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Microsoft is taking a hefty goodwill writedown for its 2007 purchase of aQuantive. The acquisition didn't deliver the ROI the software giant hoped for.
Both Google and Microsoft are advertising their browsers---two pieces of software that are free. Why? There's real ROI to driving platform usage.
(Hint: It must be substantial and believable)I do a lot of sales and negotiating training, and contrary to the current economy, it’s becoming a brisk bit of work. That said, there’s often a tough sticking point for many technology and service firms: crafting compelling ROI statements and tying these to some burning platform issue that motivates buyers to move NOW!
Here are today’s notable headlines. You can get News To Know via email alert and RSS daily:Jason Hiner: Gartner: Top 10 technologies to watch over the next three yearsLarry Dignan: IT’s challenges: The end of device charging; ROI; Super programmersAre software megavendors too big to stumble?
Lousy training, change management, and documentation are among the top failure-inducing mistakes that IT implementation teams perpetrate against their projects. As I've said in the past:To be successful, users must understand the project’s goals, status, and impact on their jobs. Many projects pay too little attention to training and documentation, especially when the project starts to run over-budget. This oversight makes reduces productivity and can negatively impact the project ROI. In extreme cases, users simply don’t use the new software, bringing the effective ROI to zero.Here's a list of five IT training failures guaranteed to damage any otherwise-healthy project.
Project portfolio management (PPM) software is receiving growing attention from CIOs. Riding this wave, HP sponsored The Gantry Group to analyze key ROI measures for PPM software.
The promise of remixing existing online services and data into entirely new online applications in a rapid, inexpensive manner, often referred to as mashups, has captured the software industry's imagination since the release of first major example, HousingMaps.com, in early 2005. Since then, mashups have offered the potential to finally make widespread software reuse a reality, enable SOA initiatives to achieve positive ROI, and radically drive down the cost of application development while satisfying large applications backlogs that plague organizations almost everywhere.
Recently, I described the need to consider implementation costs when calculating enterprise software ROI. Implementation costs are a major variable in the ROI equation, since service expenses are often unpredictable.
Oracle has officially launched its 11g database and the software giant has taken an interesting approach with positioning--most features can be aligned to an ROI case. Earlier today I asked the question that everyone is asking in relation to new software upgrades these days: When will customers upgrade?
All too often, enterprise software buyers pay insufficient attention to examining the likely achievable ROI of technology they are about to purchase. Wisconsin Technology Network interviewed Leslie Hearn, vice president and CIO of TDS Telecom, on the subject of establishing a strong business case when purchasing software.
I've been hiding in meeting rooms muchof yesterday and today, talking with the press about this week's announcementsand the state of the market. Yesterday afternoon, I met with threeJapanese journalists for what was one of the best interviews I've donein a long time.These guys were prepared! Theyhad excellent questions which reflected the Japanese cultural tendencyto think long-term and in multiple directions. I don't speak Japanese,but I know a few of the key phrases and intonations of the language. Combinethat with the "Engrish" (romanji character) pronunciation ofmany of the technical words, and I was able to understand most of the questionseven before they had been translated. The eye contact was intense,the laughter reflected in the creases in the corner of the eye, and itall worked despite my constant reminder to myself to say "hai"at appropriate points and never to use the word "no".So what was the question worth blogging? It was, essentially -- four years ago, you announced a J2EE-basedcollaboration strategy. It was a two-lane highway. Today wehear a lot of news about ongoing investment and enhancement in the coreNotes/Domino technologies, and no two-lane highway. What has changedand why?I love this question (and I told theJapanese that I do). The question is asked at user groups, by journalists,by CIOs. It requires a philosophical answer, but is one that I getasked enough that I've honed the philosophy.When Al Zollar stood on that stage fouryears ago and announced collaboration for J2EE, a number of things drovethe decision. The primary two still make perfect sense today. 