (e.g. DMS, BOM management, cProjects, RPM, the largely defunct iPPE and PD tools, etc.) under new “end-to-end” process themes (e.g.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote, man is born free and is everywhere in chains. So too Enterprise app deployments are conceived as self contained yet everywhere are integrated with legacy and complementary apps.
My colleague Ken Vollmer and I are looking at packaged apps integration best practices and how these might change as some apps move to the cloud. We are asking:
What kind of middleware do you use?
How do you help process owners to assemble (composite) processes that have transactional integrity?
What do you do about the conflicting data models of apps from different stables – for example yours and those of a third party or perhaps in –house?
How far can so called “canonical” data models and meta data help to overcome such problems?
If you have experience and an opinion about what constitute the top three best practices in such packaged apps integration, or if you can warn about the three most egregious pitfalls to avoid we would love to talk with you.
If the seventies and eighties were dominated by technology-led innovation, with IT in the driving seat, the nineties and two thousands was surely the period of marketing-led innovation. With the emergence of social computing as such a big influence on business, spreading rapidly beyond the sole domain of marketing, it seems we are entering a new era - the era of Social Innovation.
In this era, innovation will be driven by empowered customers and employees and IT and Marketing will need to join forces and collaborate as never before. The CIO and the CMO, IT and Marketing, will jointly power this new era of Social Innovation by bringing together their extensive domain expertise to create a Social Innovation Network.
The way I see it, true Social Innovation goes beyond customer interaction and idea generation, it requires a powerful and coordinated network of players to take customer-generated innovation and to test, scale and implement it. IT has a key role to play in this Social Innovation Network as the broker, helping to connect the network players and components and to establish the management, strategy and technological backbone of the network.
Forrester analysts will host a Tweet Jam on March 24, 2010, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM USA ET (6 to 8 PM GMT) to answer questions from business and IT executives about the top challenges they face in orchestrating customer-facing business processes to drive top-line growth. During this interactive Jam session, Forrester analysts will share results of our latest research into the topics of: customer experience management, CRM technologies and vendor trends, social media, and business process management.
Key questions we will tackle during this Tweet Jam include:
What are the key trends you need to take into account in planning CRM initiatives in 2010?
How do you know if you are delivering a differentiated customer-experience, and does it make a difference to the bottom line?
Social CRM: The real deal, or blogger hype?
How do CRM vendor solutions stack-up, and which ones are really delivering results?
Does business process management (BPM) “lean-thinking” have a place in CRM strategies?
Drowning in (bad) customer data: What to do about it?
How to take advantage of next-generation Business Intelligence tools for deeper customer insights?
Who should lead your customer management process improvement efforts?
What are the best ways to drive user adoption of CRM technologies?
What change management strategies and skills are needed to succeed?
What are the right metrics for success?
CRM pitfalls: What are they, and are there new ones to worry about?
During a recent internal jam session, Connie Moore and I were jamming on big trends we see coming together in the BPM space. Much of our discussion centered on social BPM and process professionals wresting control from IT over their process improvement initiatives. By the end of the jam session, Connie and I formed a stark picture of business process professionals and business users in open revolt against IT – pitchforks in hand – demanding greater collaboration and inclusion across all phases of the process lifecycle.