I'm back...

I am very excited to be back at Forrester. After 2 years of being immersed in the customer experience, I can’t wait to share new insights and advice with both Sourcing and Vendor Management (SVM) clients and the vendors that service those clients.  Together we can watch as the consulting and outsourcing market faces yet another tipping point driven by:

·         The increasing sophistication of the Sourcing and Vendor Management executive.

·         The expanding “cloud “and the need for service aggregation and integration.

·         The democratization or consumerization of technology (if users can buy an application for 99 cents to optimize their commute to work, why can’t internal IT build an effective claims processing system with a million times that budget?)

·         The increasing importance of contextual knowledge in the building and maintaining of enterprise IT systems.

·         The need to expand the idea of global sourcing beyond India and China in order to efficiently harness the requisite contextual knowledge.

In returning to the analyst role, I plan to devote my energies to exploring this transformation and helping clients to exploit newly emerging global sourcing benefits.

Starting next week, I’ll do a weekly wrap up of the interesting things I learned/saw/analyzed during the previous week. This could include vendor briefings, conversations with clients and industry experts, industry events, earnings announcements and/or consulting assignments. On a more frequent basis, I’ll also try to blog specifically about inquiries that I answered during the day or week.

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ERP Versus Best-Of-Breed — Emptoris' SAP-Shop Customers Give Their View

My tireless research of sourcing and vendor management technologies has brought me to Barcelona, for Emptoris’ EMEA customer conference. I’d like to assure my colleagues in Boston, still cold and still "0 and . . .",  that I’m not writing this while sitting in the sunshine at an open air café, sipping a cold cervesa and watching the lightly clad señoritas walk by. I’d like to assure them that, but I can’t, because this is exactly what I am doing. Hopefully you’ll also be able to experience Barcelona if you attend our IT Forum here in June: http://www.forrester.com/events/eventdetail/0,9179,2510,00.html

I saw some very good presentations by customers about their implementations of Emptoris’ sourcing site. As a fearless analyst, I asked the question about the elephant that, while not actually in the room here in Barcelona, is certainly present in the customers' IT environment, namely SAP. All the speakers were procurement professionals in supposedly SAP-shops, so why had they chosen Emptoris over SAP’s sourcing and CLM products?

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Cloud Strategies On The Brain

Recently, it seems that IT professionals cannot turn around without seeing another industry announcement involving the word "cloud."  I am guilty too -- in fact, the SVM team at Forrester has written extensively on the topic of what cloud strategies mean to sourcing and vendor management professionals.  Cloud impacts every technology, service category, industry vertical, geography, and company size differently. But despite impressive growth in software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service still takes a back seat to more conventional outsourcing “towers.”

My colleague, Wolfgang Benkel, and I recently published The Forrester Wave™: Global IT Infrastructure Outsourcing, but we realize there are unique regional considerations, which we covered in separate market overview reports for North America and Europe. In terms of what client references told us about what they are actually outsourcing from their IT infrastructure outsourcing providers, services like help desk, deskside, and storage management predominate, while old (which are on their way out, i.e., mainframe) and the new (which have tremendous growth potential, i.e., IaaS) technologies are among the least represented.
















We will present the findings from this Wave in a teleconference on May 12, 2011. Click here to register for the teleconference now.