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Posts from the ‘Cloud Predictions 2012’ Category

How Cloud Integration Is Defining The Future Of CRM

Scribe SoftwareThe future of customer relationships depends more on context than transactions.   And this trend is accelerating, driven by the integration of social media into customer relationship management (CRM), rapid gains in usability of CRM and integration applications, and the global growth of the API economy.

Gaining a clear, contextually-based view of customers isn’t easy. Fine-tuning system integration to understand the nuances of customers, gain greater insights and infusing customer intelligence through a company requires more than APIs and cloud platform integration.  It requires a precise strategy of integration to align customer data to ongoing strategies.

The bottom line is that customer-driven integration is reshaping CRM and will accelerate as cloud platforms, combined with APIs, reorder the customer relationship landscape.

To gain greater insights into what’s going on in the area of cloud-based CRM integration and the impact of the API economy, I recently spoke with Lou Guercia, President and CEO, and Betsy Bilhorn, VP Marketing and Product Management of Scribe Software

Key take-aways from my interview with them include the following:

Cloud integration is one of the fastest growing areas of enterprise software today, made more complex by cloud platform providers creating their own unique approaches to APIs.  What are the top three lessons you’ve learned navigating Scribe through the many potential product and services strategies cloud platforms are providing today?

The top that come to mind are understanding that your cloud platform vendor absolutely affects your product offering and making sure your offering is portable, that you’re not too deep in one vendor’s technology or platform.

There are a many new cloud services and platforms – you have to make a choice between an established, proven vendor or taking a chance as an early adopter of something new. We decided to be an early adopter and we’ve had mixed results, which at times caused problems for our customers. Customers don’t care who caused your slowdown or outage – they expect that you have service available no matter what. As a result, we had to build out sophisticated and sensitive monitors, fail-over and availability capacity.

One of the things we did, and it was fairly controversial at Scribe, was make sure our offering was highly portable. Given the vendor’s brand name, there were people who felt that there was no way something could go wrong and we were showing a vote of no confidence by not completely embracing the service. Others at Scribe were skeptical and insisted we not get too deep into this particular technology so we could pull the plug quickly if it didn’t work out. Even though it was not a popular decision, we made sure this portability was part of our architecture from day one and we’ve resisted getting too dependent on unique capabilities even though it could be easier from a development standpoint.

Keeping that discipline turned out to be a very smart move – we’ve since had to move parts of our offering to other platforms and services that could better accommodate our growth and capacity needs. As we compare notes with other integration companies with cloud offerings, we’re hearing similar stories. We want to focus on our features and services and we want to be able to make sure our platform is stable and performing for our customers. Having the ability to move parts and pieces of our architecture when we need to is critical as we grow. Our planning and roadmap now include a capacity review and all options are on the table, including changing technology platforms or vendors.

Many say enterprise software is quickly moving in the direction of an API economy.  What are your thoughts on the API economy beginning with how you define it, and how will it change CRM in the next three years?

When we look at the enterprise software space and how it is still very challenging to integrate the data across these applications, it absolutely makes sense directionally. There are so many new technology stacks and platforms out there and the old ones aren’t going away either. APIs are a logical framework for people to access, share, and integrate data regardless of where it lives or how it’s stored.

This is really exciting for CRM. There is a lot of talk about the 360 degree view of the customer but the reality for most businesses is that actually getting all that data is still difficult and not standardized. If you’ve got a lightweight API to access any number of customer data points in and outside the business, CRM would be more a framework and platform to select and mash up those data feeds in a tailored presentation for particular roles in your business – sales, support, marketing, etc. You could put a very powerful, functionally relevant view of the customer at your employee’s fingertips. We’re already seeing that today with the ability to embed Google Maps, social feeds, and the like in CRM. But think about how incredible it could be for CRM if you were able to do that type of embed with virtually any data source.

In such a highly competitive, rapidly changing and technically complex market area, how do you continually innovate and generate new ideas?

The best way to describe how we innovate is that we take a clean sheet of paper approach when thinking about product. Our product team typically looks at the business problem first and gets very creative about how to achieve the desired outcome. We also take a hard look at the status quo and challenge “how can we do this completely different and better”? Our goal is to delight our partners and customers with product that they find easy to use and that gets the job done without a lot of hassle or drama. Sometimes it takes an unusual path and it typically isn’t your big, trendy items. For instance, most integration projects require a team of people to accomplish – experts in data, experts in business process, usually an outside consultant or professional services vendor. One of the things we heard in passing was what a pain in the neck it was to manage multiple clients and getting permission from the client’s IT organization to access the integration environment – one of those things you just talk about as an accepted pain of doing business. In response, our product team brought in social features like the ability to invite or de-invite members to a specific customer organization and allowing the owner of that customer organization to set permissions of what that member could do in their organization. In the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t seem like a big deal but today, that social user experience really excites our customers and partners and it’s become a key differentiator for Scribe.

For many enterprise software companies, selling through resellers is challenging.  What key lessons has Scribe learned about making a reseller strategy for cloud integration services successful? 

We’ve been selling through the channel for a long time now – understanding their business model and supporting their success is paramount to us as a business. Partners are all about standardization, efficiency, quality, and repeatability at scale – you need to be oriented to that outcome whether it’s product, programs, pricing, communications, or support. Who you are and what you provide needs to be consistent and fair to the entire community.

