Advance Your Analytics Strategies: Blog-Ahead Thoughts Re Upcoming Forrester TweetJam

Can you feel it? The Twittersphere is spinning faster on its axis, anticipating the next Forrester TweetJam, Wednesday, December 15, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. US Eastern Time. Our topic will be “Advance Your Analytic Strategies.” We’ll have a Forrester tweeting squad that includes yours truly plus any or all of the following Forrester colleagues: Rob Karel, Boris Evelson, Clay Richardson, Gene Leganza, Noel Yuhanna, Holger Kisker, Leslie Owens, Suresh Vittal, William Frascarelli, David Frankland, Joe Stanhope, Zach Hofer-Shall, and Henry Peyret.

Clearly, advanced analytics is an important theme and huge space that sprawls across many Forrester analysts’ focus areas. What I’m about to present are the humble opinions of one Forrester analyst — c’est moi — for whom this is the heart and soul of his focus going forward. These thoughts, presented under each of the proposed TweetJam questions, will give you a foretaste of what I’ll tweet on that session in just a few weeks: 

  • What exactly is and isn’t advanced analytics? 
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Oracle Wins $1.3 Billion Award Over SAP

The $1.3 billion verdict in the Oracle v. SAP case is surprising, given that the third-party support subsidiary of SAP, TomorrowNow, was fixing glitches and making compliance updates, not trying to resell the software. The jury felt that the appropriate damage award was based on the fair market value of the software that was illegally downloaded, rather than Oracle’s lost revenues for support.

A news article by Bloomberg provides further insight into the jury’s thinking and the legal process. Quoting juror Joe Bangay, an auto body technician: “If you take something from someone and you use it, you have to pay.” Perhaps SAP should have made its case more in layman’s terms.

SAP is in a very difficult position, in that it faces the same threat of revenue loss from third-party support. It was unable to convincingly defend its entry into the third-party support business for fear of legitimizing a business that poses a similar threat to its lucrative maintenance business as to Oracle’s.

What happens to the third-party support business going forward? The size of the award potentially dampens customer interest in moving to third-party support, particularly with another case pending of Oracle v. Rimini Street. The SAP case, however, does not invalidate third-party support as a business. Third-party support, if carried out properly, offers an important option for enterprise application customers that are looking for relief from costly vendor maintenance contracts.

For SAP, the verdict is not only painful, but it prolongs the agony, because it is compelled to appeal the verdict. SAP certainly has the financial wherewithal to pay the damages but was hoping to put this embarrassing debacle behind them.

Derek Jeter, Performance Management, And Yes . . . Data Management

As a lifelong Yankees fan (which makes me a pariah with many of my Red Sox Country-based Forrester coworkers in Cambridge, Mass.), I’ve been following with amusement the sports media frenzy around the New York Yankees' "not-so-public yet not-so-private" contract negotiations with their star shortstop, Derek Jeter. While I read these news snippets with the intent of escaping the exciting world of data management for just a brief moment, I couldn’t escape for long because both sides of the table bring up reams of data to defend their positions.  

According to the media reports and analysis, the Yankees' ownership is seemingly paying less attention to Jeter’s Hall of Fame-worthy career statistics, including a fantastic 2009 season, and his intrinsic value to the Yankees brand, but instead is focusing on Jeter’s arguably career-low 2010 season on-field performance and advancing age (36 years old is practically Medicare-eligible age in baseball).    

Jeter’s side of the negotiations, on the other hand, point out that Jeter’s value to the Yankees is “immeasurable,” and that one off year shouldn’t be used to define his value to the team. They point out that Jeter, as team captain, is a major leader in the clubhouse and excellent role model for younger players. He’s certainly among the most popular players the Yankees employ and influences boatloads of fans to attend games, watch the Yankees cable network, and provide significant licensing revenue. And of course they point out that Jeter is still an excellent player and 2010 should be viewed as an anomaly, not the norm.

I’m not a baseball analyst (lucky for everyone), and I have no intention in joining the debate on whose point of view is correct or how much Jeter should earn, for how many years, etc. (That’s best discussed over a few beers, not on a blog, right?)

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