Earlier this month, Microsoft disclosed details on Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) slated to ship later this year. Among the various fixes and improvements outlined in the announcement, Microsoft’s plans for archiving and eDiscovery enhancements caught my attention. Earlier this year, I wrote about Microsoft “dipping its toe” into these waters with the initial release of Exchange 2010, and am encouraged that the vendor is taking the market’s message archiving needs seriously with some promising, incremental steps.
Some of the key archiving message archiving advances planned for SP1 are:
Storage flexibility for a user’s Personal Archive. With the initial release of Exchange 2010, Personal Archives can only be stored in the same mailbox database as the original mailbox. SP1 will introduce the ability to provision a user's Personal Archive to a different mailbox database from their primary mailbox, supporting tiered storage options for archived mail.
Support for access to a user's Personal Archive with Outlook 2007. In the currently shipping version of Exchange 2010, organizations need either Outlook 2010 or OWA to view archived content. The planned additional client flexibility will be a plus for many, but keep an eye on timing since the announcement states that this will be available in the “SP1 timeframe” (allowing for some vendor wiggle room) and note that Personal Archive functionality in Exchange 2010 currently requires Enterprise CALs.
Forrester’s survey of over 1,000 IT decision makers in North American and European enterprises, only 12% of firms officially support or manage Palm devices. In comparison, 70% of enterprises support BlackBerry smartphones, and 29% support Apple iPhones. Android devices, the newest entrants in the mobile OS wars, have strong momentum and are officially supported by 13% of firms.
Well, that got me wondering how Palm had fared in emerging markets. We know that device preferences are different globally. So, I thought, maybe there are some Palm fans outside of North America and Europe. I checked Forrester’s Global Technology Adoption data from last summer (new survey expected back from the field very soon) in which we surveyed 1,412 IT executives and technology decision-makers across 15 countries. Here is what I found out about PalmOS support across enterprises in a few of the countries:
During Interop, I attended two sessions on disaster recovery and backup in the virtual world, topics that are near and dear to my heart and also top of mind for infrastructure and operations professionals (judging by the number of inquiries we get on those topics). First up was How Virtualization Can Enable and Improve Disaster Recovery for Any Sized Business which was very interesting (and very well attended). The panel was moderated by Barb Goldworm, President and Chief Analyst, FOCUS, and the panelists were: George Pradel, Director of Strategic Alliances, Vizioncore; Joel McKelvey, Technical Alliance Manager, NetApp; Lynn Shourds, Senior Manager, Virtualization Solutions, Double-Take Software; and Azmir Mohamed, Sr. Product Manager, Business Continuity Solutions, VMware.
Barb kicked off the session with some statistics on disaster recovery that can help people build the business case for it: 40% of business that were shut down for 3 days, failed in 3 years. She also cautioned that you have to test DR regularly and under unexpected circumstances.
Liz Herbert and I will be speaking on this theme at Forrester's IT Forum on May 27 in our session: "Noughty" Software Licensing — Is The Obituary Premature? Andrew is absolutely right. In addition to the points he raises, there are other reasons why perpetual licenses aren’t dead yet, such as the financial results they generate. The new models haven’t yet shown they can generate both high levels of re-investment in R&D and high profits for investors. Many SaaS providers have to spend a large share of their income on sales and marketing to retain existing customers and renew subscriptions. That leaves less money left over to fund innovation or fewer profits than their old-model rivals whose entrenched installed bases guarantee high maintenance renewal rates.
But perpetual license vendors mustn’t be complacent. The SaaS model may prove equally remunerative to the license-plus-maintenance alternative when the providers get bigger. Software buyers can encourage the established companies to learn from their SaaS competitors by insisting on some of that commercial model’s advantages in their own contracts, such as low up-front commitment and cost flexibility.
At the upcoming IT Forum in Las Vegas (May 26-28), I will be collaborating with Bill Band on a piece around using the customer experience to drive breakthrough process improvement, and with it, business performance. When you think about it, satisfying the needs of customers is what all business is about (OK you could argue that governmental organizations don’t have customers, they deal with the needs of citizens, but you get my drift).
In the first part of our presentation we will present research to support the view that improving the outcomes delivered to customers adds dollars to the bottom line of the business. Then I will switch to a theme dear to my heart -- that Business Process is at the heart of all significant Customer Experience efforts. And that comes down to:
How We Do What We Do -- Of course, the relationship between the Customer Experience, and how you do things, is pretty clear. I put this in the category of “Doing Things Right” -- i.e., the way in which the processes of the firm work and the employee behaviors.
What We Do -- But in order to deliver compelling customer outcomes, it’s also a question of “Doing The Right Things.” Which is about the business offering -- the services of the organization and the components that make it up. The business capabilities are, of course, a better way of thinking about this rather than the org chart (which is what so many folks seem to do ... decomposition of the org chart as a way of understanding processes).
Why We Do It -- And then it comes back to why we do this, and how it implements organizational strategy and the impact/benefit to the overall brand.
Lately I’ve been really focused on process automation -- specifically, how software can help but also potentially cripple cycle times. When it comes to enterprise applications, my strong view is that event and alert management solutions are two of the most critical components to achieving success.