Our motto is “own the customer, respect the partner”. When we’re servicing a customer directly, we are very cognizant of the partner and we know that customer’s experience with Scribe can directly impact their relationship with that partner. You have to weigh your interactions with a customer against the whole of your partner relationship and calibrate accordingly. So we make sure that we give our customers the same touch and quality service as our partners. Your reputation with your partners and that partner community will dictate your success in the channel. You have a great reputation with your partners and you’ve got their back – they are going to reward you by being incredibly loyal. The top reason we hear from prospective partners looking to make a switch is “this vendor was really difficult to work with” or “this vendor failed in delivering to my customer and I need something now to get this customer back on track”.

The growth of the API economy has many parallels to growing a reseller-based business.  How do you view these parallels and how do they open up greater avenues of innovation to benefit those companies using CRM today and in the future through resellers?

Where we see a distinct parallel is taking hold of a something like data or an application, and evolving it into a completely new and innovative offering, which completely transforms the experience of using it – for the better. With APIs it’s about evolving connectivity and access. In CRM, the most successful resellers reinvent the CRM application as a platform. They craft entirely new solutions on CRM that are imbued with their particular expertise in a vertical or a set of business processes that make CRM much more straightforward and easier to use. Often these offerings are unrecognizable from the original CRM. This innovation benefits business customers as the reseller is productizing their expertise and making CRM much more turnkey for them. At the end of the day, it isn’t about the particular CRM vendor or platform but more about the particular capabilities that a reseller has in their turnkey CRM offering. That’s a huge benefit to customers as they’re now able to focus on picking the right reseller and their expertise to help their business versus being distracted and consumed with the nuts and bolts of hand-tailoring the CRM application to fit their needs.

What are you seeing in terms of on-premise to cloud migration on the part of resellers?  Are they bringing you more deals that are cloud-based versus on-premise?  Does this vary between North America and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East & Africa)? 

The reseller channel is going through an interesting evolution with cloud. What we’re seeing are resellers typically making two choices, going cloud or sticking with on-premise but focusing on larger, enterprise deals. We’re seeing some of our existing resellers re-aligning their offerings and services around cloud; they may continue to do premise deals but they aren’t leading with premise. We’re increasingly working with a third category of new partners who have entered the CRM business recently as exclusively cloud; typically these resellers represent multiple CRM vendors (Salesforce, Sugar, Dynamics CRM Online, etc.) in their practice.

Regardless of the partner orientation towards cloud, we are definitely seeing a shift towards cloud deals. EMEA is behind North America but is quickly closing the gap – we see growing adoption of cloud applications and there is an excitement and interest in EMEA for more cloud.

Can you walk me through the new product development cycles you use?  How are you seeing the market cadence right now from a cloud integration perspective?  Is it 6 months, or shorter than that for each new release?

The cloud is driving faster release & upgrade cycles overall. Customers use cloud applications in their everyday lives and those consumer applications typically have rapid response to feedback; it’s not unusual to get an update on your iPhone apps once a month. We’re seeing those same expectations in the business applications space – you shouldn’t be waiting 6-12 months or more for updates to the product. The nature of cloud allows us to be much more responsive giving us the flexibility to push out updates when we need to.

Our release cadence is 8 weeks. We might go longer to a 16- or 24-week cycle for a major release. Our connectivity release cycle is much faster. Each quarter we’re typically releasing 2-3 new connectors and 2-3 upgrades to existing connectors. This release cadence has been a real advantage for us in closing deals and building customer loyalty. Every two months we’re putting in enhancements and new features – many of those driven from direct customer feedback. We’ve won more than a few competitive and strategic wins because we were able to incorporate feedback from the prospect during the proof of concept or trial phase of those deals within a short period of time.

Earlier we spoke about how your company is successfully using personas to guide new product development.  Can you comment on how personas guide the development and launch of new products?

Personas provide that guiding star for the development team to build towards. It’s not just the “what” and the “how”, it’s the “who” and the “why”. When we start with personas we’re talking about the business problem or goal that our customer is grappling with. That’s where the innovation we talked about earlier comes in – we try to solve for the real world business problem and an authentic user experience for our target customer. After we have the persona solidified, then we apply a particular technology approach and design. Starting with what success looks like to the customer keeps things very clear and real in terms of design, scope, what the product will and will not do.

The development team has a much clearer understanding who they are building product for and why it needs to be a certain way. If there is a question or difference of opinion about the user experience or the way a certain feature should work, we always go back to the persona. It’s a very efficient sanity check throughout the development process – would our persona really use this feature in this way, would they be comfortable working that way in real life, do they really need this feature or capability to do these extra 5 things we think they do?

Personas are very helpful in discouraging developing products that might be perceived as cutting edge to the tech community but ultimately don’t give the customer what they need and want. We like cool technologies and features, and we’ll put it in there but only if it fits the persona.

Has any customer measured the impact of Scribe integration solutions in the context of improved user experience and customer satisfaction?  If so, can you share those figures? 

An interesting question and one we asked in our recent State of Data Integration 2013 survey. What we found was that over 70% of our survey respondents had no formal process for evaluating the success of their integration and articulating the return on investment either in operational improvements or customer satisfaction. With a partner involved there is some improvement as the partner has to typically prove the success of their engagement but it’s not what we’d like it to be. It’s virtually impossible to get a customer to capture any meaningful metrics after the project has been completed.

What we’re finding is that partners and customers don’t know where to begin to measure the impact of their integration and there are no standard templates or resources to use as part of the project planning & tracking. This is a problem we’re tackling in the coming months, providing standard metrics that any partner or customer can use to track the success of their integrations.

