A Dire Year For Banking Platform Vendors

For the past couple of years, I have worked on the analysis of global banking platform deals at this time of the year. Currently, I’m again working on the results of a global banking platform deals survey, this time for the year 2009. Accenture and CSC did not participate in 2009, and former participants Fiserv and InfrasoftTech continued their absence from the survey, which started about two years ago. The 2009 survey began with confirmed submissions from a total of 19 banking platform vendors.

We would have been glad to see more participating vendors, in particular some of the more regionally oriented ones. However, US vendor Jack Henry & Associates as well as multiple regional vendors in Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America did not participate. Nevertheless, the survey saw some “newcomers” from the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East, for example, Top Systems in Uruguay, Eri Bancaire in Switzerland, and Path Solutions in Kuwait. Consequently, the survey now covers banking platform vendors in all regions of the world except Africa and Central America.

However, 19 was not the final vendor count: One of the 19 vendors, France-based banking platform vendor Viveo, dropped out of the survey because Temenos acquired it shortly before Viveo provided its data. Another vendor simply told us that it only saw business with existing clients and, in the absence of any business with new clients, it saw no sense in participating. While all other participating vendors won business with new clients (whether the rules of the game allowed Forrester to count that business or not), 2009 was not the best of times.

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From The Field: The First Annual Canonical Model Management Forum

Early last week, I attended the first annual “Canonical Model Management Forum” here in the DC area. A number of government agencies as well as several of the major banks, insurance companies, credit-card operators, and other private-sector firms attended the meeting. There was one vendor sponsor (DigitalML, the vendor of IgniteXML), and the meeting was hosted at a CSC facility. There were a number of presentations by the attendees about their environments, what had motivated them to establish a canonical model, how that work had turned out, and the important lessons learned.

But What Is A Canonical Information Model?

In the first day of sessions, I heard a number of definitions of canonical modeling, but most were similar to Forrester’s:

A canonical information model is a model of the semantics and structure of information that adheres to a set of rules agreed upon within a defined context for communicating among a set of applications or parties.

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Podcast: The Top Six Ways to Get Value From Your CRM Deployment

I’ve just published a new podcast for Business Process & Applications professionals:  “The Top Six Ways to Get Value From Your CRM Deployment”.

In my podcast, I highlight the top six ways that organizations can get extra value from their CRM deployments, and spotlight four pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Please share your questions or comments

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Welcome To Forrester's New Blog Platform!

We don't normally draw attention to things like this (changing our underlying platform technology), but in this case, there are some key differences in capabilities, that you need to know about so you can benefit from them. As you already know if you've been following the Application Development & Program Management blog, we have a team of analysts who are already active bloggers. But in the past, it may have been challenging, if you were particularly interested in following the posts of one analyst, to do that in amongst the posts from the rest of the team.

So I'm thrilled that we now have individual blogs for all the analysts on the team, too. Everything blogged by the team also rolls up into the team-level blog, which is a good place to hang out if you're following several analysts on the team, have more eclectic interests around application development and delivery, or just want to be tuned in to what's going on across the team.

Another great innovation (for you) of our new platform is that blog pots are now presented with only summary information showing in the initial view. Only after you choose to drill down on a post do you see the whole thing. This makes it easier to look through several posts, whether on an analyst or team blog, and find just the stuff you care about.

And now for a few words from Cliff Condon, the Forrester exec who leads our social computing initiative of which this new platform is a part, on Forrester blogs and what it means for you:

  • Everyone’s welcome here.  Forrester analysts use blogs as an input into the research they produce, so having an open, ongoing dialogue with the marketplace is critical. Clients and non-clients can participate – so I encourage you to be part of the conversations on Forrester blogs.

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Progress Software’s Coming Out Party

We all need to revisit our understanding of Progress Software. On March 4, I was introduced to the “new and improved” Progress at the company’s annual briefing for industry and financial analysts. The company is a new enterprise software vendor with 25 years of experience. If you know about Progress, it is likely through an ISV solution based on the OpenEdge database/4GL. Or perhaps through the Sonic enterprise service bus ... or the Actional SOA management product.

How you should think about Progress Software now (see Figure):

First, Progress Software has a new mission, which it calls“operational responsiveness.” To achieve this mission, Progress will primarily seek to help enterprises develop real-time, event-based architectures that extend existing systems. Real-time, event-based systems let companies see what’s going on in their business processes at any given moment, and to act while transactions and interactions are in flight to fix problems, ensure compliance, add revenue opportunities, and/or cut costs. Example scenarios:

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Who are the BI Personas?