Services Procurement (aka Vendor Management Systems) are no exception to this rule and since we are currently in the process of writing a Forrester Wave™ evaluation on this topic, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on what companies should look for in the context of these tools. Let’s start with a snapshot of a recent interview I conducted with a VMS end-user . . .
This company’s main goal was to free up key staff by automating services procurement processes and managing by exception only. The company viewed the software’s event management and associated alerting capabilities as core to achieving this. So when they found a vendor reporting over 200 alerts “out of the box,” that was a big factor in why they chose the solution.
The implementation team diligently gathered the requirements and presented the wide range of alerts to the end-user community. Business line managers were initially very excited at the prospect of being alerted via email when key events took place. The implementation team ended up enabling nearly all of the 200+ alerts.
The result? On Day 1 of acceptance testing, each primary stakeholder on the project who had signed up to do quality assurance received over 100 alerts from the application -- some in their email inboxes, others only in the dashboard. Now, this was clearly a setback but not necessarily a shop stopper. The team regrouped and decided to change the alerting philosophy to really only highlight exceptions in the process. Unfortunately, this is where the project started to come off the rails . . .
My Forrester colleagues and I will be doing a TweetJam on Thursday May 13, from 2-3pm (eastern), on the topic of business intelligence (BI).
If that topic sounds global, all-encompassing, and a tad nebulous to you, then we’ve succeeded. One of the favorite pastimes of BI analysts everywhere—not just at Forrester—is defining and redefining this uber-category known as BI. What exactly is it? Or rather—considering that almost every data management technology has been swept into BI’s gravitational orbit at one time or another by somebody somewhere—what is BI not? What’s analytics? What are decision support systems? How does this relate to knowledge management, content management, social media, and so forth. I even had a consulting client spontaneously grill me on all that yesterday in a face-to-face...um...talkjam (?).
We, the Forrester brain trust on all things BI and BI-ish, are going to jam our Twitterfingers silly on that very topic for an hour or so on that mid-May day. On that jam, in addition to @jameskobielus, you should be following Boris Evelson (@bevelson), Rob Karel (@rbkarel), Noel Yuhanna (@nyuhanna), Holger Kisker (@hkisker), Leslie Owens (@owensleslie), and Gene Leganza (@gleganza). You’ll also be able to roll up all of our tweets by searching on hashtag #dmjam (assuming we all remember to use it in all tweets—sometimes I’m remiss).
Rest assured that we’re all going to drill down to specifics very quickly. We’ll have a lively back-and-forth tweet-volley on this topic. It’s ongoing, of course, so you might have noticed that Boris already blogged his high-level perspective on the topic yesterday.
5:30am, the family sleeps and it’s time to prepare – today is Analyst Day in Frankfurt. I’m on the road 2h45min before the event starts (1h20min should be sufficient) but sometimes the traffic is terrible. Last week I missed a flight because the highway was completely closed after an accident and I had to give up after 3h driving for nothing. When the concern of missing an appointment slowly turns into certainty, these are the moments that cost me some of my (remaining) hair.
(Of course) I arrive much too early, but other analysts are already there (probably they don’t sleep at all). Plenty of time to look through my presentation again for some final adjustments and for some small talk with customers that arrived early.
1min before the kick-off, I make the last slide changes and load it to the presentation laptop. Another analyst colleague goes first. I have seen some of the slides a hundred times and look around at the faces of the attendees. For most, it’s the first time they see e.g. our market sizing and forecasting data, and they make hectic notes into their notebooks. They don’t know yet that we will distribute all slides after the event. I’m getting a bit nervous, but I’m used to it. When I'm not nervous any more before a presentation, it’ll get boring for me and the audience, and I should probably do something else.
In my recent report, “Contracting for Innovation With Service Providers,” I argue that many sourcing and vendor management professionals have difficulty contracting for innovation, because the term “innovation” itself is elusive and subject to interpretation.
In my research, I note that for sourcing professionals to effectively contract for innovation, they need to be able to understand the business objectives of a broad base of internal innovation stakeholders – and consider whether their service providers can align with these objectives. In the report, I considered the needs of three primary stakeholders – IT, business, and executive-level stakeholders.
But there are far more innovation stakeholders. After writing that report, I decided to review all of Forrester’s inquiries related to innovation over the past year to see if I could identify other innovation stakeholders. After a review of about 500 detailed client inquiries about innovation, I’ve compiled a list of categories I have seen.
This list of innovation interests is quite diverse (and this is just a preliminary summary!). But the exercise helps us see how innovation is interpreted differently by different parts of the organization. With this information, we can identify unique innovation objectives and have a much more informed discussion about what innovation is and how it is generated (eventually leading us to conversations about specific topics like structures, metrics, and goals).
Ask people what makes May a noteworthy month, and many folks in the northern hemisphere will wax rhapsodic about its being the peak of springtime. Others might mention Mothers' day. Ask Forrester's IT analysts and they're pretty sure to immediately blurt out "IT Forum!" IT Forum -- the conference formerly known as GigaWorld -- is our biggest IT conference as it brings together all our IT analysts and about a zillion of our customers in all the IT-based roles for whom we do research. Each major IT role gets a separate track of research -- that's 10 tracks this year. It's essentially a week of non-stop analyst-attendee interaction in various forms. It's intense for both analysts and attendees and easily the most stimulating week on my calendar. At least, on my business calendar (wouldn't want you to think I don't have a life!).