Parting Shots: Q&A With Former Gartner BPM Analyst Jim Sinur
Last week, Gartner's preeminent business process management analyst Jim Sinur announced he would join Global 360 (http://www.global360.com/ ) as Chief Strategy Officer. In this broad-ranging interview, Sinur explains the move, offers an update on the BPM market and explores the evolving convergence of BI, data, events, modeling, business process management and business rules.
Data Integration Comes in Three Flavors
Those shopping for data integration solutions will find that they come in three flavors: Stand-alone tools from niche players like MetaMatrix, Group 1, Pervasive and Tableau… Focused Solutions from vendors like Business Objects, Cognos, Informatica, Initiate and SAS… and One-Stop Shops such as IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. Here's what each flavor has to offer.
Thoughts on Content Management as a Service
Are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options viable for enterprise content management? I hear that question with increasing frequency, and it's a difficult one to answer. There are plenty of vendor options out there - from pure plays like Spring CM, to hybrids like Xythos and Treno. But just because there are plenty of options doesn't means it's a particularly good idea.
Should BI and Performance Management Be a Single Platform?
Weeks before Business Objects announced it will acquire Cartesis, I had an interesting chat with BI-industry veteran Ben Plummer, now a VP at Applix. Plummer commented that the company is positioning itself "in the convergence between BI and performance management… we're calling it 'Business Analytics.'"
Data Breaches Cry Out for Data Governance
The New York Times on April 20 reported yet another significant data breach: the inadvertent public disclosure of tens of thousands of social security numbers belonging to people who received financial assistance from the U.S. Agriculture Department. The breach, coming on top of numerous others recently, is a clear indication that data governance is the need of the hour.
Business Objects Leads Financial Tech Shakeup
If you work in finance or IT, yesterday was a big news day, with Business Objects announcing it will acquire Cartesis, Oracle finalizing its acquisition of Hyperion and SAP announcing at its Sapphire user conference that it will resell Acorn Systems' costing and profitability technology. So shakeup was the word of the day in financial performance management, and there was no doubt that Business Objects made a smart move.
Put to the Test: Oracle Data Integrator
Oracle has upgraded the Sunopsis ETL technology it acquired last fall to address master data management and SOA needs as well as data warehousing and data migration. It's not an easy tool to master, but it's a powerful and versatile choice if you're willing to invest in training.
Put to the Test: Oracle BI Enterprise Edition
Built on the federated data access and Web-based architecture of Siebel Analytics, Oracle's latest BI offering is competitive, but the admin and query interfaces could stand a few usability improvements.
Face Off: Business Objects vs. Oracle (and Microsoft)
When Business Objects first acquired SRC software in Q3 2005, some industry and financial experts wondered, "why SRC, a little-known budgeting, planning, and financial consolidation vendor… why not a stronger performance management player such as Cartesis or OutlookSoft?" Fast forward 18 months and Business Objects did exactly that, announcing late Sunday night its intent to acquire Cartesis.
Informing People Does Not Improve Decisions
I don't typically watch C-Span, but I was watching last week because my wife was giving testimony before a Senate Committee… From Senator Gordon Smith to the esteemed panel with academic and scientific pedigrees in abundance, here was a group of people who were as well-informed on the issues as any group could be. Yet, not a single of one them was swayed from their positions by the others' testimony… So what does this have to do with BI? Everything.
Do Women Belong in The Kitchen or in BI?
I want to highlight a piece of recent news from CIO Insight: women are leaving IT. There are no studies as to why this is happening, only the fact that it is. Fortunately for women in BI, it looks like our role in this segment of IT remains steady at 28 percent...
Compared to other IT sectors, BI seems to be wonderfully represented by females, particularly in industry thought leadership.
Infrastructure: A Wake-Up Call for India, China
If China and India aspire to recognition and respect for their increasing prowess in technology, they must do better. The World Economic Forum recently released its annual Global Information Technology Report for 2006-2007. The reports Networked Readiness Index ranked India 44th and China 59th, down four places and nine places, respectively, from last year's standings.