The world is changing. The traditional lines of demarcation between IT and business, developers and end users, producers and consumers of info no longer work. But every time I attempted to create a matrix of BI personas in the new world, I ended up with so many dimensions (business vs. IT, consumers vs producers, strategic vs tactical vs operational decisions, departmental vs. line of business vs enterprise cross functional roles, running canned reports vs. ad-hoc queries, and many others, i ended up with something quite unreadable. But there still has to be something that on the one hand shows the realities of the new BI world, yet something that fits onto a single PPT. Here's my first attempt at it (click on the small image to see the full one).

 


In this diagram I attempt to show

  • Who's consuming vs. producing the information, how heavy or light that task is. What's interesting is that all our research shows is that most of the BI personas now are both consumers and producers of info.
  • Who's using what style of BI as in reports, queries, dashboards and OLAP
  • Who is using BI only as reports and dashboards embedded in enterprise apps (such as ERP, CRM, others), which usually means canned reports and prebuilt dashboards, vs BI as a standalone app
  • Who's using non traditional BI apps, such as the ones allow you to explore (vs just report and analyze) and allow you to perform that analysis without limitations of an underlying data model
  • Who's a producer and a consumer of advanced analytics
  • And finally show the level of reliance on IT by every group

As always, all comments, suggestions and criticism are very welcome! HD

What’s In Your Test Estimation Framework?

I've been working quite closely with fellow analysts Dave West and Mary Gerush surrounding project estimation. Regardless if you're in the Agile world, testing is factored in (well, unit testing anyway), and if you're in the traditional camp, we've heard the same pain from a number of Forrester customers. No matter what methodology we use, there's not enough time to test. To combat that, testing organizations are attempting to build a livable, usable framework to provide them with information to battle for sufficient testing time.

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333 Rule To Keep Your BI Apps In Check

Over the last 25 years in the business I heard my share of BI horror stories: “we have over 20 different BI tools”, or “we have a few thousand reports in our BI application”. BI is very much a self fulfilling prophecy – “build it, and they will come”. As we popularize BI, and as technology becomes more scalable, more stable, more function rich and user-friendly  - BI spreads like wildfire and often becomes uncontrollable.

I can’t help but to quote from one of my favorite books by a British author Jerome K. Jerome “Three Men In A Boat, To Say Nothing Of A Dog”. One of the reasons I love the book, in addition to it being one of the funniest novels I ever read, is that I can almost always find a very relevant humorous quote to just about any life or business situation. At the beginning of the book three British gentlemen are planning a vacation on a river boat. As they plan for how much food and supplies they should carry, they quickly realize that there isn’t a boat big enough to fit the dimensions of the Thames river to carry all that junk.

“How they pile the poor little craft mast-high with fine clothes and big houses; with useless servants, and a host of swell friends that do not care twopence for them, and that they do not care three ha'pence for; with expensive entertainments that nobody enjoys, with formalities and fashions, with pretence and ostentation, and with - oh, heaviest, maddest lumber of all! - the dread of what will my neighbour think, with luxuries that only cloy, with pleasures that bore, with empty show that, like the criminal's iron crown of yore, makes to bleed and swoon the aching head that wears it!

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Getting the best return on your SAP investment

Are you a wondering how to get the most out of your SAP investment? Are you trying to figure out SAP’s long-term strategy? Do you want to make better use of SAP’s BI platforms and services ecosystem? If so you have a lot in common with other Forrester clients.

 

Forrester has answered hundreds of inquiries about SAP in the last year or so. And the volume of inquiries is increasing as our clients roll out SAP solutions to the furthest reaches of their global domains and use white space partners to cover an ever broader footprint.

At the same time, you ask us questions about deployment best practices, SAP’s pricing and licensing, its middleware approach, the strategic significance of its acquisitions, and the implications of changes in the top management team.

We decided to pull together all our experts to discuss their SAP research in a series of jam sessions (teleconferences) to help you make the best informed decisions with the minimum investment of time. Each teleconference looks at a specific dilemma for which we’ve fielded client inquiries.

If you are an Application Development & Program Management professional, or a CIOs, or a Business Process & Applications professional looking for guidance then there is a session in this week long series of one hour Webex sessions just for you. Or if your dilemmas cover all the topics you can attend all the sessions or download them later and follow at your leisure.

We’ll start by looking at SAP’s Product Strategy. We will explain just how SAP's product portfolios and technology strategy for enterprises and SMB clients is evolving. You will hear Forrester analysts debate the merits of SAP's product offerings, technology architecture innovations, and its likely success in providing software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings.

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Staffing, Skills And Workforce Planning Survey - How Are You Coping?

How successful is your firm at attracting and retaining people with the skills you need to develop, deploy, and maintain your applications? Do you believe we're headed for much tougher times trying to hire and retain skills or do you think some of the hype is overblown? We have fielded a survey on staffing and skills issues and I'd like to encourage you to participate as we dig into many of the issues.

General issues:

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