What are the most important metrics to keep in mind when evaluating the performance of a cloud integration platform?  How did these metrics influence the design, coding and launch of Scribe Online?

The most important metrics are usability and performance. The obvious one, performance comes in many flavors but the big ones we look at are the responsiveness of the platform user interface, the throughput and speed of the integrations, and the reliability/availability of the platform overall. These are table stakes. When we say usability, we mean how many customers are actually creating and running integration jobs? How often are they logged into the system and what are they doing? Are they adding new integration jobs? Using new connectors? How many customers are renewing and/or increasing their subscription levels? These are metrics we measure. If a customer were evaluating a platform, questions I’d be asking would be “how long does it take to get a typical integration project live and running?”, “do you require professional services and how much/how long does that engagement typically run?”, and when talking to references “did you get your integration project done in the time frame you expected?”

Usability is very, very important to us. You can have a platform that processes billions of rows a day but if it is difficult to configure, use, and maintain, customers are going to gravitate to vendors that have both performance and better usability.

Have you seen a shift in the types of CRM applications being integrated within the last twelve months, and do you see trending of these systems changing in the next three years?  Why or why not?

In the past twelve months, we’ve seen a shift where customers appear to be doing less of the rip and replace with new CRM systems and more where they are adding on other, customer-facing applications with discrete functions like marketing automation, e-commerce, sales productivity, or support. We’re also seeing an uptick in two-tier CRM integrations where a division or line of business will use one vendor’s CRM for specific range of capabilities but want to integrate with the legacy or corporate CRM.

Certainly the CRM vendors are adding more capabilities and providing more complete platforms that include marketing automation, support, e-commerce, finance, and social. What will be very interesting in the next three years is if businesses will embrace these platforms completely or if they will use parts and pieces of these platforms and integrate them with existing application investments or other CRM platforms. For instance, would a business decide to purchase Salesforce Support Cloud and integrate that with NetSuite? We think given what we’re seeing in with legacy applications – that businesses have made major investments in and are still realizing value from these applications – that a rip and replace to a complete CRM platform from one major vendor might be a bit of stretch. Given that cloud integration is evolving quickly, it would seem that a business could put together best of breed cloud CRM apps just as they did with premise applications in the past.

Often integration in small and medium businesses, which is a market Scribe excels in, are complacent about the need to change and adopt a more unified CRM system.  Is complacency is your biggest competitor?  How do you overcome that in your channel development, marketing and selling strategies?

We’re seeing SMBs are as savvy as our largest enterprise customers about integration. They get the need for an integrated CRM system to keep competitive. SMBs are requiring integration in the first phases of their CRM implementation and are asking partners about it. That’s a big shift from 4-5 years ago where partners had to educate the customer about the benefits of integration and why spending money/time/resources on integration are valuable. It’s less complacency that is our biggest obstacle with SMBs – its education and outreach that there are affordable, easy-to-use integration options out there for the SMB that allow them to realize the same business benefits as the big companies. If you define complacency as the common belief that there is just nothing out there right now for the SMB, then yes, it’s a competitor. We have been aggressive in recruiting partners who specialize in SMB and making sure our cloud integration platform have the features and capabilities so these partners can service a large volume of smaller customers quickly and cost-effectively. We also work with our partners with other marketing outreach to educate the SMB that integration is possible and how to best approach that first integration project. And it goes back to that usability metric – we want the SMB to have an easy time with integration – so that means proving it with our selling, our marketing, and our partner channel. All of it needs to be approachable and reinforce that integration is accessible and can be realized by the SMB.

What are Scribe’s top three goals for 2013, and how are you tracking to them?

Our top three goals in 2013 are to continue build out the features and services in our cloud platform, continue to offer more customer data connectivity, and continue to build out our ecosystem of ISVs and partners using our online platform. We’ve had excellent success in all three areas – we’ve announced partnerships and connectivity to Marketo, Silverpop, and ExactTarget and we continue to build and enhance the platform. The interest in the channel and the ISV community is very strong – we have as much incoming as we do active outreach – and we expect more ISV partnership announcements later this year.

When you and your company look three years into the future, what will cloud integration look like? 

In three years, integration should be ubiquitous in most business applications. It’s not just about APIs – it’s about customers being able to connect quickly, easily, and seamlessly to other applications without having to stitch code together or understand what entities and methods to use. When we use consumer applications today, we don’t care or think about things like how to send a Tweet to my Facebook feed – we just press a button and it happens. I think you’ll see more turnkey integrations based on common business processes that business users can provision and manage within the  user interface of their business application instead of using a separate application. There will always be a market for more sophisticated, unique integration needs but common business practices such as sales order processing should be something a business analyst or system administrator could invoke within a CRM or ERP user interface, perform some light customizations as needed, and provision.