Take the Survey on BI Success
Long-time Intelligent Enterprise contributor Cindi Howson wants to understand why and how some companies are more successful with business intelligence than others. The results won't be available for a while, but sometimes taking surveys can be as thought-provoking as reading them. What's more, Cindi will send respondents the key findings.
Information Convergence Is a Work in Progress
John Schwarz, CEO of Business Objects, yesterday gave a keynote address at AIIM Expo entitled "The Parallel Evolution and Convergence of Enterprise Content Management and Business Intelligence." The title notwithstanding, I didn't hear a lot of concrete examples of convergence in the speech, but there are signs the worlds of data and content are slowly coming together.
AIIM 'Smackdown' and the Perils of Portals
Yesterday at the annual AIIM Expo, we held an "Enterprise Portal Smackdown," in which a packed room keenly watched seven-minute demos presented by different consultancies (Ironworks, Molecular, and Liferay) demonstrating, respectively: BEA WebLogic, IBM WebSphere, and Liferay Portal. Here's a one-liner summary of each demo:
Fear and SharePoint: Trends Seen at AIIM Expo
Compliance mandates and legal risks are a big focus here at the AIIM show in Boston. Also everywhere - the keynote lineup, the press room, the collateral material, etc. - are presentations, announcements and references to Microsoft SharePoint. I'll get to SharePoint and parallels between BI and content management in a moment, but first a few thoughts on fear mongering.
FAST pushes SNaaS - Software NOT as a Service
Enterprise-search vendor FAST is poised to strike a blow for SNaaS - Software NOT as a Service... The FAST AdMomentum platform is designed to shift control of delivery of contextual advertising from third-party service providers... Web search has always been delivered as a service. Who but propeller-hatted weenies (like me) would even think to pre-label this service with "Software as a"?
Adobe Offers Toolkit For Salesforce.com
The Adobe Flex Toolkit for Apex is for building rich Internet applications that piggyback on Salesforce.com's online software for managing sales and customer data.
Study Finds Firms Lack Confidence in Records Practices
Respondents to AIIM's annual "State of the Enterprise Content Management Industry" study aren't terribly confident about their organizations' ability to product electronic records for legal or regulatory challenges. They also say they're turning to technology to help solve the problem, yet corporate policies and practices may be the real stumbling block.
Who Defines BI? Part II
These are extended responses to comments made in the original blog "Who Defines BI?" Cliff Longman, CTO at Kalido, commented: "I think of BI as the car and data warehousing as the engine…Data warehouses should represent the historical view (and the "what if?" views as well if it is a business requirement) of data that a business relies on to judge its performance." Cliff, we're pretty much in agreement...
Xerox Upgrades DocuShare and DocuShare CPX
The enterprise content management market has split into two camps in recent years. One camp, lead by Microsoft, provides basic content services, while the other, lead by IBM/FileNet, provides highly scalable ECM platforms... Xerox today announced version 6.0 upgrades of DocuShare and DocuShare CPX, separate-but-integrated offerings that serve both levels of content management need.
Content Management In Focus: Q&A With AIIM's John Mancini
Vendor consolidation, new federal rules on e-discovery and moves by giants including Microsoft are changing the enterprise content management market. Preparing for this week's AIIM Conference & Expo in Boston, AIIM International president John Mancini explores what's driving deployment and whether ECM is being subsumed by information management.
The Grand Challenge for Text Mining
Ronen Feldman last year posed a grand challenge for text mining to create "systems that will be able to pass standard reading comprehension tests such as SAT, GRE, GMAT etc." The aim is to "get researchers, press, funding agencies, venture capitalists and the public interested [and to] produce dramatic advances in science and technology." It's a worthy vision and goal, but it's incomplete.
The Traveler and the Tree: Learning from Wodehouse
The Software Equity Group reports that 2006 "established new benchmarks for domestic M&A activity." In North America alone, there were more than 1,700 mergers and acquisitions in the software and IT services sector... Watching giants like IBM, HP, Microsoft and Oracle voraciously mop up the IT landscape, we expect 2007 to be another stellar year for acquisitions, with implications for all of us.
