I recently experienced a real world story that is so reminiscent of the BPM journey from rags to riches that I'm going to start many a BPM stump speech with it. I didn't realize it was so apropos until a friend and colleague, Steve Bullinger, told me that the lunchtime story I shared for grins at an IBM advisory session would be a great way to kick off a keynote. After talking with Clay Richardson today, I realized it would make a pretty interesting blog post too.
So, here goes. True story (and I promise it will relate to BPM):
My 12 year old son, Alexander recently wrote a thriller of a book called The Curse Of The Cottonmouth. It's a humdinger and in it, one of the characters is a cat named Tabitha. Here's Alexander's rendition of Tabitha:
Even more recently, Alexander and I visited North Carolina to see Grandmother. My husband drove down separately. As I was returning home, Alexander and I dropped by my sister's grooming shop and animal rescue operation. I briefly mentioned to her that Alexander dreamed of owning a cat like Tabitha, despite the fact that we already have two cats and a super high energy Dalmatian.
Many of the case studies you've seen me write about are B2C. But in the report on ROI of Social Media, I gathered data on B2B companies too. Here's a list of B2B communities.
Many people know Intel by their catch tune, "Inside Intel." And what's inside are the most amazing microprocessors that allow us to do great things back 25 years ago people could only imagine. Key to having been an innovator is always innovating. Intel- when they first came out with a new chip-- think back to the 286 processor and then transition to the 386. They met with some resistance in getting computer manufactuers to be interested in the chip. Why would you need more computing power?
So instead of staying stuck or ditching the product, Intel brought together a multidisciplinary team of individuals to tackle the problem. The net-net is that the team realized that its the end-user who is really their customer! when they went into computer shops and talked to the customers, they asked, "Would you like to be able to have many files open at once? Would you like to be able to run graphics programs, plays games, etc...." The customers responded positively with, "Of course we would!" That drove the computer store operators to tell the computer manufacturers to get those intel chips in their computers. Ah... I love that "voice of the customer" story.
But what I love more is that Intel innovated, why? Because they listened. That's a skill most companies don't have. And with social media, Intel has put their listening on dual processor tubro charged power. They know that their ability to innovate and lead the market is based on harnessing the power, knowledge and collaboration among customers, resellers, etc.. and Intel.
On Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, 2010, SAP announced that CEO Leo Apotheker’s contract will not be renewed and his resignation is effective immediately. In his place, the company appointed co-CEOs Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott. Both executives are already members of the SAP Executive Board, with Snabe in charge of product development and McDermott in charge of field operations prior to their appointment as Co-CEOs. More importantly, perhaps, Supervisory Board Chairman and cofounder Hasso Plattner has stepped up to take a more active role in overseeing the company’s direction. Apotheker’s departure was not a surprise for most industry followers. His contract was up for renewal things were not going so well for SAP of late. Just a week and a half prior to today’s announcement, SAP reported its 2009 financial results, in which total revenue declined 9% for the year (to €10,671) and software revenues declined by 28%. During his watch, customers become disenchanted over the mandatory migration and price increase related to Enterprise Support, as well as overly aggressive sales of featured products, including analytics. Mr. Apotheker couldn’t have been expected to perform miracles in a down economy, and can’t be blamed for the false starts with Business ByDesign that he inherited. In fact, Business ByDesign has seen significant progress during his tenure and is now ready for market. In addition, Apotheker was instrumental in launching SAP’s strong commitment to sustainability during the past year. With the appointment of co-CEOs Snabe and McDermott, SAP continues a long-standing tradition of promoting CEOs from within. Co-CEOs, in fact, have been used before, most recently with Apotheker serving as co-CEO with his predecessor, Henning Kagermann, during the transition period leading up to Kagermann’s retirement.
I am thrilled to announce that Derek Miers has joined Forrester Research. If you don’t know Derek, then you are really missing something because he is a giant in the business process management world and is a thinking person’s thinker. In fact, I have known Derek for many years (16 years to be exact) and Derek has always been my personal BPM guru. Whenever I was thinking through a thorny issue or complex problem, I’d call Derek to get his advice. You see, Derek has been an independent consultant for many years and has collaborated with me on many conferences and articles so we’ve developed a great working relationship over the years. I know he’ll bring a ton of value to all of you too in this new role at Forrester.
So here’s the news: starting February 8th, Derek Miers will join us as a Principal Analyst focusing on the methods, techniques and technologies of Business Process Management (BPM) and business process improvement--with a strong focus on customer facing processes. Derek will be based in London but will have a focus on both Europe and North America, as well as other regions too. Derek is a true internationalist—he hails from New Zealand but has lived for many years in the UK, and most recently France.
In case you don’t know Derek, you may be wondering, who is this mysterious guy I’m singing accolades about? Derek has a deep process background to call upon. For the past few years, he served as President and CEO of BPM Focus, a company providing BPM training and consulting services. Before that, in the early 1990s, he founded Enix Consulting, another process-oriented advisory business. Derek was co-chair of the BPMI.org (steering the merger with OMG) and also co-authored BPMN Modeling and Reference Guide, Understanding and Using BPMN, a landmark book in the BPM modeling space.
I’m developing a return on investment (ROI) calculator for data warehousing (DW) appliances, using the Forrester Total Economic Impact methodology.
At the heart of that is a conceptual ROI model that can be applied to any decision support infrastructure, not just DW appliances (though indeed high-quality decision support is the raison d’etre for DW appliances).
That said, and not wanting to bog down forthcoming syndicated TEI study with a lot of this conceptual material, here are the core principles of this conceptual model , plus a discussion of how, net-net, they map to the key benefits of a DW appliance:
As I mentioned in my blog post last week when discussing Informatica’s acquisition of Siperian, there was a rumor that IBM was on the verge of acquiring Initiate Systems. Well today, February 3, 2010, that rumor became reality when IBM announced their intent to acquire Initiate. Financial details were not disclosed, but estimates value the deal anywhere between $300-$450 million.
In that blog post, I suggested the following reasons IBM might consider Initiate:
Initiate has an extremely strong presence in Healthcare with a growing presence in Public Sector. Both of these verticals are expecting major federal stimulus funding, with IT spending and data management as a high priority. Initiate could help IBM take ownership of these verticals.
By acquiring Initiate as a defensive move, IBM will eliminate the risk of another vendor (EMC, HP, Microsoft, SAP) from strengthening or entering the MDM market as a tough competitor.
While I wouldn’t expect IBM to validate my 2nd assumption, they did in their announcement validate my first. In their announcements, they stated “IBM has announced plans to acquire Initiate Systems, a market leader in data integrity solutions for information shared among Healthcare and Government organizations”.