Gartner Predicts Infrastructure Services Will Accelerate Cloud Computing Growth

public cloud computing forecast 2011 - 2016As public cloud computing gains greater adoption across enterprises, there’s an increased level of spending occurring on infrastructure-related services including Infrastructure-as-a-Service(IaaS).  Enterprises are prioritizing how to get cloud platforms integrated with legacy systems to make use of the years of data they have accumulated.  From legacy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, integrating legacy systems of record to cloud-based platforms will accelerate through 2016.  I’ve seen this in conversations with resellers and enterprise customers, and this trend is also reflected in Gartner’s latest report on public cloud computing adoption, Forecast Overview: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide, 2011-2016, 4Q12 Update Published: 8 February 2013.  Below are the key take-aways from the report:

  • Global spending on public cloud services is expected to grow 18.6% in 2012 to $110.3B, achieving a CAGR of 17.7% from 2011 through 2016. The total market is expected to grow from $76.9B in 2010 to $210B in 2016. The following is an analysis of the public cloud services market size and annual growth rates:

Figure 1 Cloud Computing Growth

  • Gartner predicts that Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) will achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41.3% through 2016, the fastest growing area of public cloud computing the research firm tracks.  The following graphic provides insights into relative market size by each public cloud services market segment:

Figure2

  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will achieve a 27.7% CAGR through 2016, with Cloud Management and Security Services attaining 26.7% in the same forecast period.  Software-as-a-Service’s CAGR through 2016 is projected to be 19.5%.  The following graphic illustrates the differences in CAGR in the forecast period of 2011 – 2016:

Figure 3

  • Gartner is projecting the SaaS market will grow at a steady CAGR of 19.5% through 2016, having increased the forecast slightly (.4%) since its latest published report.  Global SaaS spending is projected to grow from $13.5B in 2011 to $32.8B in 2016.
  • CRM will continue to be the largest global market within SaaS, forecast to grow beyond $5B in 2012 to $9B in 2016, achieving a 16.3% CAGR through 2016.   The highest growth segments of the SaaS market continue to be office suites (49.1%), followed by digital content creation (34.0%).  The following graphic rank orders CAGRs across all public cloud services segments from the forecast period:

Figure 4

  • 59% of all new spending on cloud computing services originates from North American enterprises, a trend projected to accelerate through 2016.  Western Europe is projected to be 24% of all spending.  A graphic comparing total spending by geography and corresponding growth rates is provided below:

Figure 5

  • The following tables provide insights into each category of public cloud computing spending throughout the forecast period.  Please click on the tables to expand them for easier reading.

Table 1

Table 2

Table 3

Source:  Forecast Overview: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide, 2011-2016, 4Q12 Update Published: 8 February 2013.

SaaS Adoption Accelerates, Goes Global in the Enterprise

In working with manufacturers and financial services firms over the last year, one point is becoming very clear: SaaS is gaining trust as a solid alternative for global deployments across the enterprise.  And this trend has been accelerating in the last six months.  One case in point is a 4,000 seat SaaS CRM deployment going live in Australia, Europe, and the U.S. by December of this year.

What’s noteworthy about this shift is that just eighteen months ago an Australian-based manufacturer was only considering SaaS for on-premises enhancement of their CRM system.  What changed?  The European and U.S. distribution and sales offices were on nearly 40 different CRM, quoting, proposal and pricing systems.  It was nearly impossible to track global opportunities.

Meanwhile business was booming in Australia and there were up-sell and cross-sell opportunities being missed in the U.S. and European-based headquarters of their prospects. The manufacturer  chose to move to a global SaaS CRM solution quickly.  Uniting all three divisions with a global sales strategy forced the consolidation of 40 different quoting, pricing and CRM systems in the U.S. alone.  What they lost in complexity they are looking to pick up in global customer sales.

Measuring Where SaaS Is Cannibalizing On-Premise Enterprise Applications

Gartner’s Market Trends: SaaS’s Varied Levels of Cannibalization to On-Premises Applications published: 29 October 2012 breaks out the percent of SaaS revenue for ten different enterprise application categories.  The greener the color the greater the adoption.  As was seen with the Australian manufacturer, CRM continues dominate this trend of SaaS cannibalizing on-premise enterprise applications.

Additional take-aways from this report include the following:

  • Perceived lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) continues to be the dominant reason enterprises are considering SaaS adoption, with 50% of respondents in 2012 mentioning this as the primary factor in their decision.
  • CRM is leading all other enterprise application areas in net new deployments according to the Gartner study, with the majority of on-premise replacements being in North America and Europe.
  • Gartner projects that by 2016 more than 50% of CRM software revenue will be delivered by SaaS.  As of 2011, 35% of CRM software was delivered on the SaaS platform.  Gartner expects to see SaaS-based CRM grow at three time the rate of on-premise applications.
  • 95% of Web analytics functions are delivered via the SaaS model  whereas only 40% of sales use cloud today according to the findings of this study.
  • The highest adoption rates of SaaS-based applications include sales, customer service, social CRM and marketing automation.
  • SaaS-based ERP will continued to be a small percentage of the total market, attaining 10% cannibalization by 2012.  Forrester has consistently said this is 13%, growing to 16% by 2015.
  • Office suites and digital content creation (DCC) will attain compound annual growth rates (CAGR) of 40.7% and a 32.2% respectively from 2011 through 2016. Gartner is making the assumption consumers and small businesses will continue be the major forces for Web-based office suites through 2013.
  • The four reasons why companies don’t choose SaaS include uncertainty if it is the right deployment option (36%), satisfaction with existing on-premise applications (30%), no further requirements (33%) and locked into their current solution with expensive contractual requirements (14%).

Bottom Line: Enterprises and their need to compete with greater accuracy and speed are driving the cannibalization of on-premise applications faster than many anticipated; enterprise software vendors need to step up and get in front of this if they are going to retain their greatest sources of revenue.