Enterprise Content Management Rising?
AIIM Europe has just completed research that reveals that the number of firms deploying ECM in the UK has doubled in the last two years. Another interesting piece of research recently revealed that around 25 percent of enterprises now at least claim to run a services oriented architecture, and that number is set to grow rapidly. These data points confirm that ECM is becoming business critical.
Salesforce.com Adds Content Management
Salesforce.com announced yesterday that it will enter the enterprise content management (ECM) sector leveraging Web 2.0-style collaboration software it acquired earlier this year from a start-up called Koral. It's a bold announcement that the Salesforce platform... will "liberate customers from....software like EMC|Documentum."
Just How 'Free' Are Open Source Licensing Models?
I've been studying licensing issues and developing case studies in the course of preparing a class on Open Source for the Enterprise. Licensing is, after all, the heart and soul of Open Source. The right approach will encourage project use and foster development while allowing participants to derive value from their contributions, and we can learn from what worked (or didn't) for others.
The Annual Easter H-1B Hunt Exceeds Expectations
That thundering sound you heard down the streets leading to the offices of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) earlier this month was the stampede of immigration lawyers rushing to grab their share of H-1B visas for their resource-starved clients. It appears that all 65,000 H-1B visas for the coming year were snapped up in a single day. What gives?
The Sweet Sound of Success!
BI penetration remains relatively low in most organization, at about 20 percent of employees. Yet we found in a survey last summer that for companies that consider their BI deployment "successful," BI usage is much higher... Beyond technology, there are many organizational issues that help BI succeed or fail.
Just What is 'Convergence' Anyway?
For the past two decades I've heard about the "coming convergence" in enterprise software between the data and content sides -- or, if you like (I don't like, but other people do) -- between structured and unstructured information management. This always seemed like more of a vendor fantasy than real enterprise need
Data Breach Notification Laws: A State-by-State Perspective
As any CIO knows by now, California has among the toughest data-breach-notification laws in the US, but it's hardly alone in mandating public scrutiny of privacy lapses. A seasoned security veteran takes you inside some of the nuances of state-level privacy protection laws.
Considering Smaller ECM Vendors
I have a short fuse with those who say that "basic content services" are all that any enterprise needs for their ECM requirements, but I remain nonetheless supportive of "lite" offerings. ECM is such an overblown and overused term that encompasses everything from huge imaging and case management deployments to simple document collaboration projects.
Trashing the Competition: Oracle, Microsoft & More
You already know about the Oracle/SAP flap: Oracle's contention is that... SAP's strategy is to:
• Offer cut-rate support services to Oracle customers
• Lure Oracle customers to (SAP)
• Siphon off valuable software maintenance revenue from Oracle
• Compete with Oracle support and maintenance services...
But this is just the latest episode of a long running comedy-drama.
Never Lose Trust: Protect Customer Data
The information age has its dark side: data theft and privacy breaches. The proactive approach to safeguarding customer information starts with encryption for mobile devices. Next, consider the extra security measures implemented at Sharp Healthcare and Zions' Bank.
Who Defines BI?
I was more than a little surprised when I read the article "Think Critically When Applying Best Practices," by Bob Becker and Ralph Kimball. Unless I misread it, they have come around and defined BI as the total process, including data warehousing (DW). This is something that the other prominent DW guru's did a few years ago when, fearing they would miss the hot BI-market boat, declared their IT-oriented DW environment as BI.
Reframing Text Analytics with BI
I spent a pleasant and illuminating 90 minutes recently with Justin Langseth, president and co-founder of Clarabridge. Clarabridge sells text-mining software designed to integrate with business-intelligence tools. But boosting Clarabridge is not my job, and, at least for those 90 minutes, it wasn't Justin's either. The bulk of our conversation was about the changing text mining market.
Data Integration: How Times Have Changed
Enterprise data integration has clearly "arrived." The road had many twists and turns, yet data integration has not just survived, it has grown in strength and stature. How do we apply our collective learning from market developments to position ourselves better for 2007 and beyond?... BI and performance management need not be the raison d'etre for data integration efforts.