Opalis Was NOT Acquired By Microsoft

Glenn O'Donnell

Glenn O'Donnell

The IT management software and operations communities have been buzzing this week about reports that Microsoft acquired IT process automation vendor Opalis Software. We have unequivocally confirmed that this rumor is incorrect. Opalis has NOT been acquired by Microsoft. It remains an independent entity, at least for now.

Opalis, based outside of Toronto, has repeatedly reported impressive revenue growth over its short history. For the past few years, it has been a desirable morsel for larger vendors seeking to add strong process automation to their portfolios. Many have expressed interest, but its success allows Opalis to command a high premium that no suitor has yet been willing to pay.

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Acer is now #2 PC maker, surpassing Dell

JP Gownder

According to recent shipment data (which Forrester doesn't track), Acer has overtaken Dell to become the #2 PC company in the world behind HP.

This achievement wasn't unexpected -- in August, 2007, we predicted that Acer would become a formidable industry titan: "Acer's announcement that it will acquire Gateway is a clever plan, as Acer simultaneously improves its brand recognition, channel reach, and opportunity for gains in margin. Like IBM Deep Blue, Acer strategists calculated several moves ahead in the global PC chess game. If the execution is solid, this deal will create a powerful third-place PC competitor that will challenge HP and Dell by 2009, and it portends the rise of non-Japanese Asian PC superpowers."

Acer has proven shrewd in product strategy over the past few years. (Indeed, we declared that "even war strategist Sun-Tzu" couldn't have done better!). Acer's work with Ferarri was a masterstroke in branding (from an unexpected company, at the time). Acer's excellence in netbooks has ridden the wave of the market at the right time. More fundamentally, Acer's cost structure benefits from its proximity to Asian-based factories and original design manufacturers (ODMs). Dell, once the king of cost structure, isn't in as privileged a position.  And Acer's access to retail channel (including Gateway's) and experience in SKU management in retail is currently superior to Dell's. (Dell re-entered retail after a long hiatus).

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Cloud Is Defined, Now Stop the Cloudwashing

James Staten

James Staten

This blog post is a response to an article by Alex Williams on ReadWriteWeb. Thanks for the shout out, Alex, and for bringing more attention to the contentious issue of cloud computing definitions. While Forrester research reports are created exclusively for our clients, our definition is freely available:

A standardized IT capability (services, software, or infrastructure) delivered via Internet technologies in a pay-per-use, self-service way.

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Experience The Data at Forrester's Consumer Forum 2009 Chicago

JP Gownder

Forrester's Consumer Forum Theater Presentations highlight Forrester’s extensive data capabilities. Data is critical to the Consumer Product Strategy teams, and we work closely with our colleagues on the data team to produce our research. Forrester analysts will share highlights from our global benchmark survey data, as well as our forecast data, examining technology-driven trends in consumer behavior. These demonstrations will be hosted in the International Ballroom at The Fairmont Chicago.

Theater Presentations

Tuesday, October 27, 2009: 1:15–1:35 p.m.

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Adaptive Brand Marketing and Consumer Product Strategy

JP Gownder

You should check out Forrester analyst Lisa Bradner's post today over at our Marketing Leadership Blog. Her concept of adaptive brand marketing helps companies re-think their approach to brand management in a world where brand messages are no longer a one-way push, but in fact are shaped by consumers as they interact with and react to brands.

CPS pros should take away the point that marketers and consumer product teams (which might have marketers of their own, or not) need to coordinate their efforts in lockstep to make sure the brand and the organization are prepared for instant feedback from consumers. Because, right now, most organizations are ill-equipped to handle this new world of "always-on" marketing.

Cloud Computing Belongs On Your 3-Year Roadmap

James Staten

James Staten

Welcome to the fourth quarter of 2009; what we at Forrester call planning season for most IT departments. In a typical year, this is the time that infrastructure and operations professionals spend lots of cycles burning through what remains of the 2009 budget and building plans for investment in 2010 with the hope of gathering a bit more budget than last year. Of course this is no ordinary year. Economists and financial prognosticators, like our own Andrew Bartels are predicting a long recovery from the recession and further delays in IT spending. That means another year of your infrastructure getting older. There’s two ways of looking at this problem and thus your budget proposals for 2010:

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Major League Laptops Continue Dell's Age of Style Product Strategy

JP Gownder

In June, 2007, Forrester declared the beginning of the Age of Style. The Age of Style thesis posited that style and visual design would become critical vectors of competition in consumer electronics. We started our coverage of this trend with consumer PCs predicting that form factor innovations, increased aesthetic diversity, and consumer choice and personalization would become central tenets of competition for consumer PCs.

The baseline of comparison, of course was grim: For many years, consumers' home PCs and work PCs looked rather the same. Mostly bland and functional PCs reigned, aside from the products offered by a few trailblazers like Apple and Sony. But the growth of multi-PC households transformed PCs from "digital hearths" for the entire household into personal devices. Next, laptops moved the PC from the den out into the world -- making PCs devices that are public in nature.

Personal, public devices lend themselves to personalization and customization. Consumers wish to self-express through their choices: The color I like, a theme I enjoy, an association (with an organization or another brand), or even my personal beliefs -- as with the PRODUCT (RED) PC we wrote about when it was released. Self-actualization through the PC I carry with me is often, now, a goal for many consumers.

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Forrester’s Consumer Forum 2009

JP Gownder

Forrester’s Consumer Forum 2009 is fast approaching — October 27 and 28 in Chicago! At this Event, leading Forrester analysts will present research on how evolving consumer online behavior demands that firms step up efforts to engage them, and executives will share their companies' best practices for creating breakthrough multichannel relationships.

 

This year's event has some personal relevance to me: I invited Brad Brooks, the Microsoft keynote, and will be conducting Q&A with him on stage. Julie Ask, who has developed an entirely new research practice in 2009, is a wonderful analyst on my team; she's conducting a main stage panel and a CPS Track session speech. Speaking of the CPS track session, we have Forrester's star speaker James McQuivey doing double duty with two sessions, along with Bobby Tulsiani. 

 

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Assessing The Maturity Of Cloud Computing Services

James Staten

James StatenThe number one challenge in cloud computing today is determining what it really is, what categories of services exist within the definition and business model and how ready these options are for enterprise consumption. Forrester defines cloud computing as a standardized IT capability (services, software, or infrastructure) delivered via Internet technologies in a pay-per-use, self-service way.

While definition is crucial to having a fruitful discussion of cloud, the proper taxonomy and maturity of these options is more important when planning your investment strategy. To this aim, Forrester has just published our latest Tech Radar that maps the existing cloud service categories (not the individual vendors within each category) along maturity and value impact lines to help you build your strategic roadmap.

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Glenn's Picks for the ITSM Fusion 09 Conference

Glenn O'Donnell

Glenn O'DonnellI am off to the annual itSMF USA conference in Dallas TX, better known as Fusion 09. This is expected to be the biggest and best IT Servcie Management conference yet and the pinnacle of the itSMF USA organizations progress to date. I hope these predictions come true because I am an avid supporter of itSMF and its mission to promote service management excellence.

As one element of a new partnership between Forrester Research and itSMF USA, we will be holding one-on-one meetings between conference attendees and Forrester analysts. Both my delightful and brilliant colleague Evelyn Hubbert and I will be there and we look forward to one-on-one meetings with as many people we can fit in!

With all the wonderful sessions that will be happening at the conference, it is tough to pick favorites. Still, here are the sessions I hope to catch while I'm there.

Monday 21-Sep

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