Source:  Market Trends: SaaS’s Varied Levels of Cannibalization to On-Premises Applications Published: 29 October 2012 written by Chad Eschinger, Joanne M. Correia, Yanna Dharmasthira, Tom Eid, Chris Pang, Dan Sommer, Hai Hong Swinehart and Laurie F. Wurster

Gartner Releases Their Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing, 2012

Enterprises are beginning to change their buying behaviors based on the deployment speed, economics and customization that cloud-based technologies provide.  Gartner cautions however that enterprises are far from abandoning their on-premise models and applications entirely for the cloud.

Based on an analysis of the Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing, 2012, the best results are being attained by enterprises that focus on a very specific strategy and look to cloud-based technologies to accelerate their performance.  Leading with a strategic framework of goals and objectives increases the probability of cloud-based platform success. Those enterprises that look to cloud platforms only for cost reduction miss out on their full potential.

The Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing, 2012 is shown below:

Cloudwashing and Inflated Enterprise Expectations

While the hype surrounding cloud computing may have peaked, cloudwashing continues to cause confusion and inflated expectations with enterprise buyers.  This just slows down sales cycles, when more straightforward selling could lead to more pilots, sales and a potentially larger market. Cloud vendors who have the expertise gained from delivering cloud platforms on time, under budget, with customer references showing results are starting to overtake those that using cloudwashing as part of their selling strategies.

Additional take-aways from the Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing include the following:

  • Cloud Email is expected to have a 10% adoption rate in enterprises by 2014, down from the 20% Gartner had forecasted in previous Hype Cycles.  This represents modest growth as the adoption rate of this category had been between 5 and 6% in 2011.
  • Big Data will deliver transformational benefits to enterprises within 2 to 5 years, and by 2015 will enable enterprises adopting this technology to outperform competitors by 20% in every available financial metric.  Gartner defines Big Data as including large volumes processed in streams, in addition to batch.  Integral to Big Data is an extensible services framework that can deploy processing to the data or bring data to the process workflow itself. Gartner also includes more than one asset type of data in their definition, including structured and unstructured content.  The Priority Matrix for Cloud Computing, 2012 is shown below:

  • Master Data Management (MDM) Solutions in the Cloud and Hybrid IT are included in this hype cycle for the first time in 2012.  Gartner reports that MDM Solutions in the Cloud is getting additional interest from Enterprise buyers as part of a continual upward trend of interest in MDM overall.  Dominant vendors in this emerging area include Cognizant, Data Scout, IBM, Informatica, Oracle and Orchestra Networks, are among those with MDM-in-the-cloud solutions.
  • PaaS continues to be one of the most misunderstood aspects of cloud platforms.  The widening gap between enterprise expectations and experiences is most prevalent in this market.  Gartner claims this is attributable to the relatively narrow middleware functions delivered and the consolidation fo vendors and service providers in this market.
  • By 2014 the Personal Cloud will have replaced the personal computer as the center of user’s digital lives.
  • Private Cloud Computing is among the highest interest areas across all cloud computing according to Gartner, with 75% of respondents in Gartner polls saying they plan to pursue a strategy in this area by 2014.  Pilot and production deployments are in process across many different enterprises today, with one of the major goals being the evaluation of virtualization-driven value and benefits.
  • SaaS is rapidly gaining adoption in enterprises, leading Gartner to forecast more than 50% of enterprises will have some form of SaaS-based application strategy by 2015.  Factors driving this adoption are the high priority enterprises are putting on customer relationships, gaining greater insights through analytics, overcoming IT- and capital budget-based limitations, and aligning IT more efficiently to strategic goals.
  • More than 50% of all virtualization workloads are based on the x86 architecture. This is expected to increase to 75% by 2015.  Gartner reports this is a disruptive innovation which is changing the relationship between IT and enterprise where service levels and usage can be tracked.

Bottom line: Gartner’s latest Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing  shows that when cloud-based platforms are aligned with well-defined strategic initiatives and line-of-business objectives, they deliver valuable contributions to an enterprise.  It also shows how Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) are the catalysts of long-term market growth.  The following slide from the presentation  High-Tech Tuesday Webinar: Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast, 2Q12 Update: Cloud Is the Silver Lining (free for download) also makes this point.

Gartner Hype Cycle for CRM Sales, 2012: Sales Turns to the Cloud for Quick Relief

Sales VPs for years have been test-driving SaaS-based CRM systems, piloting them with sales teams to see if using them leads to higher sales and greater customer retention.  Marketing VPs and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) also continue to pilot SaaS-based web analytics and marketing automation applications.

What’s been missing from these pilots is the ability to bring CRM, marketing automation, sales management and web analytics systems into existing enterprise IT architectures just as fast.  This is changing quickly.  CRM vendors have been quick to respond to the challenge, offering Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs), integration adapters, connectors and from larger vendors, integrated bus architectures.

What the Hype Cycle for CRM Sales, 2012 Means

CRM’s real value is in unifying an entire enterprise based on its ability to sell, serve and retain customers better than before. Gartner shows this is a high priority for its CRM clients by underscoring which technology and application areas of the hype cycle are responding to his market dynamic, and which aren’t.