1) Software is becoming componentized. You can see it in the way IBM and others build solutions today.The new Sametime uses an Eclipse framework, a Codec from someone else,etc. Making components to provide collaborative capabilities is agood idea. 2) J2EE, or alternatively .NET, havebecome the primary languages for application developers. The forecastin 2002 was that by 2005, 80% of all new apps would be written in one orthe other. I don't think it happened that way -- for a variety ofreasons, I think the number is lower. But it is still a fact thata new computer science graduate from unversity is more likely to be focusedon Java or .NET than anything else. And convincing them learn todevelop in Domino Designer is a challenge, because it's "proprietary"to one (albeit incredibly popular) platform.So we had to start getting behind oneof these development platforms, and as IBM, it makes sense that we choseJava. The Workplace Collaboration Services, and many of the Workplace-brandedproducts, reflect this. But a funny thing happened on the way toJ2EE-based collaboration -- market adoption of Notes/Domino continued,and more importantly, existing customers grew their Domino investmentsthrough larger user populations and increasing numbers of applications.The problem with the "two-lanehighway" was that there was an implication you would eventually haveto move to the other lane, and it would take some superhuman feat to doso. There's no ROI in migration, and IBM -- unlike our primary competitor-- just don't believe in it. So instead of following separate andparallel development paths, we started finding ways to integrate the new,Java-based, componentized technologies with the existing Notes/Domino products.This results in several things you saw/heardyesterday -- at the client side, Notes integrates with the Workplace ManagedClient as a plug-in. The next version of Domino will integrate portaltechnologies into the server. They are still Notes and Domino-- running every Notes application that you do today, with no architecturalchanges required. But now we integrate the Activities model intoNotes; we integrate the components into Notes (Sametime 7.5 will providethe IM plug-in for Notes "Hannover"). It becomes the bestof all worlds -- continuing investment and innovation for the productsin use by 61,000 customers today, while adopting for the "nextgen"of Java-based programming. Tools like IBM Workplace Designer helpbridge the two, by providing a Java-based development tool that works likeDomino Designer. In a future version, it will even build rich clientapplications.I have been at Lotus through this entiretransition and journey. And when I see what the development teamhas done to leverage our strengths and heritage, combined with toolingfor the future, it makes me incredibly proud to be a part of all of this. We're doing what's right for customers, not just what's convenientfor us (whehter that be a 64-bit migration or an obsolesence of existingproduct APIs). It takes more work, but the best and the brightestare making it happen. And the best part is, it has made Notes evenmore powerful, and more useful, for the next sixteen years of its lifecycle.
Case study: Less buggy software and better ROI for BNP Paribas
A research note published this month from the scrupulous team at Nucleus Research examined what companies spent on hardware, software, consulting, and so on, over a 3-year period for PeopleSoft Enterprise. The results:Eighty-two percent of PeopleSoft customers interviewed had achieved a positive ROI from their deployments, with an average payback period of 32 months.
But doesn't want to call it CRM
Optimizing the profitability of a software project depends on balancing short-term costs with long-term benefits. Here are the key factors which will help the decision-making process.
A long-established concept called a "service-oriented architecture" will give businesses better return on their IT dollars and keep the software industry vibrant, analysts say.
If knowledge is power, business intelligence software is an engine that transforms a data deluge into knowledge. Research shows that the median ROI for BI solutions is 112 percent in 12 months. Many BI vendors are hatching enterprise-wide strategies.
With every potential information technology purchase now under intense scrutiny, a few software vendors are working to help CIOs look before they leap into big expenses.
The best of ZDNet, delivered
- 1 Windows 10: You've got questions, I've got answers
- 2 Perfectly legal ways you can still get Windows 7 cheap (or even free)
- 3 Hands-on with Windows 10: Installing the latest Technical Preview
- 4 31 ways to improve your iPhone's battery life
- 5 How much does an iPhone 6 really cost? (Hint: It's way more than $199)