Unlock The Value Of Your Data With Azure DataMarket

If the next eBay blasts onto the scene but no one sees it happen, does it make a sound? Bob Muglia, in his keynote yesterday at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference, announced a slew of enhancements for the Windows Azure cloud platform but glossed over a new feature that may turn out to be more valuable to your business than the entire platform-as-a-service (PaaS) market. That feature (so poorly positioned as an “aisle” in the Windows Azure Marketplace) is Azure DataMarket, the former Project Dallas. The basics of this offering are pretty underwhelming – it’s a place where data sets can be stored and accessed, much like Public Data Sets on Amazon Web Services and those hosted by Google labs. But what makes Microsoft’s offering different is the mechanisms around these data sets that make access and monetization far easier.

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Discussing The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Data Quality Platforms, Q4 2010

I’ve just published my comprehensive analysis of the enterprise data quality platforms market in my Forrester Wave report and provided a deep-dive assessment of the technologies, strategies, and market presence of the six vendors that, in my opinion, provide the most mature, robust, and comprehensive data quality and data profiling solutions available. The evaluated vendors include DataFlux, IBM, Informatica, Harte-Hanks Trillium Software, Pitney Bowes Business Insight, and SAP BusinessObjects. 

DQ Market Overview

A fair question some may ask when they see this research is “Why evaluate only six vendors?” The reason is a simple cost/benefit analysis. As any vendor that has participated in this process can confirm, the Forrester Wave research methodology is at minimum a 6+ month, in-depth product and vendor strategy evaluation and the more vendors that are included only adds to the effort. So when determining my inclusion criteria, I had to ask — as always — who is the target audience for this research? The answer, of course, is the data management professionals that work for Forrester’s clients, who for the most are large commercial enterprises and public sector organizations that often support global operations.

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We Need YOU!--Vote For Forrester's IT Forum 2011 Theme

Are you ready for Forrester's IT Forum 2011? Mark your calendars for May 25-27 in Las Vegas and June 8-10 in Barcelona and in the spirit of —empowerment and Web 2.0 — help us design an event that is as relevant and productive for you as possible. We've come up with three potential draft themes, and now we need your vote for the best IT Forum 2011 theme:

1. Unleash your empowered enterprise.

As more business technology (BT) decisions get driven by forces beyond IT alone, as business optimization and transformation come to the forefront of management's attention, and as the consumerization of IT encroaches upon business use, business process professionals find themselves in the hot seat at the intersection of IT and the business. This leaves business process pros with but one choice: get proactive by empowering employees with new business process, social and information tools, or swim against the tide of unauthorized technology coming into the organization haphazardly. Successful BT leaders will react not by blocking access but by lending their considerable expertise to increase the chances of technology success and empowering business people to solve customer and business problems. This year's IT Forum will provide a blueprint for reaping the benefits of your empowered organization — complete with case studies, methodologies, and step-by-step advice tailored to each IT role.

2. Capitalize on the intersection of business and technology.

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Use Advanced Analytics To Spotlight People Who Have The Biggest Impact On Customer Satisfaction

Community is an ideal toward which all social networks should aspire. In a true community, everybody is pulling for everybody else, sharing whatever assistance, expertise, and insight they possess with anybody who might benefit.

We all know that most communities are a bit more one-sided than that. In most communities, most people are essentially there for the ride, contributing little while benefiting from whatever resources the more generous among them have chosen to share. This is not necessarily a criticism of individuals or of society in general, but rather a recognition that as communities scale beyond close personal relationships, the bonds of reciprocity and altruism often grow weak.

This truism applies just as much to customer communities as to any other. Enterprises have avidly adopted social networks as virtual extensions to such customer relationship management (CRM) functions as call centers and user groups. In the new world of social-network customer communities leveraging blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other channels, it is not uncommon that a handful of individuals post most of the useful content and feedback while the majority simply consume without contributing. And that’s fine, as long as you keep encouraging and incentivizing these actively engaged individuals —whom Forrester refers to as CRM highly empowered and resourceful operatives (HEROes) — to keep the useful content coming. In the final analysis, these are the sorts of individuals — expert customer service professionals, longtime customers, or even highly enthusiastic hobbyists — who can spell all the difference between true community and a haphazard scattering of nominally affiliated strangers.

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IBM Makes A Good Catch With Clarity Systems Acquisition

Today, IBM announced the acquisition of privately-held Clarity Systems for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition bolsters IBM’s solution set for the CFO, and complements its recent acquisition of OpenPages, a governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) vendor. Clarity, based in Toronto, had approximately 390 employees and 600 customers at the time of this deal.

Clarity Systems is a Strong Performer in "The Forrester Wave™: Business Performance Solutions, Q4 2009", offering a very good planning, budgeting, and forecasting solution as part of its flagship product, Clarity 7, along with an improved financial consolidations component. During the past few years, Clarity developed a market-leading regulatory reporting solution, Clarity FSR, which supports the process of creating full SEC filings and also embeds technology for XBRL reporting. IBM Cognos is ranked as a Leader in the same comparative evalution.

The success of FSR alone during the past two years made the large BPS vendors, IBM, SAP, and Oracle, envious of Clarity’s success. Oracle made a competitive response early this year with the release of Oracle Hyperion Disclosure Management. It seemed to this observer that SAP would make the next move by doing a deal to acquire Clarity, but IBM beat them to the punch.

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Software AG Buys Data Foundations: Business Acumen Meets Data Competency

Co-authored with Forrester's Clay Richardson.

On September 18, 2010, Software AG (SAG) — best known for its business process management, B2B, and SOA-based integration solutions — announced its acquisition of Data Foundations, a master data management (MDM) vendor based in Hackensack, New Jersey. Data Foundations is smaller and less well known than the more mature and comprehensive MDM solutions from Initiate Systems and Siperian, both of which were acquired earlier this year by IBM and Informatica, respectively. Once Initiate and Siperian were taken off the market, no tier one MDM vendors remained for potential suitors to consider — especially those that could support both analytical and operational use cases. Having missed out on the opportunity to snag one of those leaders, we believe Software AG made the right technology choice in selecting Data Foundations. 

Who is Data Foundations?

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