This Hype Cycle also reflects the urgency I hear from Sales VPs who want to get in control of the complex compensation, quota, territory management, job appraisal and sales coaching responsibilities they have.  While each of these areas is essential, many companies, even those in enterprise software, have ignored these areas, allowing them to stay manually based. Gartner calls this area Sales Performance Management (SPM) and shows it has the highest benefit of all SaaS-based sales management applications in the next two years. Gartner’s analysis captures the time shortage that Sales VPs I know are facing; they have to get to high quota levels while also managing a diverse set of leadership responsibilities as well. The Hype Cycle for CRM Sales, 2012 (G00234919) is shown below:

 

  • Gartner estimates 35% of all CRM implementations today use SaaS, growing to over 50% by 2020 according to their projections. In 2011, more than $5 billion was invested in sales applications.
  • Cloud adoption varies significantly across CRM software categories with Web analytics achieving 95% adoption, Sales Force Automation achieving just over 50%, and Configure Price Quote (CPQ) achieving 40%.  Cloud-based Sales Performance Management has the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of any CRM category according to inquiry and client calls.
  • Sales, Customer Service, Social CRM and Marketing are the four fastest-growing areas of enterprise Sales applications on SaaS.  Campaign Management is increasingly quickly, up from 19% using SaaS in 2010 to 29% in 2011.
  • Gartner sees significant growth in Configure Price Quote (CPQ), projecting a market of $300M in 2012, up from $240M in 2011.  Gartner is due out with a MarketScope on CPQ shortly, where the 15 major vendors it tracks in this area will be ranked.  40% of existing implementations are on SaaS, and that proportion is increasing relative to licensed versions.  Of the 15 vendors in this market, 12 have announced SaaS-based versions of their applications.
  • There are 3.8M Sales Force Automation SaaS users globally today.
  • By 2017, 25% of companies adopting CRM will have extended their customer service contact centers to include social media including Facebook, Twitter and other emerging online communities.  As of 2012, Gartner is seeing only 1% of companies integrate social media into their companies’ departments and workflows to ensure a consistent customer experience.
  • Price Optimization will experience transformational growth in two to five years. Gartner sees this area as one of the most promising across all CRM Sales as can be seen in the Priority Matrix for CRM Sales 2012 below from the Hype Cycle for CRM Sales, 2012.  The research firm has defined this market as including price analysis, price optimization and price execution.  Gartner estimates this market was $180M to $190M in 2010.  Vendor competing in this market include Accenture, Deloitte, Pros, Vendavo, Vistaar Technologies and Zilliant.

  • Social CRM (SCRM) for Sales is at the Peak of Inflated Expectations, with 90% of spending for these applications being generated from B2C companies.  Gartner expects B2B companies to lead the growth of these applications through 2015, increasing spending from 5% of total SCRM sales in 2011 to 30% by 2015.
  • SaaS-based CRM sales within enterprises are expected to reach $4.48B in 2012, growing to $6.3B in 2015.  The following table from the report Forecast: Software as a Service, Worldwide 2010-2015, 2H11 Update provides a frame of reference for SaaS-based CRM growth overall.

  • Salesforce leads all CRM vendors in market share growth, advancing 2.8% from 2010 to 2011 according to Gartner’s’ global market share analysis shown below. Salesforce attained 26.9% revenue growth from 2010 to 2011 ($1.3B to $1.6B) and 36.7% growth from 2011 to 2012 ($1.6B to $2.27B).  The future momentum of Salesforce is in unifying the enterprise, redefining corporate IT in the context of the customer. Their recent acquisitions show analytics, marketing automation and development platforms are key priorities.  The following table is from the report Market Share Snapshot: CRM Software, 2011 (G00233998).

Bottom line:  Making CRM strategies successful has to start with a common vision and urgency for results.  Both are happening quicker in CRM than ever before, driven by a much clearer understanding of what enterprises need and an impatience for results.

Roundup of SaaS ERP Forecasts and Market Estimates, 2012

The latest round of SaaS ERP market forecasts are more grounded in the reality of CIO priorities and committed projects in 2012 than ever before.  And this is good news for the many vendors competing in the Financial Management Systems (FMS), Human Capital Management (HCM) and Manufacturing segments of the SaaS ERP market.

Two weeks ago in Houston I interviewed twenty-five different CIOs, IT Directors, CEOs and CTOs as part of a persona research study I am doing.  Their take on SaaS ERP was consistent with what this round-up shows, namely this type of SaaS application is best suited for extending beyond, not replacing, the main ERP systems and platforms.   I concentrated on SaaS ERP adoption in manufacturing and learned the following during my interviews:

  • Usability and speed of deployment are the two most common benefits CIOs mentioned in my survey during Convergence.  The economics of cloud computing is a topic that CFOs love to talk about, especially in the areas of value-based pricing and how that is determined.
  • When asked what kept them up at night, CIOs said it was the thought of a call from their boss (often the CFO) that a cloud system had been compromised or had completely gone down.  Security and reliability are holding back CIOs in manufacturing from adopting SaaS-based ERP systems more pervasively in their companies.
  • CIOs from aerospace and defense companies get the benefits of cloud computing, yet they have much bigger issues to deal with right now, like replacing financials in their existing ERP system and staying in compliance to government requirements.  Earned Value Management is a major focus they have as well.  SaaS-based ERP systems are interesting to them; they however would require a completely enclosed, locked-down implementation due to security requirements.
  • There are vast differences in how CIOs view cloud computing – something that the following forecasts don’t really capture.  For the CIOs who are strategists, cloud computing in general and SaaS ERP specifically is a consideration given the agility and time-to-market, providing customization is held to a minimum.  CIOs who came up through IT have a healthy degree of skepticism and see SaaS ERP as potentially useful for scaling out an operation yet never being the primary financial system.

