From talent management, payroll, analytics, HRMS and other niche HR solutions, this year saw several cool innovations and emerging trends, plus a generous helping of M&A with a side order of IPO. Brian Sommer covers major issues, company highlights, and the year's big misses.
Software & Services Safari
Many writers explore just one tech sector. Brian looks at the entire tech ecosystem to better understand the often conflicted relationships between software vendors, integrators, outsourcers and more.
Brian is in a unique position to diagnosis the winners and the losers in technology and services. He was the longest running (10 years) and most senior director of Andersen Consulting's (now Accenture's) global Software Intelligence unit - a position that required him to pick the best possible software solutions for hundreds of clients globally. He advised the firm on ERP software market forecasts and helped establish manpower planning estimates by vendor for deployment globally.Brian continues to remain close to technology buyers and sellers. When he left Andersen Consulting, he co-created a dot-com with blogger and former arch-enemy at Price Waterhouse, Vinnie Mirchandani. That firm helped broker efficient services contracts between software buyers and systems integrators. Since then, he's created TechVentive, Inc. - a company that helps technology firms better understand their markets - and Vital Analysis - the research and publishing arm of TechVentive. Brian still travels the world and publishes an impressive number of articles, research reports and blog posts annually to help software and services buyers make better business decisions. He can be reached at: brian @ vitalanalysis.com
Not every vendor follows the script Geoffrey Moore laid out in Crossing the Chasm. But Igloo Software appears to be and the results speak for themselves.
What will Jim Snabe SAP's co-CEO, say at next year's Sapphire conference? Some of the clues were present at the recent Madrid Sapphire event but Brian Sommer fills in the gaps and targets some strategic decisions SAP must make. Enjoy this two-part piece.
For a decade or so, several ERP vendors have made naked plays for market share, maintenance revenue and customers. In the process, they created unwieldly firms with lots of redundant products and product lines. Now, multi-tenant cloud solutions, like Workday's, are showing the error in these Franken-soft creations.
VAI may not be the best known ERP vendor out there but their customers sure like them. Read on for the highlights of their recent user conference.
It's been a busy month of software events. But, taken together, they point to several major and permanent changes that will shape IT and ERP for decades. This seven part look at these changes spans hardware, HR software, the ERP leaderboard, changing buyer sophistication and more.
There's a great lesson to be learned from New Zealand software firms. They have savvy and insight when it comes to getting businesses to adopt cloud solutions. Xero is doing this with accountants (and that's no easy feat!).
Well, I think Marc's got a bit more story to tell in the last of two keynote addresses. This talk zeroes in on Salesforce's application software strategy. Let's check in and see what Marc might say this time next year....
Marc Benioff does a great job of setting the tone and direction of the software space. If you missed Dreamforce 2012, you might feel a bit left out. But, if you'd like to get a jump on next year's event, read Marc's Keynote for 2013. It's got vision to spare and should make a lot of software firms envious.
Hey, are these two ERP competitors holding hands? Are they having some sort of Kardashian moment? Can they really be getting together?
The most interesting parts of the Workday S-1 may be the lengths they've gone to to thwart a hostile takeover. Here's a quick summary of those items.
This deal presages some big changes in the HR software and consulting space. Unfortunately, a lot of the analyst/press chatter is too focused on the deal mechanics and not on what it really means to those selling HR solutions.
Lots of innovation is popping up in HR. But, the innovation may be springing up because of the actions of job seekers and employees but not the creators of HR software. In this four part series, we look at the impact these innovations are having on HR processes; how mobile, social, video and other tech is changing HR processes; and, what vendors need to bring to the upcoming HR Technology Conference in October.
Software markets are very fluid. A vendor that had a major competitive differentiator can suddenly find itself needing another. How many payroll service providers have morphed from being a major HR BPO provider to a solutions firm with BPaaS and options for global payroll in 110 countries? Will they need more?
TALX/Equifax - This is not your typical payroll or talent management software vendor. Here's a company that's gone from phone technology to becoming an information powerhouse.