Here are the latest SaaS ERP forecasts and market estimates:

  • Gartner released their latest SaaS revenue forecast last week predicting revenue will reach $14.5B this year, a 17.9% increase from 2011 of $12.3B, with strong growth predicted through 2015 when the market is expected to be $22.1B. Source: http://www.itjungle.com/tfh/tfh040212-story08.html
  • In the report Market Trends: Cloud Computing and SaaS Adoption in Manufacturing and Natural Resources, Worldwide, 2012 Gartner is predicting  59% of manufacturers will adopt IaaS during the 2011 – 2015 timeframe and 47% will be either piloting or using SaaS-based applications.  Gartner cites the need for greater business and supply chain agility as the factors driving this rapid adoption.  The following figure is from the Gartner report  Market Trends: Cloud Computing and SaaS Adoption in Manufacturing and Natural Resources, Worldwide, 2012.
  • Forrester forecasts SaaS ERP spending staying at 2% of the global ERP market, while Gartner forecasts 7% through 2012.  Gartner is projecting Project and Portfolio Management (29.1%) and Supply Chain Management (22.1%) will see the greatest growth rates through 2015.  Supply Chain Management is expected to reach $2.7B in revenue by 2015.  The Total Software Revenue Forecast for SaaS Delivery Within Enterprise Software is shown in the following table.  Source: Forecast: Software as a Service, Worldwide, 2010-2015, 1H11 Update Published: 22 June 2011 Analyst(s): Sharon A. Mertz, Chad Eschinger, Tom Eid, Chris Pang, Laurie F. Wurster
  • Gartner, IDC and Forrester all predict that Human Capital Management (HCM) will see the broadest adoption of all SaaS-based ERP components through 2015.  Vendors in this category include ADP, Concur, Cornerstone onDemand, HumanConcepts, Infor, Kenexa, Lumesse, Saba, SilkRoad, Sonar6, SuccessFactors, SumTotal Systems, Taleo, Ultimate Software and Workday.  Based on a recent Gartner Spending and Usage of SaaS Survey, 39% of manufacturers are piloting or using SaaS-based financials followed by 37% using Expense Management.The following figure illustrates their forecast, from the report  Market Trends: Cloud Computing and SaaS Adoption in Manufacturing and Natural Resources, Worldwide, 2012
  • Gartner’s IT Market Clock for ERP Platform Technology indicates that multitenant SaaS-based ERP is maturing rapidly, driven by time-to-market and cost advantages. The IT Market Clock is shown below, indicating SaaS ERP-based systems position relative to other ERP platforms now in use.  Vendors including  Epicor Express Editions, Glovia, Kenandy, NetSuite, Plex Systems, and SAP Business ByDesign compete in this segment.Source: IT Market Clock for ERP Platform Technology, 2011 Published: 19 September 2011 Analyst: Jim Shepherd.

Gartner has also compiled a Market Clock Recommendation Summary which is shown in the following table.  Of the CIOs I’ve spoken with during the persona research, the description of Multitenant SaaS is accurate.  No CIO I’ve spoken with is willing to bet their job on a rip-and-replace strategy for SaaS ERP; yet many are willing to extend their existing ERP systems using SaaS implementations to get up and running quickly at lower cost.  The one caveat nearly everyone mentions is little or no customization is necessary for SaaS ERP systems to be even evaluated by their companies.  Slight configuration is expected; however in-depth customization is not.

Bottom line: The persona research completed shows that the SaaS-based ERP growth is being helped by the transition occurring in the CIO ranks today.  More of them are strategists, who are expected to make business strategies happen, over and above just keeping the system dial tone on in their enterprises.

Sizing the Data Center Services Market, 2012

The Data Center Services (DCS) market is at a turning point today, with both Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) strategies potentially playing a pivotal role.

Traditionally data centers generate the majority of their business from colocation, data center outsourcing, and hosting.  The current and future impact of IaaS and PaaS is small but growing rapidly in this market.  Gartner estimates the global DCS market generated $150B globally as of 2011, projected to grow to $200B in 2012.

IaaS and PaaS Will Define The Future of the DCS Market

With IaaS generating $4B in global revenues in 2011 and PaaS is generating $1.4B, together they contributed 3.6% of the total DCS revenues last year.  The future direction of the DCS market, including the nature and trajectory of IaaS and PaaS, will be determined over the next three to five years by enterprise adoption of these platforms and the increasing move of enterprise applications to the cloud.  In sizing the DCS market, it’s useful to take a look at the forecasts from Gartner of cloud application infrastructure and cloud applications as a proportion of enterprise application software.  The following tables provide this analysis.

Cloud Application Infrastructure, Cloud Systems Infrastructure as a Proportion of Core ITO and Traditional Web Hosting (Dollars in Billions)

Source: Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide and Regions, Industry Sectors, 2010-2015, 2011 Update

Cloud Applications as a Proportion of Enterprise Application Software (Dollars in Billions)

Source: Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide and Regions, Industry Sectors, 2010-2015, 2011 Update

Mapping the Data Center Services Market – A First Approach

Gartner has proposed a Data Center Services Map and Market Compass for Enterprise Data Center Services, both of which are shown below.  Taken as taxonomies for organizing the market, they are effective, resembling value chains in their structure.  The Garter Data Center Services Map is shown below:

The Gartner Data Center Services Map

Source: Data Center Services: Regional Differences in the Move Toward the Cloud, 2012

Gartner’s Market Compass for Enterprise Data Center Services takes into account size, scope and management of data center (DC) applications by the use of sharing, pricing models and elasticity (Time to Provision Change) to create a market grid.  These are considered to be the six most differentiating factors in DC performance in this model.  The foundation of the Market Compass are shown below:

Gartner’s Market Compass for Enterprise Data Center Services

Source:Data Center Outsourcing, Hosting or Cloud? Use Gartner’s Market Map and Compass to Decide

The Garter Market Compass can further be used to define which solution sets in the DCS market best align with a given business’ strategic and IT needs.  Elasticity of infrastructure utility and cloud computing are, according to the analysis, the strongest growth factors in the DCS market today.

Analyzing the Six Main Segments of the Data Center Services Market with the Gartner Market Compass

Source: Data Center Outsourcing, Hosting or Cloud? Use Gartner’s Market Map and Compass to Decide

Bottom line: As more enterprise applications migrate to the cloud, DCS providers will be forced to rapidly improve the elasticity and time provisioning options their platforms provide.  All these changes will re-order the economics of cloud computing forcing DCS providers to greater level of flexibility that many have attained in the past.

Analytics, Cloud Computing Challenge Flat Growth in Forrester’s Tech Market Outlook for 2012

It’s time to strip away the hype surrounding analytics, big data and cloud computing by asking how these technologies contribute  to excellent customer experiences and greater customer engagement.  Those are the real catalysts of market growth and the greatest disruptive forces at work in enterprise software today.

Filtering forecasts of future technology adoption with a customer experience and engagement mindset is essential for separating hype from reality.  Two excellent blog posts were published today that provide useful insights for doing this.  Ray Wang’s Monday’s Musings: 10 Mega Business Trends To Watch For In 2012 provides pragmatic, insightful analysis of the progression going on from transactional to personal fulfillment systems.  Many of the CIOs I’ve met with in the last two months are saying exactly what Ray has written regarding this transition.   Paul Greenberg’s CRM 2012 Forecast – The Era of Customer Engagement – Part I delivers more insight than any of the financial or industry analyst reports I’ve read in the last twelve months on CRM and its intersection to social networks.  He has defined customer engagement so thoroughly I am sure this post will be a classic, referenced for years to come.  Both posts provide an excellent framework to evaluate the upcoming wave of new forecasts due out from research firms at the start of 2012.

Having recently read Forrester’s US Tech Market Outlook For 2012 and applying the concepts Ray Wang and Paul Greenberg discuss, here are several take-aways from that report:

  • Total U.S. ICT market in 2011 was $962B with the majority being generated from software sales ($208B) followed by Telecom Services ($199B) and IT Consulting and Systems Integration Services ($188B).  The following graphic illustrates the purchase of ICT product and services in the U.S. during 2011.  As enterprise software companies are striving to deliver what Ray Wang is calling Experiential Systems, the majority of their core Intellectual Property (IP) was obtained from building Transactional Systems.  Despite this conflict, software development methodologies including Agile give the industry a fighting chance at growth in 2012.
  • Software continues to dominate both in total revenue ($208B) and growth rate, with 8.2% growth projected for 2012.  In addition to analytics and Business Intelligence (BI), Forrester is predicting an increase in ERP, Middleware and SaaS-based application growth.
  • Forrester is most optimistic in their forecasts for analytics, BI, Cloud Computing and Smart Computing.  Cloud Computing forecasts at Forrester are indexed to sales levels of NetSuite, RightNow Technologies (Oracle), Salesforce.com, and Ultimate Software.  Forrester is claiming these four vendors will generate a 23% increase in revenues in calendar Q1, 2012 over Q1, 2011, increasing and staying constant at 24% year-over-year growth from Q2 to Q4, 2012 relative to Q2 to Q4,  2011. Salesforce.com could accomplish this level of growth through acquisitions alone. They’re showing they can integrate newly acquired companies faster than Oracle, who they are challenging for global CRM market leadership in the 2012 – 2013 timeframe.  When customer experience and engagement is taken into account, the forecast seems high.  Salesforce knows how to translate trial users into customers.  The question is can they do this fast enough in 2012 throughout the enterprise and mid-tier accounts to keep up their sales growth on track while reducing churn and increasing profitability.
  • Smart Computing is defined by Forrester as platform technologies including specialized analytics, BI, service-oriented architecture (SOA) infrastructure, virtualization software, rules engines, and awareness-based technologies.  Forrester is very optimistic about this area with a growth rate second only to cloud computing. Its index of the market is based on Informatica, Pegasystems, and Tibco Software.  Forrester is predicting in calendar Q1, 2012 there will be 16% growth over Q1, 2011, followed by consistent 13% growth year-over-year for Q2 to Q4, 2012 relative to 2011.  The following graphic compares growth of both Cloud Computing and Smart Computing.

  • The inflexion point of Smart Computing will happen when analytics, BI and awareness-based technologies including RFID can be used to make customer experiences consistently positive and drive cultural change throughout a business to center on customers’ expectations.  Paul Greenberg refers to this area of customer engagement in his blog post.  I agree with him and see the real value of analytics not for reporting, but for being a barometer of just how customer-centric and focused on delivering exceptional customer experiences a company is becoming.
  • In 2012, financial services, professional services, and manufacturing will be the three industries that dominate software purchases.  Financial services (19%), professional services (15%) and manufacturing (14%) will be the largest buyers of enterprise software.  Forrester believes that ERP replacements, supply chain management (SCM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) will all be proprieties in the coming twelve months.

Bottom line: Critiquing high growth technologies based on their contribution to customer experience, engagement and the creation of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is what matter most. Hopefully the new wave of forecasts for 2012 and beyond will take the customer – not just technology and statistical extrapolations – into account.

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